As a matter of fact, he just might!
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Tim Gratz, of Key West, replied to yesterday’s post at this website:
You keep pronouncing about what Jesus would do about the homeless and poor, for which you are due great commendation.
I want to report that I attended a Sunday morning beach service at Higgs Beach yesterday, led by Omar Callejo. There were about twenty people there, almost all homeless. They listened very carefully and at attentively to Omar’s talk. I am convinced that many are Christians in the “born again” sense. I am sure that all are good people. It is also evident that Omar loves each one of them.
But the main reason I write is about your defense the debauchery that Fantasy Fest has become.
I see two inconsistencies here.
First, you surely cannot believe that Jesus would approve of public nudity do you?
Second, Your entire defense of the status quo seems to be that if Fantasy Fest was made tamer, Key West would lose mega tourist dollars. You and others may well be right and it is a sad commentary and also does not make sense since most people can go to strip clubs and see as much in their home town.
But regardless of that, since when have you made your decisions based on the number of tourist dollars brought in to Key West? If tourist dollars are your criteria you should be supporting larger cruise ships and more passengers. Now I totally agree with your position on the cruise ship matter because there are some things more important than the almighty dollar. Same principle applies with respect to Fantasy Fest. Arguing that the status quo should be maintained simply to keep the return of people who will pay mega-bucks to see some body parts (and their dollars) is an unfortunate commentary on priorities.
Some of what I wrote back to Tim was deleted from this below, after I was told in a nap dream to go softly with Tim. I also added a few things below to what I originally sent to him. I emailed him to look for an amended reply in today’s post at this website.
Morning, Tim –
Thanks, a pleasant Christmas Day to you, too.
A long roll in the hay with a lady I care about, and vice versa, might start my Christmas Day off pretty nice, but after living in monastery for 9 years, with one divergent getting picked up for a little while by a biker chick back in 2010, doesn’t encourage me to look for something fun like that in my Christmas stocking, but it’s only Christmas Eve and maybe there’s still time :-).
Just so happens, as I keep writing in posts to the good morning websites, Jesus is on my Editorial Board, and also on my Art Board, who (the lot of them) seem to like Fantasy Fest pretty much the way it is.
What my Editorial Board and Art Board, on which Jesus sits, don’t seem to like, however, is Key West being the international poster city for public drunkeness, street drug use and sex-trafficking.
I heard Pastor Omar give many Sunday sermons at Higgs Beach.
I ate many of Omar’s breakfasts, which he got up maybe around 4 a.m. each Sunday morning to prepare from scratch for hungry homeless people, whom he served at the kiosks now fenced in and reserved only for mainstream children and accompanying adults.
The good city of Key West, with Monroe County’s approval, took Pastor Omar’s Sunday morning beachside ministry away from him (maybe now he has it back), because the good city and county didn’t want homeless people out there on Sunday morning being fed and hearing Omar’s sermons, during many of which he confessed he himself once was homeless and God lifted him out of it – the same thing I once told Harry Bethel and the other city commissioners and Mayor Weekley quite a few times during citizen comments at city commission meetings – Only God can change street people.
Often I heard Omar tell his listeners, if only we would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we would stop being homeless. Far as I could tell, we all already had accepted Jesus, some of us several times, except for one Jewish man, Frisbee Dave.
Much the same we heard on Sunday afternoons across the road, when Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church fed us. Yet, we still were homeless, like Jesus in the Gospels.
Did you know Dorothy Sherman, who started the Mary Star of the Sea soup kitchen out of her own pocket?
Dorothy’s view was, “It’s our job to feed homeless people, it’s God’s job to change them.” Dorothy did more than feed homeless people; she often bought them clothes, medicine, and other things she felt they needed. She listened to their stories. She consoled them. She scolded them when they acted out. She encouraged them when they did well. She sometimes gave them shelter at her and her husband George’s home.
During Dorothy’s wake in the standing room only cathedral at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Truman Avenue, Valentine’s Day, 2005, lay minister Peter Batty proclaimed Dorothy a living saint, and asked who, among us, would step up and take her place? A great multitude in the audience, and in heaven, wept her passing. I bawled by eyes, heart and guts out.
Personally, I could care less if there ever is another Fantasy Fest. It doesn’t do shit for me, but it is really important to a whole lot of people, based on the crowds it draws on Duval Street. Fantasy Fest is nowhere close, Tim, to the degeneration Key West allows to go on day and night, week after week, month after month, year after year, on and just off Duval Street. Personally, I could care less about that, too. If people want to do that, it’s their business, not mine. However, it sure looks bizarre to me that the city allows that debauchery to go on, while it persecutes homeless people, nearly all of whom are Christians, and many of whom are veterans of foreign US wars, as if they are al Qaeda terrorists.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t God who made nudity evil, Tim; it was Adam and Eve who did that in Genesis. God made Adam and Eve naked, and God liked them naked. As Adam and Eve then learned, there are no fig leaves in Paradise, nor any secrets.
sidewalk ad for The Garden of Eden on the top floor above the Bull n’ Whistle bar at the corner of Duval and Caroline Streets
Last below, Tim, is the text of an email this morning from a distant-in law, whom I have never met in person. His grandson married my oldest Bashinsky first cousin’s daughter. A real estate developer, Ron lives in North Carolina. I imagine he is a Christian. When Ron’s beloved and deeply-missed wife was still alive, they vacationed frequently in Key West.
SLOAN – first of all, I am wishing you a pleasant Christmas Day.
second…. the gentleman dissing on the Fantasy Fest is clearly living a fantasy. The first time my late wife and I visited KW, we by accident arrived during Fantasy Fest. Like everything in KW, you need to go with an open mind. We had a grand time with the innocent fun of Fantasy Fest.
The next year, we invited 8 friends from NC to join us. They had a grand giggle time as well. The following year, we took twelve (12) of our kids, hers and mine, and their partners to Fantasy Fest…. they had a blast.
The Fest seems to fit the altitude of KW. The Fest seems to be just so much innocent fun. Boobers are fun !!! Over the years, I observed beautiful younger ladies and many older ladies who got into the spirit of the Fest. Mr. whatshisname needs to put a cork in it. He could go over and sit at Louie’s Afterdeck during the Fest, and look at the dark Atlantic Ocean.
Why not a Fantasy Fest, a Turkey Neck Fest (for thanksgiving of course) and a Winter Solstice Fest ??? The crowds would come, the $$$$ would come from people that stay for the week. And then you would need far fewer Cruise Boats….. maybe no Cruise Boats …… if you designated a Clothing Optional Beach.
Regards, Ron K.
I hope you have a pleasant Christmas Day, too. Ron.
If Mr. Whatshisname (Harry Bethel) took your sage advice, it would mean he would miss having all the fun you used to have during Fantasy Fest! Meanwhile, he just might have gotten himself appointed leader of the Southernmost Puritan Reformation, which, if I have to hazard a guess, if it succeeds, will turn Key West into something like this, although a lot hotter.
Nashville J sang yesterday:
Wonder how the Pope feels about the Catholic Church in Miami selling the trailer park out from underneath the people who have lived there for years in order to make a buck – don’t worry about those put out on the street because they have no where to go that they can afford – who cares – the Church got it’s money. I expect if the Pope knew about it that there would be some SPLANNIN to do.
Your email reminds me of what I heard then former County Attorney Jim Hendrick tell the Monroe County Commission maybe back in 2007,
“A special place in hell is reserved for people who buy trailer parks and make the people living there move out.”
Since I once also was a lawyer, I imagine it could be said, under the aiding and abetting doctrine, the same special place in hell is reserved for people, including Dioceses, who sell trailer parks to people who are going to make the trailer people move out.
The vicious van dweller criminal Hatman sent this yesterday:
morning Sloan. Just in case you haven’t read the Sunday Citizen re front page story titled “City revisits legal woes of not providing shelter” by Gwen Filosa, you might want to do so. Emoji There’s a quote by assistant city atty Larry Erskine that says Pottinger case is still good law. Emoji Interesting then that the other asst city atty Ramsingh was prosecuting me for “lodging” earlier in the week. Emoji KW doesn’t have a clue what to do with the homeless situation; absolutely clueless– and mean spirited, too.
I consider my grade at being an F. Lee Bailey no better than C-, and quite possibly a D, but I did mention Pottinger and how it should have more legal standing than the Clearwater ordinance, and that I was cited a bit before 9:30pm when KOTS was close. so maybe I’ll see you on
January 2 @ 1:30pm Judge Miller’s courtroom
until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Hi, Rodd –
Yes, I read that Citizen article, and I was at and spoke during that city commission meeting. They have one intent, and it is to use their police to make it as hard as possible on homeless people in the city, especially homeless people living on the street.
I think they pick on you because you get in their face and they get pissed off.
I still wonder if you were bushwhacked at the last hearing, which you believed would only be oral arguments on con law and motions to suppress and in lemine, only to learn when you arrived it was the trial itself.
I wish you had led off with the two con law arguments I told you I felt were paramount, your van is your home and it’s all the home you can afford and they are denying you the use of it, and you are the only person living in his vehicle home they have prosecuted (selective enforcement). And, I wish you had testified to those two con law issues, and against the two officers’ testimony that your van smelled like feces inside.
In the future, I hope you will do it that way, if you get another chance in this case. I’m not clear if you can raise new con law arguments during an appeal trial de novo in circuit court. I would not contest that you are living in your van; of course you are living in it. Tell the judge you give the city that, and do not waste the court and the jury’s time and patience on that issue.
Then, you go after the con law issues, and, if the officers again testify your van smelled like feces inside, then prove they are lying, if you can do it. Certainly, nothing in the officers’ written reports about your van smelling like feces inside is not in their favor. After all, the ordinance itself says it was passed to protect the public welfare and tourism, so the two officers surely would have written in their incidence reports that your van smelled like feces inside.
I don’t know if Pottinger applies to your situation. My understanding of Pottinger is, it dealt with street people living outside; vehicle dwellers were not in the plaintiff class action. Perhaps I’m mistaken about that, but that’s the way I always viewed Pottinger. The irony in your situation is, the city is trying to force you to get rid of your home, ie. your van, so you will be a street person in the city, and then they will have to treat you as Pottinger requires, assuming they obey Pottinger. The same US District Court which decided Pottinger has jurisdiction over Key West.
If Pottinger does apply to your situation, instead of arresting you, would not the two officers be required to let you go to KOTS and spend the night? And, if you had no way to get there, would not they be required to transport you there? And, was not KOTS already locked down for the night when the officers arrested you? So there was no way you could get yourself into KOTS, and the officers knew that, because they knew when KOTS closed. But they could get you into it, according to their testimony of doing that with other homeless people, but they did not do that with you.
There is a different post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at anytime: