Valentine rudeness in The Villages

EDITOR’S NOTE: Verbiage in the Thursday, Feb. 16 newsletter made it sound as if this encounter happened on a multi-modal path with a golf cart. The encounter described in this letter occurred on a sidewalk and involved another walker. 

To the Editor:



I am a totally blind Villager and enjoy a daily three-mile walk with my Seeing Eye Dog, Di-Di. Lately, I have encountered a rash of rudeness from some people in “the Friendliest Town in America!”  My dog wears an official “Seeing Eye” harness which affords me a handle to hold as she guides me. I was walking today and a man yelled, “S__t, lady!  Next time, why don’t ya move over?”  I turned quickly and said, “Sorry Sir, I am blind.”  I was hoping he would stop, come back and apologize so he could learn about guide dogs and blindness. Unfortunately, with all the traffic from golf carts and cars, people’s footfalls are not easily heard. PLEASE, if you see a dog wearing a harness, a white cane, a leg brace, arm braces, walkers, wheelchairs, etc., please be patient and kind.  To the man that yelled at me…Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

Catherine Blais
Bartow Villas


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  1. Dean Hartman says

    I work in the Villages and have met some very nice people and have seen some very rude people as well. The Villages is huge now. The more people you get, the more rude people you get. I definitely think this area was much nicer before the Villages but it is what it is. When people are rude, just feel sorry for them. Life for them isn’t so great. I do believe that there are many more nice ones than mean ones though.

  2. Monica Crawford says

    The Villages is definitely not the “Friendliest Hometown”! While I do enjoy most of the time I spend there as a result of family and friends, I have NEVER experienced so many hateful people as I have in The Villages! Have experience hateful neighbors who just st want to rip your head offf, been yelled at in parking lots and rec centers, given the finger when traveling, etc!

    Although the entertainment facilities are typically never a problem because that’s where the happy people go! Be careful people what you do in the Villaes because if you do something that someone does not like, you’ll definitely get yelled at!

    • Linda Hallinan says

      Obviously, you have never lived in NYC. You’d be surprised how helpful and kind people can be. 9/11 was proof of that. It is a fast paced city and if you can’t deal with that one aspect, stay away, you probably will not like anything else about it either.

    • Mary Lbi LeMatty Flynn says

      Mike, why the “Must have been a New Yorker” remark?
      I can disagree with your assumption. I am a New Yorker. Most of my life, I worked in NYC, lived in NYC awhile, my social life was mostly NYC. So I said I have seen many acts of kindness towards strangers.
      You can’t paint everyone with the same brush.
      As with any parts of America there will always be a bad apple.

    • Tony Garcia says

      Really? No. I have several friends who are from the New York area and they are good, kind people. There at some folks from anywhere in the country who are always angry and this is how they live their lives. Avoid them at all costs and hang out with the one who are happy to be alive.

      Laugh often, spread the cheer, enjoy your life while you are still here.

  3. Sandy Maerten Zellner Tortorete says

    I am so very sorry this happened to you and Di-Di. I have worked with a service dog and once was told at the Paradise Park that she didn’t belong there because it is a “fun” park for dogs and my dog was not having fun. She told me this as her two ankle biters were barking and jumping at me. MY dog was calm, sitting and being her regular wonderful self. I just laughed and walked away. Unfortunately you and Di-Di were endangered. Please, don’t judge all Villagers by one rude, angry person…..although theres more than one around! I laugh when I hear “America’s Friendliest Home Town”….in their dreams!

  4. Don Stack says

    To those who claim that the “rudeness” of “Northerners” is the cause of all your troubles in the Villages…….

    Your generalizations and quick analysis without any basis in fact is the problem. Your opinions counts more than facts. Accusations without proof are typical. The “I’m better than you” attitude is prevalent here. The premise that “Southerners” are somehow more genteel and social is nonsense.

    The simple fact is that people are people and no matter where one comes from doesn’t change the fact that their attitude and social skills are based on how they were raised, not where they lived. Perhaps the golf cart driver was rushing to go help someone in trouble? You have no idea what was on that golf cart drivers mind to react to the writer that way.

    I know more than a few “Southerners” who are, quite frankly, deplorable people who would throw their fellow citizens under a bus for a tax break….

  5. Barb Zinn says

    So sorry for you being treated that way. People have commented about the size of the MMP’s, but that’s not it. I’m disabled and use a wheelchair or walker. I find people are rude too, once we had a driver of a golf cart come at us with a metal flashlight. I find people are especially rude when the Snowbirds are here. That way of treating people maybe norm where they come from, but not acceptable in the South. Again, so sorry for that driver and how you were treated, and some of the comments here. Not all Villagers are rude.

  6. Gail Bailey says

    everyone at are age should know about the dog a cane when they see a person walking with them at are age. So sorry this happen to you. Some people are just out for them selves here or plain crazy and mean.

  7. June Walker says

    You are right Fred and Don. the Villages is too big, and facilities are not built for the volume of people. Especially at this time if year when the Snowbirds arrive with their rudeness and bad manners.

    I am glad the new Fenney Village Is not connected by Golf Cart Lanes or we would have even more rude people on these paths.

    It wont be many years away until you can drive to Orlando Airport “through the Villages” Heaven help us all.

    • Ann Eggleston says

      Got to agree with you on this one Hunter. The person knew darn well to whom he was shouting. Rather than apologizing, he shifted blame onto Catherine. Shifting blame seems to be the norm these days. If you get caught drunk–it’s the bartender’s fault.

  8. Will Wilkerson says

    It’s just getting too congested to walk on the MMPs. I hope this lady is walking in the quieter neighborhoods. Regardless what the “management” says, these older MMPs were designed for golf carts. Many MMPs lanes are just too narrow for carts and pedestrians, much less a blind person. If you think otherwise, try walking across the 441 golf cart overpass.

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