Tales from the Oldest City
by Randy Cribbs
OCRS, Inc.

"The St. John's [River] was a long sanctuary when Florida was a strange and forbidding place."

This book is a collection of short stories about the people and places in and around St. Augustine, a city located in the extreme northeast portion of Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers and home to mysteries such as Ponce de Leon's supposed Fountain of Youth, the city certainly provides fodder for Cribbs to explore. He introduces the reader to characters, tradition, and folklore as he skillfully crafts stories rangin in subject from the cobblestone streets littered with tourists downtown out into the swampy marshes filled with alligators and only those few residents brave enough to call it home.

While the book is certainly entertaining, it is also one that leaves the reader knowing and understanding more about the area and its culture. It intertwines historical fact with fictional stories blurring the lines of reality, all while capturing the mysterious, historical air that St. Augustine is so famous for. While some of the stories seem short by comparison, they are right-sized for their subject matter and leave the reader satisfied yet still day dreaming about how much was truth. For those who have lived in or visited the area, it's a fun read about folklore that's been passed down from generation to generation. For those not familiar with the area, it provides well told stories that can entertain and make you wonder none the less. It would make a nice souvenier from travels to the area and has a definite place in a local's home library.

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