In 1963 Florence Price Haldeman, granddaughter of the founder of Naples, Walter N. Haldeman, stated, “When we returned to Kentucky after a month or so of bliss and a frightful journey that lasted 10 days, Naples became a Never- Never Land of impossible charm… it was our paradise.” (“When Peacocks Were Roasted & Mullet was Fried,” by Doris Reynolds)
Dorothy knew that even on the Kansas plains, you don’t need to look any further than your own backyard if you want to connect with something special that links you to your past.
Florida historian Charlton Tebeau would certainly have concurred. He believed that history is where you find it, and that it begins close to home.
Speed S. Menefee, Naples’ first mayor, did not get his name because of the length of his time in office, as some thought. Speed served as mayor for less than an hour, so I reckon he could also be considered one of the most beloved because he wasn’t in office long enough for anyone to get mad at him — least of all his “Grandma.”
“Thank God! Now there will always be Our Keewaydin!”
Those were the parting words of John “Speedy” Rush in 1945, as he handed over the keys to the fondly remembered “Angels of Keewaydin,” Lester and Dellora Norris. Mr. Rush, the former director of all the Keewaydin Camps across America, had taken over Keewaydin Florida when it came upon financial difficulties in 1935.