Hudson writer Mike Yurk stepped off an airplane 20 years ago in Key West and fell in love with it. Recently he published his 13th book, “Going Back To Key West,” filled with his adventures, fishing and ramblings around the southernmost city in the United States.
“Hemingway and fishing first brought me to Key West,” Yurk said. “But it was the ambiance, tropical weather and unique lifestyles found in Key West which has been bringing me back ever since.”
“The stories were initially about fishing,” Yurk explained. “However, as time went on, the more I visited Key West and the more I wrote about it I eventually found myself writing as much about the atmosphere and characters you can only find in Key West as I did about fishing.”
“As a Hemingway fan and a fisherman I had always wanted to visit Key West and now after 20 years Key West has become a second home to me.” Yurk said.
There are plenty of fishing stories in “Going Back To Key West.” One of the early stories is how watching a fishing show when Yurk was a kid fueled his dream to catch a tarpon. He fulfilled that dream one morning off Key West. There are other stories about catching sharks and barracuda, as well as snappers and grouper and other fish in the ocean.
“Going Back To Key West” is subtitled “Eating, Fishing And Drinking In Paradise,” and there is plenty of that going on in Yurk’s book. He takes you to Hemingway’s favorite bar and tells of the inspiration he got on a difficult story he was writing as well as the bar and singer whose song encouraged him to quit his job and go into full-time writing. He writes about going to one of the local restaurants where he hands a bag of fresh fish fillets across the bar and minutes later he and his friends have a great fish fry.
Yurk has been writing for over 50 years, starting as a newspaper reporter for three eastern central Wisconsin newspapers in the late 1960s and ’70s. He has written over a thousand articles for regional and national outdoor magazines. His column The Notes From The Dockside was published in the Hudson Star-Observer for nine years.
He is a retired Army officer, which gave him the opportunity to live in Germany for almost 10 and in Missouri, Alabama and North Carolina before eventually moving to Hudson 25 years ago.
The book can be found — along with the rest of Yurk’s books — at Chapter Two Books in Hudson or on Amazon.