One of the reasons that people return to me is for my silence. My original caretaker, Ben Woodson’s motto was “Do Nothing Time” is too important to waste” and he had these words inscribed inside my coffee mugs. He wanted Little Palm Island to be a sanctuary from the money-obsessed, hectic world of the 1980s. This is why there are no televisions, faxes, or phones in the suites. Ben Woodson wanted people to turn off their cell phones, take off their business clothes and leave all the craziness behind. He hoped, instead, that guests would slow down, and listen to the wind swishing through the palms. Better yet, to ride into the water on a sunfish or a windsurf board. Instead of working, he hoped people would snorkel, fish, and ride pedal boats. Instead of talking on the phone, people could admire the tiny Key deer who swim from Big Pine Key and enjoy the calming effects of my island. He wanted my guests to watch Slim, the great blue heron who washed his catches in the ocean outside their suite. His dream was to have his visitors look for “Harry and Bess,” a pair of green parrots, or “Chardonnay,” the box turtle, who was so named because if you saw him and could prove it, you won a bottle of Chardonnay. Most of all, Woodson hoped that people would kick back in a hammock and look up at the stars and reconnect with a loved one or with a quieter part of themselves.
Though I have grown into a world-class, luxurious escape, my original allure remains constant. My caretakers’ passion for all things beautiful, invigorating, and inspiring, remains true. My guests, famous or otherwise, continue to Get Lost in my mystical embrace.
Little Palm Island
Margit Bisztray, author of “The Little Palm Island Storybook”
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