Hemingway had many friends in Key West. Most we are aware of. One not as well as the rest. Telly Otto “Toby” Bruce.

The year was 1928. Hemingway and his wife Pauline were in Key West for the first time. Pauline was pregnant. She wanted to be near her mother when the child was born.

The couple remained in Key West two months and then moved to Pauline’s parent’s home in Piggot, Arkansas.

The baby came. Living was a bit tight and noisy. Hemingway was having trouble sleeping and writing.

A barn was behind the house. Toby Bruce was a Piggot furniture maker. He and Hemingway got together. Hemingway had Toby convert the barn into living quarters.

Hemingway and Toby became close friends almost immediately. The two were sad when they parted. The new family returned to Key West.

The next time they met was 1935. Hemingway had purchased the home on Whitehead Street. He asked Toby to come to Key West to build a wall around the house.

Toby came and stayed. Over the years, he became Hemingway’s man friday, driver, money holder, and secretary.

The two remained best of friends till Hemingway’s death in 1961.

Toby remained in Key West till his own death. He is buried in the Key West Cemetery.

Toby had married. Betty.

After Hemingway’s death, Hemingway’s fourth wife Mary Welsh Hemingway visited Toby and Betty. Mary stopped at Sloppy Joe’s. Hemingway had left boxes containing writings, etc. in a back room.

Mary took some of the papers with her. Left many with Toby and Betty. The papers remain today in the hands of Dink Bruce, their son.

Dink is a charming guy. Referred to as Key West Hippy Royalty. He can be found many evenings at cocktail hour at the outside deck bar at Louie’s Backyard.

Key West loves Harry Truman and Harry Truman loved Key West. Truman remains an intrinsic part of today’s Key West.

The Annual Truman Legacy Symposium will be held friday and saturday May 18-19. At the Harry S Truman Little White House. This year’s subject matter will be a review of how Truman dealt with Russia and the Cold War.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice printed a right on observation by a reader. The issue affordable housing. The reader wrote that vacation rentals are “…..a primary cause of our affordable housing problems.”

I agree. I have agreed for years. I have written re the problem.

The solution to the problem is not spending tax dollars and building affordable housing. The solution is to enforce local rental laws. Without a special license, owners cannot rent for less than 28 days.

Most do, however. As a result, homes and places that normally would rent at prices affordable to Key West’s workers, rent out at exorbitant prices by the week. Many in the thousands of dollars.

Again, the law says such a no no. However the law does not enforce its own mandate. When someone is caught, they go before a special court and promise to sin no more. The fine a reasonable one. Many return to sinning.

The law permits the hearing officer to fine such owners the exorbitant rental monies collected. Rarely is this done. If done, affordable housing construction would not be required.

Moving on to the national scene, Attorney General Sessions is my first target.

Sessions announced at a recent Arizona border enforcement conference that the “massive influx of illegal aliens across our Southernmost Border” had to stop. He had a plan to discourage the influx. Which by the way is no longer “massive.” The solution: Take children away from their parents.

What are we becoming? Separating families. Especially children from parents. Shades of Nazi Germany.

For shame!

On the same day or within days, two other matters occurred re the Trump Administration and children which confuse me.

Melania Trump came out and said her mission as First Lady were children. She had plans to help kids in various ways.

I believe her.

Her husband apparently does not see the connection between what Sessions is doing and his wife’s plans.

The other is the President himself proclaiming he was going to ask Congress to remove $15 billion in spending. Included are monies from the already approved Children’s Health Insurance Program CHIP).

Apparently, Donald and Melania do not talk to each other that much.

Washington Post columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. recently wrote regarding Trump’s desire to close the U.S.’s southern “open borders.” His article suggested the borders are not open as Trump proclaims. He wrote that the U.S.-Mexican border is fortified, militarized and patrolled by more than 17,000 Border Patrol agents.

Trump fails to realize that being President of the United States does not make him President of the world. An example is the new U.S. Ambassador to Germany. His name Richard Grinell. He assumed the position tuesday.

He met with German representatives and advised that Germany was to immediately stop doing business with Iran. Wind down immediately!

Who does Grinell think he is? Who does Trump think he is? The Germans laughed at Grinell.

Grinell has extensive United Nations experience. He also has worked with FOX News.

Enjoy your day!
















  1. The Trump-Fox News relationship becoming more incestuous. Don Jr. hooking up with Fox chief leg pumper, Kimberly G.

  2. Lou, Lou, Lou.
    Listen to yourself. You want the laws regarding rentals in key west enforced, but you want Sessions to ignore the letter of the law as regards immigration. So, what to do. Perhaps Schumer and Pelosi should stop campaigning and work to change the law.

    Two questions Lou.
    1. Does everyone in the world deserve to live in the United States? Yes or No.
    2. Do we reserve the right to say who gets into our country? Yes or No.

    Enjoy your day.

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