Gaspar Returns



Gaspar Returns is the compelling story of the dramatic return of the famous pirate Jose Gaspar.

Jose Gaspar, or Gasparilla as he was known in later life, was said to have been born near Seville, Spain, in 1756.  He was reported to be "small in body, perhaps, but imbued with the stamina of a Spanish fighting bull, the courage of a cornered leopard, and the cunning of a black fox.  He was kind to his friends, dangerous to his enemies, and always true to his word."

Stories about Jose Gaspar are varied--from the time he, at the age of twelve, kidnapped a neighbor's daughter and tried to collect ransom, to his promotion at age 26 to the rank of admiral of the Middle Atlantic Squandron, his subsequent betrayal by the King of Spain, his war against Spanish holdings for 26 years, and his reported suicide when he was about to be captured.  Gaspar had been "a Spanish officer of high rank, a pirate, a seducer of countless women, a wholesale murderer of human souls, and the last, and perhaps greatest, of all the pirates who operated in the 1800's."  Jose Gaspar, in fact, may have had much to do with Florida’s becoming a part of the Union, for if he had not settled on its West Coast and become a major pain to Spanish commerce with Cuba and Mexico, Spain might have been less willing to sell Florida to the United States.

Gaspar returns to the world of the early 21st century, to traffic jams, fax machines, fast food restaurants, jet planes and speed boats, and sophisticated banks and security systems.  He learns the habits of his new times quickly and builds a following through charisma and cunning.

Jack Medford, a Tampa journalist, becomes a friend to Gaspar.  Medford learns of another side to the legendary pirate.  The story of Gaspar, on which Tampa Bay's renowned Gasparilla celebration was originally based, and his return to our time, is one that makes you turn the pages with anticipation until its exciting finish.