Fernandina Friday Nights
Downtown is hopping! It is like days of old with people everywhere. The Bookloft had people of all ages perusing their shelves. The ice cream shops had lines blocking the sidewalk. There were people in their later years along with families with toddlers and strollers and fathers walking out with children in their arms and a cup of ice cream in their hands that they couldn't eat. Every restaurant was packed, not busy, packed!
The police department has returned its presence on Centre Street and downtown with an officer riding a Segway and engaging locals and visitors alike in pleasant conversation. I hope the city commissioners see this. This is what the tree lights was all about. Its not about twinkling and us versus them attitudes. Its simply about the charm of an old seaside village with a lot of history - some hundreds of years old and some just decades. Its not change for the sake of change, looking modern or a new idea because the old is, well, just old.
Fernandina is a place where families can visit as families. They don't have to worry about what their children will be exposed to on the street. Loud partiers imbibing past the point of propriety and acting out in ways that are offensive are not the norm here. The presence of a law enforcement officer will once again deter the unsavory behavior that had started to show its ugly face again.
The beach is the day time attraction and the restaurants and book stores and gift shops and ice cream shops are the evening and after dark attraction. Fernandina is a welcoming community that likes people of all ages and accommodates many different tastes. It is the proverbial old shoe, comfortable the minute you slide in and lends an air of relaxation and relief from the run amok society we have become.
You put politics, religious differences and hustle and bustle aside to just settle in and enjoy life like it used to be. Without leadership that focuses on quality of life we will lose that as so many other communities have. We don't need massive debt, government that can't pay its bills and self serving elected officials who see nothing but the green of American dollars as their driving force. Those attitudes will kill our community faster than the economic downturn did the housing industry. One shopkeeper shared the upswing in business as her hopes of a good sign for the return of our national psyche and local interests especially.
As a retired Judge used to say to visiting lawyers - Welcome to Paradise!