LAZY GECKO…..SO LONG, FAREWELL, AUF WIEDERSEHEN, ADIEU

Today, the last for Lazy Gecko. It closes at the end of business this evening. I give the Gecko a Sound of Music goodbye. Well deserved.

The Gecko has been part of the Park Ave. 200 block of Duval for many years. Seated between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s.

Word on the street is someone bought the building Gecko is in and raised the rent. Beyond what Gecko proprietors thought they could pay.

The number I hear is $30,000 a month.

High, but not high in comparison to rents of other lower end Duval properties.

Word on the street also suggest Irish Kevin’s got a kick up in the rent. To $65,000 a month. Irish Kevin’s is significantly larger than the Gecko and does a much bigger business each night than the Gecko.

There is a party tomorrow night at the Gecko for its regular customers. A going away event.

Gecko’s demise sad. Life, however.

My new neighbor is gone, also. The golf course crocodile.

The croc was a she. Nine feet long, 200 pounds. Caught in the middle of the night after a four hour struggle. The croc was taken somewhere up the Keys and released.

She was caught at her home at the 11th hole pond.

The crocodile had traveled a bit. In the less than the month’s time she lived at the pond, she had also been sighted on Stock Island and Key Haven. Key Haven my former residence.

Stopped at the Chart Room first last night. Who calls out Lou? My political adversary/friend from the other evening. Paul. The fellow from Indiana who lives in Mike Pence’s district and knows him. The same Paul who got excited while talking in support of Trump.

The guy is my friend! No question. We talked long last night. No politics. Met his wife Kim. A honey. Typical midwest. Warm and friendly.

Pete came in for a beer. We started talking. Age came into the discussion. I advised him I had just turned 82. He told me he was 76. Looked exceptionally great for his age.

Pete has been in Key West since the 1970s.

He still works. A civilian employee for the federal government. Said he had to. He has a 14 year old son to educate. Born of his fourth marriage.

I laughed, he laughed. It is funny when you think about it.

I admired his desire to make sure his last child’s education was totally paid by him. He had done it for his other children.

I told him I understood. I educated my four children. One hundred cents on the dollar. I did not want them to struggle financially through school as I had.

The one hundred cents on the dollar included a car and spring break vacations. I frequently thumbed. Spring break? What was that?

Near the time I was getting ready to leave, Jessica walked in. A Miss America type! Actually, Mrs. America. Around 40. Lives near Los Angeles.

I was in a hurry to eat. It was 9 and I had not had anything since breakfast. The growling in my stomach took precedence over Jessica.

My destination was Tavern ‘n Town. They have a new Happy Hour from 9-11. Tapas and drinks half price.

Last night was my fourth visit.

I like the late Happy Hour. A tapas, two drinks and a light bill. $18.

Can’t go wrong.

I made an error in yesterday’s blog. Mentioned Mel Fisher Days was ending today. Not so. Mel Fisher Days has not yet begun. It starts next thursday and runs through saturday. The event commemorates Fisher’s discovery of the Atocha.

This weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal carried an interesting article front page. Cookie tables at wedding have  become larger and more common.

I recall cookie tables at the weddings of my children. Their mother, the family and friends baked for weeks in preparation for the cookie table. I was unaware that it had now grown into a big time expensive item for what the Journal described as “modern weddings.”

The article reported a recent wedding in Youngstown, Ohio where 18,000 cookies consisting of 150 varieties were served.

Enjoy your sunday!

 

 

 

PLAYFUL KEY WEST RETIREES RETURN TO COLLEGE

A haircut first yesterday. With the lovely and interesting Lori. She has been cutting my hair for 15 years in Key West. We have become good friends.

Just about everyone was wearing green tee shirts. St. Patrick’s Day. I decided to go down Duval to Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s to observe the festivities. It was after noon so beer was being consumed by many walking along.

I stopped at Irish Kevin’s. Never made it to Sloppy Joe’s which was just a few doors further.

Love Irish Kevin’s! Get there once a year. Not more often. A young crowd and I don’t fit. I can see, however. The young ladies baring their breasts draws me to Irish Kevin’s that one time a year.

About five years ago, another local couple and I enjoyed dinner together St. Patrick’s evening at La Te Da. My friends were in the mid 70s as I at the time. We decided to go down to Irish Kevin’s to see what was going on.

It was Spring Break. As yesterday. Irish Kevin’s was packed with college kids.

We were near the bar and had been able to get drinks. One of the students asked what we were doing there. My mind operates swiftly. I said we were on Spring Break. He looked at me strangely. I explained we were three retirees who had returned to college. We attended Syracuse University. We had decided age should not be a barrier to enjoying Spring Break.

We never bought another drink. Word spread quickly. The students loved us. A good time was had by all!

I have corned beef and cabbage once a year. St. Patrick’s Day. The Sloppy Joe area is for drinkers, not eaters. I decided to drive over to Shanna Key on Flagler. Assumed there would not be too many at the bar. It is out of the way. Shanna Key serves corn beefed and cabbage every day. Part of its regular menu.

I was wrong re the number of people. Shanna Key was crowded. They were on the sidewalks. I could not get into the parking lot. Decided to go home.

Spent the afternoon and evening relaxing. My body was telling me to rest. Watched NCAA basketball all afternoon and evening.

Syracuse/Dayton today. 12:15 on CBS. Dayton a 1 1/2 point favorite. Not sure whether I will be watching the game at Don’s Place or Jack Flats.

Received an e-mail from my friend Anna yesterday. She is in Courmayeur skiing on Mont Blanc. The highest peak in the Alps. Courmayeur is in the far north region of Italy.

I envy her. I do not ski. However loved Coumayeur during my European travels. A quaint lovely village. The best was sitting in the village square at an outside cafe and enjoying a drink or two.

Anna said she will be leaving for Chamonix today. Chamonix is just over the border in France. Beautiful.

Remember the tune Alexander’s Ragtime Band? Catchy. A song for the ages.

Irving Berlin copyrighted the tune this day in 1911. No records or CDs back then. Sheet music. People bought sheet music and played tunes on their home pianos.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band initially was copyrighted in lyric form. The words came later.

Alexander’s was the biggest sheet music seller up to that time. 1.5 million copies in 18 months.

Times have changed!

Enjoy your day!