Yesterday was “Ladies Day Shopping” day. Helen joined her friends, Jan and Gail for luncheon at Blue Heaven, a favorite Key West garden restaurant, and a stroll down Duval Street. Though they each made a couple of small purchases they didn’t make a real impact on the local economy. Since it was Good Friday and a county holiday, it was possible to park in the parking lot behind the courthouse for free. That was to our economic benefit! After a three-mile walk, John installed the new canvas chart and magazine bag-rack on the bulkhead just above the armrest of the settee. Helen’s design, Carole and Pete were able to snag the fabric from their friendly canvas detailer and Jan was the seamstress. It is held on with three snaps. The rest of his afternoon was spent photographing the birds, fish, flowers, boats and airplanes that surround the marina. The Boca Chica Marina community is a sharing supportive group of sailors. We thank them for giving us a “lift” to the Commissary, the Publix grocery store and marine supply stores this past week when we were without a rental car. Tonight several of us will go to Bobalu’s Southern Café, which offers good seafood and typical southern things like collard greens, black eyed peas and fried okra. Actually we go there for Bobalu’s “New Haven Style” pizza. After we read about next week’s The Conch Republic Independence Celebration schedule of events we decided to remain in “crazy town” for a few extra days to enjoy the beginning of the festivities. Here’s the Republic’s motto: “DEDICATED TO THE FUNDAMENTALLY AMERICAN SPIRIT OF A PEOPLE UNAFRAID TO STAND UP TO ‘GOVERNMENT GONE MAD WITH POWER’ THAT EMBODIED THE FOUNDING OF THE CONCH REPUBLIC IN 1982. AS THE WORLD’S FIRST FIFTH WORLD NATION, A SOVEREIGN STATE OF MIND SEEKING ONLY TO BRING MORE HUMOR, WARMTH, AND RESPECT TO A WORLD IN SORE NEED OF ALL THREE, THE CONCH REPUBLIC REMAINS THE COUNTRY WHO SECEDED WHERE OTHERS FAILED.” So until Friday, we’ll enjoy the Eco Center, the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory and go kayaking and snorkeling. Ah, yes we’ll also rent a car for a few days.