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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ask The Iguana!

Fuzz asks:

"Money? for wallpaper?
What kinda place is this?"

Glad you asked.

This place is the restaurant / bar on Cabbage Key. Cabbage Key is a privately owned island, accessible only by boat. Or Waverunner. Or kayak, canoe, rowboat, windsurfer, or whatever else you have that floats.

The key was first purchased in the early 1900s. I forgot exactly when. The question I have about that is who did the first owner buy it from? If you are the first owner then that means there was no owner before you - so how does that work? Hey! Want to buy this thing I do not own from me?

Anyhow, they built a house there. The house is still there, along with the 25,000 gallon rain water collecting tank thing. See, there was no water on the island, so it was necessary to catch rainwater. I think they still do this - although the current owner paid for a water line to run out to the island. There is also an underwater power cable.

Anyhow at some point the people living on the island decided to open up a small kitchen and bar to the local fishermen. Sometime in the 1960s. Back then there were fewer people living in the area (it is in the Fort Myers / Pine Island / Port Charlotte area), and fewer boats. So it was not a big hang out spot.

The fishermen would sometimes catch stuff, and sometimes not catch stuff. So then they had a good day, they would leave a dollar on the bar. Literally on the bar. They would write their name on it then staple or nail or tape it to the bar. Whatever worked.

That way on a bad day, there was already one of their dollars at the bar, which could then be converted into a beer and some soup. Things were a lot cheaper back then.

Well as time ticked on, motorboats became more common, and so there were more weekend boaters. They quickly discovered Cabbage Key and started going there for beer.

They still go there for beer. And food. And they discovered the dollars left by the fishermen. And for some reason they thought it would be cool if they did the same thing. So they did.

The owners did not discourage this, because people started talking about "that place with the dollars on the wall". This brought more people in, who left a dollar on the wall, making more dollars on the wall for more people to talk about - and ultimately selling a lot more beer and burgers.

So today there is an estimated $70,000 on the walls, support columns, ceiling, doors, rafters, and so on.

Every year at least $10,000 falls off the walls. Some years more - some years less - but the average is around $12,000 or so.

The money that falls off the wall is collected, and donated to a charity.


Blogger Fuzz said...


Blogger Lily Strange said...

In the Shining hotel, blood comes out of the walls. I like this hotel a lot better!


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