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Bowlegs then and now
When I was a kid, just after the earth mantle cooled, I attend the Bowlegs landing and hit up as many of the pre landing festivities as Mom was willing to drive me to. Things were a lot different back then, to say the least.
Sorry to shatter your illusion but nothing about pirate life was suitable for families so why should we expect any less from the sham that is the Bowlegs festival?
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a young kid in the 60 we used to dress up like pirates, and decorate our boat with flags. In the 70 we gathered in front of the yacht club and followed the parade to the landing watching the fort get blown up. In the 80 we started throwing water balloons when the Marine patrol stopped that used pickle buckets to throw water. In the 90 anchored where they do now it looked more like crab island then the anchoring of the two lines we do now. Then jello shooters, hooter meters, live bands out in the water followed. Bowlegs members got jealous because the event in the water surpassed the event on the land. Now from all over the Country come to our area for this event. Its called progress. I have Adidas Neo White Original gone to every Bowlegs sine 1966 miss one!
These days even water balloons are frowned on, though drunken fights on the fleet speedboats anchored in Santa Rosa Sound routinely make it to YouTube. And I enjoy looking through the arrest mugshots for BUIs the day after Bowlegs.
was no dirty dancing on boats or public nudity as there is today. There was also no heavy drinking back then taken the fun out of it and it's no longer suitable for familites. part of any actual activities would be suitable for Pirates were hyper violent dredges of society and no feeble attempt by a chamber of commerce who's goal is making money can match to the true debauchery and degradation of real pirate life.
After the ski show they launch fireworks. These were not the elaborate mortars you see at modern fireworks shows. Adidas Neo Gold
The Bowlegs Festival starts this weekend? How did that happen? Seems I just got the Christmas stuff put away. I can believe how quickly this year has gone by. Next thing you know we be in our new building and I won know it fall because I can hear the Choctaw Band practicing.
Landings were the best. We gather down at The Spendrift, a restaurant/lounge that sat on Santa Rosa Sound across the street from the present location of Captain D in Fort Walton Beach. As the Blackhawk approached from Brook Bridge a makeshift built in the middle of the sound would be dynamited. Then, as the pirates approached, they would hurl bombs into the water which would explode and shower us with saltwater.
It was a bunch of guys who I always suspected had been drinking beer launching plain old oversized bottle rockets into the air. We loved it.
They have a parade. A beauty queen would ride in the back seat of a Ford Fairlane convertible (hey, my sister Sandieplaced third in the Bowlegs beauty contest) and they throw candy, which we fight over, as if we never seen a paper wrapped piece of taffy.
A big draw was the Bowlegs water ski show that would be held in Cinco Bayou near the bridge. We would line the shoreline, where Scully sits now, and watch the daring skiers launch themselves from ramps. That it. Ramps.
Bowlegs is bigger now and maybe a lot slicker, but the old Bowlegs fest had something you don see very often these days: charm.
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