Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Is Fort Worth's Imaginary Panther Island One Of The Best Islands In America?

I saw that which you see here a day or two ago via an article in the online version of CNN, in an article titled The best islands in America.

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when I did not see Fort Worth's non-archipelago, known as Panther Island, on this list.

One of the islands, actually not one, but a group of hundreds of islands, an actual archipelago, is on this list of the best islands in America, that being the San Juan Islands.

The San Juan Islands are a short distance west of my old abode in the Skagit Valley of Washington. It took a short drive to Anacortes to hop a ferry to float out to the islands. These islands are in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountain range, hence way less rain than a few miles to the east, where one gets closer to the Cascade mountains, and thus way more rain.

I went on countless fishing expeditions with my mom and dad out among the San Juan Islands. I remember a treacherous time with stormy waves trying to catch cod at Cattle Point off San Juan Island. And another time trolling for salmon when we were surrounded by Orcas. If I remember right that happened near Lopez Island, not the island named after the Killer Whales.

I remember being on a ferry, with Spencer Jack's grandpa, my little brother, Jake, heading to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, when we learned Elvis had died.  Years later I was on another ferry, with Spencer Jack's dad, Jason, and uncle Joey, floating to Bainbridge Island when we learned Kurt Cobain had killed himself.

I think I have mentioned previously I find it ridiculous that a chunk of land in Fort Worth is being referred to as an island. A chunk of land which will only be sort of surrounded by water if a cement lined ditch is dug, with water from the Trinity River diverted into that ditch.

Does no one in a position of responsibility in Fort Worth not realize how ridiculous this is?

Panther Island.

If that cement line ditch is ever dug this imaginary island is just going to be a head shaker for people who know what an island is. Why does Fort Worth do this type thing? Refer to its downtown as "Sundance Square" for decades. Where there was no square in downtown Fort Worth, until, after decades of confusing the town's few tourists, a little square was built over a couple parking lots and then named Sundance Square Plaza.

To this day, heading towards downtown Fort Worth on I-30, signage still informs those incoming few tourists they are heading towards Sundance Square.

Lately I have been Roku streaming Kitchen Nightmares. I imagine if there was a version of this concept called City Nightmares, where Gordon Ramsey came to a town like Fort Worth to figure out what was wrong with the town, one of the first things he would fix would be the bizarre hyperbolic propaganda nomenclature syndrome (Sundance Square, Panther Island), saying simply...


It makes a town seem, well, stupid, to have the town messed up by poorly planned projects, such as the moribund disaster known as the Trinity River Vision, a ridiculous, ill-conceived, ineptly executed, supposedly vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme, which is so not vitally needed that this embarrassing boondoggle has limped along for most of this century, with basically nothing to show for the effort and millions of bucks spent, but a messed up construction zone of uncompleted bridge piers, with a million dollar homage to an aluminum trash can, a defunct wakeboard park, plus bringing to Fort Worth tubing in the polluted Trinity River events, with music and other nonsense, like a temporary ice rink and a beer shack.

Bizarre, and it really is a City Nightmare.

Now, the following blurb is from the CNN Best Islands in America article, the section describing the San Juan Islands. Imagine, if your imagination is up to the task, any similar type verbiage ever being written at some point in the distant future about Fort Worth's imaginary island...

Floating Near: Seattle

Famous For: Making visitors wish this was a one-way trip

Over 170 named islands and hundreds more at low tide comprise Washington's San Juan archipelago. But, for now, a brief word on the three biggies -- all accessible by the Washington State Ferry system and hampered only by crappy car lines on summer weekends.

San Juan Island, the namesake and hub of this chain, is your best bet for shopping and paddling through killer whale country.

Lopez Island, the quietest and flattest, is a magnet for cyclists.

Orcas Island, the "Gem of the San Juans," is for wishing you could afford property here -- and for driving slowly and aimlessly with the windows down on hilly, empty, sun-dappled backroads with names like "Enchanted Forest" and "Dolphin Bay."

Then dipping through a quiet green valley dead-ending at some tiny harbor where an old man on a bicycle is walking his seven dogs along the road. Before driving up into Moran State Park and to the top of 2,409-foot Mt. Constitution for views of Mt. Rainier, British Columbia and everything in between on a clear day.

Then rolling past pottery shacks, sculpture gardens and back onto Main Street, Eastsound (a.k.a. "town") where the ferry boat awaits near those sigh-inducing realty office window posts.

Nope, my imagination was not up to the task either.

Panther Island, what an embarrassment.

Just knock it off...

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