Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The End Of The Line – Key West
Key West. You just can’t go any further. The road stops at Mile Zero. Or, it may start there, if you prefer? But to so many living here, like myself who moved here from elsewhere, it ends. After Key West, you’re on a boat, or a plane to another country. The car has finished it’s run.
Because of this, there is a wide assortment of individuals who come here. Of course you have the noteworthy artist who have landed here over the years. Ernest Hemingway did so in 1928 and to this day his home is a nucleus of Hemingwayphiles, literary laureates, and tourists in general. Additionally, the Tennessee Williams found a home here, as did Jimmy Buffett, who actually, unlike the two aforementioned authors, actually made his fortune partially because he actually came from here.
However, in a place that is considered the furthest outpost, it also draws additional sorts. In 1980, the first of the current series of new, much safer bridges were constructed off of Bahia Honda. This lead to a much greater accessibility for the masses, when the entire archipelago of islands were connected with these bridges allowing everyone to come down.
Who has the frame of mind to head the Southernmost outpost? There are many, all of which are interesting and unique, however, today we’ll look at one sort, which does stand out and is prominent. We’ll just call them “Runners” for this blurb. Yes, they may fall into one of several different social categories, however, they all have one thing in common when they land in Key West: They’re running away from something.
The vast majority of these Runners arrive alone, They’re, for the most part not attached to a lover or a friend, though, of the Runners, perhaps between 5 and maybe 10 percent are traveling with, what can be best described as a “Shotgun Partner” or even a “Wing Man”. By the numbers, you can see however, it’s not common. Mostly they are alone.
Why they are referred to as Runners is that there is something in their past that they are running away from. In most cases this starts out as a secret, known only to them. A couple of hints you might come across could be “Oh! No! Don’t take my picture!!!” or “What? You’re putting my picture on the Internet? Oh… you have to call me Beelzebub Bud, Don’t use my real name!!!” “What? You’re traveling back to my home city? Hey, No! You don’t know me! Never heard of me!”
I could go on for centuries on the walks of life these people come from or the things they’re running from, or the crazy situations they’ve gotten themselves into, both plain old screwy, or criminal, but they all have something in common: They’ve run away from something and have gone as far as they could go: The End Of The Line, Key West.