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The “Ashlands” from the previous post is a head nod to one of my favorite authors and books: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The Ashlands were the gray wasteland the characters sped across from point A to point B — New York City and the Hamptonesque East Egg, Long Island — and back again.
More largely the “Ashlands” worked as a metaphor for the age in which they lived: the roaring ’20s … and the desolation that lie beneath its guilded facade.
Tamiami Trail has the same sort of traffic flow. Motorists traveling from coast to coast (point A to point B) — Miami to Naples and back again — eyes glued to the windshield, many with little idea what they are passing on the side view.
Whether in its summer swamp stage all filled with water or newly turned to ashes after a winter burn, the view is always the same to those drivers:
A vast terra incognita (full of alligators and snakes) that needs to be crossed.
Do we live in a similar age?
If you’ve driven down Gulf Shore Boulevard in Naples and had a look at the beach-side mansions, you’d say “yes.”
So would Jay Gatsby.