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One Man’s Extraordinary Quest to Find “the Devil’s Punch Bowl,” or Maybe a Piece of his Heart. Chapter 1

One Man’s Extraordinary Quest to Find “the Devil’s Punch Bowl,” or Maybe a Piece of his Heart. Chapter 1

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A Miami native answers a calling find the “Devil’s Punch Bowl” of Miami’s historic legend, a fresh water spring beloved of the indigenous peoples, mariners, pirates, the early pioneers in the area, and those to come.
A Miami native answers a calling find the “Devil’s Punch Bowl” of Miami’s historic legend, a fresh water spring beloved of the indigenous peoples, mariners, pirates, the early pioneers in the area, and those to come.

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Published by: Paul Hampton Crockett on Jul 10, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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Wainwright Park, for NancyP. Crockett
Chapter 1 of 3:The Lure of the “Devil’s Punch Bowl”: A Journey Begins.
Grove Pioneer “Commodore” Ralph Munroe, most often behind the camera,here slakes his thirst with the cool, clean spring-fed waters of the “Devil’sPunch Bowl.” A widely-accomplished man of many talents much beloved of his community, he is still widely celebrated as the builder of his family homeon the Bay in Cocoanut Grove, “the Barnacle,” now the heart of a popular  public park, and the oldest-surviving home in the County remaining in itsoriginal location.
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The Devil’s Punch Bowl,  Biscayne Bay
(First Sitting)P. Crockett 
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
--Matsuo Basho
 
Beautiful Biscayne Bay, in which we spent a fair portion of our free hoursgrowing up. Beyond the awesome thrill of true exploration, just being on the Baywas relaxing, and always refreshing.
ABOUT a year or so ago, I suddenly realized that had to find the “Devil’sPunch Bowl” of Miami’s historic legend, if it still existed, or might berecognizable. The realization itself was unusual. It was different than “an idea,”like “
 Hey
, let’s go catch this-or-that movie,” or even
“let’s go and see Barcelona.
 Any 
reasons
for such a venture weren’t exactly known to me,
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 yet in any case seemed beside the point, in light of the clarity and force with which the knowledge had suddenly and quietly come. As sure as Iam, it had come from some “other place,” higher or deeper, and that wasall I needed know.Explaining such experiences can suggest (misleadingly) “a big deal,” andit was not. It was simple, yet extraordinary. In retrospect, the
 feeling
 was as if the plan had been waiting for me “outside of time,” full andcomplete. Once the moment had arrived when the next breath, or step, would offer the “click” leading me at last into readiness, the awarenessdawned upon me with no more effort than either the breath, or the step.
 It was time.
Growing up in Miami, it seemed as if I had always heard tales told of, and readabout the “Devil’s Punch Bowl.” As described by Howard Kleinberg in hiswonderful picture book of the area’s history,
Miami: The Way We Were
:
Situated about two miles south of the Miami River, along theshore of the bay, is one of perhaps Miami’s most mysterious andromantic historic sites– the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Located on whatnow is private property just south of Wainwright Park andimmediately north of Vizcaya– In the 3000 block of Brickell– thePunch Bowl was a fresh water spring close to the shore.Historians, while agreeing that not enough research has beendone on the Punch Bowl, also say that its water has quenchedthe thirsts of Indians, explorers, pirates and pioneers through thecenturies.
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