My birthday continued into last night. Donna and Terri invited me to dinner. I did not realize they were going to do Happy Birthday.

I was greeted with Happy Birthday as I arrived. Imagine Terri’s crescendo! Drinks followed by a home cooked meal by gourmet chef Donna.

After dinner, Happy Birthday cake. Unexpected. Home baked brownies topped with whip cream. And two candles: One an 8, the other a 2.

Happy Birthday sung again!

Gift, a bottle of Beefeaters.

Received an e-mail from Joseph. Biblical. He thanked me for letting him participate in the “Feast of my Nativity.”

Joseph is 69. Ailing from a back surgery more than a year ago. Not perfect yet.

Joseph is 69. Short and thin. A white beard and mustache. Needs a cane. His cane is a rod. A six foot wood pole.

I refer to Joseph as John the Baptist since he began using the pole.

I spent yesterday doing nothing. Laid around all day. I was beat! Moving and unpacking had taken its toll. Shot!

My new neighborhood is a delight to behold. Cute single family homes. Greenery everywhere. Trees arching over the roadway.

Decided I would try to walk again. The peaceful surroundings called out to me.

I walked this morning. Early. Out of bed, into shorts and sneaks. Before I said, screw it!

The walk delightful. Once around a block. All of 10 minutes. I am starting off slow. Want to succeed this time.

Three popular Key West events on going or imminent.

Mel Fisher Days began thursday and end today. The event is to commemorate Fisher’s discovery of the Spanish galleon Atocha.

Mango Fest next saturday July 15. Bayview Park. All kinds of activities and mango foods. Sponsored by the Key West Police Athletic League. The League supports and participates in all kinds of children’s activities.

Finally, one of the best. Hemingway Days! Ten days of Hemingway fun beginning July 18. Including the Running of the Bulls, the Hemingway Look Alike Contest, and Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway Birthday Party.

The things I learn from William Hackley’s life. His diary for this day in 1856 records Hackley paying the rent on his Key West home. Paid for six months with a $450 Treasury warrant. Works out to $75 a month.

Can’t rent anything for $75 a month anymore! Hackley’s rent today would be at least $3,000 a month.

Hemingway. One of Key West’s most famous citizens.

On this day in 1918, Hemingway was 18. World War I three years old. The United States not yet in the war.

Hemingway wanted to participate. He joined the American Red Cross and was stationed in northern Italy as an ambulance driver.

While serving on the front, a mortar shell went off near him. Hemingway was seriously injured. Spent quite a while in the hospital because of shrapnel wounds. One leg especially beat up.

During his hospital stay, he fell in love with a nurse. A serious romance. After he returned home and was arranging for her to follow him, his loved dumped him for a lieutenant of royal lineage.

While living in Key West, Hemingway worked on his manuscript A Farewell to Arms and had the book published.

The book  reflected on northern Italy during World War I, the experiences of a Red Cross ambulance driver, his love affair with a nurse, and the tragic ending of the love affair. The nurse love died in the book.

Hemingway’s actual war time life experiences formed the basis for his first best selling novel.

In 1962, the movie PT-109 was filmed on Munson Island in the Keys. Pt-109 was the war time story of John Kennedy and his heroic experience following the sinking of PT-109.

A lot of local background.

Munson Island was owned at the time by Sheriff John M. Spottswood. Subsequently to become a Florida State Senator.

Kennedy was visiting Key West if my memory proves correct for a meeting with Great Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillan. Spottswood was close to Kennedy. He suggested a good place to shot the movie was Munson Island which he owned. Munson Island became the place.

Munson Island today is Little Palm Island.

Spottswood had five children. He was the patriarch of the family. A Key West icon. His children all successful today and respected community leaders. I only know one. Robert and his wife, Elena. Two fine people.

Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie.

I met Robertson 12 or more years ago at the Mel Fisher Museum. The Museum was kicking off a national fund raising campaign. Robertson was honorary chairman.

The good looking young vital man of PT-109  days was now aged. Never the less, dapperly dressed and sharp of wit.

A Trump observation. He is out of his class at the G20 meeting in Hamburg. In over his head. Especially with Putin.

Enjoy your day!



I continue to learn.

This time that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent the winter months 1924-1926 on a houseboat in the Florida Keys.

We have Karen Chase to thank for the knowledge.

FDR’s legs were paralyzed. It was thought warm air and warm water would help his condition. FDR and his friend John Lawrence bought a used 71 foot houseboat. They christened it Larooco.

FDR spent two consecutive winters cruising on the Larooco in the Florida Keys.  Fishing and swimming.

We would never have known had it not been for Karen Chase discovering FDR’s daily log covering the trips. Chase discovered the log a few years ago. She put the log into book form.

FDR On His Houseboat – The Larooco Log, 1924-1926 was introduced to the public two days ago at Hyde Park.

The Custom House has invited Chase to speak about FDR’s time on the Larooco as part of its Distinguished Speaker Program. She is scheduled to appear at the Custom House November 17.

Visualize FDR living on the houseboat. Paralyzed, yet fishing and swimming. In our beloved Florida Keys. A story!

It is finally at an end. The Presidential campaign. I will be voting for Hillary later this morning.

I started my diet yesterday. Made it through day 1. I did not leave the house at all yesterday. It was the only way I could avoid the near occasion of sin for me. Food and drink. I know my limitations.

Spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics. Some thought provoking. Like the failure of government to see and do anything about two new areas of unemployment in the next four years.

Also, Comey letter #2, a Venezuela update where Vatican intercession has failed, Steven Seagal becomes a Russian citizen, Saudi Arabia extending its lobbying efforts to U.S. governors, a dozen drugmakers under grand jury investigation, a possible cyber war, the real reason behind the ongoing Syrian War, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed interesting!

On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President. The nation was excited. The Eisenhower years had been good. Somewhat subdued, however. Kennedy was young and appeared vibrant. He had a young beautiful wife and family.

His years were called Camelot. America would achieve the best of everything. Excitement prevailed.

Unfortunately, Kennedy did not have enough time. He was assassinated in 1963. The dream died.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

A statement I cannot make too many times.

On this date in 1948 and 1951, Truman returned to Key West to work and vacation. It is reported re the 1948 trip that Truman landed at Boca Chica. Twenty five thousand people cheered him on the drive to the Little White House.

The Key West Rotary. Installment 8.

One day. April 4, 1927.

A thursday. Rotary International President Paul P. Harris had left monday. Thursday was the regularly scheduled luncheon meeting for the Key West Rotary.

A big day. Time wise and work wise.

Members had been notified to come to the meeting in overalls. Overalls being the term used I assume for shoulder type dungarees or some other type work pants.

Work the members did! They removed rubbish the length of Duval Street. The event known as Scour Duval for Rubbish Thursday.

The clean up was done in conjunction with the Woman’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Trucks were donated by businesses and individuals. The Rotarians manned them. Twenty trucks. One truck per block of Duval. The rubbish collected was taken to the city dump to be incinerated.

The meeting was also the election meeting.

Robert F. Spottswood was elected President. The Spottswoods have enriched Key West for years. Conchs. The family through the generations community minded.

I assume the new President was grandfather to the present day Robert Spottswood. Robert and wife Elena are my friends. Ever helpful. Work hard on behalf of Key West. One of Robert and his family’s present successes is the Marriott Beachside.

Rotary members went all out to be helpful during the 1920s. They could not do enough for Key West. An inspired group.

George A. T. Roberts was elected Sergeant at Arms at the same time Spottswood was elected President. He died three years into his term. His stone is inscribed with the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.

The men were believers all!

Enjoy your day!




Last night was nostalgia time.

I had dinner at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town with Buffalo’s Tom and Fran. They return home wednesday.

Tom mentioned they had received a telephone call from their daughter earlier in the day. She lives somewhere else in the U.S. She told her parents they were needed a week from this weekend. It was tomato canning time.

That opened the door. Fran is of Italian extraction. Italian cooking obviously part of her life.

I mentioned that as far back as 3 and 4, I could remember helping my parents can tomatoes. Four or five bushels each time. My job was to skin the tomatoes after they had been boiled.

Tom and Fran are a generation behind me. She uses a machine to squish the tomatoes. I have no recollection of a machine. Everything was done by hand.

The tomatoes led to other canning experiences. We got into wine making, canning pears, canning peaches, canning peppers, and making sausage in oil.

A pleasant trip back in time.

We also chatted about Syracuse football. A great start! 2-0. Can freshman quarterback Dungey lead the team to a glorious season?

Robert and Elena Spottswood stopped by to say hello. Two of the nicest people in Key West. I see Robert about once a year. I had not seen Elena in probably five. Her beauty has not changed one iota in the 15 years I have known the couple.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. It was Body Owners proprietor’s first day back from her honeymoon. The Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Then to Tammy for a manicure. Love the lady! We talk about everything.

Lunched at home. Must grocery shop. I am down to next to nothing. Even the freezer is empty.

Today is James Fenimore Cooper’s birthday (1789-1851).

Fenimore spent most of his life in Cooperstown. Cooperstown is a 45 minute drive from my old home town Utica. Visited Cooperstown often for business and pleasure. Cooperstown primarily known as home to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fenimore was a novelist. One of his most famous works Last of the Mohicans.

His home is a tourist attraction. It sits grandly overlooking Otsego Lake. I have been in the home many times. As a tourist/visitor, with my twin grandsons, and at social events.

It is not Fenimore’s original home. That burned down sometime around 1850. The present one was built nearby by Fenimore’s daughter who used bricks and materials salvaged from the burned down home as part of the building materials..

Most visits to the Fenimore house included of course a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Not a place to be missed.

Kim Davis is a religious fanatic. Sorry if I step on some toes. What she is doing is wrong. She is in effect imposing her religious beliefs on those she was elected to represent. She is also making a mockery out of the law.

I refer specifically to her changing the face of the marriage certificate. Crossed out is County Clerk and written over is by order of a federal court decision. The name of the County has been omitted also. In its place is the community where issued. Medford.

The marriage  certificate form and substance is probably by State law. Kim has no right to unilaterally change such. She is neither the Kentucky State Legislature nor Governor.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me.

Topics include a bit more re Kim Davis, Afghanistan’s opium and heroin business doing well in spite of war, the European migration situation, where and when the Middle East problem got its start, a Russian bank that was discovered to be using fake gold as reserve capital, Merkel pushing for a European military, and more.

Enjoy your day!


My friend Larry Smith is doing a presentation tonight. For the Friends of the Library. Six this evening at St. Paul’s Church. Besides being an overall good guy, Larry is an accomplished musician. He plays, composes and sings.

Larry’s talk will center on the types of music which influenced him as a musician and composer. The talk should be interesting.

Few are aware that Larry studied music in college. His first job after was teaching music at some school in a little hamlet in upstate New York. From there, he branched out into what he has become. A premier entertainer.

I spent my sunday writing. All day. First the blog. Then several hours composing this week’s KONK Life column. Young Ladies Join ISIS.

The column was motivated by the 3 young girls who are on their way to Syria to join ISIS. Each wishes to marry a jihadist and have babies. The girls are 15, 15 and 16. My article centers on the factors causing them and other young ladies to run off to Syria to experience such a life.

Keith stopped over later in the day. There were a few little things to complete in my bedroom. I must say…..The best bedroom I have slept in!

I have watched the Academy Awards my entire life. Always enjoyable.

This year I had a bit of a problem. I had only seen one of the nominated movies. American Sniper. Some winners were strangers to me. I do not get out to the movies much any more. Though I do watch many on television’s movie channels. Generally old films. Most of the stars dead and gone.

The History portion of this morning’s Key West Citizen has a 1960 picture of then sheriff John Spottswood and Harry Truman. Spottswood later became a state senator.

I never knew the man. However, I have known for more than 20 years his son Robert and Robert’s wife Elena. Two of the warmest people in Key West. Both moving forces over the years in developing Key West. Each getting things done.

Enjoy your day!