so much for resting on the Sabbath in Key West …

source of our troubles

compliments Erika Biddle on Facebook yesterday

Erika one zombie familyErika FB

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pelican pooping

This morning I sent this air-mail to Banks Prevatt, President of Dump the Pumps, Inc., and its attorney Lee Rohe, and its adviser Walt Drabinsky re the Cudjoe Regional Sewer System:

Banks, Lee, Walt, et. al.

I’ve been reading and soaking in all the recent correspondence Banks has passed along to the Dump the Pumps camp.

What it looks like to me is once again I am seeing, when it comes to protecting the fragile Florida Keys environment, talk is cheap, action speaks louder.

More specifically, once again I am seeing the State of Florida and its various agencies charged with protecting the Florida Keys fragile environment, the US Government and its parallel respective environmental agencies, the Monroe County Government, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and Last Stand speak with forked tongues.

On Dump the Pumps side, you folks waited far too long to get riled up about what the aforesaids (forget Last Stand) not protecting the fragile Florida Keys environment. Even now, you are still trying to get the aforesaids (forget Last Stand) to discharge their duty to protect the fragile Florida Keys environment, which trying by Dump the Pumps can be likened to pissing up a river, a big river, the Amazon River.

Your first and perhaps most effect course of action was not to sign FKAA’s [Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority] easement conveyance agreement, for without that FKAA could not enter private properties and install grinder pumps. People in the Cudjoe Regional system, who oppose grinder pumps and have not yet signed FKAA’s easement conveyance agreement, should not sign it. They should get lawyered up. They should be prepared to defensively fight DEP [Florida Department of Environmental Protection], FKAA and Monroe County in court to the end of time, or until they run up a white flag.

Something that only came to me in the past few days is far more drastic, far more unpopular, but it goes right to the core of their money-grubbing hearts. Start now a grassroots campaign to defeat the next 1/2 percent infrastructure sales tax referendum. You have ammo. That money was used by Monroe County to repair Old Seven Mile Bridge and to buy Rowell’s Marina on Key Largo. That money was used to buy cheaper, environmentally dangerous grinder pumps, instead of environmentally friendly gravity sewer systems in Cudjoe Regional.

The mere thought of losing the 1/2 percent infrastructure sales tax revenue will put all five county commissioners into cardiac arrest. There is nothing they can do about your camp campaigning to defeat the referendum to extend that tax, other than to campaign for the tax to be passed so they can buy more trinkets at the expense of the fragile Florida Keys environment. It just might become the hottest issue ever in this county – if your camp goes for it.

To people living on Big Pine Key where no sewer work as really been done yet, you have a better chance to prevail in a court of law, because you won’t have to put up an indemnity bond to protect FKAA, DEP and Monroe County if you lose the lawsuit asking for an injunction. If the court route appeals to you, form your own association and bring the lawsuit separate and apart from Dump the Pumps, which is trying to represent your island as well as the islands below you, where a great deal of work already has been done by FKAA.

However, that is not your strongest line of defense on Big Pine. Your strongest line of defense is do not sign the FKAA easement conveyance agreement, and have a lawyer ready to defend anything FKAA and Monroe County do to try to force you to sign that agreement. And campaign hard for defeat of the renewal of the county’s 1/2 percent infrastructure sales tax.

If you think Monroe County and your five elected commissioners, FKAA, DEP and/or any of the federal agencies are going to side with you just because it’s the right thing to do, you are mistaken, you are dreaming, you are wasting time.

Sloan Bashinsky

Mud Dawg Mike, co-owner of Daddy Bones yummy BBQ in Key West, replied to the Naja/Arnaud Girard have arrested for trespassing the homeless owner of Tugboat Tilly part of yesterday’s the not entirely peculiar Key West tail-twisting tale of Tugboat Tilly ain’t a many splendor thing, but it sure is interesting if you have a weird sense of humor; as will be my getting elected Mayor of Key West post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:

mud dog

Hey Sloan? does it strike you as really strange the tugboat guy went to all the trouble to research and find Arnaud’s under construction house? Seems really strange to me. Just don’t add up. Now the guy is charged with felony counts too. I bet somebody somewhere implied he could stay there. if so they need to fess up. or hell its key west maybe he did find the property and fabricate the whole story seems like a long shot too me tho.

I replied:

I wondered the same thing, and my dream maker wondered it, too, night before last. I called Naja about that yesterday morning, and she said no way she or Arnaud gave Freer permission to sleep in their house under construction on the corner of Elizabeth and Eaton Streets. Naja then emailed me a chain of text message between her and their construction foreman, who had found Freer sleeping there. Am having trouble saving and reproducing those text messages, but they are in keeping with Freer not having permission from anyone to be there. Yet even that does not stop my wondering, because it just doesn’t make sense to me how Freer somehow found their house in which to sleep. And, there is my knowing from Naja and Arnaud of their having given homeless people shelter in the past, and it was Arnaud who went out to the Tilly twice to try to help Freer and get something done about that boat. However, Naja said it was not Arnaud who rescued Freer from the Tilly and brought him to dry land. She said she was hearing from elsewhere that maybe whoever had gotten Freer off the Tilly also had helped Freer scuttle the Tilly. Naja said she and Arnaud did not buy that the Tilly was scuttled, because it was primed to sink in rough seas, which arrived shortly after Arnuad’s attempts to help went for naught, as reported in the blue paper’s two articles,

SUNKEN TUG TILLY COULD COST HALF-MILLION DOLLARS! WHY WAS NOTHING DONE? 

Derelict Tugboat Set To Cost Hundreds of Thousands to Monroe County

and later by me.

As if something was in the wind, Editorial in the Key West Citizen today – www.keysnews.com:

Tugboar Tilly

Tugboat Tilly

sunk Tugboat Tilly

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Saga of tugboat should outrage all taxpayers

To the surprise of no one, the 80-foot, 150-ton tugboat Tilley is currently sitting on the ocean floor, leaking oil, and who knows what else, into the water about two miles off the coast of Key West.

If you haven’t been following the saga, in brief, the owners of the boat didn’t want to be responsible for it anymore, so they sold it to a hapless soul with absolutely no boating experience, and no business getting involved with such a vessel. The new owner then ended up at Stock Island’s newest marina under questionable auspices.

This is where things started to spiral downward quickly.

The marina was reportedly less than enthused about having the rusting hulk of a vessel tied up to its docks. Eventually, the new owner and his tugboat were evicted, and the Tilley was towed out of the marina, and basically left in the middle of the ocean, where it sank a few days later.

The sunken boat must now be refloated and brought back to shore to most likely be scrapped. The cost to do this will be enormous with preliminary estimates coming in around half a million dollars.

Leaving the old girl on the bottom isn’t an option due to environmental concerns, as well as the hazard to navigation it poses as it sits in relatively shallow water.

As sad as it is to see a once proud vessel in this state, even sadder is the realization that the taxpayers of Monroe County may ultimately have to foot the bill to have the vessel removed. This fact outrages us.

The saga of the Tilley is becoming all too common throughout the Keys with similar, albeit smaller-scale, scenarios taking place at an ever-increasing pace.

We sincerely hope the not yet finished saga of the Tilley will prove to be a tipping point for how derelict vessels are handled locally. The incident should spur officials to action — and sooner rather than later. If the county’s Pilot Program Anchoring ordinance needs to be toughened up, so be it. Members of the Marine and Port Advisory Committee have had lengthy discussions about proactive programs that would intervene before abandoned boats sink. Those talks should be renewed with vigor.

Here’s the bottom line of all such discussions and actions: It is totally unacceptable for the citizens of Monroe County to pay the costs of removing the abandoned boats which litter our waters. The vessel owners should be held accountable for the disposal of their boats. And the county must be methodical and relentless in its enforcement of ordinances and regulations that address the problems with those derelict vessels.

The sinking of the Tilley was nothing if not predictable. In truth, there are other derelict vessels in various states of decay in marinas and coves all across the Keys. In the very marina where the Tilley was docked, there floats the 180-foot yacht Platinum, its above-water days numbered as the rust eats away its hull.

We urge all of the authorities involved in the unfortunate case of the Tilley to hold all those responsible accountable, and to do everything in their power to keep this financial burden off the shoulders of the taxpayers of Monroe County.

A firm message has to be sent if these types of incidents are to be prevented in the future.

— The Citizen

How about sending a message to the five county commissioners that they were advised by Naja and Arnaud Girard

NajaArnaud Girard

that the Tilly would sink and the five county commissioners took no action, other than commissioner George Neugent

George Neugent

blew off the Girards in an email:

On Feb 28, 2014, at 8:20 AM, Neugent-George <Neugent-George@monroecounty-fl.gov> wrote:

Subject: Re: Derelict Vessels: Blue Paper article: Seeking comments

Naja and Arnaud Girard

http://thebluepaper.com

(305) 304-6882

I assume you knew you’d get comment from me.
george

George Neugent

Naja,

The Story: A story which you create distractions to the DV problem that has a solution. A solution which You & Boat US stood before the BOCC and opposed. You can not solve a problem when your line-of-thinking is distracted by chaff. It appears you’re trying to pawn off the DV problem that you’ve now cloaked as a social issue which has no possible solution, as the county’s fault. Unbelievably you say, “developing derelict vessel situation.” This situation has been going on in the Keys for way too long using money that could go to good use. A situation that the Marine Port Advisory committee talks and talks about. Many folks I know would tell you, “that dog don’t hunt.”

It reminds me of the 3rd grade math problems where much irrelevant information is plugged, as a guise, into a simple math problem. First, do you and other whiners really want to solve the problem? Will you work toward solution? Will you help, really help, to solve the problem or just talk and write about the chaff.

Should I truly feel for the 66 year old Stephen who’s cell phone is about to die? Or Sonia who took possession of crap that the public will now have to pay to remove? Were they hoodwinked into buying or is this a way for some one to get rid of his problem at the Public’s expense? I really think that if in fact the owner of the marina, who did that dastardly deed, could be identified – he should be in deep trouble; and rightfully so.

Also in the wind in the Citizen today:

homeless bust

Sunday, March 9, 2014 
Homeless summit gathers leaders
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com

When city commissioners arrive at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Harvey Government Center, they better have a plan for addressing the island’s homeless problem, one county leader says.

“They’re going to have to define exactly why we’re sitting at the table,” said County Commissioner George Neugent of Marathon. “Of all the commissioners, I’ve probably been the most reluctant to say anything until we get some type of feedback.”

George NeugentNeugent

Neugent said the last time Mayor Craig Cates approached him on the homeless issue, the city commission appeared to lack a consensus on any plan.

“I can tell you, I don’t live there,” Neugent said of Key West. “I’ve got a lot of other issues I’m focused on.”

The agenda, set by the county commission, includes presentations on the history of the Key West homeless shelter, and an overview of the landmark Pottinger vs. the city of Miami case, which set civil rights standards for Florida cities in dealing with the homeless.

Craig CatesCates

This “summit” is the Cates and the City Commission’s brainchild, the County Commission reluctantly agreed to participate.

Cates said he plans to ask county commissioners for help in running the homeless shelter, whether it’s land for a new shelter or continued financial support by the county.

“We pay into the county general fund just like everyone else,” said Cates. “We’re going to come out and show it’s not just a Key West problem, and we’re going to discuss the issues. We’re going to show we’re helping ourselves by helping them.”

It may not be just Key West’s problem, but Key West is dealing with it differently from the rest of the county, by having its police arrest and put in the sheriff’s Stock Island jail as many homeless people as possible, on any charge that can be trumped up, and the county government and all county taxpayers are paying for that, since the county government funds the sheriff’s budget. Parallel, not infrequently city police take homeless people to the hospital on Stock Island, or pay for taxi cabs to take them there. Also not infrequently, the sheriff’s jail transfers homeless people brought in by city police over to the hospital. The hospital is losing a great deal of money because of Key West’s homeless policy, because many homeless people would not otherwise go to the hospital. 

Cates said he will give an opening statement on behalf of the city, and County Mayor Sylvia Murphy of Key Largo will deliver one for the county.

“I’ll be able to lay out what we’re trying to accomplish,” said the Key West mayor. “Then we’ll have citizen input. The city attorney will give an update.”

What Cates and the city commissioners are trying to accomplish is to run or ship by Greyhound all homeless people out of Key West to wherever, and those who won’t leave, put them in the sheriff’s jail or in the Stock Island hospital.

Powder-keg topic

Wiley Coyote

At issue for the city now is relocating its only overnight shelter in order to settle a lawsuit by Sunset Marina homeowners who fought against the location, claiming the city ignored its own permitting rules when deciding to put the shelter off College Road.

Proposals and plans are hard to find around Old City Hall, but the homeless issue has become a powder-keg topic lately, generating quick criticism and political rhetoric.

The homeless issue has been a power-keg topic since just after 9/11. Only new names and faces in the city government now are lighting the fuse to the powder keg.

Commissioner Tony Yaniz suggested the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, which serves daily hot meals to anyone at its property off Flagler Avenue, should cut back its services.

Tony Yaniz 2Yaniz

“What we’ve got to do is quit making it cozy,” said Yaniz. “Quite frankly, I’d like to see the chronic homeless — let’s not feed them anymore.”

I don’t suppose Tony is Catholic or Christian, or knows the homeless man Jesus, who said as you do for the least of these, you do also for him.

Jesus with leper

At last Tuesday’s city commission meeting, Yaniz, first elected in 2011, pulled an item about the relocation of the Mallory Square “panhandling zone” off the consent agenda so he could make some comments. The proposal was to move the zone about 50 feet away from where it was located two years ago at the entrance of the parking lot.

Yaniz called the panhandling zone “a symptom and it’s not the actual disease. The disease is chronic homelessness.”

Actually, homelessness is just a symptom of a variety of influences; but for the Grace of God, Yaniz would be homeless.

At the same meeting, Yaniz expressed strong support for the planned Vietnam Veterans monument at Bayview Park. The commission unanimously promised up to $150,000 of city money for the memorial park.

At any given time, 12 percent of the homeless population nationwide comprises veterans, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which estimates 150,000 vets sleep outdoors.

Most of them suffer post traumatic shock rooted in fighting in stupid, ruinous American foreign wars. Most of them fought in Vietnam, but new crops of them are growing out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The city paid consultant Robert Marbut $20,000 to study the homeless issue. In his report, Marbut said Key West had the highest percentage of “non-native” homeless he has ever seen. They come for the warm weather, said Marbut, who sketched out a new type of comprehensive shelter plan for the city. His estimate of 1,400 homeless people on the island stunned local leaders.

Marbut’s estimate was disbelieved by everyone but Marbut.

The January Point in Time survey, where volunteers hit the streets Keyswide to survey the homeless, estimated the entire county has just over 1,000.

An about face

Within a two-year span, Cates has gone from advocating a 24-hour homeless shelter to conceding voters don’t want such a shelter. In December 2012, the commission voted 5-2 in favor of having staff explore the creation of a 24-hour center. The dissenting votes were cast by Mark Rossi and Billy Wardlow.

By October, a unanimous vote put the brakes on any money being spent, or staff time being invested, on plans for a shelter at the old Easter Seals lot on College Road.

Marbut was Mayor Cate’s hand-picked homeless messiah and Marbut’s credibility going into tatters might have had something to do with the brakes being put on.

Since 2004, the city has paid for an overnight shelter on Stock Island, where up to 140 men and women can rely on a shower, a vinyl mattress and some combination shampoo/soap.

The shelter empties out each morning at 7 o’clock, and the men and women start back down College Road toward downtown where the Catholic church feeds them daily, seven days a week, and various other agencies offer services. By 6 p.m. each day, the homeless flock back to the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) on foot or bicycles.

KOTS, located on College Road at the sheriff’s department property, costs the city about $440,000 a year and is managed by the nonprofit Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL).

Cates took some political hits last year for supporting the creation of a new shelter that incorporates work training and counseling in an effort to help homeless men and women get back on their feet.

Such programs already existed in Key West, run by people with actual experience in the area. Cates had no such experience. He listened to people who had no such experience. He shut out people who had such experience, because he did not want to hear what they had to say. I was one of those people. Father Stephen Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition was another such person. You don’t see Braddock or me mentioned in the Citizen article, even though the Citizen is well aware that Braddock and I are the go-to people in Key West for this sort of discussion.

Commissioner Jimmy Weekley said he doesn’t believe a 24-hour shelter is needed, while Yaniz has become a critic of the homeless populace saying they can make do with “a toilet, a tent and a shower.”

In recent months, Sheriff Rick Ramsay has said he would like to see the shelter moved from his department’s property, saying his staff is doing most of the work when it comes to maintaining the shelter.

I agree with Yaniz on that. Homeless people who wish to advance themselves should get dried out and enter Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (men and women) and/or Samuel’s House (women only) programs.

Commissioners showed a consensus for moving KOTS, but not very far. Their top choice for a new homeless shelter is a building next door to the sheriff’s jail on Stock Island. The building is currently leased out to county and state agencies, and contains the juvenile detention center.

That is the best place for a new homeless shelter. No residential neighborhood will stand for a new homeless shelter next door, and I agree, because I know what many homeless people are like and would not want my family living near a homeless shelter. Likewise, putting a homeless shelter next to the city’s golf course is a bad idea. A golf course is a high-end operation. Would you put a homeless shelter next door to an upscale hotel? Would you put a homeless shelter next door to a seniors assisted living facility? That’s what some city officials want to do.

Neugent said he expects Wednesday’s meeting to largely focus on opening up the lines of communication between the city and county leadership.

“What do we do? What do we want to see done?” Neugent asked. “That’s going to be interesting to find out. It could be a short meeting.”

gfilosa@keysnews.com

I told the County Commission in the Harvey Government Center back in the fall of 2003, Neugent and County Commissioner David Rice were on that Commission, that the County Commission should not bail out Key West re its homeless policy. I told them it was Key West’s problem to deal with. They did not listen to me then. I can’t say I expect they will listen to me on Wednesday. The sheriff’s jail should decline to receive any homeless people arrested in Key West, who are not charged with the kind of crimes non-homeless people are jailed for. Jailing homeless people for drinking in public, sleeping in public, standing on private property (trespassing) is killing the sheriff economically, because homeless people cost more to house and take care of, because they are addicts, have medical conditions, psychiatric conditions, and cost the sheriff and the hospital a heap of money, and tax the court system, and the public defender and the state attorney, all because Key West wants the county to subsidize its homeless policy which is doing nothing but recycling homeless people through the jail and hospital. If Key West wishes to continue that merry-go-round, Key West should pay for it, not the sheriff’s jail, the county government, the state attorney, the courts, the county taxpayers and the hospital.

bat shit crazy

There are a heap of other local morsels I could drag out and chew on today, but I’m tired of chewing, it’s the Sabbath, and instead I’m going to share something which has nothing to do with the Florida Keys, other than it was initiated by one of my Vanderbilt fraternity brothers who comes to Key West for the annual NORML convention, which is about legalizing marijuana across the board. During that convention, Key West cops look the other way when they smell weed smoke on Duval Street. The smoke in Key West restaurants, which host weed lovers meals, is guaranteed to get anyone high who enters therein.

mary-jane.jpg

He sent:

thought you would want to see this:

Paul Kuhn

Nashville TN

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Re: Tom

William Thomas Hutton, 70, passed away Tuesday, March 4, 2014 following a lengthy illness. Born in Memphis June 25, 1943, Mr. Hutton graduated from Memphis University School, Vanderbilt University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked in the Bank of the United States House of Representatives and was on the staff of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. Upon completion of that position, he was appointed to investigate impeachment charges brought in the House of Representatives by Gerald Ford against Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Mr. Hutton joined the Memphis firm of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, P.C. where he practiced law chiefly in the areas of estate and probate, as well as corporate and securities law for forty-three years. He was a member of the American Bar Association, a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, and a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He was a Paul Harris Fellow in the Memphis Rotary Club, former president of the Memphis Estate Planning Council and former chairman of the Probate and Tax Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. He was listed in the Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Hutton was a life-long member of Second Presbyterian Church. He was a member of Memphis Country Club and a past president of Hatchie Coon Hunting and Fishing Club. He was the longest serving member on the Board of Trustees of Memphis University School. He was preceded in death by his parents, Callie and E.T. Hutton. He is survived by his wife Linda Harkrider Hutton and his three sons: William Thomas Hutton, Jr. (Garnett) of Memphis, Benjamin Walter Hutton (Shannon) of Athens, AL, and Stuart Pearce Hutton (Ashlie) of Houston, TX. He also leaves six beloved grandchildren: Garnett, Cecilia Ann, Marie, Callie, Benjamin and Sam, and a baby granddaughter expected to arrive in June. He also leaves his sister, Jane Hutton Stephens of Daniel Island, S.C. as well as five nephews and a host of cousins. The visitation will be 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 2104 in the connector lobby of Second Presbyterian Church with the memorial service in the Sanctuary at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial be made to Memphis University School, Second Presbyterian Church, or the charity of the donor’s.

I replied:

Hi, Paul – thanks, yes I needed to know Tom had passed over, sorry for my delayed reply.

Years, gravity and life prevail sooner or later.

Dianne came to me in a dream maybe ten days ago about Tom. No sense of what that dream meant at the time.

I’ve been reminiscing knowing Tom at Vanderbilt, and in Memphis. He and I played offensive guard on the KA football team. We sometimes switched sides, but mostly, I think, Tom played right guard.

We got into lots of mischief with other pledges during our first year.

Particularly fond memories of going into the old KA house in the wee hours and dragging actives out of their beds and taking them to Duck Shit Pond in Centennial Park for a early morning swim. I recall the pond was frozen over the morning we threw Barry Davidson onto the ice, he skidded a ways before breaking through. After he came out of the pond, we wrapped him in a wool blanket, put him in the trunk of my Chevy Biscyane, and took him back to the fraternity house. He said it was the meanest thing anyone ever did to him. We, of course, thought it was great fun.

Jimmy Snyder was another matter altogether. A pledge from Hunstsville, Alabama, can’t recall his name, he dropped out after his second semester due to financial difficulty, was a cowboy and he lassoed Synder on the front porch of the old KA house and tied him up with our help. Tom was there as I recall, and we dragged a seriously unpleasant Snyder to my car and put him on the floor in the back seat and took him out to the Harpeth River. Although Snyder was quiet all the way out there, when we got him on the river bank at the water’s edge, he went berserk and did not get wet alone. He was not pleasant returning to the KA house either. We figured it was a US Marine thing. Tough as hell, Snyder.

Our senior year against the ZBTs, by the second half they were anticipating our friendly student body stampedes right and left, Danny Barolo called a fake stampede right, and then Tom and I were to reverse and run left leading interference for Danny. The Zebe’s fell for it hook, line and sinker, and Tom and I led Danny untouched around left end for about thirty yards before Danny stomped on the accelerator and left us behind as Tom and I picked off a couple of fast Zebes desperately trying to catch Danny from behind before he scampered untouched into the end zone, about a 70-yard TD run, and the KA sideline went WILD.

During his freshman year, Tom came down to Tuscaloosa to stay with Dianne and me for a few days, and to see E.B. Peoples, Tom’s dear friend who also was attending Alabama’s law school. We hoped Tom would switch from Memphis State’s law school to Alabama, but in the end he decided to stay put. Even so, I still hunted ducks with him and some of his Memphis cronies a few times, when Dianne and I were in Memphis. Some interesting people, Tom’s duck hunting buddies. They might have fit in very well in Key West.

Most fun ducking hunting, though, was with Tom and his father, who was hilarious. And a darn savvy player of the commodities markets. He was making commodity purchases and sales on pay telephones in Arkansas, during our duck hunting sallies over there from Memphis. I really liked Tom’s mother, too. Didn’t know his sister other than meeting her.

I didn’t know Tom had been in on the impeach William O. Douglass thing. I didn’t pay attention to that sort of thing back then, but when I was in law school, Douglass’ buddy Hugo Black came to the law school and spoke to us about his life and career on the US Supreme Court, and he wept, and I got teared up. A truly great man, Hugo Black, from the northwest Tri-Cities area of Alabama. He was not fond in the hearts of segregationists.

Tom and Danny were in my and Dianne’s wedding in Memphis on July 4th 1964, in Buntyn Presbyterian Church. Bill Featheringill was there, he was my Big Brother when I was a pledge. I somehow convinced Bill, Tom and Danny to help Dianne and me escape before other of my “friends” did something terrible to me, as was the custom back in that time.

I think the last time I saw Tom was at a KA reunion, perhaps 1974, or maybe 1979. That’s when I got to meet his wife, whom I really liked. I think it was at the 1974 reunion that you and I discussed over lunch on the side patio of the “new” KA house that our college days had not prepared us for life. But those sure were fun days, mostly, for me. Law school was okay, often fun when I wasn’t buried in the books. Then came life, and that was a brand new ball game.

I gave up duck hunting, and hunting of any kind. Then fishing finally went away – that had been my first love. Tom seems to have remained stable and sane, unfazed by the bumps and crashes life provides. I hope he did not suffer terribly during his last illness, and that he is having a great time now. I still see him in a duck blind, duck call in mouth, teasing mallards out of their flight pattern down toward decoys he put in the water in front of the blind before grey light came.

I still see and hear Tom saying one night in the back of my car on Broadway in front of Kissam Quadrangle, as we were fleeing some mischievous thing we pledges had just done to actives at the old KA house, on the lam now we were, “If they don’t know where we are, they don’t know where we are.” After a respectful period of silence, maybe two seconds, in unison the others of us in my car said, “Duh wee, Tom, no shit!” We never let him live that one down. Now we are wondering where he is, and he knows where we are. Maybe he’s on another committee, investigating we left behinds re our living up to Dieu et les dames? [God and the women, the Kappa Alpha creed]

Sloan

Paul replied:

Sloan,

Thank you for sharing these great, mischievous memories. May I share with Linda Hutton and our KA brothers?

Paul

I wrote back:

Sure, I bet they have plenty of their own mischievous KA memories.

Wheat, barley …

[Abbreviation for: "Wheat, barley, alfalfa, give 'em hell Kappa Alpha! Wheat, barley, hay, give 'em hell, KA!]

Kappa Alpha

As for Dieu et les dames in Key West:

Gweko W. Phlocker shared his photo.
SPRING BREAK Key West 2014 “What will I do for tonight’s Show ?
~ ROCK THEIR ASSES OFF !
TUNE IN after 8pm
SAFE Harbor – Key West Show on 104.9 The X
online at www.thXkeywest.com

SPRING BREAK Key West 2014 "What will I do for tonight's @[262020410629389:274:SAFE Harbor - Key West Show on 104.9 The X] ?"
SPRING BREAK Key West 2014 “What will I do for tonight’s SAFE Harbor – Key West Show on 104.9 The X ?”
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Sloan with troll

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

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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