Universal Studios

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #3

The Kissimmee train station is a fairly active place. The trains come and go with scheduled regularity. I like that I can clearly hear the whistles and rumbles that announce them from our home a few miles from downtown. Norris was waiting on a bench near the station. Her small suitcase told me she was a traveler; I wondered if she was coming or going. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and so many other tourist destinations nearby, one can look at anyone in Kissimmee and wonder pretty much the same thing.

Good journey, Norris. Or perhaps it should be, “Welcome home”.

Norris [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

 “Norris” [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

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Cracker Cowboys of Kissimmee

Kissimmee, Florida has a rich and interesting history. It was the first town in the US with drinking establishments able to accommodate ranchers on horseback. Kissimmee was literally the end of the line for cowboys during Florida’s early cattle era, which began in the 1860’s. Ranchers would drive their cattle through the open ranges in the area and the sound of their cracking whips would fill the air. This inspired Frederic Remington to derogatorily refer to these men as “Cracker Cowboys” in an 1895 article he wrote for Harper’s New Monthly magazine.

And now you know where the term “Florida Cracker” — a description used for a true Florida Southerner who is not a transplant from another state — comes from. There aren’t too many of us left. And these days, most that are left are herding Walt Disney World and Universal Studios theme park tourists rather than cattle.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/13 at 1/60 sec., 85 mm

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/13 at 1/60 sec., 85 mm

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