Mark Howell is an author/writer extraordinaire!

Today’s KONK E-News Blast carries a touching story written by him. It concerns Key West’s beloved Peter Anderson and a former wife Joanna Leary. It also speaks of Johanna’s recent book involving her psychedelic relationship with Timothy Leary. Leary was the LSD guru of my day.

Joanna’s hippie days provide the setting.

Mark wove it all into a loving tale.

This morning’s Key West Citizen carried an interesting article about a Dan Zimmerman. A hero in his own right.

Dan suffered a massive stroke in 2005 at age 41. Right side paralyzed, left side of brain damaged. Recovery a long way back. Dan refused to give up.

On June 29 this year, he left a little town in Washington state on a three wheeled low slung bicycle. 5,200 miles later, he completed his trip to Key West. He arrived this past saturday.

He labeled his journey Road to Margaritaville. The first thing he heard as he came out of his stroke induced coma was Jimmy Buffett singing.

You have to admire the guy!

My yesterday was busy. An early morning appointment for a fasting blood test. Then a manicure with Tammy at Lee Nails. I fell asleep while she was giving me the manicure. Can’t believe it!

In the afternoon, another doctor appointment. With my heart doctor. I was experiencing some pain and swelling in the my legs. Some tests were done recently to see if I had a blood clotting problem. I love getting old. Turns  out, no problem.

The doctor’s office was busy. Many in and out. Surprisingly, I seemed to know everyone and they me. Several of them, I had not seen in years.

The heart doctor was running late. It was close to 7 by the time I got out. I decided on a drink. My diet permits it. Stopped at Don’s Place. Chatted with Jimmy and John a while. Then home after only one drink.

Syracuse basketball tonight. Love it! Syracuse plays Michigan at 7:30. The game is being shown on ESPN. I will be able to watch the first half at home. Then I have my blog talk radio show to do. I will miss the second half. Syracuse is a 4.5 point underdog.

Most of tonight’s blog talk radio show is prepared. Interesting and timely topics. Tonight, the St. Louis Ram’s five players and their support signal for Ferguson, Obama and corporate America, France’s President rejecting Obama’s plan which would result in a global oligarchy, the loss of the American dream, a white business protected by blacks in Ferguson, and more.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou airs at 9. Join me.

Enjoy your day!



Good morning! I am at Lisa’s this morning doing the blog. The realtor is showing my house.

There was a breast feeding event saturday in Key West. I was unaware of it till this morning. Not that I would have gone. My involvement with breast feeding is a thing of the past. One of my daughters did it. If ever I will observe the activity again, it will be with one the grandchildren.

There is a national organization known as Big Latch On. A fitting name! A world wide event takes place each year. The day was this past saturday. Forty five babies breast fed publically at Higgs Beach. The purpose obviously to promote breast feeding. No question, the right thing to do. Healthy. Great for the baby. Comforting to the mother.

Respect for Peter Anderson is ongoing. It does not seem to fade into the sunset.

Last April, Renier Rodriguez visited Key West from Cuba. He joined the Conch Republic, received a passport and obtained a Conch Republic flag. All from Peter Anderson himself.

Rodriguez lives in Candelaria, Cuba. This past week the Conch Republic flag flew over his home in memory of Peter Anderson.

Yesterday afternoon was spent in final preparation for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Did the show at 9.

One of the topics involved the OPA. Not the OPA of World War II. The OPA of today. The Office of Population Affairs. A federal agency. It is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The OPA has been in business as a federal agency since 1970.

The OPA’s purpose is to control/limit population growth. The thought is that some day there will be too many people and not enough to feed them all.

The agency is pro-abortion, pro-sterilization, and pro-contraceptive use. It also has a Family Planning Clinic, one of whose purposes is to get rid of unintended pregnancies.

Plans contemplated are extremely discriminatory as regards women. Additionally, the agency has researched the legality of its proposed programs. The programs are referred to as they would be at an appropriate time. Compulsory Population-Control Laws. The suggested laws are claimed to have been legally researched. The agency’s conclusion is they can be constitutionally sustained if over population becomes sufficiently severe so as to endanger society.

The agency has a budget. In the past several years, it has averaged between $280 million and $298 million. Recall, the House of Representatives controls the budget. They decide what agency of government gets what and how much.

I find it difficult to understand how the Republicans in the House who are anti-abortion and anti-contraception can vote yearly to fund this agency and at the same time fight like hell against abortion and contraception

It does not make sense to me. Gross inconsistency.

OPA was the topic last night that garnered the most interest.

In between preparation and the doing of the show, I had dinner at Roostica. The lovely Megan took care of me.

A public official in  Ankara, Turkey is as anti-female as some of our legislators. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister wants to prohibit women from laughing in public. He claims women who laugh cannot be honorable women. Turkish women are aroused. They have filed a discrimination complaint against him.

My column in this week’s KONK Life is titled Black Jesus. It will be available at 5 today. Read it. You will find the article interesting.

The San Antonio Spurs announced yesterday that they had hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach. Becky is female, as her name connotes. A terrific move. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

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.

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!




Water has become the topic of the day. Detroit recently. Followed by Toledo. The drought in southwestern United States. Now Fairfield, Texas is in the news.

Fairfield has water problems like other areas of the United States. They came up with a partial solution. They drink wetlands water. Yes, the place where snakes and vermin crawl about. Fairfield filters and treats the water chemically. The result is good drinking water.

Key West and the lower keys have been ahead of the game. I have had a home in the Key West area for 16 years. From day one, I heard that part of the drinking water was desalinated salt water. True!

Key West and lower keys’ water comes from two sources.

The primary source is the Everglades National Park. The four thousand square mile Biscayne Aquifer is located there. The water is extracted, treated, and then sent 130 miles via a pipeline to Key West.

Key West recognized many years ago that the water coming in was not sufficient to meet Key West’s needs. A process to convert salt water to fresh water came into being. Two desalination plants were constructed. One on Stock Island, the other in Marathon. The process is known as Reverse Osmosis Desalination.

The bottom line is that up to 4 percent of the drinking water in the lower keys is fresh water converted from sea water.

You never know by drinking it!

Bertha still  out there. No significant damage or injuries yet. Bertha has missed directly passing over the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas. There is rain, however. Everyone everywhere needs rain so that is good.

Speaking of rain, the last three days have been rain, rain, rain here in Key West. It will rain again today. Each storm a storm! Heavy rain, thunder and lightning. During the night, I could hear the rain slap hard against my bedroom windows. The power went out. Did not mean it was always dark in my bedroom. The lightning came right through the closed wood shutters.

Two golf observations.

Poor Tiger Woods. His back again. He had to withdraw from the Bridgestone Tournament. You could see him hobbling.

Tiger has not been the same since the scenario with his wife several years ago. Though he has won a few tournaments, he is not the Tiger Woods of old. Everything seems to not work properly. Age is a factor. He is now 38. I doubt he will ever be the golfer he was.

The new Tiger Woods appears to be Rory McIlroy. A youngster relatively speaking. I think 25 years old. He has already won three majors. He won the Bridgestone yesterday.

The gauntlet has passed.

Enjoy your day!



When I purchased my Key West home 16 years ago, few had ever heard of lionfish. Then 2-3 years ago, we all did. It was beware! Lionfish are here! They are bad! Eating everything up! Which ironically was followed by lionfish being good to eat and that we should all eat lionfish. The demand and fishing for them would help with the problem.

Appears ain’t nothing going to help eradicate the lionfish population. Eat all you can and there still would be too many left. Human consumption is not occurring regardless. People have not taken to consuming lionfish.

The problem with lionfish is that they impact the ecosystem. Negatively. They eat small grouper and snapper. Eat the underwater food normally consumed by grouper and snapper. Feast on other type marine life, also.

Lionfish are not common to the Florida keys. They originated in the Pacific Ocean and Red Sea. Today, they are all along the Atlantic coastline.

They got here the same way the pythons did. Pythons you will recall were kept as pets in homes. Came the big #5 hurricane that leveled Homestead some 20 years ago, these pets were strewn all over the Everglades.  Pythons being sexual creatures, propagated. Till their numbers exploded. Today there is no talk of eradicating pythons. Control is the solution being pursued.

The same with lionfish. People kept lionfish as pets. When they tired of them, they dumped the lionfish into Florida waters. Now there are millions. Lionfish are sexual as well. They reproduce swiftly. Something like 12,000 to 15,0000 eggs every four days.

Lionfish can be found along shorelines and as deep as 1,000 feet. They are all over.

Authorities admit control is the order of the day. There are too many to eradicate.

The State of Florida has banned the importation of lionfish. Florida is the only state so far to have done so.

I missed the parade celebration of Peter Anderson’s life last night. I seem to have a black cloud over my head. First, my computer. Now, my air conditioning. The upstairs went. I figured it was the thermostat. Needed new batteries. Batteries turned it on again. The thermostat is one of those new super dooper ones. Does everything! Except keep the air conditioning running for me. The air would not stay on for more than 5 minutes. It took me three hours to figure it out. By the time I did, the parade was long over.

It was a bit late. Lisa telephoned and said meet us at Chico’s if you have not eaten. I had not. I had dinner with Lisa and family. Robert was present. Not Ally. She was at a sleep over.

First time for me at Chico’s Cantina. Surprising because I drive past it at least two times a day. The why is I am not particularly fond of Mexican food.

I was very impressed with Chico’s. The place was smaller that I had expected. Unusually clean! From floor to ceiling. Even the men’s room. I had a chicken burrito. Ok. Not thrilling.

It rained a lot yesterday and last night. Still raining this morning. Big time. Dark. I suspected it might be the fringes of Bertha. Bertha was to hit Puerto Rico this morning. If not Bertha, it had to be a usual Key West August day. August is mid point in the Key West rainy season.

I looked outside to evaluate the situation. You live in Key West long enough and you think you can predict the weather. The wind was from the northwest. I could tell because of the way my palm trees were bending. The clouds moving ever so slowly. They were moving northwest to southeast.

Bertha is to the south of Key West. Ergo, the rain had to be part of Key West’s usual rainy season.

I should get a gold star for my weather prowess and also ability to have finally figured out how the thermostat worked.

Enjoy your Sunday!



The title of today’s blog makes you step back and say…..What?

Black Jesus is the name of a new TV show which airs for the first time this thursday. The show will appear on cable channel Adult Swim. Adult Swim shares the channel with Cartoon Network. It is a Turner Broadcasting production. The show will be available in 96 million homes via pay TV.

The show is today in Compton, California. A ghetto neighborhood. Jesus obviously African-American.

The show claims to be a comedy that does not mock Jesus.

My next KONK Life column will be published this coming wednesday. The day before Black Jesus debuts. The title is Black Jesus, also. The column is not to announce the new show. Rather it asks a specific religious question. My purpose in writing the column was to stir the pot re the religious issue raised.

Met an interesting gentleman at the Chart Room last night. A friend of Emily’s. Emily does the Kentucky Derby every every year. She makes mention each time of a parking lot friend. The friend is Fred Stair, the man I met last night. He is involved with a Churchill Downs parking lot a mere 75 yards from the front gate to Churchill Downs. Called Captain’s Derby Parking.

Fred and I have similar backgrounds. We once were lawyers.

Fred is in Key West scouting a home. He is looking to buy a place here. Good for him! He will be a welcome addition!

Met Andrea at the Chart Room, also. Another friend of Emily’s.

Andrea grew up in Europe. She attended American University in Paris and then the University of California-Davis. She speaks several languages. Lives in Key West.

We got into a discussion of colleges. Turns out her mother went to the College of New Rochelle in Westchester County. I found it amusing. I went to Manhattan College in New York City. My friends and I used to pursue the New Rochelle ladies. Loved them. They were the best!

There is another Celebration of Life scheduled for Peter Anderson today. Loved by everyone! The celebration begins at 6 with a parade along Duval. The parade will start at Mallory Square and end at South Street. Followed by a party at the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Guaranteed the parade route and party will be overflowing!

The mini lobster season ended thursday. Unfortunately, a woman died. She and a friend were standing on their boat when it appeared another boat was going to hit them. They jumped in the water to avoid the crash. The boat did not strike the other. It did strike the two women. One died and one is in the hospital.

The second storm of the season has been brewing for a few days. Bertha. A tropical storm. Winds presently 50 mph. Lots of rain.

Bertha is not considered a danger to the Florida keys. It may roll over the Bahamas and/or Cuba. It has already passed over some Caribbean islands.

There is a benefit to be derived from Bertha. The islands all are experiencing drought conditions. Bertha’s 3-6 inches of water are welcomed.

The House Republicans did it again! They left Washington yesterday for a five week vacation. $174,000 a year, great medical, and a work schedule that amounts to half time over the course of a year.

The sadness is that they left without properly taking care of the immigrant children coming over the Mexican border. The 50,000 plus is now indicated to be around 70,000. View the internet pictures to see how these kids are living. Behind chain and barbed wire fences, sleeping on floors, inadequate medical attention, etc.

I have asked this question before. I ask it again. Would they want their children and grandchildren treated in this fashion? The Golden Rule…..Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…..has been forgotten.

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!



I wrote of Peter Anderson yesterday morning. Indicated he was ill and things did not look good. They were not. Peter passed away yesterday. Key West has lost one of its finest citizens and a most loved neighbor. May he rest in peace.

I started my yesterday with a gym visit. The first in ten days. Albert was waiting for me. The hour was grueling, especially since I had been away so long.

While Albert was abusing me, we talked about the children immigrating from Latin America. Albert shared an observation I had not considered. Imagine how bad/desperate things must be for parents to send their children off alone to the United States. How they must have scrapped, borrowed and perhaps stolen the $7,000 necessary to pay a coyote.

For two reasons. First, to make sure their children avoided the death and rape that might confront them if they remained at home. Second, for the better life America promised.

The Republicans in Congress make me sick. Almost to a person, they are opposed to the help the President wants to provide. Senator McCain was on television this morning saying in effect…..Put them on planes and send them back!

There is a child problem ongoing in South Sudan. Children are dying daily of malnutrition. A humanitarians crisis. Money needed from all over the world to help these children. The United States is doing its part. Last week, we sent $22 million. Total sent by the United States this year $456 million.

Where did this money come from? Was it part of a House bill? Was it appropriated? If we can help these kids on a foreign shore, why can’t we help the children who have made it to our shore?

It is all politics. Disgustingly so.

Dinner was with Lisa last night. The grandkids are away visiting their other grandparents.

Stopped at Don’s Place afterwards. Quiet. Chatted with Randy. Met a new person. Ann Marie. Lovely. Just got hired to work the outdoor bar at La Te Da. Good for her! A great job!

Then to the Chart Room for what turned put to be a big night.

I was supposed to meet Sheila. She was there. As was David, Jean Thornton and granddaughter Paris, and several others.

Friends Hank and Pat from Melbourne. I met Hank for the first time last year. He comes to Key West each year to participate in the Hemingway Look A Like contest. He has been doing it for 21 years. He is still waiting to win. Don’t know why he has not. He looks like Hemingway!

Dianne was back. Have not seen her in a year. She is a good friend of Sheila’s. Dianne is an artist from Champagne, Illinois.

A fellow sat next to me at the bar. There was an empty seat between us. He had white hair and beard. Looked like Hemingway! No question about it. I asked if he was in the contest. He gruffly said yes and then ignored me and everyone else, except for an occasional word or two with Emily. A most impolite individual. I hope he loses.

Billy and Cindy Schott showed up! Great people! Friends from Texas.

Billy and Cindy married in Key West in 2011 on Smathers Beach. They visit Key West frequently. This trip they are here till the end of August.

Billy has an interesting job. Something to do with college football and TV. His title is Big 12 Conference TV Liason.

Billy and Cindy know everyone. On the drive down to Key West, they stopped to visit their friend Kyle Chandler. I knew nothing of him, had never heard his name. Chandler is an actor. Has several featured roles in movies and television under his belt. He is presently starring with Sissy Spacek in the new television series being filmed in the upper keys. The show’s base of operations is Islamorada. Where they met up with and spent some time with their friend.

It was a big night at the Chart Room.

Enjoy your day!



A busy morning yesterday. Started with some scheduled heart tests at Dr. McIvor’s office. Then a manicure with Tammy. Finally an 11 o’clock business meeting downtown.

Spent a bit of time in the afternoon reviewing my notes for last night’s Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Dinner was at the Roostica bar. Chatted with the lovely Megan.

Showtime at 9. My blog talk radio show. Enjoyed doing it. I was disturbed about many things and vented. Things like the 52,000 children and China wanting to buy most of our American Fortune 500 companies.

Peter Anderson is sick. His condition reportedly serious. The cancer returned. He is bedridden and Hospice is attending him. Peter is the Secretary General of the Conch Republic. A major contributor to Key West history and folklore. Pray for him.

I continue to be concerned for the close to 300 girls who were forcibly removed from their school in Nigeria. Their captors said they were to be sold into slavery. That was three months ago. Nothing heard since. What has happened to the girls? Is anyone still looking for them?

Key West Citizen’s this Day in History section notes that on this day in 1941 Joe Di Maggio hit in his 56th consecutive game. Quite a feat! A record that stands to this day.

I met Joe Di Maggio twice. A privilege. Especially the second time.

The first occasion was in my home town Utica. Rufie Ventura owned a restaurant. Ventura’s. Each summer he sponsored a charity golf tournament. Joe Di Maggio would attend. He and Rufie were friends. I met Di Maggio at one of the tournaments.

The second time was years later. Di Maggio was long retired. I had finished playing a round of golf at La Gorce in Miami. I was sitting at a table with several La Gorce members after the game having a drink. We were in the Men’s Lounge. Di Maggio was a member at La Gorce. He came in and sat with us. He knew the others. I was introduced. I spent the next hour enjoying his company and graciousness.

I return to the gym this morning at 11. It has been 10 days since my last visit. Albert just telephoned to ask if I was going to appear. I was happy to say yes. I fear I am going to be extra sore after the workout because of the time I have missed. All for good health!

Enjoy your day!