Monday, December 10, 2018

Dead In Key West

I was very much alive rolling down Frances Street so as I passed some of the prettiest Conch cottages along the street before I turned west...
...into the cemetery. I was promised a bang up funeral oration by the police department chaplain had I died last August but I'm still here so I figured I might as well come by for a quick visit to what is essentially one of my favorite open spaces in Key West.
It is so serene and filled with history I am amazed more people don't come here and meditate on life and death. The above ground tombs give rise to some creative tomb architecture too. 
You can legally drive a car in from the Margaret Street main entrance and bicycles are welcome too but no scooters. Years ago people behaved badly on them and they have been banned ever since. I don't understand why people chose to be idiots in the cemetery but they manage it of course.
The cemetery hours are strictly observed and if you aren't out in time you will get locked in and the fence is new and strong. We have a key in dispatch so we can send officers out to retrieve silly people who overstay their welcome. Don't do it as it gets dark early in winter and people get creeped out. 
Like much of downtown the cemetery is under the prevailing flight path of the airport. Silly really with so much open water around but that's how they built it decades ago.
And then as I wandered around I saw a tall mop headed palm rising far about the roof line, catching the sun... 
 Last little piece of old Key West? Dunno but there they are:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Folk Art

As astonishing as it is to relate I took these photos on August 29th two days before my accident which sent me to the hospital for three months. Yet the exhibit continues through January 6th. I have posted a few photos here and there but this collection allows you to browse this fascinating exhibit and I hope encourage to pay a few dollars to go and see this fantastic museum. Its pretty much self explanatory and hope the pictures offer you as much as I enjoyed looking at them.The tin man is an example of Stanley Papio's particular style:









A detail from above:



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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Drinks With Steve

That's me in my electric mobility scooter at the Waterfront Brewery in Key West and I'm sitting with a total stranger, Steve from Virginia. Actually I'm not quite honest if you can get to know someone through their web page (you tell me...) and you too can get to know Steve from his web page like I did: Log of Spartina Now unlike me you may have no interest in sailing but Steve is a professional photographer so his pictures of sailing  are remarkable and I'll tell you why. Ha! I've been studying them to learn something!
Steve  travels the water with cameras and manages to do something I never could on a boat: he gets angles and colors and light and composition that draws you in. He's a modest man so he lays much of the credit at the door of technology and I'm sure he's right but only in part. He sees the possibilities and he aims his equipment the right way. He is helped along by his boat which is small and beautiful and lovely to look at from any angle. His sailing adventures are within reach of any of us and therefore he excites the mind.
Waterfront Brewery was glowing in the evening light and the conversation wide ranging and stimulating. The funny part was that we were brought together by Webb Chiles, who as unlikely as it seems was our point of  contact. One of those Venn diagrams of connection that brought us together for a couple of hours in Key West. It was fun and I'm glad I scooted down even though it was an afternoon that left me a bit tired for work! Gone are the days, for now of Michael's massive stamina.
On the other hand I did wander around a slight bit to grab some pictures of Key West in the dying of the day's light when Old Town looks it's best.
Christmas is celebrated in Key West with the usual ridiculous Nordic symbols of icicles and snow and lights and all that. It's rather nice I find in 85 degrees. Throw in a wreath and you are good to go for the mid winter holidays.
And so to work. Its odd but another cold front is expected next week so we may have seven days of temperatures struggling to hit 80 degrees, 27 Canadian. I'm not sure what to think about that.

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Chief

The city of Key West got a new chief officially yesterday. Sean Brandenburg was appointed from his position as captain so the transition was as easy as one could imagine from outgoing chief Donie Lee. 
I took this picture of the wall where the chiefs' pictures are displayed and I haven't been back to check but I'm pretty sure it will be filled properly by now.
I stopped to check and someone is on their game as the noticeboard in the police lobby is right up to date. How do you like my rather slick self portrait from my electric scooter? Arms raised in supplication of course.

The great and good of the city of Key West assembled in the front parking lot under glorious clear blue skies and bright sunshine. My wife wheeled me to my place in the back row where I remained seated as the audience rose and sat in accordance with tradition as prayers were sad and flags were presented. 
 The new chief swore to uphold constitutions both federal and state and city charters...
 The former chief (retired) looked on from standing out in his white guayabera shirt:
The chief got his stars pinned  by his wife and then he in turn swore in a new captain, Randy Smith, a new Lieutenant Matt Hayley and a new sergeant, Joe Stockton. One promotion has a cascading effect in the department.
Layne wheeled me out to the street to meet the car and I got a reminder that police work doesn't  stop just because the police station is consumed by an important ceremony. Watching Officer Hartle ride by reminded me how much I long to be back on two wheels.
On the way home the wind was honking across the water, a warm day on the sun was cool and dry in the breeze. A welcome relief no doubt to the people living on the water in Cow Key Channel.