Not Semper Fi… Semper Paratus!

IMG_1517Question #1: What is Semper Paratus?

Answer #1: Semper Paratus is Latin for Always Ready.

Question #2: What exactly do the Latin words have to do with these Key West school buses?

Answer #2: Absolutely nothing! They simply sleep here. :-)

Look closer at the building behind the buses, you’ll see a faded United States Coast Guard emblem painted just below the word ‘Always’.

No one seems to know exactly how Semper Paratus was chosen as the Coast Gauard’s motto… but it was. Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck wrote the words to the Coast Guard song putting it to music five years later on a old broke down piano in Unalaska, Alaska. (that’s 100% true) What a coincidence, I wrote today’s blog just outside of Unflorida, Florida! (that’s 100% false) :-)

You can find the Semper Paratus painted building at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West facility. To best view the building as seen here, turn on Trumbo Road on the east side of the immensely popular section of town called Harbor Walk. Drive down a few hundred feet to an unmarked road’s opened gate which is Ruth Alice Campbell Drive, turn right and again go down about one hundred feet and look to your left… there she be!

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Here’s one for all you vacationing fishermen! Have you ever wondered what to do with your fresh catch being hundreds of miles from home? Wonder no more, here you can bring your catch-of-the-day for next day overnight shipping to your hometown doorstep!

You can find the ‘Ship Your Fish Overnight’ sign and facility at the Islamorada Fish Company by traveling on US-1 to Mile Marker 81.4 bayside. While here, go next door to the Worldwide Sportsman store where you’ll see the Key’s LARGEST FISH TANK on display also for the amazing price of FREE.

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History Of Labor Day

The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It became a federal holiday in 1894 following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Railcar Strike. Fearing further conflict, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement making Labor Day a national holiday observed by all U.S. states, District of Columbia, & U.S. territories.

Being the smart butt I am, (some would say without even trying) :-) I’ve included a photo of myself snoozing to rub in the fact that I’ve already written my blog and I’m in relax mode doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day! Well, that is besides sleeping in my hammock holding a good book (History of course) and a Bud Lite in the other! As the rest of you slave over an open flame getting your clothes filled with smoke remember this photo… because I’ll still be here doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on my version of Labor Day! :-)

Warning: Objects in this photo may appear larger than they actually are! Please, no comments about what appears to be my size 26 Shaquille O’Neal sized shoes! :-)

Happy Labor Day from Mr. 365 Days

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Escaping Key West’s Heat

Escaping the heat in Key West has been sought out by most everyone upon their visit. A practice that’s been mastered by us with brains and ignored by those without… you know, those ruby-red sunburnt bodies seen walking up and down Duval Street… ouch, that’s gotta hurt! Haven’t they ever heard of sunscreen? :-)

Escaping the heat is evidently more than a human thing! Seen here are birds seeking out the refuge of the shade provided from a street lamp. I for one have NEVER seen birds do this and thought you too might be amused at this birds-of-a-feather flocking together in the shade photograph.

This spectacular view (minus the birds) can be found at the majestic eye-popping White Street Pier in Key West.

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Castle-Like Elementary School

IMG_1665Does your elementary school look like a castle? Well, this old abandoned one does!

Welcome to what was once Harris Elementary School. At the time of this photo the building was not occupied but due for a renovation. I’ve heard its days of re-occupancy are soon to come true. If you look close at the upper outer wall you’ll see the castle walls that grace the skyline. Take even a closer look at the tall majestic Roman archways on the lower left of the former school’s porch which makes the building even more unique for such an island town.

You can find this former elementary school castle look-a-like at the corner of Southard Street & Margaret Street here in sunny Key West.


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Long Key Fishing Club

Wow, is this sign hard to see while driving down the road! You need to look for a faded historical marker along the treeline and you just might see it.

Here’s the little seen and even less read Long Key Fishing Club historical double-sided marker. I’ve passed this hundreds of times going in each direction and have NEVER seen a single tourist at its foot post reading the text written upon it. Believe it or not, this fishing club sign is tied into the construction of the East Coast Railway and here’s how. Henry M. Flagler began construction of the railway in 1905 completing it in 1912. During that time, in 1906 the Long Key viaduct was the first bridge built in the process of connecting the keys together for railway traffic and became the poster child of Henry Flagler used in advertisements. He too promoted the fishing of the Keys by forming the Long Key Fishing Club in 1906 and attracting the greatest saltwater fisherman to the area because of it… and now you know the rest of the story! :-) No, I don’t expect every one of you to stop and read it but would be thrilled to death if you do slow down before passing it and point saying “There it is, we found it… and there’s still NOBODY reading it! :-)

You can try to find this super faded historic marker of the Long Key Fishing Club at Mile Marker 65.8 oceanside on your drive in the beautiful Florida Keys.


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Patterson Avenue Pocket Park

Welcome to the third in a series of Key West Pocket Parks. These are the size of small empty home lots that have been fenced-in and converted into FREE public parks for all to use. This is the smallest so far, approximately 25′ wide x 70′ deep.

As you can see in the photos, it has several shade trees, a bench to sit on, patio brick type path way, & some so-called artwork. The artwork can be seen beside our bikes that looks more like a coat rack in which I hung my hat on!

You can find the Patterson Avenue Pocket Park on… hmm, let me see, oh yeah I remember it’s on Patterson Avenue! :-)


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