NUMBER EIGHT - CAPTAIN TONY'S
After shopping on Duval Street we headed into Capt. Tony's for a beer and some local ambiance. Capt. Tony's is the original site of Sloppy Joe's, another key West historical bar where Hemingway hung out and drank.
Business cards, along with brassieres, panties, ball caps, license plates, and other varied articles of clothing, adorn every bit of space along the walls and ceiling. You can see where the cards have met disaster, Hurricane Wilma of last fall, yet they remain intact, if not a little worse for wear.
As in every bar in Key West, there was entertainment. A performer with an acoustical guitar and his dog laying at his feet, he had a repertoire of songs that included everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis.
A walking tour group arrived to hear the history of the building. Not only was it the watering hole of Ernest, it was at one time a morgue! As the group took over the back of the room and our muscian friend sang Elvis' "Falling in love with you" a sudden thunder storm decided to pay Key West a visit.
Suddenly every light in the bar turned themselves on and shined brightly for a fleeting and astonishing moment....then all went dark. The microphone went dead....his strong yet gentle rendition of the love song faded as the electricity failed...
As a river flows
Gently to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand - Take my whole life too".......
As if cued, everyone in the bar began to sing.........
"For I can't help falling in love with you.
For I can't help falling in love with you"
We gave ourselves and our musician friend a round of applause. I think the drinks were on the house as we waited for the storm to pass and the sound of rain beating the streets and the roof to fade and resume the hum of fans and airconditioners.
It was a beautiful and peaceful few moments.