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We Get Letters...
Yes, we get letters. Thanks to all who have taken time to write. We will publish here some of the most interesting comments we have received. Keep those e-mails coming...E-mail to the editor.
Ray Womack Jr. says, "I lived in LaBelle and Glades County for 45 years. I recently transferred to the Fl. Panhandle with my job and now live in Crestview. I found your web page and think it's the best thing sense fried swamp cabbage. Keep up the good work. My address is"
Michelle Nirenberg wrote: "I am a former resident of Clewiston, FL. I now live in Lancaster, PA, but sure do miss my home town. I was not born in Clewiston, but lived there for 17 years and considered it my home. I will always consider Clewiston my home, for thats where my friends, family and heart is. No where else will you find a community like you do in Clewiston. Always willing to help when times are bad. Just reading the news and seeing the pictures makes me so homesick it is unreal. I wish I could express how I feel about Clewiston, but there aren't any words. To all my Clewiston friends and family, I love you and miss you."
Renay Wright e-mailed recently, "I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading and reviewing your lovely Web pages. I was very impressed. I am a graphic artist and I work for a company that develops Weekly Planners & Community Directories in towns over the US. Sometimes we are not supplied with Community Service numbers nor a history on the town, so in turn I have to rely on Web pages. That is how I ran across yours, and I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I enjoyed them - and the music was such a lovely touch!
Anita Westberry says "I really enjoy clicking on this site weekly and keeping up with the news of LaBelle. After living there over 25 years, we have had withdrawal symptoms our first year away. I am so glad this site is here to help keep me up on the news of LaBelle. We are living in Manchester, TN now and this is my first time (in over 51 years) to live some place other than Hendry County."
Jilda Coleman wrote "What a great site -- both comprehensive and attractive!" Thanks, Jilda!
Rick Riley, talk show host at WINZ-AM 940 Radio, Miami said simply, "Cool. Thanks."
Ruth S.
said: "I spent $1500 for a new computer with a faster modem so I could surf the web. After reading the information on your website, I must say it was money well spent to make this information available. Keep up the EXCELLENT work."
Susan and Ken Hayden wrote: "...enjoyed your Florida Chat Room, the people were a very nice group to chat with. Thank you for keeping such a nice room. Hope it stays this way."
Ricky Reynolds wrote from Oklahoma City. He's in the Air Force there at Tinker AFB. His parents live in LaBelle. He said it was good to see something on the internet about LaBelle, his home town. He's a 1984 grad of LaBelle High School. You can e-mail him at
Michelle Jarvie, a high school student who lives in Michigan, wrote Southwest Florida Online's editor recently. She asked for a little instruction on playing some music. Michelle is a percussionist and was performing in the District Music Contest up there and wasn't quite sure how to play a section of the music. So by e-mail and fax we had a little "online" music lesson which turned out pretty well. Michelle received a top rating for the drum solo she performed! She also received a top rating as a member of a percussion ensemble that day! Congratulations Michelle!
Joe LaBelle, (editors note: I had written to "LaBelle" families around the world and asked them to check out the LaBelle web pages) from San Diego, Ca. wrote and says: Hello ! To all the people in LaBelle,Florida. My name is Joe, you believe it, Joe LaBelle. Didn't think there was a town that was named LaBelle, but here it is. Just so you don't think there aren't other LaBelles out here I am the 11th of 12 children born in my family. As you probably figured out we are of French Canadian decent. Whew ! If you think that's something as the results of 2 people ....there's more. So far the family has branched out to include over 26 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren and still growing. We could practically fill the town of LaBelle ! (or at least a cozy section of it) The family has spread out over the US a bit with me being the farthest away. A former Massachusettes resident now living in San Diego, Ca. and the rest of the LaBelle Clan still reside on the East Coast, mainly in the north eastern part Massachusettes. So one of these days you never know one of the clan just might drop in to visit and announce their part of the LaBelle Clan !!!

Thanks for the nice letter, Joe!

Sue Gonser, a second grade teacher at Country Oaks Elementary in LaBelle wrote about her recent class visit by Phil Pellitier who helped rescue a family attacked by bees in the woods. She also related how Paul and Gerri Rue helped remedy a problem with her computer printer recently. Paul and Gerri have been of great help to Southwest Florida Online scanning photos to place on the web pages.
Rick Riley
, radio talk show host at WIOD, Miami wrote about seeing his new web pages here on Southwest Florida Online and gave us a few compliments. Check out their new web pages: Rick and Suds Show - WIOD 610-AM
Dwain R. Leavy, formerly of Moore Haven, Fl wrote and said hello to his friends and wants to let them know he is now a computer technician for a government contractor in Charleston, S.C. You can write him at:
Jason Eric McDonald, graduated from LaBelle High School in 1989 and wrote to let us know that he is now working at the Los Angeles Times as a technician. Friends can reach him at
Richard A. Williams wrote, "BEING IN GERMANY ON ACTIVE DUTY AIR FORCE I DO NOT RECEIVE ALOT OF NEWS, FROM HOME (CLEWISTON)AND I WAS GLAD THAT I FOUND THIS WEB PAGE ON THE WEB,THANK YOU FOR SHOWING EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WHAT A GREAT PLACE SOUTH, FLORIDA IS." Thanks Richard. If anyone would like to send Richard some e-mail, I'm sure he'd enjoy hearing from anyone in the States. Richard Williams, U.S.A.F.
The Kirby Hall School went online live with us recently and we did a live video conference over the internet. Not exactly an e-mail this time...but better....I talked to and saw Jared (by live video cam), an eighth grader at the school in Austin, Texas. He was talking live to me during his computer class at school. He asked what I did here in LaBelle, Fl. and we did a little chit chat for a while. The classroom has hooked to their computers a video camera that allows live conferencing while on the internet.
Mike Barnaby of North Ft. Myers wrote the other day and told me about his home page called Lee County Examiner which has a lot of Lee county political news and comments.
Jean Prophet
of LaBelle discovered Southwest Florida Online through the front-page story in the Caloosa Belle newspaper in LaBelle and wrote to tell me she has a computer BBS system in LaBelle called Byte Sized Bits. You can set your computer's telecommunications program to dial (941) 675-8812 in LaBelle to log on to her 24-hour, 7-day a week computer bulletin board. Check out more about Byte Sized Bits BBS in the Main Street Shops and Stores section here on SWFO. Jean also is the office manager at LaBelle's Everglades Seasonings Co. and very active in the LaBelle Family Livestock Club .
Kay Schurr of Lehigh Acres sent me some e-mail recently pointing out the rapid growth of Lehigh Acres. Kay moved from Buffalo, NY in 1983 has been visiting in the area since 1968. She gave me some updated population figures for Lehigh which has now been changed on our web pages. Lehigh Acres has about 30,000 or so residents, making it one of the fastest growing areas in Lee county.
Steve Carroll and I have had some e-mail exchanged recently. Steve works at the local newspaper and also runs a business called Carroll Creations in LaBelle. They make mugs, name tags, mouse pads and other items, all with astronomy themes. Take a look at his web pages for info about his items and also take a look at some good astromomy links. LaBelle is a great location for star watching as we have no pollution and no city lights to interfere with the sky. And Steve can tell you more about the fascinating hobby of astronomy.
Chet Townsend and I had a nice e-mail chat about his excellent web pages. Chet works for a citrus company and has several web sites about the citrus industry online. He also helped with the web page for Village Oaks Elementary in Collier County where his wife teaches. Want to know how citrus is processed? Take a look at The Story of Orange Juice. It includes a lot of photos and a very good description of just how we get that glass of juice on our tables.
We had some more nice e-mail and Lehigh Acres news from Gina. Gina does desktop publishing. See her ad over in the classified pages. She asked to be included on the Southwest Florida Online E-Mail Address Directory.
Paul Rue, of LaBelle has been helping out greatly for Southwest Florida Online. He has been scanning photos for us to put on this web site. You can see Paul's excellent work at Community News", Local Attractions, Neighboring Communities, and the Church Directory. Paul publishes a Startrek group newsletter and is very active with Startrek memorabilia. He also has a web page started. Anything you want to know about Startrek, Paul knows it!