It is starting to feel like Christmas in Key West.

I was wandering around town yesterday. People greeting other people with Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Holiday hustle and bustle evident.

It got me in the holiday mood. I was not till yesterday. So much so that last night I took a ride around Key West to look at the decorated homes. Just as up north, people are into dressing the outside of their homes with Christmas ornaments.

My KONK Life column has been delivered. It will publish Christmas Day. It has to do with Christmas.

I wrote the column for Amazon Kindle in 2010. I thought it fitting for a republication this year in KONK Life. It is a history of Christmas.

Christmas as we know it did not fully evolve till World War II. The  Puritans did not celebrate Christmas. Early Boston made it a crime to celebrate Christmas. Christmas was not celebrated at the time of the Revolution. And on and on.

How Christmas as we know it came to be is interesting. Washington Irving is one of those responsible.

Look for the article next week. You will enjoy it.

This week’s KONK Life already on the stands has a different writing by me. The American Dream Revisited…..Torture Pays. The story of two men who hoodwinked the U.S. into paying them $81 million dollars for a set of copied Nazi and Communist enhanced torture techniques.

Visited the grandkids as they were getting out of school yesterday. Jake still loves me. He gets all excited when I come in.

Dinner was at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Around 9. Thursday is a happy hour special from 6-8. Cannot do it. Too many people. By 9, there are substantially fewer people at the bar.

My diet dinner consisted of a small portion of risotto and a dish of mushrooms sautéed in oil.

The Citizens’ Voice on page 2 of the Key West Citizen contained an interesting observation today. The writer stated…..In the 1960s, we had an economic war, we lost it…..We had a war on poverty, we lost it…..We had a war on drugs, we lost it.

Not much progress on these battlefronts!

Enjoy your day!

Christmas….A Legal Holiday


Christmas….A Legal Holiday


On this wonderful Christmas Day 2010, most of us are 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!

Let’s go back to the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give to 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 one of their acts was to abolish Christmas!

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

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of the 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 legal 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 the legalization of Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve and Morning


Merry Christmas!

A happy time.

I did Christmas eve at Lisa’s. The evening is a big deal in the Italian tradition. In addition to everything else, the meal is special.

Italians eat seven fishes at the Christmas eve dinner. Lisa only does three. However, one is stone crabs. The stone crabs more than make up for the missing four.

Christmas eve dinner with Lisa was a warm event. As always. Robert and Ally were dressed in their new finery. Ally a new dress. Robert a shirt and tie. Robert is in to ties. He was proud of his.

While we were enjoying cocktails and pickies, who should appear but Santa Claus! Big and boisterous, he came through the door. Robert and Ally ran to greet him.

Santa had to leave his sleigh and reindeer several blocks away because of the Boulevard construction.

Santa stayed a while. Chatted with the grandkids. Chatted with the adults. Then he was on his way. Said he had a busy night ahead of him.

Ally loves to sing Christmas caroles. She led us during various parts of the evening.

I had my blog talk radio show this morning at 7. Only my second week. I finally had a call in. My first! I was thrilled! It was Larry Smith  calling to wish me a Merry Christmas.

After the show, I received a telephone call from another person who tried to call in. I missed seeing it on the screen. I felt bad. Hopefully next week she will try again.

The radio station provides me with immediate numbers following the show. I was very impressed by the increase from last week in the number of people listening. Thank you.

This morning’s show was recorded and can be heard on Facebook, Twitter, and Word Press during the week. It will pop up on your screen at least twice a day. Just click the box and you will be able to listen to the show.

Lisa did a big breakfast this morning. At 8. That is why the blog is late. I had to hustle over to Lisa’s for the holiday breakfast. Whereas I cheated on my diet last night, I did not this morning. One time was enough. Strangely, the thing I ate the most last night was bread. I could not get enough.

Santa was good to Robert and Ally. Their major gifts were tablets. Just like yours and mine. Only a bit smaller.

Robert and Ally looked beat. They both stayed up late last night. Then up at 5:30 this morning to see what Santa had brought. They will be napping part of the afternoon away.

Enjoy Christmas day!




Key West is unique in many respects. One is the abundance of musical talent residing on the island.

Last night was the 29th Annual Christmas Concert. It is always held at St. Paul’s Church on Duval. A large Episcopalian church. The Concert is held on the altar. The pews the seating area.

All kinds of music are played. The connecting thread  being the Christmas season. The best of Key West’s best perform. Most are professional entertainers.

Included in the array were Larry Smith, Christine Cordone, Kathleen Peace, Peter Diamond, Carmen Rodriguez, JodyRae Campbell, Melody Coope, Michael Thomas, and Maj Johnson. They are all friends.

The Key West community turns out for the event. St. Paul’s normally holds 500 people. Extra chairs were provided last night. In addition, a huge number stood in the back of the Church.

It was Christmas! The feeling was there from the time one arrived till long after the Concert had concluded.

After the Concert, I headed over to the Pier House’s Wine Galley. It was Sunday night. The Larry Smith Sunday Showcase was being presented.

The Wine Galley was packed as St. Paul’s had been. Many of the performers from the Concert joined Larry. It was a gala evening! More Christmas singing plus.

It was joy to the world time!

Two songs played particularly affected me. By the manner in which they were sung. Jingle Bells was one. Performed by Christine Cordone and Kathleen Peace. The other was Oh Holy Night sung by Nancy K. Hoffman. Nancy sang the tune in Yiddish.

Steven the bartender sings also. He got involved.

My good friends and annual Christmas time visitors John and Allison Blenkinsoop were at the Wine Galley. They are from Leeds, England.

Tonight Santa Claus!

Santa is my personal friend. We talk via telephone with each other off and on during the year. As a special favor, he is coming to Lisa’s home at dinner time to sit a bit with my grandchildren Robert and Ally.

I have been doing this for years. Not only with Robert and Ally, but also with my children and other grandchildren. You can’t beat having Santa Claus for a friend in the eyes of the young ones!

Tomorrow at 7 in the morning my time, the Key West Lou Blog Talk Radio Show. One half hour. Via the internet. Need your computer and telephone. If you like, you can even call in and wish me a Merry Christmas, discuss current events, etc.

Join me with your egg nog and coffee.

Enjoy Christmas Eve!






The Saturday before Christmas was quiet and mundane.

I watched the Syracuse/Temple basketball game at noon from the comfort of my bed. Syracuse lost. By four points. Syracuse deserved to lose. The team did nothing right, except to show up. Made less than half their foul shots, did not control the offensive backboards, did not set up for plays, permitted the zone defense to be penetrated at will, etc.

Temple on the other hand played a perfect game. While Syracuse played its worst.

Better the loss came now rather than next month when the team is into Big East play.

Had a manicure appointment after the game. Cold outside! Wore long pants and a winter type jacket. It never got over 66 degrees yesterday.

Talked with Santa claus on the telephone. Had to update him on Robert and Ally. Santa will be with both of them at dinner time Christmas eve.

Love it!

Planned on going out in the evening. I enjoyed my previous evening. However, I did not feel quite right. Stomach a bit queasy. Stayed home.

Diet going well. Tomorrow makes one month. Eighteen pounds so far. I will be cheating Christmas eve and day.

My blog talk radio show Tuesday morning at 7 my time. The Key West Lou Blog Talk Radio Show.  One half hour of current events to chat about. Join me. Listen in, talk, do whatever you like. You will enjoy.

The show is easy to find. Only on the internet. Listen. Nothing to see.  A radio talk show. Enter Or you can click the blog talk radio button on Facebook and Twitter. On Word Press, click blogroll.

In each instance, my blog talk radio home page comes up.

Two boxes on the home page. Click the second one containing the date of the show.

Voila! You will be there! Then follow the listen/call in instructions.

Enjoy your Sunday before Christmas eve!






I have been writing recently how terrific the Key West weather has been for this time of the year. 80 by day, low 70s in the evening. This is normally Key West’s cold time.

The cold finally hit yesterday. Just like that! High around 70. Night temperature in the high 50s.

As I write this blog, it is 59 degrees. The high today projected at 66.

As cold as it is (and it is cold to us who live here), the sun is shining brightly and not one cloud in the sky.

The cold wave will be with us through monday.

I started Christmas shopping yesterday. Immediately knew why I have always disliked it. Hordes of people! A zoo!

After shopping, I wrote this week’s article for KONK Life. I liked it. Decided to publish it on Amazon Kindle, also.

The title: The Conscience of a Nation. Concerns itself with the NRA’s reaction to the Newtown shootings. Wayne La Pierre spoke on national television yesterday on behalf of the NRA. I did not like his looks. I disliked his comments even more.

The presentation was from left field. Lacking in common sense. Connecticut’s Senator Blumenthal described it as “tone deaf.” I had a further thought. La Pierre spoke as the Romneyites did in the campaign. They did not get it. He does not get it. All from another era.

Let me share a few numbers with you.

In 1957, 54 per cent of households had guns. In 2010, only 32 percent. Which means we are dealing with a minority. A vocal one, however. Typical of our country, those that shout the loudest seem to get the most attention.

The mix of this minority is further interesting. Most are white middle aged men from Southern states. Fifty per cent are Republicans, 22 percent Democrats.

The numbers make sense.

I got out last night! Mingled with the rest of the world!

I went to the movies. Saw Lincoln. Excellent!

The movie left me with two thoughts. First, politicians are politicians regardless of the era. Second, Lincoln was an adept politician who did what he had to do to get things done. Including lying.

I did not stop at the Chart Room, Don’s Place, or anywhere else. I know my temptations.

Syracuse basketball today! Syracuse plays Temple at noon at Madison Square Garden.

Syracuse presently ranked #3 nationally. The team has a 10-0 record. Temple has a decent record, also. 8-2. One of Temple’s loses was against Duke.

Should be a good game. Showing on ESPN2. I can watch it from my home which is what I plan doing.

Last night was the first night in almost a month that I was out. I liked it! Plan on going out again this evening.

Remember to listen to my blog talk radio show Tuesday morning, if you can. Seven my time. Christmas morning so you may already be up. A call in show also. So call in! We can chat about anything and everything. The telephone numbers to listen and/call in are set forth.

The show is also listed on Facebook and Twitter. By the end of today on Word Press. Just click on the notice and you are immediately at the blog talk radio site for my show.

The show is also available worldwide via Skype.

Enjoy your day!






I have played a game with my children and grandchildren over the years. The kids all participated till they became aware of the truth regarding Santa Claus.

I told them Santa Claus was my friend and that we talked on the telephone! And because of our friendship, he visited our home each year on Christmas Eve at dinner time to say hello to them. Santa was coached each year to tell the kids that Poppa was his friend. It gave credence to the relationship.

I was a big deal with all the children!

Now, there are only two left to act out this joyful charade. Robert and Ally. They still believe in Santa. With a fervor.

Yesterday, I  stopped at Lisa’s. Robert and Ally were home from school. I told them I had telephoned Santa that morning. They both got excited. Is he coming? I don’t know was my response. He could not come to the phone. He was in the factory with the elfs making toys. But…..he will call me back.

Last night, I worked till 10 finishing and fine tuning tomorrow’s TV/Internet show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. First time in ages I have been totally prepared a day early.

A good show. Watch, if you can. Every week more and more crazy things occur world wide. I am pleased I can share them with you.

The Key West Lou Legal Hour is at 10 in the morning my time. Airs via television on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19 all the way north through Miami-Dade County. It is available in 250,000 homes. The show also airs on the internet world wide.

During the course of the evening, I also published an article on Amazon Kindle: Big Brother. In retrospect, it could also have been labeled Peek a Boo…..I See You. It is the story of cameras and microphones being hidden in television sets for third party viewing.

Walgreen and walking were my two big out of house activities yesterday. Had to wait 20 minutes at Walgreen to pick up a prescription. The Walgreen system sucks.

Key West is unusual in many respects. One is outdoor home Christmas decorations. The locals go crazy! More homes decorated than up north. And better decorated in many instances. I have always wondered why. I suspect it might be the lack of snow. Something additional is needed to contribute to the holiday spirit.

I get out of the house this morning. I have a 10 o’clock haircut appointment with Lori.

Enjoy your day!




Key West’s Christmas season kicks off this week.

Thursday night is the Yacht Club Christmas Party. For the young. Santa Claus will be there with gifts.

Saturday is the Christmas Parade. Long. As with Macy’s, Santa Claus is on the last float. This is one of Key West’s best events. For young and old alike. All ages enjoy.

The Lighted Boat Parade is December 15. Sponsored by Schooner Wharf, it is a fantastic event. Many many boats will be dressed in Christmas lights. Ingenuity knows no bounds. Several times, I have done the Parade while on one of the boats. A party! Food and drink, music and dancing. Plus, cold! Out on the open water this time of the year, it is very cold. Boat people that night wear everything and then more.

The Parade can also be watched from shore. Two to three thousand will be watching and drinking and partying.

Robert and Ally are members of a swim team. The team is having its first meet Saturday morning. Robert and Ally will be swimming. Exciting!

My day out yesterday was simple. The bank and paid some bills.

The rest of the day was inside. Worked on Friday’s show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. Read more of the Ulysses Grant book. I am up to 1858. Grant was a failure. As a soldier, businessman, and farmer. Generally lived poorly.  Hard to believe that shortly he would be the North’s most successful general and later President of the United States.

The diet keeps me in. Away from food and booze. I avoid the near occasions of sin.

The diet has been working well till this morning. The scale said I had gain a pound. From 12 pounds lost to 11. I am not discouraged. Part of the dieting process.

Syracuse basketball!

Syracuse won again last night. Beat East Michigan 84-48. Syracuse is now 6-0. Even better, Syracuse is ranked #4 in the country.

The Orange played sloppy, especially in the beginning of the game. Eighteen turnovers.  Sutherland who scored 35 points in the last game, only scored 4 last night. On the positive side, three Syracuse freshman were in the double figures.

It is still early in the season. I question the ability of this year’s team. The Big East games after the first of the year will tell the story.

Sloan will be in late this afternoon. We are doing another practice blog talk radio show. It’s getting there. The show will be questions, answers, and exchanges between me and the caller.

A chill in the air this morning. Overcast, also. It will clear and be warm later.

Enjoy your day!