Borrowed History

Central Florida is so weird. I think I lived here for 2 or 3 years before I met a person who was actually born and raised in Florida. Nobody is from here, so there is very little sense of history in the first place. On top of that, the main industry is entertainment and illusion. The past is something that tends to get swept behind the curtain so the visitors won’t see it. Either that or it just doesn’t exist.

For example, I was scanning the upcoming local events to see if there was something cool to write about when I found the Dark Sky Festival at Harmony. It’s a geekfest for stargazers, sponsored by the Central Florida Astronomical Society and the town’s Harmony Institute. Sounds kinda fun.

I went to the town of Harmony web site to check it out. It reads like a brochure for Stepford…a perfect little planned community like the dozens of others that have sprung up in the last 10 years or so. It’s all very nice and clean, and I’m sure it’s a lovely place to live.

But if you click on their History link, you don’t get the story of how the town was founded by pioneer settlers who dragged their six kids, two dogs, a cow and a horse across the harsh prairie through Indian attacks and dust storms. There’s no mention of how the town survived during the Great Depression thanks to men like George Bailey. Nope. It’s a compilation of articles about how the Ashley Gang was killed. What the hell that has to do with Harmony (which isn’t anywhere near the area the gang terrorized or where they were killed), I don’t know.

Central Florida is so weird.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jenn (unregistered) on April 5th, 2005 @ 11:41 am

    Born in New Smyrna Beach, but have lived in several other states for time being until we came back to Florida in 1991 and were still here.

  2. AnnMarie (unregistered) on April 5th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    I was born in Lakeland and have lived here all my life (except for a short stint as a toddler in Oklahoma). It’s increasingly rare though, you are right, to find native Floridians of any kind. My husband isn’t either.

  3. Dawn (unregistered) on April 5th, 2005 @ 5:41 pm

    We came here when I was 11 years old. Now.. at 38, I consider myself a Florida native. After 25 years I think you are grandfathered in. My father is a Florida native though… and so are my children!!

    My grandparents are also natives… now THATS a rarity indeed!! A senior citizen who was actually born in Florida!!

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