Editors Note: Third in a four-part series on the devastation Hurricane Michael wrought on the Mexico Beach, Fla., community, which is frequented by many southwest Georgians.
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. Slow and easy, sun and sand, food and friends, family and memories ... these are the things the Mexico Beach community has always offered visitors to its little piece of paradise.
I live in paradise, why would I need a vacation? one local said, and she meant that statement.
The members of the local community are the faces visitors remember year after year as they join their family and friends to vacation and make beautiful memories. Familiarity makes a vacation more like a homecoming as families gather to enjoy time together at the quaint beach community that they visit year after year. People have always looked forward to revisiting their favorite places operated by their favorite locals.
Many kicked off their annual vacation by staying at the El Governor motel; their great stay usually started by a friendly greeting and chat with Wiley at check-in. Others stayed year after year with the Wood family at The Driftwood Inn or were married in their small, beautiful chapel and became a part of their unique place on the beach. Days could be spent at the beach, fishing on the pier, or enjoying a game of air hockey or pool at Tommy Ts. Nate and his friendly staff at Mexico Beach Marina offered everything needed for fishing.
Stocking up for the stay required a visit to Gulf Foods and a visit with the friendly and helpful owner Lance and his staff and a quick grab from that deli (where Niece prepared her yummy food).
Meals could be enjoyed in many ways during a stay in Mexico Beach. The Hunter family at The Shell Shack offered many varieties of fresh or steamed fish and seafood, most of it Gulf-caught, and who could forget that delicious smoked fish dip? Michael and Hal, the guys at Killer Seafood, offered a menu that included supreme culinary happiness. Fish tacos and bread bowls filled with steaming goodness in Killer Seafoods own simmering sauce were just a few of the tourist and local favorites.
Mango Marleys homemade chips and freshly made sandwiches and seafood items always made hungry travelers happy. Another community standard for excellent seafood and steaks (and an excellent weekend breakfast) was The Fish House; always an enjoyable experience. Last to be discussed but always first for local flavor both in food and conversation was Sharons Cafe, enjoyed by all who visited.
Everyone shopped for things to take home as treasures to remind them of the time spent on vacation. The Shell Shack always had unique natural shells, artistic creations and local souvenirs that made both adults and children smile. Mayor Catheys Ace Hardware was a hardware store plus a great place to find unique gifts and keepsakes from a vacation. Mexico Beach Marina offered coolers, clothes and outdoor supplies to enjoy.
For decades each visit to Mexico Beach was unique, but the same. Familiar faces and places of the community made time spent there even more enjoyable. On Oct. 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael either damaged or completely destroyed all the businesses mentioned above.
That hurricane, however, did not destroy the fine business people of this community. Many of them are already back in business in some capacity and others are in progress. Mango Marleys Outpost is operating out of a food truck and a military tent and has been serving up delicious food since shortly after the hurricane. Catheys Ace Hardware is open and supplying those working hard to repair and rebuild.
The Killer Seafood mobile unit is ready to go and will be serving soon. Mexico Beach Marina has recently reopened and welcomes everyone to stop and shop. The Hunter family at The Shell Shack is hard at work on the rebuild and will be back in action soon.
Everyone in the Mexico Beach community is recovering, repairing and rebuilding as best they are able. A lot goes into recovering from total destruction and devastation. Each component of this unique community handles each step forward differently. Some businesses sadly will not rebuild and they will be missed.
Huge progress has been made in the year that has passed since Hurricane Michael and will continue for years to come. Mexico Beach will forever be changed. But the people of this small, quaint community strive to rebuild and recover while preserving the individuality of their town.
The rest is here:
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- As wind switches today, Michigans most popular beaches will turn dangerous - MLive.com - July 10th, 2020
- Heading to Delaware beaches this weekend? What you need to know about masks, restrictions - The News Journal - July 10th, 2020
- Port Huron's beaches are twice as packed with visitors this summer, according to parking pass sales - The Times Herald - July 10th, 2020
- Social Distancing And Booking Apps: What To Expect On Italian Beaches This Summer - Forbes - July 10th, 2020
- Bacteria Closes Several Beaches And Ponds In Barnstable - CBS Boston - July 10th, 2020
- Nearly All SoCal Beaches To Remain Closed This Holiday Weekend - CBS Los Angeles - July 10th, 2020
- A Florida man visiting beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper says governor should require masks statewide - CNN - July 10th, 2020
- Galveston's beaches will be open this weekend, but you may have trouble finding a parking spot - KHOU.com - July 10th, 2020
- Visiting Rehoboth Beach? What you need to know about the new face mask requirement - Delmarva Now - July 10th, 2020
- The best gadgets for the beach and pool: Tech Support - Yahoo Canada Finance - July 10th, 2020
- Teen drowns, 5 rescued from strong currents in Long Beach - WPIX 11 New York - July 10th, 2020
- Beach Access Activists Protest Private Fence Abutting the Old Saybrook Town Beach - CT Examiner - July 10th, 2020
- Crowds flock to Wilmington-area beaches for July 4th weekend - StarNewsOnline.com - July 10th, 2020
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- Giant stinging jellyfish are appearing in greater numbers on Mass. beaches, but no one seems to know why - The Boston Globe - June 27th, 2020
- The Urbanists Guide to the Beaches of New Jersey - New York Magazine - June 27th, 2020
- Heading to the Delaware beaches this weekend? Here are some helpful tips for your trip - The News Journal - June 27th, 2020
- 'June gloom' will continue to loom at San Diego beaches - The San Diego Union-Tribune - June 27th, 2020
- Mayor on beach closures: I don't mind being the bad guy - CNN - June 27th, 2020
- These are all the dog-friendly beaches in Sleeping Bear Dunes - MLive.com - June 27th, 2020
- Heres how Cape Cod National Seashore beaches will change this summer due to COVID-19 - Boston.com - June 27th, 2020
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- Long Beach police arrest man on suspicion of West Long Beach shooting that left 2 injured - Long Beach Press Telegram - June 27th, 2020
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- Local gov't minister begs beach, river-goers to observe COVID-19 rules this weekend - Jamaica Observer - June 27th, 2020
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- Multiple waterspouts spotted off Alabama and Florida beaches on Sunday - AL.com - June 22nd, 2020
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- Bill Maher Begs Millennials To Storm Beaches And Malls, Buy Pants - Deadline - June 22nd, 2020
- Lifeguards To Return To Select Minneapolis Beaches This Weekend - CBS Minnesota - June 22nd, 2020
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- Headed to the beach? You'll see some big changes - WCVB Boston - June 22nd, 2020
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- Daylight Beach Club returns to Mandalay Bay as an adult pool on the Las Vegas Strip. - Eater Vegas - June 22nd, 2020
- Memorial Beach won't get its summer dam this year - Sonoma West - June 22nd, 2020
- Mother, Son Rescued From Sand Collapse On Nauset Beach - CBS Boston - June 22nd, 2020
- This remote destination is home to one of Texas' least crowded beaches - culturemap.com - June 22nd, 2020
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- Hundreds of deputies will be making sure people on Pinellas County beaches are social distancing - ABC Action News - May 3rd, 2020
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- Newport Beach Officials Release Photos Disputing That Their Beaches Were Overcrowded - CBS Los Angeles - May 3rd, 2020
- Deserted Thai Beaches Lure Rare Turtles to Build Most Nests in 20 Years - EcoWatch - May 3rd, 2020
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- Marshfield and Duxbury look to shore up beaches with beach nourishment plan - The Patriot Ledger - May 3rd, 2020
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- Florida lawyer to wear Grim Reaper costume to stop people visiting beaches - The-Latest News - April 26th, 2020
- Coronavirus has many beaches closed, but beach reads are still coming this summer - USA TODAY - April 26th, 2020
- What's open and closed this weekend: Beaches, parks and trails in Southern California - Los Angeles Times - April 26th, 2020
- Coronavirus: City of Ventura to allow limited access to closed beaches, parks, pier - VC Star - April 26th, 2020
- Will IRCSO patrol county beaches when they re-open Tuesday? 'Absolutely,' sheriff says - TCPalm - April 26th, 2020
- COVID-19: Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach reopen beaches to sunbathers, groups of 5 or less - Florida Today - April 26th, 2020
- Heat wave has people even more anxious to hit the beach - CBS News 8 - April 26th, 2020
- When Pinellas County reopens its beaches and businesses, officials want to move slowly - Tampa Bay Times - April 26th, 2020
- Oak Island opening beaches Friday, with restrictions - WWAY NewsChannel 3 - April 26th, 2020
- After two-week closure, three Brunswick beaches reopen; Kure and Carolina still closed [Free read] - Port City Daily - April 26th, 2020
- Here is Galveston's plan to open its restaurants and beaches - KHOU.com - April 26th, 2020
- Visitors flock to the beach as South Padre Island reopens - KGBT-TV - April 26th, 2020
- Surfers, Swimmers, Beach-Lovers Want Answers: When Will We Get Back in the Water, and on the Sand? - NBC 7 San Diego - April 26th, 2020
- Edisto Beach and Kiawah respond to opening of public beaches - WCBD News 2 - April 26th, 2020
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- Marco Island approves opening entrance, exit beach access points - Wink News - April 7th, 2020
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