Interesting day yesterday!

I was sitting out on the deck with everything running through my mind. Kind of contemplating my navel mood!

All of a sudden I saw a shark swim by! Not the same one. Smaller. About 4 feet long.

This is the second time in less than a week that I have seen a shark off my dock. Never before in 10 years! Scarry! I’m never going in that water again!

Corey, Lisa and the grandkids came by later on. Of course, I am all excited about the shark. Again, Corey said worry not! They are more afraid of you than you are of them! A philosophy I cannot buy!

Then Corey shared with me a most interesting experience.

Understand that my son in law is absolute modesty. Humble and not assuming might be a more pecise description.

He is the salt of the earth. Typical of the the mid west where he was born and raised. Corey reminds me of Jimmy Stewart. Tall and lanky. Kind and gentle. Rarely excited.

He told me of an experience he had had 2 days earlier.

Corey was at the Winn Dixie Shopping area. He had been to CVS. He saw a girl on a moped go down. He immediately went over to help. She was lying face down. She was groaning. He tried to calm her and told her that 911 had been called.

All of a sudden her body had tremors and went still.

He turned her over. Her eyes were wide open and staring straight ahead. Her face was an odd gray color.

He thought she was dying or had died. He immediately started CPR. Mouth to mouth recusitation. He had learned CPR when he was 16 and a life guard in Indiana. He is now 46. He has never tried CPR in the 30 years since learning it.

As Corey was doing the mouth to mouth, another man came over and did the chest pressing. Corey says they did 8-10 rounds of the procedure.

All of a sudden, the young lady jerked and started breathing. The police arrived with the EMT people and took her away.

Corey says it was an indescribable experience to have helped in bringing the girl back. He was in awe of the whole thing.

A lesson to all of us. We should be knowledgable in CPR.

I rarely do the tourist end of town. However, last night I decided it would be a good change of pace. I figured I would start with the Chart Room and then hit Sloppy Joe’s and Rick’s. My game plan was to eat at Sloppy Joe’s. What else? A sloppy joe! However, I never made it past the Chart Room.

The Chart Room was packed! It was a no room at the inn situation! People were standing outside either drinking or trying to get in.

I squeezed inside and found my round table friends. What’s up, I inquired. Turned out it was a fundraiser for Hospice. The group was honoring the birthday of General Geoff Chapman.

General Chapman? I had never heard of him.

Turns out he was a general with the Conch Republic. General of the Conch Republic Army to be precise!

Back in the early 1980s, drugs were a problem in the keys. They are no more. Anyhow, the U.S. Government, in its divine wisdom, decided to set up a road block somewhere north around Homestead/Key Largo. The purpose of the road block was to check out vehicles for drugs.

Nowhere else in the United States was such a road block being utilized in the war on drugs.

The people of Key West took the road block as an insult. Understandably so. Who wants their car stopped and searched. So a group of Key Westers banded together to protest the blockade and its attendant insult.

They called themselves the Conch Republic. They actually formed a nation. They even had an army. The General of the Army was Geoff Chapman, in whose name the party was being held last night.

The Conch Republic formally protested to the U.S. Government and requested the removal of the barricade. They also formally seceded from the Union.

All this occured in a 24 hour period.

The U.S. Government heard them. The barricade came down. The Conch Republic surrendered. And demanded reparations! Why not!

That was a long time ago. However, the Conch Republic has continued. It is an active organization. In fact, each year a water battle is reenacted in the Key West harbor involving the U.S.Coast Guard and boats from the Conch Republic. Shots in the form of water hoses from the Coast Guard boats and tomatos and eggs from the Conch boats are exchanged. Jets and helicopters from Boca Chica fly over. Old double winged bi planes of the Conch Republic fly over also, dropping bombs of unraveling rolls of toilet paper on the Coast Guard ships below.

A big time! A good time! A Key West time!

And last night I ate and drank in honor of General Geoff Chapman of the Conch Republic Army!

The General was not with us. Unforunately he succumbed to cancer several years ago. But his spirit lives on, as evidenced by the fun every one was having last night!

Thank God for the Genral! Thank God for the Conch Republic revolution! Thank God for the people of Key West! I sometime think the only sanity left in this world is here in Key West!

6 comments on “

  1. Louis, Stay out of the water with the shark out there. I am a land lover just like you.
    Glad you had a good night out.
    Bob

  2. Louis, Stay out of the water with the shark out there. I am a land lover just like you.
    Glad you had a good night out.
    Bob

  3. Louis, No drug problem in Key West now? I hate to burst your bubble but there are still a lot of drugs in Key West and the Florida Keys. Granted, maybe not like there was in the early 80's –there's not many square groupers floating around the islands anymore — but you'd be surprised what's on the streets.

  4. Louis, No drug problem in Key West now? I hate to burst your bubble but there are still a lot of drugs in Key West and the Florida Keys. Granted, maybe not like there was in the early 80's –there's not many square groupers floating around the islands anymore — but you'd be surprised what's on the streets.

  5. I believe you are a bit mixed up about the reason for the road block that led to the Conch Republic. The secession, on April 23rd, 1982, was a response to the Border Patrol's border checkpoint setup on U.S.1 in Florida City just to the north of the Florida Keys. This was the 1st and only such border checkpoint not on any border, which prompted the secession. If the US border was at Florida City, how could the Florida Keys be part of the US?

    The border check point was primarily to discover Cubans refugees being brought up from Key West to the Mainland. If it had been about drugs, I think the DEA would have set up the blockade.

  6. I believe you are a bit mixed up about the reason for the road block that led to the Conch Republic. The secession, on April 23rd, 1982, was a response to the Border Patrol's border checkpoint setup on U.S.1 in Florida City just to the north of the Florida Keys. This was the 1st and only such border checkpoint not on any border, which prompted the secession. If the US border was at Florida City, how could the Florida Keys be part of the US?

    The border check point was primarily to discover Cubans refugees being brought up from Key West to the Mainland. If it had been about drugs, I think the DEA would have set up the blockade.

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