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Friday, October 31, 2014

My Brother the Mummy


I grew up in the 1950's in a little suburb just west of Denver. I shared my bedroom with my big brother. I was ten and he was twelve years older than me. He was a handsome devil. Really. He had just come back after spending two years in the US Army. The first night he was back we went shopping for a new car. He bought a brand new blue and white 1956 Oldsmobile convertible. He was a snappy dresser who had blue suede shoes, a couple of cool sport coats, a worsted wool overcoat, lots of nice short sleeve shirts which he always wore with the sleeves rolled up to show off his muscles. After he had been back home he even had a duck tail haircut. The girls loved him, and I admired him.

There were only four television stations in Denver in the mid 1950s: ABC, CBS, NBC, plus an independent station that ran scratchy old black and white movies from the 1930s and 1940s which included weekly horror movies. I remember one particular winter night. It was quite late. My mom and dad had gone to bed hours earlier. My brother, his girlfriend Janet, and I had watched "The Mummy" - the real one with Boris Karloff wrapped in bandages. I remember the plot essentially to be a chase scene in slow motion where the mummy slowly dragged his bandaged body with one arm out-stretched chasing morons too paralyzed with fear to run away from the creature. He always caught them. Movies haven't changed much in the eighty-two years since "The Mummy" was produced. Morons are always too paralyzed with fear to escape and they always get caught. It's their destiny.

Anyway, after the movie was over my brother went outside to warm up his Oldsmobile convertible to take Janet home. It was snowing that night. He stayed outside long enough to remove snow from the car. (You readers up north in America know about snow covered cars because you have to live with it. Us Key Westers know of it from memories or seeing snow in movies or on television. We live frost-free in the Keys!)

When my brother came back inside his head and overcoat were covered with new fallen snow. When he opened the front door a blast of cold air flushed across the living room. He paused. He looked across at Janet and me sitting on the couch. He raised his right arm in the same manner as the Mummy had held his in the movie. He slowly edged toward us. He didn't say a word. He dragged his foot behind him as he headed toward us. We sat paralyzed with fear. We both screamed for our lives. I am pretty sure he caught us.  I'm alive so I know he didn't kill me. He married a different girl. So I'm not so sure about what happened to Janet.
There is a photo located in the confines of my deceased sister's basement that shows my brother wearing a short sleeve shirt with muscles tensed standing next to Janet in front of his blue and white 1956 Oldsmobile convertible (photo above is what his car looked like). They made great cars and great brothers back then.

Today I sell houses in  Key West. I mostly represent buyers who have a dream of owing a second home in Key West where there is no snow and where we only see mummies during Fantasy Fest.


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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.