Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

The old English phrase came to mind as I read this morning’s Key West Citizen. A picture of the then new Pier House Motel circa 1968 appeared on page 2. The seed of today’s magnificent hotel property.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I keep saying…..love the machine!

Then to another love. Tammy at Lee Nails. Manicure time.

Tammy shared that husband Ricky’s uncle and family had visited for the weekend. Uncle, wife and two children. Lots of people. Lots of cooking and eating. Lots of fun. She was tired, but still enthused from it all.

Tammy was born in Vietnam. She has lived in the U.S. 12 years. Her weekend reminded me of the visits by Italian relatives when I was a child. The same scenario.

The Cuban Coffee Queen my next stop. A Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers.

Spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include the past week’s police fiascos, the U.S. Marshalls who raided the wrong apartment and required a mother and her two daughters to stand naked outside, a GMO update, gangs in America, free college educations, compulsory military service, and more.

The Chart Room first last night. Sheila and Jean there. Lovely people. Great personalities. The three of us a mutual admiration society. I enjoyed my time with them.

Decided to have dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Struck gold! Met wonderful people.

Sat at the bar per my usual custom. Seated nearby were Bill and Joyce. Bill lives on Sugarloaf and Cindy on Cudjoe.

Bill originally from Pittsburg. He and his family are in the wholesale food business. Publix a customer. Bill’s company is known as Pati Petite Cookies.

Joyce a personality. Full of vim and vigor. Delightful. Beautiful. A contagious laugh. Recently retired.

There had to be a reason for Joyce’s bright honest exuberance. It finally came out. She is from Indiana!

Joyce has part time position. She is a roving security guard at Venture Out, a housing complex near Square Grouper. Roving the operative word. She rides a golf cart.

I felt a soft arm around me. It was Mary Ann Westerlund. A Key West friend of many years. Her husband Roger passed on two months ago. Mary Ann is getting along.

Bill and Joyce left. Mary Ann Westerlund appeared for a moment. Then came Lisa who sat where Bill and Joyce had. Lisa another great meet.

Lisa an orthodontist. Root canal specialist. She is from somewhere on the mainland. Has a Key West office in Perry Plaza that she visits each week.

Excellent company. Tired. Decided to stay overnight at the Marriott rather than drive back.

Lisa is married. Mother of two. Proudly showed me her children’s pictures. Her Dad badly ill. The concern heavy on her.

A lovely young lady. She is friends with my Key West dentist George Linder. I spent a few minutes boring her with the story of my implants which Dr. Linder did. Love my implants!

I finished the evening sitting alone at the bar with a snifter of Grand Marnier. Thinking what a pleasant evening, what nice people.

I wrote yesterday that Terri White would be appearing in New York on October 16 at the Kennedy Center. Did I screw the whole thing up!

Terri is appearing October 16 in Washington, DC in the Terrace Theater Upstairs at Kennedy Center. Thank you Marty from Blue Ridge for correcting me. I have not heard from Donna yet re the mistake. I am sure I will.

Enjoy your day!


I finally decided what to write for this week’s KONK Life column.

The subject concerns the loss of American values. The disintegration of our way of life.

I suspect the column will be controversial. Not all will agree with me.

The column was written yesterday. It will publish in KONK Life wednesday.

I snuck over to Publix in between writing the column. I never have enough food in the house. Glad I went. I ran into Mary Ann Westerlund in the parking lot. Her husband Roger died last week. I wrote about Roger two days ago.

Mary Ann was with one of their daughters. What can one say or do, except I am sorry and a warm hug.

Dinner last night at Roostica. The sunday night special is spaghetti in a pork sauce with meatballs and sausage. The meal close to my grandmother and mother’s cooking.

One exception. I do  not recall ever seeing spaghetti in the house. The closest we came was perchetelli. A thicker type spaghetti. My family’s favorite was ziti. Mine today are rigatonis. Known as stove pipes back then.

I subscribe to World War II History. A monthly magazine. Read two interesting articles last night.

One concerned Chuck Yaeger. He was a World War II ace. Following the war, he was a test pilot. He is best known for being the first to crack the sound barrier.

The other involved thousands of Russians who fought for Germany during World War II. In the German Army. Some as generals.

I was not aware.

The Russians were anti-Stalin. After the war, the Russians wanted to stay in Germany or some other European country. They did not wish to return to Russia. They feared Stalin would have them killed.

The Allies did not buy the fear story or did not care. Most were repatriated. Most were killed by Stalin over the next two years.

My column in last week’s KONK Life concerned Uber. A timely subject, I thought. It must have been. Unknowingly, two other KONK Life writers wrote about the same subject. Pru Sowers and Rick Boettger. Our articles did not overlap. We approached the story from different perspectives.

Yesterday or the day before, the Key West Citizen editorial concerned the subject. The message was give Uber a shot. Then yesterday morning, a one hour Miami talk show. Heavy hitters on the show. Plus, the owner of a taxi fleet. Except for the cab company proprietor, all were in accord Uber was a good thing and should be encouraged rather than fought.

The Key West Citizen and Miami TV show agreed with me. Rick disagreed. Pru took no position. Merely related the facts.

I live and learn. There is a crack down in Monroe Country re short term rentals. Less than 28 days. This I knew. What I did not know was that there is a Florida law on the books since 2011 prohibiting cities from passing local laws barring short term rentals.

How then can Monroe County be doing it? The law includes a grandfather clause. If a city banned short term rentals before the new law, the city was grandfathered in and could continue the banning.

A stupid use of the grandfather clause. Florida should be uniform on the issue.

Greece. My Greece. The word this morning is that there is a deal. It will be signed tonight. Whatever the deal, it has to be approved by the Greek Parliament.

The present Greek President was elected in January claiming he would no longer subvert Greece to the Eurounion’s demands. The deal proposed does exactly that. It is a continuance of what came before. It basically is the same document the new Greek government has been opposing. As well as a majority of Greek citizens.

I believe the proposal is not the end of the problem. The can has been kicked down the road. I say that for several reasons.

It subjects the Greek people to additional austerity. The thing that has been killing them. It does not provide for debt restructuring. Greece will never be able to pay the debt as presently structured. A portion has to either be forgiven or extended 20-30 years. Overall, the proposal will weaken rather than strengthen the Greek economy.

Greece will be kicked around a bit more. The eventuality is that ultimately Greece will leave the Eurounion. The can can be kicked only so far.

Enjoy your day!


We come and go. Death a certainty. Inevitable.

July 6 was a major milestone in my life. My 80th birthday. It was a sad day in Roger and Mary Ann Westerlund’s lives. Roger died. He was 83. The world lost a good man. Key West one of its favorite persons.

Roger was a retired anesthesiologist. He retired from the NYU Medical Center. He and Mary Ann moved to Key West sometime in the late 1990s. They were already here when I bought my Key West home in 1998.

My wife at the time and I were strangers. Knew few people. The Westerlunds were always quick to introduce us to others.

It is sometimes hard to describe the real person. Roger can best be understood by his plaque at the Tropic Cinema. The Tropic was raising money for the new location. Roger made a donation. A urinal donation.

There are two urinals in the men’s room. Roger paid for one of those urinals. On the wall over the urinal is a plaque. Eye level. It reads…..THIS STATION FOR YOUR RELIEF PROVIDED BY ROGER WESTERLUND.

Roger will be remembered by those who use the urinal and those who do not. Robert was a well known figure around town. Loved and respected by all.

My day began with my friend the anti-gravity treadmill. A real work out. I have increased the miles per hour and inclines. Thirty minutes and my tee shirt was sticking wet.

It was lunch time. The Cuban Coffee Queen. A cheese toast and large Cuban coffee. Sat there a while reading the newspapers.

The new location of the Cuban Coffee Queen in Key Lime Square behind Antonio’s has turned into a gold mine. Good for them!

Dinner last night at Hot Tin Roof with Rick and Cynthia. Wonderful people. We are relatively new friends. It was at their home three months ago that I suffered the first of my three consecutive days of falling. Not their fault. My body’s fault.

Rick writes. For KONK Life as I do. He is openly against anything he senses is wrong. He brings lawsuits on his own to fight what he perceives Key West injustices. No lawyer. Rick feels he is qualified, however. He did a year at Yale Law School.

Charlotte and Skip stopped by our table. I have seen neither in a couple of months. Skip is a premier radio broadcaster. Was the man in Key West. Relocated to another station in Islamorada where he and Charlotte now live.

Charlotte is from one of the Carolinas. She worked for United Health Care. I beat her up many times with my complaints about the company. United Health Care my AARP supplement.

If my recollection is correct, Charlotte is now associated with the dolphin facility in the Keys.

Charlotte lived many years on her boat in the Carolinas. Not taking well to apartment living. She intends to bring her boat down to Islamorada for her and Skip to live on.

Charlotte runs. The big marathons all over the country. She told me when last we met that she was going to do the 50 mile run from Marathon to Key West. She told me last night she did. Completed the run with no difficulty. I who cannot walk very far! I hate her sometimes!

Jean Thornton back in town. I looked for her before and after dinner last night. Could not find her. Emily at the Chart Room told me Jean and Sheila were participating in the Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt. The winners received $5,000. I don’t know if Jean and Sheila won.

Jean already won. Some years back, Jean was diving with Mel Fisher. She was either his guest or paid a small fee to do a one day dive. Jean found emeralds and gold. Changed her life! No more the Indiana school teacher. She and husband Joe now live in Birmingham and Key West. They have a condo in Truman annex.

Jean has come to be known as the Key West Golden Girl because of her find.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carries my KONK Life column for the week. Illegal Human Trafficking. Not about prostitution. About Uber. An historical walk re a relatively new company.

You have picked up I am sure that I have not written re Greece the past few days. The situation confuses me at this point. My lips are sealed till there is a result/conclusion.

Enjoy your day!


Yesterday was a special day! D-Day and the Belmont.

People everywhere were thrilled with American Pharoah’s victory. I watched the race at Tavern ‘n Town. You could sense everyone was pulling for American Pharoah. There was a roar when he won.

Keith and I were at Tavern ‘n Town to watch the race and have dinner. We were seated at the bar with a large TV screen nearby. Mary Ann Westerlund appeared. I rarely see her and husband Roger these days. It was a hug and kiss. Kind words exchanged. We watched the race together.

Seated next to me for the race only was a gent from Big Pine. I did not catch his name. He had just returned from a one month trip to Russia.

Some ladies from Roostica were at a nearby table. A former waitress, Michelle and another lady. We talked a bit. It was good to seem them. The former waitress was my exclusive waitress for at least a year. A good waitress and good company.

I wrote this week’s KONK Life column yesterday. Got it out a day early. Don’t know where the energy came from.

The title is Portugal The Blueprint.

Portugal legalized drugs in 2001. All drugs. Even the real bad stuff like cocaine and heroin. Fourteen years later, the results are amazing. Drug problems significantly down in every area. Jails closing because there are not enough criminals to occupy them.

You will find the article interesting. Perhaps something the U.S. should consider. Read the column before you criticize my comment.

Sloan was with me later in the afternoon. My Skype was screwed up. No one could see or hear me. Took an hour to correct.

There is a little old lady who it seems has always worked at Publix. As a bagger. I am not offending her by the old description. She lives alone. Has taken care of herself the past 20 years. She immigrated from Poland 20 years ago.

We became friends over the years. Even though her English was poor and my Polish non existent.

Her name Helena. She retired from Publix recently. She earned a Publix pension. She is also eligible for Social Security. She has to wait two months for her first check. Then she is returning to Poland to spend the rest of her years. She has family there.

You may wonder why Helena came to the U.S. in the first place. Twenty years ago, she entered a Polish lottery. The winner would get a U.S. green card. she won.

God bless, Helena! I wish you well!

Anna is still visiting the Milan World’s Fair every day. Yesterday, the U.S. pavilion. She said the U.S. had one of the best looking pavilions from the outside. However, she thought the inside left something to be desired. Amusingly, she reported the pavilion contained a small Walgreens.

I wrote yesterday was of particular significance. The Belmont and D-Day. There was a third item I forgot. To wish Anne Larsen a happy birthday. Yesterday was her birthday.

Anne is an old friend from Ithaca, NY. We have been friends more than 25 years. We met face to face only once. However, she reads my blog daily, my KONK Life columns and listens to my blog talk radio show.

She has become one of those who is quick to criticize if I misspell, use poor grammar, am factually incorrect, etc. She has become my conscience! Sometimes her comments are overbearing. However, I know her heart is in the right place.

Happy birthday one day late, Anne!

Enjoy your Sunday!