There was a time and a man who viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. It was the mid 1930s. The man, Julius Stone.

The 1930s was depression time across the United States. Key West especially hard hit. It was the end of the world. Hard to get to. Little business. No work. Monroe County had filed for bankruptcy.

Julius Stone was the WPA administrator for the State of Florida. He considered things so bad in Key West, that he opened a WPA office there. Only the second in the State.

Stone saw tourism as the way for Key West to improve its economy. He was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

One of his efforts to improve quality of life in Key West was to have a play locally produced. The Pirates of Penzance.

The historical goodies I share with you I did not find. Credit belongs to snowbird Diana Millikan. Diana is writing a play about Julius Stone and The Pirates of Penzance endeavor. She keeps me informed.

Diana has discovered a rich source of information. The Kennedy Cafe mornings. Elderly conchs meet every morning for coffee and talk. A breakfast club of sorts.

Diana says it is like pulling teeth to get information out of them. She is succeeding, however. A step at a time.

She met Jesse. A woman in her 90s. Her married name she was not able to get. However, her maiden name was forthcoming. Watkins.

Jesse was in attendance at the play on February 19, 1935. She recalled the event vividly. She said George Wills was the leading man. Handsome.

She attended the play with her two older sisters. Diana reported one of the sisters became President of a local bank. Sounds strange for the times. It might have been the woman’s husband.

The write up in the newspaper the next day listed a Mrs. Joseph Cates as seamstress. Diana is trying to find out if the 1935 Cates is a relative of today’s Mayor Cates.

Burt Lancaster was one of America’s great actors. He died at 80 this date in 1994. Lancaster and Key West touched two times.

Lancaster’s first movie was The Killers. The movie was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

He actually filmed a movie in Key West. The Rose Tattoo. The movie was based on Tennessee William’s play of the same name. The movie was filmed in a house on Duncan Street. Williams lived on one corner of the block and The Rose Tattoo house was on the other.

The Cannonball Run is coming through Key West saturday. Will be on Duval and Front Streets around 3.

The Cannonball is composed of a group of men who own special cars. They like to drive them on strange roads in strange places. Duval not one of those places. However Key West not the destination. The group is headed for Havana, Cuba.

I have a neighbor down the street who participates. He is on in years. The Run is one of the more important events in his live. He has a 1906 or 1914 Rolls Royce. In tip top shape. When last I spoke with him, he had just returned from a run in New Zealand. The cars at some point are shipped to the final destination.

Screwworms on the move. No longer just on Big Pine and No Name Key. Have expanded into Big Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Cudjoe, Ramrod and Summerland Keys. Flies have been found in each place.

The last time there was a screwworm infestation was 30 years ago. Things have become sufficiently bad that the State of Florida has declared a State of Emergency exists.

Tammy for a manicure/pedicure yesterday. Ran into Kate Miano who was getting a pedicure.

Kate is one of Key West’s most dynamic women. Owner of The Gardens. Note that Sunday at the Gardens has opened. Sundays from 5-7. Great music. Good drinks. Excellent company. Mostly locals.

The Judy Wood memorial celebration this evening from 5-7 at Tavern ‘n Town. Sad. Her death continues to bother me. And I did not know her well. Only from the bar.

Afterwards, I shall be off to bocce to watch Don’s Place play. Numero Uno!

Goombay tomorrow night!

The third and final Presidential debate was last night. Trump consistent. An ass. Hillary handled herself well.

Enjoy your day!



Dueling Bartenders unusually good last night.

Goddess Galore’s appearance outstanding! Her singing special! She added something extra to her songs. Whether tip toeing around the bar or singing from the dance floor.

Beatrix Dixie dressed in black. Wow! A beauty. She told me she almost wore her nails for me last night.

Sheila with friend John at the bar. Sheila agrees Beatrix is a beauty. A woman in every regard. Butt and boobs. Legs. Lovely face. Great hair.

Four tourists from Denmark at the bar. Before I could get to them, they had left.

No Liz. In Tampa for a wedding. Mary and Josefina at Aqua without her.

Drove over to La Trattoria Oceanside for dinner. Ran into Mary Lou and Charlie. We ate together at the bar. Marylou had just returned from Nappa Valley where she had been for a week.

A better couple does not exist.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. A lot of politics. Could not be avoided at this stage of the campaign.

Mostly Trump.

Topics include business being down 58 percent at Trump hotels, some Trump and Putin, Trump not all there, Trump anti-SNL, Trump wants drug testing before wednesday’s debate, a Republican headquarters in North Carolina firebombed.

A German mayor who was beaten unconscious because he wanted to build housing for immigrants, trust in press and government down dramatically since 1960s, Rotterdam wanting compulsory contraception for druggies and poor women, stats on sex crimes by police, and more.

Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting commentary.

High tides still a problem. Yesterday morning, I watched the tide coming in from my deck. The highest I have seen in years. This morning the tide is out. Water level two feet plus less than yesterday morning.

Judy Wood’s memorial service will be held thursday from 5-7 at Tavern ‘n Town.

We are getting closer! Fantasy Fest begins friday. Goombay!

I should buy a set of body paints and brushes. Breast painting earns big dollars. $75-$150. Consider the canvas being painted!

Syracuse/Boston College saturday. I watched the game for many years. Every other year in Boston. Always made the trip.

The only negative was the game was played in an outdoor stadium. Generally cold that time of the year. I was unaccustomed as Syracuse’s Carrier Dome is covered.

In spite of the cold, the weekend was always a ball. Several couples. We stayed at the lovely Boston Harbor Hotel. Dinner saturday night always at the same place. The Blue something restaurant. I cannot remember the name of the fish that made up its name.

The restaurant was casual and laid back. On the harbor. directly across from Lewis’ Wharf. Maine lobsters and fried clams galore. Loved the meal!

Boston College a 4.5 point favorite. After last week’s game, I am back to hoping.

Last but not least, we are all aware the Republican headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina was firebombed and a swastika/negative words written on a wall.

I question who did it. I await the investigation results. Would not surprise me if everyone is surprised when the perpetrators become known.

Be that as it may, a Democrat group issued the call for $10,000 to be raised to repair the damage. Within 40 minutes, $13,000 had been raised.

Would Republicans have done the same were the situation reversed? I doubt it.

Enjoy your day!


There is good and bad to everything. Many times the bad is hidden/forgotten. Especially in the instance where the something bad has turned with the passage of time into a shining gem.

It is the story of leprosy and Key West. One I only learned this past week.

Diana Millikan is a snowbird. Interested in history. Digs every day into Key West’s background. She brought the leprosy part to my attention. I merely read what she provided.

There was a concern on her part that perhaps nothing should be written re the subject. A negative report. I initially agreed. Then decided that what was was. Let it all out.

The Biblical plague of all time is leprosy. Monroe County, and especially Key West, had a large number of leprosy victims residing here. It was another time, another century.

Once as many as 100. One of the largest numbers in the United States. None of the victims caught the dread disease here. It was brought from the outside into the Keys.

Leprosy is not contagious. One human to another. Don’t laugh. Leprosy is spread by armadillos. I do not recall armadillos inhabiting this area.

Today, leprosy is treatable. Persons affected are no longer isolated. Since 1942, a drug called Putome is available to cure leprosy.

The problem still exists. About ten cases a year in the United States. I do not know when the last case was reported in the Key West area. Note however that two Key West doctors list in their areas of expertise leprosy.

When leprosy was rampant, U.S. residents were shipped off to Carville, Louisiana. That is where they were isolated, lived. Five thousand patients over the years. The leprosy facility was closed by the government in 1999. No new business.

However, ten elderly residents remain. They never left. They have lived there their whole lives. They were born in Carville.

James Carville comes into play. James of Democratic political fame. His great grandfather was Postmaster of the Carville area for years. Carville, Louisiana is named after him.

I received sad information from Lynda Frechette this morning. Judy Wood is dead. The exuberant charming Tavern ‘n Town bartender. I will provide more information as received.

My intent last night was to hear Terri White sing at La Te Da at a Fantasy Fest King Fundraiser for Christopher. Then to The Little Room Jazz Club to attend Larry Smith’s birthday celebration.

Made neither. For some reason, I became extremely exhausted in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in bed.

Syracuse/Virginia Tech saturday. Virginia Tech a 17 point favorite.

I wish the football season would end!

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon. Then lunch at Jay’s new Cuzzy Bubbaz. It opened two days ago.

Enjoy your day!


One of Key West’s nicest persons is Judy Wood. Always a smile and a cheery hello. Judy is one of the bartenders at Tavern ‘n Town.

Last week, Judy had a heart attack. In Winn-Dixie. She is presently in intensive care at the Lower Keys Medical Center.

A prayer is in order.

A tough lady, lets hope she makes it.

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town for me. Bobby Nesbitt time.

The three ladies at the corner of the bar closest to Bobby Nesbitt. Lizabeth, Mary and Josefina. They  must show up at 3 in the afternoon to get the seats. A brief hello and peck on Liz’s cheek.

I sat at the other end of the bar.

Liz came over later to chat. A lovely lady. A knock out. In a black dress. Sexy. A compliment to her 82 years.

Lori and her husband arrived for dinner. Lori has been doing my hair at least 15 years. I had a full head when we started. Always sweet. Takes care of Lisa and the grandkids, also.

Met Jamis. She was sitting one seat away at the bar. An empty seat between us. Stayed empty the entire two hours we were together.

Not sure if I liked her.

Her background not a problem. She presently lives in Apollo Beach, near Tampa. A retired high  school teacher. In Key West for a second time. Other in 1993. Considers herself a Key West virgin. Three children. One with the Federal Reserve. Another an Army major. The third in cyber security.

She turned me off early on when she indicated a dislike for Joe Paterno. Thought he deserved what he got. I have always believed he got screwed.

She got into the conversation at some point that she was a Trumpee. She described herself as such. She sees no danger in a Trump victory.

She said she was waiting for her son. He was upstairs. They were staying at the Beachside. She telephoned him several times. No answer. Must be sleeping, she said. Had a menu. Never ordered. She was waiting for her son. I am not sure if she had more than one drink.

The empty seat bothered me. They are at a premium. If one asked if the seat was taken, she said her son was coming.

The son never appeared nor could she make contact with him.

I question whether a son was ever to appear. I think she wanted an empty seat next to her so she would not be crowded.

Twice I opted to stop talking with her. I found her aggravating. The first time I turned away and went back to reading the newspapers. The second time occurred when I was taking some info for my blog. I forget what she said. Closed my notebook, turned away and said she would not be in the blog. I was not being humorous. She had struck a sensitive cord for whatever.

Her tuned  changed immediately. She obviously wanted to be in the blog. And so she is. Getting more space than entitled. Yet so deserving as she pissed me off. Not easy to do.

Notre Dame walloped Syracuse 50-33. Notre Dame a top team. I was impressed. Everything about the team great. Syracuse had flashes of brilliance. Not enough yet. Not there yet. This season turning out to be a tune up for next year.

Sloan’s picture was in Facebook. With her twin sister. Did not know she had a twin. I was astounded. Could not tell them apart.

Hurricane Matthew not nice. Reached a category 5 yesterday for a brief time. Now back to a category 4. Still heading for Jamaica. Next Haiti. Then Cuba.

A 4 or 5 will do massive destruction. A 5 a total wipeout. Nothing left standing. Key West included. I hope Matthew turns back to sea before hitting the keys.

Immigrants a problem of sorts even in the 1855 days of William Hackley. A local election. Hackley did not vote. The “foreign element is too strong.” Key West had a population of 2,000. Only 200 hundred white. The rest he described as not native born Americans.

The campaign is turning into a sex-along. What about jobs, the economy, Syria, etc.? Even immigration has been forgotten.

Trump’s fault. He apparently relishes in sexual discourse.

On an early morning TV news show today, a video of Trump was shown. Re something he said yesterday. He spoke of Bill Clinton’s misdeeds. Then suggested Hillary had her problems. Suggesting he might have to get into them.

The man is disgusting.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

My bocce team is doing well without me. Tied for first. 11-1.

This week’s Keynoter has an excellent article on lice. The little bugs that end up in children’s hair. Especially during school times. I remember the problem with my kids. Most recently with Robert and Ally a few years ago. Ally especially. Lisa was patient and spent hours combing and picking the bugs out.

There is now in South Florida a chain for lice treatment and removal. Appears successful.

I was impressed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lice under study all the time. We are now into super lice. The super lice are resistant to usual medical/chemical treatment.

Enjoy your Sunday!