The sailors and pilots,
The soldiers and the law,
The payoffs and the rip offs,
And the things nobody saw.
No matter if it’s heroin, cocaine, or hash,
You’ve got to carry weapons
Cause you always carry cash.
There’s lots of shady characters,
Lots of dirty deals.
Ev’ry name’s an alias
In case somebody squeals.
It’s the lure of easy money,
It’s gotta very strong appeal.
Perhaps you’d understand it better
Standin’ in my shoes,
It’s the ultimate enticement,
It’s the smuggler’s blues,
– by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
For my generation, Miami Vice was the bomb. It was the crank in cocaine. If there was one must watch show on my list, it was Miami Vice. I’ve never been so dedicated to a show before or since. One reason for that was television was a privilege where I went to university, and the television was owned by the man. There was about one per hundred of us. The only way to watch was to keep your nose clean. So I kept my nose clean. It wasn’t just for the T.V. privileges, but it was a not insubstantial contributing factor.
Crockett and Tubbs were larger than life “heroes.” But they weren’t all spit and polish heroes. They didn’t always fit the mold of Eliot Ness good-guydom. They were street wise and gritty, and they did what needed done. But they always came out on top. There was never a doubt who’d be going home at the end of a sting. There were those of us among our cadre of devoted watchers who idolized them. I wouldn’t go that far to describe my attraction to the show. But in a time when the good guys didn’t alway win in real life, and the Cold War could go either way, the show lent a sort of hope – no matter how transient. It made us feel good about hard things lived.
So I had an odd smirk on my face as I anchored the Jackdaw just off a cave mouth on the north coast of Cuba, at a place named Jiguey on the charts. I’d heard rumor the cave was used as a base of operations by those not too unlike Captain Edward Kenway. But whereas he prefers the direct approach, these fellows prefered to remain anonymous and unseen. It was a smuggler’s den, and I was there to make it my own. Here’s how it went down.