Cold this morning! Surprised me. Normally, I can sense a change in weather before it occurs. Missed this one.

The weather for several weeks has generally been in the 80s by day and mid to high 70s by night. I woke this morning to 67 degrees. The high today is projected at 71. Tonight, the temperature will drop to 63.

I already turned the heat on.

Nights will be cold all week. 62-64 degrees.

Tonight is the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s fundraiser. At the bocce courts. The courts sit on the Atlantic. Long pants and jacket time.

My responsibility tonight is to explain/teach novices the game.

The event opens at 5:30. Stop by and have some fun. Enjoy a beer and hot dog. Meet some great people.

Happy New Year! Asian New Year!

A manicure with Tammy yesterday. Tammy born and raised in Vietnam. In U.S. now 12 years. A U.S. citizen since last year. Proudly so.

Tammy educated me a bit as to the Asian New Year.

Celebration week long. Today, the actual day. She and her family have been celebrating all week long. Party at each other’s homes. Food only. No booze. Everyone must be in their own homes by midnight.

This is the year of the Rooster. Did not understand what that meant.

Today being the for real New Year’s Day, families stay home and do a quiet family day.

Fireworks are to ward off evil spirits. I cannot recall what the paper dragon symbolizes.

Learned something interesting. Vietnamese men are entitled to have two wives. They live together with the husband. Her grandfather and father had two wives.

No way will she permit her husband Rickey to have two wives. He is Vietnamese, also. Tammy, Americanized.

Celebrated Dee’s 60th birthday last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

La Trattoria Oceanside not one of my favorite places. Last night was only the fifth time in 5 years I have gone there. Dee wanted to go. She likes the place.

My dislike reasons are simple.

They did not have our reservation last night. The third time for me in my five visits over two years. The hostess did not care. We ended up with a shit table.

The service is always slow. To get a drink, place an order, get served. The food not worth the charge.

It will be a long time before I go to La Trattoria Oceanside again.

Everyday, a bit. My rewrite of Growing Up Italian going slowly. This is the fourth rewrite. I do not want to do another. I am pleased with the progress.

Going Live on Facebook not where I want it. For some reason, I continue to appear rigid. I am. Also, I have not worked out the distance factor yet.

I am also screwing up otherwise. I did seven separate shows yesterday. Three got lost. I did not press all the buttons to post. One had no voice. I do not know why.

Hang in there folks! I will get it!

The Women’s International Flag Football Tournament in full swing. In addition to the European nations mentioned yesterday who are participating, there are also teams from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a three point favorite. I will be watching the game on TV.

The annual Key West Craft Fair this weekend. Bundle up and go to the first three blocks of Whitehead. The show always terrific.

In between the Syracuse game and bocce at 5, I hope to spend a couple of hours with Liz.

As a nation, we are late in doing something about lost jobs. The issue today is not jobs leaving the country. A yesterday issue. Four years from now in the next Presidential campaign, we will be arguing robots and automation. We are always behind.

Enjoy your day!


A double header last night. Joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy and attended their Christmas Party.

Actually, I rejoined the Sons of Italy. I was a member of the organization years ago in Utica when the name did not contain Daughters.

The ladies have come a long way.

Back in the 1970s, there was a cigarette called Virginia Slims. I don’t know if it is still available. Virginia Slims came up with a bull’s eye advertising slogan. Ladies…..You’ve come a long way! True today. In every area.

The Christmas party was at La Trattoria. Great food. Great people celebrating the holiday. The Sons and Daughters a party group!

Georgio sponsored me. A personality. I sat with Georgio and his wife Sharon, Karon and Stan, Donna and Bob, and Jerry. The wine flowed.

In order to become a member of the Key West chapter of the Sons of Italy, the remotest connection to an Italian background suffices. I think even if your best friend is.

The President a Michael Kelly.

Kate Miano in attendance. As usual, a knockout. Her hair last night red. A subdued red. Perfect for Kate! She looked terrific!

Santa Claus was at the party. He is a member. A natural beard. He suggested Robert and Ally must have discovered the truth about Santa. He did not get a call to make his usual Christmas Eve visit to Lisa’s.

Santa Claus is Mac McCauskand. It was obvious he is a well liked person.

A big night for Mac. He was inducted into the Conch Republic Navy. An Admiral swore him in. We all participated, even to the left handed salute.

I assumed Mac would go in as a lieutenant at the very least. Not so. Something along the order of chief dishwasher.

Many at our table Rotary members. None had read my 27 installments re the history of the Key West Rotary. Which means they don’t read my blog. For shame.

Interestingly, I heard from no Rotarian re the history. Guess Rotarians generally don’t read the blog either.

I had a good time. Thank you Georgio and Jerry for asking me to join.

Enjoy your day!



Dueling Bartenders unusually good last night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A better couple does not exist.

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

Mostly Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!


The Key West Citizen daily runs on page 3 its Citizen of the Day. Photo and biographical sketch.

Today’s honoree is Edward Henry.

I do not know him personally, yet feel I do know him personally. Edward works in the pharmacy department at Walgreens on the Boulevard. Always a smile, always helpful. Sometimes difficult I am sure. Prescription purchasers are not always happy campers.

Edward is a big guy. Reminds me of Shaquille O’Neal. Carries himself with the same humility.

Congratulations, Edward! You are much deserving of the recognition.

Spent my day time yesterday writing thus week’s KONK Life column. An American Revolutionary War Hero Who Lost His Head. The Joseph Warren story. Interesting. More revealing, the treatment of the colonists by the British during the war. The column hits the stands wednesday.

Intended to have dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Thought the bar would be empty on a sunday night. Not so. No room.

Went to La Trattoria Oceanside. No room at the bar. However, I was able to get a well located table with a magnificent view of the water. Enjoyed spaghetti and oil. A dish I have not had in ages.

My waiter was CJ. I did not recall him. He did me. He worked years ago at La Trattoria on Duval when I was a regular customer. He recalled me by name.

His step mother is Erin. She was bartender at La Trattoria on Duval for years. Now bartends at Smokin’ Tuna.

CJ is getting married in November. He is all excited! Good luck to him and his bride.

I mentioned Berlin’s yesterday. I had been there friday evening. New singer, I thought. Was not sure of her name. An excellent entertainer.

A comment to the column corrected me. Devin. I thank him. Brie her name. Brie not new to Key West or singing. She has been here 10 years.

I have  mentioned a couple of times this past week that Helen Mirren was in Key West making a movie. Together with co-star Donald Sunderland. Shooting was taking place at Higgs Beach and the Hemingway House.

The movie is titled The Leisure Seeker. It is the story of an elderly couple. The wife a cancer patient. Her husband entering into Alzheimer’s. They decide to take a road trip to Key West in a Winnebago.

The weekend bombings. What can I say? What can we say? Eventually, the problem will be resolved. Could take a number of years. In the meantime, vigilance the key.

The problem will not be resolved here. It will be in the Middle East by the total destruction of ISIS.

President James Garfield died this date in 1881. An assassin’s bullet on July 2 started the sequence of events leading to Garfield’s death.

I wrote a lengthy KONK Life column on the subject five years ago.

Garfield was shot at the Washington Railroad Station. One bullet in his arm. The other on the right side of his back behind the pancreas.

Garfield laying on the filthy railroad station floor. Robert Todd Lincoln was with him. Lincoln called a Dr. D. Willard Bliss to care for the President. Bliss turned out to be an arrogant individual impressed with his own perceived self-importance. He cared for Garfield till his death some two and a half months later.

During that time, roughly 80 physicians also were called in. Bliss always in charge, however.

The problem was no one could find the bullet in the President’s back. Fingers and instruments prodded the hole searching for it. Dirty fingers and instruments. This was before the medical profession realized there were germs. Bacteria.

Infection set in. The President’s body became accessed big time internally.

The bullet had to be found and extracted. Bliss called in Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell had invented a metal detector that was supposed to locate bullets in the body. It had been successfully tested on Civil War veterans.

The detector did not work on the President. A scratchy buzzing sound was constantly heard. Something was wrong.

Garfield lay on a mattress which lay on a metal coil bed spring. The metal bed spring had recently been invented. A patent pending. Not yet on the market for sale. One had been given Garfield for publicity purposes.

The metal bed spring mattress screwed up the metal detector. No one realized it at the time.

An autopsy showed that the prodding by fingers and instruments had moved the bullet from the President’s right side to his left. The bullet could not be located because it was not where it was supposed to be.

Charles Guiteau went on trial for the murder of the President. His defense was that medical malpractice had killed Garfield, not his shooting. The jury did not agree. He was found guilty and hung.

Guiteau made his own closing argument to the jury. “Yes, I shot him, but his doctors killed him.”

Enjoy your day!




Who would have believed it? The new TV show that first appeared on September 8, 1966. A futuristic show. Called Star Trek, it is still remembered. Fifty years later.

I suspect it is so because the show itself and its characters were believable. There was a quality of honesty. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock examples. Some civil rights thrown in. Recall the different types and colors of those appearing in the shows.

Spent several hours yesterday researching this week’s KONK Life column. I will write it this afternoon. The article involves, surrounds, and emanates from the Star Spangled Banner. It has everything. Francis Scott Key, the burning of Washington, anti-Union blacks, a reluctant British Admiral, a cautious President Woodrow Wilson, and professional football player Colin Kaepernick.

I look forward to writing the column.

Intended to have dinner last night at the Marriott Beachside. Good luck! The bar and restaurant were packed.

Where to go? I did not want to drive into the downtown area. There was a DUI roadblock from 8-3 on Northern Boulevard at the intersection with Bertha and Palm.

Decided to try La Trattoria Oceanside. Glad I did.

Ate at the bar. Most of the time alone. There was time to chat with the bartender. Stephanie. A nice person. Enjoyed her company.

Stephanie is from Long Beach, New York. Long Island. She has been in Key West three years. The snow drove her down here. Understandable. If I never see snow again, it will not bother me.

She has traveled. Spain and London.

We talked politics a bit. Key West real estate. Local restaurant operators. La Trattoria on Duval. And other things.

Stephanie is a personality. I look forward to her company the next time I dine at La Trattoria Oceanside.

Bocce is into two weeks of the new season. Don’s Place is tied with three other teams for first place. Records 5-1.

Hell’s Rangers is one of those teams. Always dangerous. Always good. Don’s Place plays Hell’s Rangers next thursday. A blood bath, guaranteed!

The college football season is upon us. Syracuse beat Colgate friday night 33-7. Winning a big deal. However, not so big when the opponent beaten is considered. Colgate is a Division II school, whereas Syracuse a Division I.

There was a time…..

Colgate was a national champion. Always in the running. A major college team. National Champion in 1916 and 1932.

Syracuse became more powerful and Colgate less. By the end of World War II, Colgate was a second rate team. Syracuse was beating Colgate consistently.

The last time Colgate beat Syracuse was 1950.

Syracuse was National Champion in 1959. Ernie Davis time. Syracuse beat Colgate that year 71-0.

Following the 1961 season, Colgate announced it would not be scheduling Syracuse again.

Friday night therefore was special. Two old foes meeting again after a long lapse.

The two teams have played 66 times. In spite of Syracuse’s dominance in more modern times, Colgate still leads the series 31-30-5.

For some reason, most of the games were played at Syracuse. Many in the old Archibald Stadium.

I remember Archibald clearly. My Father used to take me to Syracuse games back then. From the time I was 8-9 through my high school years. Archibald was not a covered facility. No dome. My recollection is it was cold and rainy for each game. And muddy. Anywhere one walked, it was at least six inches of slop.

All fun, however. I thank my Dad for having exposed me to the experience.

Enjoy your Sunday!