Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stranded Harley

Meet Aaron from Colorado. He's been living in the islands a few months and decided riding a motorcycle was the way to go in the sunny Florida Keys. Two weeks ago he got his first bike, and Friday morning while riding to his work at Sloppy Joe's the Harley went dead on him.

Electrical problem he thought as we pushed the dead 1997 Sportster to the parking lot of the porn shop on Boca Chica Key. I offered him a ride to town, he accepted gratefully and ended up ten minutes late for work.

The porn shop was a clean well lighted place packed floor to ceiling with DVDs, which surprised me, and the clerks cheerfully acknowledged Aaron's predicament promising to keep an eye on the dead Harley. Aaron was super embarrassed about riding bitch on my Bonneville but I assured him he was lucky I wasn't wearing my pink Crocs which fact didn't seem to cheer him up. He did notice how smooth the Bonneville was compared to his Harley. Good lad.

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Old Stores

Los Cubanitos, the Cuban dudes, is a marine hardware store known to locals as Cuban Joe's and despite the arrival across the street, a good few years ago, of the predatory West Marine chain, these guys are still here.

They've been here a while and they aren't going it seems, and if you don't believe me check out their signs, worn by the passage of a lot of time.

The child seat in the electric car surprised me for some reason. Very modern I'm sure.

That's West Marine on the edge of the picture, but I was actually noticing the Fast Buck Freddie's sign, the annex of the main store on Duval Street.

I used to work here years ago shipping and receiving in the warehouse. I spent hours sitting sweating in the shade watching the Conch Trains go by and smelling the fried fish from BO's Fish wagon across the street.

Kermit's Key Lime shop has made headlines over the years as the quintessential Key West shoppe. I caught Kermit in a pensive moment behind his store. I wonder if he gets sick of green and yellow all the damned time.

The other weird food place, the Peanut Butter restaurant on Duval Street closed after a few months, which couldn't be a surprise as they never seemed to charge much for their weird food offerings. Then there is Schooner Wharf, known erroneously to enthusiastic visitors as Schooner's Wharf. It's been here forever and seems likely to stay, as do many of their patrons.

And why wouldn't they, to stay and watch the charming wild chickens of Key West.

A last little piece of Old Key West they say. Maybe, but its not the only one.

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