This Is our Village

Saturday, November 21, 2015


As we approach the end of the year, it is natural to think back and muse. When I read Dave Israel's article in the November Reporter, he described how he got thinking back to when he came to the Village and became an association president. This reminded me of our "quiet" UCO vice president, Bob Marshall.

The two good friends (Bob and Dave) have reversed positions now. Bob was UCO president when he appointed Dave to a committee, and for a time he was president when Dave was a vice president.

Bob's tenure as president was shorter than Dave's, but Bob had a lot to contend with. Not one, not two, but three hurricanes that hit us dead-on and caused a great amount of damage in the Village. Who among us who were here during those days will forget them? The Clubhouse was virtually destroyed, and the UCO building was destroyed. UCO operations were squeezed in with the UCO Reporter next to the Camden Pool.

Our condos suffered untold damage. The roofs on many buildings were in sad shape, and so when Hurricane Frances came along, the roofs took a beating. That was in the fall of 2004. Only weeks later when we had barely begun to recover, Jeanne came along. The temporary replacement roof our condo association had put up was almost completely blown off. With Jeanne, a Category 3 hurricane, came the blue tarps from FEMA, a lifesaver. A year later Hurricane Wilma hit us. The Clubhouse was still being repaired and refurbished under the capable leadership of Jean Dowling, but most of our condos were in better shape with new roofs. So we withstood Wilma better.

Foodstuffs were distributed, do you remember? A tractor-trailer with such items would pull into the medical center parking lot.

We have Bob Marshall to thank for bringing us through those days as UCO president. With a breather of one or two years, he has since then been a UCO vice president. Now he serves under Dave, whom he supervised years before. Bob doesn't make a lot of noise—and unfortunately he has been unjustly criticized, even ridiculed, for this—but he gets things done, and he's patient. Those who come to him for help, and there are many, know they will get a hearing and help based on long experience. Nor is Bob in the best of health, though he will say he is "excellent." He paces himself.

We are very, very lucky to have had such a person in leadership positions at UCO. I take my hat off to him in thanks and wish him all the best.

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