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Michael Cavendish


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Celebrating Florida at 500, the OpEd

How lucky am I to work with a great newspaper, Florida Today, to offer this OpEd on celebrating the approaching 500th anniversary of the Great American Peninsula? Very lucky.

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As Florida Turns the Big 5-0-0, I'm Getting Peninsular
by Michael Cavendish

In just a few short months, Florida will celebrate the 500th anniversary of its discovery by Ponce De Leon.

Big things are underway. Beyond the usual brassy parades, street food laden city festivals, and the reading out of legislative proclamations, there are afoot some brilliant, electrifying projects aimed at re-discovering the Sunshine State anew, aimed at meeting Florida freshly, as if old Juan Ponce had not beaten the rest of us to it by a half-millenium.

The big gravity of it all has pulled me in. At 500 years since the first contact, I can't resist, forgive me, but I cannot resist, falling into a total, navel-gazing, self-fascinated, rhetorical, Emersonian trance about Florida, this home of mine. 

For the next year, I will be asking myself the questions, What is Florida? and also Who are Floridians?, and writing down at ACROSS FLORIDA (dot) ORG those answers revealing themselves to me during my flaneur's progress in, around, through, and of course, across--the Great American Peninsula.

If you've ever been to Florida,

if you've ever wondered, "what's the deal down there?,"

or if, like me, you've spent a life here under a pendulum sun and wondered,

"what's my own deal, anyway?",

I hope you will stop by to share it with me. You will be holopaw, that is, welcome.
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