Lady in black!

Yesterday morning I was at the coffee house on Duval reading the papers when I heard a sultry voice entone “…hello Louis!”

I knew immediately who it was. The lovely Jackie Grimm.

Jackie always dresses in black. A devistating woman! Tall. Actually stately is a better word to describe her. And that long platinum hair! And lest I forget, always a capturing smile!

Yes, I love Jackie Grimm!

We have not seen each other in many a month. So soon it will be dinner. Her good husband Roland will join us of course. My good friend also and my economic guru.

The day started with a long walk along the waterfront. Then lunch at Paradise Cafe. Can’t beat that toasted cuban bread!

Then a haircut.

My barber is Lauri. She is actually a beautician. I go to a woman’s salon to get my hair done.

Lauri is a real knockout! Short and thin. Long straight blond hair. She looks good! She smells good! Getting a haircut is a wonderful experience. One I look forward to. Not like going to the dentist.

My health kick continues. Though I am back to eating and drinking a bit, I am still working out more than normal. I swam laps in the pool in the afternoon for about an hour.

Last night was the reenactmanet of the Battle for the Conch Republic!

I went down to the docks to watch.

About 25 years ago in the late 1980s there was a drug problem in the keys. The U.S. government in an attempt to control the drug inflow blockaded the keys at their entrance around Florida City. A for real blockade was established at the entrance to U.S. 1. In order to enter the keys, identification had to be shown.

Key Westers are a proud tough group. They did not take to this barricading/ID thing.

So they formed the Conch Republic! Declared independence from the United States! And seceeded from the Union!

A water battle took place off Key West as the first act of rebellion.

Water hoses, cabbage, tomatoes and eggs were the weapons of choice.

Of course, the U.S. Coast Guard soon put the rebellion down.

The Conchs sued for peace. And demanded the barricade come down and $1 billion dollars in reparations.

The point had been made. The barricade came down. But the United States did not treat the rebellious citizens of Key West as it had the many nations world wide it had previously militarily defeated. No money changed hands!

Out of that brief moment some 25 years ago has grown an annual celebration. While the actual rebellion probably lasted all of 10 minutes, its present celebration is a week long affair! Parties, races and all sorts of special events.

Last night was the culmination of the week long celebration.

There was a sleek long Coast Guard cruiser and several smaller Coast Guard boats. The good guys (rebels) were out in all sort of water craft from large pirate frigates to small dinghys. And all proudly flying the blue Conch Republic flag!

The battle was momentous!

The vessels on both sides were filled, actually in some instances overloaded, with people. Boats attacked each other with large fire hoses emitting huge streams of drowning water. The rebels buried the U.S. vessels with cabbage, lettuce, fruit and eggs.

The Conch Air Force flew overhead. Helicopters, bi-planes and all sorts of private air craft. Bombs of toilet paper dropped on the Coast Guard vessels. The U.S. government retailiated with a squadron of aircraft from Bocca Chica naval base. Cannons were fired from the larger vessels.

In the end, it was the same. The United States won! To the thundrous approval of the crowd!

As it should be.

Too bad other wars cannot be so easily resloved.

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