Irma came, did her thing, and left. She left behind ruination, despair and hope.

How things stand today.

I drove down Duval yesterday. From the Gulf to the Atlantic. Not a pretty sight. Most storefronts and buildings still boarded. Physical damage on a varying scale to some buildings.

The most significant observation was the desolation. Few on the street. Very few. Like death had visited.

The bars are starting to open. Rick’s, Sloppy Joe’s, Irish Kevin’s, the Bull, and Jack Flats. More employees than customers. Except for the gay bars in mid Duval. Bourbon Street and 801. Packed.

There was a FEMA truck on Duval. Handing out food packages. Only the minority community evident.

I mentioned the FEMA sign up tents behind the Simonton fire station yesterday. Only minorities evident there. It appears we have left racial/ethnic groups behind. Same as Katrina. Not in assistance today. Rather in becoming part of the American dream.

A cruise ship coming in today. Why? Key West today not the Key West of yesterday. Key West needs time to recuperate. Downtown looks like hell.

Three more cruise ships expected this week.

Some say we have to get business going again. Bring the cruise ships in! Locals need to work. Rent is due the first of the month. Only one week away.

I spent yesterday afternoon resting. Actually, sleeping. The return drive killed me. Just as the drive to Birmingham had. My 82 years very evident in the tiredness I am experiencing.

Hit the Chart Room first last night. First time the Chart Room has been open since Irma.

I was the sixth person to arrive. An hour later when I left, I was the only customer remaining.

Shawn bartending.

Peter Petro manages 40 properties. One is the home I live in. I have been bugging the man ever since Irma was on the horizon. Even now since I have returned. Cleanup time. I am a tenant, not an owner. A wonderful experience!

Peter does his job well, even though I am a bit too anxious at times.

Peter was at the Chart Room when I arrived. With his wife Rebecca who I met for the first time. A nice lady.

Rebecca marries people in Key West. She is a Notary and notaries are permitted to do so. In fact, most marriages performed in Key West are by a Notary such as Rebecca. Rebecca also performs live theater at the Red Barn. She is featured in a show opening next month.

Then to Don’s Place to watch the Syracuse/LSU game. Don, David, Stan and Claire there.

Sitting next to me watching the game were Troy and Jenny. Troy a die hard Michigan fan. He was watching Michigan on one screen as I was watching Syracuse on the one next to it.

Syracuse looked good the first half. Gave up 10 points they should not have. Still in the game, however. Syracuse defense played well.

LSU got another touchdown at the beginning of the second half. Syracuse was basically 3 touchdowns behind. I viewed it as the beginning of the end. Went home to bed.

Never even tried to find out the final score till this morning. Syracuse came back. Sort of. Final score had LSU winning 35-26. A late 4th quarter LSU touchdown led to LSU’s 35 points.

Syracuse was a 23 point underdog going into the game. Syracuse played well. They did better than LSU stat wise. Note LSU was a ranked team going into the game.

This is not going to be a Syracuse year. Better than most in recent years I suspect. Perhaps glory will return a few years from now. It has been a long time.

Yesterday was the first day Don’s was open its full hours.

Ice is a problem all over town. Bar owners and restaurants are running all over looking for some to buy.

Our animal and fish friends are of concern also.

A Sugarloaf homeowner was looking out his window. Thought he saw a porpoise stranded in the mangroves. Called the Sheriff’s Office, who in turn contacted Wildlife Conservation and the dolphin hospital Dolphin Plus.

Representatives of all three groups hurried to the scene and effected a rescue. Two veterinarians involved. They waded out to the porpoise. A female. Slightly burned from the sun. Otherwise, ok. Carried her to deeper water and let her go.

I received a red flag call this morning from Jeanne H. Stevenson. Not a Key Wester. Her sister Anne is, however. She can’t reach Anne. Concerned. Wants to know if I could help.

Anne sells newspapers outside the church. All I was told about her.

Anyone having any information re Anne, please let me know so I can convey it on to her sister.

Key West’s curfew was lifted yesterday. Stay out all night folks!

The remainder of the Keys still have curfews.

Comcast making progress. A step at a time. Too little from my perspective. I had TV when I returned home last night. Still no land line or wi-fi.

Sloan due soon. A ton of catch up work to do.

Enjoy your Sunday!


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!



My yesterday was too busy. All screwed up. Never got to do what I wanted my way.

My plan was to watch the Syracuse/LSU game and research this week’s KONK Life column. I got to watch half the game. Had to move my ass to get the research done.

Let me explain.

I have a new TV. Comcast said I needed a new box. An updated one. Mine was ancient. I had to return my old box and modem and get a new box. Modem part of box now. I went to Comcast with both items in tow at 10 am. Comcast opens at 10.

I expected a miserable Comcast staff. Comcast is not customer friendly. I was shocked. Comcast rep Liana could not have been nicer. She explained everything to me in detail 2-3 times. I do not absorb mechanical info easily.

Thank you, Liana.

Rushed over to Tammy for a 10:30 manicure. Tammy always good company. Lovely in appearance. If I were 50 years younger and she unmarried, I would be chasing after her.

Then home to watch Syracuse/LSU at noon. Leave me alone! I wanted to enjoy the game!

It was not to me.

The exterminator showed up. Fifteen hours late. He spent two hours doing what he had to do and constantly interrupting me with questions, see this, etc.

While this was going on, Tim Reynolds showed up. He was going to hook up the new TV. He wanted to talk.

I was ready to yell screw everybody, screw everything! I want to watch the game!

I only got to watch the first half. Syracuse has a team. Proved it yesterday in spite of losing 34-24. A couple of missed touchdowns at the end of the first half might have resulted in a Syracuse win.

After many years, I was proud of a Syracuse football team. A once again moment.

The flies are gone. Maggot flies from the dead rat. Ugh! The exterminator knew exactly what to do.

I had a couple of hours to kill after everything settled down. Time to research this week’s column. I decided to write something about Pope Francis. Something off the beaten track.

The column yet to be written will be titled Man To Pope. The history of Francis’ transition from man to Pope. The odd ball human things in his younger life that molded the man we saw this past week. Like his three love affairs. The third and last while he was in the seminary. Also, his bouncer job in a night club while working on his graduate chemistry degree.

It is starting to thunder and lightening. Going to storm!

Dinner last night at Latitudes. I had one drink too many. Required after my day.

What can I say about Latitudes. Fine food, fine presentation and perfect service. Manager Susan visited a while. Met Olga the reservations person in person. Our previous relationship had been via phone. Olga is a tiny lovely young lady of French extraction. Met another staffer named Andrea.

Everyone attentive to make sure the evening was no less than perfect.

I like Rick Boettger. Unfortunately, we only became friends this past year. Rick used to write for KONK Life also.

Rick wrote his last KONK Life column three weeks ago. Wrote he was going to die. Cancer had gotten the best of him. No one knew.

This morning at 11 at United Spiritual Center, Rick is going to speak to his friends for the last time. I will be there. In church, to listen to a friend.

Rick is deserving of credit. He is going out his way. Not just writing his obituary as some do, he is planning his good byes step by step.

God love you, Rick!

Enjoy your Sunday!



All of a sudden yesterday flies! Many. The kitchen primarily. At bedtime, my bedroom. This morning, the bedroom. Went downstairs, none in the kitchen.

They do not fly around. They do not move. They just sit where ever they are.

This fly thing a first time experience.

I called an exterminator last night. Will be here at 8 this morning.

I assume the flies are maggot flies. Origination the dead rat several days ago.

An ugly situation!

Started yesterday with the anti-gravity treadmill. Making a new friend. Dave. He is on the treadmill before me.

Then hurried home to do the KONK Life News Hour on 104.9. Hosted by Guy deBoer.

I got all of 10 minutes. Guy and I discussed my KONK Life column of this week. U.S. War Ready? The emphasis on China.

Tavern ‘n Town for dinner last night. Very crowded. All tourists. I knew no one. Thursday night, Key West was dead. Had to be jumping last night. Weekenders from the Florida mainland.

John Boehner’s retirement may be for the best. I thought he had a hard time with the far right. In turn, he had to give Obama a bad time. I doubt things will improve with a new Speaker.

Boehner walks away financially secure. And probably into a lobbying job which will make him more secure.

Boehner has two campaign funds. One with $4 million in it. The other, $1.1 million. He can only use the $4 million one for PAC campaign contributions. The $1.1 million however is his.

Eric Cantor got a job within three weeks of losing his primary. One in Washington at $3.4 million a year. A Speaker is more important than a Majority Leader. Boehner should do better.

It’s the American way!

Leaves no doubt why government does not work.

Big game for Syracuse today. Play #8 nationally LSU. LSU a 24 point favorite. LSU will win. Syracuse quarterbacks #s 1 and 2 injured and cannot play. We are going with #s 3 and 4. Other reasons include a star LSU running back being touted as a Heisman Trophy winner and the fact that LSU is a much better team.

Hope springs eternal. I hope for a Nebraska type victory from many years ago.

Tonight, Lattitudes. I am looking forward to it.

Enjoy your day!


Poker Run 2015 is over. Most of the bikers left Key West yesterday afternoon. Roaring. In greater numbers than they came in. As many as 40 at a time.

Those who did not leave yesterday will leave this morning. The roar again.

A successful weekend. No trouble. The bikers not a problem. Bars had to do a big business.

I spent many hours yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. It publishes wednesday. The column took unusually long to write. Details. The title: U.S. War Ready? I strongly suggest you read it. Not necessarily for pleasure. For information you may not otherwise be aware.

Roostica for dinner. Spaghetti with meatballs, sausage, and pork. Just like my Grandmother made!

Olga waited on me. Obvious she is from another land. She has an accent. Business was slow. We had a chance to talk.

I was interested in where she came from and details of life there. Olga was born and raised in the old Soviet Union and then under whatever the name of her free country. I could not catch the name. It was not familiar.

Her homeland is far to the east in Russia. Near the Chinese border.

We talked of education. Interesting. Most stories similar to Flora’s. Some different.

Olga loves the USA!

The New York Times carries a shocking front page news release this morning. Afghan village commanders have sex slaves they keep handcuffed to their beds. Young boys. Apparently part of Afghan tradition. Called bacha bazi.

American soldiers could hear the boys screaming at night. They were told not to pay attention nor interfere. It was part of Afghan custom and to be tolerated.

What the hell are we doing over there? Their ways are thousands of years old. We will change nothing.

Pope Francis arrives tomorrow. He will speak at some point to a joint session of Congress. Some Republicans are complaining. and not with the respect the Catholic leader is entitled to.

The complaining Republicans think the Pope is too liberal. He believes in climate change, equality of pay, is opposed to gun manufacturers. All social problems. All within the purview with which he should have concern. All matters Republicans prefer to ignore.

They fail to mention the Pope is anti-abortion.

Greek elections a surprise. Tsipras reelected. His Syriza Party won handily. A sign the Greeks respected his efforts in spite of the fact that he failed regarding the Eurounion debt. I am confident Tsipras will take another shot at the problem in due course. Never say die!

Oh, my Syracuse! Three consecutive wins. The true test next saturday. Against ranked LSU. The Vegas line is LSU by 24.

Enjoy your day!