The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!



Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!


New neighbors in Key West! Amy Bondurant and David Dunn. Wife and husband. Welcome!

Some 200 hundred homes were visited by Amy and David the past few days. They have been in Key West canvassing door to door for Hillary Clinton.

Amy and David have homes in Washington, DC and Paris. They recently purchased a home in Key West. 1920s vintage. Undergoing remodeling. They plan on moving their furniture down here in December and becoming official Key West residents at the time.

Both have distinguished backgrounds. Amy was the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris from 1997-2001. She served under Clinton and Bush 2. David is an attorney specializing in international law.

This blog brought us together. David has been reading it. We were supposed to meet for a drink this week. Our schedules would not permit it. We intend to get together when they return in December. I plan on introducing them to the Chart Room at that time.

I have some Trump comments. I apologize. However, we are getting close to election day. I feel compelled to vent my anti-Trump feelings. A number of pro-Trump readers will comment. It will be like the roof falling in on me.

More than a year ago, I referred to Trump as a Pied Piper. Both in this blog and on my blog talk radio show. His followers were blindly following him. Gabriel Schonfeld writes for the New York Daily News. He referred to Trump this past week as the Moronic Pied Piper.

Right on!

In a Washington Post article yesterday, Trump was described as a huckster and charismatic demagogue.

Nicolas Maduro has been Venezuela’s President since 2013. His country ran out of toilet paper under him. Now, food. Even pets and zoo animals have been eaten. I have commented adversely re Maduro many times since the toilet paper incident. In this blog, on my podcast show and in my KONK Life column.

The same Washington Post article suggested Trump was very much like Maduro. The article noted Maduro jailed his political opponents. As Trump has suggested be done with Hillary.

I’m not done with Trump yet.

George Will described Trump well in a recent Washington Post column titled “Putin Buying Back the 1930s.” The last paragraph spoke volumes. “In many worrisome ways, the 1930s are being reprised. In Europe, Russia is playing the role of Germany in fomenting anti-democratic factions. In inward-turning, distracted America, the role of Charles Lindberg is played by a presidential candidate smitten by Putin and too ignorant to know the pedigree of his slogan America First.”

A little more.

I have described the relatively new President Rodrigo Duterte as the Donald Trump of the Philippines. Rodrigo has a dirty mouth. More filthy than even Trump.

Now to Key West. Exciting days ahead!

Friday night marks the beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay! I will be out on the street with Don and the bocce team. An annual event for us.

Fiona. Fiona is the sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle who at the end of July was found dying. By a 12 year old boy. Fiona was emaciated, entangled in a fishing line, had ingested a portion of the fishing line, and her blood was low.

On death’s door.

Fiona was hurried to the Marathon Turtle Hospital.  She has recovered. Even gained 15 pounds.

Fiona is being returned to the ocean this saturday at 10 am. Sombrero Beach in Marathon. A couple of hundred will be there to see her off.

I will be home in bed by 9 this evening. Comfortably watching the last of the Presidential debates. Love this stuff! I am a political junkie at heart!

This is take care of Louis day. A manicure and pedicure at noon with Tammy. Then to my heart doctor’s office. Have to give blood. Hate it! Cannot look! When I was 21 and preparing for marriage, New York required a blood test to make sure a person did not have syphilis. I passed out!

Tonight, a couple of drinks at Don’s Place. A quick bite to eat somewhere and then home.

Enjoy your day!



William Hackley reports in his 1855 diary entry of this date that Baby is well. I am thrilled. Wonder how? Yesterday little sustenance. Baby was in trouble. Another question: What is Baby’s name? Hackley keeps referring to the child as Baby.

Lets stay with health for the moment. The war is ongoing between the corporation that owns The Lower Keys Medical Center and Key West citizenry. Nicki Will was CEO of the hospital. She resigned yesterday. I am sure because of the notoriety/conflict. What next?

The third round of the British Open has killed me. My eyes are slits as I type. I got screwed up somehow.

I thought the third round would begin 1;30 this morning. I stayed awake for it. At 1:30, there was a flash it would be 2:00. I continued to remain awake. What I got was an old Barbasol tournament. Not even first class golfers.

Saw another flash on the screen…..4.

I continued to stay awake. Watched old movies on TV.

Four came and so did a rerun of the second round. Not the fresh third one.

I said screw it and went to sleep. Woke at 6.

I sit here writing extremely tired. Guess what is on TV at the moment. The third round of the British Open. It is 10 am. Been running for an hour.

I got the hours wrong. The change in time.

It is going to be a terrific day! I am bushed already.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Speed still good. Time up by 2 minutes. Two minutes beyond what I used to do. Fantastic! The gravity level remains at 50 percent. Perhaps by the end of this coming week, I will be back to normal re the gravity level.

Lunch as usual at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

Then to Tammy for a manicure.

Tammy is a lovely Asian. Beautiful. Tiny and thin. Generally wears her black hair long and straight. Yesterday, rolled on top of her head in a ball.

Haircut? No, too hot.

I soon understood what she meant by too hot. The air conditioner was on the blink. Second day in a row. They are waiting a new unit to be delivered from Miami.

It was a lousy day to get a manicure. My shirt was soaked a half hour later when Tammy was done.

I thought of women who shower and get dressed for a date. Then stop to get their nails done before meeting the date. They were going to be mad! Another shower would be required before meeting their dates.

I had a good time last night. At the Chart Room. Met up with Frances and Chris Clark. By prearrangement. Frances has had four books published. Her latest titled Frances Watson Clark: Key West. A photographic  history of Key West.

Well done. Buy it.

Their daughter Katherine was with them. An adult. A professional photographer. Her forte sensitivity. Reflected in her work.

Katherine presently engaged in taking photos of breast cancer victims. Before, during and after surgery. With taste. To show the strength, resourcefulness, etc. of the women involved.

Katherine’s girl friend Melissa was with them. Melissa a photographer, also. She is a sports photographer with the Caroline Panthers. Sounds good.

I forgot Chris. Husbands/fathers always seem to come last. Chris is a retired banker.

The family is from Georgia. Still have a home in Georgia. Also a home in Key West. On Eaton Street.

We plan on having dinner together soon.

A Venezuela update. Two days ago, I reported Venezuelans were out of food. Were eating their pets. Dogs and cats. Sad.

Nicolas Maduro is a poor President. Inept. As I have been saying for three years, the people should revolt. They first ran out of toilet paper. Three years later, still out of toilet paper. Now, food.

Maduro announced yesterday that he was appointing an Army general to be in charge of a new food supply system. Every federal agency is now run by a general.

Last year, Maduro announced a new federal department. Cabinet level. A Director of Happiness, or something like that. Everyone was going to be kumbaya! Did not work. You cannot tell people they are happy if they are not. If they are hungry and cannot wipe their asses.

I question a bit what I have been reading and reporting re the hunger situation. The Wall Street Journal ran a good sized photo yesterday of  Venezuelans crossing a bridge that was the border between Venezuela and Columbia. The border had been opened for 12 hours to permit Venezuelans to cross over into Columbia to buy groceries.

The adults and children looked healthy. Especially the adults. Most, overweight.

Zika. Mosquito bite the cause. Florida Keys concerned. I sometimes think we are the home from whence mosquitoes emanate.

No Zika cases in our area however.

A case in another part of the country was reported yesterday. A first time situation. A woman gave Zika to a male via sex. Supposedly not common.

Enjoy your day!



I will be shocked if at the end of the season, Key West merchants complain. The season appears to be a gigantic success. People, bicycles and cars. Everywhere! Everyone smiling.

As it should be.

Last night was simple. First, Don’s Place. Conversation with Don, Jimmy, John and Keith. Bocce and golf the subject matter. Then Don and I to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner.

I love talking about Harry Truman. He is as important to Key West’s history as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

The Key West Citizen’s History portion this morning had a picture of Truman and Speaker Sam Rayburn taking a walk in Key West. Sometime in November 1948. Truman was dressed Key West style. A colorful sport shirt.

The walk took place on one of Truman’s 11 visits to Key West. He spent a total of 175 days here.

Angus. Angus. Angus. One of the nicest guys in town. No one would dispute me. Angus spends time at Don’s Place, plays bocce and works as bar manager at Schooner Wharf. This morning’s E-Blast carries a couple of pictures of Angus on St. Patrick’s Day taken at Schooner Wharf.

This is amazing! I have been talking for three years about Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro. He’ the guy who ran out of toilet paper, milk and condoms. Plus, all kinds of foodstuffs. The Venezuela people suffered and continue to suffer.

I am surprised the people have not yet revolted. Things are that bad.

Maduro needed a scapegoat so as Venezuelans would not think he was responsible. He found one. The United States. He blames us for everything. His present complaint/warning is the United States is assisting in a coup and planning to invade Venezuela. The guy is a nut!

Over the three years, I have compared Maduro to Castro. Castro blamed all of Cuba’s evils for 50 years on the United States. Cuba and Venezuela are close. Best friends.

Raul Castro spoke out yesterday in defense of  Maduro and Venezuela. Regarding the United States, he said it was “…..impossible to seduce Cuba or intimidate Venezuela.” Said by Castro while Cuba and the U.S. are negotiating a reunion.

Everyone crazy!

On this day in 2003, Bush 2 announced the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The map of the Middle East changed as a result. Wars became commonplace. No weapons of mass destruction were found.

Thank you, Mr. President. Iraq is your legacy. Sad because you did do good in many other areas. Mark Anthony’s words at the time of Caesar’s death come into play. As I recall…..The good men do is interred with his bones, the evil lives on forever.

I have to hustle. Have a haircut appointment this morning. Parking has become a big time problem under the new parking rules. I need extra time to find a proper parking place.

Enjoy your day!