A wonderful evening!

Stopped at the Ocean Grill for a bite to eat. Sat at the bar. Soon after, Larry Blackburn and family arrived.

Larry is well known in Key West. His profession photography. A photographer extraordinaire. Special. He literally captures the world around him.

Larry’s daughter Sydney Blackburn was with him.

To say Sydney is a beauty is to minimize her attractiveness. She is absolutely lovely! Naturally so.

Sydney is only 14 years old. I was surprised. Could pass for 18-20 with ease.

Sydney is appearing at the Waterfront Playhouse thursday and friday. She plays the female lead in Aladdin.

World famous. Aladdin is a Middle East folk tale. It has been seen on Broadway, a national tour, and as a Disney movie.

The beautiful and rebellious Princess Jasmine the female lead role.

I look forward to seeing Sydney in the role.

Key West’s premier videoer is Tim Dahms. He will be videoing Aladdin. Larry is doing the photography and public relations. Campo Bravo the sponsor.

Not to be forgotten is Stephanie Hellstrom, Larry’s wife. She and I chatted quite a while. She operates the Panama Hat Shop on Fleming.

Before going to the Ocean Bar, I stopped at the Chart Room. Shaun doing a great job. He has the Jimmy Buffett story down pat.

Where were you Charlotte? A former Key Wester now living somewhere in a mid Atlantic state, e-mailed me she would be in for the weekend, would we be able to meet? I e-mailed back the Chart Room. Nothing etched in stone. Charlotte generally spends most of her Key West time at the Chart Room.

Not last night. No Charlotte.

I was disappointed.

An interesting couple sat next to me at the bar. Very interesting. Charlie and Rhonda from Charleston, South Carolina.

Not newbies to Key West. Visit often. Charlie an engineer. Repairs train engines. I mentioned that in his other life, Howard Livingston was once CEO of a Chicago plant that made diesel railroad engines.

Charlie and Rhonda were familiar with Howard. They attend his shows frequently. Charlie said they have every CD Howard has made.

Rhonda’s job exciting. She is an ophthalmic technician. Thirty two years. I have bad eyes. Eight surgeries. I totally respect those in medicine who help people continue seeing.

They have been married 33 years. Two children. Their daughter a marine biologist. Their son an Army captain. The son is being deployed to Afghanistan soon.

So much for Charlie and Rhonda’s history. More impressive was our discussion that began with boiled peanuts.

I never heard of boiled peanuts. Roasted yes, boiled no.

Boiled a big deal in the Charleston area. They took me through the whole process. Boiled in the shells. Canned. When time to enjoy arrives, heat the peanuts in the micro.


Charlie is into grit mills also. Another education. His family got the recipe 80 years ago.

The food followed by a Charleston Bloody Mary mix. Special. Add horseradish before serving.

Charlie brings the boiled peanuts, grits and Bloody Mary mix with him when he visits Key West for his Key West friends. He and Rhonda have made many Key West friends over the years.

Charlie too nice. He wanted to rush back to his hotel to get a bag of the goodies for me. He said it would only take 15 minutes. I said no.

The compromise is he is going to leave a bag full for me at the Chart Room bar.

Something struck me about the couple. They are very pro Charleston. Their home town. Proud and big time supporters of the community.

It was a good night! Nice people at both places. Enjoyed myself.

Enjoy your sunday!


In a Letter to the Editor in this morning’s Key West Citizen, the writer stated that Monroe County’s annual visitors equal 65 times the number of permanent residents.

Checked the numbers as best I could. Appear correct.

The population of Monroe County is 75,000. Key West makes up 25,000 of that number. Sixty five times Monroe County’s 75,000 permanent residents totals nearly 5 million. Key West’s share 1.65 million.

I have commented in the past I could not understand how Key West has not sunk under the tourist burden. Space problems alone past the breaking point.

The Keys are guilty of gluttony. Going after more and more tourists every year. The pleasure of the islands being lost along the way.

Strange day yesterday. Did not feel right. Stayed in all day.

My pleasure came from the Final Four games. Terrific! Oregon better than most thought. Lost to North Carolina by only one point. Gonzaga/South Carolina another good game. Close, with Gonzaga winning.

Monday night should be wild!

To err is human. I prove the adage frequently.

Twice this week, I commented on the Cow Key Channel Bridge Run. Said it was Saturday. Saturday was yesterday. No run. The reason simple. The run is today.

So there is yet time for some of you to make it. Noon today.

Yesterday’s race was the Seven Mile Bridge one.

Interesting that one day a 7 mile run and the next a 300 foot one. Only in the Keys!

Both races will have between 1,000 and 1,500 participants.

We are spoiled by modern conveniences. Like running water. William Hackley reported that this day in 1856…..There was no water in the tub or well, so I could not bathe.

A day without bathing ugh!

Russians protested in 99 cities and towns last weekend. Against corruption in government. They are back this weekend.

I ask now as I did last week whether the Russian protests are an extension of the Arab Spring. Is Putin’s foundation crumbling? Could be. He is killing those who could top him all over the world.

Don and Chris in town. Plan on having dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!



What a beautiful morning! Key West at its best. Sun shining, sky blue. Water and wind quiet. The calm before the storm? It has been raining heavy most of the month.

There is a world wide war against mosquitoes. Especially, ZIKA causing ones. Even in the Florida Keys. Mosquitoes like you would not believe!

Until recently, I would have said we in the lower Keys have no problem. A terrific Mosquito Control Board. Now, problems.

ZIKA has driven everyone crazy. News of the ZIKA problem hit us in January. Everyone rushed to do something.

A decision was made by the local Board to test genetically modified bees. Basically untested. The test would be done on the small key of Key Haven. My home. The locals have been up in arms. whether such testing can take place is pending on the November ballot to see if we want it.

In the meantime, there have been a total of four ZIKA cases reported in the Keys. The Keys about 140 miles long running north from Key West to the mainland. The four cases not caused by Keys’ mosquitoes. All were contacted out of the area. Means in another country.

The rush to protect has not only affected the Florida Keys. People are going crazy everywhere. Reminds me of Ebola, which turned out to be a bust.

South Carolina was in a hurry to do something re the ZIKA problem.

Naled is an old time pesticide. Thought to be dangerous to humans. Rarely used. South Carolina did not care. On the last sunday of August for two hours, South Carolina had planes spray naled. In the Dorchester area.

South Carolina is also home to beekeepers. Beekeeping a business in South Carolina. Where sprayed, bees were killed instantly. Millions of them. One beekeeper had 46 hives. He lost 2.5 million bees instantaneously.

It is a month later and no one knows what effect, if any, the spraying had on the mosquitoes.

The bees nuked. Apocalypse for the bees.

Did my podcast last night. A half hour of interesting topics. Bees, included.

Before the show, stopped at Roostica’s for dinner.

Ted Williams spent many years in the Keys. He had a home in Islamorada for twenty plus years. Williams was an avid fisherman.

The story goes that Williams sold his Islamorada home when he had to wait to cross US 1. Too many people.

On this day in 1941, Williams was playing the last day of the season. He was close to batting .400. Had to have a good day to get there. Played a doubleheader. Went 6 for 8. Ended up batting .402 for the season. The last time a player has hit .400.

I am a history buff. Majored in history in college. William the Conqueror part of my education in grammar school, high school, and college. The year 1066. On this date in 1066, William, aka Duke of Normandy, invaded England. Historically noteworthy.

I am looking forward to lunch today. Liz invited me for lunch. She is preparing a special French dish for me.

Enjoy your day!



Love wednesdays! The end of my work week. My friday night.

Writing consumes me. Love it! Especially research, the actual writing and editing. Certain days are heavy. I start saturday and run through tuesday evening.

Sunday and tuesday the busiest. The KONK Life column must be to the publisher by 5 on sunday. Takes me all day to do. After researching it on saturday. Tuesday is my blog talk radio show. Additional research, fine tuning the material, and doing the show in the evening.

Today is wednesday. The beginning of my weekly three day vacation.

Anti-gravity treadmill yesterday morning. Hogfish for lunch. I was able to get a seat. Not as many people. Fine tuned my blog talk radio show. Delivered the blog talk radio show in the evening.

I got into the Catholic Church last night. I am unhappy with the way the Cardinals and Bishops are treating him. He is being ignored. He says do something. They do not. They do what they want. I explored the problem.

Political campaigns cost money. I was into Bill and Hillary’s earnings from speaking engagements. Since 2001, $153 million. We should all be on the speaking circuit!

Syracuse/Louisville tonight at 7. Louisville a 7 point favorite. Dan, lets watch it together at Jack Flats. E-mail and let me know if we will be together. I will be bringing a guest.

The New York Times reported today that China has deployed surface to air missiles on an island in the South China Sea. Already some Congressmen are spouting…..We must do something!

Where have they been the past two years? China has been building islands from scratch in the China Sea. Placing air strips on them. Increased its naval vessel numbers beyond ours. Developed new surface to air missiles capable of hitting the US from one of the islands.

China could become an immediate problem if its problems with Japan are not resolved. Both nations are fighting over a series of islands. In the event of hostilities, the US  is bound by agreement to defend/help Japan.

Football czar Roger Godell received $34.1 million in compensation from professional football last year. Actually, he is paid directly by the owners who he continues to make rich.

This next topic is sure to arouse severe and adverse comment.

Recall General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea. He burned and pillaged one community after another. With the full support of his military superior General Ulysses Grant and President Abraham Lincoln.

The philosophy behind such destruction was that it would end the war more quickly if Southern civilians felt the destruction personally.

This used to be the position of the US through World War II. Japan and Germany were left in ruins. We bombed the hell out of Germany. Dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.

Since World War II, the US has proceeded differently. Civilians must be protected. Avoid damage to civilians. Kill and wound them not.

I do not agree. I am of the opinion that the citizens of a nation have in one fashion or another placed their leaders in power and permitted them to remain in power.

Better the civilians die rather than our boys and girls.

Enjoy your day!



How many movies have you watched over the course of your lifetime? How much pleasure have you derived because of motion pictures?

Today is significant in the history of the movies. On this day in 1927, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson made its debut. A talking movie! Revolutionary!.

Many thought talking movies would not last. How wrong they were. History was made that day.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I keep upping the speed. A little at a time. Yesterday left me tired.

Drove to Cuban Queen for coffee and the newspapers.

Then home to work on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics! Lots happening.

I will be discussing the recent New York Daily News article suggesting the government list the NRA as a terrorist organization, 16 Eurounion nations opting out of GMOs, Russian Navy on the way to Syria, Saudi Arabia hiring significantly more Washington lobbying and public relation firms, Denmark and sex, plus more.

Show time 9. Length one half hour. Fast moving. Enjoyable.

Tavern ‘n Town last night.

The place more and more becoming a locals hangout. Especially the bar. Last night, I ran into Charlie, Stevie, and Eduardo. Also Valerie from Vinos and Susie from Estate Sales.

I mentioned yesterday I thought Key West restaurant business was down re food sales. Comments received interesting. Everyone thought I was correct. Hotels and alcohol expensive. Choices have to be made. People are cutting back on food.

South Carolina rain scary. Up to two feet in some areas. The rain storm has been referred to as the 1,000 year storm.

Global warming?

Sex. A wonderful thing! Nothing better!

Not always available.

A new solution? I ask with a question mark.

Robots. A company has invented a humanoid machine. The humanoid machine is designed to understand feelings and emotions. Some think it has sexual possibilities. The manufacturer says no. With tongue in cheek? Time will tell.

Cost of a humanoid $2,000.

Today is local election day for the City of Key West. Three city commission and three utility board seats on the ballot.

Key West has early voting. The early voting numbers down roughly 50 percent from 2013. Only 529 as opposed to a little over 1,000 two years ago.

Enjoy your day!




Dancing and frivolity of old will exist once again tomorrow evening in Key West. At East Martello. Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle. In its ninth year.

The show, though proper in every respect, is a throwback to pagan days when the beginning of summer was celebrated with  big time partying. Way before Shakespeare’s time.

The show is Michael Shield’s baby. The originator nine years ago, he has continued to produce the event every year. Co-producer is the Key West Art & Historical Society.

My dear friend Jenna Stauffer is the emcee. I can visualize her in days of old. Prancing around in her fairy wings, tip toeing through the tulips. Orchestration by Skipper Kripitz. Perhaps the most honorable man in Key West. Singers include Larry Smith and Kathleen Peace. I love Kathleen! I love her singing! The walls of the East Martello Fort will shake during her performance.

My day yesterday began with a noon walk along the Atlantic Ocean. In the heat of the day. Not the best time. However, I did it. Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee.

Steve Braddock is a care giving Key Wester. He is a Catholic priest. He is active in assisting the homeless. A Saint Francis.

He is pissed off. The Lower Keys Medical Center claims he owes a balance for a hospital stay. $1,975. The hospital has sued in Small Claims Court. Before suit and since, Braddock has asked for an itemized bill. No itemized bill has been forthcoming.

The good priest is aware from prior assistance to the homeless that hospitals have a tendency to overcharge. Dramatically. He is defending himself in court. I would not want to have him as an opponent under the circumstances.

We have genocide in the United States. I refer to it as American genocide. The killing of blacks by whites. It has been going on since the earliest days of our country. It has to stop. Will it ever? I do not know.

The last 48 hours have brought the story of nine blacks in a church bible class shot by a white 21 year old. The place, Charleston, South Carolina. The 21 year old, Dylan Storm Roof. The killings in cold blood.

During the shootings, he said…..I have to do it… rape our women and you’ve taken over our country, and you have to go.

Roof has a history evidencing a drug problem. His father gave him a gun for his 21st birthday.

Roof was obviously misinformed as to the black conduct he described during the shootings. Probably heard it at the dinner table from his father.

These shootings are what they are. Racial hatred expressed with a gun. It must end! Otherwise as I have been saying on my blog talk radio show, the battle will not be between police and blacks. It will be blacks against whites. A people will take abuse only so long. There is a new generation of blacks and they will not be as patient and forbearing as their forefathers.

Anna is in Camogli. She has a beach front apartment. Camogli is part of the Italian Riviera. Next door is Portofino. Home of the renown Silvio Berlusconi. His close friend Putin has built a home nearby.

Tomorrow night’s emcee Jenna Stauffer is my date tonight. We are going to dinner. Love Jenna!

Enjoy your day!