|Collection||J.B. Ross Oral History Collection|
|Scope & Content||
Transcripts of the interview of J. B. Ross, conducted by Marion Chapman.
Page 1 of 7; Ross dedicates the interview to Alice O'Brien because she is the reason he is in that house; she had a car and boat at a young age, and loved animals; she developed into a leading citizen of St. Paul and founded the Womens City Club, she went to Europe in World War 1 as a mechanic, and came down to Captiva in the 1930's.
Page 2 of 7; O'Brien had a 75-foot long boat called the Wonegan; she built a large slip, built a sea wall, built her house next to that area, and then arranged for her friends to buy houses nearby (this was known as the O'Brien compound); Ross and his family struggeld to get out to Captiva during the war years, coming by train, bus, plane, and even mail boat!
Page 3 of 7; When the mail was due, everyone gathered at the mail boat dock; they went to Bailey's for shopping, but that was over a very rough road; the best groceries came from the Singletons (who brought the mail) from Fort Myers; the mail boat came every day; in 1941, the Ross' went to Tween Waters, and very much enjoyed thier stay; Ding Darling also had a cottage there
Page 4 of 7; the Ross' spent their time in tiny house, and cooked outside with coals; they spent their Christmas Eve at Alice's, which was a big gala occasion with presents of all kinds, and the favorite event was when the carolers came; they also took many trips with Alice O'Brien on her boat, and had splendid times
Page 5 of 7; Belton Johnson became the captain of the boat; Alice had the first television on the island, and invited everybody every Sunday night to come to her house; She also had a telescope (Telestar) that adjusted to the rotation of the earth and they would take turns looking at the stars and planets; she new many friends on the island, and she provided many amenities of life on Captiva
Page 6 of 7; Alice O'Brien was a splendid cook; she helped establish the Island Store; she also helped Jack Van Bell establish his bakery; Alice brought a young woman down who ran a beauty shop, and her husband was a fine house painter; the Bixbys also lived on the island, and they had many fine children
Page 7 of 7; the interview ends with Ross thanking that he was able to pay this pleasure to an old and dear friend