Good morning!

Welcome to frosty Key West!

Chilly. Last night and this morning. High 60s to low 70s. That is cold for Key West! Long pants, sweater and jacket weather.

It’s all in the blood. We who live here all year have had the heat thin out our blood. Those from the north visiting have thick blood to keep them warm. Ergo the tourists walk around in shorts and tee shirts and enjoy the beaches. We locals complain and dress warm.

I was at the Coffee House on Duval reading the papers and sipping coffee when I ran into Gail. Gail is a Key Wester for many years. A nice lady. She is tango crazy. Dances to it all the time. Even when the music may not be tango music. She told me she is off to Miami for New Years Eve where she will tango the evening away. Enjoy, Gail!

The Chart Room was a bit busy last night. Gary and Tecia were there. My friends from Oswego, New York. I had been missing them all week.

We had a couple of drinks. They park their RV at the Fort Zachrey Taylor State Beach where they also work. They care for the beach. Minimal work in a great atmosphere! Gary was telling me last night that one of his responibilities is to be sure that all women are covered top side. When not, it is his responibility to go over and politely ask them to put their tops on. A good job!

Then it was to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. The meal I could not get the night before.

The bar was full, except for one seat at the end. A good seat. I could clearly see everyone else sitting at the bar.

The Hot Tin Roof was a Damon Runyon experience last night!

Seated next to me enjoying a huge steak was Edward Kane. First time we met. A tourist. From Madison County, New York. Madison county is next door to my home county of Oneida. And Edward is an attorney besides. Though we never met back in New York State.

Edward is a court clerk. Technically referred to as a court attorney. He works directly for Judges. Does their research, writes opinions for them. He has to be a smart guy and responsible person to hold such a position!

We talked about Madison County.

I apparently am much older than Edward. I did not know the Judges he assists. My time in Madison County Supreme Court was spent before Judge Zeller. A stern tough fair minded jurist. Now long gone. My primary adversary in many of the cases was attorney Hugh Humphreys. Hugh went on to become a Judge.

Madison County’s Supreme Court room was different. It moved me. I always expected to see Abraham Lincoln walk through the doors. Rotunda in shape. The bench, jury box and attorney tables were located in a half moon setting up front.

Many the case I tried there. Some of serious significance.

Edward was/is also a Syracuse fan.

Our talk was interesting.

Chris showed up!

Chris of bocci and golf fame!

I have known Chris for years. A natural athlete. He is one of the best bocci players in town. And a low handicap golfer.

A bit of a ladies man, I did not think Chris would ever marry. Turns out that is no longer the case. He announced to me that he had become engaged.

It happened December 21st. For whatever reason, Chris knew that the 21st was known as Winter Solstice and was the shortest day of the year.

Chris was obviously bitten by the love bug. He was gushing. Not his nature. He is in love love!

Good for him.

The lady is Aja.

Chris is 46. Aja 31. About time Chris got around to marrying. I was sure he was the perennial bachelor.

Besides rambling ad infinitum about Aja’s attributes and how lucky he was, he told me about the wonderful Christmas dinner he had had with Aja, his parents and her father the night before at the Hot Tin Roof. The same meal I could not eat.

Chris was a bit bombed. He was enjoying the holiday spirits. I wondered where Aja was, but never got around to asking.

A young French couple came in. They were chatting with Chris and told him they wanted to jet ski today. Chris immediately told them the best place to rent jet skis was at the Reach Hotel at the other end of town. The couple did not speak the best of English and Chris spoke no French so you can visualize how the conversation was going.

Chris kept stressing the jet ski concession at the Reach, they were the best, etc. I assumed he must know the people who run the jet ski concession there.

There was a young man sitting on the other side of Chris. He interjected. Said my name is John Edwards and I own the jet ski concession in this hotel. Hot Tin Roof is located in the Ocean Key House. Edwards’ business is known as Hyrdo Thunder Water Sports and sits right at the point to the dock. A prestiguous location.

There was a moment of awkward silence.

Chris came back. Told the French couple they just had to do business with Edwards. The couple was a bit confused.

Edwards was a class act. He solved the problem for the couple. He told them they would receive 2 jet skis today for free! No cost! They were to be his guests! And he did some necessary paperwork for them right there at the bar.

And so it went.

Today is Sunday. I will watch the talk shows, read the Sunday papers, visit the grandkids and hopefully get out tonight. Kate Miano’s Gardens. I have not been there in a while. I will need to wear jeans and a leather jacket.

Enjoy your day!

One comment on “

  1. Mr. Petrone – WOW, what a blog! I'm on holiday with my family and my wife googled Key West (we may take a day trip down US 1) and you came up! I actually used to work for your law firm in New York.

    At the risk of placing my nose where it certainly has no business venturing, have you given any thought to returning to the practice of law? I'm told your old firm could really use you now!Obviously your writing hasn't lost a beat!

    Food for thought, even on your strict diet?

    Take care.


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