From the Audience Chair

Joanne Iwinski Miller gives you an inside look behind-the-scenes at WGCU

Family Pictures USA Fort Myers event and taping was a smash hit with everyone that attended. Hi, My name is Joanne Iwinski Miller and am proud to be part of this new fabulous show that will air in August on PBS just by being in the audience.  When we arrived to the event, we all signed release forms and were ushered to the main room with the lights, cameras, action and Thomas Allen Harris, the host of Family Pictures USA.

As I looked around at all the faces of everyone,  I realized the depth of the families that were sitting in the room. Woody Hanson was at the taping and he is a descendent of Dr William Hanson.  Dr William Hanson came to Fort Myers in 1884. 

Casandra Floyd was there and she is a descendent of Nelson Tillis.  Nelson Tillis was the first black homesteader in Fort Myers and arrived in Fort Myers in 1867. 

Hank Hendry was sitting next to me and he is the descendent of Captain Francis Asbury Hendry.  F. A Hendry was one of the first settlers in the Fort after the Civil War in 1873.

These three men and their families have left a legacy in Lee County that we read about today. 

I was standing with Hank Hendry and Casandra Floyd after the taping and told both of them it is very possible your ancestors knew each other and they agreed!  I watched them talk and I am just amazed at how Family Pictures USA brought these people together.

Tomi Sapp brought in an extremely rare photo of downtown Fort Myers and together we stood and studied it.  She allowed me to take it home and research it.

I met Glades County Rancher Joe Johnson whom I have connected with since the taping. He shared his family history with me and I shared it on my history Facebook page   

The taping was not only a huge success to the Family Pictures USA but for everyone that was in the audience.  We all connected with each other and Family Pictures USA brought us all together! 

Thank you Thomas Allen Harris and Family Pictures USA!

Joanne Iwinski-Miller
(Fort Myers, FL)


One Response to From the Audience Chair

  1. Ellen Ballard July 7, 2019 at 2:31 am #

    Nice write up Joanne. It was a fun evening.

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