NO BLOG TOMORROW. I have an early morning physical scheduled.

Some evenings are better than others. Last night was the case. Dueling Bartenders outstanding. Tom Luna, Rick Dery, and this year’s Fantasy Fest Queen at their best.

Catherine with me. Many friends. Liz back from a Tampa Hospital. Looking better than ever! Josefina with her. Also her friend George who is visiting. A former law school Dean as was Liz. June. Joe Lyles.

Dined at the bar at Antonia’s. Lamb chops. Delicious!

Diet stuck at 20 pounds (my scale). Probably 24 on heart doctor’s. I see my internist for a physical in the morning. He will not believe the loss.

Two biggies tonight.

Syracuse/Wake Forest at 7. The first round of the ACC Tournament. Being played at  Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. Syracuse should win. Has to win tonight and two more games in the tournament to have a shot at a NCAA Tournament bid.

I can watch the game at 7. When finished at 9, I shall hurry to my office to do my 9 o’clock scheduled podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Everything on the agenda for discussion. Join me for a quick moving half hour of what I think about this and that. You may not agree. Guaranteed you will find it interesting, however. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Key West was the home of cigar making for more than 50 years. Nearness to Cuba the reason. Workers immigrating from Cuba to work in Key West cigar factories. Cuban tobacco considered the best in the world easily available from Havana.

Cigar making in Key West hit its zenith in 1890. Over 100 million cigars made.

There is a small cigar park behind the First State Bank Building on Simonton. Properly called Gato Park. E. H. Gato was the owner of one of the largest cigar making operations in Key West.

A cigar has stood in Gato Park for years. It needed repair. Work done. The reconstructed cigar will be unveiled at a ceremony wednesday night beginning at 5 and running to 8. Cigars, rum, and Cuban dancing on the agenda in addition to the unveiling.

The newly restored cigar sculpture is purported to be the world’s largest.

Another party friday evening. This one bigger. Going to be huge. Kate Miano’s campaign kickoff event. Kate is running for Mayor.

Six friday evening at the Gardens. Guaranteed fun.

I have been avoiding this issue. However it is time to comment. Perhaps it will generate discussion and responsive comments.

Religion is dying. No question about it. It has been gradually dying for more than 50 years. Churches, synagogues, etc. closing. Diminishing attendees.

Houses of worship today the home of the elderly. Nostalgic in their beliefs. The young at the other end of the spectrum don’t go to a church of any kind. Some do not believe. Others consider religion not relevant. More and more persons becoming atheists.

Christianity is at its root idolatry. People turn from their idols when it stops raining.

Will the drift from God and religion be cyclical? I don’t know. It should be. Most things are. Perhaps at some point man will rediscover his need for an Almighty.

I close with Three Trump items.

Trump irrationally burst out his tariff program thursday. A nonsensical position born of ignorance.

Many claim a tariff war will cost the U.S. jobs. One example has already surfaced.

Sweden’s Electrolux announced in January it was doing an expansion to its Springfield, Tennessee plant. Adding on 400,000 square feet. Cost $250 million. Work to begin in the Fall.

Following Trump’s erratic tariff announcement thursday, Electrolux announced it was putting the expansion on hold. It will not proceed till it knows the figures the Trump plan will kick out and whether it is financially feasible to proceed. Electrolux believes Trump’s decision will give an economic advantage to foreign manufacturers.

Jobs gone! No construction workers! No new employees working in the added 400,00 square feet.

The way to bring jobs back to America, Mr. President!

Electrolux likes doing business in Tennessee. It has another plant in Anderson which makes Frigidaire Freezers. Electrolux began a $200,000 million expansion of the Anderson plant one year ago. The expansion will continue as the addition is near completion.

Birds of a feather flock together. Netanyahu was in Washington yesterday visiting with Trump. Both are under investigation. We know of Trump’s problems. Netanyahu’s involve corruption, bribery, and fraud.

As Trump leads us down roads that scare me, Netanyahu is no different. He has changed Israel. In most instances, Israel is no longer the victim. It is the perpetrator.

The U.S. will be constructing a new building to serve as the new embassy in Jerusalem. It is a temporary facility. Intended to be replaced some time in the future with one containing all the knobs and fancy features.

The budget for the temporary/new embassy was submitted to Trump. One million dollars. Trump said too much. He shaved it down to $250,000.

I question how safe our embassy persons will be in the $250,000 edifice. Will sufficient safeguards exist? Will all survive an attack?

Penny pinching at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

Enjoy your day!


As Key West’s popularity grows, so too its parking and traffic problems. To the point of exasperation!

City leaders have done their best to remedy the problem. The City Commission has spent six figure money on studies.

Nothing has worked.

The newest approach…..Let the people work it out.

The City Commission is considering approving a six member temporary commission to make recommendations re parking and traffic congestion. The committee would sit for six months. Unpaid. Each Commissioner would appoint one person to the committee.

Can’t be worse than those who have been paid. Maybe better. Those who live in Key West year round have a better handle on the problem.

My sense is the only solution must be a dramatic one. Something not thought of yet. The obvious has not worked.

An observation never taken into consideration. Key West is a tiny island. Four by 1.5 miles. The island is capable of sinking.

A humorous observation! Written with tongue in cheek.

Another consideration is the successful advertising/selling of Key West. More and more visitors every year.

If getting around becomes a problem, if the crowd becomes overbearing, people will go elsewhere. Property values will become reasonable. Key West will return to the serenity of days gone by.

Might not be bad.

Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery.  Bobby Nesbitt guest vocalist.

Liz and friends at the bar. Enjoyed chatting with Liz.

Towards the end of the evening, Larry Smith showed up. I was surprised. Larry rarely frequents Aqua. He said he was driving by and saw Tom, Bobby and me. Decided to stop.

Glad he did. Larry and I rarely see each other these days.

We discussed why. Simple, I said. We have known each other 25 years. We got old. We no longer do Duval Street or go to parties as we did. We are old enough to think a night in front of the TV is fun. There are fewer and fewer of us each year.


Houston and the Texas gulf coast terrible! Even today people are being saved. And the rain continues. I worry about one of the dams overflowing. the water held back is inches from the top.

The past few days have been Harvey’s time. The next few will continue so. In 2005, there was another hurricane. Katrina.  A category 3. Devastated New Orleans.

I mention Katrina because it was on this day in 2005 that Katrina made landfall.

Katrina has been regarded as the worst natural disaster in our history. Harvey will replace Katrina.

Remember Paul Newman in HUD. He carried a bottle of Jack Daniel’s around most of the movie.

Jack Daniel sales shot up. Men switched for a while. All wanted to look like HUD’s Paul Newman. The tilt of the head, walk, etc.

Want to share a bit about Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey. The distillery opened in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. One year after the Civil War ended and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which ended slavery.

A co-founder of the distillery was Jack Daniel.

A former slave became an employee of the new distillery. Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest knew everything about distilling whiskey. He soon became head stiller. In later years, the title was changed to master distiller.

Nearest was the first African-American master distiller of record in the United States.

His descendants have continued to work at Jack Daniel’s. Three of Nearest’s sons and four grandchildren while he was still alive. Several generations of descendants. Three working at Jack Daniel’s today.

Lynchburg has another distinction. Davy Crockett lived there a while.

You may wonder at this point why I am recounting Jack Daniel’s and Nearest.

Lynchburg rests in the heart of the Confederacy. Tennessee. Left the Union. Supported the South.

The name Lynchburg  struck me as strange. Lynching of blacks so popular they named a town after it? My initial reaction was pursuant to the political correctness of today, the name would have to be changed.

Made sense. Till I researched from whence the name came.

Judge Lynch. Some sort of War of 1812 hero. I could find nothing connecting him to slavery.

Should the name still be changed? It does bring to mind a grievous act involving blacks.

I leave the judgment to those who support the removal of statues and memorials.

There is a memorial that should come down. On the lawn in front of the County Courthouse in Lynchburg rests a monument to Confederate soldiers.

No question, it should come down under present standards of political correctness.

So there is no misunderstanding, my position is to leave any remembrances of the Confederacy alone. Like it or not, regardless of color, they are a part of America’s history.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So many topics. Not sure yet which I will explore in the show’s fast moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!



Houston flooded and Trump trying to build a Trump Tower during the campaign. Big news items this morning. Yet I open with Mother Seton and the Catholic nun order she began, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

I saw a notation this morning that on this date in 1774, Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born. The founder of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Returned me to the warm days of my youth. My teenage days. High school. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph taught me. Henceforth to be referred to as Sisters of Charity.

My high school was in Utica, NY. Stood in the back of a large lot next to St. John’s church on John Street.

The building tiny. Three stories high. The height larger than the width of the building.

Today, the school is gone. The land the school stood on a parking lot for St. John’s Church.

The heads of Sisters of Charity were capped with big white head coverings. Looked like wings. Body attire, dark blue ankle length dresses. Tied around their waists, extremely large and heavy appearing rosary beads.

The Sisters lived in an old Victorian building one block away. Today, a deserted lot.

The Sisters were excellent teachers. Disciplinarians. In teaching and personal matters. A sister would not hesitate storming into the boys’ bathroom if she thought there was smoking going on.

I got caught. On more than one occasion. Learned from one nun as she twisted my ear: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

Didn’t do much good. I still smoke.

One of the nuns had a distinct impact on my life. Sister Gertrude. A short stout elderly woman. A craggy beautiful face.

She discovered my love for history. Did everything to encourage it. She is also the reason I went to Manhattan College. She pushed Manhattan. Her cousin was a Christian Brother and Director of Athletics.

We had to study Latin. I took three years. Thought it was stupid. During my life time, I discovered those three years of Latin did more for me than any course I studied at any age.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born an Episcopalian. Married at 19. Became known as Elizabeth Seton. Bore 5 children. Her husband died ten years after their marriage.

Elizabeth was broke. Her husband had become ill some time before he died. Their money was gone. The family was stuck in Italy where they had gone believing the Italian weather would be good for her husband’s health.

Some Catholic Italian friends helped. She was impressed with their kindness and charity. Studied the Catholic religion. Became a Catholic.

Catholicism was neither popular nor respected in those days. Even her Episcopalian family deserted her.

Elizabeth returned to the United States. The Baltimore area. She became involved with helping the poor and needy. Especially women.

She founded the first Catholic school in the United States. Turned out to be the beginning of the parochial school system in the United States.

A group of women flocked to Elizabeth to assist her in the good works being performed. Elizabeth felt they should become an established nunnery order within the Catholic church. She pursued and accomplished the goal. Elizabeth founded the first female apostolic community in the United States. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

In 1975, the Pope recognized her commitment and success to humanity. She was ordained a Saint of the Catholic Church. The first American born to be so honored.

As to Harvey, a catastrophe of epic proportions. I am impressed, as I am sure you are, with the neighborly assistance being provided. Neighbors helping each other. Strangers helping each other.

Makes for a good feeling after Katrina. People are pitching in and helping each other rather than complaining.

The number of dead known is 3. Some say really 5. I believe the number will be much more once the waters recede and authorities are able to conduct a detailed search.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Trump Company was seeking to do business with Russia in late 2015 and into early 2016. Campaign time.

It is claimed the construction of a massive Trump Tower was contemplated. Purportedly, there is a letter of intent signed by investors and Trump and Company re the projected structure.

Tunney Morgan Hunsaker. What a name? His claim to fame is that he was the first person Cassius Clay fought professionally.

Hunsaker had a mixed career. Seventeen wins, fifteen losses. He went on to become a long time Police Chief for Fayetteville, West Virginia.

He and Clay remained friends their entire lives.

Enjoy your day!





Hurricane Harvey has unleashed a hell upon the Texas gulf coast. Nature at its worst! A howling storm that cannot be blamed on anything other than weather. Global warming not involved.

Harvey does not want to leave. Hanging around a few days. Bringing with it rain in a volume not common.

How much damage? How many dead? How many injured? Are survivors getting sufficient assistance? Enough drinking water for example?

The answers will not come till Harvey has gone. Then the impact will be known.

Front page this morning’s Key West Citizen the current state of affairs re remedial work to North Roosevelt Boulevard.

North Roosevelt Boulevard is a State highway. A few years ago, Florida spent 4 years renovating the Boulevard big time. The final job has a couple of minuses. Big time minuses. Properly described as major screw ups.

One has to do cross-walks. There are 5. Their purpose to make it safe for pedestrians to cross the major busy thoroughfare.

The cross-walks a disaster. Invite accidents, death and injuries. So far, only one death. Injuries more.

The cross-walks are poorly designed. Need a red light as part of them so traffic will recognize the need to stop and will stop. Without red lights, the cross walks create more danger than when the road was without any.

After constant badgering by City and County officials, the State has come up with the remedial plan. Merely a suggestion at this point. It will redo the cross-walks with red lights. The time frame includes design to be done in 2019 and construction to begin in 2021.

If the City so desires, it can do the corrective work itself and then seek reimbursement from the State.

Typical bureaucratic delay. The State is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Put the red lights in and be done with it. Boulevard users should not have to wait 4-5 years to get the job done.

How many people will die or be injured during those years because of the State’s obstinacy?

Another government mess in the making. Key West’s amphitheater. The mess plentiful. One at the moment is naming rights. A bidding process to be used. He who bids the most will get to name the amphitheater.

So far five names suggested. Not all of whom have the dollars to successfully bid. At least one dead.

One person openly expressing his desire to have the amphitheater named after him is Jimmy Buffett. He has the money to successfully bid.

I am shocked at the number who do not want Jimmy Buffett’s name on the amphitheater. For all kinds of reasons that do not seem to have validity.

Typical Key West, however. A place where some have their heads up their asses. They make a lot of noise. The squeaky wheel gets the attention.

Sheriff Arpaio’s Presidential pardon a disgrace. Most believe Trump has the power. I am not sure.

The Constitution extends the power. In few words. An old Supreme Court decision decided in 1866 interpreted the power broadly. I question whether the decision would be followed today were the issue brought before the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department has a Pardons section. Application must be made by the person seeking the pardon. Five years must have elapsed from the time of conviction. The person seeking the pardon must admit responsibility for the crime. The applicant must show remorse for having committed the crime.

None of these factors have been complied with in the Arpaio situation. An example of Trump not respecting the law, believing he is the law, etc.

I doubt Arpaio will get to the Supreme Court. I cannot conceive of the Session’s Department of Justice doing so. Meaning Trump will get away with what appears to be wrongdoing once again.

Enjoy your Sunday!



Last night was supposed to have been dinner with Jenna at Azur. Jenna taking me out for my birthday. She telephoned in the morning. The flu. We are rescheduled for Thursday night.

My rescheduled evening began at Don’s Place. Chatted with Don, David, Boomer, Jimmy, Stan and Clare. Don, David and I decided to go to dinner. No one  wanted to join us. We decided on the outdoor bar at La Te Da.

Don and David became engrossed with two ladies to their left. I with a couple to my right. Alexandra and James, aka Alex and Jim.

I forgot to mention to Alex that I have an 11 year old granddaughter living here in Key West with a similar first name. Alexandra. We call her Ally.

Alex and Jim interesting folks. Down from Wellington, Florida. Wellington is located in Palm Beach County near Boca Raton.

I constantly learn. Wellington is the equestrian capital of the world. Horse activity at the highest level. Show jumping and polo, for example.

Alex and James are involved. Both are equestrian judges. Jim a trainer, also.

They are involved with training the equestrian Olympic team that will be competing this winter. They also are involved with polo events at the highest levels of competition.

Alex is originally from Maryland. Jim almost a neighbor of mine. From Avon, New York. Just outside Rochester.

Too bad they are leaving this morning. I enjoyed their company and would have liked to spend more time with them.

My afternoon yesterday was spent researching this week’s KONK Life column. I will write it this afternoon.

The topic a current one. The girlfriend experience. Sugar babies and sugar daddies. Older men and younger women. Generally, college age.

I am sure such has existed over the ages. However, in the past several years it has kicked into high gear. It is a phenomenon sweeping the United States. A new type prostitution economy.

The young ladies enter into long term relationships with benefactors. The money received helps to pay student loans, rent and provide the ability to afford designer labels.

The dollars big.

The Underwater Music Festival was held yesterday at Looe Key. Hundreds attended. Party time. Involved the Reef.

Two years ago, I wrote a column about the Scopes Trial. Also known as the Monkey Trial. It began this day in 1925. Referred to at the time as the trial of the century.

William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow opposing each other. Scopes the young teacher on trial.

My column laid out how the whole scenario was a fraud. From the very beginning. The only ones not in on the fraud were Bryan and Darrow.

Dayton was a small community in Tennessee. The City fathers thought their businesses needed a boost. They wanted national attention so people would visit Dayton.

They fabricated the facts leading to the trial. Pure and simple. It did succeed in getting national attention. It failed to achieve its primary purpose. People did not flock to Dayton afterwards.

Enjoy your Sunday!