The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk returned to its home base Key West yesterday after being out two months. A good trip! Captured almost one ton of cocaine. Many happy faces. Family and close friends waiting.  In the pouring rain. Wives, husbands, children, girl friends, friends.

The present day Mohawk is the third or fourth so named Coast Guard vessel.

Mohawk an interesting name. I grew up in the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. Home of the Mohawk Indians. The Mohawks were part of the Iroquois Nation.

An area where important Revolutionary War battles were fought. One being the Battle of Oriskany. The battle took place just outside Utica. It was an early significant victory for the colonists.

Fort Schuyler’s location was squarely in the center of what is now Utica. A small park with a large stone and plaque marked its location. Till the era of urban renewal which covered it over. Its location lies today below a highway.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny continues to care for me.

Followed by a haircut with Lori. She told me granddaughter Ally had been in the day before. Ally is 10. Lori said Ally is always quiet. Never talks. Strange. She talks at home. Sometimes non stop.

Then around the corner to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee. Ran into Frankie the Plumber’s wife Sandy. A wonderful woman! First class! She runs the business. Frankie is in the field correcting plumbing disasters.

I was set up for a big evening. Syracuse basketball, the Republican debate, and Trump.

The basketball game was at 7. Syracuse beat Notre Dame 81-66. Syracuse was a 3 point favorite. Won instead by 15. Notre Dame’s best player was out with an injury which probably helped. Not enough to excuse a 15 point defeat, however.

Syracuse’s defense excellent. Kept the post blocked in. Did well with rebounds. Made 3 pointers with ease.

Syracuse plays Georgia Tech tomorrow. Dan Reardon forget me not!

At nine , I flipped to Trump. Got all of 10 minutes in before I fell asleep. So much for Trump and the Republican debate.

This week’s KONK Life column is Yankee Doodle Dandy. Don’t miss it. An important part of American history.

Yankee Doodle was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning and also appears in today’s E-News Blast. I will be on 104.9 FM radio at 12:30 being interviewed about the article.

Friday. What am I going to do tonight?

Enjoy your day!



Yankee Doodle went to town

Riding on a pony

He stuck a feather in his hat

And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle keep it up;

Yankee Doodle dandy,

Mind the music and the step,

And with the girls be randy.

Yankee Doodle Dandy is sung with pride and patriotism today in the United States. It is part and parcel of America and its history.

It was not always so.

Yankee Doodle was born during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The British and colonials were fighting the French and Indians. British officers were a gentlemanly sort. High society. Well mannered and cultured. The colonists they fought with disheveled and disorganized. Ill mannered. Without culture. Classless.

The colonists were known as Yankees. Of Dutch derivation. Jancke in Dutch. Pronounced Yankee. Even within the colonial body, there was discrimination. The Dutch colonists in New Amsterdam used Yankee as a dismissive word to describe New England’s English residents.

Dr. Richard Shuckburg was a British Army surgeon during the French and Indian War. A bit of a wit. He authored the original words to Yankee Doodle Dandy. The tune itself comes from an earlier nursery rhyme, Lucy Locket.

The song was one of insult and contempt for the colonials. British soldiers sang it mockingly in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. New verses were added. All intended to put the uncouth colonials in their place.


The words obliviously have meaning. Their etymology interesting.

Yankee has already been described as a dismissive term.

Doodle is of German origin. Dudeltopf or dudelop. Means fool or simpleton.

Macaroni the worst of insults.

A men’s club existed in London known as the Macaroni Club. Its members fashionable in the extreme. Young men. They wore wigs. Unique. Described as foppishness by non-Macaronis. Attire extravagant. Striped silks and feathers in their hats.

They considered themselves the height of fashion. Especially the feather in the hat.

The members adopted feminine mannerisms. They were considered effeminate.

The group used Italian phrases to emphasize their culture. The name Macaroni derived the reform.

By comparing the colonists to Macaroni members, the British were insinuating the colonists were womanish, not very masculine.

Forget taxation without representation. The preceding was reason enough to have precipitated the Revolutionary War.

Then came Lexington and Concord. While marching from Boston to Lexington and Concord, the British fife and drum played the tune and the soldiers sang merrily along.

After the British had been defeated later in the day, Yankee Doodle could be heard again. However, this time played and sung by the colonists. An up yours sort of thing.

Colonists claimed Yankee Doodle as their own. It was especially aggravating to the British to hear when they surrendered at Saratoga and Yorktown.

From then to now, Yankee Doodle has been America’s song. The new country’s first national song.

Some things come back to bite a person in the ass. Yankee Doodle did.



In January 1898, the Battleship Maine left Key West for Havana. The Maine arrived on this date in Havana. On February 15, 1898, the Maine was blown up in Havana harbor.

Many American sailors died. Many are buried in Key West Cemetery.

The American people were aroused. The cry…..Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!

The Spanish-American War was inevitable.

I spent most of the day time yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Yankee Doodle Dandy. The column is not merely a recitation of verses, it is an explanation of what the words mean. In addition, a showing of how the tune came to bite the British in the ass.

The column publishes in KONK Life wednesday.

I could not do two things at once. Had to turn off the TV thereby missing the New England/Denver game. I caught the last minute. Exciting!

I felt sorry for the Patriot’s point kicker. His first miss in 524 tries. The point might have made a difference in the ultimate outcome of the game.

Syracuse lost to Virginia last night. 73-65. Oh, my Syracuse!

Syracuse played well against #13 Virginia. Around the middle of the second half, the game was tied.

Virginia definitely the better team in spite of how well Syracuse played. They have it all. Offensively and defensively.

A major Syracuse problem is the lack of a big man. The opposition keeps getting the ball into the post.

Dinner at Roostica. The sunday night special. Spaghetti and meat balls. Just like grandmother made.

The Kelly McGillis Flag Football Classic gets underway tonight. The ladies meet at Aqua. An excellent place to get things going.

Judy Blume is an author extraordinaire. Her books have sold over 85 million copies world wide. Blume is a Key West resident.

Tonight at 6, Blume is speaking as part of the Friends of Key West Library Series. The Key West Theater, 512 Eaton Street.

Divorce made easy.

Modern America now has no fault divorce.

In days of old, Henry VIII came up with his own method. Behead the women!

Islamists make it extremely easy for the man to divorce. He looks at his wife and says three times…..I divorce you. It does not work the same for the ladies. They are required to go through the court process.

The Smiths are in the news. Larry and Christine.

Larry plays tonight at The Little Place Jazz Club. 8:30. Larry is one of Key West’s finest performers.

Christine’s fame initially as a teacher and singer. She is professionally known as Christine Cordone.

In recent years, she added painting to her retinue. Christine has an exhibit scheduled for February 4 at Art @ 830 on Caroline. Great watercolors!

Enjoy your day!






A busy last night.

First stop was Tavern ‘n Town. No room at the inn. There had been an outside wedding scheduled. The cold and wind moved it inside. Took up the entire new dining room.

Headed downtown to Hot Tin Roof. An excellent soup of shrimp and mussels. A light red sauce. Even better, dunking bread in the sauce at the end.

Hot Tin Roof filled up. No room. Tourists galore.

Restaurants and bars cannot complain things are tough. I have never seen so many tourists at any time in the past. It has been non-stop since Christmas week.

Then to La Te Da. First time in the new inside bar. Great music. A full house. Dance floor crowded.

I danced. Three times. The last time I danced was four years ago in Greece at an outdoor restaurant in the Playka. Danced Greek style with the locals. Threw a few plates afterwards.

I spent the afternoon researching this week’s KONK Life column. Yankee Doodle Dandy. The story behind it and what the words actually mean.

I have a bit more research and then the writing today.

Big pro football day! The AFC and NFC championship games. I would have enjoyed watching the New England/Denver game at 2. Column writing at the same time. I will listen to the TV audio while writing. Hopefully, I can still do two things at one time.

Syracuse plays Virginia at 7 tonight. Virginia a 9 point favorite. If Syracuse wins, it will be because of Boeheim. His hands on coaching in the final minutes.

Sounds of the Kelly McGillis flag football Classic can be heard. The ladies began coming in the past few days. Monday begins social activities and practice. The games begin friday. Sixty teams from all over the world.

Today is January 24. This morning’s Key West Citizen History Section makes mention of Sally Rand. The Citizen did the same thing on January 24 last year. I commented then. I comment now.

Sally Rand was a fan dancer. The fans moved erotically. She was before my time. By 1960, she was into semi-retirement.

I met her in 1964 at a cocktail party at Grossinger’s in the Catskills. A lady. We had a pleasant uninterrupted ten minute conversation.

Sally once a part time Key West resident. She owned the large lovely Victorian home at 916 Eisenhower Drive.

Enjoy your Sunday!