Useppa Memorial Day Izaak Walton Kids Fishing Tournament – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Twelve young anglers caught almost thirty fish in Useppa’s Memorial Day Kids Izaak Walton Fishing Tournament. Youngsters from ages two to twelve reeled in Snappers, Catfish, Jacks, and one 21” Grouper. Captain Kyle fished the Tournament when he was a boy. He just graduated from High School, and this year he ran the event. Each angler stood on their left foot and raised their right hand to repeat the Fisherman’s Oath to have fun, help their fellow fisherman if needed, and release unharmed each catch. Two-year-old Henry reeled in the First Fish all by himself, and the fun began. One hour later smiling and exhausted anglers proudly accepted their rewards. Trophies and/or medals were given to all participants. Thanks to Captain Kyle, Record Keeper Miss Jaclyn, and the Izaak Walton Club for making it happen.
Good-bye Maria – Pictures and Thoughts by UseppaGin – After twenty years Useppa says good-bye to Maria Ortiz. A celebration of her two decades in the Housekeeping Department was held at the Tarpon Bar April 27th. A final Island wave happened Friday afternoon, May 14th. For two decades Maria helped keep the Collier Inn, the Office, the Tarpon Bar, and Island homes clean and welcoming. She was mentored by good women when she began working here, and when it became her turn, she mentored other good people. Housekeeping will not be the same without her, and Useppa wishes her well.
Mother’s Day on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Mother’s Day was different this year. The Collier Inn still served its delicious brunch. Boats came and went from the dock in the normal way. From a distance, families all looked like the same happy groups. But closer up, the love between generations was almost palpable. Being together wasn’t just tradition, wasn’t just fun. It was a gift realized by everyone. Fathers made sure their mothers’ pictures were taken with grandchildren. Three generations smiled into my camera lens. Staff members smiled in pictures to share later with their children or their moms. There was enough love on Useppa that even those of us with families far away felt included. COVID taught us something. We’ve learned being together cannot be taken for granted. Cheers to all Useppa Moms. Cheers to all Useppa families.
Derby Day, A Nor-Tec Poker Run, and More – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – May 1st was a busy day on Useppa. Nor-Tec sponsored a Poker Run with boats stopping at Useppa for lunch. Then Islanders and friends gathered in the Tarpon Bar to watch the Kentucky Derby. Sunday was more relaxed, and by Monday Useppa was back on Island Time.
Artists, Paintings, Friends, Families & Lizards – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – It was a weekend of artists. The Useppa Island Club hosted Suzie Seerey-Lester and a show of her husband’s artwork in the Tarpon Bar on Friday, April 30th. John is gone now but his paintings are part of Useppa history. Over thirty years ago another artist, Paul Arsenault was the first painter Gar Beckstead brought to the Island to document its appearance before renovation. Paul was back for a few days painting today’s Useppa for a show next year. Families, friends, a sleeping cat, a flirting lizard, and more were all part of April Island smiles.