Key West Story

By Brenda S. Brown

 

It is impossible to travel any further south in the continental United States than to Key West, Florida.  Believe me; it is well worth the extended drive, a paradise-like setting where locals and visitors alike pause to celebrate the spectacular sunset, everyday. 
 
From the moment you complete crossing the forty-two bridges and infiltrate the eclectic world of the Florida Keys, you know that it is not an ordinary tourist destination.  Where else in 1982 would citizens form a group, have numerous meetings, and collectively decide to secede from the United States?  The Conch Republic is what they designated their kingdom, and to this day, that is what they remain. 
 
Another offbeat circumstance is the seemingly peaceful co-existence of undomesticated felines and poultry.   Yes, to the amazement of the tourist and the abhorrence of hometown folks, cats and chickens freely roam the streets and boulevards of Key West.  I am not sure where the kitty-cats sleep at night but numerous chickens roost in the trees adjacent to Mallory Square, and when a pullet mistakenly crawls into the wrong nest, a noisy fight ensues, and instantly draws an audience.  
 
The favorite and most economical form of transportation is an electrical-mobile so while Melba and I observed the six-toed cats and listened to the tales at the Hemingway House, and wandered across the street to the world famous lighthouse, Otto and Charles cruised around the territory in battery-powered style.  The curios looking vehicle transported us from a photo opportunity at the zero-mile highway marker, to recess at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe, and treasure seeking on Duvall Street.  
 
We highly recommend staying in one of the quaint bed and breakfast places and exploring the numerous eating establishments made famous by legends and yarns.   As you wander the streets and enjoy the offerings at the taverns, beware, that oddly dressed character sitting in the shadows might be one of the prominent poltergeist.
 
Brenda S. Brown lives in Baldwin County with Otto, her husband of forty years.  They have two grown sons and daughters by marriage,  Scott and Kimberly Brown and Arlin and Brenda Brown, and four grandchildren; Joshua, Caleb, Catherine and Christen.  Her first manuscript, Precious Gems from Ruby, is complete and awaiting publication. 
 
 

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