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On The Road To SRQ

On The Road To SRQ

| Sande Caplin |

On The Road To SRQ, how did you get here?……In a city where VERY few people are ‘native Sarasotans’, I have always found it fascinating to know HOW and WHY people found their way to SRQ!  This is the 3rd of a series of articles featuring some of your Favorite People telling their OWN Stories!

Thank you to:  Mark Bartlett, Melanie Massell, “BC”, Matthew Dively & Claudia & Doug Deming for sharing their stories.  They didn’t land “smack dab”  in SRQ, but they got ‘close’, and we’re glad they did!!!

 Mark Bartlett
The Swordfish Grille
Mark Bartlett“Probably a newer transplant than most, I realized as soon as I came to the area- I was home. Prior to moving to the area I was a Detroit area native, that escaped to the Florida Keys to live for some 16 years. With escalating costs of living in paradise, it was time for a change. After a short stint in Central Florida my wife Karen and I missed the water and were looking for a coastal community to call home. Luckily, John Banyas of Cortez Bait & Seafood was looking for someone to put together and operate a restaurant at his Cortez property. A phone call from John to a mutual acquaintance in the seafood and restaurant business in the Keys ,my previous employer, put us together. A day later as I arrived in the area, It seemed like I found my favorite blue jeans in the back of the closet and knew it was a comfortable fit. I then realized how much I missed the water, the sand and yes even the smell of fish. I was hooked and  I’m here to stay.”

Melanie Massell

 Melanie Massell“What brought this Georgia Peach to Florida? My lucky “dancing stars” did…that and my amazingly wise husband, Jack Jacobs. We knew that once Jack retired in 2007 we wanted to live somewhere along the West coast of Florida and capture a sunset every night while watching its reflection create “dancing stars” across the water.  We just didn’t know where in Florida this would be.  After a couple of years of extended weekend getaways driving along the coastline peeping into nooks and crannies from Clearwater to Marco Island, we found our destination on Perico Island.  And being so close to Sarasota was the icing on the cake for me as a seasoned song stylist and entertainer.  (Remember – Jack is the one who retired.)  So we planted a stake in the ground in May 2002 and moved permanently on June 6, 2007.  I can still hear the tires screeching and see the U-Haul nearly popping a wheelie out of the driveway in Atlanta.  I don’t mean that in any derogatory way, being a native Atlanta girl, it’s just that home was calling us…500 miles away.    Our families and some of the finest musicians I have ever worked with still live there, making it fortunate for us to revisit often and stock up on memories and music.  Since our first night here we have literally given thanks every evening at sunset – not only for the beauty of another day in paradise, but also for the good fortune we have found in making so many new friends and the plethora of exciting opportunities there have been in re-establishing my career here.”

BC Musician“December 27th,1990 I hopped in my truck in my hometown of Charleston,WV and drove to Bradenton,FL. to visit some friends of mine. I was only going to be in Florida a couple of days. The first night in Bradenton,we all went out to a nightspot on Holmes Beach to hear a band called “Eclipse” perform. I sat in with Eclipse and was offered the job. I accepted and Eclipse became my band and I’m still here! I love it here!”

Matthew Dively
Owner, Blu Que Island Grill
Matthew Dively“I grew up in Bradenton, FL and then moved to Brussels, Belgium for High School.  That is where I got interested in food.  Then, after finishing high school in Europe, I moved to Charleston, SC and went to Johnson and Wales and got my degree in Culinary Arts & Hotel Management.  I then moved back to Bradenton and became a manager at OylerRays Tiki Bar for two years prior to my father and I opening Blu Que Island Grill.  We have now been open for 5 years.”

Doug & Claudia Deming
the “Jewel Tones”

Claudia and Doug Deming “After closing my family’s manufacturing business in the Detroit area in 2007, my husband and I started toying with the idea of moving to Florida. I only knew the Atlantic coast and the keys- I had never been to the gulf coast. My husband had come thru Bradenton a few times touring with his band, Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones. He asked me to check it out so we took a vacation on Anna Maria Island. After my first step in that beautiful white sand I was hooked. We packed up and moved to Bradenton in December of 2009. Doug put together a new band, still going by The Jewel Tones, and can be found playing clubs in Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Pete and beyond when the band is not out touring nationally. Doug has his captain’s license and is an avid fisherman, as well, so when he’s not gigging, he’s out on the boat. I started a new business, Deming Estate Sales, and conduct appraisals and estate sales in Sarasota and surrounding cities. Oh, and I like to fish too! We just love our slice of Paradise, and love sharing it with our Michigan family and friends.”

About Leslie SRQ:

Leslie SRQLeslie Hinsz Marron (aka LeslieSRQ) is a CRACKER!!  Yes, she was actually born in Sarasota. In her early 20s, despite the sunshine, the palm trees & the beaches, she wandered off to Memphis to dabble in architecture &  construction and to consort with the likes of Elvis & BB King.  Predictably, like a fish to water, she came back home to Sarasota and has been swimming upstream ever since!  Promoting & Praising the Paradise she calls ‘home’, her passion for all things Sarasota,  is expressed on her website  Whether it is the creation of unique and inspiring Videos, or Special Events,  or exciting Graphics & Photos, Leslie promotes people, places & events in Full, Vibrant Color!!  Please visit her site to see how she can help promote YOU or call 941-748-4252.

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