The lead article in Sunday’s Key West Citizen was that the Steamplant condominiums were nearing completetion and would be open in 90 days. More importantly, 14 of the 19 units were already contracted for and closing merely awaited final inspection and the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Congratulations to developer Ed Swift! In spite of unanticpated setbacks, you hung in there! And made it to the finish line!

Key West has two business persons of vision. Individuals who see where Key West’s future lies and are not afraid to take it there.

I speak of Ed Swift and Robert Spottswood.

Swift with the Steamplant and other projects. Spottswood with the Beachside complex at the entrance to Key West, as well as his many other developments.

Both men put their money where there mouths are, so to speak. However in these instances even their private fortunes were not enough to cover the investments involved. They extended themselves in each instance for a dream. And after anguish and pain and an unexpected falling economy, each is on the road to success. Success not only for themselves, but for all of Key West.

Good men, indeed!

My son in law is Corey Malcom. Lisa married a great guy!

Corey is originally from Indiana. He has that mid west solidness about him.

There is no ocean any where around Indiana. But there was a magnetism attracting him to the waters. Corey for more than 25 years has been the Chief Archeologist at the Mel Fisher Museum. He dives for a living searching for pieces of history on the ocean floor.

Corey has developed a specialty. Slave ships! He is probably the most learned man in the United States on the subject. He appears 3-4 times a year on the History Channel, has written several articles on various slave issues and is an invited guest speaker nationwide.

My son in law, Corey!

One of Key West’s local newspapers is Solares Hill. In the publication which came out yesterday, there was a brief comment on page 2 that Corey had written an article for the Florida Keys Sea Heritage Journal, the official publication of the Key West Maritime Historical Society. The article basically concerned itrself with pre Civil War slaves being transported to Cuba who had been saved by US forces and were returned to Liberia in Africa.

An interesting story. Read it, if you can.

One thing that struck me in Corey’s rendition of events was that greed appears to always be with us.

Many of the slaves being returned to Africa died on the way. Scurvy. Not enough potatoes or citrus fruits. A footnote in Corey’s work evidences that the local KeyWest Marshall provided provisions rich in vitamin C. Twenty one barrels of potatoes, 8800 limes and 200 lemons. However, a doctor traveling with the ship said no such provisions were available.

No more is known. Was something actually amiss? Did these people have to die? We will never know. Note that the greed aspect is something I pulled out of my reading. Corey made no reference to it. The main story wrote of deaths by scurvy because of a lack of potatoes and other foods. The footnote said provisions were provided by the Marshall.

Yesterday I spoke of the local interest in establishing a clothing optional beach. Later in the day I was at the Pier House’s Beach Bar having lunch. Lo and behold, a topless wonder appeared! There in the water was a lovely lady exhibiting her jewels in all their glory! And her husband or boy friend rapidly clicking pictures of her!

When the picture taking concluded, she put her top back on. And there it stayed! I know! I kept looking! It never came off again!

These two young people were probably taking the pictures to show their friends back home of the “risque” time they enjoyed in Key West! I sometimes think that Key West’s reputation in this regard far exceeds that which actually exists!

A nice day ahead. Have fun!

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