North Lido Beach
When I first moved here in 1982 Sarasota/Bradenton was a much smaller, very quaint, resort/retirement community. When I was first offered the opportunity to come here as a waiter at a new Bennigans I had never heard of Sarasota. I called a friend of mine who grew up in Daytona and asked him about this area. He said, “Why are you going down there? There are only two types of people who live there. People who get their grass mowed and people who mow their grass.” Well I was coming here, during a time when I was writing my first stand up show, because it was much closer to the beach than where I was in Tampa. Not only closer to the beach but then I come to find out the most beautiful beaches in the world. Not only the most beautiful beaches in the world but at that time, North Lido Beach was clothing optional. I have died and gone to heaven. Sarasota made that part of the beach clothing optional to accommodate the European tourists that were very prevalent here. They are more comfortable without clothes, which can be good and bad depending on the age of the birthday suit. Now this was against the law in the state of Florida but Sarasota was so out of the way state officials kind of turned a blind eye. Since it was against the law the city couldn’t really put up signs to let people know. There wasn’t even a lifeguard station at the start of North Lido to warn unsuspecting sand stompers. So you just knew or you didn’t know. So what was really fun for us locals was to go a plant your bootie, literally, about 200 feet into the nakedity (I don’t even know it that is a word, I think it’s a bug). Sit very still and wait patiently for the family of four from Wisconsin. You can see them coming a mile away and you know they do not know. The family isn’t looking way down the beach in the distance. They are looking straight down at the sand for seashells and sharks teeth. Or, out at the beautiful azure blue water, maybe see a Dolphin. Oh they’re going to see a fin. So they get well into the nudity before they notice they are in the nudity. And, the real fun is to see who out of the family unit notices first. Because if Dad notices first he will say nothing at all. He will pick up the pace. He is thinking, “The further I can get us in the longer it will take to get out. Screw Disney, this is the greatest place on earth. They sure don’t do this in Green Bay. Now if Mom sees first she will have a full-blown seizer. And, if the children see first…..well… they take their clothes off weeeeeeeee. Which was probably to most proper thing to do.