Five-Star Residents

Former Naples Mayor Bill BarnettWe have many outstanding citizens living in paradise. I’d like to give a shout out to some of these wonderful folks.

   About a week ago, I received an email from our friend and former Naples mayor, Bill Barnett (right). Because he knows I have a rather extensive reach with my “Greetings from Paradise” newsletter list, he wanted my help to get the word out for a special fundraiser. This one had deep meaning for me since Bob and I lived in Boston before moving full-time to Naples.

   A few weeks ago, the national news reported on a big fire in downtown Boston. Nine fire trucks had to be called to try to prevent the fire from spreading. Two brave firefighters ran into that burning building and never came out—Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr., 43, a husband and father of three children under age 10, and Michael Kennedy, 33.

Chief McInerney (left), Chief Stolts (right)

  So Fire Chief Stephen McInerney from the Naples Fire Department and Chief Orly Stolts from North Naples Fire Department organized a celebrity bartending event at Cosmos Café & Pizzeria to raise money for the families of those two Boston firefighters. Thanks to the efforts of these local fire department officials, several firefighters from both fire stations and Bill Barnett, the word spread quickly about this event. Many people from the area came, young and old alike, and gave what they could. It was a wonderful success.

Cosmos Cafe & Pizzeria, Naples, fl

   The second group I want to spotlight is the team at the Apple store at Waterside Shops. I finally found the time to make the trip to get my Christmas present from Bob—a new iPad. I brought all the required items to make the purchase smooth—my MacBook and all my passwords. Within minutes, my new toy was being fed all the apps and information from my laptop; all I had to do was sit and wait for the process to be completed. While I was waiting, two things happened. One: The tech guy noticed something was not quite right with my MacBook. The built-in mouse was difficult to maneuver and, upon further investigation, he found a bulge where the battery is kept. The young man warned that the battery was in danger and could start leaking. Instead of setting me up with the next available service appointment (the following day), he went immediately to the Genius Bar and whispered to one of the Geniuses, who came right over to check out the problem. He told me just how bad the battery was, that I should not take the machine home, and went about installing a new battery. I was really impressed with the quality of service.

   The second thing I noticed at the store occurred as the Genius was installing my new battery. Right in front of me, a customer started berating one of the Apple technicians in a rude and demeaning fashion. The young man was being verbally abused, even though he was only trying to assist this customer. The Apple employee handled himself in the most mature and calm way. He softly apologized to the customer if he was in any way disappointed with the service provided, thanked him for being an Apple customer, and promised to find someone else to help him, since he had not been successful. The crabby customer did not know what to say and sheepishly left. After he did, those in the store who had witnessed the event broke out in applause for this outstanding young man.

   There are some really five-star people living in our midst. It was a blessing to meet so many of them in just one week.


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