The Key West Mystique

Key West Island News


Key West Island News connects Key West residents and friends of the island, fosters our One Human Family culture and advances understanding of shared goals for our island community

Drinking Liberally Key West style: It’s all about the kitty litter

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.


In what has to be a classic “duh” moment, she invited me to tag along to a Key West bar for some drinking liberally.

Made sense, right? Key West? Bar? Drinking with abandon? From Hemingway to this morning’s cruise ship passenger, Key West lures them with the promise of a permanent alcohol fugue.

I went. Why not? It’s Key West. Then came the “duh.”

This is Drinking Liberally with capital Ds and Ls. In fact, this first Thursday of the month, Finnegan’s Wake, in the back is the official Southernmost Drinking Liberally chapter.

Seriously, there is a national network of 215 Drinking Liberally chapters, including six in Florida. They’re subsets of a loosely connected organization called Living Liberally. (For the record, one can, among other things, Eat, Laugh and Read Liberally.)

Living Liberally says it’s “… dedicated to building communities around progressive politics. … we promote political engagement and facilitate collaboration among progressive organization.
Long words aside, Drinking Liberally is about y’all come, grab a glass and talk politics with like-minded strangers who become friends.

After a couple meetings, I’ve identified our key topics:

  • Growing tomatoes: Consensus is those tiny, bite-size ones are best for our short, hot growing season, which starts on New Year’s and ends before Easter;
  • Trash: We’re in favor of once-a-week pick-up, large blue recycling cans and small green garbage cans. We are good with the brown yard waste cans. We are not fans of people who do not recycle.
  • Theater: God bless the local actors everyone.
  • Kitty litter: I kid you not. We create comparison charts on napkins and smart phones of what works best, what it costs and the benefits of shop local over Amazon Prime delivery.
  • What are you doing this weekend? Change the kitty litter, of course.

What? No liberal, lefty politics? No subversive, power-to-the-people screeds? Well, we did have a spirited, seven-minute conversation on Hillary versus Jeb Bush, and there are those delightful one-liners that start with Cliven Bundy, but then we go back to the kitty litter.

Key West’s chapter formed amoebae like – there are no articles of organization, bylaws, agendas or committee assignments – in September 2013 in one of those somebody-who-knew-somebody moments that ends in “what the heck, why not?”

Membership grows the same way. Like us on Facebook; join the email list. Show up.

Good folks and good conversation, and great advice on tomatoes and kitty litter.




Related Posts

Pin It on Pinterest