Long-Time Islanders Talk Of History

Islanders Deb Gleason, her brother Mark McQuade, and brother-and-sister Victor and Ellen Mayeron entertained a capacity crowd with memories of bygone days at last week’s Twilight Talk held at Phillips Gallery. The event was put on by the Sanibel Historical Village and sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Trust Co.

Deb Gleason and brother Mark McQuade came to the island as children in 1957. Their parents owned Sanibel Siesta, which started as two cottages without air conditioning, televisions, or pool, and grew to 15 cottages with all the amenities. Ellen and Victor Mayeron’s parents, Don and Sam Mayeron, co-founded The Mucky Duck in 1976, and the family sold in 2011.

Mark remembers there were so few people that you knew everyone, even beyond close friends and family. With a one-room school house and 30 children, his age group was so small that play time was spent riding bikes, swimming, and walking the beach. He also remembered his afternoon jobs working at Bailey’s store on the bay and filling a pick-up truck full of shells in a short afternoon with his sister Deb for the island shell shop owner.

Deb said you could see from Sanibel Siesta to Casa Ybel; there was nothing but Sabal palms, grasses, and beach pines, nothing like the lush landscapes of today. (The condominiums that replaced her parents’ place kept the name.) A major joy of childhood, she remembered, was running as fast as she could to jump off the dock of the old Bailey General Store.

On Captiva, Victor remembers The Mucky Duck being open until 2 a.m. or beyond. “What I remember is the fun times, the laugh-out-loud times at the Mucky Duck with the employees and the customers who helped build the restaurant’s reputation during the first 35 years.”

Ellen said she enjoyed watching the families and the generations of families that would frequent The Mucky Duck over and over throughout their years there.

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS). Admission is $10 for adults over 18; those under 18 and members are free. Docent-guided tours are available at 10:30 a.m. and 1 :30 p.m. at no extra charge, based upon docent availability. There is handicap access to all buildings. For information, call 472-4648
during business hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.