LETTERS  PCR #219      (May 31--June 6, 2004)

 Ed Tucker on Top 10 Worst Songs
 Lonnie Dohlen on Top 10 Worst Songs
 Chrissie and David on Will Moriaty's "Marrero's" story (and Will's response)



Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

ED TUCKER ON TOP 10 WORST SONGS

Nolan
Your top 10 list caused me to laugh myself into a coughing fit over that Royal Guardsmen bit and I couldn't resist sending you a few morsels of trivia. Here's the official scoop:

As you probably know, the Royal Guardsmen originated in my hometown of Ocala, Florida so I've always had a soft spot in my head for them. In addition to the great "Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron", the group scored with few other novelty tunes but other than that mainly stuck to covers of other popular songs for album filler. Two exceptions are "The Airplane Song" and "Baby Let's Wait" which showcase the group's ability to play middle-of-the-road, bubble-gum style rock. The B-side of Snoopy was a song called "I Needed You". My guess is that this was just the fastest track they could lay down or maybe just something already in the can that they slapped on the B-side to get what they new would be a novelty hit out the door ASAP. I think the group and/or Laurie Records must have known the song sucked, too, because it is conspicuously absent from the Red Baron album, also released in 1967.

I happen to like the song "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)" by Reunion. They were a '70s one-hit wonder group but where else can you find that much nostalgia crammed into one three minute A side?

In regard to Andy's question about H. G. Lewis's films in last week's letter column, Color Me Blood Red was filmed in South Florida along with the other two entries in the trilogy of blood (Blood Feast & 2000 Maniacs). Most of Lewis's gore and nudie cutie films were filmed there up through Gruesome Twosome. After that Lewis returned to Chicago for the remainder of his film career.

- ED [Tucker]


LONNIE DOHLEN ON TOP 10 WORST SONGS

Hello, Nolan B.Canova,
This is Lonnie Dohlen. On your 10 Worst Songs of all time, here's some info: "Disco Duck" (AKA Disco SUX) by Rick Dees, Oct 1976, #1 (1 Week). Rick Dees is currently a Disc Jockey in L.A.  Found this song on "K-Tel's Hit Machine" (Note: Did you ever notice how K-Tel, Ronco & Adam VIII heavily edited their songs for their LP's? Not too people knew this.) "Seasons In The Sun" --Terry Jacks: Bell Records (Now Arista) March 1974) #1, 9 Weeks. My older sister had a fit with my younger sister, each time she played it. She would scream at the top of her lungs!

Lonnie
PS: I never heard from Andy Lalino about last week's PCR. I apologize.


CHRISSIE AND DAVID ON MARRERO'S

Hello...
I found your website while searching the internet about Marrero's Guest mansion in Key West. (Ah yes, you must've found Will & Karen's Excellent Adventure to South Florida, Part 3, La Floridiana PCR #219! ---Know-it-all-Nole)

Do you know any details about the ghosts / spirits there??

My brother and sister-in-law were there this past weekend and some VERY strange things happened. They did not see ghosts or anything. It was very different than that. My sister in law got very upset with my brother for NO reason on two separate occasions (at the same time each evening - 1:30 AM). She said she felt a rage inside and was yelling and cursing at my brother. After it happened, she sat there wondering why she felt so much rage for no reason. It was almost as if the ghost (it's supposed to be the lady that lived there, Enriqetta Marrero) had taken over her body, thoughts, feelings????? WEIRD!!!!!!!

Anyway, just wondered if you knew any details about the history of the house and the ghosts that live there.

Any information you could share would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!!

Chrissie & David

WILL MORIATY RESPONDS:

Dear Chrissie and Dave:
Thank you very much for your letter and for reading our on-line publication.

I first read about the structure that is the current day Marrero's Guest Mansion in Joyce Elson Moore's 1998 book "Haunt Hunters Guide to Florida" (which is available through Amazon.com). At that time it was known as "Colours"

The basic story is that cigar magnate Francisco Marrero left his wife Henriqueta and their eight children behind in their mansion in Key West on a trip to Cuba to buy tobacco (circa 1891). He died during that trip. Six months later Maria Ignacia de Marrero came to lay claim to his estate, disinheriting Henriquetta and her eight children. As it turns out Maria was Francisco's first and only lawful wife and was entitled to all of his estate. Henriqueta and her eight children were left destitute and forced out of the house. As she left the house with her children she turned to a crowd of on-lookers and exclaimed, "You are witnessing a great injustice today! And though you are removing me from my home, you should know that this house is rightfully mine; and with God as my witness I will always remain here in spirit!"

Fast-forward to the late twentieth century. Most innkeepers claim that Henriqueta makes her presence known when there is negativity in the house. Doors slammed shut by themselves, curtains are blown by breezes although windows are closed, and one man reportedly sleep-walking bumped into a wall following Henriqueta. Sometimes a female voice might call your name and no one is there.

Another good book on this wonderful Guest Mansion and the spirit that roams it is "Ghosts of Key West" by David Sloan who also runs a delightful nightly Ghost Tour of Key West (www.hauntedtours.com) which includes a visit to Marrero's Guest Mansion (www.marreros.com).

My wife and I had the good fortune to visit there in December 2003. Although nothing out of the ordinary happened to us, the Innkeeper, John shared a few strange stories with us of inexplicable occurrences in the house. We were only haunted by the spirit of the cat known as "Cheesetta" that roams the grounds, and served wonderful spirits by John at Happy Hour.

The Guest Mansion is a beautiful example of 1800's Key West architecture only half a block from Duval Street and Mile Post 0 of US 1. It's well worth a visit to this elegant alternative to the fare of large corporate hotel chains when in Key West. I will be staying there in two weeks as part of a trip to attend the Trees Florida conference sponsored by the Florida Urban Forestry Conference. I look forward to seeing CheesettA, John and Old Key West again, as well as paying a silent homage to a woman and a family who were mercilessly left to die in the streets of America's Southernmost City.

Hope this gives you some initial background information!

William Moriaty
"La Floridiana"


To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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