Last Thursday evening, Steve Rinck entered City Hall dressed in the uniform of an infantry soldier of the 1830’s. He carried a trunk holding personal items a soldier of that era would value. Then he spoke in an Irish accent that drew people into the experiences of his well crafted character, Paddington McCormick, an Irish immigrant who joined the US Infantry in 1835.
His story told of his entry into New York Harbor, where Irishmen of his stature were often not valued. He spoke of his adventures visiting the P.T. Barnum Circus. Some of the sights he saw included a “Feejee Mermaid,” as well as a “161 year old woman” claiming to be George Washington’s nursemaid.
His story wound around to include how he enlisted into the U.S. Infantry, and he expounded with a detailed description of his uniform and weapons. He successfully explained the cartridge box, the forage cap, and why his shoes were called “Jeffersons.”
Mr. Rinck completed the history by describing how Paddy’s company traveled through the wilderness of central Florida Territory to force the Seminoles out to Oklahoma. His presentation was informative, entertaining, and well-presented. His attention to
detail in an interesting fashion held each guest of Historic Hernando Preservation Society spellbound.
HHPS extends a heartfelt “thank you” to Mr. Rinck for composing such an informative program.