BELIEVE

God is in His Heaven, all is right with the world.

The Lord knows everything, even before it happens.

He is all merciful.

So why do disasters like Harvey and Irma occur? Wars? Genocides? I could go on.

I believe. Though no longer a Church goer. Speak directly to Him. Generally in times of adversity. Rarely to say thank you when things are good.

People believe in different ways.

Which brings me to the story of Jackie Tee and a silver toe ring.

Jackie’s first trip to Key West was 20 years ago this month. With her husband, 4 1/2 year old son, and sister. Jackie purchased a silver toe ring. She has worn it for 20 years.

A couple of months ago, she noticed the toe ring was starting to split. Irma hit Key West September 10. That same day, the toe ring totally split. Jackie found the same ironic. Perhaps meaningful.

Jackie has a friend who she describes as a “new age spiritual.” Her friend told her to have the ring repaired: Repair the ring, repair the island. The two went together from the friend’s perspective.

Jackie is having the toe ring repaired.

As a side note, Jackie has returned to Key West almost annually the past 20 years. She says the island draws her. It does. Many persons.

Some Key West information.

Wendy’s hit hard by the surge. Seven to 10 days before lower Keys residents can return. No power, water, sewer, limited food.

US 1 bridges all ok. Side road bridges not yet tested. Road debris being removed.

Five food drop sites have been established. Food and water was to be available. People went. Only two had food. All 5, no water. People upset. The first rumblings.

Cell phone service spotty. Persons outside the Keys do not seem to understand. Many complaining why relatives and friends in and from the lower Keys do not call them.

Cell phone service went down 3 hours after Irma hit. I read a report which described the event…..Everything went eerily silent.

Social media has been the savior. I now understand why Trump went to it during the campaign and now as President. Facebook especially helpful.

Hardest hit were Big Pine and Cudjoe Key.

No casualties reported through yesterday.

Re-entry for residents and business owners to MM 73 permitted. Islamorada.

Dusk to dawn curfew remains in place.

A few gas stations beginning to open in the upper Keys.

I received a text yesterday from Shavon White. She is a producer at FOX New York City. She required information about Key West, identification of some who stayed, how to make contact, etc.

Trump arrives today to inspect Irma damage. A proper thing for a President to do. My question is why he is not visiting the Keys. Air Force One could easily land at the Naval Base at Boca Chica. A few short miles from Key West in one direction and Big Pine and Cudjoe Key in the other.

We in the Keys are people too! Could use the lift a Presidential visit brings.

Trump is visiting with EPA head Pruitt. There is an irony to the visit. Both have been working hard to cut disaster relief programs from the federal budget.

They arrive today to take bows for doing a great job in the recovery. First Texas, now Florida. When the budget comes up, they will continue to oppose federally funded disaster relief.

Now a Trump/Sessions scenario of which most are unaware.

Recall the federal program that provided surplus military equipment to police organizations. Police organizations included university police/campus police. What is known as Program 1033.

The program was stopped two years ago by Obama.

Trump signed an Executive Order permitting a resurgence of the program. Supported of course by Sessions. Intent being that law and order prevail on college campuses where students have recently become exceptionally rowdy with demonstrations.

The program is delivering to college campuses grenade launchers, armored trucks, pistols, assault rifles, etc.

The militarization of college campuses! Something like 117 already receiving various items.

I find it difficult to comprehend why military equipment is required to put down college demonstrations. The student will view it as police state activity.

I read somewhere that most students graduate with a debt of $37,000. That much money and they have to oppose heavily armed campus police!

Most campus police today are privatized. Bothers me. They lack oversight. Quick trigger fingers in the making.

Just received a call from Guy de Boer. KONK Life publisher. He was in Homestead,. Leaving the Keys!  Homestead has cell phone capability. Guy was calling friends to see if ok, where they were, etc.

He is leaving because he needs cell phone capability to run his newspaper. He will be doing it out of Miami for a few days.

Enjoy your day!

 

A RETURN TO NORMALCY WILL TAKE TIME

What Floridians are doing at the moment is not normal. One way or another, Norma’s effects are upon us.

Normalcy to me will be getting back to Key West. Just permit me to get home. Hopefully to an undamaged or minimally damaged house. I want to live in my home again!

Not that things have not been great in Birmingham. Jean a terrific hostess. An angel taking care of us evacuees. Accommodations out of sight. Great meals. A cheery atmosphere.

I am concerned about Key West itself. Much damage. I look forward to joining in with friends to restore the community.

Returning to Dodge not going to happen today or tomorrow sadly. TV and social media advise 7-10 days. A long time. Hope I can return sooner. Not only to return, but also to relieve Jean and Joe of the burden they have accepted. Taking care of us. No way can this kindness ever be repaid.

Communication remains a problem. Cell phones useless. Cell towers down. No way to communicate in Florida and parts of Georgia. I understand temporary towers are coming in and will help relieve the problem.

Land lines work. Amazing! The old still true. They are working because regulated and mostly underground. Jean does not have a land line. Few people I know have a land line. Even if they did, would not know their number. I only take cell numbers down on my phone.

Trump had it right when it came to social media. The only way Irma information has been circulated. On the spot. Quicker than TV.

Jean says spotty cell phone service has begun this morning. She was able to do a cell phone to cell phone call to Key West.

Throughout Florida, people and pets have been evacuated. There is a fowl breed that has benefited, also. Chickens. The chickens that run around Key West streets.

Tourist think them cute. Natives hate them. Germ bearing and dirty.

Key Wester Jayesh Mami was concerned. H is known as the Selfi King. An Indian. Works in the India store in Key West.

He gathered as many chickens as he could. Wrapped them carefully in paper. Only a bit of the tail and the head sticking out. Laid them carefully in boxes. Then drove them north on US 1. Where, I know not.

In the past few days, I have seen on TV videos of two separate beach areas where ocean water should have sat. The power of Irma drew the water from the beach far out into the ocean. Only sand and a few rocks visible.

Amazing power!

Of course, the ocean returned. Called the surge.

The USS Abraham Lincoln came into Key West yesterday. A light carrier. Brought in food and other supplies. Also the Lincoln will remain a while and its personnel will assist in the clean-up.

There has to be one asshole! Always!

I refer to Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County. He threatened to jail anyone in his County’s shelters who had a warrant pending against them. A leave them out to drown attitude.

Note warrants against people include all kinds of traffic citations also. Like you failed to show up in  court re a speeding ticket.

His deputies should be out helping people. First responder type activity and not jailing those with warrants pending.

A court order was sought prohibiting the Sheriff from such action. I could not find information re the outcome of the court proceeding.

Jean and her little group of evacuees have acquired a bit of notoriety in Birmingham. A TV reporter showed up yesterday. Talked with us and filmed us. We appeared on local FOX 6 last night.

Amusingly, I received an e-mail from Great Britain’s LBC yesterday afternoon. LBC is a London based national talk and phone in radio station. I am scheduled for a call this morning to be interviewed about Irma.

There has to be a subtle tension involved with  being an evacuee. One a person is not aware of.

Yesterday around 4, I got tired. Dead ass tired. Could not believe how tired. Slept on a living room chair a couple of hours. Ate a sparse dinner. Immediately followed by bed. Slept like a baby all night. Feel terrific this morning.

Did not drink at all yesterday.

Joe Thornton has not been with us since sunday. In Austin on business. Returns tonight at 5.

Don’t know if we have room for him!

Enjoy your day!