…is really old…and old-fashioned.
If you don’t know anything about Saint Augustine’s charm, now it’s time to find out. It’s small, but the folk inside the walls have their share of its history. And there is a lot of history. The city’s coming up on 450 years of continuous settlement. That’s longer than any other colony in the USA. The fact that it’s still here is kind of miraculous, too. It went through a lot in those 450 years.
Started by the Spanish, it had to deal with English Pirates. They burned the wooden town to the ground not once, but twice. Each time they left a smart little reminder of how to deal with outsiders. So, its no wonder that many who live here have a very immobile opinion on newcomers. The townsfolk take pride in their history and don’t take kindly to any who represent anything else. Perhaps they feel entitled. They’ve been here so long, there’s no one else who can claim that kind of knowledge or pride.
Basically, there are 2 main types of locals in Saint Augustine:
- Living Historians: they teach and educate the public while performing a trade, a craft, or just by living like the denizens of centuries past. They tend to stay sober, and often don’t mingle well with others who aren’t like them. Think old retired men and women who are teaching the uninformed or young instead of playing shuffle board or chess. They don’t consider many to be their friends, mostly because they’re all in some sort of pissing contest to show off who has the better knowledge and/or sources.
- Reenactors: they drink while playing teacher. And, they usually consume copious amounts of drink, too. They vary wildly in age. These are the kids and adults who want to have fun while showing off their knowledge of the town. Nothing wrong there. They have standards, though. No idiots allowed. If you’re a danger, you don’t play. Also, they tend to be a bit more flexible about who they consider friends. Still, there’s always a pissing contest to see who has the biggest and more accurate gun.
Now, that’s not everyone in the town of Saint Augustine, but it does paint a big part of the population. There are of course some who transcend those two categories, but they tend to stick with one or the other more often. Don’t get me wrong, these people are extremely smart and most of them mean the best. They just don’t always get that last bit across very well. For every ten who fall into a category, only one will actually tolerate a non-categorian friend full time. Enter…me!
For those of you who don’t know, a Renaissance girl like myself isn’t really considered to be in either of those categories. We’re something else entirely. We’re showstoppers and attention-getters. If not by choice, then by default. We don’t mind teaching, but we’re more interested in giving people a show. We want their jaws to drop and to get an applause at the end of it. We play well with others and hordes of us make up a Renaissance Festival, but we tend to stick to our own because we know what we are. We don’t mind historical inaccuracies if it means the crowds gets a better show. That’s where we get into trouble with some of these people.
Guess which category my soldier falls into, why don’t you? Yeah, that first one. He’s a teacher of the public. I respect him for it. But, as you can imagine, it causes quite a row in the community. So, when I say “pirate” I mean it. I represent to the town of Saint Augustine everything they’ve fought back over the last 450 years. I’m new and “unlearned”. I want to do things different. I want visitors to clap and cheer, not be bored or lectured. There is a way to accomplish that. I’ve done it. Not everyone shares my vision. So, I am the outsider. I’m the odd duck. I am the pirate.