Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Character of the Keys

I received the books that I ordered through Amazon, including the one that has the list of Conch nicknames. It's called Nicknames and Conch Tales, published by Walter H. Norman in 1979.

Bubba Smart was Alfred Atchinson, about who I will now try to find out more.

This is the final paragraph of Norman's book:

And now, in closing, I would like to make one final statement and I truly hope the citizens of Monroe County will take heed. I would like to quote Nixon Smiley, from an article he wrote in the Miami Herald in 1960, and things haven't changed much. "The character of the Keys have changed. The old way of life is gone, forever. Whatever vestige of the past remains is being overwhelmed by the bulldozer, the dredge, and gaudy commercialism. Fortunate is the person who has been able to hang on to enough land and hammock to tuck away his residence in an atmosphere the Conchs and Crackers once knew." It is the money-hungry bastards who are taking advantage of the situation and in doing so, are raping the Florida Keys. I know that time brings changes, but the extent to which these changes have come is unbelievable. If only the Conchs would wake up and realize what is going on. With God's help, maybe they will.

Some of the Conchs did wake up and realize what was going on. They're the ones who developed the Keys, and especially Key West, into what it has become, and they are continuing to do so even unto today.

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