Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vignettes XXXIX

Road works at Caroline and William Streets.Flooding is endemic to these streets after heavy rains and supposedly they will be digging deeper wells to take care of the problem. The Central American Indian navvies will, with their shovels. This guy was sitting snug on his bulldozer.The end result of all the roadwork around town is lots of dark strips of asphalt across the streets.
And one hopes, a lot less flooding.The process seems endless. While stopped at Searstown for a movie (The American, which I enjoyed) I spotted a nearly pristine little Honda Elite, purple in color.
It was a nostalgic moment for me. When my wife and I were living on our boat we had a scooter just like this. I used to commute by bicycle but in the summer months after a day out on the water being a boat captain a cycle ride was tough to take.
My wife cut her scooter riding teeth on a Honda just like this one. She used to buzz round town checking on her young probationers on her scooter. At the time she was working her way into being a teacher and she had a job as a Juvenile Probation Officer which involved her riding around town to check on her kids.I remember that scooter very fondly, a tireless workhorse that ran and ran and gave us no problems. We replaced a tired belt and weights and after that it could keep up reasonably easily with traffic on the main streets in Key West. It was small, light, practical and great fun.It cost us $600 and we sold it for nearly as much when my wife conceived a passion for the newer Honda Metropolitan (Jazz in other countries) four stroke scooter. That one ran nicely too, bought almost new and drowned a year later in Hurricane Wilma. Talking about good deals, here's a distressed fixer upper in Key West.$327,000 for a crappy little shed? Amazingly enough some people think it's still 2005 in the housing market. I'd rather live on a boat, though not on a sailboat. I had enough of that in my youth.
I stopped on a whim on the Overseas Highway to let Cheyenne out and to take a moment to look out at the water. I noticed the rain has been giving everything a healthy shade of green. Even the weeds growing on the old Flagler Bridge from 1910 are looking stout.The new bike path is looking good too. These fishermen are camped in a jungle of weeds:
They were at Niles Channel with the arching forty-foot bridge in the background. Further up the road I stopped off at the Salvation Army on Summerland Key to drop off some donations organized by my wife.No more, they told me. They are closing at the end of the month and that leaves a store in Key West and one in Big Pine.Back at work we trudge on much as usual, getting through the doldrums of quiet season in Key West. I worked with Fred for a couple of nights while his regular trainer was away. It's tough to train a new police dispatcher when there are fewer calls than normal. We take 150,000 calls a year in our communications center. To make up for the lack of 911's Fred had his smart phone with him to keep him amused on his breaks.So did Noel, but he's not a trainee so he can text anytime he's not busy. He's going back to days soon and I shall miss him.Keith, seen here checking a driver's license, has spent a great deal of his life working nights in hotels and restaurants. He and I are the only two that like the night shift and wouldn't want to work days. Luckily we have enough seniority we won't have to.To my surprise I have been working at Key West PD for more than six years. We have 15 positions and a few are always waiting to be filled. I guess I'm lucky I have a job, and one that I like in these times of high unemployment. Bring on the night shift, bring on the calls.