Saturday, August 12, 2006

This Week on the Island 08/13/2006

'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.
Key West: The picture this week is 'Captain Tony' from last Sundays 'Key West Citizen'. The Captain turned 90 on Thursday, August 10th. He has been Mayor of Key West, a pirate, a rum runner, a gun runner, a fisherman, the father of 13 children, but most famous as the owner of 'Captain Tony's Bar' on Green Street. This was the original bar run by 'Sloppy Joe Russell' and the place that Hemingway used to hang out. The bar at one time was the ice house and therefore was the coolest place in town and the most popular bar in town. Since it was so cool it was also the city morgue. It has a rather large tree in the middle of the bar that grows thru the roof, this tree was the old Key West hanging tree. The last woman hanged in Key West is buried under the pool table. Captain Tony gave an unknown artist a chance to play guitar and sing in his bar. He paid him with beer. This guy was Jimmy Buffett. The rest is history.

The Weather: Originally we were expecting a Category 2 hurricane last Sunday. But Chris never made it here. Instead we had a beautiful day for 'Battle of the Bars'. It has been in the high 80's with a nice breeze all week.

This week book I started 'The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway' by The Ernest Hemingway Foundation 1987.

Battle of the Bars
The 'Battle of the Bars' was last Sunday. It was held on Lazy Lane behind Schooner Wharf. There were 41 bars represented with teams of 7 members each. The weather was cooler than normal with a nice breeze blowing. Lazy Lane, out back of Schooner Wharf Bar, was covered with 3 parachutes to help produce some shade. It was a timed event with teams from two bars competing against each other until all bars had competed. Then the bars with the top times went into the semi-finals, and then again into the finals. The winning bar was Half Shell Raw Bar. This event raised over $15,000, proceeds went to 'Big Brothers, Big Sisters'.

The event started with team member #1 mixing a margarita, member #2 carried it to the table. Member #3 drank the margarita. Member #4 cleaned the table and ran to the recycle bins where they separated the colored glass, cans, and trash. Member #5 rolled a keg to the table and taped it. Member #6 drew 7 drafts, member # 7 took the drafts to the team members that were all in a line. Each member had to drink their beer, put the cup upside down on their head, before the next member could start their beer. When the last member finished their beer the timer recorded the times. The best time was for Half Shell and was less than 2 minutes.

Bryan has left the island. He was a good friend and a waiter at Schooner Wharf. Good luck in Michigan. He will be missed.

Coral Spawning
This week we also had the Coral Spawning. It only happens once a year after the full moon of August. The night spawning fills the reef with luminescent streams of coral sperm and eggs that create a feeding frenzy for the fish. The last 2 hurricane seasons has put a damper on the 'spawning', but this year scientist were pleased with the spawning.

'Lobster Fest'.
Saturday was 'Lobster Fest'. Duval Street was blocked off from Front Street to Fleming St for the vendors to sell lobster and other stuff. A Lobster dinner was on sell starting at under $20. Where else can you sit on the curb in 90 degree heat and eat lobster and drink a cool adult beverage?

Key West, You have got to love it
'Meet me at the end of the road' - Conky Tonkin'- Jimmy Buffett
Doug Bennett
Lat 24.5597N, Long 81.8016W

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