Saturday, January 25, 2014
José Gaspar, according to legend, was the "Last of the Buccaneers," having defected from the Spanish Navy to maraud the coast of Florida in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Since 1904, the City of Tampa has been holding a pirate festival in his name (he supposedly called himself Gasparilla as a pirate. It's a fine festival, responsible for the construction of the only fully-rigged pirate ship in the world (according to organizers). Therefore we don't want to report that Gaspar never existed, and was probably created as an alterego by an old man known for telling tall tales of his life at sea. Let's just let his legend live on, especially on this, the last Saturday of January, when the Gasparilla Pirate Festival captures the key to the City of Tampa, and our imaginations.