Stealing from Mac Arthur…..I have returned! Gene Autry…..I’m back in the saddle again!

It is good to be home.

I got in at 4 thursday afternoon after two days of driving. Birmingham to Key West. Eight hours each day.

No question, a few days does make a difference. Specifically with regard to traffic. Little traffic. Very little. Only spots crowded were Orlando and Miami. I used the Florida Turnpike.

No waiting in line for gasoline. Pumps available at all times.

The second day was depressing, however.

I spent all day listening to the radio re the Mexican school collapse and the search for Frida Sophia and perhaps several other children. Drama! Heart wrenching!

Yesterday, we were told by Mexican authorities that there was no Frida or any other children beneath the wreckage. Alive or dead. The situation “not a reality.”

There has to be more to the story. Does not make sense to me.

The search for the children weighed heavy. To it was added another sadness. I saw what Irma did to the Keys.

Beginning with Florida City, a relatively small tree down here and there. Just outside Marathon, you could sense things were going to get bad. They did.

Beginning at the Marathon point and down to Sugarloaf, everything got consistently worse. Debris piled on the side of US 1. Furniture and mattresses. Refrigerators. Boats upside down. Cars on their sides. Roofs off. Buildings down.

Big Pine, an absolute disaster. It was as if King Kong had stomped all over it.

Summerland, Cudjoe and Sugarloaf hit badly, also.

I had been informed I would see many refrigerators. Apparently they fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I even saw one in a tree. A big one. About 15 feet up, laying sideways on a couple of big branches.

The damage itself was too much to take. Coupled with the little girl under the Mexican school, both scearios combined too much to take. Tears were actually slowly rolling down my cheeks at one point.

Key West was a different story. Damage, yes. A roof gone here and there. Most signs blown through. Trees the real problem. Toppled. Size immaterial. Big and little ones.

My new home is in an area covered with large trees. A cathedral type appearance over the streets.

No more. I was shocked! at least half the trees down. The roads one lane. Piled debris on road side heavy.

My new home survived. No damage. Except for a big tree in front and 5 little ones (20 footers) in the back.

I thought I was returning to full services. No Comcast television, computer and landline. All three I discovered have been off since September 7. One day after I left, three days before Irma hit.

Comcast no help. Comcast’s attitude always the same. Don’t care/don’t bother me.

I called to ask when I would get service. The operator did not know. Asked if I was aware there had been a hurricane.

I am getting wi-fi from my cell phone. A special app. Extra cost.

I went out thursday night. Duval Street a ghost town. Places still boarded. No one on the street.

Met up with John, Kevin and Molly at Bourbon Street. Very few bars open. Food, forget it!

On the way home, I stopped at the Marriott Beachside. Asked for a menu. No food! Enjoyed a drink, met some nice folks who live on the golf course, also.

Yesterday a busy one. Up early. Stopped at Verizon and Publix. Only one Publix open. Customers looked sad. Heads down, asses dragging. A remnant of Irma?

Also got a haircut, manicure and pedicure.

I was energized all day. Assume it must have been the time I spent at Jean and Joe’s. Restful.

Dinner last night with Don and David at Pepi’s. One of the few restaurants open. They were only serving off the luncheon menu and did not have all of the items listed. I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger.

The tree in the center of the outside dining room did fall. Big time! Never more to stand. Destroyed part of the roof portion. The roots pulled up half the concrete floor.

One thing bothered me. The FEMA presence in the parking lot on Simonton behind the fire station. Two huge white tents. took up 2/3’s of the parking. Roped off. A couple of hundred people going in and out of the tents signing up for FEMA. Mostly Bahama Village residents. Everyone happy.

What bothered me were the two Homeland Security guards/officers. Uniformed. Never saw one before.

Tall, thin, crew cut hair, blue uniforms and guns on the hips. Reminded me of the neo-Nazis in Greece I have written about many times.

Their appearance bothered me. I asked myself why does this agency need its own military force.

A fire yesterday. 717 Duval. Reported flames engulfed the building. Fire Department got the fire under control. the building housed a tattoo shop.

Food is a problem. There is  scarcity. Monroe County announced free breakfasts and lunches to all school children till October 25.

I compliment Senator Mc Cain on his Obamacare stand.

Two observations.

Google maps. First time I ever used the service. Off my cell phone. Where have I been? Wow!

The Key West Citizen. Could be the beginning of the end. The Citizen is downsizing. Henceforth the Citizen will produce only two editions a week. A weekend edition on saturday. another edition on wednesday. The Citizen will also soon be moving its operation to Miami.

Sad. A Key West tradition.

Syracuse/LSU tonight. LSU favored by 23 points. Would like to watch the game, never the less. Jack Flats still closed. Might watch at Don’s Place.

I will be doing my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook later this afternoon. A quick few minutes. Interesting dialogue.

Enjoy your day!



Fire ants are part of our Key West existence. You cannot be here any length of time without being bitten.

For Japan, it is a new experience. Nary a fire ant till May 20 of this year. They came in on a cargo ship hidden away in cargo boxes. Shortly thereafter, more arrived in a different vessel. Now fire ants immigrate to Japan with frequency and reproduce once there.

The Japanese are not handling the fire ant invasion well.

A Japanese newspaper reported early on that a fire ant epidemic in the United States killed 100. Obviously erroneous. Corrected, but the damage had been done. The Japanese people are convinced fire ants are murderers, assassins, and infiltrators.

An over reaction big time.

Additional sanctions have been levied by the U.S. against 13 high ranking Venezuelans.


Maduro and his government may be bad people. However, it is for the Venezuelan people to change the government. Not the U.S.

Thousands protest. The streets are jammed. In the hundreds of thousands. However, the people stop there. They do not go to the next step and take up arms to depose Maduro.

It is their problem, not ours. Especially when the Venezuelan people are not willing to fight for themselves.

When will we learn to keep our noses out of another country’s business?

McCain showed his independence and courage last night with his no vote. I take back any negative statements I made a few days ago re his failure to stand up when the first vote was taken.

Where did this Anthony Scaramucci come from? He is an embarrassment to our government and to the people of the United States.

I am personally embarrassed. The man is Italian-American as I am. He is a throwback to the 1920-1930’s.

Now for my yesterday.

Dropped the car off to be detailed. Needed a thorough cleaning.

Walked over to Lori’s at the other end of the block for a haircut.

Needed to kill an hour after the haircut while the car was being finished. Stopped into the Sunshine Grill for lunch. Where Mattheson’s was formerly located. On White Street, across from Fausto’s.

Great food! Go!

Diner type food. Wholesome.

I enjoyed a Reuben. One of the best I have ever eaten.

Checked the menu out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very reasonably priced. My next visit will be for dinner some evening soon.

Met Karen. The front house manager. Charming and lovely.

The bill carried a comment on the bottom: Eat here or we both go hungry.

Made sense.

Picked up the car. Seven years old. Looked new inside and out.

Dinner was with Donna and Terri last night. Terri had to work late. I stopped at their home and enjoyed a drink and political chatter with Terri. Yesterday was definitely a Trump day!

Terri is more than a vocalist. She understands. Everything. Our conversation ran deep.

Donna finally arrived. Her ass dragging. It had been a 12 hour day.

We had dinner at the New York Pasta Garden. Donna and Teri enjoy the place. Last time I was there was 20 years ago with three of my grandchildren. I thought the food was terrible. Never returned! Last night’s meal was excellent.

I had egg plant parmigiana and pasta. The parmigiana with my Mother in mind. She used to make it frequently.

John owns the Pasta Garden. He also owns the Ocean Grill across the way. Word on the street is he is in the process of buying Camille’s.

Enjoy your day!








The entrepreneurial spirit is worldwide.

A Texan was visiting in Malaysia. He noticed in one town that there were many coffee sheds. All doing a big business. Customers primarily men.

He was curious why. Turned out some part of the coffee contained a natural ingredient similar to the active ingredient in viagra.

The Texan returned home and opened a one man business. He imported the coffee already bagged from Malaysia. Called the New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee.

Brilliant! A money winner! Till the FDA got wind. The FDA asked the Texan to voluntarily recall the coffee. The coffee ingredients needed inspection and approval by the FDA prior to sales being allowed in the U.S.

The Texan did as requested.


Imagine the impact of an early morning cup of coffee and an after dinner one in the evening. Smiles for everyone!

Hemingway was born this day in 1899. Oaks Park, Illinois.

Today, Key West is in the midst of its annual celebration of his birth. Hemingway Days!

Many events today. For me, Hemingway’s Birthday Party at Sloppy Joe’s. Cake for all!

The birthday party at 5:30. Followed at 6 by the second preliminary round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

Too many people in Key West. Too many tourists. Too many inexperienced scooter drivers.

I was driving on Simonton yesterday afternoon. Six scooters in front of me. Appeared to be 3 couples. The scooters a step up from a moped.

They were stretched out. Taking up about 40 feet of the roadway to my front.

All of a sudden, they all started weaving. From one side to the other. Cruising back and forth sideways.

The last in line was a woman. It was obvious she was not able to control her bike. I slowed down. Fortunately. The bike and her went down.

As I was pulling over to help, her friends were all around her. I continued on. I do not know if she was injured.

It happens too often on our congested streets these days.

Tavern ‘n Town for dinner last night. The salmon outstanding!

Read my newspapers. Saw Josefina at the end of the bar. she came over to talk. Josefina is Liz’s friend.

I found out why Liz was in the hospital 5 weeks. Liz is a diabetic and something got screwed up. Wrong food, might have forgotten to take her pills, etc. No one knows.

Liz is home. She called yesterday. Invited me to lunch at her home Sunday. I am looking forward to it. Liz a great cook!

Holly was with Josefina. I did not see her till I was leaving. She told me she went out with the ladies every thursday evening. Husband Peter Diamond performs thursday evenings at Little Palm Island.

Big Latch On returns saturday August 5. At the Echo-Discovery Center. No registration required. Merely show up and participate.

Big Latch On was a huge success in Key West last year. Involves breast feeding. Mothers world wide will be doing it at the same time. A synchronized event.

Big Latch On is part of International  Breastfeeding Week.

No Poker Run this year. No sponsor. Ten thousand cyclists in the past would arrive in Key West for a weekend. This year would have been the 45th annual Poker Run event held in Key West.

The City will provide no special accommodations for any bikers who may show up, except for increased police surveillance.

The underlying reason is motorcycle gangs. Commonly appearing the last few years in other cities at such events as Poker Run. A couple attended last year. There were problems.

The Rotary has sponsored Poker Run for years. They refused to do so this year because of the gang problem. Their members work the event and could be subject to harm. Additionally, liability insurance costs have risen because of the gang situation.

Trump and Congress are to be congratulated on the depth of their interest in the health of the people of the United States. CBO reported that out right repeal of Obamacare would result in an increase in the number of uninsured. Thirty two million.

The collar tightens. Trump is now making inquiry as to whether he can pardon himself, his family, and his staff.

I am a bit late in getting the blog out this morning. Got a call yesterday advising an early morning test had been scheduled for today.

Enjoy your day!



Infrequently over the years, I have stopped at Mangrove Mama’s. Probably because it is the other way on US 1. My car goes to Key West and back. Not often in the opposite direction.

I had dinner last night at Mangrove Mama’s. Simple. A lobster reuben sandwich at the their small intimate bar. Delicious.

Mangrove Mama’s is at mile marker 19. A large complex. Has always appeared to me to consist of several small buildings somehow poorly joined together. The thought occurred last night that I did not know much about Mangrove Mama’s. So, I learned and share the information acquired with you.

The buildings are more than 100 years old.  Built 1905-1912. Note that buildings is plural. Originally a railroad stop and station agent home for Flagler railroad. Years after the demise of the railroad, the property opened as a restaurant. During winter months only. The name Mangrove Mama’s is the name of one of the first owners.  Rather what she was known as.

Over the years, Mangrove Mama’s has become an oasis for tourists wandering through and a watering hole for locals.

Educating myself re Mangrove Mama’s, I came across another interesting piece of information. Sugarloaf! How did it get its name?

There is a fruit named Sugarloaf Pineapple. Extensively grown on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Different from pineapples as we know them. Ours are yellow inside. Sugarloaf ones white.

Sugarloaf pineapples were once grown on Sugarloaf. I am not aware if now. Whatever, the name Sugarloaf is derived from the Sugarloaf Pineapple.

There is another school that claims Sugarloaf got its name from an Indian mound in the area. Could be. However, the consensus seems to be from the Sugarloaf pineapple.

The Supreme Court decision yesterday re Obamacare a correct one. I am happy for us as a Nation. There are still many out there crying for repeal. TV last night was full of Republicans saying they would continue the fight for repeal. They are Don Quixotes fighting windmills.

Social Security has been with us since the early 1930s. In the early 1950s, there were still anti-Social Security zealots calling for its repeal. It was hard for them to accept that Social Security was a fait accompli. So it will be with Obamacare.

Major events today in Charleston. Some burials, the President speaking, etc. Removal of the Confederate flag part and parcel of the goings on. Take the flag down!

Most assume the Confederate flag has been flying to represent the contrariness of Southerners over their Civil war defeat. Not exactly so. The Confederate flag was of no particular concern to most southerners till 1954. The Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. A civil rights decision. Southerners began flying the flag at that time. As a symbol of their opposition to blacks having equal rights. Southerners adopted the flag as a silent voice in opposition. For this reason alone, the flag must come down.

My column America, Land of the Free appears in KONK Life which is on the stands. It also appeared in KONK E-News Blast this morning. Coincidently, it was linked to my Key West Lou website on Facebook this morning.

Read the article. You will enjoy! The title was written with tongue in cheek.

My blog e-mails sometimes swifter that the media. I have blog readers everywhere.

ISIS attacked a particular spot in France. My computer received three reports re the incident at 5 this morning. All to report the happening. One report from a French reader. The other two from persons in Italy.

The report was soon followed by another. A second attack. Assumed to be terrorist. In Soussee, Tunisia. At a French resort on the water. My friends reported people were shot at while sun bathing. One reported 13 dead. Another 1.

Enjoy your day!


I had a strange experience yesterday. One you may have had.

I was scheduled for my annual dermatologist visit. When I arrived, the waiting room was empty. Unusual! Generally full, sometimes standing room only.

I signed in for my 11 o’clock appointment. I could see from the sign in sheet that there had already been many patients treated before me. I sat and waited to be taken. Less than 2 minutes. Again, unusual.

I was taken into the examining room. A nurse asked me a few questions. Took less than a minute. Then, a brief wait alone till the doctor came in. However, the doctor did not come in. A nurse practitioner or comparable professional did.

I said I always see the doctor. She told me no problem. I will get him. I am not offended. I opted to stay with the nurse practitioner.

Warmth was not one of her virtues.

She examined my body, up and down, sideways, etc. Nothing was found. See you in a year.

Her exam took all of a minute. Two at the most.

I was done. I had gone into the examining room at 10:55 and was out at 11:02.

The whole thing was cold, efficient and brief.

Is this the new way? In and out quickly? Has Obamacare affected a doctor’s charges that dramatically?

I blame neither the doctor nor his staff. There was something different involved however. Dramatically. I could only think of Obamacare.

Interestingly, my primary care doctor and heart doctor still take the usual time to perform their duties. I do not walk out of their offices feeling cheated and wondering if the exam was sufficient.

My blog talk radio show last night. I spent a lot of time discussing Lou Harris and Ho Chi Minh. The Ho Chi Minh portion having more to do with how we fight our wars. The show is archived and available on Blog Talk Radio, You Tube, and the Key West Lou Facebook page.

Will we ever learn? When will the public and/or our political leaders recognize a rip off in the making?

I refer to the proposed changes re building heights and flood insurance.  I sense the changes will pass.

Unfortunately, the program is a rip off. No bargain for homeowners. To save $1,000 to $2,000 a year will require at the very least a $25,000 improvement to property to lift the house 1-5 feet. The dollars do not work.

As to insurance savings, by the time the homeowner pays off the cost of the property lift, insurance rates will have naturally gone up. The anticipated savings will no longer exist.

The Brooklyn Bridge is being offered.

Pru Sowers has an excellent and more detailed review of the issues involved in her column in today’s KONK Life’s E-Blast. Sowers lays it out factually. Takes no position.

KONK Life hits the stands today. Read my column for this week. Ho Chi Minh. A story of the Vietnam War.

Enjoy your day!