The simplicity of it all.

I am not computer literate. Nor mechanically inclined. A generational thing.

I had computer problems yesterday. My mouse was not working properly. Off and on. Mostly off.

I operate with a big screen attached to my lap top. Easier to see in my old age.

Telephoned computer guru Tim Reynolds this morning. He now lives in the Tampa area. Change the battery, he said. I did. It works. I did not know the mouse operated on a battery.

Oh, well.

Now to today.

Another Harry Truman story. One not well known. Like the shot of Old Grand I wrote about recently. This one involves Truman and a donkey. It also involves things that could happen to a President in Truman’s days, but would not today.

For credibility purposes, be advised that this story is one told by Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel.

Truman was on one of his Key  West trips. He liked to swim. Tried to every day. Generally in the late afternoon. Prior to his nap.

In those days, there was no natural beach near the Little White House. To accommodate the President, Navy engineers had sand trucked in. A small beach was made. A little cabana constructed, also. A place where Truman could change into his trunks.

One morning, Truman walked out with his trunks and towel over his arm. Threw open the door to the cabana and got the shock of his life. Standing in the Presidential changing room was a donkey. Adding insult to injury, the donkey was braying at Truman. A further insult. The donkey had answered the call of nature so the atmosphere in the cabana was less than pleasing.

Truman stood stunned for a few seconds, then burst out laughing. Recall he had grown up a farmer so he did not feel threatened.

The base commander was not amused. He initiated a search for those responsible. Turned out to be a couple of reporters who had gotten a little tipsy in town the night before. Came upon the donkey. Bought it. Smuggled it onto the base in the back of a taxi.

Never could happen today. Presidential security back then not as it is today. Secret Service and Navy personnel would have ascertained what the reporters were up to at the gate Most certainly before arriving at the cabana.

Truman was the President. Certain safety measures were taken. The donkey was x-rayed, given the once over by bomb sniffing dogs, and then sent to an underground holding facility in the Rockies. No one remains today who knows what happened to the donkey afterwards.

Truman’s reaction to the prank says a lot about him and Key West. They were ideally suited to each other. Unpretentious and possessed with a sense of humor.

Key West ws the one and only place grandson Clifton reported where “Grandpa could be himself, let his hair down, wear a loud Hawaiian shirt or even grow a beard (which he started but but never finished).” He had “found the perfect haven from the pressures and posturing of a hectic world.”

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. Precisely in the middle of the Democratic debate. I caught the beginning and the end. My favorite tale concerned Ernest Hemingway and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Hemingway wrote a short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Though familiar with Africa from prior visits, he had neither seen nor climbed Kilimanjaro.

His second African trip interesting though almost a disaster. It was 1952. Travel sometimes by local plane. A 4 seater or the like.

Hemingway and his wife were on such a flight. The plane crashed. Hemingway suffered some burns and cracked ribs. Never one to sit, he opted to take another plane the next day. This one exploded on take off. Hemingway hurt big time.

His wife was able to get out of the burning plane through a window. Hemingway was not. He butted his head against the door and it opened and he was out. His injuries significant, however. A fractured skull, severe burns, a dislocated shoulder, 2 cracked discs, a ruptured liver, and ruptures to both kidneys.

A tough guy. Lived to hunt, fish, and write another day.

Watched what I could of the debate last night. Better than the first. Excellent questions. Little if any gotcha moments attempted. They all looked good in varying degrees. I suspect only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will survive last night’s group.

Tonight the balance of the debate. Interested in how Joe Biden will come over.

On this day in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Never seen again. Many suspect he is buried beneath the concrete of a New Jersey highway.

Several months later, Key West Fire Chief Bum Farto disappeared. He had been convicted of narcotic dealing and was awaiting sentencing.

Farto’s disappearance a Key West “happening” to this date. A money maker for some. Tee shirts for sale bearing…..Where are you Bum Farto?

Trump will go down as the worst President in history. Unquestionably.

He does little if anything correctly.

He has us in a tariff war with China. One that never should have been. I recall his words during the campaign: “I know tariff wars!…..Tariff Wars are good!…..I win tariff wars!”

He has done a masterful job with China. As with Iran, he is in one that he does not know how to get out. The Chinese outfox him at every turn. They refuse to submit to his bullying.

U.S. representatives have been meeting in Shanghai for 2 days. Talks over. No resolution. Further talks scheduled for September.

Before the meeting had concluded, Trump announced the talks were going well, there would be an agreement. The agreement could only come if it was one Trump wanted and he was confident it would be his way.

The talks failed. Trump now says such the worst outcome for China. China should stop stalling. Claims China started the trade war.

The President is an ass. He knows not what he does. China is an equal to the U.S. in every regard. Militarily, financially, etc. China is also the U.S.’s bank. We owe China $1.3 trillion. Borrow from China on a frequent basis. Never pay back.

What happens if China really gets pissed and cuts off the loans? Even worse, suppose China starts dumping its U.S. Treasuries on the market?

An economic crisis without proportion. U. S. would go bust. Then most of the world.

A bad situation. China will not give in. Not the Asian way.

No one wins a trade war. China will go to a starvation diet and drinking water out of the streets before it succumbs. China will break the U.S.’s back as its is being broken.

Enjoy your day!


A week ago, I wrote that suddenly there were some new massage parlors in Key West. I had never seen many. They all had the same name.

I observed 4 in different parts of Key West. All hidden/secluded a bit. One had to specifically be seeking a parlor out in order to find it. I was seeking after I observed the first one.

For professional purposes only, of course.

This morning I came across an interesting article on the internet. The first took me to several others. Massage parlors are on the rise in the U.S.! Especially Asian ones.

Actually human trafficking. The money good. For the owners, not the girls. It is estimated there are presently 9,000 illicit massage parlors. The take $2.5 billion a year.

Recall Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. He was arrested for allegedly patronizing one. His case still pending.

The influx is especially great in Southern Florida.

Those arrested include men and women. The ladies the prostitutes. They generally plead guilty to prostitution. The men operators. They walk or plead to some bullshit charge.

The massage parlors are not independent operators. They are part of a conglomeration of parlors. Each one a subsidiary. A network of them. Ownership so intertwined it is difficult to ascertain actual ownership. All limited liability. A way to hide the names of investors. Most of the corporations formed through accounting offices.

Again ownership difficult, if not impossible, to trace. That is why the girls plead to prostitution and the men walk.

Money laundering suspected as the primary reason for the parlors and the method by which they are structured. Most international. Similar in set up to international drug cartels.

The legal set up makes it next to impossible for authorities to discover those actually responsible.

If there is a raid, the parlor shuts down for a day. The ladies moved elsewhere. The business reincorporated under a new name.

The massage parlors advertise. In modern day fashion. Over the internet. The site called Rubmaps. Rubmaps.com. Opening page introduction: Finally A Happy Ending Massage.

Lets localize the topic again. Check Rubmaps. You will find massage parlors of the type described in Key West and Big Pine. Maps for location purposes, recommendations, etc. Photos also of the inside of a particular parlor. Magnificent! Well done!

The tab $200. A customer can receive a massage and then the special attention required. Or go straight to the special attention item. Tipping appreciated, but not required.

It will be interesting to see what local authorities do with the parlors. Convictions of the real culprits next to impossible. Close one down today and another under a different ownership will open the next day. A lot of work for police and State Attorneys with no appreciable result.

On the other hand, if nothing is done the Asian massage parlors will spread like a cancer. Does Key West and the lower Keys really want this? I appreciate that our community has a risque reputation. There has to be a line, however. The strip/gentlemen’s clubs together with tourists meeting up for a 24 hour affair should be enough.

Now my yesterday.

I now wear 24 hours a day a chain around my neck with a small push button at the end. If I fall, have some sort of attack, I merely press the button and help is on its way in 15 seconds. Or so it is advertised.

I found out yesterday how thorough and how swift.

My alert system is through Bay Alarm Medical. After yesterday, I have to swear by them.

I accidentally pressed the button while dressing. A box in my bedroom began shouting ALERT. I shouted back a mistake. Within 10 seconds, a woman was on the phone. She wanted to know if I was ok, identify myself, etc. I assured her I was fine and I had hit the button by mistake. I don’t think she believed me. She kept talking and asking me questions. Ten minutes later while driving down the Boulevard, the Key West Police called asking how I was, if I needed rescue, etc. I told the same story again. A mistake.

I was in Aqua for Dueling Bartenders 10 minutes later. Over the period of the next half hour, I received one more call from the local police and 5 from the Bay Alarm Medical out of Utah. Different persons each time. Each time I told the story again….I made a mistake!

No question, they wanted to be sure. Left me comfortable. Gave me confidence. The system obviously is a good one. Responds! I know it will be there if I am ever really in need.

My day began earlier with a manicure and pedicure by Tammy. The service and Tammy always pleasant.

Then to Dr. Norris’s office for an appointment. He was running 2 hours late. Took me 3 hours before I got out.

I still have to be careful. Watch for this falling backward thing. Feel it every day. I am cautious each time I get off a chair, out of bed, or move swiftly. Norris is sending me to a neurologist.

I recall a time when I did not see a doctor for years. Now, an integral part of my life.

Besides the medical alert people, I heard Terri White. She was guest performer last night. Joined Rich Dery.

Donna and Mary came in.

Afterwards Mary and I went to La Trattoria for dinner. Ran into Elaine, a friend from the Chart Room. Pleasant Tiffany bartending.

The storm I mentioned yesterday. The one over the Lesser Antilles. Had just begun to form. Might be a hurricane at some point. Key West could be in trouble.

This morning’s news tells us the rain storm broke up. The rain would follow a path northeast of the U.S., except for a small portion which would brush eastern Florida.

Another shooting. This one in Los Angeles. At a Gilroy Garlic Festival. Three dead, several wounded. One of the dead a six year old.

The Los Angeles Times titled an article re the shootings “Killings Part of a Sick American Tradition.”

They are. We have to get the monkey off our backs. I blame the NRA and the Republican Party. The Republicans because they blindly followed the NRA as today they do Trump.

The Democratic Presidential Debate tonight 8-10. My blog talk radio show in the middle at 9. Can’t win.

I will be watching the debate before and after. Those who will be watching my show, I thank you in advance. To those who cannot, remember the show is archived immediately and can be heard 24 hours a day.

My blog show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou will explore topics of interest. I rant and rave. Especially Trump issues. Join me for a half hour of interesting and sometimes humorous chatter. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!






Irma marked us for life. Such is obvious from my words since and the comments of other Key Westers. Once was enough, hopefully not again.

The problem is every developing storm immediately becomes one for concern. Will it happen again?

There is a storm developing. It has been on some news shows the past 2 days. A “tropical disturbance.” Not even worthy of being labeled a tropical storm.

Presently over the lower Antilles. Big time showers. Described as “drenching.” The area it covers is massive. Which is the main reason I am concerned.

Its path is over Cuba and Puerto Rico. Then up through Florida. Through the Keys. If it deviates, it could hit first at Miami.

Should the present path continues, we would be more aware of where it is and what it is by the late weekend.

The odds are the rain and winds will run out before the disturbance even hits Cuba. Then concern will have been for naught. Or, it may increase in power but turn northwesterly which would take it away from the lower Keys.

Bad things stick in a person’s mind forever.

Anna is back from her one month Poland trip. Which means my house is clean clean once again. Anna was over yesterday morning and did the necessary. She returned none too soon. The house’s condition was getting to me.

Yesterday, a typical warm heavy humidity day. I say such with humor. The humidity is only beginning. August and September the worst months are yet ahead.

Picked up Mary at 3 and we headed for a breakfast/lunch at Harpoon Harry’s. Good food!

Tonight Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. A special reason for going tonight. Terri White is singing!

The new Farmers Market is open. At the Truman Waterfront. Thursdays from 10-2.

“Men are crowding nail salons this summer.” So reported Ray A. Smith in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Attributed to men’s footwear companies pushing sandals. Companies like Gucci, Valentino, and Rich Owens.

It is reported even LeBron James is getting pedicures.

I view what has come with a singular thought. The world has finally caught up with me. I have been getting pedicures and manicures for 40 years. In fact, I am scheduled for both at noon with Tammy.

Another lesson to be learned from history. Hitler became head of the Nazi Party this day in 1921. It thereafter took him roughly 15 years to gain real power.

Trump has accomplished it in 2 1/2 years.


Trump announced his appointment of Republican Texas Congressman Jim Ratcliffe to be his new Director of National Intelligence. He will be replacing Dan Coats. Coats a respected and knowledgeable public official. Ratcliffe not in the same league.

Coats and Trump have not been getting along for many months. Trump either does not take Coats advice or totally ignores Coates when making an intelligence decision.

Ratcliffe’s primary support his questioning of Mueller this past week at one of the Congressional hearings. Trump saw him. Thought he was terrific. I thought he was an ass. Interesting.

Ratliffe will be blindly loyal to Trump. A yes man. He will not speak truth to power as Coats did.

One thing that can be said for Trump is he is consistent. He attacks everyone. Even those who have stood with him. He shows no partiality.

Trump knocks others by spewing filth. No other way to describe what comes out of his mouth. His most recent victim Congressman Elijah Cummings. Cummings is African American. Has been a U.S. Congressman for more than 30 years. He has the distinction of being one of the blacks during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s who walked across a bridge to be clubbed by police on horseback.

Cummings is like John McCain. What can be said bad about him?

Trump has found a way. He attacked Baltimore. Part of Baltimore is represented by Cummings.

Trump described Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

I read somewhere this morning an apt observation about Trump’s comments: “Better to have a few rats than be one!”

New York’s Jonathan Chait finds it difficult to understand how a President can disparage parts of his own country. He says it is “…..unique in American history.”

Which brings me to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Kushner’s companies are landlords of several Baltimore area housing projects. Housing violations and mismanagement activities numerous. Kushner has been described as a “slum landlord.” In the year 2017 alone, Baltimore County fined the Kushner companies for more than 200 code violations.

Word has it Trump picked up the rodent infested, etc. purported situation from a FOX commentator this past week. I am willing to bet he did not know of his son-in-law’s problems in Baltimore County.

Enjoy your day!


Saturday night in Key West can be rambunctious or quiet. Whatever one wants. It’s all here.

I opted for quiet last night. The outside bar at La Te Da. Sat in my usual corner seat. An excellent place from which to observe tourists. All happy. Communicating with each other. Everyday problems left back home. The way it should be when on vacation.

There is a slave cemetery in Key West. The only slave cemetery in the U.S.

In 1860, slavery was a violation of International Law. A U.S. vessel stopped a slave ship. In effect thereby saving its occupants from a life of servitude. The American vessel delivered 1,432 slaves to the U.S. Marshall in Key West.

Two hundred ninety four died. They were buried at what is now Higgs Beach. The years passed. The African cemetery was forgotten. People lay in the sun, children played, dogs jumped about, while beneath them lie the remains of the 294.

The remaining 1,138 were shipped to Liberia, a West African country.

Renewed awareness of the cemetery occurred in 2002. The City/County were reconnoitering the area. A dog play area and the beach were being transfixed. If memory proves correct, a significant part of the new dog run would lie over the dead.

Ground penetrating radar discovered/verified the remains. So much for the dog park there.

Studies were made. Locals became involved. The area properly recognized. Today a National Register of Historic Places site.

Also now the place where a yearly ceremony takes place recognizing those buried at the beach. An African king generally part of the assemblage.

A plaque of sorts marks the spot. Relatively small. Reads: The African Cemetery at Higgs Beach.

Recall the movie Top Gun? The 1986 hit starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. It is being remade. The sequel will bring movie goers up to date re the lives of those in the original.

Tom Cruise will return. Probably as an Admiral!

Sadly, no Kelly McGillis. She has not been asked to update her role. Another star has been selected.

For many years, Kelly McGillis was an integral part of Key West. In between making movies, she and her husband owned 3 restaurants. Kelly’s the most popular of the 3.

She was part of the Key West social life. I attended several parties she was at. Always pleasant and friendly. A sense of humor. Absolutely gorgeous.

Suddenly Kelly dropped out of everything. The restaurants were sold. She made no more movies. Moved to a Pennsylvania farm, if my memory proves correct.

Kelly returns to Key West at least once a year. She is active in the women’s tag football league. A world recognized speaker at women’s rights events.

Nothing is forever. Many come, stay a while, and then move on. Whatever, Key West was fortunate to have had Kelly McGillis as one of its own. She is fondly remembered.

Florida keeps growing. Presently the third most populous State. Just behind California and Texas.

It is estimated Florida will have 22 million residents by 2022.

The State is growing at the rate of 330,000 per year. Breaks down to 900 a day.

A new Trump book to hit the stands tuesday. Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the White House.” Manigault Newman the author. Fired unceremoniously from the White House in December.

Anti-Trump, of course.

A portion of her book involves the now famous August 17, 2017 meeting in Trump Towers where the Russians were purportedly to share some Hillary Clinton dirt.

Following the meeting, Donald Jr. sent some e-mails containing information re the meeting on Twitter.

She writes how the President as a result referred to his son Donald Jr. as a “fuckup.” The full sentence: “He is such a fuck up.” Also, “He screwed up again, but this time he’s screwing us all, big time!”

Newman visualizes Trump as an ignorant narcissist who routinely spews racially charged and sexist language.

I close with a concern. Can be described as an admonition also.

Trump will win in 2020 if the Democrats continue attacking him. The nation knows he is a “fuckup.” Democrats responding to his actions and charges only keep Trump’s name in the public eye on a daily basis.

The people want to hear about their kitchen table problems. As hard as it may be, the Democrats better start talking medical assistance for all, infrastructure, college loans, free college educations, etc. Call it whatever you like, even socialism. These are the concerns of the American people.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Recently a couple from the Keys stood at the top of Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro. A top of the world location. Height 19,341 feet.

The couple Doug Mader and Gerry Dietelm. Live on Big Pine. Own and operate the Marathon Veterinary Hospital.

Adventurers. They opted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The African mountain made famous by Ernest Hemingway.

Not an easy trip. Six days to reach the top, 2 to come down. The last day of the climb the worst. Air extremely thin at 19,000 plus feet. Their guides would only permit them to spend 20 minutes on top.

As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did their thing by leaving an American flag on the moon, the Marathon veterinarians left a Conch Republic flag on top of Kilimanjaro.

An adventure. The ascent the trip of a lifetime.

Ernest Hemingway is of Kilimanjaro fame also. However, he never climbed Kilimanjaro.

Hemingway knew Africa from his 2 trips there. The first in 1933. A safari and big game hunting. Also provided him with numerous African experiences which later became part of his writings.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro one of those writings. A short story. He received many awards for it. The short story also became a Hollywood movie starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

Hemingway’s second trip was somewhat of a disaster. He escaped lucky to be alive.

He and his wife were on a local flight. The plane crashed. Both survived with burns and cracked ribs.

The next day, they opted to leave immediately and took another plane. The plane exploded on takeoff.. Hemingway’s wife got out through a window. Hemingway had a more difficult time. He butted his head against the plane’s door to get it open. He suffered a fractured skull, severe burns, a dislocated shoulder, 2 cracked discs, a ruptured liver and ruptured kidneys.

Never having climbed to the top, what then was Hemingway’s motivation to write The Snows of Kilimanjaro? A photo of a frozen leopard near Kilimanjaro’s summit. The leopard’s dried carcass formed the introduction to his short story.

Mini lobster season has come and gone. Only 2 days. As usual, thousands of tourists participated. Authorities reported this year’s event to have been one of the safest and with few violations occurring.

Only 1 injury. Of consequence. A diver’s leg and propeller came into contact. The diver was air lifted to a Miami hospital.

Each year’s event should be as injury and violations free.

History does repeat itself in one fashion or another.

Recall the ocean liner St. Louis. In 1939, 937 Jews attempted to escape Hitler’s influence in Germany. Atrocities were already occurring. The writing was on the wall. They would only get worse. The holocaust had already begun.

Their anticipated port Cuba. Cuba would not accept them, however.

The voyage became known as the “Voyage of the Damned.” The St. Louis went to several other ports. The same thing. Rejected!

The ship was forced to return to Germany. Eventually one third would die in Nazi concentration camps.

A similar earlier event occurred. This one involving prostitutes. The Civil War  ongoing. Prostitution became a major problem. Recall in the early 1860’s, there was no cure for gonorrhea or syphilis. Most died.

The problem was in Nashville.

Nashville was a Union Army base. It had its red light district Smokey Row. Early in the War, 200 prostitutes worked Smokey Row. Union Army officials needed to confront the growing sexual disease problem.

They assembled 100 of the ladies and put them on a boat. The Idaho. The intent was to transport them to another city. No city was foolish, however. None wanted them. The Idaho was refused permission to drop the women off.

During the trip, the Idaho acquired a second name. Floating Whore House.

The Idaho was forced to return to Nashville where the ladies disembarked and returned to their former lives on Smokey Row.

The Union Army significantly increased the number of men stationed in Nashville. Business goes where business is. The original 200 ladies turned into 1,500.

Everyone happy. That is, the soldiers and prostitutes. Disease also.

Sexually transmitted disease became rampant. A crisis developed. Not much could be done. No shot of penicillin back then. Many died. So many, that it was rumored more Union soldiers died on Smokey Row than in all the rest of the Civil War. Not true, of course. But such reflects how bad it was.

Nashville and the Union Army came up with a plan. Hopefully, a solution. They would legalize prostitution. That way prostitution could be controlled. Ladies getting periodic health inspections one of the approaches.

It worked! Sexual disease numbers dropped dramatically.

Man does not learn, however. At the end of the War, the legalization was removed. Rampant sexual disease returned. Not as great a during the War. Many soldiers had been moved elsewhere. Many ladies voluntarily left because there was not enough business.

Enjoy your day!





I got the word last night. Smoking will be prohibited in the Chart Room as of August 1.

A disgrace. A sad decision.

The determination does not affect me. I had to give up smoking 8 weeks ago. My last cigarette has been smoked. But to those who enjoy a cigarette with a drink, my heart goes out.

I am not sure why. I suspect someone might have complained about the smoking. Makes me laugh. A tourist comes in one or two times. The local regulars there almost every night. A tourist is offended by the smoking. He or she probably complained to management.

Management assumes it made a wise decision. I do not.

Business will suffer. An inevitable result.

I had a similar experience. Many months ago at Berlin’s. I went for dinner once a week. Pricey, but good. Also permitted smoking. They had been grandfathered in before the law prohibiting smoking where food was served had passed.

Berlin’s had the best filtration system. Even cigar smoking permitted. Berlin’s had been a cigar smoking bar for years. Affected no one. Impossible to smell smoke from any source. Clothes smelled clean at the end of the evening.

A group bought the place. Immediately outlawed smoking. I told the bartenders I would not be returning. My choice as the customer, the one spending the money.

I stayed away a month. Missed the ambiance of the place, the good food, and Bria Ansara singing on the weekend.

Parking was always free. The night I returned, the attendant asked for $20. I asked if he was crazy. I had been doing business there for years. He knew me. Nothing he could do. It was the new rule.

That did it! I left. First no smoking, now $20 to park. Berlin’s was not the only good restaurant in Key West.

I later was speaking to some one who worked at Berlin’s. He told me in the first 2 months of the no smoking rule, bartender tips were down 30 percent.

Which brings me back to the Chart Room. I shall continue going. Even if I were still smoking and offended. The history of the room calls me to it. The place unique.

The Chart Room however will lose business. No question about it.

My good friend David Wolkowsky has been dead less than a year. David conceived of and constructed the Pier House. It opened in 1967. The Chart Room 1968.

Locals at the time told David the hotel needed a place to drink. David agreed. A quick fix. Took out a first floor bedroom, added a mahogany bar, began serving alcohol.

In 1967, no one was famous and drinking was a sport. Soon  certain locals were nightly customers or working there. Besides David, Mel Fisher, Jim Croce, Che Kohn,       , Bob Marley, Mr. Bojangles, Panamah Pete, Tennessee Williams and Geoff Chapman. In later years, add Louis Petrone.

My too late admonition to the Pier House: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The ghosts of the Chart Room will gather and share tears the evening of August 1. An important part of Key West, steeped in history, diminished. No smoking! Wow!

Enjoy your day!


The explosion that was to be Mueller’s testimony did not occur. More of a firecracker, less than a bomb.

My random thoughts.

Trump will not be impeached. Yesterday failed to change public opinion sufficiently.

The failure lies with Mueller. I respect the man and his patriotic history. However, he was not the person for this job. One reason his age. He may have been sharp 2 years ago. However yesterday his 74 years were obvious. He is old and tired. His time has passed.

I believe such is the reason he did not want to testify beyond his Report. He was aware of his diminished capabilities.

True, the  necessary information to impeach is in the Report. In limited fashion only. Mueller failed to take the final step and emphatically state without reservation and without the shackles of Department of Justice policy what he thought.

His testimony failed to mobilize the Nation to impeach.

Democratic questioning as good as possible. I was impressed. Not the usual ranting and raving. The questioning by both Committees was well planned. The Democrats were prepared.

Contrasted with the Republicans who failed to deviate from form. Accusatory. Blamed Mueller for everything short of abolishing Christmas. Trump wannabes.

Bottom line. Mueller’s Report and testimony helps the Democrats a bit. In a close election might be the deciding factor.

The Justice Department’s policy of not indicting a sitting President for a federal crime should be removed from Justice’s role of non-permissible actions. It is as helpful to democratic governing as the Electoral College.

The war goes on. Democrats if wise will immediately go to everyday issues and stress them. Medicare for all, college debt, inhumanity at the border, etc. Those are the issues that will decide the winner in the next Presidential election.

The sun rose this morning. It will rise every morning. Life goes on. Enjoy your day!



Today a most important one in U.S. history. History will record it as such.

Upon the testimony of Robert Mueller the fate of our Nation rests. He dropped the ball in his Report. He left out the final step: Spelling out clearly and simply his conclusion as to whether Trump had committed crimes and should be criminally prosecuted.

Justice Department policy appears to have controlled his decisions. The report as written has no force and effect in law. It is as represented. Merely an opinion grounded in policy.

It is for the Supreme Court to determine if the policy applied. If it did, it gives Trump and subsequent Presidents the power to do what they want. Without control. Unbridled. They would not be responsible even for the most heinous wrongdoing.

In the cases of Clinton v. Jones and U.S. v. Nixon, an issue was whether a President could be arrested. The Justice Department policy was not involved. In each case, the Court ruled no person is above the law.

Permit a scenario to help state my position.

The President and his wife are in their bedroom in the White House. The White House is a federal building. Crimes are not permitted in a federal building.

A shot is heard. The Secret Service and other guards rush into the bedroom. Melania is on the floor dead with a bullet hole in her head. Trump is standing over her with a smoking gun in hand.

Should Trump be permitted to avoid prosecution at the time because of the Justice Department’s policy. Of course not. “No one is above the law.”

Respectfully, Mueller has short changed the American public. A war hero, civil servant most of his career, an FBI Director, one respected for his by the book approach to law, a rules following person, all will be pushed into the rear should Mueller fail to speak forth today. History will remember him as the one who permitted Trump to avoid prosecution for various wrongdoings.

I would hope Mueller does the correct thing today. I doubt he will. The Nation will suffer.

There is a comparison to be made. Both Mueller and Trump are arrogant. They believe they are right and cannot be told otherwise. Some what a my way or the highway approach. This mental superiority is not commendable in either.

I normally end with “Enjoy your day!” Don’t know if it is possible today. For many it will depend how forthcoming Mueller is in his testimony.

A criminal may very well escape the clutches of the law in the final analysis.


Reaction to my 7/20/19 blog overwhelming. Truman starting his day with a shot of Old-Grand Dad in his orange juice.

Not wanting one of our greatest Presidents perceived as an alcoholic, I did a little research as to why he began his day with a shot of bourbon.

Truman had heart problems. His physician was concerned about blood clotting in already clogged arteries.

Truman was President 1945-1953. Pharmaceutical blood thinners not yet available.

Alcohol is a blood thinner. Limited consumption, of course. One to two drinks a day.

His physician recommended a shot in the morning and a drink or two in the evening if Truman was so inclined. He was. However historians note Truman was not a heavy drinker. The evening bourbon was mixed with water. A high ball. One drink generally lasted him a whole evening.

Truman loved Kentucky bourbon. Kentucky produces 95 percent of the bourbon consumed world wide today.

The first U.S. approved blood thinner came out 2 years after Truman left office. Warfarin. It was sold under the brand name Coumadin. In 1948, warfarin was commercially sold as rat poison. Interesting how a product can go from bad to good. In short time, also.

Due to the shot of bourbon in the morning, historians refer to Truman’s time in the White House as “bourbon soaked.” I assume written with tongue in cheek.

Truman’s physician had recommended he start the day with a shot of bourbon long before he became President. David McCullough was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his writing of the biography Truman He said the morning shot of bourbon was good for him and a determining factor in Truman’s good health lasting into his 60’s.

In researching the Truman drinking story, I came across several articles re the drinking habits of former Presidents. Many drank! To excess! I sense I will be writing stories about some in the future.

Last night, another good one! I emphasize the quality of the evening as the time I was sick sucked. Day and night.

Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Rick Dery hosting. The great Bobby Nesbitt guesting. What a combination! Solo or duo, they did themselves proud! An outstanding evening. The crowd joined in the singing with most of the tunes. Old favorites. My kind of music.

Nesbitt’s rendition of Oh, What A Beautiful Day outstanding!

Liz has a companion Mary. Not my Mary. Mary was at Aqua last night. Chatted with her.

I have not seen Liz in a while. Thought she might have gone north for the summer. She is still here. Mary thought she would be coming in. I was excited. Always liked Liz.

Liz never showed. Mary left.

Jean Thornton stopped in. Leaves today for her Birmingham home. In 2 weeks, she and Joe are off to Europe for a month.

Jean was wearing a lovely dress. Wrapped around her neck was a large bright green boa.

Vino’s has been having monday night parties this summer. Each different. All require a costume of sorts. Last night’s title was something like Masquerade Features. The boa did it for Jean!

I admire Jean for many things. One is she misses nothing in Key West. Attends just about every function.

Old time jitterbugging music part of the program. Jean leaned over and said, “Louis, we can dance.” She was referring to 2 years ago when I was one of several Irma refugees staying at her Birmingham home. Our day began at 5 for cocktails. Went to 3-4 in the morning. Hard to take!

One evening around 2, the music was yesterday’s jitterbugging. Jean and I danced. I had not jitterbugged since college. We had a ball!

Someone videoed us. The next day our performance was on social media sites all over the world. My friend Anna e-mailed me from Italy…..Here I was worried about you and you are having a good time!

Mary and I had dinner at the bar at Antonia’s. I have been a customer at Antonia’s off and on for 25 years. The food and ambiance have never changed.

Donna and Terri came in. Sat next to us. Both beaming. Happy. Terri is in remission. Donna and one of her granddaughters are going on a week long Caribbean cruise soon. Terri passed. She says she is not ready for a big boat.

This will be the third time that Donna has gone away and Terri not. She is fearful of trips. The separation is good, however. Terri is learning how to live a full life without her wife.

Two interesting developments that have occurred in the U.S. the past few days. Both dangerous events. Each however shows American resiliency.

Somewhere in Tennessee last week, ICE officers came to take an immigrant without papers and deport him. His 12 year old son was with him.

As their van pulled into the driveway of their home, ICE fell upon the van. Eventually the man they sought got out.

No one was arrested or taken away. Why? Because the neighbors came out and surrounded the van and ICE. They in effect formed a human chain.

I worry. Today, no violence. However such confrontations a tinderbox. One spark and fighting. Which could over a few days grow into serious confrontations nation wide.

The other event involved the new young New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex. Outspoken. One of the “squad” Trump keeps attacking. One of the ones his people say should go back from where they came.

Two Louisiana police officers were involved in posting on Facebook the suggestion that Alexandria should be shot. The police officer who did the posting referred to Alexandria as “vile” and one who “needs a round.”

Another officer was with him. He agreed with the post.

Both have been fired.

Alexandria commented re the situation: “The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt…..”

A Washington D.C Capitol Police officer said that threats against Congressional persons are on the rise. The officer said such complaints are rising dramatically and must be of concern.

Tonight Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time. Listen to me rant and rave about events impacting our lives today. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!



Another terrific night out! Doing good. Two out of the last 3.

It takes time to adjust after you have not been out and about because of illness. I have to be frank however, no drinking and smoking no fun. Eight weeks now. Difficult! But when it comes to my health, I do what I am told. Even though I hate it!

The game plan last night was for Jean and I to meet and then go to dinner. She returns home to Birmingham tuesday. I will not see her again till February, unless there is a hurricane and I have to leave town.

Jean talking with Sheila when I arrived. We chatted a while. Then 2 seats opened at the bar. I told Jean and Sheila to sit. I would get a bar stool from across the room. As I started to  lift it, Paco showed up to help. Never met him before. Kind of him.

Paco and his wife Michelle are from Avon, Ohio. Fifteen miles outside Cleveland. Paco a high school teacher. Michelle a physician. Her specialty psychiatry. She is on the staff of Case Western University.

John asked them why did they select Key West for their vacation. No particular reason. Whatever, they were having a wonderful time!

I look forward to chatting with them again before they leave Key West.

Neil came in and sat next to me. From Georgia. We had met last year. I was disappointed I did not have more time spend with him.

Jean decided on La Trattoria for dinner. I should buy a piece of the place. In recent months, I have been there 2-3 times a week.

The ever charming Tiffany bartending.

As Jean and I sat at the bar, Tiffany exclaimed…..Louis, you are with a different woman every time you come in! Not really. However it was nice of her to say it. At 84, an ego booster.

The season is long over. Key West not a ghost town. However significantly less crowded than in season.

I mention this because La Trattoria was packed last night. Every table. People standing in the bar waiting for their table. A lot of families.

As far as La Trattoria was concerned last night, it was season.

Good news, bad news.

Joe Mazey this year’s Hemingway Look-a-Like. Runner up last year.

Joe has been trying for 8 years to win. He hung in there and finally came up the winner. The winner last night out of 141 contestants.

No one wins the first, second, or third years. It generally takes 8-10. I have a Chart Room friend I run into every year. He has been trying for 26 years.

A new Farmers Market will open August 1. At the Truman Waterfront. Thursdays from 10-2.

I was a frequent visitor to the Farmers Market at Bayview Park which recently closed.

The new owner is Daily-Plan It.

I sense one negative. Won’t kill the business. Will stop me from being a customer, however.

Too far to walk. Need to drive.

Free parking available to just about everyone. Except people like me.

I live in Key West. My car is owned by an out of state person. Key West has residential parking permits. When I went to get one, I was denied. Permits only go to Key West residents. My fact pattern did not qualify me. Ergo, I do not have a parking permit.

I called one of the owners. Asked why? He was very nice. Not his company’s rule. The City’s.

The happening typical of Key West. I am about to complain. Parking is a pain in the ass in Key West. Ask tourists who are paying $4 an hour to park in public lots. With a 4 hour limit. I obviously will not be going. My loss as well as the City’s.

My initial reaction was to call someone at the City and complain. I have done so in the past. To a new member of the City Commission. With an issue each time I thought important. I spelled out my concern out. Was ignored. A lame excuse given. No follow up by the City.

In each instance, I was correct in the final analysis.

The sad news. Michael’s has closed. A tragedy. Michael’s has been one of Key West’s finest dining spots for many years. Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Melanie and Michael.

Goldie Hawn is rarely seen in a movie these days. Always a bright light, I miss her.

Goldie spent some time in Key West in 1990. Making the film CrissCross. It came out in 1992.

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 was saturday. Apollo 11 was mentioned frequently in the film.

I have been running around Key West going on 30 years. When I first arrived, no one even talked about alligators and crocodiles. In the last 10 years, they have become a subject of discussion. Popping up here and there. A large one on the golf course a few years ago. He was difficult to capture.

Two articles of interest re alligators and crocodiles in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

The first a warning. Beware! When the weather is exceptionally warm, there are more hatchings. Means more danger to humans.

Interestingly, the weather also determines the sex. This year will result in more males being born. June was the hottest month ever on record globally. The weather affects gender. Males will be more plentiful.

Another article on a different page. There is a nuclear plant in southwest Florida. It is surrounded by 168 miles of canals. American crocodiles thrive in these canals. Whether the nuclear plant the reason was not discussed.

Several hundred crocodiles call the canals home.

This year an unusually large number being hatched. Hot weather not commented upon. The inference is the nuclear plant might be.

Like the chickens in Key West. alligators and crocodiles are protected species. Cannot be killed. Must be captured and sent to a habitat conducive to their health and well being to live out their lives.

Does not make sense to me in either instance. Kill/eradicate the chickens, alligators and crocodiles.

I mentioned Elgin’s marbles in yesterday’s blog. Did not set forth why called marbles. I did not know.

John Galt has been a blog reader for some time. He commented this morning as to the reason why Elgin’s marbles are so referred to. I share his comment with you: “The pieces taken were carved by the famous architect and sculptor, Phidias. He was a master at the art of carving marble, and all of the pilfered works of art were sculpted from marble. Hence the name, Elgin’s marbles.”

The Fortune Global 500 evaluates corporations world wide based on revenue. It is a status symbol to be listed in Fortune Global.

Since World War II, the U.S. has been #1. Till the most recent listing. China has surpassed the U.S. and is now #1. China had 129 corporations on the recent list whereas the U.S. 121.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!