Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day

We're enjoying a quiet holiday weekend. Janet was off yesterday and today. We stayed in for most of the weekend, watched a couple of movies on TV. Janet went to the market today to pick up some things for dinner tonight. We've invited John and David for dinner, then will adjourn to the porch of the third-floor apartment to watch the fireworks at the White St. Pier at around nine p.m.

Last Thursday, I took advantage of the last day of "free admission for locals" at the Key West Aquarium, one the very few attractions that I haven't been to see over the years (the Lighthouse and Flagler Museum are the other two that come to mind). To give credit where its due, Historic Tours of America does what they do very well. Their self-proclaimed reputation as The Nation's Storyteller is one they have rightly earned.

Ed Swift is the personification of Historic Tours. Despite the fact that HTA is a national company, with operations in cities from Boston to San Diego; despite the fact that it is a corporation run by executives, with Swift as its CEO; people here, many of them, view Swift with suspicion, with dislike, and tell stories among themselves of his slick dealing, his purchased influence, his cutthroat tactics in a Key West-only context. Along with Pritam Singh, whose public visibility has been going down, Swift is seen as one who has "gamed" the system to his own financial advantage, the ultimate Conch, an alpha Bubba.

So, it's nearly dinner time. We're having salad, bread with balsamic dipping sauce, Janet's home-made chili, and watermelon and almond danish swirls for dessert.

Happy Independence Day to one and all.

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