Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.
It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.
Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.
Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.
Emalyn, a hero.
Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.
Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.
Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.
Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.
The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.
It appeared the nation was against him.
Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.
I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.
The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.
We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.
Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.
We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.
Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.
Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.
An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.
The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.
The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.
H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.
Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.
That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!
I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.
Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.
A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.
He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.
Enjoy your day!