Sunday, February 27, 2005

This Week on the Island 01/18/2004

'This week on the Island' is written by Doug Bennett and is an update to friends about happenings in Key West last week. Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim Belushi is in town doing some filming at Captain Tony's.

This week we celebrated Tennessee Williams with a Festival. Williams loved Key West because of all the sailors in their tight white pants. I don't think I need to say any more.

It is Sunday morning, 10:00 AM, it is 80 degrees with a strong wind blowing.The 'Snotty Yachty's' are in town. They are here for the yacht races. Each yacht has a crew. One guy owns the boat and the other guys don't have a dime. They put a big tent over the parking lot on Caroline Street and then complain about the town not having any parking and they keep getting parking tickets which they don't pay. They meet at the tent each morning, then go sailing, then get back after 5:00 PM and go back to their tent. The tent closes at about 8:00 PM and they go out on the town. They have had plenty to eat and drink so they don't spend much money and tip even less. They make a lot of noise and complain a lot; it has been said that some people don't likes them.

We have a few problems on this island. One is the homeless, another is affordable housing, another is the travel trailers parked all over the island, and another one is too many chickens. To attack the chicken problem, Key West has proclaimed June 17-20 as 'Chicken Week'. We will have a chicken parade, chicken look-a-like contest, etc, etc. I don't know how this solves the problem, but I like it.

This week is also the 'Wrecker's Race'. In the 1800's Key West was the riches city in Florida. The money came from rescuing the people and goods from ships that had run-a-ground on the coral reefs around here. Many dollars were made by the first ship to reach the wreak as that captain became the 'Captain of the Wreak' and got an extra share of the goods from the wreaked ship. Everything was taken to town and sold (usually back to the people or company that originally shipped the cargo.) We celebrate yearly by having a 'Wreckers Race' to the reef. Mostly everyone just sits in the bar (Schooner Wharf Bar) and waits while the ships race to the reef and back.
----------------------------------------------------History----------------------------------------------------------Florida was purchased from the Spanish in 1821. In less than 40 years, Florida succeeded from the Union to join the Southern cause. When South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor, the Union troops stationed in Key West marched to Fort Zackery Taylor. Key West was a Union outpost during the Civil War. Fort Zackery Taylor was controlled by the Union and captured many 'blockade runners' and towed their ships into Key West Harbors and sold their goods. Most goods were purchased by Southerners and they were put on other ships and sent on their way to southern ports.This week was the re-enactment of the Union forces marching to Fort Zackery Taylor to capture and hold the fort for the Union during the Civil War. We re-enact many mock battles between the Southerners and the Northerners that never took place in the first place.

Doug Bennett
Key West, You have got to love it.

Jo and I continue with the project of working on the upstairs replacing the carpet and painting. We also are making many repairs as we go.