Valentine’s Day unquestionably a day of love. Key West restaurants will be overbooked. It is the evening lovers dress and are on the town.
The Day is thought to have been derived from several saints named Valentinus. Many believe only one saint was responsible. St. Valentine of Rome. The Middle Ages locked in the romantic aspect. Courtly love became the vogue.
Certain countries decry Valentine’s Day. Muslim nations. The Day is considered anti-Islamic. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Criminal in certain of these countries. Illegal to sell candy or flowers or anything suggesting the Day. Even items colored red.
There is always a new twist to a special day. The Bronx Zoo came up with one in 2011. Still selling. Thousands have bought the item. Rather than candy and flowers, adopt for your love a cockroach. A Madagascar hissing cockroach.
The cost $10. The roach is not delivered. Rather a colorful certificate acknowledging the adoption.
In addition to loved ones, mothers in law and ex-wives are popular recipients.
I took two Civil War courses in college. Wrote two papers. One about the Presidential election of 1864 involving Lincoln and McClellan. The other, I cannot recall.
The courses turned me on to the Civil War. I have since read many books involving the subject.
Last night, the Key West Art and Historical Society opened a special exhibit involving the Civil War at the Custom House. I attended.
The exhibition was limited. Small. Informative, however. I was made aware of some things I had not seen before and/or did not have knowledge concerning.
My hometown Utica is in the Mohawk Valley. Many major battles of the Revolution were fought there. A U.S. Naval vessel served to blockade Key West waters during the Civil War. The U.S.S. Mohawk. I assume named after my home valley.
Fort Zach Taylor was the Union’s primary fortress in Key West. Equipped with ten inch cannons. I was surprised to learn the cannons had a range of 3 miles.
The front page of the New York Herald dated April 15, 1865 was displayed. The day after Lincoln’s assassination. Yellowed with brown edges. Glass enclosed for preservation purposes.
The newspaper reported that at the same time Lincoln was shot, Secretary of State Seward while in bed at home was stabbed twice in the neck and twice in the chest. Initially, a conspiracy was thought. Apparently there was no connection between the two attacks.
Seward was the leading Republican contender for the Presidential nomination heading into the 1860 convention. However, Lincon defeated him.
Seward grew up in Auburn, N.Y. Near Syracuse. I tried many cases in Auburn. An old city that never got made over. My friend Dan was born in Auburn. He opted not to be a politician. He is a restaurateur. His business sits on Skaneateles Lake.
Shirrel Rhoades is my publisher. He is also President of the Key West Art and Historical Society. I ran into him at the exhibit. We chatted a bit.
Then to the Chart Room. I had a terrific time! Two old friends and one new. Carol from New Hampshire, Ginger from Memphis, and Rosie who is from Memphis also. Carol and Ginger are actually snowbirds. They have been visiting Key West for many years two months at a time. Rosie visiting.
The ladies were good company. I enjoyed being with them. Rosie leaves today. Carol and Ginger are here into March. I hope I run into them again.
Sheila and David stopped in. Sheila is on the staff of the Custom House. She had spent some time there with me earlier in the evening. Rosie will have to wait till next year.
Syracuse/Duke at 6 this evening. Playing at Syracuse. Duke a 7 point favorite. I suspect Syracuse will lose by more. An upset is possible, however.
Weather continues to be Key West cold. The high today 64. This evening in the mid 50s.
Enjoy your day!