~“Finding Florida’s Lost City in an Orange Convertible”~

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM.

Having a connection to Port St. Joe, I decided to drive that way.  It was a beautiful afternoon and I always run into the nicest people there.

My mother was a history teacher for over 40 years in an Alabama public school and my grandfather was a wanderer just like me.  The combination of the two made for a lot of inexpensive trips to look at historical markers, battlefields and Southern landmarks.

I called my grandfather, “Papa.”  Papa and I invested a lot of time in meandering around the Florida Panhandle.  I’m not sure if he would have appreciated the orange convertible or not, his dog might have jumped out.  Papa always traveled with a small dog of some sort, usually a Chihuahua.

Heading toward Port St. Joe, I had it in my mind to see what I could find related to “Florida’s Lost City.”  If you get away from the Panhandle, most folks don’t realize what a big deal it was or even where it was.  I know.  Papa told me and I’ve researched it.

St. Joseph, as most of you know was once the largest city in Florida.  Now Port St. Joe has taken her place.  The history books and researchers say that yellow fever and a hurricane destroyed the old city of St. Joseph, forcing the folks that were left to move on.  This is by all accounts is the true story, however as my Papa always said, “There’s more to the story.”

When I got to Port St. Joe, I stopped to get a cold drink.  The orange convertible and the loud Christmas music were making me thirsty.  I got it in my mind that I needed a big Nehi orange soda water as Papa used to call them.  I had to settle for a Fanta orange in a plastic bottle, it worked just fine.

My exploring would end in the parking lot on this day because I got tied up.  Sometimes I find that talking to people is just as interesting as seeing places, this holds true when you learn something or teach someone something.

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