Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis


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Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates

While on our trip to Bushnell, Florida to observe the annual Dade Battle reenactment, it wasn’t without a little humor and surprising observations.

Remember Kilt Man I wrote about in Dade Battlefield: Nature? As you might recall, as my beau and I sat at a picnic table and ate our lunch, we couldn’t help but hear a very loud talking man two tables over. He was regaling and bragging about his encounters and experiences with kilts. The woman to whom he was giving his monologue, kept giggling. My beau, on to Kilt Man’s bravado and time-worn faux tale of old ladies with umbrellas trying to seek a peek under his kilts (such an old, old joke) walked up to his table, and asked:

“I couldn’t help but hearing you, and as a proud Irishman, I’d like to ask you if you know what’s under an Irishman kilt.”

Kilt Man mumbled the time-worn, old punchline to the joke.

“No, sir, it’s the same thing, only bigger,” was my beau’s snappy comeback.

The day’s reenactment activities were all about authenticity and accuracy. I took this photograph, pleased with the setting. When I uploaded it onto my computer, I spotted the 19th century Seminole eating his lunch from a 21st century Styrofoam container:


A white horse hides behind some brush, but the Seminoles are even more hidden:


I walked over to gaze at some real coonskin caps:

I looked at a necklace made from a real racoon paw and one made from an alligator paw. I didn’t take photos of them, but they were interesting nonetheless.

Under one of the gazebos, a lady was playing a dulcimer with wooden spoons, while a man was playing a one-string washtub.


The back of this Seminole’s dress fascinated me. Then I saw his 19th century pistol:


We spoke to this Seminole, and we asked about his tartan cap. He told us that not only did the Seminole trade with the Spanish, English, and French, they also did business with the Scots-Irish: Therefore, tartans caps and other European commodities made their way to Seminole culture and fashion:

We spied this Seminole on horseback holding a rifle:


The afternoon was ending and getting chilly again. It was time to leave and return home.

Tomorrow: Going Home

Articles from the Dade Battlefield State Park by Susan Marie Molloy
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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Date Night: The Opera — Cinderella

©Original photograph by Susan Marie Molloy.

Friday evening for us was a night at the opera.

First, my beau and I headed for a Viet Namese restaurant in town. It was a good choice, for as bad as the restaurant food is where we live, this restaurant was authentic, and the food was very good. We both had a jackfruit boba drink (made with jackfruit and tapicoa). It was the first time we had this drink; jackfruit tasted a little like banana to us. Handsome had bun gao xao cha gio (vermicelli with chicken) and I had bo xao xa ot (beef cooked in hot chili and lemongrass sauce). And, yes, we used chopsticks! The waitress was very nice to teach us how to pronounce the Viet Namese dishes. The food, atmosphere, and service were very good.

After dinner and before the opera, we had a good hour and a half to fill, so we walked around the theater area. There were lots of military out on the town in their dress uniforms, musicians were on the sidewalks playing their guitars and bongo drums, and we even saw Nature Boy – a guy dressed only in very, very skimpy red soccer shorts and gym shoes, and nothing else.

We happened upon a street musician with whom my beau is acquainted, and we talked with him at length. He plays a bass guitar with soulful rhythm and pop! A trio of Marines in their dress uniforms were standing on a corner trying to find a good place to eat downtown, and we tried to help them out, only to realize the better restaurants folded. The Marines echoed our assessment of poor dining establishments, but they settled on some place up the street where the food was not too bad. We bade them good luck, and we then wandered into a tavern to have an icy beer before heading directly to the opera down the street.

The opera we saw was Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella). The story line was a nice change from the Cinderella we think we know – here we had an egotistical stepfather, vain stepsisters, no fairy godmother, and a bracelet instead of glass slippers. And it was funny! The costumes were in the 18th century style: knickers, powdered wigs, and panniers (side hoops under women’s skirts). And did you know this opera was written in 1817?

The opera patrons were interesting. I saw an elderly man with opera glasses, a young man wearing a top hat, a young girl with a very large white silk flower on the right side of her head, and quite a few men in formalwear and women in glittery gowns.

It was a lovely evening.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.