Sitting in the press box at Naples High School last night I could feel the tug, the irresistible feeling that there's a great story out there to be told. I could see it across the field standing tall on the other side of the street at the Orion Bank building, strangely lit up on a Friday night.
I could see people moving around the offices where they were working to put a troubled bank back together. The football game was a good one to cover but my eyes kept wandering back to the tall building across the way. I wanted to be over there finding out what was going on. About two hours before kickoff the FDIC had swooped in and seized the bank.
What I was doing covering a high school football game seemed insignificant when in front of me a drama that spoke volumes about the economic disaster that has crippled Southwest Florida was playing itself out. I try to convey to my friends and family how bad things are here. I think only people in Nevada, Arizona, and California can relate to the catastrophic nature of the economic implosion.
Our economy was built on the back of housing. An orgy of building houses, strip malls and business parks lured a lot of people to the area. Now it's stopped dead and it will take at least three to five years to unwind all of the foreclosed homes and properties. It's grim. Not Jimmy Carter, oil embargo, malaise grim, but it's damn close.