Members Cocktail Party 2015 Part I

Annual Useppa Island Members Cocktail Party: Part I

Auspicious Beginning to a New Season

Photographs by UseppaGin 

On Saturday, November 14th the Useppa Island Club hosted its annual Members Cocktail Party. The food was excellent. Platters of lamp chops, oysters, roast beef, and so much more; delicious appetizers passed inside the Island’s Collier Inn and outside on the patio. A saxophonist kept time with the weaving conversations of old and new friends. It was a night to celebrate Useppa.

A Thank You from Bill Marquardt

Long time Useppa Member, Curator of South Florida Archaeology and Ethnography, Director, Randell Research Center Florida Museum of Natural History.

Karen Walker and I were pleased to attend the Members Cocktail Party on Saturday.

As we approached the Collier with our dear friend Ginny Amsler, I couldn’t help but think of the first time I was invited into the Collier dining room. It had been 30 years!

When some palm trees were removed just below the swimming pool, human bones were discovered. Gar Beckstead asked if someone from the Florida Museum of Natural History could come down and investigate. That someone turned out to be me. One of the skulls we discovered became “Useppa Woman,” now on display in the island’s fine museum. I was treated like a king, with cocktails and dinner in the Collier each night, thanks to Gar. Not your typical archaeological experience!

Since then, Karen and I have done many archaeological projects on the island including the discovery of the Calusa Man on Calusa Ridge, and the discovery of the bones from a dog over three thousand years old on a south end dig just two years ago. We have experienced Useppa hospitality first hand, not just from Gar and Tim Fitzsimmons – my first hosts – but from many Useppans, who we now consider our good friends.

Last Saturday, it was good to see some familiar faces, renew acquaintances, and also to meet some new members. On Useppa, we feel at home.

Good music, good food, good friends. A wonderful evening and an auspicious beginning to the new season.