There is no joy in Mudville. Mighty Casey has struck out.

It was inevitable. It had to happen. Syracuse finally lost last night. Notre Dame beat Syracuse 67-58. It was Notre Dame all the way. Syracuse just did not have it.

I offer no excuses for my alma mater. But…..the 3’s did not go in, rebounds ended up in Notre Dame hands, and Syracuse’s fabled defense did not perform. Plus our starting center, Fab Melo, did not play. He was benched for academic reasons.

The preceding offered not as excuses, but rather the sharing of some factual details.

Anna seemed to enjoy her first basketball game. Even if she did not, she was a trooper to sit through it.

We watched the game with Chris and Don. At the Sports Page Bar, of course. Zelda joined our group.

Zelda is a Facebook friend. She recently moved to Key West from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has become a permanent Key West resident.

After the game, Anna and I took a walk over to the Wine Galley. We had a bite to eat and enjoyed the playing of Larry Smith.

The top was down as we drove back to my home. All of the sudden, the sky was ablaze with fireworks and noise. Big noise! I thought it might be to celebrate  the first trip to Key West by Flagler’s railroad. This weekend is a celebration of that event. I found out this morning I was correct.

Henry Flagler was an interesting man. He made a lot of money. He started the Standard Oil Company with one of the Rockefellers. Says it all.

Flagler was taken with Key West. In the very early 1900s, the only way to get from the Florida mainland to Key West was by boat. There was a semblance of a road, but not much. No railroad existed.

Flagler thought a railroad should run from the Florida mainland to Key West. In those days, a distance of 128 miles. He put his money, brains and influence to the task. His dream of a railroad was considered Flagler’s Folly. The route contained too many small islands and too many large water spaces. It would be an impossible task to construct sufficient bridges and trestles to handle the trains.

The Key West Citizen in this morning’s paper describes what Flagler had in mind best. Flagler wanted to build a railroad “…where nature never intended…a railroad.”

Flagler accomplished his dream! The railroad made its first trip from the Florida mainland to Key West 100 years ago today on January 22, 1912.

The railroad was short lived.

Flagler’s railroad died never to be resurrected on Labor Day 1935. A hurricane hit the upper Florida Keys. The hurricane has been described as one of the most intense hurricanes ever to make landfall. Four hundred people died.

Flagler’s railroad was wiped out. Trestles blown away, bridges broken, rails destroyed.

The railroad was never rebuilt.

The Flagler railroad celebration continues today, also. There will be a parade on the Duval at one. I am going to try to make it. Key West parades are terrific!

An interesting bit of information. The locomotive pulling the railroad cars in that first trip was manufactured in Schenectady, New York. Hooray for upstate New York!

Enjoy your Sunday!

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