Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Doctor's Arm

It's just a subdivision on the backside of Big Pine Key, but it has this weird name. And there's this weird Bonneville parked there. No, that's my wife's Vespa I stole because she can't ride it for a while after her shoulder surgery. Doctor's Arm seemed an appropriate place to take the patient's 150cc scooter for an outing and as the place is next to No Name Pub this could also be a good place to visit for refreshment. the subdivision is to the left whence exits the SUV, the pub is in the distance on the left where the cars are parked, on Watson Boulevard:
This is rural Florida Keys the place were contrarians come to hole up and avoid too much contact with the world. It's also the place where you can goof off and hope not to get disapproval from newcomers not used to the laid back ways of those already here. In California this sort of thing is strictly not kosher:But happily I'm not in California anymore and riding in a towed boat (on land) is just another way to get where you are going.I don't think I've ever seen this before either. Look closely above and you will see a large fungus type thing sprouting succulents dangling from a child's swing. I guess you have to hang it somewhere.
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I think I was going to give up an explanation for the peculiar name for this sub division but I got distracted. In that vein the houses around here are a typical mixture of various stilt styles:The one below is actually a manufactured home on stilts, a popular option in the Keys to get an affordable home out of the path of floods. Insurance for homes not on stilts tends to be twice as expensive as the raised homes.
So why do they call it Doctor's Arm? What a good question. In the meantime here's a mailbox for Celia who likes them decorated:This next home was the scene of a triumphal return by the hunter gatherers in their boat, applauded by the damsel at the balcony:
This next damsel was peddling around her neighborhood but wasn't exactly talking to an over sized flamingo, it only looks that way:
The flamingo's owner was inside the back of the van. though it isn't obvious in my sneak picture.
Perhaps it's just because it is under construction but this future home across the canal looked huge to me, and there was evidence the building is progressing. They do like them big in the Doctor's Arm subdivision. What a funny name for a place to live. I think the chair was for trashing, not to enable the owner to lounge by his trash can, but who can tell?
Earlier I said that Doctor's Arm (there's that name again) is on the backside of Big Pine Key, when really I should have said it's a prestigious (real estate) neighborhood on the north shore of Bi Pine.Here below is the bridge to No Name Key:The main drag through Doctor's Arm is actually called Matthews Road and it boasts two lanes divided by a massive median:Most of the streets have canals dug out of the rock to allow people to keep boats behind their homes. This home and boat seem long since abandoned:And the canals, though picturesque, always struck me as being a long way from open water and as prestigious as Realtors may want to make this place sound, it isn't on the Atlantic side of the island which is the preferred side for people who like to fish. The Atlantic side of the Keys is the side with the reef and the deep open waters of the Straits of Florida where the big game fish reside.The planners also chose exotic sounding names for the streets,many of Italian or Spanish extraction, Ortega, Malaga,Minorca or San Remo and San Marco:And its a network of dead straight side streets leading off toward the waters of Big Spanish Channel:I read about motorcyclists worried about hitting deer in the wooded hilly country Up North. Well, we have the same though smaller sized issue here.Key Deer are a source of irritation as they are protected but they do like to eat gardens, and their detractors sneer at them describing them as :just small white tailed deer" which is probably how they started out before they evolved into little deer able to survive on little patches of land, a lot of it occupied by disorganized human beings.And so we come to the final frame, the dead of this essay. Doctor's Arm is a name shrouded in mystery and in my opinion a lot of bullshit. However the generally accepted story is that a pirate was hanging out in Big Spanish Channel, the large body of relatively deep water north of Bahia Honda. Or possibly they were on the other side in the waters if Big Pine Channel. In any event they captured some people including a man whose name may have been Doctor Armandi. The pirates had an injured crew member but the legend goes that the good doctor refused to treat the scoundrel so they marooned him in the mangroves of the place that later became known as Doctor Armandi's (or Armondi's) island. Which they gradually abbreviated to Doctor's Arm. And there you have it. If you believe a story with so many holes in it. And that is the very dead end of this shaggy dog story.