Sunday, April 25, 2010

Key West

A Critique, Continued

On the first full day we decided to drive around the key, stopped at Smathers Beach and continued into Old Town. We parked the car in City Parking, then did a walk through Old Town, on to the port where cruise ships dock and folks watch the sunset, then to Duval Street, and finally, over to the Truman Little White House, a huge, meandering walk!

The area around the Little White House reminded me of Old Town, Lancaster because the old fixed-up and new houses backed onto a picturesque alley like Trinity Place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where we had lived for 29 years. The Trumans visited The Little White House a total of 175 days during Truman’s tenure as president, and the inside feels like a home, not a palace. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs once inside the house. I say unfortunate because It’s still furnished exactly as when President Truman visited in the mid 1940’s through 1951, with majolica gloss ashtrays insidiously mixed with colonial style furniture and chintz floral patterned couches. I felt as though I had walked through a time warp. At the end of the tour we were reminded that Truman was responsible for ending WWII, dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and firing the maniacal but extremely popular General MacArthur, among many other things. * While not wildly popular with his contemporaries, today he is considered to be among the great presidents.

After walking for hours and a 40 minute tour of the Little Truman White House, Joe and I went back to Duval Street where we stopped at Rick’s small outdoor annex for a rum and coke before heading back to our hotel and a swim in the pool.

*I place the pejorative on MacArthur not only because he was so ego centric as to contradict President Truman publically, but also because he wanted to blow an atomic trench across Asia to contain the Chinese Communist Government within its radioactive embrace. While we might debate the humane use of atomic weapons on Japanese cities in order to end WWII, purposefully using the bomb to permanently destroy a huge patch of the earth must never be contemplated.


Betsy Grant said...

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to more art from you!

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Thanks Betsy. By the way, I've added you to the links list.