CHANGE

Time changes everything. Nothing remains the same. Change constant.

So too with Key West and visitors.

I have been doing Key West for 26 years. Except for the first year, for extended periods each year. The last 11, full time.

Until 5 years ago, Key West was predictable as regards the leaving of tourists and snowbirds.

The monday after Easter Sunday, half left. Their sudden absence obvious.

One week later, the rest left.

From that time forward for several months, locals used to say you could throw a bowling ball down Duval and hit no one.

Did you ever wonder why locals get a discount at restaurants? Simple. Locals used to be the sole source of business after Easter and into the Fall.

No more.

Five years or so ago brought a dramatic change. Tourists and snowbirds still come and go. Yet Key West is always crowded. A bit less after Easter, but not that much so.

The reason why our streets are crowded with cars, bicycles and mopeds. And, of course, pedestrians.

The change the result of excellent advertising of Key West by  State and local groups.

Another change is occurring. The flavor of Key West. The funky disappearing. We are becoming as other Florida vacation spots. Men even wearing sport jackets.

My Easter was different. I did the Easter egg hunt and breakfast with Lisa and family. Invited to four dinners/parties in the afternoon. Thought I would hit one or two.

Never made it. Got lazy. Laid around reading, watching TV and snoozing.

Micky Mantle one of baseball’s all time greats. On this day in 1951, Mantle made his major league debut with the New York Yankees.

TV was still in its infancy. Not all baseball games being televised. TV screen 6 inches by 4 inches.

You went to the ball park if you wanted to see the Micky Mantles play. I was privileged to watch Mantle play at Yankee Stadium several times.

Enjoy your day!

 

SNOWBIRDS RETURN

Snowbirds are back. You can see them, feel them, hear them. All good things.

Snowbirds are those who own Key West homes who do not spend the full year here. They return to Key West when the cold hits up north. Snowbirds also include those who do not own, but return and rent each year during the winter months.

Snowbirds mostly in their 50s and up.

They blend right in. Hook up with old friends. Locals and other snowbirds.

I sensed the time was here for the snowbird influx earlier this week while at the Chart Room. The bar was packed. All senior citizens. I knew then the snowbirds were back. Observed it at the Cuban Coffee Queen yesterday. I stopped for lunch. Did not stay. A waiting line. The benches and stools taken.

I was at Hogfish last night for dinner. The same thing. Standing room. Waiting for tables. I luckily found a seat immediately at the outside bar. The inside bar consisted of fishermen and their ladies. Otherwise, Hogfish was packed with returning snowbirds.

I have gotten into grouper recently. The grouper last night was outstanding!

Key West and the Battleship Maine are intertwined. The Maine left Key West for Cuba. It was blown up while in Havana Harbor. Triggering the Spanish-American War.

Many were killed when the Maine went down. A significant number were returned to Key West for burial. On this date in 1898, a Battleship Maine Cemetery Plot was dedicated in Key West. Ten thousand watched the procession and dedication.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. If it does not kill me, it has to help big time. Body Owners has become like a morning club for me and others being worked on. The staff part of the club. Makes hard work easier.

Then a haircut with Lori. Always enjoy visiting with Lori. She has been cutting my hair for 15 years.

Stopped at Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. No room.

Went home for lunch. Anna there. Anna has been cleaning my house and doing my laundry for 10 years. A Polish immigrant who worked hard and is achieving the American dream.

Is it only immigrants who achieve the American dream today? Why not American born? Is it because the American born have lost something along the way? What?

A three hour nap. I was tired for some reason. Laid down and fell asleep immediately.

“The nights still belong to Hitler.” One of the quotes/observations  in this week’s KONK Life column Helen Sperling…..Holocaust Survival.

I saw the printed column yesterday in KONK Life. Somewhere between me and the printer, the column got screwed up. Sperling’s name was misspelled in the title. Quotes near the end of the column took a beating. One completely left out. Others bunched together. My listed order ignored.

Nothing can bed done. The publisher offered to rerun the column next week. I said, no. Next week should be and will be a new story.

I apologize for the errors/sloppiness. Not of my doing, however.

Staying with the Helen Sperling story, it appears in two additional places today. KONK E-Blast carries it. No errors. The column was also linked to my Key West Lou website. No errors.

I will be interviewed on KONK News at 12:45 today. 104.9 radio. The subject matter will be the Helen Sperling column.

There have been many police/black shootings. More blacks killed than police officers. Most officers not indicted. I read somewhere yesterday that cops have become uncharged murderer’s. I will receive a number of contrary comments tomorrow. However, I agree with the uncharged murderer’s label.

June Hudson…..Don’t break a leg! You will never make it back to the Keys!

Enjoy your day!