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     Save Our Seabirds, Artist Richard Capes, Golden Apple Dinner Theater,
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This special presentation was produced in high definition by W. edu Tampa St. Petersburg Sarasota. Rescuing seabirds wonderful bird seems a thankless stroller but one woman gets all the satisfaction she could want from doing it. We meet one of the great water colorist your help to preserve his town's history. Visit the town's most popular dinner theater. As a new game with a curious name. In this round you would go coach and journal this w edu production is exclusively brought to you through a generous grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice building strong communities through a leadership partnership and endowed philanthropy. Feel. Your journal. We have
been doing this for five years now traveling the Gulf Coast looking for those fascinating people and places and goings on. Finding as we do this time a new game with a very strange name. An artist who is the repository of his city's history. A theater we've never visited before what took us and this place a familiar location but a brand new operation dedicated to those creatures that are the grace notes that adorn our skies. Brother. They store overhead patiently descending to grace us with their beauty but whooping to our levels is often what gets birds in trouble here on the Gulf Coast. Look in line injuries are a big problem especially in the winter.
When the birds are starving and they come around the piers more and get into trouble with. Birds also get hit by cars alight. Fortunately on this day there are no injured birds on the Sunshine Skyway fishing pier but volunteer lives reelin says that she exception more than the rule. When I got to Sky way during the peak season and I loaded my car with crepes So the most I got into my car one time was 13 and I can usually leave the sky sky with no less than 10 birds. And one. Occurrence here. For the last two years Rescuers have had one less place to take injured birds. The pelican man's sanctuary once a bustling place for bird rehabilitation closed its doors in December of 2006 leaving a huge void for the city of Sarasota. If. You kill one ambitious lady came along this is what the pens
all look like overgrowth we have no idea what's in there. There's refining. Dishes the climbing hose the nozzle. There are a lot of things that we didn't expect to find. Much of. The fox is the founder of Save Our sea birds a bird rescue organization that she created in 1998. Guys don't. Go. Away. The last year she has been the visionary and the savior of the former pelican man sanctuary now officially renamed. Save our sea birds. This is the drink. Never thought it would be here. And. I wound up. I was I've been striving to get a facility for many years since 1994. I know it hurts. It's until now. Lee and her husband used their 72 acre property to rehabilitate injured birds.
The backyard was big. I have plenty of room and no neighbors to offend but I wanted something more small in stature big in heart leave love for rescuing birds started more than 20 years ago when she saw a bird flying overhead trailing a line of monofilament. And I said that's not normal. I need to find out what's going on. It inspired her to intern for a wildlife rehab facility. Learning to rescue any injured birds. Then I started to see some of the injuries were so bad I started taking it to the vet and using my own money to pay for the surgeries. As her backyard pens filled with birds and the vet bills mounted Levy applied for nonprofit status in 1990 save RC birds took flight with these birds. Once you start recognizing the problems they're having because of human encroachment on their habitat. The conditions sometimes of the water
be your red tide issues and the numbers that it kills you have to wonder how much longer can they sustain that kind of impact without a solution on. And I'd like to see them around for my kids my children and my grandchildren. Their most powerful contribution. Developing an oil spill response program one that became instrumental in August 1993. Today two ships collided near the skyway spilling a half million gallons of petroleum products into Tampa Bay. That's when we wound up with 370 71 birds and totally oiled You couldn't even tell what it was. I could tell it's a pelican or a herring because they were just. Wrenched in their bills. Everything with oil. And. We set up what was called a mash. Unit. We started working. And got.
A. Job accomplished we had an 85 percent base rate. Fast forward 15 years to Lee's latest mission opening her own facility with a chance not only to rehabilitate but to educate. Something she wasn't able to do in her backyard. If you don't share that. With the public by telling them what educational programs and brochures and and pictures and stuff like that there's no sense in doing this I don't want to be just putting a Band-Aid on a problem. I want to solve a problem. Word of Mouth proved to be a powerful medium. Neighbors began dropping off injured birds before the doors officially opened. More than 60 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help police carry out her dream. We've got a fantastic volunteer base I have so impressed with the people in this area that have answered every call that we've sent out for help.
Cynthia Kahn is one of those devoted disciples she was here during the publican man's days and is anxious to be part of its rebirth. I love this place I love this facility I love the whole concept of saving our wildlife. And when I saw the condition that she inherited. It. I just sat down and wept. I just sat down and wept. We could not walk through these boardwalks without a machete. Everything was overgrown. And I just have. Such high hopes. Do you feel. Oh my hopes and high regard for the little lady with a big heart. She's one of those people rare rare people. She's a dreamer. And she makes things happen. You know so many people sit on a sofa and say oh it would be nice if we could take care of the birds. But. She implements her dreams that's it's fascinating to watch. Fascinating that a person so passionate about a cause is so guarded about her own emotions. Instead she labels her efforts shellfish.
I feel guilty about being selfish. I want to help these animals I love animals. That's obvious but I feel like I'm only doing this because I like to do it. There's been a couple of times that I felt so exhausted I thought. I can't do this anymore. And I'll. Answer the phone for a couple of days and then I get my strength back and I'll say I'm doing and I'll start answering the phone and start taking everything that comes in that I can catch. And. I'm back on track again. I'm going to need the net. He cares for nature's wounded lovingly tirelessly for their recovery and release her greatest reward. Just gets into your blood and I think of the bird that's out there or the animal that's out there that's maybe not going to pick to be picked up because there's somebody is not going to find out about it. So you want to stay in touch with it and you just can't give it up.
You know. With this moment. If only more good be as selfish as Lee Fox. Oh no no no. A scene of seabirds like this of course is a great image for an artist to work with. Over the years we've profiled many artists here in the journal and Richard capes and we're going to meet now is one of the most popular understandably. Richard capturing the essence of another. As one of the most prolific artists of Sarasota and Venice architecture and heritage capes eagerly agreed to paint this 1969 farmhouse structure is not pristine.
It's old. It has character and in art I find it important to have something that you can flow with. So it's got some great character. I don't like to use the term but it's really sort of a plain jane. A plain-Jane waiting to blossom. I enhanced it by not painting it from a frontal view but from a three quarter view. You get dimension and putting these wonderful Oaks as frames for the picture so they create all the yawns. But the key to it is is introducing elements which will give it a spatial illusion and all the richness that you can find. Architecture needs. Softness. So that's what helps any kind of trees or plants softens the rigidity of the architecture makes it exciting. I want to have a way for you to be able to get inside and feel like you're a part of the picture. My professors told me a long time to make an entrance way. Richard always bounces ideas off his 87 year old marvelous Uncle Marvin. Well he's a.
Is a real jewel. He's a prim person that you can live with like a big comfortable shoe. He never complains he's always on this ng he helps me. This is just about right in here Marm Marvin Whitely is instantly ready with a helping hand and artistic eye. Uncanny sense of calm and ease Richard's biggest fan I. Love Richard because he is commander. And I think that's worth a lot he gets a lot of them to give them. Richard will donate this painting to help raise money for renovating the farmhouse into a museum at Philippi estate park. The entire campus is a national register historic district and there are a number of buildings that contribute to that district. The mansion itself the prehistoric shell middens that remain from the Native Americans here. The farm house and so we have all these different features that work together to preserve this heritage.
It's so important to Sarasota County during the 35 years Richard has lived in Sarasota he's been busy very busy. I know I've done over a thousand pieces of art. I was trained by a German professor to thank. And work rapidly. You can't drag your heels you have to keep rolling. He's best known for his not too pricey dramatic interpretations of recognizable buildings. He's well loved for his artistic generosity. Proceeds from his lighthouse series help the Minnesota Lighthouse for the blind. I really feel like and then part of the community and the nice thing I can do good thing. For organizations. Oh it's even nicer when I can do a painting and we raise lots of money and they say oh it's beautiful. How can I resist doing something nice for. A busy restaurant like the broken egg evokes familiar feelings for Richard not only
because his art work adorns the walls but as a youngster he spent many a day doing chores in his parents popular Atlanta Diner. A lot of my clients and people that I've worked with over the years have some interesting background information especially like goes to places that were torn down. Richard and author Kevin Kramer are hashing out ideas for their next project or reading or looking like Richard created all the illustrations for Kevin's last book a delightful read called when it snows in Sarasota actually provide him with some pancakes. And I told him about this project I told him also that there wasn't a large budget. And he went right for it. But this is where Richard feels most like himself in his studio right next door to his Sarasota home. This is what I call my cocoon. This is you know this is my work spot. I have friendly sayings my brushes and paint and now I get to
work as Richard puts the finishing touches on his farmhouse painting. We reflect on how fortunate he feels to be doing what he loves. I never. Really. Dreamed that I would actually be doing it alone because a lot of my friends used to say as an artist you teach to survive in pain on the side. The question I have for a number of years was asked to me oh yes we understand you're an artist but what you do for a living he paints not just for a profit not just because it's good to get something but because it's always good. To give. Along the Gulf Coast there are so many great theaters. What took us what took us a whole Kong to get around to introducing into the golden apple dinner theater in Sarasota
it is it is one of the city's great theatrical resources. No no hold it. That that makes it sound way too formal too institutional. And when the golden apple mainly is fun. Oh. Let. Me see Oh. Oh. Oh. It's called a dinner theater but it's really your mom and pop store where the only thing for sale is escape. School Bob tour offers a director an actor a producer and the golden apple dinner theatres executive director. But mostly he's the father of this family business that includes his wife
Roberta MacDonald their daughter Kyle and son ban. I was eight when we opened this state and I thought 71 so I absolutely and not only grew up in this business but I grew up in this building. I mean some of the most important moments of my life have happened. Right here in this building. Like I wouldn't be a problem if we had a room. So it was almost 40 years ago that the tour off decided to live in Sarasota and then had to decide how to make a living here. I looked around and there was. No dinner theater in town there were at the Oslo it just opened. In the community theaters. And I had been involved with a couple of dinner theater productions in the north. And I said well let's see if we can do this. Fittingly the building they settled into was an abandoned Morrison's cafeteria latched upon dinner theater not knowing anything about the dinner part of the business. We're theater people. So for us we had to learn the foods are good we do our food.
In their business they learn that the city's role is more important than the state. That's the reason why I'm still here because we're theater people we're not out to to make a big buck. We don't generally make a big buck maybe we make a small buck but we're doing this because it's what with. Us. Tonight the main course on the menu the Broadway musical look I was right for you. And here is the golden apple is the longest running continually operating dinner theater in the country. It has survived for so long solely on ticket sales to keep the overhead low. People who work here must be willing to play more than one role. I've done everything in this building. I've waited tables and a bar from a booking box office.
Doing your chores. Make your part of the family. That's like it's own little world. I have to say because of working with the family working with the trust it makes everyone feel like they. Remember verite would know. She played Georgette and that reaches for the auction of gold diggers of 16 and 33. Her mother played the same role in the same play here in the mid 70s. Bob and Roberta were the reason my parents met and got together. Still it's for me it's very close to my family. The. Family that plays together stays together. And if history is an indication. This theatre will be the apple of our eye here on the Gulf Coast for many years to come. Which brings us to the new game I was talking about new to us at least although it's gaining
popularity rapidly. Notwithstanding its rather strange name. It may be the fastest growing sport that you've never heard of. I just couldn't imagine until it was explained to me and it was kind of like do I really want to go out and play with a paddle in the Wiffle ball on a tennis court. What I like about the name is people remember it. How could you ever forget a sport named after a family dog. Everyone thinks we're crazy. They do a name like that you know named after a dog that went after the ball is is you know unusual invented by three neighbors more than four years ago on a Seattle driveway fledgling chart which I named after a ball chasing cocker spaniel named pickles.
Now enjoyed by thousands of players across the country ladies and gentlemen it is pickle ball. I just kind of thought that's a weird name. Weird name or not the popularity of pickle ball is on the rise. Your invention determine the pickle ballers are out in force nearly every day of the week. It's a great aerobics workout. It's a combination to me racquetball and tennis and even sometimes ping pong. It's like your plan on top of the table at some point because you're up really close to the net. It's quick it's fast and it's easy on your joints and it's just a great aerobics workout. Unlike the criticizing of a tennis ball the plastic wiffle ball slows this sport down to a manageable speed especially for older players. I am not running nearly as far. The court is so much smaller that we don't have to go very far and I think that's just easier on our stamina and our you know nice and hips.
No longer able to play tennis because of back problems. Linda chilaquiles discovered Pickle ball with a ball I absolutely love it the most popular among active senior adults Pickle ball is adding younger recruits like 14 year old Jessie Fribble. You gotta have pretty fast reflexes because the ball is coming at you pretty fast so I mean it's good for young people to. Pickle ball is a game for all ages. But despite competitive leagues across the country an official rule book even a furry mascot the sport is not exactly a household name. Sometimes when you try and go into a store and ask for a pickle ball racket or pick one of the balls. They even in the bigger stores they'll look at you like never heard of it and most of the stuff you have to order online.
The sports lack of recognition is no concern to Charlie cousin Tino and the others who show up here every week at the bypassed park in Venice. You just have to get over the name of it and get out and try it. I mean sometimes I'll tell people I'm going to go out and playing tennis because I don't want to tell them I'm playing Pickle ball and have to explain to him what Pickle ball has. Whatever you want to call it the overnight sensation 40 years in the making is now playing along Florida's Gulf Coast. Pickles would be proud. Since we're here at the new save our seabirds facility we have saved some pictures of birds for our closing moment birds who are lucky there is such a place as this. Birds are lucky to be alive. Some had been victims of accidents. A pelican tangled in fishing line were cut off circulation in a wing wing had to be amputated.
Sandhill Cranes bitten by turtle waiting prosthesis. Birds. And some victims of cruelty. Sandhill crane beat him over the head with a golf club left blind in. A pelican part of its beak cut off by a fisherman annoyed by it making all these birds now in the hands of caring people. A. You can order this or any other volume of a Gulf Coast Journal.
Article with. 1 800 3 5. 9 3 3. Or visit a. Site. With. This w edu production is exclusively brought to you through a generous grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice. Building strong community leadership partnership and Daoud philanthropy.
Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins
Episode Number
Save Our Seabirds, Artist Richard Capes, Golden Apple Dinner Theater, Pickleball
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WEDU (Tampa, Florida)
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Episode Description
The first segment is about "Save Our Seabirds," a bird rescue organization in Sarasota, Florida; included is an interview with founder, Lee Fox. The second segment is about Richard Capes who paints Sarasota architecture. The third segment features Golden Apple Dinner Theater founded in Sarasota, Florida in 1971. The fourth segment is about pickleball, a trendy sport played with a pingpong paddle and wiffle ball on a tennis court.
Series Description
"Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins is an Emmy award-winning monthly magazine, which highlights the communities of Florida's west central coast. "
Broadcast Date
Local Communities
Fine Arts
Media type
Moving Image
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Executive Producer: Conely, Jack
Host: Perkins, Jack
Interviewee: Fox, Lee
Interviewee: Capes, Richard
Producer: Noble, Jen
Producing Organization: WEDU
AAPB Contributor Holdings
WEDU Florida Public Media
Identifier: GCJ000512S (unknown)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:25:56
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Chicago: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 512; Save Our Seabirds, Artist Richard Capes, Golden Apple Dinner Theater, Pickleball ,” 2008-12-25, WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 512; Save Our Seabirds, Artist Richard Capes, Golden Apple Dinner Theater, Pickleball .” 2008-12-25. WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 512; Save Our Seabirds, Artist Richard Capes, Golden Apple Dinner Theater, Pickleball . Boston, MA: WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from