Essay — Myth or Fact?

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April 3, 2014, is the five hundred and first anniversary of the day Juan Ponce de León set foot on the peninsula now known as Florida. He traveled here from Spain with three ships and sighted Florida on Easter week. The name he gave his discovery, La Florida, is based on Spain’s Easter celebration, Feast of the Flowers.

Last year, the state of Florida commemorated the occasion of Juan’s visit with state-wide activities, including a re-enactment of his landing at St. Augustine. Even the US Post Office got involved, issuing four floral Forever stamps titled La Florida.

Yet after all the celebration, some people still say Juan didn’t actually come to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. Can you believe it? We can’t either, because we know he did—and here’s how.

Image source: HL Carpenter

Image source: HL Carpenter

One day we were sitting on the porch in Carpenter Country (a magical place in La Florida that is unreal but not untrue), when a hero named Jack popped up in the fountain in our garden.

That was a bit unexpected, since our usual fountain visitors are birds, bees, and butterflies. So after we told Jack to stop splashing the water out, we handed him a towel and asked why he was there.

He told us he’d heard that people still thought the Fountain of Youth did not exist. He wanted to set the record straight, and asked for our help writing his story. How could we resist? Jack’s the kind of hero we believed lived only in our daydreams, a chivalrous guy with eyes the color of unsweetened cocoa who looked and acted like a caballarius of old.

If you still believe the Fountain of Youth is a myth, we urge you to read Jack’s story, Jack and The Fountain of Youth. You can follow the installments here on our web site, or you can buy the complete novella on Amazon and read at your leisure.

Of course, you’re free to make up your own mind about the veracity of Jack’s story. Whatever your decision, we hope you’ll toast the anniversary of La Florida with a tall glass of clear sparkling water from the source of your choice.

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We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

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