This weekend, we had friends come in for a visit, which is always a wonderful thing. This happens a lot when you live in “vacation” here along the Gulf Coast and we think it is the most perfect of things. We sat, laughed, joked, picked on, caught up, reminisced, met a beautiful new friend, ate, drank and had a couple of perfect evenings that was met with perfect endings. One of those doing the most ordinary thing for us natives, watching the sunset off the point of the Santa Rosa Island near the closed Fort Pickens. This is a photo from a sunset from the Bay area we live in.
Our area is rich with the smallest of details and the grandest of history. As we watched the sun set while sitting on a real Civil war fort bastion, we talked about what some of the local history of the fort was. We let life be simple for a moment collectively and among some tourists that heard it was the place to come. They were right.
The fort is not without it’s own tainted history despite is obvious beauty. It was Confederate. It was Union. It was French. It was Spanish. It was as diverse as the South has always been, and for those of us natives that love the history of it … Pensacola is home without claim of sides. We are the belly of the melting pot we call the US and proud that we have always collected people from every where and without prejudice.
Many famous people in history have lived among us, either by choice or not. The fort even housed the infamous Geronimo and many Apache Indians as war prisoners on that land at one point during the 118 years and 2 battles the fort was active.
“In forty days they took me from there to Fort Pickens (Pensacola), Florida. Here they put me to sawing up large logs. There were several other Apache warriors with me, and all of us had to work every day. For nearly two years we were kept at hard labor in this place and we did not see our families until May, 1887. This treatment was in direct violation of our treaty made at Skeleton Canyon.” – Geronimo
I worry the South will be always remembered for the atrocities of the past that we living today should not have to shoulder. I choose to enjoy the area for it’s beauty in hopes that that is what our future legacies will remember but also embrace from where we came.
So, if you come by the coast, please do take time to embrace your local history but also the simple action of watching the sunset – on repeat for as many days as you can.
See where you live through the eyes of a visitor and take captures of the moments for your albums no matter how many times it seems like the same thing. Every capture is unique to time and person.