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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
 Safeway5 votes
4.42%
 Australia2 votes
1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"The dying process begins the minute we are born." -- Carol Matthau

432--Key West: Conch Honk 2009
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 17 2009 - 12:12 PST
cherie writes: The sign said: “No Experience Necessary” for the 2009 Annual Key West Conch Honk. I’m fairly loud and I have decent lungs, so I thought I might be a natural at blowing a conch. I had never blown a giant sea mollusk before and I began to worry when I saw that each of the other contestants had their own personal conch. “Do I need my own shell for this contest?” I asked one of the organizers. “No, we have courtesy conchs for people like you,” he responded. (Conchless people like me?)

Sue (a contestant from Ohio with her own conch) gave me some pointers. “Blow it like a trumpet,” she said, which might have helped if I had ever played anything other than a radio as a child. When the sound came out of the shell that I blew, I wanted to say “excuse me.” Far from a melody, it sounded like a fart.

I was glad that I wasn’t the only first timer when I heard a male contestant say on stage: “Today was the first time I blew a conch.” The emcee responded: “What was his name?” (Local islanders call themselves conchs.)

While I didn’t win the contest, I came home with a red ribbon and a new appreciation for art of conch blowing.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie blowing a conch shell (sans mollusk) at the 2009 Conch Honk in Key West. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Cherie blowing a conch shell (sans mollusk) at the 2009 Conch Honk in Key West. *Photo by Regina Lee.

The contestants for the Conch Honk came in all shapes and sizes.

The contestants for the Conch Honk came in all shapes and sizes.

Lloyd Majer on the conch.

Lloyd Majer on the conch.

Lloyd majer honks the longest conch.

Lloyd majer honks the longest conch.

There be pirates here.

There be pirates here.

The crowd in the garden of Key West's Oldest House, the location for the 2009 Key West Conch Honk.

The crowd in the garden of Key West's Oldest House, the location for the 2009 Key West Conch Honk.

There's a conchette in the spirit of things.

There's a conchette in the spirit of things.

Thar he blows.

Thar he blows.

Representing the great state of Texas, John gives the conch a mighty blow.

Representing the great state of Texas, John gives the conch a mighty blow.

That conch is chowder now.

That conch is chowder now.

Conch blowing: a new way to keep kids off the streets.

Conch blowing: a new way to keep kids off the streets.

This little gal was adorable.

This little gal was adorable.

Everyone gets three tries.

Everyone gets three tries.

In the spotlight.

In the spotlight.

Sue, from Ohio, used to play the trumpet.

Sue, from Ohio, used to play the trumpet.

To the delight of the audience, Sue plays a tune on the conch.

To the delight of the audience, Sue plays a tune on the conch.

Pucker up you sexy sea mollusk.

Pucker up you sexy sea mollusk.

They don't make snails this big in California.

They don't make snails this big in California.

It's not about experience (Cherie has none); it's about focus. *Photo by Regina Lee.

It's not about experience (Cherie has none); it's about focus. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Did I just put my mouth on a giant sea snail? *Photo by Regina Lee.

Did I just put my mouth on a giant sea snail? *Photo by Regina Lee.

Cherie is asking the crowd to be patient--she's a novice conch blower. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Cherie is asking the crowd to be patient--she's a novice conch blower. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Reports confirm that locals on Stock Island heard Cherie.

Reports confirm that locals on Stock Island heard Cherie.

Never take yourself seriously while you are holding a conch. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Never take yourself seriously while you are holding a conch. *Photo by Regina Lee.

The view from the garden.

The view from the garden.

18 people formed a "conchestra".

18 people formed a "conchestra".

The funky conch.

The funky conch.

The winners of the group competition blew a conch song from Jimmy Buffet.

The winners of the group competition blew a conch song from Jimmy Buffet.

Here come the conchettes with their polished shells.

Here come the conchettes with their polished shells.

Cherie and Sue laughing. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Cherie and Sue laughing. *Photo by Regina Lee.

Will the winners step up and claim their trophies?

Will the winners step up and claim their trophies?

The little champion with a big honk.

The little champion with a big honk.

Lloyd Majer won top honors in the men's division.  Lloyd played multiple songs with his conch.

Lloyd Majer won top honors in the men's division. Lloyd played multiple songs with his conch.

Regina and John from Texas.

Regina and John from Texas.

Cherie and Sue.

Cherie and Sue.

Sue (Ohio), Regina (Texas) and Cherie (California).

Sue (Ohio), Regina (Texas) and Cherie (California).