A Long December
A Long December
Jeanne and Mo
December 13, 2016
December is easily one of the most hectic months in Key West, the holiday season just fills the calendar with all manner of events. Christmas parties, bazaars and holiday themed events are a constant as the month goes on. Add this to the already full schedule of the “normal” happenings and there seems to be multiple options of things to do every day. Kathy and I certainly seem to stay very busy and this past week was no exception as we attended a Christmas party, participated in a 5K, went to a couple of concerts, attended a book signing and even squeezed in a couple of other holiday events; the annual Pet holiday party at the Key West Dog Park and the Artisan Fair at the Studios of Key West.
The week started out with yet another 80s throwback concert at The Key West Theater, this time it was Howard Jones. The British singer has been called one of the defining figures of 80s synth pop and had multiple hit songs during the mid to late 80s. He was in regular rotation on MTV and was a worldwide star who even played at Live Aid. Whenever we go to see a band or singer from this era, you never really know what you will get. Jones band consisted of three members a drummer and two synthesizers, nary a guitar in sight.
It has been a long time since I saw a guitar-less synth band play, certainly since the early 90s. Even the popular bands from the 80s that specialized in synth music have added guitars and often play the old synth songs with much less synthesizer. Jones stuck with what he is known for and rather than be an anachronism, the move worked and worked well. While looking a bit older than his 80s self, he was still fantastic. I think his voice may even be better than it was during his heyday.
Much of our week was focused on getting our massive Christmas light display put up. Kathy does a majority of the work putting it up and I take it all down after the holidays in a division of labor that works remarkably well. It is more lights than ever this year and we changed up what it looks like. The Conch Trains and Trolleys have begun their annual tours of the islands to view the holiday lights and our house is once again included on the tour. Throngs of train riding passersby cheer like mad when the pass our house and more often than not, Kathy is out there to greet them. Photos do little justice to what the experience is like.
Lisa, Kevin, Darci and Kathy
We also managed to find time to go to a Christmas party at the home of our friends Kevin and Darci. Kathy and her friend Lisa took the opportunity to dress up in 20s era looking dresses for the occasion. I was late to the party because I was participating in the first annual illuminated 5K which was my first night race. Theme runs who organized the 5K provided light sticks, blinky rings and various other light-up novelties. The route was very different than usual starting at Ibis Bay resort and traveling up Roosevelt and over the US1 bridge on to Stock Island and back. There was a stiff wind that caused me one of my slowest times in recent memory, but I still managed a third place finish in my division.
By the time I arrived the party was in full swing and I was happy to have put the 5K in my rearview mirror. We enjoyed the party immensely and then were in such good spirits that we headed downtown, first to the Porch and then in something of a throwback to Virgilio’s. I cannot even recall the last time I was in Virgilio’s, a place that was at one time where I spent a good deal of time. It was fun to be back and to recall all those old times.
The week closed with a couple of quick visits to holiday-themed events. The annual Paws in the Park held at the Key West Dog Park and the Holiday Artisan Fair at the Studios of Key West. I had not been to the pet party since my dog India passed away and it was fun to see so many people there enjoying their pets. Mo the Sloth from the Key West animal farm was there with Farmer Jeanne and Santa was available to take photos with pets. The artisan fair featured local artists selling their wares which included a wide variety of artwork, jewelry and crafts.
The bookend of the week was another trip to the Key West Theater. Our friends Mark and Wendi joined us for a concert by the band Here Come the Mummies. The band, which we had seen previously at the same location returned for another show. The 8 piece band is completely comprised of musicians who hide their true identities in full mummy costumes. The band is formed of professional musicians based out of Nashville and they play a rowdy Funk style. The upbeat live performance was incredible once again. It was one of the most fun and high energy shows of the year and we all had a fantastic time.