Love Shirley Valentine!

A 1989 British film. Warm and touching. The story of a middle aged woman who visits Greece and decides to remain. Her love and life come into play. The wakings and complexities of middle age.

The film touched me. I have reseen it several times on television.

When on the London stage, it was a one woman show. The film was expanded to include many characters.

Key West’s Fringe Theater is performing Shirley Valentine May 17-27. I do not know how many in the cast. What I do know is I plan on seeing the show. Everyone should.

Last night, another evening at the Chart Room. The bar full. One seat at the far corner of the bar available. Said hello to John.

The gentleman next to me said, “You’re Key West Lou.”

It was Mark from five years ago. He had a better memory than me. We had met in the Chart Room five years ago. We spent a couple of hour last night chatting.

Mark 55. He has spent most of his adult life in what I would describe the sophisticated medical supplies field. Does a lot of traveling. Off to Munich next.

Married, lives in Boston.

Politically, a Trump fan. Made our conversation even more interesting.

Hope we run into each other again in the days he has left in Key West.

Left the Chart Room hungry. Was heading to Hot Tin Roof when I recalled the cupboard was bare once again. Skipped the Hot Tin Roof and headed to Publix. One of my purchases was a barbecued chicken which I enjoyed later at home.

The Minimal Regatta coming! Technical name the Schoonerwharf Minimal Regatta. The 26th annual one. May 28.

I am providing early notice so you can get ready to participate, if you so desire.

The race is directly in front of Schooner Wharf. The boats all man made. Materials skimped on, of course.

The following represent ALL the materials that may be used in the boat’s construction: 1 sheet of plywood, 1 pound of plywood fasteners, 1 roll of 2″ x 60 yards duct tape, and 2 2 x 4s.

Success is not dependent on sea prowess. It is all dependent on constructing a boat that does not fall apart and sink.

A fun time!

The Minimal Regatta reminds me of what grown people do in Key west. Return to their childhoods!

Several years ago, I wrote a lengthy column in KONK Life on embalming. Surprisingly, the only country where embalming is a common practice is the United States. Not legally required by federal law. A few state laws mandate it.

Lincoln’s funeral train brought embalming to the attention of the American public. The train was carrying Lincoln’s body to Springfield, Illinois for burial. The trip took 13 days. Traveled through seven states and 180 cities.

Decomposition of Lincoln’s body was a concern. Especially the decomposition odors that would emanate  from it. The decision was to embalm.

A popularity for embalming grew slowly over the years following Lincoln’s burial.

This past week Trump signed another Executive Order. This one establishing an Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Commission seats are being filled rapidly.

Trump’s puppet Vice President Mike Pence is chairman. Commission members appointed thus far are state officials. Most of whom already have a track record of supporting state laws that minimize a person’s right to vote.

A stacked deck.

Trump continues to believe he would have received 3 million votes more had there not been irregularities at the polls. All information/investigation to date reveal no voter fraud.

Wasted money, wasted time. To satisfy one person’s ego.

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!



Aqua and Michael’s last night.

Stopped at Aqua first. Intended to spend time with Mark at the outside Back Bar. David was sitting at the inside bar. Stopped and chatted with him a while.

Then to the Back Bar. Mark always good company.

Where to eat? Decided on Michael’s.

A fair crowd for off season. I was disappointed Suzette was not bartending. I was also looking for Kim who I had met two weeks earlier at Tavern ‘n Town. Kim’s night off also apparently.

Tried the beef boneless ribs. Good. A bone sticking meal. Though no bones. The meat off the ribs buried in a good tasting sauce covering mashed potatoes and some other vegetables.

I have been thinking of getting off gin after 40 years. Wine has been in my mind. I have never been crazy about wine.

The daily special menu showed a special red. The name I do not recall. The composition on the menu took several lines to describe. All kinds of fruit tastes. I ordered a glass. My discerning tongue tasted no fruit.

I was bored at Michael’s bar. Never got a conversation going with anyone. Unusual in Key West to fail to becoming engaged in conversation at a bar.

My yesterday started with the anti-gravity treadmill. Went well. Still going at a slow speed and half time.

I was hungry at lunch hour. Opted for a cheeseburger and fries at 5 Guys.

The afternoon was spent reading and napping. Napping always the best time of the day.

Received two interesting communications yesterday.

Anna telephoned from Milan. All excited. Told me Italy had just passed same sex marriage. While we were talking, I went online to see the story. Anna did not have it quite correct.

Italy approved same sex civil unions. Everything short off same sex marriage. I was not surprised. What did surprise me was that Italy even went as far as it did in approving civil unions. The Catholic Church in Italy has a strong influence regarding same sex anything.

Nevertheless, the approval of civil unions an historical event.

Argos e-mailed me from Athens. I have never met nor communicated with Argos. However, he advised he has been reading my blog since my first Greece trip several years ago.

I have never addressed how Greek’s economic crisis has affected medial care. Argos brought the situation to my attention.

Things are bad! Don’t get sick! Especially seriously ill. Something like cancer.

Government medical plans are paying nothing or close to nothing. Government employees no longer working have no insurance plans.

Hospitals are short in every area. Painkillers and scissors in short supply. Bring your own blankets and sheets when entering a hospital. Cancer operations delayed four months or longer. Regardless of seriousness of the cancer. Many die before time for the operation arrives.

Five thousand doctors and 15,000 nurses have left Greece because they cannot get paid.

If no insurance, the person is put on a waiting list. Months to wait for hospital admission. If one wants surgery earlier, a bribe is required.

I never gave thought to this area of Greek life. Horrible!

Trump/Ryan meeting this morning. I am anxious to listen to the post meeting comments by both. I am a political junkie at heart.

Hillary has to start hitting back. At least through a surrogate. Trump’s charges are building up. Hillary’s quaint smile is not sufficient response.

My Syracuse University is screwed up athletically. Everything seems to go wrong.

Mike Doyle was hired less than a year ago to be Athletic director. Was on the job 310 days. He is taking the AD job at the University of Minnesota.

I blame central administration for the athletic department’s problems. SU is run like a major corporation. Decisions are made by the higher ups and those below are compelled to accept already made decisions.

One example. Boeheim never knew Syracuse was going to the ACC till after it was a fait accompli.

Read a recent article that said municipalities have received $2 billion in surplus military equipment over the past 10 years. State of Florida the most. $300 million.

We all have a general knowledge of that which makes up the military equipment. One item surprised me, however. Bayonets. 5, 638 of them. To use against demonstrators?

Enjoy your day!