68 year-old Dr. Richard Shortlidge, a director of Florida Living History, Inc., recently sang the praises of St. Augustine to U.S. News & World Report magazine.
Shortlidge, told reporters that he is spending his retirement years “firing muskets and cannons”.
He portrays a Spanish soldier in full uniform and performs traditional leatherworking at Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine.
“I explain what it was like to be a soldier in the middle of the 18th century and a little bit about the craft that I do,” he says.
Shortlidge, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, also volunteers at Fort Matanzas and the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest 17th century masonry fort in North America.
“If you are a lover of history and nature, you’d be hard-pressed to find a place that combines both of these as well as they are combined in St. Augustine,” Shortlidge says.
Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. The 20 1/2 acre Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and only known existing 17th century masonry fort in North America.
Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News contributed photograph by Jackie Hird