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Key West Legend

Patricia Sullivan

If you have ever been to Key West, capital of the Conch Republic, you probably have heard of Captain Tony Tarracino.

A saloonkeeper, boat captain, father of 13 and storyteller extraordinaire, his tales included running guns for Cuban mercenaries during the Bay of Pigs invasion. A B-movie, "Cuba Crossing," was made about him and island troubador Jimmy Buffett wrote a song, "Last Mango in Paris," based on his stories. When he was elected mayor of Key West in 1989, he said the hookers put him over the top -- an oft-neglected voting pool that today's candidates might do well to remember.

Captain Tony, who was 92, died Saturday.

By Patricia Sullivan |  November 4, 2008; 11:01 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan
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