Home Is Where We Park It: Dade Battlefield Historical State Park
Date: March 22, 2019
Ready – Aim – Fire!
Richloam General Store
This has been one crazy winter here in Florida. One morning you wake up to temperatures in the 60’s and then in just a day you wake up and it is 42 degrees outside. I know, I know there are plenty of you suffering the real pains of winter temperatures further north. I feel for you, I really do because I for one can no longer take the cold.
Since we were on the work schedule I couldn’t just pull the blankets over my heard and wait for the temperatures to climb. I did the next best thing. Jeans, t-shirt, two sweat shirts, a ski hat and a light pair of gloves. Now I was ready to face the day.
What a day it turned out to be. Just take a look at this clear blue sky. Beautiful!
Nothing much to do this morning as far as the park was concerned. Barb and Patti teamed up to clean the bathrooms and restock the the various supply closets. Steve and I took the leaf blowers and cleaned the various parking lots and the entrance to the Visitor Center and Lodge. Then things got interesting. Barb and Patti, Steve and I happened to be passing the Visitor Center just as Ranger Jordan was giving a class on how to fire a musket. Did we, he asked, want to fire it? Well, why not. First, some basic instruction on how to properly hold, load and fire a musket courtesy of Jordan.
Then it was time. Ready – Aim – Fire!
Next, it was Barbara’s turn. Instruction completed, time to do it. Her new nickname now is Annie Oakley.
It amazes me how many steps are necessary to load and fire a musket. What’s more amazing is most of the time it had to be done when someone else was firing at you and trying to kill you. Moreover, because of the smooth bore there was never any guarantee that you would hit anyone. You just basically pointed it at an advancing enemy and hoped when you fired you hit someone!
At 11 am the work morning was over. Barbara and I went back to Graybeard, changed and took off to the chiropractor. While we were out we also went to Wallie World, the Post Office and CVS. At CVS we picked up the necessary pass for the Florida Turnpike. We’ll be taking it eastward when we leave here to get to Cape Canaveral.
Back at the rig there came a knock at the door, Patti wanted to know if we wanted to take a ride with her and Steve to Richloam General Store and Posted Office. We had been there 2 years ago but were more than willing to go back. The original store was built in
1929 and operated as a train depot, post office and general store until 1935. The sign over the front door is the original depot sign.
It was rented as a residence from 1936 to 1955 and sat vacant until 1973. In 1973 descents of the family that first owned the store decided to restore it to what it once was.
The original post office facade sits near the entrance, complete with wanted posters for 1930s fugitives
The store stocks items from the 1920s and 1930s. There are canned goods that were common in the time period, smoked meats, popular toys from nearly a century ago, and even “penny candies”, which sell by the pound. The only modern item for sale in the store is the family’s BBQ sauce, made from the secret recipe of their’ late father, Big John.
Overall view of the store as you walk it.
Old fashioned kids pedal car.
Various flavors of pop for sale. Sarsaparilla, Jersey Cream, Grape Nehi, Frostie Root Beer, Cheerwine, and Ale-8
A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Here’s the original cash register. Since it only works for sales of $7.93 or less, look off to the left and you will see the computer (black screen) they actual use to ring up sales today.
Of course we came home with a few goodies of our own.
There’s a sampler box, a root beer stick, a peanut log, Big John’s Barbecue Sauce and a favorite of mine, Hot Pepper Jelly!
That was our day on The Road of Retirement. We found enough to do from beginning to end to make it a full and rewarding day. Just the kind of day that we like. Of course we did it our way, we traveled along, hand in hand, singing our song. We would have it no other way.
Thanks again for joining us today. We enjoyed having you with us. We’ll look to see you again tomorrow. Time now to call it a night, find a blanket or two, maybe three and climb in under them. Take care.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before
See you on down the road