Boca Grande Fl (Storch Report) — There is a barrier reef to the south of where I write this column called Boca Grande.
It is a bastion of old money, begin with the DuPont’s and work your way down on the money chain.
It is an island where billionaires chase out millionaires, the residents own a brand new swing bridge and the toll to get on the island now is $6 and you can get off for the same price. Soon it will be $10 with the expense of a good cause . . . way.
When most see the name of the Island, which is really Gasparillia, they pronounce it ‘Boca Grand Day,’ but you see the ‘e’ in Grande is silent.
It is a common mistake, even the County in which it is a part, Charlotte, got it wrong when they widened Rt. 776, which leads to the island when turning onto 775, replaced the signs and spelled Boca Grand the way it is pronounced but not the way in which it is spelled. Of course the sign was corrected.
It is famous for many things, mostly a place where two presidents and a governor used it as an annual retreat, hosted by an heir of a DuPont. Yes, Bush 41 and Bush 43 and Florida Governor Bush and the rest of the clan, some of which were married here enjoyed the hospitality of the island, its golf, fishing and solitude.
Boca Grande once was a port for phosphorous export which required a railroad to be built from the mainland out to the tip of the barrier reef for ships to pick up the precious mineral. But then it became an obsolete port to Tampa and the demise of the railroad.
But the deteriorating trestle which still exists has not been removed, it is being repaired as an antique.
The most precious personality that still frequent’s the island, besides Sofia Lauren, which I have confirmed on good authority has been here, is Tarpon a pretty fish that migrates from the Keys to the Boca Grande inlet, followed by Sharks, to spawn.
This culminates in the Spring for the World’s Richest Tarpon tournament, a catch and release fishing gala.
Oh, you might wonder where I’m going with this column, in fact at this point I was wondering the same thing.
This evening James Rosen, an accomplished quality correspondent for Fox News in Washington DC was filling in for Bret Baier, host of Special Report, and switched to ‘Boca Grand Day’ for an interview with Brit Hume, a semi retired political analyst for Fox who spends a lot of time in Boca Grande.
Rosen, as a fill in, didn’t realize the ‘e’ was silent in Grande. But the person he was filling in for Bret Baier would have known, for often he would switch to Brit in Boca Grande for commentary. It was a Bret to Brit and then a Brit to Bret, but never a Bret to Brit in Boca Grand Day.
Well, this is Don Storch from Manasota Key, another story on another Key for another time.