Conservation/protect the species ever constant in Florida waters. Properly so. Use it or lose it does not apply to fish.

Hogfish one of the most popular denizens of the deep. Great flavor. During season, Key West restaurants feature hogfish on their menus. Stock island has the great Hogfish restaurant. .

Hogfish numbers have been falling. The powers to be have changed limits, etc.

Recreational catch will be dropping from 5 to 1 per day. Harvest season will run from May 1, to October 31. Limit size has been increased from 12 to 16 inches.

Note that the 5-1 limit per day is for recreational fishing. What about commercial? Where I assume more hogfish are fished daily.

I was at the Custom House at 6 last night for the author’s presentation re FDR On His Houseboat: The Larooca Log 1924-1926. Big title.

The author Karen Chase. The books is FDR’s story when he spent three winters on a houseboat in the Florida keys. It being thought the warm air and waters would help FDR’s polio.

Some interesting items.

Chase 72 today. She had polio also. Ergo, her interest in FDR.

She found the Log at Hyde Park buried under some letters. It is a day by day log of the trip handwritten by FDR. Everything included. Parties as well as places.

Chase says FDR’s language is humorous and captivating. Even in personal relationships, FDR exhibited wit and a penchant for personal jokes.

FDR never walked again after being struck with polio in 1921.

John Lawrence, co-owner of the houseboat Larooca, was an old college friend of Roosevelt.

The name Larooca was created by taking Lawrence’s initials. LA. The next three letters by using the first three letters of Roosevelt. ROO. The CO at the end stands for company.

FDR and Lawrence entertained frequently on the houseboat. FDR’s wife Eleanor on the boat seldom. Their marriage had been strained when she caught FDR cheating several years earlier. She never shared the same bed with her husband again.

Hostess on the houseboat was FDR’s 26 year old secretary Missy Le Hand. Historians record Missy as FDR’s girl friend for 20 years. FDR had more than one during those years.  He has been described as more Clintonese than Clinton himself.

On the last cruise in 1926, FDR, Lawrence and a crew member were fishing from a small boat. They hooked a Jewfish. A big one. If my notes are correct, 7 feet long and 5 feet wide. They had difficulty taking the fish in. The crew person even put 8 bullets in the fish’s head with a pistol. Whatever, appears a record catch.

Chart Room last night. David and John. Tourists coming in and out. Met Greg and Lisa from Sybania, Ohio. Near Toledo. Greg a retired school teacher. Lisa six months away from retirement. Their ninth trip to Key West.

Installment 16 based on Wright Langley’s Key West Rotary History.

The year 1935. Key West Rotarians were all excited. Most were planning on making the trip to Miami for a Rotary Inter-City Meeting. The Club’s slogan: All to Miami.

They never made the meeting. A few days before, the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane hit. A 5. Especially bad in the mid and  upper keys. Hundreds died. The upper keys portion of the Florida East Coast Railway knocked out.

No way existed to get to Miami.

Enjoy your day!







Installment 15 highlights a Rotarian who was a President of the Key West Rotary and who achieved extraordinary success while a resident of Key West.

Edward Strunk Jr.

Strunk became Rotary President in 1934. Deep depression years. His achievements while President include increasing membership from 19 to 29. No small feat.

During his tenure, he supported the establishment of the Everglades National Park.

The hurricane of 1935 presented many challenges. The railroad bridges had been demolished. Strunk  and Bascom Grooms were instrumental in clearing other bridges. People and businesses needed a way to move up and down the Keys.

Such is part of Strunk’s Rotary career. What follows is the story of the man.

Strunk was 16. Not living in Key West yet. He was in Miami. He had to decide whether to return to school or go to work. He opted to work.

One of his first jobs was working at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad offices in Marathon. The Atlantic Coast Line the Flagler railroad.

Following the railway experience, he worked several different jobs. World War I found him serving in France for a year.

He finally made it to Key West. He went to work for the South Florida Contracting & Engineering Co. After 20 years with the organization, Strunk retired a part owner.

Nineteen thirty-nine was a significant year in Strunk’s life. He opened the Strunk Lumber Yard. First located on Mallory Square. Today, 1101 Eaton Street.

Strunk lumber became a significant Key West business.

In due course, Strunk sold the lumber company to Manley – De Boer.

Strunk remained in business, however. He opened a hardware store. Known today as Strunk Ace Hardware. Same location on Eaton Street.

The Strunk lumber and hardware businesses were family owned at all times. From 1939 to present day. Strunk’s great grandson Andy runs Strunk Ace Hardware today.

An interesting story. An American success story. The tale of a man who at 16 had to choose between school and work. He chose work and ultimately became one of Key West’s biggest successes.

The Key West Film festival began last night. It runs through sunday. Burt Reynolds will be in Key West attending the festival tonight. America’s heart throb and famous movie star of the 1970s and 1980s is to receive an award.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that an FDR book had been written by Karen Chase. It involved two years of FDR’s life when his winters were spent on a houseboat in the Florida Keys hoping the warmth would remedy his paralysis.

Chase is speaking tonight at the Custom House’s Distinguished Speaker Series at 6.

Should be interesting. I plan on attending.

Obama spent two days in Greece this week. He was not a welcomed guest. Protests both days. The first day 7,000. At one of the demonstrations, the American flag was burned.

I am surprised! I love Greece. Have spent much time there. My last trip was four years ago. For six weeks.

A more loving people I have never met. I was welcomed warmly everywhere. No question the Greek people loved Americans.

What caused demonstrations filled with hatred four years later?

It appears Russia and Greek communists. Putin thought to be the motivating force.

The reasons given for the protests speak for themselves.

One was that the United States was creating tensions with Russia and China. Another that the United States stood in the way of Russia seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

How about this one? The United States is supporting Islamic extremists. Another, Obama supported the Euro Union’s stringent austerity program imposed on Greece.

All without basis. All fabrications.

Signs carried: Yankee Go Home. Five thousand police had to be called in.

I have written much re Greece. I have predicted at some point the Nazi Party aka New Dawn Party would be elected to lead Greece. I suspect it might occur in the next election.

The Communist Party small. Without significance.

I buy the belief that Putin was behind the protests.

College students all over the country are sad Hilary lost. Depressed. Universities have grieving areas on campus and have arranged for the students to receive counseling.

At the University of Michigan, students spent one of the grieving days sprawled in a college center playing with Play-Doh and coloring in coloring books.

College students should not be coddled. Their candidate lost. Tough! So did mine. That is the way it is. Go out and work harder next time.

College students of today do not know how to take responsibility for their lives. Administrators and professors should step back.

May this be the worst calamity in their lives. That Hillary did not win.

Enjoy your day!


I continue to learn.

This time that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent the winter months 1924-1926 on a houseboat in the Florida Keys.

We have Karen Chase to thank for the knowledge.

FDR’s legs were paralyzed. It was thought warm air and warm water would help his condition. FDR and his friend John Lawrence bought a used 71 foot houseboat. They christened it Larooco.

FDR spent two consecutive winters cruising on the Larooco in the Florida Keys.  Fishing and swimming.

We would never have known had it not been for Karen Chase discovering FDR’s daily log covering the trips. Chase discovered the log a few years ago. She put the log into book form.

FDR On His Houseboat – The Larooco Log, 1924-1926 was introduced to the public two days ago at Hyde Park.

The Custom House has invited Chase to speak about FDR’s time on the Larooco as part of its Distinguished Speaker Program. She is scheduled to appear at the Custom House November 17.

Visualize FDR living on the houseboat. Paralyzed, yet fishing and swimming. In our beloved Florida Keys. A story!

It is finally at an end. The Presidential campaign. I will be voting for Hillary later this morning.

I started my diet yesterday. Made it through day 1. I did not leave the house at all yesterday. It was the only way I could avoid the near occasion of sin for me. Food and drink. I know my limitations.

Spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics. Some thought provoking. Like the failure of government to see and do anything about two new areas of unemployment in the next four years.

Also, Comey letter #2, a Venezuela update where Vatican intercession has failed, Steven Seagal becomes a Russian citizen, Saudi Arabia extending its lobbying efforts to U.S. governors, a dozen drugmakers under grand jury investigation, a possible cyber war, the real reason behind the ongoing Syrian War, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed interesting! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President. The nation was excited. The Eisenhower years had been good. Somewhat subdued, however. Kennedy was young and appeared vibrant. He had a young beautiful wife and family.

His years were called Camelot. America would achieve the best of everything. Excitement prevailed.

Unfortunately, Kennedy did not have enough time. He was assassinated in 1963. The dream died.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

A statement I cannot make too many times.

On this date in 1948 and 1951, Truman returned to Key West to work and vacation. It is reported re the 1948 trip that Truman landed at Boca Chica. Twenty five thousand people cheered him on the drive to the Little White House.

The Key West Rotary. Installment 8.

One day. April 4, 1927.

A thursday. Rotary International President Paul P. Harris had left monday. Thursday was the regularly scheduled luncheon meeting for the Key West Rotary.

A big day. Time wise and work wise.

Members had been notified to come to the meeting in overalls. Overalls being the term used I assume for shoulder type dungarees or some other type work pants.

Work the members did! They removed rubbish the length of Duval Street. The event known as Scour Duval for Rubbish Thursday.

The clean up was done in conjunction with the Woman’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Trucks were donated by businesses and individuals. The Rotarians manned them. Twenty trucks. One truck per block of Duval. The rubbish collected was taken to the city dump to be incinerated.

The meeting was also the election meeting.

Robert F. Spottswood was elected President. The Spottswoods have enriched Key West for years. Conchs. The family through the generations community minded.

I assume the new President was grandfather to the present day Robert Spottswood. Robert and wife Elena are my friends. Ever helpful. Work hard on behalf of Key West. One of Robert and his family’s present successes is the Marriott Beachside.

Rotary members went all out to be helpful during the 1920s. They could not do enough for Key West. An inspired group.

George A. T. Roberts was elected Sergeant at Arms at the same time Spottswood was elected President. He died three years into his term. His stone is inscribed with the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.

The men were believers all!

Enjoy your day!