I woke to pouring rain this morning. Heavy!

The talk of the town yesterday was today’s weather. A cold spell was going to hit Key West today! The first of the season.

Every one was happy. Cool weather is always welcome here in Key West.

Yes, the high today will be 88. Imagine. That is a cold spell! 88 is lower than the low or mid 90s, so I guess it is cooler.

The real impact of this cold spell will be the absence of humidity. Significant.

I will dress the same today as yesterday and the day before and the day before that day. Shorts and a tee shirt. The rain will not be a factor. It will stop before I finish this blog. It will be a typical Key West day. Sunny. And only the locals will know we are experiencing a cold spell!

I lunched at Blossoms yesterday. Blossoms is the former Paradise Cafe at a new location. Cuban toast with melted cheese and tomato. Always the same meal. Read the news papers.

Then to Lisa’s. Lisa stayed home from work yesterday. Little Ally was sick. A temperature, sore throat and cough. She had taken a 2 hour nap before I arrived. Always the sign of illness in a child.

Other than being a bit quiet, she seemed OK. She was playing checkers on the living room floor with her mother. I am amazed that at 4 she can play and understand checkers. Why not! Ally can play chess also! Great school that Montessori.

Ally finally got hungry in the middle of the afternoon. A good sign! She wanted macaroni and cheese. Lisa made it. I ate it with Ally. It was good!

Last night I had a quiet dinner alone at the bar at Hogfish. Not too many people. Read the local papers and chatted with the barmaids.

It has stopped raining. The sun is coming out.

And now for a most important piece of information. Today is Lisa’s 45th birthday! Happy Birthday Lisa! I love you!

Enjoy your day!

I saw the doctor yesterday. I am going to live. It’s a spider bite. But not the bad brown recluse one. The swelling is down 90 per cent. There is a black area about the size of a half dollar behind the bites. The doctor says it is blood accumulation. I have to see her again thursday.

My doctor still claims there are no brown recluse spiders in the keys. They are not indiginous to the area. Some one wrote a comment yesterday and pointed out that Governor Crist got bit by one at County Mayor De Gennaro’s home last week. The commentator also pointed out that pythons are not indiginous to this area. Yet we all know they have been found in recent years in the upper keys.

So much for indiginous!

After the doctor visit, I went over to Harpoon Harry’s for cuban toast. A first! Glad I did! Great cuban toast!

The medications I am on for the spider bite are heavy. Note the “s” on medications. I am taking 3 pills. They make me drowsy. So I spent most of the afternoon in bed sleeping.

Last night I had dinner with Rob abd Bebee. They invited me to join them at Santiago’s. Another first for me! I had never been to Santiago’s before.

Santiago’s is a tapas restaurant. It is located in Bahama Village. At the far end of the commercial area. You really have to go deep into Bahama Village to find it.

The place was packed. People were standing outside and on the street sipping sangrias waiting for tables. Rob and Beebe had arrrived early and secured a nice outside table.

The food was excellent! We picked on lamb chops, filet, roman meatballs, shrimp, grouper, special breads and onion soup. Oh, so good!

Afterwards we stopped at Don’s place for a drink. Michelle was there. She had a ton of money in front of her. And she was all smiles! She had won the football pool from the day before.

We all chatted for a while and then it was home to bed for me.

Lisa is working industriously on her internet department store Via Key West. It is slated for an opening in 7-10 days. She is continuing with her tweaking on the site. It is amazing how much work is involved in setting up this site and venture. She has over a year invested in it.

The morning is beautiful. The sun has come up since I started writing this morning. Another beautiful Key West day in the making! Sun shining. A few white clouds. The palm tree sparkling. Little breeze.

Enjoy your day!

The days are shorter here in Key West. The sun rises later and sets earlier.

It is raining now. I can see and taste it through the window. Rain seems to be different over the ocean. Cleaner is the only way I can describe it. Probably because of the vastness of it all. It is not confined by buildings and trees.

The bite swelling is subsiding. Though not completely yet.

I can clearly see 2 bite marks. Looks like teeth marks close together. And a third mark that is different. Probably a lock of some sort.

I did not go to the hoispital yesterday since the purpose was to remove a needle, if one was there. I could not see one.

I am a typical man. Hard headed.

I plan on seeing my doctor this morning. For sure.

The pills I am taking are terrific. I have not slept this well in years. Deep and long.

I was out and about yesterday.

My day started early. Lisa telephoned and said come over for breakfast. A good time was had by all! Nothing prettier than grandchildren running around in their pajamas!

Then to the coffee house on Duval to read the New York Times. A cup of coco mocha and the news. A great combination!

Soon after one p’clock I was at Don’s Place. Pro football time. I sat around outside with Don, David, Keith, Larry, Aaron, Kurt, Rob and Bebee watching the games. Note the plural on games. We had 5 screens in front of us, each next to the other!

After the Philadelphia game, I scooted home to catch the last hour of the Am Ex golf tournament.

Interesting golf. Not necessarily outstanding golf. Mickelson looked great! He came on and won the weekend tournamnet by 3 strokes. Tiger never got it going birdie wise. He came in second, but won the overall yearly point competion. For which Tiger pocketed $10,000,000! What a country America!

It was 6 o’clock. Golf was finished. Time to take my bite pills. I did. And fell to sleep! A deep sleep. For about 2 hours. Lisa woke me with a telephone call to see how I was. It was fortunate she called or I would have slept through the Yankee Jack show at the Pier House at 9.

I love Yankee Jack! Every one loves Yankee Jack! Last night was his night with Larry Smith at the Wine Galley. It was a good night. Yankee was in top form. He sang songs from his new CD. His banter between songs was interesting. Each song has its own story behind it as to why it was written.

Because of the pills, I only had one drink. And did not even finish it.

It has stopped rainig. It was actually pouring. There is no breeze. The sun is shining on the ocean and the sole palm tree I can see from my window.

Breakfast and then off to the doctor’s office.

Talk with you tomorrow.

Where do I begin…..

The bite on my thigh is getting out of hand. My left thigh is now 1/3 larger than normal. And flaming red. Looks sort of freaky in the mirror. Especially when compared to the normal right thigh.

There is now no pain or discomfort. Only a slight itch which I am able to ignore.

I showed it to son in law Corey yesterday afternoon. He thought it was a brown recluse spider bite. He has seen three.

I looked brown recluse spider up on the internet. Looks like what I got.

Could be dangerous if it is. The flesh in the area of the bite dies.

Michael at the Chart Room is familiar with brown recluse spider bites. Knows of and has seen 2 here in Key West.

I was getting nervous. Called my doctor. She says cannot be a brown recluse spider bite. They are not indiginous to the keys. I did not tell her what Corey or Michael had said. She called in a prescription for an antibiotic, gave me instructions to get and take 2 over the counter items also and told me to get to the emergency room.

The purpose of the emergency room was to extract the needle I thought I had in the thigh from whatever bit me.

I thought the emergency room might be going too far. I decided to wait till today to see if I could clearly see a needle. I cannot this morning, but am not sure. So at some point I may end up in the emergency room.

She also told me to use hot compresses to hopefully work the needle out. I did last night.

I had 2 drinks before all this last night. Those, plus whatever medications I took, knocked me on my ass. I soon fell asleep after the hot packs and slept soundly for almost 6 hours. It was the best sleep I have had in a long time.

So much for whatever bit me.

I had lunch yesterday at Harpoon Harrys. I had never been there before. It is an old time corner restaurant a block off the waterfront. A bar to sit at plus booths and tables. A friendly staff. Primarily a locals place.

Simple food, cheaply priced.

I have had this desire for ham and eggs for several days. If I told you they were the best eggs I have ever had, you are going to laugh. But they were! They advertise their eggs as fresh eggs. Whatever, they were absolutely delicious.

Then it was a short walk to Mel Fisher’s Turtle Cannery Museum. The last time I was there was opening night. Too many people, too crowded for me to really absorb the place.

I spent about an hour walking around and reading and viewing the exhibits. Very interesting! I learned a lot of things about the turtle canning business. Which is now long gone.

At one time it was a major industry in Key West. The keys had its own turtles and turtles were also imported from various parts of the Caribbean. The turtles were killed and made into foodstuff here in Key West. Soup and meat. Thereafter eaten here and additionally exported all over the world.

The turtle industry died overnight in the early 1960s. A scientist wrote a book about the destruction of turtles because of overfishing them. Florida Governor Askew signed a law restricting the killing of turtles unless they were 41 inches in length. The shell had to be 41 inches, from head to tail.

There were few, if any, turtles that length. So the turtle cannery was out of business and that was the end of turtles as a foodstuff.

Interestingly, it is only now some 50 years later that turtles are reaching 41 inches in length. So perhaps they were being overfished and were in fact an endangered species.

Linda works at the Turtle Cannery Museum. She is the hostess, greeter, question answerer and what have you.

She at one time worked at the Merl Fisher Museum and also has bartended around town. I knew her from the Chart Room.

We spent a bit chatting. Linda impressed me. She was extremely knowledgable about the museum and turtles in general. A excellent museum representative!

I watched golf on TV during the late afternoon. Ken Perry had quite a run! Shot a 64 and is in first place by 2 strokes over Tiger Woods. Going to be a great final round this afternoon when they go head to head.

Since I had stayed in the night before because of the bite, I had to go out last evening. Two nights in a row confined to home is hard for me to take!

I started at the Chart room. Sean and Kathleen there. Enjoyed their company over a drink. Spoke with Michael the bartender. He was gearing up for a half shirt party later in the evening at the Chart Room. No one seemed to know exactly what a half shirt meant.

Then I hit Antonia’s for dinner. A good crowd. The food was top shelf as usual.

Judge Audlin came over to say hello. I have not seen him in a few months. He is a terrific guy and an outstanding judge. It was good to see him again.

Today is Sunday. That means tonight is Larry Smith’s Sunday Showcase at the Wine Galley. Larry’s guest performer tonight is everyone’s good friend, Yankee Jack. Be sure to see him. He sings some of the greatest tunes, most of which he has written himself.

The line that sticks in my mind is from a song Yankee wrote while he was divorcing his first wife…I can’t get over her till she gets out from under him!

That’s Yankee! A talent!

Have a good day!

I got bit by some kind of bug Thursday night at bocci.

I felt it while sitting on the bench waiting my turn to throw. A sharp pinch.

It was on my upper left thigh. Inside. Next to the family jewels.

When I got home, I checked the bite out. I had a slight inflamation. It twitched a bit. No pain.

When I woke yesterday morning, it was a different story. The inflamation was the size of a golf ball. And there were 3 small bruises nearby that resembled and were the size of small worms.

By mid afternoon, the fire engine red swelling was about 6 inches by 4 inches. And thick. It was bulging out. And it hurt!

So I stayed in last night. It had to be bothering me for me to give up a Friday night on the town in Key West!

It is still swollen this morning, though a bit less. It hurts less. The 3 small bruises have been absorbed into the red swelling. I can see a needle from whatever bit me in the middle of the thing.

There were wasps around Thursday night. This is not a wasp bite, though. Nor is it a fire ant bite. I have had both.

Oh well, I will live! I am happy that what ever bit me did not move another quarter inch and chomp on my privates! That would really have been painful and a hell of a story to tell!

The only time I was out yesterday was to have lunch with Lisa. We talked about the final touches to her internet department store Via Key West which will be opening soon.

A quiet day. Of necessity.

Today will be another story. Healthy living can only go so far!

Enjoy your day!

Two big items for announcement today.

First, bocci last night. We won all 3 games for the second week in a row. We are on a run!

The first game was close. 16-15. We were behind 10-6. We rallied and snuck out the win!

The second and third games were no match. We won 16-5 and 16-3.

Wonder of wonders! We are out of the cellar!

Everyone played well. Don had THE spectacular shot of the evening. A tough shot. But he took it and it worked!

Item #2. The biggest!

I am pleased to announce that my daughter Lisa will be officially opening an internet department store in about 10 days. VIA KEY WEST!

It will be found at http://www.viakeywest.com/. Don’t go there yet. The screen will report it is still under construction. Lisa is tweaking and fine tuning this week.

Via Key West is not a recent thing Lisa decided to do. She has been working on it for about a year. It is big time!

Via Key West will offer Key West goods for sale world wide. Items such as jewelry, paintings, cups, ceramic tiles, CDs, old photographs, tropical treats, etc, etc, etc. Even Key West Lou tee shirts and mugs!

Her market is people who have been to Key West and would like to purchase an item to remember the island by. Her other market is those that have never been to Key West but would like to have a piece of it.

I will tell you a bit more each day. She has some wonderful and famous persons offering their wares through Via Key West.

Congratulations Lisa! Go for it! Daddy loves you!

Yesterday was Wednesday. Wednesday is golf. I did not play!


I missed playing. Sometimes things of a more important nature take precedence.

I did have time for lunch, however. Hogfish! The restaurant, that is. Where I did have a hogfish sandwich.

A week from Saturday, Hogfish is celebrating its seventh anniversary under Bobby’s ownership. A party is planned! And entertainment will be provided by my good friend Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24. Should be a big night!

I painted yesterday afternoon. I am making progress. I am improving. Nothing spectacular. Just the outdoors as I see it. I have to add the…as I see it…qualification. My paintings when finished do not quite look as things appear.

I am trying to adopt the Jack Baron dot approach. The only trouble is he did it better! Much better!

The Chart Room was quiet last night. Just Marty and a friend. As I was driving to the Chart Room over Front Street, I saw Captain Peter whipping by on a bicycle in the opposite direction. There was strong breeze. Peter had one hand on the handlebars and the other holding tightly onto his straw hat. I blew my horn. Peter did not know what to do. He could neither let go of the handlerbar or hat. So he just smiled broadly as I went by.

We had dinner at the bar at Michael’s. Good food, as usual. And a good crowd for a Wednesday in September.

There is a new radio station in Key West. Well, relatively new. Several months old.

It is Konk 1680 am.

The station is picking up speed as it moves forward. It is becoming the talk of the town. Especially its talk shows which cover a multitude of life issues.

Listen to 1680 am. You will find it interesting.

Enjoy your day!

I feel hung over this morning.

I had not been out in a couple of nights. So I did not drink. Last night I did go out. Only had 3 drinks over the course of the evening. But feel like it was much more!

I guess it is easy to get out of practice.

Yesterday was another beautiful Key West day. Sun all day. And for some reason, the humidity was low. A relief!

Lunched at the Yacht Club. Met an interesting guy. Doug is his name. His former business up north involved run ins with the EPA. I am a retired enviromental attorney who represented persons such as himself and his company before the EPA. We had an interesting talk.

Then to Borders.

One of the problems with my form of reading is that sometimes the book I have been reading sells out. Then I am left hanging. This happened yesterday. I had been reading over the past week 90 Minutes in Heaven. The story of a man who was dead for 90 minutes and then returned to life. Fortunately, I got through the Heaven part. I was in his life anew when the book was taken from me.

My old friend Ann called. She was in Key West. I told her to meet me at my home.

We had another interesting chat. Ann was a reporter in the 1960s in Utica. She brought me 4 books on Utica that she had acquired while there.

One of the books was about Mom and Pop grocery stores in Utica of old. The time frame is late 1800s to mid 1950s.

Diversity is with us always in this country. Then it was Germans, Italians, Syrians and Poles. Many started a small grocery store. A loaf of bread and pound of bologna variety. What I found most interesting were the names of those persons. Switch to the present and they represent the business and professional community of Utica. The corner grocery gave birth to today’s doctors, lawyers and industrialists.

The American dream fulfilled.

So too will it be in Key West 50 to 100 years from now. The new and diversified ethnic peoples settling here will give birth to Key West’s leaders of tomorrow.

It was Marty, Captain Peter and Sean at the Chart Room last night. I was advised that Friday night’s pajama party was a success. About 40 people. Not that many in pajamas, however.

This Friday a half shirt, whatever that is, party is scheduled.

Marty and I had dinner at the bar at Hot Tin Roof.

Valerie was back. Valerie is one of the two bartenders. A very lovely person, inside and out. Also a diver. She is married to Clayton who formerly bartended at Antonia’s and now is bar manager at Bagatelle’s.

Valerie and Clayton just returned from a vacation in Hondouras. They were turned on big tme by the place. Homes still reasonably priced. Valerie says every one sees water. Homes are not only built on the open water, but also on the top of mountains.

Message to Jean Thornton: Get back here! You are missed! Your name came up last night both at the Chart Room and Hot Tin Roof. In fact, someone has put up a calendar in the Chart Room of the days left till your return. The days are being marked off.

Have a nice day!

It stays dark in the morning longer. The sun rises later. We are moving into Fall.

The temperature does not reflect it though. It is still 88-92 here in Key West. And humid! September is the hotest month of the year.

I wrote a letter yesterday. By hand. A lost art!

My father is 95. His sister Mary will be 100 on Saturday. She lives in New York City.

What to send her to reflect the occasion? No gift seemed appropriate.

So I wrote Aunt Mary a letter. From my perspective, a very personal thing. And hopefully will be well received as such.

I rarely hand write a letter these days. Most of us do not. E mailing is easier and now common. However, I doubt Aunt Mary is into the internet.

I have special stationery with my personal letterhead. I use to hand write letters to special people on special occasions years ago. This one to Aunt Mary is the first in many a year. It has been so long that I had to conduct a search to find the box of stationery.

I wish Aunt Mary a Happy Birthday on this her 100th! I hope she appreciates my letter. Excuse me for not sharing its contents with you. They are for her eyes alone.

Then I was off to the Post Office to mail Aunt Mary’s letter. I must have hit it at the right time. It was not crowded. Unusual.

It was lunch time. The old Paradise Cafe was nearby. So there I went. I did not realize it was a while that I had not been there till I bit into my cuban toast with melted cheese and tomato. So good!

I had some business in Big Pine in the afternoon. Big Pine is about 30 miles north of Key West. Straight up route 1.

I enjoyed the drive each way. Ocean on both sides of the road. As far as the eye could see!

I put the top down on the car, threw on a baseball cap and was on my way!

For some reason, I was tired again last night. Perhaps it was too much sun on the drive. Anyhow, I decided to stay in. Which was a mistake!

I fell asleep early. Too early. Around 7.

I woke at 1 am and have been up ever since!

Some days you just can’t win! Nights, that is!

The moral of the story is stay up late, have a few drinks, enjoy the company of others and go to bed at an adult time!

Enjoy your day!

It has been pouring rain for the past 10 minutes. Big time! Heavy!

Which raises the question in my mind as to how people get to work. Many Key Westers do not have cars. They are not needed. The island is small. They ride bikes to work and everywhere else.

It is going to be tough riding a bike to work in the rain this morning!

And then there are those who have mopeds. No cars, either. They would have a similar problem in a rain storm.

The rain is beautiful, however. I am looking out my open window. It is gray and cool. Clean. Sounds good, too.

Yesterday started with a visit from Lisa and the family in the morning.

Lisa telephones me every morning around seven to make sure I am alive and well. Yesterday morning I did not answer the telephone. It was always some where else from me when it rang or I was too lazy to get up to get it.

A mistake!

Lisa panicked and thought something bad had happened. So they all showed up! After a proper and well deserved chastising from my daughter, I enjoyed their company for a second breakfast.

I must interject and repeat myself. The rain is absolutely beautiful this morning! It is now raining even harder and blowing a clean cool breeze in the window.

I spent the better part of the afternoon at Don’s Place watching pro football and socializing. Philadelphia got whipped big time! I was surprised. Kolb started well throwing. I think the real problem was Philadelphia’s defense. That which it had last week was missing this week!

The fact that Donovan McNabb was benched with a broken rib did not help. Next week Vicks gets to play. It will be interesting!

It just thundered big time! This is a hell of a storm. The streets will be flooded.

Syracuse played Saturday night. They won their first game of the season. Hooray! Beat Northwestern by 3 points. A field goal did it with seconds remaining in the game.

Syracuse has not had a good football team since Donovan McNabb left. However, we are rebuilding. A new coach and a new spirit. We should be a significant winner in 3-4 years and hopefully a national contender again in 5-6.

I was at the Syracuse University Law School in 1959 when Ernie Davis played and Syracuse went undefeated and was first in the country. An experience!

I was tired when I left Don’s Place yesterday afternoon. Stopped at Lisa’s and read the Sunday papers. Then I went home.

I never went out last night. I continued to be tired. So I said screw it and went to bed and watched TV all evening.

It has stopped raining. The sun is shinning. It will shortly be vey humid. That is Key West!

Enjoy your day!