A Compact History
Blu’s Yunger’s far-flung uncle, Ferling Bagwidth, once described as a “hermit crab without the personality,” owned a home and clock repair shop half way down Dung Beetle Lane in Old Town, Key West. Ferling was a Conch. A Conch (pronounced Konk) is someone born, without a say in the matter, on the island of Key West.
One hundred years ago Ferling’s great uncle, Wiley Bagwidth, a Bahamian and Master Shipwright, along with his partner, Moon Bender, had dismantled a ramshackle bordello on Old Guano Cay, in the southern Bahamas. They shipped the pieces to the Isle of Bones on a turtle schooner, along with one –hundred roosters, and reassembled it on Dung Beetle lane. Unfortunately, some wooden pieces were used to make cooking fires to fry chicken during the voyage. It was a long trip and a hungry crew. Only two of the one-hundred roosters made it ashore and, in a tragic oversight, Moon Bender forgot to bring any hens. The roosters made do.
Over the years Bagwidth learned that Key West was originally discovered by a gay Spaniard who, after an unusually long crossing, affectionately and accordingly named the barren rock Cayo Hueser, the Isle of Boners, as a tribute to his crew. However, upon his return to Spain, the name caused great public uproar and unwarranted pain to the captain and crew and, although many clergy suddenly volunteered for sea duty, the name was quickly modified by scribes to read, Cayo Hueso, the Isle of Bones.
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About the Author
Captain Mark T. “Reef” Perkins is a marine surveyor with a colorful past. From commanding a 150-foot 300 DWT US Army diving ship off Vietnam to smuggling in the Caribbean, Reef Perkins has become a living legend. A graduate of both the US Army Engineer Officer Candidate School and the US Navy Salvage Officers School, he’s a man comfortable in or out of the water. Raised in rural Michigan, Reef now lives in Key West where he can get his feet wet. He is the author of the bestselling memoir, Sex, Salvage & Secrets.
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