Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Spyglass

When I moved to Clearwater in '82, my parents were living in a condo on Sand Key. They had some great friends in the building who I got to know as well.

One couple on the 5th floor was Mike and Sonya. She worked at Eckerd's corporate headquarters, he owned and operated the Spyglass Hotel on Clearwater Beach. Inherited from his dad it was one of the first with a kitchenette and right smack dab at the center of the beach. A perfect location.

When we got married one of our gifts from Mike was free rooms for anyone from out of town invited to our wedding. Over the years I decorated the lobby for Christmas, did the flowers for their daughter's wedding.... we were good friends...

At the age of 40 something, Mike died from a rare form of pneumonia... the same one that killed Jim Henson.

The years since haven't been especially kind to the Spyglass. It deteriorated, fell out of code, closed and rotted. All the while the mural Mike's dad had painted on the side a reminder of what once was.

Tonight it was imploded to make way for bigger and better. I guess. She went down in a cloud of glory on cable TV. Chris Angel used her like a circus freak. "Escaping" from the demo for all the world to see.

It's sad. The mayor of Clearwater called this landmark an eyesore. Another memory gone.


At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie: I share your sentiments about the loss of the Spyglass. My late Mom and Aunt took me to Florida in 1993 and we stayed there and did we have fun. Evn though it was wearing out and dingy, we had a ball. Seems to me The owner was pointed out to me as an older man with gray hair and beard and was a doctor I believe. Would this man be the father of the "Mike" you mentioned as having passed away at age 40'ish? What was their family name, and who owns it now?
BB in Canada

At 9:40 PM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.


(with kudos to the glorious Joni!)

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Connie in FL said...

BB, I have no idea who owns the property now. Probably the corporation who's tearing down most of the old beach properties to make way for a huge resort.

Mike's family owned the property until the late 70's early 80's. I think he passed away in the late 80's. Who had it after that I am not sure. I can give you a link to a story about the mural. Thanks for stopping by!

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Connie: I do have the link about the mural, and it was lovely to read.
Thanks for answering me. Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to the past and hello to progress...although the Spyglass really did need a face lift.
Well, they can't take away our memories.


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