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Florida’s long and colorful history is filled with interesting folktales and legends of days gone by...some of them factual, others filled with hyperbole.

At 7 p.m. May 18, the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) will welcomes Dr. Caron Neile, a professional storyteller, to the Rose Auditorium stage. Neile’s entertaining and illuminating performance is sure to shed light on some of the most memorable tales.

Take, for example, the folklore legend of Morgan Bonaparte “Bone” Mizell, who lived in the late 1800s when Florida’s cattle industry reigned supreme.

Bone has been touted as a prairie philosopher, cowboy humorist, prankster and congenial drunk, a condition he was in most of the time. He became known as Arcadia’s favorite cowboy, as well as an infamous rustler, and was immortalized in Frederick Remington’s painting 'A Cracker Cowboy.' Some also say he served as inspiration for the drunken gun fighter played by Lee Marvin in the movie 'Cat Baloo.'

Then there is the story of Key West resident Carl von Cosel who was so in love with a young Cuban girl that upon her death he stole her corpse, relocating her to a shack at the end of Flagler Avenue, dressed her in a wedding dress, “fixed” her appearance and slept with her for seven years before being discovered.

Neile is an affiliate professor at Florida Atlantic University, specializing in Communications and Multimedia Studies. She performs, teaches and produces storytelling events throughout the United States and abroad. She also co-hosts 'The Public Storyteller,' a weekly program on public radio.

Her numerous publications include two books: 'The Great American Story' and 'Hidden: A Sister and Brother in Nazi Poland.' She's currently working on a third book specifically about Florida folktales and legends. She is also a 2005 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award winner.

IF YOU GO

Dr. Caron Neile, storytelling performance

When: 7 p.m., May 18

Where: MIHS, Rose History Auditorium, 180 S. Heathwood Drive

Cost: Free for MIHS members, $10 for nonmembers

Information: 239-389-6447 or www.theMIHS.org

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