Many of you know me as the Soundman from Hell, or some know me as Reverend Gweko W. Phlocker, who worked at The X 104.9 radio station in Key West for the past ten years. My real name is Gary Whitney Ek. I have told my story many times and now I am ready to put this story into print. 

Like many of us, I had a relatively normal childhood. My parents, John and Elsa Ek, owned several businesses in Miami, including Pelican Harbor Marina, the Sunny Isles Beach Patrol, John Ek Commando Knives Co., Metropolitan Crime Investigators, and Seminole Gun Shop. On top of all that, they were spies for the United States Justice Department. I remember explicitly the last time I was in Cuba as a young child because my parents told me the story multiple times.

It was December 31, 1960 about to be 1961. My parents were in Cuba where they went frequently. Sometimes they traveled on the ferry boat from Key West to Cuba and sometimes they traveled by plane. On this particular occasion, we travelled by seaplane, and we spent a week in Havana. This was the beginning of the Cold War. Russia (USSR) and the United States allegedly made a deal with Fidel Castro to place him in power over the Batista Regime.

Fidel was a friend of my father in Miami. He often came to our gun shop on Northwest 54th street in Liberty City and shot machine guns with my father’s friends: local police, secret agents, and members of the FBI. It was no big deal that we were in Cuba on an extended vacation until they caught my father taking photographs of the missiles on the Russian ships in Havana Harbor. He tried to dissolve the spy camera in acid in the bathroom of our hotel, however it was discovered because some of the plastic parts of the 16mm Minolta did not dissolve. 

Agents detained us as we attempted to fly from Havana back to the US. We were removed from the airplane and taken to a small room. Military guards repeatedly searched our luggage, checking and re-checking our documents in hopes of finding whatever it was they were seeking. I sat on the floor playing with a toy washing machine, a couple of dolls, and a few other toys my parents brought along to entertain a 4-year-old boy. Bored with that, I wandered out of our “special room” to an office down the hall occupied by a uniformed man with a long, dark beard. I pointed to the man, and said “Castro!” He wasn’t Castro, but I did have a small Fidel Castro doll with me, and it looked just like the guy.

He was so impressed that I knew Castro – a blonde American boy from Miami – that he invited me into his office. He looked to be in charge, and put me up on his desk and brought me a Coca-Cola. While I sat at his desk sipping the soda, my mother was pleased that I had distracted them and they acted a little more lenient towards my parents during the luggage search. I noticed the man had a Columbia stereo system. My parents also had one of the big console record players in their living room, and I saw that the styrofoam packing material had not been removed from the tonearm. If you know anything about phonographs, the tonearm allows the needle to coast across the record. Styrofoam stops the arm from moving, so I removed it. And then I turned the Columbia on. The record dropped, the needle floated across the grooves effortlessly, and “War of 1812” blasted loudly across the offices of that small room in the airport. The guards returned with machine guns, but Captain Coca-Cola cheered for me because I had fixed their record player at four years old. The Captain brought me another Coca-Cola and “the finest cheeseburger in Havana.”

Fidel Castro learned we were detained. He told airport authorities that my father was his friend and they should not have taken my family from the airport at gunpoint. Castro instructed them to return us to Miami on the next flight out. Guards packed my family’s luggage back into the suitcases, and we were returned to the airport runway. A special plane took us back from Havana to Miami for the last time. It was January 1, 1961.

It turned out to be true that my mother and father were spies working for the U.S. Justice Department. Indeed, they had photographed Russian missiles in Havana Harbor. The 16 mm microfilm was brought back to America and developed. It had been hidden in my toy washing machine. 

I was deemed the youngest international spy, as noted in United States Congressional Records. Dad became instrumental in helping the Freedom Fighters and the Anti-Communist League by training the 2506 Brigade in Key West at Fleming Key, and later the Alpha 66 for the Bay of Pigs Invasion of April 17, 1961.They were betrayed by the Kennedy Administration and the Onassis family in Greece. As a result, almost 2,000 patriots died on Playa Giron that morning as the airstrikes and naval support were called off.

An article in the Miami Herald claims my father was a dual agent working for the Cuban government and the United States of America. Dad and I went to get a copy of the newspaper. We drove in my Dad’s Ford Thunderbird to Lorenzo’s Italian Market and Deli on West Dixie Highway in North Miami Beach, not far from our home. Dad couldn’t get the newspaper machine to give him a copy of the paper. He put one dime in, nothing. He put another dime in, and nothing. After the second attempt, he took out his revolver and shot two rounds into the newspaper machine. Dimes spilled from the machine, and the access door opened. Dad took a newspaper, picked up a dime off the ground, and got back in the car calmly, informing, “We’ll never speak of this matter ever again.”

The views & opinions expressed here are the author’s and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the publication. But . . . to hear more Gweko Flocker, tune in to Tiki Man Radio on Sunday Nights.

Gary Whitney Ek
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