BY JACK SHORT - Miranda Weese-Solomon wants to stay planted here on the island, and with roots as deep as hers, that’s not surprising at all.
Miranda is an Englewood native. Though she’s moved once because her husband, Justin, is in the Air Force, she loves the Englewood/Boca Grande area. She’s a member of the Cole family that was such a huge part of the commercial fishing industry here on Boca Grande for five generations.
“My Grandfather (Joseph Cole), my dad, Jerry Weese and Greg Brown had the biggest inshore gill net catch out here before the ban,” she said.
That was in December, 1994, she said. They caught 11,676 pounds of mullet with 400 yards of net.
Though her family is best known for fishing, she didn’t really catch the bug. She fishes off the beach for fun, but doesn’t get too riled up about it.
“I’d be lucky to get any fish,” she laughed.
Her real passion is for photography, she said.
That might have faded or been pushed aside, she said, if not for her grandfather, Joseph Cole, who passed away last year. They had a special relationship and she said his support of her interest in photography shaped her life significantly.
Her interest began when she was 12. Since then, she’s been taking photos of everything she can. She started with flowers and progressed from there. Joseph always encouraged her.
“He told me I was very good at taking pictures,” Miranda said.
That compliment from an older, respected family figure made her see photography in a special way.
Joseph had photos he’d taken in Vietnam as a younger man, and Miranda said she felt connected to him even more, because photography was something they shared.
His interest in her work continued throughout her teenage years. When she was in high school she interned at the Englewood Sun.
“He used to get excited when he’d see my photos,” she said. “He was extremely supportive.”
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