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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 4 years ago

Whatmough turns in keys to his Longboat home

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Jeremy Whatmough will still get his hair cut at Manny’s Barber Shop on Longboat Key.

He’ll visit the Key because he still has many friends with whom he socializes regularly.

But you probably won’t see the six-year commissioner and former mayor around Longboat Key Town Hall because he sold his house at 6171 Gulf of Mexico Drive — meaning he’s no longer a Key resident.

Whatmough, his wife, Myrna, and their eight Airedale terriers will reside at the Sarasota Polo Club home the couple purchased 10 years ago.

“I don’t think I’ll go to commission workshops or meetings because I don’t think I have much standing anymore. Standing is important,” he said.

Whatmough first visited the Key after he developed scarlet fever as a child. His doctor told his parents they should take him someplace warm, so he stayed at Whitney Beach Cottages in March 1940 and March 1941.

He didn’t return to the Key until 1976, when his wife suggested they visit Florida.

He bought a unit at Inn on the Beach, then moved to Gulfside Road, then purchased the home at 6171 Gulf of Mexico Drive in 1993.

Whatmough purchased the Sarasota Polo Club home back while he was still on the commission and had just six dogs. In those days, the town paid for a hotel room for commissioners during evacuation periods.

But have you ever tried checking into a hotel room with six dogs?

Whatmough knew it wasn’t going to happen and purchased the home, in part, so they’d have somewhere to take the dogs.

He put his Longboat Key home on the market more than five years ago but still returned at least every five days to do what he admits is one of his passions: mowing the lawn.

With 12 acres in Sarasota Polo Club, Whatmough has plenty of space to pursue that hobby. He has three lawn tractors and a farmer tractor to help keep his grass grazed.

A self-described “string saver,” Whatmough is starting to get rid of the items he’s amassed over the years.

He’s thrown out the thick booklets of commission agenda materials from six years’ worth of meetings. He previously stored them on a bookcase by date.

He jokes that by next year, people will scratch their heads and say “Whatmough … who?”

“The town moves on, and you become less important as time goes on,” Whatmough said. “But, whether you drive on Longboat Key to the north end or the south end, it’s very attractive. I still say to myself, ‘Wow. It doesn’t get any better than this.’”

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