Greetings to you from Pennsylvania. I lived in Key West for a short time in the mid-80′s and was just reminiscing by reading some articles about Key West and came across one of yours about your homeless friend who died. Sorry to hear that. I also enjoy your website.
What caught my attention was your other friend, Dennis Riley. He was a friend of mine when I lived there. Fun guy, smart, silly, handsome. He was living in a trailer at the time and doing a little modeling.
Anyway, good memories for me now that my island days are long past (and maybe still far ahead). He may or may not remember me, but please tell him “hello” anyway if it’s not too much trouble.
So here’s what may or may not trigger some memories for him: I was in my early 20′s, he was in his early 30′s at the time. I met him when I was still living in Ft. Lauderdale, but soon moved to Key West. I was originally from NJ. I went to the college in Key West for a bit, before leaving again to move to England. Never made it back to Key West unfortunately. I was a gypsy back then. Now I’m a psychologist in Pennsylvania. I had a handsome gay brother named Jay who lived there briefly as well when I knew Dennis. Anyway, thought it would be fun to say hello. Thanks for passing it along.
Hope you are enjoying the island life. Peace. Sharon (Daley)
Village Psychology Rt 23 & Saint Peter’s Road, PO Box 273, St Peter’s Village, PA 19470
Sharon Kelly, PsyD, MBA 320 N. High Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19382
Hi, Sharon. Thanks for writing. Maybe brain cell loss, I need help remembering Dennis Riley. Have an ex-wife in Pennsylvania, L.S.C.W., specializing in Sandplay Therapy. Trained under its founder, Dora Kalff. Lives in Christiana community, heart of Amish country, near Lancaster. Attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Not a gypsy, but hardly mainstream for that era. How does one become a psychologist after being a gypsy? I became a gypsy of sorts, after being a lawyer. Sloan
Hello ~ Funny, I forgot his name too until I saw some articles. Dennis Riley is (was?) the “southernmost bagpiper” for years at Mallory Square. In your article, you said your homeless friend liked the pipes and the three of you would get together. It was the article/blog where you wondered if your friend really died naturally or was maybe beaten up and left to die.
I have heard of sandplay therapy. I just do plain old talk therapy. I put a second office right in the middle of a bunch of attorney offices in West Chester Pennsylvania. I figured all that conflict would be good business for a therapist!
I guess the gypsy years were attributed in some part to too much curiosity and energy. I couldn’t settle down to sit in a classroom, and every time someone mentioned a cool place to see – I had to see it. I took some classes seriously in my later twenties and found it really satisfying and enough to give up the travels. I still get the impulse to pick up and go sometimes, but I’m pretty settled at the moment.
How did you go from being an attorney to a Key West local? Anyway, nice chatting with you…
Hi again, Sharon.
Okay, I know who Dennis is, but I never really got to know him.
I ran out of money on Maui, went to living on the street.
Then, waking one morning, a voice I knew very well said, “Go to Big Pine Key.” I’d been told that once before, early 1995. I went then.
I had a long history with the Keys, dating back to 1956, mostly around Islamorada, where my father eventually bought home in 1963, which he kept to 2001.
Anyway, when the voice told me to go to Big Pine Key, I replied that I liked the Keys but had no money. Three days later, I was on an airliner headed to Los Angeles to link up with an old friend living there, who had some weird experiences himself. He gave me the bus fare and a little extra money for food. When I reached Big Pine on Greyhound, I heard to go on down to Key West. Lived on the street there, too.
I have had lots of dealings with clinical social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Some of them were moving beyond their mainstream training and experiences, such as my Sandplay therapist wife, who was with me when the heavens opened to me starting in earnest in August 1988 and increasing and relentless thereafter, until she’d had enough of me in 1995.
I’ve tried to help a number of mental health professionals bearing the above credentials, some came asking for help consciously, the others unconsciously. Don’t do much of that kind of work anymore, although it was the main training for many years – experiential training, inside of me, inside of other people. Very intense, very deep. Of and not of this world.
There are closing in on 1,600 chapters at goodmorningkeywest.com about my adventures with angels while still on this planet. They abducted me in early 1987, in Los Alamos, about ten days after I, in desperation, prayed to God for help and, almost as an afterthought, offered my life to human service.
Not the kind of story you would want to tell to a Nurse Rachet, which I stupidly did once.
In 2005 my father died and after the estate settled I received an in heritance that allowed me to get off the homeless roles. I am spirit-blocked from making money, not much fun, but then, not much I do is fun, if you take into account the internal grind, which is fierce, and the loneliness.
Everything I take on externally, I take on the spirit component internally. Shit, Agent Orange, Chernobyl are good descriptions of the spirit component. As is sewerage treatment plant. I don’t get to choose much of what is given to me to do. Free will more of a joke in my life, except for how I deal with what is dumped on me. Goes better if I do it as advised by the angels, as I still seem way too stupid to know how to deal with much of it on my own.
Only time I don’t feel the loneliness is when a woman somewhat like me is put with me. That’s another adventure altogether. Maybe before I croak, I will complete my PhD in wemins studies. Maybe not.
Was considered weird even in Key West. Live on Little Torch Key now, island below Big Pine. In the woods. Walden, sort of.
There is a Keys school district concerns post today at this link: ESOL, high student absenteeism rate and 500 KWHS students passing failed courses online, which is supposed to take you to Today’s FlaKey Drivel at goodmorningfloridakeys.com.