December 2014



Home on The Range

 I just reconnected with an old friend from years past, Lee Hollowell. We met at junior college in Michigan back in the late 60’s. A friend, (Jim) and I even joined Lee and his first wife on their honeymoon.  The four of us traveled out west in my converted van… taking in the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and even made it as far south as Tuscon, AZ.  I might add, it was a lovely honeymoon.  Jim's divorce was finalized during Lee's honeymoon.  In the mid 70's Lee was playing John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker on the guitar in the back yard of the Eden House. Lee came to Key West with me in 1975, he purchased the 300 building (the house behind the main building) at the same time I purchased the Gibson Hotel, soon to be the Eden House.  He added the upstairs unit, room 303 or what we now call "The Alex Rutledge Room" to the house and then sold the building to me a year or two later.  This project transformed Lee into a carpenter and after renovating a couple more houses in Key West he and his future wife, Ruth, moved to Colorado.  I asked Lee if he was still playing in a band and he told me about his CD release in 2012, The Reason by BDL (Big Daddy Lee). On The Reason, Lee plays the blues and it is top notch. There’s plenty of variety in the songs on the CD and this is a must for me. It keeps my music juices flowing and will remain near the top of my stack of faves.  Give it a listen… you won’t be disappointed.            

Anyone interested in a copy?

 Anyone interested in a copy of the Eden House's playlist? All songs are bought and paid for.  If you are interested, drop me a UNIQUE POSTCARD – only one postcard, please.  Include your 3 favorite artists/groups, the first album you bought and your contact information.  My first winner is Daniel Tenero. You will very soon be getting an external drive with my entire playlist in the mail! That's right over 65,000 songs.

1200 Miles To The Gallon

The Eden House Holiday trolley ride was on December 12th. We always have a great time on the conch train singing, oooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the island's holiday lights. If you haven't done that with us yet, plan for next year! We've also stepped up our own light display this year by asking Elizabeth's brother, Rob and his partner, Jeremy to come down from NYC and help us out, as seen to the right. Rob is a lighting designer for numerous Broadway productions, He and Jeremy were happy to come down and give us a hand creating something unique and dazzling for our facade. You can see some of the many lights in the photo at the forefront of this newsletter. Elizabeth lays out quite a spread of her homemade cookies, deviled eggs, hot buttered rum and other fattening treats for the festivities... it is the holidays after all.             


The Emperor's New...

September Special

We are happy to announce that we have done a little refurbishing so that we now offer the choice of a room with a King bed or two Queen beds! The next time you call for a reservation, ask us about the King Deluxe or Double Queen Deluxe rooms. They look great with the new furniture, fit for a King, or Emperor... 


For Bait He Used A Ball Of White Bread

If you've been to the Eden House in the past 20 years or so, you might have seen an interesting picture in our poolside bathroom. Namely, the one with the strange happy fellow in the San Francisco 49ers hat and a real big fish in his hands. Two points….the fish is real and the hat is not.  Just kidding, he loves his 49ers.  The man is Glenn and he was recently down drinking and fishing with son Eric and two of his friends, Andy and Richard (no last names to protect the innocent).  The boys have a few new fish stories and one of them is in this picture.   

Events at the Eden House and Around the Island             

  • The 3rd annual Key West Chalk Festival took place this past November 19th through the 23rd. The event is no reason to come to Key West on it's own but if you are on the rock it would be worth seeing. 
  • The Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley's annual Lighted Boat Parade was on December 13th at 8pm. It is a tropical tribute to the holiday season and a big family-friendly affair.      
  • For a full list of holiday events around the island check out the link below to the Key West Chamber of Commerce's calendar of events. The holiday season in Key West is one of my favorite times of the year on this island. The weather is beautiful, it can be anywhere from the mid 60’s to the  70's, and it may not be the most extravagant holiday display, but you certainly get that heart-felt, laid-back island vibe, Peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.
  •  As for our own calendar of holiday events, the Eden House tree trimming party was on December 5th and another good time was had by all who attended. We got a beautiful tree this year from the Marc House and the staff and guests had a great time noshing and decorating.  Yes, Elizabeth’s usual fare was enjoyed by everyone as well.         


The Old Happy Minstrel

RJ Jones and Stephen Nelson had their song ‘Last Truckstop Motel’ recorded by Molly and Jack Tuttle, (Molly’s father) and it can be seen on Youtube. The song and video are great but I can’t find a copy of it online. I did find one CD by Mary and Jack, The Old Apple Tree and it’s a good one. There’s a couple of  CDs out by the Tuttles, all good stuff. Check the them out on Youtube… they are fantastic musicians!

Doc RJ, will be releasing his book in 2015 called The River is Wide (Winning the War on PTSD). A booklet from the book is called “The VA—Connecting With The Department of Veterans Affairs (a resource for vets and their families).” RJ was a corpsman serving with the Marine Corp in Vietnam and was wounded in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. RJ and his wife, Julie have moved back to New Mexico and I bet he is wondering why he ever left there in the first place.       



Passing of an old friend

Marge Foster, a beloved guest of The Eden House passed away this September.  She will be missed by all who met and knew her. Marge was an accomplished chef and owner of Marge Foster Catering. All of us at The Eden House will miss her sitting at the table in front of room 401 soaking up the sun every January.

Mike and the staff    
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