Depress ctrl and + keys together to increase zoom/font size; depress ctrl and – keys together to reduce
Saw Tom Milone at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning.
He said he really liked my proposal for the new homeless shelter, which can be found in the recent
Key West Fats uses the F-word, plural, on City Commission email account he thought was his own personal account. Key West Mayor Pants On Fire says his full-service homeless shelter speech at the Rotary Club while he was running for mayor was not political because he did not read anything. Where safer place for a new “full-service” homeless shelter in Key West, than at the Sheriff’s complex? Plus, some horsing around with City Commissioner Teri Johnston and The Blue Newspaper publishers Arnaud and Naja Girard
post at goodmorningkeywest.com.
I thanked Tom, said he should tell people who have say in it, that I should have a seat at the head table at the “Homeless Summit” early next year. My perspective is different from the “usual suspects” position; there is nothing in it for me, I will do my best to steer towards the best solutions and away from solutions which will not work and/or might waste money.
Tom asked me what I thought about City Commissioner Tony Yaniz and Mayor Cates’ fun at the Rotary Club a few months back, which was splashed in the post for which the link is provided above. I said Yaniz won’t get many Christian votes when he runs against Cates next year, and Cates enraged all of Margaret Romero’s supporters by campaigning at a Rotary Club meeting when Romero was not going to get equal time later.
Next today, a wake notice for someone I do not think I knew. I requested a photo, but have not received on yet. Followed by a wake close to my home.
Memorial gathering… remembering…
a founding owner/operator of Friendly Taxi — the Yellow Cabs of Key West, FL
White St Pier KWFL
Sunset …5 ish
Saturday Nov 9, 2013
‘Key West Citizen’ Obit,
Sunday, November 3, 2013 Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter
Darren Lloyd Guttman
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
Darren Lloyd Guttman was born Nov. 28, 1956 and entered eternal life on Oct. 19, 2013. He is survived by his son Eli Guttman whom he loved. His spirit is carried on by his wife, friend and soulmate, Star Guttman; his father and musical inspiration, Yehuda Guttman; his loving daughter, Jessica Guttman; his stepsons Daniel (Malinet) Garcia and Alex Garcia; his granddaughter, Alissa Lynn; his sister-in-law, “Mi hermana,” Mary; his faithful dog, Lucky; and countless friends, extended family and all his taxi drivers whom he loved so much.
He is predeceased by his mother, Ruth Guttman.
Darren developed a love for music and the arts at a young age. While his father would play the piano at night, he would fall asleep underneath the piano listening to the music. He could still recall each piece his father ever played. This musical gift was passed down from father to son. Darren had perfect pitch and knew every note he heard played. He loved all types of music from classical to rap. He was a great pianist and composer and had recently composed two pieces in the past few years. His love of the arts drew him to the theater and the movies.
He was a puppeteer alongside his parents at the Red Barn Theater featuring puppets like “Bella” and “Della.” As a teenager, he worked at the Key West Picture Show, where he did everything from running the films to working the concession stand. Darren could quote endless lines from thousands of movies.
At age 16, Darren graduated from Mary Immaculate. He saved enough money to move up North, and stayed with his maternal grandmother, Marie. In New York City, Darren drove his first taxi. From that moment, he was inspired to a career as an entrepreneur in the taxi business. Darren was a self-made man who started in the taxi business when he returned to Key West by driving a cab for Mr. Abelardo Boza. He quickly moved up the ranks from cleaning the cabs to manager. When the company changed ownership, Darren continued to work for Danny Boza and then Ed Swift. During this time, Darren also held a Realtor’s license and worked for Mr. Edward Knight.
Darren considered each of these men his mentors and loyal friends. Through his work ethic and intellect, Darren soon established his own business, Friendly Cab. He built the business from the ground up. A colleague recently told the family that Darren drew the first taxi maps to include all the lanes and alleys of Key West to improve driver efficiency and “revolutionized the Key West taxi industry.”
In 1986, he was awarded the Small Fleet Operator of the Year award by the International Taxi Cab Association.
Darren was an avid coin collector, and self-taught numismatist. He always carried special coins in his pocket and enjoyed sharing their history. He had a quick wit, and always had a joke to tell.
Darren knew every inch of this island. He loved the green foliage, the ocean surrounding Key West, and taking his “Star” on the boat to their special spot at sunset. You would often see Darren walking around town barefoot. He loved to feel the earth under his feet. He was truly a part of what he called “the flavor of Key West.”
Above all, Darren loved his family and his community. Those who knew him best will agree that he “burned bright, and went out with a star.” He lived to please and help his fellow man. Darren always had a small gift or trinket ready to give a friend or a stranger. During his lifetime, he gave away more than 40 cars to those in need. He was the first to extend a helping hand and expected nothing in return.
His family and friends mourn and remember him as an innovative, hard working, enthusiastic, honest, compassionate man — and above all, a “Friendly Man.” He was one of a kind.
Please join us in remembering, honoring and celebrating the life of Darren Guttman at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at White Street Pier.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you “pay it forward” in honor of Darren. Do an act of kindness for a loved one or a stranger, and keep Darren’s “Friendly” gestures moving forward.
Personally, I hope I depart from this planet in a lightning strike, which performs the cremation-into-ash procedure and no one has a clue what became of me
That’s not the second wake close to my home. It’s a stab at comic relief before what is only comical if you are a sadist.
After a pretty good yesterday morning and early afternoon, I took a nap filled with lots of dreams about what seemed to be the same subject. In one dream, I was trying to reach my former senior law partner on the telephone when that dream ended. In the last dream, my first wife, mother of my three children, one died in infancy, the other two are living, showed me a pretty picture, then said she was bringing a major lawsuit, and there were all sorts of other pictures showing it was much larger than the first pretty picture.
I awoke thinking the first pretty picture was the recent unexpected correspondence from my second daughter, who was absent from my life for 13 years, and my tearful reply to her, which was three rough days in the making.
I recalled back to when I wrote a letter on our law firm’s letterhead to my father’s lawyer, with whom I had attended law school and tax law school at Alabama, addressing an “unnamed client’s” estate plan the lawyer was working on, and giving my thoughts on the estate tax and trust aspects, and what to guard against. The unnamed client was my father. I did not want the legal secretaries or other lawyers in our law firm to get wind of it.
My daughters and I all have a stake in my father’s estate. So, I figured I had sized up the dream about my former senior partner, and my first wife’s major litigation – some sort of spirit action in something coming down in my father’s estate
I dragged myself out of bed feeling lousy in my G.I. tract. I thought about packing it in for the rest of the day. Then, I decided to try to gut it out and attend the first of the month Sunday meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild.
I picked up a copy of HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale, looked over some of the poetry in the last chapter, and put it in my bicycle basket and pedaled to the poetry reading in the upstairs of Blue Heaven restaurant in Bahama Village.
The bad feeling did not go away, and I was very tempted to turn around and go home. But, I arrived and joined in the first lightning round by mentioning something about a fellow I had met while hitchhiking around Helen in north Georgia, who kept picking me up. He was a new poet and gave me permission to use some of his verses in a wacky novel that was falling out of me. I opened HEAVY WAIT and read his poem about being a timid poet standing front of an audience like a slaughtered deer.
After the lightning round, the featured poet, Elizabeth Thomas (I think that is her last name), I did not know there would be a featured poet, took about half hour, or more, reciting her own poetry. She has an international reputation as a performance poet and poetry teacher. She lives part-time on Big Pine Key. I didn’t know her.
The longer Elizabeth went on, the worse I felt, and several times I almost got up and left. The pain peaked when she recited a poem about an Afghanistan veteran, the son of one of her friends, who has extreme battleshock. Then, she moved into other poems and the pain subsided somewhat.
During the intermission, I waited for the crush of admirers to finish speaking to Elizabeth; then I went to her and said, if the young man who was in Afghanistan takes a long hard look at that war, at just how truly evil it was, at his being sold out by his own country, he will start to heal.
For the second lightning round after the intermission, the audience was much smaller, apparently most of them had come to hear Elizabeth and were not themselves poets.
When my turn came, I again picked up HEAVY WAIT, read the inscription in it “to the person who will receive it tonight”:
“Poetry is life, life is poetry, that’s all there is.”
I recounted what I had told Elizabeth about the Afghanistan veteran. I said that is poetry, and there is another side to it, which I should preface by saying I am an empath, and I pick up things which belong to other people and I take it in my body.
Just before I left to come to the poetry reading, I was hit by something really rough, but I decided to come anyway and it peaked when Elizabeth recited the poem about the Afghanistan veteran, and then it started laying down some.
I said I would use another poem by the fellow who picked me up hitchhiking around Helen, Georgia. A devout Christian, who had lost a dear friend, whom he believed was burning in hell forever. I said his next poem was not named, so I named it for him: “Suicide”.
After reading it, I said, as much as he had tried to be his brother’s keeper, he had lost his brother, his friend, and in his Christian mind it was a disaster, which was sad, and that, too, was poetry.
Sitting right in front of me was Pastor Omar and his wife, who many times had fed me and many homeless people Sunday mornings at the Higgs Beach kiosks. The city put a stop to that by fencing in the kiosks and turning them into a children’s playground. Omar had read a poem in both lightning rounds.
I then gave the copy of HEAVY WAIT to Elizabeth. She thanked me. I said to read it first, then decide if she wanted to thank me.
I never told the audience the name of the novel, or how they could get a copy. It didn’t seem appropriate.
After the second lightning round, I told Pastor Omar and his wife what now is going on around the playground at Higgs Beach is karma for the city stopping Omar and his wife from feeding the homeless there. Omar nodded.
I left feeling I had done what I was supposed to do. The pain was very slow releasing, however.
Then came a night of dreams in which I was worn out with ongoing dream news that I had blown it entirely by letting a young child kill my son.
I awoke in a state of total confusion and despair.
How had a young child killed my infant son, who died of crib death when I was in law school?
As I sat down to try to put together today’s post, I understood the young boy was the poet in north Georgia. And maybe the young Afghanistan vet. And maybe the Poetry Guild reading.
I understood the major lawsuit my first wife had brought was the lawsuit in HEAVY WAIT – the lawsuit for my soul, which I will not explain here, because it is central to the theme of the novel.
My son, who was killed by the young child, was HEAVY WAIT, because I did not tout him last night at the poetry reading, and because I did not read my own poems from him.
That, too, is poetry.
I felt like pedaling my bicycle out to the end of White Street Pier and diving into the sea and swimming straight out until I was out of gas and drowned. I did not feel like writing this post; I saw no point in it. But, if I did not write it, maybe I would be thrashed again. Maybe for writing it, I will be thrashed again.
That, too, is poetry.
Seldom is there a day and night together when I feel I get passing marks. Imagine all of humanity having much the same experience. It cannot be imagined unless it is experienced.
Am wondering if I will attend any more Guild readings? I don’t care for one poet getting center stage. Poems recited by several local poets last night were on par with the internationally-recognized performance poet and poetry teacher’s verses.
Moving today’s poetry fest toward an attempt at Yellow Cab comic relief:
Maybe in 1970, my first wife and I, and her brothers, were staying at my father’s home on Lower Matecumbe Key. My younger brother Major (only brother, as far as I then knew) was living and working in Key West. We drove down to see him.
We had lunch where Major waited tables when he wasn’t off, near Front Street. Then, we strolled up to Sloppy Joe’s and proceeded to get pretty soused. Major and my wife had a big falling out. We got separated from her brothers and were stranded without a way back to Lower Matacumbe. So, we walked to El Rancho Motel on Truman Avenue and spent the night.
Next morning, we called a cab to take us to the top of the island where US 1 meets Key West. A Yellow Cab showed up. Two bearded men up front, they seemed to be friends. Smoking weed. Hanging over the backseat was a metal sign providing prices for different strains and package sizes of weed. A big fat joint was passed back to us. We lit up and partook. Very good weed.
I said, alas, we were hitchhiking US 1 up to Lower Matecumbe Key and it probably wasn’t a good idea to be stoned carrying weed on us. They said no problem, good journey.
We caught three rides, arrived safely at my father’s place. When word of that got out, we let it out, back in Birmingham and in Memphis, where my wife was from, you’d have thought the end of the world had happened. We did not mention the marijuana when we let it out.
Some years passed and I figured out the migraines I was having always followed smoking weed the night before, so I gave up weed. Many years later, I figured out, with plenty of thrashing from the angels, that drinking made me feel awful a lot quicker, within an hour of imbibing, than weed had made me feel. Drinking hit me in my G.I. track.
The other day, a fellow pretty well known around Key West told me that it’s a bum rap homeless people get for being drug addicts. Almost everyone he knows in Key West uses street drugs recreationally, and some of them make a good living and are respected citizens.
When I shared that story yesterday morning at Harpoon Harry’s with another friend, he said he used to make a good living so he could maintain his street drug habit. He said his whole life revolved around his street drug habit, and he had many regrets about that. Of the Yaniz-Cates-Rotary tryst, he said that Rotary Club is a subsidiary of the Key West Chamber of Commerce. No, he was not a member, but he once was invited to join.
When my father finally learned from me that sometimes I used marijuana, he said, “That’s what’s wrong with you!” I said, “Not hardly.” He said, “It’s a drug.” I said, “So is the screwdriver you drink en route to work each morning.” He said, “That’s just an eye-opener.” I said, “It’s a drug.”
It only just now dawns on me that, after we broke up, my children’s mother had several lucrative novels published under a pen name; she once said I was one of her thinly-disguised main characters.
It also now dawns on me, in the fall of 2001, I gave the manuscript of HEAVY WAIT to my former senior law partner, who is the Editor of the Birmingham Bar Journal, and who reviews books for the Journal. I never heard another word from him. Now, I suppose, the meaning of the dream about him yesterday afternoon is I am supposed to send him the finished product, which I let a young child kill last night.
PublishAmerica.com, soon also available as an E-book, and, in a few months, in Spanish. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of paperback copy.
Louise Wilson, a very old and dear Islamorada friend, who knew my father and is of his generation, wrote several years ago:
I ordered ‘Heavy Wait’ about a month ago and it arrived in the mail Friday. I finished it last night. Could hardly put it down and if my eyes had cooperated a little longer I could have gotten through it in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday.
I enjoyed it very much, laughed out loud (heartily) many times and enjoyed the twists and turns and surprises. I think you should write another novel soon. And I can say, I would look forward to reading it. For now I think I will read, ‘Kill All The Lawyers.’
Kill All the Lawyers? was the last “straight” book I wrote before I became officially crazy. Before that, it was unofficial. Heavy Wait might kill a few lawyers, too, if they read it; and a few of their clients, but in a different way from how Kill All the Lawyers? did it.