Lectures

Liz Coursen
Liz Coursen

Having Fun, Wish You Were Here! Illustrated History of the Postcard in Florida

Liz Coursen
Ringling College Museum Campus
Friday, Sept. 30 • 10:30-11:30 am
Gold Member: $12 • Silver Member: $15 

Come take an exciting trip – a trip back in time – from the days when Florida was a backwoods swamp in the early 1900s through its transformation into a vacation paradise in the 1950s. Join Sarasota editor and veteran postcard collector Liz Coursen as she illustrates how Florida progressed from ox carts to Streamliners, from alligator-infested waterways to bathing beauties cavorting on the beach, using wonderful museum-quality postcards to tell the tale. 

Liz Coursen, an award-winning author, editor, and publisher, grew up bouncing between Sarasota and Brunswick, Maine. Liz graduated from Emory University, where she started a lawn care business and played ice hockey all four years – as the only girl on the team. Liz has lectured about American English best practices from Miami to Mumbai. Her small-press publishing company, OrangeBlossomPublishing.com, has published award-winning autobiography/memoir, poetry, short stories, and how-to books.


Born to Be Soldiers: Those Plucky Women of World War II

Kayleen Reusser 
Online
Friday, Oct. 14 • 2-3 pm
Gold Member: $12 • Silver Member: $15 

Born to be Soldiers

Few believed they could do it. During World War II, 350,000 American women joined the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army Air Corps. Many people disapproved of women in uniform, but the women persevered and outshone everyone’s expectations. Kayleen Reusser has compiled an assortment of stories from interviews with women who served in various branches. The stories are frank, personal, and heartfelt. From working with codes to nursing wounded men in France, these women responded wholeheartedly during their country’s time of need and helped to win the war.

Kayleen Reusser is the author of 10 books on World War II. She has interviewed 260 World War II veterans. She has presented programs virtually and in person across America. In 2017, she and her husband have participated in a World War II Tour of Europe. She lives with her husband who is an Air Force retiree in Indiana.

Kayleen Reusser
Kayleen Reusser

Ernest "Doc" Werlin
Ernest “Doc” Werlin

Franklin Roosevelt – Peacetime and Wartime President

Ernest “Doc” Werlin
Ringling College Museum Campus
Monday, Oct. 17 • 2:30-3:30 pm
Gold Member: Free (pre-registration required) • Silver Member: $15 

Franklin Roosevelt had the distinction of being elected four times as president. He was a remarkable peacetime and wartime president. Without his leadership, America could not have beaten the Great Depression or the forces of Fascism.    

Ernest “Doc” Werlin has taught for three years at Osher Lifelong Learning. His topics included modern European and American History. He currently writes a business column for the Herald Tribune, called “Doc’s Prescriptions.” Werlin spent 35 years on Wall Street where he held a number of executive positions. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas. He received his master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1967 and a master’s of business administration degree in 1968. He attended Oxford University on a Rotary Scholarship from 1968 to 1969.


The Second Mrs. Ringling 

Ellen Brosnahan
Ringling College Museum Campus
Thursday, Nov. 10 • 2:30-3:30 pm
Gold Member: Free (pre-registration required) • Silver Member: $15 

Here in Sarasota, the names John and Mable Ringling go together like palms and palmettos. But how many people are aware that there was a second Mrs. Ringling? Just who was this second wife, the New York socialite Emily Haag Buck who married John in 1930, after Mable died in 1929? 

The Second Mrs. Ringling blends historical facts gleaned from court transcripts of their divorce proceedings and other sources with a healthy dash of “what if?” It follows John and Emily from their elegant Park Avenue apartment to the sun-drenched terrace of Ringling’s mansion Ca d’Zan, and peeks behind the closed doors of this celebrated couple of the 1930s.

Ellen Brosnahan is a lifelong educator and an instructor of the writers’ workshop at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College. She is the author of the novel The Second Mrs. Ringling and has co-authored 101 Things to Do in Naperville and Guiding Students into Information Literacy. Also, she has written several novellas and publishes a variety of pieces on her blog “Hello Lamppost.” 

 Ellen Brosnahan
Ellen Brosnahan

Liz Coursen
Liz Coursen
Chuck Palmeri
Chuck Palmeri

Eyewitness to Dachau

Liz Coursen and Chuck Palmeri
Ringling College Museum Campus
Friday, Nov. 11 • 2-3 pm
Free to Gold and Silver Members. • Pre-registration required. 

Boy Soldier Book Cover

Join 96-year-old Chuck Palmeri, member of the 42nd-Infantry and award-winning author of Boy Soldier: Recollections of World War II, as he presents “Eyewitness to Dachau.” Chuck’s publisher Liz Coursen will lead off the program with a discussion of the Dachau concentration camp’s history, and then Chuck will talk about what he saw as an 18-year-old soldier when he arrived at Dachau, the “gates of Hell.” 

Liz Coursen, an award-winning author, editor, and publisher, grew up bouncing between Sarasota and Brunswick, Maine. Liz graduated from Emory University, where she started a lawn care business and played ice hockey all four years – as the only girl on the team. Liz has lectured about American English best practices from Miami to Mumbai. Her small-press publishing company, OrangeBlossomPublishing.com, has published award-winning autobiography/memoir, poetry, short stories, and how-to books.

Chuck Palmeri, the eldest son of first-generation Italian immigrants, grew up in Buffalo, NY. As a young man, he aspired to the priesthood. When Chuck eventually announced to his father that he had changed his mind – he “liked pretty girls too much” – his mother, overhearing their conversation, began to sob. Chuck enjoyed a successful career as a property developer and recently retired as an active agent with Sarasota’s Re/Max Alliance Group.

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