One of the best family events in Key West is the annual Xmas Parade. Many floats. several Santa Claus’, tons of kids vying for candy, etc.

I love the Xmas Parade! I love watching it with Robert and Ally!

Not this year. I missed the parade. It was last night. I thought it was next week.

Nevertheless, I did have a good time. I had dinner with Buffalo friends Tom and Fran Dixon at Hot Tin Roof. Fortunately, we were the only one’s dining in the bar area. We were loud and boisterous. Laughed the whole way through dinner.

Power outages are similar to hurricanes. They come in bunches. We have not had one in a while. We had a half hour one yesterday. The power was out starting around noon. A boat hit a transmission line off the Seven Mile Bridge.

Oh Syracuse, my Syracuse! The basketball season is not off to a good start. I fear this is not going to be the best of seasons.

Syracuse lost to St. John’s 69-57. I am bleeding orange.

The team is not jelling. Especially on offense. I am unimpressed with Joseph, the point guard. Plus, we are not making three pointers.

Today is December 7. Sunday, December 7. On a similar Sunday in 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. A day that will live in infamy, as President Roosevelt said at the time.

I recall the day vividly, in spite of being 6 at the time. There was no television. No home telephones either. The news of the bombing came from people yelling in the street and knocking on doors. Following which radios were turned on.

Not everyone had a radio. We did. Family and neighbors collected. Our radio was in the living room. The remainder of the day was spent with everyone sitting around, including on the floor, listening to the news.

Enjoy your Sunday!


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 feel like Little Jack Horner. Remember, he sat in the corner eating his pumpkin pie, he put in his thumb and pulled out a plum,and said what a good boy am I!

I wrote again yesterday. Six hours. Drafting and redrafting six chapters for the next book in what my publisher calls The World Upside Down series. A lot of writing! I took three chapters from the unfinished rough draft of Growing Up Italian for the book. I wrote them a year ago. I am sure The Bakery one fits the Italian book. The other two I was not sure.

The Bakery is about little me and my grandmother going to the bakery a couple of blocks away twice weekly. One time for the empty flour bags. The next for the sliced bread ends. Each free.

A different chapter I call Grandpa Asserts Himself. About my grandfather in his 90’s saying in effect to the world…..Go screw yourselves! Wait till you read and how he did it.

The third is titled What Is That Noise. The story of a 40 year old man who heard the wind in the trees for the first time.

I also wrote three chapters concerning Greece. The substance of which you all may have read before. From a different slant, however. The topics include Santorini’s beauty, my inability to make it to the volcano, writing in Amorgos, and  my walk to Acropolis/Parthenon.

A good day! I deserve a medal!

The new water tank was installed. By my former bocce partner, Frankie the Plumber. I was able to shower at home before going out. You cannot appreciate what a luxury hot water is till you are without.

It was Hot Tin Roof for dinner last night. Nostalgia time again. My mother. I enjoyed mussels. A dish I rarely order. My mother loved mussels!

Fantasy Fest in a couple of days. You can feel it in the air. Taste it. The locals getting excited. Yes, locals participate. Many enjoy costuming. Some have a different costume for each day. A big time party!

The humidity is basically gone. Still warm, however. Moving towards a dry heat. Temperature still in the mid 80’s by day and mid 70’s by night.

The things I learn. Germany announced it no longer will charge tuition to attend any state run university. No tuition applies to foreign students as well. All an American would need is to know how to speak German and the price of a plane ticket to Munich.

To we in the United States, Germany’s free tuition sounds like a big deal. It is. However be aware, it was only $630 a semester before.

Which brings me to Syracuse University. Re football, Not the expense of attending. Which exceeds $50,000 a year for room, board, and tuition. Syracuse plays Wake Forest saturday. Something must be wrong. Syracuse is favored. By 3-4 points.

I have a busy day today. Haircut at 9:45, A lengthy business meeting at 10:15, a visit to my heart doctor at 1:30, and bocce in the evening. Love it! All part of my life here in Key West.

Enjoy your day! Continue Reading


Sorry about getting the blog out so late this morning. I had an early morning appointment with Dr. Lefferts re my back. Steroids obviously worked. Everyone happy. My residual continues to be the swollen ankles. They are down about 50 percent. I am to continue on the water pills till completely down.

Yesterday found me in three of my favorite Key West places. Harpoon Harry’s, the Chart Room, and Hot Tin Roof.

Wednesday lunch at Harpoon Harry’s is becoming a habit. A good one. The wednesday special is turkey. A Thanksgiving type meal. I especially enjoy the gravy. I ask for extra.

Visited with Emily for a while in the early evening at the Chart Room. Just me and her. No other customers. Caught her at an in between slow time.

Dinner at the bar at Hot Tin Roof. A terrific meal! Rib eye. Melted in my mouth! Joseph was good company, as usual. He is a fan. Especially of the KONK Life columns. He particularly enjoyed last week’s Al Qaeda…..The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

I slowly downed a snifter of Southern Comfort at the end of the meal. I am not a Southern Comfort drinker at all. However, my Mother was. Her birthday was this past week. She would have been 100. Unfortunately, she died at 75. I drank the Southern Comfort and enjoyed thoughts of the first woman I loved.

In between lunch and dinner, I walked the waterfront. Stopped into Turtle Kral. Looking for Peti. No Peti.

Ran into Guy and ML. Both busily working on ML’s race to be Fantasy Fest Queen. Tension showing. A tough haul running for the position. I am confident ML will win. The Coronation is next friday evening. The day Fantasy Fest begins.

Crashed during the afternoon. Lay on the bed. Next thing I knew three hours had passed. A good sleep.

On tuesday’s blog talk radio show, I commented on monday’s Supreme Court decision re same sex marriage. Gays were all excited. The decision a major step from their perspective. I took the position that their joy was premature. Very premature. Primarily because the Supreme Court avoided rendering a decision that would have made same sex marriage Constitutional throughout the United states.

I warned that those opposed to same sex marriage would be coming out of the woodwork. They would gear up to continue their fight even further. I suggested that 20 years from now it would still be a problem as abortion is.

It only took 24 hours for the fight to go to a new level. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy issued an order first continuing the ban in two States and later in the day issued an order making the stay applicable to only one State.

The fight ain’t over yet!

Bocce tonight.

Enjoy your day!



I have been up since 5 this morning. Paying for my sins. Primarily, avoidance.

My KONK Life column for this week was due last Wednesday. I completed research Monday. Never got to writing the column. For whatever reason, I kept putting it off. I should have written the article yesterday afternoon. Forgot it was due. Overdue, rather. Instead I wrote another chapter for what may be my next published book, Growing Up Italian.

When I got home last night, there was a message from Guy de Boer. In effect, where is the column…..you are making my life difficult.

It was too late and I thought perhaps I might have had one drink too many. I went to bed. I would get to he column in the morning.

I did. At 5 in the morning. I woke early and decided to get right to it. Took three hours to compose and refine. At 8, it was on its way to Guy with my mea culpas.

The column is Banks Divorce Porn Stars…..Hypocrisy. Concerns itself with a new bank game called de-risking. A game it is not. The column publishes Wednesday.

Lunch yesterday was at Roostica. I was in the mood for Italian. A hot meatball sandwich. Roostica’s food gets better with every visit. Try the place. Low key and reasonable prices.

Megan waited on me. Lovely Megan. An interesting young lady. If I were 50 years younger, I would court her.

Last night began with the Chart Room. Stopped for a drink. Jean Thornton is back. Returned to Key West only yesterday.  Sheila, also. They introduced me to Linda Grist Cunningham. A Key West visitor for many years. She and her husband finally bought in 2012.

Linda was enjoyable company. She operates a business called KEYWESTWATCH. News, political writings, social media, etc. In her other life, she was an editor and journalist.

She is a liberal at heart. We instantly bonded!

Jean and I had dinner at Hot Tin Roof at the bar. It was catch up time. She and Joe have recently returned from a 15 day river boat cruise through several European countries. It was exciting listening to her describe the trip. She told me English Peter would be returning for a 10 day visit in a month. Good!

I read an interesting article yesterday. Concerned itself with the shrinking middle class. McDonald’s business was down for the year ending in June one percent. Fine dining was up three percent. The thrust…..the poor cannot afford McDonald’s.

I had intended to try Unity Church again today. Too late. Perhaps next week.

This afternoon will be professional football at Don’s Place.

Enjoy your Sunday!




This blog seems to be getting more interesting. Ladies panties, yesterday. Moonshine, today.

Till I settled in Key West, I had heard of but never seen nor tasted moonshine. Moonshine appears to be a Keys thing just as cockfighting is. A bit here and there. I have probably shared a sip on a couple of occasions over the years.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports on a “moonshine still” arrest. An apparent moonshiner advertised on Craigslist a moonshine still for sale. $375. Some undercover police authorities contacted him. Not only did he offer to sell the still to them, he also admitted having used it to make moonshine. He still had almost a gallon available.

He was arrested.

I learned something new reading the article. Not that I should not advertise a moonshine still on Craigslist. Rather, the word moonshine derives from those who made the stuff years ago in Appalachia. They worked by the light of the moon to avoid detection.

One of the best things in the Keys is the Marathon Turtle Hospital. Another heartwarming turtle story.

Sapphire is a subadult female turtle. Weighs 129 pounds. Sixteen months ago, she was brought to the hospital. She could not dive and had a breathing problem. She still cannot dive. Weights must be glued on her back to give her the ability. The weights fall off eventually and Sapphire is/would be in trouble.

Sapphire is going on a 2,500 mile plane trip to a new home. To a place called The Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista, California. There she will live in a 21,000 gallon tank of properly temperatured ocean water and be attended to daily.

Sapphire is flying via Fed Ex. Two Marathon Turtle Hospital personnel are accompanying her.

Yesterday was Rosh Hashana. To my Jewish friends and all other friends, I wish a Happy Rosh Hashana!

Which leads me to…..Donna and Terri, where are you?

Went for my back x-ray yesterday morning. No x-ray. Technician out till friday. Have to return friday morning.

My back is considerably better. If I do not use it to any extent. The steroids are terrific. Keep the pain away and make me sleep well.

Yesterday, I decided to walk at Home Depot. Felt no pain so I thought it would be ok. I walked ever so slowly. A 20 minute walk took 40 minutes. At the end, my back and leg were hurting. Pain increased during the day.

What happens when I am off steroids?

Lunched at Harpoon Harry’s. Wednesday lunch there is becoming a habit. The special a turkey dinner. All the trimmings like Thanksgiving. Delicious!

Spent the afternoon writing next week’s KONK Life column. Bank Robbers. An interesting twist on an old time story. From Jesse James to the bank robbers of today.

Ally and I still painting. Actually Ally painting and I observe, comment, and direct. She is doing well. I think she is talented.

Yesterday, Ally learned it is not all painting per se. There is work involved. We have already gotten past keeping the brushes clean. Yesterday, it was the pallet. She had left the paint globs on overnight. She had a difficult time getting the pallet clean. All part of being an artist.

I had a very enjoyable time last night at the Hot Tin Roof. My first drink since sunday. Only one. The doctor said it would be ok. The meal as usual was outstanding.

My waitress was Shanya. A young beauty. She has worked at Hot Tin Roof several months, though last night was the first time we spoke. She is from the Boston area. Of Serbian extraction. That led me into Flora and Albania. Both Serbia and Albania are parts of the former Soviet Republic.

Shanya is in love! Good for her! She soon will be relocating to St. Petersburg to be with her man.

The Hot Tin Roof is perched directly on the Gulf waters. From the second floor location where I was sitting, I could see way out to the horizon. It was 1-2 hours before sunset. The sun shining. A sailboat drifted along the line of the horizon. It was another one of those days. God was in His heaven, all was right with the world. At least in Key West.

Bocce tonight. I have only played once in the past three weeks. It was either my back or shoulder. Tonight, I plan on playing. The steroids will help. I will not be moving around as much as I did walking at Home Depot. I look forward to playing.

Enjoy your day!



I was rummaging through some boxes stored in my closet yesterday. I came up with a wedding dress! Lisa’s! It is now in her hands for cleaning and saving.

The discovery brought back many fond memories for Lisa and me. It was 11 years ago that she wore the dress.

Today is a solemn occasion for the people of the United States. 9/11. As infamous as Pearl Harbor. Almost 3,000 killed. A day for recollection and thought. The enemy still exists.

I have a problem. 9/11 being such an important occasion in our history, why is there no mention of the event in today’s Key West Citizen? The event is worthy of a front page article.

A slight correction. There is mention of 9/11 in the Citizen. On the comic page. Seven lines as part of The World Almanac.

Visited Walgreens yesterday. Another prescription. The pharmaceutical companies are getting extremely rich as a result of senior citizen needs.

It was a new Walgreens yesterday. Each and every employee, whether behind a counter or passing you in an aisle, smiled and greeted you with a …..Welcome to Walgreens! It has to be the competition. CVS has three stores at the present time with two more under construction. The competition will be 5-1. Walgreens has initiated a public relations program to keep its customers.

The joyful greeting, etc. was needed. I found Walgreens’ staff generally cold and uncaring. Even surly on occasion.

Lunch was at Harpoon Harry’s. The wednesday special. A turkey dinner. $9.99. Loved it!

I discussed turtles yesterday or the day before. A study suggested there were too many turtles and the seagrass was suffering world wide as a result thereof.

Yesterday’s USA Today had a brief turtle story. The number of sea turtles in North Carolina waters is apparently dropping off. North Carolina measures by counting turtle nests. Two years ago there were 1,300. Last year only 549. A 58 percent reduction. Must be the sharks predominate yet in North Carolina.

The study I commented on yesterday and mention today must be in error. I felt that way upon reading about it. I spoke with some Key Westers who know and make their living via the ocean. To a person, they agreed the study could not be correct as far as Key West waters were concerned.

I dined at Hot Tin Roof last night. Remained quite a while. Even watched the President’s speech while there. The meal was excellent. Scallops risotto. Joseph and the bartender good company.

The bartender is originally from Old Forge. Fifty miles from my home town of Utica. In the Adirondack Mountains. We did a lot of reminiscing.

I finished the meal off with a snifter of Grand Mariner and a slice of Key Lime pie. The crust was it! Cashew nuts and gram crackers crushed together.

The President’s speech disappointed me. Yes, he is going a strep further. He will be bombing parts of Syria and doing some other things. Not enough

I believe ISIS is a growing threat and will be a major thorn in our side in a short time. We should not futz around. ISIS should be destroyed now! I do not believe the President’s plan is sufficient to accomplish such a result. Do we have to wait for ISIS to blow something up and kill many here in the United States before we react sufficiently?

For years there has been a large bodied man with long white hair and a long white beard reading palms in a booth on Duval Street. No more. He was shot in the head and killed by a thief in Trinidad yesterday where he was visiting relatives. His name Mahadeo Bhan Jerrybankhen. May he rest in peace.

I have to hustle. Physiotherapy for my shoulder starts later this morning.

Before I go, bocce tonight. I am going to try to play. Big game! A money one. A blood match. We play Larry Smith’s team. Serious bocce and a lot of hell raising.

Enjoy your day!


I had a good time last night.

Stopped first at the Chart Room. A quick hello to Emily and left. Did not have a drink.

Crossed the street to the Hot Tin Roof. Jenna was joining me for dinner.

Jenna was late. Joseph and I chatted a bit. The man is an intellectual. I enjoy our brief moments together. He made mention that he very much enjoyed my KONK Life column on Detroit. Thought I set forth the necessary background data and frankly represented the situation.

Jenna arrived! We had not seen each other in close to two months. It was reunion time!

We talked about everything. I enjoy her company. She, mine. Too bad she is 52 years younger than me.

I stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Don was there. We sat and talked quite a while. Big party tonight at Don’s Place. A going away party for Hershel and Erika. They return to Indiana later this week.

Megan came over to say hello. Megan the bartender from Roostica. I have mentioned her before. An excellent bartender. Always makes sure I am well taken care of. I introduced her to Don. The three of us chatted for a while.

Megan looked terrific! Under 30 I suspect. One beautiful woman. Gracious and pleasant.

Jenna and Megan in one night. What could be better!

My day started at the bank with Yeleini. She has been my bank person for years. I needed some information.

Then to Publix. I bought nothing. Cost $51. How do families do it?

When I was in high school, I worked in what was then called a supermarket. The time 1949. Supermarkets then were not the huge stores of today. Not even close. One of my jobs was to stock the shelves. One of the items was Campbell Tomato Soup. Five cents a can. I noticed Publix was having a Campbell Tomato Soup sale. Four cans for $4.95. $1.24 a can.  Although more than 60 years later, still a major increase!

I mentioned Pine Tyme the other day. The 80 pound sick loggerhead turtle that had spent three months at the Marathon Turtle Hospital getting better. Pine Tyme was released into the ocean yesterday. With a satellite tracking device so we will know where her travels take her.

A huge crowd was present for her walk over the sand to the water. Many children. Plus Congressman Joe Garcia. A good guy. Also a politician who knew the best place for him to be yesterday.

Ferguson did not die down. One night of calm. Then Ferguson erupted again last night. Some of the armored trucks were brought out to keep the crowd at bay.

I have an interesting inquiry. Military equipment has been distributed to large and small police departments all over the country. From two sources. The Department of Defense/Pentagon. No cost. Supposedly left over and no longer needed military equipment. Also the Department of Homeland Security. The municipalities have to pay, but get a special deal.

Ferguson is a community of only 21,000 people. Key West is larger. Twenty nine thousand. Has the City of Key West Police Department received from either source military equipment of any nature? Similar to what was seen on the streets of Ferguson. What of the Monroe County Sheriff Department?

The public has a right to know. Transparency is required. Let not the first time we become aware be the day we have public disturbance and the armored vehicles suddenly appear.

Enjoy your day!


Another Key West luminary passed on. First, Peter Anderson. Now, La La Belle. La La Belle was L. A. Meyer’s professional name. Meyer was a female impersonator. One of Key West’s best and most popular.

Meyer was a community activist, one of the first public supporters for gay rights, and very active in charitable fundraising. Meyer at one time also hosted a popular TV talk show, The Southernmost Queen.

Meyer had the distinction of being both Queen and King of Fantasy Fest. Different years, of course. He was Queen in 1997 and King in 2000. The Key West Citizen this morning referred to Meyer’s death in the following fashion…..Key West lost a member of its own royal family.

I am going to be critical for a moment. My complaint is aimed at both the Key West Citizen and KONK Life. Peter Anderson was as big as life! A Key West icon. So popular that two separate celebrations of his life were held. The second celebration was the parade down Duval and party thereafter saturday night.

Neither paper reported on the parade to any significance. The Citizen published a photo of it yesterday. KONK Life did likewise today. Hey guys…..You both missed the boat!

Both papers did print lavish reports following Anderson’s death. Especially, KONK Life. Never the less, the parade deserved more recognition than it got.

I lost my gold star! The air conditioning broke down again. I went two nights without air. Water was leaking. I had two big pans and a huge towel catching the leak. All fixed now. Not major. A pipe plugged somewhere and a minor thermostat problem. Not fun during the two nights I slept without air. Fortunately, I had a ceiling fan which helped.

Tuesday again! My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of political and social commentary. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Tonight’s discussion will include commentary re the net worth of Americans having dropped 43 percent since 2007, the fact that the recovery claimed is not a recovery for most, the U.S. Office of Population Affairs support of abortion and sterilization to stem population growth, an example of police arrogance.

Join me.

Jim Brady died. May he rest in peace.

Brady was President Reagan’s Press Secretary in 1981 when Reagan was shot. Reagan almost died. Brady was hit by a bullet, also. The bullets used were the type which would explode when in its target. Of the several shots fired, only one exploded. The one that entered Brady’s head. He was never the same again.

Brady and his family became big time advocates for gun control. In 1993, Clinton signed into law the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act. Probably the last time there has been any significant gun control legislation in the United States.

Spent last night enjoying food and drink at the Hot Tin Roof. Enjoyed good company, also. Andrea.

Enjoy your day!




The shoulder was still sore yesterday morning, though better. Should I keep my gym appointment? I decided to stop by and tell Albert and see what he thought. No problem, he said. And it was not. He worked my lower body the whole hour. Nothing above the navel. Felt not a twitch in the shoulder.

Though only half my body was exercised, my whole body was tired afterwards! Big time!

I had a manicure/pedicure appointment with Tammy a couple of hours later. I fell asleep during the manicure. Then fell asleep again  during the pedicure.

Stopped briefly at Don’s Place on my way into town last night. Hellos all the way around and I was gone.

I had a 6:30 appointment at the Chart Room to meet Diana Millikan. Diana is a loyal blog reader.

Enjoyed Diana’s company for about an hour. Her home is outside Flint, Michigan. She visits Key West several times a year. Has a birthday coming up the 24th of this month. She is writing her first novel. A mystery.

It was Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Nothing exotic. Shrimp warmed in melted butter and mashed potatoes. Hot Tin Roof has the best mashed potatoes!

Joseph stopped by to say hello. He is the general manager. He does an excellent job running the Hot Tin Roof. Josh was bartending.

The humidity gets heavier by the day. Rained big time during the night. Woke me a couple of times. Raining right now. Sky black. May rain all day. No question, the rainy season has arrived.

Medical marijuana is going to be on the November ballot in Florida. An opposition group is running a cute ad: Don’t Let Florida Go To Pot.

There was an interesting editorial in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Opposed to medical marijuana’s approval. Claimed today’s pot not the same as Mom and Dad smoked in the 1980s. Today’s is increased in potency fourfold and therefore presents a danger.

This marijuana thing can be confusing. It was used for medicinal purposes during the Civil War. Although banned, use went crazy in the 1970s and has continued in varying degrees. Billions have been spent to catch and incarcerate those who smoke and sell the dirty weed. Jails are expensive. More monies have been spent trying to put growers out of business.

It is realistic to say attempts have failed. Several States permit medical marijuana use. Colorado now allows recreational use. Lets stop chasing a dead horse. Marijuana use is like gay marriage. Its time has come.

A great sport day! The US Open and Heat/Spurs game. I am going to enjoy!

Enjoy your day!