Saturday, April 23, 2011

Karl's Sense Of Snow

If you grow up in Key West one of the big unknowns in your young life is snow. Snow is a mysterious white fluffy blanket seen on television or at the movies or in the form of spray foam at the store during Christmas shopping season. It is not the sort of thing you find on the ground outside your front door. Or outside the Police Station in Key West, if that is where you happen to work. The top floor windows give a lovely view across Garrison Bight Marina where temperatures have never been known to dip below 41 degrees (5C).

Karl is twenty years old and he is a young Conch (the "h" is silent) with ambitions. He is looking forward to his twenty first birthday with some anticipation when he will be legally allowed to drink, even though he is not at all fond of the flavor of beer or wine. Margaritas, pina coladas and wine coolers are on the menu. Karl knows what he likes.

In similar style he took off for the Big Apple after doing his research. He wanted to see a Big City, a place to do stuff and check stuff out among the bright lights well away from his little home town island. On that he got his wish with ten days in New York. He also wanted to see snow so he decided to go in February which careful research showed to be the coldest month with the highest likelihood of snow. Indeed the day before he left Key West it snowed in New York. Excellent!

Of course the snow was gone when he arrived in Newark but he had high hopes. "Dude!" he said telling me the story. "Every single day I was there, in February, no snow! None!" Finally the time came to fly home to Key West and off he went to Newark airport. He passed through the security checkpoint and outside the big plate glass windows, "...when there was no way I could turn back!" Karl saw the snowflakes falling.He never did get to go outdoors and feel his first snowfall. The plane was delayed four hours on the tarmac by weather with the young Conch sitting inside looking out a window watching the snow fall just like on TV.

He will be 21 in August and will likely get drunk legally that night. But of snow he will see none. Not in Key West, not ever.

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