C r uising the night away in Boca Gr ande requires at least three things: Good company, a good dog, and a good golf car t. While some people spend hours tricking out their favorite old '68 Chevelle or their '72 El Camino, people on the island like to focus their attention on creating a bigger and better golf car t. Yep, they're not just for the golf course anymore . We have our network of golf car t paths on the island, thanks to the vision of a man named Bayard Sharp. He originally owned the land the railroad tracks used to r un through, and he eventually realized golf car ts would be a truly valuable asset to an island that is so small, and with so little parking. The philanthropists and the Car t Boy In the last three decades Boca Grande has become well-known as a golf car t community and that is, in part, due to Richard Cucchi. He is known by many names, including "Cucch" and "Car t Boy." The latter is a name he answers to with pr ide , as it was Mr. Shar p who gave it to him. Cucch is originally a Long Island boy but moved to Florida with his family when he was 10, in 1966. They fir st moved to For t Creek, which was where Englewood Isles is now. He attended Venice High School and got there by boat. Cucch is the only author ized dealer of new car ts in the area, and has thousands of car ts in the fleet he maintains and rents. His ties to the island began when he was in his 20s. He had other jobs around the island, but in the 1980s he wor ked out of a painted-over Coca-Cola trailer in front of Island Bike 'n' Beach, renting five golf car ts. 58 GASPARILLA ISLAND January/February 2017 By Marcy Shortuse Photos by Marcy Shortuse and submitted Bayard Sharp many years ago in his Rolls Royce cart. One of the NASCAR utility carts Cocch created.
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