Syphilis is a venereal disease of old. A cure available. A quick one. Penicillin. The disease still around, however. Just not in significant numbers.

Six months ago, Key West had no syphilis cases. Recently, 10. An epidemic of sorts.

Nine of the 10 involve 18 and 19 year old males. Recent high school graduates. The final one a much older male.

Investigation revealed the 9 young ones got the disease post-graduation.

Authorities advised the infection not necessarily gay acquired.

The matter remains under investigation. The initial Key West source of the infection and others who may be infected.

Some things just never go away.

I have two pair of horn rimmed glasses. Thirty or more years old. Lens replaced, never the frames. Love the frames! Cost $700 each when purchased. Think I got my money’s worth.

One of the frames broke. Old age probably. I took the glasses to Key West Optical yesterday. Located in the gray shopping center on Kennedy and Flagler.

They were able to fix the frame! No guaranty how long the repair will last. Whatever, I am thrilled. I am wearing the glasses at the moment.

Key West Optical good people. Not the first time I have gone in for a repair. Always happy to help. Always no charge.

Moved on to K-Mart. Need a small table and stool. Did not have the size I needed. I want to move my video show outside. The background would be magnificent.

Then to Don’s Place. No room in the parking lot or street. Did not get to stop. No disappointment. I will see my Don’s Place / bocce friends tonight at bocce.

The Chart Room the next stop. Chatted with John a bit.

Steve Kelly seated next to me at the bar. Mid-50s. From West Chester, Pennsylvania. With his friend Pete. Both staying at the Pier House. Prior Key West visitors.

Steve and I hit it off immediately. A lot in common. An interesting conversation.

Steve is in a family business. His Mom and Dad started it. He runs it now. His son works with him and will take over when Steve walks away.

The business involves sporting goods. Athletic equipment. Called Kelly’s Sports. Sells directly to public and private institutions, as well as the public. University, colleges, and private schools. Sells also to booster clubs, parent organizations and fan clubs.

A big operation. One hundred employees. We laughed about payroll.

Steve and his son have been moving the business into internet sales. The wave of the future that is already here.

Easily observable was that Steve is proud of the business. His third generation family business.

I have been on a diet. Nothing even close to heavy. Yogurt and cottage cheese. Needed a steak last night. A small one. Stopped at Outback for their 6 ounce filet mignon and steamed vegetables. Like I had not eaten in several days. I had not!

Watched McDonald’s All American High School Basketball on TV. Some of the kids are good. They know it. You can see it in their faces.

My grandson John played on a Niki All American Team eight years ago. I traveled to see him. Think it was Charlotte. John was good. Not Division 1 good. He played at Albany State for four years. Captained the team in his senior year.

John is now in his last year of law school.

Moving back to the afternoon for a moment, I did some legal research. An issue I wanted to resolve. I felt like a lawyer again.

Skipper Kripitz is one of the most loved persons in Key West. Also, one of its best musicians. Skipper plays the drums.

He arranges the Tuesday night show at Virgilio’s. Always a sell out. This coming Tuesday the Savage Beets.

I read a write up on the show. Skipper was described as ubiquitous. A big word. Smart as I think I am, I did not know what it meant. Looked it up. Defined as found everywhere. Applies to Skipper. He is all over town playing.

Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway in my life the past 24 hours.

I could not sleep during the night. Watched an old movie on TV. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. I have seen the movie at least a dozen times. The story and setting turn me on. Filmed in Rome.

Tennessee William’s in the credits. First time I noted it. Williams wrote the novel from which the movie was made.

The Ernest Hemingway tale disturbs me. Love Ernest Hemingway!

A Nicholas Reynolds wrote a new book: Writer, Sailor, Soldier: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961.

The book sacrilegious in part.

Reynolds writes Hemingway was a Russian spy 1940-41. Doing espionage for the Soviet Union. Worked with the NKVD, predecessor to the KGB. His cover name Argo.

Attempted to verify the representation. Hard to do. A prior book written in 2009 suggested the same, but indicated Hemingway probably did it to get background for a novel.

I did not have time to research further. Patrick, if the subject interests you, do a little digging and let me know what you come up with.

Have to hustle. A haircut appointment.

Enjoy your day!





I thought no way Trump could win. I was wrong. He won. I failed to see that the people had turned a corner. They were no longer going to continue a government that minimized their value. There had to be change. Dramatic change.

Anyone out of step with present day politicians.

I found voting yesterday different from previous years. I voted at the new fire house on Stock Island. A first itself.

Note that I have voted in every Presidential election since 1956. My first Presidential vote was for Eisenhower in the Eisenhower/Stevenson race.

A different atmosphere yesterday from previous Presidential election days. People walked into the fire station with a determined gate. Heads up. Looking straight ahead. They had business to accomplish.

They signed in and went to their stalls to vote. Finished, placed their ballots in a machine and left. With the same gait starring straight ahead.

For me, yesterday’s election was the most important Presidential one I have voted in since 1956. My country screwed up!

The people have spoken. I do not agree. Such is life, however. We accept and go with the flow.

My podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou was last night. Nine o’clock. The first three topics discussed concerned the election.

Then to other topics.

One of the others you may find shocking. Steven Seagal. The movie actor. Hero. One who stood for right, justice, the flag, and the American way.

He became a Russian citizen last week.

On thursday, Putin signed a decree granting Seagal Russian citizenship. Putin and Seagal have been friends for years. It was reported Seagal asked for the Russian citizenship.

A side note. Seagal publicly announced his support in 2014 for Russia’s taking over of Crimea.

Next installment 9 of my review of the history of the Key West Rotary.

I enjoy doing these reruns of Key West’s yesterdays. I learn many times that which I did not know. It provides the opportunity to share portions of  the history with you.

We are still in 1927.

It was May 20. Charles Lindbergh took off in the early morning from Roosevelt Field for Paris. America did not know if this young man would make it. He was the topic of discussion everywhere that day.

Even at the Rotary luncheon.

There was a Rotary sponsored Boy’s Week Program in the week following the meeting. Included a parade and a track meet at the Barracks. Now, Peary Court.

The weekly luncheon meeting on May 27 had as guest speaker Dr. Joseph Roemer, a faculty member at the University of Florida. His purpose to push for the establishment of a junior college in Key West.

As Roemer advised, colleges were turning applicants away. Not because of grades. Because there was insufficient room. A Key West community college would benefit Keys residents who could not obtain admission elsewhere.

An obvious difference between higher education in 1927 and today. Educating was the goal then. Today, universities/colleges are primarily in the money making business.

Roemer’s words were among the first supporting the establishment of a two year old community college. The idea took hold. Today, Key West can be proud of the Florida Keys Community College. An institution capable of awarding four year degrees.

May 27 was Students’ Day. The Rotary had invited as guests 30 graduating seniors from the high school who attended with several faculty members.

The Overseas Highway was important to Key West. Under construction in June 1927 when Florida Governor John W. Martin spoke at the Rotary weekly luncheon. He pledged his continued support for the highway. Especially the bridge projects.

Back then, access from one key to another involved bridge and ferry use. The bridges were mostly of wood construction. Built in the early 1920s.

The Governor also pledged support for a crawfish hatchery.

The Keys today have a series of hatcheries sprinkled here and there. Shrimp farming took off on a larger scale in Louisiana. Those in the Keys today generally supply south Florida.

La Concha had opened its doors for the first time in 1927. The June 27 meeting where the Governor spoke was held at the newly opened La Concha.

Enjoy your day!



CLEMSON 54 Syracuse 0…..OH, THE PAIN!

Syracuse had played well the two games before Clemson. Sure, Syracuse was 4-4. Clemson 9-0 and #3 in the country.

Just maybe…..I wrote yesterday. Hope springs eternal.

We took a beating. 54-0.

Syracuse basketball on the roll. An exhibition game played already. Colgate this coming weekend.

Should be a good season. Syracuse has a new 7′ 2″ center. He’s rough. In the learning stage. If Boeheim can bring him around, it could be a spectacular season.

Saw my heart doctor yesterday. Got the results of all the tests I have taken the past two weeks. All negative. Everything ok.

I still tire and gasp, however.

The only thing left is my weight. I have gained 30 pounds over the past 1.5 years. I start the diet tomorrow.

I intended to early vote today. Had a feeling the polls might be closed on Sunday. They are closed. In fact, early voting ended yesterday.

No problem, I will vote Tuesday.

The quality of the man. Trump showed what he is made of again yesterday. Note that I do not say Hillary is without sin.

There was an altercation in the audience at a Trump rally in Reno. Someone shouted “gun!” The secret Service jumped on Trump and pulled him off the stage. Trump returned a few minutes later.

There was no gun. There was yelling between a non Trump person and Trump supporters that appeared could get out of hand. No one was arrested.

At Trump’s next rally, Trump people claimed it was an assassination attempt…..that Trump had survived an assassination attempt.

Pure fantasy.

Trump many times reminds me of Hitler in the 1930s. With regard to the phoney assassination attempt, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels was Hitler’s Propaganda Minister. Goebbels used to say if you tell a lie enough times, the people will believe it.

Back to the Key West Rotary History. What follows is installment 7.

My retelling of the Rotary’s history is a rendition of Key West history. Rotarians where community persons. Involved. The two histories run parallel.

Still 1925.

At the December 3 weekly Rotary meeting, developer Malcolm Meacham spoke. Meacham had recently purchased a large portion of Key West, including the airport.

Meacham developed Key West’s first airport. Meacham Field. Today, Key West International Airport.

Passenger service between Key West and Havana has been in the news recently. Pan American World Airways began passenger service from Meacham Field to Havana on January 16, 1928.

The next Rotary meeting was a week later on December 10. Guests were the Monroe County High School football team and their coach Peter Christiansen. Floyd “Diz” Roberts was team captain.

The team had only recently been organized. Rotary members George Perpall and Captain John Maher were leaders in organizing the team.

The Christmas Eve day meeting was not special. The regular meeting fell on that date. The smallest attendance ever at a meeting was noted. Understandably.

The primary topic discussed was the opening of the Overseas Highway. What we take for granted opened January 25, 1928.

Recall how the impact of the Overseas Highway was stressed in an earlier installment. The cry was plan for that which the highway would bring.

Florida was experiencing a land boom in the 1920s. The concept of a highway from Miami to Key West introduced. Since its 1928 formal opening, much has occurred. Including the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.

Today’s U.S. 1 has been redeveloped and refurbished. Including the wood bridges left after Flagler’s Railroad failed which were replaced in the 1980s with modern bridges. Ferry connections eliminated.

The Christmas Eve meeting ended with the members exchanging Merry Christmas and Happy New Year greetings.

Enjoy your Sunday!