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Letty's Blog
Blog / News - Tuesday - Apr 15, 2014
My first home in Key West was 410 Simonton. A quintessential, peach-colored Conch House split into different apartments. Mine was small. The main room boasted high ceilings and tall windows. It had my bed in the center and my painting easels and palette in the corner. Adjacent was a small kitchen and bathroom. Needless to say, I was in heaven. At night I would flip on the television and free cable from the landlord and watch Keys TV, a station dedicated to local happenings around town.

One night in particular I remember a segment showcasing a well-spoken lady with a lot of character. She must have been around 70 at the time. She also was an artist and spoke about her impressive accomplishments as they flashed images of her watercolors. The camera then went back to her as she told the story of making Key West her home. She boldly said she saw a person roller-skating down the middle of the street and that is when she knew Key West was her match.

As I turned off the tv and light that night, I remember thinking, “Wow. If I can just do as much with my art career, maybe someday I will be on the Keys TV as well.”

That woman was Sandford Birdsey and that night I went to sleep so happy, at peace, and excited about starting my life as an artist. I was only 21 and knew Key West was the best home I could have chosen for this. Sure enough, a few years later and to my honor, I had my spot on Keys TV as well.

This painting is dedicated to Sandford Birdsey. I never knew her that well and I don’t think I ever told her this story or how much of an inspiration she really was to a young artist only around 30 days living in Key West.