Today’s blog will be short. I developed a dental problem last night. I have a very early appointment this morning.

I told Anna not to go to Greece. She is going. Leaves today.

She spoke with friends yesterday in Athens and Santorini. They all said come. Everything normal, except for the demonstrations. No one will bother you. Life normal.

We shall see. I hope she received good advice.

I would love to be in Greece these days. Has to be exciting. History in the making! The demonstrations should not be a problem if they are similar to those I experienced. Yesterday, 10,000 were protesting in front of Parliament. Where I stood with 4,000-5,000 demonstrators on three occasions several years ago.

I have been watching news reports re Greece on TV. I question if we are being provided with the true picture. We see the protests. We do not see lives outside the protests. Lives going on as usual.

A warning. A Louis one. The Eurounion/Greece problem is opening the door for a Greece, Russia, China deal. Watch. Putin at work again.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. An interesting show.

Topics include the President’s eulogy, the two Supreme Court decisions of import last week, the U.S. Navy short of ships, a new way to sneak cocaine out of Columbia, and a Greece update.

I will have heard from Anna by show time tonight with her first impressions of Athens. I will share them.

Enjoy your day!


Another beautiful Key West morning! A calm one. Nothing moving. Water still. No breeze. Birds chirping. I stepped out on the deck. I felt the whole world was mine.

President Obama’s eulogy at Reverend Pinckney’s service moved me. My emotions got involved. Tears filled my eyes. I thought it was one of man’s great orations. The feeling apparently mutual. Media persons over the weekend have expressed themselves in a similar fashion.

Amazing Great was part and parcel of the eulogy. In fact, part and parcel of the service.

Several years ago, I wrote an article for Amazon Kindle titled Amazing Grace. The story/history behind the Amazing Grace of today. Several times I have reprinted the article. I did again yesterday. Called it Amazing Grace Revisited.

I was motivated by President Obama’s singing of the classic during the eulogy.

Amazing Grace Revisited is this week’s column in KONK Life. Publishes wednesday.

Love Publix! The crossroads of Key West!

Yesterday afternoon ran into Albert and his family. Albert was my trainer at WeBeFit. A terrific guy. Special. Albert was pushing his cart accompanied by his wife. Inside sat Angelina. Their eight month old daughter.

First time I had seen her. A beauty! The face, the hair, the eyes. The eyes especially. Reminded me of the Gerber baby.

God bless!

A week ago on June 23, this blog was titled Cuban Hemingway House. Hemingway’s Cuban home called Finca Vigia. Run down. Filled with Hemingway books, letters and photos. Beat up from the humidity over the years. The home is closed. No tours, etc. as here in Key West.

My article was motivated by the news that an American foundation was providing a not for profit Cuban group with just under $900,000 to save the items. An example of little things beginning to happen because of warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

This morning’s Key West Citizen retold the story. With much more detail and photographs.

The Citizen article revealing. Dink Bruce is a local. Everyone knows Dink. A warm sociable guy. The article reveals that Dink’s father Bruce was a good friend of Hemingway. Bruce did the renovations to Finca Vigia when Hemingway acquired the property. Dink still has some of the renovation drawings.

A small world. One way or another, we all seem to be connected.

Lest I forget, two of Hemingway’s greatest works were written while he lived at Finca Vigia. For Whom The Bells Toll and The Old Man And The Sea.

Greece. WOW days ahead! Greece and the Eurounion are split. Greece is on its own. Unbelievable money problems ahead for Greece. Perhaps also the Eurounion.

Greece has already announced that banks will be closed for six days. Only 60 euros a day may be removed from ATM accounts. The problem is that there are only enough euros left to supply the ATM machines for 3 days. Then, what? Will the drachma return? Or as far fetched as it sounds, will Greece adopt the American dollar as its currency?

My friend Anna telephoned from Novara yesterday. She is scheduled to fly to Greece for a month’s vacation tomorrow. She is fearful of going. I e-mailed her this morning and told her to go somewhere else. Greece will be uncertain for a while.

I would love to be in Greece at this time. Athens and the islands. It will be exciting! Protests, demonstrations. Who knows what else. A moment in history. Not in my plans however.

Have to hustle. Anti-gravity treadmill later this morning.

Enjoy your day!



Key West is hurricane country! No question about it. The strange thing is that hurricanes do not occur with regularity. Fortunately. Weather is fickle and the hurricanes come and go as they please.

Some small, some big.

The threat of a hurricane lurks every season. We are warned a hurricane is on the way. Advised it is heading straight for Key West. People told to evacuate. Then the storm digresses and goes another way.

It has reached the point where locals pay little attention to warnings to evacuate. Most stay. Because they do not believe the reports. Also because they cannot afford to leave or have nowhere to go.

If the hurricane is 24 hours away and is still thought to hit, locals generally do the same thing. After protecting their homes or apartments, of course. They gather in the homes of a friend who lives on high ground. High ground is the second floor or a small area of Key West 10-12 feet above sea level.

Everyone brings food. It will only spoil if left home in the refrigerator. Electricity destined to go out. The food is all cooked before the storm arrives. Then eaten during the 1-3 days they all live together. Alcohol shared, also.

Some pick out a building that will with stand a major hurricane. Like Don’s Place. Concrete and building block. A protected party time area for the hurricane’s duration.

There have been two big hurricanes in recent years. Georges in September 1998 and Wilma in October 2005.

Georges was less than a 2 by the time it hit. Did some damage. Old Houseboat Row took a beating.

Wilma was the real monster! Started off as a 5 near the Yucatan. Hit on the Florida mainland around a 2. Key West was on the fringe.

The hurricane itself did little damage as it passed over. About a half hour later, the surge arrived. Unexpected. Damaged big time most homes and automobiles. Surge waters covered most of the island 6-7 feet. The water running suddenly through homes.

Water and humidity are a problem. Mold develops rapidly. Homes had to be gutted along the water line. Six to seven feet. Salt water soaked furniture had to be thrown out..

Forty eight hours later, the streets of Key West had mounds.  15-20  feet of plasterboard and furniture. Sitting in front of each home. A battle zone appearance wise.

Lisa’s home took a beating. Six and a half feet of water. Her car in the driveway went also.

Larry Smith tells the typical story. He and Christine were seated on their back porch saying how they were lucky to have missed it again. It being a bad storm. Suddenly, water began trickling from the house onto the porch. In minutes, six feet was gushing out.

Thus it was all over Key West.

The storm that really bothered me was not a hurricane. A mere tropical storm. Winds generally 50-70 mph. Heavy rains. Dark.

I cannot recall the name of the storm. Searched Google and telephoned several people. All remember the tropical storm. None recall the name. Maybe because it did little damage.

It sticks clearly in my mind as if it were yesterday.

My house was prepped for the storm. Plywood sheets covering every window and door. With one exception. A small door in the back leading to the deck. I needed a way to get in and out.

I did all the right things. Filled the bathtub with water to flush the toilets. Bought bottled water. Bought food that did not require heating before being eaten. Like peanut butter, crackers, dried fruits, etc. Candles and flashlights, too. The electric power always goes.

I hated the storm. It was supposed to last at most 24 hours. It lasted 5-6 days. It sat over Key West as a black cloud and did not move. I am stuck in my boarded up house all this time. Could not drive. The street in front of my home flooded.

The power went out on and off. Meant no TV,  no lights. Candle time. I figured I would read. I do not know how Abraham Lincoln read law by candlelight. I could not. So I spent a lot of time laying on my bed in the dark. Contemplating my navel.

I went out on the deck a couple of times. Dark and bitter. Just as bad as being inside. Except inside was dry.

We are into the hurricane season already this year. It lasts till the end of November. Nothing yet. Nor any warnings. However, hurricanes develop quickly. You never know.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Big decision yesterday by the Supreme Court. One of the most important in years. Same sex marriage legal! Gays and lesbians may now walk through life hand in hand married, if they so wish. Same sex persons entitled to equal dignity under the law.

The decision outstanding!

My fear is that non-supporters of the decision will not quietly go away. Abortion and voting rights major decisions of the past. Abortion legalized in 1973. Voting rights/civil rights recognized in 1965. Still the wars go on. Anti-abortionists are still fighting more than 40 years later. Those seeking to take away the right to vote waging the war anew in recent years. A right all thought was sufficiently acknowledged and solidified  in 1965.

I hope same sex marriage does not receive the same treatment. I suspect it will unfortunately. Fifty years from now opponents will still be trying to eat away at the decision.

Such is the American way.

President Obama eulogized Clementa Pinckney yesterday in Charleston. The 41 year old pastor shot to death by a poorly informed 21 year old white. The eulogy moving. A masterpiece. Both in preparation and presentation.

I was moved to tears.

I found Obama’s entire church presence as shown on TV interesting. I saw the religious man. The black church his territory. From the moment he entered till he left. His singing and body moves said…..This is my church…..I grew up in black churches.

The President was in his religious element.

Staying with the President for a moment, his legacy is growing. He has Obamacare, Osama bin Laden, and two favorable Supreme Court decisions involving Obamacare and same sex marriage. No more at this point.

To be recognized as one of the great Presidents, he needs two more things. Two out of three.  An iron clad agreement with Iran, an end to American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and/or an Asian pact.

I do not know if he can make it.

Clinton was faced with a Republican Congress his last two years in office. Obama has the same problem. Is it a problem, however? Clinton got more things of value done with the Republican controlled Congress. Obama seems to be doing the same thing.

A good day for Louis yesterday. Anti-gravity treadmill in the morning, lunch at Roostica, a drink at Louie’s Backyard, a visit with Don, and dinner at Tavern ‘n Town.

Germany on the cutting edge! They have come up with a new type elevator. Actually an old idea. One that the world stopped using more than 100 years ago. Called Paternoster Elevators. No doors and do not stop at a floor. Jump on, jump off.

Sounds dangerous to me.

I keep following Greece. No deal yet. The issue becomes who will blink first. The Eurounion or Greece. I suspect the Eurounion. If Greece is out of the Eurounion, it will be the beginning of the end for the Eurounion. Greece has a tough road back regardless.

Prices remain strange in Greece. Dropping dramatically in Athens. Going up like crazy in the Greek isles. I do not know how the island merchants can sustain for long charging high prices. People will not spend the summer visiting the Greek isles.

I think I may have had one drink too many last night. If so, I was unaware.

I wanted to go into town early this morning. No way. My battery dead. Left the car lights on. Thank God for AAA.

Enjoy your day!



Infrequently over the years, I have stopped at Mangrove Mama’s. Probably because it is the other way on US 1. My car goes to Key West and back. Not often in the opposite direction.

I had dinner last night at Mangrove Mama’s. Simple. A lobster reuben sandwich at the their small intimate bar. Delicious.

Mangrove Mama’s is at mile marker 19. A large complex. Has always appeared to me to consist of several small buildings somehow poorly joined together. The thought occurred last night that I did not know much about Mangrove Mama’s. So, I learned and share the information acquired with you.

The buildings are more than 100 years old.  Built 1905-1912. Note that buildings is plural. Originally a railroad stop and station agent home for Flagler railroad. Years after the demise of the railroad, the property opened as a restaurant. During winter months only. The name Mangrove Mama’s is the name of one of the first owners.  Rather what she was known as.

Over the years, Mangrove Mama’s has become an oasis for tourists wandering through and a watering hole for locals.

Educating myself re Mangrove Mama’s, I came across another interesting piece of information. Sugarloaf! How did it get its name?

There is a fruit named Sugarloaf Pineapple. Extensively grown on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Different from pineapples as we know them. Ours are yellow inside. Sugarloaf ones white.

Sugarloaf pineapples were once grown on Sugarloaf. I am not aware if now. Whatever, the name Sugarloaf is derived from the Sugarloaf Pineapple.

There is another school that claims Sugarloaf got its name from an Indian mound in the area. Could be. However, the consensus seems to be from the Sugarloaf pineapple.

The Supreme Court decision yesterday re Obamacare a correct one. I am happy for us as a Nation. There are still many out there crying for repeal. TV last night was full of Republicans saying they would continue the fight for repeal. They are Don Quixotes fighting windmills.

Social Security has been with us since the early 1930s. In the early 1950s, there were still anti-Social Security zealots calling for its repeal. It was hard for them to accept that Social Security was a fait accompli. So it will be with Obamacare.

Major events today in Charleston. Some burials, the President speaking, etc. Removal of the Confederate flag part and parcel of the goings on. Take the flag down!

Most assume the Confederate flag has been flying to represent the contrariness of Southerners over their Civil war defeat. Not exactly so. The Confederate flag was of no particular concern to most southerners till 1954. The Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. A civil rights decision. Southerners began flying the flag at that time. As a symbol of their opposition to blacks having equal rights. Southerners adopted the flag as a silent voice in opposition. For this reason alone, the flag must come down.

My column America, Land of the Free appears in KONK Life which is on the stands. It also appeared in KONK E-News Blast this morning. Coincidently, it was linked to my Key West Lou website on Facebook this morning.

Read the article. You will enjoy! The title was written with tongue in cheek.

My blog e-mails sometimes swifter that the media. I have blog readers everywhere.

ISIS attacked a particular spot in France. My computer received three reports re the incident at 5 this morning. All to report the happening. One report from a French reader. The other two from persons in Italy.

The report was soon followed by another. A second attack. Assumed to be terrorist. In Soussee, Tunisia. At a French resort on the water. My friends reported people were shot at while sun bathing. One reported 13 dead. Another 1.

Enjoy your day!



America, land of the free. Not really. Not for persons of color.


Strange that a Civil War, a Civil Rights Movement, and a black President have failed. Failed after 150 plus years to bring the United States to accepting and treating all persons equally.


This article highlights two individuals and one situation. All three from different time periods. All three telling the same story. Equality yet a distant hope, a distant dream.


His name Eugene Bullard. Better known as Gene.


He was born in 1895 in Columbus, Georgia. The grandson of a slave. His father a Haitian, his mother a Creek Indian. He was fortunate to have received formal schooling till age 10. He learned to read and write.


Ten opened his eyes big time to racial discrimination. He saw his father narrowly escape a lynching. He decided America was not the place for him.


Gene stowed away on a ship to Scotland. Eventually ended up in Paris where he settled.


World War I began in 1914. Gene tried to join the French Army. He was refused. Not because of color. Rather because he was a foreigner. He was permitted however to fight with other foreigners for France in the French Foreign Legion.


Trained as a machine gunner, he fought in several major battles. At some point during the war, France permitted foreign troops to transfer to the regular French Army. Gene was assigned to the Metropolitan French Army. Crack troops. The division became known as the Swallows of Death.


Gene was seriously wounded in March 1916 at the Battle of Verdun. Recovered by October, he joined the French Air Force. He was the first black combat pilot in history.


The U.S. was still not in the war. Americans who wanted to fly joined the French Air Force. The group was known as the Lafayette Escadrille. By the time Gene applied, the group was filled.


He took more training.


Another American volunteer group was formed. The Lafayette Flying Corps. Part of the French Air Force, also. Gene joined.


He took part in heavy combat missions.


Racial discrimination had left its mark on him. His life became one opposed to discrimination. Reflecting his feelings, his plane was named Tout Le Sang Qui Est Rouge. All Blood Runs Red.


When the U.S. entered the war, the U.S. Army sought out all Americans flying with the French Air Force to transfer to the U.S. Army Air Force. Gene took and passed the physical. However, he was rejected because of race. Only white pilots were permitted to fly for the U.S.


Gene was a hero to the French people. He was awarded 15 medals. One medal came later in life in 1959 when he was awarded France’s highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur. Another recognition came a few years earlier when he was invited to Paris to rekindle the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe.


He remained in Paris after the war. Initially employed as a drummer, he became manager of Le Grand Duc night club. Paris’ most famous night spot at the time. Frequented by friends such as Josephine Baker and Louis Armstrong. He also opened his own night club. L’Escadrille.


World War II began. Following France’s invasion by Germany, Gene joined the French Army. He was seriously wounded. Friends helped him escape to neutral Spain and then to the United States. He spent significant time in New York hospitals for his war wounds from which he never fully recovered.


His French fame did not accompany him to New York. He was a black nobody. Broke. He worked menial jobs. His last as an elevator operator at Rockefeller Center.


His night club in Paris was destroyed by the war. However, he was able to obtain some settlement from the French government for it. He used the money to buy an apartment in Harlem. He remained a stranger in his homeland. Spent his days sitting in his Harlem apartment. In obscurity and poverty. All he had were photos from World War I and his decorations which covered the walls.


Gene died in 1961 at the age of 66 of stomach cancer. He was buried in the French Veterans’ War Section of New York’s Flushing Cemetery.


On August 23, 1964, 33 years after his death and 77 years to the day after passing his physical for transfer to the U.S. Army Air Force, Gene was commissioned posthumously a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.


World War II brought another person of color to the forefront. Josephine Baker. In reality, during the war she was a spy. A spy for France. A woman whose life was on the line for five years because of her activities.


During that time she was a singer and dancer. The most popular in the world. Known as the Black Pearl, Bronze Venus and Creole Goddess.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, her father deserted her and her mother early on. Josephine was poor. Very poor. She dressed poorly and was always hungry. Her playground was the train yards of the St. Louis Railroad Station. A place where she developed street smarts.


At 8, she worked for a white family as a domestic. She dropped out of school at 13. Homeless, she slept in cardboard shelters, scavenged food from garbage cans.


At 15, she was dancing on street corners for pennies. A producer saw her and brought her to Harlem to work as a show girl.


She began as a chorus girl. The last girl in the line. Her comic ability revealed itself. She became the highest paid chorus girl in vaudeville.


In 1925, she went to Paris. Her fame instantaneous. Night clubs the venue. She engaged in erotic dancing initially. Topless and only a stringof artificial bananas around her waist. Later, she took singing lessons. She excelled as a singer also. Became recognized as a grand diva.


She was the most successful American entertainer in France. Ernest Hemingway said she was “…..the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”


Her close friends were Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior. They ran together.


She returned to the United States in 1935 and 1936. Starred in the Zigfeld Follies. America did not take to her. They could not accept a black woman in a starring role. She was replaced by Gypsy Rose Lee. Time Magazine described Josephine as a “Negro wench.”


She returned to Paris, married a french Jew and became a French citizen. She renounced her American citizenship with no difficulty.


Her time as a patriot came during World War II. When Germany invaded Poland,

France declared war on Germany. French Military Intelligence immediately recruited Josephine. She frequented embassy balls and parties. Information was easily picked up. She reported back what she heard.


When Germany invaded France, Josephine moved to her chateau in southern France. She housed friends of De Gaulle and escapees from the  Germans. She obtained visas for many.


As an entertainer, she was allowed to move freely throughout Europe and North Africa. She also visited neutral Portugal and South America. She picked up information concerning German airfields, harbors and troop concentrations.


The information was returned to French intelligence in invisible ink on her sheet music and on notes pinned to the inside of her underwear. She figured no one would subject her to a strip search.


When North Africa was freed, she remained and entertained British, American and French troops.


In 1949, she returned to Paris. Welcomed with open arms!


She visited the United States again. This time as a ball of fire. She refused to accept segregation in any form.


Josephine had an appearance scheduled at a Miami night club in 1951. The night club practiced segregation re its customers. No blacks.  She openly went to war with the nightclub. Loudly. She won. The night club desegregated.


That same year, the NAACP designated Josephine Woman of the Year. One hundred thousand attended her parade in Harlem.


The Stork Club became a problem. The Stork Club also had a policy discouraging black customers. The Stork Club refused to serve her. She took the Stork Club on publicly. She also attacked her supposed friend Walter Winchell for remaining silent when she raised the issue. Winchell retaliated. He rebuked her and called her a Communist.


The publicity killed Josephine. Winchell was a power. Her work visa was terminated, all her engagements cancelled. She returned to France. It was almost 10 years before she was permitted to enter the United States again.


One of the good things to come out of the Stork Club incident involved Grace Kelley. The two did not know each other. Kelley was there the night the club refused to serve Josephine. Kelley walked out with Josephine. Never to return to the Stork Club again.


A close relationship developed from the incident. Josephine and Kelley became excellent friends. In Josephine’s later years when she was near bankruptcy, Kelley allowed her to use two homes she and her husband owned in Monaco.


Las Vegas refused to integrate its shows. No blacks could perform. Josephine went after Vegas. Vegas relented. As a result, Josephine began receiving calls from the Klu Klux Klan.


Another thorn in Josephine’s side was the practice of New York hotels to refuse admission to blacks. During the 1950s trip to New York, she and her husband were refused admission to 36 hotels.


She stood next to Martin Luther King in 1963 in Washington. Right next to him. She spoke. The only woman to speak. She also introduced Rosa Parks. Josephine wore her Free French uniform with the medal of honor of the Legion d’honneur which France had awarded her.


Josephine died broke. Were it not for friends like Grace Kelley, her last days would not have been as caring as they were.


The Civil War did nor solve the black/white problem. During World War I, the problem still existed. Gene Bullard was denied acceptance into the U.S. Army Air Force. Finally World War II, before and after, shows the prejudice that still existed as regards Josephine Baker.


Which brings me to the third and final episode. The Charleston, South Carolina massacre of last week. Where nine blacks were shot to death while Bible reading in church. By a 21 year old young man whose words during the event clearly reflected the tenor that still exists regarding blacks.


Then there are the killings of blacks by police.


Where does it all end? Does it all end? I don’t know. It has been more that 150 years since the Civil War and as a nation we are still mired indiscrimination and prejudice.


Dinner last night with friends. Karen and Dan Visnic. Karen a Pittsburg Shaklee distributor.

We met through this blog. Karen and Dan are loyal readers. Have been for years. Also frequent visitors to Key West. Three to four times a year. Renting a home on Olivia for the month of June.

We met about a year ago. Lunched at Salute’s where we dined last night. They were in Key West during Fantasy Fest. Their daughter and son in law joined them.

I am ashamed to admit, I had never read anything by John D. MacDonald. Their daughter when she returned home shipped me MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Good-By.

Karen and Dan return for another visit in July. I look forward to seeing them again.

Yesterday began with a late morning session on the anti-gravity treadmill. I swear by this machine. Whereas I recently lost 35 pounds, my gut remained. The treadmill is removing or redistributing my belly. Thrilling!

Then to Lee Nails and Tammy for a manicure. Tammy the best! Her keen sense of humor frequently peeked out yesterday.

It was lunch time. The Cuban Coffee Queen. It is becoming a habit. Parking is easy. I love Cuban pressed bread and coffee. The setting perfect.

This morning’s Key West Citizen carried an interesting front page article. Key West hotels are doing terrific. Occupancy up. Hotel rates have increased 55 percent over the past six years.

Key West is an expensive place. Whether a resident or tourist. The major hotels have been taken over by the big corporations in the last five years. My fear is the ever increasing cost of a hotel stay is going to hurt the chicken that lays the golden egg. Gluttony a terrible thing.

I write frequently about turtles. We are crazy for anything having to do with the water.  The keys fortunate to have a turtle hospital in Marathon.

Two Marathon Turtle Hospital staff recently visited Cuba and met with a primary gamekeeper of turtles there.

The Marathon team brought simple medical tools with them. Medical equipment such as microscopes and a box of slides. Simple is not available in Cuba. Basics of any kind not available.

The trip impresses me. Another step in reuniting the bond between the U.S. and Cuba. These little things move ahead more swiftly than government interaction. It appears it is going to take a long time for the U.S. to become friends with Cuba again. People to people appears more effective.

I am unhappy with the Trans Pacific Pact vote yesterday. A victory for Obama and the Republican Congress. History repeats itself. Rarely do nations learn. Ten years from now the bad will be obvious, the damage already done to the U.S.

Clinton had his NAFTA. Cost the U.S. millions of jobs. Jobs alone are not at stake this time. Foreign control of American businesses is. Obama way off base on this one.

I woke this morning to a gray Key West. Even gray, the vista beautiful to behold. The gray is now lifting and the sun coming out.

I always have had a problem re the spelling of gray. Gray or grey? I looked it up this morning. Both spellings correct. Merely different spellings of the same word. Gray commonly used in the U.S. Grey in England. Take your pick!

Enjoy your day!


Received an e-mail from Mike Hoeflich yesterday. A voice from the past. We had not communicated in more than 25 years. Mike found me via this blog.

In the late 1980s, I was Chairman of the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Visitors. The Dean at the time resigned. A five person search committee was formed to select a new Dean. I was a member of the search committee.

We spent a year looking, interviewing, reading, etc. in our quest for a new Dean. I sometimes felt as if I was picking the next President of the United States. A trip! We wanted the best of the best. We got it in Mike Hoeflich.

As Board Chairman, I worked closely with the Dean. We were working for the good of the Law School. Mike turned out to be one of the finest people I have met. Intelligent, hard working, articulate, a leader, genuine, etc. It was an honor and pleasure to have worked with him.

Mike left Syracuse after six years as Dean. He moved on to Kansas University where he served as Dean for six years. Since 2000, Mike has taught law at Kansas. A big time professor. Chaired.

I recall Mike’s position clearly re law professors having to write and be published. He pushed the law faculty in this regard. He was a do as I do guy. Mike has published 15 books and 115 articles.

A good man in every respect!

I worked several hours yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. I decided to do a black America show. Stressed three areas.

The first was Charleston and the forgiveness thing. I believe forgiveness accomplishes nothing in solving our racial problems. I am not Jesus and could not turn the other cheek. Said why and what I thought should be done.

The next item involved the Confederate flag. Easy. Take it down! I fear the South Carolina legislature is going to delay. The legislature voted yesterday to debate the issue. Resolution could take forever, if at all.

The final item involved Josephine Baker. Traced her life. The discrimination heaped upon her. Her fight back.

Ran over to Roostica for dinner. Sat at the bar. Looked like a bum. Had not shaved in four days. I was hopeful of not running into anyone. Impossible.

Michelle joined me at the bar. Michelle and husband own Roostica. As well as Hogfish and Geiger Key. Enjoyed an interesting conversation. A I was leaving, Bobby arrived to join his wife.

Ran into Alex and Mary the other day at Publix. Alex, my horn blowing friend. A retired New York fireman, he is into his other life in Key West. He blows his horn at affairs. Many times accompanying Larry Smith. He has made several CDs and videos. He lives in Key West time.

Alex had read last week’s KONK Life column The Petticoat Affair. He was taken by it.

This week’s column publishes today. America, Land of the Free. The title selected with tongue in cheek. We are not the land of the free untill all people are equally treated.

Big day ahead! Anti-gravity treadmill at 11. Manicure at 12 with Tammy. Dinner tonight at Salute’s on the beach with friends. A typical Key West day!

Body Owners has brought me together with a new and different group of friends. All into physiotherapy. The sick, sore, lame and disabled. All ages. I am anxious to make my three times a week workouts. I want to see how my new found friends are doing, share tidbits with them.

Enjoy your day!




Key West loves Ernest Hemingway. He is part of Key West’s history. His home on Whitehead has become sort of a shrine. The lines run down the block to Truman with people waiting to get in. Sloppy Joe’s, the six toed cats, and more contribute to Key West folklore..

Hemingway called Cuba his home for 20 plus years. 1939-1960. He wrote Old Man and the Sea while living in Cuba. His Cuban home palatial.

Castro took over in 1959. Castro and Hemingway were not the best of friends. Castro immediately confiscated all property. In addition to land and homes was included books and papers. Hemingway personally asked Castro not to take his home. Castro paid him no attention.

Hemingway left Cuba within a year of Castro taking power. Leaving behind his home, books, letters and photos. The books, letters and photos number in the area of 9,000.

Time and the elements have taken their toll re the books, letters and photos. Steps are being taken to repair and maintain them. Cuba has never had the money to do so.

When Obama announced that Cuba and the U.S. were discussing becoming friends again, he shortly  thereafter issued a list of exemptions to the embargo. Note, the embargo is still in effect. The reunion apparently is going to take some time.

The exemptions included the exportation to Cuba of supplies whose purpose was historical preservation. Note, not money. Money still cannot be exchanged. Supplies paid for however in the U.S. can.

National Trust is a U.S. foundation. Cuba has a National Cultural Heritage Council. The Council operates Finca Vigia.  Finca Vigia is Hemingway’s Cuba home and personal property left there. Known also as Lookout Farm.

National Trust is sending just under $900,000 in supplies to the Cuban Council to repair and preserve Hemingway’s books, papers and photos. In addition, a special facility will be attached or built anew to hold the Hemingway materials. None of the money will be used to renovate the Hemingway home itself.

All good! If we are going to be friends, let’s be. Personally, I am not happy that it is going to take time for the reconciliation. Fifty years is punishment enough. The U.S. should be in Cuba now with both feet. It did not take the U.S. very long after World War II to kiss and make up with the Germans and Japanese.

My congratulations to the National Trust for getting things started. Lets do more and soon. Lets get rid of the embargo completely and move forward as old friends reunited.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9 my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Two topics to be discussed are my slant on Charleston and the Josephine Baker story.

Re Charleston, this peaceful reaction to the killings will not work. The Connecticut school children killed changed nothing. Charleston will change nothing. More is required. Such will be discussed tonight.

The thrust of my comments…..I am not Jesus!…..I cannot be expected to turn the other cheek!

Enjoy your day!


I spent all of my yesterday into the early evening completing research and writing this week’s KONK Life column. Did not finish till 7 in the evening. Unusual to have taken so long.

It was the subject matter. The plight of the Afro-American in today’s society. Not boring. I approached the problem from a different perspective. I specifically addressed three situations. World War I’s Gene Bullard, World War II’s  Josephine Baker, and the recent Charleston killings.

I have discovered over the years that the writing of an article in the first instance does not take much effort. Once research is completed, the first draft goes quickly. It is the rewrites that take time. The devil is in the details.

I generally do three rewrites. To me, it is polishing the material. Words and phrases corrected/changed. Much like apples when sold in years gone by. They were purchased dirty at the fruit counter. Today, they come to us polished. Then, needed some buffing.

Writing involves a lot of buffing.

The unusual amount of time yesterday kept me from Father’s Day dinner with Lisa and the family. Dinner was set for six. I telephoned Lisa at 5:30 to tell her I needed at least another hour and a half to complete my column. It was already several hours late to the publisher. I told her the earliest I could make it was 8. I still had to shower.

Lisa said the meal was ready. It would be cold by the time I arrived. She said she would feed the family and save some food for me. I knew I would be exhausted by 8. I said…..Love you…..will not be stopping by. She understood.

My ankles came into the picture. I sat at the desk all day. By 7, they were swollen. Water filled. As if I had been on a long flight to Europe. It was water pill time when I went to bed. This morning, normal ankles. Helped by three nocturnal bathroom visits.

Caught the end of the U.S. Open. The last three holes some of the most exciting golf ever.

There was a house fire on Ramrod Key yesterday. Ramrod is two keys above me. All of 2 miles.

A mother and her two youngest died. Sad!

Fire fighting is a bit different in the Keys. There are few fire hydrants. The reason simple. The Keys are at water level. Ocean water sometimes 6-12 inches below ground level. Difficult to lay pipes.

There are a few fire hydrants near U.S. 1. The one for Key Haven is almost a mile from my home.

Fire fighters draw water from the ocean to fight fires. They have it down to a science. Works effectively. Hoses are dropped in the water and sucked into the hoses. Most homes have water available to them. Either from being on the ocean or on a canal.

Another police brutality situation the past few days. Owasso, Oklahoma. Involved a police officer from the Nowata Police Department. Shotgun butting of the person to be arrested while in his truck. After he had been tasered. Then again six blows to the head while the tased man was on his stomach on the ground.

All recorded on a camera. Interestingly, a camera set in the back window of one of the police cars.

The officer has been suspended.

Have to move! Anti-gravity treadmill later this morning.

Enjoy your day!