Key West in the summer is almost as busy as Key West in the winter. It was not always so.

When Steve arrived in 1973, Duval was deserted. The streets dirt. The heat horrendous. July always very hot. August began getting humid. September difficult to breath. The humidity that heavy.

Many restaurants and bars closed in August. Most in September. No business. No one came to Key West because of the heat.

When I began coming in the late 1980’s, it was the same. Duval was deserted. The August and September humidity a killer.

Around the turn of the century, business began picking up in the summer. Each busier than the previous.

Duval was paved. Sharper stores. Some chains.

As the flavor of Key West was dissipating, it was replaced as a summer vacation spot. Visitors included families.

There was a saying when Steve arrived in 1973 which I heard many times when I began arriving in the late 1980’s: You could throw a bowling ball down Duval and not hit anyone!

A different story today!

I don’t particular like it. The special attractiveness that went with a desolate summer had a flavor unto itself. I miss the calmness and tranquility.

I mention Duval beginning in the early 1970’s because Steve was here at the time and makes mention of it in today’s TACOS paragraph 19 after dealing with con leche in paragraph 18. TACOS has it all!

I got up early every morning and stood out there in line / With the same bunch of Cubans at exactly the same time / I saw how all of us were addicted to caffeine / So I decided to invest in an espresso machine / Looking back now, it’s really kind of funny / There was no way we could have made any money / Just fifty cents for con leche was really not enough / Now Starbuck’s gets four dollars for the same stuff.

In the off-season there were no cars on the street / There was no business because of the heat / So in the summertime we would all play football / In the 200 block of Duval / When we looked up we couldn’t believe our eyes / What was rolling towards us was a big surprise / They had dropped all the electric wires / For a two-story conch house on a dozen tires / For moving it Emile got it for free / It used to be next to the Library / It fit next to Howie’s Bar quite well / He added porches and called it Bagatelle.

The saga of William Healy continues.

Two interesting items in his journal bearing today’s date July 31, 1856.

He refers to his wife as “the woman.” Writes “the woman is better this morning.”

Don’t know how referring to the wife as “the women” today would fly today.

The other is Healy’s dental bill. He paid it the same date. The bill was for pulling one tooth and filling two others with gold. Grand total: $7.00.

Trump has a dirty mouth. He referred to the 4 police officers who testified re January 6 as “Pussies.”

He should look in the mirror. Might be surprised.

COVID-19 continues to surge.

Things are so bad in New Orleans that the EMS can’t keep up with the calls. The combination of unvaccinated persons and the Delta variant the cause.

New Orleans’ Mayor La Toye Cantwell has taken the bull by the horns. Not even waiting for Washington to speak directly to the issue. The mayor restored New Orleans’ mask mandate. The resurgence of COVID-19 cases left him no alternative.

New Orleans’ difficulty goes a step further. The Mayor says the community does not have the capacity to handle the number of cases arising.

Florida’s Governor DeSantis continues to do the contrary when it comes to fighting COVID-19. He is either plain stupid or does not have the capacity to grasp what is happening. Keep in mind, Florida has the fourth worse numbers in the country.

Whatever, his recent decision re masks could lead to large death numbers. He refuses to mandate mask wearing and will prohibit any city or school board that does so. He is the man! The final word on the issue! Not the doctors.

Florida schools will be opening soon. School boards are afraid of the Governor and wrath of those they represent. Many parents are opposed to their children being mandated to wear masks.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is standing tall. He disagrees with DeSantis. He will oppose any decision the Governor makes on the issue. Miami Beach will wear masks!

Enjoy your day!


Governor DeSantis, School Boards, and people refusing to be vaccinated…..Irresponsible. There positions cannot be described otherwise.

The Governor wants to be President. He is Trump true and true. His position re vaccines is without merit. He merely wants to suck up to those voters in Florida and the U.S. who think the same way.

The School Boards I cannot understand. No member is running for President. They are free to exercise independent judgments. They were elected not necessarily to speak for the people. They were elected to exercise their personal judgments as to what is correct for the schools they control.

The school boards are sucking up to the voters. A great example of the exercise of independent judgment.

The ordinary citizen who refuses to be vaccinated is plain crazy. If the the Governor and School Board are off base, it does not give license the people should be also. The issue of vaccinations has been politicized. So much so, many believe the erroneous statements being made by others. Pseudo doctors all.

Wait till they sit at the death bed of a loved one who went unvaccinated. What then? Will they realize the mistake made in not being vaccinated?

What more proof is required than 99.5 percent of those in the hospitals today with COVID illness have never been vaccinated. Each and everyone of the 99.5 percent!

Not a statistic to be proud of. No pride involved in setting yourself or others in position for death to occur.

I would not be surprised if those who refused the vaccine for themselves when met by Saint Peter at the Golden Gates will be rejected. I can visualize Peter saying “We have no more room for you up here. Why the hell didn’t you get vaccinated?”

I have had my 2 shots. I understand that the Delta virus being stronger can exist 12 times more in my nose than previously. Means I should wear a mask though I probably will not get sick. The unvaccinated will  when the Delta variant leaves my nose and jumps to them.

Schumer claims with great confidence the has the votes to pass the $3.5 trillion bill.

I don’t know. He needs all 50 Senate Democratic votes. He may not be able to get them. Which means he is going to need a few Republican votes.

Does he already have them secured?

Manchin and Sinema have already said $3.5 trillion too much money. Montana’s Tester likewise.

Going to be interesting watching the scenario play out.

TACOS paragraphs 15, 16 and 17.

The store was almost open and funds were getting thin / I didn’t want to borrow but I finally gave in / Called my Mom on Sunday morning, said I needed $500 cash / She said, “Dad already sent it the day before last.

We just got all of our signs when Bobby and Wayne came to see / They brought all their equipment and painted the whole building for free.

Some friends from Lauderdale at a bar where I used to work / Could print your own logo on your own T-shirt / I gave them my store picture from off the wall / We had the first printed T-shirts ever sold on Duval.

I am back to wearing a mask and gloves. Also have returned to self-quarantine, though I may cheat a bit. Things are getting worse here. Even those who already have had their shots are coming down with COVID.

Enjoy your day!


Captain Tony was a unique personality who in his lifetime became the conscience of Key West. An icon unquestionably. Part and parcel of the island.

He died at 92.

Tony is remembered as a saloon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett was a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Lost Mango in Paris. The song’s opening line: “I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat.'”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor which was illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Escaped to Key West.

I know only one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Toni. Warm and charming. Loved her father. Even though long dead, she arranges a birthday party for him each year at Captain Tony’s. I have been fortunate to attend several.

Steve knew Captain Tony personally. He wrote of him in TACOS paragraph 14.

An old man came from the bar next door / In his T-shirt he looked like he had slept on the floor / He had a cigarette and a lot to say / And a poker game if I wanted to play / At first I thought he was full of baloney / He said his name was Capt. Tony / He’d eat a burrito and we’d listen to his wit / Thinking back, he never did pay for it / Tony shot a robber one night late / The guy ran past my store while trying to escape / When I asked Tony about it the next day / Without hesitation he explained it this way / He said he aimed for the leg but to his surprise / He hit him right between the eyes / They found the guy later it wasn’t hard / A block away in Miss Jesse’s yard.

Back to today.

The House’s Special Committee Hearing re January 6 began with a bang! Four Capitol and Municipal Police Officers testified. Honest and more sincere witnesses I have never seen.

Their testimony made most of the House Republicans and Trump look like liars. Which they are. Trump’s claim it was a “love fest” did not hold up. Nor some Republican House member’s claim that the insurrectionists were tourists.

A Washington, D.C. Police Officer testified. He suffered a heart attack, concussion, and traumatic brain injury. He was dragged down the steps of the Capitol, beaten and tasered.

While he was testifying, his cell phone was in his pocket and on silent mode when a message came in. He did not read it till his testimony had been completed. A vulgar threatening voice said, “I wish they would have killed all you scumbags, ’cause you people are scum…..Too bad they didn’t beat… more…..They stole the election from Trump and you know that, you scumbag.”

The caller appears to have had a limited vocabulary.

The Officers were clear as to what they thought should done from this point forward. They advised in effect the Committee should dig deep. Besides charging the insurrectionists themselves, the identities of those who helped plan and finance January 6 should be discovered and charged.

I recall hearing in a TV newscast last week that on 3 consecutive sundays, for 3 hours each time, a group met in the White House to plan January 6.

Everyone from any walk of life who was involved should be charged, convicted, and sentenced to long jail terms.

A proposed outline for a bipartisan infrastructure bille was passed in the Senate last night. The vote 67-31. Seventeen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

The proposed bill is for $1.2 trillion.

Trump advised immediately the bill was a “terrible deal.”

Biden advised the bill was “the largest federal investment in public transit ever…..the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.”

COVID is on the rise in Key West, as in all of Florida. Cause involves the Delta variant, the unvaccinated, and the July 4th holiday weekend. More infections will come because of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest and mini-lobster season which have brought huge crowds to Key West this past week.

I personally am aware of several new cases this past week. Three had been vaccinated. One I had a brief conversation with 12 days ago in the Chart Room.

Nationally, the unvaccinated are spewing the virus everywhere.

At least half the U.S. population has failed to be vaccinated for a number of reasons that do not carry weight. Some are realizing they initially were wrong. Want to correct the situation by being vaccinated.

Fear however friends and family members will get on their asses. So they are disguising themselves before getting vaccinated. Missouri an excellent example. People getting vaccinated in “secret.”

Insanity! First in failing to be vaccinated initially for any reason. Second, to be ashamed or whatever what people will say.

In my opinion, the Monroe County School Board is heading in the wrong direction re the mask issue. Schools are scheduled to reopen August 12. The Board’s present concern is limited to masks.

No official policy yet. However it is leaning towards “optional.” The Board Chairman said, “Parents know what’s best for their children.”

Amazing! Even here in little Key West and relatively small Monroe County elected officials are half assed doctors.

Even in Washington, D.C. House members consider themselves half assed doctors. Speaker Pelosi said we are going back to wearing masks. The Republicans are in an uproar.

The solution a simple one. If one or two House members get sick and die, everyone will then understand. A harsh way to learn. One invited upon themselves, however.

A sad occurrence. The Key West Naval Station is the site for the Army’s Special Forces Operations School. The School has been operating there for a number of years.

One of the attendees died yesterday while training in a pool

No other information available at this time.

Enjoy your day!







Walmart is one of the nation’s largest private employers, if not the largest. Profit margin in the extreme.

Walmart has come up with a way to spend some of the extra dollars. A way that will benefit many.

Walmart announced yesterday that it will pay 100 percent of college tuition and books for  full and part time employees. The estimated cost over a 5 year period $1 billion. Further estimated 1.5 million Walmart and Sam’s Club employees will benefit.

A requirement for eligibility is that the employee must continue working for Walmart’s or Sam’s club at the same time.

An outstanding benefit. Many will finish the program. Those that do will be fortunate to live a better life because of Walmart’s beneficence.

Sydney, Australia continues to suffer from coronavirus. The numbers surging in spite of a mandated lockdown.

The initial lockdown was four weeks. Sydney announced it is adding another four weeks on.

In addition to the lockdown, masks and social distancing required. Masks must be worn even when inside.

Continued toughness the rule of the day.

Most recent infections are of the Delta variant. A virus that spreads rapidly and easily. An example is a mourning event attended by 50 people in violation of the lockdown rule. Forty five became infected.

‘Nuff said.

Bum Farto. Key West will never forget him.

Bum was the Fire Chief, a pimp, rum runner, drug dealer, etc. He did it all and benefited financially therefrom.

Bum disappeared before he was to be sentenced to federal prison for drug sales. His story much like Jimmy Hoffa’s.

The two birds of a feather in that they disappeared and have not been seen since.

Their disappearance occurred in the same year, 1975. Only 5 weeks apart. Hoffa on July 31, Farto on September 9.

Never found again.

Have they both been sitting on an idyllic beach since 1975, or are both in the  foundations of major highways?

Steve Thompson wrote about Bum Farto in TACOS paragraph 13.

His license said “El Jeffe” and he looked like had dough / He said he was the Fire Chief his name was Bum Farto / He wore patent leather shoes and smoked a big cigar / He wore loud flashy clothes and you should have seen his car / Lots of chrome with red lights on top / Girls with short skirts that all looked hot / It was key lime green and all the windows were mirrored / Right then and there I realized, this place is really weird! / He disappeared later when he was indicted / He was charged with cocaine and didn’t want to fight it / Someone came out with a T-shirt in his honor / On the front was a picture of a B-52 bomber / Only one thing on the back it would say / In great big letters, “BUMS AWAY!

Moving on, I hate to do work and then not be able to use it.

I spent several hours yesterday afternoon preparing for last night’s blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. When I went to sign in. The announcement was there would be no broadcasting for 24 hours.

Some may say, so what? You can always use the material next week. No so. It will be dated.

May this “problem” be the worse to confront me these days!

Enjoy your day!


Steve Thompson walks quietly, but the foot prints he leaves are imposing. I am beginning to realize this the more I get into TACOS. Were it not for TACOS, I and many others would not be aware of his exciting lifestyle.

I shall be covering two paragraphs this morning. One I might label Dink, the other Father Tony. Before each, some introductory background  so as to further understand what Dink, Father Tony and Steve did.

They lived!

Paragraph 11 is Dink’s passage. In order to fully appreciate Dink, I have to go back to his father Toby Bruce and his relationship with Ernest Hemingway.

Dink’s dad was Telly Otto “Toby” Bruce.

Hemingway and his wife Pauline arrived in Key West in 1928. Pauline was pregnant. She wanted to be with her mother when the child was born. Her mother lived in Piggot, Arkansas. Hemingway and Pauline moved to Piggot.

The mother’s home was small. Cramped. Hemingway had trouble sleeping and writing because of it.

There was a barn behind the house. Toby was a Piggot furniture maker. Hemingway hired him to turn turn the barn into living quarters.

During the course of the renovation, Toby and Hemingway became close friends.

When the time came for Hemingway and his family to return to Key West, both men were genuinely sad.

They did not meet again till 1935. Hemingway had bought the house on Whitehead, He wanted to build a wall around it. He asked Toby to come to Key West and do the job.

He did. He never left when it was finished.

Toby became Hemingway’s closest friend. His man friday, driver, money holder, and secretary. Their close relationship continued till Hemingway’s death in 1961.

Toby continued living in Key West till his own death. He is buried in the Key West Cemetery.

Along he way, Toby married Betty. The two in due course became the parents of Dink.

After Hemingway’s death, his fourth wife Mary Walsh Hemingway visited Toby and Betty. The actual purpose of the visit was to follow up on a message Sloppy Joe’s owner at the time had sent her. He advised there was a back room at Sloppy’s full of writings and artifacts her husband had left when he moved to Cuba.

The purpose of Mary’y trip was to search through the boxes to see if there was anything of value, etc.

Mary took very little. A few pages of some writings. She gave the rest to Toby and Betty with whom she had been staying. When they died, the Hemingway materials passed on to their son Dink.

A treasure trove!

Dink Bruce became a legend in his own lifetime. Liked by everyone. People referred to him as “Key West happy royalty.”

Dink never worked a day in his life. Apparently sustained himself from the contents in the boxes found in the back room at Sloppy Joe’s. The contents contained among other things, a completed manuscript Hemingway never published and a multitude of short stories.

Dink died two years ago. I never knew him till the last 2 years of his life. We would run into each other at Louie’s Backyard and La Trattoria.

With that background, TACOS paragraph 11 is set forth.

There is another guy in town his name is Dink / You’re bound to see him when out for a drink / He’s a fifth generation Conch and a good friend of mine / We traveled all over and had many a good time / We sailed to Cuba and fished in Alaska / But he never went to work, I guess he didn’t have ta / I told him I saw his dads photo one day / In the Lodge at Sun Valley with Hemingway.

Father Tony is the subject of paragraph 12. Another of Steve’s close friends. Full name Anthony Mullane. To everyone, Father Tony.

Born in Ireland.

He was referred to as the “hippie priest.”

Steve’s close friends all seem to have had a hippie background. His wife Cindy, Dink, and the good priest.

Father Tony and Steve arrived in Key West about the same time. Met and became instantaneous friends.

Father Tony’s first Church was on Flagler in Key West. The Church long gone. Today housing for the homeless being built on the property.

Then he was transferred to St. Peter’s Church in Big Pine. He was stationed there for more than 35 years. Father Tony often commented the Bishop had forgotten him. He was not unhappy about it. He and Big Pine walked hand in hand.

When the good priest retired, he was “not sure” what to pursue. Golf and travel were foremost in his mind.

He traveled to Alaska, Colorado, Utah, all of the Northwest, the Bahamas and every Key.

Big Pine loved him. They named a street after him: Father Tony Way.

Regarding Big Pine, Father Tony said, “I was the epitome of the single man who just decides to bloom where he is planted. This is where I was planted.”

Which brings us to TACOS paragraph 12.

A lot of my friends avoided police / But my best friend by far was a Catholic priest / Father Tony came over every day / We had just one rule we used to say, / I wouldn’t talk about my taco business / He wouldn’t talk about anything religious / Not a place in Colorado we didn’t ski / Sailed all the Bahamas and every Key.

Dink, Father Tony and Steve icons. In life and hereafter.

Enjoy your day!



Ducks gliding along a pond. Tranquil.

Sex lives not. At least for the female.

The male is always horny. Looking for sex. Scientists describe it as “sexual conflict-driven genital evaluation.”

The male penis is generally longer than the bird itself. Shaped like a corkscrew.

Copulation is “forced” upon the female. The act comparable to “human rape.”

The female has evolved a maze-like vagina structure that corkscrews in the opposite direction as the male’s penis. The vagina also includes several dead-end pockets which serve to lessen the chances that an encounter will lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

We live and learn. Reminds me of a story I have shared many times. Involving chickens.

I was always under the impression the rooster “cock a doodled” to waken people. Not so. The rooster is actually announcing he wants sex.

Proof in the pudding is watch chickens when you hear a rooster sounding of. The hens rapidly run in an opposite direction.

Caronavirus is returning big time. Reasons include those who refuse to be vaccinated, those who refused to wear masks, and new variants. Whatever, the virus is returning in increasing numbers.

Even to those vaccinated.

Syracuse friends were back to Key West last week visiting. I was with them a week ago saturday at the Chart Room for a drink. No one anywhere in town wearing a mask. Including me. From my perspective, the worse was over. It was back to normalcy. I had even terminated my self-imposed quarantine of 412 days.

I hugged and kissed Chris. Don and I even hugged.

Both Don and Chris had been vaccinated. Don with Pfizer.

Received a tweet from Don last night. He was recovering from coronavirus. Began with congeston and a cough.

He was not the first case to have come down with the virus in spite of having been vaccinated. I became aware this past week of several similar cases in Key West. Vaccinated and still got sick.

A scientist I am not. I do know however that I react to protect myself when danger might occur. I am back to wearing a mask. Quarantine again? Not as severe. It was torture on occasion.

Dr. Fauci said over the weekend the U.S. was headed in the “wrong direction” as coronavirus cases were spiking among the unvaccinated. I would go a step further. I believe vaccinations may not be working as we thought up to a week ago.


Dr. Fauci also said indoor wearing of masks and booster shots may be required.

Even though many in the U.S. would oppose the reinstatement of masks, forced inoculation and quarantine not well received could be on the horizon. Then what? In addition to an epidemic, violence in the streets?

The Hemingway Look-Alike Contest selected this year’s winner. Sixty three year old Zach Taylor from Alabama. A total of 136 contestants participated.

TACOS paragraphs 9 and 10.

The La Concha lobby was a favorite of mine / It was like stepping way back in time / Dark, dusty, and spider webs everywhere / It looked just like Disney’s “Tower of Terror.”

At nights kids went to the White Street Pier / To race their cars and drink some beer / The City decided to put some speed bumps in / They called them, “Sleeping Policemen.”

A doctor visit this morning. I shall be wearing a mask.

Enjoy your day!


Steve Thompson is on a roll. Today a brief recollection of Louie’s Backyard and the old Kress building.

TACOS paragraphs 7 and 8.

There are just a few bricks left around the front door / And some of the foundation under the floor / An actor used to live right there on the sea / In a nice little house quiet as could be / A cook named Signorelli lived upstairs next door / He wanted his own restaurant on the first floor / So he asked his neighbors for permission / And got them to sign a zoning petition / The actor was furious he said, “No way!” / Put his house on a barge and sailed away / He said he’s going as far as he can get / It’s now Louie’ Backyard and the Afterdeck.

We would go to the old Kress store all the time / It looked like the original five and dime / It even had a soda fountain still / now it’s the bar at the Margaritaville.

The old Kress building came to house on the first floor the finest department store in all of Key West. Fast Buck Freddies. Fast Buck’s now gone. Replaced by a CVS.

The top floor/roof  became David Wolkowsky’s penthouse home. Magnificent! With David gone, rented now to tourists.

The Hemingway Days Run of the Bulls yesterday afternoon. The some 70 Hemingways Look-Alikes actually raced constructed bulls. Those watching on Duval ran every which way to avoid being gored. It was Pamplona all over again.

A local wrote the “affinity for the famed author was ‘no bull.'”

The contest for the Look-Alike was down to 25 last night. Don’t know who won. Too late for me. On top of which the Key West Citizen does not have a Sunday edition.

Florida has enjoyed many firsts in its history. The most recent not one to be proud of. Florida leads the U.S. in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The virus is moving with significantly increased speed. The Delta variant the reason.

Washington is considering a national mask mandate. Governor DeSantis is walking around bragging if it happens, he will have a law passed giving Florida permission to ignore the Washington mandate.

An ass! I don’t even know if legally it can be done.

Whatever, DeSantis is the man the Republican right want as their Presidential candidate in 2024 if Trump does not run. God help us!

South Carolina has achieved a “distinction ” of sorts. In June, 90 percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths were of persons unvacinated.

Steve Harmon was a 34 year old Californian living just outside Los Angeles. He was a non believer and refused to be vaccinated. He utilized social media to share his convictions.

Steve will never see 35. He died Wednesday in a Los Angeles facility where he had been hospitalized because of the virus.

U.S. athletes in Tokyo no better at respecting warnings than Steve. It was announced yesterday that many are unvaccinated. When confronted, many had the same response. Whether to be vaccinated  is a matter of “personal choice.”

Should any of the athletes become infected and die, the tombstone of each should read: “I knew no other way to be me. I only knew I had to be me. It was my personal choice to die.”

Enjoy your Sunday!




Jeffrey Burrill was a high ranking Catholic cleric till last wednesday. On his way up in the Church hierarchy. A bishop in the making. Perhaps a cardinal.

A top administration for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. General Secretary.  A leader in the move to deny President Biden Communion. He carried a heavy load in the organization.

Burrill was the chief organizer for the fall Bishops Conference which is scheduled to review the final document intended to deny Communion to Biden and other Catholic politicians who support a woman’s right to choose.

By going after Biden, Burrill placed himself in the big leagues. One which did not work out well for him.

Burrill’s story is one of hypocrisy at the highest level. May involve retribution. Perhaps God’s silent hand punishing a wrongdoer.

It became public wednesday that Burrill was a user of the app Grindr and visited gay bars. Grindr is the largest social networking app for gay, bi, transsexual, and similar type people.

Burrill immediately stepped down when the news became public.

What’s worse? Burrill’s Grindr app and patronization of gay bars or Biden’s support of a woman’s right to choose? No comparison from my perspective.

Burrill in opting to blacken a leading Catholic and basically good person forgot the Good Book: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” John 8:7.

God works in strange ways: “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.” Romans 12: 17-18.

Another noteworthy religious item to report today.

Resurrection School is a Catholic school in Lansing, Michigan. School officials and 2 parents brought a lawsuit in federal court involving freedom of religion. The suit’s basis the mandating that school children had to wear masks. Their specific argument being mask mandates violate religious rights by hiding faces created in God’s image.

This is the fourth lawsuit regarding masks.  The first three which involved restricting peoples’ freedom, represented government intrusion, and distorting science.

We are told we are created in God’s image. Therefore covering the face covers God’s image.

Who thinks up these arguments?

COVID-19 is on a rampage again. Cases up dramatically. Refuse to be vaccinated or wear masks. Dissenters claim they cannot be forced to do either.

Most governmental and medical leaders are the the end of the line. Tired, frustrated, don’t know what to do next. The hospitals are filling up or have already reached that level. Hospital personnel cannot work harder. Raises two questions. Will the government be required to mandate vaccines? Masks?

Australia interesting in this regard. Things got out of hand in Australia. Laws were passed mandating the wearing of masks and prohibiting persons from leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse. Forced quarantine, in effect.

Australia now in the fourth week of the restrictions. People are extremely upset. Thousands protested this week in Sydney and other places.

Strange in a sense. The COVID numbers keep surging. People are reluctant to protect themselves as told by the experts. The protesters carrying signs “Freedom” and “Tell the Truth.”

I don’t under understand. The real issues are life or death.

Coronavirus has been on the rise in the Keys since July 4. The holiday weekend. New cases prior to July 4 were 2-3 a day. Since, an average of 12 a day.

Numbers don’t lie.

The national figures reveal 99.5 percent of those dying are persons who were not vaccinated.

Again, numbers Don’t lie.

Unless vaccination numbers and mask wearing increase, we could be heading to mandated quarantines and mask wearing.

January 6. Dating sites  have become a way to discover who was involved.

Andrew Taake of Texas has been charged with several felonies. He was in Washington, D.C. and apparently wanted to enjoy a woman following the attack.

He went to the Bumble dating site seeking a match near the Capitol. He represented he was at the attack “from the very beginning” and “spent 30 minutes in the building.”

Someone he communicated with on Bumble turned the information over to the FBI. When questioned, Taake admitted he was in Washington, but only stood and watched. Denied participating.

Authorities were able to match Taake’s photo with the reams of videos it has. Taake caught. He was videoed in what has been described as “two violent attacks.” One involving the use of pepper pray against a police line. The other striking police with a metal whip.

Taake is the second person caught via a dating site. The first was several months ago involving a New Yorker.

Living in William Hackley’s 1856 obviously different in many ways from how we live today. Two examples in Hackley’s journal bearing today’s date.

The first: “Julia Tift pulled a cup of gruel over and was burned from her neck to her feet on the left side. I told them to cover her with flour and sent over a car.”

The other: Gave Walberg “some of Matilda’s hair to have made into a guard chain.”

TACOS paragraph 6.

Every other Sunday you’d see nobody around / They were at the end of White Street, everyone in town / There was a huge flea market on the big empty lot / You could buy anything from key limes to pot / Rednecks, hippies, conchs, Cubans, and gays / Everyone got along, boy, those were the days.

Enjoy your day!



Pope Francis one of the best! The man is pure goodness. Not all Popes have been.

Sunday July 25 is a new day of recognition officially established by him.

It is the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. Shortened version is World Day of Grandparents.

Francis has been working to establish the Day since his inauguration in 2013.

The reason therefore in his own words: “Old age is a gift…..The Holy Spirit still stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today…..They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations passing on the experiences of life and faith to the young.”

World Day of Grandparents will be celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July on the Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents.

St. Peter was the rock Jesus was building the Church on. The rock is becoming somewhat fragile in its old age. The Catholic Church is no longer one solid unit. Fraught with all kinds of problems. The Church is divided in a similar fashion to the United States and authoritarian countries. Fifty/fifty. One half liberal, the other far right.

Conflicts on a daily basis.

A leader of the far right is the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Radical. Part of the gang who want to take Francis down.

Sound familiar?

The most recent issue is whether political leaders are to be denied Communion if they are pro-choice. It is a war which has in its roots the embarrassment of Biden.

The Republicans captured the evangelical right years ago. Then married certain Catholics to right wing thinking and support. The Catholics whose thinking reached beyond God, were thrilled with the recognition the evangelical tie was giving them.

Francis wrote the U.S. Conference of Bishops a month ago to cease and desist in their efforts to deny Biden Communion. Francis saw what the Bishops had become blind to: The separation of Church and State.

The Bishops backed off Biden to an extent. Instead turned their attention to lesser political figures. Like State legislators.

Two New Mexico State Senators. Both Democrats. Senators Menoz and Cervantes. Each has been denied communion for having voted pro choice.

The Communion denial in New Mexico and wherever else attempted has at its base the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.

The decision 48 yeas old. The battle still being waged. Mississippi announced this past week that it has  a case seeking the total reversal of Roe v. Wade presently on its way to the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops, their supporters and those otherwise anti-Francis forget “we are all God’s children.”

Some of today’s newsworthy items.

Monica Lewinsky’s birthday today. Forty eight years old. I have always thought she was maltreated by those seeking to bring Clinton down. She has kept her head up and walked with dignity.

The Surfside building has revealed 98 bodies so far. There are several not yet discovered who may never be discovered. Ninety seven bodies have been identified so far. One still incapable of identification. The last few bodies have been difficult to identify. DNA analysis was required to identify them.

The Olympic games open today. Exciting. The world’s finest athletes competing against each other. Other than some 700 dignitaries, no spectators will be present. A move to thwart coronavirus which has become rampantly alive the past few weeks.

I thought the games should be called off in their entirety. How many of the thousands of athletes will become infected? The fact that each has trained hard for 4 years is of no consequence where some may die and infect others who may die.

Florida continues to achieve “greatness” under Governor DeSantis. Florida is the fourth state with the most coronavisus cases. Data this week indicated Florida had 20 percent all of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

DeSantis is selfishly blind, a Trump in disguise who wishes to become President.

The man is also insulting to those who are deserving of praise. He continues to mock Dr. Fauci. DeSantis is presently selling “Don’t Fauci My Florida” tee shirts.

The Delta variant is more powerful and moves faster than the initial COVID-19. I have a sense masks may be nationally required soon. DeSantis said if such was done, he’ll have the Florida legislature ban the federal mandate in Florida.

Key West is into its 40th annual Hemingway Days. All kinds of activities this weekend. The contest to decide who is this year’s Hemingway Look Alike. A street festival on Duval all day today. The race of the bulls tomorrow.

Bum Farto to gain some additional notoriety soon. A musical in the works: Bum Farto the Musical.

Key West receiving all kinds of recognition this past year. It is considered one of the top three vacation spots in the U.S. Its hotel rates the highest in the U.S. Now two top restaurants. Latitudes is #4 nationally in fine dining. Better Than Sex #11 in desserts.

TACOS paragraph 6.

Sunshine and BJ made their own show / The movie was really professional / It showed Key West around 1973 / Now you can watch it on your TV / Someone snitched on BJ, something to do with pot / I think it was two or three years he got / Sunshine was left with two kids all alone / She was forced to make it on her own / She kept smiling the whole time / I guess that’s why her name is Sunshine / She had a key lime tree she said, “Take all you want / And sold key lime pies to every restaurant / When times wee tough she just shifted gear / Now she’s one of the most successful here.

Enjoy your day!



It was 1968. David Wolkowsky’s Pier House an immediate success. Lacking in one thing, however. A bar.

The power brokers wanted a place to gather, mingle, make deals. Wolkowsky heard them.

The Chart Room immediately appeared out of nowhere. Wolkowshy took a standard hotel room, brought in a mahogany bar, and a few chairs. The Chart Room was born.

The room became the watering hole for the leaders and monied people of KeyWest, including drug dealers and fishermen.

The place where Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley got their starts.

Today, the Chart Room is one of Key West’s greatest hidden treasures. A place where locals and guests meet and swap stories.

The dim lights and dark wood create a certain aura. The peanut barrel (shells on the floor the custom), a popcorn machine, and hots dogs add to the ambiance. All free.

Rosie von Engel in a 1998 piece in Solares Hill marking the Chart Room’s 30th birthday wrote: “The Chart Room is one of the last pieces of the soul of Key West.”

Today, the last piece.

TACOS paragraph 5. Steve Thompson’s recollection of the Chart Room back when.

The Chart Room Bar was a place to see / If you were anybody that’s where you’d be / A guy named Capt. Earl with the gift of gab / Said, “Never forget to pay your tab” / I appreciated the advice he was giving / He said, “Don’t ask anyone what they do for a living” / There was a guy with a pit bull named Bobby Brown / He told me he was the Sheriff in town / Jerry Jeff and Jimmy could sit at the bar / Like they were down in the islands at a Jack Tar / No one would bother them, no one would care / That’s why they came here, that’s why they were there / The bartender’s name was Chris Robinson / With his long black hair he looked Indian / To find a better bartender would be pretty hard / He also worked Bagatelle and Louie’s Backyard / Skeeter called information while while paying his tab / To get the phone number for Five Sixes cab / He just came from the drive-in on the far side of town / The movie just started when the screen blew down / The smugglers were generous and they’d spend a bit / But the lawyers ended up with most of it / Sometimes the boat captains would find a bale / And a lot of them ended up in jail / There were two phones side by side on the wall / With the Sheriff on one taking a call / A smuggler on the other waiting on hold / For news from a shrimp boat about his load / Manny was the City attorney’s name / His dad the Police Chief was Jimmy James / When Manny was charged with cocaine he fought it / When reporters asked his dad he said, “He was adopted.”

A tall guy named Mel and his wife were there / He said he looked for treasure most everywhere / He’d drop a gold hotdog in your hand as a gesture / Then asked if you’d like to be an investor /The Chart Room is still the best bar in the Keys / But the only thing left are the memories.

Enjoy your day!