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Athens and Movin' to Key West on a Motorcycle - Back in the Day

Posted on June 09 2020

Athens and Movin' to Key West on a Motorcycle - Back in the Day - Long Lost Tees

The Long Lost Team received an email the other day from a Bulldog and Conch (Key Wester) from way back. Read on to get a feeling of what things were really like back then. And don't forget to submit your stories to Long Lost Tees! 

Tell it like it is, Bernie!

What memories your shirts bring back of Athens and Key West. Was in grad school at Georgia in the late ‘70s and worked at O’Malley’s Tavern on the mighty Oconee River – Papa Joe’s on Baxter Street was a favorite for friends and cheap Old Milwaukee.

Moved to Coconut Grove and in late 1979, took a Saturday day-trip to Key West and on Monday gave my two week notice at work. Moved to Key West on a Triumph motorcycle with all in a duffle bag and $400 -- ate lunch at La Bodega on Simonton Street that day, and quickly found a roommate situation near the Gulfstream Market at White and Virginia Streets, now the second Fausto’s.

Worked first at Herbert’s Furniture on Flagler Avenue -- bought my first new car at Island Imported Cars at Eaton and White Streets. Later lived at Coral Isle Trailer Park on Stock Island, the next door Coral Isle Bar was the nightly haunt of neighbors and friends. The un-level pool table was a hoot! The attached picture is myself and friends preparing for a night at the Coral Isle.

Also on Stock Island was the Boca Chica Lounge – a walk-thru metal detector was installed after a shooting inside; chain-link fencing surrounded the pool tables in the rear to keep predictable fights contained. Back of the bar was a built-in TV surrounded by shag carpet – watched “Scarface” there amid the rough crowd that idolized Tony Montana. Worked at Hilton Haven Motel on North Roosevelt for a time, Capt. Tony lived behind it and would see him in his electric car heading for the bar in Old Town. Met my wife of thirty-four years in the Bojangles across the street.

Favorite places to eat and drink were the Full Moon Saloon, PT’s Late Night, Hukilau, Fleet Air Wing, Billie’s, Top of the La Concha, Chart Room, La Te Da, Pancho & Lefty’s, El Cacique, Dim Sum, Lighthouse, Martha’s on A1A and especially Kyushu on Truman. Danced often at the Monster and shopped at Fast Buck Freddie’s and the Design Center on Duval, and JByrons at Key Plaza.

Back then Air Sunshine (nicknamed “Air Sometimes”) then flew noisy old DC-3’s between Miami and Key West, and the legendary Tiltin’ Hilton was the place to stay in town.

Thanks for the places that take me back in time!

Bernie T.


  • Mark Stapleton: July 14, 2020

    We need a tee/hat from the B & L Warehouse in Athens! I got a picture of an old shirt if you need it…

  • Joel H.: July 14, 2020

    Were you in Athens, GA when the B-52’s were around or were they just after/before your time there?

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