CATHOLIC CHURCH’S EARLY DAYS IN KEY WEST

It was the late 1840s. Catholics a small group in Key West. Priests non-existent.

Prior to that time, a priest would suddenly appear unannounced. One or two times a year to administer the Sacraments.

Such is all that is available historically re the Catholic Church into the 1840s. No records were kept.

Key West was in the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia. Key West was the out post of the Catholic Church in the southern U.S.

Key West’s first Mass was celebrated on October 10, 1846. A priest from Havana said the Mass. It was celebrated in City Hall.

City Hall at the time was in a 2 story building erected over the water at the foot of Duval Street. The first floor of the building was a meat and fish market. The second floor City Hall.

The first Catholic Church was built on the southwest side of Duval about 100 feet from the corner of Eaton. The Church was dedicated in 1852. It was named the Church of St. Mary, Star of the Sea.

The building was enlarged in 1870 at which time a large pipe organ was installed.

The coronavirus of today was the scarlet fever of that time. The presence of the constructed Church meant priests were sent to service the Church and Catholics Key West. The priests ministered to all afflicted with scarlet fever.  Four priests died between 1861 and 1879 as a result of the fever.

Blacks in those early days were referred to as Negroes. Many members of the Church’s early congregation. Some free, some slaves.

Segregation existed in Key West back then. No human family as yet. The Negroes were assigned a part of the Church separated from the whites. The  house of God segregated.

A sparse but informative history. Not much more exists.

Sir Walter Scott in 1808 in the epic poem Marmion: A Tale of Flooden Field wrote “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

History’s shorten version: “Oh the web we weave, when first we seek to deceive.” The today version is in every trial lawyer’s stock in trade. I used it in summing up to a jury many many times. Caught a witness lying and threw the lie in his face with the words. Words a jury understood.

Matt Gaetz is tangling himself in a web. In a mere 48 hours. Every time he opens his mouth.

He better get a lawyer. And fast!

I am not going to run through each story he has rendered. Gaetz is much like the man he greatly admired. As with Trump, Gaetz’s story keeps changing every time he speaks. A word of truth surrounded by fabrication. The most recent the orgy added to the $25 million extortion plot and a U.S. hostage.

Last I read somewhere this morning, he claims the 17 year old girl does not exist.

One thing is obvious in the George Floyd murder trial. The defendant police officer Derek Chauvin better get new lawyers. His present ones are inept.

The defense team is permitting the prosecution to “get away with murder.”

Rules govern the type of questions an attorney may ask. If a question is out of line, opposing counsel will object and the judge will prohibit the question from being answered.

I have been watching parts of the trial. One thing is obvious. Chauvin’s counsel do not know when to object.

Many of the prosecution’s questions are leading. A no no.

Another type question goes to a witness’ state of mind. A witness may only testify to what the witness saw or heard. Many of the questions are framed in what did you think verbiage. Another no no. What a person thinks is not admissible in evidence. Think is not a fact. The thought subject to creation, change, etc. following an event. Does not portray the event based on having been seen or heard.

Sao Paulo, Brazil devised a new way the people of a community could prove loudly and clearly they thought their political leaders were full of it, doing an inept job, etc.

It was 1959. Students in Sao Paulo were tired of the city’s overflowing sewers and inflated prices. A city council election was being held. The students decided to run a campaign to elect a rhinoceros.

The rhinoceros won! Big time! By 90,000 votes! The people had expressed themselves!

The rhino’s name was Cacareco. A female. Her name in Portugese translated in English to “rubbish.” It was no bar to her election.

Elections a bit different in Brazil at the time. There were 540 candidates for 45 seats. Cacareco got 100,00 votes. Her nearest competitor 10,000.

Absolutely a protest vote!

The lady was not permitted to serve. She was animal and not human. Never the less, the students made a point.

Baseball opening day! Most of America excited. Considered by many to be the national sport.

Around 2 this morning, it was thought there was a problem at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. What appeared to be an explosive device was found outside between Terminals 2 and 3.

The airport was immediately closed down All flights placed on hold. All roads into the Airport closed.

It was determined at 7 this morning that whatever found was not an explosive. Everything back to normal. Except for many of he travelers who are stuck with rescheduling.

When I was young (up through high school), Easter Sunday was an event. Everyone dressed for church. Men wore suits. Even young Louis. Going to and returning from Church was like an Easter parade. Actually, it was.

Key West is holding its annual Easter Parade and brunch this Sunday. The public is invited.

The Parade will begin at noon. Begins at the Curry Mansion. Everyone will walk down Duval to La Te Da. For those who want to brunch, one will be available at La Te Da.

Ladies are invited to wear Easter bonnets. Men and women Easter finery.

Enjoy!

I continue to advise Florida’s Governor DeSantis is incompetent. Totally inept. For real.

About 10 days ago and just before Spring Break. he removed all COVID-19 restrictions. As he said, he was opening Florida to business.

Stupid because Florida has almost consistently the past several months been in the top three states infection wise.

It was announced yesterday that Florida presently has the most B.1.1.7 variant cases.

The variant cases are spreading through the U.S. like wildfire.

Florida has 11,500 cases of the variant.

The CDC announced this week also that a surge in new cases is expected. I believe Florida will see a definite increase in virus cases.

Thank you, Governor DeSantis!

Here I go again. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. His town. The same as Ernest Hemingway’s.

On this day in 1950, Truman’s wife Bess and daughter Margaret joined him at the Little White House.

Enjoy your day!

14 comments on “CATHOLIC CHURCH’S EARLY DAYS IN KEY WEST

  1. The testimony in the Derek Chauvin so far has been some pretty powerful stuff. No wonder the BLM movement is so widespread and gaining in strength.

  2. I love that thing about the Easter Parade down Duval from the Curry Mansion to La Te Da. That’s the best part of Key West and is so like how things used to be. I don’t think Alice Weingarten is at La Te Da anymore, any Idea where she’s at nowadays?

      • Well, they come and they go. I remember her cooking out on the street in front of her restaurant (Windows?) free for everyone just after Hurricane Georges in 1998. That was back when we were One Human Family, in Key West.

  3. The influx of people, both tourists and permanent. starting in the latter 90’s, seemed to change a lot. What was once a curious and sophisticated crowd became more rude and demanding horde, less interested in the history and culture of Key West and much more of a “get off my lawn” culture. When I’m in Key West now, I sometime wonder if I’m in Naples or Daytona Beach, same people. Not just on Duval, but in the neighborhoods. Everywhere you go, you are in Truman Annex.

    • This is the result of the gentrification of Key West over the last 30 years. Property values of $3m for a cottage mean that as they are purchased by wealthy people from northern states. They bring their expectations and values as well.

    • People have been moving to Key West from Northern States, from like forever. People like Hemingway, Williams, Shel Silversteen, Bernstein, McGillis, and so many more. But lately it has been a different kind of person moving to KW, attracted by the welcoming free spirit and liberal attitude. Then the first thing they do is move to a gated facility and tell people to keep off their lawn. Used to be a time you could go to the Green Parrot and drink with poets, not any more.

  4. Key West certainly has quite a history, from the work of the wreckers making it the richest city in the country to the influence of the military and influx of the drug dealers.

    • …and the influence of writers and artists and musicians and actors, theatre and movie and thinkers and poets. Now a days we seem to get a lot more people like Willie P. and Sandy Feet, who think and act like their posts on Lou’s blog.

      Shallow and condescending, devious and untruthful.

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