Tuesday, June 2, 2009

penthouse in paradise

Every week, for the last 10 years worth of weeks, after I've finished up my Art Director gig at KWTN, I cut through the parking lot below our penthouse newspaper office on my way to our post-production "staff meeting" at The Meteor, (best spot on the rock for ribs). Almost every time, I make a minute to muse on how great a place this "penthouse in paradise" would be to live (there's probably a great view of the ocean from up there and I do love that clay chiminea).

Of course my musings are mostly not practical. The place is the upper rear floor of the allegedly haunted Marrero Guest Mansion on Fleming St. and since the room rates would have me broke as a joke in no time and Max (the cat) is easily spooked by spirits, it just wouldn't work out.

The short story on the ghost in the guesthouse, as I remember it from my time guiding ghost tours around town is, back in 1889 cigar czar Francisco Marrero built the mansion for his new wife, Henrietta. Her love of the place was second to nothing and the happy couple lived there long enough to have 8 kids (Catholics no doubt). At some point Francisco headed to Cuba on a business trip, during which he died. Heartbroken Henrietta stayed in the home she loved so much with her children, secure in the knowledge that her late husband's massive fortune would sustain them all without worry. Six or so months later however, a woman named Maria Marerro appeared from Cuba, claiming to be Francisco's first wife whom he somehow forgot to both mention to Henrietta and divorce before he re-married. Maria sued for the Marrero estate, won and Henrietta and her kids were out on the street.

Years later, long after Maria sold the estate lock stock and barrel, took the money and went back to Cuba, Henrietta and all her children died and Henrietta's spirit once again took up residence in the home she loved so well.

It is said that visitors to the mansion have seen Henrietta's harmless spirit wandering the halls at night or have caught the scent of her Lavender perfume or have been awakened from a sound sleep to find her sitting on the foot of their beds.

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