The Marcophile: Gone away but not forgotten

Rick Popoff stands with the metal sculpture 'Sway.'

Chris Curle/Special to the Eagle

Rick Popoff stands with the metal sculpture "Sway."

Rick Popoff stands with the metal sculpture 'Sway.'

Chris Curle/Special to the Eagle

Rick Popoff stands with the metal sculpture "Sway."

Aside from Herb Savage, Marco Island’s most noticed attention-getting device so far this year has been Sway.

You remember Sway, the voluptuous vision in red, the metal pole dancer sculpture that was the talk of the town during this year’s Art Quest fest.

Sway graced the area directly in front of Rick’s Island Salon for a while before being moved to a gallery on Broad Street in Naples.

But who can forget Sway. She was like the weather in that everybody talked about her. For some, I hear tell, Sway’s presence was a sort of sexy welcome mat at the entrance to the Esplanade. I’ve heard people say Sway reminded them of some college lost weekend or a brief blip in their mid-life crisis way back when.

Some islanders didn’t just talk about Sway. They paid tribute the old fashioned way, by stuffing dollar bills into the red mesh.

“I think we found a total of $14 dollar bills attached to Sway while she was here,” says salon owner Rick Popoff. Did anybody not like Sway or having it on display?

“Oh yeah, at the salon we had three phone calls,” Rick explained. “One lady said it was a disgusting, tasteless thing to put in front of my so-called island type business. But it turned out she doesn’t live here and was visiting from Hawaii.

“Another woman said she was a mother of two children and was upset because she felt she couldn’t take her kids to get ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.

“The third woman said she was an artist and could appreciate Sway but didn’t think it should be ‘in the public eye.’”

Rick also heard good comments from clients and other Esplanade visitors, who though it was “wonderful.”

The creator of Sway, Jack Howard Potter, has had his works displayed from coast to coast, including stops in Key West and Coral Springs Florida.

Potter also created “Marco Man,” the blue guy who stands sentry at Marco’s City Hall. Someone asked Potter about the bold colors he uses in his metal sculptures. He explained:

“Using brightly colored surfaces separates the figures from the landscape, making them stand out much in the same way people do when they wear clothes.”

My guess is, even if Sway were draped in Joseph’s “coat of many colors” she wouldn’t have had more notice than she did, al fresco, during her short happy stay on Marco.

– Chris



The germ of an idea is floating around City Hall to save a bunch of money when officials decide next to survey residents on their views of city government and related issues.

A couple of months ago a plan was floated to hire a private firm to conduct a scientific public opinion survey. As Marco Eagle writer Kelly Farrell reported, “Just as parents may find it difficult to assess their children’s education without a school report card, city officials soon may be graded by residents to track the city’s progress.”

Seemed like an OK idea to me until I heard the cost---as much as $10,000 in taxpayer’s money. In other words we would have to pay all that cash to have our city staff find out what we think of them and the way the city is run.

Now I’m happy to learn that the city may do a survey, but at virtually no charge, thanks to a project by the Florida League of Cities.

City staff would have to do some of the work, perhaps including sending out questionnaires, emails, etc., but it’s otherwise a way to get feedback from the public without, in effect, charging the public for the privilege.

As the city’s public information coordinator, Lisa Douglass, puts it, “If this League of Cities project meets our needs, it makes a lot more economic sense to use it rather than the paid survey.”

It’s good to see City Hall being careful with our money, even in this relatively modest effort.

– Don



That bastion of journalistic credibility, the tabloid Weekly World News is back. The paper that made up stuff with a straight face went belly up a couple of years ago.

It probably was because we couldn’t tell the difference between the WWN and “Action News at 11” on TV.

Since then I’d been missing the WWN’s classic headlines, such as: “ALIEN CATS DISCOVERED ON MARS” and “DEMOCRATS PLANT


Now the WWN is back as a section of the Sun, a supermarket tabloid. I was thrilled to find it in the checkout line at our Publix.

“WORLD’S FIRST-EVER SIAMESE QUINTUPLETS” told of a Swedish lady whose three boys and two girls were joined at the hip.

“It was an ordeal, but worth it,” said Mom. “They’re lovely and at least I won’t have to worry about them running off and getting lost.”

– Don


Email: and

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.