“Manatee Insanity” with Craig Pittman at the Barbara Sumwalt Museum – Thoughts and photos by UseppaGin – On Saturday night January 19th the Barbara Sumwalt Museum hosted Florida pundit, raconteur, and historian Craig Pittman. In the newly expanded Miller Room with Everglades photographs by Mac Stone as the backdrop, Pittman shared facts and told stories from his book “Manatee Insanity: Inside the War Over Florida’s Most Endangered Species.” Thank you to Museum Director Rona Stage for another evening combining, humor, education, and Island fellowship.
Sandpiper Sailing Begins Another Season – Story by Race Committee Chairman Bob Stevens, Photos by UseppaGin – A perfectly wonderful morning to start our season of Sandpiper sailing. Five boats were out. We did four races, each two legged, a beat and a run taking about 25 minutes to complete. Breeze from the Southeast was more or less from 5 to 10 knots. Mike Carmichael, with his secret weapon Chinese-heart surgeon-sailboat-racer Dr. Jack as crew (who skippered the fourth race himself) won all four races aboard Spirit (U8). He just could not be beaten. Charlie Chapin and Ray George traded off the skipper assignment aboard Buttercup (U1) and finished second in each race. Patty P (U11), sparkling in her freshly refinished bottom and wood trim, managed three third place finishes. She was skippered by John Coyle and Paul Swigert with Shane as able crew and morale officer. OH! Happy Daze!! (U85) was out with the season’s crew Andy Hotchkiss and Dawn Jalowy schooled by the very able and enthusiastic Sandpiper sailor Ed King. Dawn, Andy and Ed took turns skippering, and Ed finished in third place in the last race, The other boat out was Purrfect (U4), skippered by its new owner, Mark Smith, with Wendi Simpson aboard as crew. Bill’s Grille, managed by Kay Chapin, was its usual fine showing for us all. Hamburgers and hot dogs were done by Vic Trino who was supervised with skill by Suzy Trino. Janet Smith supplied the baked beans, and special sauces. Carolynne Krusi and Linda O’Connell helped get it all together. Nice start to our sailing season for everyone. Dan O’Connell and his houseguest Neil were aboard the Committee Boat along with Ginny Amsler and her camera. Sydney Stevens did her usual fine job with the starting sequence (even though I failed to connect the battery for the first try). Until next week.
The Tradition of Beach Croquet Continues – Words by UseppaGin, Photos by Emily Firment – It came down to two teams, and a brother and sister playing against each other. Finally, the “little brother” beat his big sister in a game their families have been playing for years. Troy Sipprelle and his partner Jeff Powell were victors in an exciting game. Clare Sipprelle and Dawn Jalowy were runners up. Nine Wicket Croquet is a holiday tradition on Useppa. It used to be played all over the island, but one year it was played on the beach and it’s been played there ever since. Sixty-four players begin the competition, but hour by hours the number of winning teams are winnowed down until the Quarter Finals, Semi-Final, and finally the Championship. Competition and good fun – for players and fans alike. Congratulations Troy and Jeff. Thanks to Winky and Dave Merrill for doing all the behind the scenes work, and to Emily Firment for keeping score and taking pictures.
Useppa Sports, Duathlon 2018 – Words by Simon Bound and pictures by Liv Carlson – The 4th Annual Useppa Duathlon took place 28 December 2018 in warm, choppy conditions. Maxwell Powell won the kids race for the second time in a diverse field aged 2 to 12 years old! The main race was very competitive. Troy Sipprelle won in a time of 22.28, 15 seconds ahead of last year’s winner Colin Fahey. First Lady was visitor and college swimmer Lucy in a time of 25.42, and first Military finisher Jack Bound in 25.00. The team event was won by team “Poker” (thanks Niko) made up of Niko, Greg and Louisa Bound. Thanks to Chris for EMS back-up, Tim, Donald for ongoing Island support, and starter and time keeper Paul Miller IV. We look forward to 2019 and are hopeful of having all prior winners on the start line, so keep the training intensity up!
Warmth, Friendliness, and Generous Spirits – Pictures and thoughts by UseppaGin – A magical nighttime walk and delicious dinner at the Collier were bookends of Useppa’s Christmas. Two families hosted Islanders in their homes to begin the holiday celebration two days before Christmas. Thanks to the hard work and hospitality of the Collier Inn staff, Christmas ended with love, fellowship and feasting. Kind-heartedness, the adjective describing the Useppa community at its best.
Collier Christmas Eve Part II – Thoughts and photos by UseppaGin – New parents and a great grandmother, familiar carols, new and old friends, a restaurant staff sharing holiday cheer – Useppa family at its best.
Christmas Eve at the Collier Inn Part I – photos and thoughts by UseppaGin – The music began and a tradition continued, the tradition of Useppa families and friends celebrating Christmas Eve in song. Tor Carlson and his cousin Maggie Merrill led the caroling just as their grandfather once did. The Island’s children sang. Steve Kaufman led a vociferous rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Music replaced conversation, pictures were taken by the tree, yesterday’s children were this year’s parents.