love kills slowly – Key West valentines, mostly

 

love kills slowly

Amiga Christine Russell, aka Jaguar Woman, replied to yesterday’s  a positive life, hard to find, but not impossible, sez Key West’s Jaguar Woman after she done went down to Panama to hang out  post:

Christine Russell

Thanks for the picture Sloan, and a the reminder of why I do not want to live or spend time in Key West.

cruise ship mud

One of the very many reasons.

It is a long long way from paradise – if paradise even ever existed or exists anywhere. Like I have said the whole world seems to be going to hell rather quickly. Maybe to northerners knee deep in snow KW seems like paradise – but they don’t live there! It’s all relative.

Christine Russell 2

Some think that widening the channel and bigger cattle cars, with more cows will improve tourism. Of course these are the people with businesses who only see $$$$$ It is also the HTA employees who have been convinced that if they do not support widening the channel, they are all going to lose their jobs. Could anyone really be that naive to believe that self-serving, greedy, business owners viewpoint? Anyone with any size brain knows this will never enhance a true tourists (not a 3 hour visitor) experience.

cruise ship invasion

Maybe they do need to widen the channel. The town can then be filled with even more cheap $399/week Carnival cruisers. The real paying tourists who go to KW to enjoy the lovely hotels, restaurants, art galleries theater and all the good things KW has to offer – they will certainly stop coming as KW continues its downward spiral. Then from the bottom, maybe they will rebuild and learn from their past mistakes – or would they?! I gladly will not be there! But I will never forget the funky, laid-back town, and beautiful clean aqua waters of KW of 35 years ago that I fell in love with – not the sorry state today and a worse future to come.

I replied to Christine:

It crossed my mind as I fumbled around putting together today’s KW post, which you had instigate-sponsored with your email yesterday, that maybe part of my job was to provided incentive for you to move on.

I didn’t know the Key West you fell in love with.

The few times I came down from Islamorada over the years, I viewed KW as a funky, grubby, sailor party town. It had changed some when I came there around Christmas 1995, and again in 1999. I felt no pull to stay there, though, yet a year later, 2000, I was living there, homeless.

I knew no one when I arrived on Greyhound, and only knew a few people in Islamorada. Getting involved in KW and its Keys politics sure changed that! As did standing in the soup kitchen line, and hanging out at Higgs Beach and Sippin’ Internet Cafe. I went through three owners of that place. It was my living room and office, as well as my “Starbucks” and a place to go online, play chess, jabber, attend poetry readings, jabber, etc.

I agree, KW’s future might not be what I want to be around. Maybe I’m just too jaded from having had so much to do with the city politically; am pretty sure that if I were to be moved back down there I would miss this place and this area. I did not miss Key West when I was moved back up here in March 2010, even though there is very little to do up here. Well, I did miss the fairly regular chess games, mostly at Sippin’. No regular chess players up here, and no regular chess games at Sippin’ now either.

Besides the let’s get KW a nude beach mayor’s race in 2009, I suppose the chess and banter at Sippin’ is my fondest memory of Key West, although the food and banter at Harpoon Harry’s, where my harem work, and the banter at Jack Flats Sports Bar on Duval Street also sticks out.

There was, however, a brief exhilarating escapade with a very smallish American flag mini-dress some woman dared to wear to Dennis Ward’s swearing in in the new County Court House; she told me not to tug it too hard, sometimes she didn’t wear underwear.

I took to calling her Miss Betsy Ross, and she kept promising to wave that flag again, if the right occasion presented itself, but I never saw her wave it again, and now she’s blending with another outfit I saw her in once upon a time, which got her also pinned with Jaguar Woman. I suppose you know who is the subject of this one-sided traipse down fond memory lane.

Maybe more later, it’s going on Valentine’s Day, and I’m still wondering what Valentine’s present the angels dreamed up for me.

Sloan

P.S. What do you figure the man and dog act in this video might garner in tips on Duval Street, until Mayor Cates’ police apprehend the dynamic duo for aggressive panhandling without a license?

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xdj67XknFrM#t=5

He traded a beer for the dog.

The video was sent to me by a former Montgomery, Alabama fellow, who now bills himself out as Na Ga Redneck (or Hick, depending on moon phase). The small town in the movie, Troy, is about 50 miles south of Montgomery. My father and his brother were born and raised there, until their father, my grandfather, struck out for Birmingham to make his fortune and so forth and so on.

I told Na Ga Redneck that I figured my blue blood Troy ancestors were doing several revolutions in their graves over the video, and I hoped it was due to side-splitting laughter that made them piss in their pants.

Christine replied:

Christine Russell 3

Well Sloan, it took quite a while for me to be convinced to move on. I am not one to quickly throw in the towel and I had such a deep love for the Keys and Key West. But at this point I need NO convincing. I won’t go into all the problems I see with KW or what potential it has – but it is too sad and difficult for me to stand by and watch people trying to do horrible, destructive things like widen the channel through a National Marine Sanctuary, or watch that beautiful parcel of waterfront land sit empty with no park, no market, no anything. I tried to show the city that Projects for Public Spaces was the group to help the citizens and the city develop that parcel to fit everyone’s needs, wants and dreams – but there was a different agenda. I am not sure what that is yet, but it looks like it is going to take about $45 million to do the “park” (and that’s today’s dollars – at the rate the US is printing money God knows what it will cost – I predict NO park).

Truman WaterfrontTruman Waterfront

But thank God there will be no mega-yacht marina. However, without the marina, there is no economic stream of money to support the park. The market I tried to convince the city to develop for so many years could have provided tens of thousands of dollars a month. Maybe not as much as a mega yacht marina but more than is going to be realized now. But as much and more than money, the market would have been the center and heart of the community – a place to meet your neighbors, have a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch, listen to some music, buy some fresh bread, honey, vegetables, plants flowers, art, space for non-profits – go to www.pps.org and just see what other cities are enjoying. We could have had all that and so much more. You can tell I still dream, but I am done.

No, I need NO convincing. I just needed some time away in a better place so I could gain a different perspective. I will leave with great sadness when the truck pulls away and we drive over the Cow Key bridge, but with so much enthusiasm about a new exciting and affordable life! I hope my friends will come to visit me in Panama, or wherever else I happen to land. As I have said it is far from perfect here. I am already planning my next excursion for later this year and will let you know how that goes! I am really excited about this next adventure! It might be even better than Panama- hard to believe but very possible! But I will see you before then. I will be back in a couple of months. Hopefully for not more than 2 or 3 months and then I will be off – somewhere over the rainbow :-)

Nice ! I really enjoyed the little flick with Dog. Maybe you need a dog….and a bike Sloan :-) I like really small towns. I used to think KW was a small town. NOT any more :-( I think I will eventually outgrow the big City here. So much concrete and traffic – but I do like the malls and shoppin and casinos and so many restaurant choices, and the fish market (my favorite!) and old Casco Viejo and the cheap first run movies in English for $2.50. You don’t get all that in America at these prices, or even too small a town here. I forgot to mention AFFORDABLE health care – that was really what brought me here, I was not looking to leave the US. But after the brain tumor when I could not buy health insurance in my own country – what do you do? Leave.

Your friend, Christine

I replied to Christine:

Maybe you are a prophet – today I received an email from Trice Denny, the Navy public affairs officer, sent to many people, I imagine, saying the upcoming Dragon Boat races in Key West are canceled. Later, on US 1 Radio, it was announced that the Navy closed Truman Waterfront Harbor to all but US Navy and US Government vessels, for security reasons, prospective. Ta, ta, it seems, to any city/public marina in that harbor.

Christine replied:

NO SURPRISE WITH THIS NEWS SLOAN! Many of us knew the Navy was was going to re-think the mole – harbor front area. It all does belong to them and they could take any land that they see as necessary for national security, including private land. Times today are much different than when they gave that land to the city. All it takes is a little common sense and one can see the future. So I am not surprised with the latest. As side note – I feel like I am back in the Keys. My electric for the last 2 days has been up and down. Good thing I got used to this living in KW. Like I said Panama is a long way from perfect and our electric company here could learn a lot from Keys Energy linemen, but not the corpocracy (is that a word?) and other dysfunctional problems with KE corporate, Utility board, and their other big dogs :-( So feeling right at home in the Panama – in the dark!

I replied to Christine:

a mind opened by wonder

Ha, ha. Let me know when you’re back in KW, so we can get together and hug, and laugh, and cry, and bitch and moan, and maybe laugh some more …

Christine replied:

I will do that Sloan. I have to tell you the hardest part of leaving KW will be leaving my friends. I have met some of the best people in the world. People who give so much of themselves to try and save a last little bit of paradise. Many of them are Last Stand members. People who criticize or look down on Last Stand obviously have some agenda or personal gain from destroying the environment – just one woman’s opinion! But leaving does not mean I lose them as friends. You don’t have to be there to work on things. I have been doing posters and other things for Spay Panama while living in KW – it really is a global world. You just have to spread your wings and f-l-y :-) I will look forward to seeing you Sloan, when I return and before I leave one last time!

Christine

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As I was about to publish yesterday’s post, this came in from Nashville J, the text of which I added to that post, and some comments.

Scrub Club

Key West’s ‘Scrub Club’ reportedly scrubbing debit cards of adult-entertainment clients

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/13/3231707/key-wests-scrub-club-

============================

Later yesterday, I replied Nashville J:

The Scrub Club is a wonderful place.

Back when I was living in a homeless shelter, right after the 2003 mayor’s race had ended, I was on my bicycle on that part of Duval Street, and was hailed by a fellow who was the Scrub Club’s sidewalk barker. His intent, to get me to go into the place and drop money he didn’t know I didn’t have, doing things with women I figured probably would get me beat up to kingdom come by the angels.

I told the fellow that maybe he ought to find himself another line of work, than aiding and abetting young women prostituting their souls and their bodies. He arched his eyebrows, took a step back, said he would have me know he was a good Christian church-goer, and how dare I criticize his job? I said his job criticized his good Christian church-going. He rared back, then up, like he was about to do serious violence to my carcass, and I hopped back on my bicycle street and pedaled of, with him chasing me down Duval Street, barking and growling like a rabid dog. Fortunately, I pedaled just fast enough to keep him at bay until he ran out of breath. Maybe if he had saved his breath, he would have caught me.

What jumps out at me in Sean Kinney’s many-kudos-due article is Allison Crean, Key West City/And KWPD spokesperson, stating the City’s top law enforcement priority:

Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said the department has heard the Adult Entertainment Club is about more than just “entertainment,” but that the department focuses its attention on higher-priority initiatives like dealing with aggressive vagrants drinking and panhandling on city streets, and quelling drug dealing.

If the City really wants to quel drug dealing, it will close every booze outlet in Key West, starting with the booze outlets on Duval Street. The City’s finest take sniffer dogs into Key West High School and Horace O’Bryant K-9 School. The City requires all city employees, leading off with the mayor, the city commissioners, the city attorney, the city manager, the chief of police and Allison Crean, to take random piss tests each month.

I’d love to see how their piss tests compare to city homeless people’s piss tests.

Har, Har, Har.

Meanwhile, in case you are interested, Alyson Crean once gave me a rave report in the Keynoter, when she was its KW Bureau Chief, after I, a homeless man living in a tent just across from Smathers Beach in early 2004, had entered the County Commission race as a write-in candidate.

After getting that rave from Alyson, whom I considered a pretty good friend, I was pounded senseless by the angels for not being nice and sweet in my daily ravings, to the point that I pretty near well lost most of my marbles and became a threat to everything the angels had tried to do with me, and, in said state, I withdrew from that county commission race, figuring I had psychotically dreamed up that I was supposed to enter it.

A few months later, the head samurai in “The Last Samurai” movie came to me in a dream, in that same tent, and said to me, “You were the keynote speaker at a homeless conference, and you didn’t even show up!” I had only just watched a re-run of that wonderful movie earlier that same night at Atlantic Shores in Key West, which was the city’s outdoor theater, behind the motel, next to the Atlantic Ocean. Had a clothing optional swimming pool.

I was leveled by that dream. I never wanted to have another dream like it. But I nearly did after I started talking about throwing in the towel on No Name Key, in yesterday’s post, which led to the last samurais, No Name Key post today.

I still feel that things would have gone very differently for me, if I had not pulled out of that 2004 county commission race. But I did pull out, and I went to pieces, and it was two years before the angels had me mostly put back together again, and that’s when I was moved to Little Torture Key and ran against County Commissioner George Neugent the first time.

Because of what happened in 2004, I run for office every time the angels tell me to run.

Sloan

J replied:

Subject: doesn’t sound like a good place – one of the conchs must own it

Exactly! Nudity, getting drunk or drugged, screwing, stealing, extorting, robbing and defrauding tourist who visit Key West is not the IMPORTANT STUFF that reaches to the HIGHER PRIORITY INITIATIVES like dealing with aggressive vagrants drinking and panhandling OH and quelling drug dealing.

The fact that Alyson Crean would even put that is writing is beyond belief!

J

Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said the department has heard the Adult Entertainment Club is about more than just “entertainment,” but that the department focuses its attention on higher-priority initiatives like dealing with aggressive vagrants drinking and panhandling on city streets, and quelling drug dealing.

I replied to J:

I don’t know who owns it, but I also wondered why the City put out that excuse, which I imagine was given to Alyson Crean to put out, since she is basically the city’s and the police department’s publicist and does not make policy decisions. However, I’m glad they let it out, because it reinforced what I had written about the City’s law enforcement priorities.

oldest profession

Maybe the City honchos feel anyone who goes into a Duval Street whorehouse, especially anyone who is a Russian, deserves what happens in the whorehouse. The problem with that view, however, is the City itself is a whorehouse, spreading its legs for money anyway it can get it.

The City got handed a nuke today by the Navy, which closed Truman Waterfront harbor to all vessels but US Navy and US Government vessels. Ta Ta, the City’s plans to put a high revenue marina in there. And, the Navy is asking for more of the cruise ship passenger fees on the outer mole, across the harbor.

Maybe more later.

Sloan

kudos & whiners

Facebook jabber, launched by a Key Weird fellow last night, I edited out his commercial pitches, since he didn’t pay me to advertise them on my websites.

J Harold Lowry Some people forget that I am a Humorist and Satirist. That I am the Curmudgeon defined by Jon Winokur. I step back from the drama. Seeking the lighter side of life. I believe there is laughter in all things be they good or bad. Knowing that life without laughter is no life. Top of Form 1

Michael Higginbotham Love it! Your Great!

J Harold Lowry lol, Great no… Honest yes. And knowledgeable about all things, while seeing the truth withing one’s mind…. maybe.

Michael Higginbotham I learn from you every day!

Kathy Lynn Kizelewicz-Bailey Love everything you do! (AND I trust you _ that’s a biggie for me!)

Linda E Carter amen

Sloan Bashinsky Mostly, I agree, but I had some difficulty laughing about 9/11, Sandy Hook School massacre, my infant son’s death, and lots of other things …

J Harold Lowry Sloan laughter is how one deals with life. Without laughter in our lives, we have no life. Your child would want you to laugh. Your child unknowing to you is looking down on you wanting a better life and foe you to enjoy those around you. Your child as you know, is always with you. Share your laughter with your child.

J Harold LowryMichael Higginbotham you do not learn from me. You learn from listening and actually taking time to Think for yourself.

Sloan Bashinsky I do, in fact, my son actually came back and entered me, and merged with me, in 1994, it took about 2 weeks and was physically, emotionally and spiritually palpable, but I still don’t laugh about his death, nor about 9/11 or Sandy Hook School, nor about lots of other things I have experienced or see happen, such as the Vietnam war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; maybe I didn’t understand what you meant by there is laughter in all things.

Michael Higginbotham Mr. Lowry..I most certainly do! I do listen…and Thank YOU!

Sloan Bashinsky Sometimes I, too, am accused of being a humorist and a satirist, and a crazy person; I find lots of humor where other people don’t; sometimes laughing is all that’s left to do in some situations which seem terminally fucked up. I suppose I keep the angels who run me in steady side-splitting stitches, with all my stupid writhing; but it ain’t all that funny to me most of the time.

Michael Higginbotham Be You! like I always say….I am what I am!

Michael Higginbotham I AM’s special creation! so are you!

Sloan Bashinsky I imagine there is a fairly long line of folks who didn’t, or don’t, care for me being me, but the stark truth is, being me don’t take nearly as much energy as trying to be someone else.

Donna West I THINK you are 1 hell of a person J. Howard Lowery. You are who you are and know what you like and want out of life. I hope one day to catch up with you in Key West or if you are ever in Columbus again. DO NOT EVER change and always look for adventure. After all…..Isn’t that what life is all about….Oh yea….and a little “living on the edge”….

Sloan Bashinsky every person on this planet, which is put a molecule in the big scheme of things, is a unique emanation of God, is how I was told to view it; even as I was taken on a trip I didn’t seem to see anyone else being taken on, and it left me feeling a tad more than slightly way far out past the end of the limb.

J Harold Lowry Donna I am (as Michael Higginbotham says) just me. Someday I may write about the story of my life, but no time soon. AND Yes, there is a Lot of living on the edge. The key… knowing when one is going over. lol

Donna West You are sooo right about the knowing and going over !. Have a GREAT weekend and Happy Valentines day to you !!

Sloan Bashinsky Alas, I seem to stay over the edge, it’s sort of like breathing now

Then, was this seriously fucked up Key Weird Facebook Valentine’s Eve comment last night:

crazy

Steven Youngblood ·a Bob Marley message that keeps coming to my mine … stand up stand up for your rights !!!!!!!! the 2nd amendment

Sloan Bashinsky I thought he wuz talking about civil rights, one love, but then, he did say something about shooting a sheriff once, but not the deputy

John PirateJohn Gilmer Somehow I just don’t see Bob approving of an AR15 kept by every emotionally disturbed 15 year old. Remember, he left Jamaica after his house was shot up and his friend, Peter Tosh, was shot by bandits in 1987.

==========================

bob-marley.jpg

Ain’t it amazing, how somebody can write and sing such beautiful love songs, and someone else can twist them into something so ugly?

Sloan Bashinsky

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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