^Listen to 'Raise My Glass To The Upper 48" while you read the blog!^
For those who have read the blog for over a year, may recall I did a piece around this time last year, regarding the Florida State highway A1A? I’m covering it again because not everyone who reads this blog today, read it last year.
My friend Renn Loren, from Norway, by way of Hawaii, wrote me this week from the cold Scandinavian country regarding his trip back to the Keys(he arrives here tomorrow) and said “Maybe we could travel up A1A and you could show me all of the significant places!” My reply was easier than he expected, I suspect. “Oh I can tell you right now! It starts at the end of Bertha St at the water. First you’ll pass the Sheratan hotel on your left, heading north, with Smathers beach on your right, a couple of condos there on the left as well. The salt ponds will follow on the left, while Smathers Beach remains on the right.
One mile up from Bertha Street you will see the Mile Marker 1 sign, as A1A does not have a Mile Zero sign. Continue up A1A and the airport and East Martello Tower ( where Robert the haunted doll is) and a seawall on the right. Curving around on the right is where the old Houseboat Row used to be and somewhere around here is Mile Marker 2.
Over a small bridge and on to the intersection with US 1 and you’re done! A1A continues again up in Miami/Dade County.”
Fact is, A1A is only about 2 ½ miles long in the Florida Keys. That’s it.
When Jimmy Buffett wrote the song about “Strolling up the avenue that’s known as A1A” he was talking about walking along that beach stretch of road. The majority of people from out of town thought that A1A was the Overseas Highway to the Keys. However, A1A stands for ”Atlantic 1 Alternate”, giving the traveler an option of traveling on either US1 or A1A. “Alternate” is the key word. If there is no other road to travel on, you can’t have an alternate route, so at these points you re-join US1. Welcome to the Keys, where we take pride of having only one road in and one road out of the Keys and that Road is US 1, which starts at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming Streets and runs 2,377 miles (3,825km) up to the Canadian border at Ft. Kent, Maine. Another significant note is that A1A is a state road, where US1 is a federal highway.
We’ve had a change in our “TROPICAL SONGWRITERS IN PARADISE” show. Allen “Frankendread” Holland ran into some obstacles up where he is in Illinois and regretfully won’t be making it down. We however had a pool of players on the waiting list and brought in Rich McGuire, who lives up in Florida somewhere and plays in the band Schooner and the Wharf Rats. Rich will be playing in the same time slot as Allen was , 3:30 – 4. Also, Ryan and Andy from Homemade Wine have a rehearsal with a horn section, so regrettably, they had to bail. On the flip side, we did pick up Todd Sparks from up in the panhandle of Florida! Here’s the schedule!
November 1st at T’s Bistro and Bar 1114 Duval St. Key West (around the corner from the Southernmost point) Noon – 8 PM
11:55 -12:25 Key West Chris Rehm - Conch Republic
12:30 – 1:00 Renn Loren - Norway/Hawaii
1:00 – 1:30 Dani Hoy – Pennsylvania
1:30– 2:00 C.W. Colt – Conch Republic
2:00 – 2:30 John Friday - Florida
2:30 – 3:00 Swim Skinny – Ohio
3:30 – 4:00 Rich McGuire - Florida
4:00 – 4:30 Loren Davidson - California
4:30 – 5:00 Adrienne- Conch Republic
5:00 – 5:30 Steve Tolliver – Florida
5:30 – 6:00 Ray West - Conch Republic
6:00 – 6:30 TBA
6:30 -7:00 Young Rebel Goombas’ – Richie Saccenti, Cosmo Mallardi, Rob Cutts Long Island, N.Y.
7:00 – 7:30 Todd Sparks - Florida
7:30 – 8:00 Rich In Spirit – Conch Republic