Just a little thing I wrote. It goes with the little thing above. The first of a series coming to a major daily newspaper that may or may not be near you.
You can’t do Boca Grande like a local unless you speak the language. And while that language is officially English, locals tend to communicate in a lingo all their own.
It’s not unusual to come across a thoroughly confused visitor who innocently asked a well-intentioned local for directions, only to collide head-on with the island’s language barrier. Here’s a guide to get you started. And there will be a quiz.
The Pink: The Pink Elephant, a bar and restaurant owned by the Gasparilla Inn. The Inn: The Gasparilla Inn and Club.
The Waterfront: The Innlet Motel, owned by the Inn.
The Pink Pony: Dolphin Cove Cafe. Not to be confused with the Pink.
The Loose: The Loose Caboose restaurant.
Jams: Sisters Restaurant.
Three Sisters: An island, not to be confused with Jams.
Uncle Henry’s: The Boca Grande Resort and Courtyard Plaza.
The Laff: The Laff-A-Lott, now South Beach.
Back Dock: Whidden’s Marina.
Millers: The Boca Grande Marina.
Guide Docks: The public docks on Fifth Street.
Pink Docks: See Guide Docks above.
The Temp: The Temptation
The Rec: The Boca Grande Community Center.
Community House: The Louise Crowninshield Community House, not to be confused with The Rec.
Spaghetti Dinners: Held at the Community House.
The Theatre: PJ’s Seagrille
The Theatre: The auditorium at The Rec.
The Big Tournament: The now-defunct World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament, aka the WRTT.
Jiggers: Those who use an artifical device to hook tarpon.
Jigs: The artifical device used to hook tarpon.
Live Baiters: Those who don’t fish with jigs.
Snaggers: See Jiggers.
The Dorms: The Gasparilla Inn and Club employee housing.
Dog Park: A gulf-front soccer field on Seventh Street owned by the Inn.
The Hurricane: Charley
The Storm: The Hurricane.
First Street: A street, but also a beach favored by surfers.
The Boys: An island group, the Boca Bande, that frequently plays at The Laff.
The Pass: Boca Grande Pass
Silver King: Tarpon, frequently caught in The Pass.
The Bayou: Pretty much any body of water that isn’t the gulf, the Pass or Charlotte Harbor.
Whidden’s Bayou: The bayou fronting the Back Dock leading to Charlotte Harbor.
Tarpon Gone Bad: A two-day party celebrating the end of tarpon season.
Boat House: The location of Tarpon Gone Bad.
Union Hall: A downtown apartment building.
Caribbean Room: Located behind the Temp.
Season: Late December through Easter. Just like anywhere else.
Social Season: See Season. Never used by locals.
They: Seasonal residents.
Rag Tag Bunch: Local beach access proponents.
Main Street: Park Avenue.
The Isles: Boca Grande Isles, a private community.
Cayo: Cayo Costa, or La Costa.
Cabbage: Cabbage Key.
Cabbage Court: Island Bike ‘N Beach
Shrimp Boat: You’ll find it at the Back Dock if it’s in.
Boat run: What you buy off the Shrimp Boat.
GIBA: Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority. Pronouced GEE-bah.
The Bridge: The Boca Grande Swing Bridge, one of three bridges on …
The Causeway: The Boca Grande Causeway. It turns into Gasparilla Road at Uncle Henry’s.
The Bakery: Now Caffe Boca.
Hardware store: The Barnichol.
Range Light: The former Rear Range Light, now the Gasparilla Island Light on Gulf Boulevard.
The Lighthouse: The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse.
On island: Opposite of “Off island.”
Off island: Opposite of “On island.”
Off islander: Anyone on the beach in front of your house.
All set? Now translate the following: “We’re going to do dinner at Jams or the Theatre, pick up a few pounds of boat run at the Back Dock, stop by the Waterfront to change, then head over to the Laff to catch the Boys.”
Got it? Now take a seat at the butcher block. Oh, wait. Forgot that one.