Key West’s Christmas on the water! The Lighted Boat Parade last night.

Pictures are available for viewing in today’s KONK Life News E-Blast. Colorful beyond imagination! Boats decorated the best yet.

Today’s Key West Citizen does not carry any of the pics unfortunately. The Citizen goes to press early. Pics will probably appear in tomorrow’s edition.

I ran around in the afternoon yesterday shopping. Nothing special. Not gift time yet. Christmas shopping is generally a last minute thing with me.

Last night, it was dinner at the bar at Roostica. It kept me away from the DUI check point.

I rarely agree with a Key West Citizen editorial. Generally too far to the right. Also, I suspect most of the editorials are not written locally. This morning however I was overly joyed with the editorial page.

The editorial itself was obviously locally written. It had to do with the new food truck ordinance as proposed. The editorial was right on. It views the proposed ordinance as government run amok.

George Will is an intelligent thoughtful writer. He writes for the Washington Post and is seen regularly on television. It is rare I agree with him. He is too far to the right. However, I wholeheartedly agree with his column carried on the Citizen’s editorial page today. It concerns itself with over criminalization. I agree with everything he wrote wholeheartedly.

Since I am into the newspaper thing this morning, I suggest you read this week’s column written by me in KONK Life. The American Dream…..gone, Gone, GONE. It is on the stands all over the keys at the moment. I suggest the column to you because I believe it covers an important topic which perhaps we do not give enough thought to.

Syracuse basketball at 4 this afternoon. Syracuse plays Louisiana Tech. The Tech tells you this is intended as a warm up game for Syracuse. However based on the way Syracuse has played thus far in the pre-season, I do not know. Syracuse is a 7 point favorite.

I am not sure where I will be watching the game. Home, Don’s Place or the Lion’s Den. First time you have heard me mention the Lions Den. JDL’s Big Ten Sports Pub was sold.  I do not know who the new owners are.  I have not seen John Lukas yet to offer my congratulations and sorrow.

I seem to be into the Key West Citizen this morning. It’s the Citizen’s fault. They finally came out with an edition that has many positives from my perspective.

There is a local column in this morning’s Citizen having to do with the holidays. Christmas trees are a part of th article. It was mentioned that some people today were going into the woods to chop their tree down because it was cheaper. Cheaper now, but not when I did it!

Some forty years ago, I cut my own tree down two consecutive years. On a nearby hillside was a Xmas tree farm. You could go on and cut your own down. The cost was expensive! Probably 3-4 times more than buying it cut already from a street vendor.

Appreciate the snow is deep this time of the year up north. Utica is in the foothills to the Adirondack Mountains. The Xmas tree farm was on one of the initial foothills. Cold like you would not believe! Mouths covered with scarfs. Scarfs sticking to a person’s lips.

I thought it would be exciting for my children. They were all under 10. One or two might not yet have been in school.

Away we went. So many trees! We could not decide on the one we liked best. We kept walking. The more we walked, the farther we got from our car. I had with me a hand ax. We found the tree. Everyone was happy. I had to chop it down at the base. I had never wielded a hand ax before. George Washington I was not. It was a difficult task. A couple of swipes did not do it. The branches were cutting across my face. The ice cold wind blowing. I soon hated the whole idea.

After success at chopping the tree down, I had to drag/carry it to the car. The car seemed like 10 miles away. The kids helped me. We had high ceilings. The tree was  big. 8-9 feet tall and wide.

The kids and I did it again the next year. I seemed more adept with the ax. Still the entire event was a pain! Only to me. The children were thrilled. Which made it worth while.

I never did it again after the second year. Enough was enough.

Enjoy your Sunday!


I had an early dinner last night at Roostica. The evening was a bit cool. The inside of the restaurant was warm from the ovens. As soon as I walked in, I could smell it. That distinct aroma of Italian cooking.

The smell at Roostica was comforting. Nostalgic. It took me back

When I was young, wednesday and sunday were pasta days. Except back then, we called pasta macaroni. On those two days, the smell from the cooking permeated every room. The sauce did it. No question, an Italian home.

I recalled the first time I entered my Key West home. It was for sale and I went to look at it. As soon as I entered the front door, I could smell it. I told the broker…..This is an Italian home. I was correct. The wife had made sauce the night before.

At Peter’s party sunday, Peter said I looked pale. I am. I spend less and less time out in the sun and more time inside writing. When I go out evenings, the moon is of no assistance in keeping me tanned. I sat on the deck for an hour yesterday afternoon in an attempt to remedy my appearance.

I watched the first half of th Syracuse/Michigan game last night. I was doing my blog talk radio show during the second half. Syracuse was winning by two at the end of the half. Syracuse lost by three 68-65.

The newspaper comments told the story. Syracuse made 19 turn overs. I am surprised the game was that close under the circumstances. Joseph, the freshman point guard, needs seasoning. He does not have it. I hope he gets it.

Did my blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. If you are not a listener, join me sometime. I think you will enjoy the show.

I pontificated a bit. My main topic had to do with the loss of the American dream. It no longer exists. The lack of present day social mobility is an American reality.

I bolstered my position by pointing out that if the economy had improved and was so good, why were there 2.5 million homeless children. The highest number ever in the United States.

The 30 turtles flown from Cape Cod to the Marathon Turtle Hospital are doing well. They have been warmed up by swimming in a 30,000 gallon water tank. Much warmer water than on the Cape. Some will soon be released into the ocean.

Here is a white on white police story. I share it with you as further evidence that many policemen are not functioning normally.

The incident occurred a few days ago in Houston. A woman was driving around a loop during rush hour. An off duty deputy sheriff thought she had cut him off. He pulled up to her car and took out his gun. She happened to look to her left. Saw the gun aimed at her. Pulled her head back. The bullet grazed her head. Had she not pulled back, the bullet would have penetrated her skull. The deputy sheriff took off. He was later arrested.

The NRA argues too many nuts have guns. What was this guy? And a police officer to boot!

Enjoy your day!



Cameras have become an integral part of our lives. They are everywhere. From cell phones to hidden ones in stores. Cameras have helped in disclosing police brutality situations. They have assisted in identifying criminals.

There is a photo that has gone viral. Its story told. It happened somewhere in Florida a month ago.

A woman was in a liquor store. She was with her small son. The son appeared to be 3-4 years old. The picture shows the mother with dress lifted, squatting, and stealing a bottle of brandy by shoving it into her vagina. A virgin she was not.


Tropic Cinema is one of Key West’s most successful ventures. Everyone loves the theatre.

When Tropic Cinema was still only a thought in the minds of a few, it was hoped that someday it might become the venue for a Key West Film festival. The dream has become reality. This weekend the third Key West Film Festival is taking place.

One of the thoughts was to get movie stars to visit Key West for the event. Similar to the Cannes Film Festival. One is participating this year. A star of note. Marisa Tomei. An Academy Award winner for her role in My Cousin Vinny, she has starred in roughly thirty films.

One of the movies was My Silent Heart. Her co-star was Christian Slater. Several years ago, Slater was a fixture in Key West off and on for a year. And then no more. Too bad. Many were hopeful he might buy a home here.

Another actress came to mind yesterday. I was watching the 1960 movie Where The Boys Are. One of the stars was Dolores Hart. A lovely, She had starred in ten films. Her co-stars included Elvis Presley, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton, and Robert Wagner.

Still in her 20s, she decided to change careers. She gave up the excitement and notoriety of Hollywood for God. She became a Catholic nun. She entered a nunnery in Connecticut. She is still there today where she serves as the Prioress of the convent.

Tonight and tomorrow evening, the Waterfront Playhouse is featuring A Swell Party. Twenty Key West entertainers singing Cole Porter tunes. It has to be an over the top show. I hope I can get a ticket for one of the evenings.

Yesterday was a simple one. Productive, however. I spent most of the day writing. My publisher will be happy. I am happy.

Besides writing some good narrative, I took time to get a haircut with Lori. She has been cutting my hair for more than 15 years. Love her! Dinner was a quick stop at Roostica.

Enjoy your day!



A major event this evening as part of Fantasy Fest is the Headdress Ball. I have attended several times over the years. Under a big tent, always a fun event.

My blog talk radio show is also this evening. I will not be at the Headdress Ball. I will enjoy what I will be doing, however. Hosting Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Half the show will be dedicated to everyone’s friend, Monsanto. Some items you already know. Some not yet. The discussion will be revealing.

Other topics include the Putin/Berlusconi relationship, why bank systems are being hacked, the Catholic Church’s synod which rejected a more friendly relationship with gays and divorcees, and more.

The show is at 9 my time. Join me for a fast paced one half hour. www.blogtalkradio/key-west-lou.

Fantasy Fest is in full swing. A ton of events this evening. Many risqué. I have already suggested the Headdress Ball, which does not fall into the risque category. There is also Capt. Tony’s Plaid Party. Don’t bring your mother. Also, a relatively new event. I think it started last year. The Men of Labare Whitey Party. It is at Bare Assets. Instead of women stripping, men will be doing it. An evening for the ladies to whoop it up.

My favorite candidate for Queen won. ML was instrumental in helping to raise $235,000 for AIDS Help. ML’s real name is Mary-Lynne Price. Probably only a handful are aware. She is well known in the Key West community as ML.

Last night was dinner at Roostica with Jennifer and Keith. Two great young people. Hard workers.

We all screw up. Whether our fault or some other person’s. President Obama was in New York City last month. He and Michelle were having dinner at a fancy restaurant. When the bill came, Obama attempted to pay with a credit card. His credit card was rejected! The card is seldom used. The President’s residence is Washington and it was being offered in New York City. The company thought a fraud was being perpetrated.

Michelle’s card was good.

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… 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!




Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick moving eye opening half hour.

One of the topics involves Obama’s representation that the U.S. will have no boots on the ground. If we do not have soldiers fighting and the other nations joining us do not, who is going to wage the ground war? I suspect mercenaries. Military contractors will provide the boots.

Why is this not mentioned? Why the secret? Who will be paying the mercenaries?

Other interesting topics include the Pentagon providing college campus police with grenade launchers, Guatemala striking down Monsanto Law, and Pope Francis’ statement that World War III may already have begun.

Yesterday started with a visit to the main Post Office downtown. I did not receive mail this past week. They are looking into it. I get too much mail to miss even one day.

The Post Office is a good place to run into people. Caught David walking back to his job with his lunch in hand. Ran into Jim from Joy Gallery. He has my Jack Baron’s for sale. We had a good conversation.

Next was a business meeting at the Marriott Beachside. Every time I walk into the lobby, I think how lucky we are to have this hotel with a touch of New York City situated in Key West.

Roostica for lunch. Megan at the bar. Not working. A guest. What a beauty! Got two hugs and kisses. One when I first came in and one when she was leaving.

Worked on Growing Up Italian. Wrote a chapter, refined and rerefined. Got to get my ass in gear with the bookwriting. It comes in spurts.

Stopped at Don’s Place for a drink early evening. Chatted with Grant. Petey at the other end of the bar. Petey from saturday at JDLs. She came over and gave me a hug and kiss. I love the attention of these young beauties. Even if it is only because I am a likable old man.

Then to the Chart Room. Spent some time chatting with Che. I have not seen him in a couple of months. Che my friend with a Cuban name who is a New York City Jew. Love it!

Syracuse plays Maryland saturday. Syracuse a 2 point favorite. Which means no one knows who is going to win.

The Key West Citizen ran a front page article on tegu lizards. Every kind of lizard eventually finds its way to the Keys. Tegu is new. Was found in Key West. First one. Experts say probably a pet that the owner did not want anymore and set free.

Only four have been discovered to date in the Keys. Not nice guys. They have sharp teeth and claws and are aggressive. The one found in Key West turned out to be a honey. It is now at the Sheriff’s Animal Farm. The attendants say the lizard is docile and likes to be touched. Not consistent with its purported nature.

Enjoy your day!


Chickens and iguanas abound in Key west. Ducks a bit rare. I ran into a family of ducks yesterday.

I was driving on Grinnell. All of a sudden, ducks appeared crossing the street. A mother duck and five ducklings. All in a straight line, mother leading. I beeped the horn. They ignored me. I stopped and beeped the horn again. Still no reaction. The mother led her brood across the street as if she had not a care in the world.

Chickens and iguanas on the other hand run like hell to get out of the way.

I have been cleaning house a bit. Came across a brand new easel. It was a gift some dozen years ago when I decided I would return to painting. Something I had done for two years in the early 1960’s. By the time the easel arrived, I had painted a few canvases and decided whatever talent I thought I had was non existent. The easel never got used.

Granddaughter Ally is 9. She is into painting. One of her recent birthday gifts was a very good set of paints and brushes. She recently did a small painting of the ocean and a boat which she gave me. I was impressed. Yesterday, Ally stopped over. I made her day. I gave her the easel.

Last week, I stopped at Ben Franklin and bought her a pallet. This week I plan to sit with her a bit and show her how to mix colors with white and explain why.

The pool is fixed and filled. Some pea soup. Pool groom came over and shocked it. Should be crystal clear in a day or two.

Spent most of the afternoon yesterday watching golf and college football.

Last night was dinner at Roostica with Keith and Jennifer. Two interesting young people. Hard workers. We had a good time. Roostica also gave me an opportunity to treat my back medicinally with several gins. I do not drink at home.

Daytime was spent with the heating pad as often as possible. Last night the gins. My back was ok when I hit the bed. I slept well. Woke with no back pain.

I have had a bad back for years. I have learned that back ache/spasms come on suddenly and leave just as suddenly. I hope the present episode is behind me.

If the problem returns, I will take the advice of the many who wrote and recommended ice. I am not yet ready to take the advice of those who said see a doctor. I can be hard headed.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Live on a sub tropical island like Key West and inevitably you will run into all kinds of bugs, insects and other creatures. Recall last week. It was a rock lizard who had taken up residence in my home.

This week it is ants. The tiny tiny small ones. Almost invisible to the naked eye. They are in my Keurig coffee maker. The one that uses small K-cups.

Five or six days ago, I noticed the ants swimming around in side water holder on the unit. Ugh! The thought immediately occurred that I might have drunk some in the previous 24 hours.

My problem. These little ants are impossible to get out of the Keurig machine. Everything has been done. Anna washed everything three times. No help. I finally placed the water unit in the dishwasher. That did it for the water unit! Ants gone.

The ants still are in the main unit. The part I cannot put in the dishwasher. There are fewer, but still there. I went to TERRO two days ago. The best ant killer in the keys! Not this time.

There are not nor have there been ants on the kitchen cupboard on which the coffee machine rests. Only on and in the machine itself.

I am at wit’s end. Guess I will be throwing out the coffee maker and buying a new one.

I have also been suffering withdrawals symptoms. No coffee, no caffeine.

My blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou went well last night. I finalized the show during the day. Added a section on Steven Sotloff who had been beheaded earlier in the day.

Only six subjects covered. All heavy.

Post show comments indicate the topics were equally liked/enjoyed. First time. Another first time was no one disagreed with me. A big first time!

Dinner at Roostica before the show. Two pieces of Italian sausage. Delicious! Ran into Ray Sigsimondi. A good guy. He came to Key west about the time I bought my home here 16 years ago. He plays a mean electric guitar. I miss his playing with Larry Smith on occasion at the Wine Galley.

The Key West Citizen had a heart warming front page story this morning.. It concerned Julie Johnson who was in Key West for several hours. She was traveling through on a cruise ship. Julie is 46 and blind since birth. Her friends were going to take a bike tour around Key West. She wanted to go, also. She found bicycle provider Lloyd Mager. He provided a tandem bicycle as the solution. Lloyd drove and Julie had the back seat. She pedaled along and took in the sounds and smells of Key West.

Lloyd makes stops so the tourists can enjoy first hand many of the special delicacies Key West has to offer. Julie got to enjoy key limes, sea grapes, touching a turtle and animals. Everything everyone else on the tour was doing.

God bless Julie! God bless even more Lloyd Mager who was here in Key West and knew exactly what to do to make Julie’s experience the pleasure it was.

My back, my back, my back! What a pain! Spasm! It is causing my shoulder to hurt because of the strange movements I make. Especially in bed.

Enjoy your day!


Enjoyed Sunday dinner at Roositca last night. The spaghetti special which includes a salad, three huge meatballs, two huge sausage links, and great bread for $14. A buy! I ate all the meat. Little of the pasta. Too much food for me.

The place was packed. A gold mine!

Guy de Boer came in with a big party. He stopped to talk with me. I asked about his sister Dawn who I had never met. However, we are friends via the internet. She lives somewhere in north Florida and edits my weekly KONK Life column. Guy said she is here with me. I want to meet her, I said.

Off we went to her table. We were both overjoyed to have finally met each other in the flesh. Dawn is a lovely person in every respect.

When I eat alone, I bring something to read. Generally, a newspaper or my tablet. Last night, it was the FDR book The Mantle Of Command I have been reading. I finished it while dining.

A great book! One of the best historical novels I have read. It covers a small time frame during World War II. Eleven months. From December 7th to the following November when the Allies successfully landed in North Africa in what was known as Operation Torch.

The book was written by Nigel Hamilton. Published this year. Would make a great movie!

The novel shows a side of Roosevelt not before seen. He was a hard ass do it my way leader. Forget the generals and admirals, he was the commander in chief. He conducted himself accordingly. Rarely did he have to pull rank. He was a smoothie who manipulated and turned people to his way of thinking.

Many tried to manipulate him, stand up to him. Each failed. Churchill, Marshall, MacArthur, and Stimson were no match. They opposed him, fought him. Went behind his back. None prevailed, whatever the issue.

Hamilton had some intimate relationships that assisted in writing the book.. While a student at Cambridge, Hamilton resided with Churchill’s parents. Hamilton spent hours discussing Churchill with his quasi grandfather Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. He also spent considerable time interviewing people who knew Churchill intimately. Churchill is a major figure in the book after Roosevelt.

This is the first book written from the perspective of Roosevelt as a controlling commander in chief. Not only of his generals and admirals, but also world leaders.

As he was to all Presidents he served under, MacArthur was a pain in the ass. Nevertheless a military genius. FDR kept him in line waiting for the American Pacific war to begin.

One thing reported about MacArthur in the book bothered me. Corregidor was about to fall. MacArthur would soon be ordered to Australia. The Philippine people and American troops were being brutalized by the Japanese.

Within days of MacArthur leaving and the Philippines falling into Japanese hands, the Philippine government gave MacArthur $500,000 which MacArthur was able to secure and get out of the Philippines. A sort of legal payment. The Philippine government was always rewarding people who helped them. This was the first time MacArthur was so rewarded.

Roosevelt was not happy about the payment and its acceptance. He kept quiet, however. He needed MacArthur for another day. The payment remained secret until 1979 when it first came to public light.

The payment did not appear proper in and of it self. It also did not look correct when men were dying in droves. Keep in mind Bataan and Corregidor.

There is a contrast. Eisenhower served under MacArthur in the Philippines from 1936 to 1939. He was a major at the time and acted as MacArthur’s chief of staff. Eisenhower was offered $60,000 from the Philippine government at roughly the same time as MacArthur received the $500,000. Eisenhower turned down the $60,000. He did not consider it in good taste.

Read the book. An interesting eye opener.

Enjoy the last day of your Labor Day weekend!



ML is a candidate for Fantasy Fest Queen. I think she is a winner. A charming woman. She has a good business sense. Beat cancer several years ago. Is well liked. More importantly, she and Guy de Boer are a pair. The thing I like most about ML is that she brings out the best in Guy.

There is an AIDS/ML fundraiser friday night. From 8-11 at th Key West Pub. The theme of the event is the 1970’s. Guests are asked to dress as their favorite 1970’s sitcom character.

A guaranteed fun time for a good cause!

My yesterday began late morning. Needed a few things from K-Mart and Office Max. Decided on an early lunch. Cheeseburger in  my head. Drove to 5 Guys in Winn-Dixie Shopping Plaza. As I was walking in, I saw the ice cream store next door. Opened about a year ago. The hell with the cheeseburger I thought. Time for a chocolate milk shake!

I generally only drink chocolate shakes when on vacation. I overdid them in Greece. especially Santorini. Since no trip this summer, it has been a year since I enjoyed a chocolate shake.

I got one at 2 Scoops. Heaven blessed me! So good!

2 Scoops is small but well decorated and clean inside. Take the kids! A good place for ice cream!

My physical was at 1. Took 2 hours. On top of the 2 hours last week taking all kinds of tests. This was with the good Dr. Jackie Lefferts herself. A thorough physician.

I am going to live.

Got home and reviewed my material for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. The show went well. A bit of Syria, a baby factory story, and much about police officers. Closed with some food stories re cheese and butter products coming into the U.S. from China. A full evening.

Before the show, I had dinner at the my usual tuesday night haunt. Roostica. Two nights in a row. I enjoyed an order of lemoncello wings. You have not tasted wings till you have tried Roostica’s lemoncello ones.

Yesterday was primary day here in Florida. Key West is in Monroe county. Covers the keys all the way up to the mainland and then more.

I sensed driving around yesterday that the primary would be light. Very few supporters on corners holding signs and waving.  The turn out was small. Depending on who is correct, it was either 27, 30 or 33 percent. The results provided no surprises.

What  did surprise me was the Key West Citizen describing many races as close. 55-45 percent is not close.

Guns, guns, guns. No matter how we cut it, we are a gun crazy society. An occurrence yesterday proves it.

The place a driving range in Arizona. A 9 year old girl was being given lessons on using a Uzi. Her instructor was 39 and duly qualified. One of the rounds was too much for the 9 year old to handle. The gun recoiled and kicked back. Shot the instructor in the head. He died.

Trauma to the instructor. Life time trauma for the 9 year old girl.

Enjoy your day!