Fred Cabanas is dead. At 60. His plane went down somewhere over Mexico’s Cozumel Island.
Fred was a Key West icon. A legend. His mark is well imbedded in Key West. He will be long remembered.
Some of Fred’s accomplishments were his family life, his business Cabanas Aeronautics Unlimited, his daredevil flying, being the Marlboro Man for the smoke designs he made from his bi-plane, being the General of the Conch Republic Air Force, and his movie parts. He also had a rare distinction. He was a Conch. Fourth generation.
It would be remiss not to mention one other item. Fred flew a bi-plane in the bloody Conch Republic Battle for Independence which occurs each year. The bi-plane bombs the US Coast Guard vessels. With biodegradable rolls of toilet paper! You have seen nothing till you have seen toilet paper tossed by Fred unrolling as it hurries down to do in the US Coast Guard.
Fred will be buried tomorrow. At sea. Somewhere on the gulf stream. He will be buried from Key West’s tallest and best known ship the Wolf. Afterwards, there will be a celebration of his life at a hangar at the Key West Airport. Roast pig and alcohol will be consumed. The desire is for a party as Fred would have enjoyed it.
I stopped dieting. I did not shop. I was without food this morning. Nothing for breakfast. At 8, I was at Publix picking up a few things. A good time to shop. There was no one in the store. I was all alone with the help.
Today is Inauguration Day. There is a more than normal excitement. I sense it over TV and in conversations with Key Westers. The last time I recall this degree of excitement was when John Kennedy was inaugurated. I was a young practising attorney at the time.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, also. I recall his killing. It was inevitable. He was in the forefront of the civil rights movement. Actually, he had his nose in everyone’s face. You just knew his life was on the line.
Today has another significance historically. The Key West Citizen reported this morning that President Ulysses Grant visited Key West this day in 1871. The paper included a picture of Grant in a horse drawn cab on Duval Street waving to the crowd.
Syracuse basketball again today! At 3:30. Against Cincinnati. Cincinnati has only 3 losses. I worry about this game, also.
Where are the new national rankings? I thought they came out sunday evenings. Guess not. I hope Syracuse is #1. It is deserved after the Louisville game.
As usual, I will be at the Big Ten Sports Pub watching the game. With Don and Chris and Dan and Lisa and I do not know who else.
Show time tomorrow morning. The new blog talk radio show I am trying to get off the ground. Tough! I suspect 7 am may not be the best time. However, for those of you who are hearty and up, join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Call in and ask questions, if you are so inclined. Lets have a good talk or listen.
I have another radio show later in the afternoon. I will be appearing weekly on tuesday afternoons on Ryno’s Show. Pirate Radio. Somewhere around 3:45 and 4. The time is flexible. Ryno has me on the air as soon as I walk in the door.
Enjoy the holiday!