ROBERT FROST’S KEY WEST WINTER HOME

Robert Frost requires no special introduction. One of America’s outstanding poets.

As with other literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, he discovered Key West. He made it his winter home for 19 years from 1941 to 1960.

His winter home still stands at 410 Caroline Street. It is attached to the rear of the Heritage House Museum which actually fronts at the address. The two structures together are referred to as the Heritage House Museum and Robert Frost Cottage.

From 1995 through 2010, the structures were operated as such. Unfortunately, they failed economically and closed its doors. Today the structures are a private residence.

Pictures of saturday night’s Boat Parade appear in today’s Key West News. They are best described as magnificent and flamboyant. Much better decorated than years ago when I was fortunate to do three of the Boat Parades actually on a boat.

Several years ago, a major move took place to remove Confederate statues and Confederate names from buildings. Blacks were primarily responsible. They felt anything Confederate bespoke of what their ancestors had suffered at the hands of the South.

I disagreed then and now. No question, blacks were terribly wronged. However, I have always felt Confederates and the horrible treatment of blacks were part of our history and should remain as they were whether by statue or name of a building. The treatment was part of American history. It should be represented by statues and names. Also taught in all its gory details in our schools.

The movement to remove succeeded. Many statues came tumbling down and buildings were renamed.

I make mention of the issue again because of an article I came across this morning. It involves Confederate General A.P. Hill and Richmond, Virginia. Richmond’s last Confederate statue was removed yesterday.

Hill’s statue was located in the center of a busy Richmond intersection. All other statues had been removed during the summer of 2020. However, Hill’s statue stood over his grave. The General was buried beneath it. Litigation by Hill’s family extended the time frame for removal.

Litigation is still ongoing. The family wants the General’s body to be buried beneath the statue in a public cemetery.

Which brings me to the issue and Key West.

Mallory Square is one of the most famous spots in Key West. Hundreds gather nightly to watch the setting sun and the carnival aspects that have become part of Mallory Square’s life.

Mallory Square is named after Stephen Mallory. Mallory a resident of Key West. He was a U.S. Senator representing Florida from 1851-1860. When the Civil War began, Florida seceded. Mallory resigned his Senate seat and became the Confederacy’s Secretary of the Navy. He remained such during the entire Civil War.

Near Mallory Squire there stands a gated community of busts. Those whose busts are located there are said to have represented the best of Key West. Mallory’s bust is one of those featured. As well as those of several others who openly supported the Confederacy.

At some point following the Civil War, Mallory’s son became a Congressman and then Senator representing Florida.

There was minimal talk about stripping Mallory’s name from the Square and removing the bust. Nothing ever came of it.

Then there is a lovely white Pavilion in Bayview Park. Its construction and planning paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1924. The pavilion was built in honor of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Confederacy. A large stone in the Pavilion’s base spells out the dedication.

A couple of years ago, a move developed in Key West to rename the Pavilion. It succeeded. It is now known as “One Human Family.”

A hundred years ago, Key West was a power base for those who were anti-black. In 1921, the head of the Klu Klux Klan for Florida resided in Key West and the Klan’s state offices were here.

Key West is selective in how it handles the problem.

We live in anti-Semitic times. The whole U.S. experiencing the problem. Actually, the world.

Italy was partners with Germany during World War II. Mussolini and Hitler were close birds of a feather. Except when it came to Jews. The Italian people were not anti-Semitic and did not support Hitler’s anti-Jewish activities.

The fact that the Italian people were not cooperating in the  German extermination plan exasperated Joseph Goebbels who said: “The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews. They protect Italian Jews both in Tunisia and occupied France, and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David.”

Syracuse played Monmouth last night. Syracuse won 86-71.

It looked like Syracuse might not win in the first half. Monmouth is a non-entity. I think Class C. Its record coming into the game 1-9. Not distinguishing. Understand the reason why a small school like Monmouth plays a big school like Syracuse is money. Monmouth received $80,000 for playing Syracuse last night.

The score at half time had Syracuse up by 2 points 42-40. I was nervous. Monmouth was dropping 3s in from all over.

Things turned around in the second half. Monmouth stopped making 3s and Syracuse began playing basketball.

Enjoy your day!

One comment on “ROBERT FROST’S KEY WEST WINTER HOME

  1. Lou, I am (or at least was) a Republican, living in the south. I don’t see any reason we need to “celebrate” our Civil War Confederate generals or soldiers. After all we lost that god forsaken war. Extolling this part of our history, is just plain wrong and has led to years of continuing violence and hatred.
    Key West’s Pez Park memory of these locals, who also happened to be Civil War Confederates is, on the other hand, not the same thing. Those people displayed in that park are not being exalted or praised as Confederate Soldiers, but as our history.

    The rest of the south should do the same thing, let’s stop praising and worshiping those who caused the terrible problem, that period in our history was device and wrong in every way. and continues to be a bad influence even today. We need to move on and stop celebrating what should have never been to begin with.

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