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Vol. 15 No. 8 - December 17, 2014

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opinion

Raise the Skullywag

I just got home from a visit to family up north, and saw the news about the accident that all but destroyed the Skullywag - unbelievable! This is a "float" known to all Islanders for its participation in local parades, but even more so as a symbol of the Privateers - an organization that helps its community and members of our community whenever and wherever possible. The Privateers give scholarships to local students, donates to the Island Community Center and other local charities, and to individuals who need assistance, including me, when I was shot by an assailant several years ago.

My heart goes out to the Privateers on the loss of the Skullywag and to Bob Dominas for suffering in the crash. Kudos to him for his concern for those that hit him - in true Privateer fashion. Wishing Bob a speedy recovery. Please let the community know how we can help with repair or replacement of your "ship" - it's our turn to show our gratitude for all the help the Privateers have given over the years. I am certain that everyone will want to help.

At press time, it was still unclear how extensive the damage is to the Skullywag. The vehicle was hit broadside on Saturday, Dec. 6 on U.S. 41 in Sarasota after appearing in the Sarasota Christmas parade. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the accident, but the Skullywag is not road-worthy at the moment and could not be used in the Privateers Christmas parade this past Saturday on the Island.

The "ship" is built on the frame of an old school bus and the front end and motor come from an old Ford Econoline van. So it's not like the Privateers can just get a loaner replacement while the Skullywag is in the shop for repairs.

Everyone is hoping the vehicle can be salvaged, and many Christmas wishes have been sent to Santa to either get the Skullywag back on the road or somehow come up with a different pirate ship. Who knows? Maybe St. Nick's reindeer are up for a little moonlighting.

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