Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hi-ho, come to the sale.

If you happen to live in Key West, or are visiting by car, I've organized a yard/estate sale on Ann St. for the son-in-law of a former neighbor, a man I only met a couple of times and who was then in his final weeks of dying from cancer.

Bob Masterson came to Key West in 2000 from Long Island, New York. There he operated the hugely successful Oak Beach Inns for 32 years, eventually four of them, all drawing large crowds of mostly younger revelers, 20- and 30-somethings, who could party 'til 4 AM and still go about their daily businesses, enough at least to hang out, eat, drink, listen to music, dance, and even "hook up". How Bob lost all of those businesses and walked away with millions of dollars is the subject of a fascinating book that he authored, with some help from two other writers. It's called "Scandal at the Oak Beach Inn", published in 1998 by Barricade Books in New York. I'm hoping to be able to tell some of the story, including the parts where he moved to Key West, leased a high-profile Duval St. location and opened the Oak Beach Inn Key West with 30 years of nautical memorabilia from "up there", an oxygen bar, Key West's first -- and last as far as I know - such bar feature here.

But back to the sale. Bob's house on Ann St. was under construction for the entire time that he lived in it. It was his dream to finish it for his children and he died still trying. His family are cleaning it out in hopes of renting it, and eventually selling to to clear some of the debts left when Bob died this past winter.

There's a room full of tools, hand and power; builders hardware; electronics equipment including some professional gear from the clubs; a few household items; and, best of all, some interesting antique nautical items -- a brass ships telegraph, ship models, bird and fish models, stained glass panels, lights of many kinds, and ship paintings and prints, including a set of 11 signed limited edition prints depicting Americas Cup races from the past.

The sale takes place on Friday from 1 PM until around 7; and Saturday from 9 to 5. Once the sale is over, the rest of the antiques will be taken away to New York and the rest will be disposed of in some fashion.

The address is 217 Ann Street between Greene and Caroline, close by old City Hall. Here is the Craig's List posting. It'll be in the Citizen classifieds too, Friday and Saturday.

So, if you're here, come on by and say hello and, maybe, find something to take home. We'll leave a light on for ya.

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