Weather change in Key West can be dramatic. Just like that.

I woke two hours ago. The sun was shining. Little breeze. Everything calm. The start of another 80 degree day.

I stayed in bed an additional two hours. Got hooked on an old movie starring Mario Lanza and Katheryn Grayson. Great singing! When I got up again, the weather had changed. Dramatically!

The wind was blowing at least 30 miles per hour. The sky was laden with black clouds. The wind off the ocean was cool and made everything on land cool. White caps on the water.

The surprise will probably have left us in an hour. That is the way it is in the keys. Someone sneezes hard and the weather turns. The weather blows its nose and everything is back to normal.

Patty Andrews died yesterday. Ninety four. She was one of the Andrew Sisters. A singing trio from World War II days. Patty was the last of the Andrew Sisters.

One of their contributions to the war effort was participating in war bond drives. In order to raise money to conduct the war, the US government sold war bonds for $17.50 which were redeemable after 10 years for $25. Everyone purchased war bonds.

It was 1943 or 1944. I was 8 or 9 years old. The Andrew Sisters were appearing in downtown Utica as part of a war bond drive. My friends and I rode our bicycles to the event. The street was mobbed in four directions in front of the Savings Bank. The Andrew Sisters sang. Songs like Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and Rum and Coca Cola. The crowd listened and then many rushed up to purchase war bonds.

The Savings Bank had a huge chain link fence around it. The links were at least 4 inches and thick as your thumb. It was announced as part of the war bond drive that day that the Savings Bank was donating their chain link fence to the war drive. A big deal! The US needed metal from where ever it could get it to make guns and ships, etc.

A passing thought. We used to pay for our wars on a pay as you go basis. Not like the last two wars that were not financed in any fashion. Wars don’t come cheap. The unfinanced two wars are part of today’s national debt.

May Patty Andrews rest in peace.

I had to grocery shop again yesterday. I needed more. I  bought more. More than the day before.

Spent a few hours afterwards at home writing. Finished a short story I have been working on. A Daughter of the American Revolution. I have written several others. I intend at some point this year to publish them. I promise.

I fine tuned tomorrow’s Key West Lou Legal Hour. Added additional topics like the prostitute who was not too bright, the Vienna Museum’s Naked Men show, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a bit about Trygve Lie who was the first Secretary General of the United Nations, and David Letterman.

With all due modesty, it is a good show! Join me. You will find the comments made interesting and in some instances provocative.

The show is aired on television from Key West to Miami-Dade County on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. It is also available world wide on the internet. Ten in the morning my time.

I babysat at dinner time. Robert and Ally performed for Poppa their parts as munchkins in the coming Wizard of Oz presentation. Ally skipped. Robert recited his 25 lines. He already has them down pat.

Then it was off to Don’s Place. Billy was intensely watching TV at the bar. Don, Tom, David, and Herschel were at the end.

Don’s grandson is in the Wizard, also. He is a clown munchkin. We will be two proud grandfathers at the event.

We talked about our beloved friend Frankie the Plumber. He is still recovering from big time heart surgery.

Larry Smith also occupied our conversation. He is having a terrific show next monday and tuesday at the Pier House’s Wine Galley. Entertainers coming in from all over the United States. I am going with Don, Steph, and Erika. Erika is my date. Her husband Herschel cannot attend.

Enjoy your day!




Another magnificent morning! Brilliance everywhere! Key West brilliance!

Friday is two days away. Friday means the Key West Lou Legal Hour. Ten in the morning my time. Available on television and the internet.

For TV viewing, Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19 from Key West northward through Miami-Dade County. Elsewhere and world wide via the internet.

Topics include the built in killer to the proposed Senate immigration bill, how DNA exonerated a former Police Chief convicted of murder after spending 15 years in jail, the unsolved  mystery of 30,000 panties found on a highway, another brain dead not so dead story, new husband who took wife’s last name gets all screwed up with Florida’s DMV, Florida’s python problem manifests itself in South Africa’s crocodile problem, and more.

The more includes a trilogy involving toilet paper: puppy poop and newspapers, toilet paper rationed in a Pennsylvania school, and lottery winner who wanted to donate a truck load of toilet paper to a social agency that once helped her.

Join me. Interesting material. Guaranteed to keep your attention the whole hour.

I spent most of yesterday preparing the preceding topics and others for friday’s show. My plan was to follow up those several hours with a shower and trip to the Chart Room. Instead, I cleaned the garage. What possessed me, I do not know!

I avoid servile labor of any kind. Garage cleaning is not one of my talents. Nor desire. I started throwing a few boxes out, moving things around, and all of a sudden it was 7 in the evening.

So much for the Chart Room. I showered, had something to eat, and went to bed. The man was tired.

My refrigerator is empty. I am still not totally back into this eating thing. This morning’s blog is being done a bit early because I have to get to Publix. The cupboard is bare!

Enjoy your day!



It has been ten days since I ended my diet. Since then I have been extremely careful about what I eat. In reality, I have consumed small portions of this and that. Never anything even close to a meal.

Till last night. I did it big!

A prime rib, baked potato (no butter) and steamed vegetables. No bread. Ate it all! My plate was clean at the end. It was as if I had not eaten in ages.

I was at the bar at Outback.

Renee sat next to me. Originally from Ghana, she now lives in Homestead. She went to college here in Key West for two years. Then elsewhere to get her bachelor degree. Now she is working on her masters via the internet. She works with blood donations in the keys. Brings her to Key West once a week.

Interestingly, she has never given blood. Needles scare her.

I started the evening at Don’s Place. Don, Herschel and Mike there. Nancy came in later on. I was happy to see Mike and Nancy again. About two years ago, they pulled up stakes and returned to Pennsylvania. They are back! Everyone is is thrilled they are!

My next stop was the Chart Room. Captain Peter and Charlotte. The lovely Charlotte from North Carolina that I wrote about a couple of days ago. Even more striking last night! Mary was bartending. Business was slow. The four of us chatted a while.

I did my blog talk radio show earlier this morning. My sixth week. It is a talk show. Not enough people are calling in, however. I end up talking with myself. No fun. I have heard myself before and know what I think.

I can tell there are a number of people listening in. From all over. Even one from Italy and one from South Africa this morning. There are stats on the computer screen providing and updating the information during the show.

Call!!! I feel like a woman waiting for a recent date to call back. Not nice.

A tragedy occurred in Key West sunday. Sailboats were engaged in the annual Wreckers Race. The weather was warm. High 70s. However, there was a strong breeze coming in from the north east. The wind at times gushing 30-35 knots.

The Schooner Hindu is a Key West icon. Seventy five feet. Has the highest mast in Key West. Besides racing, it takes tourists out for sunset cruises.

Hindu’s mast snapped. People were injured. Ambulances all over.

The incident occurred off Fort Zach beach. Captain Peter spends his afternoons at the beach sunning and reading. He was watching the race. He saw the mast snap and fall. Peter is an experienced seaman. He said the gusts were too strong for boats to be out there.

Enjoy your day!



My friend Jim Van Sickle is dead.

Sorrowful. The knowledge of his death has affected me.

Jim was an up north friend. The Utica area. We first met in the mid 1960s. There was an instantaneous bonding/attraction. We continued to be close till sometime in the early 1980s. Then for whatever reason, we drifted apart. This occurs with relationships.

Jim was 88 at the time of his death. His wife Sara survives, plus a daughter Joyce and some other child/children and grandchildren.

Sara was a charming woman. Lovable. Tough. The stand up type.

I loved them both.

Jim owned a motel at the time we first met. Van’s Motel. In a Utica suburb, New Hartford. Nothing fancy. Sort of a strip building with 4 or 5 units on each side of the office. There was a small apartment upstairs where Jim and Sara lived.

They worked hard at the motel. Did their own washing and cleaning. Both did it. The motel was a shared responsibility.

Sometimes God does good things. Jim experienced one of those things.

A major shopping center was to be built. Jim’s motel sat in the center of one of two main entrances. It was  a natural. Jim scored! Made some money!

Jim and Sara then went into the grocery store business. A neighborhood grocery store. A pound of bologna and loaf of bread type.

The store was part of a two story brick building on a corner in a middle class neighborhood. The store downstairs. Jim and Sara lived in the upstairs apartment.

Jim was a street smart old time business man. The time is around 1980. Newspapers were cheap to buy. A nickel or dime as I recall. Every thursday, Jim would buy an extremely large number of newspapers. Then he and Sara would cut all the grocery coupons out.

The grocery chains at the time were playing games with their vendors. The grocery chain would buy back the coupons at a discounted price and then charge them to the vendor for their true value. Jim might sell a certain brand of coupons back at $ .25 a piece. The grocery chain would receive $ .50 or more from the vendor.

A win/win situation.

Jim did not want the money. He wanted groceries to stock the shelves in his small grocery store. So the grocery chain gave him equal value in can goods, toilet paper, etc. for the coupons.

Time moved on and the grocery business became a bit too much for Jim and Sara. They sold the store and building. They then purchased a lovely one family brick home two blocks away. For the first time in their lives, they had nothing to do. Sara became a house wife and grandmother full time. Jim had a little shack in the back where he puttered around.

For twenty five years Jim and I were close. Talked to each other by phone at least once a day. Visited with each other to sit and talk 3-4 times a week. Then for no reason at all, we drifted. I still loved him and I am sure he loved me. But the communication was gone. Since the 1980s, Jim and I have only visited on two occasions.

Jim and Sara were good parents. Especially as concerned their daughter Joyce. The sun rose and set on her.

Joyce was shot while in the store one evening. Sara was away at the time. The bullet did a number on her. Traveled through several organs. She was on the operating table. It was questionable whether she would survive.

Sara was flying back from a trip. She was in the air. She knew nothing of the shooting. Of course, I was at the hospital with Jim. Jim said you (me) have to go pick Sara up at the airport…..I have to stay here.

I went. I met Sara as she came of the plane. She knew instantaneously something was wrong. Why was I meeting the plane? She thought some thing had happened to Jim.

I sat her down and told her in a calm simple straight forward manner that Joyce had been shot, she was presently being operated on, and there was a quation as to whether she would survive.

Sara looked me in the eye. Stood and calmly said let’s go. There was not another word said between us on the half hour trip to the hospital.

A tough woman.

Joyce survived. Is a mother and I assume a grandmother today.

I do not know if Jim is of any interest to you. He was to me. He was a friend. A true friend.

This is going to sound strange. We talk about meeting our parents and grandparents again when we die. I would want Jim there, also. I would enjoy spending eternity with him.

Enjoy your day!






Last week I was irritated Syracuse was not ranked #1 after beating Louisville. Only #3 and #4.

Yesterday Syracuse played unranked Villanova. A few nights ago, Villanova defeated Louisville who was ranked #5 at the time. Yesterday, Villanova beat Syracuse.

Two top 5 teams in one week!

An accomplishment!

Syracuse limped away.

Excuses/reasons. Two of our starting 5 fouled out. The bench gets smaller in height as you move down it. In the first half, the ball just would not go in the basket. That simple. Too many shoots missed. Many were lay ups.

Syracuse played better in the second half. But not good enough to win. Villanova came out on top in overtime.

Such is life!

I watched the game at the Big Ten Sports Pub. I was the only Syracuse fan there until the overtime when Dan and Lisa came in. Where were the 20-30 Syracuse fans who usually show up? They were there for the first two Syracuse games. The crowd has dwindled till yesterday it was basically only me.

Why, again? I doubt it is me. I shower before each game. I have concluded it has to be the Big Ten Sports Pub. The fans may not like the way it is configured, the noise, etc. I do not know. All I know is that something is wrong.

I also do not know where they are watching the game. John’s place is the best venue in town for sports viewing in my opinion.

Remember the former college guys at the Chart Room the night before raising hell. They were celebrating their ten year reunion. They were at the Big Ten yesterday during the Syracuse game. They were not watching the game. They were playing foosball. Had a competition going. Yelling and screaming same as the night before. Downing shots every few minutes.

Gentlemen they were. They asked me to play foosball with them. I declined. I am too old for the sport. Ho ho.

The Wizard of Oz will be playing a major part in our lives for the next month. Robert and Ally are munchkins in the high school play to be performed at the end of February.

Robert has graduated. He is playing a munchkin with a speaking role. Robert has 25 lines. Wowie!

Chittenango is a little town between Utica and Syracuse. It is on Route 5, a two lane New York State highway. Route 5 runs right through the center of downtown chittenago. Downtown is modest. All of 5,000 people.

Lisa said she had a vague recollection that Chittenango had something to do with the Wizard of Oz. I did not know. I knew the town was famous for hams. It is the Ham That Am town.

I checked Lisa’s comment on the internet. She was correct. Chittenango and the Wizard of Oz are tightly related.

L. Frank Baum wrote the Wizard of Oz in 1900. He was a resident of Chittenango at the time. To commemorate the event, Chittenango has a yellow brick road. The sidewalks on both sides of downtown Route 5 are painted yellow. There is a store called Auntie ‘Ems. There is also an annual three day festival. Several of the surviving munchkins show up each year. Munchkins from the 1939 movie which starred Judy Garland.

A small world!

Enjoy your Sunday!



There was a rumbling on Duval last night. Charlotte was back in town!

Lovely Charlotte!


Charlotte visits Key West 3-4 times a year. She is from North Carolina. The only negative about her is her employer. United Healthcare.

Charlotte appears to be good friends with Emily. Emily was bartending last night. The two probably hit the Green Parrot after Emily shut down.

Ollie was at the Chart Room, also. I spent my time chatting with Ollie and Charlotte.

The Chart Room was noisy. About ten mid 30 guys were seated at the round table raising hell. The noise! Turned out they were on the first night of their college reunion.

It was reunion time at Don’s Place, also. I stopped at Don’s before heading over to the Chart Room.

David was there with three Ohio high school buddies and their wives. David had not seen his buddies since high school. They were making more noise than the thirty year olds at the Chart Room.

So it all can be placed in perspective, David is 60. His high school buddies had to be 60 also.

Syracuse plays Villanova at 11 this morning. I have to hustle. I will be watching the game at the Big Ten Sports Pub. If Dan and Lisa are still in town, I am sure they will be joining me.

Syracuse could lose. I know I say it every week. It is that time of the year and that type of team.

I did the Key West Lou Legal Hour yesterday morning. Great show! Such modesty! But it was and they are.

I discussed three examples of fraud. From Subway to jailed criminals to an Italian bank. Made sort of a trilogy out of it. Turns out viewers enjoyed the fraud stories the most.

I have had a slow leak in one of my tires. I went to Sears. The slow leak could not be mended due to the nail’s location. Needed a new tire. Only 12,000 miles on the car. It is a 2010 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Purchased new.

Volkswagen stopped making the Beetle convertible in 2010.

I was told the tire had been discontinued and there were none available. Sears found a substitute. Discontinued also.

I could not win. I was tired from having hung around Sears for two hours besides.

Put the tire back on the car. The air will hold for about three weeks. In the meantime, I have to find a tire. Any suggestions? I plan on telephoning Volkswagen in Miami monday.

The spare would not work while waiting for a new tire. It is one of those donut things and is not made for a week or two of miles.

The world continues to become more crazy. Especially with the gun issue here in the United States.

A Wisconsin sheriff yesterday told his residents to learn how to handle a gun and to get one. For economic reasons, his department had been cut 48 jobs. He felt he could no longer do an effective job.

Enjoy your day!




It’s Friday again! Showtime!

The Key West Lou Legal Hour.

Ten in the morning my time. Airs via television on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19 all the way up through Miami-Dade County. Can be viewed world wide on the internet.

Some major issues to be discussed include the Democrat failure re the filibuster, three degrees of fraud, and the Italian Lehman Brothers. Interesting stuff! Make an effort to watch. I guarantee you will enjoy.

My yesterday started with a haircut and beard trim by Lori. The beard is starting to fill in. Looks pretty good.

Then coffee at the Plantation Coffee House. Business good. Diane running around.

The smell of freshly baked goods permeated the shop. What was it, I asked Diane. Freshly baked cookies, she responded. Smelled, oh so good!

I had a short business meeting at noon.

The afternoon was spent fine tuning today’s show.

Chart Room time last night! Three hour worth. A good time.

I enjoyed great conversation with Peter, Sean, Katherine, Sheila, David, and Emily. Then it was me and Emily alone. Everyone gone, including tourists. I like Emily. Enjoyed our private time together.

The locals, including me, are concerned with what will happen with the Chart Room when the Pier House sells. Would a new owner close it down? The Chart Room has been where it is since the late 1960s when the Pier House first opened. Never renovated. Never changed in any way by human hands. The room has a character all its own.

I have started to think where my new watering hole might be. Would my friends come? Would it have a unique flavor as the Chart Room?

Lets hope the questions never need be answered and the Chart Room remains as is.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I wrote of this problem before it was acknowledged as a big one several weeks ago. Talked about it on my show two different times. Now, it is a major problem!

All fifty plus 787s in service world wide have been grounded. For over a week now. A problem with the lithium batteries. Caused the batteries to burn and a fire to occur. Not good when the plane is in the air and flying.

An FAA representative stated this week that the problem was a “…very serious air safety concern.” Hope it gets corrected properly. Properly being the operative word.

Enjoy your day!






I watched the Congressional hearings yesterday where Hillary Clinton was the witness. She looked terrific! Handled those against her well.

Some of you will disagree with me. Those who are philosophically opposed to her. On the other hand, I say give her credit for a job well done. As Secretary of State and as a witness yesterday.

I did not consider her Presidential timber four years ago. I did not think she was up to the job. However, her overall performance as Secretary of State has changed my mind. Hillary Clinton could lead us.

A great dinner last night! It was neighbor time. Andrew and Cliff. Andrew owns the MTV house across from me. Cliff lives three houses down the street from me.

Two interesting guys.

Andrew is a former car dealer. His second wife Jasmine is Swiss. They have a 2 year old son, Kai. Jasmine and Kai are presently in Switzerland. Andrew returned to Key West for a few days to make sure everything was in order at his home here. He tells me next month he and the family are visiting Thailand for a month.

What a life!

Cliff never has retired. He has been in several businesses successfully. He presently has two homes in the New York area and a farm in Ulster County.

Cliff is a classic car collector. A passion with him. I received an education on classic cars last night.

We had dinner at the Yacht Club.

Tomorrow the Key West Lou Legal Hour. Ten in the morning my time. Airs of television from Key West through Miami-Dade County on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. Also available world wide on the internet.

An interesting show has been prepared. I will be discussing the inauguration, Hillary and her Congressional testimony, the filibuster issue, jail inmate fraud, a new weight loss procedure, Girl Scout cookies, an update on the Python hunt, the Subway Footlong, a Brazilian judge deciding Fifty Shades of Grey too sexual, and more.

Join me for an informative and fast moving hour.

I have to hustle. Have a 10 o’clock hair appointment with Lori.

Enjoy your day!





I started coming down to Key West some 25 years ago. Two mainstays then either are or soon will be no more. I refer to Square One Restaurant and Fat Albert.

Square One Restaurant opened its doors about the time I discovered Key West. I became an instant customer. For years as much as 2-3 times a week. In recent years, not so much.

Michael Hayes opened Square One. In Duval Square. The perfect place for a restaurant. You had to look for it.

Michael was the perfect host. Always the gentleman. Tall and thin. His shirts perfectly pressed. He did them himself.

The bartender from almost day one was Patrick Hayes. Also known as Patty Cakes. Patrick knew everyone in Key West. Whenever I was in need of anything, I would ask Patrick. He would tell me who to see.

Patrick and Lisa have a bond. Patrick is Lisa’s best friend.

Square One’s food was great! Always! The service equal to the quality of the food. The restaurant attracted an upscale clientle.

Square One closed last thursday. For all time. The word is Michael sold to Carmelo. Carmelo is an experienced Key West restaurateur. He started the original La Trattore and Virgilio’s.

Whatever you do Michael, I wish you well. Patrick, also.

There is a large white blimp  that hovers over Cudjoe Key. To the left of US 1 going north. It has been there as long as I can remember. Turns out it has been operational for 33 years.

It took years for me to find out what the blimp was for. No one seemed to know. Then I was told it was for Radio Free America to air in Cuba.

Actually, the blimp had a two fold purpose. Beam television freedom type shows to Cuba was one. The other was as a tethered radar station. Generally used in recent times to help interdict drug runners.

The blimp acquired a name along the way. Fat Albert.

We are in an economic crunch. One of the things cut from the federal budget was Fat Albert. As of March 15, it will be no more. Not even to be seen. It will be taken down.

Turns out there were two blimps rather than one. A smaller one. Way up, also. I never saw it. Do not know any one who did.

I will miss Square One. It is another piece of Key West to disappear that will never be replaced. Probably could not be replaced. I will also miss seeing the big white blimp as I drive north on US 1.

My first stop early last night was Don’s Place. Sat and chatted with Herschel quite a while. I enjoy talking with him. He is a political junkie as I am.

David came in for a moment. He has a new dog. Female, 9 months old. She was jumping a bit as young ones are apt to do. David will have her trained shortly and she will be the perfect lady. David is a dog expert.

I stopped at the Chart Room. Captain Peter was there. I spent a couple of hours talking with Peter. Worldly, a knowledgeable man.

I was lucky. Two unusually intelligent people with whom to communicate.

My neighbor Andrew has returned. Andrew owns the MTV home across the water. He has spent the past several months in Switzerland. He called yesterday. We are having dinner together tonight.

Enjoy your day!




It seems like I have been up all night. I had my blog talk radio show at 7. Was out of bed at 5 in anticipation. I am going to bed when I finish this blog for a couple of hours of much needed shut eye.

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Rarely loved by anyone other than the alumni.

#6 Syracuse beat #1 Louisville saturday by 2 points. A top notch game. I assumed Syracuse would be ranked first when the new rankings came out yesterday. Syracuse was not. Tied for third in one and fourth in another. The teams ahead of us have one defeat also. However, none beat Louisville.

Then I read an article by a spoprtswriter. He spelled out five teams from which the Final Four would emerge. He never mentioned Syracuse.

Remember Rodney Dangerfield? His best line was that he never got any respect. So it appears with Syracuse. Previous years, as well as this one.

It does not matter as long as we keep winning. Screw them all!

Syracuse played Cincinnati yesterday afternoon. Another squeaker. Syracuse won by 2 points. Syracuse did not play well. Cincinnati did. Cincinnati was deadly with their three pointers.

Watched the game at the Big Ten Sports Pub with Don and Chris and Dan and Lisa and others.

Then it was to the Chart Room with Don and Chris. Followed by dinner with them at the Hot Tin Roof.

A pleasant afternoon and evening. Especially good company.

I watched the inauguration yesterday. The swearing in portion. Excellent! Moving! Produced a tear or two out of me. I thought the ceremony was upbeat and positive. Almot 1 million standing out in the cold watching. I switched to FOX afterwards for their comments. They cut up and dissected every part of the ceremony, including Obama’s speech. It was disgraceful. They should know better. Yesterday was  a Democrat AND Republican day.

Robert and Ally are into the theatrical world. Key West High School is having a play late in February. The Wizard of Oz. Robert and Ally will play munchkins. They are excited!

Cameron is also in the presentation. He is playing the scare crow.

I was up before the crack of dawn this morning. At 7 was the Key West Lou Talk Show. A one half hour call in show on blog talk radio. Finally, some one called in. Anna from Novara, Italy. Her concerns involved the Italian economy, the euro, and Germany.

This afternoon I have my other radio show. Around 4. On Pirate Radio in Key West. Ryno’s show. Only 8-10 minutes. Ryno and I talk about anything and everything. Locals, if you are free, listen in.

Enjoy your day!