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FRACTURED FLORIDA HISTORY

 article about FRACTURED FLORIDA HISTORY
Here in Florida we have a town called Kissimee. Kissimee is an Indian name and the story of how the name came about is at best, bizarre.

When the first white men arrived here in Florida they moved inland until they met the native Indians. These Indians lived peacefully in the Swamps.

On sight of their first white man the Indians, fearing conflict, gathered their weapons and drew themselves up into battle formation. They were indeed an impressive sight, all dressed with war paint and out-numbering the white men by at least ten to one.

Naturally, on seeing conflict was imminent the white men did the same. The two sides faced each other across a small clearing in the woods for several minutes. Tension hung in the air like Spanish Moss on a Live Oak Tree. No one dared move for fear their movement would be misinterpreted by the other side and provoke a deadly fight.

Even though the white men had guns and swords while the Indians only had bows, arrows, lances and shields, there were a lot more Indians than there were white men. The odds were clearly in the Indians favor. The Indians, on the other hand, had never seen a white man before and had no idea what they were looking at.

There was however, one young Italian sailor, who had probably been at sea a bit too long, within the ranks of the white man. He spied a beautiful Indian princess way back out of harms way, among the opposing forces. She was indeed lovely and seemed to beckon with her eyes for the young sailor to find some way for the two to meet.

The poor young fellow stood it as long as he could. Then, leaving his weapons behind, he advanced forward, on his own, out into the "no man's land" between the two sides. He began pointing and gesturing his desire to meet the Indian princess as he moved forward towards the ranks of the Indians. Both sides stood aghast at his actions but remained steadfast lest they provoke a war.

The princess, curious about this brash young man and anxious to meet him, moved forward out of the ranks of Indians to meet him half way across the small clearing. As the two slowly approached each other, there was a terrible longing in the Italian seaman's eyes. The Indian princess understood his longing and was moved to compassion.



Naturally, the Italian seaman didn't know how to speak Indian talk and the princess sure didn't know Italian. They stood there face to face for long moments looking deep into each other's eyes.

There wasn't a sound from either side as the two love-struck people, out in the middle of no man's land, looked longingly at each other.

Suddenly, taking the bull by the horns, the Italian threw open his arms and said, "Kiss-a-me." He raced forward over the few feet separating them and grasped her gently in his arms as he planted a loving kiss on her lips.

The Indians, not understanding what was going on in front of them, assumed their princess was in danger. They charged forward, killing all the white men without mercy. The princess screaming all the time for her tribe to spare the young sailor. Unfortunately, in the heat of war no-one was spared.

Later on, after the big fight was over, the Indians, who could not pronounce the words the Italian used, did the best they could and called the place "Kissimee" in honor of the day when they saved their princess from the invading white devils and killed them all. The name prevails today.

Later on the same day, the princess, beside herself with grief, took her own life while kneeling beside her dead lover. The two were buried on the spot where her Italian lover had fallen. For years this historic site was preserved by the Seminole Indians in honor of their first battle with the white man.

Then the unscrupulous Dalt Wizney bought the sacred place as part of a land deal. He was determined to erect an amusement park on the site. Somewhere along the line he was told the tale of the love-struck couple and the terrible fight between the Indians and white sailors. He was moved to compassion. But compassion or not, he went ahead and built the park anyhow. His only comment being, "Money is where you find it."

However, fearing retribution from the Indians he put one of his character henchmen in charge of the site. Now, the evil rodent Micky Mauze, tromps about on this historic site encouraging tourists to spend their hard earned money in a huge mega complex of tourist attractions.

The Indians, who had long since decided they couldn't afford to stay on the site with the complex, have moved further into the swamps. The restless spirits buried on the site can only wait in the hope that the entire complex will one day sink into the swamps and free their souls.


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