Pirate lore is fascinating. There’s a fine line between fantasy and reality, fact vs. fiction, truths and legends...
Pirate stories are timeless because a good pirate story fills the void of a sense of adventure that so many people are missing from their lives.
I can vouch for that. It’s hard to even find a single afternoon each week to do something out of the ordinary. I try to find time to finish reading the pile of books that are sitting on my nightstand untouched. That is, I try to find time in between my full-time job, shopping trips to Costco, writing the sequel to our first novel and cleaning up the endless amount of torn up trash my dogs manage somehow to get into. And I simply don’t know what I would do without my parents, who selflessly come by my house regularly to help me with things that are left abandoned, like resurrecting my dying plant on the porch or washing the dishes.
But sometimes… just sometimes… I manage to sneak away…
While she was sifting through piles of pirate research, Rachel found out about an awesome little tid-bit. There was once a restaurant called Black Caesar’s Forge, out in the middle of nowhere Miami, that was buzzing with business back in the 1970s. I know, it’s hard to imagine anything in "the middle of nowhere" in Miami anymore. This city just itches to bring in the bulldozers.
Trees? What’s that? We could build a condo here if it wasn't for this beautiful park!… But yes! This little gem is on SW 152nd Street and 67th Avenue.
The legendary Florida pirate Black Caesar was whispered amongst pirate enthusiasts and historians to have hidden in this particular spot when he would make his way to the south. It’s because of this myth that the idea to build Black Caesar’s Forge came to life. This is what the old menu used to look like:
My heart pounded when I first saw this place. Looking over the fence, I could see that the property was divided up intothree buildings. The main restaurant, an old house, and a back area that, my guess, was maybe a food prep area, or storage. I was dying to start exploring. Florida legends say that Black Caesar would mark trees with symbols to indicate where he was residing at the time. Most of the markings are believed to be on the trees of Sanibel Island, but it could very well be that he made these markings in other places in Florida as well. Now only one unfortunate thing stood between me and discovery: it was private property.
I considered knocking. Do you think they would’ve welcomed my intrusion as I started turning over rocks and examining the trees for any evidence of the infamous Black Caesar? I decided that wouldn’t go over very well, considering this is Miami. Most people aren’t hospitable here. But then, like a ray of sunshine, A FOR SALE sign! The property was FOR SALE!
I whipped out my cell and googled the address and up came the real estate listing. It was indeed for sale and had been for quite some time. I tried to find any sort of history, who would hold on to this seemingly abandoned place, rich with history, for so long? I was hoping maybe it belonged to someone with as much historical fascination as I. But it was a dead-end.
I decided it was fair game. If anyone were to question why I was snooping around I would confidently tell them I had interest in the property. Without breaking my cold, hard stare, I would tell them how I am in the market for a $5 million dollar property that is at LEAST twenty minutes out of the way of everything Miami is known for.
$5 MILLION dollars…
So, anyway, with the gate being wide open it was no problem driving in, but I decided to stay in the car. Who knew what was out there…
Thanks to the multiple driving paths, I got some pretty good pictures of everything. Sadly, I couldn’t see anything suggesting Black Caesar or his buried treasure was there, though. But I will tell you this: If the legend of his missing treasure were in fact real, it’s definitely somewhere in there. And now I regret not getting out of my car.
Anyone want to split $5 million dollars to buy this place and start digging with me?
So, instead, I went home and slipped the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl DVD into my XBOX. It was fulfilling because unlike me and my brief treasure hunting experience, they actually found the treasure in this movie.
A good movie… restaurants... food… ahhh, it reminds me of the donuts I’ve been craving all week. And the lonely donut pan I’ve only used once to make some Paleo donuts. As soon as I started gathering ingredients to whip up some very Non-Paleo donuts, I had already exhausted myself and decided to just go to Dunkin’ Donuts instead. Here’s one for you!