08 January 2011

Interesting reader letter

Mr Blechman, After a recent trip down to Lady Lake Florida to pack up and move my 80 year old mother-in-law back to New England my wife and I made several unsettling observations of the area that we just couldn't quite figure out. After spending the day packing up her belongings and emptying out her mobile home we went to the Villages to spend the night in one of their hotels. The place was nice enough, but when we ventured out to eat and walk around we just couldn't keep from feeling we were in a giant theme park. We ended up eating one night at RJ Gator's and saw all these "seniors" streaming in these ridiculous outfits- both sexes easily dressed like they were 25 years younger then they were.We figured out that this must have been a stop on the "circuit" and asked our waitress about it. She laughed and said we should have seen the halloween party they had there- the outfits were "shocking", never mind the dancing. When we went back to the room I just had to find out what the Villages we supposed to be all about- We had been there before as my sister and brother-in-law moved there and it was Utopia to them. After just a little bit of digging on the internet I came across your book "Leisureville" and after reading a few pages online I had to get a copy. Being right across the street from a big Barnes and Noble at the Villages you probably won't be surprised to hear that your book was "unavailable". When we got home I bought your book and couldn't put it down. Everything was spot on- from that rag of a newspaper (that has to be seen to be believed) the piped in music, the phony downtowns, you name it. The most disturbing thing is most of the residents don't care- it's the greatest place on earth to them.You basically articulated our observations to a "T", the scary thing is learning how the place is run. We also have some friends that live in Bushnell and that place is a whole different world only 25 or so miles away. My mother-in-law is no fool and after being uprooted by my sister-in-law and told to move from West Palm Beach to Lady Lake she has finally had it. She has been in the area only 2 years and she has decided dealing in reality with the winters in New England (she is originally from Massachusetts) is better than living in a fantasy land in the Villages. Thanks for a great book, J and K, in NH

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