LETTER: Early Destin is no more, but the city is still special

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Enjoyed the Destin Log opinion article by Mary Ready reflecting back to a earlier Destin. Was able to relate and appreciate her sentiments and memories.

Our first visit to Destin was 35 years ago. Was told by a friend that we had to visit Destin and enjoy its quietness and quaintness before it was gone like the rest of Florida (at that time). Our first visit was enjoyed by all members of our family. We especially enjoyed all the mom and pop Destin business and the only food supermarket Del Champ Food Mart at the harbor.

All entertainment was to be found in Ft. Walton where we traveled once a day in the early evening. Made friends quickly with Destin residents who were always very polite and helpful and so interesting to converse with. Have visited Destin each year since and when retirement occurred recently, we were able to spend many months in Destin each year.

Much harder to find "real, original" Destin residents now but the visitors we meet are in admiration of Destin's beauty and its original residents. Has been sad to watch Destin change into a larger community but Destin's rarity always doomed it to be a large community. At least efforts are made to keep its growth given oversight with respect for history and heritage. Destin will always be a very rare and beautiful community but never again quite and quaint.

In our present society, places like "Early Destin" no longer exist but we enjoy all the efforts to provide historical events like the fishing rodeo and the Blessing of the Fleet, etc that still exist and bring back sweet memories of earlier times.

When tempted to find fault with present Destin, it is wise to realize that compared to other beach communities in Florida that Destin still has a lot to offer above others. It has been a blessing to have been a part of Destin's past, while finding many ways to enjoy it presently. The secret was "out" many, many years ago. The Buck Hartley Family of Georgia.

Buck Hartley

Tifton, Ga.