Today I am writing from a hotel room in Key West, Florida. The air is hot and sticky, the water, an inviting turquoise. I have been here three days, but feel that I could meld into the landscape, a soul living the dream of creativity and barefoot freedom.
When the Boeing 737 screeched to an abrupt halt on the short runway and taxied to the terminal, I felt that I had arrived home. The sign read “Welcome to the Conch Republic.” The words rang true of what the United States was founded on, the beliefs of rugged individuals. It is a state of mind that I fear has been lost as our nation struggles to find equilibrium. Technology is taking us to unchartered waters where we marvel at the advances, but fear the loss of privacy. In search of political correctness, we often change laws for the few, forgetting about the rights of many.
Key West has a mix of culture, race and sexual preference where people live and let live with mutual respect. The hens run free and the roosters crow of independence. Tomorrow, I fly back to Connecticut. Besides the baggage I have carried for sixty-three years, I hope to bring back the flip-flop state of mind. Long live the Conch Republic!