It never ceases to amaze me. I read something and suddenly it triggers an event/happening that occurred years ago. Something that has not been in my mind all those years.

Today it is the bookstore Borders and God the Father who was a fat black female.

I read this morning in the Citizen History Section that on this day in 2011, the bookstore chain Borders filed for Chapter XI bankruptcy protection. It was little help. By September of the same year, all Borders stores were closed.

For many years leading up to 2011, the Key West Borders was was a frequent hangout for me. Almost daily. It became my personal library. The chairs comfortable. Books obviously many. I can’t tell you how many books I read over the years just sitting there a couple of hours each afternoon.

I do not feel I contributed to Borders going out of business by my freeloading. I did occasionally buy a book.

One book so moved me that I purchased 25 paperback copies which I distributed to friends. The novel was The Shack. It was published in 2007.

One year later, The Shack was #1 on the The New York Times Paperback Best Seller List. Where it remained for 70 weeks. In excess of 10 million copies were sold.

The story takes place in a shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Three residents. The three those that compose the Holt Trinity. God was a fat black woman called Papa, Jesus a Middle eastern carpenter with a large hooked nose, and the Holy Ghost an Asian woman named Sanyu.

The author William P. Young. No one wanted to publish his novel. He was forced to self publish it. It obviously took hold, however.

The Shack moved me emotionally. So much so that I wanted to share it with everyone. The everyone as indicated earlier were 25 friends.

I recommend its reading to you.

There is no question Key West is out of the way when it comes to certain medical attention. Serious injuries and illnesses require the specialties Miami hospitals make available.

In many instances, time is of the essence. The difference between life and death. The Keys use air ambulance helicopters to get those in need swiftly to Miami. Money is not an issue. The helicopters are for the protection of the lives of Monroe County residents and property owners. No cost to either group for the service.

Presently, three helicopters are available. Two in Key West and one in Marathon.

Certain of the helicopters are reaching 22 years of age. Life span is 25 years.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay is in charge of the operation. He is right on top of it. He recently said the helicopters have to be replaced. Age. The planes themselves are no longer manufactured, parts are difficult to get.

He has already been working on the problem. He has found what he believes is the best replacement. The total cost for 3 new helicopters is in the area of $52 million. The County has authorized Sheriff Ramsay to commence negotiations.

Use is frequent. Last year, crews made 1,386 flights to Miami carrying 1,458 patients. The numbers are expected to be higher this year.

Actress Raquel Welch died yesterday. She was 82.

She was a big star in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A noted sex symbol.

Playboy ranked her #3 on the “100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century” list.

Hugh Hefner wanted to feature her on the cover and centerfold of Playboy. Any woman so featured did so totally nude. Welch was happy to pose, but refused to do so nude. She explained her position calmly to Hefner. She was so convincing he agreed to featuring her on the cover and centerfold in some form of attire. She was the one and only who ever did so.

On this day in 1908, the Rodef Shalom Synagogue was dedicated on the corner of Southard and Simonton Streets. Today, it is the home of Sarabeth’s Restaurant, one of Key West’s finest eateries.

The Synagogue moved to its new building on United Street where it was renamed Congregation B’nai Zion.

Some local color concerning the new Congregation B’Nai Zion building. Its architect was Key West resident Sonny McCoy. McCoy was Key West’s Mayor for 5 terms. A highly respected and liked person. He did 6 years of college in 3. Obtained 2 degrees. One in architecture, the other in engineering.

McCoy was a sportsman of sorts, also. He waterskied from Key West to Cuba. On one ski.

McCoy long gone. His memory remains.

Enjoy your day!






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