Home' Island Sun : ISN 012216 Contents JANUARY SUNRISE/SUNSET: 7:17 • 6:02 7:17 • 6:03 7:17 • 6:04 7:16 • 6:05 7:16 • 6:05 7:16 • 6:06 7:15 • 6:07
VOL. 23, NO. 31
SANIBEL & CAPTIVA ISLANDS, FLORIDA
JANUARY 22, 2016
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A Unique Camping Trip
At BIG ARTS' Strauss Theater
by Di Saggau
It's a known fact that in the summer of 1921, Henry Ford, Thomas Alva Edison
and Harvey S. Firestone went on a camping trip. It was an annual custom. This
time they invited President Warren G. Harding to join them. Harding was a very
popular president, but shortly after his death in 1923, he was thoroughly disgraced.
Playwright Mark St. Germain's Camping With Henry and Tom, now playing at The
Strauss Theater, is a satirical work, witty, elegant and very entertaining. For some reason,
he left Firestone out of the cast. That's OK because there's enough exploration of friend-
ship, politics and leadership with these three movers and shakers. Ford (Robert Summers)
is 58 at the time of the camping trip. His success with the Ford Motor Company has left
him with something of a messiah complex. He desperately wants to be the 30th president
continued on page 14
photo by Gregory Pendolino
Documentary On History Of
The Community House To Debut
by Jeff Lysiak
Last week, local filmmaker
Rusty Farst posed a very
"Try to imagine what this
community would look like if
this building hadn't been built,"
said Farst, whose latest project
-- The Sanibel Community
House: Birthplace Of The
City, Heartbeat Of Its People
-- documents its storied history.
"Almost every organization on
the island, from BIG ARTS
to the fire department to the
library and local Audubon
Society, got their start here."
The 88-year-old structure
has hosted shell festivals and
spaghetti dinners, miniature
golf tournaments and pancake
breakfasts as well as dances,
concerts, fundraisers and com-
munity meetings too many to
And now, the legendary building has
been immortalized on film.
Farst's 45-minute movie, subtitled
Our Story Of The Sanibel Community
Association, will debut on Wednesday,
January 27 at the Island Cinema, located
in the Bailey's Shopping Center. Tickets to
the premiere gala, with funds raised going
towards the association's capital campaign
to raise funds for renovation, are $125.
Seating is limited.
According to Farst, The Community
House was built shortly after the hurricane
of 1928 struck the islands. Construction
crews had been hired to re-build the badly
damaged Bailey's General Store, located at
the end of what is now Bailey Road.
The idea of building such a structure
was conceived by Curtis Perry, a part-time
Captiva resident artist. After walking the
length of both islands, Perry convinced resi-
dents that a community center was needed.
Going door-to-door, he not only got them
to believe in the idea, he asked them to
contribute money, labor and materials to
make the center a reality.
Francis Bailey, Sr. donated money and
materials for The Community House to be built on a parcel of land donated by Letitia
Nutt. Construction began in 1927 and the facility was opened the following year.
"The citizens of Sanibel have always seen the value of The Community House,"
said Farst. "It's been islanders who built it, who have been stewards for it, and who will
secure its future."
The documentary includes vintage footage of events held there -- from shell fairs and
square dances to memorial services and fundraisers -- along with a re-creation of Perry's
continued on page 7
Filmmaker Rusty Farst stands next to a pair of doors with
the original door handles from The Community House,
which will be featured at the premiere of his 45-minute
documentary next Wednesday at Island Cinema
photos courtesy of Rusty Farst
Longtime island resident Milena Eskew, who
passed away in 2015 at the age of 103, is
depicted in the film focused on the history
of The Community House
Bourbon Street Comes To Sanibel
Dedicated work crews have been gathering props and building facades that will
line a lively boulevard on the event grounds at The Dunes Golf and Tennis
Club. Thanks to the efforts of energetic and hardworking volunteers, Sanibel
will be getting a touch of the Mardi Gras Bourbon Street experience at Community
Housing and Resources' festive Mardi Gras fundraiser on Saturday, February 6.
continued on page 7
Chris Heidrick of Heidrick & Company Insurance and Risk Management hands a
sponsorship check to Mardi Gras co-chair Melissa Rice while volunteers work on a colorful
Bourbon Street facade
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