Spotlight on Grown up Islanders: Jon Boyer
Jon Boyer moved to Pine Island in 1969. Although he’s spent time doing many things, such as working for the Honc family and fishing, for the last decade he’s managed the Jug Creek Marina fish house. In his own words there’s no way you could put him on land, as he’s happiest on the water.
“If you try to put me on land,” said Boyer, “I’d just dig a hole and try to get to the water.”
Like most grown up islanders, Boyer had his own boat by the time he was 10 years old. His childhood memories are a vast collection of experiences on Pine Island Sound, which he says are difficult to pinpoint individually.
In his opinion, he’s seen major changes on the island since he grew up. While he says he was initially glad when certain developments began, there are environmental concerns as a result of agricultural runoff that he hadn’t anticipated in the early stages of such development.
Boyer believes he’d likely be a different person than he is today, had he been raised somewhere else. He attributes his ability to be self sufficient to having grown up as an islander his whole life.
“I can fix damn near anything on a boat,” said Boyer. “If I can get out there, I can get home.”
He admits to having known everyone from St. James City to Bokeelia at one time, crediting that to the close knit nature of the island community.
“Everybody helps everybody for the most part,” said Boyer, adding that the geographic line in the center of town seems to separate the population. “I don’t understand why that happens … but it does.”
Boyer has no trouble admitting that even if he came into a considerable amount of money his life would hardly change, saying if he’d won the lottery he certainly wouldn’t have a lavish lifestyle. He says it would offer little more than some financial security as he likes things the way they are. In fact, he would like to tell people moving here or visiting the island to take a good look around.
“I’ve seen this island change three or four times,” said Boyer. “I wish people would leave it the way it is.”