Back around 1934 a young girl and her mom came to visit friends and relatives down in the Florida Keys. She falls in love with a man, a lifestyle, her surroundings and follows her heart. What ensues is a wonderful life lived in a wonderful place by two unique individuals. Kay and Jack Wilkinson lived off the land, or in this case off the sea in the tradition of Huck Finn or Robinson Crusoe. They fished and shrimped, caught turtles, dove for Lobster and sponges as well as earned money by catching marine specimens for science, Marine World and others. They lived life that was at times a little hard but the rewards, in their eyes far out weighed any hardship. They started off in a lean-to and in the beginning if there was little rain to be caught in their cistern they would walk a few miles to haul water in jugs back to their home which was later updated to a Sears and Roebuck tent over a wood platform. Eventually they got a truck, and better living quarters but continued to live off the sea along side an awesome group of neighbors which included direct descendants of the first Conchs to inhabit the Keys. I came across Kay down in the Keys back in the early 90's, I think? We happened to be at a small book store, she with a delivery of her books and myself just roaming around the area. I asked her to sign a copy and I would buy one, so she did and I did and I stored the book away for later. "Later" turned out to be several months down the road. I have always regretted that I didn't read into the book a ways at the time cause I know if I had I would have promptly looked Kay up and took her to dinner just to hear a story or two and to make her an acquaintance. Sadly, I learned today that Kay passed away a few years back and with her, except for this small book, all the wonderful stories, memories, and that cute little smile she showed me that day. My prayers tonight are that she is with her husband Jack back down in Planter setting on their dock as it was back in the early days, sharing a "toddy" their fishing line stretched tight under a Full moon over the Keys. AP
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- Just Another Savage!
- I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks