Key West is a ghost town. Today, without question. Coronavirus responsible.

A ghost town in another regard. Many ghost stories involving Key West. The Conchs believe them, as do those who have lived in Key West for many years.

Some ghosts good, some bad. One of the best, if not the best, is Mother Gustens. Her full name Maria Valdez de Gustens.

Though not a doctor, and I believe not even a nurse, Maria ran Mercedes Hospital in Key West. The hospital was located at 1209 Virginia Street.

Named Mercedes after Eduardo H. Gato who built and donated the building. Gato was a very successful cigar maker. Employed hundreds. He built his family home on what is now Bayview Park.

At some point in time, he decided to move the house to 1209 Virginia Street. It became  and still is known as the Gato House, except when referred to as Mercedes Hospital.

Gato donated the building to be used as a hospital. The one condition being that it was to be named after his wife Mercedes. Thus Mercedes Hospital was born.

During the hospital’s life, Maria was recognized as a caring person. The patients loved her.

Mercedes Hospital closed at the beginning of World War II. It became an apartment house. Closed as an apartment building thereafter and left deserted for years. The building became run down, windows shattered, etc.

The only life were the cock fights that were frequently held in the back yard.

The building was reopened as an apartment house. Again, the name Gato House.

A female tenant was living in one of the apartments with her boy friend. She was not sleeping well.

It was the middle of the night when she woke. A woman was holding her wrist. She appeared to be taking the woman’s temperature.

She was stout and short. Hair in a bun. Wore a gray dress with long sleeves and a high collar.

It is assumed the woman was Maria/Mother Gustens. She disappeared as soon as the woman woke.

Thus was born the ghost story involving Mother Gustens and the Gato House.

It is said Mother Gustens walks the building today seeking out those who might be ill.

This past week, I made a new friend. Her name Cathy. From Seattle. She was in Fort Lauderdale visiting. We “sort of” met via skype. Sloan set me up with skype last sunday. Something to keep me busy while quarantined.

Cathy tried to reach me via skype. We never met before. Have not yet. Not even by skype. I kept getting screwed up at my end. However, we did talk via phone.

Cathy is an administrator at a Seattle hospital.

She told me she used to live in Key West in 1987. At the Gato House.

It was November and Cathy was not feeling well. She had a heavy cold. Felt miserable.

She was asleep when she felt someone touching her arm. She swears it was Mother Gustens. She was not afraid. The woman smiled and left.

Sloan worked with me early this morning one computer to another. She refuses to get near me. She is still working full time. Out there with all the germs.

We appear to have corrected the skype problem. I have not been able to use it yet. The only person I have with a skype address is Cathy. She is on a plane back to Seattle at the moment. Can’t wait till tomorrow.

Today is day 23 of my self quarantine. Left my house for the first time at 7 this morning. Merely to walk to my car and start it. Concerned about the battery. Then to check the mail. My mail box is a short par 3 300 feet away.

I anticipated the box would be full. I was surprised. Three pieces of mail and a Winn Dixie grocery advertisement. Made sense. Few working anywhere. Even mail has to stop.

Some Key West news.

The Green Parrot and the Bourbon Street Pub announced that when they reopen, smoking will not be permitted. I’m glad I had to stop smoking because of my pancreatitis attack back when. The “no smoking” at these 2 establishments will not bother me.

Amy Culver is one of the best known and loved women in Key West. Loves Africa. A frequent visitor.

Amy was not feeling well. Tested. Yes, she had coronavirus. She is doing home confinement.

Amy one tough lady. No stranger to tragedy. She will handle it. I wish her well.

The statistics continue creeping up. Coronavirus was a low number last week. Now, 33 confirmed cases in Monroe County. Sixteen of them in Key West. And 1 dead. Horrible!

The authorities provided little information. Thus far all that has been revealed is the person was a 55 year old male who had an underlying problem. Where he lived within the County not yet provided the public.

The Key West bus system closes down tonight at 8. Will remain closed till further notice.

I have never ridden a Key West bus. A dear friend has been driving one for years. She drives bus and works part time for the Key West Citizen. Sheila Cullen. I hope the unemployment checks move rapidly. As well as the stimulus dollars. Other wise, Sheila could end up sleeping on my couch.

Now for some coronavirus occurrences.

Read an article about New York City paramedics this morning. Sad. The job has become mentally unbearable.

The sick and their families know the relative is going “to die” when removed from the home. The “hospitals are totally full.” The patients know they will probably die. Without family around them. In pain because of lack of necessary equipment.

One paramedic described the hospitals as “war zones.”

Captain Brett Crozier has been “relieved of duty.” The reason “poor judgment.” The  Captain was the Commanding Officer of the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. A crew of 5,000.

Coronavirus aboard. The numbers small. However, increasing.

The Captain did not believe “news” of the Roosevelt’s problem was being properly attended to. He went “public.”

That is why he lost his job.

This is a situation where I believe the result might be proper. The Captain should have handled the matter in house. He could have yelled and screamed. Stepped on toes.

The result would have been the same, however. Relieved of duty!

We are not always rewarded for doing the right thing.

The numbers came out yesterday. Unemployment requests last week 6.6 million. The week before in excess of 3 million.

They will receive checks. The system provides for it and in effect the government guarantees payment.

My concern is where does the money come from? The answer is simple. The government prints what it needs. Technically, the Fed adds a few zeroes here and there and the money appears! As someone once said, out of the wind, out of nowhere.

Our society is collapsing. Nothing we can do about it. First, we have to get the virus behind us. Then deal with the economic problems which will be hugh.

As the song suggests, the fiddler must be paid.

Our health care systems and hospitals are getting killed financially. All that business! Who is paying the tab, however?

Trump say don’t worry. Insurance companies forgiving deductibles. No one cared for in a hospital for the virus will be charged.

Pie in the sky!

The health care systems though having more business than ever are losing money daily in big numbers. Too many coronavirus patients. Too many cancelled visits by those with other medical problems.

Staff is being reduced. Hours cut. Clinics and outpatient facilities closing.

We are in a war! The enemy is tough!

The sun is shining. Look up and smile. This too shall pass.

Enjoy your day!


  1. Remember “Nancy” ripping up the Trump State of the Union address. She said it was lies. Well Nancy it contained words about the Coronavirus, plans to fight it and you did not want to here about it. Just like the captain of the ship you relived trump of his command.

  2. Don’t give this poster, whose name isn’t even Sandy or Feet, any time. He is both a pest and a dishonest jerk.

  3. Lou, I’m not sure I agree with you about the captain of the carrier should have not complained publicly.

    You have to be pretty high up in the Navy to get command of a carrier, It’s a huge deal and only a top flight person, who completely knows the ropes, to get that far would get that job. Definitely not some sort of loose cannon would ever be considered.

    My guess is he did go through proper channels and got ignored, then knowingly put his career on the line for the sake of his men. Probably felt he had to act quick before he was a captain of a ghost ship. I;m thinking he is probably a hero.

    • Hummmm… do you think the person who makes it known to all potential adversaries that a significant part of our military capability, a nuclear aircraft carrier, has lost capability is a hero or traitor?

      Kim Joung-Un and others watching.

      From the time a raw recruit enters service, they have two things drilled into them:

      1. Chain of Command
      2. Operational Security – Don’t give anything away to the enemy.

      This guy violated both. If he were a low-level seaman, he would probably be court-martialed.

      Well Duh

    • I agree with you, Dan. I know there are some former military guys that post here. If any of you worked in Command & Control you know that any change in readiness status of a major unit (like an aircraft carrier) would be reported up the chain of command. This would normally be in the form of a highly clas$ified message from the ship’s Captain to the Theater Commander and probably to the CNO.

      In this case we are being told that the diminished readiness of the ship was first reported in an unclas$ified letter sent outside of the normal Command & Control channel, a copy of which was leaked to the press. This would be an extremely unlikely action for any naval officer to take, especially one as respected and experienced as Capt Crozier.

      There is more to this than we are being told.

      • That was my point exactly. I’m afraid “Well Duh” didn’t read my post or has comprehension issues. This is not what is seems at first and something we should all be concerned with, on a whole different level.

        It looks like the men on that ship might have known more than is being told as well.

      • Does he have two shiny stainless steal balls in his hand?
        Big Nuclear ships and subs are out dated in this new war.
        There is no reason for a big nuclear war as there will be nothing of value left to either side. The supper powers know that. But if one side can knock out the other side and not destroy the world, the usable parts of it which are left
        Then you got a big gun. A Flash Gordon Gun. Kill the enemy with out destroying his toys. A ray gun–no. No energy-no they have shale. A small bug which will kill them, but it will kill us too. But we extra people. If we go one for one we will have some left to take over and the world will be ours with destroying all the toys.

        • More nonsense from that same old Troll who is almost always wrong with his misleading and often impossible to understand posts. Best left unanswered and allowed to percolate in their own hateful dung.

  4. I read where the captain was fired by the ‘Acting” Secretary of the Navy, who was appointed by the President. Sounds fishy to me (pun intended).

    I would also point out that the National Intelligence director’s chief watchdog, the guy who forwarded the whistle blower’s Ukraine thing (because that was his job to do so), was fired last night (in the middle of the night), because the president no longer had confidence in hime. Confidence for ‘what’ was not stated.

    It is also now being reported that Dr. Fauci is no longer allowed to sit in at top level virus meetings or appear at briefings.

  5. Drudge is just a check list Just like Readers Digest was long time ago. It is a source for those who do not know how to look it up!

    • That’s called an aggregator, dunce. Kind of like Google. Perhaps you might want to learn about these things before you post here asking for other peoples sources all the while post garbage, hateful garbage mostly, as we see here daily from you!

      But then your interest isn’t so much anything but dumb attempts at starting arguments.

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