Super Bowl champion and owner of Islamorada’s OceanView Inn, Gary Dunn, on one of his fondest memories at the bar and restaurant in a January interview with the Weekly:

“Dennis (Harrah) and I just bought the place two days ago. We were sitting just looking around when all of a sudden the door opened up. In comes a chicken flying around an older guy by the name of “Rusty.” Feathers are going everywhere and Rusty’s chasing the chicken around here, knocking down tables. Everybody at the bar just sat here with their drinks. Dennis and I were like ‘What the hell was that?’ They go, ‘Oh, that was Rusty. His chicken comes here all the time.’”

Teresa McKinna on the uniqueness of the Jules’ Undersea Park in Key Largo and a Texas couple’s decision in February to renew wedding vows underneath the surface:

“There is nowhere else in the world you can scuba dive to your underwater hotel room, have pizza delivered, and sleep with the fishes. So naturally, it makes for a very memorable vow renewal.”

On July 1, Marathon’s Charles Grimes had a serious dive accident. What transpired next was an outpouring of love and fundraising for this favorite son of Marathon. His best friend Todd Spano had this to say:

“Chase is my best friend and my life wouldn’t be the same without him. Like, once he made me laugh so hard in the restaurant I started crying and people thought he just broke up with me.”

Cork Friedman conceived and produced a television show called “Coast Guard Mission Critical” that aired on the History Channel. Over the course of filming, he had this to say about Marathon’s local, watery leadership:

Master Chief Timaree Sparks from Station Marathon is one of the most bad*$$ women I’ve ever met.”

One of the worst kept secrets in Marathon was that a bunch of lucky kids were headed to Super Bowl LIV in Miami at the start of January. A handful of drama students and cheerleaders were under a gag order for their upcoming role in the halftime show with Jennifer Lopez. But the culinary team from Marathon High School who would participate in “Taste of the NFL” were able to speak freely, including Chef Carl “Flavor” Stanton:

“I think you could say we are beyond excited. I’m a little geeked myself. It’s a chance to see some of my heroes.”

Days after the governor closed bars and ended indoor dining in restaurants, volunteers with Sister Season Fund and One Clean Island masked up and spread out at the 801 Bar to sell face masks. The proceeds were used to provide $1,000 assistance checks to struggling service industry workers. Jim Gilleran of the 801 and One Clean Island said of the sudden industry shutdown:

“We have to look beyond the current train wreck; we have to look forward. Key West is uniquely positioned to come together as a business community, because it’s what we’ve always done. This is part of who we are.”

The day after voters mandated a huge reduction to the city’s cruise ship industry, Key West city manager Greg Veliz spoke with Keys Weekly about next steps and expected lawsuits:

“I have met with the cruise industry officials, and the same companies that own the smaller ships also own the bigger ships. I don’t mind telling you guys exactly what they told me, which is, that inviting the smaller ships to come to Key West, but not the big ones, is like inviting me to your dinner party, but not my wife and kids.” — Key West City Manager Greg Veliz

“This is a business decision that became a political decision. Obviously this will go to court, which could take years, and we’ll have to defend the amendments to our city charter. I’m sure Pier B will file suit.” — Key West City Manager Greg Veliz

Keys Weekly sat down with master goldsmith and jewelry designer Spencer Krenke and asked what 20-second anecdote he would share with Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!:

“For my 50th birthday at a club in Ibiza, a fabulous drag queen was doing Madonna. Madonna and I share a birthday. The drag queen chatted me up on a crowded dance floor. I realized only afterward, it wasn’t a drag queen, and I missed my opportunity to get some new material, girl.” — Spencer Krenke

“I’m not confident the county has the ability to pay this overtime.” — Clerk of Court Kevin Madok on the $1.5 million accrued by county employees during the first month of the pandemic when the county’s emergency pay policy was enacted and later amended.

Keys Weekly’s in-house astrologist, author and all-around cool chick, Reda Wigle, gave a brilliant summary of the arrival of Sagittarius

“Ruled by Jupiter, the fun, drunk, van-dwelling uncle of the solar system, Sagittarius is the official sign of letting the good times roll.”

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