To the Editor:
Hurricane Ian you will not win! You will not break the spirit of strength and love from our family that reaches far and wide!
Red Gill Fish House was built in 1927, and is still holding strong; a littlle battered and tilting to the south, but Sam Whidden’s determination to build a solid building in 1952 as the main home and store proves to be the winner. The new docks and pilings that have been replaced in the last few years are holding fast.
The museum windows blew out and the roof was partially torn off, which caused water damage. The roof was covered as quickly as possible. It will be a work in progress to get the interior area put back together and to access damage as soon as the building is shored up safely.
The main building of Whidden’s suffered wind-driven rain damage, with some windows blown out also. Overall, the structure of the building is strong. It will need a lot of work and love before Melissa and her family can move back in. A special thanks to the friends who have provided them with temporary housing.
All the immediate family members and most of our captains have experienced severe damage to their homes. We are saddened to hear that Capt C.J., the shrimp boat, was destroyed also. It will be a slow recovery for all of us, but we are strong!
Please pray for everyone’s safety as we hold hands to bring our marine community back together!
Betsy F. Joiner
Gasparilla Island Maritime Museum