Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hot Pirate Babes

OK.  I am willing to admit that the title of this post COULD be misleading.   But, this should attract a few people to my site.  And, this COULD become my biggest post yet.

Interested in real pirate women?

 I bet they had an interesting life.    I may need to start watching Black Sails!

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Atocha: Sunken Treasure

The following are photos taken in the Mel Fisher museum at Key West.  It is a wonderful exhibit, and my photos do not do it justice.  But, I wanted to convey a small part of a fascinating story.

The Atocha was built in 1620.  It was 112' long and 34' wide.   It could hold 550 tons.  And, it sailed with 131 sailors, 81 soldiers, 37 passengers, and 11 slaves and servants. 

Actual treasure taken from the wreck of the Atocha.

Yes...that's worth about $115,000. 

You can join the Mel Fisher expedition to this day.  Check out his website here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Today is Holocaust Rememberance Day

Years ago I read "Night" by Elie Wiesel.   It changed my life.  I learned of the horror and evil that human beings can do to one another.  And, I vowed to always resist any thought that could lead to this again.   But it has re-occurred.  Bosnia and Darfur come to mind.   But, there are others.
May we never forget.  Today we remember the Holocaust.   I was privileged to attend a play on one of my travels.    Wiesenthal is a one-man play.  It is simply an actor portraying Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter, on his last day in his office.   He was retiring.    

I am not sure it the actor is going to continue it.  But, if you get a chance, please go.  Simon Wiesenthal dedicated his life to hunting down and bringing to justice, those who were the worst offenders of basic human rights.   They celebrated the murder of thousands.

It still remains......unfathomable.

May we never forget.   A true hero......spent his life quietly, resolutely, bringing people to justice so that those who were murdered will not have done so in vain.

At the end of the play, we were given packages of sun flowers.

I will be planting mine this spring.

May we never forget.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Navigating the High Seas

I was able to visit the Mel Fisher exhibit while in Key West.   If you aren't familiar with Mel, he invested years of his life in pursuit of sunken treasure.   And, he hit the jackpot with the Atocha. 

Below is a sextant taken from the bottom of the ocean.  Can you imagine, for a moment, being completely away from any visual bearing?   A compass will get you in the general direction.   But, left to the wind, hundreds of miles from any visual landmark, how do you know where you are?

I was not aware of a "Cross Staff" as another tool to measure location.    I have a notion to find a modern day sextant and give it a try.    If you can get away from the light pollution, it should be just fine....for within 10-15 miles or so!

Well...maybe I will just use Google maps. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hemingway's Home and Cats

According to the site:

The Hemingway Home and Museum is home to approximately 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. Cats normally have five front toes and four back toes. About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have 4 and 5 toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well. Sometimes it looks as if they are wearing mittens because they appear to have a thumb on their paw.
Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship's captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. Key West is a small island and it is possible that many of the cats on the island are related. 

 And, Hemingway loved his cats.   He liked naming them after famous people.   So, below you can see the grave markers for Marilyn Monroe, Snow Shoes, Gremlin, John Wayne, Edgar Allen Poe, Betty Davis and many others!

It was very interesting walking around the grounds and seeing dozens of cats.   Food and water are left out for them.  And, they have round the clock vet care!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Key West: Ernest Hemingway's Desk

Below is Hemingway's desk and typewriter.   The tour guide said that he wrote about 75% of his work sitting at this table on that type writer.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Key West: Ernest Hemingway's Home: Heading up the Stairs

It was fascinating to see the images of people Hemingway met and associated with.  This was quite the time for explosive growth of writers.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Key West: Ernest Hemingways Home: A Farewell to Arms

Hemingway was wounded in WWI.  While recovering, he met Agnes von Kurowski, a nurse who cared for him.  Apparently she rejected his advances and to get even, Hemingway wrote her into Farwell to Arms and killed her off.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Key West: Ernest Hemingway's Home: 1

Ernest Hemingway lived in a beautiful home in Key West.   I was able to tour it when I visited.  Below is the main level just to the left of the front door.  The photos are not great.  But, they show Hemingway's 4 wives. 

Elizabeth Richardson:  Born 1891 in St. Louise, MO.   One son:  John (Jack) who has since passed away in 2000.

Pauline Pfeiffer:  Born 1895 in Parkersburg, Iowa.  She died in 1951 and they had two sons:  Patrick and Gregory.   Gregory died in 2001.

Martha Gellhorn:  Born in 1908 in St. Louis, MO.  She died in 1998 and they had no children.

Mary Welsh:  Born in 1908 in Walker, MN.  She died in 1986 and they had no children.

The photos show each of the wives. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Key West: The Tobacco Shops

I don't smoke.   Well, I suppose I would if I were on fire.  But, I am not.  So, trying to be more clear.....I don't smoke tobacco.   But, I was fascinated by the cigar and tobacco stores.   I have tried a cigar once or twice.  And, that was enough.  I don't get it.   But, there must be a huge demand to keep stores in business.

And, there was no end to the various types of cigars!

I was intrigued with the pipes.  I did smoke one ages ago when I was in the woods.   But, even then, it was for effect.  I never liked it.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Southern Most Point of the Continential United States

Only 90 miles to Cuba!

Boy, that is a big Buoy1

OK.  I didn't say it was a good line.  It was all I had.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tourists at Key West

I believe this couple was on their honeymoon and they asked if I would take their photo.

I hope they email me so I can send it to them!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Key West: Statues on the Waterfront: 3

This is, by far, one of the more hilarious artistic creations on the waterfront.  And, it was probably photographed more times than any of the others, combined.   It features a few female, nude characters dancing.  I managed to refrain from being in anyone's photos.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Key West: Statues On the Waterfront: 1

The nautical history of Key West is prominent along the waterfront where there are life-sized, and larger than life-sized statues that serve as photo props.  

This is the fisherman heading out to sea.   I liked it.  And, a lot of people posed next to it.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Key West: The View

Not a bad view, especially if you are normally surrounded by ice and snow this time of year!

Very peaceful.  But warm and very humid!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Key West: Sloppy Joes: The Decor

I loved the open air bar.   Of course, it is Key West.  

Not the images of Ernest Hemingway next to the sword fish! 

And, it is certainly welcoming to anyone!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Key West: Sloppy Joes: Music!

Meet Barry Cuda!   

He was doing songs all kinds of great jazz, pop, and blues songs.   And, he was selling his CD's. 

From his own website:
 Knocky Parker (from Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) mentored him in Tampa 1975-7. He traveled to Chicago in the late 70’s and listened to Little Brother and Sunnyland Slim and furthered his love of all things New Orleans in the early 80’s while attending the New Orleans Jazz Fest and soaking up as much music as he could. Pianists he encountered and learned from in this period include James Booker, Roosevelt Sykes, and Cousin Joe as well as fellow piano “Junior G.I.’s” Diz Watson, Tom McDermott and Jon Cleary.

In 1981 he formed the Silver King Band and based the band in the Tampa Bay area. Consisting of harmonica powerhouse Rock Bottom and washboard player Flo Mingo, the band became one of the most successful bands in the area and developed a cult following in Scandinavia. He met Memphis Slim and Champion Jack Dupree during this time and gleamed as much knowledge as he could from these masters- not only piano and singing technique, but also showmanship.

The Silver King Band broke up in 1985 and tired of the rigors of touring, Cuda moved to Key West, Florida. He has lived and worked in the Keys since then with occasional forays to Europe. He continues to play solo gigs as well as team up with players that enjoy his aesthetic slant. He also continues to research and transcribe old piano blues instrumentals as well as early twentieth century Caribbean roots music. His album “Lonesome Mama” has received international acclaim and he has since released a companion CD of early rare blues instrumentals entitled “Snowy Morning Blues” (2011). He continues to play between 6 and 8 gigs a week in the Key West area.

In addition to “Lonesome Mama”, in the past 20 years he has released 3 CDs with the Silver King Band, 3 CDs with “Barry Cuda and the Sharks”, a solo collection of X- rated vintage R & B “After Hours Sex Party” and 3 other CDs including a 2010 release with “The Bong Hits For Geezers”; a band consisting of brass man Ted Mulet (band leader/arranger for Gloria Estefan, current lead trumpet for Blood Sweat and Tears), drummer Richard Crooks (Bob Dylan and Dr. John associate) and trumpet man Kenny Fradley (former horn arranger /player for Celia Cruz and Kid Creole).

 If you are interested in hearing some fantastic jazz and blues, check out his website here.
 Seriously, he was wonderful!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Key West: Sloppy Joes: Drinks

Sloppy Joes is a landmark on Duval St in Key West.   You need to stop and enjoy a drink...or six!

You are looking at a Pina Colada.   It was.....GOOD!  It went down fast in the heat and humidity!