Friday, February 17, 2006

"A Fool and His Money Are Soon Partying"

A Key West friend, Will Soto, is having a retirement party on April 1. Will is an entertainer and a political activist, quite well-known in busker circles ("busker: a street performer who works for donations") He even hosted the Key West Buskerfest, which had great potential but failed to evolve into a multi-million dollar annual event like Hemingway Days or Fantasy Fest or even the Key West Literary Festival (or the Powerboat Races or Old Island Days or Pirate Weekend, or...hmmm maybe there just wasn't room on the calendar for another festival).

So Will says he's starting his Farewell Tour, with Cher as his inspiration; in other words, he'll have his retirement party and go right on working.

I'm planning to drive to Key West and stay a couple of days. The better half has to work that weekend, but I have plenty of friends to visit on the island and the party will be a major event. The day after, I will try to spend some time with Will going over research I've been doing for the book he's writing about Key West and the Sunset Celebration--I've been helping him with facts and punctuation; he's supplying the imagination and imagery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A group of friends had a weekend place in Key West in the mid-60s. It was a two-story conch cottage on Elgin Alley that we bought for the reasonable sum of $9,000 - then rented the ground floor to a local family to pay the mortgage and used the upper apartment as a get-away. Fast forward 30 years or so, to when some friends from the keys emigrated to North Florida and told me that my old place had sold for a jawdropping sum. I keep a few mementos of those days in Key West - a Haitian painting from Marian's old Treehouse Gallery, both the Lalique and furred versions of the cats at Hemingway house, a couple of little watercolors from Martel towers, a beer glass purloined from Sloppy Joe's, a recipe for Picadillo from Gladys White at the old Pigeon Patio; and memories of the parties at Magee Lester's house on Johnson Street (formerly Leo Herlihy's house) with it's tropical rainforest garden, of people there like little "Tom" Williams, Coffey Butler and a cast of characters to populate any novel. You can't go home again, but you can remember things past.