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Glorious Normalcy! Glorious Florida!

I’m in Destin, Florida, to participate in a GMU Law & Economics Center event for judges. Specifically, I’m sharing, with my friend Andy Morriss, discussion-leader duties in a seminar titled “American Law and the Political Economy of Economic Freedom.”

Last evening for dinner, Andy and I took a short Uber ride to Boschamps, a popular seafood restaurant in Destin. Both Andy and I were delighted to find the place packed, outside and in. And there was hardly a mask to be seen!

I didn’t at all mind the 90-minute wait for our indoor table. We found two chairs at one of the restaurant’s outside bars, and just gloried in the normalcy of it all. We saw the bartender’s face, as later we would see our waitress’s face. I didn’t realize until last night just how much I missed this normal human interaction.

Boschamps is huge and sprawling, with lots of rooms, and tables everywhere indoors and outdoors. People – young, old, and middlin’ – swarmed around. Despite Boschamps’s size, it was quite crowded throughout with people smiling (visibly!), laughing, and talking without any of the muffling brought on by masks. I saw lots of hugging and handshaking. And I noticed no ridiculous markers on the floor instructing people to stand apart from each other.

The sweet icing on this delicious cake of an evening came when the ride-share driver who drove us back to the hotel was wearing no mask and indicated that he’d not mind if Andy and I didn’t wear ours. An immigrant from Africa, our driver said succinctly, “I’m sick of those things.” Andy and I enjoyed the maskless ride back.

My gosh, how this normal human interaction lifted my spirits!

As recently as one year ago nothing about this experience would have struck me as notable, except my complete lack of annoyance at having to wait 90 minutes to be seated at a dinner table. But, again, far from being annoyed by the wait, as Andy and I sat at the bar and talked shop with each other, I felt a kind of happiness that I’d not felt in a long, long time.


Probably because I was born and raised in New Orleans and developed there a distaste for hot, humid weather, I’ve never had a desire to live in Florida. But all of a sudden I find myself in love with this paradise. I’m here in Destin until Monday afternoon. But I don’t want to return home. I want to remain in civilization where people do not live in fear of strangers who are in close proximity – where people do not cover their faces – where life is normal and civilized – where there is life!

Florida is glorious!