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FSSR Newsletter - May 2008

FLORIDA'S "CRACKER" COWBOY

The guest speaker at our May 27 meeting of the Friends will be Dylan Gavagni who has been a Park Service Specialist at the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, although he has recently accepted a promotion to the Paynes Prairie State Park.  Mr. Gavagni will be giving a special presentation on the Florida "cracker" cowboy.
    Mr. Gavagni is a Florida native and a true "conch", being born in the Florida Keys.  Mr. Gavagni is only 26 years old but has worked or volunteered with the Florida Park Service for nearly his whole life.  Dylan's father is a retired Park Service employee and he became a "junior ranger" in third grade - a program his father started.  Dylan then volunteered with the Service until he became a full time employee at the age of 18.
    Dylan worked at the Lake Kissimmee State Park and became a "Cow Camp" interpreter/first person.  His presentation will be an interpretation of an 1876 cow hunter named "Scraps".  He has traveled to many festivals throughout the state giving this presentation and we are very glad to have him for our May 27th meeting.
    The presentation consists of first person interpretation of a Florida "cracker" cow hunter.  Dylan will be telling cracker cowboy stories and demonstrating the use of a whip used by the cowboys, which legend has it, gave the Florida cowboy their "cracker" nickname.
    Due to the nature of the presentation, the meeting is being held at this special time and location - Sebastian's Riverview Park at 7 PM.  Everyone is welcome to attend and it is recommended that you bring a lawn chair and your own refreshment, if desired.  A limited number of bleacher seating will be available at the park.
    The presentation is being co-hosted by the Sebastian Area Historical Society.  Please visit their museum at 1235 Main Street, Sebastian in the old Sebastian Elementary School.  Please note the special meeting time and location - Tuesday, May 27, 7 PM at Riverview Park (Indian River Dr. and Sebastian Blvd.), Sebastian.

FIGURINE AND PAINTING RAFFLES

    The Friends have two items that we are raffling to help raise funds for our George Schum Memorial Award.  One is a manatee carving and the other is an original painting of the US 1 bridge spanning the St. Sebastian River - the one that is currently being torn down and replaced.
    The manatee carving is approximately one foot in length and is carved of basswood.  It was made by John Saltvedt who is a member of the Sebastian Woodcarvers.  Tickets for the manatee raffle are $1 each or 3 for $2.
    The second item is a painting by local resident and Friends member Richard Gillmor.  The framed painting is approximately 20 by 24 inches and has a gold frame.  Tickets for the painting raffle are $2 each or 3 for $5.
    Each of the raffle items can be viewed on our website on the "Merchandise" page or at our public meetings.  You may purchase tickets at any of our meetings, or by calling Anne Putman at 772-388-3336.  The drawing for the manatee will be held at our November 2008 meeting and for the painting at our January 2009 meeting.