Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 08:58 AM.

There are so many wonderful places to see on the Florida Panhandle.  At least once per year, I make it down to enjoy the beautiful beaches and all of the other things that have drawn folks here for as long as most of us can remember.

Originally, this geographic area was a British colony, then a Spanish colony.  During this colony business, “West Florida”  included modern-day Florida west of the Apalachicola River as well as small chunks of what are now Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

As I stand in one of those stores that sell beach towels and inflatable alligators, I think about things like this or at least I would rather think about things like this.

There was this Spanish conquistador named Narváez who wandered around the Florida Panhandle back in the early 1500’s looking gold and other neat stuff.  He got discouraged after stumbling into an Indian village where the folks were dirt-poor and barely getting by.  What was discouraging to the Spanish fellow in the fancy steel helmet was that these folks supposedly lived in the most prosperous village in the area.

It would be similar to someone showing up in Detroit now and saying “Is this all you have?”  It’s not funny, it’s discouraging.

What I was imagining was this fellow in the fancy steel helmet, most definitely with a feather plume that once stood proud but probably now was a little wilted, walking into one of these beach stores with all of these “treasures.”

He could have very well gotten so excited that it would have made his feather plume look happy again.

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