Wherefore art thou, Katie Belle’s? You have been demolished, but certainly not diminished.
Memories of you during the turn of the century are entwined within all who were Villagers during those days and years. My wife and I were Villagers then. There was a picture of Katie Belle’s interior in Villages-News.com a few months back, camera lens no doubt located on the stairwell, halfway up, showing, from left to right, the long bar, (where a Bud Light tasted great anytime) dining tables, the large dance floor, the great stage, more dining tables, and above were balconies with dining tables overlooking what was happening downstairs.
It is not for the likes of me to ever understand the why’s you are gone, as you were the potion that brought it all together each night.
The pretty petite waitresses in those days are now mothers themselves, making sure all homework is done before bedtime, and hoping not to repeat a previously told bedtime story.
Katie Belle’s was The Villages Town Hall back then, the place to go with your friends for a night out, and the place to make new friends. Top notch nightly entertainment, dining, and dancing.
In closing, I would like to share with you a short, but true, story: Back about 2001, myself, my wife, another couple, (our friends,) and the lady friend’s mother, were all sitting at the patio outside Katie Belle’s, enjoying the evening. We were from out of state, and had driven down to see what The Villages was all about. There was a vacant chair next to me, which was shortly to be occupied, unannounced and uninvited, by a local man who took it upon himself to inform us of his opinion of The Villages. He complained about how The Villages wants everyone to have well-manicured lawns. Not being one who has the nature of an immediate reply, I and our friends just sat there and listened to his thrashing of The Villages. I did wonder, to myself, “Why is he even here?” And later, still thinking about his rudeness, I could visualize his front lawn, green and white, consisting of weeds and fast food drink cups.
The Villages is an inspiration to all of us that love the nice things that life has to offer, that can be brought about by a little hard work, and making the right decisions.
Hugo Buchanan, a former Villager now residing in Lady Lake, is frequent contributor to Villages-News.com.