Marcophiles: RU smarter than an immigrant?

CHRIS CURLE

Article Highlights

  • If you ever feel like getting out of the house and watching your favorite team or sport on a quality TV in a good bar or restaurant, Marco Island is the place to do it.
  • “Estamos ahora a los ciudadanos estadounidenses” (We are American citizens now).
  • “They feel very American and brag about it all the time.
The photo says it, “Celebrate,” and that’s what Alicia and Ramon Castillo did last month, when this Marco Island couple received U.S. citizenship in a ceremony in Oakland Park, near Ft. Lauderdale. Their proud teenage daughter, Veronica, also became a citizen via her parents.

Photo by Submitted

The photo says it, “Celebrate,” and that’s what Alicia and Ramon Castillo did last month, when this Marco Island couple received U.S. citizenship in a ceremony in Oakland Park, near Ft. Lauderdale. Their proud teenage daughter, Veronica, also became a citizen via her parents.

Our Mystery Photo last week was a close-up of the painting on this wall by well-known local artist Phyllis Pransky. It’s a view across Marco Lake. On the far bank is the Lakeside Inn, home of Casa Mia restaurant. The first person to e-mail us with the correct answer was Bette Davison. She wins a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron and Orion Bank, on Marco. Congratulations, Bette. We’ll have another Marcophiles Mystery Photo next week.

Photo by Keith Dameron

Our Mystery Photo last week was a close-up of the painting on this wall by well-known local artist Phyllis Pransky. It’s a view across Marco Lake. On the far bank is the Lakeside Inn, home of Casa Mia restaurant. The first person to e-mail us with the correct answer was Bette Davison. She wins a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron and Orion Bank, on Marco. Congratulations, Bette. We’ll have another Marcophiles Mystery Photo next week.

— Wall-to-wall TV sports are big draws around Marco. If you ever feel like getting out of the house and watching your favorite team or sport on a quality TV in a good bar or restaurant, Marco Island is the place to do it.

This is a great time of year for big-time sports on TV. Major League baseball is in post-season play and it’s possible the World Series will spill over into November.

The NFL is the king of sports on television, at least at this time of year. The season runs through the 44th Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 7, 2010, so more than a dozen places around town will welcome you to join their fan base as you root, root, root for your team over a beer or a root beer, whatever.

Some places that have TVs don’t carry the paid sports packages, so you might want to check first. Others go all out. The Sunset Grille on our south beach, for example, has about 50 TVs, with NFL and other multi sports broadcasts, phone 389-0509. Guy Harvey’s, at the Esplanade, also has the satellite sports packages, etc., phone 642-2248.

Other places with a variety of TV sports include: Capt. Brien’s Seafood at Marco Walk, 389-6900; CJ’s at the Esplanade, 389-6900; Cocomo’s on N. Collier, 394-3600; Crazy Flamingo at Town Center Mall, 642-9600; Da Vinci at Marco Walk, 389-1888; Dolphin Tiki Bar on Bald Eagle; 394-4048, Mel’s on South Collier, 394-7111; Nacho Mama’s at Marco Walk, 389-2222; Porky’s on Bald Eagle; 394-8727, Rookies at Marco Walk, 394-6400; Sand Bar on East Elkcam Circle, 642-3625; Snook Inn in Old Marco, 394-3313; and Vandy’s on East Elkcam, which has “personal” TVs in some of the booths, ph 394-5100.

If we missed your favorite watering hole, it’s an oversight, not a slight, so let us know.

“Estamos ahora a los ciudadanos estadounidenses” (We are American citizens now).

When Alicia and Roman Castillo and her family won space in the Cuban visa lottery 11 years ago, they were thrilled to be able to live in the U.S., but becoming American citizens was not their first priority. They had more pressing issues, such as making a living and raising their four-year-old daughter, Veronica.

Their English skills were limited, but they got along okay, partly because so many other Latinos live here. They missed family and friends back in Cuba, of course, but they also loved living in the U.S.

Now, zoom forward from 1998 to the present day. Alicia and Roman live and work here. She’s a nail tech at Maria Elena’s Hair Design. Roman is on staff at the Publix on North Collier. Veronica is 16 now, a cheerleader at Lely High School. And, as of 25 days ago, the Castillos are American citizens, and thrilled to be so. Ramon told us about the emotional, 45-minute citizenship ceremony in Oakland Park, near Ft. Lauderdale.

“It began with the “Pledge of Allegiance.” We cried when we saw a video about how people from different countries came to America. The speaker was a Cuban immigrant who told his story. It was very emotional. Children sang patriotic songs and the official shook our hands. It ended with the national anthem.

“We’re very proud and lucky we had the opportunity to come here. Passing the citizenship test was very difficult. But now I may know more about American history and government, the details, than many Americans.”

Alicia agrees with her husband, saying, “It was so emotional and we are so proud. America is a wonderful country.”

Veronica? She became a citizen as well, because her parents are now. “I told my friends and they said, ‘congratulations,’ but they didn’t really know I wasn’t one until now.”

We asked about her mom and dad’s reactions. “They feel very American and brag about it all the time. They say, ‘I’m an American now.’”

We congratulate the Castillos and thank them for joining the American family. And, they may have taught some of us a lesson: sometimes people who appreciate America most are those who weren’t born into it.

Can you pass the citizenship test?

The Castillos and everyone else who become naturalized U.S. citizens depend on a booklet about the citizenship tests. It’s titled “Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the New Naturalization Test.” The government also provides flash cards and an audio CD to help the “students” prepare. Next week here, we’ll share some of the questions prospective citizens may be asked.

As a teaser, could you answer these questions? (no Googling, please)

• How many amendments does the U.S. Constitution have?

• What did Susan B. Anthony do?

Keep this in mind. If we can answer all 100 questions about America, how many could we answer about, say, Cuba?

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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