Tonight ends the stone crab season. My favorite food. At this time each year, I think I have not eaten enough.

Supposedly a good season. Overall catch and dollars appear down. Not by much. I will advise the numbers when they are out.

A major industry. A year ago, I recall mentioning the number of tons shipped to Asia. The major market for Key West stone crabs.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing.

Last night, celebrated Mother’s Day with Donna and Terri. Dinner at Duffy’s.

I finally returned! Yanna, the manager, came running over. The prodigal son had returned!

Terri looks fantastic! Absolutely amazing considering what she is going through. Next weekend the ladies drive to Tampa. Donna has a week long series of tests scheduled at a Tampa cancer hospital.

I wrote yesterday about Thelma Strabel and Reap the Wild Wind. Mention of the film could be found in the Key West Citizen’s Historical Section this morning. Paramount’s photographers had completed their work on the film and left for Hollywood this date in 1941.

One of Reap the Wild Wind’s stars was John Wayne.

Two Trump updates.

Media reports the past several days claim Trump runs around screaming at the TV set every time the Russia links matter is shown. The screaming is to have occurred both before and after the Comey firing.

Concerning the law firm letter Trump released last friday. It basically gave Trump  a clean bill of health. The certified one  as Trump constantly states. As if certification gives any truthfulness to its contents.

Two oddities re the letter.

First, it is written and signed by the Washington law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bachius. The firm was named “Russia Law Firm of the Year” in 2016. So named by the London based legal research publication Chambers & Partners.

Second, the letter was dated March 8, 2017. It was not revealed/made public by Trump till May 12, 2017.

I conclude on a happy note. McDonald’s is as American as apple pie. There are 36,899 McDonald’s worldwide. U.S. ambassadors!

Enjoy your day!


Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Happy Mother’s Day to my mother!

My mother has been gone some thirty odd years. I still think of her every day.

I have a large painting of my mother that sits over my desk. I see her constantly. I even talk to her on occasion. I vent.

We had a good relationship. She was retired. I would stop by to see her almost every day on my way home after work. Not for long. Fifteen minutes to a half hour. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass of ice on the kitchen table. My mother did not drink. The Beefeaters was for me.

We talked about this and that. Rarely important. Just mother/son chit chat.

I miss her.

Hurricane season is around the corner. Begins June 1.

The prediction is the season will be slightly below average. Six hurricanes anticipated. Two which will be major ones.

We have been lucky in recent years. Hurricanes, yes. But they always bent at the last minute and missed us. May that continue to be the case!

Key West Songwriters Festival this weekend. Musicians come from all over. They play just about every bar and location in town.

I walked Duval and the side streets yesterday listening.  Occasionally, stopping. I stayed a while to hear the group playing on Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s. Then to Smokin’ Tuna. Finally, Margaritaville.

The walk, crowds and heat did me in.  I had anticipated it would. Knew dinner would be at home for me.

I took out one of Fran’s containers of frozen pork sauce in the morning. Left it on the counter to thaw. Last night, I enjoyed stove pipes buried in Fran’s thick red pork sauce. Covered generously with Parmesan cheese.

Ate too much. I did not care. Good was good.

Fran and husband Tom are in Paris for ten days. I e-mailed Fran and told her how great her sauce was.

Some things I do not understand. Like why a toll on US 1. The only road in and out of Key West.

An Islamorada councilman named Mike Forster went to Washington last week to discuss a toll. He favors it. He is pushing it. Why, I do not understand.

US 1 is generally a narrow two lane road for 140 miles. Key West at the southern end. When I go to Hogfish, Roostica, Geiger Key, Square Grouper, Mangrove Mama’s or to visit my Sugarloaf friends, US 1 is involved at some point.

I have to pay to travel 1/2 mile to 20 miles?

Forster is speaking to the issue tomorrow evening at 5:30 at the VFW on the Boulevard. I plan on attending.

This will be a big week for me. Thursday night the Key West Art & Historical Society is sponsoring a talk at Tropic Cinema. An Arlo Haskell speaking. His topic: The former Jewish underground involving Key West and Cuba. 1918-1939.

Charles Krauthammer is a noted columnist for the Washington Post. A conservative.

He wrote in a recent column re the Trump/Comey situation: “The king asked whether no one would rid him of this troublesome priest, and got so impatient he did it himself.” Henry VIII had Thomas More beheaded.

Comey’s firing no different.

History may speak of it as the beginning of the end of Trump’s Presidency.

Reap the Wild Wind was published by Thelma Strabel in 1940. A story of Key West and wreckers. The Saturday Evening Post immediately serialized it.

Strabel used the Saturday Evening Post money she received to build a home in Key West. In 1940, she obtained a building permit to construct a house at 400 South Street.

At the time, she claimed it was the most southern point in the United States.

The home was later demolished and a larger one built on the site. Strabel was long gone from Key West by that time.

Enjoy your Mother’s Day! Enjoy your Sunday!


We made it! The bocce playoffs!

We ended the season in 4th place. The top 5 teams in each of the four leagues make the playoffs. We play at noon today against the 5th place team of the wednesday night league.

A big deal! A festive occasion! Tons of people watching. Tents and food.

Another pleasant evening last night. Stopped at Louie’s Backyard first. Met Aziza. A local. Lives on Big Coppitt. Married. Four lovely children. Proudly showed me their pictures. Her husband prominent in the area. A realtor. Aziza a paralegal.

Aziza is originally from Russia. This led into Flora and Albania. Recall Flora’s Story in my book The World Upside Down.

A lovely interesting woman. She was killing time. She had an hour till her husband’s plane flew in from Washington where he had been on business a few days.

Then to the Chart Room.

Che at the bar. First time I have seen Che in three months or better. He was sick and rushed off to Miami. A stent problem and pneumonia.

Che is a robust appearing 82. He left, never telling anyone he was sick, etc. His door was locked, his car gone, no one answering the telephone. We all thought the worst.

I chewed Che out royally for not letting anyone know what was happening with him. We were all worried. Properly so. Chart Room regulars consider ourselves Che’s family.

Met Laureen and Chris at the bar. An enjoyable conversation evolved. Included Che.

Laureen and Chris have been visiting Key West for 18 years. They live on Amelia Island. Probably the northern most point in Florida. They come to Key West to visit Florida’s most southern point.

Laureen is CEO of a private health care company. Ted a third grade teacher.

Nice people.

Several movies have been filmed in Key West over the years. One is the 1947 Reap The Wild Wind. Starred John Wayne. The movie was based on a 1940 novel by Thelma Strabel. She serialized the story and sold it to the Saturday Evening Post.

Apparently the book resulted in big dollars to Strabel. She took the money and built a home in Key West. She did this immediately upon selling the story to the Saturday Evening Post.

The house was at 400 South Street. At the time, it was the southernmost house in Key West. The house no longer exists. Someone bought, demolished, and built another in its place.

My personal reading is not consistent. I seem to enjoy everything. Mid-week, I mentioned reading several World War II stories. Yesterday, I got into Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima.

Catholics believe that the Blessed Mother appeared before three Portuguese children in 1917. I am a fallen away Catholic. Nevertheless, I continue to believe Fatima occurred.

There is much to read regarding Fatima.

All that glitters is not gold. As we all know. I refer to a GMO situation not in the best interest of the American people.

The Agriculture Department has or soon will adopt a regulation permitting GMO Free to be put on the labels of all foods not containing GMOs. A sop!

The movement across the country is to have foods containing GMOs labeled as containing such. Monsanto and the other GMO big guys have been fighting this movement. By providing the opposite, the government has once again succumbed to the desires of Monsanto and friends.

GMO Free is not Contains GMOs. Intentional misleading.

Big sports day! The bocce playoffs and then the Preakness. I have always enjoyed racing. As a sport. A gambler I am not. I spent many an August day in Saratoga.

Enjoy your day!


I learned this morning that my former classmate and friend John Ringrose had passed on. A nicer guy never lived!

John and I went to law school together. John was from Rome, about 15 miles from Utica. We were both married while in law school. John’s wife Darlene a gem. We had our first borns while in law school. We occasionally babysat for each other.

John went on to become a Judge. Surrogate. Surrogate Judges handle wills, estates and the like. I did not do that work at all. I only once appeared before John. It was a court proceding. I thought John did a good job as Judge. I hope he thought I did a good job as a lawyer.

John and I roomed together in New York City for six weeks while taking a cram course for the bar exam. We stayed in a dilapidated fire trap of a hotel. Our room was on the sixth floor.

It was the middle of the night. I was sound asleep. I was hearing fire engines and smelling smoke. I opened my eyes. There was John going out the door with his books and notes in his arm. I asked what was going on. He yelled there’s a fire. He was leaving without waking me! I never let him forget.

Though John’s upbringing was far from wealthy, his early years were more affluent than mine. I knew no affluence. John’s father was a Surrogate and Supreme Court Judge.

John’s background provided him with a degree of experience that accompanies such. John unknowingly introduced me to many new and exciting things. He expanded my world.

John took me to my first Broadway Show. Sound of Music. He introduced me to fine New York City restaurants. I enjoyed my first Manhattan with John at one of those restaurants. I tasted my first standing prime rib with John. John and Darlene invited my wife and I to dinner while we were in law school. We all lived in left over army barracks from World War II.

Friends come in and out of our lives. Especially if we live a long time. While John and I were close in law school and our early years in the practice, we drifted thereafter. No particular reason. Just the way it is. We always remained friends, however.

I feel sad. It is that time for our generation, however. We move on to that other life. I look forward to running into John there. Perhaps enjoying a Manhattan with him.