FORT MYERS – Last year, TV personality Willard Scott asked for submissions for an upcoming book entitled The Older the Fiddle, the Better the Tune: The Joys of Reaching a Certain Age, searching for insights from all sorts of people who have reached “a certain age.” This book has just been published, and a Shell Point resident is among those who have been quoted. Among stories and quotes from the likes of Bob Hope, Maya Angelou, Fred Rogers, and George H. W. Bush is a letter by Shell Point resident Chuck Durrell, who moved into Oakmont three years ago. Below you’ll find his letter – printed in full in the book – which gives a fascinating insight into how moving into a retirement community like Shell Point can change someone’s life.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my working years, I long looked forward to retirement by the tender age of 60. I had my own business, which employed 40 people, and found myself working seven days a week, many days from six in the morning until nine at night, with just enough time off for a quick sandwich. As I approached my goal of retiring at 60, I was fortunate enough to find a buyer for my company who would take good care of my customers. So, I sold it for enough money to enjoy my golden years.
Ten years later, I opted to move to a wonderful retirement community in sunny Fort Myers, Florida. No more snow, no more household chores, and best of all, plenty of time to relax and do what I wanted to do when I wanted. After two weeks of sitting on my eighth floor porch, watching the boats run up and down the Caloosahatchee River, I got bored and decided to do some volunteer work… something that I would enjoy doing. I joined the retirement community model railroad club to do the electrical work. Then I designed and installed a surround sound system for our ballroom, so that the residents could see recent movies on Saturday night in a home theater setting. Shortly after, I discovered that the system provided excellent sound from classical music CDs, so there went my Sundays. Not satisfied with enough to do, I learned to play the recorder, and joined a group that puts on concerts several times a year. Then I was elected to represent the residents in our building to help them resolve issues that come up with management. So, there went my days of boat watching on the Caloosahatchee River.
What started off to be relaxing days where nothing ever had to be done, again ended up with a busy schedule of activities from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. But you know what? I have never had so much fun and made so many new many friends. Not only have I had an opportunity to make a better life for others, but I feel 20 years younger.