Saturday, June 10, 2006

monkey tom and the two ricos

monkey tom and the two ricos
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

Joe, the artist Bunny and I met on our last road trip, met us on this trip and led us around shrimp boats and fishing villages in tourist-untrammeled Keys. Joe told stories of Monkey Tom, a wino who sold coconut shell heads for $5, and the two Ricos, each with their own tale of escape from Cuba and the hard adaptation to life in America. We only met one Rico and no Tom, but in one afternoon spent following Joe around the Keys, there was character and adventure to spare.


Anonymous said...

I knew Monkey TOm in Key West in the 70s and actually have a couple of his paintings. If he was drunk and hungry, you could buy his art work for $5 or $10. He did a lot of self portraits, but the 2 I have are not self portraits. I also have a painting by his ex wife Laney Levine. I wonder if Tom is still alive somewhere out there.

serenaSUNSHINE said...

My Step Father has actually been friends with Monkey Tom (Tom Forshire) since 1969. He owns about 100 of his paintings and was the one that bought him all of him wine(Mad Dog 20/20). He's still alive and living in Stock Island, although his monkey is no longer with us. Yes, he indeed did a lot of self portraits but that is not what he is mostly known for. If you were to ask the old hippies in Key West about him they would tell you stories of him running from the police and hiding in the water with him monkey acting as the look out. And also of his more well known paintings of shrimp boats being turned over by the long arm of the DEA and bails appearing to fall out of the sides. If you would like to hear more stories about the actually color blind Monkey Tom you can reach me just ask about him and i can tell you all the crazy stories about him and about living in the Keys in the 60's and 70's