Thursday, March 26, 2009

Key West, Sept 93 to May 94

Travis with his dog, Simonton, in front of his house.
(Taken with a polaroid cam.)

After, Sara and I returned from Jamaica, Sara returned to Canada to pursue her studies. I stayed back in Fort Lauderdale. I just worked long enough (10 days) to make some money to get out of there.

I met a Dutch woman, older than me (back then everyone was older than me!), and we rented a car going to Miami, looking for work on a cruiseship. It did not happen so we drove down to Key West where we heard that it was easy to get a job despite having no "papers".

It's a small island at the end of the Keys, technically part of Florida but very much island life.

When we arrived, it was very very hot and humid. I could not walk more than a block without having to drink some water! I much prefer that to fall and winter in Canada!

I first lodge at a youth hostel. I quickly moved out to rent a room in a splendid old colonial. house. My room was vast, with lots of furniture and a balcony that went all around my room. The house also had a pool but the owner (an old lady) was dirty. The rent was not cheap either.

While I was asking for a job at the local photo lab, a man (Pat Clyne) heard me and offered me a job as his assistant PR director for Mel Fisher, the greatest treasure hunter! I said yes on the spot! Most of the time the work was quite tedious but occasionnaly I had to photograph a gold coin for a potential buyer, make the museum's first newsletter, take trips to Key Largo to do stills while Pat was filming and a Miami court (the law on "finders' keepers" for treasure found near the Florida coast.) Amonst my favorite activities was going in a Cesna, a small 4 seat-plane, and jump clouds. I was to learn scuba diving and under water photography.
My dream job lasted about 5-6 weeks. It ended because they could not get a working permit for me.

Meanwhile, I had moved out of the house and moved into a shared 2-bedroom appartement with a lovely Norwegian woman and a weird alcoholic American scuba instructor. The place was tiny but my rent was cut by half. I shared a tiny room with Idun, the Norwegian. The house was situated in the Bahama village - the "black" neighbourhood. Our next-door neighbours was a sweet Cuban family. It was definately more "colorful" than my first place!

I quickly got another job, selling African art in a stall on Duval street (the main "drag".), next to Tootsies restaurant. I was working for a quiet Kenyan lady named Mary. I remained there until I had to go back to Canada for an exhibition.
To see more of my photos, please visit my Flickr stream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I follow, in mind /joel