If you call me this week, I won’t be answering.

I will be taking vacation time to enjoy my grandson’s second birthday and a trip to South Carolina.

I think I will enjoy the birthday more than the long drive to the Palmetto State.

It seems the youngster, his name is Carden, has become obsessed with Mickey Mouse. So we bought a Mickey flashlight (it looks more like one of those Star Wars swords), a Mickey T-shirt, a Mickey backpack and a talking Mickey. I am betting he will like the talking Mickey after he overcomes his fear.

He is not crazy about toys that speak to him, or yap at him. A wind-up puppy dog (that barks) had him running for cover. He loves it when it’s not barking though.

While I was wrapping birthday presents, I had some things on my mind. So, if you’ll pardon me for asking:

• If you have not been vaccinated for the COVID-19, what are you waiting for? It’s painless and for most the reactions are minor or nonexistent. And when it’s all done you can relax some of the rules about wearing a mask.

• Do you think the Charlotte County Commission should have kicked in some money to help expand Punta Gorda’s Pickleplex? The pickleball craze has certainly been an economic boost for Charlotte County.

• Did you hear the bizarre story about a missing woman who was found in a storm drain in Delray Beach? It’s an old story by now, but it’s kinda crazy. A passerby heard a woman yelling from a storm drain on a busy street. Police and firefighters found her dirty and naked but alive after she had been in the drain for days. No one knew at the time how she got there but she was reported missing 20 days earlier. I bet she was hungry.

• When are they going to start serious work on River Road? That is maybe the most dangerous road in Sarasota or Charlotte counties and the widening of it from U.S. 41 to Interstate 75 has been approved. We need to get it done and then start working to widen the stretch from U.S. 41 to State Road 776 in Englewood.

• If half your yard is really nothing but dirt and a few weeds, what is the best cure (besides sod)?

• So, should Wellen Park deannex from North Port?

• I am curious why red tide was so bad in Charlotte Harbor last week but not in the Gulf? Have you heard the rumors about discharges into the Peace River?

• When are they going to break ground for the restaurant/bar on Melbourne in Charlotte Harbor?

• Why no popcorn shrimp on the buffet at Punta Gorda’s Golden Corral?

• And finally, how many people do you know who take their 3-month-old wild rabbit on vacation with them? Don’t they have wild rabbit farms?

John Hackworth is the Pulitzer Prize-winning commentary editor for The Daily Sun and the Venice Gondolier. He can be reached at John.Hackworth@YourSun.com.


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