Thursday, May 10, 2012

Southernmost Everything

Visitors ask where the Southernmost Point is and one is forced to reply that it is at the end of South Street of course.


The Southernmost Point of the Continental United States has spawned a whole bunch of side industries busy making money off the spot. The southernmost southernmost everything. Check it out:


This confection claims to be the Southernmost house and it belongs to a family of long time residents, noblesse oblige doesn't come into it and they fight like squires of old to maintain their southernmost birthright.


Perhaps this modest dwelling across the street, kitty corner to The Point is the southernmost southernmost southernmost?


Ah, probably not. There's The Point and there's the southernmost southernmost house.


These people don't seem to care who lives closest to The Point. They want their picture for their vacation album.


Trash is integral to the common experience. There are city trash cans nearby but the common sense of doing the right thing falls away in the face of the Southernmost. It makes you wonder why anyone would scramble to live next to this monument to bad taste.


Feast your eyes men.


This is actually more interesting, it's the place where the old Western Union telegraph wire came ashore from Cuba, decades ago.


But The Point is just one more notch in the tourist belt.


Funnily enough the actual point is on the Navy base behind the fence. The dish array spies on Cuba and having a daily trek of trash toting visitors would interfere with this last remnant of the Cold War. I listen to Cuba on my car radio, 950am Radio Reloj, Cuban news twenty four hours a day clearly audible here 90 miles away.


Southernmost rental scooters:


Southernmost Point Guesthouse and the southernmost angry parking sign.


It's a big place this guesthouse, stretching all the way back to Duval Street. The Gato name goes back to the cigar industry in Cuba that came to Key West. Gato long since left and took his business to the cheaper streets of Ybor City in Tampa. But the name connects the house to this city's well known past.


That's the southernmost game, sell the word and sell the thrill of being South. Hawaii has the actual US southernmost point and all they have according to pictures I've checked online is a marker on a dirt point on a spectacular cliff overlooking the Pacific. Key West is rather more crass.


Take a pretty fountain and fill it with a ticket seller. Like I said noblesse oblige doesn't come into it.


Take a private home and stick the world's southernmost nude statue in front of it. Or something.


And here is the southernmost Triumph Bonneville in the US. The entire Point is blotted out by the mirror!


Normally resident at Mile Marker 27 it's still quite a long way south, thank you. Kiss my ass.



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