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Yesterday was kinda interesting, then it turned kinda rough, then it turned kinda interesting …
Starting over, Key West amiga Erika Biddle,
who is about as unreligious as anyone I know, came to me in a dream last night and told me a woman I was trying to get more intimately acquainted with in my dreams earlier last night, who had seemed distracted with other things, was busy making Christmas presents. I replied, it’s May, I have lots of stuff to do, Christmas is too far off for me to be worrying myself over.
Waking from that dream, I started thinking about that dream. Quite a few things came.
Starting over …
Day before yesterday, I bumped into former Monroe County Mayor Shirley Freeman
waking her dog near where she lives on Eaton Street. She thanked me for bringing up the possiblity that the Peary Court developer might be trying to get the City of Key West to approve a development plan which will allow the developer and its “successors” to continue to avoid having to pay real estate taxes, which the developer’s predecessors in title had been able to avoid paying. I said, once upon a time, I was a tax lawyer, and I should have caught that possiblity a lot sooner. Shirley said I was out of practice. I said, yes, but I should have caught it sooner.
However, I said, maybe I caught it soon enough, and just a couple of hours after I wrote to Mayor Cates and the six city commissioner about it, I just happened to bump into City Attorney Shawn Smith at the public laundry I use on White Street. Shawn was getting something from the attached sandwich/coffee shop. I told him what I had just written to his bosses about them having him look the Peary Court deal over really good to make sure it would not allow the developer to continue to not pay real estate taxes. He said, really? I said, really. He said he would take a look at it.
I told Shirley, of course, Shawn being a lawyer, the angels had nothing to do with my bumping into him shortly after sending that email to his bosses; lawyers only make noise about angels and God in their closing arguments. Shirley laughed.
I said those pesky angels used her to drag me into the Peary Court development to begin with, when I saw her getting out of her car in front of the Moose Lodge one Sunday, and I asked what she was doing there, and she said she it was a neighborhood meeting on Peary Court, and I said maybe I needed to attend that meeting, too, and I went inside and saw Jim Hendrick and his wife Donna Bosold in there, and I knew I indeed needed to be at that meeting, because outside of Jim’s circle of friends, I might be the only person around who knows him well enough to stand toe to toe with him, with some help from the angels.
I told Shirley that someone on the City Commission told me, on condition I not say who, that the Peary Court developer is using a lot of dirty tricks. I said I was glad to know at least one of our elected officials knows that is going on.
Yesterday afternoon, inside the Tropic Cinema lobby,
I spoke with a fellow from Big Pine Key about the grinder pump mess up that way, which I figure has to have somebody getting paid off buried perhaps so deep that there is no way to prove it.
He kept wanting to talk about all the latest’s pooping on the people and Mother Nature in paradise dramas, and I kept saying it looks to me the only chance they now have to get anything done is to file suit, which is what I told them to do early last fall, and to raise $100,000 for the lawyer, and for no one to sign the easement agreement for grinder pumps, and they didn’t take my advice and tried to win it with a public relations campaign, which did not work.
The fellow agreed, said he had liked reading my comments below the current blue paper article on Wisteria Island. Click this link to open the article and the reader comments below it.
Here’s my comment to the article:
The Big Pine fellow said he had not known I was involved in Wisteria Island. I said I’m involved up to my eyeballs. And in Peary Court. And in a lot of other things.
About the, the Big Pine fellow pointed out Jim Hendrick and his wife Donna Bosold had just walked past us on their way out of the theater. I said Jim represents the Peary Court developer, and the Bernstein family. And Jim is involved in everything Pritam Singh develops.
The fellow asked how I felt the lawsuit in federal court will turn out? I said I don’t know, but if the Bernsteins win, I figure they somehow will get to develop Wisteria. The fellow said maybe Roger Bernstein won’t live long enough to see Wisteria developed. I said Roger’s getting on up there in years, and that’s a distinct possibility.
I said I had tried to persuade the Bernsteins to give Wisteria Island (right island in photo, Sunset Key is left island) to the City of Key West for a public park, in exchange for the Bernsteins and their development partners, the Walshes, who own the Westin Hotel next to Mallory Pier and Sunset Key getting enough land on Truman Waterfront to build a five-star hotel, a percent of the gross revenues from which the city would get during the life of a long term lease. A win-win for everyone involved. The fellow laughed, “A win-win. Who’d want a win-win?” I laughed.
I left Tropic Cinema, headed home on my bicycle. En route, I became weak all over, like I was going into sugar debt, hypoglycemia. I got home and ate a peanut butter sandwich, which didn’t help much, so I laid down to ride it out. Instead, my guts started feeling like someone was stabbing me with knives. It came to me that I was being demonically attacked, and it wasn’t hard to imagine over what, given my discussion with the Big Pine fellow in Tropic Cinema’s lobby.
I fell asleep, woke just before sunset, and got up and pedaled my bicycle to Salute on Higgs Beach
to listen to Love Lane Gang. I got there in time to hear a few songs, before they wound it up for the evening.
Kelly Friend came over and said, “Hi”.
A Key West Conch, Kelly regaled me with stories of when she attended Texas A & M, because she’d heard she needed a degree in electrical engineering to get into recording and production. She said she ended up majoring in animal husbandry; she met and married her first husband there; A & M also is Texas’ agricultural college. No, Kelly said, she hadn’t spent any time at the Chicken Ranch of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” fame.
I said she could have gone to one of the recording studios Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and learned all about recording and production, and animal husbandry and rednecks, and all sorts of other important stuff. She laughed.
Kelly said she had talked with Margaret Romero earlier yesterday,
and Margaret had said she couldn’t understand what the editorial cartoon in yesterday’s Citizen was about.
I said, from all I had seen and heard from Margaret, I didn’t see City Commissioner Tony Yaniz,
or anyone telling her what to do, but I was having a hard time believing Margaret didn’t know what that cartoon was about.
I told Kelly to read my back story comments about the cartoon and Margaret filling to run for mayor this year, in yesterday’s Happy Mother’s Day, America, Key West, Christendom, and all the pigeons, too! post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com. Kelly said she would do that as soon as she got home.
[Right about now, I'm thinking Kelly was the woman in my dream, whom Erika Biddle said was getting Christmas presents.]
Later last night, I called my buddy Todd German,
who is Chairman of Hometown! PAC and sits on the Key West Citizen Editorial Board. Todd said he’d heard something might be in the wind re an editorial cartoon, but he had not heard any details and the cartoonist does his own thing and has his own sources of information.
I said it had occurred to me that maybe the cartoonist had let Tony and Margaret know all the fun they had last year, when Tony backed Margaret against Mayor Craig Cates
in his reelection bid, and the opponents of Craig’s wife Cheryl in the city utility board race, might not be as much fun this year.
I said it had started going a different way for Tony at Hometown! PAC’s Call to Candidates, when Tony and Todd had sort of gotten into it, and then Tony didn’t declare that he was going to run for mayor this year, which was his chance to declare. All of that got recorded in Hometown’s video, which was the handiwork of, yep, Kelly Friend, who went to Texas A & M to learn electrical engineering and animal husbandry.
Click on www.hometownkeywest.com, and when that page comes up, scroll down the right side of that page to the You Tube icon and click on it. When the video comes up, slide the white button below the video rightward to the 60 minute mark, which is where Craig Cates finishes his 2 minutes and I begin mine. You need to see my 2 minutes to understand what happened when Tony went to the mike and he and Todd had their tryst, which got splashed all around town starting the next morning.
Also during our conversation last night, Todd brought up the recent barn burner in Old City Hall over the City Commission rejecting the low bid for the city’s waste pickup, hauling and recycling contract, in favor of staying with Waste Management.
Todd reiterated that during citizen comments said the city had put it out to the lowest bidder, so the city should take the lowest bid. Otherwise, nobody would ever want to bid on anything the city put out for bid
I said that’s probably true, but the problem was the city put out the bid based solely on price, which was a huge mistake for something so big and important. For something like that, the cheapest price never should be the only factor, and it looked to me that the mayor and the city commissioners finally figured that out during the commission meeting.
Todd said he thought they all had agreed way back when to agree the lowest bid as the only criteria. I said maybe so, but the way the meeting went, it was clear they were wishing they had not gone with that bidding method.
Todd said something that really stood out for him at the commission meeting was Margaret Romero, during her citizen comments, came out against accepting the lowest bid. I agreed: that was not like Margaret, who historically and steadfastly has chastised the city for spending more money than it should spend; who regularly has told the city to tighten its belt.
Todd said he wondered if Margaret had been influenced in that regard by Tony Yaniz, who later would say during the commission meeting that, looking back, it probably was not a good idea to put the waste bid out just on price. I said, maybe, but maybe Margaret saw deciding it only based on price was a bad way of going about it.
It looked to me at the commission meeting that City Commissioner Mark Rossi
arrived at the same conclusion. Mark steadfastly hones in on what something costs the city. It was out of character for him to go with Waste Management’s bid.
Going back to my dream about Christmas presents, this showed up in my facebook account yesterday.
And this forward came in from a North Georgia redneck amigo, who hatched and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, and attended the University of Alabama, before he set his sights higher. I met him in 2001. I bet he’d love to talk with Kelly Friend about her adventures in animal husbandry at Texas A & M.
Take my Son…..
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas,
There was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly… He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’
There was silence…
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’
But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’
Another voice angrily. ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real bids!’
But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give $10 for the painting…’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’
‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.’
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel.. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’
A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’
‘What about the paintings?’
‘I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will… I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!’
God gave His son over 2,000 years ago to die on the Cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: ‘The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?’
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything!
I replied to my North Georgia redneck friend:
Nice story – I wonder how well people would like to really get to know Jesus? The folks at Nacoochee Methodist seemed a lot more into worshiping than knowing him.
[My friend occasionally attended that church, which I attended regularly when I hung out up there, until the church got tired of me saying what was on my mind about their understanding of Jesus, God, the Devil, etc.]
I thought you would like that. Right on about NUMC !
Thanks for responding and hope all is OK with you.
Once, the minister of Nacoochee Methodist told me that he hoped his church would become an Acts 2 church. I said, really? He said, really. I said, those people were communists. A little later in Acts, you see they (Peter’s community) put everything they had into a common pot and each person was given what he/she needed. I think that’s great, I hope Nacoochee Methodist does that, too.
I think maybe that’s sort of how traditional Buddhist communities live today,
but not so much Christian communities. Pritam Singh and Jim Hendrick say they are Buddhists. Maybe they will lead the charge for everyone in their circle putting everything they have into a common pot and each person getting back what he/she needs.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West