Raven has been one of Key West’s leading vocalists for many years. I have heard her sing on occasion. She appeared at the Wine Galley as Larry Smith’s guest often. I was never impressed with her.

Last night, I was. Why the change of heart, I do not know. I heard Raven last night and was very much taken with her. It was  pleasure to listen to her. Why last night and not before, I do not know.

I used to tell Larry Smith I did not enjoy her singing. He used to ask why, telling me she was one of the best on the island. Larry was right.

Early yesterday afternoon was at my heart doctor’s office. Dr. Mc Ivor. It was time for another echo heart test.

The balance of the afternoon was spent continuing research for next week’s KONK Life column. It has to do with the Muslim impact on Sweden in recent years. Interesting material.

Spent time chatting with Shawn at the Chart Room. Always good company.

Tom and Fran Dixon from the Buffalo area showed up. They arrived yesterday. Good friends. We talked away over a couple of drinks at the Chart Room. Syracuse basketball was one of the topics. Tom is a diehard fan, also.

We agreed to have dinner together saturday evening at Square One.

Today is what I would describe as a reflective day in history. Reflective for you and me. On this date in 1938, Germany officially annexed Austria. Shades of Russia and Crimea today.

Hitler’s next step after Austria was marching into Czechoslovakia. Will Putin follow suit and forcefully take eastern Ukraine?

Bocce tonight. I have not played in 4-5 weeks. I will get there if I have to crawl. I hope I remember how to throw the ball.

Enjoy your day!



Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enough said. Stay sober.

I am a weather man today. The wind is from the south this morning. Rare. Whenever from the south, it rains/storms. Lovely out at the moment. Sun shinning. Nary a cloud. However, palm trees bent north from the south wind. Ripples in the pool running north, also.

The weather report says only a 10% chance of rain today. I disagree. Let’s see if I am correct.

The Greek isle of Amorgos is my Shangri-la. When there, I live as the natives. A small apartment on the waterfront. Few amenities. No airport. The boat comes in with people and supplies once a week.

Saturday’s Keynoter had a picture on the editorial page of a fishing net and well attired gentleman who apparently had been mending the net. The net was hanging  from some sort of post in the picture. The picture a 1977 photo.

My Amorgos home was about a hundred yards from Adelphos’ home. Each time I walked into the heart of the village, I had to walk by Adelpho’s place.

Most afternoons, I would find Adelphos sitting on the ground in front of his abode. About 30 feet from the water. In his lap and surrounding him was a large fishing net. He was always mending the net. Daily. Otherwise, the net would fall apart in a few days. The mending involved looking for places to repair and untangling parts of the net that had twisted together. Adelphos worked primarily with his fingers. Adeptly. Sometimes with some sort of needle. About four inches long.

Mending nets is referred to in the Bible in several places. Four of Jesus’ disciples were fisherman who joined him while mending their nets. Mending nets probably goes back to the beginnings of man.

In all the centuries, nothing has changed for Adelphos or the fisherman of Amorgos who came before him. Though it has changed here in the United States and most of the modern world. The mending is more technical and machine driven.

I had to get out of the house early due to the open house. I was at the Plantation Coffee House at 11. Stayed till 3. Would have stayed longer. However, the place closes at 3 on Sunday. I did not know. While there, I did yesterday’s blog, read some Sunday papers, had a couple of cups of coffee and a toasted bagel. Chatted a bit with owner Diana. Yesterday’s blog was unusually long. The spread of European Nazism and the failure of the American media to keep us advised is bothersome from my perspective.

I could not return home till after 4. It was only 3. I was driving along the Atlantic and passed the Key West Airport. I turned around and headed to it. My goal was the Airport’s restaurant.

I am glad I decided to go there. Only when traveling would I normally stop.

It was old home week. Victor was bartending. Several years ago, Victor was the bartender one night a week at the Chart Room. Someone came up and hugged me as Victor and I were talking. It was Jana. I enjoyed seeing her again. Big time!

Jana immigrated from one of the eastern block countries to Key West. She is presently 32. Our connection goes back to the Paradise Cafe. My daily morning haunt of years ago. My favorite place for Cuban cheese toast with tomato. The best! Never that good again!

Jana was the enterprising sort. She opened her own restaurant on Bertha Street after Paradise closed. She had a hard time. The place did not take off. She took a financial beating. I used to go frequently because she was serving the same Cuban cheese toast with tomato that I had enjoyed for so many years at Paradise Cafe.

A few years have passed. Jana looked terrific. Happy. The pressure off her face. A bad business will do that to a person. She has been a waitress at the Airport for over a year. Married, also. A retired military man.

The twenty young men have left the MTV house across the way. Yesterday. Replaced by couples and children. When I went outside this morning, a mother carrying a baby waived at me..

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is in the process of purchasing Miami’s Channel 10. South Florida’s second largest TV station. Welcome Buffett and company. Anyplace/anything he decides to buy has to be good!

Syracuse is a #3 seed in the South Region. I am surprised. I thought it might be higher. That is all I have to say. We shall see how things go as the tournament progresses. Friday is the first game.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!


Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred

Theirs not to reason why;

Theirs but to do and die.

Crimea is in the news big time these days. As is Russia, other European nations and Ukraine. War threatens. In 1854, there was a war in Crimea. The Crimean War. Involved were Crimeans, Russians, Great Britain, certain other Euro nations, and many of the Muslim faith.

On October 25, the Battle of Balaklava took place. An ill fated event in British military history. The British calvary charging up the hill were decimated. Totally destroyed. Fire from each side and above. The attack was a mistake. A for real administrative error. The British troops should not have been riding up that hill.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was poet laureate at the time. After the battle, he wrote his famous The Charge of the Light Brigade. The opening quoted four lines of this blog represent four lines from the poem.

History appears to be repeating itself. Hopefully war will not ensue.

Live long enough and you get to meet everyone.

Jimmy Valvano was North Carolina State basketball coach. His team won the Final Four in 1983. Many will recall the film of Valvano immediately after the winning game. He was running up and down the court looking for some one to hug.

Valvano died of cancer at age 47.  Yesterday’s Key West Citizen carried a quote of his concerning cancer. “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.”

A couple of years after the Final Four victory, I was in Italy for a one month family vacation. It was the last three days of the trip. My parents and son had already left for home. It was just my wife, two daughters and me. The night was late. They were tired. Left me wandering the Via Veneto as they returned to the pension.

The Via Veneto is Rome’s main street. Bustling with character and charm twenty four hours a day. Many outside cafes. Sitting at one alone was Jimmy Valvano. I immediately recognized him.

I went over, introduced myself, related my Syracuse affiliation and friendship with Jim Boeheim. Valvano and I became immediate friends.

His wife had gone back to the hotel tired. We sat, enjoyed Italian coffees and chatted for quite a while. A nice guy. A memorable evening for me.

Yesterday included a meeting downtown, manicure, and time at Don’s Place. Tammy happily was relating to me her happiness with their new home. Love her! She and her husband deserve all the joys they are experiencing. Later, I chatted with David and Herschel at Don’s Place. We are going to be short handed thursday at bocce. Herschel, Erika and Jennifer will not be there.

Stopped to visit Lisa in between. Jake was sick. Had been up chucking. Poor Jake!

Blog talk radio tonight. I will be discussing how the economy is bad for some of the big guys, also. An interesting change in the Utah polygamy laws. It is now legal. Who would want five wives, however? A 70 year old father who discovered his son’s fiancée was in the escort business. Should he tell his son? U.S. combat aircraft having a superior readiness to all other nations. The looting of the Ukraine already by American and Euro nation banks. Obama and Putin playing chicken to the detriment of the world. The head of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi party running for President. Putin nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And more.

Revealing information. A quick moving half hour.  www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. The show is archived. It is also available on You Tube following the actual broadcast. Enter the show’s title Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou and the date of the show in numbers. My pic and voice come up. Enjoy!

The You Tube version is not posted till 3-4 days after the show. Sorry. We are working on it getting posted sooner.

New college basketball rankings came out yesterday. Syracuse #11. How the mighty fall! Two weeks ago, Syracuse was #1. Unless Syracuse wins the ACC tournament this week, Syracuse will be a 3 or 4 seed in the big tournament.

Enjoy your day!