Yesterday’s Key West Citizen had a front page article concerning Key West and bicyclists. In a study that ran from 2004 to 2009, Key West ranked first for bicycle fatalities and serious injuries.

I was not surprised.

The biggest danger to a driver of a car in Key West are bicyclists. Especially the tourists. They think they own the roads. They will ride 2 or 3 abreast blocking the whole driving lane. Rarely do they stop for stop signs or lights. Just come speeding through an intersection.Some streets have marked bike paths. They are rarely used.

Many locals have bicycles. If one lives anywhere on the island, a car is not needed. These people can live without the expense of a car payment, insurance and gasoline. The locals generally obey the law and are considerate of vehicle drivers.

Last year the Police Department issued an edict that bicycles were covered under the same laws as a motor vehicle and that the police were going to make a special effort to corral wrongdoers. It did little good.

A sad statistic for Key West. But, understandable.

I had a leisurely lunch yesterday At the Yacht Club. Had been a while since I did so. Good food and good company.

Ran some errands. Liked the drug store and bank.

Last night, I went out with my neighbor Andrew. Andrew lives across the water from me. His claim to popular fame is that Andrew owns the MTV house. Several years ago, MTV rented it from him and did their shows from the house.

Andrew’s wife and baby are in Switzerland visiting grandma. Andrew alone. He called and said lets go out.

We hit the Chart Room first. There was Sheila. Gave her a kiss. JJ bartending. He told me the impact of my story about Woody Cornell several days ago. Woody and Joan received it well.

I am embarrassed. A woman came up to me. Someone I had met before. From out of town. She and/or her husband write books and articles. Did an article on the Chart Room. One of the books was about the Seminole Indians.

I scribbled a lot of notes down on a drink coaster as we chatted. Even her email address. I was on my first drink. But…..I cannot decipher any of my notes. I took the email address down wrong. No such address. Tried a google search, but did not have sufficient information.

I apologize. Please get back to me so I can rectify the situation. You are interesting people and I would like to share you with my world.

Then it was to La Trattoria for dinner. Kathy still not working. Initially, she had some heavy surgery in Miami. Emergency surgery. Then home to recover. Pain again. Back to the hospital. Another surgery because of something to do with the stitches. She is still home.

Get better my dear friend. I miss you! And so do many other of your friends and customers. There was a stranger behind the bar last night. Made me uncomfortable!

Andrew and I had an interesting evening. Talked much. I even offered to baby sit for him. His newest son is 16 months old. I said I have a bit of experience. Take the good wife out to dinner. You two have must go stir crazy on occasion. He said they would be happy to settle for a movie. And I promised to not even charge!

Today is Wednesday. Wednesday is golf day. I just called Don to tell him I would not be playing. I fear I will get tired too soon and have to quit after nine holes as happened last week.

Enjoy your day!

The cold front has arrived.

Dark and overcast. Gray/black clouds. Winds 20 mph. Temperature 71 degrees.

I worked most of yesterday morning. Writing and revising.

Then walked. Did the hotels on the Atlantic side of the island. Surprisingly, there were many tourists for this time of year. The temperature was in the high 70s and many people were around the pools. I put my walking time to good use. As many bird watch, I lady watched.

Then to the Coffee House to skim through the Key West Citizen and parts of the New York Times. People coming in and out. Coffee traffic fairly high. Another indication that there were a good number of tourists in town.

Stopped at Lisa’s. Visited with her for a while.

Cyber sales have become the vogue. It was reported that 30 per cent of Black Friday’s sales were over the internet. Yesterday was Cyber Monday. A first. I have not seen the numbers on yesterday yet.

Lisa tells me her business was up over the weekend. Lisa owns and operates an internet department store. Via Key West. Offers Key West type goods. Many of the items shown make great Christmas gifts. Take a look at Lisa’s store and see if there is anything you might want to purchase for some one.

Yankee Jack never ceases to amaze me! A hulk of a man. 400 pounds plus. Grayish black beard. Amongst his many talents, he writes songs. He has written many. There are several Cd’s out there of his works. He also sings for the tourists from 1-5 at the Bull on Duval.

Let the drums roar! Yankee has now written a book! Title: Was It something I Sang. It is the story behind each song Yankee has published. His motivation for writing the song. They are Yankee’s life experiences. Some funny, some serious.

Yankee’s book is available at

Around 5, I worked with Sloan a while. Sloan helps me with the various things I do. A good woman. She is a bank teller by day and deals with my problems by night. She has been a huge help.

One of the things I am working on is Dragon. In about two weeks, I no longer will be be typing this blog. Or anything else for that matter. I will be dictating to the computer. I will speak, the computer will recognize my voice, and print. I am all excited. Can’t wait. I hate typing. My fingers do not always go where they should. Plus, Dragon will help me to increase my output by three fold.

I could find no one to have dinner with me. How does the saying go…..all alone by the telephone. I hopped in the car and made the short drive to Hogfish. Not very crowded. Picked up several local weekly papers. Read and enjoyed a piece of hogfish.

Today is significant for music lovers. Especially Beatle fans. This day in 1963 the Beatles released the record “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Great Britain.

Enjoy your day!

This Bernie Fine thing at Syracuse University is like a volcano that has been sleeping. Once it wakes, it keeps erupting.

I wrote a very defensive blog last week concerning this situation. No way could Bernie Fine do anything like these two men where charging. It did not fit the man. Well…..sometimes things are not as they appear. The old saying that you cannot tell a book by its cover may apply.

A third young man has come out over the weekend with charges. There is also tape recorded a telephone conversation one of the step brothers had with Fine’s wife back in 2002 or 2003. I listened to it two times. It is out there on the internet. Fine’s wife buries her husband in that conversation.

Bernie Fine was fired last night. Sad for Fine, sad for his family, sad for Syracuse University. And most sad for the boys involved.

Tom and Cindy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa emailed me this morning. They know what a die hard Syracuse fan I am. They wrote to remind me that on this day in 1961 Ernie Davis won the Heisman trophy.

Davis never got to play pro ball. He died two years later of leukemia.

During his sick time, Davis wrote a piece for the Saturday Evening Post. I quote from it. “Some people say I am unlucky…But when I look back I can’t call myself unlucky. My 23rd birthday was December 14. In these years I have had more than most people get in a lifetime.”

Two months later Ernie Davis died.

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon at Don’s Place. Outside. Never went in. Not many people outside. It was Don, David, Keith, Tino and me. Angus for a few minutes.

Then to Lisa’s for dinner later in the day.

I read the Sunday papers, dozed a bit and listened to the grandchildren.

Robert and Ally were all excited. Their Dad had bought them a kite. They flew it for the first time yesterday. At the far end of Smathers Beach where the wind always blows. The kite flew high and well. Robert and Ally got to operate the kite.

It made me recall when my children were that small. I bought a kite also. We went to the top of a hill. The wind was blowing. The kite was high. My children thought it was the greatest thing ever!

Today a huge community college sits where we flew the kite.

Dinner was outstanding!

Lisa had a whole half turkey left from Thanksgiving. We had a turkey meal again. With all the trimmings. Desert was a freshly baked apple pie. I had two pieces.

A great meal! I went home bloated once again.

A cold front is coming in. Either tonight or tomorrow. The temperature will drop 10 degrees. It will be low to mid 70s by day. Low to mid 60s in the evening. The cold front will last till Friday.

Christmas is upon us. It seems to have snuck up. This is a big Christmas week for Robert and Ally and all of us. Thursday, Santa Claus will be at the Yacht Club. We will be there. Saturday is the Key West Christmas parade. The finest parade of the year. We will be there also.

Both good anchors for a busy week overall.

Enjoy your day!

I slept late. Very late. Like nine in the morning. Unusual for me.

Looks like a great Sunday! The outstanding weather continues. Lucky we are.

I received an email yesterday afternoon from Cat Woman. Want to go to the movies tonight? Tropic Cinema. There is a foreign film I would like to see. We can grab a bite afterwards.

I do not like foreign films. I am not particularly crazy about the Tropic Cinema. However, I am a man who sacrifices. Ho ho.

The film had subtitles. Another thing I am not fond of. The movie was about six women living on the sixth floor of a building.

The movie was funny. Very funny! I must admit, I enjoyed it tremendously!

Cat Woman enjoyed it also. She sipped her double  wine during the movie. Tropic Cinema sells wine and beer for consumption during a movie. They do not sell liquor. I had no gin to consume.

The movie and the company made up for the lack of spirits, however.

After the movie, we walked over to Kelley’s. Sat at the outside bar. I now could have a gin. She another wine. We ordered a couple of appetizers. And enjoyed!

After Kelley’s, I dropped Cat Woman off at her home.

Decided to stop in Don’s Place. A lot of people. Few I knew. Russ and Robert. Kurt normally would be bar tending But he was away on vacation. I said my hellos and left for home and bed.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Yesterday felt like Saturday.

I was up early. Walked. Duval from one end to the other and back. Very few people. Too early. The sun was up. The air was crisp.

Spent the day researching and writing. Till about 4 when I got ready to go out.

My first stop was the Sports Page Bar. Syracuse was playing Stanford.

I was the only Syracuse fan. No Stanford fans either. Quite different from during the season when 20-30 Syracuse fans join me.

Syracuse did not look good till the end of the game. Stanford played the Orange hard. Stanford was always ahead 3-4 points. At one time, 7 points.

I had that uneasy feeling in my stomach.

Then with about 2 minutes to go, Syracuse started playing like they should have the whole game. With INTENSITY. That’s the word. It fits. Syracuse played sluggish till the end when it was becoming apparent that Syracuse was going to lose. The Syracuse players realized what was happening. And decided not to let it happen. They were great on offense and defense and ended up winning by 7 or 8 points.

The lesson to be learned: Syracuse must play the whole 40 minute game with intensity. Otherwise, #1 and/or top 10 will slip away.

The game was over. It was only seven o’clock. I headed over to the Chart Room..

A good crowd.

Captain Peter at the bar. Chatting with Sheila and Emily.

Peter told me he had new eyes. He had cataract surgery two weeks ago and implants put in. Both eyes. He was amazed how well he could see. The color green was most obvious to him. Everything green was a bright green.

I told Peter I knew. I had the same procedures done 20 years ago. I could remember how excited I was at the time.

Jean Thornton came in. She had just returned from her home in Alabama. Her first stop was the Chart Room. Beautiful as always. A charming woman. She brings cheer whenever she walks into a room.

We all talked a bit. There was a group from Westport, Massachusetts and Rochester, New York. They joined in the conversation.

I enjoyed. When I had my fill of good people, I left. Straight home. It was not yet nine o’clock.

While I was researching and googling yesterday afternoon, I came across an article which appeared in the Kansas City Star on 11/23/11. The article had to do with water levels. The thrust was that water levels in Florida had risen over the years. It was suggested global warming was the cause. It further warned that as the ice masses way up north melt, such will increase water levels even more.

Let’s put this whole scenario in perspective.

The story stated that the water levels in Miami had risen 7 inches since 1935. The water levels in Key West 8 inches since 1920.

The article explained that global warming causes the ocean to heat. The water expands as it warms.

The result is that storm sewers spew water into the streets, rowboats navigate the streets following a storm, and water overflows onto thresholds of homes.

Sound familiar?

Enjoy your day!

A great Thanksgiving yesterday!

Dinner was scheduled at one. Lisa likes to eat early. I wanted to watch part of the Macy parade with the grandkids. I was too late. The parade was over. Read the newspapers instead.

Everything smelled good! It was Lisa’s kitchen. No one could enter.

The following statement is correct one hundred per cent. Lisa cooked the best Thanksgiving meal ever yesterday! The turkey was moist and delicious. Stuffing to blow your mind! Lisa made the stuffing from scratch using whole wheat bread. Potatoes smoother than normal. Etc. Topped off with pumpkin pie!

And…..all of the above was done and came out warm at one o’c lock. A feat!

Congratulations, Lisa! Thank you for a wonderful meal and day!

After dinner, I watched the football game. Dozed off, of course. I overate everything, except for the pumpkin pie.

When I woke, Lisa and Corey were trying to decide whether to go to the beach or to a movie. Neither turned me on. I went home. To sleep again.

Lisa sent me home with left over turkey and stuffing. I made myself a turkey sandwich with mayonnaise at 7.

I lost 2 pounds yesterday! No question about it! Must be eating the big meal early.

Back in my high school days, I had a friend at another high school in town. Long ago. My recollection is a bit dimmed. I believe his name was John Wrape. John became a Catholic priest. He apparently was smart. He ended up in Rome working at the Vatican.

John was a bit heavy in high school. WhenIi saw him about ten years later, he was a priest and was back in Utica visitng.

John was then! I asked him how. He said it is the way the Italian people eat. The big meal is at lunch. Only a sandwich in the evening.

The reason I lost two pounds after destroying myself at dinner at one yesterday.

Which brings another experience to mind. Twenty five years ago, I took my family and parents to Italy for a month. We rented a villa on the Mediterranean south of Rome. I commented then and recall today…..I never saw an overweight Italian!

Hope to have more fun than usual this weekend. It feels like and is for most the second day of a four day vaction.

Enjoy your today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I like today. A family and friends day. People get together, eat a bit too much and enjoy each other. May every one be with some one this day to share the occasion.

I am reminded of my youth. A long time ago. Like in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Thanksgiving was always celebrated at my grandparents’ home. Actually an apartment. Two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and kitchen. The kitchen was huge. The biggest room. There must have been a reason for it. I suspect it was so because in those days a family lived in the kitchen. My grandparents raised six children in that tiny apartment.

We did Thanksgiving at my grandparents’. How all of us fitted into the kitchen, I still am not sure. The table opened up and was huge. Maybe that was it.

I only remember having turkey once. My grandmother cooked capons. Capons are chickens whose testicles were removed. How horrible! This made the chicken meatier and tastier. I always thought I was being cheated by not having turkey. My grandmother was correct, however. The capon meat was superior to turkey.

Golf yesterday! My first time in six weeks. I played like it was the first time in six years. Horrible! Even whiffed three times. Don and Larry were generous with the strokes and wanted to increase them as we played.

It was hot on the golf course. The breeze I have been talking about for days was no where to be found.

I watched Syracuse basketball for the first time this season last night. From the comfort of my bed. Syracuse beat Virginia Tech 69-58.

It was all Virginia Tech in the first half. They led at half time 29-27. Virgina Tech could do no wrong. Their man to man defense had the Syracuse offense off. VirginiaTech’s offense was right on. They were sinking baskets from all over. Syracuse’s fabled zone defense had crinks in it. Virginia Tech was able to get the ball into the middle.

After about 7 minutes in the second half, Syracuse went ahead by 2. At that moment, Virginia tech seemed to collapse. They lost what ever they had in the first half. No composure. Syracuse went on a 17-3 run. It appeared to crush Virginia Tech mentally.

Syracuse is a talented team. Boeheim has a bench. A rarity. However, Syracuse must play as they did in the second half the whole game if they wish to remain at the top.

My feeling is Syracuse will.

Enjoy your day!

Woody Cornell will be 80 years old tomorrow.

He is in for a two day celebration. It starts this morning. At this moment in fact as I am publishing this blog.

Woody was unaware of the planned celebration. He is becoming aware at this moment.

Woody and friends do yoga every morning at six. At Higg’s Beach in the area of the African Memorial cemetery. Following the completion of yoga, they welcome the sunrise.

Some of Woody’s non yoga friends will be there with champagne to kick off two days of partying.

Happy birthday, Woody!

I first met Woody about 15 years ago. Here in Key West. Woody and his wife Joan were kind enough to introduce us to some of their friends. Their daughter Greer became best friends with my daughter Lisa.

Woody and Joan met during World War II. Joan is English. Woody was stationed in England. They married. Joan came to her new husband and new country a war bride.

Guest houses, hotels and restaurants were their way of life for many years. Now the two are settled in a lovely home in the heart of Key West. Woody is handy. Jack of all trades type. Did most of the work in their Key West home. An absolute beauty!

Woody dances to his own tune. Always has. A bit of beatnik, a bit of hippy. For many years he wore two earrings. Swords. The semi circular Arab type. One and a half to two inches in length. Wood shoes, also. Shades of Holland. Short cropped punk style hair.

Woody once told me the story of a trip he made to either France or England.  He went to one country. Wanted to go to the other. To visit his brother. At the new country, customs stopped him. He was subjected to a strip search. He could not understand why. He was a walking invitation to a strip search.

Woody and Joan worked hard for 20 plus years in Vermont. It was a restaurant business. Or a restaurant/hotel business. Woody told me that if they had not made Greer before they got into the business, she never would have been born. That is how hard they worked! There was no time for playy.

I attended my first Key West Symphony. I was accustomed to dressing for the symphony. I wore long pants and a blazer. Woody came rushing over to ask what was I doing. I did not understand. He was visibly concerned/aggitated. He pointed to my jacket.

I never wore a blazer to the symphony again.

I see both Woody and Joan rarely these days. Ran into Woody about 3 months ago in Walgreen’s. Joan a couple of weeks ago while I was getting a pedicure. This has to change. We have to go out. I will be sure it happens. And soon!

How did I become aware of Woody’s champagne party this morning at Higg’s Beach? JJ, my bartender friend at the Chart Room. JJ was telling me last night while I was at the Chart Room that he had a friend who was going to be 80, did yoga at six at Higg’s Beach and then welcomed the rising sun.. Some of his friends were going to surprise this individual with a surprise champagne party at that time.

As he described the guest of honor, it hit me he was talking about Woody!

They say that today’s 80 is 60! A correct observation in Woody’s case. He looks terrific for his age!

Enjoy the next two days, my friend!

And the rest of you, enjoy today!

Yesterday a good day. A mixed bag.

My activities started with Tammy. A manicure. A charming young lady. For whatever reason, I dozed off as she was doing my nails.

Visited with Lisa for a while. We discussed thursday’s menu. It will be the four of them and me. It will be fun!

Then to Publix. Needed only a couple of things. Everyone else was shopping for Thanksgiving. Carts overflowing. Me, I was pushing about six items around. I felt like the lone car on a freeway with trucks zipping by.

I spent the afternoon writing. One of the things I wrote was this friday’s column for Konk Life. It had to do with a recent California case where American students were prohibited from showing or wearing on their tee shirts the American flag. Yet, Mexican students could show and wear their Mexican flag. Involved was a Mexican holiday. The two sides had been feuding as in West Side Story.

The court said it was ok to violate the American students’ right to free speech. The prohibition was to avoid a disruption/fight. Constitutional protections give way in such a situation.

I thought the decision stunk. The court was wrong. America for Americans first! That is how I think. Protect the Mexicans, but not to the detriment of America’s citizens.

 It was a good legal blog.

I had to email it over to Jenna. Required cutting and pasting. I screwed up! Lost the blog! It is somewhere in that place where our writings sometime go and cannot be retrieved. Frustrating.

I had neither time nor inclination to do it over. Told Jenna to report to the powers to be to repeat one of my older blogs or not carry the column this week.

It was late afternoon and Lisa showed up with the kids. Robert and Ally were all excited. They had just come from purchasing a turkey. It was too big for Lisa’s refrigerator. She came to leave it in my  refrigerator in the garage.

This morning at Montessori the students will be performing for Thanksgiving. Guests will watch from a blanket. After the show, goodies will be passed around to eat.

Robert and Ally explained their parts in the show. Then performed for me.

Robert is doing some sort of speech/recitation regarding Thanksgiving. Ally will be standing next to him as he does. Ally will be repeating her brother’s presentation word for word. In sign language! Both Robert and Ally are proficient in sign language. Learned at Montessori.

Cat woman and I hooked up again last night. I may soon start referring to myself as Batman.

We started with a drink at Louie’s Backyard. Always pleasant.  It was dark. Candle light on the table. A bit of a breeze. The sound of the waves.

Louie’s is a Key West wonder!

Dinner was outside at Salute’s. Good, also.

Frankie the Plumber was there with his wife. Frankie and I hugged. He is the star of our bocce team! I am proud to call him team mate.

Saw Jean Carper, also. Jean has made zillions of dollars writing books on what to eat and stay healthy. She has a world wide following.

I have not run into Jean in quite a while. It was good to see her again. She never changes. Always beautiful.

I recall about 15 years ago, I was in Utica and had the head cold of head colds. Sneezing, runny nose, red nose. Felt lousy all over. Pills were not helping.

I had one of Jean’s books some where. I found it. Looked up head cold with my symptoms. It said to eat two cloves of garlic every two hours. I tried it. Within minutes of eating the first two, I was symptom free. I could breath. Stopped sneezing. Felt normal.

Two hours later, I could feel the garlic assistance wearing off. I chewed two more cloves. So it went every two hours.

I was alone all day while I was treating myself in such fashion. When the rest of the family came home around dinner time, they all wanted to know what the smell was. They thought the house smelled of garlic. They were almost correct. Better stated, me and the house smelled of garlic.

The house was permeated. I reeked so badly that my then wife would not sleep with me that night.

But….Jean’s prescription/recommendationn worked. The funny part of all this is that he who ingests garlic cannot smell it. The odor bothered me not at all!

Enjoy your day!

Absolutely gorgeous days!

Today another beauty! Temperature moving up to 80 degrees. Sky pure blue. Not a cloud any where. A moderate breeze. The blue water moving with that breeze.

Night time weather is also a winner! Lows 70s. I was out driving around last night. Windows open. A cool breeze coming in the car.

A month from now I will be complaining about how cold it has become. Like 55-65 degrees. Unless this is one of our lucky years.

I spent the afternoon at the beach. Higgs Beach. Salute’s behind me.

The ocean water is too cool for me to go in. The sun is warm, however. Many are still going in  the water. Tourists, probably. Or heartier locals than I.

I am reading an exciting book. I recommend it. Angler by Barton Gellman, the Pulitzer Prize winner. The book is about Cheney. It is an honest book. Reveals how devious Cheney was. Almost to the point of evil. A shadow President.

About a month ago, I read Cheney’s recent autobiography In My Time. A waste. Do not read it. Self serving. The man never did anything wrong. Claims he was fortuitously in the right place at the right time all the time.

I can thank my friend Pati Wilson-Crimmins for loaning her copy of  Angler to me. Pati is a liberal liberal.  Daily spreads interesting articles and quotes on Facebook about what is going on in the world. She participated in Occupy Key West recently. Her picture appeared at the head of the march carrying a sign.

I admire Pati because she lives what she believes. Described another way, she is caring and honest.

Go Pati! We need more like you.

Cat Lady again last night! We went to the movies. Saw J. Edgar.

I am a political and historical freak. The movie did nothing for me. It was way too long (I was falling asleep at the end) and shows garish scenes that detracted rather than add to the quality of the film. Clint Eastwood directed. He missed the boat with this one.

Three things on the agenda today. Visit Lisa, get a manicure and write.

It’s an exciting life I live!

Enjoy your day!