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Mermaid spotted in Skaneateles

Artist Margot Datz returns with first book and life lessons:

Skaneateles' Margot Datz told her audience at the Creekside Books on Saturday May 10, "I've been looking forward to this day for years."

The willowy red head with bright eyes and a giant smile has written her first book, "A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids," which she dedicated to a couple of her Skaneateles Schools teachers:

"For my art teachers, Marion Hammel and William Haust, who taught me these mysterious things on my back were actually wings."

Datz, an accomplished working artist, said she was an awkward child when her second grade teacher Hammel picked her out and put her under her wing; and ushered her through grade school into high school validating and encouraging her every step of the way.

"So much of who I am is upstate, New York," said Datz who has lived on Martha's Vineyard for more than 20 years, "I think upstate rocks. Upstate New Yorkers are emotionally available, thank you so much for hosting this event, it makes my heart sparkle."

Linda, Nick and Alfredo Rossi were in the packed to capacity crowd. Datz said the Rossis were her first patrons purchasing a giant chess set she made of good versus black magic. She took this money and moved to Manhattan.

"I was the worst hayseed," she said, yet also comparing herself to Forrest Gump, where she would accidentally enter the right show at the right time with the right subject.

When she left Skaneateles she was a sculptor working in all types of mediums. She then abandoned New York City for New Orleans. The year "Jaws" was being filmed on Martha's Vineyard she ventured up to summer on the island. This is when she met her first husband, Henry. She packed up and moved to the Vineyard permanently and was soon expecting their first child, Scarlet Louisa. Oddly, during her pregnancy she could not sculpt. Later, she realized that she had been in fact sculpting - their baby.

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