Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Our Local Gem – a Brilliant Example of Excellence

RUMINATION FROM THE ROCK AND BEYOND

A replica of the Key Marco Cat with Calusa Indian masks in the MIHS Gift Shop. Photos by Jory Westberry

A replica of the Key Marco Cat with Calusa Indian masks in the MIHS Gift Shop. Photos by Jory Westberry

You have no doubt read about the local, regional and national recognition the Marco Island Historical Museum has received, the completion of an exciting new modern days exhibit, the book, “Marco Island,” written by MIHS Curator Austin Bell that is selling like hotcakes, the scintillating gift shop full of treasures and the upcoming special events each month, right? I’m seeing lots of nodding heads and a few vacant eyes out there. Let me help you.

Ahoy kids and – arrgh – kids at heart (ye know who ye are!) Pirate Day is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 9th from 11 AM – 2 PM. No dubloons needed. Ye can dress up like ye favorite pirate, create a catapult, find the clues to – arrgh – buried treasure, wear ye personal “Captain Hook” hook, get ye face painted, make puppets and all kinds of cool things. Shiver me timbers, hope to see ye there!

Ornaments specific to Marco adventures.

Ornaments specific to Marco adventures.

Did you know that Marco Island was the home of a “HUGE –A” pineapple plantation? (I see a few more vacant eyes on this question!) Really, it’s true, and families and guests are invited to attend Pineapple Day on January 13th from 11 AM – 2 PM and participate in all kinds of pineapple-related activities and learn about Marco’s flavorful history. Piña coladas, anyone?

One-of-a-kind handmade pens by local artist Doug Johnson.

One-of-a-kind handmade pens by local artist Doug Johnson.

What about Art, you ask? The internationally known artist, Paul Arsenault, will be exhibiting his beautiful paintings in a traverse through time and local history with accompanying storytelling. He is also displaying items not seen before from his personal collection, sure to amaze you. (Hint – imagine a ship made totally of match sticks and a handpainted screen!) This exhibit is from December 1 – March 2 with an Opening Reception for Paul Arsenault on December 13 from 6-7PM with prosecco and hors d’oeuvres in the museum gallery to honor his “Coastal Trade in Pioneer Days” exhibit.

Betcha the MIHS doesn’t have music, you smirk. Not only is there music, there’s variety, fun and trips down Memory Lane to hear Tribute Artists croon songs from the Platters, Elton John, Tom Jones, Motown favorites, the Bee Gees, and Frankie Valli. Our own Marco Island talented musician, J. Robert will be performing “The Great Cattle Drive.” Gema Pearl will also be here in person singing her special brand of Texas blues, soul and country.

Local artist, Marjorie Pesek provides the instruction to create a turtle and other local critters.

Local artist, Marjorie Pesek provides the instruction to create a turtle and other local critters.

Speakers, you ask? Absolutely! MIHS Reenactors present Marco Island History, actor Janina Birtolo portrays Mary Todd Lincoln “In the Shadow of Glory” and Betty Jean Steinhouer presents “3 Women on Hemmingway.” MIHS Curator and author, Austin Bell, will have book signings as well as feature a program on Marco Island. Master Naturalist, Bob McConville will be speaking (usually to a full house) in January, February and March about the natural environment around Marco Island. Also in February are Karen Tenace/ Jean Hall speaking on burrowing owls, you know, those little birds with the curious eyes in the vacant lots.

 

 

Gift shop with the usual knick knacks? NO, so much more! Artwork, jewelry, handmade pens and cards created by LOCAL artists; Unique gifts that say “Marco Island,” and books, games and animals for the kids.

Is that it? (Getting a little frazzled, are ye?)

NO! Do you have any antiques or treasures that you want appraised? Great Aunt Myrna’s chandelier? The credenza that has been in the Macaroni family since the 1500s? How about the heavy stained-glass lamp covered incobwebsthatissignedwithaTsomething? YOU ARE IN LUCK!

Autographed copies are available for the person who has everything.

Autographed copies are available for the person who has everything.

MIHS is working passionately to raise the capital to bring the Key Marco Cat and other Calusa artifacts back to Marco Island by 2018, where they were discovered, from the Smithsonian and University of Pennsylvania where they are presently. Because MIHS loves history and antiquities, it is sponsoring an Appraisal Faire with none other than the gurus of appraisals, Wes Cowan, Ken Farmer and Nan Chisolm, familiar faces on the PBS Antiques Roadshow. The Spring Appraisal Faire will be on March 3rd from 10 AM -3 PM at the newly completed Mackle Park Community Center followed by a very special gala, “An Affaire to Remember” at the Island Country Club from 6-10 PM.

Additionally, the Celebrity Appraisers will present “State of the Antique World” at the MIHS Rose History Auditorium on March 2nd from 7-9 PM. Yes, it is on the day before the Appraisal Faire so you’ll be prepared on March 3rd!

Sponsorships and information about all events are available at themihs.org or by calling 239-389-6447, where the friendly MIHS staff will be happy to assist you. Donations, big or small, will also help to “Bring the Cat Back” – MIHS 180 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island, FL 34145. (You may want to cut out this article and put it on the fridge to remember all the upcoming exciting events at MIHS – arrgh mateys!)

Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!

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