Book Title: Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halveron
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 164 pages
Genre: Satire / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gail Force Publishing
Release Date: November 2021
What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth
For the most part, history is written by the winners. That includes most accounts depicting the conquests of the New World. Most records and artifacts of Native Americans were destroyed by the conquistadors to complete their total dominance in the new lands. Occasionally, historians working with native populations piece together some lost archives, but those examples are few and far between.
Until students found the original hand written notes by Ponce De Leon’s chronicler, the world could only piece together unfounded summaries of the events at the Fountain of Youth. The only documented facts of the second foray into Florida detailed Ponce’s death upon his return.
Now we can relive one of the short-lived victories of Native Americans over the Spanish conquistadors. Catch a glimpse into the culture and lives of Florida’s native population; how they lived in a land of plenty, how they adopted horses into their lives, and how the outfoxed the mighty Spaniards.
St. Augustine is one of my and my daughter and her family’s favorite places to go in Florida. I go once in a while but they go every chance they get. We’ve stayed anywhere from a day to a weekend or week. We’ve been to the Fountain of Youth many times.
As soon as I saw this book was available for review I knew I would be joining.
The book is rather short at only 164 pages but it is a very good fictional account of what Ponce’s journey might have been like. I loved reading everything the author had to tell, especially the journey Ponce took and the story of what happened along the way. It was very interesting, especially learning about the Native Americans in Florida at that time because my father’s family at that time were Native Americans.
I plan on passing this book on to my daughter. I think the next time we visit will be even better after reading this book.
If you have any interest in the Fountain of Youth or plan to visit St. Augustine, Florida in the future, this book would be perfect for you.
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Different culture does not equate to a lack of culture.
Although Ponce is a satirical book, look carefully at the culture of the Native Americans who encountered Ponce de Leon on his second foray into Florida. Unlike Pizzaro and Cortez, who destroyed cultures by burning, looting, and defiling everything in sight, Ponce sought something illusive that he needed help to find. The Natives failed to suffer from European diseases, and therefore, they were not physically disadvantaged. The Native American culture was every bit as inculcated and viable in Florida as the Spanish culture was in Spain.
Prior to the arrival of Ponce de Leon, the Native Americans lusted for nothing. Hunger was not an issue. They had nuts, berries, roots, and fruits for the picking. Wildlife was plentiful, and when the tide receded the table was set. They enjoyed clean air, sunsets, and a natural flower garden. They conceived natural medicines and techniques that improved their lives in the natural environment. In the modern world, people pay large sums of money in attempts to replicate that lifestyle a week or two at a time. When horses arrived, they assimilated them into their lifestyle and culture.
The Natives questioned whether the conquistadores had come for conquest or escape when the Spanish described their lifestyle back home. The description of their castles shed light on why the strangers lived with strong odors that the Natives could identify from long distances. The Natives questioned the value of living in a large stone building with no fresh water to drink, wash clothes, or bathe in. The Spaniards brought those sanitation practices along with their heavy clothing to the New World. The concept of fences, proprietorship, popes, kings, and queens produced no envy. In the end, the Natives granted that the Spanish would never relish a free lifestyle unbounded by the need for more.
It is our loss today that the Native American cultures were destroyed. How many natural medical remedies were lost forever? What if we could all just slow down and smell the flowers in a natural setting? What if we could enjoy a peaceful enlightened life? What if we realized we have enough, rather than the thought that we all have the same amount – not quite enough?
Meet the Author:
Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.