The Old Man in the Keys – Part-1

Living in the Keys for a while


This post is my introduction to a series of thoughts and observations by an old man, while living here in the Keys.

I, am the Old Man in the Keys!

At least OLD is the way I feel, some days; just another Old Man sitting around on this strange chain of islands, drinking Islamorada Beer and watching the interminable lines of oil-covered tourists on their daily march to and from the beaches, Tiki Bars and swimming pools.

I’ve been here, in the Keys, a number of times in the past and for some strange reason, I, like so many other regular visitors find myself caught in this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” state of mind about this place.

You know what I mean; for some reason, once you’re finally here, in the Keys then by the end of your first day you start to wonder what the big fuss is with this chain of dirty, tiny islands.

I mean what with; the rude tourists pushing and shoving to fill their few days here with memories, the never-ending waves of heat wherever you might be and a daily UV index that almost guarantees future bouts with skin cancers, why are we here?

But invariably, once you leave the Keys and return home, even you eventually start to think about when you can get back down there again; to the stark tropical atmosphere and the unique attitudes of the Keys residents.

And, honestly, if you look at the Keys objectively, they’re just a string of low-lying islands that some people decided to link together for one reason or another, with railroad trains and then bridges and roads, just to allow some rich tourists access to a tropical vacation in Key West.

At first the Keys were exclusively for the wealthy. Eventually though, the rich couldn’t hide this little gem from the rest of the public. It became a place where other people wanted to be, even if only for a few days to experience the beautiful Tropical weather, in the middle of the Winter.

So its no wonder that Key West eventually evolved into a “bucket list” kind of place for generations of people living on the mainland.

Even the people who hated the heat and salt and constant winds, just had to check this off of their personal list, that they had gone to the infamous Key West.

But, this string of low-lying islands has developed its own unique mystic.

The heat, the beautiful waters, the fantastic fishing, and over the years the abundance of bars and restaurants for people to go to drink and party has all developed a strong following of people from each generation over the past century.

Me? In one respect, I’m just like all of the others who come and go down here.

The one difference with me I hope,  is the fact that I will be here long enough this time to watch and observe.

That’s all I can promise you; I will observe, things, people, animals, plant life, Sunsets and whatever else I trip over as I wander around this place they call the Keys.

by Don Bobbitt, February, 2017

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, February, 2017, All Rights Reserved.


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