So Long Captain Tony - Life Lessons Of A Legend
"Years later, I'm sitting at the bar, and I see Jimmy walking out front along the sidewalk on Green Street. I called out to him 'Son come have a seat.' Jimmy came in and we sat right over there at the corner of the bar.
We talked for hours, me and Jimmy. It was like a father and a son getting together after so many years. There was so much to say, so much to talk about. We talked about the times he played in here, the people we knew, the friends we'd made, and our love for this island. Jimmy looked at me and said, 'Tony, you've been doing this for so long. You have money.
Why do keep working, coming to the bar, telling stories and sharing with everybody that will listen? I looked at my friend, and I think my exact words were, 'Because Jimmy, there's still so many things to do."
I realized that Captain Tony had just shared with me something so intimate and so important in his life. He had shared with me his memory of one night with Jimmy Buffett. Not the famous Jimmy Buffett, not the legendary Jimmy Buffett, but his lifetime friend.
"A while after that Jimmy stopped by and handed me a tape, told me to listen to it. We were busy, and I put it by the rest of the music and forgot about it. A few days later I was in New York on a speaking engagement, and I heard a song come over the limo radio. It was Jimmy's voice and I heard the words, 'I went down to Captain Tony's.' I said to the limo driver 'What's that?' He thought I didn't like the music so he switched stations. I was in a panic, yelling for him to find the song again, but he never did.
Days later when I got back here, I found the tape and put it on the bar stereo. There it was' Last Mango in Paris. It was about me and Jimmy and our conversation that night here in the saloon."
"I'd like to think that song was Jimmy's thanks to me for helping him along the way."
Rest In Peace Captain Tony
Captain Tony dies at 92. The Key West legend died peacefully at the end of a week that celebrated his extra-large life. Recently memorialized in a new book, though already unforgettable to everyone who met him,
Captain Tony died November 1, 2008.
Life Lessons is a dramatic and inspiring story of Captain Tony Tarracino's remarkable journey from the ghettos of Elizabeth, NJ to becoming a living legend serving as the Mayor Emeritus of Key West. He has made a career of being a mesmerizing storyteller, captivating personality, and Casanova of the sea.