CAPTAIN TONY…..ARGUABLY KEY WEST’S MOST BELOVED RESIDENT

Captain Tony was a unique personality who in his lifetime became the conscience of Key West. An icon unquestionably. Part and parcel of the island.

He died at 92.

Tony is remembered as a saloon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett was a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Lost Mango in Paris. The song’s opening line: “I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat.'”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor which was illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Escaped to Key West.

I know only one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Toni. Warm and charming. Loved her father. Even though long dead, she arranges a birthday party for him each year at Captain Tony’s. I have been fortunate to attend several.

Steve knew Captain Tony personally. He wrote of him in TACOS paragraph 14.

An old man came from the bar next door / In his T-shirt he looked like he had slept on the floor / He had a cigarette and a lot to say / And a poker game if I wanted to play / At first I thought he was full of baloney / He said his name was Capt. Tony / He’d eat a burrito and we’d listen to his wit / Thinking back, he never did pay for it / Tony shot a robber one night late / The guy ran past my store while trying to escape / When I asked Tony about it the next day / Without hesitation he explained it this way / He said he aimed for the leg but to his surprise / He hit him right between the eyes / They found the guy later it wasn’t hard / A block away in Miss Jesse’s yard.

Back to today.

The House’s Special Committee Hearing re January 6 began with a bang! Four Capitol and Municipal Police Officers testified. Honest and more sincere witnesses I have never seen.

Their testimony made most of the House Republicans and Trump look like liars. Which they are. Trump’s claim it was a “love fest” did not hold up. Nor some Republican House member’s claim that the insurrectionists were tourists.

A Washington, D.C. Police Officer testified. He suffered a heart attack, concussion, and traumatic brain injury. He was dragged down the steps of the Capitol, beaten and tasered.

While he was testifying, his cell phone was in his pocket and on silent mode when a message came in. He did not read it till his testimony had been completed. A vulgar threatening voice said, “I wish they would have killed all you scumbags, ’cause you people are scum…..Too bad they didn’t beat…..you more…..They stole the election from Trump and you know that, you scumbag.”

The caller appears to have had a limited vocabulary.

The Officers were clear as to what they thought should done from this point forward. They advised in effect the Committee should dig deep. Besides charging the insurrectionists themselves, the identities of those who helped plan and finance January 6 should be discovered and charged.

I recall hearing in a TV newscast last week that on 3 consecutive sundays, for 3 hours each time, a group met in the White House to plan January 6.

Everyone from any walk of life who was involved should be charged, convicted, and sentenced to long jail terms.

A proposed outline for a bipartisan infrastructure bille was passed in the Senate last night. The vote 67-31. Seventeen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

The proposed bill is for $1.2 trillion.

Trump advised immediately the bill was a “terrible deal.”

Biden advised the bill was “the largest federal investment in public transit ever…..the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.”

COVID is on the rise in Key West, as in all of Florida. Cause involves the Delta variant, the unvaccinated, and the July 4th holiday weekend. More infections will come because of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest and mini-lobster season which have brought huge crowds to Key West this past week.

I personally am aware of several new cases this past week. Three had been vaccinated. One I had a brief conversation with 12 days ago in the Chart Room.

Nationally, the unvaccinated are spewing the virus everywhere.

At least half the U.S. population has failed to be vaccinated for a number of reasons that do not carry weight. Some are realizing they initially were wrong. Want to correct the situation by being vaccinated.

Fear however friends and family members will get on their asses. So they are disguising themselves before getting vaccinated. Missouri an excellent example. People getting vaccinated in “secret.”

Insanity! First in failing to be vaccinated initially for any reason. Second, to be ashamed or whatever what people will say.

In my opinion, the Monroe County School Board is heading in the wrong direction re the mask issue. Schools are scheduled to reopen August 12. The Board’s present concern is limited to masks.

No official policy yet. However it is leaning towards “optional.” The Board Chairman said, “Parents know what’s best for their children.”

Amazing! Even here in little Key West and relatively small Monroe County elected officials are half assed doctors.

Even in Washington, D.C. House members consider themselves half assed doctors. Speaker Pelosi said we are going back to wearing masks. The Republicans are in an uproar.

The solution a simple one. If one or two House members get sick and die, everyone will then understand. A harsh way to learn. One invited upon themselves, however.

A sad occurrence. The Key West Naval Station is the site for the Army’s Special Forces Operations School. The School has been operating there for a number of years.

One of the attendees died yesterday while training in a pool

No other information available at this time.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

9 comments on “CAPTAIN TONY…..ARGUABLY KEY WEST’S MOST BELOVED RESIDENT

    • Toni….Long time since we have seen each other. COVID probably responsible. To this day, people remember your father. What a great feeling it must be for you. Are you still at the Marriott? I have not been in the lobby nor Tavern ‘n Town in 2 years. Miss it!

  1. I completely agree with you Lou, the first day’s testimony was chilling and powerful, heartfelt too. The people responsible MUST be punished harshly, so that no one can ever do this again without expecting consequences. They must never be let to think that it as no big thing or that they were simply caught up in the moment.

    The fact that there was ANY sort of planning for this, proves without any doubt, state of mind and intent.

    We mist not let this go unpunished, or we will pay a much bigger price at some future time.

  2. Now the GOP says that, yes, the Jan6 riot really did happen, but it was Pelosi’s fault because she knew that we were going to do it but did not prepare to stop us, so it is not our fault that we did it.

  3. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Lost Mango in Paris.

    Last Mango in Paris – released 1985

    Tony Tarracino, died 11/1/2008

      • No problem, I was wrong once too, or was it a bad dream. lol
        I’m sure Tony relished the song and the respect JB had for him, instead of a posthumous tribute.
        Incidentally, Tony T and I were born in the same neighborhood, many decades apart.

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