More From Hazel Presley Singletary
Tales of Island Life: May 2023
When native Boca Grande former resident, Hazel Presley Singletary, visited the History Center recently, she talked about some of the celebrities she’d met on-island.
Movie stars Harrison Ford, Michael Keaton, Brian Aherne and Katherine Hepburn, race car driver Sam Posey and the Bush Family have all visited the Island. But Hazel’s favorite memories include meeting Frances Langford and Babe Didrickson Zaharias. She also met Cornell Wilde who came to Boca Grande to tarpon fish while he was filming the 1952 film The Greatest Show on Earth in Sarasota at the Ringling Brothers Circus grounds.
One of her favorite meetings, however, was with J.L. Kraft of the Kraft Cheese Company. Mr. Kraft stayed at the Boca Grande Hotel and preached as a guest at the Boca Grande Baptist Church. Hazel says he was an excellent preacher and that he requested that Hazel sing “Living For Jesus” after his sermon. Another of Kraft’s hobbies was making jewelry and Hazel had a moonstone pin he’d made for many years.
We invite all our readers to share stories from Boca Grande history by contacting the History Center by email, phone or mail.