Monday, December 5, 2011

Gangplank To Nowhere

Flotsam or jetsam.

Flotsam is floating wreckage, jetsam is cargo or equipment thrown overboard on purpose. This plank is presumably one or the other.

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My Dog The Acrobat

Danger Will Robinson! Bits of masonry will fall on your head! Your life will be over! But that's the modern world isn't it? Don't take a risk - unless your name is Cheyenne.

No Trespassing! Keep Away From The Edge!

Cheyenne found the seawall irresistible.

I prepared to take off my shirt and wrap my car keys and glasses and camera in it and eave a little bundle on shore when I was forced to jump in after her when she fell in.

My plan was to swim her down to a break in the. Seawall and propel her through it back to safety. It was a sound plan.

She trundled back and forth sniffing this and peering at that and I just held my breath.

She actually didn't even come close to falling in.

She gets intense on her walks.

She then decided she needed a dip in a salt water pool on the inside of the wall. That was where she got stuck in deep water under a blanket of seaweed. As she scrabbled I got into rescue mode but my dog started glaring at me as though telling me to back off. Her claws became prehensile as she dug them into the limestone and with one almighty heave she pulled herself from the primeval soup of seaweed, shook herself off and strutted away without a glance my way.

Clearly I was superfluous to requirements and she had her dignity to uphold.

I didn't say a word all the way back to the car.

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Leon Street

I talk daily to my friend Chuck of the Old Town blog and he makes noises when asked to step into distant New Town. I quite like New Town.

Take Leon Street for instance. This is not a street lined with 200 year old wooden homes. This is a street wide enough for two full sized pick-ups to pass.

Yet for all that this is modern, an area of homes built since the 1960s during the great Conch migration out picturesque, tumbledown Old Town, these homes have their features.

For myself I can see the attraction of a modern ranch house with all modern conveniences no leaks and a decent chunk of yard...

Besides there's lots of greenery, privacy and parking with easy access to the main road out of town, plus it's a neighborhood close to the beaches and stores. I sound like a realtor but this part of Key West has a lot to recommend it.

Plus there's room to store masses of equipment to plan for a truly epic weekend out on the water:

On top of all that there was room to spare for my Bonneville parked at the edge of the broad street. Parking need never be an issue around here.

For some people all the conveniences of New Town are outweighed by the fact that Old Town is a very long walk away.

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Higgs Beach End Of Day

I'm going to have to get over these gorgeous sunsets in clear blue skies because this time of year they happen every day just as I'm getting to work.

But they are irresistible especially on these cool clear evenings during a cold front when every particle of dust in the air is blown away.

I like sunrises as much if not more than sunsets but this is also a good moment to stop and catch one's breath after a busy day.

Sunset is a moment of suspension. Everyone stops to wait and watch for the orb to disappear signaling for most people the end of activity for a few minutes. It's a self absorbed moment of contemplation as all eyes face the dying sun.

The solid brick wall of the West Martello Tower gave form and solidity to the shades of darkness falling around us.

Besides the bricks had absorbed the heat of the sun during the day and were throwing that precious heat back out. It felt good.

I know it sounds silly but sixty degrees feels cold around here when a body is used to tropical heat and humidity.

The evening pause to salute the sun was almost over.

My steed awaited to transport me the last mile to work. And in the background, across all the clutter of signs and road safety barriers I could see the flashing red and blue lights of some emergency in Higgs Park.

This side of the street was a serene sunset moment; that side was not.

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Holiday Parade

Small town America comes to Key West once a year in the form of a holiday parade that brings out all those homey Jimmy Stewart feelings that a sophisticated little town like Key West likes to hide much of the year.

The holiday parade is performed Key West style, so there are flags and bunting to spare but also floats hauling cross-dressing adults waving with lots of good cheer,

...while right behind them come the church floats and cheerful kiddie cartoon characters.

This is what you expect to see, little pirates looking mildly confused and excited as they assemble at Bayview Park for the march down Truman.

And there's Doug Bennett planning his next week on the island
This Week

Small town float, borrowed perhaps from Fantasy Fest.

Nan was volunteering for the SPCA reminding me where my wife spotted Cheyenne two years ago, loping down Truman wearing an "Adopt Me" jacket. So I did the next day.

And we're still blissfully happy my dog and I. They throw candy from the floats and Cheyenne got a lot more of it than I did. So she was more indigested than I was the next day.

Check out this hubcap. One way up it said:

Then as the wheel turned it said:

Small town cute. As are these legs:

Women dancers in full dress, small town.

Key West Business Guild was on the road, much more specifically Key West.

Closely followed by...

"Oh my God!" he squealed, she wasn't meant to get that, as Cheyenne snatched the candy he threw.

No problem I tried to reassure him my dog is indestructible. After she was done only the stick was left of the decapitated lollipop:

Santa boxing with the Easter Bunny? The Miata club always puts on a good show.

Gary the Carpenter had a banner seeking funds to get the Key West Nutcracker back on the stage. A fabulous underwater production that cost hundreds of thousands to stage and didn't survive the Recession. The little fish were out and about looking every bit as cute as they did on stage.

Fifth Street Baptist Church gave my Jewish wife a couple of candy canes to remind her of the real meaning of Christmas.

The Chabad Temple was in the parade too, because this is a holiday parade. Once it was a Christmas Parade but the organizers didn't want homosexuals of the Metropolitan Church in the parade so the city started it's own holiday parade, everyone welcome in the spirit of One Human Family.

And this delightful mish mash of big ideas and small town is the result.

Police Chief Donie Lee was on hand to keep the floats moving.

Zero Emissions No Noise.

A marching band, some cheerleaders and flag twirling,

...and so we called it a wrap as the parade faded into the night down Truman Avenue.

Out came the street sweepers to restore order and clear crushed candies and lost wrappers from the gutters.

Every time someone tells you how great Fantasy Fest was tell them about the holiday parade. They'll never believe the old song says...when you tell them what a cute small town, truly local Fest this is.

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