Friday, November 04, 2005

The Eagle Flies on Friday

This photo of Erik Walker appeared in the Palm Beach Post soon after Hurricane Wilma. Erik is a denizen of the Key West Bight. We met him first when we got here in 1999, and have known him ever since. He used to work at Waterfront Market. For a time during that period, he lived in the back of one of their trucks. He's also worked off and on for Sebago, doing odd jobs. His latest gig is selling hand-rolled cigars at Schooner Wharf days.

He was out during Wilma, checking on boats for other people. I think this is a great photo, with the Wyland Wall on the side of the Waterfront Market as a background, and the water at mid-wheel on his bicycle. He's riding on lower William Street, around the corner from Lazy Way.

11/4/05 11:33 AM

I'm at Schooner Wharf. I went to the police station and picked up a copy of the report on the assault on Diane on Tuesday, checked to see whether the car wash was open yet (it isn't). I'm on my way to the Post Office to see if our marriage certificate arrived so Janet can keep her appointment at Social Security on Monday.

I stopped here to see whether I can still get connected to the internet through Schooner Wharf's wireless network. It appears that I can't. There are four wireless networks operating here in the bight area but not one of them will let me on.

It's busy here this morning. Many obvious Parrotheads wearing their ID badges and flowered shirts. Mary Anne is redoing the menu across the table from me. There'll be a few price increases. Last night the City approved the new lease between itself and Schooners, with a pretty hefty price increase and some conditions that Paul and Evalina have obviously agreed to. They were smiling when they left the meeting, so they must be satisfied. There'll be some changes made for ADA compliance and structural integrity. When I get online again, I'll post a link to the lease for the terminally curious among you.

The City continues to be inhabited by many emergency relief services and agencies, further limiting the number of rooms available to just plain tourists. That probably pleases the hotels and annoys the visitors. Our District VI Commissioner, Clayton Lopez, and his family are staying at Days Inn at the opposite end of the island. He's been a figure of compassion to Diane and Theo through their ordeal. He's showing up at the shop each morning until the school bus arrives and leaves. His mere presence there is calming. The situation is cooling off -- or so we hope.

The Red Cross is set up in the doorway of the Reef Relief downstairs classroom, offering meals twice a day. MRE's continue to be available, and ice and water. There are still some sheltering programs running, but they'll scale back as people begin to find ways to take care of themselves again. Ri and Sandy have found a place and will go ahead with their abandonment of the Rose Street place

Red and Dotty are (or were) waiting in line in the City Hall parking lot to see FEMA. They spent Wilma in Homestead so that Red could continue to get his dialysis up there. He's now been fitted with plumbing that will allow him to do the dialysis at home. I talked to Dotty a couple of days ago and she says he's feeling better already.

Michael McCloud just began his first set, doing some Buffett, something he doesn't normally do much of. But, like he says, when someone comes up and puts a ten or a twenty in the tip jar -- well, he may be a little crazy but he isn't dumb.

Now it's off to the Post Office and the rest of my day. I might be back later.

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