Saturday, February 3, 2018

Island Time

I find the notion of island time to be exceedingly irritating. I followed a slow driver out of my subdivision to US One and the back of the pristine, unsullied off road Jeep looked as shown. I should much prefer it if people in Michigan and elsewhere who spend winters in the Keys lived on Island Time at home as an experiment. True island time living would require these people to pull over when caught dozing on the only road through the Keys, instead they hunker down and take joy in making us worker bees sweat the drive to work. Gee thanks. One day I plan to institute island time when I answer 911- oh well, we're on island time we'll get to it when we get to it but hey thanks for calling! Sounds unlikely doesn't it?
Growing old in Key West has never been for the faint hearted and it's not getting easier. The new old folks home on Duck Avenue is taking shape in a rather mainland form. Good news no doubt but the local hospice has closed which to me is a sign of a community in profound crisis. Hospice provides a critical function at a critical time for the dying and their survivors. To be deprived seems dastardly to me. I plan to die elsewhere.
Worker housing at Poinciana just a  few blocks up from the new building on Duck Avenue.  It used to be Navy housing and after the military turned it over to the city the city turned it into affordable rental housing. Actually with some construction they could pack a lot more living quarters into this expanse of open space.
I stopped by City Hall on White Street (more new construction!) to check on the state of my pension. The nice lady in charge of the good news has been around a long time and to my surprise I discovered I have too. We got to reminiscing about some of the characters we remembered in the police department from more than a decade ago and my investigation turned into a pleasant conversation. Eventually a youngster came by and needed the room and Ms Patty and I were forced to vacate. By local standards I have worked here a long time, nearly 14 years answering 911. Island Time of a different sort.
The old city hall on Angela Street is long gone of course and the fire station now present is such a fixture I doubt many people remember the old pink building and the trees that shaded Angela Street a few short years ago. The fire station was worn out and city hall though not flooded leaked horribly during Hurricane Wilma in 2005 so change was inevitable. After a protracted struggle city hall went to the old school on White Street and the fire station expanded and includes public toilets if you ever choose to use the public parking here.
And just off Olivia Street I walked past this private house in the throes of construction. City regulations require the wooden homes of Old Town to be restored to look as they always have, a code aimed at keeping the character of Old Town as 19th century as possible. In fact Key West has the largest oldest wooden downtown in the country. This is how you keep it that way: 
Island Time is something I shall indulge after Ms Patty gives me my pension and I leave the island. When I am retired I plan on not interfering with those around me still working. I wonder if such an idea could be entertained in these islands?