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Updated: 06/06/2014 08:00:02AM

Respect to the days of old

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I took some time off to explore the Florida Folk Festival over Memorial Day Weekend. It’s been a great year so far, and this was a good time for a veteran to indulge in life’s joy. I visited with old friends, and that’s mighty special times. I also made new friends, and these are the inspirations that keep us growing. There was an abundance of unique Florida music to enjoy. In fact, they had so many stages, I missed the chance to hear many good performances. The finest ingredient for me was to eavesdrop around the campgrounds at night, sharing the personal stories and songs. You see, this is a musicians’ get-together, and they gather round their camps and play most of the night. Musicians get to share inspirations and songs with each other — if you can stay awake we get to listen. Most take turns sharing individual songs and tales. Much of their music is about Florida and its heritage. They blend whatever instruments are available. We heard about many of Old Florida’s legends, troubles, events and individuals; stories impossible to duplicate today.

Check out some of our Florida folk music if you want to learn more about your home. Many folks I visited with have families that go back several generations. In fact, two different couples went back to seven and eight generations — now that’s Old Florida! We can’t begin to imagine how life was back maybe 200 years ago. I’ve seen many dramatic changes locally in my life, but this is going back eight generations! You had to come by boat, because the trails weren’t big enough for covered wagons. You had to find, grow, shoot or catch your dinner — without a Publix backup. With no refrigeration, A/C, lights, plumbing; shucks you were lucky to have a neighbor who could help when you needed it. What a hard world these folks endured to settle here. Just take some time to ponder how these folks struggled to survive and continue here.

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