A return to normalcy takes time.

I drove into town testerday morning expecting every one to be busy taking down paneling and shutters. Very few were.

I looked for a place to have breakfast. Good luck! I ended up at Don’s Place having a diet coke and reading a 3 day old Miami newspaper.

I finally drove to Hogfish on Stock Island. For lunch by this time.

Hogfish was open. Not the usual large crowd. But people!

Lunch was free! Yes, free! There were about 8 items listed with a big free lunch sign over the items. And what a lunch! No skimping! My fish sandwich was much larger than normal. And more fries than usual.

Bobby who owns Hogfish is not only a smart guy, but a good guy! Many of his customers are the less fortunate. Or maybe not. They live day to day, one pay check to another. He was putting out the free lunch for all of them. Those who could not afford to buy because they had not worked for several days.

All you had to pay for was what you drank. I had 1 diet Pepsi. A big deal. But I left the barmaid a good tip. Her small son was running around. No babysitter yesterday.

The whole Hogfish atmosphere was one of family. As it should be! But many times is not!

I spent the afternoon at home doing some work and watching TV. Thank God for power! Without it, the computer and TV would have been down. And my sanity with it!

I figured by last night the rest of Key West would be coming out of their holes and hitting Duavl. Life again! I was wrong.

The town was desolate. Empty. Dark. Peopleless. Perhaps more locals evacuated than I thought.

It was Wednesday so I headed for Aqua. Mark Watson was bartending. Only 2 customers. A far cry from the usual 30-40 on Wednesday nights.

I walked down to Antonia’s. Figured it had to be open. Christopher never closes. Closed!

So I trotted down to La Trattoria. Closed!

I drove to the Pier House. The Chart Room is always open. Hemingway’s old hangout was! And with a good small crowd. My friend Donna was bartending. Good to see her back. I had a couple of drinks and spent some time chatting with a young couple. His name is Shawn. Hers I am embarassed to say I cannot recall. In their early 20s and recent grads of Mississippi U., they visited Key West in May and decided to settle here. Shawn is a reporter for KeyNoter. She is a receptionist at the Ocean Key House. Nice people. I look forward to meeting them again.

I needed to eat! The Chart Room is booze only. So I decided to try Sqauare One.

I lucked out! It was open and had a decent crowd, many of whom I knew. So I had a pleasant dinner and some good talk.

I was home in bed by 8. Such was my big night on the town! Limited activity, limited people.

It is still gray this morning. No sun. Little wind. As it was yesterday. I wish the sun would come out. It would breed life and vitality into us.

Ike is a killer. I have deep concern for the people of Texas.

I am going to Paradise Cafe for breakfast now. I hope it is open. Yesterday it was still boarded up. Also I need to read a current newspaper. I could not find any yesterday. Even the local paper apparently was not printed.

Till tomorrow…..

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