Four hundred fifty days before its 450th birthday, Pensacola will begin the celebration.
Don Tristan de Luna and his band of Spanish explorers sloshed ashore somewhere along Pensacola Bay in 1559. Two years later, the settlement was gone, besieged by a hurricane and other problems.
As for my personal part in the festivities and celebration, I have followed this template and written my "where I'm from" poem. Enjoy!
Where I’m From
I am from a hot sidewalk on tanned bare feet, from Cool Whip and melting grape Popsicles and sounds like Pepsi Cola.
I am from the house with seventeen pine trees and two banana trees, a yard filled with children, a grill that always smells like last night’s barbecue and a cracked concrete patio stained with muddy foot (and paw) prints.
I am from palm trees and orange blossom, azaleas and sand-spurs, seaweed and the gritty ocean breeze, from sand in your hair and in your toes and everywhere in between.
I am from vowells and dabbs, with a Half but no Steps, Granddad’s hidden candy bars, Mary’s back rubs and money, both old and new.
From “wait ‘til your daddy gets home,” Stille Nacht and don’t wake the baby (there was always a baby).
I am from three-to-a-tub, mom’s home at five and the great Blue Birds flyin’ in that hot Florida sky.
I am from faithful church-hopping, endless summertime VBS and always, always Hopkins wax paper-covered, fat-filled absolutely the most delicious Southern fare this side of anywhere.
I’m from Spanish lore and conquistadors, quests for gold, Five Flags and forts of old.
From the time Great Uncle I forget who nearly chopped his foot off cutting wood and had it wrapped in turpentine and rags because there was no hospital and mama and daddy honeymooning on a beach they didn’t know was topless.
I am from the backs of closets, lining the walls. From baskets and under beds and in old backpacks and all those nightgowns mama got for each birth (there were seven). From seven birth certificates, first-day-of-school shoes, three sets of bunk beds, and from knowing five different ways to get anywhere I want to go.
From survives hurricanes and supports troops, from trains pilots and tans visitors. From hopefully not many shark attacks and knowing that horrible secret that takes the yee-ow from a jellyfish sting. From knowing a red light means stop and a red flag means don’t go in the water.
And knowing in my heart that Dorothy Gail had it right, except that maybe there’s no place like home and the people who make it so.