FRIDAY the 13th

Be careful! Today is Friday the 13th!

Many have a fear of Friday the 13th. The fear has a name. Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Frigga is the name of a Norse goddess for whom friday is named. Triskaidekaphobia means fear of Friday the 13th.

A mouthful!

Bush 1 only served one term. I believe however that he was one of our better Presidents. If he had not raised taxes after promising not to do so, he would have been reelected.

Yesterday was Bush 1’s birthday. Ninety years old! He has a physical incapacity. I was not aware till yesterday when I read about it. He has lost the use of his legs. Totally. He is either in a wheel chair or a motorized cart.

The President wanted to celebrate his birthday by parachuting out of an airplane. He has had previous experience. He was shot down twice over the Pacific during World War II and made 2-3 jumps in his later years. Barbara was opposed. Son Bush 2, also. Father won!

The President was harnessed to another and together they leaped from a plane. To a safe landing. Everyone was overjoyed. The President that he did it, the family that he survived without additional injury.

A rare man.

A belated happy birthday, Mr. President!

I love the Turner Classic Movie Channel. I woke this morning to Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Key West is Hemingway country. He lived here 10 years.

I have seen the movie many times. Read the book. Visited several times Lake Maggiore, the primary site of the story.

Lake Maggiore is beautiful. Sits at the northern tip of Italy between Italy and Switzerland. I have visited both ends of the lake and places that Hemingway frequented.

Let me share something I only recently learned. We know Hemingway wrote with a unique style. I describe it as abrupt. Short hard hitting sentences. The words pulled no punches. Things were described as they were.

Early editions of A Farewell to Arms were censored. Yes, censored. Shit, fuck and cocksucker removed. Replaced with dashes. Hemingway did not appreciate the situation. Apparently there was nothing he could do about it.

He took two copies of the book and wrote the words in over the dashes. One of those books he gave to another author of note, James Joyce.

The only other place where the book can be read/heard totally as written is on certain audiobooks that were prepared uncensored.

I enjoyed a quiet busy day yesterday.

Lunched at Geiger Key. It was a rainy drizzly day. Gray. Few customers. The setting pleasant, however. Peaceful. The staff became excited at one point. A number of lobsters were discovered beneath the dock. We all took a look. There they were!

Someone mentioned how large they were. I did not correct her. Everything looks big beneath the water. Not so when brought to the top. I recall the first time I went diving for lobsters. I saw huge tentacles beneath a rock. I rushed to the surface and yelled to my companions on the boat that I had discovered the largest lobster ever. They laughed. I went back down and got it. The body was five inches long and the tentacles not much longer.

Spent the afternoon preparing to write next week’s KONK Life column. I will write it this morning. About the close to 50,000 children that have crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas. What a story! These kids made a Pied Piper trip without a Pied Piper.

Went to La Te Da for an early dinner at the outside bar with Tonto. Tonto was not working. I craved La Te Da’s lacquered duck. It was terrific when last I had it. It was not as good last night. I was disappointed.

I was early to home to watch the Heat/Spurs game. A disaster! I was pulling for the Heat. I have come to the conclusion that the Spurs are unquestionably the better team. Amazing! The Heat have so much top quality talent. Perhaps their time has passed. One or two key additions to the team for next season might be ripe for consideration.

Enjoy your day! Watch out for black cats and ladders!



Yesterday had to be a lesson learned. No one should take my sport recommendations.

I thought Syracuse could upset the mighty Florida State. At the very least, beat the point spread. I was wrong in both instances.

Syracuse got beat by Florida State 59-3.

It happens. I have to congratulate the Florida State team. I have never seen a college football team play with such precision. Especially in the passing and receiving part of the game.

Syracuse’s time will come!

I had planned on watching the game at the Big Ten Sports Pub. Never made it. As I was showering, my stomach started rocking and rolling again. It was back to bed!

The Key West Film Festival has been ongoing this weekend. The second year the event has been held. I admire the locals who put the event together and are promoting it. In several years, it can develop into a big deal.

Star Mariel Hemingway is in Key West for the Festival. She is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and a film star in her own right. She participated in the writing and stars in a documentary called Running From Crazy which is being featured at the Festival. It is about mental illness in the Hemingway family and her efforts to escape it.

The Festival is showcasing 35 different films over a 3 day period.

Hemingway, Hemingway, Hemingway! He is part of the fabric of Key West. Loved and remembered.

I recall this past summer my two visits to Lake Maggiore. I visited two different cities at the Italian southern end of the Lake. The Lake sits between Italy and Switzerland. I hope to visit the Swiss side next year.

Hemmingway spent time recovering from leg wounds received in World War I at Lake Maggiore. A Farewell To Arms has as its basis certain of his experiences there.

I was thrilled to have experienced Lake Maggiore and places where Hemingway visited. Especially the ones he drank at. There were only a few. He was a creature of habit. As Sloppy Joe’s was his bar of choice in Key West.

I continue to get congrats re my recently published book The World Upside Down. Thank you one and all. I am waiting for my first comments from those who have read it. Too soon yet. It was just published last Wednesday.

The Key West Citizen is our daily local newspaper. Not too many pages for 50 cents. However, it does report most of the news. I say most because there has developed a glowing hole in its reporting as concerns local commercial events.

I suspect it all has to do with money. If an organization is running an event and has a cash flow, the Citizen would want some advertising space purchased. A business, so I understand. On the other hand, I don’t know if it is proper. We all live, work, and play in the same community.

Enjoy your Sunday!


I have returned! I am back home in Key West!

I missed Key West and my friends. Badly. The place and people have finally become irrevocably ingrained in me.

I was up 22 straight hours. From the time I got out of bed in Novara, Italy till the time I went to bed in Key West. Surprisingly, it did not bother me. Probably because the long flight over the Atlantic took place on European day time. My time clock for the past two months.

The night before I left, it was Hemingway and Key West again. I had dinner on Lake Maggiore. The Italian portion.

Lake Maggiore figured in Ernest Hemingway’s personal life. He was wounded as an Italian ambulance driver in World War I. Much of the fighting he was involved in took place in northern Italy. He was hospitalized near Lake Maggiore. He spent some time at Lake Maggiore itself recovering. At the same time, he fell in love with one of his nurses.

Speed forward to Hemingway’s time in Key West. He started writing A Farewell to Arms while living in Key West. Basically rough drafted the novel here.

A Farewell to Arms is the story of an American serving as an Italian ambulance driver who is wounded in World War I. He is hospitalized near Lake Maggiore. Falls in love with a nurse. For reasons not important here, the hero had to get the nurse to the other side of Lake Maggiore. The Switzerland side. They row boated across the lake in a storm. She died.

I had dinner on the north end of Lake Maggiore near Switzerland one of my first nights in Italy. Then did it again my final evening, except this time at its southern shore.

Flew Delta into Atlanta. Then Delta to Key West. Had a three hour lay over. Met some very interesting people. All of whom had a Key West connection.

First came Snow. A beauty! I would enjoy getting to know her better. Unfortunately, we had never met before. She has probably been in Key West longer than me. She was on her way back to Key West from a trip to Maine.

She said I looked familiar. She had read some of my KONK Life columns.

On the plane, I was seated next to Paul and Caytlin. Father and daughter. He is military reserves and also a civilian firefighter at the Key West Naval Base. He has been deployed more than once. Most recently, Oman. He was engaged in combat in Iraq.

Intelligent. Understood world events and impacts. He and his wife plan on settling in Key West when he retires. Which is soon.

Daughter Caytlin was 16 years old. Going into her junior year. A personality! Smart. Thus far has a 4.3. She is concerned it is not high enough!

Paul introduced me to his wife Tracy who was at the airport waiting for her family to return. Lovely and pleasant.

I would like to know Paul better.

While the plane was loading, a couple walked by my seat. Hello, Key West Lou! We had met last year at the Chart Room. I am embarrassed. I cannot recall their names. Old age. In the brief moment we had, we agreed we would probably meet at the Chart Room during their stay here.

Recognition night was not over.

I was standing outside waiting for my ride which was late. A lady was standing next to me in the same predicament. We started talking. She said, I know you. You’re Key West Lou! I read your blog every day. We are friends on Facebook, also.
Liked Beth. Hopefully will run in to her again, also.

I also decided I better be a good boy all the time. Too many people have come to know me.

Lisa, Corey and Jake picked me up. Loved seeing them again. Jake appeared a bit subdued. Lisa told me that in addition to not liking the water, he definitely does not like riding in the car. It is a project to get him in. Jake is one very fussy dog.

The house was in pretty good shape. Except. There is always an except. My downstairs air conditioning was blowing warm. Hopefully, it will get repaired today.

Glad to be back! Look forward to running into many of you in the next few days.

The Key West Lou Legal hour television show airs on Friday mornings at 10. While I have been away, reruns have been shown. There will be a rerun tomorrow morning also. I am fearful of doing the show while suffering from jet lag. I probably would end up with a blank look on my face not remembering what I was supposed to say next. The show goes live next Friday!

Enjoy your day!



It was happy birthday time yesterday! The Chart Room’s 45th!

The Pier House may have changed/been remodeled over the years, but never the Chart Room. It is as it was in the beginning. Looks the same as when Jimmy Buffett sat in the corner singing for change.

So many people. I only knew about 20.

Charlotte came in. From North Carolina. She visits Key West 3-4 times a year. The Chart Room is her favorite haunt.

I screwed up. You recall I mentioned the peanuts were gone, but some beauty was lying in the barrel instead. I failed to recognize the lady. It was Charlotte! Sorry.

Charlotte came especially for the birthday celebration.

Marty did not come. I felt bad. Marty introduced me to the Chart Room.

Never saw Che. Everyone wanted to know where he was. I assume he showed after I left.

Met Mike from Liverpool.

I went to the bar to pay my tab. The gent sitting to my left asked if I was Key West Lou. We talked a bit. He is Mike from Liverpool, England. He is in the restaurant and bar business. He reads my blog every day! Thank you Mike. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope our paths cross again. Keep reading!

JJ was bartending. He greeted me with a gift. A box of frozen hot dogs! Hot dogs were available free last night as they have been for years. However no more under the new management. Last night was a one shot deal. The last shot.

I left around 6:30. Decided to eat at the A & B Lobster House. The last time was a couple of years ago.

A & B is a top shelf operation. I enjoyed the Maine lobster appetizer at the bar. Filling. No dinner required afterwards.

Met some one new at the A & B. Gage. The bartender. He is originally from New Hampshire.

I was home early. Wanted to watch the Heat game. Again fell asleep. I woke with two minutes to play. I was shocked at the score.

I just found out I am having dinner Saturday night at Lake Maggiore in Italy. Hemingway’s Lake Maggiore from A Farewell To Arms. At a restaurant on the very small island of Pescatori. The island sits on Lake Maggiore.

My hometown Utica had  a Pescatori’s restaurant. I have to assume Pescatori the owner back when must have come from Pescatori Island. Most Italian immigrants took as their last names their home town or province.

There is a service at one today for my friend Cathy. At La Trattoria. It will be sad.

Tomorrow is Tuesday. Which means…..Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Blog talk radio. The show a mere four months old. Two thousand people a week follow the show. Amazing!

Join me for a fast paced half hour.

Enjoy your day!


This is the day!

Trip pictures being published!

I have grouped the photos into 12 categories. From this point forward, a category a day will be provided. Today’s pics are of the Novara phase.

Novara was my first and last stops on the trip. I flew into Milan. A half hour drive away was Novara. Translated, Novara means new camp. Way back when, there was no Novara. The Roman legions camped there. For a long time. Ergo, the name Novara.

Remnants of the Roman stay can still be seen. The Romans constructed a stone wall around the camp. Portions of that wall remain today.

The City of Novara developed from what was once the Roman camp.

There is a Hemingway tie.

Novara and Milan are cities. Stresa is a town. They are located in the Province of Novara. Novara is both the name of the province and the city. Each community located relatively close to the other.

Hemingway was an ambulance driver during World War I. He was stationed in northern Italy. Received multiple shrapnel wounds to his legs. He was hospitalized in Milan. Fell in love with one of his nurses. Following his hospitalization, he went to the resort town of Stresa for a rest. Stresa is located on Lake Maggiore.

Hemingway years later wrote A Farewell To Arms. The background and characters for the book came from the time he spent in the Milan hospital, at Stresa, and involved Lake Maggiore.

The Novara photos are a set of six.

The first is a photo of the building I stayed in at the beginning and end of my trip. It is a medieval building. More than a 1,000 years old. The exterior has been reconstructed. I was in an apartment on the second floor. The center balcony is off the living room of the apartment. The gigantic wood doors are the entrance way to the building’s courtyard.

The next photo is the building’s internal entrance way into the courtyard. The entrance way has been redone also. Note the fine workmanship on the doors.

The next pic is my bedroom ceiling. Though the outside of the building has been updated, the interior remains as it was a 1,000 years ago. The apartments have cathedral ceilings. All rooms. Huge wide windows. The ceilings are hand painted.

The next photo is a ceiling one, also. Of the sitting room ceiling.

I made a Moroccon friend on the trip. Miriam. She is in the next photo on the far right. It was my 77th birthday. Miriam cooked for me and baked a cake. The picture is of me and her family.

The final photo is me and the cake.

Tomorrow Santorini.

I enjoyed a yesterday, also.

Spent most of the day finishing Bob Woodward’s The Price Of Politics. Excellent reading. Scared me. The novel clearly evidences the inepts governing us. From the President down. Without mentioning it, the book cries out for term limits. Lack of ability and serving self interests permeate the book.

Though not mentioned, the book cries out for term limits. I would do one 6 year term for a President, one 5 year term for a Senator, and one 3 year term for a Congressman. Get them in and get them out! Keep reelection out of the picutre.

Lisa did a Thanksgiving turkey dinner last night. Delicious! Robert and Ally a joy.

I come from the generation that is not mechanically inclined. Corey was trying to show me how to operate my cell phone camera to my blog. Simple to most of you. Not to me.

Those of you who watch my internet show on KONK Broadcasting and read my weekly column in KONK Life via the internet, be advised the sites have been renamed. Sorry. Not my doing.

To watch the friday internet show:

To read the column via the internet:

Remember to join me for Santorini tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!