Happy New Year!

To most of the country freezing their butts off, Happy New Year! Hang in there. Warm weather will return. It always does.

I received an early morning Happy New Year from a Utica friend. Minus sixteen degrees! I remember those days. Brutal!

Chilly in Key West last night. I am ashamed to say got down to 65 degrees. I turned the heat on. You would too if you lived here all year long. Your blood thins. You are more susceptible to cold.

Key West very cold around the corner. Temperatures in the 50’s. Tomorrow night, low 62. Then a few days with the high in the mid 60’s and night times in the mid 50’s.

Key West style cold!

I remained in last night. The highlight of my evening the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game. Syracuse won 68-56. Syracuse played terrific!

Virginia Tech came into the game with the top field goal percentage in the nation. 54.5 percent. Fourth re 3 shooting percentage. 43.7. Syracuse kept Virginia Tech well below those numbers.

Syracuse’s defense outstanding! Shooting  much better. The team was making shots. Still need improvement in the shooting area, however.

A tough ACC schedule ahead.

Go ‘Cuse!

I wanted to be awake at midnight to watch the ball fall. Missed it. Woke at 12:15. Watched some blabbing from New York. Found New Orleans at 1 my time for their Happy New Year. Provided me with the thrill of it all.

CNN ran Key West 15 minutes after Sushi came down in the shoe. She was walking around by the time they got to her. Never the less, still good. An attractive Sushi in a bright red dress. She makes all her clothes herself. The crowd huge and noisy.

Key West has more than one person descending something or other at midnight. The pirate wench at the Waterfront always a hit. She (a for real one) comes down from the top of a tall ship’s mast. Other descents include a conch shell, Keys lime wedge, unicorn and a tuna.

Something for everyone!

New Year’s Day was not always celebrated January 1. The early calendar was a mess. Unreliable. Followed the lunar cycle. Changed a bit every year. The bits turned into a large number at some point and adjustments had to be made.

Julius Caesar said enough! In 45 B.C., the Julian calendar took effect. Caesar took a little glory from the event. Quintilis was the original name of July. Caesar changed it to July, naming the month after himself.

In the 1570’s, the calendar was still screwed up. By the year 1,000, the calendar had added 7 days. By the mid 1500’s, 10 days.

Pope Gregory III solved the problem by adding 1 day to the calendar every 4 years. Leap year! Still works today.

The new calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar.

Key West’s Dachshund Walk yesterday a success. More than 200 dachshunds participated.

I receive my daily Key West Citizen via the internet. No January 1 edition this morning. Why? I hope it was not because the Citizen gave its workers a day off because of the holiday. A lot of Key Westers worked yesterday. The Citizen should have also, if such was the reason.

Enjoy your day!


The man who would not die. His name, Rasputin.

History tells us he was a con man supreme, a self-proclaimed holy person, one who caused a royal dynasty to fall. Romanov Russia.

Rasputin helped bring revolution to Russia. He made possible the birth of Communist Russia.

Born Grigory Efinovich Rasputin. To a peasant family. At some point, he underwent a religious conversion. Proclaimed himself a healer.

Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra’s son Alexi was a hemophiliac. Rasputin seemed to have the ability to stop Alexi’s bleeding. The year 1908. From that time forward, Rasputin was an accepted friend, confidant, and adviser to Nicholas and Alexandra. Especially, Alexandra. History believes she had an ongoing affair with Rasputin.

He became a dark influence on the royal family.

All of Russia disliked Rasputin. Nobles, church orthodoxy, and peasants alike. He was constantly drunk, a womanizer, an evil in the Romanov homes. He was concerned not with the best interests of Russia. His concern at all times was his image. Some what like Trump today.

A group of Russian nobles were eager to end Rasputin’s influence over the royal family. They murdered him the night and early morning of December 29-30, 1916.

Even at the time of his death, Rasputin exhibited messianic powers. He was a man who would not die.

The nobles laced his food and drink with cyanide. No effect. They then shot him at close range. He revived and tried to escape. The nobles shot him again. He continued to live.

The nobles finally tied Rasputin up and tossed him into a freezing river.

That did it!

The nobles killed Rasputin. Rasputin killed Romanov Russia. The peasants in due course revolted. In 1922, Soviet Russia was born.

Rasputin put into motion a series of events which even to today affect the world. U.S./Russian relations an example.

Last night, a lovely evening. A charming companion. Catherine.

We dined at Berlin’s. Guy de Boer sitting next to me at the bar. Berlin’s the busiest I have ever seen. Makes sense. Christmas week the busiest tourist time of the year for Key West.

I enjoyed a prime rib again. Terrific! Just the meat and au jus sauce. Part of the Atkins diet.

I am into my fifth week of the diet. Only cheated Christmas eve and Christmas day. I should have lost 15-20 pounds by now. I lost 10 pounds the first week. Not an ounce more since.


I am thinner. Into shirts and shorts one size smaller. I need the pounds off, however. The scale speaks the truth!

Worry not, I will continue with the diet.

Big event tomorrow at noon. The Annual Dachshund Walk. Hundreds will congregate at the Courthouse on Whitehead to watch the parade.

Only in Key West!

Trump upsets me this morning. I saw the news that a small group had protested in Iran. Trump announced to the world how terrible the Iranian government was, good luck to the protesters, etc.

Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and when to speak.

The world is dividing into two camps. Just as Germany and the Allies did prior to World War II. Iran and Russia are friends. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia friends on the other side. Trump should not encourage further division. He has yet to learn it is better to make friends than enemies.

I wonder how Trump would have felt if after Charlottesville, Iranian and Russian leaders spoke out telling the world the U.S. was bad, good luck to the protesters, etc. Trump would have shouted back that each country should mind its own business.

Trump continues to be a growing menace to the health and security of the U.S.

The weather started turning last night. Today’s high projected at 73. The low tonight 64. Cold for us. Warm to my friends up north suffering in low teen freezing cold and tons of snow.

It will continue cold for a few days. Long pants, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. for us. For me, the heat on tonight.

Enjoy your day!



Happy New Year! As with practice safe sex, practice a safe evening. Drinking and driving don’t go together tonight or any night.

Most are aware Harry Truman visited Key West many times. His favorite relaxation venue. Few are aware that Jimmy Carter has been visiting the Keys annually for years. To welcome the New Year. Also, to enjoy a vacation.

I first became aware of Carter and his wife Rosalyn’s visits some 15 years ago. I was visiting Howard Livingston at his Summerland home. He made mention that Carter was staying down the road with friends. Mentioned it to me again the next year.

Carter is here for what has become a traditional post Christmas vacation. This time with an entourage. Carter, wife Rosalyn, one grandchild, ten great grandchildren, and other family members. Some 40 people.

I doubt they are staying with friends with such a large group. However, they are somewhere in the Keys this week.

As evidenced by the story and photos of Carter and some of the great grandkids in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Carter and family were at the Marathon Turtle Hospital. He and the great grandkids helped return rehabilitated loggerhead turtle Salty to the ocean yesterday.

Orange Bowl party last night. At Sharon and Giorgi’s home.

Stan a Michigan grad. An enthusiastic one. We watched the game together in his honor.

Unfortunately, Michigan lost by one point to Florida State. 33-32. Michigan played poorly in the first half. Came roaring back in the second half. The last few minutes compared to the final minutes of a pro game.

In addition to those already mentioned, the group consisted of Donna and Bob, Karon, Matt Babich and fiancée, and Paul.

Typical separation of the sexes. The ladies watched in the living room, the men in the den.

Food outstanding! Sharon, the gracious hostess, had prepared well!

I met Paul for the first time. A retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. We spent quite a while together. Even missed part of the second half of the game. My inquiring mind enjoyed his professional experiences. He performed his professional tasks on the ground, not from a Washington office.

I learned a lot from Paul. An interesting man. I suspect we will get together again for a longer chat.

I have avoided going out New Year’s Eve for several years. Primary problem parking. I prefer remaining home in bed watching the ball fall in New York City and Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street on CNN.

Four drops tonight. Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, La Te Da and the Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. A huge crowd at each venue. Bodies pressed together. By 12:15, the crowd gone. Into the bars or home.

A fun experience. I will do it again sometime when I have transportation to and back.

Dachshund Walk at noon today. Pets dressed for the occasion. Parade begins at Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead.

The Casa Marina Hotel opened this day in 1920. A Henry Flagler enterprise. Still standing and continues to be one of Key’s West’s most beautiful places to stay. The pool and beach atmosphere outstanding.

My daughter Lori was married on the beach some 15 years ago precisely at sunset. It was figured to the minute. The sun broke the horizon as they said their I do’s.

Followed by a black tie reception.

A memorable event.

Everything seems to suggest a kumbaya situation developing between Trump and Putin. Do not rely on it.

On December 29, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a holiday message to President John Kennedy. He told Kennedy he looked forward to a threshold year. He further suggested steps be taken to liquidate centers of military danger.

Kennedy sent a cordial response. Wished the Premier a Happy New Year.

Both messages claimed cooperation one to the other in the coming year.

It was not to be.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. We were on the brink of war. I recall the time distinctly. I was a young practicing lawyer with a wife and four children. I feared war was forthcoming. The resolution boiled down to who would blink first, if at all. Fortunately, Khrushchev did.

What happens if Putin tests Trump? Who will blink first, if at all?

Again, a safe and happy New Year!



Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Blog Talk radio had a technical difficulty last week. My show never aired. Neither I nor listeners were able to get in.

Last week’s lead topic never heard will be presented tonight. The American Christmas Story. Two days after Christmas. The story still fitting. One most of you have not heard. A touch of paganism, its celebration banned in Boston in the late 1600s, not a celebrated holiday during our revolutionary years, A Christmas Carol, Civil War impact, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and on and on till today.

Join me at 9 my time. A quick interesting half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night, Aqua! Monday night. Dueling bartenders time.

Liz and friends Mary and Josefina at the bar. I joined them.

Liz’s relative Christina was there. With Brian. Liz and Christina are related. Christina and Brian Liz’s house guests for the holiday.

Sheila at the other end of the bar. Went over for a kiss.

Tom and Rick singing. Bria a visiting performer. She stopped by for a moment and gave me absolution once more for my poorly expressed thoughts concerning her several weeks ago.

Tom sitting next to me. Met him for the first time. His wife Claire with him. I did not get to talk with Claire unfortunately.

Tom, a retired attorney. A major law firm partner. He and Claire live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Key West visitors for many years. Snowbirds. Presently here for a four month stay.

Claire has an interesting background. Initially, a science teacher. Then returned to school herself and obtained a Doctorate. In statistics. Returned to the working world as a professional statistician.

Walked over to Bourbon St. following Aqua. Bria sings monday nights. I was unaware she would be appearing also at Aqua last night. I enjoy Bria’s singing so treated myself to seeing her twice in one evening in two different venues.

Syracuse basketball tonight. Cornell. Syracuse should win.

The true test of the team’s ability begins January 1 when the ACC starts its season. Syracuse plays Boston College New Year’s Day.

I fear I am going to bleed a lot of orange this season!

Debra and Patrick back in town! Great entertainers. The best. There was a time they spent the season at La Te Da. No more. They moved north to Richmond, Virginia. Return sporadically to Key West.

Tuesday January 3, Debra and Patrick will appear at Virgilio’s as part of Skipper Kripitz’s League of Crafty Musicians. On saturday January 7, they will appear from 5-8 at Salute’s Sunset Happy Hour.

Do yourself a favor. Go listen to Debra sing and Patrick play.

Only in Key West. This saturday at noon the annual Dachshund Walk. Other dogs may participate. Costumes suggested. Noon at the Monroe County Courthouse.

Enjoy your day!


Happy New Year! Happiness, health and prosperity! May all be yours!

The wedding of the year! Don and Stephanie’s daughter Elizabeth married David. The evening outstanding.

The wedding was outside at 7 behind the Firemen’s Museum on Grinnell. One block from Don’s Place. The setting perfect. Massive green lawn covered with white chairs.

The wedding party beautiful! Including the guys! The bride looked especially good. I was impressed with the men’s tuxedos. Normally, rented and ill fitting. Rented last night. However perfect fitting and looked new.

Don wore a white jacket. Distinguished appearing. James Bond reincarnated.

I hate Don. He is so thin clothes fit him perfectly. I have not had such a body since college.

Stephanie elegant. The only way to describe her.

Elizabeth and David cried as they exchanged vows. Brought a tear to most eyes.

The mother is always the one with the responsibility to put a wedding together. School teacher Stephanie, I give you an A+. You pass with honors.

The reception. Stephanie’s A+ covers the reception, also. It is like Part 1 and Part 2 of an examination.

Don’s Place never looked better! Don’s Place could never look better! Shocking!

A huge white tent. Chandeliers. Large round tables with soft linens covering and beautiful flowers. Gold chairs.

A dance floor. Used all evening! Food, the best. Everything tasty.

People blended well. A family wedding with friends added. Family from all over the country. The women all decked out. The men sweating in suits and ties. Obviously not aware of Key West heat.

The wedding of the year!

The reception was to go on past midnight. Hats and other things necessary to welcome the New Year in available. I could not make midnight. I was home in bed sleeping at 10. Woke at 2 and wished myself a Happy New Year!

Everyone was getting married last night.

Sushie wed. Sushi of drag queen fame. Sushie, the photographer. Sushi who has been coming down in a red slipper from the second floor of the Bourbon St. Pub for years.

Last night, Sushi was attired in a lovely white wedding gown. Before making the trip down at midnight, Sushi married long term partner Jeff Kucin.

In front of the thousands waiting for Sushi’s midnight descent in the red slipper.

There are a couple of other things I would like to share. However, the wedding comments are too touching to be joined with anything else. I will add them to tomorrow’s blog.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!