An exciting reunion tomorrow!

Some 30 years ago, I was Best Man at the wedding of Bob and Helen Marks. The wedding took place in the evening in a small candle lit Lutheran Church in Portland, Maine.

Helen wanted to be married there. Her parents were wed in the same Church during World War II. Helen wore the same clothing her mother wore. A maroon suit with an accompanying maroon hat.

It was a cold evening. As cold can be in wintertime Maine. It was  during Carter’s administration when there was a fuel crisis. In the hotel and shopping malls, people worked wearing coats, gloves and fur lined boots.

I went to Portland with a hell of a head cold. Returned with pneumonia. Kidding re the pneumonia. Felt lousy, though.

Bob and Helen and I have probably only seen each other twice over the years.

Bob went on to be a major executive with one the America’s largest insurance companies. For many years, he was Vice-President of its west coast division stationed in San Francisco.

Helen worked with the same company. She became a major executive in her own right. Worked out of the midwest somewhere. She was in charge of all asbestos cases in the United States for the company. Major responsibility!

Both retired. Two homes. One in North Carolina and the other Las Vegas.

They travel. Seems like once a month for years.They have been all over the world.

They are on a Viking Caribbean cruise. The ship stops in Key West tomorrow for the day. We will be together. It will be emotional. A bit of a tear jerker.

I am picking them up in front of Sloppy Joe’s at 12:30. Lunch at 1 at Louie’s Backyard.

I received an e-mail from Bob yesterday. They were leaving last night on a red-eye from Vegas at 11:45.

Probably will pick up the Viking today in Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

I am thrilled!

One of Lincoln’s State of the Union addresses was given this date in 1862. The address’ closing sentence…..We shall nobly save, or manly lose, the last, best hope on earth.

I worry Trump may be leading us to a loss of the last best hope on earth.

Place all Trump’s failures aside, except for two. North Korea and the present problem with Great Britain. The man is crazy and is moving the U.S. further backward by day.

HIVE this morning opened with an apt description of the President: “Good morning dear reader! It was another disheartening day for poor woebegone Donald Trump, a bathrobe-wearing bathmophobic and struggling crisis-management consultant, who occasionally dabbles in racial provocation and genocidal brinkmanship.”

An amusing observation. The White House outdoor Christmas tree was lit last night. Referred to as the National Tree Lighting. One of the hottest tickets in town. Twenty thousand tickets distributed via a lottery. All free.

Normally jam packed. Not last night. Videos show rows and rows of empty seats.

Will Trump claim attendance the biggest ever?

In all fairness, Obama had a similarly small crowd in 2015.

The Senate tax bill a joke were its effect not so serious. The Senate is having trouble bringing it to a vote.

The reason simple. The bill being discussed this morning was redone overnight. Senate Republicans want a tax bill passed. Its contents take a second seat. If and when it comes to a vote, the Senators will be voting for a pig in a poke. Buying blind. Few if any will have read the bill. There has been no debate.

This is what our government has come down to. Rush laws through. The glory of a new law important. Its impact not so.

Today is World AIDS Day. Key West was greatly impacted when the AIDS virus struck. The community came together to help their own. Gay and straight alike.

AIDS not the life taking danger it was. Fortunately.

At 4:30 today a candlelight parade will begin at City Hall and march to the AIDS Memorial at the White Street Pier. The Memorial a sight to behold if you have not seen it.

My friend Dee was one who came to the assistance of AIDS victims in Key West. She had graduated from Boston University with a Ph.D in Psychology. She came to Key West considering opening a practice. Instead she ended up working for AIDS Help. Twenty five years.

Dee made significantly less money than she would have in private practice. It was the cause and the need that attracted her. Now retired, Dee feels she had a satisfying career helping those afflicted with AIDS. She is proud of her work with AIDS victims.

Santa Claus tonight from 6-8 at the Historic Seaport. Take the kids!

Giorgio tonight, also. He leaves Key West monday for good. Sad because he is a great guy. Irma got to him. Also his health. He’s afraid the helicopter might not make it to Miami in time. Drinks at the Chart Room and then dinner.

Tom and Fran from Buffalo will be joining us.

Enjoy your day!



The U.S. has had boots on the ground in 17 different countries since 9/11. Military involvement. Too much by any measure.

One of the reasons our country easily goes into these different countries to war is that most American people are not involved on a personal basis.

We have a volunteer military. No draft. Only those that want to go, go. We are not meeting the the military’s goals number wise. The quality of those volunteering is less than desirable mentally, drug wise and in other respects.

If there was a draft, Congress would be reluctant to vote monies for more and more wars. The people back home would be on their asses if they were committing their husbands, children and grandchildren to go in harm’s way.

During World War II because of the draft, everyone was involved on the home front as well as the war front.

Another method existed for citizen participation. Rationing. Painful in its own way.

Coffee one of the items rationed. Coffee came from Latin America. Military needed coffee more than the folks back home. Also, demands placed on shipping a contributing factor to the rationing of coffee.

Then there was gasoline. Imagine, each car owner got only 3 gallons a week. Butter, also. The boys at the front required it more.

Rationing gave those on the home front a hand in the war. A way to sacrifice, to participate personally.

The way things work today without a draft  or rationing, the home front is not a front. Those at home rarely feel the consequences of the wars. Unless a volunteer returns home dead or maimed.

Lunch yesterday at Five Guys. Second day in a row. A cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce leafs. Followed by minimal grocery shopping for the diet at Publix.

Ran into Giorgio at Publix. His Key West home for sale. He and Sharon are moving to central Florida. Irma evacuation got to him. Also, he needs to be close to good hospitals. The helicopter ride to Miami might get him there too late.

Giorgio is President of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. We have become good friends since I joined. I will miss  him.

Giorgio and I are having a farewell dinner together friday night. Drinks at the Chart Room and diner at Hot Tin Roof.

Last night my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. One of the better ones. Got into Muslims yesterday and today, the Catholic Church’s involvement in the First Crusade, the new Islamic Coalition comparable to NATO, etc.

Tragedy and pleasure struck yesterday. No hot water. Showered in the cold.

Tenancy has it advantages. Telephoned the rental manager. He came over and checked things. Unable to fix. He will have a repair man here today.

When I owned, it would have been my headache to arrange and pay for repair. Like it better this way.

Trump has enough on his hands. What with North Korea and the tax bill. Never the less, he seems to find time to return to the foolish. Yesterday, it was revealed he is back into the birther issue. He has returned to his original position: Obama was not born in the U.S.

When the sexual harassment issue hit the news several weeks ago, I said on my Facebook live video show Key West Lou Live that to a smaller degree women bore some responsibility. The was they dressed. Sexually. An invitation to wrongdoing by man.

No one else took a similar position till yesterday. Angela Lansbury. Now 92, a British Dame, former star of Broadway and Hollywood.

Lansbury said women’s efforts at beautifying themselves had “backfired.” Left them at risk of sexual harassment, encouraged sexual harassment. Women in some instances take the blame.

Lansbury added however that here was no excuse for men who prey on women.

Enjoy your day!



Simply stated…..Yesterday relatively quiet.

Laid around at home in the afternoon watching the PGA.

First stop in the evening was the Bottle Cap. A fundraiser for Sisters. I was there at the specific request of Donna and Terri.

Never heard of Sisters before. A big hearted and welcomed organization for those in need. Specifically, sick persons. Very sick.

Most Key Westers live paycheck to paycheck. No money set aside for emergencies. Now comes cancer. Can’t work. Can’t pay ordinary bills like the rent.

Sisters steps in. Pays certain everyday expenses such as rent for a brief period. A bridge for the afflicted and unable to work.

Terri was a beneficiary of such relief when she was first diagnosed.

Terri sang last night as part of the program. Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Touched everyone.

Mostly women in attendance. I noticed they were hugging and kissing at different times. More so than normal. I could understand why. Many had been stricken and survived. They were hugging some who helped them get through the early days economically.

Carmelo one of Bottle Cap’s owners. His birthday yesterday. I ran into him at the event. I was pleased to be able to shake Carmelo’s hand and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Then to dinner at Duffy’s with Donna and Terri. Terri all excited. In a few weeks she will be back in Tampa for further tests and word whether her body is prepared to receive some drastic life saving activities.

Today, Robert and Ally day. Sure I have it correct this time!

Lunch and then a visit to a new place. Key West Room Escape.

I look forward to my time with them.

Tonight, more fun! A party at Giorgio’s home. Giorgio President of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. Summertime. No meetings. Giorgio and Sharon having a social evening at their home for club members.

Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon have joined. Fran is of Italian extraction. This will be their first meet with the group.

Trump said yesterday Venezuela should watch out. Indicated he was considering military intervention.

The guy is nut! He’d consider bombing Little Bo Peep!

Venezuela’s problem is four years old. A smoldering civil war in the making. However until the past two months, the people have failed to fight. They protested in numbers. no violence, however.

Now, they fight a bit. Not enough. Some killed. Not a significant number.

Two reasons we do not belong in Venezuela.

First, it is a civil war. None of our business. Second, if the people will not fight in sufficient numbers and force the overthrow of Maduro, why should the U.S. intervene? God helps those who help themselves first.

Enjoy your day!


Orange Bowl tonight! Michigan/Florida State. Michigan a 7 point favorite.

I am watching the game with several of my new found Sons of Italy brethren. At Giorgio’s home.

Whether the old stadium or new, it is still the Orange Bowl to me. In the past 25 years, I have watched Syracuse and Super Bowl at both stadiums. Twice chartered a plane and flew myself and several friends in. Another time came down on a friend’s 165 foot Viking.

It was the life!

Let me stay with sports a moment. Syracuse beat Cornell earlier this week. The ACC starts New Year’s Day. Syracuse will be playing Boston College at noon.

I was Liz’s guest yesterday at lunch. Antonia’s. Excellent lunch. Exceptional company. Liz brought me a canister of homemade Xmas cookies. The woman an outstanding cook! Delicious!

Noon today with Tammy for a manicure. Tammy brightens a person’s day.

Today, the quiet before the storm. Tomorrow, New Year’s Eve.

Key West filled up. Many visitors this week.

I have seen Sushi and the ball fall several times at midnight. Sushi at Bourbon Street. The ball at Sloppy Joe’s. Both fun events. Crazy!

There is a Key West group that has been around several years. The Southernmost Drinking Liberally group. A bunch of progressive Democrats getting together to imbibe and discuss/argue politics. The first meeting of the year is next week on January 5 at the VFW on Northern Boulevard.

I plan on going. Should be interesting. It will be nice to be with “my people.”

There is a photo on the Southernmost site of the inaugural Key West meeting 9/5/14. Clearly visible, Sheila of Chart Room fame!

The group not isolated to Key West alone. There are 214 nation wide. Described as a phenomenon. Face to face old style 19th century bar room politicking. Engagement the goal, not inebriation.

Prior to yesterday, December had five days where the blog clicks were high. Yesterday exceeded the five days by 25 percent. Wow!

Today, a sad day for lovers of Jewish deli sandwiches.

Carnegie Deli is the last standing such deli in mid Manhattan. Carnegie closes its doors today. Its run 1937-2016. Seventy nine years.

My favorite was hot pastrami on rye with Russian dressing. Three inches of pastrami on 2 slices of thin rye bread. Absolutely delicious! Good for the arteries! A big time cholesterol hit!

Wind blowing big time this morning. Straight down from the north. Palm trees bending. Howling wind. White caps coming in off the ocean.

Enjoy your day!