History and Fellowship: Author Bob Macomber at the Useppa Museum – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – In another sign of Useppa’s post-Ian recovery, author and Island friend Bob Macomber recently spoke at the Barbara Sumwalt Museum. It was a gathering of friends, history buffs, a talk, book signing, and fellowship. The story Macomber told was “The Patriot and The Widow.” James Henry from a Florida family married Sophira (AKA Sophia) a member of the Seminole tribe. It was an interracial marriage in a time when that was unacceptable. To many of James Henry’s family he was also a disgrace because he fought for the United States instead of fighting for the Confederacy. Useppa was a Yankee outpost. James and Sophira lived there during the war with their daughter. Henry was shot by a sniper during a rescue mission off Ft. Myers. Sophira was still on Useppa and later Sanibel. Widowed four times she died in her 90’s. After his talk, Bob Macomber said, “I always enjoy it when I speak at Useppa–the audience is full of accomplished, nice people who ask great questions!” The Island equally enjoys Bob. “Onward and upward for us all….”
Saturday on Useppa, Almost Back to Normal – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – Finally, amidst Hurricane Ian debris pickup and the Marina dock being rebuilt, life on Useppa is returning to normal. Favorite homeowners are returning. Croquet lessons are given every Saturday. Members boat out for lunch at the Tarpon Bar. Orchids are going back up in the trees. Families are swimming off the beach. Friends work together on island cleanup. Useppa is still a gift in our lives.
Hurricane Ian Debris Cleanup is Underway – Thoughts by Ryan Berger, Pictures by UseppaGin – Contractors have mobilized to Useppa Island to begin the FEMA reimbursed cleanup efforts under a contract with the State of Florida. A collaborative effort between Inland Marine Group (Lil Mo, Heavy Equipment, and Barges), HernandoAg (Tractors and Trailers), and DRC Emergency Services (Monitoring and Support) is underway to remove all Construction Debris as efficiently as possible. The process will take a few days to move the debris to Lil Mo, which is acting as a temporary debris management site, where it is then sorted and accounted for before being barged to the mainland for final disposal.
The Tradition of Croquet Continues – Pictures and Thoughts by UseppaGin – Even a hurricane couldn’t stop croquet on Useppa. The Christmas Tournament didn’t happen, but new and old players gathered on the lawn in early January. Veteran players challenged each other to a game. New players were introduced to the sport by Michael and Karen Albert. A decades old island tradition continued. It felt good to be out there again. Life on Useppa is returning to the familiar life we remember. We don’t take it for granted, and we know how lucky we are.