Installment 15 highlights a Rotarian who was a President of the Key West Rotary and who achieved extraordinary success while a resident of Key West.
Edward Strunk Jr.
Strunk became Rotary President in 1934. Deep depression years. His achievements while President include increasing membership from 19 to 29. No small feat.
During his tenure, he supported the establishment of the Everglades National Park.
The hurricane of 1935 presented many challenges. The railroad bridges had been demolished. Strunk and Bascom Grooms were instrumental in clearing other bridges. People and businesses needed a way to move up and down the Keys.
Such is part of Strunk’s Rotary career. What follows is the story of the man.
Strunk was 16. Not living in Key West yet. He was in Miami. He had to decide whether to return to school or go to work. He opted to work.
One of his first jobs was working at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad offices in Marathon. The Atlantic Coast Line the Flagler railroad.
Following the railway experience, he worked several different jobs. World War I found him serving in France for a year.
He finally made it to Key West. He went to work for the South Florida Contracting & Engineering Co. After 20 years with the organization, Strunk retired a part owner.
Nineteen thirty-nine was a significant year in Strunk’s life. He opened the Strunk Lumber Yard. First located on Mallory Square. Today, 1101 Eaton Street.
Strunk lumber became a significant Key West business.
In due course, Strunk sold the lumber company to Manley – De Boer.
Strunk remained in business, however. He opened a hardware store. Known today as Strunk Ace Hardware. Same location on Eaton Street.
The Strunk lumber and hardware businesses were family owned at all times. From 1939 to present day. Strunk’s great grandson Andy runs Strunk Ace Hardware today.
An interesting story. An American success story. The tale of a man who at 16 had to choose between school and work. He chose work and ultimately became one of Key West’s biggest successes.
The Key West Film festival began last night. It runs through sunday. Burt Reynolds will be in Key West attending the festival tonight. America’s heart throb and famous movie star of the 1970s and 1980s is to receive an award.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that an FDR book had been written by Karen Chase. It involved two years of FDR’s life when his winters were spent on a houseboat in the Florida Keys hoping the warmth would remedy his paralysis.
Chase is speaking tonight at the Custom House’s Distinguished Speaker Series at 6.
Should be interesting. I plan on attending.
Obama spent two days in Greece this week. He was not a welcomed guest. Protests both days. The first day 7,000. At one of the demonstrations, the American flag was burned.
I am surprised! I love Greece. Have spent much time there. My last trip was four years ago. For six weeks.
A more loving people I have never met. I was welcomed warmly everywhere. No question the Greek people loved Americans.
What caused demonstrations filled with hatred four years later?
It appears Russia and Greek communists. Putin thought to be the motivating force.
The reasons given for the protests speak for themselves.
One was that the United States was creating tensions with Russia and China. Another that the United States stood in the way of Russia seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government.
How about this one? The United States is supporting Islamic extremists. Another, Obama supported the Euro Union’s stringent austerity program imposed on Greece.
All without basis. All fabrications.
Signs carried: Yankee Go Home. Five thousand police had to be called in.
I have written much re Greece. I have predicted at some point the Nazi Party aka New Dawn Party would be elected to lead Greece. I suspect it might occur in the next election.
The Communist Party small. Without significance.
I buy the belief that Putin was behind the protests.
College students all over the country are sad Hilary lost. Depressed. Universities have grieving areas on campus and have arranged for the students to receive counseling.
At the University of Michigan, students spent one of the grieving days sprawled in a college center playing with Play-Doh and coloring in coloring books.
College students should not be coddled. Their candidate lost. Tough! So did mine. That is the way it is. Go out and work harder next time.
College students of today do not know how to take responsibility for their lives. Administrators and professors should step back.
May this be the worst calamity in their lives. That Hillary did not win.
Enjoy your day!