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UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
Written By: OCfotoguy
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UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE
UNDER THE RADAR IN PARADISE

    This is how not to do it, I say to myself as I’m selecting a parking spot near the water a little past the Truman Annex in Key West on the day before New Year’s Eve for my nest (slide-in camper on a pickem-up truck) for the day. There’s a van painted hippy style complete with “war is not the way” painted on the side parked sideways across three parking spaces and there’s an extension cord from the van to an electric box. This person is parked directly in front of a sign that says no overnight parking, is illegally parked, obviously has been here all night, and stealing electricity from the city of Key West all at the same time! This will surely draw the attention of the fuznics! If they get a ticket, they deserve it! It’s much easier to play by the rules (if I/you can figure out what they are) and if you’re going to stretch them, do it inconspicuously with no noise, or anything that will draw attention.  Maybe the van’s owner is only here for a few days over New Year’s and will move on; but he or she or whoever is screwing it up for those unobtrusive stretchers of the rules. That’s what I’ll be doing for three or four months in a manner that I hope no one will notice or care as I enjoy the warm parts of our country (the Keys and south Florida, then the southwest if it’s warm enough there), while it’s frigid in the rest of the U.S.
    Sometimes I slip off the track and wonder is reality the past, present, or future?  I ask myself frequently, “What am I doing? What’s next? And sometimes I know.”  So much of the stuff we think is so necessary in our daily routine, just isn’t!  Being warm, eating good and enjoying life sure are way up my priority list; but lots of the details, not so much!
    Yeah, even in paradise there are jackasses, but I’m here to be warm, relax and enjoy, including New Year’s Eve, so the hippy van is not my concern, but whereever you are you need to act right.  I had my New Year’s Eve time tested agenda and it worked again. Maybe too well, because I thought I missed the photo of the dropping of the wench; but the next day when I down loaded them into my lap top, I had several good photos of the lady descending down the rope past the 10,9,8…. 1.
    As I feared, the next day I got chased from the parking area, where the van was plugged into the electric, by the cops. He said there had been a complaint, and he was giving everyone that looked like they may be there overnight a verbal warning and asking them to leave. I knew that van would cause trouble! The fuznik said he knew “you guys are just here for a goodtime….” but he had to do something in response to the complaint. I told him I’d do whatever he asked. It’s much easier that way.
    My New Year’s Eve Celebration started with a delicious meal at Finnegan’s of scallops and shrimp in teriyaki sauce over Basmati Rice for a foundation for what was to come. After that it was nap time, then off to the Green Parrot (Whitehead & Southard Sts.), the best music in Key West; no band music, yet, so I went to Mallory Square and found my favorite street performer, Blu the fire juggler, who does it on a unicycle! He’s also naturally a humorist and everything out of his mouth is funny.
    Then it was time for Scott Kirby to play at the Smokin’ Tuna, a Don’t Miss Act of Jimmy Buffett music. During a break I went over to Sloppy Joe’s. Somehow the clock sped up and it was almost midnight and time to go watch the wench drop; so I gently maneuvered through the crowd to a good photo spot and waited for the countdown. Then it was time hear John LaMere top off my evening at Willie T’s. All the O.C. locals look for him when they’re here.  It’s always good to see familiar faces. On the way I stopped outside Sloppy Joe’s again and watched the crowd surging on Duval Street, which was roped off to traffic and was a two mile party, then a piece of free fudge (sample) on the way to Willie T’s. John was doing his thing and, of course, even though I was way in the back he saw me, and acknowledged me. What a great entertainer! He doesn’t miss much!  (He’s still amongst the missing here in O.C., though.) I’d had enough, so I was ready for sleep in my nest. On the way I was passed by two mini cars all decked out in Christmas regalia. The people in Key West really decorate themselves, their vehicles, and bicycles to do it up more than any place I know.
    It’s May 13th and it’s good to see the weather has finally broke here in O.C.  It’s 82 degrees at 11am on my deck as I put the finishing touches on this article to send off after riding my bicycle up and down the BoardWalk in the sunshine! It’s going to be a great summer of catching and eating blue crabs, with lots of ACBs at HH in the waterfront outdoor bars, and listening to live bands.  That’s Ocean City Style!
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