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Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Tournament will be held at the Port Sanibel Marina located at 14341 Port Comfort Rf. Fort Myers, Fl 33908 and starts at first safe light on May 27th, with weigh-in at the Marina between 2pm-4pm
"This event is open for no costs at all to all veterans, caretakers, first responders, our main goal is for this event to be one of the largest displays of Patriotism ever during a tournament." Captain Esteban Gutierrez
This tournament will have the following divisions:
Boats: all boats in this division
Paddle craft division: canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and self propelled vessels etc are in this division.
Calcutta division: the object fish species for this division is announced the night before the tournament at the captains meeting.
Trash can slam: teams must catch a lady fish, a Jack and a catfish, team with highest weight for all three fish wins. 
The 4th Annual Heroes Inshore Slam Tournament is organized by a team of volunteers and business owners to benefit the Southwest Florida Heroes on the Water Chapter.
"Heroes on the water, the mission there is that we treat wounded veterans to triple threat therapy; mental, occupational and physical therapy, we take them out Kayak fishing, so it helps with their rehabilitation and reintegration back into society." Tim Zimmerman
Published in Outdoor
Thursday, 25 May 2017 08:28

Solomon’s Castle

Using what others have thrown out, this 12,000 sq ft castle is complete with towers, a moat, 80 stained glass windows (each with a story) and an electric elevator built from from junk. Thousands of aluminum printing plates discarded by a local newspaper down the road in Wauchula cover the entire shiny silver castle.
''I have a different perception of the concept of patience than most people,'' says Solomon, who built every square foot of the castle by himself, working with metal scraps he got for free, old car parts he got from a junkyard and rebuilt machinery he bought for 10 cents on the dollar." 
''To me, patience is something that you need when you are doing things you don't like to do. My secret is that I just don't do things I don't like to do.''
The sculptor Howard Solomon bought the land in 1972 at the age of 47 for $350 an acre “because it was cheap and he was too” it was in the dry season, little did he know that it would become a swamp during the rainy months. Yet Howard is a resourceful guy; he built a levee and pumped the water out.   He started building in 1974 with his out-of-the box thinking, he envisioned building a castle that would be his home—his dream of paradise. It took Solomon 21 years to create his dream. Then in 1993 he built a moat and as though his castle was not enough, Howard built a boat. Howard does things big, he built a full size 16th Century Spanish Galleon, complete with mast, sails, cannons, rigging, and decks. There are at least 200 pieces of Howard's work on display.  He purchased adjacent land as it became available, and now family members live in the five houses on the 90-acre property and run the business. 
Howard is skilled in over twenty trades that include welder, carpenter, painter, shipbuilder, cabinet maker, tinsmith, plumber, electrician, carver, artist, and others. Even though Solomon's teachers in Rochester, New York public schools told his parents he was borderline retarded. He failed 2nd grade but could do anything with his hands. 
He wasn't mentally handicapped he was just bored.
"I was expelled from high school in the 10th grade, and the punishment was they sent me to an industrial school," he says. "That was a lucky break. I learned to be a machinist and a draftsman. I learned about woodworking and sheet metal. But before I graduated, they expelled me because my true calling was being a comedian, and nobody recognized that but me.”
He was an unlikely soldier but served in Korea. Later he followed his parents to Florida, settled in St. Petersburg with his wife and toiled as a carpenter. In 1962, Solomon moved his family to the Bahamas and began his career as an artist, he had galleries in Freeport, Bahamas and Miami, Fla. and engaged in a multitude of trades to hone his skills. 
"The common thread of my art," he says "is I have to keep my hands busy."  
Solomon's castle has been featured on numerous television programs and in publications around the world.   It has appeared on CNN, HGTV’s ‘Extreme Homes’, and in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. 
You don’t need to be art connoisseur to admire a Solomon sculpture. All you need is a pair of eyes and a sense of humor.  
Also on the property is an antique car museum that includes two cars Solomon was especially proud of — a 1915 ford Model T Speedster and a 1925 Ford Model T.  The car museum is not accessible on the individual tours, but groups can make prior arrangements for it to be included on their visit.
Howard Solomon was born on May 27, 1935 and passed on August 23, 2016, the family had this to say about his passing: “Howard's Dear old heart just gave out at the age of 81. Surrounded by his Family, he peacefully passed away at home in his castle,  just the way he wanted.”  
Howard's Big Kingdom of Fantasy is really a 'Family Affair' including Daughters, Sons, Grandchildren and even a few friends and his wife Peggy who takes care of all the natural botanical wonders. 
You don't always have to look to Ireland and Scotland if you want to explore a castle. Standing in a central Florida swamp, shining in the sun, is a hand-built medieval castle complete with a moat.  Visit the home, galleries and workshop of internationally renowned artist Howard Solomon. Tour the Castle, walk the beautiful nature trails and enjoy a delightful lunch at the Boat in the Moat Restaurant. A wonderful place to spend a few hours, be entertained and have a great lunch.
For a unique overnight adventure spend the night in the castle's quarters available for rent. (occupancy of 2)
The Castle is also available for Weddings and private events & functions. 
We spoke to Dean and Alane (Solomon) Murphy current proprietors who invite all to come visit the Solomon Castle. Located at 4533 
Solomon Rd, Ona, FL 33865
-10 AM–4 PM Tuesday - Friday
-11 AM-4 PM Saturday & Sunday
-Closed on Mondays, 
-The Castle is also be closed all  
  month in August & September.
For more info Call: (863) 494-6077
Jennifer VanderWest
Published in Lifestyle
Thursday, 25 May 2017 07:23

Local Motor Corps Wins Again!

Last year, we reported that the Araba Motorcycle Escort Team took first place in the Shriners Statewide Motorcycle Drill Team Competition for the Florida Association of Shrine Motor Corp (FASMC).
This year they participated in the 2017 Shriners Statewide Motorcycle Drill Team Competition representing our local Araba Shriners Center, to defend their first place title.....and defend their title they DID !!
You have probably seen the Araba Motor Escort Drill Team performing their signature figure 8's, criss-crosses, circles, and other exciting maneuvers during the local parades. Making their home here in Fort Myers at the Araba Shrine Center on Hanson Street, they are a favorite with parade goers throughout Lee County.  
These daring riders from Fort Myers the City of Palms competed this month in the Statewide Shrine Competition and once again the Araba Motor Escort Team has taken first place in the State Drill Team Competition.  The State Drill Team Competition can be best described as synchronized motorcycle maneuvers, like that in synchronized swimming, only with Full Dresser Harleys.  For the second year in a row they have also taken first place in the "Overall" Team Competition which encompasses the drill maneuvers and the inspection of the team and their motorcycles.
The "traveling trophy" which comes with that honor, will once again reside at the Araba Shriners Center on Hanson Street for the year of 2017.  It will be up for grabs in the 2018 Shriners Statewide Competition when the local team will ride with anticipation of a win for the third year in a row.
Members of this years Drill Team are Captain Ed Lawler, Dodd Skipper, Gary Manning, Dave More, Fred Peterson, Gill Drake and Bobby Mimmo.
The team would like to thank all of those who have supported them through their training and preparation.  Captain of the Drill Team, Ed Lawler added, “I want to thank the team members for all their hard work and a successful weekend, and I'd like to also Thank all the Shriners that came out to support our practices and those that were there for our victory,  it takes a team working together to do great things.” 
Last year this team went to the International Shrine Association Competition (ISA) to represent the state and came in third place in the Drill Competition and third place in the obstacle course.
On July 9th, 2017 at the Daytona International Speedway the Araba Motorcycle Escort Team will be competing at the International Shrine Association Competition (ISA).  As the State of Florida Champions for FASMC Araba Motorcycle Escort Team will be competing with all Shrine Centers Nationally and Internationally.  All event will be held in the infield at the Daytona International Speedway.     
As a fundraiser, the speedway will allow all desirous racing "wanna-b's" to do a lap on the track in the vehicle of your choice for only a $25 donation to the Shriners Hospital For Children.  I don't know about you but that is definitely on my bucket list.
All are welcome to come out and support your local champions and take part in this fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital For Children by taking a spin on the track. 
Shriners have long been known for their charitable work, particularly with their well-respected Children's Hospitals and Burn Units. There are over 22 hospitals in North America alone and it is estimated that the cost to operate these medical facilities is in the billions of dollars annually.
Al DiPasquale
Published in Lee County & Florida

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