Winding down the week while killing two hours in Dunedin:
— That’s right, Dunedin. Clearwater’s little brother. Gateway to hot, crowded beaches.
Other than driving between Clearwater Beach and Tarpon Springs, I’d never stepped foot in Dunedin. My travels took me there Thursday for an appointment and I had a little bit of time before heading back.
Few things are cooler than strolling through a small town for the first time and Dunedin, surprisingly, has that character. It combines an active marina with a compacted and charming downtown to create a festive, inviting atmosphere. With a rails-to-trails cutting right through the middle of it.
Inverness and Crystal River have spoiled me for small-town charm; I appreciate seeing it elsewhere.
More on Dunedin in a minute.
— So, what do you think of the shoes?
“Man, that guy will post a photo of anything.”
True, but aren’t those red sneakers a neato fashion statement?
“This is a new low, even for you. You post bland photos of buildings, parking lots, signs, and static county commission meetings. And now shoes. What’s next? Your tube sock collection?”
I’m not sure that’s necessary. I shopped for these shoes myself and I was so happy, I wore them at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.
“Right and what did County Administrator Steve Howard say about them?”
Gulp. He congratulated me for having University of Georgia shoes — red and black.
“And didn’t that remind you of a funny story?”
Yes! Several years ago, I visited my friend Gordon in St. Marys, and accompanied him and his pals on a bus trip to the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville. It looked like rain, so I grabbed a jacket, not realizing until after we arrived that its colors were blue and orange. Go Gators!
I wore it in the red/black Georgia section and was Mr. Popular as Florida took the victory. Winning $300 in the squares pool made the silent bus ride back to St. Marys even more enjoyable.
“Nice story. Should we expect a photo page on footwear?”
Let’s move on before one of us says something we’ll regret.
— Dunedin has posters all over the place on inclusion. I saw one in the Back in the Day bookstore.
“We welcome,” it reads, and then lists:
“We stand with you,” the poster reads. “You are SAFE here.”
Well, how about a round of applause for Dunedin? Rather than debate whether we’re targeting certain types of tourists, why not just take the Dunedin approach and throw open wide our welcome mat?
We can complicate the easiest of tasks, especially these days when we’re not sure whether to be nice to people because of their sexual orientation, religion and the like.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago in my Chronicle column. How difficult is it for Citrus County to just welcome all?
There was such a mix of people Thursday evening in Dunedin. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and spending lots of money in restaurants, stores and bars. And plenty of ice cream. It felt safe and welcoming.
We can be that community. We’re close. If Dunedin can do it, Citrus County can too.
— It’s quite the week for me. Along with new red shoes, I bought a laptop. No photos, sorry.
The only thing I dislike more than buying clothing for myself is technology. Deb and I looked at some laptops and picked one out that I believe will work just fine.
What kind is it, you ask? Well…it’s gray. The screen is bigger than my other one. The keyboard is a little funky in that the typing keys are just left of center so I keep hitting the g instead of the f.
The brand is a name we’ve never heard of. Not that it would matter. They’re all a mystery to me.
This was a necessary move. The old Dell is ready to crash. As much as I’m uncomfortable with switching out computers it’s not nearly as bad as one croaking on me.
— Dunedin is really great, and I highly recommend a day-trip visit. Red shoes are welcome.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.