Linda Usrey is another one of the volunteers that Tom and I work with here at Fort Frederica National Monument. Unlike the RV volunteers who come and go, Linda is a local. She volunteers two days a week for a couple of hours each day and for special events.
Linda and her husband, Dave, moved to St. Simons seven years ago. They had lived up north, but decided to retire someplace where they could be outside more of the year. Linda was a history teacher and a librarian in a school district near Chicago. She graduated (retired) from school 16 years ago but continued working part-time as an ACT and SAT tutor. The prep work for those tests took her to classrooms in 14 different states. Linda only stopped doing this when Covid hit.
Linda and Dave chose St. Simons Island because they had relatives in Savannah and had visited down here. When they spent a couple of months renting on the island, all their kids came and approved. Linda loves the residential feel of the island and loves being able to ride her bike everywhere she goes. She rides her bike to Fort Frederica for her volunteering even on the days that are cold or rainy. We have often seen Linda and Dave riding their bikes with their dogs running beside them when we drive up Frederica Road.
Since moving to St. Simons Island, Linda continues to keep busy. Linda enjoys judging at the regional level for the Future Business Leaders of America. She volunteers for SOAR (Special Opportunities in Adult Recreation) which is a local organization that provides opportunities for special needs adults. Linda has led individualized swim lessons and bike riding lessons. The accomplishments of her students are very exciting to see.
Linda is treasurer of her Homeowners Association. She also loves flowers and the bird life she finds on the island. Because of her love for plant life, she helps with landscaping in her neighborhood and picking up litter along Frederica Road. Linda often posts pictures of wildlife on her Facebook page.
Linda Usrey is a wonderful volunteer at Fort Frederica. She mostly works at the desk in the Visitors Center greeting visitors and orienting them to the park. With Covid protocols, we tend to have one person outside greeting and one person inside at the desk. Linda likes being outside and is a welcoming presence to our visitors. I especially like having her at the desk on busy days because she never gets rattled. She can deal with large numbers of visitors, multi-task, and still remember to turn on the movie on time.
When I asked Linda what she liked best about volunteering at Fort Frederica, she said she likes the variety of people she meets. I have seen Linda making instant connections with our visitors – finding the ways our lives overlap.
Linda Usrey is a very valuable volunteer at Fort Frederica because she is there year-round. She is a constant support to the rangers who staff the park and is willing to help out whenever anything extra is needed. I enjoy working with Linda and her calm, easy-going manner. Seeing her ride her bike into the park on the days she works is a blessing.