Liz invited me to join her at St. Paul’s Christmas Show. Liz a St. Paul parishioner.

We stopped first at the lobby bar in La Concha. across the street from St. Paul’s. A hidden treasure. I have known and utilized the bar’s services several times. Not often enough, however. La Concha is not located in the areas of Duval I frequent.

A classy modern lobby and bar. Great happy hour food.

A few drinks later, we headed over to St. Paul’s. Liz did not drink. The night before she had a diabetic reaction. She had not eaten  all day. Compounding the situation, she was not carrying a chocolate bar in her purse.

All is well that ends well. Liz was up to going out last night.

The show itself was its usual success. First class! Top shelf!

A contrast to Larry’s show the previous evening. Larry’s Christmas tunes were ones with which we are all familiar. St. Paul’s a mixture. Some oldies I never heard of. Nevertheless, enjoyable.

Former Hot Tin Roof manager Joseph Lyles is Senior warden at St. Paul’s. Another way of describing chairman of the board. Joseph was helpful in arranging for special seating.

It was back to the La Concha lobby bar for a night cap following the show. Then home.

Did some Xmas shopping yesterday. I hate shopping. Of any kind. A burden. Without a wife, it now falls on me to do the shopping.

Still more to do today. Do not get the impression I am buying a lot. I am not. It is just that the selection in Key West is limited. Understandable when you realize Sears and K-Mart are our two largest shopping facilities.

Next year, I will use the computer. Internet sales.

Big night tonight! Hope I get it all in. First, Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Then across the street to hear Alex play. Followed by Bourbon Street and Bria.

The Custom House is having an unusual event tomorrow night. A first. Might be described as unique. The Key West Art & Historical Society is sponsoring a holiday concert. Outside on the Custom House’s sweeping historic porch/promenade. In addition to the concert, there will be what has been described as an extraordinary light show. No charge for the evening’s events.

ZIKA. Come January, it will be one year since we were warned of the dangers of ZIKA. Almost a year later, the problem still dangerous. Though less so. Sufficiently less that the World Health Organization in November advised ZIKA was no longer a global health emergency.

Still a problem, however. A DNA vaccine is presently being tested. Vast movement made thus far in the development of a vaccine.

ZIKA and Ebola are two medical crisis of the past few years. Or, so we have been advised. Everyone went crazy. From the U.N. to the U.S. Congress to whoever. In the end, Ebola petered out as a major crisis. It appears ZIKA is taking the same path.

Benjamin Franklin was 26 years old in 1732 when he published the first edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Poor Richard’s Almanac was published continuously for 25 years. Its popularity never diminishing. Ten thousand copies a year. A sizable number for those times.

Enjoy your day!



Nathan Hale. An American Revolutionary War hero.

Hale was 21. A Yale graduate. Then school teacher. Joined the Connecticut regiment to fight in the War. Appointed a captain.

New York City was occupied by the British. The colonists needed a spy to enter New York City ascertain British troop size and location. Hale volunteered.

He spent several days in New York carrying out his responsibility. The British were not stupid. They knew there was a spy in their midst. They were closing in on Hale. Finally, captured him.

British General Howe himself said to Hale that he would be hung in the morning. No trial. Not that one would have helped much.

As Hale was being led to the gallows, it is claimed he uttered the famous words…..”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Historians question whether Hale uttered the words. Written documentation lacking.

Another reason is that there is an early 1700’s poem containing similar wording.

Whatever, it is good for us to believe Hale so spoke.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch yesterday. My usual. Ham and eggs and fries. Then a walk along the waterfront.

A mid afternoon visit to the dentist. Dr. George Linder. Nothing wrong. A routine yearly visit to check my implants. A thorough examination of the entire mouth. Well worth the visit.

Last night for cocktails at Aqua’s Back Door. Mark Watson bartending. He bartends every wednesday night. That is why I go.

I was there quite a while. A number of people I knew came in. Good company all! Donna and Terri. Zoey. Zoey’s real name is Zorica. She is a native of Macedonia. Manages Aqua’s liquor and cigarette store attached to Aqua.

Jimmy Olson and Jimmy back from New Hampshire.

A lady named Lisa.

Big day for Donna! A bit tired also. First day at work. She can be found three days a week at the Butterfly Conservatory.

The cosmetic stores on Duval continue to be involved in fraud and chicanery. I do not understand why the City/Codes does not close them down.

The most recent incident involves a 70 year old tourist. She purchased a few items. Not much. When she received her credit card statement in the mail, the charge was in excess of $5,000. The matter has been reported and the police are investigating.

Citizen activity is growing in Key West. A vigilante approach in some instances.

Re the cosmetic shops, The Key West Rip Off Response Team. They have picketed some of these establishments in the past. They too are looking into the $5,000 over billing.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice tells the story of a Georgia free range chicken farm where bald eagles are eating up the profits.

Some 15 years ago, I was sitting outside the old Paradise Cafe enjoying Cuban toast and coffee. A mother hen with 5 little chicks were walking by. The chicks in an orderly line.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud swoosh. I looked up. There were two hawks carrying off two of the chicks. The mother hen and three remaining chicks moved on as if nothing happened.

I do not know the difference between a bald eagle or hawk or any similar bird. The two I saw might very well have been bald eagles.

Homeschooling is big in Florida. The Key West Art & Historical Society has announced a new program to support homeschoolers. Two hours a month. To add/supplement to what  is being taught at home.

If anyone is interested, the Custom House’s Director of Education Adele Williams should be contacted.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Connecticut a 5 point favorite. Time to win another one!

Enjoy your day!


I continue to learn.

Had I not decided to spend the last end of my life in Key West, I would have known little about hurricanes. Still little. However more than I knew back then.

The hurricane Gaston is out there some where. It will not make US landfall.

However…..Behind Gaston is tropical wave 99L. Tropical wave and with a number new to me. A tropical wave can turn into a tropical depression/storm. A tropical depression/storm can turn into a hurricane.

We have been told tropical wave 99L is behind Gaston. Also behind Puerto Rico. It is some 900 miles away. Presently over or soon to be over Hispaniola. Hispaniola and Puerto Rico part of the Greater Antilles.

Whether 99L turns into a tropical storm or hurricane depends what happens as 99L passes over Hispaniola. Hispaniola’s mountains are 10,000 feet. 99L could break up as it passes over the mountains. Such would be the end of any hurricane danger.

Whatever 99L is after the mountains will determine what will happen as regards the southern US. Could be a heavy wind/rain storm. Or, a hurricane.

If 99L turns into a tropical storm or hurricane, it will receive a new name. Hermine.

Whether wind and rain, tropical storm, or hurricane, it will be over the Keys sunday, monday and tuesday.

Truman Capote died on this day in 1984. Best known for In Cold Blood.

Capote once spent a couple of months in Key West. He booked into David Wolkowsky’s Pier House as it stood at that time. Wolkowsky lived in a trailer next to the Pier House ten feet from the water.

Capote was in a suite. After arriving, he was in Wolkowsky’s trailer having a drink. Wolkowsky’s trailer was very well done. Capote said I want to stay here. Wolkowsky said this is my home. So the conversation went on. Wolkowsky finally relented and gave up his trailer to Capote. Wolkowsky moved into Capote’s suite.

I intended to start my evening at the Back Door with Mark Watson. Closed. Mark never shows up if it is raining. The Back Door is outside.

It was not raining at 5. It had stopped around noon. The sun was out and blazing hot at 5.

Mark just wanted a night off.

I went inside to Aqua’s main bar. Rick Dery bartending. My Joe’s Chicken Shack friends Tim and Todd at the bar. Sat and talked with them. Good guys. One drink only.

Then to Sq. 1. John recently purchased it. Wanted to congratulate John. John not there. Met Ryan. The new bartender. All the employees were new. Recognized none of them

I asked if Jay was cooking. Ryan asked me who Jay was. Guess Jay is gone, too.

Ryan has only been in Key West one month. From Montana.

I enjoyed an appetizer and one drink.

Then home. Before 9. Early to bed.


I fell going up the stairs! Stubbed my toe on the last step. Went flying.

My fault. I was hurrying up the steps and not looking. At my age, I am not supposed to do either. No reason to hurry. No one waiting for me in bed.

At my age, when you fall, you fall hard. My nose. Where the bridge of my glasses rest. Thought I broke my nose. Swollen this morning. A bit bruised. A couple of small cuts. Talked to my doctor. Does not think it is broken. Don’t worry about it.

My wrists and knees hurt. Really bad. My left arm/shoulder, also.

I had a cut on my left foot shin bone. Bled more than a small cut should have.

My major problem after a fall is getting up. Big time difficult!

Whatever, I am alive and well this morning.

The Custom House celebrates its 125th birthday this year. Construction was completed 1891. At the time, housed federal offices. Courts, post office, etc. The building plans used were from a previous federal construction.  The new federal building in Aberdeen, Mississippi completed in 1887.

The William Hackley saga continues. Baby still sick. Fever till 2 in the afternoon. Fever returned in the evening. Matilda’s breasts continue to be a problem. Boil on one broke. Painful.

Hackley called for the doctor in the evening. To check out Baby. The doctor had a bit of a concern. He had just returned from treating a smallpox patient. He was concerned whether he should visit the child.

The doctor finally decided it was ok. He had no knowledge of anyone becoming infected by a doctor who had recently cared for a smallpox victim.

Glad we live today rather than back then.

Bob Saraceno and wife Sue are in town. Will be getting together with them at some point.

Enjoy your day!



Dancing and frivolity of old will exist once again tomorrow evening in Key West. At East Martello. Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle. In its ninth year.

The show, though proper in every respect, is a throwback to pagan days when the beginning of summer was celebrated with  big time partying. Way before Shakespeare’s time.

The show is Michael Shield’s baby. The originator nine years ago, he has continued to produce the event every year. Co-producer is the Key West Art & Historical Society.

My dear friend Jenna Stauffer is the emcee. I can visualize her in days of old. Prancing around in her fairy wings, tip toeing through the tulips. Orchestration by Skipper Kripitz. Perhaps the most honorable man in Key West. Singers include Larry Smith and Kathleen Peace. I love Kathleen! I love her singing! The walls of the East Martello Fort will shake during her performance.

My day yesterday began with a noon walk along the Atlantic Ocean. In the heat of the day. Not the best time. However, I did it. Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee.

Steve Braddock is a care giving Key Wester. He is a Catholic priest. He is active in assisting the homeless. A Saint Francis.

He is pissed off. The Lower Keys Medical Center claims he owes a balance for a hospital stay. $1,975. The hospital has sued in Small Claims Court. Before suit and since, Braddock has asked for an itemized bill. No itemized bill has been forthcoming.

The good priest is aware from prior assistance to the homeless that hospitals have a tendency to overcharge. Dramatically. He is defending himself in court. I would not want to have him as an opponent under the circumstances.

We have genocide in the United States. I refer to it as American genocide. The killing of blacks by whites. It has been going on since the earliest days of our country. It has to stop. Will it ever? I do not know.

The last 48 hours have brought the story of nine blacks in a church bible class shot by a white 21 year old. The place, Charleston, South Carolina. The 21 year old, Dylan Storm Roof. The killings in cold blood.

During the shootings, he said…..I have to do it… rape our women and you’ve taken over our country, and you have to go.

Roof has a history evidencing a drug problem. His father gave him a gun for his 21st birthday.

Roof was obviously misinformed as to the black conduct he described during the shootings. Probably heard it at the dinner table from his father.

These shootings are what they are. Racial hatred expressed with a gun. It must end! Otherwise as I have been saying on my blog talk radio show, the battle will not be between police and blacks. It will be blacks against whites. A people will take abuse only so long. There is a new generation of blacks and they will not be as patient and forbearing as their forefathers.

Anna is in Camogli. She has a beach front apartment. Camogli is part of the Italian Riviera. Next door is Portofino. Home of the renown Silvio Berlusconi. His close friend Putin has built a home nearby.

Tomorrow night’s emcee Jenna Stauffer is my date tonight. We are going to dinner. Love Jenna!

Enjoy your day!


Valentine’s Day unquestionably a day of love. Key West restaurants will be overbooked. It is the evening lovers dress and are on the town.

The Day is thought to have been derived from several saints named Valentinus. Many believe only one saint was responsible. St. Valentine of Rome. The Middle Ages locked in the romantic aspect. Courtly love became the vogue.

Certain  countries decry Valentine’s Day. Muslim nations. The Day is considered anti-Islamic. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Criminal in certain of these countries. Illegal to sell candy or flowers or anything suggesting the Day. Even items colored red.

There is always a new twist to a special day. The Bronx Zoo came up with one in 2011. Still selling. Thousands have bought the item. Rather than candy and flowers, adopt for your love a cockroach. A Madagascar hissing cockroach.

The cost $10. The roach is not delivered. Rather a colorful certificate acknowledging the adoption.

In addition to loved ones, mothers in law and ex-wives are popular recipients.

I took two Civil War courses in college. Wrote two papers. One about the Presidential election of 1864 involving Lincoln and McClellan. The other, I cannot recall.

The courses turned me on to the Civil War. I have since read many books involving the subject.

Last night, the Key West Art and Historical Society opened a special exhibit involving the Civil War at the Custom House. I attended.

The exhibition was limited. Small. Informative, however. I was made aware of some things I had not seen before and/or did not have knowledge concerning.

My hometown Utica is in the Mohawk Valley. Many major battles of the Revolution were fought there. A U.S. Naval vessel served to blockade Key West waters during the Civil War. The U.S.S. Mohawk. I assume named after my home valley.

Fort Zach Taylor was the Union’s primary fortress in Key West. Equipped with ten inch cannons. I was surprised to learn the cannons had a range of 3 miles.

The front page of the New York Herald dated April 15, 1865 was displayed. The day after Lincoln’s assassination. Yellowed with brown edges. Glass enclosed for preservation purposes.

The newspaper reported that at the same time Lincoln was shot, Secretary of State Seward while in bed at home was stabbed twice in the neck and twice in the chest. Initially, a conspiracy was thought. Apparently there was no connection between the two attacks.

Seward was the leading Republican contender for the Presidential nomination heading into the 1860 convention. However, Lincon defeated him.

Seward grew up in Auburn, N.Y. Near Syracuse. I tried many cases in Auburn. An old city that never got made over. My friend Dan was born in Auburn. He opted not to be a politician. He is a restaurateur. His business sits on Skaneateles Lake.

Shirrel Rhoades is my publisher. He is also President of the Key West Art and Historical Society. I ran into him at the exhibit. We chatted a bit.

Then to the Chart Room. I had a terrific time! Two old friends and one new. Carol from New Hampshire, Ginger from Memphis, and Rosie who is from Memphis also. Carol and Ginger are actually snowbirds. They have been visiting Key West for many years two months at a time. Rosie visiting.

The ladies were good company. I enjoyed being with them. Rosie leaves today. Carol and Ginger are here into March. I hope I run into them again.

Sheila and David stopped in. Sheila is on the staff of the Custom House. She had spent some time there with me earlier in the evening. Rosie will have to wait till next year.

Syracuse/Duke at 6 this evening. Playing at Syracuse. Duke a 7 point favorite. I suspect Syracuse will lose by more. An upset is possible, however.

Weather continues to be Key West cold. The high today 64. This evening in the mid 50s.

Enjoy your day!