Friday, December 29, 2006

Key West People

Once upon a time in Key West Captain Outrageous operated the Last Straw restaurant on White St. The place later became Moe's, and is now another restaurant. I forget its name.

It was in the early '90s, certainly a different time, but also a different place to hear Captain tell it. He wasn't Captain Outrageous then. That didn't come about until the year 2000 when election officials wouldn't allow him to have Captain Outrageous printed on the ballot. He promptly had his name changed legally to what it is now and ran for Mayor as Captain Outrageous.

But back to the '90s, Key West then still had more of the flavor of the Real Key West that many pine for. It was, for want of a better description, more laid back, less uptight, more tolerant - and definitely less crowded. The Last Straw was open 24 hours a day, served beer and wine with something known as Bad, Bad, Bad Burgers. They were like White Castle burgers, little minis, gone in a couple of bites. But the Captain tells those stories better himself than I do. He does so occasionally on his weblog.

What I'm getting to here is that Captain Outrageous has posted to the internet 202 photos taken by himself and others, and which he recently had scanned from the original negatives. The 202 are merely the tip of the iceberg, for there are 3,500 photos in all in his now digital library. He invites those who were around in those days to e-mail him your rememberances of the "good old days" and of the people who were then the bedrock population. They were the ones who made it all run, the tradesmen, service workers, shop owners, municipal employees, and all the rest. Rents were low, houses were affordable for average Joes and Janes. Life was good then, but what was it Thomas Wolfe said?

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