Key West is known for its funky ways. That is why people visit. To enjoy, to dance to a different tune, to let go in ways not accepted back home, to have fun!

Two new activities available. Add to the funkiness of the island.

One is Tutu Tuesdays Forever. Wow! Everyone can enjoy. Male or female. Merely wear a tutu. A short fluffy skirt. Already common at certain Key West events where as many males as females wear them.

No more waiting for a special event like Fantasy Fest. A weekly party. Beginning tomorrow, January 1. At Sunset Pier where Duval meets the Atlantic. From 2:22 pm to 5:22 pm.

Don’t ask why the strange times. Common in Key West. Several Happy Hours for example have off the hour odd number Happy Hours.

Food and drink available.

Going to be a big deal. Barbara Grob, who is involved in everything, brought it to my attention. Key West’s new Mayor Teri Johnston has endorsed it.

Buy a tutu and join in the fun!

Hangovers not uncommon in Key West. A ready made remedy now available. Intravenous injections to hydrate the body.

For real!

Called Hangover Hospital.

Procedure simple. Telephone a number to schedule an appointment. Any time of the day or night. Night time the busiest.

A “professional” comes to you immediately. You stay where you are. Treatment provided. Intravenous directly into the blood. Forty five minutes to relief.

Hangover Hospital advertises…..”Give hangover the finger!”

Last night a busy one. Enjoyable.

Began with Aqua’s Hot Dog Church. The lovely Laurie Thibaud bartending. Laurie hosts the radio show I guest on thursday afternoons at 4. Station 107.5 FM.

Enjoyed a drink with some lady friends and left for the Gardens. A short walk down the block.

Packed! Snowbirds in town.

Entertainment special. Debra and Patrick. Two lovely people. Appeared for years at La Te Da. Then moved on to another venue. Not sure if they are back in town for good or for the holiday. They are working La Te Da evenings while here.

Debra an outstanding voice. A capturing smile. A sweet woman.

A kiss and hug for Gardens owner Kate Miano. Jean and Joe Thornton there. Chatted with them a bit. Ran into Joe Pace. Have not seen him in years. Looks younger than when I last saw him.

The Chart Room next. John bartending. A personality! He is a draw in his own right.

As I sat, a lovely lady came by. Laura. Told me we had met 5 years ago. I apologized for not recalling. Husband Gary with her. They reside in Richmond, Virginia.

We chatted a while.

This is their third trip to Key West. Gary is retired. He was involved in something nuclear. I was impressed. Laura still working. In sales. They are staying at the Pier House.

Gary and I had a tie-in. He grew up in Syracuse. I attended Syracuse and maintained a law office there for years.

Bill Cody from Marietta, Georgia was seated to my right. He works for Lockheed. All he could tell me was F-35s. Originally from Hapeville, Georgia.

Second time in Key West. First time, 19 years ago. We talked about the changes.

The bar was one happy family. It was Bill who brought Hangover Hospital to our attention.

Chuck and Jina Carrick came in. From Greensboro, North Carolina.

I liked Jina immediately. She was Italian. Her maiden name Amori. A lovely lady with an equally lovely personality.

Chuck has a financial planning firm. Their 32 year old son works with him.

Jina engaged with a bank. Responsible for mortgage services.

Chuck showed an interest in possibly purchasing a second home in Key West. I shared with him my knowledge and experiences.

Chuck and Jina had taken a bi-plane ride in the afternoon. Went over what we suspected was Ballast Key. Built by and entertained at by Key West major benefactor, David Wolkowsky. Ballast Key out in the Gulf 16 miles west of Key West.

The history of the Chart Room came into play. John asked I share my knowledge. I have become a half assed historian re Key West lore. Everyone attentive. Questions asked.

It is too bad so little is known about David Wolkowsky. Modern Key West would not be were it not for him.

An interesting bar.

Kentucky David and his wife Marilyn enjoyed a second home in Key West for years. Irma bothered them, as it did many. They were reluctant to go through another hurricane. Sold. Now, vagabonds. Traveling the world.

David, a Kentucky sports fan. I, Syracuse. Occasionally, we would watch games together at Jack Flat’s. The Syracuse game on one screen and the Kentucky game on the screen next to it.

No more. I miss those rare times.

David wrote yesterday that Rick Pitino was now coaching in Greece. I googled the subject. He arrived in Greece wednesday. Coaching the Panathinaikos team in the European continent’s top tier pro league.

I knew Pitino in his coaching days. He was a friend of Jim Boeheim. Met him through Jim. Pitino was also into horses. Owned and ran them in August in Saratoga. I used to frequent Saratoga.

Attended the horse sales one night when Pitino bought 2 very expensive horses with the blink of an eye. My son and I also played several summers in a Pitino run golf tournament. A fundraiser. Pitino’s brother had a rare disease for which a cure was still being sought.

I know Greece. I have been there several times for extended periods. Greece will love Pitino! And Pitino will love the Greeks! They are made for each other. A perfect fit.

In all my travels, I have found the Greeks to be the most friendly to Americans. One meeting and you were family.

Al Cotoia spent many years in Key West. Then left for some where up north. Missed. He is anti-Trump as I. He wrote a comment to one of my blogs…..The greater the degree of guilt, the greater the need to blame others!!!!!

Life can be tit for tat. Russia has detained an American citizen in Moscow on spying charges. The arrest December 28. A criminal case has been opened. No other details available.

Donald, your friend Vladimir does everything to make you look good.

Tonight the night! Happy New Year at midnight. I will be at Terri’s On Broadway show at 8 at the Little Room Jazz Club. With Andrea and Joe. Following the show, we will be on the street. Duval will be tightly packed. Our goal is to watch Sushi drop in the red shoe at midnight at the Bourbon Street Pub. Fortunately, a block from where Terri will be performing.

I am not sure I will make it to midnight. Late for me. I am generally in bed by 9 each night. Age takes its toll.

Enjoy your day! Enjoy your evening!


Key West’s traffic problem has steadily grown over the years. As our island increased in popularity, so did traffic congestion. Cars, bicycles, and pedestrians the primary culprits.

I have been writing and talking about the problem with increased frequency this past year. Especially the past couple of weeks as Christmas and New Year have brought hordes of tourists to Key West.

We welcome them. We welcome their business. However Key West forgot along the way to expeditiously work on the traffic problem. Lip service and a study recently received that took 2 years to complete. Not enough.

Death and injury hang like a black cloud over Key West.

A recent study revealed that Key West was ranked #1 among Florida cities with populations of 15,000 to 75,000 for bicycle fatalities and injuries.

Friday and Saturday found 2 accidents occurring that support the congestion premise. Yesterday’s Miami Herald said re Key West that “…..traffic has been congested on the tiny island.”

A truer statement never expressed.

Friday a tourist drove excessively and recklessly through Boca Chica down U.S. 1 to the triangle entrance to Key West. Seven cars were struck. Two of them police vehicles. Fortunately, injuries minimal.

Yesterday morning at 10, injuries more significant. A dead driver and a passenger in critical condition.

The accident occurred on North Roosevelt Boulevard. Involved tourists. The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed. Lost control of his vehicle. Traveled through the parking lot of Kim Kuban’s. Came to a stop when it hit a boat parked in front of the pawn shop nearby.

Note we are only at the beginning of the New Year weekend!

I stayed in yesterday and watched 2 great football games. The top 4 teams in the U.S. playing for the right to go against each other in the championship game.

Clemson destroyed Notre Dame 30-3. Both teams undefeated going into the game.

Alabama beat Oklahoma 45-34. The game not as close as it might appear. Only 2 minutes into the second quarter and Alabama was ahead 28-0. Both quarterbacks superior.

Alabama especially impressed me. A well oiled machine. Do everything right. Know how to grab that extra 4-5 yards on a run. Passing spectacular.

I pick Alabama over Clemson.

Syracuse basketball yesterday also. Syracuse destroyed St. Bonaventure 81-47. Not a big deal.

Syracuse has now concluded its pre league schedule. 9-4. Not impressive. The ever dangerous ACC season is around the corner. Big time hard fought college basketball! The quality of Syracuse play will be determined in those games.

I am concerned.

Later this afternoon, it will be the Gardens and then Hot Dog Church for me.

The year 2018 has been bad for manatees. So far, 804 killed. Boat strikes and the red tide responsible. Generally, 400-500 a year are killed. Primarily by boat strikes.

Major hurricanes the past few years. The most recent Michael which destroyed the Panhandle, parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

Irma and Maria last year.

Recovery slow. Federal assistance insufficient.

Every time a natural disaster occurs, Trump goes on TV and says we have the money to deal with the problem. The truth is we do not. Ergo, recovery takes years. People suffering longer than they should.

Some examples.

Georgia significant when it comes to timber farming. Michael damaged 2.5 million acres of trees. The timber business contributes $25 billion annually to the economy. Involved are 124,000 jobs.

Georgia needs help big time re its timber business.

Florida’s Panhandle feels increasingly forgotten. Michael hit 2 miles less than a category 5.

The federal government is slow coming up with financial assistance. Two reasons. The federal bureaucracy and a lack of funds. The feds tell the states and municipalities to go to the bank and borrow necessary monies. The feds promise to reimburse the borrowings.

Good luck! Takes forever to get reimbursement. Irma was 15 months ago. Monroe County, Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West are still waiting for reimbursement dollars.

Panama City recently borrowed $50 million to help with Michael recovery. It will need more. Debris removal alone is estimated at $60-80 million.

Mexico Beach City was the worse hit by Michael. Close to total destruction. The hurricane hit at 155 mph. Power and water restored. Much little of anything else. Of its 2,700 dwellings, only 500 are habitable today.

The point being made is the federal government is failing in its responsibility to help.

If the federal government were functioning properly, Trump would be on TV telling the Nation what a good job he is doing. You do not see him or hear it.

While people are suffering because of the failure to help, federal dollars are being pissed away. An example is New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago. Trump will probably be in Washington. His family at Mar-a-Lago.

Secret Service is required to provide certain safeguards for the President and his family. Secret Service has rented $54,020 worth of tents to be used for security checks and safe spots for VIPs. Secret Service also recently paid $41,000 for generators and site towers. I am not sure if these items are directly related to New Year’s Eve.

Golf cart rentals by Secret Service pushing $400,000 this year. For use by the Secret Service in guarding the President and his family when playing golf.

Note that the Secret Service agents are not being paid. The Secret Service cap was reached December 21. Keep in mind also that 800,000 federal employees are laid off or working without pay till the shutdown is over. On top of which Trump recently announced that he is placing a freeze on federal employee salaries. They will not receive their small annual raises scheduled for 2019.

I have never met Roger C. Kostmayer. A senior Key West resident who writes Letters to the Editor. To all the publications. He vents. He expresses wrongdoing/impropriety as he sees it.

In a recent letter of KONK Life E-Blast, Roger wrote re MAGA. MAGA from Trump’s perspective means Make America Great again. From Roger’s, Morons Are Governing America.

China fighting toilet paper waste.

Tourism on the rise in China. Public toilets, also. Toilet paper in public toilets is either being wasted (left on the floor in large unused amounts) or being stolen to be used at a place where toilet paper is not available.

What I shall now describe is being used in Jinan. Planned for use throughout China.

Toilet paper users are under scrutiny. Watched. A form of facial recognition technology. It is part of the toilet paper dispenser.

China says 27 inches enough toilet paper per usage. If someone attempts to use or take more, the facial recognition gimmick will recognize him/her and refuse the person toilet paper. A 9 minute wait involved to get additional paper.

The technology sophisticated. It can tell if the person is new or a returning user.

I looked for a New Year’s quote. Tons of them. Searched for something different, yet pointed.

Wally Lamb is the author of the quote. Never heard of him. He has a nice touch with words, however. Read them slowly, think for a moment, flavor his words: “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”

Enjoy your Sunday!


I am one of those in love with his alma mater. The Syracuse University College of Law molded me into what I became and the success I achieved.

I never forgot. My contributions to the College of Law were significant. Those to the University and athletic teams as well.

I loved Syracuse! Continue to do so to this day!

When the Carrier Dome opened in 1981, I acquired a private box. Sixteen seats and a bar. The box brought me into Syracuse athletics big time.

Basketball has been pretty much a success over the years. Football, not. Success comes in waves. A year or two here and there. Followed by years of desperation and famine.

It has been close to 20 years since Syracuse has had a good football team. This season which ended yesterday is one of them. After 17 years, Syracuse won 10 games in a season again. Syracuse beat West Virginia yesterday in the Camping World Bowl 34-18. Syracuse’s season ended 10-3.

Syracuse was a consistent part of my life for 25 years. I served on many boards and committees. I was on the inside. Came to understand how academia works.

Sports brings money into a university. The more winning a team, the more money that pours in.

A problem is who in reality runs a university. It is not the football team or basketball team. Nor the coaches and alumni who work with and support the teams. It is the academics. The professors. The mental giants. Universities after all are a place where one goes to study, not engage in or get excited by sports.

When a particular sport is doing well and money is pouring in, the academics get their high asses into gear and begin complaining. Their primary argument is we are a place for learning, not the playing of sports.

University higher ups succumb at some point. A sport’s budget is cut. The quality of the team downhill from that point.

Years go by and a team is terrible. The university at some point is in need of money. Those running the business end of a university can see into the future. They know when bad days are ahead.

Where to get money? Sports, of course. So the university budget re a particular sport is increased significantly. Money spent for a better coach and staff. Money added for additional scholarships, etc.

Syracuse saw a need on the horizon. Three years ago, the University hired a better coach, etc. In 3 years the added monies have brought Syracuse into the top 20 nationally. In the next 2-3, it will be in the top 10. Who know’s, perhaps even fighting for a national championship.

That is how the “game” is played. Why most universities have extended dry spells between winning seasons.

Tourism is the backbone of Key West. Key West’s industry.

In recent years, the town has become overcrowded on holidays and during the season. More and more auto, bicycle, moped, and pedestrian accidents. Deaths and injuries.

Key West is working to correct the situation. The State, also. Everything takes time, however.

Friday morning at 10 o’clock, an accident(s) occurred evidencing what is happening.

Boca Chica is 7 miles north of Key West. A Sheriff’s deputy observed Jessica Ruth Vanhorn driving “exceedingly fast and recklessly” on U.S. heading towards Key West. Vanhorn is 32 and lives in Ruskin, Florida.

The deputy tried to pull her over. She ignored him. Traffic was heavy. A chase might have meant an accident. The deputy did the prudent thing. Called ahead and asked the Key West police to apprehend her as she reached Key West. Traffic slows down dramatically as one enters Key West from U.S. 1.

Vanhorn is lucky she is alive. She is lucky she neither killed nor injured anyone badly. As will easily be understood.

Cow Key Bridge is 400 feet from Key West. At the Cow Key Bridge, Vanhorn hit another car and a police car. She continued the short distance towards Key West. Struck 2 more cars at the intersection (triangle) leading into Key West. Then jumped the median. Knocked out 2 signs and struck 2 more cars which were waiting on North Roosevelt Boulevard to make left turns onto U.S. 1.

Vanhorn is in jail. Bail not set yet.

She better get a good lawyer!

Terri White is knocking them dead at the Little Room Jazz Club. She opened December 27. Her last show New Year’s Eve. I plan on attending New Year’s Eve.

Terri’s show is a combination of Broadway hit tunes. Many she performed herself while on Broadway. Her Key West show called On Broadway.

Worth the price of admission and a good way to spend New Year’s Eve.

So so many years ago, Pan Am Airlines got its start on Whitehead Street in a charming white building. If you do not recognize the name Pan Am, don ‘t feel bad. The airline went bust years ago.

At some point, Kelly McGillis of Top Gun fame opened a restaurant there. Called it Kelly’s. A great spot! A terrific Happy Hour. Wings the specialty. The outside bar always packed.

Kelly’s sold a few years ago. The new owners renamed the restaurant. The First Flight Island Restaurant and Brewery in recognition of its use during Pan Am’s days.

First Flight is beginning a new tradition for itself on New Year’s Eve. A “drop” at midnight. Guaranteed to attract an overflow crowd.

Key West has several restaurants/bars that have drops. Included are Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, and Schooner’s Wharf.

Enjoy your day! Be careful driving!


Key West…..Heavy traffic this week? Absolutely! Without question! I moved faster escaping Irma and thought Irma’s bumper to bumper traffic was bad.

Yesterday’s traffic was the worse I have ever seen on Key West streets. The topic of conversation every where I went.

At 4 in the afternoon, it took forever to transverse the last 2 blocks of Simonton. Cars lined up bumper to bumper the whole block. Should someone want to make a left turn, the delay for cars behind 2-4 lights. The heavy traffic coming from all four directions..

Jean Thornton reported it took forever to drive from the airport earlier yesterday to her condo in Truman Annex. A first time occurrence.

Key West has a traffic problem! Includes all kinds of moving things. Cars, bicycles and pedestrians.


Reminds me of Naples 30 years ago.

Key West ordered a Master Plan for vehicular and pedestrian traffic two years ago. It finally arrived this week. It is scheduled to be discussed at the 1/15 Commission meeting.

I am curious as to its recommendations. Especially since the Plan’s cost to correct Key West’s traffic problem has slipped out: $28.6 million.

Can’t be real!

My yesterday began with Lori. Haircut time. I noticed at noon on the way to Lori’s that traffic coming into Key West was unusually heavy. Then when it reached the Boulevard even more heavy. Even side streets.

Did a one and a half hour radio show with Laurie beginning at 3:30. Laurie’s show. I was guest appearing. Showed called Party with a Purpose. Search it out on 107.5 FM. Laurie is on 3 afternoons a week.

Many blessings and sins covered. The new traffic master plan, Terri White’s 5 night engagement at the Little Room Jazz Club, how Terri has taught us the blind can see, Florida’s generous increase in the minimum wage effective 1/1 of 21 cents an hour, University of California study indicating those persons who consume alcohol generally and were obese in their 70’s will live to their 90’s as opposed to those who abstain and have slim bodies, the shut down, Congress should not be paid during the shut down, how till this year Congressional persons guilty of sexual indiscretions had their settlements paid by a special slush fund of taxpayer dollars available to Congress persons, and I can’t recall what else.

An interesting time. Laurie and I interact well.

Following the radio show, crossed the street to the Chart Room.

Jean and Joe Thornton back. Arrived yesterday. Jean went back to Birmingham 9 days ago for the Christmas holiday. Joe has not been to Key West in several months.

My saviors during Irma. I escaped to their Birmingham home for 12 days.

Shelia with them.

Topic of conversation: The traffic! So much. More than normal this time of the year. Something has to be done, etc.

Jean and Joe left for La Trattoria for dinner and then Terri White. A couple from Hope Sands, Florida replaced them on the stools next to me.

Nice people!

Named Jean and Joe, also.

Jean a manicurist. Joe a retired sheriff’s deputy. Joe now owns and operates a private investigation service.

Met Todd Cavinder. Staying at the Pier House with his 2 daughters for the holiday. Todd operates an elevator company in the Myrtle Beach area.

New Year’s Eve a few days away. I am attending Terri’s performance at the Little Room Jazz Club. Then hit a few bars. Finally watching one of Key West’s balls dropping at midnight.

This year I will be somewhere in the jammed street surrounding Bourbon Street Pub. Sushi drops in a red shoe at midnight. The shoe 8 feet long with a 4 foot heel.

CNN will cover it. Anderson Cooper will be discussing the drop from New York City.

Sushi has been dropping in the red shoe at midnight New Year’s Eve for 22 years.

Richard Overton died tuesday at 112 years of age. Wow! The oldest World War II veteran and the oldest man in the United States.

Overton African-American. Fought in World War II. Not as a cook. He was part of a special all black engineering group known as the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion.

He was sent to Pearl Harbor within days of December 7. Then fought in the liberation of Guam, Okinawa, Palau, and Iwo Jima.

As to Iwo Jima, he said, “I only got out by the grace of God.” Iwo Jima is considered the most difficult Japanese held island U.S. forces captured.

The wall, the wall, the wall! After a while, all the talk too much.

Some one said regarding the wall that Trump and his supporters are living in a FOX News bubble. Makes sense.

The Republicans are using the wall to raise funds. A recent fund raising appeal: Become members of “Official Build The Wall Members.” The following was contained within the appeal: “This is your opportunity to go down in HISTORY as one of the American Patriots that saved our country and built The Wall.”

Brain washing at its worse!

Came across a line from Romeo and Juliet this morning. One I have not read in a while. Decided to share it with you. No particular reason. Just sounds good!

“What’s in a name? / That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.”

I am home this evening. Syracuse plays West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando.

Enjoy your day!


Title written with tongue in cheek.

The State of Florida should be ashamed!

A new minimum wage goes into effect January 1. A raise of 21 cents an hour. From $8.25 to $8.46 per hour. Tipped employees will receive a similar increase of 21 cents an hour. From $5.28 to $5.44.

The tourist business is booming in Florida. Key West an example. Hotels, guest houses, restaurants and bars doing a booming business. If the working staff were paid a just living wage, problems such as affordable housing and the homeless would be less.

A limited evening last night. The Blue Macaw for an hour. Packed with tourists. I was not with it. Left after an hour and returned home to watch television.

I was there to hear Terri White sing at 7:30. Did not make it. Donna was coming into the parking lot as I was leaving. I could hear her calling out…..Where are you going?

Few locals. At Macaw, I only knew Angie. Proprietor of that wonderful tropical item store Crystals and Coconuts. Angie refers to them as “tropical treasures.”

Visit her store at 803 Whitehead. It’s different.

Friend Terri opens a 5 night engagement beginning this evening at The Little Room Jazz Club. Titled On Broadway. A place where Terri spent a llifetime performing.

Show time 8.

My present plans are to spend New Year’s Eve listening to Terri perform.

Speaking of tourists, the town is full of them. Good! So many. The streets bulging. People using the streets. I spent one block last night on Duval driving behind a walking group of 5. They covered my lane and were partially in the opposite lane.

Radio show time for me from 4-5 today. Laurie Thibaud’s show Party With A Purpose on 107.5 FM. Laurie is on from 3-7.

Did it for the first time last week. We had fun. Have decided to do it as a regular thing.

A talk/music show. The talk covering everything. Whatever moves us at the moment.

Laurie is quick witted. Her words sometime rhyme. Unusual. Come out of her like that.

Strange things have been frequent occurrences in Key West over the years. Would you believe a Klu Klux Klan? Surprises me.

In 1921, a group of prominent citizens formed a Klan. The charter titled Florida’s klan No. 42. Small k on klan as it appears on the Charter.

Most Key West prominent citizens were charter members. All recognizable today. Key West streets named after them.

The Key West Klan was not anti-black. They were anti-Semitic. Surprising! Jews were considered a “foreign element.”

They were snuck into Key West from Cuba. Not necessarily to remain. For most, New York and Chicago were intended final journey venues.

I find the Klan thing hard to believe. Belieeve it I do, however. Here almost 100 years later, anti-Semitism, anti-black, anti-gay, anti-anything, does not exist. Key West is without question One Happy Family.

Tomorrow Syracuse’s first football bowl game in I cannot recall how many years. That many. Too many.

Syracuse plays West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando. Game time 5:15.

Both teams evenly matched. Syracuse 9-3, West Virginia 8-3. Syracuse a one point favorite.

The roller coaster stock market went in the opposite direction yesterday. Instead of dropping, it went up 1,028 points. A single day record.

Glad it went up. Does not impress me, however. Day traders buying in cheap.

If the up and down continues, recession will occur. For which our dear President will be responsible. The market reflects his instability.

I close with Donald Trump.

He lied again. Whether a lie or he just does not know, I am not sure. However, he should know of that which he speaks.

Yesterday. Trump in Iraq talking to the military. He took credit for giving them their first pay raise in 10 years. A 10 percent one.

Never happened. A falsehood from the get-go.

The military does get raises. Every year. In a minimal amount. In recent years, in the 2.0 area. 2018 was 2.4 percent. 2019 will be 2.6. The increases set legislatively years ago.

Enjoy your day!


My two Christmas blogs took precedence over normal blog activity. I have a number of notes that would have been mentioned were it not for the Christmas blogs.

Waste not, want not. I want to set forth briefly the items not mentioned. No particular order involved.

— Christmas eve and Christmas day at Lisa’s. Best Christmas eve meal Lisa has ever prepared. Only one fish however. My daughter has been become Americanized.

Desserts especially good.

Robert and Ally are young adults. I enjoy talking with them. I sat at the children’s table with them for dinner.

Ally enjoys painting. Gets in and out of it since a very early age. Back into it. Gave me a beautiful hand painted picture of mail boxes. I have already hung it in the living room.

Robert gave me a book involving thoughtful matters. Like is there a God? He was more excited with the card that accompanied it. He is taking some sort of video course in high school. He made the card. Three steps involved, if I understood correctly. He explained how he made it. I was as excited as he. And impressed!

— LeBron James spoke out against the NFL owners. “A bunch of old white men” with “slave mentality” toward players. Describes their attitude as “the old plantation mentality.” Believes they are more concerned about money and fear Trump.

— Went to Hot Dog Church sunday evening. Got there late. Only a few ladies remaining. Laurie bartending.

I will be doing Laurie’s radio show on 107.5 FM thursday from 4-5. Appears I will guest weekly at that time.

— Hot Dog Church followed by the Chart Room. Great evening!

Two couples. Tourists. Never met till that night. Each couple have been visiting Key West for 30 years. Great history!

One of the husbands retired. He has a part time job. Times marathons. Does it periodically. Travels everywhere.

A solo guy was at the end of he bar. A gem of historical fact. He was in he Marines stationed in Key West in 1965. Now a full time resident owning a home here.

— The World Happiness Report 2018 recently came out. It lists the most happy and most miserable countries.

Top 3 most happy are Finland, Norway and Denmark in that order. The U.S. ranked 18. Burundi the least happy ranked at 156. Two countries the U.S. presently has an interest in ranked. Afghanistan 145, Syria 150.

— When will the U.S. learn that Middle Easterners hang in there. As the Vietnamese did against the U.S. in that war.

The Soviets sent tanks and 8,500 men into Afghanistan in December 24, 1975. Afghan fighters declared a jihad. Guerrilla war ensued. The Soviets left 10 years later defeated. And broke! The war had destroyed the Russian economy.

The U.S. learned nothing from that history. We have been in Afghanistan 17 years now. Crazy! Trump recently announced he was pulling half of our military contingency out. Seven thousand five hundred service personnel.

The U.S should never have gone in, especially without an exit strategy. The U.S. should not now be pulling out without a specific plan. A double screw up.

— My love Terri White sings this week. Four consecutive nights at the Little Room Jazz Club. 12/27-12/30. A Fringe Theater presentation. Show time 8. I will be there New Year’s Eve. Broadway tunes.

— Key West and bicycles continue to be in the news. Apparently the City ordered a study 2 years ago. The Key West Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is now ready for release. The City Commission will discuss it at its January 15 meeting.

This I’ve got to see!

Total cost to implement the Master Plan $28.6 million. Payment in 2 phases: $9.6 million and $19 million.

— A resident complained publicly in one of Key West’s news papers. Key west is becoming like San Francisco. We have a poop problem. Only in season, only in Old Town. The inference tourists don’t give a shit

— Trump is now on the Fed’s ass. Claims the market is down because the Fed raised interest rates. Suggesting he is going to fire the Chairman who he appointed this past year.

Trump claims…..”The only problem our economy has is the Fed.” I say…..”The only problem our economy has is Trump.”

— The shutdown has causes not anticipated. It also evidences people not hurt who should suffer with those being hurt.

White House Xmas tree lights went out.

Congress has a gym and spa. Must be a beauty. Still operating during the shut down. Speaker Ryan used it the past few days.

The Congressional gym and spa is considered “essential” under the law.

— Stock market keeps going down. Down this year 20 percent. The worse drop since the Great Depression.

Market this morning before opening sitting around 2,700. If it breaks 2,000 there will be a recession. A world wide one.

Who do we thank? Donald Trump! He has destabilized everything.

— How many more children have to die?

An 8 year old Guatemalan refugee boy sitting on the border took ill. Authorities got him to a hospital. He died. Autopsy results awaited.

Two weeks ago, a 7 year old Guatemalan girl died.

Mr. President, have you no conscience?

–The wall. Now a fence or whatever.

Trump claims he signed a contract for the construction of 150 miles of the wall in Texas to begin construction next week. Who is he kidding? He has no authority to do something like that outright. The House is part of the approval process and cannot be ignored.

Going to be interesting how he explains his way out of this one. I am willing to bet there is no signed contract. This is just another of Trump’s falsehoods thinking he can bullshit the American people. Those days are over!

— Trump time continues. Once again, he failed to visit American troops stationed in foreign lands on Christmas. Just as he failed to visit the American military cemetery in France.

Called no respect.

He did telephone soldiers on Christmas morning.

— Studies reveal more and more Americans are living into their 90s. The University of California did a study on the whys and wherefores. Sixteen hundred people involved. Study began 2003.

Results interesting.

Alcohol and coffee consumption on a daily basis will help people to live past 90. Abstinence will not. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation, however.

Another test finding is that people overweight in their 70s live longer than those underweight.

Glad I did not begin my diet till I was 82.

— Harry Truman. As always, Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman made 11 visits to Key West. Described as working vacations. Spent a total of 175 days.

Truman died this day in 1972.

–I am caught up!

Enjoy your day!


An American Christmas today dramatically different from its origins. As different as day and night.

To understand Christmas as it developed in the United States, one has to understand its European beginnings. Going back many centuries. Even before the birth of Christ.

Christmas is rooted in paganism. Hard to believe. However, true.

Romans were the first to hold a week long party. Involved all kinds of debauchery. Including drinking, sex, and murder.

The Greeks followed with Lucien’s Saturnalia. More despicable. Included human sacrifice. Saturnalia considered the actual predecessor of Christmas.

At some point in time, the Catholic Church desired to increase its numbers. I am not sure of the exact year. Could have been around 1300 A.D.

The Catholic Church negotiated with Saturnalia. An agreement was reached. The pagans joined the Catholic Church based on the Church’s promise the pagans could continue their evil ways. The pagan group that joined became known as the Saturnalia Carnival.

Many Europeans frowned upon Christmas thereafter because of the pagan influence on the holiday.

Which brings us to Christmas on American shores.

The Puritans may be described as America’s earliest Scrooges. They outlawed Christmas because of its pagan base.

Boston outlawed Christmas for the same reason from 1659-1681.

The colonies neither recognized nor practiced Christmas till after the American Revolution.

Whether by the Puritans, Boston, or the colonists, the English influence controlled. Christmas decried in England and on American shores.

Christmas got its first foothold in the Americas following the Revolution. The Americans having won, England’s influence diminished with time.

Acceptance of Christmas from the end of the Revolution to today, a creeping thing growth wise.

Books were a major influence. Washington Irving and Charles Dickens notable authors.

The Civil War exhibited a difference between the North and South not generally known. The South loved and celebrated Christmas. The North paid no attention to Christmas.

Lincoln recognized the difference. He wanted people to know God was on the side of the North also. He had a prominent artist do a painting which became the cover of a national magazine. The picture showed God standing over a Union soldier.

The Sun of New York helped late in the 19th century when it published a response to a letter from a little girl. She had asked if there was a Santa Claus. The response: “Yes. Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas still was not particularly popular in the U.S. Celebrated by some, not by many. World War II was its turning point.

Christmas was celebrated more during the War. However, it took off popularity wise big time following the War. And has continued so since. Victory in war, happiness with no war, whatever. Something ignited America’s enthusiasm for Christmas and it has remained so since.

What I have written this morning is a much shorter version of my blog of December 24, 2015. More detail. Describes pagan activities that are reflected in today’s celebration of Christmas. The Christmas tree and mistletoe being two examples.

The blog is archived by date on my Key West Lou page. On the right side of the page is the column labeled Archive. Take it from there.

Caution. Two blogs bear the same date 12/24/15. The second is An American Christmas.

Merry Christmas! And if I were Santa Claus on Christmas Eve flying from a rooftop on my reindeer driven sleigh, I shout…..And to all a good night!


For those of Italian extraction, Christmas Eve is the more important time of Christmas. The Christmas Eve meal the determining factor.

The seven fish meal of Christmas Eve much awaited as the holiday approaches. Similar to dreams of sugar plums. Except, fish!

Christmas Eve dinner a large gathering for my family. Generally 20-25 for dinner itself. One year, 30.

These are the sit downs. No dining room table large enough to accommodate all. A kid’s table prepared. Sometimes 2. Kitchen table and a card table.

Age determined who sat at the big people’s table. The youngest at the children’s tables.

Took a long time to graduate to the big people’s table. I can only recall death creating a place. Some of the kid’s waited into adulthood. One of my daughters was 24 before a seat was available.

Then there were friends who stopped in to extend holiday greetings. Some intentionally popped in during dinner so as to enjoy the food. Others for desert.

The seven fishes. The same each year in my home. Great food!

Large broiled Maine lobster tails, cold shrimp, shrimp fried in egg batter, fried smelts, cod, stuffed calamari, and baked clams.

The lobster tails were the last to be served.

Cold shrimp during the cocktail hour before dinner. Shrimp fried in egg batter, also. Crispy and delicious.

Smelts! I love fried smelts. Rarely get them these days. Actually, years. Tiny fish deep fried. Eaten crispy, head and all. Delicious.

Cod soft and tasty. The saltiness and toughness long gone. The cod marinated in oil and herbs for 3 weeks. Mixed daily.

Baked clams are baked clams. With one difference. Prepared at home. For some reason, made them taste better.

The stuffed calamari the highlight of the meal.

Large tentacles. The size of a condom or larger. Cut up in 4 inch lengths. Each washed by hand. Took hours. To be sure the calamari was absolutely clean. A vein ran through each piece which had to be removed.

Each piece stuffed with bread crumbs, eggs, parsley and I don’t know what else. One end hand sewed before the stuffing. The other end following the stuffing.

Then boiled for a time. Following which the calamari was cooked in the sauce being prepared for the pasta portion of the meal.

At dinner, a huge bed of stuffed calamari over a bowl of linguine was served.

Each of the fishes tasted even better the next morning cold out of the refrigerator. Don’t know why, but that’s the way it was.

During the course of the morning my children and some of their children would show up to enjoy the cold fish dishes.

Spencer’s at the Reach is serving a special meal this evening. The seven fishes! Were I not enjoying Christmas Eve with Lisa and family, I would be there.

Lisa will prepare a seven fish meal. One problem, however. We have yet to reach 7. I think the most one year was 4. Whatever, the meal will be delicious.

Last but not least is desert. Christmas cookies. The women start baking them 3 weeks before. All kinds. Nothing like black coffee with anisette and too many cookies to top off the meal.

I had so much I wanted to share this morning. Blog too long already however. Tomorrow I will write about the American Christmas. From the Puritans to present day.

Enjoy your tonight!


Yesterday afternoon felt like work. Running around searching for Christmas gifts. I have always been last minute in this regard.

Evening time at the Chart Room special.

Two couples I had met last year were in the Chart Room. Chatted long with each.

Lana and Gary from Crystal River. Just north of Tampa.

Their 10th visit to Key West. Were engaged and married here. This trip staying at Herron Court.

They have a 27 year old Air Force son.

Gary originally from New York. Works as a ticket broker. Lana teaches second grade.

Lana a fisherwoman. Loves the sport. On the way home, she and Gary are stopping off at Islamorada for a few days to fish. Lana has fished the area before. She was well aware that Islamorada is referred to as the fishing capital of the world.

The couple will be in Key West over Christmas. I suggested they attend a Christmas eve event at 24 North. A holiday dinner party. Two seatings. Six and eight. Terri White singing at both.

As I shared Terri with them, Lana excitedly said she sat next to her while she and Gary were visiting 801 in the afternoon. Right she was! Donna was there also.

Key West definitely a small world.

The other couple Annie and Trent from Columbus, Ohio. Both relatively young. Annie a beauty.

They are in business together. As independent contractors, they package and sell french fries and lemonade to carnivals.

Married in Key West 4 years ago. They visit once a year.

Annie told me they want to rent a house here for 4-6 weeks later in the season. They will be a welcome addition to Key West during the time they are here.

Major event

Major event tonight! Hot Dog Church returns to the Back Bar at Aqua. A lesbian gathering. Food and drink. I am privileged to attend because of my lesbian wives Donna and Terri.

Recently, I have noticed some visitors who who read this blog think I am actually married to the ladies. I refer to them as my lesbian wives because I have known them so long and love them both dearly. The feeling is mutual.

Laurie will be bartending. The best!

Howard Johnson was big time restaurant wise when I was a kid. Every city had at least one. My Dad used to take us to the Utica and Syracuse ones for Sunday breakfast. Howard Johnson’s was also known for its ice cream. Oh, so good!

At one time there were more than 1,000 Howard Johnson’s in the United States. I read yesterday only one remains. On Lake George in the northern regions of New York State.

The good come and go. It is the way of the world.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander generally rings true.

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Congressional salaries to be furloughed during any next government shut down. Can’t do it with the present shut down. Congress conveniently exempted itself from no salaries payed during a shut down.

Our Washington gladiators know how to care for themselves. Were you aware if any had been involved in some sexual venture, the government would pay the settlement? With our tax dollars, of course.

I am not sure, however I believe a bill to remove such legislation was before Congress recently. I am not aware if it passed and became law.

There are sayings that run into each other which basically mean the same. Like Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth, Miracles Do Happen, and God Moves In Strange Ways.

Eleven year old Roxie Doss was diagnosed with a rare cancer. A brain tumor. Called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.


She was given radiation for a while.

Her family and community prayed for a miracle. She got it! The inoperable brain tumor vanished. Totally disappeared.

The doctors have no explanation.

A result where one says thank you Lord and moves on.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Mary took me to the movies last night. Mary Poppins Returns. Absolutely outstanding!

I never saw the first Mary Poppins which came out in 1964. Not my kind of movie back then. Why now, I am not sure. Probably old age.

Great story line, singing, and dancing. Especially the dancing.

Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda starred. An Academy Award nomination for Blunt.

I never saw Miranda before. He is Broadway famous. Among other things, wrote the book, music and lyrics for Hamilton. Also, played Hamilton.

What added to the fun was the appearance of certain mature stars in specialty roles. Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Dick Van Dyke.

If you could use a make me feel good evening, I suggest you see Mary Poppins.

As I was leaving through the lobby ran into Laurie Thibaud. We have bonded since the radio show. Hugs and kisses exchanged.

Then to Irish Kevin’s. Could taste the corned beef reuben from a block away.

As I was walking past the stand from which the guitar player sings and causes mayhem, the guitar player yelled out “Lou!”

Lights glaring. My eyes bad enough without the glare. I could not see clearly. Thought it was Larry Smith.
Was not. He kept yelling Lou and pointing to me.

I gave a wave, smiled, and walked on. Still don’t know who the guy was.

Any how, enjoyed the reuben, a couple of drinks, and the crazy music.

Final stop the Chart Room. Good crowd. Sheila sitting at the end of the bar. John bartending.

Mary was full of vim and vigor. I, tired. She told me to go, she would grab a cab. I did. I was home in bed by 9:30. The movie had started at 6 so it was an early evening all around.

Saturday afternoon at the movies was a big deal when I was young. Time frame the late 1930’s into the 1940’s. The format the same each week. Two movies, a serial and a cartoon. One of the movies always a western.

Two cowboy heroes in those days. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Autry my favorite.

Gene Autry was a singing cowboy. What I learned last night: He recorded Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in 1949. An immediate hit! One year later, he recorded Frosty the Snowman. Another hit!

The gale stayed with us into early evening yesterday. No rain. Wind and cold. I wore long pants.

By the time the movie had ended, the wind had disappeared. Turned into a better evening weather wise.

I mentioned to a tourist at the Chart Room how bad I felt that he was getting bad weather. His response: “Better than shoveling snow!”

The next few days will be mid 70’s by day and mid 60’s during the night.

Trump had a great week! Could not have done worse!

The government shut down last night at midnight.

The stock market is a mess. Down over 400 points yesterday. Closed at 22,445.37. The market the worse it has been since the 2008 crash.

We have not crashed yet. Getting there, however. If the market breaks 20,000, the experts will declare the country in recession.

The market is fluctuating crazily because of Trump. He is too impulsive. Lacks stability. People get nervous.

Thursday Trump announced he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria. Yesterday, he added to the announcement. He was cutting back on Afghanistan. Bringing 7,000 military home. Half the U.S. Afghanistan deployment.

Both moves will encourage and enhance ISIS. From their perspective, they will have caused the removal and reduction of American forces.

Some military experts are saying we will at some point face another 9/11. ISIS will flex it muscle as a result of our leaving Syria and reducing forces in Afghanistan. ISIS will be showing off to the rest of the world.

There is a dark secret rarely spelled out to the American people. Rarely discussed. Military contractors. Companies that provide soldiers to fight along side with or for American troops.

The cost of contractor forces never mentioned. Part of the “secret” defense budget.

Erik Prince recently spent some time in Washington with Trump. He founded Blackwater. No longer exists as such. Now, Constellis.

My question: How many military contractors will the U.S. leave in Syria and Afghanistan? Or, add?

If left or added, means to me that we will still be at war in Syria and Afghanistan.

Enjoy your day!