Big day today! Father’s Day! Many the proud father today. Many the happy kids giving Dad a Father’s Day gift.

Father’s Day seems like a natural. Unfortunately, it was not considered so for many years. Congress opposed efforts going back to 1098 to establish the holiday. The excuse was it would lead to commercialization of the day.

Would you believe?

Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson exercised their best abilities to legalize Father’s Day as a national holiday. Richard Nixon was finally successful. In 1972, he signed a Congressional bill into law recognizing the 3rd Sunday in June as such.

Father’s Day had its beginnings in the Middle Ages in Catholic Europe. St. Joseph was the father of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph’s Day was June 19. June 19 became recognized as Father’s Day also as a result.

Father’s Day did not take hold in the United States till early in the 20th century. Immigrants at the time probably brought the holiday with them.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads. Enjoy the day. It is yours. Well deserved. As Mother’s Day is for the Moms.

Tammy for a manicure yesterday. The place is a gold mine! People with and without appointments coming in. Tammy and her staff working hard. always smiling. Accommodated one and all.

Dinner last night with Donna at Duffy’s. Terri home. She has a cold. Has to be careful whatever the problem. She threw Donna out of the house and told her to join me.

Even those not ill, but who care for those who are, get run down. Need a change of pace.

Home before 9. Watched the Watergate special on MSNBC. Excellent!

David Wolkowsky did it again! The man is amazing. Ninety eight years old and still active.

Mr. Key West annually since 2001 has given $65,000 a year to Key West High School teachers. Recipient teachers awarded are referred to as Teachers of Merit. One receives $25,000. Eight others, $5,000 each.

A better man does not exist. He is all heart and soul.

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of the Rocky Marciano/Ezzard Charles World Heavy Weight Championship fight.

I was there! June 17, 1954.

I had just finished my freshman year at Manhattan College. My parents drove to New York City to pick me up. While there, my Father and Uncle Gus decided to attend the fight. At Yankee Stadium. They took me!

It was a typical New York City Italian evening.

We took the subway. Our seats were in left field. We could see nothing. My Aunt Louise had made us sandwiches which we took with us wrapped in wax paper and carried in a paper bag.

Fortunately, my Uncle brought binoculars. He had done the rodeo before. My father and Uncle treated me fairly. I got my time with the binoculars.

I was impressed before the fight. Big black limousines driving over the outfield to the seats surrounding the ring in the infield. Out came men in tuxedos and ladies in long. The fight was a social event.

I was impressed.

The fight began. Blurry unless you had the binoculars in hand.

Turned out, I had use of the binoculars at the right moment. I saw Marciano hit Charles so hard on the side of his face that I thought his fist was going to come out the other side of Charles’ face.

I could actually see the force of the blow thrust half of the other side of Charles’ face outward. Looked 3-4 inches to me. I thought Charles’ head was going to come off.

Marciano won soon thereafter. Marciano went on to win the rest of his fights. He retired undefeated.

Enjoy your Sunday!




Not only is Key West One Human Family, it is One Happy Family. Family being the operative word.

This story involves Blue Heaven, its owner, and its employees over the years.

Richard Hatch owns Blue Heaven. An absolute Key West success! Tourists wait in line to dine.

Hatch understood the personal needs of his staff. He permitted hosts, waitresses, etc. to bring their babies to work. Generally in baskets. Moses baskets.

A number of the babies are now full grown. A good number graduated from the Key West High School several days ago. The mothers of many have continued to work at Blue Heaven over the years. Some of the recent graduates also during their high school days.

The graduation called for a Blue Heaven Party. What else!

The party was held at Hatch’s home. The home lovely. A huge pool in the back.

A crowd estimated at 100.

Organizing the party were Donna’s daughter Stacey and Satia. Both still working at Blue Heaven after all these years. Both had children graduating.

A good time had by all! All because of a Richard Hatch who had the foresight to understand young mothers some 20 years ago needed to take their kids to work. He worked with them and they and their children have happily worked with and for him.

A sad occurrence in 2015. A visitor at the Tiki Bar at the Galleon decided to dive in the ocean. The dock was roped off. He went over the rope. Might have been drinking.

An unfortunate accident occurred. He hit head first. Water shallow. An instantaneous quadriplegic.

He sued. The basis of the suit was that the Bar and Galleon had no signs posted warning of shallow water and no signs posted prohibiting diving.

The case was settled this past week for $10.75 million.

I enjoyed a perfect evening last night. Watched the 1946 Cole Porter movie starring Cary Grant. and Alexis Smith. Night and Day. A tear jerker.

The music a killer! Touching! Romantic! Glad I opted to remain home and watch the movie.

Songs like Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, You’re the Top, You’d Be So Easy to Love, In the Still of the Night, etc.


Trump has stirred the emotions of Middle East countries. He emboldened Saudi Arabia by his visit. Four days ago, the Saudis blockaded Qatar and threaten to attack Qatar. Turkey has since entered into a military pact with Qatar. Iran has offered food and ports to Qatar.

Great job, Donald! Keep it up and our country will end up looking like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of the President, he spoke to a group of Evangelicals yesterday. His strongest group of supporters. His message: “We’re under siege.”

Amazon is smart business.

Amazon has recognized the middle class no longer exists. It wants customers from both ends of the economic spectrum, however. Those at the bottom and those at the top.

Amazon has had Price Membership for several years. For $99 a year, it provides free 2 day shipping. Amounts to $10.99 a month.

They recognize the other market and are going after it. Amazon announced it will provide 2 day shipping service to those in the lowest economic scale. $5.99 per month. A state issued debit card for government benefits required to participate.

Cultural and religious differences frequently clash these days.

The Saudi Arabia (Them again!) soccer team is participating in the World Cup in Australia. A moment of silence was called for in memory of the recent victims of the London Bridge attack.

The Saudi Arabia team refused to observe the moment.

The Saudi Arabia Soccer Federation later in the day issued an apology.

Enjoy your day!




As you read along the Key West Rotary history portion, keep in mind that which is written occurred some 100 years ago. Some things change. Some no more. Like a picnic involving wheelbarrow racing and tugs of war.

Installment 4.

The year 1924.

Key West High School had a newspaper. The Monroe Tatler. An article in one of the publications wrote about a senior class luncheon picnic with the Rotary. At the picnic, the Rotarians took turns escorting a senior girl to a table and each senior boy by a Rotary Ann.

The blimp hangar was part of the Navy facility at what was then called Trumbo Island. The same Trumbo Base area today in Key West. The naval base was small. Established in 1918.

There was no Boca Chica in 1924 as we know it today. Boca Chica did not become a major military installation till World War II.

Nineteen twenty four was a time when organizations could legally limit membership to men. Such was changed by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1987. Ladies had to be admitted to membership.

Rotary wives participated in Club activities from Rotary’s 1905 beginnings. Such wives became known as Rotary Anns. The name evolved. Some Rotary Clubs referred to the ladies as Rotary Spouses or Rotary Partners.

The Rotary Ann label was born in 1914. The national Rotary Convention was held in Houston. The San Francisco Rotary hired a special train to make the trip to Houston. Few wives made the trip. One that did was Ann Brunnier who got on the train with her Rotary husband Bru Brunnier in Los Angeles.

During the trip, Ann acquired the name Rotary Ann. One of the Rotarians wrote a song about Rotary Ann. The Rotarians sang the song all the way to Houston.

Philadelphia Rotarian Guy Gundakr’s wife was named Ann. The conventioneers referred to her as Rotary Ann, also.

The conventioneers an exuberant group. At one point, they hoisted the two Rotary Anns on their shoulders and paraded about singing the Rotary Ann tune.

Both Brunnier and Gundakr became International Rotary Presidents in subsequent years.

The Rotary Ann name and concept took hold. Soon Rotary wives everywhere formed Rotary Ann clubs to assist with Rotary activities.

Back to the luncheon picnic.

Alan Clesse was senior class President. He made a thank you speech  to the Rotary.

The Key West Rotary President at the time was Bugs Werner. A playful type. He passed a clock to one of the senior girls. He explained that each time the alarm went off, the girl holding the clock had to make a speech. The clock moved fast from one girl to another.

The alarm rang while held by two different girls. A Miss Perez and a Miss Lowe. Each made a speech. Some Rotarians thought Perez’s was the best speech they had ever heard.

The picnic was a time of frolic. Singing, talking, wheelbarrow races, and tugs of war.

A Louis day yesterday. A manicure with Tammy. The nail emporium a gold mine. Tammy and her husband Ricky have worked hard and have a constantly growing business. I admire their success.

Tammy is good company. We laugh through the procedure.

Last night was dinner at Liz’s Kitchen. So labeled by Liz herself because I love her kitchen so much.

Liz a cook extraordinaire!

We enjoyed cocktails in the garden with tasty pickies. Then inside the kitchen for French Lasagna. A first time dish for me. Outstanding!

Liz had the entire evening planned. Following dinner, we went into her study to watch the World Series and have coffee and desert. Desert home made pumpkin pie.

The woman’s a gem!

Chicago won the game and the series. I did not think Chicago could come back. A feat in itself. Big time winners.

I am confused. The polling numbers have become simultaneously inconsistent. Things tightening up. Trump could win. A disaster!

Bocce tonight.

Enjoy your day!


Today’s comments/reflections interesting. One involves lunch with a homeless person yesterday. The other lunch with Harry Truman 56 years ago.

Stopped at the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch yesterday. Unusually busy. Wanted to sit. Required sharing. Not normal. I saw a man sitting alone. Asked if I could sit at his table. No problem.

His name Edward.

The man homeless. No question about it. Very few teeth. Dirty. clothes, hands and face.  His aged back pack on the seat next to him. His equally disheveled bicycle on the other side of the rail

I did not wish to bother him. Began reading the newspapers. He began the conversation by asking who I supported in the election. We spent the next 5 minutes discussing Trump and Hillary. Then he got into what I thought would develop into an interesting conversation.

It never did. For the next 20 minutes, he was stuck in the 1960s. His thoughts all over the place. However never leaving the 1960s.

I suspect Edward was a Vietnam vet.

Edward was eating. A sandwich and beer. I sensed the lunch was not a normal event. His beer was warm. I took the bottle to the bar to swap it for a cold one for him. No cold beer.

I had to leave. Handed him a $20 bill and said it was for tomorrow’s lunch.

Before lunch, I was at the heart doctor’s office. A test to see if I have blood clots in my legs. The person running the test said worry not. None and my blood flow was terrific. Like that of a young man.

I do not understand. The catheterization doctor said my veins and arteries were beautiful. The test operator yesterday. indicated basically the same. Why am I having problems?

Enjoyed doing last night’s blog talk radio show. Threw in a bit of local color at the beginning.

I was watching PT 109 before my show. John Kennedy’s World War II experience. I shared with my listeners that the movie had been filmed on what is now Little Palm Island. Twenty five miles north of Key West.

Kennedy was in Key West during the Cuban missile crisis. Was with then State Senator or Sheriff John Spottswood. Spottswood said that he knew a movie was to be made re Kennedy’s war experience. Told Kennedy he had the island for the movie. He owned the island at the time that is now Little Palm Island.

Spottswood’s island did become the site for the movie.

I slipped in the local color to ease up on the heavy politics of the past week. I did dwell at length on the Comey matter, however. Also spent some time talking about a new child paralysis sweeping the country and not being discussed.

Today easy. A pleasurable day awaits. A manicure at one and dinner tonight with Liz. Liz is cooking. French Lasagna – Ercole.

Received a comment today asking why sometimes no or limited politics in the blog. The answer simple. Some days I have had my fill of politics. I assume some of my readers, also. Another reason is the blog is supposed to be about My Life in Key West. Politics have become an add on.

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

On this day in 1948, Truman defeated Dewey for President.

Truman the underdog. No one expected him to win. The Chicago Tribune newspaper that hit the stands before all the votes had been counted read: Dewey Defeats Truman.

I had two connections with Truman and the election.

It was 1948. Truman campaigning. Whistle stop campaigning in those days. From the rear platform of a train.

I was in the eighth grade. Rode my bike to the railroad station. Pulled up in front ahead of the crowd. Truman five feet away.

I was in awe.

The next time was 1960. Twenty two years later. Truman was visiting Syracuse University for two days. Giving talks, etc. One scheduled event was Truman having a private lunch with who were purported to be the 12 outstanding students on campus. Twelve out of 35,000.

I was picked to be one of the 12. I was excited. It was my last year in law school.

Seats for lunch were assigned. Mine was next to Truman on his right.

We had two hours with him. Spectacular! Exciting!

Truman talked about his 1948 victory.

He had a recording of H. V. Caltenborn revealing the results of the election. A national radio personality. Distinct voice. Caltenborn was announcing Truman’s defeat. Truman loved playing the recording!

Then Truman held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune announcing his defeat. His laugh filled the room.

Next, I would be writing installment 4 re the Key West Rotary history. My notes prepared. Covers only one year. However would run at least 200 words. Making this blog the longest ever.

I am holding it for tomorrow. I must discipline myself to write about fewer things or perhaps in less words than I do.

Keep in mind what I am writing about re the Rotary is true history. Happenings 200 years ago. Not only a different time. A different world.

Two items shared tomorrow prove the point.

Enjoy your day!




Good time last night!

Donna and Terri threw a small dinner party in honor of Mark Watson’s 44th. The food outstanding. Donna is a terrific cook. The company good. Enjoyed myself!

Donna and Terri have done a magnificent job with the apartment. They have been in about two months. I saw the place when first rented. Terri’s heart attack slowed them down. The place is now completely decorated. Deserving of a Florida housing magazine spread.

Big afternoon ahead! Syracuse v. South Florida at 3:30. Hope not a repeat of last week’s debacle against Louisville.

Poker Run in full force and effect. Bikes driving down US 1 to Key West. Big time noise. Most of the ladies I saw this year were not riding seated behind the driver. They had their own bikes.

I plan on walking a bit of Duval tonight to see the bikes. Several blocks of Duval will be closed off. Only bikes will be permitted to park. Beautiful machines!

Jim Young’s Key West Codes Department has always impressed me. The group does a good job. Professional.

The cosmetic stores continue to be a Duval blight. The law does not permit closing them down. They can be fined however for failing to follow existing local guide lines.

There are seven cosmetic stores. The problem is overcharging, irregular bills, etc. The overcharging is by hundreds of dollars. Sometimes thousands. Credit cards misused.

Codes did an all at once investigation of the stores. Hit the seven stores at the same time. Five were handed violation warnings requiring them to correct their processes in 48 hours.

Too bad they cannot just be closed.

Key West High School has a group known as the Conchettes. An athletic dance group.

The Conchettes have been extremely good in recent years. They have twice appeared in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They have been asked to return this year for a third time. Sixteen will make the trip.

The school does not put up the money for the trip. The young ladies have to raise it. $45,000 needed. Each girl asked to raise $3,500.

Help the Conchettes. Make a contribution. Call the high school to do so.

Government departments and agencies keep getting hacked. High ranking officials, also. Disgraceful.

Could prove helpful, however.

Trump has not released his tax returns. I keep waiting for a hacker to get them and do so. Makes sense.

I grew up and worked in Utica, NY. Fifteen miles away from Herkimer, NY. A small upstate community. Many the case I tried in Herkimer Supreme Court.

Herkimer was previously known as German Flats. On this day in 1778, Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant, 150 Iroquois Indians, and 300 British loyalists burned down German Flats. Only three residents killed. The residents had a warning and escaped to two nearby forts.

Sixty three houses, 57 barns, 3 gristmills, and 1 sawmill destroyed.

At the end of the Revolution, the Brant family and their Iroquois followers escaped to Canada where they remained the balance of their lives.

A poet for the ages left England this date in 1820 for Italy. John Keats. He had tuberculosis. He thought the Rome weather would help his condition. It did not. He died in less than six months at the age of 20.

Keats did not write poetry till the last three years of his life. His works amazing and multitudinous in that short period. Ode to Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale two examples.

I mention Keats because I was fortunate to visit his home and place of  death some 35 years ago. I was in Rome. Wandering around while my wife and daughters were clothes shopping. I was at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Immediately to the right was a small 2 or 3 story building. A brass plate on the door was labeled John Keats. I went in.

Exciting! Saw Keats’ bedroom where he died. Another room had many of his transcripts. His poems hand written on pieces of paper. I was familiar with a few. Chilling to read the original product.

Enjoy your day!





There was a bomb threat at the Key West High School yesterday morning. The second in a month. Telephoned in again.

Authorities investigated the auditorium first. It was deemed safe. Students and faculty were immediately secured in the auditorium. Two persons were injured in the move.

No bomb was found. Classes resumed.

Some nut or nuts is having fun. Sick fun. My concern is that another type nut will enter the scene. One who will plant a bomb. One crazy encourages another.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Then to Walgreens. A prescription pick up. Publix for a few items.

I was home by one. No TV, computer or house phone. All on Comcast. Comcast down. Did not come on till 4.

Difficult to live without TV and computer. I had some fine tuning remaining for last night’s show. Needed the computer. Could not do it till after 4. Fortunately, there was not much to do.

I wish Comcast was required to pay us for down time. Take something off our monthly bills. Comcast shows no mercy. They are difficult to do business with. Good luck in trying to talk to a human on the telephone. Impossible to complain.

Last night’s show went fine. Only one problem. My show is at 9. The President’s State of the Union address began at 9. I am sure he took more listeners from me than I him.

Watched the last half hour of the President’s State of the Union after my show concluded. You cannot take it away from Obama. He speaks well.

Hurried over to Hogfish for a quick bite around 6:30. Packed. Snowbirds again. Found a seat at the bar. Between body heat and heaters, I did not feel the cold.

My dryer died. Time for a new one. Keith picked one up for me at Sears. It sits in my garage in a box. I assume Keith will install it today. I never learned how to do these things.

The weather. It is cold. We are into our winter. A typical January. Last night really cold. Dropped to 66.

I live on open water. My bedroom faces the northwest. The wind over the ocean comes from the northwest. It is colder than the cold on the land. It seems to permeate my walls. I was freezing!

Tried an extra blanket. Not much help. Turned on the heat. Was reluctant to do so. Glad I did. Within minutes, my bedroom and body were warm.

Going to be cold today. High around 69.

Syracuse plays Boston College tonight. Syracuse should win. Boston’s record 7-8. Syracuse 10-7.

Wednesday is my friday. It is also screw off day for me. I research and write steadily friday through tuesday. It will be a Louis day all day.

I am going to schedule a manicure and pedicure. That’s being good to me!

Enjoy  your day!