"It's a lifestyle choice," he says. "I respect those who choose other philosophies as long as they respect mine." Though he is the most active member of the 7,000 people who are part of his community, he always publishes under an alias and no photos exist of him online. He asked that his real name not be used in this article.

"You've got two types of girls in Key West: drunks and crackheads."

Cubadave Strecker, on the other hand, craves attention. When New Times visited his home this past October, he welcomed us in and spoke openly about his work. He even said he hopes to find a ghostwriter to compile his memoirs. He attaches photos of himself alongside busty babes to emails without prompting and offers in a second that he tips prostitutes with sacks of condoms collected from Key West gay health clinics.

Strecker writes matter-of-factly — but never profanely — about his exploits. Breasts, for instance, are referred to as "coconuts," and hookers are "best friends." Euphemisms abound. An example of his prose: "Well, things like this just don't happen every day, and seeing that I had already unloaded a couple of bullets earlier in the day and was now standing face to face with this one-of-a-kind beauty and in my pants was an empty gun, I didn't want to pass this up, but I knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I would much rather be 100 percent and fully loaded."

Dave poses in his Key West bedroom, which is covered with pictures of prostitutes he's slept with at least ten times.
Kristin Björnsen
Dave poses in his Key West bedroom, which is covered with pictures of prostitutes he's slept with at least ten times.
Dominican women chase Dave down the street because a plug on his website means customers will know to ask for them by name.
Courtesy of David Strecker
Dominican women chase Dave down the street because a plug on his website means customers will know to ask for them by name.

David Strecker grew up in northeast Minneapolis with an older brother named Doug and parents who never really traveled outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Strecker has no sisters — and notes that if he did, they wouldn't like him much anyway.

His father, Charles, had two bullets shot into his spine by a sniper during World War II. Charles taught his boys to play baseball, and Dave's mom, Pearl, was a strict disciplinarian. Pearl's own mom had abandoned her when she was a kid, so she was forced to take care of her young sister and never went to college. "There are people who see the glass as half-full and those who see it as half-empty," Cubadave says. "For her, the glass was half-empty her entire life."

Doug, now 64 years old and living in Hackensack, Minnesota, remembers his brother thusly: "Dave was not very much into school at all. I was the poster child, and he was the problem child."

But Dave was more of an innocent Midwesterner than an agitator. He never ran into trouble with the law, and recalls losing his virginity at age 19 to a girl who was having her period because he thought it meant she wouldn't get pregnant.

Both Strecker brothers took softball seriously in those days, competing in industrial leagues that led to national tournaments. Doug remembers being treated like an all-star during that golden decade. "You would go into a bar and never pay for a drink or into a restaurant and order lobster or steak and it would be paid for," he says.

The two traveled together to games across the country on weekends. Dave says he could pass out drunk on the sidewalk in those days and wake up the next morning to pitch. He liked strip joints and once even went to a male strip bar in Minneapolis and performed a routine in his softball uniform.

In 1981, he started traveling to the Virgin Islands during the winter. He thought the women there weren't very attractive, but he loved the weather in Saint Thomas. "I remember thinking, This is the place for me," he says. "I was immediately accepted by the younger guys who wanted to learn the game."

He traveled between the Virgin Islands and Minnesota while playing ball, but one by one, most of the other players traded their gloves for wedding bands. Not Dave, however. He lived modestly with "no overhead, no wife, no kids, no nothing."

He did have a relationship with a female softball pitcher named Laurie for about five years that almost led to marriage. He says it didn't work out because "responsibility never stuck to him."

Although Laurie still checks up on Dave's mom, who'll turn 99 in January and lives in a Minnesota nursing home, the former lovers are no longer in contact. She refuses to comment on their relationship. "I don't think it would be appropriate," she says.

By the 1990s, he was hosting a public access program called Let's Talk Softball and dating a pretty blond 18-year-old waitress named Erin. He was 41.

Erin's parents forced a breakup, Strecker recalls, and a few days later, in 1994, he moved to Key West on a lark. Soon depression set in. "This is not the place to meet the girl of your dreams, because all the losers of the world are down here," he says of Key West. "You've got two types of girls: drunks and crackheads. Finding a girl with a full set of teeth is an accomplishment."

But when he first boated to Cuba in 1995, he fell in love with the country. The guys wanted to talk baseball, and the jineteras considered sex a casual activity like eating a ham sandwich, he says. He was already planning the next trip before he pulled out of the Hemingway Marina. He ended up going back 54 times over the next decade. Neither the U.S. nor the Cuban Coast Guard, he says, bothered him.

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New Times Broward Palm Beach
New Times Broward Palm Beach

Well this is probably for the best, Kimber, because you're not going to like next week's feature on Professor Boobs McButtenstein, South Florida's foremost authority on booty shakin'.

Kimber Kirton
Kimber Kirton

It's amazing that you guys can manage to put together a six-page feature on every perverted, sexploitator but not a single article of actual substance. You have lost a reader, I'm surprised I lasted that long. You're nothing more than a trash mag that uses tits and ass to sell their incompetence.