A wonderful evening!

Stopped at the Ocean Grill for a bite to eat. Sat at the bar. Soon after, Larry Blackburn and family arrived.

Larry is well known in Key West. His profession photography. A photographer extraordinaire. Special. He literally captures the world around him.

Larry’s daughter Sydney Blackburn was with him.

To say Sydney is a beauty is to minimize her attractiveness. She is absolutely lovely! Naturally so.

Sydney is only 14 years old. I was surprised. Could pass for 18-20 with ease.

Sydney is appearing at the Waterfront Playhouse thursday and friday. She plays the female lead in Aladdin.

World famous. Aladdin is a Middle East folk tale. It has been seen on Broadway, a national tour, and as a Disney movie.

The beautiful and rebellious Princess Jasmine the female lead role.

I look forward to seeing Sydney in the role.

Key West’s premier videoer is Tim Dahms. He will be videoing Aladdin. Larry is doing the photography and public relations. Campo Bravo the sponsor.

Not to be forgotten is Stephanie Hellstrom, Larry’s wife. She and I chatted quite a while. She operates the Panama Hat Shop on Fleming.

Before going to the Ocean Bar, I stopped at the Chart Room. Shaun doing a great job. He has the Jimmy Buffett story down pat.

Where were you Charlotte? A former Key Wester now living somewhere in a mid Atlantic state, e-mailed me she would be in for the weekend, would we be able to meet? I e-mailed back the Chart Room. Nothing etched in stone. Charlotte generally spends most of her Key West time at the Chart Room.

Not last night. No Charlotte.

I was disappointed.

An interesting couple sat next to me at the bar. Very interesting. Charlie and Rhonda from Charleston, South Carolina.

Not newbies to Key West. Visit often. Charlie an engineer. Repairs train engines. I mentioned that in his other life, Howard Livingston was once CEO of a Chicago plant that made diesel railroad engines.

Charlie and Rhonda were familiar with Howard. They attend his shows frequently. Charlie said they have every CD Howard has made.

Rhonda’s job exciting. She is an ophthalmic technician. Thirty two years. I have bad eyes. Eight surgeries. I totally respect those in medicine who help people continue seeing.

They have been married 33 years. Two children. Their daughter a marine biologist. Their son an Army captain. The son is being deployed to Afghanistan soon.

So much for Charlie and Rhonda’s history. More impressive was our discussion that began with boiled peanuts.

I never heard of boiled peanuts. Roasted yes, boiled no.

Boiled a big deal in the Charleston area. They took me through the whole process. Boiled in the shells. Canned. When time to enjoy arrives, heat the peanuts in the micro.


Charlie is into grit mills also. Another education. His family got the recipe 80 years ago.

The food followed by a Charleston Bloody Mary mix. Special. Add horseradish before serving.

Charlie brings the boiled peanuts, grits and Bloody Mary mix with him when he visits Key West for his Key West friends. He and Rhonda have made many Key West friends over the years.

Charlie too nice. He wanted to rush back to his hotel to get a bag of the goodies for me. He said it would only take 15 minutes. I said no.

The compromise is he is going to leave a bag full for me at the Chart Room bar.

Something struck me about the couple. They are very pro Charleston. Their home town. Proud and big time supporters of the community.

It was a good night! Nice people at both places. Enjoyed myself.

Enjoy your sunday!