The flag of Florida is kind of interesting. On a white background is a diagonal red cross corner to corner, Confederate style. No stars, however. In the flag's center a charming scene. A lovely brown maiden stands on watery ground
wearing long skirt and peasant blouse, holds a basket of saucer-sized red flowers. I don't know these flowers, maybe swamp lilies? Anyhow, she's droppping these red, saucer-size flowers onto a kind of miniature pirogue floating at her
feet. Looks for all the world like a funeral boat for a small pet.
In the background we see two sailing ships. One must be Ponce de Leon seeking the fabulous fountain of youth. Though he failed miserably in this
quest, Capt. de Leon may have gotten a bum steer.
Some believe the fountain was, in fact, located on the island of Bimini. I, myself, have soaked weary bones in these alledged waters. A quarter-mile trudge along hot, overgrown,
watery, foot-sucking path and suddenly, there it was: a pool of about 20 feet in diameter surrounded by tangled vines, palmetto, maybe cypress. The water, though, was just not that appealing. Nice and clear, but dark, really dark. Jungle
ecology, you know. Also, it smells faintly of sulphur. But, hey, after slogging down that trail, are we just going to stand thre and look? No way! The water so dense, if you can float at all, it's like being on a raft. Soothing
temperature must be that of the body. I actually dozed off! Needless to say, you must be on your back to do this. Awhile in these dark waters and I did feel a surge of youth. Felt at least 40 once again. The water turned my rings
black, though, and I did not see any red-saucer flowers.
Still, old myths (is there such a thing as a young myth?) die hard. Droves of fading beauties and the elderly still flock to Florida searching for youth and good
plastic surgeons. (To be Continued)