Capt. Tony Tarracino: Life Lessons of a Legend
It would be a rare individual who didn’t have the opportunity to meet Captain Tony if you have ever been in Key West. On more than one occasion, I had the pleasure to see the colorful, storytelling Captain Tony that he purposefully presented. In reading “Life Lessons of a Legend”, I found the incredible adventurous stories and his life lessons presented in a heart-warming manner, true to how Captain Tony was and wanted to live on as the legendary man he is.
There are some similarities in their passions for people and teaching between Captain Tony Tarracino and Brad Manard, who co-authored “Life Lessons of a Legend”. I remember my first meeting of each of them.
Of course Captain Tony was in his Saloon, MOTM in 1998. Oddly enough, I even remember what I was wearing only because of the Captain pulling out his Sharpie to write “Captain Tony was here” with an arrow pointed down my belly button. I was nowhere near the first or the last female to have an autograph of such from the incredible legendary man. At the time I took great pride in being able to experience this man in only a tiny piece of who he was as I saw him. It was much later in life after reading “Life Lessons of Legend”, that I truly learned of a man who flourished throughout his life with his love of life, teaching others, storytelling and yes, women.
As with Captain Tony, meeting Brad was also a moment to remember. He attended a summertime Backyard party in 2002 my best friend, Janice Reid and I hosted with St. Somewhere playing as our entertainment. Brad did not bring a sharpie with him nor did he autograph the ladies but he proudly wore a bright green lime head hat with a matching tropical shirt, standing out in the sea of tropical attire that evening.
It wasn’t until the book was published and I took the opportunity to read it not only once but multiple times through, with pieces of it more than that, did I really take the opportunity to learn who the man was behind the Sharpie. Reading pages, I learned more about Captain Tony and about life in general, gaining something more each time.
My initial thoughts of Captain Tony were as he depicted himself from the Saloon, a womanizing man who you could always count on to whisper something sweet in your ear, making you feel special even if only for a moment, while leaving his mark behind with a lasting impression. After reading “Life Lessons of a Legend”, I took away so much more and found a true passion around the man he truly was, quite different than the one he presented to the casual Key West tourist!
There is a pretty simple yet quite impactful message delivered through the three Life Lessons of a Legend ~
Fill your heart with compassion
Seek the jewel in every soul
Share a word of kindness
With the three distinct lessons presented, as you read through the stories, you will find many more lessons from the lives of both men. The message that really resonated with me was “It’s the people that are important”. Can you imagine the changes we all could experience if each of us lived by the Life Lessons daily and helped others to do so too? What an honor for Captain Tony to have chosen a superintendent from Iowa to share his story – someone with great influence over many lives to carry the life lessons of a legend forward.
I was able to appreciate the Captain’s depth of understanding people, compassion he showed towards others he met regardless of their story or who they were, appearing to have been the foundation to his life. His ability to listen to others, beyond just their words while teaching them was a true gift.
Through life lessons, you will understand there are no dress rehearsals or ‘do-overs’ in our day to day lives and the impact you have on others, large or small. I hope you take the time to read the stories, capture the many messages of life, and carry out your life maybe just a little differently than you did before.
With such incredible focus on Captain Tony’s life lessons and his ability to build strong, positive relationships with people, I have taken great pleasure to share many copies of this book with others, parrot heads and non-parrot heads alike, for others to continue to carry his message forward through their personal influence.