Fountain of Youth
Article first published online: 02 FEB 2017 Kudzu House
INTRODUCTION: Upon my unanticipated return to Florida six months ago, I hurried to Silver Springs where I’d spent many a summer day as a child. To escape the heat of the Tampa Bay area, my parents would load my kid brother and me into a Chevy station wagon and head north. After a couple of hours, we’d pull into Ocala and make the short jog to the spring, with its necklace of amusement parks, and clean, cool waters. My brother and I would jump from the car and run-off, too excited to wait for mom and dad. I remember the water slides and spools of cotton candy that cost a dime. I remember the shiny boots of the snake man and the nonchalance with which he’d squeeze venom from a six foot rattler. I remember the whoops of the Seminoles attacking soldiers behind the palisades of a movie-set Fort King. I remember the petting zoo with the deer and giraffes, the alligators in the sunken cages, sluggish beneath the sun.
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