Posts Tagged ‘Florida Keys’

Welcome to my new blog. I am happy that you have chosen to follow me to WordPress. It is the summer so we, here on the island are getting our lives in order before another tourist season begins again in the fall.

We are currently dealing with Hurricane season and I am going to make absolutely NO comments about it until it is over.  We are all just hoping to have a quiet summer without any “WEATHER WITH A NAME”.  That is what we call it here in the tropics of Florida.

All this hurricane learning came to me when I began playing in the Florida Keys.  I had a steady weekend night on Big Pine Key at Captain Dan’s Key Deer Bar and Grill.  I played in Key West and Stock Island and Geiger Key Marina down by there.  I had steady week night gigs in Marathon(Vaca Key) at the Overseas Lounge ( been there since the beginning of time I am sure).  The building had 16″ walls.  It used to be the train station there and it was built to last foreeeeever.

Sister Kaite's setup at Captain Dan's Key Deer Bar and Grill

Obviously it was the designated spot for all sailboat owners who live on their boats to crash on the floor there in times of hurricanes.  We came with our “stuff”.  We brought our back packs with all our necessary stuff in them and sleeping bags and pillows.  We only had water in there a couple times while I was there.  Of course because I played there weekly I got to crash in one of the bedrooms upstairs until the bartender came up at 6am to go to sleep.  Although, I was nice enough to play music for them for 16 hours, all day, to keep everybody settled and it was like one big happy family.  I also let people sit in and play all day…we had quite a good jam session going.  One of the owners slipped me some money while I was  playing.  They were very good to me in the Keys.

little palm island florida keys

View from the Stage at Little Palm Island Resort

The business right next door to the bar was called  “The Stuffed Pig”.  That is the best food you can find in Marathon at that time of the morning.  And it is  priced to sell.  Those people could not keep their door unlocked during the storm,s but they were open and would come and let you in and cook for you, and just lock the door again while you were there.  The door was a glass door and it would not stay shut unless it was locked.  They could see through it to see if there was someone standing at the door to get in so it did not matter.  It was not a big place anyway.  In fair weather it had nice little tables outside in the yard and on the patio so you could eat outside.  That place was always packed.  Everyone certainly did use it when there was a storm.

Little Palm Island stage setup

I played everywhere from Key Largo down to Key West.  From some of the bigger hotels to some of the smallest bars…I even played outside at JoJo’s for the Southernmost Chapter of the Abate Club.  It was all fun.  I played benefits for many people and holiday parties.  On St Patty’s day one year I played on 3 different keys in that one day.  I even got to take the employees ferry boat out to play on Little Munson Island at Little Palm Island Resort.  What a great island that would be to live on….if it was not there in the same weather path as the Keys.

I will tell you what.   Every storm that comes anywhere near Florida goes through the Keys at some point.  Whether or not it is before it gets big or after, or if it never turns into a big storm, they ALL go right through there.

I finally came back to my island.  Marco Island has been the best to me.  the Calusa Indians settled here because they say the storms went around it.   I like to believe that is true.


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The interesting thing about this particular picture is that it is at a gig.  Yes, you are looking at an island…….Little Munsen Island in the Florida Keys……But the only thing on this island is a resort called “Little Palm Resort”.  I was blessed with playing there sometimes while I was living in the keys.  The great thing about this picture is that the other side of this room is the next picture…..

So cool to look out the window…………No there was no window….There was no wall…..There was just a curtain at the corners of the room on two sides….So this was my view while I was playing there…..And a few rattan couches where people were sitting drinking and talking and having fun.

And here is the piano…It was the carcass of a piano with an electric piano hooked up in side of it where the other keyboard used to be….You can’t really believe that with the humidity down here a piano could stay in tune for a day there???  Did I mention the drum set that was there and a nice PA system of course….They had it all……Well who could expect anyone to bring their own equipment out there??? Oh no….

The people were absolutely divine….Oh and by the way…..You were taken over to the island in a boat…But not with the customers….no….You were taken over to the club with the other employees coming for that same shift…..It was great fun….

But most of all………it seems like it was just yesterday that I was there……or was it???

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My New Home

     As I sat back and nestled into the pillows behind me on the boat, I knew I was in for a long night of rockin’ and rollin’ but it didn’t seem to matter because I was safe and could sleep through it anyway. The waves had calmed down to being only 3 to 4 but we would feel them all night long . When I awoke I was out in the sea. I was out of sight of any mainland and it was just between me and the crew and nature at its best. We would very soon be in the Florida Keys and our destination would be on the horizon. Key West was going to be my new home…….

     I had brought my musical equipment and the clothes I thought were appropriate for playing music in very hot weather. Little did I know I would have 6 months of 98 degrees and 4 hurricanes to survive in just one hurricane season. That was okay because I was used to it from the previous year when we survived hurricanes Charlie, Frances, and Jean. Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were yet to be endured……. continued soon in another post

     Oh and my question with this one is….Where was this photo taken? and By whom?


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