Never met a ghost. Not sure there are ghosts, and, if so,  good ghosts and bad ghosts. I do have a “good” Key West ghost story to share, however.

Her name Maria Valdez de Gutsens.

Maria a warm giving professional nurse. Worked with hose who had no money. Ran a hospital, knocked on doors for money and food, gave comfort to all who needed her.

The Mercedes Hospital. Formerly the home of one of Key West’s earliest cigar makers. A man of wealth. Eduardo Gato.

He built the home for his family. Moved at some point. The house physically moved or he built a new one. The new home at 1209 Virginia Street.

Eduardo’s wife Mercedes died. Eduardo donated the house to charity to be used as a hospital. He conditioned the gift on the naming of the hospital after his wife Mercedes.

Mercedes Hospital was born.

Maria almost immediately took over management. She made herself responsible for every detail involved in the hospital’s operation.

Maria was a short squat woman. Hair in a bun. Daily wore a gray dress with long sleeves and a high collar laced on top.

She worked hard till 1941 when she died.

The hospital closed down. Mercedes Hospital was no more. The 2 story building fell into disrepair. Windows broken. Its yard used for cock fights.

Sometime in the late 1950’s, the building was renovated. Turned into an apartment house.

Maria returned. Or, perhaps she had never left.

Tenants over the years swear they have seen her, been touched by her. They have identified her from old photos. Even a Dr. Fogarty who is in some of the photos.

Maria is buried in Key West Cemetery. Periodically she is seen walking the rooms and halls of the Gato House. All persons who have seen and identified her are reported to have been of sound mind.

Maybe she is a for real ghost.

It is a story I sort of believe.

Last night a fun time. Shared it with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon. Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Then La Trattoria for dinner at the bar. Carrie bartending. Dink seated on his usual corner stool.

Mary was at Dueling Bartenders. We chatted briefly.

Today was to be Venezuela’s big day. The bogus President announced military support and that he would officially be ousting Maduro and taking over.

Knew it would never work.

He who controls the military controls Venezuela. The military a group of whores and thieves. Maduro keeps them well fed, their coffers full, etc.

Already on TV this morning 100,000 demonstrators were marching. The claimed new President leading them.

The only problem is the people of Venezuela lack the balls to fight for what they want, for what they believe is theirs. They forget that God only helps those who help themselves.

In the meantime, Trump is tweeting and Pence has been on TV saying we support you, stand with you, etc. The U.S. military some 3,500 strong has been sitting on the Venezuela/Columbia border for days waiting to go in.

It will not happen. Trump will not go in unless the military dump Maduro. Which will not happen.

Another reason is that Russia supports Maduro. Putin has had planes and men in Venezuela itself for days.

Another example of Trump’s bullshit and bravado not working.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced yesterday he will resign effective May 11.

Rosenstein goes out “dirty.”

Three big reasons. First, he wrote the letter providing the excuse and recommendation that Comey be fired. Second, he has become a Barr supporter. Finally and most important, it appears he was a mole in the Mueller investigation reporting to Trump.

It has been announced Pope Francis has arranged for a $500,000 contribution to help the Central American migrants stranded along the border as they try to reach America.

The contribution has been described as a “shot across the bow of President Trump.”

Francis fears no man. Many believe the contribution is retaliation by the Pope against Trump because Trump recently cut off all U.S. aid to Guatemala and Honduras last month.

Trump tweeted in return that the Pope should have spent the money helping U.S. poor and homeless.

One more Trump story.

The Washington Post Check Finder announced today that Trump has passed the 10,000 marker re lies. The telling of false and misleading claims.

Trump likes to be #1. No question he has to be the President with the most lies ever.

He should be ashamed.

Nine tonight. My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A fast moving fun half hour. Listen to me rant and rave about this and that. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Enjoy your day!



Early in 1968, I was 33 years old. On business in New York City. A close friend and Police Lieutenant Bobby Mazza had driven me to the City. Business took longer than expected. We spent an extra evening in New York.

Decided to see a show. An off Broadway one. Hair. Playing at an old movie theater in the east Village.

The play had received a number of positive reviews both for the show’s music and subject matter. A few negatives for the subject matter.

It was a time of cultural change in the U.S. Anti-war, drugs, sex, a youth revolution. A tribal rock musical, the song Aquarius was the heart of Hair. Let the sunshine in!

Era defining. A cultural phenomenon.

At the end of the first act, the entire cast appeared on stage. Bare assed! Exhibited front and back sides to the audience to see.

A never before. Nudity of this nature not acceptable.

The audience exhibited a noisy calm. Then a rising grumbling. Followed by a standing shouting ovation.

America was accepting of the changes taking place.

Several months later, Hair made it to Broadway.

A noted New York Times critic at the time wrote: “For an escapist dose of the sweet sound of youth brimming with hope that the world is going to change tomorrow, you listen to Hair and let the sunshine in.”

I ended up watching a couple of old movies yesterday afternoon. Did not get out till 7. Meant my only stop would be the Chart Room.

John bartending. Kevin and Holly at the end of the bar. Their son in law Ken with them. We chatted a while.

Soon the bar was empty. Only John and me.

There was a guy going out the door. John told me it was too bad he and I had not had the opportunity to talk. The fellow was from Astoria, Oregon. The home of another Chart Room. He took a number of pics of our Chart Room before he left.

Did a little digging this morning. Turns out Astoria had 2 Chart Rooms for a number of years. One closed in 2011 after a long run.

The one that remains looks like the Pier House’s Chart Room size and design wise. That is where it stops, however. Our place is a dungeon. Loved in its aged form. The one still operating in Astoria is polished bright and in every respect.

The difference between our Chart Room and the present day Astoria one is yesterday and today.

For those who some day might make it to Astoria, you have a place to seek out, to enjoy, while comparing notes with Key West’s Chart Room.

The Chart Room began filling again. Met Jack from Cudjoe Key. We got into Irma and its impact on Cudjoe. Devastating!

Many lost their homes. Older. No insurance to rebuild. Or  the question whether wise when elderly to spend insurance money on rebuilding.

Monroe County recently came up with a proclamation. Set a time period whereby those presently living in RVs may have to build homes or leave. Or something to that effect. Confusing. Whatever, Irma’s pain still with us and will be for a number of years to come.

Things will be even worse if Gd forbid another hurricane of consequence hits in the next few years.

Stopped at Publix on the way home. Late night shopping the best. Very few customers. In and out in minutes!

Conch Republic Days are over. The Conch Republic, seceded, battled the forces of the U.S., and won! Thirty seven years of consistent winning!

I continue to learn. I was unaware that in addition to the Conch Republic Army, Navy and Air Force, it also has a women’s contingency. The CIA. Short for “Cuties in Action.”

Saw photos of them in today’s Citizen as they were marching in thursday’s Duval Street parade.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders. Then dinner at La Trattoria. Game plan to meet Tom and Fran at Aqua. Kevin and Holly might even show.

Jennifer Jones was one of the great movie stars of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Won 2 Academy Awards. Starred in such films as Song of Bernadette, A Farewell to Arms, and Love Is A Many Splendered Thing.

She and producer Davod O’Selznick arrived in Key West this day in 1946. Spent some time vacationing here. Stayed at La Concha.

Poway, California suffered the past two days. The worst type experience. A 19 year old decided to shoot up the Chabad Synagogue.

One parishioner killed, 3 others injured.

One of these injured was Rabbi Goldstein. He and the woman killed were the first to confront the shooter. The Rabbi had a finger shot off on one hand and was shot  in the other hand, also.

Fortunately, the shooter’s gun jammed. The Rabbi bleeding ran into the filled adjoining room and shouted “RUN” to this in the room.

I watched the Rabbi on TV. Moving! He crying! I was crying! Many watching had to be crying!

Climate change and cheap power go hand in hand to a certain extent. Climate has something to do with energy creation. Wind and solar 2 examples.

Not enough, however. There is another step. The power created must be stored. Gigantic batteries probably.

Whatever, big battery testing has been ongoing for 2 years in Australia.

I have been writing about new found Greek friends Theo and Dina the past few days. Theo owns a Greek company. One of its major involvements is with air conditioning. Before arriving in Key West last week, Theo had been in Japan. Something to do with air conditioning.

Enjoy your day!





The life blood of Key West is tourism. Key West’s sole industry.

Not consistent. Has its highs and lows. Busy as hell and then suddenly quiet for a period.

The longest busy time is known as the “season.” January 15 through Easter Sunday. Bodies, cars, bicycles, golf cart vehicles, baby carriages, etc. all over the place.

As quickly as the season arrives, it leaves. The Monday after Easter Sunday people depart Key West in droves. Tourists as well as snowbirds.

Today marks one week since Easter Sunday. The season group down 60-70 percent. More will leave this week.

The absence of tourists and snowbirds obvious. Everything slows down. As a water faucet to a slow drip.

A much needed rest begins. Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day will see a resurgence. Then Fantasy Fest followed by Christmas week. And it will be season again!

The slower pace, the fewer people, provide locals with the opportunity to recoup. A reset every now and then hurts no one.

A busy Chart Room last night. Met my Greek friends Theo and Dina at 6. A good bye drink together. They leave for northern Florida today. Will be questing at Mar a Lago beginning Wednesday.

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran at the bar. They have guests from the Syracuse area. Love Tom and Fran! We have been friends for at least 10 years. I was quick to ask and Fran quick to advise she brought me more sauce and meat. Plus, low carb bread.

She worries about my health.

I left for Donna and Terri’s at 6:45. Dinner at 7 at their home.

Donna cooking. A great meal! Some kind of chicken dish and pasta.

Donna and Terri both looking good. Vibrant. Even Bear.

I was home and in bed by 9:30. There was a time when I had not even gone out yet for the night at 9:30.

Sunday down to basics. Hot Dog Church, the Gardens, and the Chart Room. Maybe dinner at La Trattoria.  I suspect I only will make Hot Dog Church and the Chart Room.

Key West is known for many things. Would take pages to list them all. Three prominent ones include the sunset, authors, and artists.

The sunsets draw people from all over theworld. Something mystic about standing at Mallory Square and watching the sun dip over the horizon.

Oh, so many authors! Too many to list at one time. The better known include Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, and Judy Blume.

Artists galore! Key West’s Bohemian atmosphere attracts them.

The soul of our Nation is wounded. Our political differences a knife in the chest. Resolution required.

The Catholic Mass has a part known as Agnus Dei. Latin for “Grant Us Peace.”

We need some Agnus Dei.

Shrimp boats are a comin’, their sails are in sight…..

A popular song published in 1951.

On the rare occasions I hear the tune these days, it reminds me of another coming. Not a religious one. Not a boat.


Every day, more and more.

Recognize that as robot workers increase, the human work force decreases. Jobs will be less. People will really be hung up for work.

The situation a major problem around the corner. No one seems to be worrying about it.

Robots will result in consumer goods being cheaper. What value if consumers do not have the money to buy less expensive goods?

Enjoy your Sunday!


Time to recognize what our government has become. CORRUPT! At the highest echelons.

Trump dirties everything he touches. Honorable persons become tainted.

The Department of Justice has always been beyond reproach. Trump has been telling us for 2 years how corrupt it is. He’s correct. Not because Justice basically was. Trump did it. He corrupted the best of Justice.

Attorney General William Barr a recent example. He should go to jail, not Hillary.

The other, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein based on the news that broke yesterday. Rosenstein has been a secret Trump stooge from almost day one.

I suspected something was wrong with Rosenstein  when he wrote a report recommending Comey be discharged for what appeared to be bullshit wrongdoing. I gave him the benefit of the doubt at the time. Justice works under stringent rules and perhaps Comey had overstepped those bounds.

However based on yesterday’s news release re Rosenstein cavorting with Trump from almost day one and Barr recently, it is obvious that he is lacking in character. He has continuously stated how honorable he is. I suspect he speaketh too much to the issue. The man is a hypocrite.

Rosenstein sucked up to Trump and back stabbed his friend of many years Bob Mueller.

This cannot go on. The time is now to take steps to chastise and hopefully remove Trump. Impeach now. Not when all the facts have been investigated as the Democrats are saying. Actually, the Democrats are fearful of an impeachment proceeding backfiring on them politically. Such should not be their concern. Such is doing wrong as the Republicans have been doing the past few years.

Bring Trump down now! Not when it will be too late. Not when he will have convinced enough Americans that he is Simon pure and it is too late.

Last night was special. The Conch Republic Great Sea Battle and dinner with friends Theo and Dina. Mary joined us.

We watched the Battle from the upper deck of the Pier House followed by dinner downstairs on Pier 1’s outside deck.

Th evening excellent. Theo and Dina wonderful people.

They leave tomorrow. Eventually to return to their home in Greece. We are meeting tonight at 6 for a last drink.

Tom and Fran back. Buffalo friends. It has been a long time between visits. Missed them last night. They were out on a boat watching the Battle. Tonight, I may run into them for a drink. At 7, I am due at Donna and Terri’s for dinner.

Enjoy your day!



Visitors from the north. Great White sharks.

Keys waters not necessarily where Great Whites are found. A bit too warm for them. Great Whites generally found to the north in cooler waters.

Two sightings the past few days. One 6 miles off Geiger Key. The other off Looe Key.

In each instance, the sightings were by persons fishing for yellow tail.

The Great White each time estimated to be 15 feet in length. Possibility exists it was the same Great White each time.

The one off Geiger Key came up to the boat with its jaws wide open. The one off Looe Key continued circling the boat for 3 hours. Those on the boat were able to touch the shark several times. Brave souls! Not bright, however.

Tonight the Great Sea Battle. Between the Conch Republic and forces of the United States. Sharks not involved.

Seven in the evening. Gulf side of the island.

The Conch Republic vessels pirate ships. The crew pirates. Limited bikinis for the females. Conch vessels will be firing cabbage, eggs, tomatoes and who knows what else. Also spouting sea water on opposing vessels.

The Conch Republic Air Force bi-planes. Pre- World War II vintage. Open cockpits. They will be dropping bombs on U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The bombs rolls of toilet paper which unfurl as they fall.

The U.S. Air Force will be Navy jets from Boca Chica.

Pre-World War II bi-planes fighting today’s jets. A sight to behold!

Mary and I will be watching the event with my Greek friends Theo and Dina. From Pier 1. Dinner at the outside deck. A walk back to the far outside deck to watch the battle.

A fun night!

Remember the fellow who jumped off a dock onto a pelican. He pled guilty this week to 4 charges. Sentenced to 90 days in jail. Received credit for the 40 days already served. Fined $1,000. Probation following release from jail for 1 year.

Florida continues to be a Republican state. Many of its citizens Trump supporters.

Sanctuary cities popular in many areas across the country. Trump cracking down on them. His most recent idea is to dump immigrants into sanctuary cities. Let them deal with the problem.

Florida going a step further. The Florida House of Representatives voted this week 69-47 in a party line vote to toughen opposition to sanctuary cities.

The bill requires local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration authorities re migrants and also ban sanctuary city police from shielding immigrants who are arrested.

The Senate is expected to support the legislation. It is anticipated the Governor will sign it.

The ACLU has warned immigrants to avoid Florida. Not to travel to Florida.

Trumpies are such a welcoming people!

Accidents happen in war. Especially those where we accidentally kill our own.

On this day in 1942, the USS Sturtevant was leaving Key West via the Northwest Channel. The Sturtevant accidentally strayed into a US Navy minefield. The vessel was sunk. Seventeen Americans lost their lives.

Putin and Kim Jung Un are meeting in a summit this week in Russia. Surprisingly, one of the issues discussed is North Korea denuclearization. Putin announced North Korea is agreeable to denuclearization as long as it receives necessary assurances and protections that it will not be invaded, have nuclear weapons used against it, etc.

I doubt anything will come of it, except to draw Russia and North Korea closer. In opposition to the U.S., of course. One possibility is that if the U.S. in any way attacks, etc. North Korea, Russia will immediately step in to defend North Korea.

If such is the result, Trump will once again have screwed things up. He will unquestionably have allied 2 U.S. enemies closer than they were before. Kim Jung Un will have made a fool out of Trump, Pompeo, and Bolan. Putin will once more have out foxed Trump.

Disney World’s Abigail Disney does not beat around the bush. She calls it as she sees it.

Most recently she says the poor are poor because the rich are rich. The rich only care for themselves and manipulate things to their advantage. To the detriment of the poor.

She also says the rich are aided by big government. Big government primarily represents the rich and not the poor. Thereby making everything easy for the rich.

A measles update.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 695 cases this year alone in the U.S. An epidemic without question.

Another set of numbers reports in New York City alone since October 285 cases. Last year during the same period, only 2 cases.

The primary reason for the outbreak is what is described as the anti-vaccination group. Parents opposed for medical and/or religious reasons to measles vaccinations.

Another study reflects that between the years 2010 and 2017, 21 million children world wide remained unvaccinated.

All of the preceding contribute to the opinion that unless those required to be vaccinated get vaccinated soon, measles will obtain a sustained stronghold in the U.S.

Vaccinations are front page news world wide today. Understandable in view of he measles epidemic. Many studies being done. The findings difficult to belief in certain instances.

An example the comparison between the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. mandates many type vaccinations. Japan has no vaccination mandates. Never the less, Japanese children are growing up healthier than U.S. children.

Japan’s population is 127 million. Japan’s children are the healthiest and have the healthiest life expectancy world wide. While being the least vaccinated of any developed country.

The U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest of any comparable nation world wide. The U.S. infant mortality rate reflects more children dying at birth and in the first year of their lives.

A study was done in 2014 comparing infant mortality. The U.S. had the highest number. Japan the lowest. Per every 1,000, the U.S. deaths were 5.8 compared to Japan’s 2.1.


Enjoy your day!




My love for Greece is well known.

Many Greeks are loyal readers of this blog. Love it!

Theo and Dina are such a couple. They live in a coastal community some where on the northwest side of Greece.

They are visiting Key West this week. We met last night.

Theo has been e-mailing me this past year, sending photos of the lovely Greek area he lives in. Each photo increasing my desire for another Greek visit.

Theo and Dina not strangers to the U.S. They have visited Key West often. Both are hooked! Key West has become their special place. Their goal to have a second home here.

Theo received part of his education in the U.S. A Doctorate from Northwestern. A mechanical engineer. Operates his own business in Greece.

Dina loves to dance. Especially to Cuban music. She has done so a several times already this week.

We spent a couple of hours together. Want to get together tomorrow night for the Great Sea Battle.

Ollie came in and joined us. Ollie the consummate Key West greeter. Ollie an engineer, also. Responsible for our sewer system.

He explained how busy he has been recently. The boat that hit the wires at a bridge near Fleming Key. I thought it caused only the electrical shutdown. Apparently certain of the wires, etc. had to do with sewage. He and his crew have been working diligently to resolve the problem.

Ollie’s consummate capabilities also include lover. He mentioned that 4 ladies had arrived in the afternoon to spend a few days with him. They came to the Chart Room looking for Ollie.

WOW! Beautiful!

I was invited to join them for dinner. Temptation great. Getting late for me, however.

Stopped first at the Blue Macaw on the way home. Terri singing. Enjoyed a drink with Donna.

I looked for Dave and Rhonda. I thought they might be at Blue Macaw to hear Terri sing. Hope to run into them before they leave.

One last stop. Publix. Cupboard bare again. Three small plastic bags of food. $77. Don’t know how families can afford to feed themselves. Cost of groceries similar at present to cost of gasoline. Ever creeping upward. Quietly. Slowly. The consumer never realizes until the total bill received.

Fun time this afternoon. Louis and Laurie Thibaud. I guest on her radio show Party Time from 4-5:30. We talk about whatever turns us on. The give and take terrific. Join us if you can. Radio station 107.5 FM, WGAY FM.

Tomorrow night, the Great Sea Battle. Recalls the birth of the Conch Republic. The Conch Republic Navy and Air Force always win.

I especially enjoy watching the Conch airplanes. Pre-World War II bi-planes. Open cockpits. The Conch’s bomb the Coast Guard vessels beneath them. The bombs rolls of unfurling toilet paper.

A sight to behold!

I cannot help it. I view Trump as arrogant and stupid. He has company. Certain people of Paris. One of the yellow vesters is upset re the $1 billion committed to help restore Notre Dame Cathedral. He was angry because the money was going to Notre Dame and not the poor. He said, “Humans should be more important than stones.”

The poor are not entitled to everything. They are entitled only to that which people want to give them. If people want to contribute to something else, so be it. It’s their money!

Joe Biden announced this morning his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President. A great guy! A good man! I know him personally.

#MeToo has gone too far. The sexual abuse standard consistently lowered. Biden an example. He is no more a sexual deviate than I. His “problem” is his warmth.

Nicholas Kristol wrote today re Biden…..Best we look as carefully at his policies as at his propensity to hug.

I agree.

First the priests, now boy scout leaders.

Court documents indicate 7,819 scout troop leaders abused 12,254 scouts.

I always found it amusing how police would mark tires on a parked car with chalk. The purpose to determine if and when a car was parked over time.

My recollection on this goes back to my high school days. Some 65 years.

Someone recently decided to challenge the chalk method as the basis to issue an overtime parking ticket.

The case came before a Federal District Court. The Judge ruled the chalk marking on tires of parked cars violated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Judge concluded the marking was comparable to entering property without a search warrant which has been illegal for many years.

I am always for Justice. However the cost of obtaining that Justice sometimes outweighs recognition of the right.

An overtime parking ticket is initially dealt with in a Traffic Court. Trial there first. Then application to a Federal Court for Constitutional review. An expensive step. In some jurisdictions, the litigant must first exhaust all State court procedures first. Making the Federal Court application even more expensive.

Whatever, Justice has been done. Someone did not care the cost. Only upholding his rights.

Good for him! Glad he could afford it!

Enjoy your day!






Frank Holden was a very popular and well liked person. He passed on 2 weeks ago. Since, there have been a number of celebrations of his life, 2 shadow box placements with his ashes, and yesterday a Viking burial at sea.

A small amount of ashes were placed in the shadow boxes. The rest went down to sea yesterday.

The Key West Harbor became Frank’s final resting place. A small sailing vessel was constructed. His ashes placed thereon in a tiny coffin. Several boats went out to attend the service. The tiny sailboat was let go from one of the vessels.

The tiny vessel finally slipped under the waves at 12:30 pm.

Boat loads of family and friends attended.

An historic burial. Perfect for a man who spent his life on the sea.

Last night was my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I dwelled quite a bit on Washington’s desire to engage in war with some country. I sometime think any country.

At the moment, Trump, Pompeo, Bolton and company are considering invading, Venezuela, Iran, maybe North Korea, and placing Russia on the terrorist list.

Each has its own story. I selected Venezuela to dwell on. So much to tell. So much to expose re Trump’s arrogant stupidity.

Guy deBoer at it again. Opening a new publication show. Radio. Similar to one he operated more than 10 years ago.

This one is called KONK Life Amnesty Radio. Aired for the first time yesterday. Station 90.9 FM. Reports all day.

Guy intends it to be community talk format.

He has asked that I participate. I do not know. My material may not fit into what he is seeking.

Some things are basically wrong. Should never be.

I refer specifically to Trump, Twitter, and Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey.

We all know the President loves to tweet. Probably has the most Twitter followers than anyone else. His numbers reflect 53.4 million.


Trump’s numbers have dropped recently. By 204,000. Amounts to .04 percent.

Trump troubled. Believes he knows why. Claims Twitter favors Republicans as opposed to Conservatives. He claims the reduction in his numbers intentional. He invited Twitter’s CEO to the White House to discuss the matter. More like a confrontation. The President of the U.S. against one of the U.S.’s leading businessmen.

The two have agreed to keep an open dialogue.

I view the visit as a form of intimidation. Wrong!

There are several Trump’s around the world. All of a sudden!

One is Philippine President Duterte.

He is threatening Canada with war.

Would you believe?

The problem trash/garbage.

Recycling was once big. No longer. Its value diminishing.

Canada used to send its recyclable trash to the Philippines where that country would recycle it for profit.

In 2013-2014, a Canadian company shipped 103 containers of purported recyclable trash weighing 2,450 tons to the Philippines.

Supposedly plastics intended for recycling. Turned out not to be plastics.

The Philippines said take it back. Canada has not yet, though it claims it is working on the problem. The trash is sitting on docks in Manila.

Duterte has had it. You’re garbage…..Get it out of here! Now!

Duterte a ballsy guy. Like Trump. A bully. He threatens. Said yesterday that Canada has one week to get it out or he will consider invading Canada.

Duterte afraid of no one. Last month he threatened that he would send a “suicide mission” to China. The issue involved rights over an island in the South China Sea that both the Philippines and China claim.

Diplomacy a forgotten tool for resolving problems between nations.

Keep in mind Duterte frame of mind. He considers himself Hitler like.

I mentioned yesterday that the price of gasoline in Key West was over $3 a gallon. Questioned whether it would go over $4 again.

It’s coming!

I read last night that in parts of California, gasoline is already over $4 a gallon.

Old time germs returning!

Measles big time. Epidemic proportions in some places.

Tuberculosis (TB) another.

When I was young(1940’s and 1950’s), TB was a major problem. Finally science eradicated, though not totally, the disease. Which means that if anyone comes down with TB today, it’s news.

It was announced this morning that a student at my alma mater Syracuse University has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. Only one case so far. Not yet determined how the student acquired the TB.

Enjoy your day!


Love tuesday nights! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. My show, my time. I can rant and rave to my heart’s desire.

A multitude of items to be discussed. The Mueller Report, Attorney- General Barr, Trump continuing to bring us to the brink of war, Pompeo and Bolan dangerous warmongers, Conch Republic Sea Battle saturday night, etc.

Fun time for me. Hopefully, interesting to you.

Join me at 9 my time. A fast moving half hour. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Night of nights last night! A fun evening!

Began at 5 with a manicure by Tammy. Lee Nails in the Habana Shopping Plaza on Flagler.

Love Tammy! She and her husband have been working hard for 15 years. Manicure, pedicure, etc. business. Own it today. About 10 employees. Tammy works 6 days a week from 9 in the morning till 9 at night. Even sundays when an employee might be out sick.

Tammy an immigrant. From Vietnam. In the U.S. 15 years. Went to work right away. Today a proud U.S. citizen. Besides the business, owns a lovely home with her husband. Two children. Two cars.

The American dream fulfilled.

Tammy is representative of the immigrants Trump seeks to keep out.

Surterra Wellness has opened in Habana Plaza where Tammy’s business is located. Surterra a medical marijuana store.

I decided to take a look inside.

How beautiful! The anticipated cash flow must be terrific. Tons of money went into the renovation.

Staff professionally attired. Business attire.

One of them came up to me. I told her I was there to look. She asked if I had a medical prescription. No, I said. Just curious.

I must have dulled her enthusiasm. I was not a live customer! Only could be with a prescription, which I did not have.

She gave me a quick tour and bid me adieu.

A money maker. Had to be at least 10 people wandering around selecting purchases. The store has it all!

Amazing! Two years ago people were arrested, many sent to jail for pot possession. Today, legal if medically prescribed. Two years from now, will be legal for recreational purposes.

The world is in constant change.

Next stop the Chart Room. I had an hour to kill.

John bartending. A small crowd of locals. We chatted the time away.

Vino’s at 7. Another celebration of Frank Holden’s life. The place packed.

I rarely go to Vino’s. Clayton and Valerie run a terrific business. In fact, they now have 4 additional wine bars in other parts of Florida in addition to the Key West one.

I do not drink wine. Nor beer which they sell. I am a hard liquor man.

interestingly, I never drank till I was 45. Not even beer. Went on Dr. Atkin’s diet. Carbohydrate free. After 2 weeks, could drink scotch or gin. Both carbohydrate free.

Bought a bottle of each. Disliked the scotch. Gross. Love the gin! The medicinal taste. Plus gave me a quick kick.

The gin was Beefeaters. I have drunk nothing else since.

Great diet!

Knew many in attendance at Vino’s. Jean and Joe among them.

Joe told me something I never knew. Before my Chart Room days, Valerie was bartender at the Chart Room for 5 years.

Alan Randall stopped by to introduce himself. From London. Has taken a home in Key West for a few months. Reads my blog.

We had a short but interesting conversation. Hope to run into him again before he returns to London.

I must admit I am embarrassingly pleased when people introduce themselves and tell me they read the blog. Touches my heart!

Met the lovely Kellee. An interesting woman. Has had her battles with cancer. Enjoyed spending time with her.

I was still on the go. Dinner scheduled at 8 with Mary at La Trattoria.

Carrie bartending.

A light pasta meal. A couple of gins.

Besides Mary, ran into Dink. He introduced me to Linda.

Grunt’s was a bar at 409 Caroline (between Duval and Whitehead) for years. At least 20 plus. Not always open. The owner had money. Did not enjoy working full time. Was reluctant to sell.

It appears Linda is a person who either bought the building or is renting. The bar now a restaurant of sorts. Inside and out. A food truck in the back.

Linda has renamed Grunt’s Hank’s Hair Dog Saloon. After her golden retriever.

She is proud of the establishment. Provides good food and fine music.

A third person with Dink and Linda. Rob Benton. A musician of some notoriety.

I got confused at this point. Billy the Squid and the Sea Cow Drifters came into the conversation. A new name to me. A popular musical group. Perform at Linda’s new place.

My confusion is whether Benton and the Squid group are part and parcel or separate. I think separate. If I’m wrong, I apologize.

Getting back to Linda for a moment, she lives on Sunset Key. Bought her home about the same time I purchased mine in Key Haven. 1998.

Back in ’98, a lot and newly built home on the waster on Sunset Key cost the same as the one I bought in Key Haven, gutted and renovated. I was reluctant to buy on Sunset Key. Access was only by boat. Did not turn me on.

Linda made the right choice. Twenty years later, a Sunset Key home was worth twice that of a Key Haven home. However, still had to take a boat to get from Key West to Sunset Key.

Key West is in the midst of Conch Republic Week. Today the 37th anniversary of the establishment of the Conch Republic. On this say in 1982, the newly elected Prime Minster Dennis Wardlow officially announced Key West’s secession from the U.S. and the birth of the Conch Republic.

Learned something new. Seems I always am. Concerns Harry Truman.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day continues to love Harry Truman. During his Presidency, he spent 175 days over a period of 11 trips in Key West.

So what’s new?

Discovered there is a Harry S Truman Presidential Bridge near mile marker 61.0 off US 1. Duck Key area.

Easy to find. Turn off US 1 onto Duck Key Drive. One mile straight ahead and you are on the bridge.

The bride so named because in March 1964 Truman visited Duck Key and walked across the bridge. The bride short and narrow. Cow Key Bridge huge in comparison.

Duck Key renamed since then. Now Hawks Cay Key.

In addition to the Truman Presidential sign, there are 2 others. One “No Fishing From Bridge.” The other, “Golf Carts 10 MPH.”

I wrote yesterday concerning Christians being under attack world wide. Sri Lanka and China having motivated me.

I follow up today with factual data.

A study indicates that 105 Churches and/or Church buildings are attacked and burned every month. Such breaks down to a little more than 3 a day.

The study further indicated that 345 Christians are killed for faith related reasons every month. The number not stable. Continues escalating.

The study agreed that the news media continues to ignore the problem.

Don’t forget to join me tonight on my podcast.

Enjoy your day!




Believe it…..Christianity is the most persecuted religion today. So claims Pew. So understood by most of the world.

Christian persecution is ignored in the West. The West is silent re the problem. Why, I do not understand.

Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday a perfect example. Three Catholic Churches attacked. Four luxury hotels. Three hundred dead. Five hundred injured.

An Islamist group responsible.

The world is living through the most serious phase of Christian persecution in history. Few acknowledge it. Far worse than during the Roman Empire.

Christianity was born in the Middle East. Through the 20th and into the 21st century, Christians have been driven from the Middle East with bombs and bullets. With hardly a squeak of protest from the West.

It is thought the West is silent for fear of being labeled Islamophobic.

Moving on to the Far East, China is likewise anti-Christian. Big time.

China is a scientifically engineered society. Technocrats cannot tolerate any fundamental ideology that refuses to be molded into the uniform system. Dissent in any fashion cannot be handled.

China has instituted a squeal on your neighbor situation. And made it financially beneficial to the squealer. Rat on your neighbor and be rewarded.

The government wants to know who are Christians. Anyone reporting an individual as Christian receives $1,500. Applies to all Christians and Christian activities. Examples include one’s neighbor, underground Church activities, and bible studies.

Guangzhou the first Chinese city to participate in the program: Snitch on Christians and receive $1,500.

The snitch program has come down hard on Protestant Churches. Resulted in the demolition of Catholic Churches. Also Buddhist Temples and Muslim Mosques.

The two institutions that have had the greatest influence on my life are the U.S.  Government and the Catholic Church. Both in chaos today.

Interestingly, I am simultaneously reading two works evidencing the breakdown of both.

The Mueller Report one. Four hundred plus pages. The other, Frederic Martel’s In The Closet Of The Vatican. Five hundred plus pages. Both heavy reading. Weight wise and other wise.

Both institutions have taken the wrong path. Each must rediscover the correct one. If not, their destruction will adversely impact the whole world.

Will the consumer ever win? Regular gasoline over $3 a gallon. Will it hit $4 again?

News move so fast these days.We become aware of happenings within minutes. Sometimes seconds.

Not always so.

Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. News of his death did not reach Key West for six days. Not till April 21.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday! Belated greetings.

My holiday began at 9 at Lisa’s. Brunch. Everything.

It was just the five of us. Lisa, husband and two children. And me.

One other. Jake. He’s got it knocked! Has the run of the house. Well behaved. Loves everyone and loved by everyone.

Robert is getting big. A high school freshman. Star tennis player. Stands 5 feet 11 inches. Only 2 shorter than me. He is not done growing. I suspect he will be 6 foot 2 or 3 inches.

Ally is in the eighth grade. A woman. Gorgeous.

Ally just returned from Washington DC. A school trip. Made friends with some girls from Puerto Rico. All excited about the friendship and the trip overall.

I committed a faux pas later in the afternoon. Embarrassing.

Frank Holden died a couple of weeks ago. His ashes received a Viking burial early in the afternoon. Some of the ashes were saved. For a place of honor in the Chart Room.

Not in the bar rail itself. Now prohibited by law.

Jean Thornton and friends prepared a new and different resting place for Frank’s Chart Room ashes. A shadow box. Good sized. Photo of Frank and his ashes in the box. The resting place for his ashes a tsa tsa. A clay molded  painted pouch.

The shadow box was screwed into the wall behind the bar.

The Chart Room celebration was at 5. I completely forgot about it. Did not arrive till 7 hoping to find some friends and share a few holiday drinks. Many people there. I was surprised at the number till I discovered it was Frank’s celebration.

Offered my apologies to Jean Thornton and several others. Felt like an ass.

All not lost, however. Vino’s placing a similar shadow box in its bar at 7 this evening. I will be there!

Ann one of Frank’s friends at the Chart Room. Ann a fellow Irma escapee. We spent 12 days together at Jean and Joe Thornton’s home in Birmingham.

Joe is in town. Here for a week. Always good to see him.

Steve and David attended Frank’s celebration. Chatted with the two of them quite a while.

Big George at the Celebration also. The name fits him. A big guy. He and Frank were room mates in Key West in the 1970’s.

Enjoy your day!


This is the day! A major once a year event scheduled. The Conch Republic Drag Race. Duval Street. Part of Conch Republic Days.

Drag Queens galore! Female impersonators at their best! Males in female attire, wigs and make up. Most importantly, heels. High heels!

The 700 block of Duval. Race hosted by the Bourbon Street Pub.

The obstacle course difficult. Tires in the road, etc. Queens will be sitting in supercharged shopping carts driven by local male dancers.

Anything can happen! Usually does!


A noon haircut with Lori yesterday. Her salon packed. Has been for weeks. We talked about it.

We were in accord. The big business ends this weekend. A holiday. Tourists in in large numbers. Snowbirds will go home next week. Business will be dramatically down in a week.

So it is. So it has been for many years. Lori and her staff plan for it. All are tired. Glad things will slow down.

Stopped into Fernandy’s for lunch. A gentleman came over. He knew me. I did not recognize him, however. His wife followed.

Turned out we had met at the Chart Room 5 years ago. Dave and Rhonda from Birmingham.

Dave reads this blog religiously. He knew it was time for my haircut and manicure. He was right! Haircut yesterday. Hopefully, manicure today.

Dave and Rhonda are visiting for one month. They rented a house near the Blue Macaw. Indicated they wanted to see Terri White. Perfect! She sings wednesday evening at 7 at Blue Macaw. They were excited.

Dave and Rhonda nice people. Understandable. They live in Birmingham, Alabama. Home of Jean and Joe Thornton. My benefactors during Irma.

Dave knew all about the stay. As I was trying to tell him about how nice Birmingham people were, he was a step ahead of me. He had read it all in the blog at the time. He agreed Birmingham people are the best.

Strange night. Began raining early. Around 9-10. Kept raining all night. Heavy. Noisy.

Heavy rain had been predicted for South Florida. Did not think it included the Keys. It did. Periodically woke me during the evening.

Met Janet Bengel and Don Bearden thursday at the radio station when I finished the show with Laurie. Laurie was going to interview them on her next segment re a show they are doing.

I chatted briefly with them in between segments.

Their involvement with the Fringe Theater. Live Key West theater.

Janet is President of Fringe Theater. Don a writer and sometime actor.

Don has written a new show. It’s All About Us. A romance and time travel story. It’s world premier April 24 and 25 in Key West at the Key West Theater on Eaton street.

Sounds good. I hope to be there.

Hurricane Michael back in the news. Destroyed the Panhandle last year. The federal government continues to fail the Panhandle. They are being treated like second cousins. Not getting the federal bucks and help required. An absolute disgrace.

They are American citizens living on the soil of an American state. Compared to Puerto Ricans who are Americans citizens and also still suffering more than a year later following Maria.

The government has and continues to fail both. A disgrace! Trump really knows how to take care of his own! Said with tongue in cheek. He knowingly permits U.S. citizens to suffer.

The problem is money. He would rather send it to the southwestern border than to northern Florida and Puerto Rico. His priorities screwed up.

Michael is back in the news. It was first classified as a category 4. Five miles short of a 5. It has been reclassified as a category 5. Why, I am not sure. I could find no specific reason. Five miles a minuscule difference.

My circle of friends continues to get smaller.

John Longeretta died.

John a Utica attorney I have known since high school days. An athlete. Exceptional football player. Played at Hamilton College. Baltimore looked him over.

John went to Syracuse University School of Law as I did. He was a year older and a year ahead of me.

John and I were always friends. Not saturday night dinner types. Good friends professionally and personally, never the less.

A quick story.

I had been sworn in 2 weeks earlier as a for real honest to goodness licensed lawyer. Received a telephone call from Judge Walsh’s secretary at 3 on a friday afternoon. The Judge wanted to see me.

I was all excited. A Judge wanted to see me!

Rushed down to his Chambers. He told me he was assigning me to a criminal case scheduled to begin trial monday morning. Three African-Americans had killed a semi-prominent white man and robbed him. The other 2 defendants were being represented by John Longeretta and Harold Hymes. Harold later became Chief Judge of the Utica City Court System.

Was I thrilled! They were charged with murder in the 2nd degree. Carried a death sentence. Electrocution in those days.

Note I had officially only been a lawyer for 2 weeks. I knew from nothing. They did not teach in law school in those days how to try a case. You learned by doing following graduation.

John had tried several criminal cases already. Harold had tried many over the years.

I was a total screw up! Mistakes! Wow!

At one time, I made a huge terrible one. I asked a stupid question that should never have been asked. Hurt our side badly. Judge Walsh called an immediate conference in Chambers.

I did not have to wait for the Judge to ream me a new you know what. Harold was all over me. Respectfully, John never said a word.

I took my beating. What else could I do? We returned to the court room.

The trial last 5 1/2 weeks. The jury was out in excess of 24 hours continuously. A blinding snowstorm raging outside. The courthouse heat inadequate in the night time.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty of robbery in the 2nd degree. Not guilty on the murder count.

The maximum  sentence in those days for robbery 2nd was 18 months. My “client” had spent 24 months awaiting trial. He would walk out of the courthouse with me.

He knew he was poorly represented. When he heard “guilty” and not understanding to what and the significance thereof, he looked at me and called me an “asshole.”

So it was.

None of us defending got paid. In those days, indigents were appointed counsel. Who worked for free. Pro bono. No public defender system.

I enjoyed working the case with John. Enjoyed working the case period. My first.

By the way, I got better as time went on.

John married Mirella. A beautiful stewardess from Italy. They had 4 children. Three boys and a girl. Their daughter Andria was a superior gymnast. I believe she went to George Washington because of the talent. Not sure what son John did for a living.

My friend had 2 other sons. Paul and David. Both became attorneys and spent their lives working with their father. Both, good people. I had an especially close relationship with David.

John, everyone will miss you. Rest in peace.

My date for dinner tonight is Terri. Donna is in Detroit doing Passover with her family. Terri opted not to go this year.

It will be a good evening.

No blog tomorrow. I wish you a Happy Easter today. Lisa is doing a big brunch at 9.

Enjoy your day!