Spring break was not for me during my college days. Who could afford it!

My education however did provide many “spring breaks” world wide later in life.

Several years ago, I experienced a sort of spring break. Reported the story in my blog at the time. An amusing episode.

This has been spring break week in Key West. It brought a Key West spring break experience to mind. Several years ago, a couple were visiting. We were out on Duval one night. Took them to Irish Kevin’s. A young people’s place. This old man especially liked it because the young ladies were often induced to take to the stage and expose their breasts.

The place was crowded with spring breakers. My friends my age. We worked our way to the bar and ordered drinks. The college students were pleasant. They engaged us in conversation. One asked what we were doing in Key West during spring break? What were we doing in Irish Kevin’s?

I lied. I did not tell them about the bare breasts. Instead, I responded, “We’re retired senior citizens who returned to college to get our degrees…..Decided we should do spring break, also!”

We were the heroes of the night! Could not buy a drink. Spent three hours with the kids having fun. Just college students hanging out together.

Another good sunday yesterday.

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA golf tournament. Tiger Woods was playing. His best performance in recent years!

He came in second. One stroke behind. His putting failed him. Otherwise, he would have won by several strokes.

The man who went years without missing a putt under 5 feet, missed a few yesterday. Two from 5 feet. Two more from 2-3 feet. His age? He is 42. Or, does he need to work at it more?

Interestingly, he sunk 2 or 3 putts from the 20 foot range.

Later in the afternoon to Hot Dog Church. Pastor Lauri as usual presiding. George, Art, Donna, Terri, and Bear already at the bar.

Glad I went! Met two former Syracuse University people.

First, Stacey Veeder. She took the empty seat at the bar next to me. My last name sounded familiar to her. Not from Key West. Where? From the recesses of her mind. She spent most of her career working in administration at Syracuse University. I was active with the University during certain of her years.

She was married. To a man. Surprised me. Hot Dog Church is a lesbian gathering. I was there by special invitation.

Married if I recall correctly 37 years. To Steve Wexler. Steve was a professor at the Syracuse College of Law for 21 years. Beginning in 1979.

She telephoned Steve to come over so we could meet. We did for a short time. We had not met during his teaching years. I graduated in 1960. However, I was a member and then chairman of the Law School Board of Visitors for many years. There was much we could talk about.

Hopefully, I will run into Stacey and Steve tonight at Dueling Bartenders.

Terri sings tonight at Dueling Bartenders. Tom, Rick and Terri will blow the walls out with their powerful renditions of yesterday tunes.

Speaking of Syracuse, the team made it to the NCAA Tournament. The listing announced last night. Sixty eight teams invited. Syracuse #68. Who cares? We made it! That’s enough!

I was surprised. Still maintain we do not belong. God was good however and snuck us in.

He will be even better if He permits us to make it to the Final Four.

Dinner last night was at Donna and Terri’s. George, Art and I enjoyed Chinese take out with the ladies.

For the past two years, I have frequently written about robots. Always lecturing they are coming and we are not preparing for them.

Flippy was introduced to Pasadena hamburger lovers as Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot recently. He can cook 2,000 burgers a day. He was introduced by the Cali Group that operates several hundred fast food burger places.

Flippy lasted two days. He did his job. The support staff did not. They could not. I refer to the humans who prepare the patties for the grill and those who pile on lettuce and other fixins’.

The humans could not keep up with Flippy.

Flippy is on leave while experts look the situation over to decide how humans have to function to keep up with Flippy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt communicated with citizens via a method which became known as a fireside chat. No television back then. Only radio. The President would speak to the nation in comforting tones and keep them updated on what was happening. His first  fireside chat on this day in 1933. A time of serious economic distress. Thirty percent unemployment. People scared.

Trump’s rallies are Roosevelt’s fireside chats. In form only. Not substance.

Trump rants and raves, demeans, criticizes, swears, etc. Far from Presidential. Not in the style of real leaders like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan.

His bully tough guy performances clear evidence the man lacks Presidential qualities.

Irma and Me doing well. I am impressed with the sales. My first book was a disaster sales wise. Those of you who have not yet ordered the book, please do so. You will enjoy!

Irma and Me is available through Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!


Happy Sunday!

Three mighty northeasters have hit the country in the past two weeks. So many so close together highly unusual. Snowfalls extremely heavy. Temperatures below zero. Travel next to impossible.

One of the most famous and treacherous winter storms was the Great Blizzard of 1888. Four hundred died. Snowfall 55 inches. Wind gusts up to 85 miles per hour.

New York City was exceptionally hard hit. Snow drifts reaching to the second floor of some buildings. Walking next to impossible. Many who did attempt to walk from one place to another died on the way.

One of those who collapsed in a snow drift and died was Roscoe Conkling. Fifty eight years old at the time. A recognized public figure.

I write of Conkling because he got his political start in my hometown Utica. Mayor 1858-1859. A Lincoln Republican, he ultimately was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served 14 years.

Twice he was asked to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Grant wanted to nominate him Chief Justice. He refused the nomination. A few years later, he accepted a nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him. Following confirmation, he changed his mind and refused to be sworn in.

We are in the middle of the flu season. The Keys have not been hit too bad. There are two strains out there. The one running rampant in California the bad one. Hundreds have died.

The worst flu epidemic in history began in 1918. Lasted two years.

The first cases of the 1918 flu epidemic were reported at Fort Riley, Kansas. One hundred one the first day. By the end of the summer, the flu had spread world wide. Twenty to forty million died. Six hundred seventy five thousand in the United States alone.

Researchers at Japan’s Yokohama National University believe they are on the path to a cure for baldness. The source of the cure was discovered in oil used to cook McDonald french fries.

The chemical dimethypolysiloxane. Big word! It has been found to grow hair follicles on mice.

Diana Millikan and I finally got together last night.

Diana is an excellent researcher. We have been collaborating on a book for two years. The History of Prostitution in Key West. Goes back as far as 1650. We are stuck. I say we need more research. Diana says there is no more to be found. She says write. I keep pushing her. Whether the book will evolve, I do not know.

Diana recently finished reading The History of Jews in Key West. The book excited her. She wanted me to see it. Brought it with her last night. I was aware of much contained in the book based on other researches I have completed re Key West. Jews played a significant role in the development of Key West. The book Diana brought to me was the first work I have seen incorporating the history in one 200 plus page volume.

We enjoyed drinks at the Chart Room first. Then to Mary Ellen’s for dinner. Diana had never been.

I forgot this was Spring Break week. The young people were all over Mary Ellen’s. No problem. We chatted with some while enjoying toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

The excitement of youth is overwhelming. To be that young again!

Got home in time to watch most of the Virginia/North Carolina game. The final one of the ACC Tournament. Virginia won 73-61. Though North Carolina is an excellent team, Virginia a couple of steps better this year. Virginia is ranked #1 nationally, has won 31 games and lost only 2.

Judgment time tonight. The NCAA Tournament listings will be announced. I have no anticipation that Syracuse will be one of them. It was not our season.

Enjoy your Sunday!


I am into Fidel Castro this morning. Accidentally, inadvertently.

I became interested in Castro and Key West in the years prior to his becoming the head of Cuba. Not much to report. A scarcity of information. Surprising.

My initial interest was not Castro. It was the old stone house on the corner of Reynolds and South Streets. Actual address 1401 Reynolds. The structure today gray. Constructed from now dirtied coral.

Called the Old Rock Coral House. Year built hard to pin point. I would say 1933.

Castro was the revolutionary in 1956. In the mountains, not Havana. In need of money, he visited Key West hoping to raise funds here for the revolution. He also hoped to excite young men to join him in the cause.

He had an additional reason. He wanted to speak from the second floor porch of La Te Da where Jose deMarti had once spoken and excited some to return to Cuba with him. I could find no record that Castro spoke at La Te Da. His speech was at the San Carlos Institute.

Castro remained in Key West 10 days.

Castro was in Key West one other time. In 1948. He had married and honeymooned in Miami for 10 days. Then somehow to New York City. Not an overt revolutionary at the time. Merely a young man. The couple stayed in New York City for a time.

Castro purchased a 1947 Lincoln while in New York. The turn on for him were the electric windows. A new feature at the time. He drove the Lincoln from New York to Key West. Then he, the wife and Lincoln on the ferry to Havana. I could not determine if Castro stayed overnight in Key West.

A little more Key West lore. The Henry Flagler Overseas Railroad.

Its inaugural trip January 22, 1912. A massive Key West celebration. One event mired the joy of the day. A pick pocket was in the crowd. Earned a good day’s pay.

Syracuse did not get selected for the NCAA Tournament. The call proper. They did not deserve to be in. Their play did not warrant an invitation.

Instead, Syracuse will play in the NIT. They are the 1st seed in the NIT. I wish there was a way to say no to an NIT invitation. Good manners and money prevent such. I view the NIT for second class citizens. Those not good enough to play in the big show. True. However, difficult for me to accept.

The US Attorney fiasco will remain in the news for another week. The news this morning is that two days before the letter to 46 US Attorneys asking for their immediate resignations, Trump personally had given a pep talk to all of them on a conference call.

My Sunday spent being lazy. Read, slept and watched TV. The exception, dinner at Roostica. Lemoncello wings.

Enjoy your day!



I have had a bad week with the computer. Certain facts must be understood.

I am not computer literate. I am of that generation that does not deal with machines well.

Some have asked where was my backup. I try. Understand I write this blog read by thousands world wide from a desk in my bedroom. I am not NBC or the New York Times.

My backup hardware when I have a problem is to go to Lisa’s and use her computer. This I did. I knew I had a virus. The virus showed up immediately as I used Lisa’s computer. I shut it down immediately, of course. Whatever my problem, it had to do with the program I use.

I did not want to share the virus with all of you. It took this long to get everything resolved.

I am back! Hopefully.

The highlight of my week without having to do a daily blog, weekly newspaper column, and weekly blog talk radio show, was meeting Patrick. That Patrick. Not as bad a guy as he sounds when he comments. We had an enjoyable half hour conversation.

Last night was Happy Hour at Martin’s with Jenna. More than a month since we had been together. She is more beautiful each time I see her. We enjoyed great conversation and small lamb chops, brie, crab cakes and sushi tuna.

Martin’s Happy Hour is the best deal in town.

Sherry is a loyal blog reader. I forget from where. She wrote several months ago asking if I could help her daughter Cassie get an internship in communications, TV, etc. I spoke with Jenna. Jenna interviewed Cassie and took her on. Jenna has told me several times what a find Cassie is. She is better prepared than other interns who have worked with Jenna.

Cassie is a student at Ferris State in Michigan. Jenna believes the school was instrumental in Cassie being as job ready as she is.

David Wolkowsky and I have become friends over the past several months at physiotherapy. I wrote a column two weeks ago in KONK Life titled David Wolkowsky. The man is Mr. Key West. Now, 96. David built the Pier House and Reach. He gave Jimmy Buffett his first paying job.

David is aware I broke my toe. A nice guy. He had delivered to me today at big sponge cake with fluffy white frosting. Written in blue on top: A Place For The Toe. Thank you, David.

Tom Oosterhoudt is a well known man about town. Conch Color is his production.

Tom’s back got screwed up a couple of years ago. He has had several heavy surgeries. Conch Color is a weekly. Tom does an editorial each week. This week he made mention that while he was in Miami for the last operation, Randy Roberts visited him. Randy washed his hair and face.

I have never seen as many tourists as this season. Town packed. Sidewalks so crowded it is difficult to walk. You flow with the crowd.

Syracuse did not make the big tournament. I suspect we will play in the NIT. A disappointment. However, I did not expect Syracuse to make it. A horrible season! Every now and then it happens.

Trump is a danger to our country, democracy, and way of life. I continue to compare him to Hitler in the early and mid 1930s in Germany.

If he becomes President, the country will be in far worse shape than before the election.

Elizabeth Warren recently commented on the Republican Party and Trump’s candidacy.

She said the Republican Party has welcomed every radical group into the party over the years. Now, they are taking over. They have the party by the throat. She believes the Republican Party will pay the price for its own extremism. Her conviction is the Republican Party has only itself to blame.

I agree with Warren.

The U.S. owes China roughly $1.5 trillion. China is also buying businesses in our country. The most recent acquisition is the historic Hotel del Coronado near San Diego. A Chinese insurance company paid $6.5 billion for it.

We are selling ourselves to the Chinese.

I hope this blog appears today. My frustration and exasperation will know no end if it does not.

Enjoy your day!