When I was a teenager, the classiest vacation rental on Anna Maria Island was The Blue Water Beach Club. Actually it was little more than a motel on the Gulf of Mexico. My mother worked there as a maid. This was in the late 1950s. If anybody rich or famous came to the Island, that’s where they stayed. Once Robert Taylor stayed there. My Aunt Mable happened to be visiting us at the time. My mother would collect Robert Taylor’s cigarette butts, and Aunt Mable would put them on string and wear them around her neck.
Mr. Mote stayed there as well. He was a millionaire who was very interested in marine conservation. He loved my mother, at least as a housekeeper. When they began developing the south end of Longboat Key, his was just about the first house they built there. He wanted my mother to come and live with him and be his housekeeper. My mother was worried that it might not look so good, so she declined. Dammit. If she hadn’t been such a prude, maybe Mr. Mote would have adopted me.
Here’s a little collage of some of the displays that I put together…
That was Tiny Tim providing the vocals. I was a big fan.