LOST ITS SOUL TO GREED

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen carried an interesting comment: “The island has lost its soul to greed.”

Food for thought!

Spent time yesterday working on installment 3 of highlights from Wright Langley’s Key West Rotary History. The installment can be read further down.

Did some research for tonight’s podcast. Not enough. I have another 3-4 hours before the show itself. I have a medical test at 11:30. Will complete the research thereafter.

The lead topic will involve Comey’s letter to certain Congressional Committees.

The show is at 9 my time. A quick interesting half hour. Whether you agree with my comments, guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Visited Terri at the hospital. She is looking good. Returns home today. Donna has been the perfect spouse. Slept on a couch in Terri’s room the whole week.

Following the visit, headed to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Special last night. Tracey from days gone by belting out one song after another. Tracey is a for real woman who looks like a woman. Tom Luna and Goddess Galore singing along with Tracey.

A good crowd. Liz there. Sat with her.

Last night, Halloween. Key Haven always crowded with costumed kids. Key Haven is the best place for trick or treat goodies. Plentiful. The residents place tables on the lawn spread with candy, apples, etc. They sit around the tables greeting the ghosts and goblins.

Historically, a big deal! Going to Key Haven on Halloween. Costumed children are driven on the back of pick up trucks to get there. Key West children travel to Key Haven for the evening.

Not last night.

I drove home at 7:30. Very few young ones. Fifty at the most. Normally in the hundreds. Where were they? I have no idea.

Bayview reopened yesterday. New equipment for the kids. Paid for by the City.

Construction of Bayview began in 1922. The Key West Rotary was a big help in getting the park started. There is more in today’s installment re Rotary’s contribution.

A comedy opens tonight at the Red Barn. The Return. Runs 11/1 to 11/19. A line in the play suggests the comedic effect: “No need for brutality. Just call me Jesus.”

The Key West City Commission continues to have their heads up their derrieres. This time re the location of the tiger at the new City Hall. We have a multitude of problems that need addressing. The tiger should have been an easy one.

The issue is which corner should the tiger be set on. It was always on the corner of White and United. Some Commission members and others believe the corner of White and Varsela would now be better.

Time being spent deciding the location.

Would you believe!

Hackley on another hunting trip. Another overnighter. Must be the time of the year for getting game.

He and his companions killed 23 Coots and 3 ducks.

Now for today’s highlights of Key West Rotary’s history. Installment 3 covers the years 1919-1923.

Nineteen nineteen and 1920 apparently not significant. No mention in Langley’s history.

An issue arose in early December 1921 that would be a call to war today. The Rotary decided to perform a minstrel show.

Minstrel shows were common back then. Social correctness not even a spoken term. Men painted their faces black and performed. Comedy and singing. The shows fundraisers.

Put yourself back in the time. Our country was German, Welsh, English based. Everyone else considered immigrants. African-Americans and other persons of color not taken into account.

The Rotary was presenting the minstrel show to raise monies for Boy Scout Troop 2.

Rotary President at the time was Dr. J. Y. Porter, Sr. He was Florida’s first public health officer. Porter raised hell. Called “raised the mischief” in  those days. He was “angered.” Claimed he was not informed of the minstrel show. He needed to first see it to make sure no part required censorship.

He saw it. Gave his approval.

It was thought Porter’s cries were a ruse. To give attention to the minstrel show and assure a larger attendance.

The minstrel show opened on schedule on December 10 at the Garden Theater.

I researched the Garden Theater to add some background. I found nothing.

The day after the show, the newspaper reported the show was enjoyed by all. Even “Boss Rote.” I researched Boss Rote and came up with nothing. I suspect it was a nick name for Dr. Porter.

Rotarians have always supported the Boy Scouts. In 1937, the Key West Rotary organized and sponsored Boy Scout Troop 50.

Nineteen twenty two was a busy year. One of the Rotary’s first major projects was to clear the area that was to become Bayview Park. Rotarians spent two days in overalls and blue chambray shirts chopping down heavy underground growth and grass.

Walter S. Crosley was a Rotarian. He also was A U.S. Navy Captain. He rounded up a detachment of Bluejackets and Marines to assist the Rotarians.

The Key West Electric Company participated. Its President was Rotarian Bascom Grooms. He contributed 30 employees to help.

Two days later at the end of the work, the Rotarians posed for a photo in front of Rotarian Benjamin D. Trevor’s home. Trevor’s house was across the street from the future Bayview Park on Division Street. Division Street today Truman Avenue.

Two of Trevor’s sons went on to become Presidents of the Key West Rotary. Jerry and Edwin Trevor.

I suspect the Rotarians of those days either were younger or had a number of young members. In 1923, the Rotary had a softball team. Members only.

The Rotary played a game against Army and Navy officers.  The softball diamond was the Old Army Barracks. Now, Peary Court.

Rotary won 19-10.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

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