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Maybe three weeks ago now, I bumped into a fellow at Jack Flats, whom I had known somewhat from hanging out at Sippin’ Internet Cafe before I moved back up to Little Torch Key in March 2010, where I lived 3 1/2 years, before selling my place up there and the end of last August and moving back down to Key West. He said he was on the Board of Southern Homeless Assistance League, had written two books, had a top-notch international publisher for one, which was non-fiction, and a novel, which had been condensed into a novella, coming out as well. He was already making good money, and was going to make a lot of money. We later had dinner, on his dime, and after some tugging on my part about where he lived, he told me he lived at KOTS, Key West’s overnight homeless shelter. He had lived there for several years, had written the two books while living there, and was looking to buy a boat on which to live. He also told me that he had been hugely successful at one time, then he had gotten into a bad deal, then his father, whom he worshiped, had died, which threw him for a loop, and then an rare form of schizophrenia onset, which presented acute mania. His life was destroyed and when he came down to Key West, it was the end of the trail as far as he was concerned, where his life would end. Then, a doctor put him on a medication which produced fast positive results. The dosage was increased, with even more positive results. The dosage was increased, which produced even more positive results. His mind started operating at super capacity, and he wrote the two books, one of which was compressed into a novella. Right now, he told me, he still lives at KOTS, but is moving toward living on the boat and is working hard on getting his books going internationally.
That background given, here are recent emails between us, starting maybe a week ago.
Bumped into Frisbee Dave the other day,
told him Jenna Stauffer told me she wanted to interview him and you for her TV show, and you had told me that you and Dave were buddies and that you would let him know that. He said nobody had told him, and he did not know a John Benson by name. I said you live at KOTS, have for years, and recently had two books coming out. He said he didn’t know such a person. Did you tell Dave that Jenna wanted to interview him? Did you call Jenna about her interviewing you?
Good to hear from you Sloan.
To Dave, I am the ‘word of the day guy’. I do not use my name at KOTS, for simple matter I have a functional title that suffices.
Perhaps he did not want you to know we are friends. Sometimes your pen runneth over and you, at times, must feel compelled to write everything you hear. I would imagine this is not the first circumstance people tell you nothing, because that is what they want written, Sloan.
I’ll pass on interviews with Jenna. Now is not the time. The KOTS story reaches a zenith of intriguing when I am crushing the sales numbers internationally. When that happens, Jenna will have a live and active story of the proportions worth of her skill. She will simply have to be patient for a year longer.
But good to hear from you.
Hi, John -
So, you did not tell Dave that Jenna wants to interview him, although you told me you would tell him right away, he was your good friend. That occurred when you told me you told Dave that I had published the two stories of him written by his childhood friend, and he looked down, or sad, or disappointed, because he had no way to get online and see what I had published. I replied that Jenna wanted to interview him, you brightened, said you would tell Dave. You still seem full of games, John. I hope your books do as well as you predict, because I do not want to see you wondering why it went a different way after you were so sure. I hope my books take off, too, but it is not something I will predict. I did that once, many years ago, and it did not go as I had predicted, although the book was fully capable of going that way. I fell back into predicting with the next two books, with similar results. The next book, as I was about to fall back into it again, the angels told me the book was like my son, to birth it and then let it go and move on. It also had the potential to sell very well, but did not. After that, I just wrote, until another book came along, which the angels themselves predicted to me that it would go very well, but not so far – that was 12+ years ago. I agree, if your books take off, that will make a great KOTS story. When I ran into Dave the other day, and he told me nobody at KOTS had told him Jenna wanted to interview him, I gave him her phone number and told him where COMCAST is located on Stock Island. He looked and sounded thrilled. I emailed Jenna for her to expect a call from Dave about an interview. It’s between them now. If you had done what you said you were going to do, Jenna might already have interviewed Dave by now. I hate to think you represent homeless people on SHAL’s Board.
I spoke with Dave this morning; he is mulling over the opportunity with Jenna. He sends his greeting. I’ll pass for now. When the time is right, I will contact her through you, in honor of your efforts. I send my greetings.
Jenna might already have interviewed Dave by now. I hate to think you represent homeless people on SHAL’s Board.
Once again, I will caution you not to use your words as a mental baseball bat, Sloan. You have great advantage over most with this tool. You do not, with me.
First, Dave can get an interview anytime he wants. I know it, he knows it, you know it. So we are not missing some great op for our homeless athletic director. So calm down. Dave is quirky, likes to have his way, and in this case his way is to consider the implications of what is in fact, something important to him. The world does not revolve our intensity Sloan. Our words do. But our words are not the world. Now go be nice and happy today. You deserve that.
Hi, John -
When I bumped into Dave Sunday at Bayview Park, he had not yet called Jenna, said he would call her Monday (yesterday). He was bubbling over, said it could be big. Jenna emailed me about Dave and about you, after I published what Dave’s friend had sent to me, which he had written about Dave, and I published your and my time together, which started at The Gardens Hotel. It was on me to let you and Dave know Jenna wanted to do the interviews. Now you both know and it’s between each of you and Jenna. I hope it does lead to something big, for Dave, for you, for Hatman, whom Jenna is scheduled to interview tomorrow, as I recall, and for more homeless people in Key West, and for homeless people generally. I hope it helps Jenna’s career as a television journalist. The interviews, if they go viral, thanks to the Internet link, could really have an impact across America, and beyond. Certainly, you should tell Jenna, if/when she interviews you, about your books and where they can be found. That could really end up pushing sales. I mentioned the last novel I wrote during her and my interview, but did not name it or tell how it could be found. Perhaps dumb on my part, but it didn’t seem in order during the interview. It was mentioned as part of a larger drama painting a picture of what it was like to live on the street and in places other people provided, never knowing what was coming next, or where I would be next geographically, for about six years.
I know Dave is quirky; I lived next door to him on Smathers Beach for several months in 2004. My tent was maybe 5 feet from his tent. Other homeless tents were some distance down the way. We talked a lot. I had talked a good bit with him before that, going back to probably early 2001, and after that we had numerous conversations about lots of things. Sometimes he was not in the mood to talk, and we nodded and went on our ways. Sometimes he was out of it, and he did not see me and I did not speak to him.
You told me you would tell Dave about Jenna wanting to interview him. You did not do that. If you had done it, none of what recently passed between us about Dave would have occurred. Same, if you had told me you did not want to be interviewed by Jenna yet. You gave me an entirely different impression when I told you she wanted to interview you and Dave. Looks to me you are trying to be the homeless athletic director. I don’t tell homeless people what to do, or not do. I do try to persuade Mayor Cates to get his police to let homeless people sleep at night. It would suit me just fine if the angels would give me the rest of my life off from homeless issues, but I don’t see that happening, given the broad range of homeless experiences I had in Key West and elsewhere, and other experiences I have had. Maybe some day you will be moved to write about your own homeless experiences, and on your medical condition. It might have an impact.
I’ll deal with Jenna’s opportunity in about a year. Selling books in KW is not my focus. Selling books in NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, LA, London, Sydney— that’s my market. But of course Jenna and I will have a nice chat when the time comes.
Really Sloan. Dave has been on KW for, what — 1/2 a decade doing this. I’d like to say we have a breaking story here, but we do not. He is very comfortable on his SSI, or whatever it is. He plays frisbee all day, lives in delusions of granduer and is happier than most. I don’t see big news there, but we all see things different. Have a nice day sloan.
The more you write, John, the more it is all about John.
It is all about me, to begin with Sloan. I thought you knew that. ; – )))
I saw it was all about you to begin with, John. It oozes out of you. That’s why I said I hated to think you are the homeless representative on SHAL’s Board. You only represent yourself. You only write for yourself, hoping to get rich, is how it comes across to me. Can’t say I blame you for wanting to get rich, given all you have suffered. But that is your motive, apparently, for what you write, and it’s good that you admit it is all about you. Some people would pretend it was not all about them, when it was all about them.
And Sloan, do memorize this. I am not the ‘homeless representative’. Ok, repeat. Memorize this. I am an MBA-educated, homeless activist, who owns two businesses on this island and is by far the most financially successful writer-in-residence. As it is, I am buying a boat these next few weeks and will move onto that.
So I am not going to be the 30′ Columbia Yacht representative to SHAL either.
Memorize this. I am tired of correcting your mistakes, misjudgements.
You told me Wendy Coles asked you to be on the SHAL Board. Your living at KOTs had nothing to do with that?
I imagine Judy Bloom is slightly more financially successful than you, and I imagine there are other writers living in Key West who are, too. I don’t claim to be one of them.
Sloan, I no longer have time for this repartee.
Soon, I will crush Judy Bloom, Stewie Woods, and Hemingway’s dismantling is planned for 2017. My brilliance is easily equal to his; my suffering surely was. And, I have Lamictal.
Now, please, excuse me. I have more important things to do than this.
I may or may not have more important things to do, but right now what I’m doing is fleshing you out. Looks to me, John, that you are in acute mania, perhaps enhanced by that pill you told me you are taking. I hope I’m mistaken about that, and that your prophesies of your literary giantness come true, for if they don’t, you may end up far worse off than you were before the pill. Time will tell.
I imagine the doctor who prescribed Lamictal might feel some alarm, for you, if he/she were to read our recent email exchanges. Maybe you should share our emails with your doctor, therefore. I will share them with my readers, who include Jenna Stauffer, Mayor Cates, the City Commissioners, Father Stephen Braddock. Perhaps after your and my emails make the rounds, SHAL will give consideration to you not being on their Board any longer.
If I had to hazard a wild ass guess, I’d guess the reason you decided not to accept Jenna’s request to interview you is you don’t want it getting around that you live in a homeless shelter and have lived there for seven years and are schizophrenic with acute mania affect, on medication.
You are yet another interesting homeless person, John, who does not fit the stereotyped view of homeless people held by so many Key West people, including some of its elected officials. If you pull off the super writer of the ages coup, that certainly ought to start a lot of heads spinning.
Everyone in this town knows I have lived at KOTS for 5.5 years, and have deep manic issues. Sloan, I played piano at Square One — Key West’s epicenter of social power — for three years. This has been known for years and I joyously told the story.
So this is known stuff, but… well, everyone but you apparently. Anyway, sadly, my homeless tenure is coming to an end. I’ll be moving into a nice little 30-footer sail boat in a few weeks. All good things must come to an end.
== I am a Writer, and heretical thinking is my stock and trade. This stuff just builds up the writer’s personna.
== My writing clients are a zillion miles away and don’t give a damn about what I do or don’t do on Key West.
== Being on or off the Board of SHAL: my next contribution is to write for foundation funds. That has zero to do with being on the Board guy. That means doing useful work. That’s all that matters.
== The island already knows I am insane, have lived in a homeless shelter for 1/2 a decade, and play pretty awesome piano. They’ll wonder why you have been to out of the know… lol.
== Novel publishing — tcch. God man. I have 10×1 the skills necessary to crush that into golden opportunity.
Now, Sloan, if it makes you feel better sending this email or that email around, or publishing this or that in your blog, have at it guy.
I love the PR.
; – ))))
The idiot figured when he saw you at Jack Flats after some years that you might live at KOTS. The idiot figured that again when he met up with you, at your invitation, to hear you play the piano at the Gardens Hotel. Your “luggage” beside the wall near the piano bench suggested to the idiot that you lived at KOTS. Over dinner, the idiot asked you several times about where you lived, and you gave vague answers. Finally, you told the idiot you lived at KOTS. The idiot said he had thought maybe that is where you lived. Didn’t sound then to the idiot like you wanted anyone to know you lived at KOTS, and after the idiot published a report of your and his dinner conversations and interactions, and your diagnosis and medication, and its effect on you, as you reported to the idiot, you jumped the idiot for publishing it without your permission, even though you knew the idiot was a journalist, who published just about any and every thing, and you had invited the idiot out to dinner, and you and the idiot spent nearly all of the evening talking about you and homelessness and KOTS, topics you knew the idiot was deeply involved in as a journalist and as a former homeless idiot. The idiot rather thinks if you loved publicity, you would have sent the idiot roses about publishing what he did the next morning.
Go see your doctor, John, just to be safe.
Other idiot adventures in Paradise yesterday …
The other day, a homeless woman I had seen around asked me for the time, and I pulled out my cell phone and showed her the time. Yesterday, I came across her somewhere else. She was examining small sores and skin rashes on her left arm. I pedaled on by, and then I felt I needed to go back and speak with her. I told her I once contracted MRSA and nearly died; she needed to get those things on her arm looked at. She said she didn’t have the money to see a doctor. I said she could see a nurse practitioner at one of the clinics homeless people use. She said that would cost money, which she did not have. I didn’t know if that was true. She said all she needed was a dollar, which would by her an antibiotic cream at the Dollar Store. And, she needed peanut butter. She’d heard it was good for people. I said peanut butter kept me going when I lived on the street.
She told me a horrible story about bowel surgery in Key West, and the surgeon had stitched her belly up wrong, the nurse in the hospital told her that she had been butchered. I asked the surgeon’s name. Damn, the same surgeon who had saved my life when I had MRSA.
She told me a more horrible story of losing everything up north, and her daughter turning against her. I said I had been through the same double whammies myself, I nearly wept. She said she was a Christian, and maybe that meant it would all be happy in the afterlife. I said I don’t think that hope is limited to Christians. She said maybe it will have a happy ending in this life. I said I hoped so. She said she didn’t know why she had told me all of that, but it felt good to finally tell someone, as she cried. I said I am a minister, but I don’t belong to any religion. God owns me. She looked at me hard. I said, what did she think caused me to turn around, after I had passed her by? She cried even more. I joined her.
God only knows what will happen to her, out there all alone like that, her body disfigured in her eyes, her heart broken, her life dreams shattered. I didn’t ask if she stayed at KOTS. I didn’t suggest she go to Samuels House, which is for women. Homeless people know about KOTS and Samuels House and Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, which mostly is for men, but it has a women’s program, too. Oh, I have her $5, so she could get the antibotic cream and peanut butter. I bet some people I know would disapprove.
Not long after that, I ran across a homeless man I have known since just after I arrived homeless in Key West in late 2000. He tends to hang out around Duval Street and is well known there. He mostly sticks to himself, but sometimes he gets into conversations, which tend to end up being one-way, he talks, you listen. A few years ago, he rode his one-speed conch cruiser to Graceland in Memphis and back to Key West. Yesterday, he told me he also had ridden his bike to Dolly Partin’s place in Pigeon Forge and back to Key West. He said he plans to ride his bike to a Hank Williams, I think was the performer, celebration after the first of the year.
He pulled out two cuttings from Citizens Voice in the Key West Citizen. Two hate rants aimed at homeless people. One aimed straight a him via Mayor Cates, for a homeless man holding Mayor Cates’ campaign poster on a sidewalk. He asked me what causes such hate toward homeless people? Before I could say it, he said the haters hate themselves. I said, yep. I told him I knew a local TV journalist, who is doing interviews of homeless people. Did that interest him? He looked at me strange, started ranting about homeless people being called “vagrants”. What is a vagrant?, he asked. I said somebody who does not have a home. Oh. I said I used to be a vagrant in Key West, slept in that doorway just a few feet away from where he stood. I rolled up the right sleeve of my shirt and showed him the VAGRANT tattoo on my right shoulder.
He started in on something else. I excused myself and went into the bookstore to give them a copy of HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale, to read and perhaps carry, even do a book-signing, as the bike trekker gave me what seemed to be a disapproving look for not hearing him out. I told the fellow behind the counter in the bookstore that the inspiration for the novel came in a dream as I slept on flattened boxes in the doorway two doors down from the bookstore, but the novel itself was started three days later in Helen, Georgia, where I went to learn I had dreamt about writing a new novel, which is not set in Key West. He said he would look it over. I left.
From there, I went to see a friend, who is letting a homeless woman I know stay in a spare room. She has told me of terrible encounters with a Key West police officer, who every time he sees her on a public sidewalk, or sitting on a wall, say beside a store where she is a customer, or in front of the public library, tells her she cannot be there, she has to move. When she tries to reason with him, he tells her to shut up, or he will put her in jail. When she called him by his first name, he told her she could not call him by his first name, to her, he was Officer, Sir, Mister. God-complex, I thought to myself.
I have followed this particular police officer for about ten years. He should not be allowed to have any dealings with homeless people. He is a loose cannon, an ego maniac, when it comes to homeless people. Sooner or later, he is going to go over the edge, and then Police Chief Donie Lee and his boss, the City of Key West, are going to wish they had never heard of this officer. Meanwhile, my homeless friend told me another story about him yesterday, which she said was told to her by the man in the story.
The man, who is elderly and respectable, not homeless, was taking a walk early one morning in his neighorhood. Maybe just before dawn, which he does daily. He came upone an older woman, maybe around 80 years old, struggling to get her basket reattached to the back of her three-wheel bicycle. She and the trike were on the sidewalk. A police cruiser showed up. Guess who got out, ordered them both off the sidewalk, into the street, to put the basket back on the trike thee. The man told guess who the woman was about 80 years old, needed help. He was going to help her get the basket back on the trike. Guess who started threatening the man with jail, said, “Read my lips, get off the sidewalk. This happened again. The woman then turned and walked over to guess who and got in his face and said, “Read my lips, my son is an assistant city manager.” Guess who got into his cruiser and left.
I want more than anything to tell you guess who’s name, but if I do that, there is no telling what he will do to my friend the next time he sees her. She told me the other day that karma will get guess who, and she hopes she is around to see it happen. I already saw karma get guess who once, after he made a homeless man, who was the father of the infant child of a good friend of mine, miserable – lots of jail time. The mother was left fending for herself and the infant. I tried to persuade then Police Chief Buz Dillion, who was a good friend of mine, to get the case against the father dismissed, but Buz said he had to defer to his officer. Well, the case was set for trial, and the morning of the trial guess who’s father had a stroke and guess who had to attend to that and the trial was continued. I waited about a year to tell Buz about guess who’s karma. Buz gave me the strangest look. I think maybe guess who is a Christian.
I gave a copy of HEAVY WAIT to the fellow in whose home the homeless woman now stays until she is better able to get around. She was clobbered on her bicycle by another bicyclist and had a broken hip and surgery and a pin put in her leg. My friend and I played chess, she started reading the novel. She said she wanted her own copy, she liked what she was reading. I told her I would get her her own copy. She asked what it was going to cost her? Nothing, I said. I didn’t charge my friend for his copy either. He is disabled, lives in subsidized housing, barely gets by. But for his monthly disability check, he would be homeless, or dead. Might be, he is the best chess player in Key West.
Might be, lots of people in the Keys will be applying to the Housing Authority for subsidized housing, if annual property insurance rates go up as high as some people now are fearing they will go, making it impossible for middle class Keys people with mortgages on their homes to make both their mortgage and their insurance payments, which, in some cases might exceed their mortgage payments, it is feared.
On another homeless front, in the Key West Citizen today:
Project Lighthouse loses operating grant
Safety net for many troubled kids, safe exit from life on the streets
BY TERRY SCHMIDA Citizen Staff
The bulb powering Key West’s Project Lighthouse is growing dim.
The federal grant that has kept the drop-in center going for the last three years is not being renewed, according to Greg Brown, president and CEO of the Tavernier-based Florida Keys Children’s Center, which has overseen the facility since its founding in October 2004.
“We just found out on Friday that the federal government won’t be funding Project Lighthouse this year,” Brown said. “The center is still open for now, but we’re definitely going to need some new funding streams moving forward. It costs about $10,000 per month to keep it going.”
The center, located at 1102 Truman Ave., provides mental health and substance abuse counseling to teens and young adults, many of whom are runaways, as well as assistance finding food, shelter and bathing facilities. Project Lighthouse also supplies musical instruments and art supplies to the street kids who stop in.
“Over the past three years we’ve worked with 429 runaway, homeless, or at-risk youth, a total number of 3,792 times,” said Jai Somers, who has directed the program since April 2006. “In that same period of time, we’ve helped 67 youth reunite with family, and we’ve also helped 342 find what we call a ‘safe exit’ from street life.”
In addition, 90 youth received a mental health service, 116 received a medical or health care service, and 47 received a substance abuse service.
“We’ve helped 110 youth get an ID, and we’ve also helped 205 toward employment, and 76 towards an educational goal,” Somers added. “It’s impossible to count how many showers we’ve provided, or how many T-shirts that we’ve given out in the same period of time.”
The center has had to move a number of times as leases expired, but this is the first time the facility has faced an existential crisis, and Brown is hoping to head the crisis off at the pass.
“We’re currently in the midst of an intense fund-raising campaign to sustain the initiative,” he said. “We’re going to dedicate the funds we raise at the annual Mayor’s Ball on Jan. 18 to the cause, and there are a few other ideas we’re talking about to make up the lost revenue. Ultimately though, we’re looking to move towards sustainability.”
Brown said that part of the challenge his organization faces is the stigma of dealing with homeless people of any age.
“Wherever I’ve worked with homeless youth, there are always people in the community who accuse us of enabling the homeless, but our attitude is that, in a place like Key West, these kids are coming anyway. The very things that attract the well-off and middle class to come down here and spend money — the beaches, and the energy of Duval Street — are the same things attracting these kids.”
The outreach provided by Project Lighthouse, according to Brown, aims to protect both the kids and the community by keeping the youth off the streets, and keeping them from disturbing the people who are patronizing local businesses.
“Even if they do panhandle, we talk to them about being polite and not menacing the pedestrians going by,” Brown said. “It’s possible for the community to be benevolent to these young people, many of whom are fleeing abusive or alcoholic homes, and to keep their high quality of life at the same time. We believe it’s possible to do both.”
Somers echoed Brown’s sentiments.
“We’re helping street kids and we’re helping the community,” she said. “We’re helping the local kids and their parents, who access our resources, and the community enjoys the benefits of us helping street kids or traveling kids, by helping them to be healthy, safe and smart while they’re here, and ideally respectful of the community and our local laws.”
Brown, who replaced former shelter chief Kathy Tuell, is a Philadelphia native who has worked with organizations dedicated to abused, neglected and truant children and youth for three decades, most recently with an organization in Costa Rica.
Besides the new challenge of keeping Project Lighthouse going, Brown said he is also tackling the longer-term issue of “rebranding” the shelter to make it more relevant to the community.
Maybe John Benson will write grants for Project Lighthouse.
Back on the once saved, always saved, Jesus salvation theory,
ex-lawyer Tim Gratz kept throwing at ex-lawyer me (as reported in yesterday’s and Monday’s posts at this website), because, Tim finally told me yesterday on the telephone, that was what he was taught to believe when is was a boy. Well, that conversation brought something from Connie Gilbert,
who heads up Keys Coalition, formed to try to prevent child sex trafficking in the Keys, but, with a lot of help from Tim, the mission ended up expanding to south Florida, then to the entire US, then to the entire world, sort of like Christianity …
June 3rd, 2013
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: Key West’s thriving sex trade magnet
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 15:45:52 -0400
This was written ages ago–March?–and somehow not sent. Tim, is some (edit mandatory–I can do it) still relevant perhaps for a letter to the editor?
Sloan, I can’t imagine any of this is timely now but . . . .
See y’all in Nov.
Well, thank you for the publicity. What Gyvel (treasurer and webmaster of the Keys Coalition) sent you was our first official e-newsletter, and your criticism is valid–the focus of that news should be on the Keys; we’ll try harder in the next issue. However, federal and state policy and legislation that affects the Keys needs to be reported as well. I’ll seek approval of a narrower focus as a policy statement at our June 22 meeting.
My op-ed piece in the Citizen a Sunday ago had a single goal: let readers know it was National Missing Children Day and why. Secondarily it was to once again let people know that the Coalition exists. Much positive feedback leads me to believe it succeeded.
Sex crimes are a nasty tangle of putrid spaghetti–and in the garbage can of our society they’re all connected. Whether it’s any sort of rape (in the military, say), the kidnap of children (Patz, Walsh) or teens (the Cleveland three), the luring of a child from a children’s shelter to prostitute her, the grooming and use of a child for prostitution or sexually abusive images, holding a person–any girl or boy, woman or man–against her/his will: I pray there is karma for the perpetrators of these crimes.
But I do not believe Duval clubs or even adult prostitution are criminal; “the oldest profession” should be legalized. regulated and heavily taxed, like alcohol, tobacco products and eventually marijuana. (This is my opinion, not necessarily that of others in the Coalition, which takes no stand on those issues.) There may be illegal sexual activities in town; I have no way of knowing that. The clubs are sleazy, probably, but they’re not illegal. And they cannot involve children–it would be all over the verbal Coconut Telegraph. Since Tyson Eliott said child sex trafficking “definitely” happens in the Keys, all we can do is attempt to teach our children to protect themselves. And we are putting our major efforts toward that single goal, in hopeful partnership with our schools. (Next on the list are the medical and hospitality industries, and we have cultivated contacts there as well. Law enforcement is already ahead of the curve in training.) That is the only way to “keep child sex trafficking out of the Keys.”
Meanwhile, I’m sorry you were bothered by extraneous emaiI–I sent the farmworkers piece to Tim for his own information only, not to forward. That’s indeed not our focus. A firm, stated policy to remind all of us in the Coalition to focus on the local scene may help. Meanwhile, we can take you off our newsletter mailing list, if you so request of Gyvel, or you can scan and delete future issues if the news seems irrelevant to you.
But believe me, raising hell in the clubs will not protect children; it will only get us arrested. Accusations without proof are libel/slander; as an attorney you know that. We wish to work with our city and county governments, not to disrupt them.
As I said–thanks for getting our name out there.
Me to ALL:
I recall Gyvel saying she was going into Duval Street sex clubs and getting kicked out of sex clubs; I don’t recall hearing of anyone else in Keys Coalition doing it. The sex clubs are magnets, maybe getting thrown in jail for raising hell in one might be good for your soul, if not also for your cause. I don’t see this is relevant now, though. I would not even have written about it today, if Tim had not brought it back up in his defense of his religious beliefs.
Try this one on, Tim, I can’t imagine how I didn’t include it in what I wrote already:
New International Version (NIV)
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Falling with a great crash does not sound like dying and going to heaven to me.
Gyvel wrote to ALL:
Sloan . . . How sweet of you to remember my efforts in the clubs. I’m not just restricted to raising hell in Key West but up and down the east coast from here to Washington, D.C. Believe me, the victims of this type of crime have no interest in scripture but reach out to God every day. Actions truly speak louder than words and I never needed my name linked to any association to make an impact. Once upon a time Connie used to take similar action but she has passed the torch onto me ; ) All the same thanks to God, my friends and family for giving me the strength and courage to face it head on.
Printing, Signs & Designs
Me to ALL:
Shucks, Gyvel, maybe you are a female Jesus, maybe THE JESUS, returned. In the Gospels, Tim’s Jesus didn’t worry about getting arrested, calling people out, causing disruptions. Action indeed speaks louder, Mary Chapin Carter said so in that great song, and that’s good enough for me
I bet Tim would argue a Christian, who engages in child sex trafficking, will die and go to heaven. Me, I don’t know where such a person will go in the afterlife. Neither does Tim. Neither does anyone.
Some pretty nasty child sex trafficking occurs in HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale, in a fine upstanding Christian family, who get some interesting cumuppances. Some lawyers get some interesting cumuppances, too. I doubt HEAVY WAIT will make the best seller list at American Bar Association Conventions, nor, for that matter, at Southern Baptist Convention meetings, either.
PublishAmerica.com, a print to order publisher. Figure 2-3 weeks delivery time.
Gyvel to ALL:
All the same, my faith in religion gives me the strength to take such chances. Believe me, I am far from the second coming of Jesus. I’m way too vain to be nailed to a cross ; )
Me to ALL:
Well, getting shot in a sex club where you were raising hell would be about the same thing, wouldn’t it?
Tim told me yesterday of an unusual recent “coincidence” in his researching and writing a Kennedy assassination book with Mark Howell, former Editor of now demised Solares Hill, sorely missed. The coincidence involved a Miami Cuban connection. Tim’s pastor at Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church in Key West is anti-war, pro-normalization of America-Cuban relations. Tim has always opposed the Castros, and has been in bed with the Miami Cubans, as if they bear the Holy Grail. He is coming around to thinking maybe John F. Kennedy sanctioned the assassination of Fidel Castro, and so, not unexpectedly, duh, Fidel took out a hit on JFK, and then on Bobby Kennedy, who was in on the hit on Fidel, or so the thread seems to be going.
I told Tim the book had been given to him by God, and he darn well needed to get out of bed with the Miami Cubans and write the book true, even if it caused him to be shot by the Miami Cubans. I said there are parables about talents and stewardship in the Gospels. I said God had entrusted him with this book, and he had better not let the Miami Cubans write it, or influence him. I wore him out with God and that book and him doing it right, instead of like he still had his Republican head way up where the sun doesn’t shine.
Tim said maybe Fidel was cleaning up a lot of corruption, he got rid of the Mafia in Cuba. Maybe he wanted to be friendly with the US, but it didn’t work out. I said, Ho Chi Mihn wanted to be friendly with the US, but the US wanted an arm and a leg, and his eyes and balls, and since he didn’t want to be in bed with the Chinese, he got in bed with the Russians. That’s what the Vietnam war was about – USA wanted Vietnam all to itself. Castro did the same thing Ho Chi Mihn did – he went to the Russians because USA didn’t want to gee and haw with him. Then, there are nuclear missiles headed from Russia to Cuba. I said the Kennedys ended up getting the point.
It occurred to me later that maybe God gave Tim this new book to research and write because, (a) it is important, and (b) God wants to divert Tim away from his insane crusade to stop child sex trafficking all over the world, toward something Tim actually might be able to impact if he does it right. If he does it right, he just might destroy his Miami Cuban connections. If he does it right, he just might get killed. I told him, if he does get killed, he will get 5 stars in heaven, and if he does not do it right, he will get no stars. It’s one thing to think you are saved by Jesus, it’s quite something else to actually follow him.
Jesus ministers to leper