Two dear friends are fighting cancer at this time. One is Terri. I have spoken of her many times. Presently doing chemo twice a week.

The other is Dee.

Yesterday was World AIDS Day. Key West had its annual candle walk and ceremony. The ceremony at the former White Street Pier.

Dee participated.

Dee has a Doctorate in Psychology. After college, she ended up in the Keys. Bought a home on Cudjoe.

Found employment with AIDS Help in Key West. Spent the next 25 years of her life working with AIDS Help. Committed. Dedicated. Helping AIDS victims became her life cause.

Dee retired several years ago. Took a teaching position at Boston University. Returned to Cudjoe as frequently as possible.

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with throat cancer. A 4. Surgeries and chemo followed. She survived. She was in remission.

The cancer has returned.

Dee participated in the ceremony last night. She returns to Boston today. Monday she is back in the hospital to see what can be done.

I wish her well. As with Terri, two nice people who do not deserve what is happening to them. Nor does anyone.

I was landlocked all day yesterday. Could not get out of my home. Keys Electric was trimming trees. They had been doing so all week on my block. Finally got to me yesterday.

They spent the entire day cleaning my overhanging foliage. The pile grew ever so tall in front of my driveway.

I did not care. Had no plans for the daylight hours.

Last night, it was a manicure with Tammy. At 7. Her last customer of the day. She and her staff work hard. From 8 in the morning to 7:30 at night. Some of the girls work 7 days a week. Others, 6 or 5.

Tammy is from Vietnam. She has been here 15 years. Became a citizen last year. Married to Rick. They have two children.

Tammy not yet totally Americanized. Still no turkey on Thanksgiving. She cooks only Vietnamese food. Never cooks special on the holidays.

She says her family does not like American food. I tell her if she does not cook it for them, they will never know if they like it.

Santa Claus came up in our conversation. No Santa Claus. The children are 9 and 7. Just a story they have been told. Tammy is Santa Claus! She provides the Christmas gifts. They do have a Christmas tree.

Sounds harsh. Not. It is her and her husband’s way. The children have been raised to understand. Everyone happy. No one sad.

Tammy and the kids do celebrate Halloween. Tammy dresses, also. Accompanies her children to protect them.

I grabbed a quick bite at Outback afterwards.

Don’t forget Larry Blackburn’s photo show tonight from 6-9. He does great work. The place, Duval Square. I plan on being there.

Caught a news release on the internet this morning re the Michigan City Rotary. One hundred years old!

Significant! However, the Key West Rotary is 101 years old. Formed in 1915.

Why no national publicity last year for the Key West Rotary?

Diana Millikan is into William Hackley’s life! She writes the “negro” rent paid yesterday was to a different person than the previous. Which would mean Hackley has two rented slaves.

A major disgrace. Standing Rock. Native Americans seeking to protect their drinking water and ancestral remains. Federal, state and local governments fighting them. Working in effect on behalf of the pipeline company.

Though government forces have hit the Native American protesters with grenades, water hoses, rubber bullets, stunning devices, etc., the Native Americans have not fought back. Not one iota. They are protesting similar to Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

Things will hit the fan so to speak next week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told the protesters to move by December 5 or they would be trespassers subject to arrest. Six to eight thousand of them.

Those already arrested by local police for various reasons have been placed in large dog cages. Sitting on concrete floors. Temperatures freezing by day and night.

Terrible! The land the protesters are occupying is considered Indian land by the Native Americans and many knowledgeable in these matters. The federal government has no right to be on the land or telling the protesters what to do.

Never the less, the federal government participates against the Native Americans.  Supported by state and local police departments. And a mercenary group, Tiger Swan. It is presumed the mercenary militants paid for by the pipeline people.

An American disgrace. One that can only get worse.

Enjoy your day!


Spent a part of yesterday organizing and fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I did a different show. Generally, I discuss ten different topics. Last night, one. Harder to do one than ten. With ten give or take, I can easily judge time. Easy to stop when my time is up. Cut short a topic.

With one topic, I was not certain when I would run out of time. Be left hanging in the middle of a part of the story. Even worse, not telling the whole story.

I practice beforehand. Practice and reality work out to different times.

I was thrilled last night. My material ended as the 30 minutes ended. Perfect! Accidental, of course.

The subject matter motivated me to do one issue. The Standing Rock, North Dakota Native American protest and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I felt the media was not providing sufficient information or a clear picture. Unknown facts that should be revealed.

If you missed the show, it is archived on my Key West Lou website. You may wish to read it.

I began with the Great Sioux War, Custer’s last stand at Little Big Horn, the Black Hills gold rush, and the U.S. government cheating/screwing the Indians. I ended with yesterday. That current.

Woe is me! Syracuse got beat again last night. By Wisconsin. 77-60. Syracuse looked terrible. As bad as when it lost to South Carolina a few days ago.

I have faith. Boeheim can pull it together. Look at last season. Syracuse was having a bad year. Ended up being one of the Final Four.

Looking forward to Happy Hour today. At Martin’s. With Joseph Lyles. Joseph recently retired as the Hot Tin Roof’s manager. Will be good to see him again.

Martin’s food excellent. A terrific combination. Joseph and Martin’s. Joseph is well read. A thinker. Great conversation anticipated.

Photographer Larry Blackburn is having a show. In 2 days. On December 2. From 6-9. The show is part of the First Friday Upper Duval Art Show.

Larry has titled the show Absence and Presence of Color. Photos of Key West and Ecuador.

The show is at the New York Pasta and Ocean Grill Restaurants in Duval Square.

Recommend you go. Larry’s work spectacular!

There is a bit of sadness attached to today. I will be writing the last installment of my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary. Covers the years 1915-1991. The history ended with 1991.

This final installment is #26.

Key West Rotary celebrated its 75th anniversary on April 6, 1991. At the Holiday Inn Beachside. The same place they had celebrated the Club’s 25th anniversary.

Charley “Sonny” Mc Coy was master of ceremonies. Keynote speaker Ralph Renick. A former TV Channel 4 anchorman.

Both speakers delved into the Club’s history.

The Club had 98 members at the time. The Rotary had grown decidedly from its 1915 inception.

Accomplishments many. Those noted included the continued support of the Fourth of July fireworks at the White Street Pier, providing a $6,000 college scholarship, providing 2 $100 and 8 $50 Citizenship Awards, donations to over 16 local charities and youth organizations, and acting as a major sponsor of D.A.R.E.

Additionally, the Club’s ability to continue bringing top people in the community into the Rotary.

In 1991, the Key West Rotary was one of 47 Clubs in District 6990. With a membership of 2,600. District 6990 included Monroe, Dade, and Broward counties, as well as Grand Bahama Island.

No question. Both the Key West Rotary and Rotary in general had grown over the years. When the Key West Rotary was formed in 1915, it was only the third Rotary Club in Florida.

Big trees from little acorns do certainly grow.

The Key West Rotary at the time of its 75th anniversary felt the Club had fulfilled founding President Jefferson Browne’s mission that it would attract top men from the community and be a first class Club.

Three persons were of assistance to me presenting the Rotary story.

Wright Langley’s wife Joan Knowles Langley. A fourth generation Conch. She now resides in Gainesville.

Wright and Joan’s son Mark. Mark still lives in Key West.

Finally, Key West snowbird and friend Diana Millikan. She is the person who sent me a copy of Langley’s History and induced me to write this rendition.

Enjoy your day!


Finally, Don and Chris are engaged. It only took 11 years for Don to bend a knee and ask…..Will you marry me? With a 2.5 carat engagement ring in hand.

Chris burst out crying and exclaimed…..Yes!

Chris should not have been so quick to accept. I would have made Don sweat a while for making Chris wait 11 years.

The couple happy. The wedding next year in Key West.

I met Don and Chris several years ago at the Chart Room. They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Don is part owner of a South Korea company. He spends the better part of the year in South Korea. Chris travels for her employer. Marketing. Most recently in Germany.

Home is Syracuse.

Larry and Peggy…..I am proud of your son for finally doing the right thing. Chris is a wonderful person. Devoted to your Don. Don equally wonderful and devoted to Chris.

The perfect couple.

Don and Chris joined me at Aqua last night. Tom Luna and Heather Mae performing.

We parted company after Aqua. Don wanted to watch a football game. I wanted to go to bed. Stopped at Roostica on the way home for lemoncello wings.

Big night for the kids! Christmas tree lighting and Santa Claus at Bayview Park last night. Santa arrived on a fire truck, horn blaring all the way.

My podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time.

A different show tonight. My plan is to discuss one topic. A topic which the media fails to give proper attention. Actions taking place which bring shame to our Nation.

Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native Americans, a pipeline, and excessive police activity.

An interesting, fast moving, informative show. Again, join me.

Syracuse/Wisconsin tonight in basketball. Wisconsin a 6 point favorite.

My show interferes with watching. Game at 7. I will get in the first half and probably last 5 minutes. It will be the first time this season I will see Syracuse play.

Installment 25 of my rendition of the Key West Rotary history by Wright Langley. Today, years 1986-88.

Tomorrow, the final installment. Will center around Key West Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Rotary’s budget in its infant years beginning in 1915 had to be a pittance. Not that way by the time 1986 came around. The projected income budget for the year was $68,415.

Rotary’s 1988 Annual Report noted the Club had 100 members.

Major accomplishments for the year included raising funds for Polio Plus, sponsoring Key West’s only Fourth of July fireworks (a tradition which began in 1979), sponsoring the Sunrise Rotary Club, continued the annual $4,000 scholarship, and established the Key West Rotary Foundation.

Tomorrow, Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Enjoy your day!


A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!





An interesting sports afternoon! I did not view much of it. The results astounding.

First, Syracuse.

Football. Syracuse lost as anticipated. Finally the football season is over. The score of the game unusual. Syracuse beaten by Pitt 76-61. The numbers reflect a basketball score. I am pleased that Syracuse kept it close. Only lost by roughly two touchdowns.

Basketball. Here I thought success would be ours. It was not. Syracuse lost to South Carolina 64-50.

No excuse. However…..Seems South Carolina’s defense was unique. New to college basketball. Syracuse could not handle it.

Boeheim will overcome.

Finally, the Ohio State/Michigan game. #s 2 and 3. Went to two overtimes. Ohio State finally won 30-27.

I only got to watch the overtimes. Fantastic football!

Last night with Liz. A lady. Charming. Her two deanships at law schools make Liz an extra interesting dinner companion.

I picked Cafe. The vegetarian restaurant. A funky appearing place. Reminds me of a college hang out. Food excellent. Business, likewise excellent.

I enjoyed a spinach-artichoke dip and mussels. Liz had some type veggie dish described as a pepper steak. No steak, of course.

Pie at Liz’s home afterwards. Potato pie made with rum. Never had potato pie before. Taste close to pumpkin pie. Made from canned sweet potatoes.

Fidel Castro has died.

A tyrant. Dictator. People forget that he replaced a despot. Batista. Initially, Castro was viewed as a hero.

Somewhere along the way, he ended up on Russia’s side. I have always wondered why not on the side of the U.S.

Batista was a whore. He and his associates became rich. Organized crime and international corporations paved their way in Cuba with bribery dollars.

Key West, the State of Florida and the U.S. have constantly guarded against Castro actions and influences as they might affect each.

An Emergency Management organization exists. Its primary purpose to guard against any large scale immigration. Also to observe any unusual happenings.

Monroe County’s Emergency Management has kicked in. As has Florida’s. Monitoring Cuban activities.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Monday evening at 6. Bayview Park. Key West’s Christmas tree lighting. Santa’s first public appearance.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast has an elderly health article. The article notes that 1/3 of people over 65 fall. I am one of them!

Pope Urban II is responsible to some degree for today’s Muslim problem. On this day in 1095, he ordered the first Crusade. His speech considered the most influential of the Middle Ages.

He cried out “Deus vult!” God wills it! He even told everyone that those fighting would have a remission of all their sins. Such meant immediate entrance into Heaven. No Hell or Purgatory. Sounds sort of like the Muslim 17 or 21 or whatever number of virgins who will be waiting for those who die for the Muslim religion.

Pope Urban’s Crusade was the first movement against the Muslim world. For 461 years, the Muslims had battled and seized 2/3’s of the Christian world. Pope Urban wanted the Christian lands reclaimed.

Whatever the reason, a forever war.

The history of the Key West Rotary continues. This is Installment 23.

I have noticed that beginning with World War II, the history contents of Langley’s work have become sparse. Five years missed here and there. Cannot be nothing occurred. Whatever, this feature of my blog will see its conclusion by the end of the week.

When I started, I advised Langley’s history went to 1975. I recently discovered there was later a sort of addendum bringing it up to 1991.

April 1966 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Key West Rotary. The Club’s golden anniversary. It was celebrated in a befitting manner.

A gala cocktail party and dinner at the Trade Winds Supper Room in the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn was Key West’s largest hotel/motel for years. It was torn down and replaced with what today is the Marriott Beachside.

One hundred Rotarians and guests attended. Guest speaker was Cleve Allen of Coral Gables. His thunder was stolen by Joe Pearlman, one of the Club’s pioneer members. He told stories about yesterday. Back when.

Interestingly, when the Key West Rotary was established 50 years earlier, it was only the third in Florida.

The 1960s found the U.S. heavily involved in Vietnam. The war was very unpopular. Returning soldiers and veterans were not acclaimed. Actually looked down upon.

The Key West Rotary recognized Vietnam veterans were being overlooked. At the January 26, 1967 luncheon meeting, 4 U.S. Marines were invited. They were recuperating from their wounds at the time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Key West.

Enjoy your Sunday!


It is hard to have a bad night in Key West. Last night was extra special.

It was the company, food, and ambiance.

I was at Berlin’s for dinner with Donna and Terri. Celebrating their anniversary. The event was two weeks ago. The party had to be delayed a bit. Terri was diagnosed with cancer.

Terri has just completed two weeks of chemo. Her last treatment was wednesday. She said she felt well enough to go out last night. Glad she did. She enjoyed herself immensely.

Shane and Gage bartending. The lovely Bria entertaining.

Lynda and Bob Frechette showed up. They were having diner at A&B. Joined us at the bar after their dinner. Two of the nicest people in Key West. Unquestionably.

A lovely young lady came up to me. Striking. Could not recall who she was. I’m George, she said. We hugged and talked.

George is a female. Through and through. Known as George in Key West. Whether her real name, I do not know.

George is Lisa’s friend. George bartends at Hogs Breath. The past 20 years.

I have only seen George 4-5 times in my life. First time was Lisa’s wedding 14 years ago. We met at the martini bar at the reception. Enjoyed a couple of martinis each while chatting. She looks today as she looked then.

I do not recall what we talked about. I believe she does. A mystery surrounds the conversation. She has never shared it with me.

I was glad to see her again. I have made a mental note to stop at Hogs Breath some evening to see her again.

My yesterday began with a 11:15 business meeting. Then a haircut with Lori. My appointment was wednesday. I forgot. Fortunately, I was able to get  in yesterday.

I am a quick haircut. All of 5 minutes. Number 1 on the electric  razor. My hair gone.

Yesterday was Lori’s last day on Southard. Beginning monday, her business Blown Away will be housed in a new building on White Street. Across from Sandy’s.

Stopped for lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I had not been there for three weeks. Could not eat at the Coffee Queen while dieting.

As to the diet, it is ended. I stopped wednesday night.

I am disciplined till I am disciplined no more. I need to see success on the scale. Lost 8 pounds the first week. Only 3 the following two weeks. Not worth the self denial involved.

I am watching my eating, however. Last night at Berlin’s, I had a small salad and two stone crabs. Plus, three drinks. It’s the booze that does it. Wasted calories.

It is amazing how much better I feel since off the diet. I feel good!

I ordered a cheese toast and Cuban coffee. The cheese toast left me feeling heavy. Understandable. Cuban bread is made with pig lard.

Dinner with Dee tonight. Excellent company. She does not know it yet, but I am taking her to the vegetarian restaurant Cafe on Southard. I am not a veggie. However some one in my party when I was last there enjoyed mussels. I love mussels. And the broth made for bread dunking afterwards.

The weather continues to be perfect. Eighty by day. Seventy by night. No humidity. No need for air conditioning day or night.

Don and Chris have returned! Have not seen them yet. Received an e-mail form Don asking if I wanted to watch the Syracuse game with him tuesday night. Does not work for me. I do my radio show tuesday evenings.

Syracuse has basketball and football games today.

Playing South Carolina in basketball. Both teams undefeated. Syracuse a 6 point favorite.

The last football game of the season with Pitt. Pitt a 24 point favorite. I am glad the football season ends today. Syracuse has won only 4 games.

Now for Installment 22 of my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

It was May 20, 1950. Armed Forces Day. A parade down Duval.

The Rotary sponsored a float. The float highlighted Rotary International. Four lovely young Key West ladies on the float. clad in full length white dresses.

The ladies would not be so attired today. Not that they would be dressed risqué. Simply, less clothing is worn by all today.

The Korean War ongoing in the early 1950s. Our first war since World War II. America still concerned for their military. Vietnam would later change the feeling.

A December 1951 meeting was held at St. Paul’s Parrish Hall.

Retired Major Earl Dillon appealed to the Rotarians to donate blood. They were running out of blood on the front lines in Korea. The need desperate.

So desperate, front line soldiers were donating blood for their fallen companions.

I was in high school during the Korean War. Never knew of the blood problem.

Dillon had a son serving in Korea. Dillon read from a letter received from his son: “This is no police action. This is war!”

Rotary responded immediately. A special committee was formed to organize the blood donations. The Rotary gave mightily.

Enjoy your day!




Well…..It was a great day! I never want to eat again!

Thanksgiving dinner at Lisa’s with the family.

Lisa out did herself!

I ate it all! Filled my dish twice. Made up for three weeks of dieting.

We ate at 1. I fell asleep on Lisa’s couch afterwards. Woke and drove home. Still tired from the meal. Went to bed and slept for three hours.

Robert and Ally growing. Robert tall. Ally only 11. I noticed yesterday she is moving from child to young lady. Her face has filled out. Features distinct. A beauty in the making!

This weekend a big one for Stock Island. The I Love Stock Island Fest. Tonight, a community fish fry at the Stock Island Village Marina. 5:30-9:30.

A weekend of fun. The Fest celebrates the heritage and history of Stock Island.

Take a drive around the island this weekend. Stock Island is changing.

Syracuse/South Carolina basketball tomorrow at 2. Last week it was South Carolina State. This week, the private university.

Should be a good game. Syracuse 4-0, South Carolina 5-0.

Terry Schmida has an interesting article in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. The story of Bascom Grooms IV. A local successful realtor.

I mention Grooms IV because he is the great great grandson of Bascom Grooms who was President of the Key West Rotary in 1928. An individual I have mentioned several times in my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

The Rotary history continues. Installment 21.

World War II history very sparse. Absent from Langley’s work. Why, I do not know nor was I able to figure out why.

The years following World War II likewise sparse. Not as bad, however.

The War Assets Administration owned Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach. The Key West Rotary spearheaded a movement to have Monroe County purchase the area.

The effort was successful. Monroe County purchased Higgs Beach for $28,000 on November 4, 1947.

Charlie Toppino and Sons agreed to enlarge the beach area with sand. In return, the County sold Toppino the rock at  $ .30 a yard.

In the summer of 1947, the Club launched a new program. To send one of the Key West High School’s outstanding seniors to Girls’ State in Tallahassee. An honor to be the one selected.

Merli Hilton was selected. Merli later became the wife of Rotarian Charles “Sonny” Mc Coy. Mc Coy in due course served as Mayor of Key West.

Late in February 1948, the Rotary Ann Club held a Ladies night at La Concha. Norma Dopp was President of the Rotary Ann Club at the time. Her husband Robert Dopp served as President of the Rotary 1949-50.

What follows is the last portion of Crete’s  Jim Brown’s response to my inquiry as to why the Greeks demonstrated against Obama during his recent visit.

November 15 was the night of the Athens demonstration.

Obama was on his final foreign tour as President. He arrived in Athens on November 15.

Obama met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras upon arriving. He was honored at a state dinner in the evening. While the demonstration was occurring.

Following friendly and congratulatory remarks by Tsipras, Obama spoke to Greece’s economic problems. He recognized Greece’s “painful time.” Re the European Union, he said it “…..cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy.” Re the Greek people themselves, he said it was “…..incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives.”

Tsipras came to power last year based on his promise there would be no further agreement to austerity measures. He did not keep his word. He capitulated. Somewhat like Bush I’s read my lips, no new taxes.

My Greek friends indicate Tspiras is finished when new elections occur.

Jim reports that Tsipras’ left wing government touted Obama’s visit, before and after, as a vindication of its policies. Self-serving.

Note that Tsipras’ government is a leftist one. The same people who were demonstrating outside the dining hall while Tsipras was inside praising Obama.

Obama’s visit would have helped more if it came sooner. With only two months left in Obama’s time as President, there is little he can do for Greece. Nevertheless, Obama’s visit was viewed as a positive by the Greek people.

I want to thank my Crete friend Jim Brown for his lengthy response to my inquiry. He provided behind the scenes knowledge that the American media did not.

Enjoy your day!







The first Thanksgiving meal was not as it is today. There was neither turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes nor pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving dinner has evolved!

The date of the event questionable. By a year. Some say 1621, the first year the Pilgrims were on Plymouth soil. Others say 1622, one year later.

The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for the party. Not one meal. Actually, a three day feast.

Turkeys were plentiful in the area. Not generally eaten by the Pilgrims. A “fowling party” was sent out to capture the birds to be consumed. Birds regularly eaten by the Pilgrims. Ducks, geese and swans.

Bread stuffing. No way. Herbs, onions or nuts added to the bird for extra flavor purposes.

There was meat. The Indians contributed five deer.

Cranberries were plentiful. Still fifty years away from being used for eating purposes. Sauces or relishes with the meal consisted of sugar which remained from the long Mayflower voyage. The sugar in minimal supply, however.

Fifty years later people started boiling cranberries with sugar. The cranberry sauce first being used as an accompaniment to meats.

Mussels part of the meal. Mussels plentiful in the area. Clung to rocks along the sea shore.

No potatoes. Neither white nor sweet.

Potatoes originally from South America. The Spaniards brought them to Spain. Potatoes were still foreign to England at the time the Mayflower left.

No pumpkin pie. Pumpkins plentiful. Butter and wheat flour required for the crust not available. Nor were there any ovens for baking.

It is possible some pumpkins were hollowed out. Then filled with milk, honey and spices. Following which the gourds were roasted whole in hot ashes.

So much for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Habit of course, but I prefer turkey, cranberries, potatoes, and stuffing buried in gravy. Dessert, pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving, not a day to diet!

More from my blog/Facebook friend Jim Brown who lives on the island of Crete in Greece. Following is a further part of his detailed e-mail response to my inquiry as to why Obama was protested during his recent visit.

Some history required.

The U.S. and Greece were allies during World War II. The Greeks fought shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in Korea. Greece was a part of NATO.

A military dictatorship took control of Greece in 1967. Unpopular. Remained in power, however. The junta was still in power in November 1973.

Athens Polytechnic is an Athens based university. On November 14, the students went on strike against the military dictatorship. By the next day, November 15, the strike had turned into a revolt.

The students occupied the Polytechnic campus during those days. The demonstrations increased in intensity from the 15th to the 17th.

The military government finally had it. They sent the tanks in on November 17. It was the end of the revolution. Many students died.

The Greeks take the events of those November days seriously. The 17th is a national holiday. There is a memorial stone on the campus. It contains the names of Polytechnic students who fought and were killed during the Greek resistance to Germany during World War II. The monument also contains the names of the students killed on November 17.

A commemoration event takes place each year on campus. The day the students decided to revolt. Two days after the commemoration event, demonstrators march the streets to the United States Embassy.

Why the U.S. Embassy?

Greeks have memories like elephants. They never forget. To this day, the Greeks are upset the U.S. did not support them in the November 1973 uprising. We were allies and friends at the time.

The U.S. and Russia were engaged in the Cold War. The U.S. thought it advantageous to support the military junta against the students. The U.S. felt it was the right move for them re the Cold War.

Once the U.S. broke faith with the Greeks, other reasons developed.

The U.S. was a significant part of NATO. NATO ended the Yugoslavia War in 1999 by bombing Serbia. Serbia was Greece’s orthodox ally.

The U.S. supports the European Union. The Union has been killing Greece with austerity programs. Another reason to be anti-U.S.

The U.S. supports the International Monetary Fund. The Greeks consider the Fund anti-Greece.

The annual parade on November 17 is to pay tribute to the students who died and secondarily, to express Greece’s continued displeasure with the U.S.’s position.

The last President to visit Greece prior to Obama’s visit was Bill Clinton. He formally apologized to the Greeks. He openly admitted the U.S. allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its obligation to support democracy.

Now comes Obama’s visit. On November 15. Not the 17th when the parade/demonstration was scheduled. Why waste a parade/demonstration? The event was moved up two days to coincide with Obama’s arrival.

Eight thousand protested. Anarchists and leftists.

The Greeks consider the U.S. a friend. In spite of the reasons given why not. Obama should not have been included in the demonstration. However, Greeks are Greeks. Such is their nature.

Recognize also that those protesting are only a portion of the Greek population.

Again, I must skip a day of Key West history based on a Rotary history. The blog today, though interesting,

already too long. Tomorrow, the Key West Rotary World War II and the immediate years following.

There will be more from Jim Brown, also.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Be grateful for whatever you have. Bountiful or limited.
















President John Kennedy was assassinated this day in 1963. All America cried. It was the end of Camelot.

The excitement and anticipation of his Presidency has never returned.

It seems impossible! The year is rapidly moving to its end. Major holidays ahead.

In two days, Thanksgiving. Christmas one month later.

Key West gets into holidays big time. Especially, Christmas. Two big parades.

The first December 3. Key West’s annual Christmas Parade. More exciting than Macy’s parade. For real!

The parade on Truman. The whole community turns out. The beads of Fantasy Fest are candy for the children. Thrown from the floats.

Robert and Ally go crazy. Waiting to catch as many goodies as they can. They come prepared. Each with a large bag.

The Lighted Boat parade December 10. An experience. Out on the water in a boat decorated like a Christmas tree. Forty or fifty other boats similarly attired. Generally cold. Nothing like being on the open water on a cold December evening. You wear everything! Even long johns if you have them.

The bigger the boat, the more fun. A band. Dancing. Great food. Alcohol.

Nance Frank is Key West personified. She operates an art gallery on Greene Street. Gallery on Greene. Many a local artist has become successful because of her efforts.

The City Commission is dancing around with a parking garage on Greene Street. Nancy wrote a Letter to the Editor which appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast.

Stay away, she says! The 600 block of Greene Street is one of the last vestiges of old Key West. A concrete two or three story parking garage destroys the flavor of the block.

An excellent letter from one who knows best!

I recall building sand castles on the beach with my children. Not a lost art. The children of yesterday the adults of today. Some still build sand castles. Only bigger. Much bigger. Huge!

The Third Annual International Sand Art Competition this week. Wednesday to sunday at the Casa Marina.

Stop by daily and watch the artists work. Beginning friday evening, the sculptures will be lite. Wild!

A premature slap on the back in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

Work was begun a few months ago on the Truman Waterfront Park. After 15 years of screwing around with the project by the City Commission and others.

A major announcement in this morning’s newspaper. First two steps on schedule for the planned December 2017 completion.

A year away!

Guaranteed it will not be on schedule December 2017. Excuses, reasons will be forthcoming. Behind. Over run costs accumulating.

The City Commission is ultimately responsible for the project. History will repeat itself. Behind! Excuses numerous!

Does anyone in government really pay attention to these things?

Podcast time. My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine o’clock. Join me for a fast moving thoughtful eye opening half hour.

Topics include the technological revolution making humans obsolete, people of Flint still without clean drinking water, Maduro continues to screw up in Venezuela, Secret Service having lost or cannot find 11,780 items.

Also, CIA appointee Pompeo a supporter of torture and anti-GMO labeling, Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions wants to reverse marijuana legalization, Russia withdrawing from UN’s International Criminal Court, and more.

I will not be writing today’s installment re Key West Rotary history. The Key West Rotary and Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts were big nationally and in Key West in the 1930s.

My research not completed. Yesterday busy getting ready for tonight’s podcast.

Tomorrow, Installment 20.

Enjoy your day!






Pru Sowers… of Key West’s finest newspaper writers.

She reports in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast re the on and off Greene Street garage proposal. The title of her article similar to Hamlet’s soliloquy…..To be or not to be. Pru’s….. To garage or not to garage.

The article a reflection (from my perspective) of the City Commission’s disarray.

Parking a recognized problem. Two new parking garages bandied around since 2011. One on Greene Street. The City Commission in its divine wisdom voted unanimously in September no garage on Greene Street.

Not a group to let sleeping dogs lie, the City Commission voted to reexamine the issue on November 15 by a 5-2 vote. The vote does not signify that the garage will pass. It is thought most who voted to reexamine will subsequently vote against the garage.

So why waste time looking at the issue again? To accommodate the desire of Commissioner Richard Payne. A retired Florida State Judge. He has a tendency to screw things up.

Kate Miano is one of Key West’s leading citizens. Owner of the highly successful Gardens. The Gardens is across the street from the relatively new public parking lot behind the new City Hall.

Kate walks her dog three times a day by the parking lot. Pru’s article reports Kate’s comment that the lot is never full. I can attest to that. I park there almost daily. Only twice in a year was there not a parking spot.

Kate went a step further. She walked over to the City Parking Department and asked questions. She learned that in the year running from October 2015 to October 2016, parking lot revenue was down. Fell 18.7 percent from the previous year.

Key West needs parking. Desperately. Not a garage on Greene Street, however. Part of the parking problem would be relieved if the City Commission voted to allow Uber and Lyft to operate. Difficult. The Bubba system stands in the way.

Dinner last night with Liz and her house guest J. Richard Hunt. An enjoyable evening. Liz an excellent cook.

I learned that being the Dean of a law school has become a business in itself. Liz was Dean of two. Richard, one better. Of three.

It is cold this morning. Second day in a row. Cold is 70-74 degrees. Yes, such is cold in Key West. I am wearing a sweat shirt as I write.

My home town Utica in upstate New York is experiencing big time snow the past 24 hours,. More today. Already 12-15 inches. Temperature in the low 20s. Chill factor even lower.

One thing I have learned living in Key West these many years. when it is cold cold up north, it is cold in Key West.

Installment 19 of Key West Rotary history.

Disaster strikes. Sometimes we do not appreciate the practical impacts.

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was a 5. Blew out many Flagler railroad bridges. Parts of the highway gone. People could not get back and forth to the mainland. Miami not accessible. Ferries could not operate. Mail significantly reduced. Food prices shot up, where food was available. The law of supply and demand.

The Key West Rotary’s Annual Report issued January 1, 1936, stated the greatest community need was the reestablishment of adequate transportation facilities with the mainland. Noted specifically that parts of the railroad and highway were destroyed by the hurricane.

At the January board meeting, the Club took several steps.

First, the financing of a delegation to Cuba. Interesting why. To obtain the assistance of Cuban government and commercial agencies in having the railroad rebuilt.

I could not determine if the delegation ever went and what, if any, was its success.

The board formed a special committee to correspond with U.S. agencies directly or indirectly concerned with the problems caused by the hurricane.

The February 17, 1936 board meeting centered on air mail and passenger service. The need to improve them. Without the railroad, highway or ability of the ferries to operate, airplanes were the only thing left.

Passenger planes only carried four passengers. More seats on the planes required.

Mail service next to non existent. The suggestion was the airplanes be used to carry first class mail.

The lack of bus transportation a concern.

Key West had become isolated.

The March board meeting noted some progress. The highway had been cleared. Bus transportation began in late February. No vehicular traffic, however.

Letters of support, etc. had been received from Postmaster Farley and Florida’s two federal senators.

Bascom Grooms was outspoken at the meeting. He convinced  the Club to support the conversion of the railroad bridges to handle vehicular traffic.

Enjoy your day!