Monday, May 28, 2012

memorial day - VIDEO

This is one of the earliest video pieces I put together.
I don't resurrect it very often but considering that this is the first Memorial Day since the end of that Iraq thing and the rest of us having another 4,000 or so brave American souls to think about while we enjoy a cold beverage at the barbeque this afternoon, I thought it might be appropriate
to run it once again.

War is wrong.

But apparently war is profitable, for at least 1% of the population. And no matter what our current collection of pigheaded politicians have to say about spreading freedom and democracy, we don't fight wars for mother and country anymore, we fight for profit.
That's the thing that makes modern war unforgivable.

On our side alone, 4,000 young people will never again feel the warm sun on their faces; will never again catch a ball game, read a good book, see their children grow up or grow old themselves beside the love of their lives. And they surely won't be with us at the barbeque this afternoon.
Killing someone takes away everything they have and everything they were ever going to have.

War is wrong. War for profit is unforgivable.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

shell shock

A Conch (pronounced KONK) is a marine mollusk that used to be common in the Keys but after decades of commercial harvesting their population plummeted to the point that it is now against the law to grab one.

Conchs are good eatin' and most restaurants here turn the critters into fritters or a mighty rad gumbo. But because they can't be harvested locally, the Conchs, and these shells they used to live in, are imported from the Bahamas.

The Conch shells are a great souvenir if you've got a nine year old nephew (or four young grandchildren for that matter) up north because they're pretty big and easy on the eyes.
But the best part is, if you nip off a bit of the pointed end, you can blow a Conch shell like a bugle. Noise too!
How cool is that?

Monday, May 21, 2012

let it grow

So there I am, out and about, doing my day-in, day-out when I meet a girl who inspires me to offer up a romantic dinner date.  (yeah, it happens sometimes)

The afternoon before the evening of the blessed event,
I happened to glance at my mug in the mirror and noticed my hair was just a bit shaggy. So I headed over to the barber shop/hair salon.
(I don't want to offend anyone's sensibilities)

What I found when I got there was that my barber/stylist
had left town!
Now, it's not unusual for anyone to pull up stakes and leave Key West without much or any notice; it happens all the time. But when it's someone you rely on for goods or services  
(like a haircut), it's a pain in the ass.

Well I didn't have a lot of time to worry about it, it was already late in the afternoon and dinner was at eight and I wasn't gonna be late. So I just showered, combed up a little differently and figured no one would be the wiser. . .

No one was, the dinner date was great and the night was
just right.

A few weeks later though, I started calling around to find a new barber/stylist. You'd think that'd be an easy thing to get done but, not so much.
Everyone I talked to either had no appointments available for 6 weeks or wanted more money than I was willing to cough up.

Meanwhile, hair growth waits for no one, things were getting a little more shaggy than I like. So I thought, what the hell, you're an artist, you've got a good pair of scissors, cut your own damned hair.

I gave it a good try but at the end of the experiment, all I succeeded in doing was making myself look like Mo Howard.

At that point, completely exasperated and with no new barber/stylist on the radar, I figured, what the hell, "you're an old hippie guitar player on the relaxed side of life. . ."

". . . Just let it grow."

photography, Richard Watherwax
hair stylist, Peter Ilacqua

thanks again for your help, gents!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Mangroves are like miniature forests that grow in the shallow salt marshes around the islands.
Some grow in smaller clumps like in this picture and others, like in the next picture, sprawl over acres.

Looks like a farmer's field that you could walk across but, you can't. While mangroves are a great place for birds to roost on the tops, down below live all manner of fish,
crabs and alligators.

I've heard a couple of versions of a story from Key West's "bad old days". . .
About thirty years ago, a drug smuggler named Bum Farto,
(no kidding), got caught by the cops and agreed to rat out a few of his gangster friends to keep himself out of prison.
But just before the trial, he disappeared and has never been seen or heard from since. . .

. . .One version of the story says he grabbed the money, changed his name and moved to South America somewhere. Another version says his gangster friends caught up with him, did him in and at low tide one dark night, tied his body to the roots of a mangrove patch. So, when the tide came back in, so did all those hungry critters and, as quick as you can say  
"bon app├ętit", there went the evidence.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

my tern

Sunday, May 13, 2012

trolleys & trains

At first blush, you might think the HTA trolleys and trains in our left of sensible little city were our public transportation system. After all, at any given time, there are far more of them on the streets than our real city buses.
(yes, we have city buses too!)

But no, the HTA trolleys and trains are for the tourists.
Originating from Mallory Square, the trains run tour routes throughout the city while the trolleys pick up and deliver riders at "official" trolley stops strategically located near attractions, landmarks and, of course, shopping.

Powered by propane, the top speed of our trolleys and trains is something like 15 to 20 MPH and riders are treated to a scripted verbal overview of the sights and history of our fair city, recited by the drivers as they roll along our otherwise quiet streets.

 Now, if you're driving and get caught behind a trolley or train, you're not going anywhere in a hurry.
So if you're on your way to your job, the odds are you're going to be late for work. But at least when you do finally get in, all you've gotta tell the boss is "I got conch trained" and it's like a get out of jail free card.
I mean, everybody knows about the traffic back-ups behind the trolleys and trains, even your boss.

 A few years ago the HTA trolley's monopoly on shuttling tourists around was challenged by another trolley company.
CityView trolley wanted a piece of the pie and HTA resisted.
There was a brief city commission/legal kerfuffle over routes, rights-of-way and trolley stops but at the end of the day, the pie was big enough for both and today we have another fleet of slow moving, talking tour trolleys trolling our narrow,
one way Old Town streets.

Sorry boss, I got conch trained, again. . .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the light was still on

Four flights down from the small sleeping room
behind the dormer window, 
thinking back on what just happened.
A chance encounter; warm and friendly; ultimately electric.
Stepping out into the dark, early morning air;
a feeling of connection.
Crossing Whitehead he stopped and turned,
looked up at the room where he'd just been. 
Outside the window, the light was still on;
the dark room still breathing quietly behind it.
He stood there; it might have been a minute,
it could have been eternity. 
Time didn't matter, the light was still on.

The light had spilled in through the window
and across the bed,
casting a warm golden glow on their wrestling flesh.

A small smile. . .

Turning a heel toward home,
the night's memories walked with him.
The light was still on.

An hour later, folded back in his own bed
and drifting into sleep,
the light was still on.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012