The Bucket List


Published: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Whip around a race track at 180 mph.

Snap a photo in front of the Taj Mahal.

Jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

The unconventional to-do list featured in Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's latest film, "The Bucket List," has people around the country asking: What's left for me to experience before I "kick the bucket?"

The film, which opens in theaters today, follows two terminally-ill men (Nicholson and Freeman) on a mission to finally live out the experiences they passively dreamt of all their lives.

Old or young, ill or healthy, behind every "gotta happen today" list are a handful of hopes and dreams every person saves.

In honor of the new year and the "Bucket List" buzz, we asked some adventurous and curious people in Gainesville to share the top items on their lifetime to-do lists.

Tim Altmeyer

Local actor who is currently playing the lead in "The Dead Guy," a Hippodrome State Theatre production that follows a man who has $1 million to spend the week before he dies.

1. Hit balls across the Centre Court at Wimbledon (preferably with Andy Roddick).

2. Overcome my fear of heights by sky diving.

"I have a feeling that somebody would have to push me, but if I'm kicking the bucket that may be the best way to go."

Marilyn Nye-Islam

Avid world traveler and owner of Blue Ribbon Realty.

1. Return to Northampton, England where I was born.

At the end of World War II, Nye-Islam's mother was evacuated from London to Northampton where she gave birth at a private estate. Her goal is to visit the estate where she was born and create a collage of pictures for her mother who hasn't returned since 1948.

2. Travel to space.

Nye-Islam hopes to ride around the world in the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, a commercial space shuttle which is scheduled to offer passengers trips to space and back.

But she won't be on the first ride.

"Perhaps the 7th or 8th, once the trip has proven to be safe."

3. Attend the opening ceremonies of an Olympic Games.

4. Publish a children's book.

After a recent trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe and some close encounters with zebras, Nye-Islam got the idea to create a children's book about a mischievous young Zebra who is adopted and raised by a human family.

"Watch for 'Zoe the Zebra,' but not right away."

Jack Brown

Professor of Zoo Animal Technology and Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo director

1. Take my daughter and son to the African grasslands to see the Great Migration, when hundreds of thosands of wild animals cross the Serengeti.

Brown enjoyed the experience in May and hopes to treat his kids to the same unbelievable sight.

2. Visit an active volcano.

3. Take a grand tour of England's history museums.

4. Take an ocean liner to Europe.

"The voyage has so many historical implications and so many millions of people have made that trip - usually in the other direction - that it would be fun to have the experience."

Jere Steele

President of the Adventure Club of Gainesville and assistant professor at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

1. Go snow skiing in the Rockies and in the Alps.

2. Take a few laps in a stock car.

"I've been a NASCAR fan most of my life and would like to tag along and get a feel for real speed on wheels."

3. Go horseback riding on the ocean shore.

"Someday, in a more remote island setting, I plan to spend a morning gallivanting on the beach."

4. Join my friends on a sailing expedition.

Bill Feaster

Retired Army officer and head coach of Gainesville Area Rowing, and Pamela Feaster, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner working for the UF Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

1. Learn to speak Italian and live in Italy for several months.

2. Go for a hot air balloon ride.

3. Master the art of juggling.

4. Walk tight rope.

After watching famous Danish circus performer Elvira Madigan gracefully balance her way across a tight rope, Pamela Feaster vowed to try it.

5. Visit Ireland and kiss the Blarney Stone

6. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail

Naima Brown Prince

Professor of sociology at Santa Fe Community College

1. Spend Easter week in Jerusalem.

2. Host a call-in radio talk show.

After earning a doctoral degree in sociology, Prince hopes to share her insight into marriage and family with radio listeners.

3. Anonymously give a life-changing financial gift to someone in need.

"Oh. what a feeling."

4. Learn to sew and make myself an outfit.

5. Visit six of the seven continents.

"I am not interested in Antarctica. I hate the cold weather."

Storm Roberts

98.5 KTK Mornings radio personality

1. Travel to Australia and New Zealand.

"It's so far away, you have to explore it."

2. Help create a children's hospital in Gainesville.

As a longtime volunteer for the Children's Miracle Network, Roberts plans to help Shands Children's Hospital develop a stand-alone facility reserved for children.

3. Spend time in Banff.

As the proud son of a Canadian, Roberts hopes to visit the scenic mountain town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. He'll stay in a chateau overlooking the glaciers.

Wes Skiles

Photographer, filmmaker and veteran cave diver

1. Explore an uninhabited island.

The island of Tofua is located in Tonga, the only archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Skiles hopes to travel there and dive into the caves that wind under the island's active volcano.

2. Surf the North Shore in Hawaii.

3. Explore the ice caves of Greenland.

4. See the bottom of the ocean.

Skiles hopes to hitch a ride in a submarine down to the Atlantic Ridge.

"These things are very doable for me."

Ramona Griner

Owner of Front Porch Realty

1. Trek to Peru to study Shamanic healing.

2. Swim with wild dolphins off the coast of Kona in Hawaii.

3. Write a book.

In 2003, Griner helped develop Steinhatchee Rivergate, a cluster of cottages near the Steinhatchee River. She wants to tell the world about the colorful past and present of this former fishing village in a collection of stories.

4. Learn to play the guitar.

After recently discovering a guitar on her doorstep, Griner plans to "listen to the universe" and finally learn to play.

Raymond Chobaz

Music director and conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra

1. Take a cruise around the world with stops on all the continents.

2. Volunteer to protect our natural heritage.

3. Enjoy my family and friends.

Vanessa Garcia can be reached at 352-338-3166 or vanessa.garcia@gvillesun.com.

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