John from the Chart Room had a night off. We did dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Good food and good company! As usual, the Hot Tin Roof was packed.

I asked in yesterday’s blog…..Where was the U.S.S. Vinson? It was supposed to be in North Korean waters. Nothing had been mentioned as to its location for almost two weeks.

My inquiry was premature by several hours. Yesterday afternoon it was announced the Vinson had arrived in Korean waters and was engaged in war games with South Korea. TV this morning is showing videos of the Vinson and smaller vessels in Korean waters.

Today, there is a Coast Guard cutter named the U.S.S. Mohawk. Stationed here in Key West. Yesterday, yesterday being 1859-1864, there was a screw steamship in the Navy named the U.S.S. Mohawk.

I write about the Mohawk of old because yesterday was significant in its history. An event which ultimately became even more significant in Key West history.

In 1860, the Mohawk was operating against pirates and slavers off the east coast and in the Caribbean. On April 28, 1860, the Mohawk captured the slave ship Wildfire. The Wildfire carried 530 slaves from Africa. The crew and slaves were delivered to Key West.

The crew was imprisoned. The slaves placed in a compound under the protection of the Mohawk’s Marines.

Subsequently, vessels of the United States captured two more slave ships. The slaves on each were delivered to Key West and placed in the same compound as those from the Wildfire. Total number of slaves exceeded 1,200.

What to do with the slaves? Obviously return them to Africa. Where in Africa, however? Ultimately decided to relocate all of them to Liberia, a country in Africa. President James Monroe had as a practical matter returned previous slaves to Liberia. Liberia was a welcoming place for returned Africans. They created a new society.

Not all the slaves confined in Key West were returned. Some had died. Two hundred ninety five. They were buried on Higgs Beach. Many years later in recent times, their graves were discovered. A small monument sits on Higgs Beach recognizing the final resting place of those who did not live to return to Africa.

The Mohawk continued functioning till 1864 during the Civil War in defense of the United States. The Mohawk is the reason Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga’s and Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West remained in Union hands.

Beat up from combat, its boilers to badly damaged, its general condition unfit for further fights, the Mohawk was sold in 1864.

It was renamed the Alliance and remained in commercial service till 1869 when it was wrecked at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

Martha Washington and Bess Truman may be described as birds of a feather. Neither was happy her husband became President and each was less than supportive of her husband during his days as President.

Bess Truman’s story is more familiar to us. Perhaps because of its closeness in time.

Note the many trips by President Truman to Key West. Eleven. Consumed 175 days. Bess was with him only a few times. While Truman was living and working in Washington, Bess was home in Independence. She preferred the company of her Independence lady friends.

Martha’s questionable helping hand less known.

Washington was sworn in for his first term as President in New York City on this date in 1789. Martha was not with him. She was back in Mount Vernon.

Washington was tired/beat up prior to making the trip from Mount Vernon to Washington. He was trying to close down the business end of Mount Vernon. There were bills to pay. He had a difficult time arranging for a loan to cover them.

Martha was not happy he had agreed to become President. She was tired of public life. Wanted to live the rest of her days in Mount Vernon as a domestic wife. She abhorred politics. She refused to join her husband in New York City for the inauguration.

A comment or two on Washington’s inauguration.

His inaugural speech was important to him. He had several persons helping him. One by one in succession. Over a period of several months. He was displeased with every rendition. He finally called in James Madison for help. Madison spent a week at Mount Vernon helping Washington knock out the final draft.

There was a reception following Washington’s swearing in. It is recorded that Washington mentioned to some in attendance that democracy was fragile. He hoped what they had created would survive.

It did. Still fragile, however. You never know what could happen. Especially in the sensitive times we live in.

Enjoy your Sunday!


No, not sick yesterday. Had some morning business matters that required attention. Thank you for your concern.

Little guys can beat the big eyes. Small nations can defeat or take the best of larger nations. One example being the colonists in 1776 who eventually beat the mighty Great Britain. Another the Vietnamese who eventually forced us out of Vietnam.

Key West’s population a steady 25,000 over the years. The United States 330 million. Yet every year for 35 consecutive years, the tiny Conch Republic has defeated the forces of the United States.

Last night was the Great Sea Battle. As anticipated, the Conch Republic won. A tiny pirate ship and other small boats beating vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch Air Force consisting of pre-World War II bi-planes defeating  U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica.

An exciting evening!

I watched from the Ocean Key House Pier. Cheered the Conch Republic on. Got wet from the spray.

Did the Chart Room before and after. Crowded. John bartending.

KONK E-Blast ran an interesting article and video this morning. A Deputy Sheriff on duty observed a meteor. He followed it with his dashcam. Through the sky till it is exploded. The explosion visible, also.

Two of Key West’s premier entertainers are teaming up to do a wednesday night event beginning this wednesday. Bobby Nesbitt will sing and play the piano. Skipper Kripitz, the drums. Both together at the Little Room Jazz Club.

Bocce thursday night a disaster. My team lost all three games. If the trend continues, I am going to come off the inactive list.

The team is having a difficult season. Hard to understand. For at least 5 years, the team one of the top ones. Good! All of a sudden, cannot do anything right. Inexplicable.

The State has reported no ZIKA disease found in mosquito samples this year.

Trump stated friday his first hundred days were “just about the most successful in our country’s history.”

Trump set the standard for what his accomplishments would be. Other than a Supreme Court Justice, he failed from my perspective. It has to appear that way to his supporters, also. Unless they are so blind they cannot see. Better stated, do not wish to see.

I expect a deluge of comments tomorrow morning disagreeing with me.

Where o’ where is the USS Carl Vinson?

We are concerned with North Korea. The Vinson part of a “carrier armada” Trump told us was on its way to North Korean waters. The carrier was first diverted to war  games in the Indian Ocean. Games have been long over. Vinson does not yet appear to have reached the North Korea area.

Information in the Indian Ocean days was that the Vinson could make the 3,000 miles to North Korea in four days by traveling at full speed. Thirty five mph.

On April 28, 1945, the dead bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were hung upside down from a grid at a gasoline service station site in Milan.

On my first visit to Novara several years ago, I visited Milan often. A half hour train ride away. Anna is very familiar with Milan. She attended college there and then worked in Milan for several years.

The gas station where Mussolini was hung was one of the places we visited. All I could think was deserved retribution.

More robot/artificial intelligence information.

A Chinese technologist Kai-Fu Lee claims that within ten years  artificial intelligence will replace humans in 50 percent of all jobs.

We should/must pay more intelligence to robots and artificial intelligence.

A couple of Key West/Hollywood connections.

Gloria Swanson spent several of her younger school years living in Key West. Her father was stationed here with the U.S. Army.

On a yacht trip in 1939, Swanson returned to Key West with several friends. Spent a few days learning about Key West anew.

Big star Jennifer Jones and equally big director David O. Selznick guested at La Concha in April 1946. They were not married at the time. What is common place now was not back then. Non-marrieds sharing a hotel room frowned upon.

Selznick was married to another. My recollection, Jones was divorced.

We end on a happy note. One involving a sad despicable place. On this day in 1945, the Dachau concentration camp in Germany was liberated by U.S. troops.

Enjoy your day!



Many staples of my youth are epicurean delights today. Snails and mussels, for example.

We were an Italian family. My mother had been born in Italy. The cooking definitely Italian.

The snails are now known as escargot. Fancy!

At home, prepared differently than today. My mother would boil the snails in a large pan. The pan had to be large. The snails would try to climb up the sides to get out. The cooked snails were then placed in a huge spaghetti bowl. Sauce poured over. Toothpicks used to snare the snail from the shell.

Mussels. The mussels of today the same as the mussels of yesterday. Boiled. Covered with a tomato or buttery sauce. Bread dunking to clean the plate.

There was a third dish. Tripe. I hated tripe. Most must have. You rarely if ever see it on a menu today. Tripe is a cow’s stomach wall.

My Mother loved tripe. She cooked it. I had to eat it. Ugh!

I enjoyed mussels yesterday at lunch. At Salute’s. Best mussels in town!

I do not eat at Salute’s enough. Don’t know why. Food outstanding. Located on the beach, the view spectacular. Especially of the bikini clad ladies. At my age, the best that can be.

Last night a Chart Room one. Sat at the corner of the bar. Chatted with John.

Two ladies from Des Moines, Iowa seated at the round table. John, I and the ladies chatted away.

Laura and Lisa. Sixtyish. Attractive. One a widow, one divorced. Staying at the Pier House. Leave this morning.

Laura works for an insurance company as a workmen’s comp adjuster. Lisa in logistics for a trucking company.

Everyone expects to enjoy a little deviance in Key West. The ladies were interested where on Pier House property could they have sun bathe topless. I advised not on the main beach. Just to the right, however. under the overhang.

Next year, they will!

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran an article advising that the Navy is training four bottlenose dolphins in Key West waters for a month. The dolphins being trained in underwater detection. Apparently, dolphins are natural discovers of certain type weaponry buried underwater beneath the sand.

I have a dolphin family living in the waters off my house. Used to be four. Down to two now. If I am out on the deck as the sun rises, they will be all of 50 feet away looping up and down in the water.

Big night tomorrow! Don’t forget! The Big Sea Battle. The Conch Republic taking on the forces of the United States. Seven from Mallory Square to Schooner Wharf.

Thirty one years ago yesterday on April 26, 1986, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in the Ukraine suffered a chemical explosion. Big time bad time. Fifty tons of radioactive material released into the atmosphere.

In 2000, a mother came to me with her baby girl. Eight months old. Lovely. Bubbly. The child had been born with half an arm on one side. The left arm ended just above where the elbow would have been.

Turned out her husband had been working 15 miles from Chernobyl at the time of the event. I did a little digging. The baby was born with one arm missing as a result of the Chernobyl incident.

The mother was not in the area. The father was. It had been established medically that male semen for years thereafter had been affected.

A situation! The father refused to accept it was his semen that was responsible. The mother always crying as her husband beat on her and in her desire to protect/help their daughter.

I tried to put the case together. Beyond my experience and capabilities. Worked with experts in New York, London and Milan.

Sadly, we could not do it. For a number of reasons not pertinent to this portion of the story.

The Trump tax cut that is being bandied about the past 24 hours confuses me. Republicans for years have been decrying the national debt. Has to come down!!! All they would say. No, not say. Shout!

The proposed plan will increase the national debt anywhere from $3-10 trillion over the next ten years.

The Republicans are quiet.

Enjoy your day!


On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. More than 200,000 killed. The island devastated.

People responded. The American Red Cross alone received $500 million from donors.

It is now 2017. Seven years later. Where did the money go? Apparently not for new homes, roads and schools. Such a legacy not evident.

The Red Cross provided shelters to 130,000. New homes, only six. Food and blankets provided by the Red Cross, also.

The Red Cross has refused to provide a list of specific programs it ran, the cost and expenses related to each. Only provided was a pie chart showing percentage of money that went to each pie slice sector.

Haiti’s Prime Minister does not know where the money went.

I am not casting aspersions on the Red Cross. I would not expect  the Red Cross to be experienced in rebuilding a developing country. However, there are experts who do know and could be hired. The money went somewhere. The donors and people of Haiti have a right to know.

Stopped at the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch yesterday. It had been a while. Cuban cheese toast and a cold Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers. The USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Three months ago, I became interested in female genital mutilation. Especially in Europe and Asia. I prepared notes to be used as the basis for a topic involving the mutilation on my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I could see a discussion of the topic would take more time than normal. As much as 15 minutes. I put the notes aside for use another date when I had room for it.

Two weeks ago on April 11, I led with the subject on the show. It was interesting. Received many comments.

The USA Today I was reading at the Cuban Coffee Queen took me by surprise. The lead front page article concerned female genital mutilation. USA Today referred to it as “demonic.”

The USA article was primarily devoted to the problem as it exists in the United States. Exists meaning today. Note that I had dwelled on Europe and the Middle East.

Young girls are being mutilated in the United States. The female offspring of Muslim families. By a doctor or woman sworn to secrecy. As are the children.

What surprised in the article was the claim that fundamentalist Christians are also involved. To what degree not indicated.

Fundamentalist doctors available.

The story of a three year old girl was reported. She was taken by her fundamentalist mother to a fundamentalist doctor for the procedure. Clit removal. The mother told the doctor she feared her daughter would masturbate in later life. The deed was done with a swift cut of the scalpel.

Not to be left out, the article suggested some Catholics were believers/followers of the procedure.

Spent part of the afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast show.

Dear friend, everyone’s friend, Patrick “Patty Cakes” Hayes is in Key West visiting. Bartender some 20 years at Square One, now the Ocean Grill. He retired and left a few years ago.

A good man. The best of the best.

Patrick, where are you? I want to run into you.

Lunch today at Salute’s with Amy Bondurant and her husband David Dunn. New to Key West. Recently bought and renovated a home.

Amy was Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2 to a European organization. Her husband, a Washington attorney.

We have never met. Today the first time. Not sure how we have come together.

Medical science is amazing! Something new and beneficial everyday. Last friday in the Netherlands, a robotic arm was attached to a man. A mind controlled prosthetic arm. Snaps on to the bone. Clicks on. The wearer controls the arm by thought alone.

Enjoy your day!



The Anti-Defamation League issued a report yesterday. Claims anti-Semitism on the rise in the United States. Statistics provided in support.

In the first quarter of 2017, there have been 541 incidents. An increase of 86 percent over the same period last year.

Viewing 2016 alone, a larger number of incidents occurred over 2015. The leading states were New York, California, and New Jersey. Florida alone saw a 50 percent increase in number of incidents.

The cause? The article suggests Trump. The article accuses Trump of using anti-Semitic memes during the campaign.

2016 saw an overall increase of 34 percent over 2015. One third of the increase occurred in the last two months of 2016.

Spoken words of hatred beget hatred. Mouthing hatred encourages hatred.

Is Trump anti-Semitic? I don’t think so. He is a man with a Jewish daughter, son in law and grandchildren. I sense Trump to be a man who uses any tool to get ahead. Not actually believing what he says. Not thinking or concerned with the impact of his words.

Still makes Trump responsible for his spoken words. He creates problems whenever he opens his mouth.

By the way, anti-Semitism is down in Europe.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching tonight’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Exciting and revealing. Fast moving. Nine my time.

Topics will include anti-Semitism, Netanyahu’s wife in the process of being indicted re using state funds for private spending, bomb attack on Monsanto plant in Italy, middle class continuing to collapse in 20 major U.S. cities, reflection on recent power outages in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Also, a Venezuela update, Trump’s neocon conversion, 900 high school students searched and groped by police, former Trump county chair and Judge arrested for child sex trafficking, United and American Airlines incidents, and more.

Arrived at Aqua early yesterday for Dueling Bartenders. An hour early. Read newspapers till show time.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery singing. Tom a Notary. Married Rick and his spouse this past week. Congratulated a happy Rick re his marriage.

Liz showed up! I had not seen her since her hospitalization. Still  with cane. Looks much better. Face relaxed. The eternal hip pain gone.

We decided to have dinner at Antonia’s. Closed. I forgot it was Taste of Key West. Mangoes was open. As unhappy as I was with my last visit, it was the closest open restaurant.

I must admit, the meal was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed a shrimp pasta. I will return. Lesson learned, I should not condemn a restaurant based on one poor meal.

Technology amazing! Moving super fast in recent years.

We are testing driverless vehicles. First probably will be marketed by the end of this year or next year. Now comes flying cars. Not driverless. A big move forward, however. Expected to be market ready in three years.

Arkansas should be credited! Tried to squeeze 10 executions into one week. Got most in. Two last night. What a claim to fame!

Actually, disgraceful!

Enjoy your day!





Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unquestionably a bigot. I have so stated many times.

JEZEBEL ran an article on Sessions and his racism yesterday. The article referred to Sessions as “an elf with the distinct honor of being Rumpelstiltskin’s most racist descendant.” The article further describes Sessions as a good ol’ boy who likes to make jokes about people of color.

Love it! Right on!

The article was inspired by Sessions’ recent reference to Hawaii as an “island in the Pacific.” He failed to refer to it as a State. He further took a shot at the federal judge who decided against Trump’s immigration/deportation position.

Late afternoon yesterday at Louie’s Backyard. The Deck Bar. Packed. Knew no one. All tourists waiting for a table to dine.

No room at the bar. Got a drink and took a table seat on the Atlantic. Sat at the railing facing the Atlantic. Water peaceful. It was contemplating my navel time.

Donna called. She and Terri at La Te Da for the Tea Dance. Come on over!

The Tea Dance a gay thing. I never attend. Told Donna no and why. She said don’t worry, Terri and I will protect you.

By the time I got to La Te Da, the Tea Dance was over. Donna and Terri sitting at the inside bar. Very few people. We drank and chatted. The wonderful Tonto bartending.

I mentioned yesterday how big Key West’s heart is. Always doing for others.

The Willie Wonka Chocolate Festival was yesterday. At the Southern Most House. A giant candy store!

A fundraiser for the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys. Fifteenth annual one.

I went once several years ago with grandchildren Robert and Ally. An interesting mess. Kids with chocolate smeared all over them. Faces, hands, clothes, etc.

A marriage! A big one! Rick Dery of Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. Married Tandin Bugup. Tandin Asian. The couple dressed in kimonos, as were some of the guests.

Ceremony took place at Aqua’s Sidebar.

Pictures of the reception run in KONK E-Blast today. The lovely Josey a guest. Looked terrific! Tom Luna in one of the pics.

A couple of interesting Key West items.

The Mariel Boatlift began April 24, 1980 and ended October 31, 1980. Mariel is a Cuban harbor community.

Castro’s Cuba was suffering a bad economy. Sudden and dramatic. Castro decided to let his people go. To the United States. In hopes of relieving the pressure on him in Cuba. He would have fewer people to worry about.

The United States agreed to accept those departing. Not being aware of the number and quality of those leaving.

Quality important. Castro was sneaky. He emptied his jails of the most violent criminals and the mental hospitals of most of their inmates. Including normal people, one hundred twenty five thousand ended up in the U.S.

Southern Florida was buried in Cuban immigrants. Especially Key West and Miami.

Write something on the internet, press a button and it is off immediately to someone. At the far reaches of the earth. Like China and Japan. Received quicker than quick.

Not when Lincoln died. Took ten days for the news to reach Key West.

A political observation.

Bernie Sanders has ranked high on my list of political good guys for years. His primary race one for the books.

His conduct this past week trying to rouse Democrats to work hard to regain Washington a negative. In bad taste. Extreme bad taste.

Perez and Sanders appearing together at Democratic meetings. Perez is the newly elected Chairman of the Democratic Party. Sanders’ man lost.

The party is split. That is why Perez and Sanders appearing together. One problem, however. Sanders has made himself the star. His exuberance and words overpowering Perez.

Sanders has to know it. He is an old political pro. He does not seem to care about Perez. He appears to care only for himself and the positions he wants the party to take.

Perez has been booed on occasion.

Sanders wrong. Not the class act he was during the primary and general election. His political position has gone to his head. He should back off before he breaks a blood vessel.

Enjoy your day!



I repeat what I have said many times. Key West has a heart.

I was hungry and you gave me food. Matthew 25:35.

Yesterday, the Star of the Sea Foundation sponsored a free food for the needy event. In the pouring rain. Produce, frozen meats, canned goods and other food stuffs. Hundreds at the receiving end.

Cain asked of the Lord after he slain his brother Abel, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Proof is Taste of Key West tomorrow night at Mallory Square 6-9. The 22nd annual Taste of Key West. All kinds of dishes prepared by chefs from Key West restaurants.

Taste has been a highly successful fund raiser over the years for AIDS Help. Key West never turned its back on the AIDS problem and to this day continues to help.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Donna is a concierge. An excellent one. She and Terri take me out with the concierge tickets Donna receives.

Last night, it was Hard Rock Cafe.

First time for me. Anywhere in the world. May never go again. I was not particularly impressed.

Others are, however. The place was packed. Even a wedding party that took over the whole first floor.

We had a good time. The three of us always do. That is why we hang out together frequently.

Poured heavy yesterday. All day. I was wearing my yellow slicker and baseball cap when out.

I wear crocs. Every day. One pair is all I have. That pair oh, so comfortable!

Old means soles worn out. Dangerous on a wet surface. Easy to fall and break something.

On the way from the Chart Room to Hard Rock Cafe, I stopped into the croc store to buy a new pair. Safety first!

Rain predicted for today. Ninety percent chance. Sunny right now.

Key West schools have strange programs. Strange from the perspective of one who grew up in central New York. Robert is taking a sailing class. Graded.

A group of high school students from two Key West schools are making a service trip to Masaya, Nicaragua. To help people there who are physically, mentally or economically challenged.

Robert and Ally’s step brother Cameron graduates from Florida State in two weeks. Six years ago, he made a similar trip to Mongolia. For two months. Alone.

I am enjoying William Hackley’s day by day story from his diary as printed in the Key West Citizen each day. Many others do, also. Reading it a learning process.

One of things written today a bit confusing. Could be the English. The thrust is that John Geiger sold the Lonja to Michael Farina for a negro boy valued at $600 and $800. Payments to be made every 6 months for 24 months. Hackley drew the bill of sale for the boy.

Lonja confused me. Googled it. Confused me even more. My best conclusion (and I could be wrong) is that the transaction involved only the boy. A lonja is defined among other things as being an auction or market.

I mention the John Geiger thing because of what African-American college students are doing at many universities across the country. If a building or some monument is named after a person who dealt with slaves in any fashion, there should be a name change and in the case of a monument, the removal of the monument.

Universities are giving in to the pressure and acceding to the demands of African-American students.

I disagree with what is occurring.

However…..Geiger Key. Up the road. A key and a famous waterfront restaurant and marina.

Should the name be changed? Of course not. Absolutely stupid! But, some might disagr

Enjoy your Sunday!


I am not a happy camper at the moment. Hit the wrong key and lost today’s blog prior to publishing.

Here I go again. Breviated, however.

A great evening. Dinner with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom at Berlin’s. Wonderful people! A fun evening!

A hug and kiss from Janyne. Always a pleasure to be on the receiving end.

Sloan there, also. Introduced me to her twin sister. Don’t look that much alike. However, Sloan has a unique voice. Her sister has the same unique voice.

Discovered Sloan’s daughter hosts at A & B. An absolute beauty and charming young lady.

Bria her usual lovely self. Sean and Gage bartending. They remind me of New York City bartenders. The best! Great personalities!

Fran lost 30 pounds. Atkins. I hate her!

Fran continues to care for me. This trip she brought me three frozen containers of sauce, meatballs and pork. Three meals. She forgot the homemade pasta in Buffalo. She carries the frozen sauce in her suitcase.

Also brought me a container of her home made candies. All kinds.

I think she likes me. Feels sorry I lead a bachelor’s existence.

I was their guest last night. Tonight, Donna and Terri are taking me out.

Must have done something right in my life.

Weather sucks. Fourth day in a row. Heavy rains today all day.

The Conch Republic Drag Race on Duval at 2 this afternoon. The guys will have to lift their skirts as they run to keep them dry.

The Great Sea Battle friday night. I can’t wait. Love it!

Even Harry Truman involved in Conch Republic Days. The Little White House is sponsoring a Truman Legacy Symposium this weekend. At the Little White House, with a few of the talks at the San Carlos Institute.

I was with my bocce team mates thursday night. My cheering them on did not help. They lost two games.

Hard to understand. For five consecutive years, the team has done exceptionally well. Fighting for first place some seasons. All of a sudden, nothing works right.

Keys History section of today’s Key West Citizen carries a picture of Robert Wagner and Peter Graves standing on Duval. This day in 1953. They were here with several other actors making the movie 12 Mile reef.

I was a freshman in college at the time.

The picture shows a very young Robert Wagner. Graves went on to have a successful cowboy TV series.

Other notable stars included Terry Moore, Gilbert Roland and J. Carroll Nash. The big stars Moore and Wagner. The others well known character actors.

They all stayed at the Casa Marina.

Amazing how many movies have been filmed in Key West over the years.

Enjoy your day!


It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!