Stone crab season opens today. The season runs from October 15 to May 15. I consider stone crabs the best of foods. If I were to be executed and had one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

I was first introduced to stone crabs in the early 1960s in Miami Beach. Where else but Joe’s Stone Crabs! I have been addicted ever since.

Local fisherman are not sure whether it will be a good season or bad. They never know at the beginning. Two months into the season they will.

Fantasy Fest had an early beginning this week. Not in Key West. In Marathon. A 60 year old man was arrested for running up and down US 1 bare ass.

The Pier House recently remodeled its beach bar. I lunched there yesterday. The remodeling was not extensive. It involved redoing the wall behind the bar. The wall is now covered with a huge wood panel with some insignificant design. Pretty. Not beachy, however.

I spent the whole afternoon writing. Two days in a row. I am into it.

Growing Up Italian has been set aside for the moment. My publisher insists on another World Upside Down work. The World Upside Down is becoming a series. I have promised to have it out forthwith.

I can see already the book will be a third longer than the first. I have decided to sneak in a couple of the Growing Up Italian and Greece book chapters. They will fit. The Growing
Up Italian has so many chapters already that it will probably end up a series, also.

I needed a taste of old time Key West. It was dinner at Hogfish at the bar. Chatted the time away with fishermen typical of days gone by. Bearded, somewhat toothless, extremely thin, bronzed and weathered. I enjoyed a comical time discussing the mundane.

Last night was Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I love doing the show! I appreciate all who listen.

Post show comments indicated the ebola portion garnered the most interest. All I said was cool it. Every one getting excited. McCain wants an ebola czar, a nurses’ union wants better training, Afro-Americans are saying the man from Liberia died because he was black. The last item bothers me. Not every issue is a black issue. Saying it is does not make it so. Keep playing the black card and eventually a legitimate cause will not gain support.

Friday night Goombay. Two days away. Fantasy Fest around the corner.

Enjoy your day! Continue Reading


This is the week! Fantasy Fest kicks off friday evening with Goombay. Key West is getting ready.

It is estimated 60,000 persons will visit Key West during the 10 day event. It has been reported hotels are already sold out. Available bookings are 30 miles and further up US 1 in Big Pine and Marathon.

Streets and sidewalks get barricaded during certain events. The barricades are laying against buildings on Duval waiting to be erected.

Body painting is a big deal. Especially for the ladies. Store front and other places already have posters up inviting people to be body painted at their establishment. Not a cheap endeavor. Cost this year will probably be between $150 and $175. One advantage is that the body paint lasts about a week. A person can shower, etc. and the body paint remains.

As an inducement, one person who provides the body painting service is offering a free touch up.

There is a charitable purpose involved in Fantasy Fest. Raising money for AIDS Help. Candidates run for King and Queen. He/she who raise the most money become King and Queen for a year. Candidates will raise six figure money. This is the closing week for the fundraising. Candidates are pushing for last minute donations. Most seeking significant check donations.

Goombay kicks off Fantasy Fest. It is held the first two nights of the event. This friday and saturday. Goombay is a family event as opposed to the next eight days which unequivocally are an adult party. Leave the kids home!

Goombay is a street festival. Food, trinkets, and clothes being sold. An area set aside for gospel and reggae music. The music outstanding!

My grandchildren Robert and Ally will visit Goombay with their parents. Poppa does Goombay late in the evening. Too late for the grandkids.

Larry Smith appears again tomorrow evening at La Te Da. His show begins at 9. It was a blast last week. Will undoubtedly be as good, if not better, this week. If you are in Key West, I suggest you go. I plan on being there.

I have decided to add a musical introduction and closing to my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Larry has been helping me put something together. Five to six seconds. Never thought it would be that hard to come up with something that short. We have not finalized on anything yet.

Yesterday was Don’s Place for pro football. I got there a bit late. No place to sit. I stood a while and then thought this is not for me. I went to Salute’s and sat outside by the door. A shady area. I enjoyed some refreshment and read the sunday papers. I also watched the ladies in their bikinis on the beach. It is thrilling to be a dirty old man!

I was home early in the afternoon. My ankles coming along. Still large. I put my feet up for four hours. It helped.

I cannot explain why. My book The World Upside Down is having a resurgence in sales this past month. Happy I am! If you would like to obtain a copy, the book is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

I almost forgot. For shame. Today is Columbus Day. For persons of my heritage to take special pride in. I am of Italian extraction and proud to be so. My mother was born in Italy. My father here, of parents who were born in Italy.

Enjoy your day!






Goombay begins a week from friday. Besides being a feast unto itself, the event marks the beginning of Fantasy Fest.

Goombay is a Bahamian celebration. Its origins trace back to around 1825 when 30-40 wrecking ships yearly began arriving in Key West from the Bahamas. Later in the 1800s, many Bahamians moved to Key West to work in the fishing, sponging and turtling businesses.

Goombay is held in the heart of Key West’s Bahama Village. The feast itself is held on Petronia Street where it runs off Duval. Stands erected on both sides of the street offering all sorts of exotic foods and trinkets. Typical Bahamian music will be from a bandstand at the far end of Petronia.

The word gombay is derived from the musical instrument Bahamians played. The same type which today are played by many all over the world. The small wood cylinder covered with a material which responds to hands beating on it while held between the player’s knees.

Petronia Street will be jam packed for the event. Crowded. Little walking space. Everyone moving at a crawl. The event reminds me of the Italian San Gennaro feast held every year in Little Italy in New York. Same narrow street. Mulberry. Stands on both sides. Hundreds of people.

Bahama Village is and has been primarily a marginal area. However in recent years, many fine restaurants and shops have opened. Most doing a thriving business.

I spent yesterday afternoon finalizing last night’s blog talk radio show. Half the show was devoted to what I described as the disintegration of our legal system. I enjoyed doing it. I plan on putting it to print today or tomorrow and submitting the topic as next week’s KONK Life column.

This week’s KONK Life column hits the streets at 5 today. Banks Divorce Porn Stars…..Hypocrisy. You will enjoy the article.

Spent a lot of time running around yesterday, accomplishing nothing. At 5, I stopped at Don’s Place for a drink. Ran into Jimmy, Joanie, and John. Jimmy still ranting about the new parking ordinance. He is right in everything he is saying. However nothing anyone can do about it. The powers to be in Key West have ruled.

My ankles are coming down. About half way there this morning. A water pill a day and keeping my feet up as much as possible.

Read something interesting on the internet yesterday. The Pentagon or Department of Defense gave a rifle, hand gun, and humvee to a local coroner somewhere in this country. Tell me why a coronner needs the guns and the humvee. If he wants a Humvee, let him go out and buy one!

Enjoy your day!




Big night ahead! Larry Smith opens at La Te Da at 9. Everyone will be there. A new gig and a new opening for Larry.

See you there!

My day started yesterday at 5 am. As I explained in yesterday’s blog, I was like four days late in getting my KONK Life column to Guy. Rose early and got it done! A lesson learned. Get it out on time next time.

The column is interesting. It concerns banks and a new game they are playing…..de-risking. I describe it as whorish conduct.

I spent part of the afternoon at Don’s Place watching pro football. Larry was there. We chatted a bit. He asked why I was not at Unity Church in morning. He played. Next week perhaps, I told him.

Aaron stopped by. The Jewish holidays are over. For some reason I cannot fathom, Sy Turret has been on my mind this past week. Of the Jewish faith. He transplanted from New York City to Utica. Sy was a court stenographer. We were close friends for many years. A better person could not be found. Sy has been dead at least 10 years now.

Marty Leshaw is a transplanted New Yorker to South Florida. A court reporter, also. He and Sy were cut from the same bolt of cloth. Typical New Yorkers. Loud, boisterous and friendly. I believe Marty and I became good friends because he reminded me of Sy so much.

I become more impressed with Don as time goes on. He has become a Key West icon. The world can be found at Don’s Place. Many stop in to meet him. He has become Joe of Sloppy Joe’s and Captain Tony. It is his time.

The five days of steroids got rid of my back/leg pain. However, it created another problem.

I have heart problems. Occasionally my ankles swell. Not healthy. Five years ago, Dr. McIvor got the problem under control. I no longer needed water pills. I was proud of my thin ankles. The steroids accumulate sodium in the body. My ankles are big again! It has been a week since I stopped taking the steroids. I am back on water pills. The ankles have yet to budge. Could be a real problem. The last time I had swelling, it took a whole year to correct.

The water pill encourages bathroom activity. I woke in th middle of the night. My bladder needed emptying. I have lived in my Key West home for 16 years. I walk from my bed to the master bathroom at night in the dark. No problem. Till last night. I walked into the door jam instead. Head first!

The King and Queen race will soon come to an end. Please remember to do your thing for my friend ML.

Fantasy Fest itself is around the corner. Eleven days to Goombay.

Enjoy your day!


Syracuse got whipped last night. By Louisville. 28-6. Syracuse now 2-3. Not a good year in the making.

I watched the game at Don’s Place. I was the only Syracuse fan, the only one interested in the game.

Jimmy, Joanie and John sitting near me. Jimmy still complaining about the new Key West parking ordinance which went into effect October 1. For some a benefit, others a detriment. For Jimmy, a detriment. For me, too. Such is life.

One of the reasons, and probably the primary one, why Syracuse is doing poorly again this year is money. A university sports department does not run the program. Academia does. The faculty. Which includes the intellectuals who never played sports in their lives.

When a college is doing well sports wise, the faculty start making noises to the effect that we are nor a sports institution. We exist to teach. The sports budget is then slowly cut over the years. As the budget goes down, so does the quality of the team.

I have seen it happen several times over the course of my life time and relationship with Syracuse.

Then comes the dawn. There is a recession, not enough students applying, money becoming a problem. The solution. Increase the emphasis on sports. Bring in more revenue. The pendulum swings.

Syracuse has not reached the point where the faculty sees a need for an influx of new dollars. When it occurs again, Syracuse will field a good football team.

Basketball is another story. I do not know how Boeheim does it. He is subject to the same faculty pressures.

Lunch at Outback yesterday. I like the place for lunch. Quiet. Good food. I can sit for a couple of hours and read the newspapers. Yesterday it was potato soup, hamburger and a diet Pepsi. $9.85. You can’t beat it!

I had dinner last night before the game at the Boathouse. It has been years since I ate there. No particular reason, except it is sort of out of the way for me. The Boathouse sits under the Commodore on the waterfront.

A definite tourist place. I sat at the bar and watched people come and go. Everyone happy! How could they not be vacationing in Key West.

I had a double order of wings. The bartender to told me only 6 or 8 came with an order. They were delicious, though on the small side. Not as good as Kelley’s.

I had need to be in Radio Shack and K-Mart in the afternoon. Things appeared bad in both stores. A shortness of merchandise. Empty shelves.

It does not surprise me. It was reported this week that Radio Shack might go under. It does not have the money to stack the shelves for Christmas. I have heard nothing re K-Mart.

Earlier this year, I commented on my blog talk radio show that retailers would have a hard time surviving over the next couple of years. Specifically, retailers who sold to the 99 percent. The group did not have enough money to support their usual retailers. I mentioned some companies who were already experiencing the problem. Today, it is Radio Shack. Perhaps K-Mart, also.

As with most other things in the country, the legal system is breaking down. It took only 11 days to indict the fellow who jumped the fence and got into the White House. It is now 56 days since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. No indictment yet. It makes you wonder where justice for the little guy has gone.

Fantasy Fest around the corner. Only 12 more days till Goombay.

Enjoy your day!

WE WON!!!!!

We met the enemy and they are ours.

Bocce last night. We played the #1 team. Hell’s Rangers. The name alone brings chills. It is mid season. Hell’s Rangers till last evening had lost only one game. We ranked in the middle of the standings. We beat ’em! Took 2 of 3 games.

Don’t screw with the Don’s Place team!

The first game was close. We won. They beat us decidedly in the second. We won the third by a respectable number.

Next week, we will play the last team in the standings and lose. We play to our competition.

Lunched yesterday at what I call the old Paradise Cafe. Now located on White, just off Eaton. I had a yearning for Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Topped off by a large cup of Cuban coffee.

I was tried. I don’t know why. All the caffeine in the Cuban coffee should have had me flying high. Spent the afternoon napping.

Syracuse football tonight. Louisville the opponent. At the Carrier Dome. Seven o’clock. Shown on ESPN.

I am not sure whether I will be watching the game from JDL’s or Don’s Place. Louisville a 4 point favorite. I believe Syracuse will lose.

Fantasy Fest is around the corner. Thirteen days to Goombay. You can sense it. It’s in the air. People getting ready, people talking.

As you are aware, I am an historical nut. John Guerra wrote an interesting article this morning in KONK’s E-Blast. It had to do with the assassination attempt on President Truman in 1950. I was in high school at the time and recall it vividly. The attempt played out much differently than the recent guy over the White House fence episode.

Today is a day of historical sport note. On this day in 1951, Bobby Thomson  hit the “…..shot heard round the world.” A three run homer in the ninth. Resulted in the New York Giants winning the National League penant over the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I was in high school at the time of this event, also. I was stacking groceries in a super market after school. The game was being broadcast on radio throughout the store. It was an exciting moment. Everyone went crazy! Customers and staff alike.

Karen and Dan, I would like to speak with you. Actually, Karen. Let’s make sure we meet at Don’s Place sometime this weekend.

Enjoy your day!


Great Goombay Night


Show time yesterday morning. The Key West Lou Legal hour. My TV/internet show.

I was shocked at the response to what I believe will be the big issue in the next debt ceiling fight in three months. The response was huge. Instead of Obamacare being the issue, I suggested it might be the result of a marriage between the U.S. Conference of Bishops and the Republicans. The issue: Birth control.

The Bishops want available birth control coverage cut back even more. The far right believe this will bring the mass of Catholics on to their side. No way. Birth control was the issue that first drove Catholics from the Church back in the 10950s and 1960s. I know. I lived it. It was the early years of my marriage.

The ants are gone. I won another battle. My laptop works. I am surprised! I thought they might have feasted on the wires inside.

Spent my afternoon napping.

Last night, Goombay!

Goombay has become a tradition of sorts the past several years. It is a Don Manaher party for his friends. Twenty of us last night.

The evening started At Don’s Place. Then several cabs to 801. 801 is one of the gayest of gay bars in Key West. I suspect everyone in our group are only there the one night of the year that Goombay begins.

We continued the partying that had begun at Don’s Place. I drank Yager for the first time. A bunch of guys were doing Yager shots. I joined them. My eyes teared.

I did the usual walk down Petronia Street. Each year I am amazed at the street’s development. More and more stores and restaurants.

The music was at the far end of Petronia. Reggae. I sat and listened for a while. In the same area as the band stand, there were all kinds of kids’ rides. I have to tell Lisa about them. The grandkids will enjoy big time.

I stopped at the outside bar at Blue Heaven. Packed as usual for Goombay. Had a drink and took in the crowd.

Started my walk back to Don’s Place where I had left my car. A bit of a walk. I was on Duval and passing the Little Room Jazz Club. Only been open about six months. Krystal, my engineer at the TV studio, bartends at night. She is always telling me to stop in. I did last night.

What a beautiful place! Well done! I knew it before when it was an art gallery. Décor totally different. I was further impressed by the number of people. Inside and out. Packed. Mostly tourists. A bad sign from my perspective. I have seen it before. A business cannot survive in Key West without local support. Tourists come and go. Locals are here all the time.

Whatever, it was a fun place last night.

Krystal looked lovely! A beautiful young lady. I enjoyed a drink and some fruit and cheese at the bar. A singer entertaining. Kristen McNamara. Excellent. She and her guitar. Not Key West music, however. It was more of what I would expect to hear in a New York or Chicago hotel bar. Will it go over in Key West? I do not know.

Kristen has an interesting background. She appeared on American Idol in 2009. She was a top finalist on Star Search in 2003.

Met an interesting couple at the Jazz Club. Anne and Glenn Ford. From Lumberton, North Carolina. Celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary! Congratulations Anne and Glenn!

Glen is retired. He used to restore Volkswagens. Anne still works. She is in health care.

This was their first night and first time in Key West. I told them to get over to Goombay. Enjoy a Key West flavor! I mentioned some other places they might also enjoy while here. Hope I run into them again during their visit.

I left the Jazz Club and walked back to Don’s Place. A bit of a hike. I made it without tiring.

Don’s was packed. Most of our group had reconnoitered and were now partying at Don’s. I said my hellos, did not have a drink, and drove home to bed.

I have no idea what I will be doing tonight. May stay in. On the other hand, a little Chart Room and perhaps Irish Kevin’s would not hurt. Fantasy Fest visitors are streaming into town. Some of the ladies will be clad in less than usual clothing. Some topless. I am a voyeur at heart and enjoy looking.

Enjoy your day!






Fantasy Fest returns! It starts today!

The opening event is Goombay.

Takes place in Bahama Village. On Petronia Street. Petronia runs off Duval.

A Caribbean festival. Food galore.  Music from gospel to reggae. Everyone friendly.

Goombay runs several blocks. Food, beer and trinket stands on both sides of the street. People crowded down the middle between them. The bodies, heat, and cooking make the street hot hot!

I will be going tonight. This is Don’s night. He entertains his friends. We will cab from Don’s Place to 801. 801 is at the entrance of Goombay on Duval. A gay bar. We will stop there for a drink or two first. Then the walk down Petronia. We eventually end up at the outside bar at Blue Heaven where the rest of the night is spent.

A fun time.

The ants returned. Yesterday. Not in the kitchen. Upstairs in my bedroom!

I woke and was watching television from my bed. I keep an extra laptop in my bedroom. It sits on an ottoman where it charges when not in use. I picked it up and returned to bed to read the news and check my messages. Opened the laptop. That was it! Little ants came out all over the place! Not only were they between the two main pieces, they were coming out of the keyboard and every hole on the laptop.

Worse yet, into my bed. Running all over the sheets.

I leaped up and ran and put the computer back on the ottoman. That is when I saw hundreds of little ants all over the ottoman top. Centered on an open pack of Newport menthol cigarettes. The box top was open. Two cigarettes inside. The ants were attracted to the menthol cigarettes.

First things first, I ran back to the bed. Ripped the sheets off the bed. Shook them right there. A mistake because I shook them onto the carpet. At least I got them out of my bed!

I had some extra TERRO ant traps. Placed them on the ottoman and on the ground nearby where the ants were scurrying. They were running in a line down the side of the ottoman over the carpet to a small opening between a glass sliding door and the wall.

The whole scenario disgusting!

The computer was a problem. I brushed the ants off the keyboard. Did not help much. They were coming out of every orifice. What to do? I ran into the bathroom and put the laptop in the middle of the jacuzzi. Placed some TERRO house traps in the jacuzzi. A mistake, however. TERRO makes the ants eat whatever is inside the houses. Then the ants return to their nest and contaminate the rest of the ants. These ants were stuck in the deep shiny Jacuzzi with nowhere to go. Then they started climbing the sides.

I got ’em! I turned on the hot water. It took several soakings and about a half hour. At the end hey were either dead or down the drain.

I took the laptop out of the Jacuzzi before hand, of course. There were still some ants coming out of the laptop. I placed it on the floor near the path the ants were taking with a TERRO house nearby.

I had bocce last night. When I returned home, there were no ants to be seen anywhere. I did not try to turn on the computer.

This morning still no ants. Good! Nothing coming out of the computer at this time. However, I still have not turned it on. Oh yes, I vacuumed the laptop’s keyboard and holes this morning. Just in case. I will let you know tomorrow if the laptop is working.

Bocce last night. We won only 1 game. Lost 2. Played the Donkeys. It was what  we refer to as a money game. The Donkeys hee haw their opponents if they do wrong. We received a lot of hee haws last night.

Lori is a physiotherapist. She plays for the Donkeys. Last night was her night! She was spectacular! One of the reasons we lost.

Between the ants and bocce yesterday, I fine tuned this mornings TV/internet show. I have already done the show this morning. I will discuss it with you in tomorrow’s blog.

To my friends outside Key West, come on down! Join us for Fantasy Fest. It lasts 10 days. The last three are the best. Includes the big parade. There will be 80,000 people in town for the parade. I often wonder how the island does not sink. I also wonder where they all sleep. There are not enough rooms in all of the Keys to handle such a crowd.

Enjoy your day!





It is here again! Fantasy Fest! It began last night. With Goombay.

Goombay is a Caribbean street festival. Blocks of food, drink and trinkets. A rap band at one end. The streets very crowded.

My evening started just before 6 at the Chart Room. I was to meet Don and Chris. The bar was empty when I arrived. A table was full. Sheila, David and Ollie. And a woman I did not know. I said my hellos and payed no attention to the strange lady. When I turned to the bar, Emily says that woman is Charlotte and she is waiting for you.

First let me say I do not know what I would do without Emily. She has become Key West Lou’s personal assistant.

I immediately recalled Charlotte. She is a loyal reader of this blog. We have been communicating on Facebook. We ended up in each other’s arms and exchanged excited greetings.

Charlotte is extremely lovely. Turns out last night was an evening of all lovlies. Charlotte lives somewhere in North Carolina. Lives on a boat. The past ten years. She works for United Health Care. My supplemental and drug policies. Travels a lot for her company. This was her fourth trip to Key West this year. Her Key West trips are on her own. She is a Key Wester at heart. I enjoyed her company and look forward to seeing her at the Chart Room again during the week.

Don and Chris arrived. My Syracuse friends. They both travel a lot for business. Key West is their second home, though they still stay at the Casa Marina. Don looked shot. Chris terrific, as usual. They both had returned from a China business trip the day before.

They arrived with two lovely ladies. One was either Don or Chris’ sister. I cannot remember exactly. Marla is the sister. Her friend Kathie was with her.

Both ladies work for Phillips Distilling in Minneapolis. Marla is Design Director. She is in charge of all labeling. Kathie is Director of Marketing. More importantly, Marla is a loyal blog reader. Thank you Marla!

Phillips is the producer of UV Voldka. All those flavors! The proud distiller of Old Grandad back when.

Marla and Kathie recently did a TV show for Lifetime Network. They were the stars! Promoting Phillip’s products, of course. They even had Joe Biden on the show.They showed me a photo taken of the Vice President holding a bottle of beer Phillips named after him. The Vice President had a broad grin on his face.

Before our time together ended, we had circled the bar stools and were all talking. Charlotte included.

I had an appointment to meet Don of Don’s Place. I was off and away. Walked to Petronia Street where Goombay is held. Stopped into 801 looking for Don. No Don. No one I knew. 801 is Key West’s premier gay bar. Don and friends were to meet there and then head into the mass across the street that was Goombay. I missed them.

I walked the several blocks of Goombay. Said hello to many people I knew. Stopped and chatted a few minutes with some. Ate and drank a bit. Finally ended up at the bandstand at the end of the street. Everyone enjoying rap.

Made my way back to Blue Heaven. The second designated meeting place for Don and friends. Don and everyone were at the bar.

Goombay is Don’s party. Everyone is his guest at 801 and then Blue Heaven. Don has a heart of gold.

It was Don’s Place and the bocce team transplanted to Blue Heaven. Don, Stephanie, David, Joanie, Herschel, Erika, Keith, Angus, Sandy, Frankie, and I cannot recall who else.

Frankie is a man of many talents. He is Key West’s premier plumber. He is the man when a toilet is plugged! He is also my bocce partner. Probably the best bocce player in Key West. Last night I discovered he was a musician, also.

The band was on a second level. Up there in the lights was Frankie beating the drums.

It was hot. I was hot. A humid evening to begin. Add the mass of people to the humidity and it could become unbearable. It did for me. So much so that when I arrived at Blue Heaven, I ordered a cold bottle of beer. A Budweiser. David was shocked. He had never seen me drink antything but gin.

I do not like beer. Have never liked it. It did cool me a bit. However, I had that sour after taste. I shall stay with gin from now on. Last night was my first deviation in 45 years. There will not be another.

On the walk back to my car, I ran into Ollie. Ollie is a recent friend. He is a candidate for the Mosquito Control Board. An important position in the Keys. He was with two lovely ladies. I told you earlier, it was an evening of lovely ladies. They were his sisters.

The Key West Lou Legal Hour went well yesterday. Many today topics discussed. The one that garnered the most interest was my discussion of the NFL’s tax status. It is tax exempt. You read it correctly. It has 501(c)(6) status. It is considered a not for profit for tax purposes. Since 1966. Another biggie that does not pay income taxes. The NFL’s cash flow is in the billions. The NFL pays its President Roger Godell $11.6 million. I do not believe professinal baseball and basketball enjoy a similar exemption.

My evening began at 5:30. It was over at 9:30. I was dead! Slept well last night.

Enjoy your day!


Tomorrow is the big day! I will start publishing the trip pictures! Finally!

Last night was strange. The best of the evening was the last part of it.

We start at the beginning, however.

I stopped by the Chart Room. It was late. About eight. No customers. Just me and JJ. Had one drink and passed the time away chatting with JJ.

My plan was to have dinner at Kelley’s. I desired wings. The rain changed my mind. It was pouring. I opted for the Wine Galley instead. For those of you who might not know, the Chart Room and Wine Galley are both part of the Pier House complex.

Larry Smith was playing. His audience included Rob and Lois from bocce night and Danville, Pennsylvania. Mary Deasy arrived a bit later and sat with them.

I ate at the bar and read the newspapers. Larry in my ear while my eyes scanned the news. It worked well.

Stayed a while. When I left, I had to pass the Chart Room to get to my car. Seated alone at the corner of the bar was Captain Peter.

The Captain is known as Captain Peter and Peter. I shall refer to him here as Peter.

I joined Peter. He was as glad to see me as I him. Everyone likes Peter. I cannot think of one person who does not. He is that type of person.

Peter was lamenting. He volunteered that in six days on September 12 he was going to be 70. It was bothering him. I laughed and said, “Hell, I’m 77! So what? Enjoy!”

We then got into a deep and profound discussion for about an hour. The type of discussion only men in their 70s can understand and appreciate. Peter seemed better at the end of our talk.

Let me share some Peter background with you. He is an unusual man.

Peter is a proud Brit. He was born in England. He came to the United States as a young man. Sometime back in the early 1960s, I suspect. He fought for his new country. He became a citizen of his new country.

Peter has traveled the world. Twice he sailed on a small boat alone around the world. A tough guy. His stories of fighting off pirates in the orient are dramatic.

Peter lives on his sail boat. I do not know if it is the same one that took him round world twice.

The sail boat he calls home is moored some two miles off Key West in the Gulf. A pretty far and pretty gutsy place to live. All alone out there. No boat neighbors. No land to be seen.

Peter has a small motorized rubber dinghy that he uses to get back and forth. Some evenings Peter lingers too long and it is dark when he leaves. Some nights the water is rough. Peter generally can handle conditions. But…..there are nights when Peter may have had a bit too much to drink. He putt putts out to his sail boat and cannot find it in the dark. There have been evenings when it has taken him two hours to find his sail boat. One night, he slipped going from the dinghy to the boat. It took him two hours again before he was able to get out of the water and into the sail boat.

With age comes wisdom. Peter recently bought a used van. On the nights he thinks it not safe to make the trip to the boat, he sleeps in the back of the van.

Peter looks the part of a British lord. Tall and thin. White hair surrounds his bald top. He has a well clipped white moustache. He speaks with a soft unquestionable British accent.

If you run into Peter between now the the 12th, wish him a Happy Birthday!

Read an interesting tidbit in yesterday’s Key West Citizen. It was part of an interesting op-ed by the owners of Schooner Wharf. Their rent is $46,811.86 a month. Wow! However consistent with commercial Key West rents. I suspect the new Coyote Ugly on Duval has to be paying $35,000 a month. Whether Schooner Wharf or Coyote Ugly, these places have to sell a hell of a lot of booze to survive!

Duval Street has received national recognition. It has been listed as one of the 10 Best Streets of 2012. The designation claims Duval is the soul of Key West. It is.

Fantasy Fest around the corner. Starts with Goombay on Octobedr 19 and runs through October 28. Fun time!

Enjoy your Sunday!