Monday, February 21, 2011

The Amelia Island Book Festival

From front to back this was a great festival in a town of old southern grace and gentility.  Ma'am and Sir is spoken here and people hold doors for other people.  The love of books as well as manners follows you everywhere you go. 

I'd wanted to visit this northern province of our state, and when we were invited to tell stories, we were delighted.  It never occurred to us however that little Amelia Island had been occupied by eight different nations and/or peoples.  French, Spanish, British are the easy ones to figure.  But then there were also Georgian patriots in 1812 who tried to establish "The Territory of East Florida." 

Five years later another group took over and raised their Green Cross Flag; these were American citizens whose occupation lasted only four months.  Then came the Mexican Rebel Flag, inspired mostly by a pirate named Luis Aury, who said he was holding the island "in trust for Spain."  This was followed by the seven-starred flag of the Confederacy which stayed flapping until the end of the Civil War.  After which came the final flag of the United States.  There should now be a Flag of Tourism, but we'll let that slide for the moment.

Places of historical interest, especially when they're nestled by the sea inspire poems.  But I didn't write about flags on my first night in Fernandina.  It was a full moon night and I wrote about moons.  

Full round cricket moon
fog moon, moss moon
peeper cheep, paper moon
Fernandina sea moon.
Haven't seen
so many moons
in many moons . . .

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