Needless to say, the 300 young girls abducted in Nigeria is disturbing. Watching the scenario play out difficult to understand.

First, it took two weeks for the international media to pick up on the event. After the oh how terribles, the four week search has yet to find and recapture the girls. Whereas millions were spent and are still being spent on the Malaysian plane that went down, the dollars to find these youngsters does not compare.

The 5/13/14 Miami Herald had a column by Frida Ghitis on the abduction issue. Ghitis is a world affairs writer for the Miami Herald. Certain portions of Ghitis’ column were directly to the point informationwise and otherwise.

Re the Islamic radical group Boko Haram responsible for the abductions, she wrote: The group’s name Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin…..but …..the kidnapping and selling of girls – most likely into sexual – is somehow acceptable.” She further wrote, “The gang of radicals want to impose…..their twisted version of Islamic law, Sharia.”

Why do I write about this situation. Simply, it bothers me. As it must you. The girls are reportedly 3-17 years old. Even if all were women, it would be bothersome. Certain interpretations of Islamic law permit young girls to be married and permit sexual slavery. Such situations in Nigeria and the Middle East are religiously motivated and/or justified.

How can the Western world combat such beliefs which are in direct contradiction to their own? I do not know. The problems reflected have been ongoing for many years. Attempted solutions in the past have failed. The differences may not be reconcilable.

Enough. Off the soapbox!

It was Blossom’s for lunch yesterday. I was the only customer till I was leaving. I lunched there two weeks ago and noticed fewer customers. I suspect a problem.

One problem is the new owners are not making the sandwiches the same as the former ones. The former ones made them as they had been prepared for some 20 years at Paradise Cafe. There is an old adage…..Never screw around with something that works.

My Cuban toast with tomato is never the same. Different size, never enough butter, sometimes on the cool side, not always crushed. The same with the Cuban coffee. Sometimes warm, sometimes luke warm. Never hot.

A greasy sandwich to eat. Fingers become licking good. Two napkins  before, only one now.

I have not had the courage to share my experiences with the new owners. They seem so happy and confident in what they are doing. As a result, I have gotten into the habit of going to Blossoms for lunch less frequently.

I spent the afternoon fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. The show went well. I spent the first half beating up Tim Geithner, banks, big corporations with off shore deposits, and insurance companies. Deservedly so.

Robert’s picture was in the Key West Weekly. There were a series of photos of the miniature golf event last week. Robert and a classmate were responsible for erection of hole 9. The hole was described as “…..one of the most artistic.”

A proud grandfather am I.

Enjoy your day!



Tonight! The Great Naval Air Battle. The reenactment of the Conch Republic’s fight for independence. A must to see. The Battle begins at 7 this evening in the waters off the Ocean Key dock, Pier House and Schooner Wharf.

The Conch Republic Navy and Air Force take on the U.S. Coast Guard. Conch pirate ships will have water canons firing on Coast Guard vessels. The Conch Republic Air force will  engage U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica. The Conch Air Force consists of World War I type bi-planes and seaplanes. The Conch planes swill drop bombs on the Coast Guard vessels. Furling unrolling rolls of toilet paper.

The Conch Republic position with regard to the United States: Don’t screw with us!

My friend Mike (of Mike and Tina fame) was a Conch Republic bombardier for several years. He dropped the toilet paper bombs. His friend Nick was an officer in the Conch Republic Air Force and flew one of the planes. Sounds like a fun time.

All of Key West will be watching the battle.

Today is also another war holiday. In Italy. April 25 is celebrated as Liberation Day. The day American troops freed Italy from Nazi domination. A big holiday. Parades, street bands, etc. The holiday pays homage also to the resistance fighters who opposed Germany during Italy’s occupation. Several hundred thousand were killed. Many were women.

I recall in both of my visits to Novara viewing the wall the Nazis used to shoot partisans. A long brick wall. They lined the Italians up and executed them. It was a strange feeling standing before the wall and recalling what had occurred.

My friend Anna tells me of her first experience meeting U.S. Army troops. She was 5 years old. They gave her chewing gum. She had never seen chewing gum. Thought it was candy. She chewed and swallowed. The soldiers laughed. Then explained to her that gum was to be chewed and not swallowed.

Mussolini was captured on April 27. Two days after the liberation  of Italy. He was no longer liked. He and his girl friend were executed and then hung upside down at a gas station near Lake Como.

Yesterday started with a haircut. Lori continues to help keep my beard trimmed and in shape.

I desired Cuban cheese toast with tomato. I enjoyed the sandwich and a large cup of Cuban coffee at Blossoms.

Bocce last night. We won 2 out of 3 games. An improvement. We won all three last week. We are on a roll. I played in the last game which we lost. Some of my shots were good, some bad. It was a so so night for me.

The season is over. It is very noticeable. Traffic is down, bicyclists few. I was the only one at Lori’s. There were only three of us for lunch at Blossoms. We needed a break. Key West will pick up again shortly with events scheduled almost every weekend.

Enjoy the day!




Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!

I wish I felt as peppy as the introduction. I have a head cold. I cannot remember when last I had one. That long. It hit me early yesterday afternoon.

I lunched at Blossoms. Had to stand. A bunch of senior ladies were having some sort of luncheon. They had taken all the stools. The women were my age. Each uniquely beautiful. I could not keep my eyes off them.

The new owners have parrots. A big one was out of the cage. About 18 inches tall and a bit stout. Colorful. I looked at him (?) and said hello. He immediately responded hello. Took me back for a moment.

The cold kept me at home during the afternoon and evening.

The afternoon was spent researching for my new book Growing Up Italian. I needed some background information from Italy itself. I wanted to be sure my facts concerning the land of my ancestors were correct.

Two Catholic saints have a moment in the book. Saints Cosmas and Damien. Though born and died in what is now Turkey, they are revered to this day by many Italo-Americans. They were twins. Became doctors. Never charged. Provided medical services free.

I feel that some present day killings in the Middle East and Africa are less than nice. Brutal is the word. Saints Cosmas and Damien were killed in a fashion beyond that of today. They were hung on crosses, stoned, shot by arrows, and then beheaded. All because of their Catholic faith.

None of the preceding will appear in the book. I thought it interesting and wanted to share their experience with you.

Last night was early to bed. Turned the heat on. I am one of the lucky ones.

I keep autographing books. I am honored to be asked. I continue to suggest to those of you who might not have ordered the book to do so. It is a series of interesting short stories. The title is The World Upside Down by Louis Petrone. It is available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!



When you live on a semi-tropical island such as Key West, you become accustomed to an occasional bug invasion. Over time, one becomes knowledgeable as to cause and effect. It helps to diminish the number of invasions.

I screwed up last night. I was preparing something to eat and spilled some olive oil. Extra virgin. On the counter top next to the sink. I cleaned it up. Apparently not well.

When I came downstairs this morning, they were there! Ants! The tiny little ones. Appeared to be in the hundreds. On the counter, in the sink, on the cupboard doors and on the floor.

I looked for repellant. I had none, except for a mosquito one. With a West Nile repellant built in. Obviously to rub on the body. Not for ants in the kitchen. But, I made do. I sprayed the stuff all over. It worked! Terrifically! Though I did not use it as the manufacturer intended.

The ants died in their tracks. Now I have all this sticky stuff on the cupboards, in the sink, on the floor, etc. I am leaving it stand for a while to deter further ants from entering.

The last ant invasion I had was four years ago. Home Depot sells the right stuff to eliminate the problem. I cannot recall its name, but will recognize it when I see it. So when I am done with the blog, it will be off to Home Depot.

Cleaning up the mosquito repellant  later on will be a pain!

My blog talk radio show tonight. Nine o’clock. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The topics I will hit on include the government shutdown, Supreme Court Justice Scailia, and what the banks started doing with ATM machines this week in anticipation of a disaster next week. An interesting show. Join me.

Yesterday was a simple one. A bank visit, lunch at Blossoms, and research and writing the rest of the day. I had intended to have dinner at Hogfish. Wish I had. If so, I would not be dealing with an ant problem this morning.

Yesterday was the second time I have been to Blossoms under the new management. I ordered my usual cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee.

They do not have it down yet!

I have spent 20 years eating the same combination. Under three different owners at Paradise Café and now into my third owner at Blossoms. All made the cheese toast the same till the new owners.  The last Paradise owner moved to Blossoms and carried the knowledge as to how to make the sandwich with him..

The bread has been changed. A big difference! Cuban bread is made with pig fat. I do not think the new bread is. Affects taste and texture. The bread being used is also smaller.

The sandwich is not being cooked correctly. It should be lathered in butter and pressed down to a quarter inch. The one now being served does not have sufficient butter and is served about one inch thick. The difference being comparable to a thick bread pizza and a regular one.

The coffee has been luke warm both times. Like dish water.

I was going to tell the new owners yesterday. Politely, of course. As I was getting ready, the door opened and about 15 young men came in to order sandwiches. Tourists. All appeared new to Blossoms.

The young men were making the new owners’ day. I did not want to affect it. The next time I will tell them, however. If I cannot get the sandwich I have enjoyed for 20 years, I will stop going. I will also rarely stop at any Cuban sandwich place. The former Paradise Café/Blossom’s sandwich was unique.

Enjoy your day! I am off to Home Depot.




I came across this quote in yesterday’s Key West Citizen. it was buried on a back page. Easy to miss. The quote is by William Ernest Hemley. The purpose in sharing it is that there may be a person out there who could use the boost it gives.

“I am the master of my fate; the captain of my soul.”

Hope it helps someone.

The Key West Lou Legal Hour was yesterday morning. The show went well. I was pleased. The material was excellent and flowed easily. Post show comments revealed the breast implant explosive situation and the implications of Bradley Manning’s transgenderism garnered the most interest.

I have decided to write next week’s KONK Life column on the issue of Bradley’s transgenderism. Contrary to what a U.S. Army spokesman said yesterday, taxpayers will be paying for his hormone therapy and sex change operation. You can bet money on it!

Jenna was at the television station. I had not seen her for well over two months. First, I was away in Europe and then she in Los Angeles on vacation. It was good to see her.

Crystal engineers my show. She was at the studio, also. Does a terrific job.

Two lovely women taking caring for me. I am a lucky man!

Truly being back in Key West involves visiting places I frequent and enjoy. I had already done the Chart Room and Don’s Place. For lunch yesterday, it was Blossoms. I was really home! Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee.

Ran into Michael Dennis. One of Key West’s leading authors. Michael has published several books. Good reading!

The Chart Room last night. The ravishing Emily bartending. Sheila, Katherine and Sean there, also.

Met Tom from Annapolis at the bar. He is a lieutenant with the fire department and also a nurse. A nice guy. He was spending a few days at the Pier House. Yesterday, he had gone out fishing. Caught several different fish. The Pier House restaurant gladly cooked them for him.

Then to Don’s Place. Chatted with Erika, Hershel, David, Ron, and Michael. Most bocce team mates. David our captain. Ergo, bocce the item of discussion.

We played lousy thursday night. The whole team. We know it. David was pointing out the errors of our ways. In a nice fashion, of course. Like how the worse game he has ever saw was our 16-1 loss in the second game. Hershel and I played in the second game.

I started having trouble with my cell phone and tablet on the European trip. Could not keep them charged. Was getting all of six hours on the cell phone.

I went to Verizon. Was told I needed a new battery. Bought one. Cell phone still would not hold a charge.

Sloan suggested earlier this week that perhaps my cord had become defective. I have several and use them interchangeably. I went out and bought some new cords.

I am into the fourth day of my cell phone charge. Wonderful!

I share the cord information in the event any of you are experiencing a similar problem.

Enjoy your day!



Moore, Oklahoma.

Hard to believe!

All the devastation and loss of life. TV this morning vividly portrays the destruction. Reminded me of Hurricane Andrew. I drove through Homestead soon after. Houses and buildings down as far as the eye could see. As if the city had been bombed.

The number 20 again! Twenty young school children died when their school was blown apart. Shades of Newtown.

Why? Is it global warming? Is it a warning from up on high? Simply nature at work for no reason? I do not know. I have no opinion. A tornado of this magnitude is beyond my ability to comprehend.

A thought occurs. A political one. I wonder if Congress is going to screw around and delay with federal aid as it did with New Jersey.

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine o’clock. A fast moving half hour. I share my thoughts on whatever turns me on at the moment.

Tonight, I will definitely comment on the tornado, the new Vermont End Of Life Law, throw in a few Washington comments, and my thoughts re the banks and major corporations getting richer and the former middle class not. Note the use of the word former. Plus, whatever else comes to mind. Or yours. You can call in and chat with me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Yesterday was easy. I did nothing of consequence.

A business meeting in the morning, a bagel, coffee and the newspapers at the Plantation Coffee House, and lunch at Blossoms. The afternoon and evening I stayed home reading and resting. A lazy day.

An interesting experience at the Plantation Coffee House. As I was leaving, I heard Diane’s voice behind me…..Louis, don’t you want to pay!

Again, please join me for my blog talk radio show this evening.

Enjoy your day!




The Great Sea Battle is tonight! At 7. The waters off Ocean Key House. The Conch Republic and the military forces of the United States. Do not miss it!

The Coast Guard cutter will not be there. Sequestration. There is a replacement. Conch Republic officials have kept the replacement secret. We will find out this evening.

The Key West Lou Legal Hour this morning at 10. An eye opener as I get behind the scenes a bit. Available on television and the internet. Television from Key West through Miami-Dade County on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. On the internet world wide. www.weyw19.com

Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy the show.

Yesterday began with a haircut. I thought my beard trim of the day before was well done. Lori did not. She shaped the beard up. Oh, well. A barber I am not.

Then took a walk along Duval. I was downtown and thought I should put the time to good use.

Lunch was at Blossoms. My usual Cuban toast sandwich. Read the Key West Citizen. On page 2 there was a picture of Tennessee Williams standing on the front porch of his home. Williams lived in Key West for more than 30 years. His home was on Duncan Street. Lisa lives on Duncan Street. One block away.

Spent the afternoon fine tuning today’s TV/internet show.

Bocce last night. A disaster. We lost all three games. No one was on, except perhaps Keith who played the first game. It is beginning to look more and more certain that we will not be making the playoffs.

I have a heart doctor appointment at 3 this afternoon. To get the results of my electrocardiogram test.

My friend Anna lives well. She slept in Courmeyeur, Italy last night. In the heart of the Alps. This morning she is driving to Chamonix, France to shop at a fruit and vegetable market. Followed by lunch in Geneva, Switzerland.

What a life!

Enjoy your day!



It is that time of year again!

The Conch Republic celebration.

Festivities ongoing all week long. From my perspective, the best part of the week is the Great Sea Battle between the Conch Republic and the forces of the United States. The event takes place saturday evening off Schooner Wharf, the Pier House, and Ocean Key.

Pirate ships manned by pirate men and ladies will battle hopefully a Coast Guard cutter. The Conch Republic’s World War I biplane will engage U.S. Navy jets.

Each water vessel will try to drown the other with hosed sea water. The pirate ships will also pummel the Coast Guard cutter with  rotten tomatoes, eggs and heads of lettuce. The biplane will fly low overhead and bomb the Coast Guard cutter with rolls of toilet paper.

You cannot appreciate the nature of the battle until you have seen the toilet paper bombs unfurling as they fall toward the cutter.

If you are in Key West saturday night, go! Do not miss what I consider a spectacular experience.

It never rained yesterday. A weather forecaster I am not. The clouds lifted and it was another great Key West day. I hung around the house all day working on this evenings blog talk radio show and otherwise writing.

I snuck out for lunch at Blossom’s. Dee called and said let’s have lunch. I  had a desire for a Cuban cheese toast tomato sandwich. So did she. That was my day. I stayed in last night to continue being nice to my back.

My blog talk radio show this evening at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I plan on talking a bit about the Boston bomber and the way the federal government has been handling his interrogation and arraignment, his right to remain silent and right to an attorney. I think the government has been playing with dynamite.

I am happy to discuss anything else you good people would enjoy chatting about.

The live Boston bomber is 19. Many media persons refer to him as a boy. He is a man. As much a man as our young persons who are 19 and do battle for the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Our 19 year old male soldiers are always referred to as men. Why not this bomber?

I am reading a book about Eisenhower. It is entitled Ike’s Bluff. Written by Evan Thomas.

I am old enough to remember the fear we had after World War II and into the Reagan administration regarding Russia. Russia was our enemy. War could occur at any time. A nuclear war. It was a deep rooted genuine fear.

Stalin was the big boss in Russia during a part of the time. A key person in his administration was Beria, the head of the Secret Police.

Russia did not have the atomic bomb till 1949. Russia exploded an atomic bomb in August of that year. The Russian scientists who worked on the bomb would have been killed or imprisoned if the test failed.

The Eisenhower book contains a quote from David Holloway’s book Stalin and the Bomb. The quote reflects the Russian mind clearly. “…Beria was said to have adopted a simple principle: those who were to be shot in case of failure would now become Heroes of Socialist Labor; those who would have received maximum prison terms were to be given the Order of Lenin, and so on down the list.”

That’s it for now! Please join me this evening at 9 for Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Enjoy your day!





I did the unusual last night. I went to Sloppy Joe’s. A rarity for me.

The place was packed. The music blaring and good.

I ate bad. Sloppy fries. French fries covered with ground beef, tomato sauce and melted cheese. To die for!

It was the end of an era. I noticed no one was smoking. No ash trays on the tables. Sloppy’s has permitted smoking for 85 some odd years. It is against Florida law for any establishment that sells food to permit smoking. Sloppy Joe’s got away with it for many years. The only Key West food serving establishment that has.

I attribute the freedom to the fact that Sloppy Joe’s was and is Key West history personified.

One wall has pictures of Ernest Hemingway. One big one. All I could think was that Hemingway was looking out and saying…..What the hell is going on!

The waitress told me no smoking was 3 weeks old. The law said stop!

My day was spent running errands. Walgreens, Home Depot and Publix. Stopped at Lisa’s afterwards. Wanted to see the new family member Jake. He has it made!

Lisa constantly mothers him. The grandkids love him. While I was there, he was outside in the back yard. Chasing 2 inch geckos. They were too fast for  him. But he kept up the pursuit!

I lunched at Blossoms. My whole day was spent eating not so healthy food. I enjoyed a Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The Cuban toast dripped with hot butter. So good! Bad food from a health perspective, however.

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. At first it was just me and Mary. Then they started coming in. Including Peter. Peter and I had our usual enjoyable conversation. We are two old guys. We were into medical problems last night like colonoscopies, prostrate problems and the like.

Bridget came in. New to me. I had never seen her before. Though she has been to Key West before. She is a tour guide. A special tour guide. She travels with groups of 30-40. High end type people. She and the group are staying at the Hyatt.

Bridget has an interesting job. She does not solely do Key West. She travels to all sorts of interesting places. Like London and Australia.

Bridget has an even more interesting background. As we all seem to do. She is originally off a 175 acre Maine farm. Then a farm in New Hampshire. Now a world travel guide.

I enjoyed Bridget’s company. I hope we run in to each other again.

Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. Blog talk radio. Nine my time. One half hour of interesting chatter. Some call ins. Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy. Topics include all kind of current events and Syracuse basketball. Tomorrow night I hope to touch on the lack of truth in government as it relates to the deficit problem. You will be surprised at what I have to share with you. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have to hustle this morning. I have a doctor’s appointment at 8:30. The start of my annual physical. A two day venture.

Enjoy your day!





It started yesterday afternoon. A cold front came in. A damp one. It will be with us through monday. High 60s by day, very low 60s by night.

Get out the long johns!

The Key West Lou Legal Hour this morning. Great TV and internet viewing. Topics like Burlusconi saying Germany’s Merkel had a fat ass, the Oreo and Walmart, Bud Beer allegedly watered down, Exxon winning again in court, the Keystone Pipe Line, use and abuse of 911, a lawyer locked in jail, and more.

The show is at 10 this morning my time. It can be viewed on TV on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19 from Key West through Miami-Dade County. It is also available world wide on the internet. www.tvchannel19.com.

My yesterday began with a visit to Lori for a haircut. She trimmed my beard a bit, also. All five chairs in her beauty parlor were filled. Another sign Key West is experiencing a very good season.

Then to the dentist. For only a five minute adjustment. Or so I thought. I spent 1.5 hours in the chair. No pain. All mechanical. I have another appointment scheduled for tuesday. When will it end?

The diet ended a month ago. However, I have been watching what I eat. As a result, I have lost an additional  4-5 pounds. The effort has been to avoid fats. Blew it yesterday at lunch time!

I have been dying for a Cuban cheese toast with tomato. All that delicious melted butter. Cuban bread made from pork lard. What a marriage of ingredients!

I did it! Magnificent! It had been four months since my last one. If I am to maintain my present body shape, it will have to be four months before I have another.

Bocce last night. Turned into a weather disaster. The cold front moved in dramatically just as we were to start playing. It rained. Lightly, then heavy. You could see the water starting to pool on the clay courts.

The rain was cold. The dampness ate through to the bone. About 15 of us were huddled under a tree with room for five before the games were called.

Everyone went to Don’s Place. Where else? It is like a private club.

I was hungry. Did not eat prior to leaving for bocce. Decided on Hogfish. The rain had stopped.

Hogfish packed also. Another sign the season is upon us.

I grapped a newspaper and sat at the corner of the bar. The lobster bisque is the best. I ordered a bowl to warm up. It was lobster night for me. I followed the bisque up with a lobster roll.

I knew no one. I spoke with no one. I was content with the newspaper.

Again, please watch my show this morning. You will be entertained!

Enjoy your day!