Interesting how nations make war against each other, kill and maim by the thousands, and years later are the best of friends.

Germany and Japan examples.

Further back in history, Great Britain. We fought the Revolution and War of 1812 against the British.

During the War of 1812, the British did a terrible thing. They burned down the White House. On this date in 1814.

Most believe the burning destruction of the White House and other federal buildings was unnecessary. Normally, yes. However the circumstances were not normal. Earlier, U.S. forces had invaded Canada and burned down a number of important British buildings.

Called retribution.

Done, accompanied with an insult.

President James Madison was aware the British would successfully invade Washington. Easily. So easy that the British marched into Washington with no opposition.

Washington’s fate had been decided a day or two before. At the Battle of Bladensburg in Maryland. The U.S. was soundly defeated. Even President Madison fought on the front lines. The first and last commander in chief to actually do so as President.

Washington had to be abandoned. Dolly Madison almost did not make it. Some historians claim she insisted on waiting till a portrait of George Washington could safely be taken down and secured.

The insult did not merely consist of burning down the White House. It included top British generals dining in the White House the evening before.

Brit glory lasted only two days. On August 26, American forces attacked and the British left Washington running with their tails between their legs.

Lunch at 5 Guys yesterday. Craved a big juicy cholesterol filled cheeseburger.

Dinner with Donna in the evening. No Terri. Terri is in New Jersey visiting theater friends. She and Donna meet this weekend in Tampa. Terri begins heavy testing monday to determine if her body qualifies for total bone marrow replacement.

We dined at the bar at Antonia’s. It feels good after all these years to have returned.

TK bartending.

The three of us old timers as far as Key West is concerned. I have been visiting or owned for 26 years. TK and Donna longer. Our discussions centered on Key West. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Confederate statues got into the conversation. I spoke about Mallory Square. TK the Clinton Square statue.

Someone at the bar mentioned white slavery in the U.S. Never heard of it. Partly indentured servants. Most Irish brought over in huge numbers. Etc.

Did a little researching this morning. An interesting subject. I am going to devote my live video on Facebook this afternoon to the subject.

Whites suffered. Rooted from their families, beaten, killed. Not in comparable numbers to blacks. Suffered never the less.

Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead this date in 1992. Total devastation. Homestead wiped out.

I drove through Homestead three weeks later on my way to Key West. The elevated highway still standing. What I saw I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Andrew was a 5. Wiped everything out! Down to the ground! Only an occasional wall left standing.

Tears ran down my cheeks.

Tropical storm Harvey is moving towards Texas. Expected to hit land early saturday morning. Some concern. It is expected to hit as a hurricane. Possibly as high as a 3.

Key West has been buried in rain the past two days. More expected through a week from tomorrow. Could be a spill off from Harvey.

We have read frequently that the Trump’s are bankrupting the Secret Service. An agent’s salary is capped. There are 130 agents protecting the Trump family. Many agents have already exceeded the cap. They are not being paid for heavy overtime. Cannot be without House approval.

What I share, you already know. What you may not know is that many agents are complaining that Trump and family are not treating the agents properly. The agents claim they are being treated like servants.

Bocce season begins tonight. I doubt there will be play. The courts are already soaked. There will be more rain today.

Don will call to advise if the team is playing.

Have to hustle. Haircut time.

Enjoy your day!




It was August 22, 1992. Hurricane Andrew blowing over the Bahamas as a #4. Two days later, it would be over South Florida. Florida City, Homestead and Kendall. Still a #4. some say a #5. Winds reported at 140 miles per hour.

Ninety percent of the communities were destroyed. A U.S. Air Base wiped out.

On my way to Key West three weeks later, drove through Homestead. I had never seen devastation like this. As far as the eye could see in any direction, not a building left standing. Occasionally, one wall.

The scene reminded me of Berlin at the end of World War II.

Hurricanes are part of life in the Keys. I have experienced several. More will come. May we never experience one as bad as Andrew.

Yesterday was column writing time. Every Sunday. Took the afternoon. Researching done the day before.

Title: Teach To The Test Fails. Bush 2’s No child Left Behind Act causing significant problems. Questionable if anything positive resulted therefrom. Examples of the down side will shock you.

The column publishes wednesday.

Last night at the Chart Room was the most valuable I have ever experienced. I learned a lot.

Met Devin. A farmer from Illinois. He owns two properties in Key West. An upscale condominium and a rental property.

Devin and his brother own and operate the farm. Their father before them. Before their father, their grandfather.

I got into Monsanto with him. I have always been under the impression that it was difficult to survive with Monsanto in the picture. He showed me at length how wrong I was. He is happy operating with Monsanto involved.

One of Devin’s crops is soybeans. Soybeans and other things grown find their way to the Far East for ultimate sale.

I live and learn. Forget sometimes there are two sides to a story.

Larry Smith tonight at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The Key West City Commission is seriously considering acquiring the old electric property in Bahama village. Whether to do so is on the ballot for a recommendation vote in November.

Three buildings. Abandoned for 50 years. There are environmental problems. Some resolved, others not. The nots generally not known nor discovered at this time.

Keys Energy will give the property to Key west for nothing. A kicker. Key West has to agree to relieve Keys Energy from any future environmental cleanup. Present numbers set the cleanup of problems known at around $2 million on the high side.

The property is adjacent to Truman Waterfront.

Why Key West is even going to the trouble of a referendum, I do not understand. The building and land are contaminated. As soon as remodeling work begins, further environmental problems will be discovered. Under federal law, the City as owner at the time of cleanup will be responsible. Guaranteed there will be additional environmental problems and they will be in the mullions. It’s the nature of the beast. A former electric company.

The contamination underground could run to the Truman waterfront property.

Nothing for nothing is the saying. The City will be accepting a pig in the poke if it takes title. Beware of those bearing gifts. All that glitters is not gold.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has provided a letter saying no further cleanup required. The City should not buy it. Once a new problem is discovered, cleanup becomes the order of the day.

Only in Key West. A Sheriff’s deputy who works as a correction officer at the county jail has been arrested.

An inmate has been incarcerated since 2013 on cocaine related charges. The deputy offered to help him escape for $400,000. The deal was made. $150,000 to be paid up front. The balance when the guy was out of jail.

The inmate and his lawyer told the authorities. The deputy was set up. When he was paid the $150,000 in the CVS parking lot in Big Pine, he was arrested. Undercover police officers paid him the money.

Enjoy the day!






Twenty three years ago on this day in 1992 Hurricane Andrew demolished Homestead. A category 5 hurricane. They don’t come any worse.

Three weeks later, I drove through Homestead on my way to Key West. I had flown into Miami and intentionally opted to drive so I could see Homestead. What I saw was not nice.

Not a building standing. An occasional wall. Everything else ground rubble. Berlin looked better at the end of World War II.

Andrew has been described as the most fearsome and costliest storm.

I did not drive through Homestead streets. The elevated highway still stood. The same one we drive over today.

Danny is weakening. Good! Wind is fickle. Fortunately so in this instance.

A strange weekend for me. Sunday, monday and tuesday are hard working days. Writing the KONK column and getting ready for my tuesday night blog talk radio show. This weekend I am a day ahead. My column was done saturday instead of sunday. Monday is generally spent preparing for tuesday’s radio show. I did it yesterday. I have one hour of fine tuning which I will do tomorrow.

Which means, today a screw off day for me!

I was able to sneak some golf watching time in. Pleased for David Love III’s winning. He is 51. Unusual for a senior to come out on top.

Tiger Woods played the best he has in years. Came in tenth. Was in the run for the title till he took a triple bogey on 11 yesterday.

It was 7 by the time the golf tournament was over. My sunday nights usually include Roostica for spaghetti, meatballs and sausage. I decided to stay in and cook. Made rigatonis. No sauce. Some oil with salt, pepper and a few ground herbs. Delicious.

Watched Singing In The Rain on TV lat night. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. An old time musical. The great dance and singing scene by Gene Kelly.

The rainy season is upon the Florida keys. It has been raining heavy at some point in the afternoon every day. Not for long.

I sent this week’s KONK Life column to the publisher yesterday morning. Legalization of Prostitution. The column is actually a combination of two. Two years ago, I wrote an article re the effects of Germany’s having legalized prostitution in 2002. I combined the two writings for this week’s column.

I did not cover the moral aspect. Except for a comment by St. Augustine. Something to the effect that prostitution was immoral, but a necessary evil.

Nor did I take a position on the legalization issue.

New Hartford, NY is next door to my home town of Utica. The two actually touch. Cross the street and move from one to the other.

A New Hartford resident made the sports news big time yesterday. His name, Derek Bard. Bard is a junior at the University of Virginia. He was in the finals of the US Amateur. He lost to Bryson De Chambeau, an SMU senior.

I do not know Derek. However, I congratulate him. There is always next year. And then the pros if he is so inclined.

Enjoy your day!