For five centuries many have contributed to creating this perfect tiny city of Key West. Lush with green dripping trees dangling with flowers amongst the frolicsome cottages. Pirates and runaway slaves, wreckers and shrimpers, Cubans, Haitians, Spaniards, buccaneers, drinkers, gamblers and ship’s carpenters all brought their specialties and left their marks, such as balconies carved with seahorses. The Civil War Fort has yet to be finished!
Tennessee Williams dwelled in Key West for a stretch. He kept away from the clutches of the literary crowd, to their endless mortification, instead focusing on playful sailors, and writing and painting, and his great friend David Wolkowsky. I wish I could have heard them banter.
When author/journalist John Hersey traveled to the beyond, where automobiles are of no use, he bequeathed his 1969 robin’s egg blue convertible Mercedes Benz to David. Since I’ve come to town the car, a beauty if you love cars, as I do, has sat idle.
At last road-ready David and I puttered that spectacular car down Duval Street, from where it starts at the Atlantic Ocean. We motored especially slowly, counting up the admiring stares, giggling as we scooped compliments. We might as well have had Elvis with us. Car lovers waved, one saluted others cheered and whistled. We were the parade. To turn around we pulled into the Pier House Hotel with its views of the Gulf of Mexico, built by David. He pointed out a cottage by the water, The Chart Room Bar. “I moved it from up the wharf, it was something to do with a fishing boat.” Signature David. This winter the weather has been lousy, tourists are glum in their sweaters and jeans. It has rained like a mother for days here on the Rock, except when David and I went cruising the main street, the sunshine came out and he put smiles on people’s faces.
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