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!



Key West empty last night. Hemingway Days ended. Everyone heading out of town. Sad that Hemingway Days had come to an end. From my perspective, one of the most enjoyable Key West events.

One hundred twenty two participants in the Hemingway Look Alike Contest. Charlie Boice from Palm Beach Gardens won. He had been trying for 15 years. There were winners in the Hemingway Days Arm Wrestling Contest at Sloppy Joe’s. Males and females participating.

I was out and about yesterday. That is why I knew the Hemingway people were moving out or already gone.

It was Martin’s for brunch. Dee was supposed to meet me at noon. She never showed. I telephoned her. She had forgotten. An indicator of how much she thinks of me. I enjoyed eggs benedict alone.

Spent the afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. Harry Truman’s Mother In Law. Did he have a mother in law! A cross he silently bore. You will find the article interesting.

Schooner Wharf to start the evening. Unusually quiet. About a third of the bar occupied. Again, the Hemingways had departed. I enjoyed a couple of drinks. Missy from Don’s Place bartending. Met Devin who is in charge of maintenance at Sunset Key. He is maintenance! We talked about L’Atitudes.

Then to Pepi’s for dinner. Very few customers, also. Ate at the bar. Kelley bartending. My usual. Barbecued chicken and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes buried in brown gravy.

Pepi’s had an historical listing on the back of the menu. Pepi’s was founded in 1909. The menu listed other historical events which occurred in 1909. One was the granting of the first patent for a gasoline electric hybrid auto. Took a long time to become a reality!

Randy Roberts is one of the great Key West entertainers. He has starred at La Te Da for 17 years. As Cher, Judy Garland, etc. He is Cher and Judy Garland. Outstanding drag performances!

Randy will appear tomorrow night on America’s Got Talent. Eight o’clock on NBC. Watch! Hope he wins!

Lobster Mini Season wednesday and thursday this week. The enthusiasts have already begun arriving. There were a bunch who apparently rented the house next door to me. Around 11 last night the noise began. Big time! Till 2 in the morning. Music to deafen by!

Thirty thousand visitors expected for the two day mini season.

I have been critical of recent court decisions. Too far out. People are losing respect for the judicial system.

An example is a federal appellate decision involving a Texas case. The police pulled a car over. The reason being they thought the occupants were engaged in criminal activity. Bullshit items were the alleged justification for pulling the car over. The court held that air fresheners, rosaries and pro police stickers could be construed as indicators of criminal activity.

Would you believe!

We are edging closer and closer to becoming a police state.

Ignition key works. My back does not. Sciatica. Wow! No anti-gravity treadmill this morning. They say that today 80 is 60. I never had sciatica at 60!

Enjoy your day!