Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Captain Tony's: A Key West Legend

"I ate the last mango in Paris.  Took the last plane out of Saigon.  Took a fast boat into China.  Jimmy there's so much more to be done."  Jimmy Buffett's ode to Captain Tony tells of a life of adventure woven through world events that sounds too exciting to be true, yet probably understates the facts of the old man's life if anything.  In Key West, Florida, the story goes that Buffett was sitting in Tony's bar when the proprietor sat down next to him, told him his life story - and thus began a mutual admiration that lasted until the Captain's demise years later.  Jimmy played on the rudimentary stage at Captain Tony's in the early days of his illustrious career, backed the old reprobate's campaign for mayor of Key West against the local hoi polloi (he eventually won), and wrote Tony's epitaph when he passed on into that great marina in the sky.  Captain Tony's Original Bar is still in business; someone's gravestone at the base of a tree trunk in the middle of the barroom floor and hundreds of x-large-only autographed bras hanging from the ceiling (autographed!).  Old Key West memorabilia and signage on the walls completes the picture.  A great place to get out of the heat, spend a rainy afternoon or a raucous Saturday night.  Check it out before the place burns down.