Open Forum in The Villages, Florida

Exploring The Villages: A Journey with Scott Beckner, Lanai Gossip Podcast Host

November 03, 2023 Mike Roth & Scott Beckner Season 4 Episode 17
Open Forum in The Villages, Florida
Exploring The Villages: A Journey with Scott Beckner, Lanai Gossip Podcast Host
Open Forum in The Villages, Florida
Become a supporter of the show & Amazon Link to recommended products.
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready to explore the bustling activities of The Villages, Florida with our guest, Scott Beckner, host of Lanai Gossip Podcast, on this episode. Discover how Scott transitioned from a resident to a podcast host, meticulously chronicling the over 3,800 clubs and activities that lend vibrancy to our community. Hear his fascinating experience with the Beatles Mania club, even though he isn't a Beatles fan, and why he thinks every resident should dive into the myriad opportunities in The Villages, regardless of their personal preferences. 

Join us as we dig into some of the unique offerings of The Villages, from the Mercedes Benz Car Club to the Recreation Department's varied lineup of activities, such as card nights and woodworking. Hear firsthand about the delightful fencing club, the unforgettable holiday party with the Improv club, and the exciting possibilities of a future indoor basketball court. The new Olympia's rumored rock climbing wall, gets a mention too!

Finally, we put a spotlight on Scott's significant contribution to our community, voted as the commissioner of the village for five consecutive years. He shares how to get in touch to be a guest on the Lanai Gossip Show and stresses the importance of positive content. Scott also shares a glimpse into his world outside podcasting and the clubs. Tune in next Friday at 9 am for more engaging chats and insights into the dynamic life in The Villages Florida, as we continue to bring you the best stories from our thriving community.

Support the show

Open Forum in The Villages, Florida is Produced & Directed by Mike Roth
A new episode will be released most Fridays at 9 AM
Direct all questions and comments to mike@rothvoice.com

If you know a Villager who should appear on the show, please contact us at: mike@rothvoice.com

Emily:

Welcome to the Open Forum in the Villages Florida podcast. In this show we talk to leaders in the community, leaders of clubs and interesting folks who live here in the villages to give perspectives of what is happening here in the villages. We hope to add a new episode most Fridays at 9am. We are a listener supported podcast. You can become a supporter for as little as $3 per month or you can choose to pay more. To become a supporter, go to openforminthevillages. com and click on support in the black box. There will be shoutouts for supporters in episodes. In season 4, we have made some dramatic improvements and changes. First is a clarification of the podcast's title. It is Open Forum in The Villages, florida. To make clear that this is a regional show, independently produced for folks who live in central Florida and the villages areas. It is a dramatic increase in the use of AI in the creation of each episode. In fact, the show's announcers are now all AI voices, including me, Emily.

Mike Roth:

This is my cloth on open forum in the villages. I'm here today with another podcaster in The Villages, Scott Beckner. Scott's podcast is called Gossip. Correct, Scott, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself first?

Scott Beckner:

Well, I moved to The Villages about three years ago, actually full time. We lived in Georgia, I worked at Georgia College and State University and we came down here it's about a five hour drive and we lived on a lake and the lake was 422 miles of shoreline. I had friends that I worked with that I'd get in my boat and drive 30 miles an hour to their house, and it took me an hour to get to their house on a boat. So we're thinking about where would we like to retire. What was the name of the lake? Lakes in Clare, oh, okay.

Scott Beckner:

So we came down here. We want to check it out. We heard all the, we read about it, saw it online and we came down here and we actually bought the first day that we were here. You didn't take the trolley tour, did you? No, we didn't take the tour. We had a realtor from the villages show us around and we also had an outside realtor show us around and we bought a patio villa, two bedrooms down over in Fernandina. Then we decided, okay, there's not enough space. Okay, you figured that out pretty fast.

Scott Beckner:

We figured that out pretty fast and we had our in 2016. We had a house built over here in Osceola Hills, but we were still working. I was up in Iowa and my wife was up in Iowa with me and obviously we were working and when it was time to retire, we moved down here about three years ago now, full time.

Mike Roth:

And how long have you been doing the Lanai Gossip Podcast?

Scott Beckner:

I started Lanai Gossip in probably February. We did our first one in March and it recorded four of them at the same time.

Scott Beckner:

The same night we had to kind of a party at my house and we'd go out to the Lenoy and do it. And I started doing it because my doctor said all timers runs in your family. It's wiped out everybody. You've got to learn something different, something different that your body, your mind's going to say, hey, I got to learn this and keep going. You know crossword puzzles. He said no, crossword puzzles he liked, but I don't like doing them. And so I said I work at Captiva and I see a lot of people come in with all these groups and stuff and I said, well, I could do like an infomercial on their group to help their groups get more involved and get more participation. And so I started getting all these groups and I said this would be a great opportunity to do a segment on all the groups we have in the villages and maybe get more participation in the groups and one of the reasons I moved down here.

Mike Roth:

At the time there were 2,000 clubs and activities and but now there are 3,800 or something, so many so many clubs and I'll see people come in and they'll like, look in, and, as an example is tap dancing.

Scott Beckner:

These people want to tap dance but they look in and they go. I don't and I just I go. You got to go in there and you got to say hi and they want you in there, they don't want you to not go in. And same with the billiard room and the card room, all the game rooms we have everyone's looking to get more members and everybody's welcoming, and so I'm just trying to have that little lanae gossip video out there that, if people are interested, they could take a look at the video and give them a contact information so they could start the process of getting involved.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, that's pretty good. We're in the improv club. We're always looking for new members, okay, and when someone comes to the to the door, I'll try to see what's going on on the rec center. We're always welcome in me.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, you know, and doing this podcast like you do it, it's opened my eyes to all the clubs that are out there, all the different type of people that go to the different clubs.

Scott Beckner:

Right totally I would never go to some of these clubs. And then I actually went to the Beatles mania the other day, which I'd never even heard of, and I enjoyed that. You know, they went to Liverpool and they had a little vacation there and a bunch of them went and it was Really interesting for someone that really didn't have anything to do with Beatles or or being a maniac about them. I thought it was very interesting.

Mike Roth:

Right right, I have at least one friend who's a member of that club. For our own reasons, in improv, I decided to take take a pot the list of the 3000 clubs last year to find out how many clubs there really are, mm-hmm, and I was quite surprised to determine that there were about 600. They really weren't clubs, but they were really activity mm-hmm okay, whether it was ping-pong or Another sport like pickleball. Yeah okay, they weren't like clubs correct their activities.

Scott Beckner:

They have, yeah, pickleball at 10 o'clock at Eisenhower. We play, that's our club.

Warren:

Mm-hmm.

Mike Roth:

Well, it's not the same as the model T club in the village, no, or the so how about the convertible singles club?

Scott Beckner:

We have that then they meet and so everybody's so nice here too. We actually went to the. We went to a local bar and we just set up our Equipment and we just talked to people and it was just amazing how the different backgrounds that everybody has. And that was. That was kind of interesting. We'd like to do that again sometime.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, that sounds like an interesting exercise. This is Mike Roth with Dr Craig Curtis for today's Alzheimer's tip. Dr Curtis, several new medicines have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer's. How effective are they?

Scott Beckner:

So the effectiveness so far shows an approximate 30 percent Slowing of Alzheimer's disease. When these medicines are used in patients with the very earliest stages of the disease.

Warren:

With over 20 years Of experience studying brain health, Dr Curtis's goal is to educate the village's community on how to live a longer, healthier life. To learn more, visit his website, Craig Curtis MD. com, or call 352-500-5252 to attend a free seminar, and we're back with Scott Bechner, so you distribute your podcast via youtube.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, I have my own youtube channel, the night gossip. I have a couple of clubs that I'm already I kind of am the ambassador of. I guess you could say, or the I do the. We do golf on Sundays, we have card night, which we have a ukeur night every other Friday at Bernsed, and we also do bowling down here at Leesburg. So that's kind of how I I've always kind of been a guy that got involved and I do like being kind of in charge, which is a good thing or a bad thing.

Mike Roth:

But if your brain active it does.

Scott Beckner:

You know I try to make all the clubs in the in the hole. So I have my clubs but I also have my lineup guys up that I'm going to try to get more people involved in the clubs and that's kind of what we put the object is of why you know what we're here. But my wife and I we love the villages so we always promote it. It's always positive.

Mike Roth:

That's good. That's good. You invited me to come on and, yeah, talked to you forever about the Mercedes club.

Scott Beckner:

You got the Mercedes club, you got the improv. You got a lot of stuff to talk about your podcast. So that'll be an interesting, Uh interesting interview we're looking forward to it.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, we. When I came down here, in the end of 17, I got a little bit frustrated when I discovered there was no Mercedes Benz Car club here and I complained the recreation department and they said well, here, fill out this form, find five people who want to join, put the names on the form and we'll turn you into a club Exactly. And and how far has it grown from five people we went from five people in March of 18, when we started, to about 350 members now.

Scott Beckner:

And just amazing, it keeps growing it does, you know, and something like that, what you didn't really have a problem growing, but it would be. That's what my lenni gossip will do. It'll give them kind of a commercial about what their, their club does and how to get involved and future events.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, that's that. That's very important. The the, the village's recreation department, with the daily sun, cut out the Description of the clubs and what they do to save space, yeah.

Scott Beckner:

I feel phone calls daily when I'm working of what, what does this club do?

Emily:

What is?

Scott Beckner:

this about? You know, just say Samba, is anybody invited? You know they are, but they really don't know. Did a little podcast of what we have at the rec centers and we have every game you can think of. You can walk in there With just nothing in your hands and play any game and learn the rules.

Scott Beckner:

Mm-hmm so you, just a group of people, and a lot of people don't know that they think they have to have all this stuff. I have a card night where you play Euker and they supply the cards. Hmm, that's. And I didn't know that I was bringing cards in for about a half a year until they finally said, hey, we have cards for look in the back closet. I had to start working there to figure that one out. Okay, yeah.

Mike Roth:

There are a lot, well a really wide variety of Activities here in the village. I think it was at Bacall we had a party, holiday party for the members of the improv club and it was one of the standard villages potlucks and we arrived early to set up in the room. And we get there and the guy behind the desk says well, I can't let you go into the room yet still in use and we had a pile stuff that we had a set up Uh-huh and so we walked down the hall to see what was in use.

Mike Roth:

I opened the door and there's a fencing club going on, people with swords, pays that going at one another. I said, okay, they can have the room until it's time for them to break down, but you never know what's going on, no, and the rooms get used a lot Mm-hmm.

Scott Beckner:

Now there's there's some more useful or being used than others. But yeah, ours is very busy at Captiva.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, the number of activities just range ranges.

Scott Beckner:

A full gambit, from learning how to want, learning how to swim, to Learning how to play pickleball or yeah, and I don't know anything about woodworking, but they got two woodworking shops now and we're gonna do a podcast next week on that. Very interesting and and I'm sure they have the best equipment. I've heard they've had the best equipment you can get for woodworking, so that'll be interesting to yeah, yeah.

Mike Roth:

I bet if they had an automobile shop There'd be a lot of people wanted to play in that club.

Scott Beckner:

That would be a good one, and I I'd like to see in the future Maybe a indoor basketball court. I know they play at the. They play at the churches now, but it'd be nice if they could get an indoor. But I heard maybe down south they might, so well, that new Rex that's a.

Mike Roth:

Isn't the cold the Olympia? I'm not sure I heard it's called the Olympia.

Scott Beckner:

I haven't substantiated anything about what that's gonna be, because I've heard things, but I heard.

Mike Roth:

I've heard some things yeah, from reliable sources. Okay, let's say it's going to have an indoor rock climbing wall, that's, that's cool, cool. But I just can't think of very many people our age Scott that would want to climb a rock wall Strapped into a harness.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, I've never did it in my life. I'm 60 years old now, so I probably know I've never climbed rock walls.

Mike Roth:

When I was a kid I climbed chain link fences yeah but you know, that was when I was a kid right Right different story altogether. That's for the grandkids probably well, there's a lot of stuff up at that first responders Center which are Oriented more towards children. Yeah, but the displays up there are wonderful. Mm-hmm and the Eisenhower Center is almost a museum.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, not really a museum, it's beautiful.

Mike Roth:

I spent a lot of money on that, yeah, but most of the rec centers are very nice.

Scott Beckner:

They're very nice. Yeah, I, you know people nitpick a little bit but I'm like there's no place like it. No place like it. I that I know of I visit my brother in Sun City, arizona, and they've got one golf course, got 20 pickleball courts all together and one rec center and we got all these no, no, we don't have one swimming pool, we have a hundred and five exactly.

Mike Roth:

We don't have one 18-hole golf course. Yeah, I don't know what the number is, whether it's.

Scott Beckner:

I think 20. Now the 20 hole golf course yeah.

Mike Roth:

I mean that's a lot of golf courses plus the plus the pitching putts, plus the nine-hole executive courses. Tremendous amount of activities on on the sports side. Although I could never see. My wife plays golf most weeks with a group of ladies, but she dropped out for the summer too hot too hot, too hot.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, I play year-round and I don't mind taking the golf cart to a 20 minute golf cart ride or even a 40 minute golf cart ride, because it's easy, relaxing and you get to anywhere you want to go to in a golf cart At most places have a golf cart path, a special roadway that's reserved for low speed vehicles.

Mike Roth:

That works out extremely well. Yeah, of course we do have some unsafe golf cart operators. I think it was last night. I was over at the Circle on Christine Way and Morse Boulevard and I was trying to get off Christine on to Morse and a guy in a golf cart comes through the Circle. Oh, you know, dead lost.

Scott Beckner:

I've kind of got not distracted, but just kind of got used to driving one way. And when I was coming home from Publix you miss that golf cart turn off, and now you're in the road and you got to go to a turnaround, you know, and now you're on Morse Boulevard and all you can do is get to the next exit to get off it because you can't jump the curve, Because in my car I start turning just for a second start turning into the golf cart lane. I'm like, oh no, I'm not in a golf cart, Now I'm in a car.

Mike Roth:

That's a big mistake around here, I think that when people come down for the winter, all these snowbirds should be run through at least a one hour course in driving a golf cart in the villages and another 30 minute course on how to drive in a traffic circle in the villages.

Scott Beckner:

Oh, even us full timers, we messed that up once in a while too. No, now, where I worked I worked at universities most of my career and we had traffic circles, we had mopeds, we had people crosswalking, you know, in the crosswalk, students in the crosswalk, we had them jaywalking bicycles.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, that's my favorite jaywalking.

Scott Beckner:

I got kind of used to just always looking for something.

Emily:

Right.

Scott Beckner:

So down here it's kind of the same. You know, I did it for 30 years so it's kind of ingrained in me just to look for walkers or for motorcycles, for golf carts for now they got scooters here, you know. So yeah, it's. If you're not used to that segues. Yeah, if you're not used to that, it can be pretty daunting.

Mike Roth:

Right right, we have a lot of different kinds of intersections, but I went to the thriller concert down at the. Oh, it's so aggressive.

Warren:

It was.

Mike Roth:

Edna's on the green with Katrina and the thriller dancers Bonnie's, led by Bonnie Stein. Bonnie's been on the show and she must have been a thousand people there. That's a lot of people, a lot of people. And so I got up to check out what they were serving on the trucks and for refreshments, and there was no line at the trucks to get food, so that was easy. And then I looked at the line for alcoholic beverages. There must have been a hundred people in line.

Mike Roth:

They need better servers or more servers, you would have thought they were giving away free marijuana or something but the size of the line. That was really quite surprising. Something you said earlier reminded me of one of the little scenes we're going to do in the improv show coming up on November 7th 6.30pm at Isale. At that show we're going to do a skit based on an old George Collin routine.

Mike Roth:

George Collin did a skit called the Seven Things you Can't Say on TV. Yeah, I remember that one. Yeah, our skit is named the Seven. Uh, but there's ten. Okay, rub it up. Okay Done, all. Good, everybody Clean it up. Good things or phrases you can't say in TV, or the villages Okay, yeah right TV really hey, it's very funny. It's very funny. It is improvised, so it always comes out different, but you never know what the players are going to say.

Scott Beckner:

How many players do you have Show up for a show?

Mike Roth:

On stage. We'll have 16 players who will be the major players in the cast. The club has about 40 members. There'll be a fellow who plays keyboard. This will be the first show that we're incorporating a live music performance into the show, and we've managed to come up with about five of our members who are willing to sing in an improvised style when the time comes.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, that would drop me out singing. I got kicked out in sixth grade for chorus.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, the thing was our keyboard players. It's a really great musician and composer, Wayne Richard. And Wayne says to me Mike, the only one problem, what key are they going to sing in? And that's what I did.

Emily:

I started to laugh.

Mike Roth:

I said, Wayne, they're going to be singing in the key of K.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, whatever you start with, and they'll be singing a different key.

Mike Roth:

And with a scene with three singers. They may all sing in a different key.

Scott Beckner:

Yes, I'd be like Key what's key mean?

Mike Roth:

I know the words.

Scott Beckner:

That's what you put in a lock on the door right, I know the words as good as I'm going to get Right.

Mike Roth:

I used to have perfect pitch. I played the trombone in high school and just the time I was getting good, I was in engineering school and I needed all of my time so I would pass my courses. So I dropped it out. Is there anything else you want to tell our listeners about the Lenai Gossip Show?

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, if you'd like to come on and promote your group. How do they contact you? They contact me at the email, me at, commissioner. At LenaiGossipcom I was voted, you know, the top five commissioner in the villages for five straight years now. So I'm pretty proud of that. That's why I call myself commissioner number five. It's kind of a little.

Mike Roth:

How do you get voted as a commissioner of the village?

Scott Beckner:

Well, you know, I kind of run the vote, you kind of run the vote. I kind of run the vote. I have three clubs. We got a lot of people that could vote, so I got a five on my golf cart. But no, that's kind of a running joke Say I'm going to top five, commissioner.

Mike Roth:

And everybody asked me that I'm running. When you say that.

Scott Beckner:

But anyway no, and so if you want to come on the show, that would be great. Get a hold of me, commissioner, at LenaiGossipcom. You can email me. What's the average length of your episode? Well, we talk for about a half hour in my Lenai and it is kind of, you know, lawnmowers, weed, whackers, you just can't, you know, you just got to go through all that stuff. But so the sound, you know you've got great quality sound in here. This is an awesome studio you got here, but mine's kind of outside.

Scott Beckner:

The sun kind of affects me, like when we do it, and then, of course, the lawnmowers or anything going on outside the lawnmowers, the leaf blowers, yeah you know we've got you know, if we do it during the day I have to worry about that and I have to worry about air conditioners and our pump for our pool. But with the technology now you know, you can kind of drown some of that stuff out If you want to come on and you. It's kind of like an infomercial for your, for your group.

Mike Roth:

So if you're a club leader, Club leader.

Scott Beckner:

You want to contact Scott Beckner at LanaiGossip. com. So it's going to be commissioner at LanaiGossip. com or you can. That's the best way to get a hold of me. Also, some people who they can, just they can also just go on on one of my shows and just do a comment.

Mike Roth:

Hey.

Scott Beckner:

Scott, I'd love to be on your show.

Mike Roth:

So you read all the comments, yeah.

Scott Beckner:

I read all the comments. You know, hey, Scott, you know I'd love to come on your show. Or and that's how I kind of get word of mouth too is hey, I'll interview somebody and they'll say you need to interview this person, you need to interview that person. But membership does increase if people do come on our show. Also, what I do is it's it's all positive. You know your show is positive, my show is positive. The segment that you'll be on will be positive. It's not kind of a a get you type of you know all good stuff.

Mike Roth:

So definitely come on. We cut out all the bad stuff.

Scott Beckner:

Well, yeah, you know, I edit it. We don't do it live because I look bad.

Mike Roth:

But I always like to include a a joke for my grandson, evan, since Halloween has just been with us, s What is a witch's favorite subject in school. Scott, which is favorite subject in school.

Scott Beckner:

Mine was lunch, so I'm going to go with math.

Mike Roth:

Belly.

Scott Beckner:

Nice joke. He'll enjoy that one. Yeah Well, thanks for having me on and thanks for being on. You know, but yeah.

Mike Roth:

Scott, how do people get ahold of you to talk about being on the Nigh Gossip?

Scott Beckner:

Probably the easiest way is to give me a phone call 478-363-7807. That's my phone number. Get a hold hold hold of me there. Or you can email me at commissioner@lanaigossip com. You could also just put a comment. I read all my comments and say, hey, I'd like to be on your show.

Mike Roth:

So those three ways you could get ahold of me, and is that telephone number a cell phone so that can they text you with that number?

Scott Beckner:

as well. They could text me also.

Mike Roth:

Yes, that's my cell phone number Right. We have a couple of people in our Mercedes club who really love to text me.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, yeah.

Mike Roth:

But I'm old fashioned, so texts get read red last. Oh, do they? Yeah?

Scott Beckner:

Emails first. Well, kids don't answer their phone nowadays. I got to text my own kids.

Mike Roth:

Well, yeah, if I want to talk to my daughters yes, I don't call them anymore I send them a text and say hey, Janet, we got a talk.

Scott Beckner:

Exactly, that's how I do it too, yeah.

Mike Roth:

They respond right away If I leave a voicemail message for them.

Scott Beckner:

Yeah, they don't get it so well. Thanks for having me on the show.

Mike Roth:

Mike, I appreciate it. Thanks for coming over, Scott, thanks, thanks.

Emily:

Remember our next episode will be released next Friday at 9 am. Should you want to become a major supporter of the show or have questions, please contact us at mike at rothvoice. com. This is a shout out for supporters Greg Panjian, tweet Coleman, Dan Kapellan, Ed Williams, Alvin Stenzel and major supporter Dr Craig Curtis at K2 The Villages villages. We will be hearing more from Dr Curtis with short Alzheimer's tips each week. If you know someone who should be on the show, contact us at mike at rothvoice. com. We thank everyone for listening to the show. The content of the show is copyrighted by Rothvoice 2023. All rights reserved.

Podcast Conversation
Activities and Clubs in the Villages
Lenai Gossip Show and Club Promotion
Upcoming Episode and Shoutouts for Support