Tuesday, March 01, 2005

This Week on the Island 08/22/2004

'This week on the Island' is written by Doug Bennett and is an update to friends about happenings in Key West last week. Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jimmy Buffett's new CD, 'License to Chill', has a song called 'Conky Tonkin'. One of the lines in the song is 'Meet me at the end of the Road'. A store in Key West, Mile 0 Key West, sells hats, shirts, tank tops, etc with 'The end of the Road' on them. Have you got yours yet? They are at 511 Greene Street, across from Sloppy Joe's, and can be reached at 305-294-6222.

The '18 mile stretch' project has been given the go-ahead. The 18 mile stretch on US1 will be changed from a 2 lane road to 1 lane south, a divider in the road, and 2 lanes north. One of the lanes north is suppose to be used only in evacuations. The divider in the middle of the road should save some lives each year.

I haven't had a vacation since I retired over 5 years ago. Tuesday, Jo and I spent the night at the Hilton next to Mallory Square. We drove the Hummer the 4 blocks to get there, we ate lobster tails, we drove the Hummer 4 blocks to get home. It was great to get away from it all for awhile.

Ronda Riviera died this week. He was 43 and a female impersonator. You may remember him from a picture I sent out on 'This week on the island'. I had a picture made with him at the Duval Street Drag Races in the spring. He will be missed by many of the 801 Bourbon Street crowd.

The Dry Tortugas are still closed due to Hurricane Charley that passed over it. They expect to reopen in another week.

The 'Lobster Fest' that was cancelled last Saturday because of 'Charley' was held this Saturday. Where else can you sit on the curb in 90 degree heat and eat a lobster and drink beer.

Key West, You have got to love it.
Doug Bennett

The attached picture is of Key West in 1838, 10 years after the U.S. purchased Florida from Spain. The road going across the island is Whitehead Street and the road going to the right is Front Street. The salt pond on the left is where Duval Street is now. The salt pond was used in the exporting of sea salt. It was filled in after the hurricane of 1846. The town borders were located near present day Elizabeth Street and Eaton Street. The Book 'Reap the Wild Wind' ,about the business of Wreaking in Key West, was written about this time. It mentions leaving the house on Caroline Street and crossing the bridge over the salt pond to get to Front Street