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Sandy Downs, owner of Tarzan Tree Care, replied to the Tarzan/Higgs Beach playground part of yesterday’s post at goodmorningkeywest.com. I told her when she called me last night, raising hell about what I wrote, that I would publish what she had emailed to me, and that I might or might not add to it my own thoughts. She said okay.
Sandy to me:
No Sloan , without the guys who work for Tarzan, I would be homeless. My son is an artist and fisherman. Paul has a turf management degree and is an arborist. Kenny is a certified food safety handler and Cliff is a finish carpenter who builds mansisobs and worked on HOB. They choose to work with me because of the value I place on them and because we are Tarzan… One family. Hope that helps set the record straight. Your amigo always, Sandy Downs
P.S. I meant mansions,…Cliff builds mansions in his previous life work!
P.P.S. Also, keep in mind, I took in your Miss Kitty and gave her a home when I really had no intention of having a cat with my Beagle. I did it for you, so you didn’t have to worry about Miss Kitty having dignity and freedom. Surely Sloan you know we have to die with our life count… And mine has ENOUGH marks. PS. Kenny is a certified food protection manager.
I had a law degree, and a tax law degree, and I was homeless. I was a published author and a poet, and I was homeless. I later became an artist, and still I was homeless. When I first arrived in Key West mid-December 2000, there was an Episcopal priest who hung out at the kiosks on Higgs Beach, where the playground now is, who lived in his car. Totally screwed up, he was. Homeless he was, like me. Later, there was a Methodist minister, also living in her vehicle, homeless. These ministers graduated from theological schools. Degrees don’t necessarily mean squat. Being a published author, poet an artist don’t necessarily translate into paying rent and utilities, and buying groceries.
I did not realize Cliff was working for Tarzan. Last I heard from Sandy, a fellow from up north had showed up looking for work, who knew trees, and Sandy said it was a Divine Intervention in answer to a prayer she had made for help. She was trying to find him and his family a place to live in the Keys, which they could afford. Last night on the phone, Sandy told me the man went back up north after his wife already went back there. What’s a finish carpenter, builder of mansions, doing tree work?
Sandy said she wanted to take Miss Kitty in, instead of me put her back in the animal shelter where I had found her. I was headed there next with her, when Sandy and I had that conversation on the phone and I brought Miss Kitty by Sandy’s home instead for a preview. The next day, I took Miss Kitty to Sandy’s home permanently. She said her youngest son Marshall would be in charge of Miss Kitty. Sandy later sent me photos of how Miss Kitty is doing. Sandy told me how much everyone living with Sandy likes Miss Kitty, who would have ended up homeless again if Sandy had not taken her in. Personally, I wanted to put Miss Kitty down, instead of take her back to the shelter. I didn’t like it when I was locked up. I didn’t figure she would like being locked up again.
I gave Sandy and Tarzan’s kudos in yesterday’s post. Sandy lost a son on a tree job when he was electrocuted. She knows the Australian pines in the Higgs Beach playground need to come down all the way, or the county needs to remove the playground in favor of keeping what is left of the pines after Tarzan is done trimming them and pruning out all of the deadwood.
The playground never should have been put there. It was only put there to stop homeless people from using those kiosks. I know that for a fact, because I was on County Commissioner Heather Carruthers’ committee when it made that decision and stated its reasons. What Tarzan is trying to fix for the county is the karma from that decision. Either the trees go, or the playground goes. That should be Sandy’s recommendation to the county. Put that recommendation in writing, save a copy to show to a judge and jury, if the county keeps the playground and the trees, and later a child, or an adult, is injured or killed by a falling limb in that playground.
Nashville J wrote yesterday:
Enjoyed your interview on
Good Morning Florida Keys with Jenna Stauffer
You are so clean cut without the beard – must be gonna run for Mayor or something! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing the interview.
I wrote back:
Thanks, I also enjoyed the interview. Friendly ground, soft presentation, totally (usually) unlike my daily mumbling.
Next year’s mayor’s race could be a serious rumble. Cates vs. Yaniz. Or, Cates vs. Yaniz and Romero. Why would I want to get into that crossfire? Might be, given Romero’s improving political outings, in a 3-way race she might come in first, and either Cates or Yaniz is knocked out of the run-off. Don’t see any of the 3 getting 50 percent plus 1 vote to avoid a run-off. Dilute it even further if the angels make me toss my hat into that 3-ring circus. Hell, it might even be fun. Wish I felt the same about being mayor, but, who knows? Maybe the angels can figure out a way to make that fun, too. They made the 2009 race fun, for me anyway. Only fun race of seven I did.
NUDITY is FUN !
I included this soul drawing and wrote:
A nap dream just a bit ago might agree with you, on both counts. I felt last year and early this year that the angels wanted me to move back to Key West and run for mayor, but they kept messing around, it looked to me, until it was too late for me to file to run. Suited me, I was jaded, for lots of reasons, including the ordeal of selling my place on Little Torch, finding Miss Kitty a new home at the last moment, and closing the sale the day I had to be moved out. I’m feeling some better now, in different ways, so perhaps that’s where it is headed.
Maybe now, the people who worry about losing the not exactly big spending cruise ship passenger business now are more amenable to a nude beach, which will bring in an entirely new breed of tourist, and not just from the mainland and Canada, who will bring with them heaps more wampum than cruise ship passengers spend during a few hours stay. Haulover Beach, just north of Miami, does a land office business.
Designating the upper half of Smathers Beach clothing optional will have a similar effect. Smathers is away from neighborhoods where children are raised – resort condominiums, then nothing. City Commissioner Teri Johnston proposed a clothing optional beach in 2009. She understood what it would do for Key West. Alt. US 1, South Roosevelt Blvd, runs right by Smathers.
More thoughts are swirling, and right now they will just have to keep swirling. I’m headed off to Jack Flats sports bar to see how Auburn does against Texas A & Manziel. The minister I lunched with yesterday grew up on a Bahamian island, is a rabid Crimson Tide fan, dating back to when he was a kid and listened on a radio to the Notre Dame – Alabama Sugar Bowl game for all the marbles, the Irish squeaked it out in a thriller by a couple of points.
The minister maybe worshiped Bear Bryant back then. He wanted a Bear hat something terrible. I called a Birmingham friend and he emailed me a link for a company which provides Bear hats to Bear worshipers, which I passed along to the fellow who arranged the lunch yesterday. It did not occur to me to ask the minister how he felt about Key West having a nude beach? I don’t suppose he ever did any skinny dipping in the Bahamas before he was a minister.
I’m going to attend the minister’s church service this morning. Sandy and Marshall sometimes attend there; they also attend another church in Key West. Marshall says he is called to be a minister. He just might be. Might be interesting to watch that unfold. Might be he will be given different ways to go about it. He certainly is in a great place to try on lots of different ways of going about it. I asked the minister over lunch the other day, “When are we ever not in church?” He paused, said, most people don’t understand that; Jesus never built a building, he was always in church.
It won’t surprise me if Mike Mongo also runs for mayor next year. He pulled 15 percent of the vote in 2009. If he does run, the votes he gets might come right out of Mayor Cates’ votes and might insure Cates does not make it into a run off.
Any votes I might get would come from homeless people, people who dont’ want the city to spend a fortune on homeless people, nude beach lovers, asylum inmates, the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West foes, Tree Commission critics, Wisteria Island remain natural lovers, sunshine law lovers, environmentalists, fishermen, divers and other water sport lovers, community garden lovers, litigation haters, golfers, straight-shooters, street performers, artists, musicians and joke tellers, lower Duval Street pedestrian mall and art fair lovers, Australian pine lovers, White Street Pier open all night lovers, Outer Mole open to the public again lovers, conflict of interest and backroom deal haters, writers, poets, playwrights, actors, artists, musicians and songwriters, term limits lovers, when am I ever not in church lovers …
Maybe more will come to me later …
Auburn beat Texas A & Manziel, barely, after nearly knocking last year’s freshman Heishman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel out of the game in the 4th quarter. Looked to me Manziel’s throwing arm was kaput for a good while, maybe even for the season, but the gritty terrorizer of college football defenses came back into the game and darn near pulled off a win. Alabama slaughtered Arkansas. LSU lost to Mississippi on a last second field goal, Georgia got beat by my alma mater Vanderbilt in a squeaker South Carolina got beat by Tennessee in a squeaker. Looks to me Alabama has a very tough remaining schedule: Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, and if it gets past that, maybe Missouri in the SEC Championship. Missouri beat Florida yesterday, Georgia the week before. Missouri, too, is undefeated.
The minister said when we had lunch, that something else he liked about Bear Bryant was he told his players to always love their mamas.