Editor’s Note:

The staff at the Weekly Newspaper grew this week when our baby sister, Josie, arrived from Ohio to help run the family business. A former TV anchorwoman, she brings a solid background in journalism and commitment to make the Weekly Newspapers the #1 news source in South Florida. Just watch us grow!

Sweet Support for my Saltwater Nephew

In my first three days here, it’s been a delight to hear around the island the bona fide glee you have for the arrival of Jason and Kate’s little baby. Kate is having a Conch!  We’re not Conch’s, but Jason and I are Florida natives. My older sibling rambled out our own birth stories to me one day as he organized his beloved Star Wars figurines.Our mom was swimming along in The Gulf and simply had each of us in the waves.

Jason and I spent our formative years in Chief Wahoo territory where we passed more days in chlorinated pool water than in the salty ocean.  On sweltering summer days, when our mom wasn’t too busy chatting with friends and relatives through the harvest-yellow rotary phone attached to the kitchen wall, she’d show up at the pool. Sandy didn’t wait for the whistle to blow and then climb in when the waters were calm. She dove in.  She came to get her hair wet.  We’d sit on the guardrail with our friends. “Swim underwater, mom!  All the way to the other side!  Do it in one breath!”

She’d fill her lungs, glide off, and I’d imagine she was a mermaid.

Our mom was also raised in Florida, and near our Grandma’s property are destinations unrelated to Disney. Tourists, tired of Orlando, adventured to places like Weeki Wachee Springs, to set their sights on the mermaids.  Young women floating effortlessly through the water.  My mom enthralled me with stories as a little girl, of her own dream to be part of The City of Mermaids at Weeki Wachee. 

I envisioned her with her sandy-brown hair floating around her… her body made amphibious by a blue-green fish tail she wore for work… members of the crowd in awe of her mystical beauty. She convinced me I could be a mermaid or anything else I wanted to be.

Many uncertainties swirl as we await the arrival of the family’s first Conch. Will Josh have dark skin?  Kate’s straight locks and easy-going nature? Or his daddy’s curls and Kramer-esque presence?

We don’t know. We can only convince him he can be anyone he wants. A BMW-driving newspaper man, pick-wielding locksmith, or South Beach bartender.

At the Cabana Club, or any pool, I always take note of parents scattered around the deck… perhaps still fully clothed… reading a book, not submersed in the water… submersed in the endless possibilities of the life their child could one day lead. I urge all of you to get in the water, and convince them they can be anything they want… even a mermaid.

Josie Koler is the new associate editor of the Weekly Newspapers.  She can be reached at (305) 743-0844 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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