The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!



Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Don Rickles died this past week. He was 90 years old.

Rickles was a comedian extraordinaire! His type comedy off the beaten track. Insulting! Over the top so!

A stand up comedian, he was like a bull getting the best of the matador. He gored his subject matter. Generally, some one in the audience.

I was his victim one time.

It was the mid 1970’s. I was staying at the Plaza in New York City. Rickles was performing at the Copacabana. The shows were 7 and 9. I wanted to see the 9 o’clock show. No room at the inn. Seating only available for the 7 o’clock show.

I would not be seeing Rickles.

My room was on the back side of the Plaza. I had to use the small elevator at the back of the first floor to get to my room.

In was late afternoon when I got in the elevator. No one else on the elevator. As the doors were closing, a body came bursting through. It was Don Rickles.

We nodded to each other. I started in. Explained my desire to see the 9 o’clock show, no room, etc. Could he help? Took a piece of paper and pen out of his pocket. Asked my name and wrote it down.

He told me to enter through the front door of the Copa. Ignore the long line waiting to get in. Ask for a Mr. somebody. The elevator stopped, doors opened and Rickles was gone.

I was thrilled.

I was dressed and ready early. The Copa was walking distance from the Plaza. As I walked by the Pierre, I decided there was time for a drink. The Pierre bar one of the most intimate in New York City.

As luck would have it, I met a young lady from Paris. We started talking. I asked if she would like to join me for the Don Rickles show at the Copa.

She was as thrilled as I was. She picked her extra long mink off the back of her chair and dragged it behind her as we went out the door.

The Copa at this point was two blocks away. We arrived. The line was long outside. I followed Rickles’  instructions. We walked in without waiting. Mr. somebody was there. He asked us to sit at a table on the side and brought us drinks.

The show at the Copa was not on the first floor where we were seated. The show room was in the basement.

After the long line had gone through, my Parisian friend and I were alone in what was a big room also. Had we been forgotten?

Mr. somebody suddenly appeared and escorted us downstairs. The room was packed. He snapped his fingers and all of a sudden two waiters showed up, one carrying a small table above his head. We and the table were escorted right up front. Not even first row. A step beyond.

A bottle of champagne appeared.

To truly image the Copa, recall Goodfellas. Several scenes were shot in the room.

I thought how lucky I was to have run into Rickles. The treatment was top shelf.

Rickles came out. It took him all of three minutes to attack me. I was the show! For a half hour. He beat me, abused me, made fun of me.

Told the crowd how I asked him for help in getting a reservation. Who did I think I was, he asked. Made fun of my nose which he said was large. I did not know it was large till that moment. Accused me of being a Jew.

As to Paris, he said she’s too good looking to be your wife. Has to be your girl friend. Asked her if I was taking good care of her. Figured I must be as he pointed out her mink coat on the back of her chair which was partially lying on the floor. Then looked at me and asked if she was good.

So it went for thirty minutes. Not one second’s break. Everyone laughing, including me.

After the show, he came over, shook hands and apologized. Which was not required. We chatted  a few minutes and he was off.

There was no charge for anything.

A fun evening.

Enjoy your day!


When first the Key West Citizen decided to run an 1855 diary by Key West resident William Hackley, I was excited. After a few readings, disappointed. I was learning nothing. Then I started getting glimpses of Hackley’s life. Today, I am in with both feet. Love Hackley’s diary!

Hackley’s wife had a baby. Home born. Mother breast feeding. Mother’s milk supply not sufficient. Hackley ordered a goat from Havana. The goat finally arrived. The goat had recently born a kid. The goat’s milk was not right. Not in its prime.

Baby not doing well.

I anxiously await further readings to see how the milk problem was resolved.

Think my friends how lucky we are today. New mothers can breast feed or open a can and pour the milk into a bottle. Babies never in danger.

Yesterday morning, the anti-gravity treadmill. I am pushing myself. I am finally into a good health kick.

My time, 30 minutes. What I usually did. Took me a couple of of months to get back to that number. Speed back to normal also. Gravity the item to be corrected. I am moving at 50 percent of the gravity level I was accustomed to. I am reluctant to push higher at this time.

Jenny is taking good care of me. She is watching every part of my work out. Pushing me in her soft quiet manner.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for Cuban toast and cold Cuban coffee. Sat quietly and read the newspapers.

The Cuban Coffee Queen prides itself on its ice cubes being frozen Cuban coffee. I noticed yesterday that my drink had half coffee cubes and half regular cubes.

It was too busy to ask the staff why. Next time, I will ask Ruby if the Queen is cutting back or merely running out.

Publix does not have everything. I stopped at GFS/Gordon’s for a couple of items. The place being remodeled. Big time. Nothing where it was. Staff told me products will be displayed in different spots when remodeling complete.

I hate that.

I ran into Tonya Colston while in GFS/Gordon’s. Never met her before. Have seen her around town. She has a distinctive hair do. Punk style. Natural color. Actually, looks good on her.

I told her I had recently seen her picture with her wife in KONK E-Blast. She was surprised. She had not seen it. A nice lady. We will remember each other when next we meet. She, easy to recall. Me, maybe not. I have no hair.

This good health kick includes eating. I am trying to cut my food consumption by 50 percent. Means the refrigerator is empty. Extremely little. I had to stop at Publix for a few things. Very few.

Spent the afternoon researching for my blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Love doing this podcast. One half hour beginning at 9. Fast moving opinionated talk by me.

Topics tonight include Congress going on a seven week vacation without appropriating any money for Zika, Venezuelian people down to eating their pets, 3,500 young people demonstrating in Berlin over the weekend, German people upset with rapes and sexual abuses by immigrants, New York Times reporting this morning that there is no racial bias in police reported shootings, an overview of this week’s KONK Life column The New Prostitution, and more.

Roostica for dinner. Limoncello wings. Different! Delicious!

Tiny Key West can make claim to many firsts. One is desalinization. Turning sea water into drinking water.

The first desalinization plant in the United States was constructed in Key West in the 1840s. To provide water for troops stationed at Fort Zachary Taylor.

Today, modernized plants. Desalinization plants on Stock Island and Marathon. A back up water supply. Three million gallons a day.

I was born and raised Catholic. Went to a Catholic high school. A massive Church part of the high school complex. St. John’s.

Occasionally, I would hear from my non Catholic friends that Catholics were storing guns in the basement of St. John’s Church. For the coming fight with Protestants. Did not make sense to me. Never heard a priest or nun speak adversely of Protestants. Never had been in the basement of the Church. It was off limits. Locked.

On this day in 1871, a major riot occurred during a parade in New York City between Protestants and Catholics. The Protestants known as Orangemen. The Catholics, Irish Catholics. Trouble was expected. Fifteen hundred police officers and five regiments of the national guard called to keep the peace.

There was no peace. Sixty died. Mostly Irish laborers. Injureds in the hundreds.

There were other riots/fights in 1870 and 1871.

The Protestants hated the Catholics. The Catholics, the Protestants.

The Catholics were primarily immigrants. Irish. The Irish hated the Protestants because they were constantly abused by them. The Protestants disliked the Catholics who were immigrants with strange ways unfamiliar to the Protestants.

Enjoy your day!



Venezuela in the news again. The country that ran out of toilet paper two years ago. Then it ran out of milk, shampoo, soap, and who knows what else.

It was reported yesterday that Venezuela has run out of condoms. Almost as bad as running out of toilet paper!

Actually, quite serious. Venezuela is in the midst of an HIV epidemic. Most had gone to condom use. The supply is gone. For some reason, President Maduro cannot figure out a way to replenish the condoms.

Assuming some can be found, the cost of a 35 condom pack is $755. Almost $21 per. $755 is close to Venezuela’s average monthly salary. A whole month’s salary to continue enjoying sex!

The wait in line comment refers to the long lines the Venezuelan people stand in to buy anything. Generally, a mile long. Twenty abreast. Then when they enter the store, there is no food or supplies on the shelves.

I am a Civil War buff. Wrote two term papers while in college concerning various aspects of the war. Key West’s Fort Zachary Taylor is having a Civil War era reenactment. Starts today. Runs through sunday. Should be interesting. Soldiers from both sides running around in uniforms, canons roaring.

Screwy weather the past 36 hours. It rained all day yesterday. At night, a howling wind. From the northeast. At least 20 mph. I could hear it all night. Whistling through the trees, banging on my windows.

This morning the sun is shining. Not one cloud in the sky. Everything bright and shiny. The wind still with us, however. Bending the palm trees.

I stepped out on the deck to look things over. The wind was so strong during the night that my deck chairs blew all over. One was resting in the pool.

Got cold during the night! Temperature dropped to 61 degrees. It was the kind of night I wished I had a warm body next to me. At 7 this morning, the temperature was 63 degrees.

The high today is projected at 72. Cold for Key Westers. Warm to visitors.

Cheryl, where ever you are in central Florida, your derriere has to be cold cold!

I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon researching next week’s KONK Life column. I have decided to write about the National Football League’s tax exempt status. $9.5 billion annual earnings. No taxes paid.

I plan on writing the column this morning.

Enjoy your day.