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!



Who would have believed? All of a sudden, limes are an expensive luxury. Do not expect them with your alcoholic drinks.

There is a shortage of limes.  A recent occurrence. Two reasons. A drought in Mexico. Plus, the Mexican drug cartel. The cartel is fighting for Mexican routes and roads. Limes cannot be safely shipped over the roads.

The price of limes has doubled and even tripled overnight. A case that cost $36 is now $110.

I learned of the lime problem last night. Jean Thornton, Merri and I were chatting at the Chart Room. Jean mentioned Captain Tony’s was no longer serving limes. She understood there was a shortage. My research discovered the rest.

There was a time when an attempt was made to grow limes in Florida. The attempt failed. Florida weather is too cold for lime growing. Additionally, diseases common to Florida vegetation did not help.

There is discussion of attempting lime growing in Florida again. Nothing definite as yet.

I finally was able to get into the art gallery I was not able to last week. Joy Gallery. It is located at the corner of Simonton and Eaton. A comfortable place inside. Chairs, couches and coffee. Free wi-fi. Come in and make yourself comfortable, even if you might not be buying. I suspect I shall be doing some of my writing from there occasionally.

The owner of Joy Gallery is Jim Wallace. Curator is the professional term. I enjoyed my time with him. He is a knowledgeable person.

Stop in and take a look at some of the fine pieces he is showing.

I lunched at Sloppy Joe’s yesterday. A thing I rarely do. I enjoyed lunch with the cruise ship people. A Sloppy Joe sandwich. What else!

I needed some groceries. Stopped at Publix. Apparently I needed little. The bill was only $42. I felt like I had made money!

Merri has been bartending at the Chart Room one or two nights a week for several years. Last night was her last night. Jean, Sheila and I were celebrating her departure. Yes, celebrating. Merri is only moving 100 yards down the walk way. To the Pier House beach bar where she will be working more days a week. More money and constant fresh air. Nil smoke inhalation.

Met Wally Miller in the Chart Room last night. Wally hails from somewhere in New Jersey. His nickname is Mayor. He has visited Key west before.

Wally, his wife and three other couples are staying at the Pier House.

Wally told an interesting story. He and his friends “steal” Key West menus. When home in Jersey, they try to cook certain dishes listed once a month.

It is Che’s birthday again! He is 81 today. Seems like yesterday we celebrated his 80th. Happy birthday Che!

Che sounds Cuban. He is not. Where he got the name Che from, I do not know. Che is a New York City Jew transplanted to Key West.

I briefly discussed neo-Nazism in yesterday’s blog. I was motivated by the Kansas City shooting by a neo-Nazi(s) at two different Jewish synagogues. Three persons were killed. I said the three were Jewish. Turns out one was. The other two were Presbyterians or some similar sect.

Two readers jumped on me in their comments. One said correctly that only one of those killed was Jewish. The other indicated none of the three were Jewish.

Whatever, I was wrong when I said all three. Mea culpa. I try to be careful and get the facts straight. Sometimes I do not. I am only human. I do make mistakes. I would suggest the Bible’s admonition…..Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

In defense, I offer the following. The national news media is always in a hurry to be the first out with a big story. Their facts are many times incorrect. Sometimes I only have those facts to deal with. I write that section of the blog when I read the news on the internet. When the blog is assembled, I unfortunately do not go back to check the facts. There is only so much time in the day. Occasionally, I repeat the erroneous information contained in the news report. As I did yesterday.

Please keep in mind this  is not a gotcha game!

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me. Interesting up to date material discussed. Sometimes with my personal take on the situation.

Tonight some information re the United States’ combat readiness, air pollution in China and France, the economy bringing down some big corporations, how Putin is gaining for his own bank account from monies recently being sent to Ukraine from the U.S., some things I did not know about the Catholic Church, Albuquerque police executing citizens, and more.

Enjoy your day!





The big night is tomorrow. New Year’s Eve. It has a flavor all its own in Key West.

The bars and restaurants will be full. Not just on Duval, everywhere. Duval cordoned off in certain spots. People mobbing the streets.

The biggies are Key West’s own rendition of the ball falling on Time’s  Square. Three places for sure. Perhaps one more.

The Bourbon Street Pub drop will be crazy. Probably the best drop on the island. Sushi comes down in a red shoe. People yelling in the street.

Sloppy Joe’s has its own drop. A conch shell from the top of its building. For a couple of hours prior to midnight, a band plays on Sloppy’s roof. People in the street watching, dancing and raising a bit of hell.

Schooner Wharf is an exciting place to be, also. Schooner’s party is known as New Year’s Eve Madness. There will be a schooner docked nearby. A pirate ship for the evening. A wench will be dropped from the mast.

I understand the Ocean Key House Pier will also have a drop of some sort. I believe this year will be the first. Bound to be good.

What I enjoy most New Year’s Eve are the fireworks at the White Street Pier. Magnificent! The whole community comes out to watch. Many families. The fireworks can be seen as far away as Duval Street.

Yesterday was Sunday. A good day. However, things were not as anticipated. I was lazy once again.

I did my blog early morning. Then back to bed to watch Meet the Press. I had completed my research for next week’s KONK Life column the day before. Tax Bicycles? I wrote the article. When finished, I felt tired. Back to bed, this time for a nap.

I planned on going out in the evening. Hogfish. I did not want to battle the tourists downtown. My plans changed when I saw that Lawrence of Arabia was going to be shown on the Turner Classic Channel at 8. A great movie! Four hours long. I fell asleep four times during the movie. Probably viewed less than half of it. Such is life!

Since tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, I will not be airing my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I doubt very many would be listening. I suspect I will be out also.

Enjoy your day!


Key West loves Harry Truman. Key West assumes Harry Truman loved Key West. Otherwise, why would he have made 11 trips to Key West during his Presidency. The 11 trips totaled 175 days.

Truman enjoyed the weather, the Naval base where he stayed, fishing, playing cards on a screened in porch each evening, walking the streets of old Key West and more.

Truman unquestionably is a part of Key West’s colorful past.

World War II changed many things. Baseball being one.

Presidents used to occasionally watch a Washington Senators game. Not during World war II, however. Whether because of Roosevelt’s incapacity or fear for his life, Roosevelt never made the trip to the ball park.

On this day in history, September 8, Truman went to watch the Washington Senators play. The year was 1945. World war II had recently concluded. Truman had ordered atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki one month earlier. The Japanese had formally surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri one week earlier.

Historians suspect Truman attended the game to signify to the American people that the War was over and that there should be a return to normalcy.

The Commissioner of Baseball at the time was A. B. Chandler. He was with Truman. They both signed the same baseball. It is obviously worth a lot of money today.

Truman did the game big time. He brought his wife, cabinet members, and other high level Washingtonians.

I hung around the house during the day yesterday. Treated myself to a lazy day. I seem to be sneaking a lot of them in lately.

Last night was the Chart Room and Sloppy Joe’s.

I rarely do Duval Street. Ergo. I rarely visit Sloppy Joe’s. When I do, I know exactly what I will be ordering. Sloppy fries! A basket of soggy French fries covered in melted mozzarella cheese and a red sauce. Good! No, terrific!

Smoking in a place where food is served has been banned in Key West and Florida for years. Probably because of tradition. Sloppy Joe’s would not be what it was without smoked filled air. So no one stopped anyone from smoking after the law was enacted.

No more.

There was no ash tray on the table. I asked the waitress for one. She said, no. How long, I asked. A few months, she said.

Nothing is forever. Everything comes to an end.

I wonder what Hemingway would have to say about it?

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Not the better team that I thought. Northwestern beat Syracuse yesterday 48-27. Oh, well. Hope springs eternal, however. There are many more games to play and Syracuse may win a few.

I would like to remind all that my tv/internet show The Key West Lou Legal Hour is You Tubed. If you miss a Friday show or have never seen one, merely go to You Tube and enter: Lou’s Legal Hour. The show is broken into 5 segments with commercials in between. The commercials have been deleted on You Tube. You will be able to see 5 eight minute unencumbered segments.

Enjoy your Sunday!


When my children were small (oh, so long ago!) and it thundered big time, we used to tell them it was a band playing in Heaven. They came to accept the explanation and it soothed them.

Lightning was hard to explain. We let them curl up with us.

Thunder and lightning are different on the ocean. This morning is overcast and the band plays on! It has not stopped thundering for two hours. Loudly. Like the sky is going to crack open.

A couple of nights ago, I was driving home and observed bright lights in the sky. Lightning! Out over the ocean. When the lightning occurred, the sky lite up as if it were day time.

I enjoyed a treat yesterday morning. I got to watch my TV show from my bed uninterrupted. Because of technical difficulties, I was required to record my friday show thursday morning. A one time event. Worked out well for me. I was impressed with the show. First time I had seen it all, including commercials, uninterrupted. Excuse my humility.

Wrote a bit afterward.

Sloan arrived mid afternoon. It took us quite a while to figure out and eliminate the crackling sound that occurred during last tuesday’s blog talk radio show. I hope it is now ok. I will not know till the next show on tuesday night.

Big time last night! Dinner with Jenna!

Jenna and I have not been out together for at least four months. We had an especially good time!

Jenna does my ego good. She is 27 and I am 78. Besides which, she is a knockout!

We have become very good friends over the past five years.

We stopped for a drink at the Chart Room. Emily was bartending. She came over to me. She appeared concerned. Where have you been, she asked. We have been worried.

It had been better than a week since I was in the Chart Room. The last time there, I mentioned concern with my blood pressure problem. Then I dropped out of sight. She and my bar brethren thought something bad had happened to me.

Nice of Emily and nice of the others to be concerned.

Except for bocce, I did remain home every evening.

Jenna and I picked at this and that at the Hot Tin Roof. Included were a dozen raw oysters and shataki. Shataki consists sushi which you cook/heat a bit yourself over a tiny grill brought to the table.

We had fun.

The Key West Citizen made mention this morning that a prior owner of Sloppy Joe’s bought the property in 1917. It was a restaurant at the time called Victoria’s. The property was purchased for $7,800. $7 million would not buy it today!

Syracuse football tonight. Against Northwestern. Northwestern is ranked #19 in the country. I suspect Syracuse will give Northwestern a battle. Syracuse could win. Syracuse looked good last week in losing to Penn State.

How swiftly fortune passes by! Last week’s Syracuse/Penn State game was nationally televised. No national TV for Syracuse this week.

Enjoy your day!


A new football season. A new Syracuse team.

Syracuse lost yesterday to Penn State 23-17. I was not disappointed in Syracuse’s performance. I would rather the team had won. Syracuse played well. They could have, might have, won.

Syracuse is still a rebuilding team. They are working towards being what they once were. A great team. Oh, so long ago. It is coming, however. The team I saw play yesterday was the best I have seen in years. Everything is a step at a time. In this instance, a year at a time.

After the game, I headed down to Duval. Brewfest!

I walked Duval a few blocks. The streets were jammed with people. Stands selling beer.

I stopped into three places. Sloppy Joe’s, Smokin’ Tuna, and Captain Tony’s. Enjoyed the people and a beer at each place.

David frost died yesterday. He was 74. British. A talented journalist, broadcaster, and media personality. His Richard Nixon interviews represented his best work. Each show was dramatic and thrilling. Frost will be best remembered for the Nixon interviews.

We are in the middle of the Labor Day weekend. Labor Day used to be a big deal. Labor itself was big. I remember as a youngster the parades. Huge. Everyone marching. Everyone excited.

As labor’s influence and strength have diminished over the years, so too has interest in Labor Day as a time to remember labor’s achievements. Today, it is a time for cook outs and partying. The successes of labor are forgotten and buried in the closet.

Enjoy your holiday Sunday!



I did the unusual last night. I went to Sloppy Joe’s. A rarity for me.

The place was packed. The music blaring and good.

I ate bad. Sloppy fries. French fries covered with ground beef, tomato sauce and melted cheese. To die for!

It was the end of an era. I noticed no one was smoking. No ash trays on the tables. Sloppy’s has permitted smoking for 85 some odd years. It is against Florida law for any establishment that sells food to permit smoking. Sloppy Joe’s got away with it for many years. The only Key West food serving establishment that has.

I attribute the freedom to the fact that Sloppy Joe’s was and is Key West history personified.

One wall has pictures of Ernest Hemingway. One big one. All I could think was that Hemingway was looking out and saying…..What the hell is going on!

The waitress told me no smoking was 3 weeks old. The law said stop!

My day was spent running errands. Walgreens, Home Depot and Publix. Stopped at Lisa’s afterwards. Wanted to see the new family member Jake. He has it made!

Lisa constantly mothers him. The grandkids love him. While I was there, he was outside in the back yard. Chasing 2 inch geckos. They were too fast for  him. But he kept up the pursuit!

I lunched at Blossoms. My whole day was spent eating not so healthy food. I enjoyed a Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The Cuban toast dripped with hot butter. So good! Bad food from a health perspective, however.

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. At first it was just me and Mary. Then they started coming in. Including Peter. Peter and I had our usual enjoyable conversation. We are two old guys. We were into medical problems last night like colonoscopies, prostrate problems and the like.

Bridget came in. New to me. I had never seen her before. Though she has been to Key West before. She is a tour guide. A special tour guide. She travels with groups of 30-40. High end type people. She and the group are staying at the Hyatt.

Bridget has an interesting job. She does not solely do Key West. She travels to all sorts of interesting places. Like London and Australia.

Bridget has an even more interesting background. As we all seem to do. She is originally off a 175 acre Maine farm. Then a farm in New Hampshire. Now a world travel guide.

I enjoyed Bridget’s company. I hope we run in to each other again.

Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. Blog talk radio. Nine my time. One half hour of interesting chatter. Some call ins. Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy. Topics include all kind of current events and Syracuse basketball. Tomorrow night I hope to touch on the lack of truth in government as it relates to the deficit problem. You will be surprised at what I have to share with you.

I have to hustle this morning. I have a doctor’s appointment at 8:30. The start of my annual physical. A two day venture.

Enjoy your day!





Tuesday again! The week moves swiftly. Tonight is my Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou show. Blog talk radio. Listen or call in on the internet.

Everything discussed. Some of the topics tonight may involve sequestration, what the Italian election results mean, Syracuse basketball, Pope Benedict’s resignation, austerity v. stimulus, and Time Magazine’s recent article regarding outrageous medical bills.

You can call in to chat with me. Disagree or whatever. If you know before hand that you will be calling in, I suggest you do it 10 minutes before. Calls are taken in the order received. If you decide to call in while the show is on, do so. There may not be anyone in line waiting.

The show is a mere half hour. Interesting and exciting. Insightful. You will enjoy!

If you have not read last week’s Time magazine article on why medical costs are killing us, do so. You will be doing yourself a favor. It is an eye opener. Steven Brill wrote it. The article is available free on the internet.

A thought occurs to me. If hospital and doctor bills are so far out of line, why do the insurance companies pay them? A thought inspiring question!

This morning’s news tell us a hot air balloon blew up over Egypt. Twenty one passengers on board. Eighteen killed.

Three years ago while in Arizona, I took an air balloon ride. First time. Looked interesting.

There were 19 of us on board. What appears to be a small bucket under the balloon, is really large. Compared to the ballon, it is small.

Hot air balloons have captains that operate them. The process involves fire and gases. Wind actually is a minor component. I asked the captain if the balloons ever blew up. He said, “No way!”

The Italian election results are in. No clear winner. There will probably be another election in a couple of weeks.

The decided loser was present Prime Minister Monti. His party received less than 10 per cent of the vote. So much for austerity as far as the people were concerned.

Berlusconi and Bersani’s parties ran closely together. It is doubted a coalition government can be formed.

The why  I am sharing this information with you. Fifty seven per cent of the Italian people voted in effect against austerity. Their cry could be labeled as stimulus over austerity in order to recover economically.

The election results will have an immediate heavy impact. The euro is in trouble.  European banking as a whole is in trouble. It is doubtful Germany will be paid back any monies in the immediate future.

My day yesterday started with the dentist. Again. I have another appointment thursday.

I visited with Lisa afterwards.

In the afternoon, I wrote two short stories. The Bakery and Grandpa Asserts Himself. Both will be in the book of short stories I hope to publish at some point this year.

The Chart Room in the evening. David and I had some interesting discussions. Especially regarding the Academy Awards. We disagreed on who looked good and who terrible.

Mary was bartending. She joined in the talks on occasion.

I wanted to do more after I left the Chart Room. I walked over to Sloppy Joe’s. Sloppy’s is not one of my favorite places. I rarely go there. Too crowded and too noisy for me.

I had a drink at the bar. The place was packed with tourists. It is the music that bothers me. I guess  have gotten old. I left after one drink.

A reminder again. My blog talk radio show this evening at 9. Please join me, if you can.

Enjoy your day!




I cannot diet and visit my usual haunts. The near occasions of sin are food and drink. So, I remain home evenings. My recollection is that last night was the second time in the 35 days I have been dieting that I went out.

I was excited. It was exciting.

The Chart Room was the venue selected. It had not changed. JJ bartending. Dave, Sheila, and Captain Peter in attendance.

I was good. Did not drink nor eat pop corn. Two diet Pepsi’s instead.

Captain Peter never ceases to amaze me. I learned last night he was a bird watcher.

The Captain spoke specifically of two birds. I did not know them. I know nothing about birds. He had sighted one species here in Key West. Another flying in mass over Miami recently. Both totally foreign to Florida.

The birds’ habitat is Labrador. They were far from home. Captain Peter attributes their Florida presence to Hurricane Sandy. Interesting.

Duval Street was packed. Jam packed. Traditionally, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the busiest for Key West. Come Wednesday morning, there will be no one. You can throw a bowling ball down Duval from one end to the other without hitting any one.

Tomorrow my blog talk radio show! Seven in the morning my time. You can listen and/or call in. The show is quick moving.

This will be show #3. Help me! Not only listen, telephone me from anywhere with a comment or thought. I am going to lead with the fiscal cliff, France trying a 75 per cent tax on its millionaires, and Silvio Burlosconi having to pay his wife $3 million a month. We are not limited. Can talk about any topic you wish.

Those living outside the United States can listen in/participate via Skype.

It may be radio, but a computer is required to join me. It is a radio internet show. Found easily at Click on the second box that appears. The one with the date of the show. Voila, you will be in business!

I plan on going out again tonight. I will cheat, however. Plan on drinking. The game plan is to walk Duval a bit and at midnight watch Sushi come down on the red shoe at the Bourbon Street Pub. If I change my mind and stay in, I will still watch Sushi. CNN carries the drop live each year.

Hillary Clinton. How sad! How terrible! Hope her condition clears up swiftly.

Many were critical of Hillary when she announced she could not testify before the Congressional committee looking into Benghazi because  she had fallen and suffered a concussion. Many thought it was a convenient made up excuse. One of this blog’s loyal readers wrote and referred her malady as an “immaculate concussion.” I must concede, I thought ill of the situation as well. A lesson to be learned. Never jump the gun…..give a person the benefit of the doubt. Not all political figures are the same. Some tell the truth.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve day! Better yet, enjoy this evening!




Midnight New Year’s Eve, the world watches the ball drop on Time Square. In person and on television.

Key West has its own drops. Three traditionally. Perhaps a fourth this year.

The original drop is Sloppy Joe’s. A ball drops onto the roof. There is a huge clock marking the seconds.

The Sushi drop is at the Bourbon Street Pub. The drop is about 15 years old. Sushi is one of Key West’s most infamous and beautiful female impersonators. Sushi sits in a huge red slipper which is dropped at midnight.

The third is the drop near the Schooner Wharf at the Historical Seaport. A pirate girl descends from a high ship mast as cannons boom.

There may be a new drop this year. Cow Boy Bill’s. A honky talk saloon. A huge property. Famous for its mechanical bull. More famous for its Wednesday nights when it is competitive bull riding time for the ladies. Topless.

Word is that Cow Boy Bill’s will have a lady or ball descending from a tall scaffold.

The Bourbon Street Pub/Sushi drop is world famous. CNN carries it world wide at midnight.

A few observations this day.

We keep hearing about the four Americans killed at Benghazi. Including the American Ambassador. Ten or more injured persons were airlifted out. Why have we not heard their stories? I cannot believe they were not interviewed. They seem to have been lost in the shuffle. No one talks about them.

Syracuse won a double header yesterday!

The football team beat West Virginia 38-14 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The team ends the season with a 9-5 record. Good for Syracuse! We have been a poor football team the past 15 years. The last few have seen Syracuse win a game here and there. Last year was better. This year the best. We should be even better next year.

The basketball team won, also. Beat Alcorn State 57-36. Nothing to write home about. Alcorn State plays a different game altogether. The game was merely a warm up for Syracuse. What happens next week when the Big East begins is what is important. Syracuse will do well this year. The question is how well. Much is expected from the basketball team each year. That is the price of success.

Income taxes continue to be a big issue. How much should the very rich pay? Obama wants 39.6 per cent. He will probably agree to less.

France has a taxing problem, also. The President wanted a rate for France’s millionaires of 75 per cent. It got shot down by a Constitutional Council on technical grounds. It is expected to return shortly and may pass.

It has been reported that some French millionaires are considering moving to the United States to avoid a high income tax.

Our millionaires should not complain!

Tuesday, I will be doing my blog talk radio show. My third one. Seven in the morning. A one half hour talk show. Listeners may call in to discuss topics with me.

I appreciate it is New Year’s morning. However, that is the day and time the show airs. If any of you are up, listen in. Enjoy a cup of coffee with me. You will enjoy.

We talk about anything and everything involving current events.

Enjoy your Sunday!