My friend Mary died yesterday. A wonderful person. The best.

Mary’s husband is my dear friend Gus who I occasionally mention. They were married forever.

Mary had a pain in her stomach twenty seven days ago. A bad pain. She went into the hospital. Cancers in various parts of her body. Major surgery. She never made it out of the hospital.

Mary is the perfect of example of why people should not smoke. She was a stove pipe.

I first met Mary in the late 1970s. At a Christmas party. Someone spilled a whole glass of red wine on my new tan slacks. Within seconds, this young lady appeared who I did not know. She took me by the hand into a bathroom and shut the door. Looked at me and said, “Take off your pants.” “Are you crazy,” I responded. She replied, “Look, if you want to get the wine off your pants before it stains for sure, get them off and let me wash them in water.”

I took my pants off. There I was in my BVDs talking to a lovely lady who I had never met before.

The scenario probably best describes Mary. A take charge no bullshit person.

Our friendship developed as I became closer to her husband. Gus and I eventually became the best of friends and remain so to this day.

She and Gus built a lovely home in the woods. Magnificent! They raised two lovely children. Both attorneys today.

Mary and Gus met when they played in their high school band. I always thought it cute. Especially the pictures of the two of them together in their band uniforms.

From my perspective, Mary’s greatest attribute was her cooking. She was the premier Italian cook. Everything she made was absolutely delicious. Eating at her home was special.

It was not that Mary was simply a good cook, she was an Italian cook. Mary cooked old school. Whatever her mother taught her by way of cooking, she retained. She was the only one of her generation who had the talent to cook in the old fashioned Italian way.

Everything Mary cooked tasted good. I think it was because she was big on butter. Butter in everything!

Mary was a die hard Syracuse fan also. We would attend games at Carrier Dome together. Many the evening we sat eating in her kitchen watching Syracuse basketball on TV. Mary suffered for the team as I did. Her blood ran orange.

I love discussing politics. I avoided it with Mary. She was a solid Republican. No deviation from the party line.

People surprise friends occasionally. Mary and Gus joined our golf club. Mary was an instantaneous hit with the women. Mary could play golf. Well!

Turned out Mary had grown up on a farm in Frankfort. The farm was next to a golf course. Mary would frequently jump over the fence and play a few holes. I do not recall her ever playing as an adult till she joined the club. She distinguished herself on the golf course!

Mary and Gus loved Martha’s Vineyard. I spent several Septembers with them there. While Gus and I ran around the island, Mary cooked. Marvelous sea food! Others would join us and Mary would serve huge platters of steaming Maine lobsters. What could be better!

Mary worked in her husband’s law office till the time she went into the hospital. Initially to help Gus when he started his own practice many years ago. Then continued because of her love for the work. In reality, it was Mary’s office. Not Gus’s.

Mary can best be described as a good person. That simply. God did not make any one better.

I have cried three times for Mary. When Gus first told me she had cancer. Then when he told me she was not going to make it. Finally, when she did not make it. My eyes are filled as I write this tribute to her. I will probably shed a few more tears in the next couple of days. I loved Mary.



The new North Roosevelt Boulevard is terrific! A pleasure to travel!

There are a few problems. Some in the process of correction. Others, not.

One is that the driving lanes on both sides are open to bicycle traffic. Bicycles are actually painted on the road way signifying A-OK. Envision it. Bicycles driving down the middle of a Boulevard lane.

A disaster in the making! Not yet, however.

Yesterday, the wrong of permitting the bikes was evident. Traffic is exceptionally heavy this week. A holiday week. Many tourists. Families.

Traffic was unusually slow on the Boulevard going into town. I thought there might be an accident. There was not. It was a family riding their bicycles.

Each helmeted. The only safety feature taken into consideration.

The father in the lead bike. A small child sitting in the basket in front. This is going to sound like the Three Bears story. Mama bicyclist on the second bike. Then three smaller bikes with three children riding them. The oldest could not have been ten. All in a straight line, one behind the other. Oblivious to the traffic hold up they were causing and the danger the family was in.

Publix’s parking lot was a no parking zone. I had to go around the lot three times to find a spot.

I had a noon appointment with Tammy for a manicure. Lee Nails was packed! Locals and tourists. I was the only male. The ladies obviously getting ready for New Year’s Eve. A lot of chatter and laughing.

I wrote one more chapter to Growing Up Italian. Concrete Sidewalks Grass Backyards. Who had a backyard?

Then spent considerable time preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. A good one. Some things are in my craw. Bothering me. Tonight,  I will vent. Tomorrow, some will write and tell me I’m crazy.

Some of the topics of note include my analysis of the New York City Police Department  problem, a lawsuit being filed against the New York City Police Department every 2 1/2 hours, Greece on a collision course with Germany which perhaps could result in war, some consider Ukraine the prelude to World War III, and the U.S. purportedly being out of Afghanistan.

My analysis of the NYPD situation and Obama’s comments re finally being out of Afghanistan are guaranteed to stir the pot.

Join me for an interesting and challenging half hour. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine this evening.

Enjoy your day!


The last 24 hours have told the story of the Greek ferry boat on fire. Over 400 passengers. 110 still not rescued. Cold temperatures and cold seas. A fire below. Sufficient to melt rubber shoes on the floor above. Boat leaning. Not enough life boats.

I received an e-mail from Eleni on Amorgos yesterday. She owns the house where I stay when in Amorgos. She shared the ferry boat story with me. She was afraid it might be a Titanic in the making. I heard from her before any significant number had been rescued.

Five reported dead so far.

The only way to get from one island to another generally in Greece is by ferry boat. They are water buses. I have been a passenger on many. My concern each time was safety. Mine, first.

They pack 400-500 people on one boat. 3-4 stories. Vehicles on bottom floor. Everyone sits. Has to be 20 seats across.  Narrow isles. Leading to another narrow aisle. Leading to a narrow staircase. One way in, one way out.

I used to think how am I going to get off this thing fast if I have to. Impossible!

Greek waters are rarely mild. Not like Key west in the summer when the warm weather makes for a calm sea. Greek waves are crushing. The boat up and down in huge dips. Two thoughts constantly in mind. Try not to get sick. What do I do if a wave breaks through the huge windows?

A watery grave.

Life boats. Definitely not enough. Never. Ten, maybe 20. On many boats, inflatables.

A crew that did not seem to care. Get the passengers on and off quickly. I mean quick! The boat was moving rapidly before I was ever in a seat. Then getting my ass in a seat became a feat in itself.

I loved Greece! I love Greece! Except for the ferry boats.

Yesterday, walked Smathers Beach. Otherwise laid around and napped. Watched the Syracuse/Long Beach State game at 4. Syracuse won 85-67.

The Charles Eimers police protest took place yesterday. The Key West Citizen reports about 40 participated.

Crime pays! In a sort of round about way.

Timothy Poole is a registered sex offender. He likes little boys. Poole recently won the lottery. $3 million. His net in pocket $2.2 million.

Two young boys he molested have elected to sue him. Brothers. Lawsuit winners! With money available to pay any judgment awarded them to boot!

Enjoy your day!


My yesterday began with a lengthy noon time meeting downtown. The balance of the afternoon following the meeting watching TV at home. It was a lazy day.

Several years ago, I mentioned that I had spent a few days with Rodney Dangerfield at the fat farm La Costa. A place where people went to lose weight. We got chummy. We would chat in the hot tub and steam room. Played volley ball together bare ass twice a day. Ate together. Each off us on the 800 calorie a day diet.

I watched a Rodney Dangerfield movie in the afternoon. The one where he went to college when a senior citizen. He was as wacky as ever.

Rodney was wacky in his everyday life, also. What you saw on the movie screen and on TV was Rodney Dangerfield in the flesh. It was the real him. He made millions merely being himself.

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Saturday seems to attract me to the place. Probably because it is the night Bobby Nesbitt entertains.

As I walked into the Marriott, I ran into Joe and Beth Pizzo. I had not seen them in a couple of years. Key West friends going back more than 20 years. Happy hellos and hugs exchanged.

A corner of the bar had several male members of the Yacht club enjoying drinks together. The same group that were at the Yacht Club bar almost daily. The Yacht club is closed Saturday nights. Happy hellos again.

Bobby’s music I love! Songs from the ’50s and ’60s. Bobby came over and chatted while he was on break. He looks the same as when I met him for the first time 25 years ago. Nary a wrinkle.

Journey and Judy bartending. I asked for my usual Beefeaters. Judy said no Beefeaters. First time. I knew why. I said to Judy, you have a new alcohol distributor. Yes, she said. There is one who services the keys that does not handle Beefeaters.

I felt like I was back in London where I spent a week a few years ago. Only one bar carried Beefeaters. Most did not even know what it was. Shocking since the bottle looks like London and suggests Beefeaters is a drink of English origin.

It dawned on me last night that Tavern ‘n Town has become a local’s hangout.

Salt Island Seaplanes has been in business three weeks. The seaplane service between Naples and Key West. A 55 minute air trip.

I hate to be a wet blanket, but I do not see how the company is going to succeed. The ride is expensive. $210 one way. The plane does not land in Key West. It lands at a mooring field somewhere northeast of Fleming Key. Passengers then get a seven minute boat ride to the Conch Harbor Marina dock. From there, you either walk or cab to where ever you are going.

This week’s Keynoter had two interesting items.

The first was the man who was arrested on the complaint of his girl friend that he had stolen her money. While in the back of the police car, the officer driving heard “chewing and chomping.” The guy was eating the cash. He got $277 down before stopped.

The other involved the Southern Keys Cemetery in Big Coppit. The cemetery ran an ad stating there were 75,351 residents in Monroe County and only 4,200 burial plots. Brilliant advertising!

I have been to the Cemetery. It is modern compared to the Key West one. I have gone there several times. An old friend, Jack Baron, is buried there. I enjoyed my almost daily conversations with him over the years and consider him one of the smartest people I ever met. Crazy as it may sound, I stop by not only to pay my respects but also to talk to him a bit.

Syracuse basketball today at 4. Syracuse is playing Long Beach State. Syracuse an 11 point favorite.

I have Sloan here at 10:30 to work. Have to hustle.

Enjoy your Sunday!



Fog is common in many beach areas. Not Key West, however. Maybe once or twice a year.

This morning was one of those times. I woke to heavy fog. The kind described as thick as pea soup. I could see nothing. Not even the MTV house across the way. The fog has gradually lifted. Finally totally gone two hours after I first saw it.

The day is projected to be a warm one. Whether the fog has to do with it, I do not know.

Mel Fisher Museum is like a second home. I have visited many times. The Museum apparently has an attic. I did not know. Attics are uncommon in the keys. Crawl spaces prevail.

The famous playwrite Arthur Miller wrote The Price. It takes place in an attic. The show starts its run tonight for several weeks. Presented by the Fringe Theater of Key West. The show is being performed in the attic of the Museum.

Garret is another way of describing an attic. The show is advertised as taking place in the garret of the Museum.

Christmas has encouraged my writing habits. I seem to be spending more time at it. Most of yesterday involved knocking out three chapters of Growing Up Italian. Rough, of course. Refining and editing will take more time than putting the words on paper for the first time. Whatever, I was both pleased and excited by what I accomplished yesterday.

It became habit with me over the years to spend a bit of time at the end of Christmas or New Years Eves sitting alone or with my father and doing some soul searching. It has not occurred since I moved to Key West. Last night, I enjoyed the experience again.

I was with Don at Don’s place. He and I alone at the bar for a couple of hours. Serious conversation. Excellent conversation.

On the way home, my grumbling stomach told me I was on hungry. Even on a diet, one must still eat something. I stopped at Hogfish. Packed! Chatted with the fishermen who frequent the bar evenings.

Enjoy your day!



A couple of things I learned regarding Christmas in the last 24 hours.

One involves heart attacks. Medical studies indicate that more people die from heart attacks on Christmas Day than any other time of the year. In second place, the day after Christmas. December 26. Third, January 1.

Health workers call this time of the year Christmas Coronary.

Pope Francis delivered his Christmas message as usual to a throng of people in St. Peter’s Square. I have been to St. Peter’s Square several times. Big, but not as spacious as the following indicates.

It was reported that 80,000 people were in St. Peter’s Square when the Pope delivered his Christmas message Urbi et Orbi. Urbi et Orbi translated is To the City and the World.

I was surprised at the 80,000 number. I was there once when the Square was extremely crowded. For one of the Pope’s wednesday morning messages. I never realized the number could be as big as 80,000.

I mentioned last week that the Pope had ordered three showers to be built in St. Peter’s Square for the homeless. He is going to need more than that! The three reminds me of the scene in Jaws where the sheriff sees the shark for the first time. The sheriff was at the end of the boat and the shark shot up into the air  mouth wide open. The sheriff turned around and said to his two companions…..I think we need a bigger boat.

My Christmas Day was quiet. I watched a little TV and wrote a lot. I was into Growing Up Italian. Significant progress was made.

Enjoy your day!



Merry Christmas one and all!

I had a rare happening yesterday. One infrequently experienced. But when it occurs, it aggravates the hell out of a person.

I spent four hours plus yesterday afternoon writing next week’s KONK Life column. Due to the holidays, the column had to be in early. Yesterday. I do not know what happened, what key I hit in error. I lost the column. Hard though I tried, I could not retrieve it. It is out there floating around in internet space.

To redo would have taken about 2 hours. I did not have the time. I was due at Lisa’s for Christmas Eve dinner in a half hour. Ergo, there will be no Key West Lou column in next week’s KONK Life. Sorry.

As a point of information, the column concerned Theodore Roosevelt. Besides an outstanding President, he also had a way with words. Many phrases used today originated with him. Like using the Presidency as a “bully pulpit.” How about if I decide to run, I will “throw my hat in the ring.” Then there is “good to the last drop.” Roosevelt was actually drinking Maxwell House coffee when he uttered those words. And so on.

Christmas Eve dinner at Lisa’s was outstanding. She outdid herself once again. Santa Claus arrived before dinner. Robert and Ally are still believers. They are 10 and 9  respectively. Tall. This may be their last year enjoying the beauty of believing.

Lisa had a houseful. Friends for dinner, also.

I basically kept to my diet. Cheated a very wee bit. A taste of a forbidden food. That was it! I was able to pass on all the goodies.

I got my Christmas shopping in yesterday morning. Found what I needed. Traffic was horrendous! The penalty I paid for being a late shopper.

Thunderstorms were predicted for yesterday. They started in the afternoon. Continued through the night. Heavy winds, also. All as predicted. We received a piece of the storm running from Maine to Florida. This morning is lovely. A bit cool, however. 68. Will reach the mid 70s during the day. Pleasant Christmas weather.

Key West’s Tropic Cinema is one of the movie houses nationally showing Interview today. I congratulate them.

Key West has had a bit of a police problem the past year. Not a black, however. A white. Charles Eimers. The grand jury failed to indict the police officers. New evidence has been discovered. A video it is claimed that challenges certain police statements made during the investigation and grand jury proceedings. There is also a federal civil suit pending.

The preceding set forth merely for informational purposes and as a prelude to the following. It was announced in today’s Key West Citizen there will be a police protest re Eimers death this sunday. It has been labeled Justice in Paradise. Sunday 4 pm. The protest begins at the Truman Waterfront.

Enjoy your Christmas Day!




Christmas 2010 I wrote a story as to how Christmas was received and how it developed in what is now the United States. The story was published on Amazon Kindle at the time.

I thought the tale sufficiently interesting to be repeated. Not once, but twice. It is in KONK Life which hits the stands at 5 today. I also basically read through the story on my blog talk radio show last night.

Christmas was not always as it is today.

For example, the Puritans in Boston in the late 1600s made it a crime to celebrate Christmas. Another example involves the South celebrating Christmas big time leading up to and at the time of the Civil War. The North did not.

Washington Irving, The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol and finally…..Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, contributed to Christmas as we know it.

The Key West Citizen had the perfect editorial today. A reprint of the New York Sun’s editorial in 1897 which contained the memorable statement…..Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Went Christmas shopping yesterday. I am one of the last minute ones. Did not do well. Found nothing I liked. Everything picked over. My fault. I will be back in the stores today.

Christmas Eve is big in my family. I will be at Lisa’s tonight for dinner. Santa Claus will arrive before. 6:30 to be precise. I love it!

I arranged for Santa Claus each Christmas Eve for my children and then grandchildren. Robert and Ally are the last of the grandchildren. Kids are impressed with Santa Claus. I wanted them to be duly impressed with Poppa. I arranged with each Santa at some point to embrace me warmly and tell everyone I was his friend. The kids ate it up!

The weather this morning is lovely. Thunderstorms predicted for tonight. Already one outdoor event has been cancelled. I hope the rain holds off till we are all home in bed.

The more important concern would be Robert and Ally. Children are inquisitive. They would want to know if the reindeer were out in the rain, where are they, etc.

This morning’s Key West Citizen had a short note re Applerouth Lane. The note mentioned Applerouth was once called Smith Lane.

Applerouth is that short block between Duval and Whitehead. A narrow street. I always have thought Applerouth and its diverse stores were a true reflection of Key West. There is a bd/sm gear store. Been there for years. A couple of restaurants. The entrance to Virgilio’s.

My curiosity was piqued. Who was Applerouth? Who was Smith? I had always thought Applerouth was the name of a flower or plant.

I did a little digging. Applerouth was so named in 1981. It was named after a local merchant. William H. “Billy” Applerouth. Smith was difficult to nail down. The street was named after L. Windsor Smith. There was a District Attorney as well as a Court Clerk in the 1840s so named. Whether one and the same person, I can not be sure.

Applerouth was described as the “Jewish” merchant. I found that add on/description strange for 1981. If someone is aware why the description, let me know.

The Interview opens Christmas Day at the Tropic Cinema. Good for you, Tropic Cinema!

Enjoy your Christmas Eve!



I enjoy sharing what I did and who I saw the day before. Even the very mundane. Yesterday was one where I never left the house. Nevertheless, a good day!

I wrote all day. I was in the mood. Words and thoughts flowed. I stayed with it.

Part of the writing included preparation for my blog talk radio show tonight. It’s Christmas time. I am going to share a history of Christmas with you. Guaranteed there will be items that previously have  never been brought to your attention. My history of Christmas is a long story. It may consume the entire half hour.

Join me tonight at 9 my time for Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. It is my Christmas gift to you.

The day writing, the evening Syracuse/Colgate basketball. Syracuse soundly defeated Colgate 78-43. The teams are in different leagues. Syracuse still has a long way to go.

This is supposedly the season of love. We are not seeing much of it with the black/police problem a constant one.

Numbers are important. It seems blacks are being killed by the police in much greater numbers than people in general are killing police. The FBI’s National Incident-Board Reporting System came out with some interesting numbers for 2013.

The report stated that 76 police officers were killed in the line of duty. Twenty seven by felonious acts. Forty nine by accidents. Bottom line, 27 police officers killed directly by an assailant. No break down re black/white as to assailant.

Numbers in reverse are hard to come by. Stats are not as rigidly kept re blacks killed by police. The numbers constantly reported suggest a low of 460 to a high well over 1,000.

Using the lowest projection of 460, it still seems police are killing significantly more blacks than people (blacks and whites) are killing police. Too one sided. It suggests something is wrong.

Every life is precious. Black or police officer. We must recognize however the disproportion. And do something about it!

I grieve for the two police officers killed in New York and their families. We should not lose sight however that killings are far greater involving police killing blacks.

Along the way, we have forgotten as a society many things. Two of significance. The first is violence begets violence. The second, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Enjoy your day!


The weather continues to be great! Better than most years at this time. Mornings are especially interesting. No breeze what so ever. Palm trees hanging. Water mirror calm. The day mid 70s. No humidity.

Leisurely walked Duval yesterday. Many blocks have Christmas wreaths on the light poles. They convey a more Christmasy feeling than normal.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about two events taking place in Key West that I had learned about for the first time. Some reader commented that I should not live in Key West if I do not know about those things.

It is impossible to know everything about this island. Especially the going ons. During the weekends, there at least 10-12 events on friday and saturday. Some new, some old. During the week, several each evening. Impossible to keep up. My blog is not a social/events calendar.

Anyhow, now comes something new to me. Perhaps old to others. I was not aware nor had I ever heard it before. We hear the names of many famous people who lived in Key West for certain periods of their lives. Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, etc. Thomas Edison! Why his time in Key West is not more publicized, I do not know.

During World War I, Edison resided in the Little White House. He was donating his services to the war effort. While in Key West, he perfected 41 weapons.

Live and learn. I do.

Love the Spectrelles! A Key West female  singing trio. Do not see them often enough. This evening they are appearing at San Carlos. A Christmas show.

I mentioned the other day that The Big Ten Sports Pub had been sold. I did not know who the new owner was. It was sold. The deal did not go through. John Lukas is back running the Pub. A better person than John does not exist.

Syracuse basketball tonight. Syracuse plays Colgate. Syracuse should win. I wish Syracuse could play every game as well as they did the first half against Villanova. A dream.

What a diet! I have now lost 24 pounds! The diet is an improvisation on my part. I am a yo yo. This diet I like. I have spent my life going up and down weight wise. The diet is a bit of this and that from past diets I was on.

Enjoy your day!