Welcome to the TALLEST man in Key West, I take that back… Welcome to the TALLEST man in the recorded HISTORY OF THE WORLD!
Robert Wadlow (Feb. 22, 1918 – July 15, 1940) was the tallest person in history for whom there’s irrefutable evidence. Wadlow is sometimes known as the Alton Giant or Giant of Illinois being from Alton, Illinois. (Photo below)
Wadlow reached 8 ft 11.1 in height and weighed 439 lbs at his death at age 22. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood was due to hypertrophy of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death.
On July 4, 1940, during an appearance at the Manistee National Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. Doctors treated him with a blood transfusion and emergency surgery, but his condition worsened, and on July 15, 1940, he died in his sleep at age 22.
More than 30,000 people attended Wadlow’s funeral on July 19. He was buried in a 10-foot-long, half-ton coffin that required twelve pallbearers to carry and was interred in a vault of solid concrete. Wadlow’s family was concerned for the sanctity of his body and wanted to ensure it would not be disturbed or stolen.
You can find a life-like statue of this gentle giant at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! in Key West located at 108 Duval Street.
For half a century this bust sat in front of the Key West airport greeting its cloud-bound patrons. So who is it, what did it commend and where is it now? Inquiring minds what to know, so I set out on a quest in pursuit of answers.
I’ve been to the Key West International airport many times never setting sight on this statue. In seeing this historical photo I went back out to the airport to see it myself wondering how in the world I could have missed it. On my third attempt in finding this, we parked the car and walked all around the new parking garage that now sits in front of the airport approximately where the statue should have been to no avail. We then asked a security guard if he knew anything about the missing bust… pausing a moment he responded “There’s some busts up in the departure terminal.” Off we went and sure enough we found it. It had been moved years ago and brought inside for outgoing passenger to see before leaving Key West.
Upon the bronze plaque it reads: “The county of Monroe, state of Florida renders this tribute to Agustín Parlá Orduña born in Key West on October 11, 1887, of Cuban parents exiled during their country’s struggle for independence. Who was the first man to fly the 119 miles over the sea from Key West, Florida to El Mariel, Cuba on May 19, 1913. Honor to his memory.” Dedicated way back in July 4, 1957.
It may have taken me 3 trips to find the missing bust, you on the other hand now have first hand knowledge on exactly where to find it… what are you waiting for… GO! 🙂
Relax, Relax, Relax… that’s what you’ll be doing at Islamorada’s Sunset Island. OK, so it’s not officially an island being connected by a narrow strip of land even though its set up and looks like one. Believe me, no one cares about the definition of “island” once here, you’re irresistibly drawn to the incredible atmosphere and unbelievable views!
While here be prepared to bring your camera, party attitude, a smile, & koozie for an adult beverage or two (or three). 🙂 They have a live band and the festivities begin getting into full swing as customers arrive for the daily ritual of pastel painted sunsets.
You can find the Islamorada Fish Company’s Relaxing Sunset Island by traveling on US-1 to Mile Marker 81.4 bayside. While here, go next door to the Worldwide Sportsman store where you’ll see the Key’s LARGEST FISH TANK on display also for the amazing price of FREE.
Welcome to Key West’s land loving friendly manatee. This 8′ tall statue sits on a concrete pad facing the main road into Old Town for all to admire.
I recommend that you take 4-minutes out of your already busy planned day and stop for an up close visit with this silent gentle giant. Upon closer inspection you’ll find that its whiskers, whose numbers are in the hundreds, are actually rigid and the exact thickness of a heavy-duty clothes hanger (as seen below).
Now for your FREE science/history lesson: 🙂 Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals with paddle-like flippers sometimes known as Sea Cows. They are noted for their friendly nature, their large size up to 12 ft in length with the average being 9 ft. The name manatí comes from pre-Columbian people of the Caribbean meaning “breast”.
You can find the Florida Key’s largest Manatee statue on display 24-7 in front of the First State Bank at the corner of North Roosevelt Blvd. & Toppino Drive on the left hand side of the road as you enter Key West.
Seen here is one of the neatest sights we’ve ever found while tooling around town on our bikes. I bet we’ve peddled by this a number of times without seeing it… but this time we did! Wow what an awesome sight it is!
Yes of course this is done on purpose to which I give kudos to the property owner for not chopping down the tree. I also give a big high-five to the city of Key West allowing such a great sight to exist on and near the sidewalk.
You can find this great oddity at 406 Fleming Street protruding through a fence. Go see it now before some over-boozed bonehead walks into it requiring five stitches suing the owner forcing the city to come by and cut it down!
I want to apologize for breaking one of my own rules and missing this photo-op for over 5-years. I’ve visited here no less than 7 times over the years with friends and on fact-finding missions NEVER ONCE noticing the rooftop dolphins.
Here’s the rule I broke: Once at a location I always walk around the building hoping to find something of interest that others would normally miss. Pictured here is the back door of the club which I’ve stood many times looking out towards the ocean admiring the scenic view, picnic tables, pier & cannon. It was only when I photographed a docked vessel did I turn around seeing the rooftop dolphins while smiling from ear to ear. I will now walk around EVERY building and look on EVERY BACK ROOF for future blogs. I consider this a lesson learned! 🙂
These twin Flippers can be found on the rear rooftop of the Caribbean Club in Key Largo at Mile Marker 104.2 bayside. This is WELL WORTH a stop on your next trip down due to the MANY OTHER blogs that have been written about this one stop alone… just the scenery around it is worth it my friends!
What a hoot this car is! How would you like to get your next meal delivered by this uniquely painted vehicle?
B.O.’s Fishwagon is one of Key West’s best kept secrets and hardest to find seafood restaurants in town and yet it’s always packed with patrons who’ve seeked out its location and flocked inside to enjoy its delicious meals.
The car was a surprise to say the least as we peddled our bikes around the lesser traveled southeastern part of the island along some back road. You on the other hand might have a better chance of seeing it a B.O.’s Fishwagon Restaurant located near Harbor Walk at the corner of William Street & Caroline Street on Key West’s northwestern tourist side of the island. Either way, upon seeing the car it’s without a doubt one that you won’t soon forget.
If you notice in the photos below on the passenger front wheel is painted “Gone Fishing” and then on the trunk are the words “Land Yacht”. It’s a sight to be seen I assure you and of course is FREE to all to admire, gawk, laugh & ponder “Why would anyone paint their car like this?” 🙂 I sure hope it’s still up and running by time this blogs posted, if not… just sit back and enjoy the photos!