I'm neither a native, nor a an old-timer or a "Sarasota pioneer". I never ate at the Smack or swam at Lido Casino, and I don't remember before the Van Wezel was there or even when there was a Democrat serving on the County Commission.
But I do consider myself a longtime local resident. I've lived in both the County and the City (and have lived in five different locations in the City of Sarasota).
So when I get some slick* campaign mailer from a candidate who claims he is a "longtime resident" who "has called Sarasota home for nearly eight years", I have to ask myself: what exactly is a "longtime resident"?
To partially answer the question I created a quiz of sorts. It reflects my own cultural biases, but it may work for you.
You may be a longtime City of Sarasota resident if you:
1) Experience a moment of confusion when someone mentions Mayor Kirschner.
2) Tend to think of the Michael Saunders Real Estate office as the Saprito Brothers Fruit Stand.
3) Remember something you heard Ken Thompson say.
4) Drove on Main Street when it was one way.
5) Ate at the John Ringling Hotel, or Rauls, Tail ‘O the Pup, the Mel-O-Dee, or for that matter, even Dennys or Dairy Queen.
6) Wish we still had The Acacias.
7) Found it convenient that Cheap Clothes was across the street from the Granary.
8) Saw movies in what we now call the Opera House and then couldn’t find an indoor movie anywhere in the City.
9) Bought gas or hardware on St. Armands Circle.
10) Thought a night at the Normandy Motel might be interesting, but never got around to it.
11) Were offended that women were not allowed upstairs in that joint (Roz's?) on 1st Street.
12) Still think of the west end of Fruitville Road as Third Street.
13) Took an elevator to get to a County Commission meeting.
14) Read books in the Chidsey Library and then got vertigo going upstairs when it moved.
15) Could order a camelade at the Main Bar and get one.
16) Were not surprised to see a shopping cart with a golden horse’s head at events.
17) Enjoyed how cool it was inside the arcade next to the Palmer Bank.
18) Relished the inconvenience of stopping either for the Circus Train to pass or the Ringling Bridge to open.
19) Saw snow or felt the earthquake.
20) Counted two Rosemary District oases besides the cemetary: Hibb's Farm and Garden and the Rosemary Community Garden.
21) Rented rollerblades to join those rollerblading on Main Street.
22) Marveled as a pinch of neighborhood became Martin Luther King Park.
23) Watched a King Neptune parade or went to the Medieval Fair when it was at Ringling.
24) Got ready for a camping trip by buying gear at Tuckers or topo maps at Ellie’s.
25) Wondered how the WWI veterans felt when the oaks planted to remember them were cut down.
*Meaning both glossy paper stock and "superficially attractive or plausible but lacking depth or soundness".