“The whole point was to make people feel better when they left than when they came in.”

The phones, in fact, were ringing constantly in the Fly By Night Club the morning after Keys announced the last performance of the Whale Fat Follies, that iconic Alaskan revue featuring tap-dancing moose, spawning salmon, and the show’s signature piece, the reverse strip tease. It ranked right up there along with grizzlies and Denali on the must-see list for the Alaskan houseguest from hell, who actually had his very own song.

The heart and soul of the show was always the guy in top hat, tails, and the aloha shirt. He’s been called an enigma. Make that an enigma wrapped in Spam shrouded in Spenard, but it is true that Mr. Whitekeys has one of the most instantly recognizable faces in Alaska, and yet nobody knew his real name until he was outed in a local newspaper story about the club’s closing.

“Keys is my name,” he says. “It’s how I sign my checks. Even my mother calls me Keys.”

—Dana Stabenow. Alaska Traveler (Kindle Locations 3230-3238). Gere Donovan Press.

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Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

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