Party time last night. At the home of Larry and Christine Smith. A good time was had by all. Larry and Christine know how to throw a party.

The event seemed to have had a three fold purpose. To welcome our friends John and Ali back from England. They are in Key West for a one month vacation. To celebrate Mary Deasy’s 39th birthday. To welcome Larry’s high school classmates from up north. They are here enjoying Key West, also.

A pizza and salad party! All kinds of pizza! I pigged out. I normally do not partake of pizza. In addition, Mary’s birthday cake. Oh, so good! Chocolate throughout!

As I parked my car to go into Larry’s, I heard…..hello Louis. It was Jackie Lefferts, my doctor. Walking her dog. I went across the street to kiss her and let the dog sniff me. He was a big guy. I wanted to be sure we would be friends. The Doctor mentioned how her husband Michael enjoyed my book The World Upside Down. She gave an autographed copy to Michael for his birthday. Her comment made me feel good.

Would you believe…..bocce tomorrow afternoon  at 4. A make up game. It will be boiling hot! I am not looking forward to the game.

Shirrel Rhoades is my publisher.  Shirrel had a terrific video and tale in yesterday’s Facebook. The video was the first film ever shot in Key West. It was 1898. It was of the burial of sailors killed when the Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor.

The film was a bit rough. Probably because filming was relatively new at the time. It showed the burial procession, the sailors accompanying the caskets which were on horse drawn wagons, family and friends following in procession.

Why was/is the film such a big deal? Besides the occasion, it was the person who did the filming. Thomas Edison. The man himself. Filming the occasion on the streets of Key West.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of Chernobyl. The Russian nuclear reactor which ruptured and spread radioactive material over much of Europe. The disaster occurred on April 26, 1986.

Illnesses and deformities occurred for many years thereafter. Cancers and deformities especially in new born infants.

Roughly ten years ago, a young mother brought her child to see me in my Utica offices. Her baby daughter was ten months old. She had been born with one arm missing from just above the elbow.

The story was that her prospective husband lived about 15 miles north of Chernobyl at the time of the radioactive spill. They did not marry till about 15 years after. The daughter was their first child.

She visited me with the child. The husband would not come. The husband was of the opinion his wife was at fault. She wondered if Chernobyl had anything to do with it. She told me her doctor said responsibility lie with her husband.

I knew nothing about radiation deformities. I did my homework, communicated with the doctor, and decided I needed more help. The case was out of my class. I contacted lawyers and barristers who had handled Chernobyl cases. They were in London and Rome. I also communicated with a medical college physician in Rome who was considered an expert in these cases.

Turned out the husband was probably the cause. The radiation affected males so that the semen they would make was contaminated in some fashion. The semen could result in a deformed child.

The case was sad. I could not put it together. Even with the help of the London and Rome professionals. It was too late and questionable because of the time factor.

The ten month old baby was lovely. Cute and bubbly.

I do not know how the child has fared since. I have the feeling well. We all make do with what we have. We accept that which life has foisted upon us.

I feel bad to this day that I could not help.

Enjoy your day!




What a combination of famous names in the title! Lou Harris, the famous pollster and political columnist. Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio, two world boxing champions.

This morning’s KONK Life E-News Blast carried a report regarding Lou Harris. Harris was for many years the leading, if not only, reliable political pollster in the United States. He also wrote political columns for the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.

Harris is long retired. Ninety three. Lives full time in Key West.

Once or twice a year, Harris gives a talk to The Friends of the Key West Library. His talks are always well attended.

Last night Harris spoke about a danger to our government. He said, “…..the forces of government destruction are at our gates.”  There is a “…..coup to destroy U.S. government.”

Heavy words from a respected man. He blames the Republican right.

I happen to agree with Harris. I have been writing and preaching a similar message for a couple of years in this blog, my former TV show, and radio show.

I guarantee there will be an avalanche of comments tomorrow agreeing and disagreeing with me. Those who will be disagreeing, though not blind, refuse to see.

I am into a newspaper kick this morning. The Key West Citizen in its World Almanac section yesterday made mention that on March 25, 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Carmen Basilio to regain the middleweight title.

Normally, such an event would receive no attention from me. However, I used to see both during their days of glory and with Basilio, even thereafter. I knew neither man personally. Merely was able to observe them frequently. And not in the ring.

I attended Manhattan College in New York City from 1953-58. Manhattan College was located at 242nd Street and Broadway. Sugar Ray Robinson’s mother lived at 237th Street and Broadway. Robinson frequently visited his mother. We knew. Robinson drove a large sleek pink Cadillac convertible with a white top. It was always parked on Broadway under the subway el. Occasionally, we lucked out and saw Robinson. I would like to say he said hello. He never did. He was sullen appearing and usually walked by with his head down.

Carmen Basilio comes from central New York. The Canastota area. Some refer to Canastota as the onion capital of the world.

Basilio was a home town boy. During his career and after, central New York was his stomping grounds. He was frequently to be seen in Utica and Syracuse. Always a gentleman, always a warm hello and smile.

I did a first time the other day. Had lunch at the new White Street Station. It is a food truck/stand next to one of the gas stations on the corner of Truman and White.

The new establishment is owned by Dennis and the two owners of Michael’s Restaurant. Dennis was general manager of Michael’s for many years. He left several years ago to return to Chicago He is back in Key West operating the White Street Station.

Good food! Excellent food! No question about it. Gourmet sandwiches. I should not have been surprised. Less could not have been expected from people associated with Michael’s Restaurant.

A cold day in Key West! 64 degrees this morning. High will only be 71. A long pants day.

I am not complaining. Yet. My friends on Cape Cod are being buried in another severe snow storm.

Whenever it is extremely cold up north, it is colder than normal in Key West. The cold wind is blowing down from the north this morning at about 20 miles per hour.

Enjoy your day!