What do the following vocations have in common: sailing instructor in Rhode Island (“fun!”), office manager for a large financial firm (“terrible”), theater director, art teacher, owner of a gift and gourmet food company (“lots of fun”), and artist? They all appear on our guide Sally Willits’ colorful resume. Her residences have been just as varied as her jobs: Sally was born in NYC and spent her early years on the north shore of Long Island – “Pretty much where The Great Gatsby took place; but post-war, NOT 1920’s jazz age,” she jokes. She has also spent time in Greenwich (RI), Philadelphia (PA), Wyomissing (PA), Annapolis (MD), Peachblossom Creek on the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay between Oxford and Easton (MD), and Wilmington (DE).
Sally eventually ended up in Miami and loves it – especially the weather and cultural diversity. She currently lives in the bohemian neighborhood of Coconut Grove and spends most of her time painting landscapes and portraits in her studio. When asked what she would like other people to know about her, she said, “I am an artist and I love the history of Miami. I have a lot of fun with my family.” Speaking of her family, she is taking a boat trip this summer with her husband to cruise the Inland Waterway staying at Newport, Block Island, and Maine.
Before moving to South Florida, Sally attended a Quaker boarding school, went to the University of Pennsylvania to get a BA in Art History, and achieved her Master’s Degree in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Sally first encountered Dragonfly Expeditions while volunteering at Villa Vizcaya. Her love of sharing the area’s culture and history with visitors makes her a great guide and her favorite Dragonfly Expeditions trip to lead is our Miami Magic City Bus and Walking Tour. Like all of our guides, Sally is an activist and was and is engaged in several organizations. She was on the Vestry of St. Stephen’s Church, started an organization called FISH (they help shut-ins live manageable lives), led a youth group when her children were growing up, and now works with BOOM at Plymouth Congregational Church. She is a lifelong supporter of The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Planned Parenthood.
With everything going on her life, it’s not surprising that when asked what she was currently working towards, she replied, “More time in the studio and a 36 hour day!”