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Siege and celebration

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Siege and celebration
Anna Maria Island Privateers find Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby hiding under the desk in his city hall office Jan. 3. The mayor was taken hostage until the city and its citizens met a series of demands — cash, a key to the city and a proclamation giving the krewe free reign during its 40th anniversary year. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff

About 40 hostile pirates invaded Anna Maria Jan. 3 at 4:30 p.m., surrounding city hall and taking prisoner Mayor Mike Selby.

The pirates found the mayor hiding under his desk, but it did him no good as they quickly grabbed him and dragged him from the building.

Selby was shackled to the mast of the pirate ship Skullywag and not released until a ransom was paid to the krewe by the concerned Anna Maria citizens who gathered to hear the pirate demands.

Along with the ransom, the krewe of the Anna Maria Island Privateer’s demanded a key to the city and a city commission decree giving them full right to plunder and pillage the city this year.

The invasion was all in good fun and for a worthy cause, as the Privateers opened its 40th anniversary year.

The Anna Maria invasion was organized by Privateer Tim “Hammer” Thompson, who encouraged the citizens of Anna Maria to come forward and donate toward the ransom for their mayor to spare him more agony.

While waiting for a suitable sum for ransom, pirate Deby “Hun” Kuederle and “Fox” Smith gave Selby 40 lashes just to remind him to behave and get the commission moving on the decree.

The mayor’s cries must have touched the hearts of the estimated 80 people in attendance, as more bills quickly appeared in the Privateers’ collection hats.

Finally, after several cannon shots over the city and Privateer threats of more damage and arrests, Selby was released and produced the required decree, signed by Vice-Mayor Chuck Webb, certified by city clerk Alice Baird and read by Commissioner John Quam.

The decree announced more “shenanigans” on the Island from the Privateers this year, including invasions and arrests of Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach dignitaries.

Roger “Hoodat” Murphree accepted the decree on behalf of the Privateers, but declined to say when the next invasion would take place.

“That’s for us to know, and they’ll find out when it happens,” Murphree roared as he waved his pirate sword to the terror of the crowd.

Hammer said 42 other pirate events are on the group’s 2011 calendar, and the goal is to raise $40,000 to “give away to Island students as college scholarships.”

The Anna Maria invasion raised about $400, according to the krewe’s tabulation.

After receiving the decree, Thompson said it was time to “eat, drink and be merry” and to give the Privateers “a little rum,” even if they didn’t have a permit for alcoholic beverages. Thompson said they didn’t need one, “We’re pirates and we own the city today.”

Along with the grog provided by the Privateers, a number of Anna Maria restaurants donated food to feed the hungry krewe and attendees.

Those included the Waterfront Restaurant, Rotten Ralph’s, the City Pier Restaurant, Slim’s Place, Feeling Swell, Anna Maria General Store and the Sandbar Restaurant. Legacy Wholesale of Bradenton also donated to the feast.

Entertainment was provided by guitarist/singer Mike Sales.

Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby presents Roger “Hoodat” Murphree with a key to the city as Tim “Hammer” Thompson, chair of the Privateers’ 40th anniversary committee, looks on.

The Privateers lead Mayor Mike Selby from city hall to their ship, where he was held for ransom.

The Anna Maria Island Privateers burnish their weapons as Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby stands shackled to the Skullywag mast.

Roger “Hoodat” Murphree, left, and Tim “Hammer” Thompson make their demands for the release of captured Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby outside city hall Jan. 3.

Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby is the Privateers’ first hostage of 2011.

Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird protects the whereabouts of the mayor as the Privateers arrive at city hall Jan. 3.

The Anna Maria Island Privateers arrive at Anna Maria City Hall Jan. 3, where the krewe took a hostage — Mayor Mike Selby — for ransom.

Marie Selby, right, joins a crowd that includes Anna Maria city hall personnel, elected officials and others in observing a presentation to the Anna Maria Island Privateers on Jan. 3.

The crowd for the Anna Maria Island Privateers’ first capture of the krewe’s 40th anniversary year.

Anna Maria City Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick and Marie Selby watch as the Anna Maria Island Privateers drift into the city hall parking lot.

The Privateers stand guard over their hostage, Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby.

David “Tattoo” Ambut ushers the Privateers from the Skullywag.

Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird offers treasure from city hall to the Privateers.

Roger “Hoodat” Murphree shows off his treasure from city hall.

Anna Maria City Commissioner John Quam reads a proclamation during the Anna Maria Island Privateers’ siege at city hall Jan. 3.

Anna Maria Island Privateer Tim “Hammer” Thompson handcuffs the mayor on the Skullywag.

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