Skip to main content
Longboat Key Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 5 years ago

Second helping: Longboat Key Thanksgiving stories

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Here’s what we’re most thankful for at the Longboat Observer: you.

You tell us your stories, smile for our photos and let us know what’s on your mind with your letters and web comments.

So, in honor of Turkey Day, we share with you some of our favorite Thanksgiving stories from past editions of the Longboat Observer.

The owner of the old Tru-Value Hardware Store on Longboat brought a bird home on the day before Thanksgiving in 1980 — but it wasn’t destined for the oven.

Mrs. Bertie Roan, owner of the old hardware store, thought a man was joking when he pulled up in the parking lot and said:

“Pardon me, lady, but what is the chicken doing in your parking lot?”

Sure enough, there was a chicken clucking around. Roan and her daughter, Brenda, chased the chicken down and built a cage for it out of, you guessed it, chicken wire.

The next day, on Thanksgiving, they discovered a big reddish-brown egg in the cage.

The Roans were left wondering how the chicken made its way to the property. Still, at least they didn’t have a chicken-and-egg situation. Clearly, the chicken came before the egg this time.

The following note was left at the front desk of the Longboat Observer after Thanksgiving 1997:

“Rumor has it there was a loud splash as one very burned turkey hit the canal on St. Judes due to (a) spouse falling asleep while watching football on Thanksgiving Day. Blue crabs happy. Not sure of domestic situation prevailing. Gobble, gobble.”

The bell dated back to 1854 and came from a U.S. tugboat.

The Miller family purchased it at a government surplus sale and used it to call the family to dinner. In 1955, they placed it on top of the Cannons Marina building. On slow days, customers would be greeted with a sign stating: “Ring the bell for service.”

But on Thanksgiving Day in 2000, an unknown person climbed up the roof and stole the Cannons’ clinger.

Cannons owner David Miller said at the time that the bell had value only to the family. And Cannons made it clear it wasn’t harboring any grudges in a prepared statement that showed the spirit of the season:

“We hope that wherever the bell ends up (although taken in an unjust manner), it will bring the happiness to others that Cannons remembers.”


On this day: Who is the sexiest man alive on Longboat Key? We can’t answer that question. Fortunately, People magazine answered it for us in its November 1998 “Sexiest Man Alive” issue.

Harrison Ford made the cover that year, but Longboater Mark Philippoussis, the Australian-born son of a Greek father and Italian mother, was named one of the world’s sexiest shortly after he lost the U.S. Open to fellow Aussie Patrick Rafter.

Sorry, Longboat ladies: Manatee County property records show that he sold the last of his Hideaway Bay property in 2000.

Channing Tatum is currently the sexiest man alive, according to this week’s People, on newsstands now.

Related Stories