My birthday continued into last night. Donna and Terri invited me to dinner. I did not realize they were going to do Happy Birthday.

I was greeted with Happy Birthday as I arrived. Imagine Terri’s crescendo! Drinks followed by a home cooked meal by gourmet chef Donna.

After dinner, Happy Birthday cake. Unexpected. Home baked brownies topped with whip cream. And two candles: One an 8, the other a 2.

Happy Birthday sung again!

Gift, a bottle of Beefeaters.

Received an e-mail from Joseph. Biblical. He thanked me for letting him participate in the “Feast of my Nativity.”

Joseph is 69. Ailing from a back surgery more than a year ago. Not perfect yet.

Joseph is 69. Short and thin. A white beard and mustache. Needs a cane. His cane is a rod. A six foot wood pole.

I refer to Joseph as John the Baptist since he began using the pole.

I spent yesterday doing nothing. Laid around all day. I was beat! Moving and unpacking had taken its toll. Shot!

My new neighborhood is a delight to behold. Cute single family homes. Greenery everywhere. Trees arching over the roadway.

Decided I would try to walk again. The peaceful surroundings called out to me.

I walked this morning. Early. Out of bed, into shorts and sneaks. Before I said, screw it!

The walk delightful. Once around a block. All of 10 minutes. I am starting off slow. Want to succeed this time.

Three popular Key West events on going or imminent.

Mel Fisher Days began thursday and end today. The event is to commemorate Fisher’s discovery of the Spanish galleon Atocha.

Mango Fest next saturday July 15. Bayview Park. All kinds of activities and mango foods. Sponsored by the Key West Police Athletic League. The League supports and participates in all kinds of children’s activities.

Finally, one of the best. Hemingway Days! Ten days of Hemingway fun beginning July 18. Including the Running of the Bulls, the Hemingway Look Alike Contest, and Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway Birthday Party.

The things I learn from William Hackley’s life. His diary for this day in 1856 records Hackley paying the rent on his Key West home. Paid for six months with a $450 Treasury warrant. Works out to $75 a month.

Can’t rent anything for $75 a month anymore! Hackley’s rent today would be at least $3,000 a month.

Hemingway. One of Key West’s most famous citizens.

On this day in 1918, Hemingway was 18. World War I three years old. The United States not yet in the war.

Hemingway wanted to participate. He joined the American Red Cross and was stationed in northern Italy as an ambulance driver.

While serving on the front, a mortar shell went off near him. Hemingway was seriously injured. Spent quite a while in the hospital because of shrapnel wounds. One leg especially beat up.

During his hospital stay, he fell in love with a nurse. A serious romance. After he returned home and was arranging for her to follow him, his loved dumped him for a lieutenant of royal lineage.

While living in Key West, Hemingway worked on his manuscript A Farewell to Arms and had the book published.

The book  reflected on northern Italy during World War I, the experiences of a Red Cross ambulance driver, his love affair with a nurse, and the tragic ending of the love affair. The nurse love died in the book.

Hemingway’s actual war time life experiences formed the basis for his first best selling novel.

In 1962, the movie PT-109 was filmed on Munson Island in the Keys. Pt-109 was the war time story of John Kennedy and his heroic experience following the sinking of PT-109.

A lot of local background.

Munson Island was owned at the time by Sheriff John M. Spottswood. Subsequently to become a Florida State Senator.

Kennedy was visiting Key West if my memory proves correct for a meeting with Great Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillan. Spottswood was close to Kennedy. He suggested a good place to shot the movie was Munson Island which he owned. Munson Island became the place.

Munson Island today is Little Palm Island.

Spottswood had five children. He was the patriarch of the family. A Key West icon. His children all successful today and respected community leaders. I only know one. Robert and his wife, Elena. Two fine people.

Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie.

I met Robertson 12 or more years ago at the Mel Fisher Museum. The Museum was kicking off a national fund raising campaign. Robertson was honorary chairman.

The good looking young vital man of PT-109  days was now aged. Never the less, dapperly dressed and sharp of wit.

A Trump observation. He is out of his class at the G20 meeting in Hamburg. In over his head. Especially with Putin.

Enjoy your day!



Pamplona, Spain and Key West were one yesterday. The Running of the Bulls!

I was there. Hemingway look alikes. Dressed Pamplona style. White shirts and pants. Red berets and waist bands. White hair and beards, of course.

The bulls machete and wood on wheels.

The race as in Pamplona. Pure chaos. If real bulls, several of yesterday’s Hemingways would be no more. Fun to watch. Exciting.

Paula Deen in Key West again this year for Hemingway Days. Her husband Michael Grover a Hemingway look alike contestant. I did not see her this year.

Lunched at the Pier House Beach Bar afterwards. Duval was too busy and hot with all the people. Chatted with Janine.

I have always had difficulty spelling Janine’s name. What I am writing today is correct. First time I have had it right. I mentioned my problem with spelling her name. I added it was fortunate her sister Mary had a simple name. Janine looked at me and said no she doesn’t. Her name is spelled Mari. With an i and not a y.

Ran into Michael at the Beach Bar. Michael was already a Key Wester when I started coming 26 years ago. I first met him at Atlantic Shores. He was a regular. Bare assed and bronzed. I had not seen him in 15 years. He is still bronzed. As to bare assed, I do not know. He was not yesterday.

Spent some time later in the afternoon researching this week’s KONK Life column. More research to do and then writing it. Will be done today. The topic/title Harry Truman’s Mother In Law.

Dinner at Roostica last night.

Lobster Mini Season a few days away. Wednesday and thursday. Thirty thousand expected for the event.

This is year 50 for Christ of the Deep. A 9 foot bronze statue of Christ was planted under water in the John Pennekamp State Park near Key Largo fifty years ago. Only 25 feet down, many have seen and enjoyed the statue. Even to the point of touching Christ’s hands and face.

Heard from Anna again. She is still on Amorgos. Has a problem. She has to be out of her accommodation 7/31. Her ferry boat reservation is for 8/5. She is having trouble finding a room. No wonder. Things are cheap in certain areas of Greece this season. Even cheaper on a small hidden away island such as Amorgos. A place that has few accommodations to start.

Maybe she will have to sleep on the beach.

Anna tells me there are many French tourists. The reason is that a good portion of the French movie Le Grand Bleu was filmed in the waters off Amorgos. The French and others visit because of the film. It was a winner when first filmed. Won many awards. Today, a cult film.

The car works. The key turns easily.

Enjoy your Sunday!