Son in law Corey Malcom is Director of Archeology at the Mel Fisher Museum. He has been at the Museum for over 25 years. His life is the ocean and that which exists beneath its surface.
Turtles were once a big business in Key West. There was a turtle factory on the docks near the present Turtle Kraal Restaurant.
Either the turtle population diminished or interest in turtle as a food diminished. In any event, the turtle factory ceased as such many years ago. At one time in recent years, a rough sort of turtle mueum was at the site. Recently there has been nothing. Just an empty building.
The remaining factory structure is not too large. About 20 feet by 50 feet. Four sides of shake shingle wood with a roof. Four windows. Sits on a dock over the water.
Mel Fisher Museum has agreed to lease the old turtle factory building for 5 years. A new turtle mueum will be opened. Corey will be responsible for its operation.
Last night Corey held a gathering at the site of the new turtle museum. The whole world turned out! Over 200 people. They could not all fit into that 50 x 20 structure at one time. So a second show had to be scheduled for 2 hours after the first.
The building was packed! Like sardines in a can! And hot! Remember only 4 windows. And humid as hell outside besides!
As the evening progressed, the water was running off me! My shirt was soaking wet at the end. I had to have lost 5 pounds!
However, the event was terrific! Worth suffering through!
Besides turtle turtle talk last night, Corey was excited about a movie he had discovered and after much anguish was able tobtain a copy of for showing.
The movie was Carib Gold. Made in 1955. Had to do with shrimp fishing in Key West at time.
In his comments leading up to the movie, Corey said the film was probably the worst edited film he had ever seen. He was correct! What a mess! It may also be the worst movie overall ever made.
However, the movie was made in Key West and showed Key West as it was in 1955. And that was its importance.
Nothing much has changed much from 1955 till today. Other than Key West is now larger.
There was Sloppy Joe’s, Duval Street, the Strand Theatre, the Harbor, Fleming Street. Interesting to see.
The film had quite a cast.
Etherl Waters starred. She was a big time black actress and blues and jazz singer. She has been dead at least 30 years now. A large heavy set woman with white hair. She received a 1949 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Pinky. Some of you might remember her as Beaulah the house kepper in the famous TV show of long ago.
Cicely Tyson was in the movie, also. Her first! She had a supporting role. She was 22 at the time. Now, 76. Tyson also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1972 for her performance in Sounder.
The actor who excited me the most was Coley Wallace! I recognized him immediately when I saw his face.
Wallace played Joe Louis in a film about Louis’ life made in the 1950s. He looks just like Joe Louis!
Coley Wallace had somewhat of an interesting carreer both in sports and acting.
He was an amateur boxer. Perfect to play Joe Louis! He also boxed Rocky Marciano for real at one time in his career. Marciano subsequently became one of the biggest and most popular heavyweight champions.
However, before Marciano boxed professinally, he was an amateur. As an amateur, he made it to the finals of the New York Golden Glove Tournament. And guess who he fought? Yes, Coley Wallace! And Wallace beat the future world champion in a three rounder!
Wallace was in another big hit movie boxing film. Raging Bull. The story of Jake La Motta. Robert di Niro played La motta. Wallace played the famous French fighter Marcel Cerdan.
Such was my night last night! A good one! Except for the heat, of course!
When I left, I went straight to the first bar I could find. Not for booze! For water! I was dehydrated!
Have good day! Do something nice for some one!