The last day of the year!

A time for thought.

Good year? Bad year? Whatever. May 2010 be better!

Golf yesterday.

I dressed for the cold. Long pants, tee shirt, sweat shirt and jacket. I figured I could always peel down if it got to 73 as projected.

It got to 77! I was down to the tee shirt on the back nine.

Play was slow. Tourists playing. Took us 5 hours.

We played a scramble.Tom, Yankee Jack and me on one team. Don, David and his son on another. My team lost. We were fighting for pars. Never birdies. The ball was never close to the hole. The putts did not drop.

Such is golf! But it was fun! These are good guys!

Last night was Jackie Grimm time. Lucky me!

She had asked me a few days before to join her last night at the Key West Pops Concert at St. Paul’s Church.

Jackie is nice people. I first met her and her husband Roland about 10 years ago when I bought my home in Key West. I had tremendous respect for Roland. Besides being a nice guy, he was the most brilliant economic mind I had ever met. He knew money!

Roland passed on a bit more than a year ago. Jackie has been living in their New Mexico home since. Until two weeks ago when she returned to Key West.

I drove over to Riviera Drive to pick up Jackie. She is renting for a while.

Jackie had told me her new home had a putting green. Did it! The whole front lawn is a putting green. With several holes!

We should have a putting tournament there next week.

Jackie and I started the evening at the Chart Room. Time for one drink. The place was mobbed. Mostly tourists. Captain Peter and Che there. The Hartford couple was in.

We walked over to St. Paul’s Church for the Pops Concert. St. Paul’s is a lovely large old church right on Duval. Right in the center of all kinds of activity. It is an integral part of historical old town as that portion of Key West is known.

St. Paul’s Episcopalian pastor has always made the Church available for public events. Especially those of a musical nature. Monday through Friday each week there is an organist playing Broadway tunes. Locals and tourists alike wander in to sit with God and listen to the best his children have produced.

The Church was a mob scene. I have never seen so many people inside. Standing room only!

I grabbed Jackie by the hand and maneuvered through the crowd. Luck was with us! I found two empty seats in the front row on the right side. We were in business!

The band was on the altar. Singers and other performers also.

The concert was entitiled Home for the Holidays. An appropriate title. Featured performers included Pops alumni who had now grown and had moved on to college and New York musical careers. The kids, now adults, were home for the holidays. And Key West was made privy to their accomplished talents.

What a night! What a setting! What music! What talent!

I have no plans for this evening. I may stay home. Probably will. Might have dinner earlier with Lisa and the family. We shall see.

Enjoy this the last day of 2009! And whatever you do tonight, do it carefully!

Cold yesterday! High 64!

Cold this morning at 5 am! 62!

A warm day ahead. Going to be 73.

Long pants, sweater and leather jacket yesterday.

The tourists amaze me. Some are bundled. Some only in shorts and tee shirts. Brave souls! I care not how thin their blood may be, cold is cold!

I read the papers and sipped coffee at the Coffee House. Jam packed again. I am being told by the seasoned locals that this is the best Xmas week ever. I believe it.

Then to Publix. I needed a few things. Basics like paper towels and eggs.

The afternoon was spent absorbed in paper work.

The Chart Room last night. People! In and out! A good crowd!

Mark bartending. Sheila at the bar. Sheila drives a Conch train by day. She told me she had worked 6 straight days. Tourists big time!

Che there also. Holding court at the end of the bar. One of the last Chart Room regualrs. The rest have long left this world.

And Ted Kane. Also known as Edward Kane. The court clerk from Madison County, New York. Wearing a Syracuse sweat shirt! Good man!

Syracuse played last night. At Seton Hall. The game was not televised in Key West. Last I could figure the game was tied. Hope Syracuse won. I forgot to check before I started the blog.

It’s a little difficult to enjoy the town when there are so many tourists. I walked over to Hot Tin Roof expecting a bit of quiet while I had dinner. Good luck! It was a zoo!

Valerie bartending. She told me her husband Clayton had officially opened their internet tee shirt store Dog Day Tees. Had a few sales. Needed to optimize.

General Manager John was his usual congenial self. However very busy. The customers were coming in in droves.

I quickly consumed a small piece of chicken and some greens. Still on the diet. Should hit 20 pounds in the next couple of days.

And then I left! I could not take the hustle and bustle.

Stopped at Lisa’s on the way home. Lisa in bed working on her lap top. Corey upstairs on his. The grandkids in bed with their mother.

Robert was falling asleep. Ally was wired as usual. Wide awake.

Ally was into me last night. Some times she is not. She will ignore me.

Last night it was I love you Poppa! Kisses and hugs! And don’t leave!

A good Ally night!

Golf this morning. Long pants, a sweatshirt and outer jacket. I will peel as the day progresses.

Enjoy your day!

I walked big time yesterday morning.

Duval Street was mobbed. People everywhere. Happy and festive.

The walking is part of my good health kick. This is day 61 of no alcohol and cigarettes. It is also day 19 of my diet. 18 pounds so far.

What a good boy am I!

The weather was minimally ok yesterday. High around 70. But last night it was crazy! Dropped to 58!

I turned on the heat. Why fight it!

Today’s high will be somewhere in the mid 60s.

When it is cold cold up north, it is cold in Key West. Buffalo to Albany is experiencing low single digit temperatures. There has been a 20-30 mile per hour wind from the north hitting the keys since yesterday morning.

So suffer we must!

It will be cold through Monday, except for Wednesday when a high of 73 is projected.

The walk ended at the Coffee House on Duval. The papers and a bottle of water.

Last night was Kerry McNally evening. We had met a few days earlier at the Hot Tin Roof. He is associated with the CBS Minneapolis television affiliate. He is in Key West producing a documentary. He had invited me to join him for dinner Monday evening.

We met as agreed at the Chart Room.

Michael bartending. Michael is a Marine vet. So too is Kerry. There was a natural bond from the first moment.

The Chart Room was jumping. Captain Peter was there when I arrived. I had not seen him for a while. He had to leave early. The big boat was coming in and he was needed at the dock to handle the ropes and steady the boat. The winds were making the water a bit rough.

I could tell the wind was moving the water in the afternoon. There were white caps in front of my home. Unusual.

Two guys came into the Chart Room from Texas. Kerry and Michael engaged them in a spirited conversation.

Where to eat? Kerry suggested Blue Heaven. I said are you crazy. Blue Heaven is outside. It is cold! I was wearing jeans, a sweater and a leather jacket. Even thusly dressed, I would freeze my ass off.

No way, I said. Michael had overheard the conversation and concurred.

Turns out Kerry had met a young lady. Jen. She had suggested Blue Heaven.

Kerry understood me, however. Where do we eat? Inside, I said. La Trattoria. Telephone Jen and tell her to meet us there.

I telephoned Beecha for 3 seats at the bar at La Trattoria. She said it was the worst night of the year. She was already overbooked through out the restaurant. However she and Kathy would take care of me.

The bar at La Trattoria was packed. In fact, the whole place was. People standing all over.

We had to wait a bit. Not bad. But there were 3 seats for us in due course.

Jen arrived. A nice girl. Late 30s. Thin. Dirty blond. Has been in and out of Key West for years. Has lived here off and on. She has been back since October and may be staying this time.

Jen works at the Key West Island Book Store on Fleming. The store sells used books. Every time she returns, she is rehired.

She also works part time as a yoga instructor. Hot yoga. Apparently there is a difference. She says the hot tends to tire her out more.

We had a good dinner and good conversation. Kerry has completed most of the work for his documentary. He is turned on by Key West. No question. He came, he saw and was conquered! His cry is to return, rent or buy, perhaps work from here.

Kerry and I have beome friends. One of those situations where two people meet and are instantaneous bonded. I am sure we will keep in touch.

I left Kerry and Jen at the bar. It was just after 9. I decided to stop at Lisa’s on the way home. All the lights were out at her house when I arrived. So I drove by and went directly home.

Lisa is working her Key West internet department store Via Key West big time, even though Christmas gift giving has passed. Like the big stores, she is having post Christmas sales. She is pushing the Key West Lou tee shirt. Her biggest seller to date! She is attempting to sell even more!

The Key West Lou tee shirt is on sale for $22, except for the xxx large size. A good deal! Buy one, buy two, buy more! I love seeing people wearing them!

Long pants today. Leather jacket, also. Haircut this morning. Lori time!

Enjoy your day!

A quiet day yesterday. As Sunday should be. Perhaps a little too quiet.

I had a sense early in the morning that I might be doing a hang around the house day. So I hopped in the car and drove to the gas station at the entrance to Key Haven to buy the Sunday papers. The Key West Citizen and New York Times.

I read the newspapers on and off all morning and into the afternoon.

The weather turned out to be not so cool. And not so warm. Just right. Around the mid 70s.

I spent most of the day sitting outside on the deck overlooking the ocean while reading. And occasionally slept a bit.

Donna telephoned. She will be returning to Key West Friday evening. I may have to pick her up at the airport. Her daughter’s wedding is Saturday. On the beach. I am escorting the mother of the bride.

Watched TV last night.

It did turn out to be a lazy stay at home Sunday. Good occasionally for mind and body.

Enjoy your day!

Good morning!

Welcome to frosty Key West!

Chilly. Last night and this morning. High 60s to low 70s. That is cold for Key West! Long pants, sweater and jacket weather.

It’s all in the blood. We who live here all year have had the heat thin out our blood. Those from the north visiting have thick blood to keep them warm. Ergo the tourists walk around in shorts and tee shirts and enjoy the beaches. We locals complain and dress warm.

I was at the Coffee House on Duval reading the papers and sipping coffee when I ran into Gail. Gail is a Key Wester for many years. A nice lady. She is tango crazy. Dances to it all the time. Even when the music may not be tango music. She told me she is off to Miami for New Years Eve where she will tango the evening away. Enjoy, Gail!

The Chart Room was a bit busy last night. Gary and Tecia were there. My friends from Oswego, New York. I had been missing them all week.

We had a couple of drinks. They park their RV at the Fort Zachrey Taylor State Beach where they also work. They care for the beach. Minimal work in a great atmosphere! Gary was telling me last night that one of his responibilities is to be sure that all women are covered top side. When not, it is his responibility to go over and politely ask them to put their tops on. A good job!

Then it was to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. The meal I could not get the night before.

The bar was full, except for one seat at the end. A good seat. I could clearly see everyone else sitting at the bar.

The Hot Tin Roof was a Damon Runyon experience last night!

Seated next to me enjoying a huge steak was Edward Kane. First time we met. A tourist. From Madison County, New York. Madison county is next door to my home county of Oneida. And Edward is an attorney besides. Though we never met back in New York State.

Edward is a court clerk. Technically referred to as a court attorney. He works directly for Judges. Does their research, writes opinions for them. He has to be a smart guy and responsible person to hold such a position!

We talked about Madison County.

I apparently am much older than Edward. I did not know the Judges he assists. My time in Madison County Supreme Court was spent before Judge Zeller. A stern tough fair minded jurist. Now long gone. My primary adversary in many of the cases was attorney Hugh Humphreys. Hugh went on to become a Judge.

Madison County’s Supreme Court room was different. It moved me. I always expected to see Abraham Lincoln walk through the doors. Rotunda in shape. The bench, jury box and attorney tables were located in a half moon setting up front.

Many the case I tried there. Some of serious significance.

Edward was/is also a Syracuse fan.

Our talk was interesting.

Chris showed up!

Chris of bocci and golf fame!

I have known Chris for years. A natural athlete. He is one of the best bocci players in town. And a low handicap golfer.

A bit of a ladies man, I did not think Chris would ever marry. Turns out that is no longer the case. He announced to me that he had become engaged.

It happened December 21st. For whatever reason, Chris knew that the 21st was known as Winter Solstice and was the shortest day of the year.

Chris was obviously bitten by the love bug. He was gushing. Not his nature. He is in love love!

Good for him.

The lady is Aja.

Chris is 46. Aja 31. About time Chris got around to marrying. I was sure he was the perennial bachelor.

Besides rambling ad infinitum about Aja’s attributes and how lucky he was, he told me about the wonderful Christmas dinner he had had with Aja, his parents and her father the night before at the Hot Tin Roof. The same meal I could not eat.

Chris was a bit bombed. He was enjoying the holiday spirits. I wondered where Aja was, but never got around to asking.

A young French couple came in. They were chatting with Chris and told him they wanted to jet ski today. Chris immediately told them the best place to rent jet skis was at the Reach Hotel at the other end of town. The couple did not speak the best of English and Chris spoke no French so you can visualize how the conversation was going.

Chris kept stressing the jet ski concession at the Reach, they were the best, etc. I assumed he must know the people who run the jet ski concession there.

There was a young man sitting on the other side of Chris. He interjected. Said my name is John Edwards and I own the jet ski concession in this hotel. Hot Tin Roof is located in the Ocean Key House. Edwards’ business is known as Hyrdo Thunder Water Sports and sits right at the point to the dock. A prestiguous location.

There was a moment of awkward silence.

Chris came back. Told the French couple they just had to do business with Edwards. The couple was a bit confused.

Edwards was a class act. He solved the problem for the couple. He told them they would receive 2 jet skis today for free! No cost! They were to be his guests! And he did some necessary paperwork for them right there at the bar.

And so it went.

Today is Sunday. I will watch the talk shows, read the Sunday papers, visit the grandkids and hopefully get out tonight. Kate Miano’s Gardens. I have not been there in a while. I will need to wear jeans and a leather jacket.

Enjoy your day!

Only 365 days to Christmas!

Ho ho!

Great day yesterday! Especially Christmas morning.

I was supposed to be at Lisa’s for gift opening at 8. I was late. So the grandkids and others did their thing without me. No problem. I understood.

After the hugs and kisses and Merry Christmases, Robert and Ally showed me what Santa Claus had brought them. They were excited and pleased. They got everything they wanted plus. As it should be.

Toys have changed since Santa used to visit my children. I remember Santa Claus bringing bicycles, sleighs and the like. I know. What good are sleighs in Key West!

The toys are different though. Robert received a wolverine claw. Press a button and five fingers shoot out about 2 feet. Scary. Dangerous. And guns that shot ping pong balls and darts. Ally was more conservative. Barbie dolls and a small computer.

Breakfast was big time. Lisa did herself proud. The table was a picture of beauty. Eggs, ham, bacon, raisin toast, english muffins, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit all cut up and everything else!

I did not eat. Lisa understood. I was back on my diet. Christmas eve was enough for me.

I stayed a couple of hours. Chatted. Played with the grandkids. But not much. They were very into their new toys.

Then I headed over to the Coffee House on Duval. I wanted to sit and enjoy the New York Times.

The Coffee House was crowded. Packed. No where to sit. I was lucky to be standing in the right spot when some one got up to leave.

I have never seen so many people in the Coffee House.

The first person I saw when I entered was Jackie Grimm. Jackie from the night before at Lisa’s. We hugged and kissed. Jackie looked beautiful. Her Key West reputation has always been that she dresses in total black. With her long flowing white hair, she looks terrific! And so she was dressed yesterday morning. Topped off with a black hat.

I sat quietly for about an hour, read the Times and sipped coffee.

Yesterday was day 15 of my diet. 15 pounds gone. Time to start exercising. That meant walking. So I walked Duval and back. Handled it well till almost the end when I tired a bit. I will be ok.

What stood out as I walked Duval was the number of people in town. I can never remember Key West this crowded at Christmas time. So crowded that every restaurant serving breakfast had a long line waiting outside to get in. I had never seen people standing outside before to get into any restaurant.

The crowds consisted of two types. Families and older people. Interesting. Not the usual type and mix.

Last night started with the Chart Room. I figured many of my local friends would be there and I could celebrate the holiday further with them.

The Chart Room was empty! Only Mark the bartender.

Mark told me I was only the third customer all night. Strange since the town was full. Whatever. We talked a bit and I decided it was time to eat.

My plan was the Hot Tin Roof.

The bar was packed. Two empty seats. A gentleman moved over one seat so I could get a good view of the TV and the basketball game.

I was looking forward to some snapper or mahi mahi and a bit of spinach on the side. Wanted to stay on my diet. Hot Tin Roof was not cooperating. They had a special Christmas menu that was one huge meal. About 18 items and you got it all.

Sheila the bartender laughed. She knew what my reaction would be as soon as I saw the menu.

No way!

I had a cup of coffee instead. And chatted with the fellow sitting next to me who had moved over for me.

His name was Kerry McNally. He is a theartical producer of sorts. He had just arrived in Key West. He would be here a few days filming a documentary on Key West.

We chatted a long time.

Kerry is presently associated with the CBS Minneapolis affiliate. He has been actor, comedian, TV host and movie producer in his lifetime. An interesting guy.

Tennessee Williams is big every where! Especially in Key West! He lived here for a number of years. Wrote many of his most well known works while residing here. Our community college’s theater is named after him.

The restaurant Kerry and I were sitting in is called Hot Tin Roof. Tennessee Williams wrote it. Paul Newman starred in the movie.

Kerry spent several years with the prestigous Hamptons Theater Company. While so involved, he played the Paul Newman role. He also had his own radio show in the Hamptons.

An actor is an actor. Capable of performing multiple roles. Kerry also was/is a comedian. He has opened for Ray Romano, Chris Rock and Geraldo.

He already has one significant documentary under his belt. He did one a few years ago about some lakes up north. I viewed it when I got home. A good job.

He is in Key West to do a similar documentary. Key West A Love Affair.

Kerry had already shot the setting sun last night. He has hired a plane and pilot to fly him over the lower keys so he can film the keys from the air. And he has a sunset cruise booked to do some similar filming.

An interesting guy.

He left me after dinner to hurry over to the Green Parrot to do some drinking. Apparently whoever owns the Green Parrot also owns the garge where he parks his car in Minneapolis.

We agreed to meet again Monday night and have dinner together. At a time when I can eat.

It was then home for me. I still had not eaten. I was not in the mood to stop somewhere on the way home. Instead I decided to have a double dose of my diet food when I arrived home.

Prior to bed, I consumed 4 ounces of water with a chocolate powder mixed in it. And a 3 inch long 1/4 inch thick candy bar. Both loaded with grams of protein.

What a good life I lead!

Enjoy your day!

Merry Christmas!

Peace to all!

I am up early. I went to bed early. I wanted to be sure Santa Claus would come.

It is pitch black outside over the ocean. There must be a breeze. I can hear the water running by.

Last night was a warm family Christmas. We were at Lisa’s.

Lisa had her home decorated sprectacularly for the occasion. Not just the tree. I am speaking of the table coverings, napkins and the like. Reddish/maroon in keeping with the holiday.

Robert and Ally were dressed for the occcasion. Beautifully!

Robert’s shorts just happened to be the same color as mine. So he was thrilled. Additionally he had a lion on his shirt pocket. I was wearing Polo. So we compared the animals on our shirts.

Ally was so lovely! A red plaid dress. Little black heels and white ankle socks. An angel!

Ally’s dress had a built in slip underneath. Some sort of rayon. She showed it to me when I arrived and told me how good it felt against her leg. Four years old! A typical woman in the making!

Lisa and Corey had guests. Betsy and Jackie. Betsy had spent last Christmas with us. Jackie is of Jackie Grimm fame. She just returned to Key West after having been away for a year. A bright light has returned. A good friend, also. I am happy to see her back.

We were a gathering. Lisa, Corey and the little grandkids. Cameron, the bigger grandkid. Corey’s parents. Betsy and Jackie. And Louis.

With Christmas carols playing in the background, we proceeded to have an enjoyable Christmas eve.

We were sitting in the living room picking on shrimp and various cheeses. And singing carols. The grandkids were leading us. When who should arrive, but Santa!

Robert and Ally had been excited all night in anticipation that he might stop by. The question was whether Santa had the time in his busy schedule.

When Santa did make it and was seated in the easy chair, Robert and Ally were quiet as mice. Not a peep out of them. And they initially kept their distance.


Santa Claus was dressed magnificently! He had new custom made attire this year. He was wearing a robe of old. His beard and mustache were curled. He looked terrific!

Robert and Ally eventually sat on his lap and talked with him. The women each at one time or another sat on his lap for a conference of sorts. This included Betsy and Jackie. Good sports!

Then Santa was on his way and we sat down to Christmas eve dinner.

Yesterday was day 14 of my diet. I lost 15 pounds in 14 days. For real! I said I was going to cheat on Christmas eve and I did! My diet is high protein, low carb. My body only wanted carbs. I devoured bread and cookies. Especially the bread.

Lisa had antipasto. Good! Linguini with 3 differnet sauces. You got your choice. Mix and match sort of thing. Mussels in red sauce, clams in oil and shrimp in butter. And fresh Cuban bread. I ended up dunking the bread in the clam oil sauce and shrimp butter sauce.

It is amazing how the body wants that which it has been deprived.

Lisa’s dishwasher broke. Just at the right time. So the women all washed dishes afterwards. It reminded me of days of old when I was young. Before dishwashers. The women all collected in the kitchen after dinner to clean up. Voices happy. The work was done quickly. As it was last night.

We sat and had coffee and cookies. Terrific cookies! Lisa had baked 5 separate Italian cookies. Normally good, they were even better last night because of the diet.

Some stimulating conversation accompanied the coffee. I interjected Sarah Palin. I was curious as to the ladies’ response. It surprised me. They were all adamantly opposed to her. Not a kind word from any of them. I was shocked. I thought most women admired her and were for her. No way. And at least 2 of the ladies were black hearted Republicans.

And then the night was over. Everyone was full. We said our good nights and went home.

I was in bed early and had a good night’s sleep.

This morning I have to be at Lisa’s by 8. We are opening presents and then doing a big breakfast.

My cheating is over. I am back on my diet. I will not be doing the bacon and eggs and any of that sort of stuff.

May each of you have a most happy Christmas day. May God be good to you this day.

What a lovely day!

Weatherwise and otherwise!

I love Christmas eve day. The hustle and bustle. The merry xmas exchanges. The excited grandchildren.

Tonight is big in my tradition. Religiously and otherwise. Santa Claus. Family.

We eat good tonight! I will be cheating on my diet.

Yesterday was exciting in more ways than one.

Golf early in the day.

A difficult round. Took over 5 hours. The tourists were crowding the course and slowing play down.

I did not eat my usual diet breakfast before golf. Just had a cup of coffee. I was dead on the first hole. No fuel to burn.

My swing sucked. I almost quit after 9 holes. I was so tired. Glad I did not.

My moments of glory came on the 17th and 18th holes. Two of them!

I chipped in from off the green on 17th to win. Then did the same thing on 18! Wow!

Played with Tom, Yankee Jack and Tino. Tom was my partner in my moments of glory.

Dollarwise, I neither won nor lost. I broke even. Tom was the big winner. Tino the big loser. Had I not sunk those two chip ins on 17 and 18, I would have been the big loser. A lot of money turned around on those two chip ins.

Took a nap in the late afternoon. Although 17 and 18 rejuvenated my spirit, I was still tired. Ate a bit. From my diet foods, of course.

Last night began at Aqua. Bobby Nesbitt time. Enjoy his singing tremendously! He sang many xmas tunes which placed all in a mellow mood. We sang along a bit with him.

I had called for a reservation at the bar at Antonia’s for 7:30. Spoke with Michael the host. When I arrived, the bar was full. No seat for me.

Michael blamed the mishap on TK the bartender. Christopher the owner was standing nearby. I doubt he knew I had a reservation. I made no issue. I merely said I would eat elsewhere and left.

I was pissed off, however. Extemely. This happened to me two times on two consecutive weeks last year. I do not complain. I just take my business elsewhere. This is what I did for 6 months this past year. Antonia’s saw me not.

Obviously I forgave and forgot. I had returned to Antonia’s.

I am a customer at Antonia’s 1 or 2 times a week for years. Going back 3 differenet owners. I have also thrown large private parties at Antonia’s, taken many guests there and recommend it to people. The food is outstanding.

I did a slow boil all night over the situation. A reservation is a reservation. Especially in a tourist town. And I can tell you based on years of experience that reservations are respected in Key West. Every where. But apparently not at the bar at Antonia’s.

When I was returning to my car later in the evening, I had to pass by Antonia’s. Michael the host was standing outside smoking a cigarette. I could not hold it in. I stopped and told him how upset I was and that I would never eat in Antonia’s again. He asked why. Can you imagine! So I told him about last year, my absence and the failure to honor my reservation last night.

He could have cared less. He said in effect so don’t come.

Up his! I walked away.

I wonder what Christopher the owner would have said?

The Antonia misfortune worked to my benefit, however. I walked over to La Trattoria. Where there were available seats at the bar. I might also mention that I generally telephone La Trattoria for a reserved seat at the bar and am always accomodated. Not just me. Everyone. Key West is a reservation town.

Erin was bartending. As soon as I walked in, she said we were just talking about you. She came from behind the bar to take me into the dining room. Friends Cheryl and Roger were in and had asked for Key West Lou.

Everytime I run into them, they are eating. We joked about it. Especially since I am on a diet and they are not.

Debbie Reynolds was at the bar. Not the movie star of old. The youthful exuberant Debbie Reynolds of Key West. A friend for years. She is concierge at Grand Key. Her husband Tim was the chef at the Square One Restaurant for years. Now he is in the computer business.

Debbie was with her mother.

Debbie and I had not run into each other for a while. It was good to see her and chat with her. A nice person.

Beecha came in with friends. It was Beecha’s night off. She had been out on a boat with friends doing a sunset cruise.

I received my usual hug and kiss, of course. Hugs and kisses I never got at Antonia’s. Come to think of it, another reason for boycotting Antonia’s from now on.

Beecha introduced me to Johnny and Peggy Newberry. They own a guest house in Key West. The Mango Tree Inn on Southard. For 11 years. We had some interesting conversation.

Johnny told me that the singer James Slater stays at the Mango Tree Inn when he is in town. He was in Key West a few nights ago. Johnny and Peggy threw him a party. Slater was with his friend and composer Jeff Cohen.

Slater is presently up for a Grammy award.

Interesting the people who visit KeyWest!

I had scallops. Just scallops. Five of them. Stayed on the diet.

I was sitting at the bar with my back to the window and Duval Street. All of a sudden I heard banging on the window. I turned around. There were Nancy and Michael. Bright smiles. Arms around each other. Mouthing a Merry Christmas to me.

I love Nancy. She was in college during the turbulent 1960s and propably blew up a building or two. Only kidding! But by her own admission she participated in the demonstrations of that day. She and Michael work at Don’s Place. Nancy is the genral mangar. Michael the morning bartender. Michael opens the doors to Don’s Place at 7 am so the members of the breakfast club may enter.

The Antonia/La Trattoria situation last night was a tale of two restaurants. Antonia’s a total screw up that I must confess did bother me. On the other hand, La Trattoria turned out to be a warm happy event.

It’s how the cookie crumbles.

Enjoy this Christmas eve day. Be good! Otherwise you will be buried in coal as Antonia’s is. La Trattoria is going to get all the goodies this evening.

Only 2 shopping days left to Christmas!

If ever there was a time to utilize Lisa’s Key West internet department store Via Key West, it is now!

For those who may not have completed their Christmas shopping.

Quick and convenient. A funky fabulous Key West type gift.

And send me to the Post Office again on one of the busiest days of the year!

Speaking of the Post Office, my system proved true yesterday. The Post Office opens at 8:30. I was there. Only 3 persons in line waiting ahead of me. I was in and out. From now on, all deliveries will be at 8:30!

It was early. I was up. What to do?

Over to the Coffee House on Duval. Read the local Citizen and all the New York papers while sipping coffee. Tourists and locals galore. Key West continues to fill up for the holiday season. And everyone in an obvious jolly mood.

I am not the only one was cold and who turned on the heat this past week. Good friend Howard Livingston did also. Howard lives up on Summerland Key. He reported in Facebook that he turned on the “furnace.” A northern term from the past.

Snow. I don’t think the keys have ever seen snow. But they will Christmas day. On Summerland Key. Guaranteed.

Howard entered a national contest. Had to write a letter saying why he should have snow on Christmas day. Over 600 entries. Howard wrote and entered the contest. Sent a picture of him and his 6 year old grandson in with the entry. Said he wanted snow in front of his home located on the open water in Summerland Key.

Howard won!

His prize. Snow Christmas day!

Snow making machines will be on his property. And Howard and family will have a white Christmas!


You can see it happening on the Weather Channel from 8 am to 2 pm Christmas day.

Saw the grandkids in the afternoon. They are getting a work out. Corey’s parents are visiting for the holiday. They play with Roblert and Ally constantly.

I spent most of the afternoon doing some necessary paper work.

I was getting ready to go out for the evening when I noticed My Fair Lady would be on TV shortly. I was pulled between Key West at night and My Fair Lady.

My Fair Lady won! I am getting old.

What a movie! Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. 1964. Beautiful! Fantastic!

There is a sentimental touch associated with My Fair Lady. It was my first Broadway show.

It was 1960. I had just graduated from law school and was in New York City taking a 6 week cram course for the bar exam. My wife was not with me. We had not seen each other in 4 weeks.
I had one night off in those 4 weeks. We went to class till 10 in the evening.

The night was July 4.

My wife came to visit for that one night. We both saw our first Broadway show. My Fair Lady. And went to bed. We were famished for each other after a 4 week separation.

Our first daughter Beth was born 9 months later.

No radio talk show tomorrow. Christmas eve. KONK 1680 AM radio will be playing music all day.

Golf this morning. The high is projected at 74. Warm weather returning! I will bring a sweatshirt just in case.

Enjoy your day!

Key West’s cold wave continues.

58 degrees during the night. 63 at 7 this morning. High today projected at 71. Borderline.

Tomorrow it warms. It will be 74! Just in time for golf.

I gave in yesterday. I was too cold. I turned the heat on. I rarely use it. Some years not at all. But the cold was getting to me yesterday. No matter how I dressed, I was cold!

People have been writing in response to my complaints. Someone wrote from Florida’s Panhandle to tell me it was 34 up there. Another wrote from Milan, Italy to tell me it was below 0 degrees centigrade. A couple of people wrote from upstate New York where the temperature was in the teens.

The message from all was basically the same. Complain not. You don’t know what cold is!

I spent yesterday morning doing paper work.

Then I was off to the Post Office for Lisa. An exercise in futility. The line was outside the door.

I have become experienced at the waiting time. I have made enough runs for Lisa. It would have been at least 2 hours. No way was I going to stay that long.

I went over to Borders for a while. Continued reading Sarah Palin’s Rogue book. She is absolutely the greatest woman ever or a gigantic fraud in the making. Everything she does is wonderful! From her perspective. She continues to be every woman, every person.

No opinion formulated on her as yet.

Then it was back to the Post Office. The line was even longer. I did not stay.

When I got home, I telephoned Santa Claus. My Santa Claus is Reggie Jenkins. He has been Santa to my grandkids for 3 years.

I had to update Reggie/Santa on what Robert and Ally had been up to. He will personally relate to them Christmas eve when he visits their home and they are sitting on his lap.

Reggie is an interesting man. A prep school and Yale graduate, he ultimately settled here in Key West where he has been successful in several business ventures.

Reggie looks like Santa Claus. For real! White beard, tummy and all!

I dressed for the cold last night. Jeans, shirt and sweater. And a leather jacket. Needed all of it!

Hit the Chart Room first. Chatted with Michael the bartender and some tourists. An interesting couple from Columbus, Ohio were enjoying themselves and complaining not about the cold. They just did other things by day besides sun bathing.

Complaining about the weather is left to locals such as me.

I then headed for La Trattoria.

The streets were crowded. La Trattoria was crowded. There is a holiday crowd in town. My hotel friends tell me they will be full for the long weeked.

Everyone appeared happy and in a festive mood. It is Christmas time!

Kathy was bartending and Beecha hosting. A kiss from Kathy. A hug and kiss from Beecha. Both looked terific in their holiday dress. Kathy wearing a white lace blouse. Beecha attired in a dramatic red and black dress.

I stuck with the diet. I had the mussel appetizer. A bowl of boiled mussels in a light butter sauce. That’s all!

This morning is back to the Post Office for Lisa. I am going at 8:30 when it opens. I hope I will have better luck.

Enjoy your day!