Sentimental Journey

In this stage production presented by the Captiva Island (FL) Historical Society on December 7, 2021 — the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day — Austin stars as “Vernon”, a soldier deployed to the European theater during WWII.  He reads letters sent to him from the folks back home: Mom, Dad, sister, and friends. These provide vivid, slice-of-life visions of what it was like on Captiva during those years.

Singer/keyboardist Terri Shaffer’s evocative renditions of songs of the era provide poignant, often playful, counterpoint to Austin’s readings. Austin’s good friend and CIHS archivist Queenie Viglione Jensen wrote the program. The event, held in the ballroom of Captiva’s South Seas Island Resort, builds to a stirring finale as Austin and Terri lead the packed audience in a round of “God Bless America”.

Happily, the entire performance was captured on video.  Enjoy!
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