No matter how many individuals appear in the pages of each edition of Keys Weekly, there are always so many more of our community members who deserve to be recognized. In an effort to shine a spotlight on more of the incredible individuals who live and work in these islands, Keys Weekly is proud to spotlight our Neighbor of the Week feature, dedicated to celebrating a community member with each issue.

This week’s neighbor is a proud supporter of the Keys’ (un)official pastime. You can find Erich Cochrane at the newly-revamped Banana Bay Resort’s Pointe Bar, where he slings drinks for guests after a day on the water and sets the scene for a perfect sunset.


Bartender, Banana Bay Resort

How did you end up in the Keys? The resort I was working at was being remodeled, so I originally came down to Hawks Cay in 2020. I came over to Banana Bay on April 10 of this year.

What’s your hype song? “Favorite Song” by Toosii. The worst song is “Let It Go” from Frozen.

If there was one chore you could never do again, what would it be? Laundry.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I’m jumping out of an airplane next week.

Would you rather: A) every stoplight you come to for the rest of your life is red when you first get there, or B) once per year you turn into a loaf of bread for 24 hours. I’d rather turn into bread, I’m not stopping.

Have you ever had a brush with death? We were motoring a barge on the intercoastal. Everything went black and I fell over the side of the barge. I was floating unconscious for a minute. I was in the hospital for two days, and every test came back negative. I actually woke up in the water (when it happened), and I went, “Where’s my sunglasses?”

What’s your most embarrassing moment? Waking up after a drunken stupor and not knowing where I was at. I didn’t even know what town I was in. I lived in Seminole, and I woke up in Clearwater.

Any weird food combinations you love? Totino’s pizza with parmesan cheese and Cool Whip. We did that back in the day when we were good. It’s so good. It’s Ninja Turtles, bro.

What’s your best “hot take?” Check out my Facebook. There are plenty on there.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? From my mom: Don’t be silly, wrap the willy.
What’s your superpower? I can remember everyone’s names after the first time I meet them.

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.