What Brought You to the Islands?

The following piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.

What Brought You to the Islands?

Editor’s Note: We thought interesting articles would be those telling what brought islanders and summer cottage owners to Put-in-Bay or the other islands. For example, did you come here to work and stay, did you marry someone who lived on the islands, did you vacation here and decide to retire here, did you have family here, did you come for a summer job and stay, etc?

If you want to tell your story, we’d love to hear from you. You can write as little or as much as you want. We’d like to hear from you in any case. Please email your story to pibgazette@frontier.com. If you’d like to add a photo or two of your early days, please do.

Here is a story from Niagara Ave., Victory Woods residents Guy and Lori Guidone:

Lori and I first began visiting the islands while honeymooning on Kelleys Island over Memorial Day weekend, 1987.  We started coming to South Bass Island in the early 90s when our three children were small. We loved the island and vowed to come back as often as we could which was not easy for our growing family.  In the late 90s, we started making an annual trip, and by this time, I would look for real estate and try to convince Lori I would somehow, someday find a way to purchase property on our favorite island.

By 2006, our annual trip turned into multiple visits with longer stays.  Nearly every visit, we stayed at the Ahoy Inn and always made sure Westside Steve Simmons was on the schedule at the Gazebo next to The Crescent and later years at The Keys.  We even went to an open house on the island with Steve and Susan back then!

In 2018, friends with a home on the island sent us a picture of a piece of property they thought would be of interest to us. They were right. Two weeks later, we met with Rudy Cooks at the property. The neglect was obvious upon arrival and our first thought was that the previous owners abandoned the property.  A tree had fallen on the structure and caused damage to the point of needing repairs from a professional, certainly above my construction talent level.  Entering inside, we noticed the droppings of new residents of the vermin persuasion among other undesirable discoveries.  In short, it was a mess.  Lori and I looked at each other, thinking the exact same thing: “We can do this.”  We decided to move forward and contacted the owners.  They are wonderful people, but simply aged to the point of not being able to care for the property any longer.  Digging deeper, our attorney found old legal malpractice on the real estate that added to our overall expenses.  That first year, we joked with our island friends that we clearly bought the worst piece of property on the island. However, as they say, it is “on the island!”

We got the keys in February of 2019 and immediately went to work.  To make a very long story short, we no longer feel like we have the worst piece of property on the island.  We would not trade our little place for anything.  What an adventure it has been.  If you are reading this and dreaming of owning a place on the island, do not give up.  You may end up finding the “worst place on the island” and turning it into your favorite place in the world, just as we did.

– Guy and Lori Guidone

This piece of Put-in-Bay journalism has been provided to putinbay.com courtesy of the Put-in-Bay Gazette, Put-in-Bay’s only local newspaper. Visit their website putinbay.news for more information and to subscribe!

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