I was born in a populated ghost town, and it has haunted me ever since. Our histories are myths built on top of legends and then sprinkled with a healthy dose of falsehood.
In a tourist town, no one tells the truth.
St. Augustine, Florida calls itself, proudly, the oldest city under five flags. First the Timucuans gathered there, spreading over the island, across the intracoastal waterway and onto the mainland. Then Ponce de Leon landed in search of the Fountain of Youth. Then the French; Menendez and his Spanish missionaries; the Jesuits; the English; the Franciscans; and on and on it goes.
It is a coastal city with an international past, not unlike New Orleans. Our buildings are the same two-story, balconied Spanish affairs. But in place of trading vessels, we had pirates; in place of jazz and Creole culture, we had Henry Flagler and hotels full of the passionless elite.
Now our ghosts hover thickly. They dampen the night air like so many thunderstorms just out of reach. From the dead Native Americans in the Castillo de San Marcos to the yellow fever victims buried in the Huguenot Cemetery, every path and point in the city has a deathly history. Even the Ghost Hunters team will tell you our lighthouse has a shadow person — they caught it on camera.
I grew up on an island teeming with history, in a family that denies the past ever existed. In the absence of family photographs and stories, I have invented them.
Hugely exciting morning news! Not only do I have a new piece of memoir/creative nonfic published at the lovely Bygone Bureau, they also commissioned four original illustrations by María Luque to go with it.
I’m floored. Please take a look and tell me what you think.
Guys, this is a REALLY GOOD piece.
Also, it happens to be from a place fairly close by to me that I have a ton of memories of and associations with, and that made it resonate super-more. “I left because I wanted better than that.” resonates with my experiences in this area. I do love traveling the Oldtown and seeing the history, but there’s little here for people like me - and I suspect like the author.
I miss this a lot.
Ponce Inlet? I love going there and driving on the beach, and going to the marine science center nearby. That’s about where the closest Long John Silvers is, too.
Correction of the Day: An earlier post misstated the reporter’s location as Orange County, California. Almadovar worked at Channel 9 Eyewitness News in Florida, not California. Here’s a story he did about the neighborhood concerns of toxic waste contamination in Deland, Florida. His sign off can be heard at 2:19.
Inexplicably Funny of the Day: Meet Gustavo Almadovar, Channel 9 Eyewitness News reporter from Orange County, California.
Reblogging now because DELAND FLORIDA WHAT WHAT WHAT
omg I remember this guy. I alternate between 9 and 2, because 9 has better news imho but WESH2 actually mentions Flagler County sometimes
This is what Spider-Man’s penis looks like.
BOTH ORANGE AND VOLUSIA COUNTIES WENT BLUE
the rest of Central Florida that’s not blue, however, I am severely disappointed
Volusia going blue surprised the heck out of me! Sadly, Flagler stayed red. :( Also, I love that Jax is the only major city that’s red and the rest are allllll in blue spots.
Post with 2 notes
And by “local” I mean “65 miles away”, which is local for Florida terms, am I right guys? But there is a Sue in JAX and I HAVE TO GO SEE IT OH LOOK GUYS IT’S A T. REX CAN I KEEP IT
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also, dear cat, you cannot drive. you cannot make it the 100 miles to disney without a car. STOP LOOKING AT EPCOT PASSES CAT. how do you think you’re gonna get there, teleport?