I woke this morning intending to write my first Key West Story blog post only to find that the Key West Citizen had already done it for me.
The Crime Report stated that an “apparently intoxicated” customer at the bank where I’ve had accounts for the past 14 years withdrew $200 in small bills yesterday and began tossing them up in the air and yelling. Bank employees escorted him outside and told him to wait for the police, which he did. They charged him with disturbing the peace.
Sorry to have missed it. In Key West the best one can hope for is happy drunks.
That sort of eccentric behavior, which marks Key West, drove me to write Key West Story. The novel depicts the nuttiness here but also the striving and the passion. I see the town as an ark that attracts and succors refugees from the old Soviet bloc, Cuba, Mexico, the frozen north and points in between, fleeing various sorts of oppression and pasts, hoping to reinvent themselves and their lives or find some peace. Which is not always easy. Too much life going on, which sucks people in willy-nilly.
I hope to be chronicling more of Key West life and its odd inhabitants here, past and present. That includes Ernest Hemingway, who still has a presence in Key West 50 years after his death and is one of the main characters, reincarnated, in my novel—a 40-year-old Hemingway with his wits still about him.
Readers are welcome to comment and share their Key West stories and Hemingway lore here as well.