LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Another successful season of History Bytes is in the books

March 27, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

To The Editor:
History Bytes – February 2020 All I can say is WOW!!
The 2020 History Byte program has come and gone so quickly! We had a fantastic series of four “Bytes” at the Johann Fust Library in February.
Many thanks to Johann Fust Library Foundation for the use of the Loggia for the History Bytes programs. Bobbie Marquis and her staff are essential to the smooth setup and sound system. Thank you also to the Boca Beacon and their staff for the exceptional coverage of our events!
Many, many thanks to our sponsor, Bank of America Private Bank, as well.
I’ll try to do a short recap, but please also note that these “Bytes” are recorded and you may watch each one at the History Center on located at 170 Park Avenue.
1. The Mayflower presentation kicked off our series with a stripper! Richard Pickering, transformed right before our eyes into John Howland, one of the passengers aboard the Mayflower. We also had known Mayflower descendants in our audience.
2. Milton Bell, island native, shared special memories of growing up at Port Boca Grande, learning how to run a locomotive; the excitement of the international ships that would come to port that still influence his life in his travels at sea around the world. Robert Johnson also added memories of his family of harbor pilots and the importance of their job.
3. Bobbie Marquis, shared the beautiful “love story” of our Johann Fust Library, Roger and Louise Amory’s gift to the island in 1950. We were all mesmerized with her sharing about the architecture, design and planning that went into the building and plans for a place for the community to meet, including fond memories of Tommy & Pansy Cost and their dedication.
Today we still are enjoying this beautiful space, lovingly maintained by The Johann Fust Foundation and the Lee County Library.
4. 25th Anniversary Celebration – BGHS celebrating 25 years this year. Chuck and Pat Agles, founding members, co-chaired this great program. So much love and so many memories were shared by them through stories, laughter and photographs. Kim Kyle also spoke about her fond memories of Ted & Sallie VanItalie. Several past board members shared fun stories.
Thanks especially to all of you who support our History Bytes program and continue to share your story, too! A shout out to our refreshment team members, who not only make delicious treats, but always arrive with a special smile and beautiful table theme each week!

Betsy F. Joiner,

BGHS History Byte Chair