Saturday, July 21, 2007

This Week on the Island 07/22/2007

'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.
The picture this week is Sloppy Joe's. Built in 1917, it was the first steel reinforced concrete building in the Keys. It was built to house Victoria's restaurant. Sloppy Joe Russell opened a little bar at 428 Green Street in 1933 (now Capt Tony's), but in 1937 his landlord raised the rent. Sloppy Joe and his customers picked up their drinks and what ever else they could carry and walked the 1/2 block to the corner of Duval and Green to a new location (the old Victoria's restaurant). The bar never closed for the move.

The book this week was 'Two Years Before the Mast' by Richard Henry Dana, Jr..

The Weather: HOT, you would think it was July or something. We got 1 inch of rain in 1 hour on Monday.

It has rained enough in south-central Florida (200 miles north) that lake Okeechobee is rising and they have lifted the water restrictions here in Key West after about 5 months. It is interesting that the locals have to reserve water but the hotels, motels, etc can use as much as they want and the city sells water to the cruise ships.

Monday was a road-trip kind of day. We drove to MM52 (Marathon) to take Wyleigh to the vet and then drove to MM86 for lunch at Hog Heaven (Jo had the fish and I had the super nachos).. Next we drove to MM103 (Key Largo) for Jo's dental appointment and then back to MM50 (Marathon) for dinner at Porky's (we both had the NC bar-b-que and sweet potato fries covered with cinnamon. We got to MM0 (home) at about 10:00PM.

Jo's friend Susan is in town for the week end, so we have been 'out and about' showing her the town.

The 27th annual Hemingway Days. Close to 150, old, overweight, grey headed, fat guys looking for a heart attack in all this heat. Pictures at click PHOTOS and then click HEMINGWAY. There was a marlin fishing tournament all weekend and headquartered at Conch Republic Seafood. There is the Young Hemingway contest at Rick's. There are Hemingway readings at locations around town. More at

Mel Fisher Days were also held this week. Mel found the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita on Jul 20, 1985. Over 450 million dollars in Spanish Silver Coins, gold and precious stones have been recovered so far. The Mel Fisher Parade was Friday night. We went to Rick's (across from Sloppy Joe's) to watch the parade. Each parade vehicle stopped in front of Rick's and let everybody off so they could come into Rick's for a party. More at

The first couple of blocks of Duval Street were closed Saturday for an Arts & Crafts street fair. This added to the Hemingway festival at Sloppy Joe's and the Mel Fisher Days celebration has caused lots of traffic problems with streets closed and people every where.

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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