Vendors & Historical Sutlers Wanted for Seminole War Event 2019


2019 Battle of Okeechobee

Feb. 23-24, 2019

Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

3500 SE 38th Ave

Okeechobee, FL  34974 

Battle of Okeechobee Weekend

Commemorating the 1837 Battle of Okeechobee

February 23rd and February 24th, 2019Friday February 22, 2019 — 4th Grade Education Day

Open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

An invitation for Demonstrations and Displays1800 Time Period Encouraged

Name ________________________________________ Tax number __________________ Address _____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________ Telephone _____________________________Email_________________________________ Items selling or displaying______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ What size area do you need? ____________________________________________________

Selling Vendors: $26.75

Make Checks Payable to: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park 33104 NW 192nd Ave.

Okeechobee, FL 34972
If you have additional questions or concerns please contact Natalie Carlson at the above

office number or email her at

(GPS 27.211601-80.78930)

Display only: No fee

Office: 863-462-5360 Fax: 863-462-5276

A Second Look at The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy

The recent Pulpwood Girlfriend’s Weekend in Jefferson Texas was a fundraiser for Contory’s literacy efforts. This event revived my interest in Conroy’s writing, so I decided to read again his Lord’s of Discipline.

Why? Perhaps because I once lived in Charleston (James Island actually) and loved the city of Charleston and the whole area. I’ve often said it was my favorite city in the whole world. The history, culture, geography and legends have always amazed and intrigued me. While living there, I befriended some Citadel cadets and was able to visit the Citadel a few times. As I reflected on my friends, I wondered how that elite military college affected them. I decided to read the novel again and collect some thoughts on my reading. I purposely decided to not read any reviews; I just wanted to have a reader’s response to the novel.

Because of Conroy’s precise and sensory description of Charleston, I was taken back over twenty years to the days when I walked the streets of that city, strolling through the markets, investigating the stores, losing all sense of time in the museums. It was a city I could never get enough of and never fail to be surprised by. As Conroy says, it is “one of thosae cities that never lets go.”

The themes I discovered in the novel on friendship, the cruelty of men (and women), the power and pain of first love, the changing nature of memory, and the abuse of power were moving and sometimes disturbing. The old ragged paperback I read is now marked and underlined and Conroy’s vocabulary is an education in itself. I learned so much more than I intended, and that to me is a sign of a powerful book.

Some of the unforgettable lines on this read are: “I was young then, and my youth permitted me to believe I could change the world if only I could devise a cnning enough strategy” (211).

“Beautiful cities have a treacherous nature” (241).

“Great teachers had great personalities and that the greatest teachers had outrageous personalities” (271).

“The objects you valued defined you” (336).

There were so many good sentences and well-turned phrases from this very Southern writer. HERE iis a video of Conroy briefly discussing The Lords of Discipline.

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy: A short review.

Last week, I was in Jefferson, Texas at Kathy Murphy’s Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend, an annual event that promotes literacy. I’ve attended it as often as I could slince the event. As usual, Kathy, a champion of literacy, organized the event well: the speakers were fantastic and motivatilng, the writers and readers who attended were sharp and excited, and the funds raised were designated to help the Pat Controy LIterary Center, which brings me to the purpose of this blog post. I was musical entertainment for the authors on Thursday night, was on one author panel, and signed my books the rest of the weekend. (Under the Witch’s Mark and others. You can see my books HERE: )

I was fortunate enough to purchase a book signed by Pat Conroy, My Reading Life. I was so happy to obtain this treasure that I did not make write or underliome in it as I usually do when I read a book I really like. From my reading of this book this week, I learned so much about Pat Conroy, his travels, his literary and reading life, the people and authors and books that influenced him, about the act and art of reading, about how reading relates to one’s writing, and about myself. I had a true and womderful literary experlience in that reading.

Here’s just a few of my favorite quotations:

“Good writing is the hardest form of thinking” (304).

“All writers are hostages of their own divine, unchangeable rituals” (206).

“The most powerful words in English are, “Tell me a story . . . (303).

“I learned how to be a man through the reading of great books” (321).

There are so many others, but I hope these will get you thinking. If you’ve been a reader of Pat Conroy’s novels, you will enjoy this book,

Rickey Pittman

Ann Coulter on the French Revolution

I have to confess–my first thoughtful reading touching the French Revolution, the time when I really understood the horror of that period in French history, was when I taught my gifted reading students, A Tale of Two Citiesby Charles Dickens. Like Anne Frank in the 1959 movie script, I thought it the saddest book I’ve ever read. I’ve never forgotten that first reading and today I still consider it one of Dickens’ best novels. Now, many years later, I came into possession of Ann Coulter’s Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America. Two chapters in that fine read deal specifically with the French Revolution, and one chapter contrasts our own American Revolution with the French. 

            Coulter’s two chapters dealing with the French Revolution were so powerful and affected me so deeply that I had to read them twice. They were disturbing, not only because of the vivid horror of the French Revolution she portrays so well, but also because the comparison to our own country frightened me by showing the abuses I knew could easily occur today.  The seed of the mindset that created the French Revolution has been scattered throughout our own society. Here’s a few observations I drew from the chapters:

1. There was no logic to the chronology of the French Revolution. Coulter argues this is because it was a mob event, and mobs do not operate by logic. Mobs are irrational.

2. The mobs of the French Revolution were fueled by rumors and gossip.

3. The French Revolution mobs were anti-secular. Churches and spiritual leaders were attacked. The State became the official religion. 

4. Lawful authorities (law enforcement of the French society) were targeted.  The mob had no fear of punishment, so the mobs ran wild. 

5.  Beautiful and priceless monuments, statues, and art were destroyed because they offended those in the mobs. 

6. Even the leaders of this revolution were not safe as other leaders and the mobs turned on them. Mobs can love someone one minute and hate the person the next. 

7. Anyone who questioned the excesses and course of events was deemed unpatriotic and paid the price. 

8. The French Revolution was nothing like ours. It set the stage for the Bolshevik Revolution, Ma’s Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s slaughter, and America’s mindless mobs vandalizing and attacking the innocent. 

If you are interested in the French Revolution, in understanding why there’s so many riots and mob occurrences now troubling our land and other nations, I encourage you to obtain Coulter’s Demonic.  You will also understand much more about the mob mentality of the troublemakers in our society today.

A Review of The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard

A friend and former college student recently gave me her grandfather’s western library, including the leatherbound set of the stories of Louis Lamour. Included in this box of beautiful books was The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard. These thirty stories, set almost entirely in Arizona and New Mexico Territories, brought to life  that region of the West.

The detailed sensory and detailed descriptions of the settilng and are amazing in Leonard’s writing. When I read, I have a habit of looking up every plant, animal, historical fact, geographical place, phrase or word that I am unfamiliar with. Thanks to the instant knowledge of the Internet, it is much easier to do that now than it used to be. We truly live in an age of instant knowledge. Leonard’s knowledge of the Apache culture, mindset, skills, chiefs, and wars especially stood out to me.

To sum up, if you are a western writer or reader,  strongly recommend these stories.  Leonard is a also a prolific screenwriter and novelist in crime and suspense. You can read more about Elmore Leonard (1925-2013)  HERE:

A Review of The Bayou Fairies by Cher Levis Hunt, Illustrated by Paula Merritt Windham

A Review of The Bayou Fairies by Cher Levis Hunt, Illustrated by Paula Merritt Windham. Ally-Gator Bookbites Publishing House. 2017.

This is one of the most captivating and beautifully llustrated children’s picture books I’ve read, and certainly a unique look at the fairy world. Cher Levis Hunt leads us into the enchanted fairy world of the bayou, and there the reader experiences a series of adventures where we meet the fairy folk, their forever friends, and other creatures there.  We learn how they came together in the bayou to form a swampy family, a community bonded together by their love for nature. Artist Paula Merritt Windham has created the perfect fairy world for the author’s story.

In the pages of this wonderful book we meet fascinating fairy characters like Queen Nolia; King Oak; Ivy, the Poison Ivy Fairy; Honey, the Honeysuckle Fairy;  Vivi, the Bayou Violet Fairy; Cy, the Cypress Fairy; Lily, the Lily Pad Fairy; and Bean, the Bogbean Fairy. As we read the stories and descriptions of each of these characters, we also see interesting facts about the plants of this fairy paradise!

Cher Hunt has worked magic in this book.  It is sure to be a Louisiana classic, a book that will educate and entertain our children, and a book that will make a fine read-aloud for school programs or family events. If you’re already fascinated by the faerie folk, this book will feed that dreamworld faeries lead us to.

In her dedication, the author says: “This book is dedicated to my ‘fairy grandmother.’ You planted the seed in my imagination that grew into a lifelong love of fairies.

”In loving memory of Ruth Marie Garrett, 1925-1990.”

You may order the book HERE:

Author, Cher Levis Hunt

How to Create a Scottish/Irish School Program

Every year, I perform as a storyteller and musician (guitar /vocals) at Celtic Festivals. I also perform a Songs & Stories of Scotland and Ireland at many schools.  Usually each presentation is no more than 45 minutes.  If you are interested in creating your own program for schools to honor St. Patrick’s Day, Tartan Day, St. Andrews Day or other Celtic holidays, here are my suggestions as to how you can do that:

  1. Start with flags. Each of the seven Celtic nations has a flag with its own rich story. You can see some of these flags on the school flyer I’ve attached. Flags make a beautiful visual display. You can use flagpoles, tack or tape them to walls, or hang them easily from bookshelves. You can buy 3 x 5 foot flags cheaply on Amazon.
  2. Create your costume. I usually wear my kilt, though I may change that depending on weather, travel or other factors.
  3. Obtain some good music. There’s so many great musicians and bands to choose from. One good program often on NPR stations is Thistle and Shamrock. I generally use a CD of fiddle music, one of bagpipes and drums, and one of the ballads (including my own, The Minstrel Boy by the Bard of the South. See it HERE🙂
  4. Have a table with show-and-tell items. On my table, I have photos, toys, wooden weapons replicas (a targe, claymore, Roman sword, gallowglass sword, dirk, etc) historical items etc.
  5. Costumes for the kids (little kilts, priest robes, various hats, folding fans and parasol for girls etc. Kids liked to dress up and it gives lots of photo moments,
  6. Percussion instruments so a little band can play along wilth me on songs like “Molly Malone,” “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean etc. I have a bodhran, penny whistle, a harp (when I have room to bring it), maracas, tambourine and other percussion instruments.
  7. Some good stories and legends. For example, I use the story of William Wallace, Loch Ness Monster, the tartans, the druids, stories of the Scottish and Irish Saints, etc.
  8. I also have a dozen or so icons of Scottish, Irish, Welsh saints.

I will be happy to give more ideas or comment on yours if you’d care to share them.  Maybe this will get you started. Just write me at rickeyp at Good luck with your program.

Why Our Society Needs to Revive the Code of Chivalry

Any thinking, observant person realizes that this age is in great turmoil. With the exception of the Visegrád, Europe is crumbling in the face of the invasion of foreigners. These invaders (mostly Muslim) devour resources, resist assimilation, reject Western and Christian values, assault and terrorize European citizens, and openly assert their intent to impose Sharia law on their new homelands. They are not far from victory. The elite leaders of the nations under attack are weak and seemingly indifferent to the need to respect and protect their citizens and rescue their nation from certain destruction. I’m beginning now to understand the Crusades and Crusaders of the past who also faced invading hordes of savage people who wanted to pillage and conquer the civilizations of Europe and the achievements of Christianity.

There are no easy answers to our modern day dilemma. Whatever cure we choose will be costly and painful. Whatever we decide to do will require men (knights) of sound ethical values, determination, and toughness. In the movie, the Kingdom of Heaven, a priest asks, “Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?” Bailan answers that it does.  I suggest that a look at the Medieval Code of Chivalry still has value for us today. Those who live by such a code without a doubt will be better and will make the world a better place. I think the modern day application of these principles is obvious.  I’ve studied and condensed the main points of chivalry in this list:

1. Honor, defend, and love God, the king (leaders), one’s nation, and the church.
2. Respect for women.
3. Courage in battle
4. Truthfulness and self-control
5. Generosity.
6. Defend the helpless, fight against injustice and evil.
7. Make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.

Hopefully, you can see how these qualities are missing today. As Crosby, Stills & Nash said in their song, let’s teach our children well.