Useppa Holiday Memories: Bocce, Kids Fishing, Roasting Marshmallows and More – Thoughts and Photos by UseppaGin – Families treasured time together, friends played bocce in old fashioned rivalry, kids fished off the dock, the Fire Department and Useppans gathered round a fire pit on the beach, and so much more. There was a different feeling on the island this year. Being together was the gift we all treasured. The only gift we wanted.
2021 Useppa Beach Croquet Tournament – Thoughts by Mike Albert and Pictures by UseppaGin – Every December 30th since 1978 residents and members of the Useppa Island Club gathered to play in a 9 Wicket Tournament. Most years this drew upwards of 64 players. This year’s event was limited to 32 players because of Covid concerns. The only two times the tournament wasn’t held were 2004 when the island was recovering from a direct hit by Hurricane Charlie and last year 2020 when the pandemic shut operations down worldwide. The Service Departments spends several days leading up to the 30th raking and leveling the beach before laying out the courts. This year we played on eight courts which allowed all sixteen teams to play at the same time. Everyone played four games. Prize “Mallets” are awarded to the winners in each quadrant. This year’s final match for the championship was between Michael Carmichael and Mark Goodman against Tor Carlson and Karen Connery-Albert. The last time Karen played this tournament was thirteen years ago when her partner was once again Tor Carlson at that time halfway through the ninth grade. This year’s matchup had all the stars aligned. Tor and Karen played a beautiful game and pegged out both balls a couple of wickets ahead of Michael and Mark to be 2022 Useppa 9 Wicket Champs.
Useppa’s Butterfly Garden – Thoughts by Karen Kaufman, pictures by UseppaGin – Today we celebrated new “caterpillar residents” in our butterfly hut. The Useppa Butterfly Garden once was a sandy wasteland. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, today it teems with color and welcomes nature lovers of all ages. Stop by anytime, find a bench and enjoy meeting our fluttering neighbors.
Employee Christmas Pictures Part II – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Another thank you from the Becksteads, Useppa Members and Homeowners, Guests and Friends to retiring CEO Tim Fitzsimmons and to the men and women who continue a 10,000-year tradition of island stewardship. We couldn’t be here without you.
Families, Carols, and Christmas Eve on Useppa – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – It wasn’t our customary Christmas Eve of carols, voices raised inside the Collier Inn. It was an outside night of Island family magic. Less formal, in many ways more loving, we gathered on the patio. Children danced to the music. Grownups smiled and everyone had fun. Thank you to Music Man Steve Kaufman for leading us from the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas into a new way of celebrating the holiday in a safe, spontaneous Useppa way.