Floridians are in love with the word legacy. In the last two days my husband and I have seen Legacy Homes, a Legacy Pizza Restaurant, the Legacy Golf Course, and today, we biked along The Legacy Trail:
As I was biking, admiring the strands of Spanish moss that drape the live oaks like hundreds of grey shawls,
I wondered about Florida's fascination with the word legacy. Surfing the internet I finally found the connection. On the Viva Florida website I discovered that the word is associated with the Spanish legacy of precolonial times. It can be seen in the Spanish roots of the names of many cities (San Agustín became St. Augustine; San Marcos de Apalachee became St. Marks, etc.) In addition, both Florida's cattle and citrus industries have Spanish origins.
But how about Spanish moss? Is it another Spanish legacy? As it turns out, the plant that is seen throughout the southeast, is neither Spanish or a moss. Legends abound to explain the name. Depending on what you want to believe, either it is the greying hair of a Spanish woman whose fiancee' was warned by Cherokee Indians to leave the land, or it is a Spainard's beard-- caught in the trees after he was spurned by a Native American woman.
Now you know.
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