Saturday, June 30, 2012

The End of an Era at the Hurricane Hole

Paul Watler, longtime bartender at the Hurricane Hole, celebrated his final night as a bartender with a huge party last night. Paul has served our cocktails and beers in the evenings for the past six years, but starting today is he a fisherman full time. Paul is an extraordinary man with many skills and the ability to work with people and accomplish whatever he sets his mind to do.

He arrived at the Hurricane Hole six years ago as a bar back for Patty Wacker, one of Key Wests most well-known bartenders, and a year later he was carrying the shifts that were made available when Patty moved on. He has become a great friend and always a pleasure to see when he is behind the bar.
His world changed drastically a little over a year ago with the arrival of his daughter Eleanor. Paul the father became a very different and better man. It meant doing things that would better provide for his family and among them a new way of making a living. Fishing is that new way. After a year of working the bars by evening and fishing the rest of the time, yesterday marked the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Paul the family man along with his wife Thuy and daughter Eleanor will have more quality time together starting today and can look forward to a Paul that will be working in an area that makes him happier than the bar life could ever make him.

Best wishes and may things work out all for the best for you and your family. This hurricane Hole will recover, but it will never be the same without Paul behind the bar, but you be safe and enjoy your new world. ;o)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Cocktail Time

When it's summer cocktail time here in the Keys I think about some of the Tiki style cocktails from the 50" thru the 80's. This brings back memories of the Zombie, Fog Cutter, and of course the Mai Tai. I love to put new spins of old cocktails in the Rum Lab, and the Mai Tai is a great one to give a new look and taste. It is always fun to try out new rums like Caliche from Roberto Seralles and Rande Gerber in some of the traditional cocktails. I also enjoy creating new syrups in the kitchen before we have a Rum Lab. These new rums and syrups will really bring many of the old cocktails to life and brighten up your summer days and evenings with a cool and refreshing tropical delight.

Bahama Bob’s Mai Tai

· 1 ½ oz. Caliche Rum
· 1 ½ oz. Centenario 7 year Old Rum

· ½ oz. Orgeat Syrup

· 1 oz. Sour Mix

· ½ oz. Bahama Bob’s #3 Syrup

· 1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake thoroughly. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange, a lime and a sprig of mint.

Bahama Bob’s #3 Syrup

· 4 ½ cups Boiling Water

· 1 cup Sugar in the Raw

· ¼ cup Nutmeg
· ¼ cup Cinnamon
Stir on the stove until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken. Allow to cool and put into a plastic squirt bottle for easy dispensing. The syrup will stay good for a week or two if kept refrigerated.

Try this recipe for both the Mai Tai and my #3 Syrup, I think you will really enjoy them. Don's be afraid to use the syrup in some other cocktails, it blends well with many style of cocktails and rums. ;o)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to the Beach

West Side of Marquesa Key

     Today makes two straight beautiful mornings of warmth and sunshine here in the Keys. Today would be a perfect day to pack up the boat and cruise to the west and some of the best beaches in the area if I didn't have to work. Pure white sand and virtually void of humanity and the only thing I get to leave behind me are my footprints. The good news is that I can go in my mind through pictures and memories.    Though most of these beaches will be soon washed away by the tides, today we can preserve them in photographs.   The Marquesa Keys and Boca Grande Key areas out to the west of us about 25 miles or so are always an adventure to be there and see what new things you can find. Today it is the beaches that are holding my attention, the white of the sand against the beautiful blues of the water and the sky keep catching my attention.

Wilma or Brewskey 2006
     There is something magical about finding a beach that wasn't there last year and may not be here next year and get to be one of the few that get to enjoy its presents even though it was only a moment’s occurrence. Brewskey or Wilma Key as it was called by the locals was formed duing Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and by 2009 the tidal action had all but washed it away. It became a nesting area for several varieties of marine birds and turtles during its short existence. The best part of the beach it was almost like stepping off of a spaceship onto a new planet when I first saw it in 2006. The ever changing land masses of the Keys are part of the mystique that brings me back to these areas again and again year after year to see how Mother Nature has rearranged things this time.

     Her winds, waters, and sands are her paint brush and the land is her canvas to create these beautiful and breathe taking landscapes for all of us that have that adventuresome urges to seek them out. Take a weekend or even a few hours and go back somewhere you haven't been in a while or like us go back to a place you've been before and see what has been rearranged and resculpted. ;o)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Feel the Warmth of the Sun

     The doldrums caused by Debby have finally departed Key West, leaving the sun shining and a sky of blue again.   It is so nice to walk down the dock and feel the warmth of the sun on my back, it just picks up my spirits and makes me smile.   The sunshine is the best medicine in the world for what ever ails you, it just makes me feel like dancing when I'm out in her warmth.   

     The days seem nicer now that the nine plus days of grey sky and rain have passed.   Debbie didn't cause much of any damage in the Keys, but it sure ruined the great vibe of it's residents while she hung around here.   This is one storm that we  in the Keys won't miss at all.   Most storms are here and gon in 24 hours or less, but not Debby, she just didn't want to leave.

     Blue sky is the other magic ingredient to bringing smiles back to our faces and getting us back out doing what wedo down here in the Keys. Keeping the vibe of community alive and well is what make life in Key West such a joy.   

      Today is going to be a wonderful one for us in the Keys and I hope it is just a good for all of you.   ;o)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Agricole Method: Homere Clement's Creation

Homere Clement is credited with the creation of the Rhum Agricole method, a method he developed in the latter part of the 19th century.   Clement was a native of Martinique that received a scholarship from the French government to attend the University of Paris.   In 1878, Clement returned to Martinique bringing with him a passion for the Grand Cru Wines and Armagnac (a brandy produced in the Armagnac region of Southwest France).  in 1887 Clement had established Rhum Clement as the leading producer of A.O.C. (Appellation d' Origine Controlee or "controlled destination of origin") Martinique Rhum Agricole.

     What makes A.O.C. Rhum Agricole different?    To start with it is made from a selection of the top A.O.C. certified sugarcane, chopped as close to the ground as possible to obtain the highest content of the glucose.   It must then be pressed in the same method as the grapes are to get the natural "free run" juices.     The cane is cut, cleaned, and crushed within an hour, this keeps the sugar cane juice as fresh as possible  when the house organic strain of fermentation yeasts are added, starting the fermentation process.   Fermentation lasts between 48 and 72 hours yielding the " sugar wine" which develops all of the full bodied flavors and aromas of the rhum.

     The distillation process is carried out in an Armagnac style Creole single column copper still.   This still was chosen by Homere Clement to get the flavors and viscosity he was looking for.  Even today the sugar wine is distilled in this style of still.   It is designed to produce a heavier and lower strength spirit.

     The rhum is then placed is stainless steel vats that bubble a filtered steam through the rhum and with slow agitation, remove any unwanted esters that can ruin the taste of the rhum.   This process takes about 9 months, then it is ready for bottling or aging.

     The rhum is aged in a combination or Limousin and American Oak barrels.    The aging process is monitored by the cellar master in order to attain the specific character of the rhum.  The rhum at least in some cases is stored in a solera system for aging.  The two different woods each infusing the rhum with their own intense flavor and aroma creating a very complex characteristics.   The barrels are topped of regularly during the aging process to counter act the evaporation from the barrels ( the angel's share") with rhum from the same batch to maintain a rhum that is 100% of the same vintage.

     This strict control of the origin of the sugar cane and the methods of the production is what gives an A.O.C Martinique Agricole it's unique flavor and aroma, far different from it's counterparts made from molasses.    This is a style of rhum that is different and unique from the molasses based rums, but is worth exploring the unique flavors of the pure agricoles of Martinique.  ;o)

Monday, June 25, 2012

What About the Barrel?

This is a "Maker's Mark" Barrel aging "Drum Circle Rum"
   The flavor that makes a rum so special has a direct relationship to the barrel that it is aged in.    Many of these barrels come from whiskey and bourbon makers that are brokered all over the world.    The barrels are first used to lay up bourbon, but because of the rules for bourbon production, they can only be used once.   This provides a great source for barrels to fill the needs of the rum producers around the world.    There are also barrels that are secured from producers of Cognac, Sherry, Scotch, and other varieties of wines to give the rum a flavor that the blender is looking for.

Barrels and Parts at Cruzan Distillery
     The barrels are a large investment for the distilleries, because they will be in use for many years in the case of the better premium rums.   This is why it is so important that the barrels are cared for and kept in good condition.   It is just as important to have a good "cooperage" at the distillery as it is to have a good still.    Barrel parts are as valuable as the barrels themselves.
Cooperage at St. Lucia Distillers
Standard Stacking at West Indies Rum
Distilleries in Barbados
The cooperage (barrel making shop) not only repairs barrels, but will replace a single stave to change the way a specific barrel of rum is aging when there is not enough tannin being released in a specific barrel.    They can repair the barrels and make new one from old ones when different pieces are required for the desired results.   This is an important shop in the distillery and has a huge effect on the final flavor of the product.

Solera System at Abuelo Distillery in Panama

    Once the barrels are filled they are stored in warehouse areas until resting of the rums is complete.   There are two ways that the rums are aged in the barrels.  The first is the most common and really the standard method for rum barrel placement.   They stack the barrels in an upright position in a warehouse and keeping them there for the duration of the aging.     The other method is the solera  method where the barrels are laid on their side and the rum is moved between the barrels during the aging process. ( See my March 11, 2011 article "What is this Solera Aging Process?," to further understand how the whole the system works.)

    The aging of the rums is the most costly of all of the processes.   It requires the asset to sit in a bodega or warehouse of many years before you can realize the profits of your labors.   These warehouses and bodegas take up a lot of acreage and require regular monitoring to protect the investment of the distillery.   It is the sometimes overlooked part of the process of producing fine rum, but it is one of the most important ones.  ;o)
Aging Bodegas of Ron Abuelo in Panama


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Barbados Day Dreaming

     It is on these Sunday mornings when my mind takes me back to so many beautiful places that I have seen in the past.    Today it is the back roads of the beautiful island of Barbados where my mind wandered for my morning vacation.   ;o)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bacardi and the Cuban Revolution

     There is a huge amount information about the role of the Bacardi family and the Cuban Revolutionaries I discovered as I researched this article.  This is becoming very interesting in light of the court battles going on between Cuba and Bacardi over the "Havana Club" trademark and theis being the 150th annaversary of the company.     It seems that at least initially, the  Bacardi family supported the Cuban revolutionaries including Fidel Castro and the broader "M-26-7 movement".   This support came from the family members, employees, and facilities that could be put to use my the movement.   The company supported the revolution with parties and in the rum advertisements as well.

     Their support soon turned to opposition as pro-soviet Che Guevara wing of the movement began to dominate and Castro turned against the American interests.    The family and the company maintained a strong opposition to Fidel Castro's revolution all during the 60's.     Bacardi and the family left Cuba after the Castro's regime began confiscating family assets as part of the nationalization plan and the banning of all private property and bank accounts.    Fortunately for the Bacardi's they had already started moving many of their ownership of trademarks,assets, and proprietary formulas out of Cuba because of a distrust of then leader, Fulgenico Batista.    The company had started new branches in the Bahamas, Mexico and Puerto Rico to protect itself.

     Embittered Bacardi helmsman, Jose Pepin Bosch is said to have bought a surplus Douglas B-26 bomber in hopes of bombing Cuban oil refineries, and had allegedly was involved in a CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, and Che Guevara.   This was reveled during the congressional investigations into John F. Kennedy's death.

     This whole story is really covered well in a book by Tom Gjelten titled "Bacardi and The Long Fight for Cuba.    You can find a great review of the book at this blog by Greg Weeks.    

Tom Gjelten's Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba

There are really two parts to Tom Gjelten's Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba (2008).  The first is a history of Cuba from the 1860s to the 1960s, centered on Bacardi and the city of Santiago.  The second is a narrative of how Bacardi became global and also obsessed with fighting Fidel Castro.  The Bacardi company went from being an icon of Cuba to a conglomerate struggling to maintain a Cuban identity.    
You can read the rest of the story on his blog.

      The subject is one of interest and need some further exploring, as it is like a great novel, but all of this really happened.   ;o)


Friday, June 22, 2012

Here is the Sunshine for All of Us in the Keys

     After 5 days of overcast and rain here in the Florida Keys, most of us are suffering from "cabin fever", without the cabin.   I just felt that the picture of a great and beautiful sunrise might bring a bit of happiness for a moment anyway.      I guess that the grey sky for 5 days when you are use to sunshine gets rather depressing.    I hope that it will go away soon, but weather antagonizers say that relief from the grey skys is still several days away.    They are still saying that there is no end in sight for the next few days, with the possible deepening of the storm by Saturday evening or Sunday.

TC Activity

They say that this low has a high chance of development into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours, but they don't realize that the Florida Keys have been put into one by all the rain and the overcast skys.   They are telling us that Sunday evening should be the end of this slow moving drenching storm here in the Florida Keys.    This is a huge low pressure area that has drenched Cuba, the Yucatan, and the Florida Keys for a week now and is finally moving north into the Gulf of Mexico.
     Sunday night will be a party for all of us if the rain finally moves away as predicted by the evening.    Look out Key West, we've been either inside or  to quote a friend outside "overcast tanning" for the past week and we are ready to get out and rock.   I'm looking forward to the weather change anyway, you really need the sunshine to keep you alive.    It may mean it is back to sweating in the high 80's heat and humidity, but it really beats these overcast days  any time.   ;o)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where do Americans Spend Their Booze Money?

   It seems that American consumers are spending about 1 % of the money they are spending on booze.   This is an amount that hasn't changed very much in the past 30 or so years.   What is interesting about the report is where the money is being spent.  

    In a report by Lam Thuy Vo,, it shows that in 1982, 24% of the money spent on alcohol was being spent at bars and restaurants, and 76% being bought at stores for home use.     By the 2011 report is shows that we are spending 40% of the booze money in bars and 60% in the stores.   This is a major shift, but what does it really mean.   Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the cost of booze in Bars and Restaurants has risen 79% since 1982 and the cost of booze in the stores has dropped 39%.   It would appear that we are not really going out more, it has just gotten more expensive to drink in the bars and restaurants that is shifting the percentages..   

    The report also showed that of the alcohol money being spent for home consumption, wine purchases have more that doubled and hard liquor has been cut by more than half.   Beer is also on the decline, though not nearly as significantly.   These are interesting trends, but what really seems significant to me is that Americans haven't really changed their spending for alcohol all that much, they have only shifted where they are spending it.   Buying wine for home instead of hard liquor is a significant savings that allows them to go out and enjoy cocktails at the bars and restaurants though it has become more expensive to do so, in addition to the fact that the beer purchases for home changing only a minor amount, would tend to make me think this is the case.   ;o)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tropically Depressed: They are Trying to Drown Us

     There is a huge low that has been trying to drown us here for the past couple of days and promises to hang out with us for a few more. These are rare here in the keys and I hate it when rain just hangs over the island for days on end like this.   Alan Jackson's song about being in in a "Tropical Depression" fits weather like this here in paradise.    The black clouds that are hanging over us are filled with rain and it just keeps dropping huge amounts of rain on us.   Then it stops for a few minutes giving us false hopes of clearing up and then dumps on us again.    

     The rain isn't the real problem, it's the grey sky and the lack of sunshine to a fun loving bunch of inhabitants that live for the sunshine.  Unable to get out on the water or play at the beach, but rather are stuck indoors.    Our world is one of bicycles, boats, and motor scooters that don't do well in the rain.   Wet streets with deep puddles that cars drive through and drench you even more than you already were don't help the mood either.   This is phone killing time for us, it isn't the phone falling into the sea that kills our phones it is being soaked by the rain water getting into your pockets and drowning the phones where they live.
     The really good news is that this is only for a few days and will be gone again and it will be back to sunshine and the warmth of the surrounding waters that keep us smiling and washes the depression away.   I hat  e all of this self pity that I get when the least little bit of bad weather comes around brings over me, but that is why I live down here in paradise where this is not suppose to be happening.    Poor me!!!   No really it is funny how when you are use to the rain just breezing in and out of here in an hour or so, when it stays it does kill your mood and leaves you feeling blue until it goes away, and we are back out the beaches basking in the sunshine again.   ;o) 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

White Rum vs Spiced Rum: Who will be Number 1

   There seems to be a trend toward spiced rum going on right now according to Diageo's Russell Jones Captain Morgan global brand manager, who said the consumer is trending away from white rums and moving towards spiced ones.
Jones says that the US is a major market for Captain Morgan , as is being used as a testing ground for some of the new innovative products.    In April, Diageo launched "Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum in the United States, where  Jones says"what happens in the US tends to set the trend".     There are 16 spiced rums that have been added to the market in the past three years here in the United States.   This is going to force the hand of all of the older traditional spiced rums to improve their game or be out of the game.

     One of the new additions to the game was Oakheart from Bacardi, this is one of the better spiced rums to be placed on the market by a mass producer is many years.    The blend of good rum and a spice package that doesn't over power the rum has made it a quick riser and the sales are doing well.  This is also an indication of what the market is doing also.  For a giant like Bacardi to spend a lot of time developing a quality spiced rum really shows that there is an emerging market for the spiced rums.

     It the real world of the rum sales battle, the white rum is still the number one seller and Bacardi is the number one seller of white rum.    In 2011 , worldwide  Bacardi sold nearly 20 million cases of white rum last year compared to Captain Morgan's Spiced sold  nearly 10 million cases.    Russell Jones believes that the "more holistic trend is that the market is going away from white rums to spiced rums".    This is something that we will follow and see if what he feels comes to fruition.    No matter which way it goes, the sales of rum is growing every year, and it is on the back of companies like Diageo and Bacardi that it is growing on.   ;o)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bootleg Rum Raises it Ugly Head in Jamaica Again

     A story in the Jamaica Gleaner reveals that bootleg rum carrying  J. Wray & Nephew White  Overproof labels was making it's way into several bars, stores, wholesalers, as well as other places throughout Kingston.     The Sunday Gleaner has found the bootleg rum widely available especially in bars and shops during it's investigation over the past three months.     This has been a problem before in Jamaica, and has come to the surface again.   There are several parts for concern over this latest outbreak.   Health concerns over  this rum that is being distilled in less than sanitary conditions, the financial impact of the bootlegging.

     From a sanitation standpoint, the bottles are used bottles that have not been properly sanitized and being resealed with glue.  The stills themselves are not inspected as well as the rest of the facilities to see if they meet the required standards.    All of these things can be a source of problems for anyone that is using these bootleg versions of the rum.    There have been some reports of diarrhoea and other symptoms reported from the drinking of the bootleg rum, but the full effects from the ingestion of these rums is unclear at the is time.      

     The financial losses not only effect the J. Wray & Nephew Company, but the taxes are not being collected on these bottles costing the Jamaican Government millions each year.   It is conservatively estimated the bootleg rum sales at $100 million annually, and the legitimate industry leaders are feeling the they are becoming more organized and sophisticated in their methods and distribution.

      Most of the current confiscated bottles are bearing the J. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Label, and the company says that most of the customers who are purchasing this bootleg rum won't be able to tell the difference.   This is because even some of the new security additions to the label are found on the counterfeit ones.    The trail back to the people that are making the rum is very unclear, there have been several arrests of store owners that are selling the bootleg rum but getting back to the source has been sketchy.     Major Hugh Blake , corporate risk manager of Lascelles Group who makes Wray & Nephew says the counterfeit trade has been dented in recent years leading to nearly 90% of the rum on the market being rum from legitimate producers.  

     I guess it is not that different from the bootleggers in the South here in the United States during the 40's and 50's, it is hard to find the stills and even harder to catch the delivery people.    I think that the real concern for the Jamaican Government is one of revenue loss and some small health concern.   It needs to be nipped off, before the organizations become too deeply rooted and they become nearly impossible to get rid of.   ;o)   


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Sky Puts on the Show

All the colors and shadow of the clouds at sunset just leave me in aah of mother natures artistic skills as she paints with light.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pango after the Rum Lab

     Since doing the Rum Lab with Barbancourt's Pango Rum, I have been working with this wonderful mango and pineapple flavored rum.    We are making a cocktail based on the painkiller using the Pango that is absolutely fabulous, and a few other ideas have worked out very well.   I am finding that the more I work with this blend, the more places I find that I can use it.    The versatility of the flavors blend well with so many other tropical flavors making it perfect for most any tiki or tropical cocktail.

Pango Punch
  • 1 1/2 oz. Barbancourt Pango
  • 1 oz. Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve
  • 3/4 oz. Taylor's Falernum
  • 1/2 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. White Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Sprite
Place all ingredients except the Sprite in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a pint glass filled with ice and top up with the Sprite.  Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wheel.   This can also be floated with a nice overproof rum like Plantation Trinidad Overproof or Lemon Hart 151.   

This is just one idea that really worked for me, you can experiment and come up with so many really flavorful cocktail using Barbancourt's Pango in your back yard Tiki of in the kitchen if the summer hasn't reached you yet.   ;o)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fish Hawk Key: Revisited

    Fish Hawk Key is one of the magical little mangrove keys off of Key West that keeps drawing me back again and again.    It is the combination of the beauty of the Key, the sky, and the water as they come together around this little spot just northeast of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico.

     This little key is absolutely loaded with life though, in the air on the "land" and under the water.   The bird live is plentiful and varied, from Cormorants and Gulls to Ospreys and Herons, there are just hundreds of birds that in habit this little spot of land and mangroves.     The bird life also changes with the seasons like the leaves in the Appellation Mountains.     There are Pelicans and other migratory birds that show up here in the winter and the "locals" that remain here all year round like the Cormorants and the Herons.

     When you look down into the water, this is another complete world to explore as well.    Like the sky's, the inhabitants of the key change with the seasons as well.    Summer is getting started and the water is starting to warm up and the appearance of the sharks will begin very soon in this area.   Right now you can see Southern Stingrays, Barracuda, an a hole host of Mangrove Snapper in the shallows among the mangrove keys in this area.   I love to turn the motor off and raise it up allowing the dinghy to drift with the current.   This allows me to see many things in the water, plus some time to enjoy and photograph them.

     No matter when you visit the small shallow water mangrove keys in the gulf just north of Key West, you sill find a pilferer of life, large and small that will call you to return again and again to enjoy the new show being performed for you with all the encores that your time will allow you to sit for.    If you can get your hands on a shallow draft boat, take the time to visit these marvelous little keys it will be well worth your time.   ;o)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wray & Nephew offers a 50 Year Old Jamaican Independence Reserve Rum

     This is an idea that started when 24 oak barrels of Appleton Rum began aging in 1962 under the watchful eye of then master blender Owen Tuller.     The "angel's share reduced the finished product to only 14 barrels remaining for bottling.      This is the first part of a two part project that also includes the continuing of the aging process of part of the rum to an age of 100 years for the Jamaican Independence Centennial.

    Joy Spence the current master blender for Appleton describes the rum as having a "dark mahogany color with rich coppery reflections".   There is a powerful oak aroma infused with vanilla, cinnamon, maple, and orange peel.  The flavor is  smooth with a honey oak  finish.

     Appleton is looking to gross some $4 million from this part of the project.  There will only be 800 bottles available world wide and they will be retailing at approximately $5,000 per bottle.   This is described as the oldest rum in the world by Wray & Nephew's managing director Paul Henriques.    This is one very special event in Jamaica and a very special rum is proper and fitting to celebrate the 50 Years of Independence for Jamaica.   This is a project that took a lot of advanced planing and very special execution by very talented people to have it happen in such a spectacular way.  

     Congratulations to Jamaica for 50 years of Independence and to Appleton for such forethought and bring to fruition the huge undertaking.   ;o)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pride Parade: Zany Key West is at it Again

     Key West is known for many many things and last weekend was the culmination of Pridefest, the gathering of the gay community for some fun and frolic.   The culmination of the event is the parade on Sunday, and this year it was just as crazy as it is every year.    The guys and gals all if full regalia for  the event brought out a good crowd to witness the parade as it proceeded down Duval Street.  

     The carrying of the rainbow flag to the motorcycles, floats and the local politicians were all present to make this years event another fun parade.   I guess it is the fine people of Key West and their acceptance of all who reside here that makes me so happy about living here.    It takes me back to my younger years and puts a smile on my face.   ;o)