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Captiva Historical Society releases next in oral history series

April 7, 2014
Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Island Historical Society (CIHS) will release a fourth DVD in the oral histories series. The video will be shown Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Captiva Community Center on Chapin Lane.

CIHS commissioned filmmaker, Rusty Farst, produced Captiva Memories: Artists & Authors. A most ambitious project, this historic film captures the spirit of Captiva and its meaning to four significant world class artists and writers: Robert Rauschenberg, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Maybelle Stamper, and J.N. Ding Darling.

Farst recorded and edited invaluable stories told by several relatives and friends of these four artists and authors. Rusty traveled to New York to interview Chris Rauschenberg, son of artist Robert Rauschenberg. Chris said that his father called Captiva "home" for over 30 years.

Sarita Van Vleck, long time Captiva resident, tells how her father bought the property from "Ding" Darling and then sold it to Robert Rauschenberg with a conservation clause attached to the deed. Insight by son Chris and moving stories by Kat Eppel (Composer) and Laurence Voytek (Sculptor) bring back memories of a unique and special period when Robert Rauschenberg created innovative "combinations" along with working in other art mediums right here on Captiva in his state-of-the-art studio.

Farst went to Vermont and met Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, both of whom came to Captiva. Charles came to visit; Anne came to find solitude and her own voice through her writing. Reeve tells stories of her mother, and reminisces about the special little book, "Gift from The Sea," written in the 50s and inspired by Captiva.

Pam Schmidt, personal assistant to Robert Rauschenberg, recalls stories of Maybelle Stamper, modern artist and lithographer, who lived and worked on Captiva for over 50 years. Dottie Wakefield, daughter of Bowman and Grace Price (who owned Tween Waters Inn) shares a wonderful story about the time Maybelle painted her portrait in the 50s.

Farst went to Florida?s east coast to interview and film Kip Koss, the grandson of J.N. "Ding" Darling. Kips recalls his grandfather?s contribution to the conservation movement and the establishment of the refuge on Sanibel. Tony Lapi, CEO, president, and owner of Tween Waters, leads a tour of Tween Waters and visits the Darling Cottage and Studio.

These unique stories told first hand will be treasured for years to come. The interviews with Dorothy Wakefield and Kip Koss took place before they both passed away earlier this year. This special collection of oral histories will make you smile and bring you even closer to Captiva.

The Captiva Island Historical Society (CIHS), evolved from The Captiva History Project, founded in 2010 by Stella Farwell. Initially established in 2011, CIHS has become an active organization with a mission of preserving the history of the people and events that characterize Captiva Island. This film has been dedicated to Stella Farwell who passed away earlier this year.

Captiva Memories Volume IV: Artists & Authors will be shown on Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the new Captiva Community Center on Chapin Lane, Captiva. Reservations are necessary. Call 472-2323 or email:



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