Anybody that has read my blog at all knows that I try to spend the majority of my time away from modern society. The Florida Folk Festival, while filled with many modern comforts, is a place where I sometimes go back in time
At first glance it seems that these pictures could have been taken 50 or 60 years ago. Sitting underneath our ancient tent looking out over this spectacle and listening to people square dance in the distance, I can imagine being back in old Florida. Back in a simpler time. Back when people had a sense of identity and a sense of place. Back when Floridians didn't have to put a disclaimer on our heritage.
This feeling overcomes me even more while at the annual Battle of Olustee reenactment. Dressed in gingham and wool and warming my hands near a fire in the middle of an ancient longleaf pine forest, I can hear "Dixie" and the yells of people joyously dancing echoing through Old Florida. For a time, I have an inkling what life may have been like for my great, great, great grandfather.
Standing in the middle of a tick-infested battlefield sweating by the gallon while being rocked by cannon and musket fire all around me, the sulfurous smell of black powder thick in the air, the screams of men giving orders, the screams of men falling around me. I can, for a moment, feel the terror, the confusion, the treachery that my ancestors experienced while fighting in battle. I am humbled as I fully realize the courage of the men in that war, Southern and Northern, who stood honorably in defense of their families and country while their boyhood friends died in agony around them.
Have you ever experienced something that brought you back in time?