Barbara Sumwalt Museum Celebrates 25th Anniversary – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Twenty-five years ago, its doors opened for the first time. Resident Barbara Sumwalt and the Island Historical Society created a museum to celebrate Useppa’s history. That legacy continues and on Friday, March 25th over $200,000 was raised to bring that past into the twenty-first century. Bids at a live auction and a matching gift challenge by Tim and Judith Sear will make it happen. The Silver Jubilee also honored two women; Mary Bacon, an integral part of day-to-day operations for twenty years, and Board Member Judith Sear an advisor and coach on the best ways to update older exhibits to incorporate interactive elements into displays.
Ragtime Skippered by Kurt Stocker with Crew Tony Colgan Wins 2019 McMahon Regatta – Words by UseppaGin, Photos by UseppaGin and Alexander Poplawski – Morning and afternoon races, Bill’s Grille for lunch, dinner and awards at the Tarpon Bar were all part of the 2019 McMahon Regatta. Longtime sailors Kurt Stocker and Tony Colgan were the winners. Skipper Ed King and crew Kim Lockhart on Coot took 2nd place. The Regatta is named in honor of Useppa’s first Yacht Club Commodore Jack McMahon, and it determines the Island’s Marshall Catboat Championship. Sailing on Useppa is open to all. There are no membership dues. The Useppa Island Yacht Club is one more example of island good-natured fun and fellowship.
Saint Patrick’s Day Useppa Style – Pictures and words by UseppaGin – It’s a family tradition on the Island. Families and friends decorate golf carts to parade up and down the beach. This year children and dogs stole the show, except for the cart Erin “no” Bragh. Humor, good fun and wearing of the green, the Admiral’s uniform passed down through generations, prizes, and smiles – where else but Useppa?
Tales of Elvis in Florida – Words and pictures by UseppaGin – It was not just a talk but a conversation in the Barbara Sumwlt Museum on Saturday, March 9th. The book was “Elvis Ignited, The Rise of an Icon in Florida” by Bob Kealing. With slides and stories, the road map of Elvis’ rise to fame was traced through the Sunshine State. Antidotes were shared with audience members adding their own memories. The truth behind an illegal alien Colonel Parker’s contriving nature, the genuine kindness of Elvis to all around him, the era when Rock ’n Roll began, the sexy and controversial guitar playing hunk… all were part of another fine night on Useppa. A thank you to Edward R. Murrow and five-time Emmy award-winning Bob Kealing. A thank you also to Island poet Virginia L. Amsler for the gift to the Museum that night of a 100-copy limited edition of her book “Spirits on an Island.”
Island Winter – Thoughts and photographs by UseppaGin – Sometimes you just have to jump for joy, throw a ball into the water for a little dog to chase. Sometimes it’s fun to go on an island walkabout and learn more about the island. Sometimes it’s showing you care with sweat equity, planting bromeliads with the Paradise Partnership. Sometimes it’s being on a boat or just sitting around the pool. Winter on Useppa offers something for everyone.
Useppa Yacht Club Doherty Day Races – Story by Race Committee Chair Bob Stevens and photographs by UseppaGin – On March 2nd, day of fun races was held in honor of former Useppa Yacht Club Commodore James Doherty. The Doherty Day Champion is Ed King, who sailed Coot, U238, to three wins, with Kim Lockhart as his crew. My mysterious courses were no mystery to Ed. Second place was taken by Ragtime, U5, with Kurt Stocker at the helm and Tony Colgan as crew. It was a fine showing by two long time Useppa sailors. Sink ‘r Swim, no sail number, was sailed by Michael Albert. Mike had John Coyle aboard as navigator. The newest Sandpiper fleet prize, the Doherty Day Useppa Handicap Cup, was taken by Paul Swigert, in Patty P, U11. Shane Swigert was aboard as crew. The Handicap is a completely subjective measure of the boat on the course making the finest showing, but not in the top three places. Congratulations to Paul and Shane. Thanks to Bill’s Grille for lunch, and the Committee Crew for making it all happen.