Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This week I’m writing about the Charles F. Weigle House Museum near downtown Sebring Florida – located at 1989 Lakeview Drive.
My first visit to the museum almost didn’t happen. It was back on Wednesday February 17TH 2021, and I had just arrived in the local area from neighboring Avon Park – disappointed that the Depot Museum there was closed due to COVID restrictions. (I wrote about that last #TravelThursday.)
So I drove to the local area, and I went to the city pier to hang out and absorb God’s nature on Lake Jackson – a 3,212-acre mostly-clear and fairly-shallow freshwater lake with a sandy beach-like shoreline.
After several minutes of lake-viewing I decided to explore the area just off the pier. I saw a sign nearby leading to the Sebring Historical Society, so I went to the door, and it was locked-shut even though they were supposed to be open. So I walked around to the side of the building (which is actually up a hill and on the 2ND floor). I thought I was walking-in to the upper-part of the museum, but as it turns out I walked straight into the Sebring Public Library !
I walked around the library pretending that I was actually interested in everything there. (I actually was not. As a kid I was regularly dumped at the local public library for many hours at a time. As a result – public libraries turn me off and bring back negative childhood memories.)
I eventually walked-up to the front desk, and I asked the librarian on-duty about the museum downstairs. She said that it should be open. I told her that it is locked-shut. She called someone that she knew who worked there. They talked for a minute or two. After she got off the phone she said that the guy in charge was running late, and that he would be there soon to open it up. In the meantime I should go check-out the museum across the parking lot in the bright yellow building. So I did !
I walked-in, and a friendly docent greeted me at the door. She showed me all around the museum. She was fantastic. After the personal tour we just talked for another hour or so. She lived in Miami for many years, and then she retired to Sebring many years ago. I told her that I’ll be doing the same. I’m getting ready to retire and move from Miami to Sebring. I also told her that I’m interested in serving at the museum. She told me that I must talk to the guy in charge of the Sebring Historical Society on the ground floor of the building across the parking lot directly below the public library. I took her advice. I walked back over to where I started, and the door was unlocked. The guy in charge was there, and we talked for an hour or so – all about Sebring.
What almost didn’t happen on that day turned out to be the highlight of that short trip to Sebring in February of 2021. It may also be the start of some great experiences in the not-too-distant future.
Earlier this month on Wednesday June 08TH 2022 I drove back to the parking lot, and I walked-in to the museum expecting to take a tour of it again and enjoy some friendly conversations with the docent on duty. I walked right in to a regularly-scheduled Wednesday morning “social” with coffee and donuts and several local residents just sitting in folding chairs in a circle and enjoying fellowship with each other. They invited me to take a seat as well, so I did. I enjoyed their company for a couple of hours. It seemed like many of us had a military connection – as well as a South Florida connection. I learned about some of their life experiences / war stories, and they learned about some of mine. (I never toured the museum.)
I am now absolutely sure that if this Wednesday morning “social” with coffee and donuts is still active when I’m retired and living there full-time that I will definitely be a part of this community. I also plan to join the Sebring Historical Society as a member and as a volunteer. I’d like to do some social media work for them, and maybe even take over their blog.
Next #TravelThursday we’ll return to South Florida and Miami-Dade County and a museum in a historic house that overlooks scenic Biscayne Bay. Let’s keep traveling together.
All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp