Tonight at midnight, a new year. 2018. A long time since the birth of Christ.

Times Square this evening will be the center of the universe. Thousands standing in the freezing cold waiting for the ball to drop. The ball, the one we have been watching for years, is rather large. Weighs 11,875 pounds. Twelve feet in diameter.  A Waterford crystal.

Brave people observing the drop tonight in person. The temperature will be freezing. In the teens with a chill factor of -5.

Booze not recommended. It contributes to the dehydration of the body in extreme temperatures.

Key West has sort of dropping balls. Sushi in a shoe at Bourbon Street, a wench coming down the mast at Schooner Wharf, a ball at Sloppy Joe’s. There are more. Each year another establishment is dropping something at midnight.

The bars and streets will be packed. Duval closed off.

I have only done 2 New Year’s eves in Key West. Other times, private parties or at home alone. As I get older, the evening becomes too much work. The crowds rowdy tourists. Parking impossible.

I learned long ago in Utica that New Years eve is amateur night. Since every evening is New Years Eve in Key West, I can afford to miss one a year.

My lesbian wives planned to have me with them tonight. Dinner at Abandonzza, drag show at Aqua, and then Sushi from the street at midnight.

I opted out.

The game plan for me this evening is the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game at 6. Then a TV movie. Followed by an early night to bed.

Aging enters into it.

Syracuse favored by 3.5 points. Both teams part of the ACC. Tonight begins the ACC season. Virginia Tech is the leading 3 point shooting team in the country. Shooting average 45.3 percent.

Last night the Chart Room. Not that crowded. Shaun bartending.

Chatted with Shaun and a few of the tourists. Then home to an early bed.

A good thing Trump does not live in Egypt.

An Egyptian court yesterday sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi and 19 others to three years in jail. The crime: Insulting the Judiciary.

Greece. Oh, how I love Greece!

A Greek anarchist group Rubicon support Palestinians. They are upset with Trump’s soon to be move of the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This past week they rode motorcycles up to the Israeli Embassy and threw bottles of paint against the Embassy building.

Rubicons are not part of the Golden Dawn Party. The Rubicons came into being because they thought the Golden Dawn Party was failing in its responsibilities.

I have written over the years often of the Golden Dawn Party. I once thought that one day they would take over the government via the ballot box. Now, I am not sure.

The Golden Dawn Party are neo-Nazis. Dress like Hitler’s storm troopers. Presently the third largest party in Parliament. Represent 10 percent of the popular vote.

It is thought Trump’s election has re-energized the Party. Golden Dawn leaders say, “Trump’s policies have given us a new wind of support…..We should follow Trump’s beat.”

Crazy people!

What is happening in Iran? Surprising! The demonstrations. Proof that even the mighty can fall.

Could happen, though I doubt it.

Don’t forget the Annual Dachshund Walk at noon beginning at the court house on Whitehead.

Stay sober and safe tonight. Enjoy the evening otherwise!

Happy New Year!


Key West enjoying Hemingway Days!

Tourists and locals alike.

I went to Sloppy Joe’s for Hemingway’s birthday party. Got there about 6. No way I could get in. I stood outside on  the street on tip toes to get a look.

Hemingway look-alikes all over the placed. No official number yet. I would suggest in excess of 125. White shirts and pants. Red french caps. Red bandannas wrapped around their waists.

Today, the biggest. A day long Caribbean Fair on Duval. Duval closed off to vehicular traffic. At noon, Hemingway look-alikes available outside Sloppy Joe’s for picture taking. Bulls, too.

The best of the best at 1. The Running of the Bulls. Pamplona style. A sight to see!

Six-thirty the final round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Judges limited to former winners. Generally takes 10-15 years before participants are seriously considered to win.

The window on the driver’s side of my Volk’s convertible would not go completely up. Only 2/3’s of the way. I have been meaning to take it to a Volkswagen dealer in Miami. Hated wasting a day.

It has not been easy driving. The heat and rain would come in. I had a huge towel I threw over my left shoulder when it rained.

The inside of the car filthy. Cannot have a car washed with an open window.

Finally decided to try a local repair man. There are several on Stock Island. Garages dirty, hot and greasy.

I met George a few weeks ago. He owns Zip Auto on MacDonald.

I decided to give George a shot.

George said I needed a new part/window. Knew it already from speaking with Miami Volks. George said he could do it, would order the part from Miami.

The job was done yesterday. I had an appointment to go in. Left the car. Donna drove me home. Three hours later, he called. Job done. Come get your car. Donna drove me back.

The window works. The price $200 cheaper than that quoted me by Miami.

Try George if you have car problems. I swear by him as a result of my experience.

Dinner last night with the lesbian wives. Donna cooked. Terri in good spirits. As usual, our time together very enjoyable.

Anna, my Anna. Fears everything.

I wrote a few days ago about Athens’ Ermus Street and the violence which occurred there monday night. Anna was in Athens and fearful.

Anna still in Athens. After spending two months visiting several Greek isles. One visited was near Kos. Kos and parts of Turkey were hit with a major earthquake yesterday. A 6.7. On Kos, two killed, 112 injured, 12 seriously.

The after shocks even worse. Forty after shocks reported. Some as high as 4.6.

It was warned a tsunami could occur.

Anna wrote and asked what she should do. Athens is no where near Kos. Tsunami not a concern. Except to Anna.

I told her to swim fast!

Something that was yesterday, but is not the same today. Limited. An issue. A problem.

I refer to immigration.

The poet Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883. The sonnet instantly popular.

Words from it incorporated onto a bronze plaque and attached to the Statue of Liberty in 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Ain’t that way no more. We try to keep them out. I question whether my paperless, parentless 12 year old grandfather admitted in 1906 would be admitted today.

Enjoy your day!


Many times I have mentioned that the two happenings which excited/impressed/moved me the most were man walking on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down.

Today, the anniversary of the first man on the moon.  The year 1969. Neil Armstrong: “…..one mall step for man, one giant step for mankind.”

It happens too many times as I get older. Go for a routine physical feeling fine. Walk out concerned.

Every 3-4 years my blood pressure goes out of whack. It is out of whack again. Big time. One of the highest numbers I have recorded.

My ankles a bit swollen, also.

Most people might not be greatly concerned. At 82, I am. Everything concerns me.

Tests next week. Water pills for a few days immediately.

My blood work normal.

Doctor thinks my murmur is louder.

Sad about John McCain. A brain cancer tumor. One of America’s greats. May God help resolve the problem rather than take him.

Trump at it again. His consistency is his inconsistency. Never know what he is going to do. When he does perform, it is generally incorrect.

Three items of concern this week so far. Note it is only thursday.

First, pulling the CIA out of Syria. A major Putin victory. Makes us look less than dependable to the free world. Plus, Trump got nothing from Putin in return.

Second, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which Trump appointed. Met for the first time yesterday in Washington.

I listened to the Chair and Vice-Chair speak. Two nuts. Both already believe there were major problems in 2016.

Finally, Trump’s words last night re Sessions, the Justice Department and Mueller. Trump fears the police arm of our government. He should if he has something to fear. Which I believe he does.

He wants to get rid of Sessions and the Acting Attorney General. Also Mueller, if Mueller gets into his and his family’s finances. On top of which he wants the FBI to answer directly to the President.

Anna, my Anna. She is presently in Athens. Always in a place where excitement is going to occur.

She e-mailed me yesterday. The media carried the story, also.

Ermou Street in Athens is one of its finest shopping areas. Like our Fifth Avenue. I walked down it twice every day. To Playka and back.

I wrote about Ermou several years ago. The streets full of beggars. Like I had never seen before. Makes our homeless look good.

So you can understand. Every day there was a man with no arms and legs. Face badly scarred. Hair burned never to grow again. Blind.

Propped up on a curb. His hands out searching for contributions.

Anarchists ran Ermou Street monday. Breaking windows, destroying the inside of shops. Throwing chemicals about. Sixty stores involved.

They were protesting on behalf of a 29 year old woman whose appeal of her terrorist conviction had failed.

The police did not interfere. When asked why, they said they did not have instructions to do so.

I can understand. As I wrote many times several years ago, the Greek Nazi Party is influential with the police. Half the members of the Nazi Party are police officers. The Golden Dawn (the actual name of the Greek Nazi Party) are a law unto themselves.

I wrote I had a sense of fear every time I saw them. Young Aryans. Blond. Great bodies. Wear black shirts, ties and pants. Swastika look a likes as armbands. The Hitler salute.

The Jew of Hitler’s days is the immigrant of today. They blame immigrants for everything.

I saw what I assumed was an immigrant being violently beaten by them one day. Just off Ermou street. Two police officers were nearby. They turned and walked away.

Hemingway Days today. At 6:30, the preliminary round of the Hemingway Look-Alike contest. Sloppy Joe’s

Big day in Key West history. On this day in 1985, Mel Fisher discovered the mother lode of the Spanish galleon Atocha. After 15 years of searching and struggling. $400 million in gold, jewels, and other artifacts.

Enjoy your day!



Well…..It was a great day! I never want to eat again!

Thanksgiving dinner at Lisa’s with the family.

Lisa out did herself!

I ate it all! Filled my dish twice. Made up for three weeks of dieting.

We ate at 1. I fell asleep on Lisa’s couch afterwards. Woke and drove home. Still tired from the meal. Went to bed and slept for three hours.

Robert and Ally growing. Robert tall. Ally only 11. I noticed yesterday she is moving from child to young lady. Her face has filled out. Features distinct. A beauty in the making!

This weekend a big one for Stock Island. The I Love Stock Island Fest. Tonight, a community fish fry at the Stock Island Village Marina. 5:30-9:30.

A weekend of fun. The Fest celebrates the heritage and history of Stock Island.

Take a drive around the island this weekend. Stock Island is changing.

Syracuse/South Carolina basketball tomorrow at 2. Last week it was South Carolina State. This week, the private university.

Should be a good game. Syracuse 4-0, South Carolina 5-0.

Terry Schmida has an interesting article in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. The story of Bascom Grooms IV. A local successful realtor.

I mention Grooms IV because he is the great great grandson of Bascom Grooms who was President of the Key West Rotary in 1928. An individual I have mentioned several times in my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

The Rotary history continues. Installment 21.

World War II history very sparse. Absent from Langley’s work. Why, I do not know nor was I able to figure out why.

The years following World War II likewise sparse. Not as bad, however.

The War Assets Administration owned Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach. The Key West Rotary spearheaded a movement to have Monroe County purchase the area.

The effort was successful. Monroe County purchased Higgs Beach for $28,000 on November 4, 1947.

Charlie Toppino and Sons agreed to enlarge the beach area with sand. In return, the County sold Toppino the rock at  $ .30 a yard.

In the summer of 1947, the Club launched a new program. To send one of the Key West High School’s outstanding seniors to Girls’ State in Tallahassee. An honor to be the one selected.

Merli Hilton was selected. Merli later became the wife of Rotarian Charles “Sonny” Mc Coy. Mc Coy in due course served as Mayor of Key West.

Late in February 1948, the Rotary Ann Club held a Ladies night at La Concha. Norma Dopp was President of the Rotary Ann Club at the time. Her husband Robert Dopp served as President of the Rotary 1949-50.

What follows is the last portion of Crete’s  Jim Brown’s response to my inquiry as to why the Greeks demonstrated against Obama during his recent visit.

November 15 was the night of the Athens demonstration.

Obama was on his final foreign tour as President. He arrived in Athens on November 15.

Obama met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras upon arriving. He was honored at a state dinner in the evening. While the demonstration was occurring.

Following friendly and congratulatory remarks by Tsipras, Obama spoke to Greece’s economic problems. He recognized Greece’s “painful time.” Re the European Union, he said it “…..cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy.” Re the Greek people themselves, he said it was “…..incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives.”

Tsipras came to power last year based on his promise there would be no further agreement to austerity measures. He did not keep his word. He capitulated. Somewhat like Bush I’s read my lips, no new taxes.

My Greek friends indicate Tspiras is finished when new elections occur.

Jim reports that Tsipras’ left wing government touted Obama’s visit, before and after, as a vindication of its policies. Self-serving.

Note that Tsipras’ government is a leftist one. The same people who were demonstrating outside the dining hall while Tsipras was inside praising Obama.

Obama’s visit would have helped more if it came sooner. With only two months left in Obama’s time as President, there is little he can do for Greece. Nevertheless, Obama’s visit was viewed as a positive by the Greek people.

I want to thank my Crete friend Jim Brown for his lengthy response to my inquiry. He provided behind the scenes knowledge that the American media did not.

Enjoy your day!







Installment 15 highlights a Rotarian who was a President of the Key West Rotary and who achieved extraordinary success while a resident of Key West.

Edward Strunk Jr.

Strunk became Rotary President in 1934. Deep depression years. His achievements while President include increasing membership from 19 to 29. No small feat.

During his tenure, he supported the establishment of the Everglades National Park.

The hurricane of 1935 presented many challenges. The railroad bridges had been demolished. Strunk  and Bascom Grooms were instrumental in clearing other bridges. People and businesses needed a way to move up and down the Keys.

Such is part of Strunk’s Rotary career. What follows is the story of the man.

Strunk was 16. Not living in Key West yet. He was in Miami. He had to decide whether to return to school or go to work. He opted to work.

One of his first jobs was working at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad offices in Marathon. The Atlantic Coast Line the Flagler railroad.

Following the railway experience, he worked several different jobs. World War I found him serving in France for a year.

He finally made it to Key West. He went to work for the South Florida Contracting & Engineering Co. After 20 years with the organization, Strunk retired a part owner.

Nineteen thirty-nine was a significant year in Strunk’s life. He opened the Strunk Lumber Yard. First located on Mallory Square. Today, 1101 Eaton Street.

Strunk lumber became a significant Key West business.

In due course, Strunk sold the lumber company to Manley – De Boer.

Strunk remained in business, however. He opened a hardware store. Known today as Strunk Ace Hardware. Same location on Eaton Street.

The Strunk lumber and hardware businesses were family owned at all times. From 1939 to present day. Strunk’s great grandson Andy runs Strunk Ace Hardware today.

An interesting story. An American success story. The tale of a man who at 16 had to choose between school and work. He chose work and ultimately became one of Key West’s biggest successes.

The Key West Film festival began last night. It runs through sunday. Burt Reynolds will be in Key West attending the festival tonight. America’s heart throb and famous movie star of the 1970s and 1980s is to receive an award.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that an FDR book had been written by Karen Chase. It involved two years of FDR’s life when his winters were spent on a houseboat in the Florida Keys hoping the warmth would remedy his paralysis.

Chase is speaking tonight at the Custom House’s Distinguished Speaker Series at 6.

Should be interesting. I plan on attending.

Obama spent two days in Greece this week. He was not a welcomed guest. Protests both days. The first day 7,000. At one of the demonstrations, the American flag was burned.

I am surprised! I love Greece. Have spent much time there. My last trip was four years ago. For six weeks.

A more loving people I have never met. I was welcomed warmly everywhere. No question the Greek people loved Americans.

What caused demonstrations filled with hatred four years later?

It appears Russia and Greek communists. Putin thought to be the motivating force.

The reasons given for the protests speak for themselves.

One was that the United States was creating tensions with Russia and China. Another that the United States stood in the way of Russia seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

How about this one? The United States is supporting Islamic extremists. Another, Obama supported the Euro Union’s stringent austerity program imposed on Greece.

All without basis. All fabrications.

Signs carried: Yankee Go Home. Five thousand police had to be called in.

I have written much re Greece. I have predicted at some point the Nazi Party aka New Dawn Party would be elected to lead Greece. I suspect it might occur in the next election.

The Communist Party small. Without significance.

I buy the belief that Putin was behind the protests.

College students all over the country are sad Hilary lost. Depressed. Universities have grieving areas on campus and have arranged for the students to receive counseling.

At the University of Michigan, students spent one of the grieving days sprawled in a college center playing with Play-Doh and coloring in coloring books.

College students should not be coddled. Their candidate lost. Tough! So did mine. That is the way it is. Go out and work harder next time.

College students of today do not know how to take responsibility for their lives. Administrators and professors should step back.

May this be the worst calamity in their lives. That Hillary did not win.

Enjoy your day!


Tonight…..Terri White sings! At Blue Heaven. 6:30-9:30.

This is Terri’s first Key West performance since returning. She is retired. Moved back home to Key West with her wife Donna. Terri will do an occasional Key West gig. Nothing more.

Terri is officially retired. She had no choice. She went blind rather suddenly in one eye. If my recollection is correct, her last solo performance was at Kennedy Center. She fell off the stage. Her depth perception is shot.

I will be at Blue Heaven enjoying Terri. My evening will be doubly pleasing. Jenna will be with me.

I did nothing yesterday. Laid around. Read, napped and watched TV. I am taking it easy till we are sure what if anything is going on with my heart.

Hemingway. I have been reading a lot of Hemingway this past week. Not his works. Stories about the man himself. Interesting and revealing.

Hemingway was not a nice guy all the time. Especially as he got older. Mean.

Once an enemy, always an enemy. He wrote of his former friends, now enemies, as characters in his books. Making them look bad.

His sex life all over the place. Besides several wives, he had at least two long term affairs with lesbian women. Who apparently became bi as a result.

Hemingway is considered to have been bisexual by several who wrote about him. Going as far back as F. Scott Fitzgerald during their Paris days.

I would love to write a Hemingway column taking in all these facets. Too much involved, however. Also, I would owe it to the man to research even more deeply than I have. A lot of work. A ton of material. It would have to be a novel.

Anna telephoned yesterday from the Milan airport. She was waiting for a plane to Athens. She decided not to let the immigration problem screw up her summer.

She will spend a few days in Athens in a small hotel near Playka. She promised to visit my favorite outside cafe and drink a silent gin and tonic toast to me.

Her second stop will be Santorini. Things safe there, she says. After that, not sure. Maybe Amorgos.

I envy her.

She mentioned that Silvio Berlusconi had heart surgery ten days ago in Milan. An aortic valve replacement. Appears to be doing well.

My primary problem is with my aortic valve. Interestingly, my father’s problem was with his aortic valve.

Anna follows Berlusconi’s doings closely. Most Italians do. In spite of everything, he is a loved man in Italy. Anna says Putin has been in constant touch with Berlusconi. The two are known close friends. Putin built a home next door to Berlusconi in Portofino.

Trump in Scotland as seen on TV. Boring. Unimpressive.

My sense is he did not have a crowd. Hard to determine. The camera remained on him and never showed us those listening to him.

Americans are movie lovers. Especially of the old west. On this day in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn took place. Custer and his 200 men were wiped out by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The Native Americans had 3,000 against Custer’s 200.

I have to research this week’s KONK Life column today. I research on saturday and write on sunday. My usual problem again. Do not know yet what I am going to write about.

Enjoy your day!




I have a new hang out monday evenings. Aqua at cocktail hour. The Dueling Bartenders sing. Great voices!

Adding to the event is that the two bartenders vocalizing are generally dressed in drag.

No, I am not switching. I do recognize good entertainment, however.

Last night’s bartenders were Rich Dery and Mark Watson. Mark always teriffic. First time I saw Rich dressed. A better looking woman than man.

A newly married couple joined the festivities. 50ish. Bride attired in long white shoulderless dress. Groom in white shirt and pants. Tourists.

A happy couple! Danced and joked. They admonished all that though this was the first marriage for both, neither were virgins. They thought we should know.

Tom Luna working the bar. Not dressed. Introduced me to George. Glad he did. We hit it off.

George is a retired Long Island high school principal. He and his wife live in Truman Annex. Ten grandchildren. Graduated from Bowling Green. A history major. I was a history major, also.

The conversation good. We agreed to try to meet again wednesday at the Back Door Bar.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Did better. Pushed everything. Even elevation. A little too much. I was tired before I finished.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. Lovely Ruby there again. Love her!

Children’s accidents have been commonplace lately. The bear situation and then the Disney alligator happening. I saw one in the making yesterday at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

The place has two large fans to cool things down. Big. A tiny 3-4 year old girl walked up to one. Her face almost touching the wire cage. Blades zooming around inside.

Her father happened to see her. He calmly said watch out, it could grab your hair. Then turned around and never looked at her again. She stayed where she was, never moving. Dad never looked back at her again.

I was five feet away. Impulsively yelled out…..Hey! Dad immediately turned around, saw his daughter still standing there, grabbed her hand and walked away.

My afternoon was spent working on my podcast tonight. My blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick interesting half hour of political and social chatter. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Venezuela’s lack of food, a 4 year old shoot seeking food in Venezuela, Oakland Police Department under investigation for an underage sex scandal involving officers, three Oakland police chiefs discharged one after another within three weeks, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on a kick again, this time to require drug testing of food stamp recipients and the unemployed.

Also, big U.S. banks investing heavy in outlawed cluster bomb stocks to the tune of $28 billion over 4 years, Mein Kampf a bestseller again in Germany, U.S. Senate approves draft registration for women, Napoleon being troubled by mosquitoes and hemorrhoids, and more.

Time of the year for Key West drag contests. The Miss Firecracker Pageant next. July 1. In the Crystal Room at La Te Da. An Aids fundraiser. Hosted by Miss Closet Ball 2011.

The Mosquito Control Board is as devious as the Key West City Commission. The Board is entertaining at a meeting tomorrow night to move the GM mosquito testing issue affecting Key Haven from a late August vote to the general election in November. Consideration being given also to not having a vote at all.

The Board is elected. I guarantee all will be voted out if they pursue this game playing. My neighbors are furious. We are opposed to using our island used as a guinea pig for testing.

Several months ago, the FDA sent out an approval of the GM mosquitoes. Did not make sense to me. The Board was saying see, the FDA says use of the GM mosquitoes not dangerous.

I checked. The FDA did say such. However, it applied solely to the Mosquitoes. Injection of the chemicals was not dangerous to the mosquitoes. Nothing said about human safety.

Few listened. I was a voice in the wilderness.

Yesterday, the Board chairman reported another option was to wait for the FDA to rule on the test. The human end of it.

Last night was Outback. A late dinner of chicken wings.

Dennis there. He is the Tavern ‘n Town manager.

I was eating at the bar. A beautiful woman came in and sat several seats away. A magnificent creature! White man’s shirt opened almost to the waist. boobs slightly exposed. Face make up perfect. Had to be someone in drag.

Rare to see dining out in restaurants.

Ran into a Syracuse grad friend. Where have you been, I asked. Had not seen him in several years. Just returned from Belize. We used to watch Syracuse games together. He may show up wednesday at the Back Door Bar.

Enjoy your day!


Aqua and Michael’s last night.

Stopped at Aqua first. Intended to spend time with Mark at the outside Back Bar. David was sitting at the inside bar. Stopped and chatted with him a while.

Then to the Back Bar. Mark always good company.

Where to eat? Decided on Michael’s.

A fair crowd for off season. I was disappointed Suzette was not bartending. I was also looking for Kim who I had met two weeks earlier at Tavern ‘n Town. Kim’s night off also apparently.

Tried the beef boneless ribs. Good. A bone sticking meal. Though no bones. The meat off the ribs buried in a good tasting sauce covering mashed potatoes and some other vegetables.

I have been thinking of getting off gin after 40 years. Wine has been in my mind. I have never been crazy about wine.

The daily special menu showed a special red. The name I do not recall. The composition on the menu took several lines to describe. All kinds of fruit tastes. I ordered a glass. My discerning tongue tasted no fruit.

I was bored at Michael’s bar. Never got a conversation going with anyone. Unusual in Key West to fail to becoming engaged in conversation at a bar.

My yesterday started with the anti-gravity treadmill. Went well. Still going at a slow speed and half time.

I was hungry at lunch hour. Opted for a cheeseburger and fries at 5 Guys.

The afternoon was spent reading and napping. Napping always the best time of the day.

Received two interesting communications yesterday.

Anna telephoned from Milan. All excited. Told me Italy had just passed same sex marriage. While we were talking, I went online to see the story. Anna did not have it quite correct.

Italy approved same sex civil unions. Everything short off same sex marriage. I was not surprised. What did surprise me was that Italy even went as far as it did in approving civil unions. The Catholic Church in Italy has a strong influence regarding same sex anything.

Nevertheless, the approval of civil unions an historical event.

Argos e-mailed me from Athens. I have never met nor communicated with Argos. However, he advised he has been reading my blog since my first Greece trip several years ago.

I have never addressed how Greek’s economic crisis has affected medial care. Argos brought the situation to my attention.

Things are bad! Don’t get sick! Especially seriously ill. Something like cancer.

Government medical plans are paying nothing or close to nothing. Government employees no longer working have no insurance plans.

Hospitals are short in every area. Painkillers and scissors in short supply. Bring your own blankets and sheets when entering a hospital. Cancer operations delayed four months or longer. Regardless of seriousness of the cancer. Many die before time for the operation arrives.

Five thousand doctors and 15,000 nurses have left Greece because they cannot get paid.

If no insurance, the person is put on a waiting list. Months to wait for hospital admission. If one wants surgery earlier, a bribe is required.

I never gave thought to this area of Greek life. Horrible!

Trump/Ryan meeting this morning. I am anxious to listen to the post meeting comments by both. I am a political junkie at heart.

Hillary has to start hitting back. At least through a surrogate. Trump’s charges are building up. Hillary’s quaint smile is not sufficient response.

My Syracuse University is screwed up athletically. Everything seems to go wrong.

Mike Doyle was hired less than a year ago to be Athletic director. Was on the job 310 days. He is taking the AD job at the University of Minnesota.

I blame central administration for the athletic department’s problems. SU is run like a major corporation. Decisions are made by the higher ups and those below are compelled to accept already made decisions.

One example. Boeheim never knew Syracuse was going to the ACC till after it was a fait accompli.

Read a recent article that said municipalities have received $2 billion in surplus military equipment over the past 10 years. State of Florida the most. $300 million.

We all have a general knowledge of that which makes up the military equipment. One item surprised me, however. Bayonets. 5, 638 of them. To use against demonstrators?

Enjoy your day!



Lunch yesterday could not have been better! Lazy and long. Great company. Excellent food.

Donna, Terri and Louis at Louie’s Backyard. We lunched as one. Too many bloody marys, followed by Maine lobster rolls.

It was catch up time. We have not been together in at least three years.

My lesbian wives are returning. In six weeks they will be back in Key West. Forever.

They have already rented a lovely condo near Salute’s. Two blocks off the ocean.

My blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night.

I stayed away from politics. The primaries are crushing.

I mentioned Venezuela’s Maduro had shortened the public employee work week two weeks ago to four days a week. Not enough electric power.

This morning a news flash popped up on the internet. Maduro has further slashed the work week to two days. No bargain. The employees only get paid for two days.

Maduro says it is because of a drought which is affecting water necessary to produce electricity. A crock. It is because Maduro has not spent monies to keep the dam and electrical system in good shape. Everything is falling apart.

Shades of what could happen to our infrastructure.

Keep in mind that Maduro’s first debacle was running out of toilet paper four years ago. Still not enough toilet paper.

I share this item with you, also. I got into government waste again. Congress authorized and the President approved $600 million to boost the Afghanistan economy.

Part of the money went to transport nine blond male goats to Afghanistan. Female goats were waiting in Afghanistan. Purpose to help the wool cashmere business.

Monies also went to build a laboratory to certify that the wool cashmere was the best ever. The scenario was to produce 350 jobs.

There is no record of monies spent. Where the money went, etc. unknown.  There also is no cashmere business. It is suspected the Afghans ate the nine goats. Could be. Goats are the number one dish in Afghanistan.

Manatees in the news. Tomo-Belle is a female manatee that has been under observation since 1993. She recently gave birth to twins. Tomo-Belle and her two calves were seen swimming this past week in a Siesta Key canal.

The shame of it all. On this day in 1867, John Milton was blind and broke. He sold his copyright of Paradise Lost for ten pounds.

Greece has a special place in my heart. When in Athens, I stayed at the Grande Bretagne. The finest hotel I have ever spent time at anywhere in the world.

I recall one of the staff telling me that the Germans used the Hotel for their headquarters during World War II. I thought at the time and still do, a shame!

On this day in 1941, the German Army ended Greek resistance throughout Greece. Except for Crete. Fifteen thousand seven hundred Greeks died defending their homeland.

The Cretes would not give up. They fought the Germans forever. Ultimately, they too were overcome.

My KONK Life column this week is Lincoln: Nomination and Election. Hits the stands today.

Wednesday! Love wednesdays! Wednesday is my screw off day. I write almost full time saturday through tuesday. Wednesday is the start of my weekend. My friday.

Enjoy your day!


The Chart Room’s Emily has a problem. An eye problem. She is in Miami having it attended to. Hurry back, Emily. The Chart Room was not the same without you last night.

My day yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Stopped steroid treatment two days ago. Back still holding up.

Went to the bank. Needed to hit the ATM.

Then to Harpoon Harry’s for lunch. Harpoon’s wednesday lunch special is a turkey meal. Like Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. All buried in gravy.

The Chart Room last night. Mari standing in for Emily. A good locals crowd. Enjoyed myself. Finally got to see Jean Thornton. Chatted with Sheila and David. Said hello to Kevin.

Met a popular Key West local. We had never met before. Sean came to the end of the bar where I was sitting. Sean and his wife Helen own the Grand Vin. Since 1997. Wine and beer. Best known as a place to sit and sip good wine. Grand Vin is the white house with a large round porch in the 1100 block of Duval.

Sean had a good sense of humor. I enjoyed my time chatting with him.

He is off to England today. His wife Helen is English. They are attending a baptism. Sean is of one of the Protestant faiths. I, Catholic. We got into a lengthy dialogue re baptism and confession.

I was at the Chart Room to meet Grant. We were going to have a drink together and then have dinner at Hot Tin Roof. Grant never showed.

I dined at the bar at Hot Tin Roof. Quiet.

Vanessa hosted. A lovely lady. Very beautiful. A Conch.

Anna left Amorgos at 6 this morning. A nine hour ferry boat ride to Athens. Sounds horrendous. Not really. When I did it for the first time several years ago, I thought how horrible it was going to be. To the contrary, it was fine. Actually, terrific. An experience.

The ferry boat is huge. Carries 500 people plus vehicles. Top floor is what we in the U.S. call a first class lounge. In Greece, referred to as business class. Greek business class is U.S. first class. An extremely large room with all type comfortable chairs. Great food. Fine service. Huge windows. I read, slept, ate and watched the Greek isles move by.

Greece and Key West have some things in common. One is immigrants arriving by water.

A few days ago, 87 Syrians landed on my favorite island Amorgos. They were in what I would describe as a large dinghy. Escaping the war.

The immigrants were provided medical attention, showered, fed and sent off to Naxos. Naxos is an island near Amorgos I never got to. The Mayor of Naxos welcomed them. They were provided with travel documents. Necessary to get to where ever they wanted to go. Most will not remain in Greece. They have other destinations in mind. Greece has made it easy for them to get where ever. Which means, the Syrian immigrants are out of Greece in a very short time.

Wisdom involved.

My KONK Life column this week is The Stealing of America. How money has bought our elected officials. The column hit the stands yesterday. It was linked this morning to my KONK Life website.

Republican Presidential debates tonight. Starting at 5. I am a political junkie. Love it all! I will sit at home in a comfortable chair watching the debates.

Food a problem. Cup board bare again. Very. I will be shopping later this morning. Buying the usual and also some special goodies to enjoy this evening while watching the debates.

Enjoy your day!