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Bradenton shoe guru: Can't have a 'boat' without boatloads of cash

Dropped off a pair of sandals the other day with David Potter at his City Hall Shoe Shop, an institution in downtown Bradenton on 13th Street West, where he's worked at his craft for 35 years.

The last time I sought his expertise made for an interesting visit.

While waiting for service, I couldn't help overhear David who was in the middle of a rather-animated phone conversation in the back of the cramped shop. Evidently it involved repairs being done on his boat and he was just a little exasperated.

After hanging up, David came over to the counter.

"Know what 'boat' stands for?" he asked: "'Bring over another thousand!'"

Southeast High School legend Paul Maechtle, who just ran spring drills for Cardinal Mooney football, is 63 years young.

Well done to Elizabeth Audrey Chandrey. The Lakewood Ranch senior will graduate first in her class of 464 and is bound for the University of Florida. Her proud family are parents, Tom and Deborah, and sister, Rachel. Elizabeth ran cross country and track for the Mustangs and received the 2015 Cross Country Mustang Award. She was also in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and student government, among other activities. Her ambition is to be a premed major and become a neurologist.

That's the distant sound of wedding bells for Whitney Hodges and Alex Parks. Nuptials are set for February.

B'town soprano Deborah Polkington-Suta, along with Sarasota's Kira Gaillard, is performing a recital series to raise funds for her summer participation in the Gloucester Cathedral Residency Program, an intense study and performance of liturgical music in Gloucester, England. The first concert is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Redeemer Episcopal, 222 S. Palm Drive, Sarasota. Deborah's second con

cert is at 4 p.m. June 7, a solo performance at Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. The third concert is at 4 p.m. June 14 at St. Wilfred Episcopal Church, 3773 Wilkinson Road, Sarasota.

The irrepressible Kelli Kennedy is 39. Again.

Big ups to Braden River senior Tim Thompson and Lakewood Ranch senior Dylan Jones. Dually enrolled at Manatee Technical College in automotive-service technology, the pair won the 2015 Florida Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition at Sanford in April. They received a $25,000 scholarship, tools and a free trip for themselves and instructor, Jose Cestero, to represent Florida in June's national competition in Dearborn, Mich. The pair got a big assist from Richard Falco, their former MTC instructor, to get ready for this year's state competition.

Bob and Vicki Bartz are wed 42 years.

Mary Ellen LaPrade was a good sport when she wore Buckeye scarlet (actually, red) to play golf with Barbara Cook, her pal and Gastroenterology Associates colleague, at the recent Manatee-Sarasota Ohio State Alumni Club benefit golf tournament. Mary Ellen is a maize-and-blue Michigan fan.

The Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 1015 Sixth St. W., Palmetto, is raffling off a beautiful, homemade lap quilt and the drawing is May 29. Call 941-721-2034 for details.

Laura Dama Baden is 55. The birthday girl doesn't consider herself to be getting older: "I'm thinking of myself as living longer." Hear, hear!

Vin's People, which appears Fridays, welcomes reader contributions. Email: or call 941-757-9563