“In celebration of James Hagler and his love of Venice” reads the plaque at the bottom of the kaleidoscope at Centennial Park.

The bronze figure with the beautiful flowers would make James smile. Mary Moscatelli, director of the Venice Art Center, talked about James wearing his jacket that looked like it was splashed with paint.

Everyone who spoke about James smiled. He was an efficient director of the Venice Museum. He enjoyed sponsoring gala receptions at the beginning of each new display. He would have liked the dedication at Centennial Park.

James was always kind and respectful to donors and volunteers. He welcomed sharing new opportunities with the Venice Arts Community. He liked participating with them in events like the progressive diner.

The kaleidoscope is a perfect tribute to a nice man who did love Venice.


Three cheers to Tuscan Gardens Tuscanaires for a sensational concert. Bravo to Paul Zielinski, Vince DeMarco, Don Lynch and Ellen Robinson for lovely solos. Barbara Horswell deserves a pat on the back for the joy she brings to the chorus.

The group gets stronger and more dynamic with each concert.

Congratulations to all involved.

Check it out

Deborah’s Quilt Basket 337 W. Venice Ave has a full schedule of classes for February and March. Call 941-488-6866 or visit debsquiltbasket.com or debsquiltbasket@aol.com for information.

Mark Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 for the 18th biannual spectacular Venice quilt show at the Venice Community Center. There will be quilts, vendors, raffles, food and more than 100 quilts on display.

One of our best

The special person of this week is Betty Reindeez one of the terrific VABI, Venice Area Beautification, Inc. volunteers. Betty is in charge of keeping the kaleidoscope garden colorful and healthy.

She visits the garden almost every day making sure it is happy. The garden needs the right amount of water. Betty prunes and replaces plants.

“Sometimes they just don’t do well together,” she says.

She likes making the large container garden look healthy and pretty.

Betty represents all the VABI volunteers. Traveling around Venice each morning one sees the VABI volunteers working at various areas and pots downtown keeping them all beautiful. No matter what the weather, volunteers are on duty.

When we talk about Venice treasures, we can include VABI volunteers like Betty Reindeez. She is one of the women who makes Venice a great place to live.

Fran Valencic is the social columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. She welcomes your tips and ideas. Contact her at franvalencic@comcast.net.


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