Merry Christmas one and all!

I had a rare happening yesterday. One infrequently experienced. But when it occurs, it aggravates the hell out of a person.

I spent four hours plus yesterday afternoon writing next week’s KONK Life column. Due to the holidays, the column had to be in early. Yesterday. I do not know what happened, what key I hit in error. I lost the column. Hard though I tried, I could not retrieve it. It is out there floating around in internet space.

To redo would have taken about 2 hours. I did not have the time. I was due at Lisa’s for Christmas Eve dinner in a half hour. Ergo, there will be no Key West Lou column in next week’s KONK Life. Sorry.

As a point of information, the column concerned Theodore Roosevelt. Besides an outstanding President, he also had a way with words. Many phrases used today originated with him. Like using the Presidency as a “bully pulpit.” How about if I decide to run, I will “throw my hat in the ring.” Then there is “good to the last drop.” Roosevelt was actually drinking Maxwell House coffee when he uttered those words. And so on.

Christmas Eve dinner at Lisa’s was outstanding. She outdid herself once again. Santa Claus arrived before dinner. Robert and Ally are still believers. They are 10 and 9  respectively. Tall. This may be their last year enjoying the beauty of believing.

Lisa had a houseful. Friends for dinner, also.

I basically kept to my diet. Cheated a very wee bit. A taste of a forbidden food. That was it! I was able to pass on all the goodies.

I got my Christmas shopping in yesterday morning. Found what I needed. Traffic was horrendous! The penalty I paid for being a late shopper.

Thunderstorms were predicted for yesterday. They started in the afternoon. Continued through the night. Heavy winds, also. All as predicted. We received a piece of the storm running from Maine to Florida. This morning is lovely. A bit cool, however. 68. Will reach the mid 70s during the day. Pleasant Christmas weather.

Key West’s Tropic Cinema is one of the movie houses nationally showing Interview today. I congratulate them.

Key West has had a bit of a police problem the past year. Not a black, however. A white. Charles Eimers. The grand jury failed to indict the police officers. New evidence has been discovered. A video it is claimed that challenges certain police statements made during the investigation and grand jury proceedings. There is also a federal civil suit pending.

The preceding set forth merely for informational purposes and as a prelude to the following. It was announced in today’s Key West Citizen there will be a police protest re Eimers death this sunday. It has been labeled Justice in Paradise. Sunday 4 pm. The protest begins at the Truman Waterfront.

Enjoy your Christmas Day!




Christmas 2010 I wrote a story as to how Christmas was received and how it developed in what is now the United States. The story was published on Amazon Kindle at the time.

I thought the tale sufficiently interesting to be repeated. Not once, but twice. It is in KONK Life which hits the stands at 5 today. I also basically read through the story on my blog talk radio show last night.

Christmas was not always as it is today.

For example, the Puritans in Boston in the late 1600s made it a crime to celebrate Christmas. Another example involves the South celebrating Christmas big time leading up to and at the time of the Civil War. The North did not.

Washington Irving, The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol and finally…..Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, contributed to Christmas as we know it.

The Key West Citizen had the perfect editorial today. A reprint of the New York Sun’s editorial in 1897 which contained the memorable statement…..Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Went Christmas shopping yesterday. I am one of the last minute ones. Did not do well. Found nothing I liked. Everything picked over. My fault. I will be back in the stores today.

Christmas Eve is big in my family. I will be at Lisa’s tonight for dinner. Santa Claus will arrive before. 6:30 to be precise. I love it!

I arranged for Santa Claus each Christmas Eve for my children and then grandchildren. Robert and Ally are the last of the grandchildren. Kids are impressed with Santa Claus. I wanted them to be duly impressed with Poppa. I arranged with each Santa at some point to embrace me warmly and tell everyone I was his friend. The kids ate it up!

The weather this morning is lovely. Thunderstorms predicted for tonight. Already one outdoor event has been cancelled. I hope the rain holds off till we are all home in bed.

The more important concern would be Robert and Ally. Children are inquisitive. They would want to know if the reindeer were out in the rain, where are they, etc.

This morning’s Key West Citizen had a short note re Applerouth Lane. The note mentioned Applerouth was once called Smith Lane.

Applerouth is that short block between Duval and Whitehead. A narrow street. I always have thought Applerouth and its diverse stores were a true reflection of Key West. There is a bd/sm gear store. Been there for years. A couple of restaurants. The entrance to Virgilio’s.

My curiosity was piqued. Who was Applerouth? Who was Smith? I had always thought Applerouth was the name of a flower or plant.

I did a little digging. Applerouth was so named in 1981. It was named after a local merchant. William H. “Billy” Applerouth. Smith was difficult to nail down. The street was named after L. Windsor Smith. There was a District Attorney as well as a Court Clerk in the 1840s so named. Whether one and the same person, I can not be sure.

Applerouth was described as the “Jewish” merchant. I found that add on/description strange for 1981. If someone is aware why the description, let me know.

The Interview opens Christmas Day at the Tropic Cinema. Good for you, Tropic Cinema!

Enjoy your Christmas Eve!



Since my first born was able to comprehend Santa Claus, I have lied about Santa Claus. A good lie. The lie has continued to present day. More than fifty years.

Probably to boost my image in their eyes, I have repeated the same lie every year to my children and grandchildren. The grandchildren are now all adults, except for Robert and Ally. The lie is that Santa Claus is my friend. We talk on the phone all the time. I have even arranged for Santa Claus to telephone me while one or two of them were with me. It was  proof that Santa and I were buddies.

Every Christmas, I arrange for Santa Claus to visit where ever I am at dinner time Christmas Eve. The kids knew he was coming. He was my friend! They waited excitedly. When he arrived, he would talk with each of them. Of course he knew all their secrets, whether they had been good or bad, etc.

I prepped Santa Claus each year to greet me as…..Louis, my friend!….. as he embraced me.

I think it may be the end of the line. The lie may not be able to be perpetrated further.

Last night Robert and Ally sat down in front of me and asked…..Poppa, how is Santa Claus your friend? I made up some cock and bull lie. Another one. Oh, the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I am not sure they accepted my answer. Both were very serious during the conversation.

I have a feeling that between now and Christmas, Robert and Ally will sit me down to tell me the truth. They are 10 and 9 respectively. It is time.

Friday night in Key West was packed. Bikers in town. Beautiful big expensive bikes all over. Black leathered bikers and their ladies attired in leather. A sight to see!

I had a drink at the Chart Room. Emily told me the Wine Galley had been redone and was open for business. I took a walk over.

The Wine Galley and I go back at least 20 years. When I first went, it was Bobby Nesbitt’s room. Every week without fail. The room was smaller than it is now. However, comfortable and intimate. Then it was Larry Smith’s room. The Wine Galley was redone and made  larger.

Now the Wine Galley is no one’s room. There is neither place nor room for a piano.

The new Wine Galley is stunning. Magnificent. A cocktail lounge. Sexy. The room was packed with biker/tourists last night.

Although spectacular, the new Wine Galley cannot stand up to the room when it was Bobby Nesbitt’s and Larry Smith’s. There was something missing last night.

Stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Jimmy was there. A different Jimmy from yesterday’s blog. Jimmy I met first years ago at the Southernmost Complex. He was  a handyman/gardener. Lisa worked there six years. They became friends. Jimmy also played bocce thursday nights for years, though no more.

Jimmy is now retired. I had not seen him in several years. He came over and greeted me with …..You’re Lisa’s father!

It was good to see Jimmy again.

At 12:30 today, the Syracuse/Maryland football game. Syracuse back to a 1 1/2 point favorite. Big deal! I have a feeling we have better team this year and we will win this game by more than a couple of points.

I will be watching the game at Don’s Place.

Today is Keith’s birthday. Happy birthday, Keith! There is a small bash as 7 tonight at Don’s Place in his honor.

Enjoy your day!


A late morning brunch at Lisa’s Christmas day. The grandkids all excited. Ran outside to greet me when I arrived exclaiming…..Santa brought us new bicycles for Christmas!

That is what it is all about.

Brunch was everything! And then more!

After brunch, I remained at Lisa’s to do yesterday’s blog. My computer kaput again. The old computer at home is only good for research and reading. I cannot type on it.

I returned home early afternoon. My Christmas day was done.

I am writing/researching two books at the same time. One of them includes Lyons, France during World War II. I was into Lyons yesterday big time. The underground blowing up roads and bridges, killing specific German officers, identifying collaborators, getting into Gestapo maintained prisons to save people, and the torture and execution of underground members.

Christmas greetings were received yesterday from all over the world. Included in the group were Rita from Calitzdorp, South Africa, Anna, Antonio and Miriam from Novara, Italy, Flora from Albania, and Jenna from Indiana. Several were received from various parts of Greece.

The world keeps getting smaller.

Christmas has changed over the years. This Christmas was different from the Christmas of my youth. As many have been over the years. Square One’s Carmelo and I had this discussion last week. Nothing is the same. The only constant seems to be change. With everything.

I asked Novara’s  Anna what Northern Italians eat on Christmas day. Not a turkey. Beef is a rarity. The traditional choice is a capon.  The denutted/castrated male chicken. Big breasted, much meat. Tender and juicy.

Anna told me she boils the capon. What a waste, I thought. Why not stuff it and shove it in the oven? Not the custom, I was told. The capon is boiled and then served covered with milk. She claims it tastes good!

My grandmother would prepare two capons on the holidays. They were cheap to buy. Meat never saw any table I was at back then. I assume because of cost.

There were no Publixs or Winn-Dixies back in the late 1930s and through the 1940s. Chickens were purchased at a chicken store. There were three within a four block radius of where we lived. Only chickens sold. The customer picked out the chicken desired. All chickens were live. A person working the store would take the chicken behind the counter and start the process. It began with chopping the poor chicken’s head off.

I have no idea where a person in the United States would buy a capon these days.

Tomorrow is my TV/internet show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. In addition to the items forth yesterday, I am going to talk about the VA hospital that refuses to accept Christmas cards with the word Christmas anywhere thereon. No Merry Christmas at that VA hospital! Stupid political correctness. A step too far. Not representative of the United States I grew up in.

Another issue involves genetically modified fruits and vegetables. The big corporations who own the mega farms are pursuing legislation permitting their label on the foodstuffs to read “Natural.” If successful, the U.S. will be the only country in the world to so do. All other countries label genetically modified foods as being genetically modified.

The show is at 10 in the morning my time. It can be viewed on television from Key West through Boca Raton on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. The show is also available worldwide via the internet.

Enjoy your day!



Key West sponsors many events and has many parades. Without question, the Christmas parade every year is the best. The parade this year was last night.

I had to arrive 1.5 hours before the parade started. So I would not have to walk a very long distance to get to the parade. The closer to parade time, the less parking available.

Stopped at Don’s Place first. It was to early to be out on the street. Everyone was there! The ladies dressed up a bit. Many with Santa Claus hats. The mood decidedly festive.

As 7 approached, I left to walk the several blocks to where I was to meet Lisa and the family for the parade. Robert and Ally arrived with plastic shopping bags to put their booty in. Float riders throw candy to the kids.

The whole town was at the parade. Half in the parade, half watching curbside.

The Christmas parade is the longest I have ever seen. Every year. Roughly three hours. Beautiful floats, beautiful people…..all in a holiday mood!

Robert’s mind works well. He reconnoiters the scene and figures out where on the curb he has to sit and how to approach the treasure coming at him from the floats. His bag was full very early. Ally on the other hand is looking around and talking with a girl friend seated on the curb next to her. Occasionally, she would look up and go for some candy.

A school friend of Robert’s was in a Santa hat and on a float that was low to the ground. He was throwing small Reese peanut butter cups to the kids. When he saw Robert, he got off and ran over to him. He handed Robert the whole bag he had in his hand. A large bag of Reese peanut butter cups. What friends are for!

There were about a dozen Santas. All did a good job. They were into their roles. Saw two Mrs. Claus’ also.

I had intended to return to Don’s Place to party after the parade. However three hours on my feet was too much for me. I was tired! Went directly home and to bed.

The morning was busy for me. Guy de Boer is the publisher and owner of KONK Life, a Key West weekly. Guy is going to feature/announce my new book to his readers. The whole front page will be a picture of me, the book, a typewriter, a pad and pen, and my glasses. It will be published in a couple of weeks. Hemingway watch out!

Afterwards, Guy and I went to breakfast. Goldman’s Deli. I get there every couple of months. It is absolutely amazing the business the place does. Every booth and table occupied. People crowded together standing waiting for a table. Reminded me of Joe’s in Utica on a Saturday night.

I have a Christmas cocktail party to attend this afternoon. Life in Key West is always on the move.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Christmas Eve and Morning


Merry Christmas!

A happy time.

I did Christmas eve at Lisa’s. The evening is a big deal in the Italian tradition. In addition to everything else, the meal is special.

Italians eat seven fishes at the Christmas eve dinner. Lisa only does three. However, one is stone crabs. The stone crabs more than make up for the missing four.

Christmas eve dinner with Lisa was a warm event. As always. Robert and Ally were dressed in their new finery. Ally a new dress. Robert a shirt and tie. Robert is in to ties. He was proud of his.

While we were enjoying cocktails and pickies, who should appear but Santa Claus! Big and boisterous, he came through the door. Robert and Ally ran to greet him.

Santa had to leave his sleigh and reindeer several blocks away because of the Boulevard construction.

Santa stayed a while. Chatted with the grandkids. Chatted with the adults. Then he was on his way. Said he had a busy night ahead of him.

Ally loves to sing Christmas caroles. She led us during various parts of the evening.

I had my blog talk radio show this morning at 7. Only my second week. I finally had a call in. My first! I was thrilled! It was Larry Smith  calling to wish me a Merry Christmas.

After the show, I received a telephone call from another person who tried to call in. I missed seeing it on the screen. I felt bad. Hopefully next week she will try again.

The radio station provides me with immediate numbers following the show. I was very impressed by the increase from last week in the number of people listening. Thank you.

This morning’s show was recorded and can be heard on Facebook, Twitter, and Word Press during the week. It will pop up on your screen at least twice a day. Just click the box and you will be able to listen to the show.

Lisa did a big breakfast this morning. At 8. That is why the blog is late. I had to hustle over to Lisa’s for the holiday breakfast. Whereas I cheated on my diet last night, I did not this morning. One time was enough. Strangely, the thing I ate the most last night was bread. I could not get enough.

Santa was good to Robert and Ally. Their major gifts were tablets. Just like yours and mine. Only a bit smaller.

Robert and Ally looked beat. They both stayed up late last night. Then up at 5:30 this morning to see what Santa had brought. They will be napping part of the afternoon away.

Enjoy Christmas day!




Key West is unique in many respects. One is the abundance of musical talent residing on the island.

Last night was the 29th Annual Christmas Concert. It is always held at St. Paul’s Church on Duval. A large Episcopalian church. The Concert is held on the altar. The pews the seating area.

All kinds of music are played. The connecting thread  being the Christmas season. The best of Key West’s best perform. Most are professional entertainers.

Included in the array were Larry Smith, Christine Cordone, Kathleen Peace, Peter Diamond, Carmen Rodriguez, JodyRae Campbell, Melody Coope, Michael Thomas, and Maj Johnson. They are all friends.

The Key West community turns out for the event. St. Paul’s normally holds 500 people. Extra chairs were provided last night. In addition, a huge number stood in the back of the Church.

It was Christmas! The feeling was there from the time one arrived till long after the Concert had concluded.

After the Concert, I headed over to the Pier House’s Wine Galley. It was Sunday night. The Larry Smith Sunday Showcase was being presented.

The Wine Galley was packed as St. Paul’s had been. Many of the performers from the Concert joined Larry. It was a gala evening! More Christmas singing plus.

It was joy to the world time!

Two songs played particularly affected me. By the manner in which they were sung. Jingle Bells was one. Performed by Christine Cordone and Kathleen Peace. The other was Oh Holy Night sung by Nancy K. Hoffman. Nancy sang the tune in Yiddish.

Steven the bartender sings also. He got involved.

My good friends and annual Christmas time visitors John and Allison Blenkinsoop were at the Wine Galley. They are from Leeds, England.

Tonight Santa Claus!

Santa is my personal friend. We talk via telephone with each other off and on during the year. As a special favor, he is coming to Lisa’s home at dinner time to sit a bit with my grandchildren Robert and Ally.

I have been doing this for years. Not only with Robert and Ally, but also with my children and other grandchildren. You can’t beat having Santa Claus for a friend in the eyes of the young ones!

Tomorrow at 7 in the morning my time, the Key West Lou Blog Talk Radio Show. One half hour. Via the internet. Need your computer and telephone. If you like, you can even call in and wish me a Merry Christmas, discuss current events, etc.

Join me with your egg nog and coffee.

Enjoy Christmas Eve!






The Saturday before Christmas was quiet and mundane.

I watched the Syracuse/Temple basketball game at noon from the comfort of my bed. Syracuse lost. By four points. Syracuse deserved to lose. The team did nothing right, except to show up. Made less than half their foul shots, did not control the offensive backboards, did not set up for plays, permitted the zone defense to be penetrated at will, etc.

Temple on the other hand played a perfect game. While Syracuse played its worst.

Better the loss came now rather than next month when the team is into Big East play.

Had a manicure appointment after the game. Cold outside! Wore long pants and a winter type jacket. It never got over 66 degrees yesterday.

Talked with Santa claus on the telephone. Had to update him on Robert and Ally. Santa will be with both of them at dinner time Christmas eve.

Love it!

Planned on going out in the evening. I enjoyed my previous evening. However, I did not feel quite right. Stomach a bit queasy. Stayed home.

Diet going well. Tomorrow makes one month. Eighteen pounds so far. I will be cheating Christmas eve and day.

My blog talk radio show Tuesday morning at 7 my time. The Key West Lou Blog Talk Radio Show.  One half hour of current events to chat about. Join me. Listen in, talk, do whatever you like. You will enjoy.

The show is easy to find. Only on the internet. Listen. Nothing to see.  A radio talk show. Enter Or you can click the blog talk radio button on Facebook and Twitter. On Word Press, click blogroll.

In each instance, my blog talk radio home page comes up.

Two boxes on the home page. Click the second one containing the date of the show.

Voila! You will be there! Then follow the listen/call in instructions.

Enjoy your Sunday before Christmas eve!






Tomorrow is friday. Friday means the Key West Lou Legal hour. Ten in the morning my time.

Available on television and the internet. Airs on TV on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. From Key West all the way north through Miami-Dade County. The show also airs world wide via the internet.

I prerecorded the show yesterday. Jenna and Krystal will be off friday for the holiday. That left me with neither a producer nor engineer. With all the machinery involved, no way could I do the show alone.

Yesterday was Krystal and me. Jenna had left the day before. Working alone, Krystal had double duty to do. She was involved every minute. Did a good job! Understand. I am the “star.” I just sit. I am not permitted to move.

A good show! Wished all a Merry christmas. Got into Newtown. Explained who the Westboro Baptist Church is. Talked some tea party, Egypt’s Constitution vote, anti-noise laws, and more.

Even I am going to watch the show! It will be a first.

My heart doctor visit began the morning. I am in a national medical study. Has to do with mortality and morbidity. Whatever that means. As I understand it, the study involves specifically what fish oil does with regard to heart ailments. A five year study. Hope I live that long. I do not know if I am getting the real pill or phony one.

Took a nap in the afternoon.

Played around with how to get into the blog talk radio show I am doing. Much too complicated as I last reported. Got it down now. Two simple steps. Go to Do not forget the hyphens in key west lou. Up will come the blog talk radio screen. Two fairly large sized boxes will appear. Both involving me. Click on the second box. The one giving you the date and time of the show.

That’s all

Thank you again John Gapinski.

The blog talk radio show is tuesday mornings at 7. Bright and early. Coffee time. Enjoy yours while I enjoy mine. Only one half hour. A talk show. Call in and we can chat a bit back and forth. The subject matter is current events. But since Tuesday is Christmas Day, I would enjoy receiving a Merry Christmas call or two.

I am having a typical Louis Xmas shopping time. I have done none yet.

I enjoy giving. Always have. Do not enjoy shopping, however. Not just for gifts. For things for Louis, also. Like suits, shirts and ties.

Enjoy your day!



A busy morning ahead.

Starts at 9 with a visit to the heart doctor. A routine check up. Fasting blood work to be done.

Then I have to hustle over to the TV studio. The Key West Lou Legal hour is scheduled friday each week. Still friday this week. However, studio staff will be away for the Christmas holidays. Ergo, I am doing the show this morning. It is being recorded for showing friday at 10.

Great stuff to talk about this week. How could there not be The Newtown tragedy will take at least two segments. Therre are some post tragedy stories out there. Like the Westboro Baptist Church and a North Carolina tea party organization. One a hater and the other insensitive. Perhaps both insensitive.

I will also be discussing the Egyptian constitutional vote, anti noise legislation, a China big wig with 4 wives and 10 children, an Indian village barring their women from using cell phones, an Australian worker’s comp case deciding a sex injury is compensable, and more.

Remember, the show is not today. It is friday. Ten in the morning my time. Via TV throughout the Keys and Miami-Dade County on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. Also available world wide via the Internet.

I walked again yesterday. The scale is still stuck. I continue to keep a low profile. No one sees me out in the evening. I am not out. I continue to avoid the near occasions of sin for me. Food and drink.

Spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon reading the Ulysses Grant book. Long! Like War and Peace. Grant is interesting. A loser who became a winner!

I could breathe easy again yesterday afternoon. Santa telephoned me. My Santa of the past few years. I had lost his telephone number. He asked whether he was still on for Christmas eve. Of course!!!!!

Enjoy your day!