Fort Armstrong Gazette

September 2005

President’s Message:
It has been a long hot summer and your board has been hard at work on the upcoming 25th Anniversary Reenactment.  Board member John DeLancett has prepared a proclamation that the board intends to present to the local city and county governments so that these agencies can recognize this very special reenactment. 
Electricity:  The Society is providing funds to the park to improve electrical outlets for our reenactment vendors and, consequently, the park for their daily operation. Tracey has been looking at bids and the work should cost around $1500.00.  Hopefully, we can achieve the goal of eliminating use of generators by modern vendors.

Anniversary:  Many of you have provided us with ideas to commemorate this reenactment and we do appreciate everything you have sent us.  If we do not use your exact suggestion, we have found that your thoughts have inspired us to add something about which we had not thought.  If this is confusing, there are some things that are a surprise and the Board wishes to keep it that way until the reenactment.

New Offering:  The Board contacted Mr. John McCoy of T& J BBQ and he has agreed to sell his wonderful BBQ meals on Friday night, December 30.  We thought that it might be nice to have a food vendor in the park so you wouldn’t have to go out to eat Friday night.  We know some of you are very tired when you get here.  John said he would try to cut his prices a little as a special just for our reenactors.

We shall keep you updated on any other board actions. 
Let’s hope the current gas crunch and prices will be solved before December and we avoid any other catastrophes, such as hurricanes.  The park is still very wet in many areas, especially behind the pavilions and the perimeter.  I am sure Tracey and her staff are looking forward to the “dry” season.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at mcnary1213@aol.com.  In the July newsletter we updated you on some important changes, price increases, deletion of travel expenses, etc. Remember to keep checking our website, www.dadebattlefield.com.  Thank you all for what you do and hopefully we will see all of you in December.
Jean McNary

Grant Application: 
The Society has applied for a Tourist Development Grant to assist us with the price of shuttle parking and advertising in new markets.  The grant is funded through a local tourist development tax that passed in Sumter County recently.  We submitted our grant application in August and are very excited about it.  This would help us significantly. The board should know by the time of the next newsletter whether or not we were awarded
the grant. Again, let me remind everyone, it is very important to keep up with your membership dues as we have to use this information when we apply for grants.


 Election of Officers
The 2005-2006 officers are
         President: Jean McNary
         Vice-President: Lyle Wolding
         Treasurer: Jim Velten
         Secretary: J.T. Wolding

Park Manager’s Message:

As the summer comes to a close and the temperatures start to cool, the staff at Dade Battlefield waits with anticipation for our wintering guests and countless school children who visit the park each year.  Throughout the year we have the wonderful opportunity to educate our visitors about the events of December 28, 1835. 
With the changing of the time, the turning of the pine needles and rustling of the fallen leaves, we realize that the annual reenactment is close at hand.  This year will be the 25th Anniversary of this award winning event.  Through years of hard work and dedication, the Dade Battlefield Society has presented this event to many who have rarely heard about this part of American History.  It has been an honor working with the Dade Battlefield Society and I have enormous gratitude to express to the Society Board, members and reenactment participants.  I also thank the Dade staff and countless volunteers who have helped on many fronts over the past year. 
As we approach this year’s event, it should be one of great memory for all of us involved.  We can take time to reflect on past events with those who are still here, and remember those who are not.  Looking back and into the future, we all have a genuine goal of educating the public on the events that took place here on December 28, 1835 and, working together through changes and challenges, we will have something to pass on to those who follow us.  With all hope, one day, they too will be able to experience the appreciation of the public for what they have done. 
Tracy Standridge


If You Want To Be Recognized….

In the last two newsletters, we have requested that those who have participated in the reenactment 10 or more years please contact us so we can recognize you at the 25th anniversary this year. To date, not a single person has responded. If you don’t contact us and your name is missed, then I respectfully refer you to the old  saying, “ if you don’t vote, don’t ----“.
Please send your name to John DeLancett at 4713 Jetty Street, Orlando, Fl 32817 or email it to frentrapr@earthlink.net


Some Warfare Traditions:

The Oklahoma Seminoles may have preserved some old traditions more completely than the scattered Seminoles left in Florida. In James Howard’s Oklahoma Seminoles Medicines, Magic, and Religion, Willie Lena related what he remembered:
         (P.231) “ Although they were skilled warriors, the Seminoles did not have a war dance that they performed before engaging the enemy—at least Willie had never heard of one. Instead he described the preliminaries as those that precede a match ball game. The leader would line up his men and harangue them, pacing back and forth before them as he did so. According to Willie, his speech might go thus: ‘ Don’t be afraid! Something sharp will come ! But the powers above will take care of you. If you are killed there will be no blame on you. The blame will be on your leaders.’ The warriors were painted in black and red, the war colors, using the same designs as used in the match ball game.”
         “ Each war party was accompanied by a shaman who carried a medicine bundle. In the bundle was a good supply of ‘ mabilanoji’ (Poltaenia nuttal DC; Prarie parsley), the traditional war or wound medicine of the Seminoles. Should any member of the party be hit, the medicine man chewed the heads of this plant and then stuffed them into the bullet or arrow wound to stop the bleeding. Willie’s grandfather, who was a Seminole scout with the United States Army, reported seeing a bullet ‘ fall out’ of a wound several hours after the application of this medicine. The wound then healed with no further treatment.”
         “Brave deeds were commemorated in war names awarded at the Green Corn Ceremony. The suffixes for some of these names have become family names of present day (Oklahoma) Seminoles: for example, Harjo (‘Hajo’: fearless in battle), and Fiksiko (heartless).”

Reprinted, with the permission of Rick Obermeyer, from the former publication of  F.I.R.E.S., The Renegader.

John DeLancett, Editor


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