A couple of heavy items to discuss today. Sad topics. I have opted to start with the happy rather than those.

Which means first and foremost, Kate Miano.

Lovable, warm, caring, interested in people and causes. An available helping hand. A successful woman to boot.

The 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award. Former Fantasy Fest Queen. Conch Shell Blower winner. The list endless.

Kate has been around a while. She personifies the Key West of yesterday and today. Perfectly blended.

Instead of sitting back and relaxing, she wants to take on Key West’s present woes. Solve the community’s problems. As only a Mayor can do.

The election is not till August. Already something like 10 persons have filed to run. The total in the end will be 10-12.

A Kate Miano for Mayor Kickoff Party is scheduled for friday March 9 at the Gardens Hotel. Six in the evening. Open bar and food. Come, join, visit, meet. Kate would love for you to stop by.

I would too. Bring your friends.

I have had company for a few days. Delivered the company to the airport yesterday for return to the north country. Flight canceled. The Northeaster. Flights cancelled today, also. At the moment, tomorrow looks good.

Early to the Chart Room last night. Good friend John bartending. Stayed a couple of hours. When I left, standing room only.

It never fails. As soon as the sun has set, tourists come pouring into the Chart Room.

Met some very interesting people.

Cathi and Mark from Atlanta.

We talked of Irma and its impact on Atlanta. Cathi and Mark lost a few trees. I told the story of my being kicked out of an Atlanta hotel after two nights because Irma was coming.

Cathi and Mark married 21 years. She “the best real estate agent in Atlanta.” Mark into finance and insurance.

Both 50ish, considering retirement and buying a home in Key West. Are frequent visitors to Key West. Hope they do opt to live here. They would be welcomed with open arms.

Met a sort of neighbor from upstate New York. George from Rochester. Ninety miles from my home town of Utica.

George unquestionably smart. Spent his career as a Physics Professor at the University of Rochester. Physics was always too heavy for me.

George and I almost contemporaries. He is 87. Sharp.

He used to visit Key West regularly years ago. He was in the Chart Room looking for his old friends Che and British Peter. Che at 83 has become a recluse. British Peter now living in the State  of Washington.

George lived on a boat in days gone by. He still owns the slip on Stock Island.

It was time to eat. I decided to return to Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So good the last time. Knew it had to be good again. It was.

Mary Ellen’s nothing fancy. I would describe it as typical Key West.

Entertainment last night. Dildo races. Electric vibrator dildo races.

Only in Key West.

A two foot board, ten feet long. Tipped forward about 25 degrees. Groved so the dildos would fit just right.

Betting beforehand. Bid on which dildo you wanted. The one you hoped would win. Bidding as high as $20-30 for each dildo.

The vibrators were turned on, the gate opened, and the dildos off and running! Spectators yelling just as if at a race track.

I did not bet.

As I was leaving, I heard the next race announced. The “Don’t Drop the Soap Race.”

Again, only in Key West!

I am still with the happy.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. The President made 11 trips to Key West totaling 175 days. He loved the place!

Truman arrived this day in 1951 for a three week visit. He would be staying at The Little White House.

Now for the unhappy. Two re Trump and one re Secretary of the Treasury Steve Munchin.

Trump announced yesterday steep tariffs beginning next week on steel and aluminum coming into the United States. Twenty five percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The beginning of trade wars. Most of which historically have resulted in depressions and actual shooting wars.

Trump does not seem to care. He thinks he knows what is best.

The tariff increase would be world wide. No country left out.

Canada is our close friend and neighbor. We buy more steel from Canada than any other country.

China is the U.S.’s banker. The U.S. already owes China in excess of $1.3 trillion. We borrow from China almost daily. We never pay back. China always renews the notes.

Woe us if China decided to stop lending and called in the notes.

Trump does not seem to consider all ramifications before he makes a move. To our nation’s detriment.

The market knows what could occur. It dropped 500 points yesterday.

Another Trump catastrophe in the making. Guns, the NRA.

Wednesday he had a White House meeting involving himself, Congressional people, and parents and victims of some of the shootings. He spoke with bravado how something had to be done and he was going to see it got done. Preferably in one bill. He would sign it right away.

Not everyone bought what he was selling. He had been heard before re other important matters and failed when the time came to keep his word.

That was wednesday afternoon. Thursday evening there was another meeting in the White House. Only Trump. Pence and a representative of the NRA. Just the three of them.

The NRA rep was Chris Cox. Cox is the Executive Director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.

The meeting of the three appeared to have been kumbaya. In a tweet following the meeting, Cox reported Trump “does not want gun control.” Trump tweeted re the meeting: “Good (Great) meting in Oval Office tonight with the NRA.”

Trump playing games. He should have had Cox at the public meeting wednesday afternoon. A face to face confrontation between both sides. A no bullshit meeting.

My guess is the NRA will never budge re AR-15’s and other weapons of war. They will hold firm knowing their bought and paid for Congress will do their bidding.

Finally, Secretary of Treasury Steve Munchin. A former Goldman Sachs banker. An asshole first class from my perspective. Always ready to do Trump’s bidding. Not a free thinker. Happy to be Secretary of the Treasury. Beams with the joy of it.

Munchin married a much younger Scottish actress this summer. Good for him. Nothing wrong in it. However, he took his bride on their honeymoon on an Air Force jet that cost $25,000 an hour to operate. Taxpayer dollars. He justified it by claiming his security required it.

The man a pig impressed with his own self importance.

Munchin spoke at UCLA monday. The students were not nice to him.

One student referred to him as an enemy of the people because of the new tax law. Also referred to him as a plutocratic bullshiter.

Students in the audience yelled “I think you’re full of shit.” They denounced the Republican tax bill as an attack on “people who are in poverty.”

Munchin retaliated with wanting the students to identify themselves and the reason why a question was being asked.

The event was being videoed. Munchin had agreed before hand that it could be and later UCLA could run it on its TV network. Munchin withdrew his permission following his speech.

Cell phones are great. Some students videoed Munchin and excerpts can be found on the internet.

College and high school students are close in age. I sense a marriage and movement in the making. The young will not be silenced.

Enjoy your day!



I am despondent this morning. Yesterday’s Senate vote the reason. The vote that passed the Senate Republican version of the tax bill.

What was a question in my mind now a reality. Government as we have known it gone. No longer of the people, by the people, for the people. Now government by and for large corporations and wealthy Americans. The people no longer count.

Patricians rule. Like 5 percent of the population. The rest of the people peons.

Money controls Congress. Its members bought. Thirty pieces of silver.

Michael Flynn. A nail in the coffin.

Finally got hot water yesterday afternoon. Without since tuesday. Cold showers and no shaving during that time.

Simple things do mean a lot. A warm shower!

Frankie the Plumber showed up to correct the problem. He and his wife Sandy friends. If I had known he was the fixer, I would have called him and had hot water the first day.

The problem took less than a minute to correct. The reset button was turned off.

Irma and Me selling. I am running into people carrying it and/or telling me they ordered it. Great!

Irma and Me available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Giorgio’s evening last night! Drinks at the Chart Room. Dinner at the Pier House’s One. I had intended to entertain Giorgio at Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Not able. Hot Tin Roof was having a private party.

Tom and Fran joined us at the Chart Room. One hour of great conversation. Tom and Fran recently joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy. Fran Italian.

Giorgio has decided to leave Key West tomorrow instead of monday. He is moving to the Villages. Already purchased a home there. His Key West home for sale.

I will miss Giorgio. We became good friends in the short year we have known each other.

Kevin and Che at the bar. I have not seen Che in months. He has become a recluse in his old age. He is one year older than me.

I thought it was Irma time again last night. Returned home at 9:30. No TV, wi-fi or land line. Comcast said it would take till noon today to repair. Fortunately, everything was up and running when I rose this morning at 6.

A big day today! I am seeing two friends I have only seen twice in 30 years. Bob and Helen Marks. I was their Best Man. They are in on a Viking cruise for the day. We will be having lunch at Louie’s Backyard.

Syracuse/Kansas tonight. Kansas ranked #2 nationally. An 11 point favorite. Early in the season. Let’s see what happens.

Conflict time tonight. The Christmas Parade. Immediately following the game. Hope to make the parade. Don’t know.

Tiger Woods doing well. In 5th place after two days. Seven strokes off. In the game!

History is a wonderful thing. We learn.

This morning’s Key West Citizen made mention of the cigar business in Key West in 1900. The Key West cigar industry turned out 1.5 million cigars this day alone in 1900.

Enjoy your day!



Over the years, I have asked hundreds of tourists where they are staying, happy with the accommodations, etc. Rarely do I meet those owning and/or operating the hotels, motels and guest houses.

Last night at the Chart Room, I did. Mike, one of the owners of the Grand Guesthouse. A place I have heard about from many visitors. Never once a negative response. All high on the place.

Mike and his wife own and operate Grand Guesthouse. Again, met Mike last night at the Chart Room. A nice guy. Apparently taking a couple of hours off.

The Grand Guesthouse is located on the other side of  Old Town. A quiet residential area. So residential that the Grand blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. Difficult to know from the street it is a guest house. Yet it is. One with 10 rooms, a pool, parking, etc. All the amenities.

The Grand can be found in the 1100 block of Grinnell. Adults only. A ten minute walk from Duval and the Atlantic Ocean.

Prices reasonable. Accommodations beautiful.

The Chart Room was unusually busy last night. John was busy.

Two lovely ladies sitting at the opposite end of the bar from me. The Grand’s Mike in between us.

The gals from Pittsburgh. Carey and Tracey. Carey a bartender. Tracy’s job described by her as inexplicable. I left it at that.

John told me Che alive and well. His nurse Cheryl went to his apartment. Che opened the door for her. He told Cheryl he just did not feel like going out. Two months?????

Che is turning into a recluse. Bad. He is 83. I am 81 and still get out most evenings.

Three guys from London showed up. Two getting married this weekend in Key West. The Pittsburgh ladies and Mike tried to dissuade them. To no avail.

Met a contemporary. Terence. A retired police lieutenant and Superior Court Clerk from Wilmington, Delaware. Contemporaries in that he is 80 years old.

His daughter is an attorney. His son in law into a phase of software. Terence’s wife with them. The four and a granddaughter all staying at the Pier House.

Terence and his wife are the designated baby sitters. Their daughter and son in law go out evenings or sneak away part of a day. The grandparents remain with the granddaughter.

They love it!

My yesterday began with a noon manicure by Tammy.

An amazing business she and husband Rick run. People moving in and out with regularity. Chairs  constantly turning over.

A money maker! Tammy and Rick made it so.

A little grocery shopping on the way home. My cupboard always bare.

Kentucky Derby this afternoon! I have decided to watch it at Don’s Place. The festivities begin at 4. The race at 6.

On this date in 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby. His time, 1:59:40. Best time ever! Still stands!

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade at noon today on Duval. Do not miss it! You will love it! The kids will love it!

Bria Ansara involved in everything Key West. An art educator, she will be doing a pre-parade workshop for kids behind the Custom House at 10. Opening them up to the joys of working with metal.

Tomorrow night at Aqua, Bria is hosting BOY-lesque. An all male review.

Bocce continues to be a disaster. I was there thursday night when the team lost 2 of 3 games. Can’t understand the downward trend after several seasons of top notch play.

Don’s Place was beat by Not Don’s Place. The Not Don’s is Larry Smith’s team. Several years ago, Don and Larry had words over I don’t recall what. Larry changed the name of his team to Not Don’s Place to break Don’s gonads.

Enjoy your day!




Happy Easter!

Happy Holiday!

There are two Easters. One religious, the other not.

The religious Christian. Recognizes Christ rose from the dead……He is risen, He’s not here!

The non-religious for everyone. The Easter bunny, baskets, small yellow candy chicks, chocolate bunnies, etc.

Did the non religious this morning. Just after the sun rose. The annual Easter egg hunt at Lisa’s. In the back yard. Robert and Ally searching for the colored eggs and gifts their parents had hidden.

Something for Jake, also. Never left out. An artificial bone, something to else to chew on, a ball, etc.

Jake as excited as Robert and Ally.

Followed by a huge Easter breakfast prepared by Lisa. Lisa made guzza (guzzad) again. Italian ricotta cheesecake. Second time. Excellent. Vanilla. Told her to move on next year to one with chocolate, cherries, green fruits, etc.

I am invited to four different dinners/gatherings this afternoon. Don’t know if I will make any. May just lay around all day. I am already bloated from breakfast. Will miss the holiday company, however. We shall see.

Began last night at the Chart Room. New bartender Maureen working. Her father bartended at the Chart Room 30 yeas ago for many years. A retired FBI agent. His name Ted. Was known as Ted the Fed.

Then to Hot Tin Roof. Glad I did. Jean Thornton was at the bar having dinner with Eddie. They finished. Eddie left. Jean stayed with me while I ate.

Then back to the Chart Room with Jean.  Che’s birthday last night. Eighty four. God bless him! He was not there. Did not answer his cell phone.

First time Jean met Maureen. They chatted away. Jean liked Maureen and vice versa. A friendship was born.

I drove Jean home. Her bike was broke.

The clamor yesterday on TV rising from the nationwide demonstrations calling for Trump to release his tax returns. Worry not. At some point in time  they will be revealed. Against Trump’s wishes. He will be able to do nothing about it.

The two Congressional committees can subpoenae them. As well as the FBI. Assuming all or at least one will have the balls to do it.

Enjoy this Easter Sunday!


This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Da Vinci’s greatest work, The Last Supper.

On one of my Milan trips several years ago, I was fortunate to view The Last Supper. Overwhelming!

I never realized til the viewing that Da Vinci had painted The Last Supper on a dry wall. It is roughly 15 feet by 28 feet. Contributes to the overwhelmingness.

The Last Supper was painted in the 15th century. Within 60 years, deterioration had begun. Nature, a war, etc. contributed further to its deterioration.

Finally in the 20th century, a 22 year restoration took place. Concluded in 1999.

The painting sits in a large room. The building the room is located in sits next to a large Church. However, The Last Supper is not in the Church. It is in the large room.

I make the distinction because to view The Last Supper before me was like being in Church. Solemn. Respectful.

I sat an hour taking it all in. An emotional time that stayed with me the balance of the day.

My day yesterday began with Lori at Blown Away. Haircut time.

Lori is a runner. Long distance. She recently competed in the KEYS 100 relay race. She ran 16 miles of it.

Lori is a tiny lady. Thin, of course.

She amazes me.

Then around the corner to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch and newspaper reading.

I normally enjoy Cuban cheese toast. Yesterday, I sexed it up. Added ham. Did not like it as much as without. I will be back to the cheese toast alone next time.

The Chart Room first last night. The new bartender at work. Emily has quit. She bought a home and some land in Indiana and will shortly be moving there.

Good luck Emily! You are a good friend who will be missed.

The new bartender is John. Appears to be a nice guy.

A fellow named JT came in. We started talking. Thirty nine years old. Went to Marist College. Majored in history. Has a Masters in education. Engaged now with the Poughkeepsie School District.

JT was a walk on with the Marist basketball team. I had attended Manhattan. The two colleges occasionally meet in basketball. The conversation was interesting.

JT and I had dinner together at the Hot Tin Roof bar.

On the way to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Che was inside. I had not seen Che in months. In fact, I had asked John about him earlier in the evening.

Che is not Cuban. His name misleading. He is a New York City Jew. Extremely intelligent.

Che is the only person I run into occasionally in my night time pursuits who is older than me. He is 86.

It was good to see him. And find him healthy!

Key West gasoline prices have risen in the last 5 weeks. Dramatically. From $2.05 a gallon to $2.63. This is how it began several years ago. I filled my gas tank yesterday. Cost me just over $30. The first time in months I have been in the 30s. Better however than the $60 it cost a couple of years ago.

We are into the Memorial Day Weekend. Tons of incoming US 1 traffic yesterday into the evening. Northern Boulevard busy, also.

There is always one! A man was riding a bicycle. The simple foot operated kind. The type that cannot go fast. He was driving down the Boulevard. In the middle of the driving lane. Ambling along. Not a care in the world. Traffic backed up big time behind him.

The wide sidewalk by the water was empty.

God is good! Sometimes even government.

For whatever reason, the road direction in Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is being changed to make way for a new entrance.  One hundred fifty five trees to be cut down.

Local bird lovers became incensed. The gray kingbird spends several months a year in the trees. A meeting was held. The problem discussed. The government acquiesced. At least 60 of the 155 trees will not be cut down.

This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Maya Angelou having died this day in 2014.

Maya was in Key West one time, as I recall. Her dear friend Oprah planned a party for Maya’s 86th birthday. A long time Caribbean cruise. Referred to as a floating birthday party.

Oprah planned one day of the celebration for Key West. On Sunset Key.

Enjoy your day!