Capt. Tony died. Tony Tarracino. At 92.

A Key West icon. A Key west legend.

Word has it that Capt. Tony was a gambler, a skilled charter fisherman, a gunrunner for the Cuban Revolution, a saloonkeeper and untiring ladies man. Allegedly he fathered 13 children with 8 women.

Along the way, he also served as elected Mayor of Key West. He had the necessary ability and experience. And his time as Mayor was a good one for Key West!

Two of Capt. Tony’s involvements require special mention.

The first involves Ernest Hemingway. Capt. Tony owned and operated a bar for many years bearing his name. Capt. Tony’s. Since sometime in the 1930s. It was the successor to the original Sloppy Joe’s, the place where Hemingway penned some of his famous novels while seated at the bar.

The other involves Jimmy Buffett. Buffett used to play guitar and sing his tunes at Capt. Tony’s. For a few bucks and a couple of beers. Of course, those were the days when Buffett was a nobody. Just a young kid seeking his way.

Capt. Tony was a well respected member of the Key West family. He will be missed.

Key west is changing. Everything and everyone changes. I doubt there are any more Capt. Tony’s here. Perhaps anywhere.

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