Top 14 Signs You Grew Up in Cortez Village


Cortez Village is one of the few working fishing villages that still exists in Florida and when I was growing up, I was lucky to call this unique place home.  It is amazing to be from Cortez. I just wished the world could understand our simple, sweet and pragmatic lives. Here’s my list of special things that happened to you only if you grew up in Cortez…

  1. Flip flops were considered “dress up” shoes…Cortez kids only need their own bare feet to go dock hopping.
  2. Because you were always barefoot, you probably had numerous splinters and stepped on a nail or two…tetanus shots were a must!
  3.  Your pet was a dog named “Shortyman” and your daddy’s name  was “Bubba.”
  4.  Your after school activity included checking your crab traps or helping your granddaddy mend a stop net.
  5. Instead of learning how to crochet or knit, you learned how to pack a fish boxes and how to mend stop nets.
  6. Rather than having a grill in your backyard, you had a smoker. Smoked mullet was the main course at any Cortez gathering!
  7.  Who needs fries? Cheese grits and hushpuppies accompanied most meals (main course was whatever fresh fish came off the boat that day!)
  8. Our “corner store” was Annie’s Bait Shop.
  9. Your daddy was either a commercial fisherman, crabber, mended fishing nets, fixed boats or did something that involved a boat…legal or not, it just was.
  10. Your front lawn was decorated with old anchors, buoys and old boats or boat parts.
  11. You remember when Starfish Seafood Company was Fulford Fish Company and Pig Fulford was always there working, happy and grinning.
  12. Your parents went to school at the old Cortez SchoolHouse which is now a maritime museum.  Go figure…
  13. Mullet roe (fish eggs) are a seasonal staple that was fried for breakfast, lunch and or dinner. Now that roe is trendy in the culinary world, it has a highfalutin name, “bottarga” and is served in many 5-star restaurants.
  14. Lastly, you now love the Tide Tables Restaurant because the food rocks, especially the Mahi Tacos and you went to school with all those Woodsen Brothers who lived and fished Cortez too.
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About the author: I was born a commercial fisherman’s daughter in Cortez, an old fishing village off the west coast of Florida where you can still experience “Old Florida” and get a really good grouper sandwich. I went to school and became an anesthetist, after privileged years of practice, I jumped ship to work in the family business – Cannons Marina. I love my job and the view. I am crazy about my dog Gnarly. Being out on the water is magical. I still get giddy every time I see a dolphin. Often I brag that I had the opportunity to swim alongside a humpback whale – it was freaky and pretty amazing. My life is no doubt boating, but I also love paddle-boarding cooking and travel.

Navigating Fun.