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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Missing - One Legged Shoeless Drag Queen - Key West

Loyal readers know that I live in the Casa Marina Area of Key West which is normally a really quiet place to live in just about the best place in the world on most days. I live on a big corner lot and have lots of tropical foliage that insulates my house from the two intersecting streets. A big privacy fence actually keeps the outsiders out but the bushes soften the affect.  I have one of the tallest date palms on the island and several very tall palms that give my yard quite the island feel.

On Wednesday morning I went to the gym (Island Gym on Whitehead Street) at 6:00 AM and did an hour's worth of easy exercises.  It was my rest day. When I got home a few minutes after 7:00 I decided to do some work in the yard rather than get ready to go to my office. So I changed into some grubby shorts and took a rake to attack the scrub under the foliage out on the right of way.

As I worked my way to the corner I noticed the glare of fuchsia and sparkles. The color and radiance merged into an image of a substantial high heel shoe with glitter galore. Then I noticed a small multi colored clutch or purse.  I chuckled with delight. I pulled the shoe and purse out from under the bush. I searched for a second shoe but found none.  I decided to grab a camera to record my find for posterity.

A neighbor walked by (actually, I think he came out of his house after he heard me laughing so loudly).  I showed him my bounty.  I laughed and told him that I had found the shoe and purse of a one legged drag queen and then said it's stuff like this that makes life in Key West so damned interesting.

I think it was around Christmas in 1998 when I was baby sitting another neighbor's tiny Yorkshire Terrier.  Munchie  was yapping at something on the outside of my yard. It was early morning. I went out and looked behind the bushes and found a man hiding in the bushes. He had apparently spent the night there. I asked him to come out and move along. He obliged and said some that he was sorry. I could tell from the tone he truly was apologetic.  A couple of hours later I had to leave the house.  When I opened my gate I found a very large hand made pottery bowl filled with coins - lots and lots and lots of them. This was no little collection of pennies. Most of the coins were silver with some pennys and nickles thrown in..  I called the police and asked if anyone had reported a missing bowl of money. The cop said no. I asked what should I do with it. He said "Keep it".  I then decided that the man in the bushes had given me the bowl as some token of appreciation or maybe to seek forgiveness for the use of my bushes.  The gesture made me feel like an ogre.  Some Christian I was - at Christmas. 

If you see a one legged shoeless drag queen hobbling down a street in Key West please feel free to tell her to contact me. I still have her shoe and all of the make-up in her purse. I kept the bowl and still have it.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.