Saturday, November 19, 2011


Leaving the house of an afternoon to walk the dog I saw Fat Albert hovering close to the ground on distant Big Coppitt. Maintenance or a predictor of bad weather? Possible high winds? Likely storms? Who knows. I'm sure the Air Force knows everything I don't know about imminent weather patterns. Luckily the potential Cuban refugees poised to cross from the other side can't know Fat Albert is on the ground else they might come storming across in droves. And if the grounding were a predictor of a storm they would drown in droves in their little chugs in the violent Gulf Stream that separates us. Unhappily it happens, but God knows we have to keep enforcing the embargo to keep vital food and fuel and hope out of the goodless communist island. Better they die trying to be free than we should loosen the strangle hold against the wishes of what Castro calls the Miami Mafia, the tired angry old Cubans who fled the island and won 't let the rest of us forget it.

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My Commute

I had to pull over, and luckily I had a few minutes to spare. The sun was setting in a blaze of orange glory underneath the bank of clouds that have been creating a summer-like sky and I needed to try to enjoy the moment.

I like the Saddlebunch Keys as a stopping place. In the morning heading home I sometimes get to see a glorious sunrise on my way home and its around here that I stop, at Mile marker 14 or thereabouts. In the distance to the northwest lie Shark key and Big Coppitt behind it.

I don't much like stopping on my commute because I always feel the pressure to get on and get to work forcing my hand. When I'm playing with my camera I like to take the time to think things through, but if I didn't stop and take a few pictures on the fly I would have no record at all of my glorious commute.

I've said it before but it's worth noting that working at night opens up the possibility, the likelihood of a quiet ride to work against the flow of the workaday traffic patterns. To make the commute by Triumph is even better and to do it on this among the most scenic of highways is just the cherry on the sundae. And from time to time events conspire to light the horizon from end to end in golden sunlight.

I feel great good fortune living here as I do, and even saying good-bye to Cheyenne is compensated for by the ride in to work. Cheyenne retreats to the bedroom and pouts alluringly on the bed but the call of duty drags me away and the siren call of the Bonneville makes the commute an adventure. I did take the time to notice a little of the sun's golden reflection off the attempt to take a moment in the middle of the ride.

I have been missing Key West lately with too much work and too much commuting and not enough lurking on the streets of my favorite city. This winter I am looking forward to some interesting dramas offered at both the Waterfront and the Red Barn about that time of year when cold fronts start to bite. Its as much of a season change as I need, fifty degrees and crisp, not quite able to see my breath when I come out of the theater in the darkness of clear night sky. I'll still be commuting by Bonneville and still looking out for sunsets.

A good looking sunset is a thing of beauty.

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Smathers Dawn

As reluctant as I am to admit it there is one good thing about this silly transition to winter time and that's that I get to see some spectacular sunrises on my way home after work. South Roosevelt Boulevard under the dark blue dawn with the Sheraton to the left.

As sunrises go this one wasn't the greatest but I enjoyed standing in the sand of Smathers Beach watching the day develop. The lights around the airport to the east.

The beach is named for a Miami businessman and politician and US Senator known to his enemies as 'gorgeous George.' George Smathers beat Claude Pepper out of his senate seat at the request of President Truman who had a grudge against Pepper a noted progressive who supported universal health care (in 1950!) and civil rights. Smathers was a southern Blue Dog Democrat of the kind who would later become southern Republicans after Ronald Reagan made it safe for them to join the hated party of Abraham Lincoln. He beat Pepper by claiming his opponent was a Communist - shades of 2011!

Smathers it is said came as close as Dallas to becoming US President for he was in the running to be Vice President alongside his friend John Kennedy. The two of them were famous for their womanizing together among other feats of masculine endurance. I suspect Key West's longest beach was named for Smathers thanks to his connections to President Truman, Key West's own, and his eighteen years in the Senate representing Florida. The other stuff was coincidental and not reported in those innocent days.

In the pantheon of Florida beaches Smathers doesn't amount to much with it's imported sand and shallow rocky waters but it does look good, especially under a blue sky and an a moon and sun both fighting for dominance.

The breeze was put of the east and not stro g enough to make then air cold.

This is how Florida looks best to some people offering a glimpse of endless summer in a world gripped by ice and snow.

The joggers and cyclists were starting to appear and commuters were driving by and I had a dog at home half an hour away waiting for a walk. Time to ride.

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