Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back to (ab)normal?

With the election now over, it's time to turn attention to other things going on here in The Real Key West.

It's been a slow month for business here, as always. The hurricanes, burning bridges, cost of gas, etc., etc. are taking their toll and, of course, everyone is looking forward to Goombay and Fantasy Fest. It all begins on October 21st, with the beginning of Goombay and the coronation of the King and Queen of Fantasy Fest. Goombay continues through Saturday, and then we begin Fantasy Fest week.

Janet and I have been involved in the campaign of one candidate, Gina Maseratti who is making "her" first run for the title of Queen. We've been doing 'events' for Gina for the past three weeks. Fundraising is going slowly (but steadily). Everyone says that it's even more difficult this year than in the past, because of a lot of other equally worthy causes that are also experiencing the effects of the slow summer and national concerns. Last night's event was a Doo-Wop dance that was a lot of fun and that helped to put at least another couple of hundred dollars into the total (which is kept confidential at AIDS Help, so the candidates are aiming at targets such as 'as much as possible' and 'more than ever'). We have some idea of our own totals, but not of the 'opponent', Redd Smith, another local community contributor. The same is true for the two King candidates.

The Real Key West is a giving place. There is wide variety fundraising that goes on here all the time, especially during 'season', and its all for worthwhile purposes, ranging from social and health services, to the arts, to recreation, to education. As anywhere else, there are those who will support causes like these, and those who will ignore them. Volunteerism is the engine that pulls the train of federal grants and entitlements that flow from the 'superior' governments, the State of Florida and the Friendly Feds, who collect all that money then dole it out to the projects they consider worthwhile, things like bridges to nowhere in Alaska, or any of the other 21 billions of dollars in identified pork projects (the politicians call them 'earmarks'). If they left the money with us, and concentrated instead on what's good for America rather than on what's good for their reelection, maybe there's be fewer New Orleans levee failures, fewer failed wars, less government waste, fewer sweetheart contracts.

And what about those golf trips to Scotland? Have you been invited on one of those?

But I digress.

I told Theo a short time ago that Key West looked better today than it did yesterday. As I walked over here on Terry Lane, I saw the trees, some trying to regain their leaves and flowers, the blue sky with a slight overcast of clouds, mostly white. The houses on the lane shine their tropical colors in the sun, the air is drier -- not dry, but drier, and I don't notice as much the trash and garbage strewn, the broken fences, I didn't even notice if the pizza boxes were gone from outside the Dumpster.

Theo said that the reason everything looks better is inside of me, not outside. He might be right.

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