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The OLD MAN in the Keys - Part-2, Being an Observer

Updated on May 8, 2017
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 7 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

Wind and Palm Trees

Wind, Palm Trees and Seagulls
Wind, Palm Trees and Seagulls | Source

Chillin' and Writin', it's what I do.

The Old Man in the Keys - #2

February, 28

Chillin’ and Writin’

Few people notice another white-haired (or bald?) old man sitting at a bar, or on a beach, or wherever I might choose to place myself as I watch them.

So, here I am, just another one of those white-haired, old men, living in my old motorhome in a very nice campground.

If you happen to see me, you’ll usually find me caught up in my favorite past-times of observing my fellow campers as they go through their hurried vacation days. Or I might be found sitting in one of my favorite Tiki Bars, or maybe just walking along the local beaches.

And when something or someone inspires me, I’ll disappear into my RV and write down notes about what I have observed on these daily wanderings of mine around the Keys.

The inevitable change of the unique

The more popular a unique place becomes, the more that intangible thing that made it interesting in the first place will go through change and commercialization.

The 'Old Keys atmosphere" is changing fast

One thing that is indisputable; the "old Keys lifestyle" is fading away very fast. Probably the leading driver of this change is the constantly rising cost of living down here in this unique tropical paradise.

You see, I have noticed that one of the basic truths in the great world of ours, especially when it comes to real estate is; the more popular a place becomes, the more that intangible thing that made it interesting in the first place, will go through changed and commercialization.

So, the opportunity to buy or rent a small house or even condo in the Keys at a reasonable price is becoming more rare each year.

One of the originally endearing things about the Keys was the fact that you could "get away" there and just relax, maybe read a couple of books, and eat out at some rustic local restaurant enjoying the locally caught seafood.

But as the tourists became more numerous, at the same time the opportunists bought up the available land and homes to replace many of them with larger, more commercial restaurants, condominium complexes and hotels.

Now, the possible financial gains of development and growth have become the goal of the people with money and it's slowly destroying that once rare and desirable peace and quiet of the tropics.

This Old Man is searching for that old Keys atmosphere.

So, my job is a lot harder than it would have been, ten, even twenty or more years ago. Many of the original, rustic, weather-worn, small hotels, restaurants and other truly interesting places may be gone, but their ghosts still exist, here and there.

I just need to be diligent in my searches, and grab what I find that's left and write about it, before it all disappears.

As to myself, one of the great things I have found is the fact that there are still a few campgrounds scattered around the Keys where a person with a motorhome or other style camper can rent a campsite and get into the Keys lifestyle for a significantly cheaper price than what most tourists pay to rent a condo or hotel room for a long period of time.

As I have said, in case you didn't already know it; when you get down here in the Keys and check things out, you’ll find that what I have said is true, the exorbitant prices of land, homes, even condos and small apartments in the Keys are beyond the reach of the average working man.

Because of this, if you’re looking for me you’ll find me living comfortably in my motorhome, kicked back in my lounge char in the evenings sipping on a cold beer or some tropical concoction, mulling over in my head what my next chapter will be about.

I'll be putting the Lime in the Coconut!

My wife and I have been down here before, over the years, but this time I’ve been telling everyone that we expect to be here “for the duration”. For a writer this just means that either when we run out of “fun money” or I’ll have developed a serious case of “Writer’s Block” we are here, in the Keys.

Because our stay is expected to be for a longer period of time, I plan to have a lot more sparks of inspiration to share with you, my readers.

So, to entertain you, my friends, old and new, I’ll be placing my own little Pearls of Wisdom and some of my photography here, in these chapters, for everyone to enjoy.

Of course, the Tropical weather and abundant forms of Nature are so beautiful and visible nearly everywhere you look, some of my pictures will stashed into the chapters, along with my words of Wisdom.

So, until you see my next installment, remember these great words from the popular song; YOU PUT THE LIME IN THE COCONUT, AND YOU SHAKE IT ALL UP…………..”

I'll be shaking my head and writing what comes to mind.

Don Bobbitt, February, 2017

© 2017 Don Bobbitt


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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago from Texas

      Hello Don, thank you for following me, thank you for updates on the changing times in the Keys. It seems the times are changing every where, in fact if we sold our home here in Texas, we could not buy the same type of home, the taxes would have us for lunch.

      Glad you have a motor home to cut down on residential costs.

      Blessings my friend

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ms. Dora - It's good to hear rom you again. And I'm glad you like my little insights about camping and The Keys lifestyle.



    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Blond Logic - That's the point I was trying to make. Something rare and special is becoming more and more commercial, and so much of the "Old Charm" is being torn down and replaced with cookie-cutter; condos, marinas, and retail tourist traps.

      I thought I would write about a few of the things I can still find that made the Keys so popular decades ago.

      Have a great day,


    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Billybuc - Great to hear from you, my man! Yeah, I decided to ensconce myself down here for a while and take enough time to gather enough impressions and thoughts to bore the rest of humanity, and do over time in chapters.

      Glad you liked it.

      Thanks agian,


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing these reflections which gives us a good view of the camper's life.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 7 months ago from Brazil

      Just this past week my husband was looking at the Keys on the Google map. Our plan is to get a sailboat and he was looking at anchorages. My gosh, when he got to the Keys he was shocked by the commercialization of it. He basically was saying they should have never put a road out there.

      I will be interested to read your upcoming take on the area.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There are worse ways to spend some time, for sure. After the winter we had, I find myself oddly jealous of you at this moment.:)

      Since I don't drink I'll just ask you to have a tall, cool one for me.