Key West in Wonderland, and other conceptions, perceptions, concoctions and confections

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Fantasy Fest feline 2

“Fantasy Fest”

Facebook banter instigated by Chuck Satterfield yesterday, and today I replied:
  • Chuck Satterfield
    Chuck Satterfield

    Sloan – you still keeping them “honest” in Key West?

    any new news on a CO [clothing optional] beach in KW? [referring, perhaps, to my 2009 mayor campaign, which hardly was about just that, but it did get some attention]

    Sloan's T-shirt

  • Today
  • Sloan Bashinsky
    Sloan Bashinsky

    It doesn’t seem to me that Key West can hear that nude beach music, which creates a puzzle in other music it hears quite well.

    Honesty perhaps also is in the eye of the beholder.

    Reminds of the play I somehow managed to stumble into watching last night at Waterfront Playhouse. Along the stumble to it, I reconnected with old amiga Michelle, who had redesigned my 2009 mayor campaign T-shirt, I don’t know if I can find it in this photo gallery, but I might be able to rummage it up for today’s post, which might lead off with ours here today. During the intermission of the play, I walked back out onto Mallory Pier and chatted old amiga Ron the Tarot dealer, who had first introduced me to Michelle – they are very close friends. I told him I was in the intermission of watching the most wonderful outrageous play, he should see it. What was it about? If I say what it is about, it will spoil it, it should be seen cold, no idea of what it is about. Is it a musical? Well, there is lots of music in it. Good, he loves musicals. Not actually a musical, raucous laughing by me, but it has lots of music, ribald laughing from me. See it. I headed back for the second part, which I knew from one of the hostesses was headed into Carnegie Hall. I had asked her before buying the ticket if it was funny, I needed funny last night. Oh, yeah, plenty funny. During the intermission, she asked me on my way outside how I liked it? Thumbs up, outrageously wonderful.My first time at Waterfront? No, I saw other plays there, but I lived on Little Torch Key a few years, and did not gotten down to Key West for plays. This is my first since moving back. I used to attend plays with the lawyer Jerry Coleman, I was his play date. Just outside, in the courtyard, Jerry had introduced me to a man who Jerry said had been in “A Chorus Line” on Broadway, and I had said I had seen it there and had loved it. The man said he had played a part in it. Which part? The fellow who was so sure he was going to get selected by the director to be in the play. The fellow with the big head of hair? The same. Wow, he nailed that part, he got it perfect. The man seemed astounded. Jerry seemed astounded. He said he never knew what was going to happen when he was around me. I said I been lots of places he don’t know about and some he never even heard of. I’m full of surprises. The hostess says that actor is Waterfront’s play producer, she names him. I am bad at remembering names at first blush. Once he directed a Waterfront play and at the last minute one of the actors dropped out and he knew the lines and filled in. I said he has a deep well of experience acting, he can do that. Yes, he has that deep well of experience. She says the play gets interesting in the second half. I say I bet it goes off somewhere unexpected. She smiles, yeah, big time. Like, Carnegie Hall? Yeah. Dang, I was wondering about that during the first half. But maybe Madison Square Garden might be more fitting. Laughter. The second half is an even bigger howler, rolling in the aisles side-splitting howling. Then, I weep. And I weep. And I leave saying to the angels who stumbled me into that marvelous experience, that I feel like the opera star in the play, I hear music nobody else hears, and I sing what I hear and it doesn’t sound to anyone else like what I am hearing and singing. I’m on yet another fools errand, another mayor’s race. The other day, I received a FB promo for Craig Cates reelection, when I saw it a month ago, it had 1,100 likes; the other day it was 3,100. That’s enough to win without a run off in most city elections. I’m signing my heart and guts and soul out, and it’s not coming out of me the way it is coming into me. Or maybe it is, but it’s not being heard; maybe other ears translate it into their music, or screeching. Maybe other ears are cheering and laughing because it’s such a marvelous joke. Who can say? Maybe the angels are playing the accomplished pianist and singer songwriter’s role in the play; the screecher’s foil, who becomes smitten with her and does all he can to protect her from becoming a national sensation for reasons she knows not – it is based on a true story, no kidding. Maybe the angels are telling me what I want to hear, instead of what I don’t want to hear. Maybe they just want me to keep screeching, because I don’t know I’m screeching; I hear their music and believe I am singing it. Well, that’s kinda stupid; they let me know plenty fast when they hear me screeching; but it’s kinda how I felt last night leaving Waterfront Theater. My all time favorite play was “A Chorus Line”. Until last night. Now it’s “Signature”. Wonderfully outrageous. Kinda like Capt. Tony Terracino (spelling?), about whom I read something wonderfully outrageous in KEY WEST ON THE EDGE: Inventing the Conch Republic yesterday, while I was doing my laundry in the laundromat at White and Union Streets. I dreamt last night of driving slowly through a field in Alabama, which has special meaning for me, listening to lots of crickets, which could not be heard driving fast. Cricket Desmarais (spelling?) did a wonderful outrageous interview of Capt. Tony at a gathering I was most fortunate to attend, hosted by SECRET OF SALT at co-publisher Kim Narenvickius’ (spelling’) residence off of White Street. My first live experience with Capt. Tony. Dang, what a genuine man. Must have driving the religious folks and the politicians and the developers and the cruise ship worshipers mad when he finally got elected mayor. Must have broke lots of women’s hearts, when he went on to be with the 70 virgins in Paradise. I might transcribe that Capt. Tony passage from KEY WEST ON THE EDGE, and include it in today’s post. I don’t type well enough to transcribe, but sometimes I suck it up and do it anyway. Like I transcribed the details in the arrest warrant signed by Judge Wayne Miller on Dennis Reeves Cooper, as reported in yesterday’s post at www.goodmorningkeywest.comProbably no way to keep ’em honest, but, as I told Arnaud Giarad the other day of his and Naja’s Key West the Newspaper, it’s important to try to get the whole story told, even if nothing else happens. I gave the hostess at Waterfront Theater my “business card” and said I will review “Signature” there today. I did not say I thought the review would be short, “If I tell you anything about this wonderfully outrageous play, it will ruin it for you. You gotta see it not knowing anything about it.” But the dream last night told me I had to take it slow, listen to the crickets, sing what I am hearing. And as I picked up my laptop to go to where I write each morning in this home where I live, I thought, well, there are people who will not see “Signature”, they can’t afford it; they don’t live in Key West; it may never come to where they are. So, I should at least say something about it, give the crickets their due.
  • Sloan Bashinsky
    Sloan Bashinsky

    Michelle, the Mallory Pier artist, in my campaign t-shirt, which she redesigned to suit herself, then she took the photo and sent it to me, I had no clue she was going to do that, but she had told me she was going to work on the t-shirt a bit.


back of t-shirt, Aphrodite


From KEY WEST ON THE EDGE, I added the photo of Capt. Tony:
Anthony "Tony" Tarracino

     Another candidate for office who was critical of the proposed land sale to the Pier House and the construction of the Reach was Tony Tarracino, better known as “Captain Tony,” the well-known proprietor of Captian Tony’s Saloon n Greet Street. Tony, whose honorary campaign manager was Jimmy Buffet, narrowly lost his bid for mayor in the 1985 election to Tom Sawyer, a Conch bank executor. Tony lost again in 1987 to former mayor Heyman, but Tony persevered and was elected in 1989 after Heyman chose not to seek another term.

     One reporter summarized Tony’s unofficial campaign slogan, as well as his life philosophy, as “All you need is a tremendous sex drive.” Tony, however, did not transfer this libertine philosophy regarding personal behavior to his perspective on development projects in Key West. the city should be open to diverse lifestyles, he argued, but it needed to regulate those seeking to profit from its attractiveness by by building more hotels and condominiums.
     Among Tony’s proposals during the mayoral race in 1985 was a three-year moratorium on development. Tony criticized the Reach, saying, “There’s another beach their taking away from us. Once they open up with cabanas and everything, forget the public. In two weeks they’ll say kids are urinating in the sand, drinking beer, smoking drugs, fornicating. They’ll set up a couple of phony fights and hat’s it. They’ll put the fences up.” Tony’s campaign even featured a rock song, which promised, “He’ll STOP THE BIG CONSTRUCTION! And have no peace, for folks who want Key West to look like Miami Beach.”
     Nevertheless, not once during his three election campaigns did Tony take a stand against tourism. In fact, he promised during his 1989 campaign, IIf I’m elected, I’ll be a tourist ambassador with class and taste.” He further noted, “If I’m mayor, we’ll make the papers at least once a month. We’ll find some way to make the shit fly. That’s what brings the people here.” Tony even sympathized with the college students who flocked to Key West during spring break. After the Key West Hotel and Motel Association urged the city commission to take steps to discourage the influx, he recalled fondly, ” We swallowed goldfish years ago and had sex in rumble seats. Youth has to be served.”
     During his swearing-in ceremony in 1989, Tony offered his personal perspective on the Key West of times past and his fears about the present, declaring, “[I have] found my Utopia and now I’m trying to save it.” During his term in office, he asserted that Key West was “not your normal town in the U.S.”:”People came here looking for their utopia. they’re dreamers, artists, people with high IQs. Whether it’s making beads or painting or fishing, they came here for their little paradise in the sun. Then look at all these big hotels. It’s all built on paper. And when they stop making money, they’ll pull out and leave the stake holes. These are the peo[le who are going to tell us what the rules are, how to live here? They’re strangers.” Messages such as these ruffled a few feathers in the tourist industry.
     After his election, Tony proposed an addition 3-percent bed tax on tourists to  finance basic governmental services, such as the police, the fire department, and recreation facilities. The Hotel and Motel Association successfully oppsed this proposal, and in the 1991 mayoral race, it endorsed former mayor Dennis Wardlow, who defeated Captain Tony by 304 votes.
Wardlow, a Conch, had been the city fire chief. His nephew, Billy Wardlow, now a city commissioner, later became the city fire chief. Maybe some day Billy will run for mayor. I imagine he’d have an excellent chance of winning, if he wasn’t running against a popular fellow Conch.
Meanwhile, in today’s Key West Citizen, I added the photo of Judge Miller:
Judge Miller
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Judge steps down from murder case
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff

The judge who presided over the March murder trial of Peter Hedvall disqualified himself from the sentencing portion of the case after defense attorneys accused him of showing bias.

Circuit Judge Wayne Miller stepped down Monday, leaving court officials with the job of appointing another judge to sentence Hedvall, who was convicted March 27 of the second-degree murder of Jonathan Alvarado Perez, 32.

A new judge hadn’t been appointed as of Tuesday, and a sentencing date for Hedvall hasn’t been scheduled.

The victim, Perez, was a server in Key West until Oct. 28, 2011, when he was found dead beneath a commercial truck parked on Grinnell Street.

His last moments occurred just a few blocks away from the local bar Dons’ Place, 1000 Truman Ave., where Hedvall and Perez had interacted the night before.

After a 10-day trial, followed by eight hours of deliberations, a local jury decided Hedvall strangled Perez, using wire from the wings that were part of Perez’s Fantasy Fest costume, and bludgeoned him with a 20-pound coral rock.

A DNA expert for the state told jurors that Perez’s blood was found on a motorcycle boot and a white costume suit worn by Hedvall the day of the murder.

In addition to their accusations of bias on the part of Miller, public defenders in the case have also asked for a new trial for Hedvall, citing one juror’s claim that she was bullied into supporting the guilty verdict, and arguing that Judge Miller improperly allowed prosecutors to enter evidence for the first time during closing arguments.

Prosecutors showed jurors glitter found on the clothes Hedvall wore the night Perez was killed — glitter that came from the fairy wings Perez wore for Fantasy Fest, they argued.

Public defenders also say the judge repeatedly denied their proper objections and called them “unethical, engaging in showmanship and being intoxicated during trial or breaks.”

During cross-examination of a key state witness, Miller called one defense attorney a liar, according to the defense attorneys’ motion to disqualify the judge, which Miller granted without comment on Monday.

Florida case law has held that even the appearance of impartiality by a judge is enough to warrant a recusal, “even if the record is lacking of any actual bias or prejudice on the judge’s part,” public defenders representing Hedvall wrote in their motion to disqualify Miller.

“The judge repeatedly during jury selection and throughout the trial allowed gratuitous and irrelevant testimony regarding [Perez’s] sexuality and the nature of ‘gay friendly’ bars,” wrote Assistant Public Defender Jason Smith.

Attached to the motion is a sworn statement by juror Christina McClay, who said she was bullied into voting guilty and “participated in sending an innocent man to prison.”

McClay said the jury foreperson wouldn’t allow her to send a note to the judge saying the jury was deadlocked and couldn’t render a verdict.

“I was holding out for a ‘not guilty’ verdict along with one other juror at the end,” McClay said in an affidavit. “We were made to deliberate after a long day in court.”

Hedvall was originally charged with first-degree murder but never faced the death penalty.

With a second-degree murder conviction, Hedvall faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison, but could receive less depending on a presentencing investigation report completed by the Florida Department of Corrections. That report details Hedvall’s criminal history and other factors when suggesting a prison term to the judge.

I imagine the same reasons argued by the Public Defender for Judge Miller coming out of the case might be used by the Public Defender on appeal to have the conviction reversed. Judge Miller is not having a good week in the local news.
On same judge topic, Hatman replied to his part of yesterday’s Happy Tax Day, Key West – continuing efforts to get to the bottom of what all really happened in the Happy Thanksgiving, Charles Eimers, sorry you had to die because you were suspected of being homeless story; and Key West the Newspaper Publisher Dennis Reeves Cooper arrest flashback to unreported intrigue surrounding Judge Wayne Miller, who signed the arrest warrant, not getting raked over the coals by Dennis and other local newspapers and the national media, as did happen to then KW Police Chief Gordon “Buz” Dillon, who, with Judge Miller’s approval, had Dennis arrested for reporting on an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation Dennis had initiated with a complaint against KWPD officers post at

HatmanI was the subject of the stories that Dennis Cooper was writing about — that Lt. Al Flowers lied in court. and then these many years later to have judge Miller find me guilty of being a “vicious vehicle lodger” ( as you pen many times). the 1st story cam out on May 11, 2001 and then there was a 3 week void as Cooper was digging and researching stuff and complaining to FDLE. the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th (last) pieces were on June 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2001. not sure if there’s any GREAT significance but……….

I replied: 

Do you know which judge presided over Dennis Cooper’s D.U.I. trial? I thought the timing of the stuff about Judge Miller, Buz Dillon and Dennis Cooper arriving my way around your departure from KW with lots of help from Judge Miller was hardly coincidental. I didn’t like the way Judge Miller handled your case. Now, he didn’t get off entirely in the Buz Dillon/Dennis Cooper case, nor did Dennis get off entirely. Karma has its own way of moseying back around. Hope your next adventures go mostly to your liking.

Rodd wrote:


I don’t know who was Cooper’s DUI judge. but you should also know (or maybe even want to know) that I have made a formal complaint to the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission in Tallahassee re judge Miller’s actions in my lodging case. I have rec’d confirmation of them receiving my complaint but nothing else thus far.

Rodd, the Key West Hatman

cracked egg

Can you imagine a Key West mayor reporting that kind of fun stuff every morning on his mayor’s website? I bet Capt. Tony, Rodd and Michelle can imagine it.  I be they also can imagine cruise ships mysteriously getting lost at sea en route to Key West, and developers, elected officials, city managers, police officers and judges going out fishing and ending up with the mysteriously-lost cruise ships, and nude beach lovers mysteriously converging on Key West in hordes and mass-demonstrating in the buff on city beaches, claiming First Amendment religious freedom – Adam and Eve didn’t have to wear clothes God never made for them, and other mysterious so forths and so ons some folks might consider screechings and other folks consider music of the spheres …

Higgs Beach party

Sloan Bashinsky

Sloan at HH 2

moi having breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s, photo taken by take-no-prisoners amiga server Cathy

Devil or Angel 2

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

There is a different fun post today at, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: Is US Fish & Wildlife waiting on ground hog day to get concerned about the environmentally-threatening sewer grinder pump invasion of Big Pine Key and the islands below?

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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