Today is New Year’s eve. Three hundred sixty five days gone by like that. Tomorrow back to the beginning. Day 1.

Key West in the 1970’s was the beginning of what is today. The town desolate and in effect abandoned. Some had remained. A few started dropping in. Then more. Key West was on a roll!

A few of the notables of the 1970’s are presented here. There are more. I will spell them out in subsequent blogs assuming I stay with this 1970’s kick.

A place first.

My beloved Chart Room. David Wolkowsky’s vision. It became well known as the hangout for politicians and business people. Every day  following work, they assembled in the Chart Room to make deals.

Someone said the deals were made “out of the sunshine.”

The Chart Room was a favorite of Jimmy Buffett and Mel Fisher.

Louie’s Backyard served as Jimmy Buffett’s backyard. His house was next door on Waddell Street.

Mel Fisher. Close friend with Jimmy Buffett. His headquarters were at the Galleon near the shrimp boats. Shrimp fishing significantly less today from then. The boats still engaged are docked on Stock Island now.

Fisher was the eternal optimist. He came to Key West looking for the Spanish galleon Atocha. Knew it was in Key West waters and loaded with gold, emeralds, and other valuables.

He had a saying: “Today’s the day.” He was the eternal optimist. Took 15 years. However, he finally discovered a portion of the Atocha which brought him $400 million.

Eugene Lyon was a Key West historian. He claims to have directed Fisher to the Atocha’s underwater location.

Lyon said, “Key West was Mel Fisher’s kind of town.” A “natural gathering place for eccentrics of every kind.”

Tony Tarracino an “eccentric.” With a history. Had to get out of New Jersey because he could not pay a debt to the Mafia. Came to Key West. Became a barkeeper, gambler, bookie, rum runner, pimp, politician, etc. He did it all!

At the same time, married 4 times. Fathered 13 children.

Everyone loved Tony.

He became the proprietor of Captain Tony’s Saloon on Greene Street. Still there with his name on the place. Looks just like it did when he ran it. Prior to his purchase in the 1960’s, it had been an ice house and mortuary. A hanging tree comes to mind. The hangings were done from a tree which might still be a part of the Captain Tony building.

Ran for Mayor many times. On one occasion, Jimmy Buffett was his campaign manager. Tony lost. However, he finally did win. Those still alive from those days recall him as a fine Mayor.

Tony credited his successes (especially with women) to his “healthy sex drive” and “strong ego.”

Buffet paid tribute to his friend Tony when he wrote Last Mango in Paris. The song was about Tony.

The women of Key West put on a show Sunday night. The Key West Women of Soul Concert. It is the talk of the town. Especially my dear friend Terri White’s rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Can she sing it!

Midnight bringing in the New Year can be celebrated by most everywhere in the world. Television will spend several hours covering New Year’s eve in cities as they occur all over the world.

Even Key West. For years CNN has exhibited to the world Sushi coming down in a red stiletto shoe from the second floor of the Bourbon Street Pub.

Duval will be crowded for several blocks in each direction with revelers watching the event.

Be careful with the drinking tonight. Keep yourselves safe. In addition, avoid a DUI. Police will be everywhere.

The day would not be complete without a couple of political observations.

One involves Trump’s good friend Kim Jong Un. Trump is the only one who thinks they are friends.

Kim spoke at a political conference in North Korea yesterday. He spoke non-stop for 8 hours. Another Fidel Castro! Even Trump could not go that log. Even close to it.

Kim called for active “diplomatic and military countermeasures.”

Trump has to be getting nervous. He has recently bombed Iraq, Syria and Somali. A retaliatory measure. He has threatened retaliation against North Korea should it take military action of any kind against the U.S.

We are still waiting for Kim’s “Christmas gift.”

Trump and Kim are birds of a feather. Both crazy. Bullies. I fear one of them is going to start a war the likes of the world has never seen.

The U.S. bombed Iraq and Syria yesterday. Trump says Iran was behind the earlier military attacks in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. retaliated because a U.S. military base in Iraq was bombed. One military contractor killed, several Americans wounded.

The Middle East could stand at some point united as one entity and in opposition to the U.S. Including “our friends.”

Turkey an opportunist. It will jump sides when it becomes advantageous to do so.

Saudi Arabia cannot be depended upon. Anyone who did what was done to Jamal Khashoggi is neither our friend nor anyone else’s. An opportunistic country also.

The U.S. claims the bombings were necessary to keep the outbreak of violence and extremism from metastasizing. I believe the U.S. retaliatory bombings contribute to and accelerate metastasization.

Wildfires are raging in Australia again. I am surprised Trump has not admonished Australia to begin sweeping the forest floors.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve!


Jimmy Buffett discovered Key West in the 1970’s. He was poor, without work, played a guitar, and wrote songs.

He became enamored with Key West. Not the Key West of today. The Key West of the 1970’s.

In a 1980 interview he spoke of the time: “I was just footloose and fancy free and going crazy. We didn’t have much money and didn’t know much about cocaine so we stayed drunk a lot. Key West was the most wonderful, wonderful place I’d ever seen in my life.”

New Year’s Eve tomorrow night. What to do?

There are several places where someone is “dropped” to bring in the New Year. I have decided to do Schooner Wharf. A first time for me.

A “pirate wench” is dropped from the mast of the vessel America 2.0.

Key West is becoming an easy money town. Don’t even have to work for it. Steal!

The manager of the Key West Yacht Club was arrested last week. He had misappropriated some $70,000. For gambling and a call girl habit.

This morning’s Citizen reports the arrest of Sears’ former general manager. She embezzled $254,790 in cash receipts.

It was reported she had also been arrested earlier this month for stealing nearly $20,000 from a Parent-Teacher Association.

A confidence game? The Key West Citizen made a “deal” with the Library. It was late in 1935. The Citizen promised to pay the Library $5 for every day the sun did not shine in 1936.

Result: Only one day. The Library only received $5.

The bet should have been a bit different. For every day in rained. Many the rainy day in Key West. However, those same days at some point become bright and sunny.

An interesting fact many do not know. During the Civil War, the State of Florida joined the Confederacy. The City of Key West did not. An Army group immediately upon the War breaking out took control of Fort Zachery Taylor.

An important capture. Confederate trading ships had to pass by Key West in order to do business. Union control of the Fort in most instances prevented the South from so doing.

The water surrounding Key West and to its north were under Union blockade. During the course of the War, the Union captured 199 Confederate vessels.

Most of the captured vessels were transported to Key West where they remained till the War ended. At that time, the U.S. Federal Court sitting in Key West decided who got what, etc. as regards the captured Confederate vessels.

A different experience last night. Fireworks on the golf course. I suspect on the 18th fairway. About 500 yards from my home.

Noisy, but beautiful.

Today, monday. Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. I will probably be out and about this evening. Dueling Bartenders will be my first stop.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Sit at your computer, play around a bit, and suddenly you discover something new.

Yesterday was one of those times. I came upon Kurt Nimmo. Never heard of him before.

Nimmo is a blogger. Like Louis. His blog: Another Day in the Empire.

He has been doing the blog for years. Yesterday was his last blog. He is quitting. He has “concerns.”

Nimmo is far to the right. Diametrically opposed to me. We are opposite ends of the spectrum, though he is unquestionably farther out than I.

Nimmo  is one who sees conspiracies everywhere. Appears not to be well respected. Sad. My sense this is only so because he is so far right. I continue to believe contrary thoughts to mine are an “indispensable opposition.”

Nimmo for several years was Editor of Infowars, a conspiracy pedaling website. Now affiliated with Newsbud.

Nimmo is giving up the blog because he is concerned how the world will be if the Democrats win in 2020. Yes, the Democrats. Not Trump. He sees the same things happening to our society if the Democrats win that I do if Trump wins.


In yesterday’s blog, Nimmo wrote, “I do fear many of us will be prosecuted – or at best have our internet resources curtailed – and this will be, as the endless wars, of only minimal passing concern to a majority of Americans. After all, the corporate media has maligned us as Nazis, white supremacists, and dangerous terrorists conspiracy theorists. It does not take a rocket scientist to see where this will lead.”

Anti-Semitism is on the rise. No question. It has been for several years. World wide.

In the past week alone, there have been 10 separate anti-Semitic attacks in the New York City area.

Trump wants everyone to think he loves the Jewish people. I do not see it. He is infatuated with Israel, not its people there or anywhere.

Trump’s Israel support activities have included his proclaiming that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are not illegal. He also has moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem.

His comments and actions have a secondary purpose. Trump hopes to pick off Jewish voters in the 2020 election.

Trump’s actions have given him a degree of popularity in Israel. Not in the U.S.

Trump spoke this week at a pro-Israel conference in Florida. Four thousand in attendance. All cheering him on.

Trump told the Jewish group that Jews would vote for him because they would “be out of business in about 15 minutes” if he were not reelected. He was speaking to the “wealth tax” that some Democratic candidates are proposing.

It galls me every time reference is made to Jewish wealth. Makes it sound like they are all rich. Jews are no different than any other ethnic or religious group. They have their rich. They also have their poor and a sizable middle class.

For some reason, the animosity against Jews going back to even before Christ continues.

Trump plays on it to get the Jewish vote.

The crowd was chanting “four more years.” Trump said people were talking about him staying on as President even after 8 years. He said it is something “we have to start thinking about” because “it’s not a bad idea!”

God help us!

It appears Trump is not aware of the 22nd Amendment.

Biden was speaking at a rally in Milford, New Hampshire saturday night. He was heckled. Called “creepy…..a pervert…..don’t touch kids, you pervert…..and quid pro Joe.”

I find it hard to believe the good people of New Hampshire would openly refer to Biden in such fashion. Even if they believed the comments to be true, their very nature would prohibit such public statements.

I have to wonder if those expressing such comments were “Trump plants.” His campaign has been suspected of doing so in the past.

Enjoy your day!








I have several days of notes that have not been shared. Today’s the day. Morning Stew #31 on Sunday!

In the Key West of the 1970’s a favorite bar was the Old Anchor Inn on Duval. Victor Lathum was a bar owner in Key West in those years. He told an interesting story involving the Old Anchor Inn.

The Anchor was “just as bizarre as it could be. It was the kind of place that one bartender would open the beer cooler to get a beer out and find the other bartender curled up asleep on top of the beer, because it wasn’t air conditioned in there and the beer coolers were cool. It was just total insanity.”

Gustave Eiffel’s name is familiar to all. A French engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

He is less well known for the Statue of Liberty that sits in the New York/New Jersey harbor.

The chief internal engineer died. Eiffel was hired to replace him. He designed a metallic skeleton for the statue. One that relied on the skeleton instead of weight to support the cooper skin which was was to become the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue was constructed totally in France. Then broken down and packed in marked boxes. Shipped to the U.S. where the Statue was reconstructed.

Years later, Eiffel became involved with the Eiffel Tower. He was the head honcho in its construction. Everything his responsibility, his judgment!

Construction began in 1887 for the 1889 Universal Exposition to be held in Paris. Twelve thousand components involved in the construction, not including rivets. Rivets numbered 2,5000,000.

The construction was a marvel in material economy. As tall and large as it is, if melted down the Tower would only fill its basin to a height of 2 1/2 inches.

Near the top of the Tower, Eiffel constructed a small apartment. For his private use after the Tower had been completed. It was elegantly furnished.

The apartment still exists. Can be viewed by tourists.

Great white sharks summer in Cape Cod waters and winter in Florida waters. They have been returning to Keys waters this past month.

We know because a tagging system has been implemented. The sharks are captured, named, tagged and returned to the ocean. Then, easy to follow.

Ironbound is the most recent Great White to be reported. A 12 foot long male. Weighing 998 pounds. This past week he was found traveling south of Key Biscayne, near Miami.

Ironbound was last traced in northern waters on October 3. He was off Nova Scotia. He has since traveled 1,473 miles.

Trump can’t get the whistleblower off his mind. This past week in 3 separate tweets he identified the whistleblower. He left the third up only a few hours before removing the name.

It is against the law to reveal the identity of a whistleblower. Trump however is protected. As President, he is not subject to arrest for a violation of federal law. The whistleblower statute involved is a federal law.

Trump was warned this week not to reveal the names by White House Counsel Phil Cipollone and Ivanka and Jared Kushner. He listened to no one.

Christmas has come and gone. No “Christmas gift” yet from Kim Jong Un. May he forget about it. Could be. He is like Trump in that regard. A lot of bluster followed by nothing.

Kim has achieved one thing. He has placed the U.S. on military alert. Better safe than sorry.

Trump is changing his tune re Kim. When the Christmas gift was threatened, he was not concerned. Said he and Kim were friends.

A few days ago, Trump advised that he was prepared to retaliate if necessary by the use of all type weapons. Including nuclear. Is Trump crazy? One nut dealing with another. Kim might think if Trump could do it to us, we better do it to the U.S. first.

A scary world we live in. Trump has made it worse. More volatile. He defecates on everyone. Plays the thug and bully. Never thinks first about that which he speaks. Never worries about the after effect.

Casablanca is rated the best film ever produced or very near the top of any listing. A great 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

The film ran on the Turner Classic Film Channel Friday afternoon. I watched it. Always magnificent! The best!

Two years ago when at the Thornton residence in Birmingham as escapees from Irma, we all watched Casablanca on TV one day. Most of the escapees were women. The ladies and Jean knew every line in the film. Uttered most before even said. And did they cry! I could not believe the affect the movie was having on them.

Syracuse/Niagara last night. Syracuse won 71-57.

Next week, the ACC season will be in full swing. The games Syracuse must win. Going to be an interesting season!

As one gets older, the mind begins to thing about death. Is there really an afterlife? Am I going to see my parents and grandparents? The Bible says I will. My extended Catholic education says I will.

I am beginning to doubt. I don’t know. I have been reading much concerning an afterlife. Such readings obviously include references to Catholic Church history and God.

Two interesting ones.

Charlemagne once “force converted” 10,000 pagans. Then executed them. The 10,000 died as Christians. Christians who had no time to sin. Such guaranteed their passage to Heaven.

How about this one.

Religious ideologies are always particularly dangerous. For the simple reason that one cannot admit God was wrong because God can’t be wrong.

I read in the Citizen yesterday that Jimmy Carter and his family spent New Year 1996 in Key West. His family entourage involved 32 persons.

I tried to determine if Carter or any of his party stayed at the Little White House. Could not.

I do know this. In later years, Jimmy Carter and wife could be found enjoying New Year’s eve on Summerland Key. Apparently at the home of a friend. I am aware of this because Howard Livingston’s first Summerland home was on the same block where Carter would stay.

The Atlantic carried a pointed article yesterday by David Frum: A Gangster in the White House.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

Frum was concerned that on 3 occasions Trump had tweeted the whistleblower’s name.

An interesting passage in the article: “Doubt Trump will not be bound by any rule, even after he has been caught. He is unrepentant and determined to break the rules again – in part by punishing those who try to enforce them. He is a President with the mind of a gangster, and as long as he is in office, he will head a gangster White House.”

Pleas note my blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou will not air tomorrow night. New Year’s Eve. Everyone enjoy the evening!

Enjoy your today, also.


On June 17, 2018, I published in KONK Life a commentary titled Rudy Giuliani Sexcapades. At that time and even now, Giuliani is in the news almost every day. “Personal Attorney” to President Trump.

The talents that made him a force to be recognized are long gone. Dissipated. No more First Mayor, an outstanding prosecutor, a man of character, a man to be respected.

His present day attacks on former Vice President Biden lacking in respect and truthfulness.

Giuliani opted to sleep with a dog. He woke with fleas.

I am republishing last year’s Rudy Giuliani’s Sexcapades. The article continues to be timely.

And so it began…..

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. John 8:7 says…..Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Matthew 7:1…..Judge not, that ye not be judged.

Rudy Giuliani has had a distinguished career. Till recently.

Giuliani attacked Stormy Daniels last week. He hit on her work career as a porn star, adult actress and porn movie director.

Giuliani’s adult life has had its moments of sleaziness. A Roman Catholic, he has been married three times.

He married his first wife Regina Peruggi in 1968. His second cousin. Second cousin marriages neither civilly nor religiously permitted. He met local TV personality Donna Hanover in 1982. Fell in love. Needed to divorce Regina so he could marry Donna.

Not simple. The civil divorce not much of a problem. Obtained in 1982. However being Catholic, he needed a Catholic Church annulment. Once difficult to obtain, no longer so in the 1980’s. Proper Church grounds and money made it possible. The days of Henry VIII long gone.

Giuliani’s grounds were he did not know Regina was his second cousin. Hard to believe. Italians know every cousin and their place in line to the nth degree. Whatever, the Church accepted he was unaware. That and a check resulted in a Church annulment one year later.

Rudy and Donna were married in a Catholic Church ceremony in 1984. They remained married till the early 2000’s. During those years, Giuliani had his affairs. One with his press secretary Cristyne Lategano. Donna became aware.

Father’s Day 1996 found the Mayor and Cristyne in a basement suite at Gracie Mansion. Donna went to the suite to confront Giuliani. His aides prevented her from entering the suite.

Still married to Donna, Giuliani became enamored with Judith “Judi” Nathan in May 1999. Cristyne abandoned.

The NYPD security detail assigned to the Mayor began chauffeuring Judi around. City provided chauffeur services. Buried in the books with convoluted bookkeeping.

The chauffeuring had its dangerous moments. On one occasion, Judi was being chauffeured into Gracie Mansion while Donna was being chauffeured out. Another occasion found Judi being chauffeured in with the Mayor’s mistress in a car following her. Giuliani had wife Donna, girl friend Judi and a mistress at the same time.

The year 2000 found Giuliani and Judi a public twosome. Southampton weekends included.

Giuliani called a press conference on May 10, 2000 and announced he intended to separate from Donna. He failed to tell Donna first. She learned of it from the television report.

Giuliani sued for divorce in October 2000. A major court battle ensued. Giuliani barred  from Gracie Mansion or seeing his children till a divorce was final. The issues were resolved and the two were divorced. Donna received a settlement of $6.8 million and custody of their two children.

Judi and the Mayor were married in 2003. On April 14, 2018, Judi filed for divorce after 18 years of marriage.

Giuliani recently claimed Stormy Daniels as a porn worker had no credibility. What credibility does a thrice married cheating husband have?

A President accused of infidelity and paying thousands to cover it up could have picked a lawyer with a better track record morally to represent him.

Birds of a feather do flock together.


Giuliani acts more and more like Trump’s consigliere. Not surprising. Trump acts more and more like a Mafia boss.

Giuliani may be heading for deep trouble personally. The Southern District of New York has him under investigation.

Giuliani’s divorce case with third wife Judi is still pending. The fight over money. Makes the 1980’s movie War of the Roses look like kids’ stuff.

No children involved. The Judge admonished them to settle their differences and in effect stop hanging their dirty wash out.

I feel sorry for Giuliani. A distinguished lawyer and distinguished public servant. He seems to have lost it mentally.


Happy New Year!


The legal process of eminent domain is increasing in awareness. It all has to do with Trump’ border wall.

My concern is that few understand what is involved. Many get their information from TV new shows. The political pundits rarely understand the issues. False information is given. Not intentionally. Rather from ignorance or poor preparation.

Eminent domain is a legal term. Defined it is the right of the government to take private property for public use, while requiring “just” compensation being paid the owner.

Eminent domain is the taking now and paying later owners reluctant to sell. Owners are reluctant to sell for one of two reasons. The property has been in the family for generations. Or, the owner’s attitude becomes if the government wants it, let them pay for it.

The government, at least under Trump, has a tendency to act before it is time to do so. The cart is put before the horse. An example is Texas. One hundred seventy two miles of land is intended to be walled. One hundred forty miles of that land has yet to be determined. In other words, no decision has been made yet where specifically the wall will run which obviously will control which properties are to be taken in that 140 mile stretch.

Already noises are coming out of Washington that the wall is being held up because of the reluctance of owners to sell. Not true. Cannot be true. If the majority of properties to be taken for example in Texas have not yet been designated, those owners are not saying no to the government. They have not even been approached since no determination has been made if their property will be needed.

The government makes an offer. Generally, the government low balls the offer. Hoping to purchase the property cheaply. Assume the homeowner is reluctant to sell for any reason. The government can obtain a court order rather swiftly permitting the government to acquire title.

The home owner goes to court. The homeowner is required to show that the amount offered is insufficient. Not based on fair market value.

A trial can be long. All kinds of real estate experts testifying. Thorough cross examinations detailed.

In my experience, I have never seen a property owner come out of such a court fight with less than that the government offered. Always more. In most cases, significantly more.

The cry oh the poor homeowner will be required to assume heavy legal costs. No way. At least not out of pocket. Attorneys generally take these cases on a contingency basis. Twenty five or thirty three percent of the difference between the offer and what a court has determined as fair value.

Everyone comes out ahead! I never had an unhappy client, even after paying me.

My day yesterday began with a 2:30 manicure with Tammy. Her operation busy. It’s that time of the year.

I had missed lunch. Drove down to the seaport intending to stop into Harpoon Harry’s. Good luck! I could not find a parking place within 3 blocks. It is that time of the year! Tourists galore!

Opted to drive over to the other side of town. To the Shana Key Irish Pub and Grill on Flagler. My first time. In 30 years, never stopped in.

Parking was easy. The bar huge. A very long bar. Most stools taken.

The crowd local. I doubt any tourists. Most 50-60 years old. I sensed most probably of Irish descent.

I intended to order a corned beef sandwich. A fellow nearby was eating liver and onions. Looked good. Been years since I enjoyed the dish.

I order the liver and onions. Outstanding!

I plan on returning.

I am not sure if liver and onions are an Irish dish. The menu said: “We serve traditional Celtic grub.” Whatever that means. All I know is the meal was delicious.

The College of the Florida Keys is sponsoring what should be an interesting evening. An historian speaking about “Florida’s Female Pioneers.”

The lecture is thursday January 9 at 7 pm. Admission $5 to be paid at the door.

I hope to attend.

What is the saying? As ye sow so shall ye reap. A biblical term. Appears many times in the Bible. Each time described slightly different. For example, Galatians 6:7 reads: “A man reaps what he sows.”

Trump is reaping what he has sowed. He is not a happy camper at Mar-a-Lago this holiday season. He is feeling the sting of impeachment and Pelosi. News reports indicate “his anger is boiling.” He is in a “slow burn.” The President is being deprived of “peace of mind.”

What goes around, comes around. How many people has he made unhappy!

Comments to this blog are many. Politics has increased the number dramatically. The Republicans and Democrats take each other on. You can always spot the Independent. Quiet and sane of mind.

Two interesting comments the past 2 days.

One by Jack Dorsey. A rhyme involving tweeting and the President: “He’ll tweet while you are sleeping / He’ll tweet when you’re awake / He’ll tweet when things are bad or good / He’ll tweet till things break.”

JustSaying comments frequently. I am not sure of his political affiliation. He appears to swing both ways. Comments intelligent.

Yesterday’s: Trump “soft gloved corporations, in taxes and regulations.” The result a “sugar rush economy.”

Whether I agree with a comment is immaterial. I love the exchanges that take place! We are a thinking society. At least my commentors are.

There is a new class of “disposable Americans.” Immigration judges. They are leaving the bench in increasing numbers. The primary reason is the number of Trump policy changes has “chipped” at their authority. A better reason might be they are persons of character.

So far this year, 45 have departed. That is more than double the number in 2018 and 2017 when 24 and 21 respectively left.

A joke involved. A serious one. The backlog of immigration cases is in excess of 1 million. Cases are being scheduled into future years. Which as a practical matter helps those seeking to immigrate. Most get to stay in the U.S. till their cases are resolved.

Enjoy your day!



Historians all agree that the Key West of the 1970’s was the best ever! Normality non-existent.

Jimmy Buffett arrived in late 1971. He thought “living in Key West in the early 1970’s was not like living in America.” The community was different. Off the wall!

Buffett said, “He was glad the gay community benefited from the fact that the Puritans had never made it this far south.”

Steve and Cindy arrived in Key West in the 1970’s. My Chart Room friends. Still here. The stories they tell. Especially Steve. He ran several small businesses in Key West over the years. Cindy was Jimmy Buffett’s personal secretary for more than 20 years.

They would know.

Christmas day found me back at Lisa’s. Lunch with the family. Left overs from Christmas eve dinner. Always better the next day.

Pythons have not been in the news of late. Fortunately! Made it however this past week. A 9 foot python was found in a Key Largo backyard.

Would you believe! Heart attack time! Took 3 animal officers to catch the beast. A job well done!

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman died on this day in 1972 at the age of 88. Key West was very sad at the time.

Sand is gold! Few seem to realize it.

I wrote an article for KONK Life on 6/28/18 titled: “Key West Lou COMMENTARY: WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF SAND. Covered the issue well.

Recommend you read it. of sand. Not that long. You will be an expert when finished.

I am back into sand today because of a brief news article concerning sand and the Mekong River. The river banks are collapsing. Half a million people are at risk of losing their homes. All because of the world’s insatiable demand for sand.

One of the most respected men in the past is now one of the least respected. Rudy Giuliani. He has lost it. His mind is going. Perhaps already gone.

He apparently wants to be Trump. He insults people easily as the President does. People not deserving of insult.

The most recent example George Soros.

You may not like his politics. He is a Democrat. However the man is deserving of great respect, even in his old age. Somewhere in his 80’s.

Giuliani appears to be on an anti-Semitic kick as regards Soros. In a recent interview, he referred to Soros as “hardly a Jew” and an “enemy of Israel.”

Soros is a Holocaust survivor. Giuliani had the gall to say, “I’m more of a Jew than Soros is.”

Anti-Semitic comments directed at Soros are not new. They have been repeated by Trump, Republican lawmakers, and by FOX News.

California has significant homeless problems. One hundred thirty thousand have no where to live.

A war of words has developed between California Governor Gavin Newsom and Trump.

In early December, the Governor blasted HUD for cutting back on assistance under Trump. He claimed Trump ws playing politics with the homeless issue.

Note, California is solidly Democratic.

The California homeless situation arose in the Democratic debate last week.

The Governor spoke to the issue once more in the days following the debate. He insists what is needed are “housing and supportive services” to solve the situation. Not “shelters” alone. Shelters only solve the “sleep” problem.

He accused Trump again of “playing politics.”

Trump’s Christmas gift to the Governor came on Christmas Day in the form of a tweet. Trump wrote the Governor was to blame for California’s homeless problem. He accused the Governor of having “done a really bad job.” Further adding, “If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Government will get involved.”

If Trump were to carry out the threat, things would only get worse. Trump always makes things worse.

If Trump is truly interested in the homeless, he should look in his own back yard. Night time in Washington has the homeless sleeping everywhere but in a home or a bed. On the streets, in doorways, on benches, etc. Even across the street from the famed Trump Towers.

Christmas has come and gone. Kim failed to provide his promised “Christmas gift.” If a boast, may it continue to be so.

Trump today referred to Kim as a “wise guy.” To Trump such indicating he had successfully called Kim’s bluff.

Beware! Kim is crazier than Trump! Anything can set him off! Which would mean missile(s) being set off.

Enjoy your day!



‘Tis the season to be jolly! No question about it. My favorite holiday.

Christmas greetings to one and all!

Christmas eve with Lisa and family last night.

Lisa out did herself. Her best Christmas eve meal so far!

A Christmas eve as one should be. Warm and happy.

I wrote last week how college enrollments are significantly down. Fewer applications. Proof is what is happening with Robert. Only a sophomore in high school. Yet he is receiving letters and e-mails from colleges asking that he consider them when it comes time to apply. Two years from now for Robert.

The story of Christmas was first written in the Bible. By certain disciples and other men of religion. Following are several Biblical quotes that convey some of the feelings of the day.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son…..” Isiah 7:14

“A Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20

A Christmas tree sitting in the middle of Duval in front of what is now CVS and previously Fast Buck Freddie’s. What before, I do not know. A photo of the tree in this morning’s KONK E-Blast. Time sometime in the 1940’s.

Strange experiences occur during war time.

It was 1914. World War I. Christmas eve.

A No Man’s Land existed between the German and Allied forces. With no prior agreement, both sides stopped shooting at midnight, came out of their trenches and shared the next 24 hours celebrating the holiday.

Then back to killing each other.

History provides us with 2 Englebert Humperdincks.

The first was the composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel. A Christmas favorite. He composed it in 1893 in Weimar.

It took many years for Hansel and Gretel to reach American shores. It was first performed on American radio on December 25, 1931.

Years later came the popular English pop singer. Same name. Englebert Humperdinck. No relation. He just took the name. Englebert #2 “adopted” the name early in his professional career.

Englebert #2 is still with us. Now, 83.

I remember his appearance, voice and songs he made popular well. He reached his highest popularity in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Songs he made famous include Release Me, The Last Waltz, After the Lovein, and This Moment in Time.

I danced to his tunes many times.

Paul Krugman is the famous New York Times columnist. In a recent column titled Trying to Endure the Cruelty of a Donald Trump Christmas he wrote, “By Trump-era standards, Ebenezer Scrooge was a nice guy.”

A MAGA double header.

Yesterday, I reported the story of Nicole Marie Poole Franklin driving her SUV on a sidewalk to hit a 14 year old Mexican girl. She admitted to the police she did it because the girl was “Mexican.”

Turns out the 14 year old was not the first “hate” event of her day.  She was on a roll.

It was reported this morning that less than 2 hours earlier, she struck a 12 year old black boy as he was walking home from school.

I came across a note indicating the Klu Klux Klan had its beginnings on December 24, 1865.

Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private “social club” in Pulaski, Tennessee.

The hatred continues.

I will be spending the day with Lisa. Christmas in our family a 2 day event.

Enjoy your day!








I know. Christmas eve. Stay with God and country. Today a slew of Christmas stories. Tomorrow from Jesus’ perspective.

Today also some nutty items. Reflective of the insanity that prevails in some areas of our lives.

Robert Browning wrote “God’s in His heaven / All’s right with the world!”

Blasphemous I am not. God is in His heaven. However all is not right with the world. Lunacy prevails in many areas.

A perfect example concerns the ACLU. The ACLU has started a campaign to make tampons available in all men’s restrooms across America. The reason: To prevent discrimination.

From tampons to how some “modern day” Christmas traditions originated. A giant leap.

Decorated Christmas Trees.

The huge trees in German forests around which pagans  celebrated what was their Christmas holiday were decorated. Not as today, however.

Decorating Christmas trees became popular in the early 19th century in the U.S. New York woodsman Mark Carr opened the first Christmas tree lot in 1851. Today, 77 percent of households will have trees. Eighty one percent artificial, 19 percent real.

The artificial/real percentages surprised me.

The Rockettes.

First Rockette show 1925 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. A dance group from Missouri. A hit! Became The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

A biggie with my parents. Several times we traveled to New York City to see the annual Rockette’s Christmas show.

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Inspired by the Charles Schulz Peanuts comic strip. When first proposed, it was rejected by CBS executives.  Finally aired 12/9/1965. One half of America’s TV sets were tuned in. The show became an American tradition.

Linus’ famous line a forever one: “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

Something we could all use.

Gingerbread House.

Queen Elizabeth I gets credit for the early decorating oi gingerbread cookies. However Germans insist the credit is theirs. They lay claim to starting the gingerbread house tradition. They refer to the German Grimm Brothers who wrote Hansel and Gretel. The gingerbread house part of the story.

The Nutcracker.

For many a “must” to see. Ballet. Premiered 12/18/1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Performed for the first time outside Russia in 1934 in England. First time in U.S. in 1944 in San Francisco.

Captured America. Became a must see event in the U.S. in the late 1960’s.

Cookies and Milk for Santa.

Leaving treats for Santa and his reindeer dates back to ancient Norse mythology. America got into the tradition in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. The cookies and milk were left for Santa as a sign of showing gratitude during a time of struggle.

Boozy Eggnog.

Spiked eggnog makes a person happy. Originally started in medieval England as a posset, a drink made with hot curdled milk and ale or wine.

American colonists get credit for making it popular in the new world and adding rum to the drink. Even George Washington had a special recipe for eggnog.

Christmas Cards.

The first official Christmas card made its debut in 1843 in England. The idea of a mailed winter holiday greeting caught on in both Britain and the U.S. In the U.S., the Kansas City based Hall Brothers (now Hallmark) created a folded card and sold it in an envelope in 1915.

Today, more than 1.6 billion holiday cards are sold annually.

Department Store Santa.

Today mall kids throughout the U.S. sit on Santa’s lap. The tradition had its beginnings in 1890 in Brockton, Massachusetts. James Edgar owned a dry goods store. He had a Santa suit made, wore it to work, and permitted children to sit on his lap.

Within one year, the activity caught on. Santa’s were in stores all over the U.S.

New York City claims it had the first department store Santa. The City claims Macy had one since 1862.

Cookie Swaps.

Women always exchange dishes of Christmas cookies. I thought until I researched the issue last night that it was an Italian tradition. My mother and then my wife cooked tons of Christmas cookies. Buried plates with them. Visited other women exchanging cookies.

Never made sense to me. Italian women all made the same cookies. The exchange brought nothing new to the cookies.

The American tradition (not the Italian one) began in the late 1800’s. American women had parties where they exhibited their cookies. Did not necessarily exchange.

By the 1930’s, actual swapping began. The parties became known as “cookie exchanges.” By the 1950’s, “cookie swaps.”

Whatever, the exchanges, swaps, etc. are considered a “ladies only” event.

M. Venema is a reader/commentator to my blog. She published an interesting comment yesterday: “Nicole Marie Poole Franklin is what MAGA has created for us.”

Truer words never written.

On December 9, a 14 year old Mexican girl was walking on a sidewalk in Des Moines. Franklin an adult woman. She drove her SUV up on the sidewalk and struck the 14 year old.

She later admitted to the police that she did so because the girl was “Mexican.”

She further admitted she had smoked methamphetamine hours before.

The world has know many genocides, mass killings. Ethnic or religious driven. The Holocaust one of the worst ever. Six million Jews killed.

India is next in line. Indians dislike Muslims for religious reasons. Especially in the State of Assam where 1.9 million reside.

The Indian government has taken their citizenships away. Some from persons whose Indian family residence goes back 4 generations. The Indian government is constructing “camps” to hold Muslims.

The hate trend is moving forward. Shortly there will be an ethnic cleansing and genocide.

It is man’s innate nature to kill.

The Saudi resolution of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing is complete. Five found guilty and will be executed.

A sham.

The “hit men” have been found guilty and sentenced to death. The “masterminds” walk free. A mockery of justice.

There will be no Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou this evening. I will be at Lisa’s celebrating the holiday. Probably in the middle of a gigantic dinner at show time.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas eve, enjoy! A Merry Christmas to you! To my Jewish friends, enjoy your Hanukkah celebration.

For those of my friends who are agnostics or atheists, and I have many, enjoy your evening!


Key West gets relatively little rain in December. In fact, December is one of Key West’s driest months. Except this year!

It has been a wild ride!

Normally, Key West averages 1.8 inches for December. This year through December 21, 6.4 inches.

One news report at the end of November described the December projection as “a few rainy days.”

Was the report wrong!

Note the averages set forth for this December are only through the 21st. Yesterday turned out to be one of the heaviest December rain days in my experience. It poured all day. Heavy and down straight.

I have lived in my present home 3 years. Never any flooding. Yesterday there was for the first time.

Around 5, I opened the front door intending to go out. No way. My street was flooded. Five inches. Water coming up and covering sidewalks, moving into driveways.

If it was that bad where I live and a first time thing in 3 years, it would be worse on US 1 and most streets in Key West.

Cannot find an actual total for yesterday. I would project it at 5-6 inches.

The rain was not coming off the ocean. Off the Gulf. Unusual.

No rain early this morning as I am writing. Weather report advises light showers ending at noon. The worse of the storm is out over the Atlantic.

Key West was not the only area affected. All of South Florida. Heavy flooding. The Fort Lauderdale Airport was closed. Seven inches had fallen saturday night. Hollywood had 8 inches in a 24 hour period.

Tourists come to Key West to party at night and lie in the sun by day. No sunny beach days in a while.

What do tourists do?

The bars! Afternoon and night! Packed!

Makes sense.

Many will try the museums. A problem involved, however. Lines to purchase tickets mostly by standing outside.

I read a comment by a women who frequents Key West this time every year. First time rain. What would she do today? A problem. She’s pregnant. Acknowledged no drinking for her.

This morning’s KONK E-Blast carries a picture of the first Douglas School for African American children. A 2 story white framed building. The student body seated on the lawn in front.

The picture was taken in 1870. The Civil War had ended in 1865. Separate but equal technically became the law of the land via the Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 Supreme Court decision. Yet it was being practiced in Key West as a practical matter 5 years after the Civil War had ended.

In 1975, the TV series Caribe was being filmed in Key West. Stacy Keach was in Key West  for the filming.

There is a saying…..I would not trust that person on a stack of bibles! I would find it difficult to believe a Saudi Arabian Muslim on a stack of Korans!

The Saudis announced one hour ago that 5 Saudis had been  sentenced to death over the murder of James Khashoggi. Fifteen had been tried. Ten released for insufficient evidence.

I continue to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for 9/11. They are our friends. Gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Smart. Know how to handle people. Were up Trump’s ass during his visit there.

The trial apparently was not public. I was not aware of it till this morning.

The world is entitled to know all the facts claimed.

The Saudis are like Trump. They lie.

As another saying goes, I sense something stinks in Denmark here.

Trump and Kim “lovers.” Trump met with Kim face to face 3 times. Kim says Trump reneged on any deal at the last minute the third time they met. Kim wants sanctions removed. Trump has been reluctant.

Kim apparently has reached the end of the line. He has been promising a “Christmas gift” if nothing done by December 25.

Trump says he is not concerned. Lending a sense of I have everything under control. I hope better than he has had other things under control.

The worst threat would be a missile fired on the U.S. North Korea may have finally developed the capacity. The missile a nuclear warhead bearing one.

A good way for Kim to get the message to Trump that he is not screwing around.

Following their first meeting in Singapore, Trump announced, “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Reminded me at the time and continues to remind me of Neville Chamberlain’s return from Munich. As Chamberlain got of the plane upon arriving home, he waved a piece of paper that apparently Hitler had signed and said, “Peace in our time.”

Hitler invaded Poland shortly thereafter beginning World War II.

Justice. An interesting term. Comes in various ways.

On this day in 1941, Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese. On this day in 1948, former Japanese Premier and Army Chief Heduki Tojo and 6 other Japan war leaders were executed in Tokyo.

What goes around, does come around!

Syracuse beat North Florida 82-70 saturday night. A good game. Syracuse had never before confronted defense problems with which the team had to deal.

North Florida is a 3 point shooting team. Prior to the Syracuse game saturday, North Florida was #1 in 3 point shots made nationally.

North Florida played their usual game. Took 47 3 point shots. Fortunately, only made 17.

Tomorrow night…..Santa Claus!

Christmas Eve my favorite holiday. Love the decorations, the kids going crazy over Santa Claus, the 7 fish meal, etc.

My children had a Santa Claus visit every Christmas eve. I continued the tradition in Key West with Robert and Ally. They are now 15 and 14. No longer believe in Santa Clause.

I will miss his visit.

Enjoy your day!




Christmas today and Christmas yesterday are as different as day and night.

The precursor of today’s Christmas is rooted in paganism. Paganism involving debauchery, drinking, rape, murder, and anti-Semitism. Paganism that  preceded the birth of Christ by centuries.

The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. No one was even sure if December 25 was the day Jesus was born.

Roman pagans celebrated the earliest event. A week-long party. Ended on December 25. Where the forces of darkness prevailed. Sex, food and drink in abundance. Many murders, for the fun of it.

The Greeks enjoyed a holiday made famous in Lucian’s Saturnalia. More despicable. In addition to drinking, rape and sexual license, human sacrifice.

Saturnalia is the predecessor of Christmas.

The Catholic Church wanted to convert the pagans. Actually, the Catholic Church wanted to increase its numbers. The Church offered the pagans a deal. You join us and you can still celebrate all those Saturnalia things you are accustomed to doing. The pagans agreed and the Saturnalia Carnival came into being.

The Catholic Church participated in and permitted Jews to be ridiculed and suffer. Pope Paul II was head of the Catholic Church in 1466. Part of the celebration involved Jews being force-fed/overfed and then compelled to run along the streets of Rome. Difficult with a full belly. People pelted the Jews with rotten fruit, vegetables and stones. The Pope reportedly watched and laughed.

The Saturnalia Carnival continues through the 18th and 19th centuries. Relatively recent times. Jews continued to be persecuted. They were murdered, women raped, their property destroyed. Rabbis were made to don clownish attire and run the streets. While running, they were jeered and pelted.

Jews asked the Papacy to stop such activities. Pope Gregory XVI refused.

Many of today’s Christmas customs find their origins in the pagan celebrations.

The Christmas tree is one. Pagans for whatever reason worshiped trees in the forest. Eventually, the trees found their way into pagan homes and were decorated.

The mistletoe. Kiss me under the mistletoe. Druids used the mistletoe to poison human sacrificial victims. Norse mythology spoke of two Gods fighting over the female Wanna. The two synthesized to become reflective of the sexual lives of Saturnalia and the Druid’s sacrificial cult.

Christmas presents. In pre-Christian Rome, emperors compelled Rome’s most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during Saturnalia. With the advent of Christianity, the Catholic Church gave gift giving a Christian flavor by bringing St. Nicholas into the picture.

St. Nicholas initially was a combination of good and evil.

St. Nicholas himself was saintly. Of Turkish origin. Died in the mid 300s AD. In 1087 AD, his bones were moved from Turkey to Bari, Italy. He was interred in the burial-place of a traditional Italian woman who had been famous for bringing gifts to children on December 6. St. Nicholas assumed her gift giving qualities merely by burial in her place.

The Catholic Church pushed the pagans to adopt St. Nicholas. Such began gift giving in what finally became Christmas.

Santa Claus as he is visualized today in his bright red clothes and rosy cheeks can be attributed to Coca Cola. In 1931, Coke wanted a “Coke Drinking Santa.” Coke ordered its advertisers to give them such. The result is the Santa Claus of today.

Christmas today is the combination of Christian carnival, pagan gods and a modern-day commercial.

As to America itself, let’s see how the preceding played out.  Starting with the first settlers, the Puritans.

On this wonderful Christmas Day 2019, most of us will be sitting back happy with ourselves. In a joyous festive mood. Thankful for family and friends. Pleased by gifts and food.

And we might believe that Christmas in the United States has always been such. That Christmas as we know it always existed.

Shockingly, it did not!

We start with the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give us. In fact, they took Christmas away from us. The earliest Scrooges of record!

From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. By the Puritans. They believed that Christmas was not consistent with their Puritan ideas and religious reforms. So they abolished Christmas!

The Puritans were descendant from the Reformation. Certain Protestant groups opposed Christmas celebrations. They firmly believed the holiday was rooted in paganism. It was. Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas in England.

Christmas remained a no no through the American Revolution. The English influence in the colonies prevailed. Christmas could not gain a foothold.

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of English influence, started celebrating Christmas. But it was not Christmas as we know it.

The early 1800s found Christmas being celebrated in a bit of a rowdy fashion. Much like Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Then came a couple of books which influenced the situation.

The first was by Washington Irving. In 1809, he wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon. It portrayed Christmas as a peaceful loving holiday. Many attribute Irving’s novel as setting the mood for present day Christmas.

Irving actually created with words Christmas Day as we know and celebrate it. He mentally conceived his concept of Christmas and wrote it on paper. Christmas to that point had not been as he portrayed it.

About the same time, there was another writing. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This, too, captured the American imagination.

During the 1830s, several southern states legalized December 25 Christmas Day as a holiday. The first was Alabama in 1836.

The South continued to favor and celebrate Christmas up to the time of the Civil War. Whereas, the North basically paid little attention to the day. Christmas had become a Southern thing.

Now comes the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to demoralize the Confederate troops. He wanted to show that the South’s Santa Claus was on the side of the North. He authorized a famous artist late in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The picture was the front cover on January 3, 1863 of a prominent national magazine. It was sort of God is on our side thing. Some believe it achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

President Ulysses S. Grant is given credit for making Christmas a national holiday. I question the accuracy of the representation. In 1870, Grant signed a bill into law regarding Christmas Day. The new law read that Christmas “…shall be a holiday within the District of Columbia.” The  District of Columbia is not the whole of the United States. However, Grant is usually given credit for making Christmas a national holiday by that act.

The last state to legalize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907.

I suspect that it was the combination of Grant’s signing regarding the District of Columbia and all of the states legalizing the holiday that finally made Christmas Day a national holiday.

Christmas Day received a further boost by the 1897 editorial in the Sun of New York. We all know it. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas was practiced and recognized as a holiday through World War II. For whatever reason, it received its most gigantic step forward recognition and celebration wise following World War II. Everyone got into the act after the war! Maybe because people were happy and grateful to have won.

Such is the story of Christmas and especially America’s Christmas from its earliest times to today.

Merry Christmas!