First stop last night was Tammy. My manicurist.

The woman a charm. A mere 34 years old. Born Vietnam. In the U.S. 14 years. Already a proud U.S. citizen. She and husband Rick owners of a thriving nail business.

Always enjoy my half hour with her. We talk of many things.

Then to the main event. Irma evacuee reunion. Those of us who fled the hurricane and ended up spending 12 days as the “guests” of Jean and Joe Thornton at their Birmingham, Alabama home.

Five of us and three dogs.

We bonded.

Only one failed to make the reunion. Dan. Ann, Haywood, Joanne and her friend Tim, me, and the Thorntons at Alonzo’s.

We drank, ate and overall had a good time. Just as it was in Birmingham those 12 days when we were hiding from Irma.

I wrote Irma and Me based on the evacuee situation. Publisher still has not got it out. Thought it would be available for sale three weeks ago. Still waiting.

Most of us ended up at the Chart Room following Alonzo’s. Packed. Streets empty. The Chart Room overflowing. Tourists. I suspect our group were the only locals.

A stimulating evening for me.

Met Jenni and Spence from West Memphis, Arkansas. A great couple!

Jenni a former history teacher. I liked her right away. Now, a high school librarian. Charming and beautiful. Husband Spence a farmer. Soybeans and rice. The farm 5,500 acres. A corporation. Employs 10.

No strangers to Key West. Visit frequently.

Celebrating Spence’s 38th birthday.

I spent most of the evening talking with Spence. An education! Spence is knee deep in the farm situation, Monsanto, pending tax litigation. All tied together. He and an uncle own the farm. They work hard to keep it in their hands and not have to sell to another entity.

A constant battle. Though not hurting financially, the battle one for survival.

Spence opened my eyes to many things.

An interesting announcement in this morning’s Key West Citizen. KWAHS and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit are merging. The Williams portion will continue operation at 513 Truman Ave.

Tennessee Williams lived 40 plus years of his life on Duncan Street. He authored The Rose Tattoo. During this week in 1954, Hollywood began filming The Rose Tattoo two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Bert Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred. Mangani received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

My daughter Lisa and family live one block in the other direction on Duncan from the Williams home.

I continue to live and learn. A commandant of the U.S. Marines was born in Key West. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. Born November 3, 1913. Served as the 24th Commandant of the Marines, 1968-1972.

Ran into Bill from Boston again a couple of nights ago. Would like to run into him again. An interesting person.

We talked college football the first night. I a Syracuse grad. He, Boston college.

The other night he mentioned as we passed a Boston College glory year. Not sure whether 1920 or 1922. Both glory years for Boston!

In 1920, Boston college beat Holy Cross in the season’s final game. Boston went 8-0 that year.

Nineteen twenty two another big Boston College year. Beat Holy Cross 17-13 before a crowd of 54,000. A record for attendance at the time.

Syracuse/Florida State today. Florida State a 6 point favorite. Syracuse could win.

I continue to believe the economic recovery is built on sand. The high market numbers artificially inflated by global central banks. The rich getting richer. the poor, poorer.

A recent study indicated 78 percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Also, 71 percent are in debt.

Trump left for Asia yesterday. An 11 day trip. He will visit 5 countries.

One is China. Trump is out of his class when it comes to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trade will be a big issue. China in a much better position than the U.S. as regards trade. If Trump achieves anything, it will be minimal.

An under current in the discussions will be oil and the petrodollar. Way back when, an agreement was entered into where most of the oil trading countries would sell oil using American dollars. A boon for the U.S. Helps keep the value of the American dollar high.

A month ago, Trump thought he was screwing Venezuela’s President Maduro. He sanctioned the hell out of Venezuela. Basically forcing American banks and business persons to stop doing business with Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Trump cannot see beyond his nose. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Maduro announced that henceforth Venezuela would not sell its oil based on the American petrodollar. It would sell based on the Chinese petro-yuan.

The first major oil producer to break the age long pact that the American dollar was to be used. China happy. Russia, also. Other countries may follow. The result will be the devaluation of the American dollar.

Such will take place over a number of years.

Good job, Mr. President! As you claim, you are one smart man!

Enjoy your day!





Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.

It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.

Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.

Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.

Emalyn, a hero.

Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.

Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.

Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.

Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.

The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.

It appeared the nation was against him.

Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.

I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.

The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.

We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.

Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.

We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.

Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.

Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.

An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.

The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.

The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.

H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.

Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.

That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!

I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.

Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.

A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.

He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.

Enjoy your day!


Two years ago, I wrote an article for KONK Life involving Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Merlo was the love of Williams’ life. The relationship tender and then tumultuous.

Tennessee Williams’ birthday is being celebrated this month. Many activities. One last night at Studios of Key West. His Words and Letters. Words and letters written to Williams’ closest female friend, Maria Britneva. Substantially involving the Williams/Merlo relationship.

Merlo’s influence on Williams is reflected in the fact that Williams wrote his finest works during their time together. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Rose Tattoo, and Night of the Iguana.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A production well done.

Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was playing across the street at the Key West Theater while I was enjoying His Words and Letters.

Prior to the Williams’ show, I enjoyed La Concha’s happy hour while browsing the Sunday newspapers.

One of the items mentioned in yesterday’s Key West Lou video on Facebook involved outhouses. Details immaterial here. Final video comment was that Hemingway had the first indoor plumbing in Key West. Put in his home on Whitehead when he purchased it in 1931.

Bad day at Black Rock. Two basketball giants felled at the NCAA Tournament. Louisville and Duke.

So it goes

Congressional hearings begin today re Russia’s interfering in a U.S. Presidential election. Not the first time. Occurred once before. The election of 1796.

John Adams and Alexander Hamilton running for President. Great Britain and France had just concluded a war against each other. Bad feelings rampant in each country.

For some reason, U.S. support was important to each nation. John Adams, with the support of George Washington, backed Great Britain. Hamilton, France. Hamilton’s position was that France’s assistance during the Revolution mandated U.S. support.

France threatened open warfare with the United States if U.S. support was not forthcoming.

Adams was elected President. No war occurred.

I mentioned yesterday that Florida reported the screwworm problem was no more. A tried and true process had defeated the maggot type insects. The release of sterile screwworm flies. One hundred forty million since October.

Jean a female loggerhead turtle found sick in December. Taken to Marathon’s Turtle Hospital. She was impacted.

The hospital named her Jean. Cared for Jean till friday. A recovered Jean was released back into the ocean at Sombrero Beach.

Enjoy your day!




The 1967 movie Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner came to mind yesterday. Starred Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier.

Tracy and Hepburn are surprised by their daughter bringing home an African-American she wants to marry. The couple wants the parents’ approval. It must be given by midnight as the husband to be is off on a plane for Paris and the daughter wants to go with him.

Hepburn accepts her daughter’s decision. Through most of the movie, Tracy not.

Tracy and Hepburn go for a ride to talk things over. Tracy wants ice cream. They stop at an ice cream parlor. Tracy orders boysenberry. The last time he had boysenberry was at the same ice cream parlor 20 years earlier.

The boysenberry did not taste the same. Tracy made a face and complained to the server. The young lady looked at Tracy as if to say it was 20 years ago.

I am in Coconut Grove over night. The Volkswagen needed tuning at a Volks dealer. Staying at the Ritz Carlton.

The last time I was in Coconut Grove was 20 years ago. Stayed at the Ritz Carlton then, also. Still a great hotel. Totally remodeled.

Took an afternoon walk into Coconut Grove’s main area. Could not find anything I was looking for. Restaurants, stores, etc. from 20 years ago.

Stopped for lunch at an interesting pub. A good choice!

I asked the young lady serving where this and that was. She knew nothing of what I was talking about. I had told her I had last been in the Grove 20 years ago. She finally looked at me and said…..That was 20 years ago!

Just like the ice cream girl indicated to Spencer Tracy.

I thought to myself…..Louis, you got old and sound old. I am and sometimes do.

Joe’s Stone Crab for dinner last night. Always good, always the best!

The waiter told me Martha Stewart was two tables behind me and Billy Crystal at the other end of the room. Saw Stewart. Could not see Crystal.

I pick up the car at noon. Needed a lot of work. I have to return as they do not have all the parts necessary.

Tons of interesting things in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

The County Commission voted to buy a third helicopter. $2.5 million for a used one rehabilitated. A good move!

The Key West hospital is a large urgent care center. Size immaterial. It is the service that is available. Ergo, it is necessary to helicopter serious cases to Miami for care. In life and death situations where time is of the essence.

The County charges the patient only what his/her insurance pays. If no insurance, the charge is nothing. Applies only to County residents.

To contrast, the City Commission committed Key West to start  construction on the almost $4 million amphitheater. By a 4-2 vote.

The project is not ready for construction. Income costs have not been determined, parking for 1,500 cars not resolved, street access not worked out, etc..

There is a rush to begin construction. I cannot figure it out. I guarantee the final cost will be well above $4 million. Every thing Key West does is always astronomical in the end. The result of poor planning in the beginning.

David Wolkowsky rarely writes a Letter to the Editor. He did and it appeared in this morning’s Citizen. Short and to the point.

A Key West Naval History exhibit has opened at the Custom house. David attended.

Cori Convertino is curator. Cori, a Chart Room acquaintance. David said of the exhibit, “…..a major triumph for Cori Convertino, the curator.”

I must see the exhibit.

Enjoy your day!


The time is this week 1954. The place Duncan Street in Key West. The filming of the movie The Rose Tattoo began.

A great movie. Loved it! Starred Burt Lancaster and Anna Mangani. Mangani won the Academy Award for her performance.

The movie was an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play. Tennessee Williams lived on Duncan St. He wrote the play while living on Duncan St. The house where the movie was filmed was on Duncan Street. Two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Both Williams and the Rose Tattoo houses still stand on Duncan.

Lisa lives on Duncan. Her home is 1 1/2 blocks from the Williams home.

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

On November 2, 1948, Truman was elected President. He defeated New York Governor Tom Dewey. Truman was not favored to win. A big underdog. No one gave him a chance. Except Truman himself.

Congress at the time was Republican. They blocked him at every move. Some what like today’s Congress and Obama. Only worse. Truman campaigned against the worst Congress ever, as he put it.

Corporate America disliked Truman. Vehemently.

An example is what occurred while Truman was campaigning. Campaigning was done from the back platform of the last car on a train in those days. The train traveled all over the country.

Truman was short on funds. Again, he was not expected to win. Few were contributing to him. The train and crew were leased. The bill was overdue.

The train was stopped by the railroad somewhere in the middle of nowhere between two towns. Truman was told the bill had to be paid in full. If not, Truman and his entourage had to get off.

Truman threw in what he had in his pocket. His supporters did likewise. They had just enough to pay the bill. Truman proceeded on his way.

The distaste the railroad owners had for Truman obvious. Doing this to a President of the United States! Disrespectful!

Politics played the same all the time. Hard ball.

Did my blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Love dong the show!

One of the topics clearly reflects government waste.

The Department of Defense built a gas station in Afghanistan. Nothing special. A run of the mill gas station. The contracted cost for construction $3 million. A lot for a gas station. Especially since a similar one had been built the previous year in Pakistan for $500,000.

The final cost of construction was $43 million. Wow! $3 million for the construction. $40 million for overhead.

The gas station built was a compressed natural gas automobile station. So built because of the great supply of natural gas in Afghanistan.

The only problem was the people had cars that were petroleum operated. They had no use for the new station. Making the necessary adjustments to change over to a natural gas operated vehicle was not financially feasible. The cost was more than the average Afghanistani made in a year.

The Defense Department had a task force in charge of spending with regard to the closed gas station. When the Department was asked why the increase, they said they did not know/ could not tell because the task force had closed down in March.

And they want to cut Social Security! Cut waste!

I would like to know who made out on this Afghanistan gas station.

Last week, I reported on my radio show that the Muslim immigrants in Germany were overloading the hospitals. One problem was they refused to be treated by female personnel. Doctor, nurse, or otherwise.

Yesterday, it was announced that Muslims presently in camps in Germany would not accept food from women.

Beggars can’t be choosers. They should be grateful they are receiving free medical and food.

European banks are beginning to hurt. Good! May their American counterparts do likewise.

European banks are cutting costs. A large Spanish bank with 2,300 branches     now cleans windows only six times a year instead of twelve. Another Spanish bank with many branches kills the electricity at 7 pm. Another bank requires staff to clean their desks every wednesday. Called Wet Wipe Wednesday. Office space is being reduced.

One hundred thousand banking jobs in the Eurounion have been cut since 2012.

My left chest which I injured in a fall last week started hurting big time again last night. I don’t know why. Kept me up all night. Not one moments sleep. A pain pill did not help. Feels better at the moment.

I am going to skip the treadmill this morning. Will keep a noon manicure appointment with Tammy, however.

Enjoy your day!



Yes, my blood does flow orange! I am furious this morning. The Associated Press pre-season poll came out. Nowhere is Syracuse listed. Not in the top 25 or at the bottom re those teams that received even one vote.

I am not going to dwell on the NCAA findings and judgment. Syracuse will survive and excel. This year’s team is as talented as prior teams. With or without Boeheim for the fist nine ACC games, Syracuse’s coaching staff is experienced and deep.

Screw the numbers, Syracuse will be in the mix at the end of the season.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Interesting topics. Highlight’s of my Looting of Social Security article, a tea party Congressman retiring after only five years because he wants more time spent with family even though Congress only works one week on and two off, religion and politics, Saudi Arabia afraid U.S. becoming anti Saudi Arabia, a Monsanto update, and more.

Join me at 9 o’clock my time.

Dinner with Don and Chris at Marquesa last night. Good people. Return to Key West several times a year. Don is presently spending a lot of time working in South Korea.

Fantasy Fest is over. It was obvious last night on Duval. Quiet like a cemetery.

Parrot Heads arrive wednesday. Convention time. Jimmy Buffett people. Strange as it may sound, Howard Livingston has been asked to entertain the group saturday evening at the Casa Marina.

Seaking of Howard, the front page of today’s Key West Citizen carries a photo of Howard. A detailed complimentary article. Tells Howard’s story yesterday and today. A terrific human being!

An interesting news bit in the Citizen, also. Keys Energy has a large abandoned building in Bahama Village. It has not been used for over 50 years. Keys Energy wants to give it to Key West. The facility was formerly a diesel generator plant.

Louis says, beware of Greeks bearing gifts. The building is an economic disaster waiting to hit.

Keys Energy admits there are some environmental problems. The some are gigantic. I have not seen the paperwork nor the facility. However, I spent my legal career as an environmental attorney. my work included facilities such as this one. the contamination has to be fantastic It will run down into the soil itself. Contaminated soil is one of the most expensive things to remove.

A point to be considered also is that the law generally requires the owner at the time of a cleanup to be responsible for the cost.

The building is no bargain.

The last play of the Miami/Duke game will not be forgotten. Ever. What bothers me is that post-game, the ACC suspended the referees for two games. The ACC determined post-game that the refs had not made calls it should have made during the play.

Wrong on the part of the ACC. The determination on the field is the last call. In all sports, collegiate and professional. Confusion the only guaranteed outcome of the ACC’s decision and what will follow.

Enjoy your day!


This week’s KONK Life column Black Panthers Return was posted yesterday on Key West Lou.

Race week is here! An annual event. Proper name Quantum Key West 2015. The races begin today and will continue for the week. Each day 10-3.

The boats are large sail boats. Sixty, seventy foot and more. The kind that take teams of upwards 18 persons to operate. There are 115 boats in 10 classes participating. Several of the persons sailing are members of the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

The best way to describe the races are that they are like the America Cup. The races a rich man’s sport.

My walk yesterday took me down Conch Republic way. Many sailboats were sitting in front of the Conch Republic and along the Galleon.

There was a Half Marathon yesterday. The race started at sunrise. Too early for me to be up and watching. Some 3,000 participated. I am aware of the race because Lori who does my hair runs in it. She is a dedicated runner. The reason why she is so thin.

I caught a part of the Seattle/Green Bay game in the afternoon. Most of the last half and the overtime. Great football! How to come from behind!

Seattle meets the New England Patriots in Super Bowl. A big deal. I attended 11 consecutive Super Bowls before buying my Key West home. I became too comfortable afterwards to leave Key West.

I can distinctly remember Super Bowl I. It was not called such in 1967. The name was AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The fact that the two leagues met was a first. The NFL considered the AFL upstart and inferior and did not enter into a playoff till that time. The AFL acquired credibility in the game Joe Namath played a few years later.

Key West suffered two power outages in  the afternoon. No electricity for about an hour.

The Republicans have announced Carlos Curbelo will make the Republican Spanish language response to the President’s State of the Union address tomorrow night. Curbelo is Key West’s Congressman. He has had an honor bestowed upon him.

I did not vote for Curbelo. He ran in November for the first time. I did not like what he stood for. His speeches were hard to the right. The man sounded as if he had no sympathy. I expect the same from him tomorrow night.

Today in Keys History mentioned two Hollywood films. The Rose Tattoo and Operation Petticoat. Both were filmed in Key West.

The Rose Tatoo premiered at the Strand and San Carlos Theaters. The Strand today houses a Walgreens. The San Carlos is no longer a movie house. It is an historical site. Life theater is often presented.

The movies brought major Hollywood stars to Key West. Burt Lancaster, Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. The Rose Tattoo house still stands. It is on Duncan, two block’s from Lisa’s home.

Today my odd ball stress test. I am positive it is scheduled for this afternoon.

Enjoy your day!