Mile Marker 69

Mile Marker 69

Today’s blog is about Mile Marker 69 which is located at Mile Marker 69 on Hwy US-1… duh no kidding! :-) OK, those of you that didn’t get that please raise your hand… thank goodness I only see one, two… three of you! :-)

You may or may not see Mile Marker 69 on your next trip to Key West. Why you ask… here’s the scoop: The Florida Department Of Transportation (DOT) says that so many of these signs are stolen due to the number 69 having a sexual connotation that they have trouble keeping them on the posts! :-) Yes, that’s 100% TRUE! I’ve personally seen the missing signs numerous times… on the other hand, I’ve posed (like 1000’s of others) standing beside the sign to get my photo taken as I give it 2-thumbs up and say “Cheese”! If you look close at the post below the #69 you can see previous holes of past stolen signs. They now apply more bolts in order to keep would-be thieves at bay… I said TRY!

Mile Marker 69 on the southbound lane has 2 beautiful palm trees just behind it that makes a great photo. Remember… THUMBS UP! :-)

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Basket Weaving 101

Woven Rose & Vase

Basket Weaving 101 is a class that most of us skipped in High School and College! Here in Key West you’ll find several places where you might pick up a hand-made basket, bowl, hat or even a ROSE. Look at the photo to the left and you can see the most creative rose and vase woven from a palm frond. Below you can see these talented (and patient) people at work honing their craft into sellable items for purchase… just don’t ask them to smile… they ignored me like the plague.

The photo of the two men behind the table are at Mallory Square where the single man on the street corner is in front of Sloppy Joe’s Bar. It’s FREE to watch, wander & ponder the wares for sale and could make a unique gift from your weekend in the Paradise of Key West!

    

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Robert The Doll

Robert The Doll

Here’s a famous local Ghost Tale for you! Robert the Doll was once owned by Key West painter Robert Eugene Otto. The doll allegedly cursed has become a fixture of local ghost tours and featured on TV’s Travel Channel for America’s Most Haunted.

Eugene was given the doll in 1904 by a servant who was skilled in black magic & voodoo. Soon afterwards it became clear that there was something eerie about the doll. Eugene’s parents often heard him talking to the doll and the doll appeared to be talking back. Although at first they assumed that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice, they later believed that the doll was actually speaking. Neighbors claimed to see the doll moving from window to window when the family was out. The Otto family swore that sometimes the doll would emit a terrifying giggle and that they caught glimpses of it running from room to room. In the night Eugene would scream, and when his parents ran to the room they would find furniture knocked over and Eugene in bed, looking incredibly scared, telling them that “Robert did it!”.When Eugene died in 1972, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought again. The new family’s ten-year old girl became Robert’s new owner. It was not long before the girl began screaming out in the night, claiming that Robert moved about the room and even attack her.

The doll made an appearance at a paranormal convention in Clearwater, Florida in 2008 making it the first time ever leaving Key West in 105 years. Be aware and heed this warning: If you wish to take a picture of him, you must ask Robert politely or the doll will curse you and your family. Along with the doll, you will find letters written to him including one from former President George Bush. The 1988 American slasher movie Child’s Play, was inspired by Robert the Doll. (True, look it up!)

You can find Robert The Doll at the East Martello Tower Museum in Key West on the southeast portion of town for a $6 fee.

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Kentucky Derby Has Ties To The Florida Keys

Believe it or not, the Florida Keys does have a tie to the Kentucky Derby!

Today is the 141th running of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville at the famed Churchill Downs. The time-honored event is also known as the “Greatest Two Minutes In Sports”. Even though I’ve been there, I still retain my “Man Card” by never wearing one of those big floppy hats nor sipping a mint julep! :-) (both seen below)

In honor of this years winner ‘American Pharaoh’ I bring you the Florida Keys road sign named after that oh so famous race track venue Churchill Downs. Though I don’t know how it got its name, the name itself and the fact of it being Kentucky Derby weekend was good enough for me! Since this blog is now done, it’s time for an ice-cold long-neck and once done with that one I’ll have another in honor of the 2012 winner named ‘I’ll Have Another’:-)

You can find the street named Churchill Downs somewhere near Mile Marker 104 bayside at a tiny bridge crossing a canal in Key Largo.

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Caution! Walk At Your Own Risk, Obstacles On Trail

Just wait till you see what it is! :-)

Some things just strike me as “You’ve got to be kidding!” upon seeing them. Kind of like the instructions on a ketchup bottle stating: Open lid, turn upside down and squeeze.

I promise you that the Key West Garden Club wouldn’t have put up the sign if there hadn’t been an incident in the past. Some “Ding Dong Doofus” was walking on this path talking to a friend and slammed their head right into it. That’s right, there’s a tree slap-dab in the middle of the path. It’s a very uniquely shaped beautiful tree yet in the way none the less. As you can see below (without a person) that the tree looks tall enough to walk under. The other photo was taken so that you can truly judge how low the branch actually hangs on the path.

It’s hard to believe that anyone would ever walk into the tree without seeing it first… and yet, I guarantee that it has hence the sign: “CAUTION: WALK AT YOUR OWN RISK OBSTACLES ON TRAIL”.

You can find this last oceanic safe haven for wildlife on Key West’s less traveled south side on the eastern end of Atlantic Avenue. A walk on the beach is worth a 30-minute visit alone, it’s open daily from mid-morning to sunset. It’s two entrances are as different as can be, one is a walking path while the other is a beautiful boardwalk leading to a grand deck overlooking the ocean. PS – Watch out for the tree! :-)

    

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Bahama Village’s “Pass The Hat” Stage

Here in the middle of the Bahama Village you’ll find an awesome looking raised bandstand. This bandstand is built upon the back of an antique rust riddled flatbed truck complete with broken windows and flat tires… it still looks cools as can be!

Though I’ve never been here for one of their Goombay Festivals I’d really like to one time. The stage faces a large wide open area for dancing and ample amount of room for spectators both from the local Bahamian community and tourists of all nationalities.

You can find this stage named “Pass The Hat” (in reference to “I play, you like, you pay”) :-) other than that it’s FREE! The Bahama Village is located a couple blocks southwest of Duval Street here in Key West.

    

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Naked Woman In Bondage

Woman In Bondage

Welcome to SOME of the weirdest, most different, neat, odd, funky and “what’s that suppose to mean” cemetery statues in Key West’s historic final resting place.

The absolute most different statue of them all that just doesn’t fit or have any explanation is the naked woman in bondage belonging to Mr. Archibald Yates. Yes, a naked woman sitting on a stone looking up with her eyes closed and hands TIED behind her back (seen below) … on a mans grave. I asked the cemetery Sexton if he had any secret unpublished information of WHY this statue is on a mans grave and what it meant. He replied that little is known about this misunderstood statue and has NO rhyme or reason to be where it is and comes to him with no history on why it was chosen. Oh yeah, there’s 4 small replicas on each of the four corners of the grave making 5 of these strange artistic carvings to admire.

Next in this weird category is the SKULL & CROSS BONES carved into an Egyptian obelisk. I too ask the Sexton about it which he replied: “Where? I’ve NEVER seen one!” we then stood up, opened his office door as I pointed to where it was. He then responded: “I can’t wait to go check it out!”

And finally for this edition, the most unusually beautiful BABY tombstone in the entire cemetery located in its Catholic section. Obviously the child left this earth in its infancy and was very much missed and loved by his parents. This historic cemetery is truly a walk through history and time!

This is FREE and well worth spending a portion of your visit… you won’t be disappointed! Remember, there’s a self-guided tour available with map!

         

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