I have received several e-mails asking me "What is a conch?"
Here in Key West, there are several meanings, all related to the conch shell.
People who are born in Key West have the esteemed title of Conchs. To differentiate between them and the newcomers, the natives are considered Salt Water Conchs and you become a Fresh Water Conch after living here for 7 years. It's a badge of honor.
There is a "Conch Republic" flag:
If you want to read about how Key West "seceded" from the US in 1982,
you can read about it here.
The conch shell is also the "mascot" of the high school. Their teams are called the "Fighting Conchs" and the girl's drill team members are called the "Conchettes". There is a huge conch shell in the high school's parking lot.
There is a style of house down here and they are called conch houses. Typically they are made of wood, built on pilings and have a front porch. Often they are painted the prettiest pastel colors.
They have given me lots of inspiration.
And one last tidbit of information. People each conch - the inside of the sea creatures, that is.
There is cracked conch and fried conch and conch fritters and conch chowder.
I wouldn't know what they taste like, but my younger son is a fan!