The Courtesy Clinic

Author, Lila Zuck

In 1954, Naples made headlines in South Florida when Naples Chamber of Commerce members promised Naples would be the politest city in the State.

Becky Strand, Third Street Association vice-president and owner of Becky's, and Association president William Spink greet shoppers on Third Street, 1968.

The Naples Chamber of Commerce accomplished this by hosting Courtesy Clinics, designed to teach employees of local merchants to be polite to visitors and residents alike.

The two-session Courtesy Clinics were attended by 115 employees from various businesses on Third Street and Fifth Avenue South, as well as Naples Mayor W. Roy Smith, who promised that city government would also strive to be more polite.

The annual Welcome Visitors Day, inaugurated by the Naples Chamber of Commerce, was a product of the Courtesy Clinics program. It was held at the beginning of each winter season and was celebrated by a host of special events including a barbeque and a ball game held at Cambier Park, and a boat race on Naples Bay.

The Chamber also inaugurated the “Tourist of the Week” promotion, during which Naples Police Chief Cale Jones was instructed to pick up an out-of-towner and without explanation escort him or the couple to City Hall, where a surprise awaited their arrival.

The surprise was a handshake from Mayor Smith, their picture in The Collier County News and gifts donated by local merchants. The first “Tourist of the Week” was a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Tahnestock, who proudly showed off their picture in the paper with the mayor to everyone back home in Edgewood, Pennsylvania.
Upon arriving in Naples in 1908, Menefee resided briefly at the home of newly appointed Naples Postmaster Captain Charles Stewart, who lived in a cottage on the east side of the Napes Post Office at the foot of the Naples Pier.