Mina and Thomas Edison got a look at Lorelei while she was still intact. / The News-Press archives
Just heard about, and read, your story on Lorelei (Field Notes: “Historic Lorelei statue beheaded but bewitching,” March 2). I am writing to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Did you pick up on the irony that Lorelei’s new home in the Berne Davis Garden exposes the marble sculpture to full sunlight, rain and wind just like her former home did? Unfortunately, the Public Art Committee failed to share the conservator’s report with the folks in the Garden Council who decided where to locate her so they did not know that the Lowinger & Associates report strongly recommended that she be placed under cover. I’ll be curious to see if and how the Garden Council protects the fragile sculpture going forward.
That’s an excellent question — one I’ll take up with the city of Fort Myers. Keep an eye out for a follow-up, and thanks for bringing it up.
Dear Amy and Nash,
When I read the Field Notes on Sunday (“Wishful thinking provides comfort,” March 23) I couldn’t help but remember the movie “The Yearling,” which I just saw on TCM the other day. The fawn did not come out very well in the end. It would have been very hard to do what you felt was right. I still don’t know what I would have done. Bless you both and thank you for being stewards of our wilderness.
Thanks so much for writing. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that after she read the column, Nash’s wonderful reading teacher gave him a copy of “The Yearling,” which he’s devouring. All my best — and thanks for reading!
Sorry to bother, but the photo of the duke and duchess (Field Notes: “Gift expands group’s mission,” March 30) reminded me of a job I was on here in the county. There was a well-done portrait hanging on the wall with the sitter’s name engraved on the frame. I have an interest in art and wanted to know the painter’s name. When I got home and looked him up, the sitter was the grandfather (likeness of Col. Sanders) of the wife whose house we were in. This couple was in their 90s. But the kicker was her father (these searches take you all over the place) had left the family grocery business in the ’20s and became a lawyer in Miami back in the gangster bootlegging smugglin’ days. Right now I can’t for the life of me think of their surname, anyway that lawyer let the duke and duchess stay in his Indiana lake cottage when they arrived here in the states. They knew each through a fellow named Harry Oakes. Check out his and their story — just type Oakes’ name in with that Google fella. But another coincidence is Oakes’ old summer cottage (these “cottages” are huge) in Bar Harbor, Maine is now an inn and my buddy’s son is in charge of the flowers and such.
I took your advice and typed Oakes’ name into “that Google fella” and here’s what his pal, Wikipedia, told me: “Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Baronet (23 December 1874 – 7 July 1943) was an American-born British Canadian gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He earned his fortune in Canada and in the 1930s moved to the Bahamas for tax purposes, where he was murdered in 1943 in notorious circumstances. The cause of death and the details surrounding it have never been entirely determined, and have been the subject of several books and four films.” Fascinating stuff —— thanks for sending me down that rabbit hole!
Can you let your readers know the Caloosa Rare Fruit Exchange Club is holding a tree sale Saturday(April 12) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center on Business 41 behind the library (2000 N. Recreation Park Way)? There will be free parking, free gardening advice, tasting table, fruits on display and tropical fruit tree experts. Thank you, Amy,
Dear Mr. Marsh,
For the oldest tropical fruit club in the region? Consider it done. And as someone who lives near you and has seen the horticultural wonders you work, I can vouch for the fact that anyone who has the chance to pick your brain about growing exotica in the subtropics is fortunate indeed.
— Tom Hall, Fort Myers — Amy — Nancy Hadley, Cape Coral — Amy — Boom, Boomerfire@gmail.com — Amy — Lloyd Marsh, Alva — Amy