My first time out in ages was last night. I was on the road again. I had my 3 vaccine shots, waited 2 weeks since the last.

Showered, shaved, etc. Excited. Wore a sport shirt and shorts. A mistake in itself.

I was not aware that a cold wave had come in and was to be in the Keys for a few days.

I was not dressed for the occasion.

I did not appreciate the cold till I reached the Pier House. The very cold wind was coming in off the Gulf.

Hurried to the Chart Room, Jean Thornton and warmth.

The Chart Room was packed. Like sardines. Fortunately, a young lovely lady took kindly to me. She guided me through the crowd. Amazing what the cane does for a person!

No Jean. John yelled over the crowd she was waiting for me at the Beach Bar.

Thrust my head down into the wind and headed for the Beach Bar.


Jean and I chatted for about 10 minutes and I said we had to get out. I could take the cold no further. Neither could she and she had a sweater on.

Our initial intent was to have stone craps at Pier 1. They were out of stone crabs.

My first night out in ages was off to a good start.

We decided on the Hot Tin Roof. The walk to Hot Tin was another roughie. Into the cold wind blowing from the Gulf. For you who may be unaware, both the Pier House and Ocean Key sit directly on the Gulf.

Hot Tin Roof packed, also. We were fortunate to get 2 seats at the bar. Dinner was fabulous. Jean’s company even better.

A new bartender. Trish. She has only been there a short time. I understand she was hired because she had lived in Key West 19 years and knew everyone.

An excellent bartender. A charming personality.

On the way back to the Pier House parking lot, Jean and I stopped in to chat with John for a few minutes. The Chart Room was next to empty.

John says it is busy most nights. Crazy busy. Like never before.

Let me get into the cold weather for a moment. For me, Key West cold is anything 74 degrees or less. You who do not live here will not understand. Our blood is so thinned out by the constant warm weather, that the slightest cold air is hard to take.

It was 70 degrees last night. For the first time in months, I had to turn the heat on in the car. Got home. House cool, but not bad. By 3 in the morning, the house was a refrigerator.

A blanket was not enough. Turned the heat on. Then continued downstairs and made myself a cup of hot chocolate.

The house warmed up fast and I was comfortable the rest of the night. Heat still on as I write.

The weather report is the cold wave will continue for two more days. Then the temperature will return to the high 70’s and low 80’s.

When Jean and I arrived at the Ocean Key deck, the round bar and deck were chuck full with people. I spotted Tammy bartending. The crowd around the bar five deep. Best we could do was wave to Tammy.

Fantasy Fest was last week. The crowd this week should be nothing. Not so.

Figured out they were here for 3 reasons.

The Parrotheads are in town for the week.  Hundreds, thousands, so many. Not sure of the number. They take up everything on the island.

The boat races begin wednesday. Boats, crews, and owners already in town. They party hard evenings. Boat owners affluent. The boats expensive and need constant attention. Everyone brings the wife or girl friend. The group contributed greatly to the crowd last night.

Recall ZZ Top from the 1980’s? They were performing at the amphitheater last night. Four thousand tickets pre-sold.

And that my friends is why Key West was so crowded last night.

It was good to be back in the living world.

There was some talk re the SUV and scooter accident last week which resulted in the death of one person from the accident and another by suicide.

Why the suicide? He apparently was the cause of the accident.

The word on the street was the SUV driver was downtown with his girl friend. They had an argument and he left her. He was returning to their room at one of the motels on Northern Boulevard.

No information yet whether he was intoxicated.

In any event, he must have previously done jail time. Following the accident, he telephoned his girl friend and told her he could not spend any further time in jail. It was then he took the gun and shot himself in the head.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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