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CIHS, Jensen’s to hold ‘Share Your Story’ event

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Nov 3, 2020

UPDATE: In light of Tropical Depression Eta, the Captiva Island Historical Society has rescheduled the “Share Your Story” event for Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages & Marina.

The Captiva Island Historical Society is looking for people with a “Big Fish” story to share.

On Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages & Marina will host a “Share Your Story” event on behalf of the CIHS, which is working on its ninth documentary in its “Captiva Memories” collection. The newest film in the series is titled “The History of Angling on Captiva.”

“Our next documentary is going to be on the history of angling, or fishing, on the island,” board President Tom Libonate said, noting that the series consists of feature-length custom-produced films.

It will cover the Calusa Indians and Spanish Cuban fisherman, to the sport fishing of today.

TIFFANY REPECKI Tom Libonate

“There’s been a number of people who have said Captiva was defined by fishing,” he said, citing the sport fishing of the 1920s and Theodore Roosevelt’s interest in hunting “devil fish,” or manta rays.

“Fishing drew a lot of people to these islands. There’s some very colorful stories,” Libonate continued, noting that the CIHS has not yet covered the topic. “It’s a very important foundation of our history.”

For the event, its documentarian Ken Sneed will be in attendance to record the information.

“We’re asking people to come if they have stories, artifacts, photographs that they can share with us,” he said. “Some of it may get used in the documentary. If not, it will be preserved in our archives.”

Dave Jensen, CIHS director and event co-sponsor, echoed that.

“Along with recording your personal fishing stories, we are also interested in seeing your old fishing photographs, video, newspaper clippings — even vintage tackle and lures,” he said. “Just about everything, except your old bait.”

Libonate pointed to the location.

“You couldn’t think of a better place to share your ‘Big Fish’ story than Jensen’s Marina,” he said. “I think the marina itself, the cottages — a lot of folks who stay there come to fish.”

Everyone with something to share is invited.

“I think it’ll be folks who fish for recreation, folks who have fished for substance, and those who have fished for a living, whether it’s commercial fishermen or guides,” Libonate said. “The whole gamut.”

“I know Dave has invited some of the local fishing guides,” he added.

Production has already begun on the documentary. The CIHS had anticipated premiering the film during the coming season, possibly March or April, but has deferred the release to the following season as a result of the pandemic. Depending on the content received, it may be a two-part documentary.

Libonate noted that the event is the start of a new initiative.

“This is kind of the beginning of the programs we’re going to be doing more and more of,” he said, explaining that the aim is to gain input from all islanders or interesting historical facts or stories.

“We want to give people the opportunity to share in telling the history of Captiva and the stories that surround our history,” Libonate added. “This is a way we can include the island community in the colorful stories that we share.”

Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages & Marina is at 15107 Captiva Drive, Captiva.