I am into Fidel Castro this morning. Accidentally, inadvertently.

I became interested in Castro and Key West in the years prior to his becoming the head of Cuba. Not much to report. A scarcity of information. Surprising.

My initial interest was not Castro. It was the old stone house on the corner of Reynolds and South Streets. Actual address 1401 Reynolds. The structure today gray. Constructed from now dirtied coral.

Called the Old Rock Coral House. Year built hard to pin point. I would say 1933.

Castro was the revolutionary in 1956. In the mountains, not Havana. In need of money, he visited Key West hoping to raise funds here for the revolution. He also hoped to excite young men to join him in the cause.

He had an additional reason. He wanted to speak from the second floor porch of La Te Da where Jose deMarti had once spoken and excited some to return to Cuba with him. I could find no record that Castro spoke at La Te Da. His speech was at the San Carlos Institute.

Castro remained in Key West 10 days.

Castro was in Key West one other time. In 1948. He had married and honeymooned in Miami for 10 days. Then somehow to New York City. Not an overt revolutionary at the time. Merely a young man. The couple stayed in New York City for a time.

Castro purchased a 1947 Lincoln while in New York. The turn on for him were the electric windows. A new feature at the time. He drove the Lincoln from New York to Key West. Then he, the wife and Lincoln on the ferry to Havana. I could not determine if Castro stayed overnight in Key West.

A little more Key West lore. The Henry Flagler Overseas Railroad.

Its inaugural trip January 22, 1912. A massive Key West celebration. One event mired the joy of the day. A pick pocket was in the crowd. Earned a good day’s pay.

Syracuse did not get selected for the NCAA Tournament. The call proper. They did not deserve to be in. Their play did not warrant an invitation.

Instead, Syracuse will play in the NIT. They are the 1st seed in the NIT. I wish there was a way to say no to an NIT invitation. Good manners and money prevent such. I view the NIT for second class citizens. Those not good enough to play in the big show. True. However, difficult for me to accept.

The US Attorney fiasco will remain in the news for another week. The news this morning is that two days before the letter to 46 US Attorneys asking for their immediate resignations, Trump personally had given a pep talk to all of them on a conference call.

My Sunday spent being lazy. Read, slept and watched TV. The exception, dinner at Roostica. Lemoncello wings.

Enjoy your day!



  1. Lou,there is a picture of Marti speaking from the balcony of LaTeDa on page 10 of KEY WEST AND THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR by Wright & Joan Langley (available on Amazon, published by Dredger’s Lane, LLC. Photo is on page 18 in the first edition published by Langley Press, Inc. I will vouch for its being well-researched, as well as KEY WEST IMAGES OF THE PAST (available at Shell Warehouse and perhaps Conch Train Depot) and YESTERDAY’S KEY WEST by Stan Windhorn and Wright Langley (on Amazon). They cover KW history from beginning to 1950s.

    Check with Tom Hambright about †he Coral Rock House. As far as I know it is still owned by the Herrick family who built it.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog…
    Joan Langley

    • Thank you for bringing the publications to my attention. After digging a bit, I discovered there are so many books written about buildings yesterday and today in Key West. Still working at it, though not sure I will continue. May switch to another Key West facet. the issue is what. Anyone have any ideas, please write. The search is for that which has never been written.

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