Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Times They Are A Changin' - And I'm Broken Hearted - Another Keys Landmark Fades to Memory. Good Bye Lighthouse.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes .... David Bowie sang that refrain so many years ago in 1971, and it was about that same time, when I was about 5 or 6 years old, that I became aware of what was to be one of the Florida Keys' most enduring Landmarks.
And now, as of this is gone.
Placed upon the mantle of Memory

The Lighthouse at the Whale Harbor Seafood Buffet was (Pardon the obvious and deliberate pun) a beacon for travelers and locals alike, for so so many years.

With its kitschy decor and never-ending portions, the Buffet and it's iconic Lighthouse were known the world over.

Back In the Day
To me, it  always used to symbolize the entry to the magical locale of Islamorada.  As a kid, I used to believe there was someone up there tending to the lights.

As you may know, the Whale Harbor Buffet suffered a catastrophic fire not too long ago. And though they razed the structure to be able to rebuild, there was an effort to preserve the historic Lighthouse.
But, alas, the ravages of time, and damage from the fire proved too much for it to bear, and the decision came from on high that it had to, regrettably, come down.
And Now...A Memory

Papa Joe's, the old Plantation Yacht Harbor, Coral Grill, the Polynesian Buffet in Key Largo, Bimini Row at Holiday Isle, the Quay, Italian Fisherman, Nike Missile Bases, Erik's Floating Restaurant.  Just some of the Old Keys landmarks that are no more, and now, we add the treasured Lighthouse.

Like everything, my Keys are changing, it's past fading like so many layers of paint in the bright Sun.  There is a new breed of ownership here in the Keys.  We have become a bit more accessible and convenient, than in the old days of the scary two lanes of the stretch, and water coming down from the mainland in a pipe. 

While I am saddened to see so much of our History gently laid to rest, I am excited about being part of the Keys' Future and the prospect of new custodians who cherish the Keys like I do.

People like Jon and Julie Landau who have so embraced out Islands with their love and generosity,  Artist extraordinaire, Pasta Pantaleo, whose magnificent visions on canvas so vividly capture the essence of our waters and wildlife, and the voice of Key's Fishing, Matt Bellinger, who daily educates and entertains with his fishing acumen and  caretaking of of fisheries.   These fine folks and many others are part of the New Breed of the Keys, and I look forward to the New History that they will create.

Until then, my mantle is FILLED with lovely, lovely memories.

"Time may change me.  But You can't change Time."

Make your own bit of History.  Put the experience and expertise of The Conchquistador to work for you! For more information on the outstanding real estate opportunities that exist in the Keys, call me at 305.439.7730 or email me at

1 comment:

  1. I just took a photo of the lighthouse this past weekend! Everything else was torn down around it and the guy said they were keeping it???? I will send you the photo.