Image via WikipediaAccording to CelebratePensacola.com -
In 1559, Spanish explorer, Don Tristan de Luna de Arellano landed on the shores of what is now Pensacola, Florida. De Luna’s expedition left from Mexico and found its way to the naturally protected waters of what is now Pensacola Bay. What happened shortly thereafter played a vital role in American history; thus, the Pensacola Bay Area is celebrating 450 years of history in 2009.
Many do not know, however, Pensacola predates St. Augustine (1565) and Jamestown, VA (1607). Several months after the settlement was established in 1559, a hurricane destroyed the supplies, and the group struggled to survive. De Luna returned to his native Spain and the Spanish did not return to the area until the seventeenth century.
Pensacola is where I live. There has been a celebration in the works for the last year. This week King Juan Carlos 1 and Queen Sofia of Spain are paying a visit to our area as part of Celebrate Pensacola. As I've listened to the news media and read all the reports of this upcoming visit I've been amazed at how much hoopla is made over this couple. To be fair though I feel that way anytime there is a huge fuss made over anybody from actors and performers to race car drivers and football or basketball players - personally I think it is ridiculous - these people are human beings just like the homeless man sleeping in the woods and they deserve no more or no less respect from one another.
I have a favorite columnist in my local newspaper - he is pretty much always right in tune with "my" way of thinking. His article today was no exception - I am including his article here because when I read it this morning it was EXACTLY the way I was feeling about this whole visit from the King and Queen!
His name is Reginald T. Dogan and here is his article:
Royal Way May Not Be Our Way
I've met my share of powerful and prominent people during my lifetime.
I've broken bread with U.S. senators and college presidents.Over the years, I've interviewed a number of top professional athletes and entertainers. I've been in the company of a Saudi prince, then-Vice President Al Gore and the GOAT (greatest of all time), Muhammad Ali.
I even spent the day with Kimberly Aiken, Miss America 1994. I would have enjoyed it more if it were 10 years earlier and I had met with Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984.
Even though I admired most of them, I idolized none of them. However, I never failed to give them the respect they duly deserved. If I get to meet face to face with King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain when they arrive in Pensacola this week, I'll mind my manners and give them their due respect, too. But that's as far as I'll go.
You won't catch me bowing or kneeling in their presence. Homey don't play dat.
The only King J.C. I'm bowing to is King Jesus the Christ. This king's not our sovereign; we're not his subjects. When those brave patriots kicked butt and took names in the American Revolution, we did away with all that king and queen foolishness. I am not all that impressed with a king and queen anyway. Ace-king is so much better. If the king and queen really want to impress me, let's hear her rap like Queen Latifah and watch him slam dunk like King (Lebron) James.
In case you missed it, there are rules of etiquette to remember when in the presence of royalty. Protocol says that you don't extend your hand to shake unless the king or queen extends a hand to you. Does that mean I can't slap five or bump fists with them? It's also a cardinal sin to turn your back to the king. So, what's a man supposed to do when he departs from Your Highness? Moonwalk?
I got some news for members of Celebrate Pensacola and for the king and queen: My momma told me a long time ago that "Ain't nobody better than nobody else. People are people, no matter how big or tall, rich or small they might be.''
I don't mean to be a royal pain in the behind for the royal Spaniards, but the last time I checked, Their Majesties woke up with the sun in the east. I'm guessing that King Carlos puts on his royal britches much like I do: one leg at a time. We've all heard that when you're in Rome, you do as the Romans. Their Majesties are coming to Pensacola. We're not going to Spain. In this neck of the backwoods, we extend warm handshakes, say what we mean, do what we say, and turn our backs and walk away.
That might not be the royal way, but it's our way.