First, the weather. The cold front is gone. Key West is back to glorious weather. High 70’s by day, low 70’s by night. No air conditioning day or night. No humidity.

The sun is shining brightly this morning on the MTV house across the water from me. The house is multi colored. Yellow the basic color, with blue and pink trim. Really hues. Even the mangrove trees fronting on the water are a special green this morning.

The MTV house is reflecting full size in the water between our homes. A magnificent sight!

My day yesterday started early. A fasting blood test. The steroids screwed up my last one and so we are redoing.

Hemingway, stone crabs and Africa. All in one evening. In one place. The Chart Room.

Someone wrote in chalk on the blackboard at the end of the bar in large letters…..HEMINGWAY WAS NEVER HERE! A Chart Room question often asked. Did Hemingway hang out at the Chart Room? He could not have. Hemingway had been long dead when the Chart Room came into existence in 1965.

Emily was bartending. She lucked out. One of the Pier House guests and his wife had been stone crabbing in the afternoon. They brought Emily several (crushed) and the mustard sauce. Emily dined well!

Africa came into the Chart Room in the form of Amy Culver. Amy has lived in Key West forever. A prominent citizen. She visits Africa 2-3 times a year. Has been doing so for years. She arrived with two friends. One a former American Airlines attendant, the other a Baltimore-Annapolis realtor. I had a fun time chatting with the three. Especially the realtor. I forgot to get their names.

After the two visitors left, Amy remained and we talked alone a while.

Then to the Hot Tin roof for dinner.

The bar unusually busy.

A combination of locals and visitors. The dinning room full.

Many of the guests were power boaters. Power boaters are easy to spot. The women dress a bit more.The men generally in long pants. Two were wearing jackets. No one wears a jacket in Key West. Whatever they were wearing exuded affluence. As it should. Power boating is an expensive sport. Requires big bucks. Only the rich can afford to participate.

The issue of corporate taxes keeps coming up. Many corporations have become technically foreign based in order to avoid U.S. taxes. It was recently disclosed that Pepsi Cola, Fed Ex, and Proctor & Gamble are among those that do so.

What bugs me is that if the rich do not pay their taxes, how is this country run? The answer is obvious. It is run on the backs of the middle class and those of lesser economic status. The middle class has eroded, however. So the responsibility is that of the working poor and those fortunate to be a step up from them on the economic scale. Not right! Not fair! The tax laws must be fixed so those American dollars can come home.

Enjoy your day!


I am late getting the blog out this morning. Sorry. I was up at my usual time to do it. The computer would not work. After playing around with it a couple of hours, it has started working. Hope it stays that way.

Curiosity sometimes arouses me. This morning it was where did Sloppy Joe’s get its name. I thought one of two places. Either the owner Joe Russell’s first name or after the famous sandwich the restaurant serves. I was wrong in both instances.

Hemingway was instrumental in the name selection.

One of Hemingway’s Cuba friends was Jose Garcia. Jose ran a bar in Havana. The Rio Havana Club. The floor was always messy from melted ice. Jose also sold fish. Spaniards are tidy meticulous people. They started referring to Jose’s place as a sloppy place. This eventually translated into Sloppy Joe’s and became the name of the bar.

Jose also served a popular sandwich. Ropa vieja. Not similar however to the Key West Sloppy Joe sandwich.

Hemingway took his buddy Joe Russell on a trip with him to Havana. Hemingway convinced Russell he should name his Key West place Sloppy’s Joe’s. In honor of Jose’s Havana bar. The Havana bar was popular. Very. The two most popular places in Havana in those days were Sloppy Joe’s and Myer Lansky’s race track.

I hope Peter Anderson was aware how loved and respected he was. Key West has gone all out in honoring his memory. Peter was a fun person. This past saturday there was a Secretary Sunset Salute at Louie’s Backyard. Louie’s outside bar was one of Peter’s favorite haunts. It was a celebration of life party. Everyone enjoyed.

The celebration of Peter’s life is not over. This saturday there will be a parade in his honor. On Duval from Mallory Square to Front Street. Then a party at the Southernmost Cafe. The parade will be full of pomp and circumstance. It will be long. Many participants. For those who might not be to handle such a lengthy walk, Ed Swift is donating trolley cars. The parade and party will be another celebration of Peter’s life.

Went to Dan Reynen’s birthday party yesterday. Number 45. Dan is the owner of WeBeFit. I had a good time. Spoke with many. Spent time with my trainer Albert and his wife Jill. Both nice people.

The food and drink were excellent. The ladies attractive. What struck me was their shoes. The very high heeled ones. The shoes were outstanding. The women wearing them, also.

Then to Lisa’s for sunday dinner. I picked. I was already full from the party.

Enjoy your day!



The Hemingway Look A Like Contest ran well into the evening saturday night. At Sloppy Joe’s. 131 contestants. Wally Collins, a Phoenix restaurateur won.

I do not know how many years Collins has been a contestant. The word on the street is it takes at least 10 years of participating before anyone is seriously considered. My friend Hank from Melbourne has been trying for 21 years. Has not made it yet!

Hemingway and Key West go hand in hand. He lived in Key West from 1931-39. Wrote To Have and Have Not and A Farewell to Arms while here. Worked on parts of other novels.

Tennessee Williams was another outstanding writer who made his home in Key West. From 1949-83, he lived at 1431 Duncan Street. One and a half blocks from where Lisa now lives. While visiting and not yet having settled in Key West, Williams wrote a first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire. He wrote it in 1947 while staying at the La Concha Hotel on Duval. The La Concha stands to this day.

During the Civil War, Florida seceded. Key West however remained in Union hands. The Union had a naval base and military personnel here.

A Conch today is a person who was born in Key West. A much respected designation. Those who came here to live but were not born in Key West, and have resided in Key West for seven years, are known as Freshwater Conchs.

The term Conch has a far deeper history. The first Conchs were persons of European ancestry who immigrated from the Bahamas. They came in increasing numbers beginning in the 1830’s.

By 1889, Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in Florida. The salt and salvage businesses though good were starting to decline. Cigar making was on the rise.

Key West was isolated prior to 1912. No railroad or highway. Water the only access. In 1912, Henry Flagler completed his railroad to Key West.  Flagler’s Overseas Railroad. Much of the railroad was destroyed by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. It was never rebuilt.

US 1 was completed in 1938. A highway connecting Key West with mainland Florida. Called the Overseas Highway.

The one person close in Key West fame to Hemingway is Harry Truman. Truman spent a total of 175 days over a course of 11 visits while President. He stayed at a part of the Naval Base which is now Truman Annex. The building was known as the Little White House. It is now listed on the National Registry.

The Naval Base was first established in 1820. It remains to this day. Spread around and significantly smaller. At its strength, it had 15,000 military and 3,400 civilian personnel.

Cruise ships first docked in Key West at Mallory Square in 1984.

Key West is reputed to be the southernmost point in the United States. Close, but not actually. Ballast Key which is a privately owned island to the south and west of Key West is the southernmost point.

Cuba is a mere 90 miles from Key West. Closer than Miami which is 155 miles from Key West.

Hurricanes are always a concern. Yearly. Generally in the fall months. Though some on occasion a bit earlier. Wilma in 2005 and Georges in 1998 were the two worst hurricanes in recent years.

Hope you found these bits of information interesting.

Enjoy your day!



The last time I visited the Hemingway House was 15 years ago. I decided to give it another shot yesterday. I am a fan and admirer of one of the world’s great writers. Imagine, he lived in Key West for ten years!

I did the touristy thing. Stood in line for a short while to purchase my admission. I think, $13. I thought the amount a bit steep. Did not recall paying that much 15 years ago. But then, it was 15 years ago!

The thing that impressed me the most was the same that did 15 years ago. The room where Hemingway wrote. It was over the garage. The garage was not attached to the house. No stairs to the room. Entrance was gained by sliding a board from a second floor window in the house to a window in the top floor room of the garage. Hemingway’s intent was to isolate himself. Not to be disturbed while he was writing.

The six toed cats intrigued me once again. Unusual.

There are a couple of urinals sitting on the lawn. By urinals, I mean those things men step up to and relieve themselves in. About five feet in length. Made of ceramic tiles. Bright tiny tiles.

The urinals have been hooked up to water lines and now serve as the cats’ drinking fountain.

The urinals are from the original Sloppy Joe’s on Green Street. Now, Captain Tony’s. When Joe was moving from Green Street to his present location on Duval, his friend Hemingway helped him. A bunch of guys literally carried the bar furniture from one place to another sometime after midnight one evening. A bit tipsy, I am sure.

Joe was not taking the urinals. Hemingway thought they were too attractive to leave. He disengaged them from the wall and had them removed to his house. The story is Hemingway carried them. I doubt it. Two or three together would be too heavy and cumbersome. On the other hand, Hemingway was a big man.

Then to the gym. One hour with Albert. Tough! I could get to dislike Albert.

Spent the rest of the day researching next week’s KONK Life column. It will involve the House of Representative threat to shut down the government again. This time over the EPA. The column will be revealing. I spent the last 25 years of my career in the environmental field. I know the motivations of the players first hand.

I find it interesting that this Congress that has passed little legislation has the time once again for a government shut down. And as of yesterday, Speaker Boehner announced the House intends to sue the President for purportedly over extending his Constitutional powers. Better the House do what they were elected to do. Pass legislation. Not be involved in political ploys.

The Supreme cCurt decided yesterday that cell phones are free from police seizure and inspection without a search warrant. Strange that the conservative portion of the Court supported the decision. Chief Justice Roberts even wrote it.

There is an Op-Ed column in this morning’s New York Times by Linda Greenfield. The title explains it…..Supreme Court Justices Have Cell Phones, Too.

Enjoy your day!


Yesterday had to be a lesson learned. No one should take my sport recommendations.

I thought Syracuse could upset the mighty Florida State. At the very least, beat the point spread. I was wrong in both instances.

Syracuse got beat by Florida State 59-3.

It happens. I have to congratulate the Florida State team. I have never seen a college football team play with such precision. Especially in the passing and receiving part of the game.

Syracuse’s time will come!

I had planned on watching the game at the Big Ten Sports Pub. Never made it. As I was showering, my stomach started rocking and rolling again. It was back to bed!

The Key West Film Festival has been ongoing this weekend. The second year the event has been held. I admire the locals who put the event together and are promoting it. In several years, it can develop into a big deal.

Star Mariel Hemingway is in Key West for the Festival. She is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and a film star in her own right. She participated in the writing and stars in a documentary called Running From Crazy which is being featured at the Festival. It is about mental illness in the Hemingway family and her efforts to escape it.

The Festival is showcasing 35 different films over a 3 day period.

Hemingway, Hemingway, Hemingway! He is part of the fabric of Key West. Loved and remembered.

I recall this past summer my two visits to Lake Maggiore. I visited two different cities at the Italian southern end of the Lake. The Lake sits between Italy and Switzerland. I hope to visit the Swiss side next year.

Hemmingway spent time recovering from leg wounds received in World War I at Lake Maggiore. A Farewell To Arms has as its basis certain of his experiences there.

I was thrilled to have experienced Lake Maggiore and places where Hemingway visited. Especially the ones he drank at. There were only a few. He was a creature of habit. As Sloppy Joe’s was his bar of choice in Key West.

I continue to get congrats re my recently published book The World Upside Down. Thank you one and all. I am waiting for my first comments from those who have read it. Too soon yet. It was just published last Wednesday.

The Key West Citizen is our daily local newspaper. Not too many pages for 50 cents. However, it does report most of the news. I say most because there has developed a glowing hole in its reporting as concerns local commercial events.

I suspect it all has to do with money. If an organization is running an event and has a cash flow, the Citizen would want some advertising space purchased. A business, so I understand. On the other hand, I don’t know if it is proper. We all live, work, and play in the same community.

Enjoy your Sunday!


I have returned! I am back home in Key West!

I missed Key West and my friends. Badly. The place and people have finally become irrevocably ingrained in me.

I was up 22 straight hours. From the time I got out of bed in Novara, Italy till the time I went to bed in Key West. Surprisingly, it did not bother me. Probably because the long flight over the Atlantic took place on European day time. My time clock for the past two months.

The night before I left, it was Hemingway and Key West again. I had dinner on Lake Maggiore. The Italian portion.

Lake Maggiore figured in Ernest Hemingway’s personal life. He was wounded as an Italian ambulance driver in World War I. Much of the fighting he was involved in took place in northern Italy. He was hospitalized near Lake Maggiore. He spent some time at Lake Maggiore itself recovering. At the same time, he fell in love with one of his nurses.

Speed forward to Hemingway’s time in Key West. He started writing A Farewell to Arms while living in Key West. Basically rough drafted the novel here.

A Farewell to Arms is the story of an American serving as an Italian ambulance driver who is wounded in World War I. He is hospitalized near Lake Maggiore. Falls in love with a nurse. For reasons not important here, the hero had to get the nurse to the other side of Lake Maggiore. The Switzerland side. They row boated across the lake in a storm. She died.

I had dinner on the north end of Lake Maggiore near Switzerland one of my first nights in Italy. Then did it again my final evening, except this time at its southern shore.

Flew Delta into Atlanta. Then Delta to Key West. Had a three hour lay over. Met some very interesting people. All of whom had a Key West connection.

First came Snow. A beauty! I would enjoy getting to know her better. Unfortunately, we had never met before. She has probably been in Key West longer than me. She was on her way back to Key West from a trip to Maine.

She said I looked familiar. She had read some of my KONK Life columns.

On the plane, I was seated next to Paul and Caytlin. Father and daughter. He is military reserves and also a civilian firefighter at the Key West Naval Base. He has been deployed more than once. Most recently, Oman. He was engaged in combat in Iraq.

Intelligent. Understood world events and impacts. He and his wife plan on settling in Key West when he retires. Which is soon.

Daughter Caytlin was 16 years old. Going into her junior year. A personality! Smart. Thus far has a 4.3. She is concerned it is not high enough!

Paul introduced me to his wife Tracy who was at the airport waiting for her family to return. Lovely and pleasant.

I would like to know Paul better.

While the plane was loading, a couple walked by my seat. Hello, Key West Lou! We had met last year at the Chart Room. I am embarrassed. I cannot recall their names. Old age. In the brief moment we had, we agreed we would probably meet at the Chart Room during their stay here.

Recognition night was not over.

I was standing outside waiting for my ride which was late. A lady was standing next to me in the same predicament. We started talking. She said, I know you. You’re Key West Lou! I read your blog every day. We are friends on Facebook, also.
Liked Beth. Hopefully will run in to her again, also.

I also decided I better be a good boy all the time. Too many people have come to know me.

Lisa, Corey and Jake picked me up. Loved seeing them again. Jake appeared a bit subdued. Lisa told me that in addition to not liking the water, he definitely does not like riding in the car. It is a project to get him in. Jake is one very fussy dog.

The house was in pretty good shape. Except. There is always an except. My downstairs air conditioning was blowing warm. Hopefully, it will get repaired today.

Glad to be back! Look forward to running into many of you in the next few days.

The Key West Lou Legal hour television show airs on Friday mornings at 10. While I have been away, reruns have been shown. There will be a rerun tomorrow morning also. I am fearful of doing the show while suffering from jet lag. I probably would end up with a blank look on my face not remembering what I was supposed to say next. The show goes live next Friday!

Enjoy your day!


Here I am sitting on the Greek isle of Amorgos and I will be writing about Germany and Hemingway Days today. Neither has anything to do with each other nor with Amorogos.

The reason the topics are what they are is that I did nothing yesterday. I spent several hours writing next week’s KONK Life column. Then laid around. In the sun, in bed. Period.

The next KONK Life column will be published thursday. The title: Germany…..Biggest Whore House In Europe. It is. Germany has become the sex discount capital of the world.

The thrust of the column has nothing to do with sex per se. It has to do with Germany’s pattern of failing those it initially claimed would be helped. The euro union is an example. All the countries going down the drain economically and socially. Germany pushed the euro union. Promised a new world. Easy money. An end to economic concerns. Fifteen or so years later, Germany is raking in the dollars while other countries are suffering big time.

Prostitution is another example. Germany legalized prostitution in 2002. It was a new day for the ladies of the night. Social acceptance, pensions, medical, etc. Eleven years later, the prostitutes are in dramatically worse shape. Germany on the other hand is thriving from their pain. Big time tax dollars are being collected on prostitution earnings. Germany has become the biggest pimp of all.

The bottom line is Germany is not to be trusted. They sell great up front, but do not produce for anyone but themselves in the end.

Hemingway Days. A big weekend the past few days in Key West. An annual event. Sorry I missed it.

Hemingway lived in Key West 10 years. Wrote some of his best novels there. Key West is proud to have been a part of his life.

Two events I especially enjoy. The Hemingway Look-A-Like Contest and the Bull Run.

Roughly 125 Hemingway look alikes compete to see who looks closest to the original. All white bearded, of course. All wandering around over the weekend in white shirt and pants, with a fire engine red beret on their heads and scarf belt around their waists.

The Bull Run is exciting. Replicated from The Sun Also Rises. The Key West bulls are cardboard machete.

Perhaps, I will be more active today. I do not know.

Enjoy your day!


I visited Chora last night. Also known as hora.

Most Greek isles have a Chora. A community of sorts. Generally, a town. Most are medieval in origin. Go back 1,500 to 2,000 years. They still look the same. Unchanged by time. White buildings, narrow walkways.

Choras were built on hilltops. For protective and defensive purposes. Amorgos’ Chora is on top of a tall mountain. Just over the top. So it could not be seen by ships entering the bay. Way back when, pirates were a problem. By constructing their homes just over the crest, the early Greeks were hopeful their community would not be spotted.

If discovered, the set up of the Chora assisted in its defense. The entrance to the Chora was always a very narrow walkway. The attackers were only able to enter single file or two abreast at the most. Chora’s defenders were better able to protect their homes and families and at the same time do the most damage to invaders.

People still live in Chora. Old and young alike. Businesses have opened. Tiny specialty stores and restaurants.

I took the bus to Chora. A ten minute drive. 1.60 euros each way. A bargain.

The buses are magnificent. Large. Air conditioned. Comfortable. The drivers friendly and adept at driving. They have to be. The road up and down is steep and full of dangerous curves. The drivers carry themselves as if they were Captains on a jet airliner.

I walked the same path as last year. You will recall Chora killed me last year. Steps up. Everything up. It was a horrible trip.

This year, I did it with ease. Surprised even myself. I am in better condition.

I went to the same cafe/restaurant as last year. Along the way, I spotted Maria’s store. Maria who did my nails a couple of days ago. Her store is named Kwati. Sells soaps, oils and some foodstuffs. I was especially taken by pint jars of broccoli in oil and garlic.

I sat outside the cafe and drank. Three gins. They were all big. I was surprised. Even had Tanqueray. I sat there close to three hours.

Marie had mentioned I should try raki psimeni. A Greek drink made with burnt sugar. I did. Sweet. Good.

I cannot tell you the name of the restaurant. It was in Greek. Not an easy language written wise. Letters not arabic.

I have discovered that when I ask someone to spell a Greek word in English, there is difficulty. However most can spell it in Latin. It does help. I took three years of Latin in high school and also served as an altar boy.

Cats are a big deal in Chora, as well as all of Amorgos. They are well liked. Permitted in restaurants and cafes. They are beggars. People constantly feed them. I cannot. I find it repulsive.

Trees. I mentioned yesterday or the day before that there were no trees on Amorgos. There are. In Chora. Tons of them. Why not elsewhere, I do not know.

The evenings have been cold while I have been on Amorgos. Chora was cold by day and even colder by night. The wind on top of the mountain was strong. Could knock you over. You bent with it. Came from every direction. Buildings were no protective help. The wind moved around corners with ease.

I had planned to have dinner in Chora. The cold dissuaded me. I decided to leave.

I screwed up. Got the return trip wrong time wise. My fault. I did not understand the bus driver. Missed the bus. There was a 1 1/2 hour wait for the next one.

The bus stop is just outside Chora. No protection. The wind bellowed. So cold I could have used a winter jacket. And long pants. I was wearing shorts. Fortunately, I found a small bar just at the entrance and got the protection from the wind that I needed.

Enjoy your day!


A few random points before I get into my wonderful yesterday.

My Italian friends in Upstate New York, eat your hearts out! I just had fried smelts for lunch. Just like our grandmothers and mothers used to make. And some of our wives. The smelts were fresh. Tiny.

Eastern U.S. is six hours behind me. It is 7:30 in the morning where you are. It is 1:30 in the afternoon here.

Yesterday and last night a struggle for me. I have not yet acclimated to the change in time zones. The sleeping pill does not help.

When I was in italy 30 years ago with my parents and family, electricity was a problem. The country does not produce enough power. I was admonished yesterday for wasting electricity. I was leaving lights on when I went from one room to another. I was told that the power is governed and watched by the authorities. If a particular apartment uses too much electricity during a specified time, the power is automatically turned off.

I am a dreamer. I have always thought how terrific it would be to have sex in an airplane. Unfortunately, I never have and doubt I ever will. Yesterday I mentioned the event and described it as the Thousand Mile Club. The whole world responded to let me know I misnamed the event. It is the Mile High Club. The error produced the largest number of criticisms I have ever received.

I arrived Saturday. It was St. Louis Day. Italians are appafrently big on saint days. eEeryone I met, without fail, congratulated me on my Saint’s day when they learned my name.

Males generally wear baseball caps in Key West and other parts of the U.S. I assume to protect their balding heads from the sun. Others merely because they like it. To some, it is fashionable. No men wear baseball caps in Italy. I have not seen one on th streets of Novara or at Lake Maggiore. I wear mine, however. I have concluded most Italian men have bronze faces because their faces are always exposed to the sun. I wonder about the percentage of skin cancers.

Smoking is not losing acceptance. It is gone. Most persons smoke in Key West. No one smokes in Italy. The same was true in Washington, DC. I am embarrassed to smoke. I refuse to pull out a cigarette where I can be seen.

Yesterday was Lake Maggiore.

Beautiful! Awesome! As I thought about it, everywhere is. Each place has a different flavor. We enjoy most, if not all. So Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco…..all have a beauty and presence unique to each.

I was oooohing and ahhhhhing as I drove around Lake Maggiore. The homes lovely. Stately mansions abound. Big. Ten thousand square feet or better. Some 30,000 to 50,000 square feet. Summer accommodations for only the very rich.

The lake itself is huge. Several islands within. The water had a familiarly to Key West. A rocky stone bottom. Water shoe time for all!

My goal was Stresa. A place with a history all its own. A history that includes Hemingway.

It struck me as I was walking around Stresa that most of the people were my age or older. I am 77. Many in wheelchairs or using canes or walkers. I read later on in my internet search that Stresa was a “…..town fading gently into the past.” It is. Stresa was quiet. Almost silent.

But, beautiful! Majestic old hotels. Lovely grounds. I searched out the Grand Hotel Des Iles Barromes. Big name! Most of the hotels started Grand Hotel something or other.

The Borromes family have been the titular head of the area for well over 500 years. Charles Borromeo lived back when Martin Luther split with the Catholic Church. Charles was a deeply religious man and countered with a new catechism and other writings in opposition to Luther’s proclamations. He subsequnetly was named a Saint and is mush revered. His family lives on their own island. A big one. Their home is at least three times the size of the biggest hotel you have ever seen. The most recent male Borromeo married a princess and their world goes on.

My goal was to visit Hemingway’s haunt. His Sloppy Joe’s in Stresa. The Grand Hotel earlier mentioned and named after the Borromeo family. Magnificent. For the very rich, even today.

Italian bars are not as in the U.S. A small bar is generally in a corner of a large room. The bar either sits no one or perhaps 4-6. The rest of the room is filled with parlor like furniture. Sofas, easy chairs, and the like.

The Grand Hotel’s lobby was huge. In the corner was a small semi-circular bar with four stools. This did not look to me like the place Hemingway would have spent his days drinking and writing. I chatted with the elderly bartender. I was correct. He was kind enough to give me the grand tour. Apparently few these days ask about Hemingway.

Hemingway’s bar was in the back two large rooms away. What was Hemingway’s bar, no longer exists. It was a small semi-circular bar in a relatively small room. Mayb 20 x 30. There was room for a small baby grand. Everything is now gone. Has been removed. Down to the concrete walls. Nothing is as it was. It is a cold empty room used for storage and occasionally cleaned up for a small dinner party.

The bar was three rooms back from the lobby. The next room going toward the lobby was much larger. It had contained a billiard table. Hemingway and an elderly local count used to play daily and drink martinis. Martinis were Hemingway’s drink of choice at the bar and billiard table. The next room, the one directly off the lobby, was huge. Big enough for a ten foot wide long table with 26 chairs comfortably set around the table. I counted them.

That big room and the smaller but large center room were the seating areas for those wishing a drink. The drinks that were served from Hemingway’s bar in the third smaller room. Once again, all gone. No more.

I had dinner on Pescastori Island. One of the smaller islands on Lake Maggiore. It is reputed Hemingway ate on the island often. It was a short boat ride away. Like visiting L’Atitudes. I ate on the open second floor of Ristoranti Pescheria. Enjoyed a fish called persico, if I recall the name correctly. A local fish. It is revered and recognized as Kest West’s hogfish is. Mine was prepared in a light batter with crushed hazelnuts. Wow!

I wanted a cup of American coffee. Ordered a snifter of Grand Manier to go with it. The cup was normal size by American standards. It was half filled. Appeared to be espresso. I told the waiter I wanted American coffee. He explained it was. It contained three shots of espresso. Accompanying the coffee was a tiny pitcher of hot water. I was to pour as much of the hot water as I wanted into the espresso to weaken it. That was American coffee!

Arthuro Toscani owned an island on Lake Maggiore also. A huge rectangular home. Lovely.

I could see Switzerland from the Grand Hotel. I could also see on a nearby shore a mountain of white. This is where marble came and comes from. Fifteen hundred years ago, pieces were broken by hand. Today, by machine.

This blog is unusually long. I apologize. However, there is much I wish toi share. Stay with me a bit more. I guarantee you will enjoy the rest of the Hemingway story.

Hemingway visited Stresa in 1918 and then again in 1948. Perhaps several times in the late 1940sup to the time of his death.

Hemingway was injured in Italy during World War I. He was an ambulance driver. He fell in love with his nurse. Agnes von Kurovasky. The two spent ten days at the Grand Hotel in Stressa while he was recovering.

A few years later, Hemingway began writing A Farewell To Arms. The novel was published in 1929. The story involved Frederick Henry who was an American driving an ambulance for the Italian Army in World War I. Henry was injured. Fell in love with his nurse. Catherine Barclay. Things got screwed up and the Italian governemment wanted to capture and shoot Henry as a deserter. He had to get away.

Henry and Catherine escaped to the Grand Hotel in Stresa. A friend at the hotel arranged for a small boat. The game plan was to take the boat across Lake Maggiore to Switzerland. It turned out to be an ill fated trip.

It is fascinating how Hemingway intertwined his personal experiences with the novel.

That’s all folks!

Enjoy your Sunday!



Met some interesting folks at the Chart Room last night.

John and Coleen from Nashville. John is the head of Country Programing for Sirius. The conversation was excellent. Nice people. Hope I run into them again this week.

John had one drawback. He was respectful. He kept calling me SIR. I hate it!

Chatted a while with Larry and Robin. Both retired. Live in Bradenton in northern florida. Larry described the community as the old town. I have never been there.

Larry wore a full brimmed white hat. Had attached to it what appeared to be a for real police badge. It was better. Upon close inspection, I discovered it read Brothel Inspector. A good job if you can get it!

My day yesterday started with a visit to the heart doctor. Two separate visits for two different problems. His office set me up with back to back appointments.

You will recall that two weeks ago I had an echocardiogram. It indicated perhaps a problem Another test was scheduled. A CAT scan. I received the CAT scan results yesterday. There is a problem. A new one. Do not worry about it, I was told.

I stopped worrying at that moment. However, I was worried the whole time from the echocardiogram till I received the results of the CAT scan yesterday.

It’s amazing! Those instances when I have been concerned regarding a medical result which could be bad, the mental strain has been heavy. I live under a black cloud. Then as yesterday, when the news is good, I walk out of the doctor’s office building and notice…..The sun is shinning brighter!

May it always shine brighter!

Since I had dodged the bullet, I decided I was entitled to a treat. Eating foods I normally avoid.

It was to Harpoon Harry’s. Ham and eggs with fried potatoes and whole wheat toast and butter.

I wiped the plate clean. Tasted so good.

I like Harpoon Harry’s. It has a 1950s diner flavor. Serves diner food. Hearty! Help always polite, always friendly. Customers primarily local.

Harpoon Harry’s best feature is its eggs. Fresh tasting! The only way I can describe them.

Then took a long walk around the seaport area. Extra long. I wanted to be sure I had the stamina/endurance. Did good! Moved around at a fast clip.

I told you about my friend Nini yesterday. A tractor fell on him while he was cutting the grass on a golf course he owns in Italy. The initial medical report to me was a broken back. Later, I learned he has fractures to both hips, a pelvic fracture and some broken vertebrae. They had to bring in a crane to lift the tractor off him.

He will survive. However mending will be long.

Nini and his wife Germana are good people. The golf course is a side business for them.

Northern Italy is the largest supplier of rice in Europe. I never knew that before I knew them. As far as the eye can see, there are rice paddies. The ground is flat and well nurtured by natural springs below the ground. Rice needs constant flooding to grow. No problem in the Novara area.

Nini took me for a ride to see his property. He is one the larger rice growers in the area. Mile after mile of flooded fields on both sides of the road. He and Germana owned it all.

One piece of his land was hilly. Not good for growing rice. He decided to construct a golf course. It was there the tractor tipped over and ended on top of him.

It is tuesday again! The days move swiftly. Tonight at 9, Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Blog talk radio. A fast moving half hour. Watch on your computer. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I plan on opening with global warming and the Catholic Church. Two separate items. Followed perhaps by a little Bangladesh. Global warming may sound uninteresting. It will not be this evening when I talk about the northeast coast of the U.S. being in danger of a tsunami. From New Jersey to Maine.

Sounds crazy. It is not!

I occasionally make a factual mistake in the blog. One or more of you always catch it and remind me. I am happy to receive your comments.

Yesterday, I feel I got one over those of you who are critical and keep me on my toes. I wrote of Hemingway and The Old Man And The Sea. I said Hemingway received the Pulitzer Price for the book in 1933. I was off by 20 years. It was 1953. A typo. The book was written in 1951 and published in 1952.

I discovered the error on my own!

Enjoy your day!