Capt. Anderson’s Marina - Fishing charters and cruises in Panama City Beach, Florida

9/3/15 Blog with history

The marina used to have many photos hung on the exterior walls for visitors to see while walking the dock, but a hurricane from several years ago damaged many of them so they were all taken down prior to the rebuilding and had not been rehung yet.  Most of the original photos were taken off site for safer storage where they sat, until two years ago we brought the storage containers back to the marina and started scanning tons of photos into an archive file.  A project was started as we painted several long boards a glossy black and used them to mount framed copies of some photos from our archives.  They were then hung from the rafters up and down the dock areas so that people can see some of our 58 years of history here in Panama City Beach.  
Since this is a Thursday, we wanted do a little “TBT/Throw Back Thursday”  and post this photo taken back in the 1990’s.  You may agree that this is a Farrah Fawcett look-alike standing next to that huge gag grouper, and we agree she is just as beautiful as the TV star.  However, there is a special story behind this particular picture, and that story is what spurred this blog post.
1990’s Deborah Clark

Deborah Clark and Grouper during the 1990's

Deborah Clark w/Gag Grouper –  1990’s

Earlier this week, a gentleman who had been fishing that day came up to our ticket office window and by motioning/writing on paper (a stroke affected his vocals) told the girl that he saw a photo of his wife hanging on the rafters.  When I went out there (with pad and pen) to see which one it was, he pointed to the one shown here.  He then pulled out of his pocket a couple of her driver’s licenses and sure enough I could tell that was the same face of 20 years later!  
Now, I think that is pretty cool when people see photos of their relatives up on our boards.  A lot of the photos do not have any identification as the dock photographer from way back then has been in a nursing home for quite a while.  Still, we have hung some and rotated others around.  
It was especially heartwarming to see the way the man kept looking up there, holding his hands over his heart, and looking back at the photos in his hands.  Being curious, I asked him how was his wife able to drive if he had her license with him…and he responded by tilting his head to the side with his hands clasped below.  So when I said “Oh, so she is sleeping” and his eyes filled with tears, I almost knew what was next as he repeated the sleeping motion and then pointed up towards the sky.  
He wrote down for me that she had died last year and then the hands went back over his heart.  
He and I were both a bit overwhelmed for a bit; we then made arrangements for him to have a copy of the photo.  He is a local customer living in Southport (just north of Panama City), and I’m so glad that not only do we have a name now, but also a sweet (even if it IS bittersweet) story behind the photo.  🙂  
Respectfully, Michelle Gerth
NOTE:  Over the past couple years we have had the pleasure of hearing stories , such as those from adults who learned to fish here as a kid, and also being able to hang up copies of photos that have been submitted to us thru FaceBook and by email.  If you would like to submit an old photo – please post it on or send by email to C[email protected] with the name/date and tag story.




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