I spent my Saturday night at the Chart Room. Glad I did. Good company all evening.

I went initially because I was looking for Peter. Known also as Captain Peter and English Peter. I thought perhaps the rest of the locals who frequent the Chart Room might be there. I was disappointed. No one was, including Peter.

Met two interesting couples.

Unfortunately, I did not get the names of the first. The wife had run in the 5K earlier in the day. The husband was from Nebraska. I shared with him I was a Syracuse grad. I brought up way back when Nebraska was #1 in football and Syracuse upset them at the Carrier Dome. I told him I had a box at the Dome and rarely missed a game. However on the day of the Nebraska game, I had a family wedding to attend in Utica.

During the ceremony in Church, I had a small radio pressed against my ear.  I missed little.

Even the bride was interested. A Syracuse graduate also. On the way down the aisle after the ceremony, she leaned over and asked how the team was doing.

The man at the bar last night thought Syracuse won because of the noise in the Dome. He felt it affected the Nebraska players.

The other couple was Dave and Heather. Terrific people!

Dave has been a frequent visitor to Key West. His first wife and her family lived here. He recalled a memorable Thanksgiving back in the 1970s. He was in the Chart Room. Most of those whose ashes lie in the bar rail were there, also. They enjoyed turkey and each other. He described it as a special moment.

Dave is retired. Heather working towards it.

My sense is they definitely will be settling here in Key West some day. They will be welcome additions.

Dave is an accomplished guitarist and sings. He will find a new career in Key West if he desires it.

The Syracuse football season ended yesterday. Syracuse lost to Boston College 28-7. Syracuse’s season record 3-9. No where to go but up!

I worked hard yesterday. Just about all day. On my next book. My publisher wants next another The World Upside Down. It will be #2 in a series. I spent at least 7 hours on the book. Pleasurable time.

Sloan joined my around 5 and we worked together on the book and other things for an hour.

The book will not make it for Christmas. I suspect it will publish in February.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported hogfish are being overfished. A genuine problem. Hogfish are the best fish eating in the keys! Studies are underway to determine how to rectify the problem. Probably the size permitted to be caught will be increased. It is now 10 inches. Might go to 16-20 inches. No determination has been arrived at as yet.

Most persons outside the keys are unaware how hogfish are caught. Speared! It is said hogfish are difficult to catch with hook and line. Ergo, the spearing. Interestingly, hogfish are a friendly sort and approach spear fisherman. They cannot win!

A lower keys resident by the name of Mary “Dawn” Baker died recently. I did not know her. I wish I had. Her obituary is in this morning’s Citizen. Read it. A warm and loving rendition of her life. From small town girl to airline stewardess to hippie to world traveler to Florida keys resident.

Enjoy your Sunday!



Captain Peter is back. For a visit, not for good. Even for a few days, we are happy to have him.

Peter moved to Washington or Oregon where he had a home he was renting out. He is back in Key West to visit with friends.

I have not seen Peter yet. However tomorrow night, I will. Sheila is having a big Thanksgiving dinner for those who love Peter. I will be there.

Still cold during the night. Heat again. Only got down to 64, however. Going to 74 today. A warming trend in the making. We should be back to normal in a few days.

I was speaking with someone in Utica yesterday. Utica is in upstate New york. I mentioned how cold it was in Key West, that the temperature had dropped to 57 the night before. I was told in effect to stuff it. It was 17 degrees at the time in Utica.

I was pushing my cart around Publix yesterday. Few shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. Enjoying the emptiness of it. Music was playing. The words came forth….,.I’m dreaming of a White Christmas. Too early!

Syracuse beat Holy Cross last night 72-68. I could not get the game on TV. It was on ESPN3. Michigan tuesday night. Watched Boeheim on a video this morning. His post game interview. He was not happy with the team’s offensive shooting. Especially the three outside men.

Syracuse football this afternoon. I will not be able to watch the last football game of the season. Syracuse’s record does not warrant TV time.

The game is Boston College. At Boston College. For many years, I used traveled to the Boston game in Chestnut Hills. A party weekend. Out on the town friday evening. The game saturday. Home sunday.

Boston College’s stadium is an outdoor one. Open air. Always cold this time of the year Sometimes extremely cold. I used to sit and wonder what the hell I was doing there!

It was the trip. Not the game. The trip was fun.

After the game, we would head into Boston proper. To a place called the Blue Marlin. A casual fish bar restaurant on the water. Actually on Lewis’ Pier. A couple of blocks from South Street Seaport.

Fresh Maine lobsters and fried clams! To die for!

Today ends one of Syracuse’s worst football seasons. There is only one way to go. Up. I feel sorry for the kids who played this year. A dramatically losing season is hard to take. Going into today’s game, Syracuse has won only 2 games.

I spent most of yesterday researching next week’s KONK Life column. I hope to write it today. I decided on a change of pace. The article will be the story of how Venice came to be.

I did not go out last night. The reason my diet. It is easier to eat at home. In a restaurant, there are too many temptations.

Enjoy your day!


Don’s Place is off the beaten track. It is considered a locals place. Where one sits quietly and chats with a person on an adjoining stool. Nothing fancy about the bar. A bit on the run down.

The whole world stops into Don’s Place. Everyone. Whether local or a visitor, all with unique backgrounds and stories to tell. Don’s personality contributes to the atmosphere. People drop in to meet the man.

I am frequently excited by those I meet. Such personalities, such diverse backgrounds.

Last night was one of those occasions.

I stopped for a drink. Don and I were chatting. A couple sat at the bar next to me. Immediately next to me. I thought it strange. There were many empty stools. They could have sat elsewhere and enjoyed some privacy.

We talked. They were Karen and Dan from Pittsburgh. Karen and Dan immediately shared with me that they had been reading my blog every day for three years. And that they had read The World Upside Down. That was it! I immediately fell in love with them. It excites me when I run into people who read me. It never fails. I appreciate that people take the time to be interested in what I have to say.

Karen and Dan have been here three months. Renting somewhere near Don’s Place. In  Key West till Thanksgiving. Dan is a retired medical technologist. Karen a Shaklee distributor. I sense they will someday move to Key West permanently.

They asked if I knew or was aware of John MacDonald. John D. MacDonald to be precise. He was from Utica. I never heard of him. They thought it strange. They mentioned Savage Arms. I knew of Savage Arms, but again not MacDonald. They mentioned MacDonald was a famous author. Again, I embarrassingly said I had no knowledge of him. I thought perhaps they had the wrong city. It was not Utica.

They mentioned Travis McGee. Who was Travis McGee?

When I returned home, I hit the internet. There was a John D. MacDonald, he was from Utica and he was a famous author. Primarily wrote mysteries. One of his claims to fame was The Executioners. You and I know the book as Cape Fear. Two movies were made. Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum in 1962 and Robert DeNero and Nick Nolte in 1991.

Let me briefly share with you MacDonald’s story. My Utica friends especially, take note.

MacDonald’s time on earth was 1916-1986. He was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Utica when he was 10. His father was Treasurer of the Savage Arms branch in Utica. The family summered at Piseco Lake.

MacDonald graduated from Utica Free academy. Eventually got a degree from Syracuse University and a Masters from Harvard.

He was not yet a writer.

He joined the US Army in 1940. Before the war. Stationed in the Burma-China-India area. He was involved with the OSS. Spy stuff. He went in a lieutenant and came out a lieutenant colonel.

While stationed in Asia, he decided he wanted to write. After discharge, he, his wife and 7 year old son settled in Utica. He gave himself one year to become a successful author. The family lived on State Street. In a second floor apartment of a large house. Money was tough. They were living on his Army severance pay.

State Street had a mill at one end and the new Utica College at the other. The homes  in between were then considered middle class. Factory workers primarily. He worked extremely hard in the State Street apartment for four months. Seven days a week. Turned out 800,000 words. Sold only one story. To a pulp magazine for $40. He lost 20 pounds in the process. No air conditioning back then. Between the heat and his work ethic, it is not surprising he dropped the 20 pounds.

He then moved to Clinton, NY. Ten miles outside Utica. Home of Hamilton College. He thought associating with academia would help his writing efforts. It did not. All it did was get him involved in deciding which tea party to attend and listening to college gossip regarding who was sleeping with who.

He then moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico. He had read it was a good place for a writer to work. It was not, at least for him.

He finally discovered Florida. Settled in Sarasota and then Siesta Key. Here he blossomed. Spent his summers at Piseco Lake.

MacDonald captured the sense of Florida at the time. The sense of promise, the breath taking beauty, the languid sleaze, the raciness. The short stories came tumbling out. Followed by novels. Paperbacks. Then hardbacks. He was a success! He wrote 500 short stories and 78 novels during the span of his career. His books sold 75 million copies world wide.

Even today, almost 30 years after his death, his books continue to sell. So much so that Random House is planning to publish all his books again in paperback and e-mail.

How did I miss MacDonald? I lived and worked in Utica more than 70 years. I am sure even my friends are unaware of him. My former community never made mention of him. Even stranger since MacDonald’s contemporary Walter Edmonds of Drums Along The Mohawk fame lived in the Utica area for many years and was part of our lives.

The best thing that happened to me yesterday was meeting Karen and Dan. I am excited they introduced me to John D. MacDonald.

Enjoy your day!




It had to happen. It did. Last night. Syracuse lost! Boston College won 62-59.

The irony of the whole thing is Syracuse was undefeated going into the game. Boston college had lost 19.

Syracuse did not play like #1 ranked team. Fair missed too many of his usually easy shots. Cooney rarely got the opportunity to shoot a 3. I think he made 2 out of 4 three point attempts.

Duke saturday night. Going to be a hell of a game if it is anything like the first one which Syracuse won 91-89.

I watched the game at Don’s Place. Plenty of support. David sat next to me to watch the game. Don, Jimmy, and Dougie were supportive during and after the game.

Visited my heart doctor yesterday afternoon. Nothing wrong. It was three month check up time.

My physician is Dr. Mc Ivor. I continue to be impressed with the Doctor and his staff.

Dr. Mc Ivor has moved his offices. Into the BB&T Building on Kennedy. A beautiful suite of offices! The medical equipment awesome!

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported a migrant windsurfed from Cuba to Key West. He landed on the Reach beach. It appears he left at 9 tuesday morning and arrived sometime wednesday morning.

Unfortunately, three started the trip. The other two appear to be lost. The Coast Guard is searching for them.

I admire the windsurfer. It took guts. His venture also crystallizes an issue. Lets get on with relations with Cuba. Yesterday is 50 years ago. I cannot blame the Cubans of that day for being pissed. But it cannot go on forever. Castro is out of power and probably will soon die. His brother Raul is not in the greatest of health.

I have a hair up my butt again. Involves banks once again. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Venezuela is in turmoil. Protests/demonstrations daily. It is only a matter of time before the incompetent/inept President Maduro is out of power. A statement by President Obama suggests he supports the protestors. He recently said the United States condemned the violence of the Maduro government and the throwing out of Venezuela of three American diplomats. Maduro took the position the United States was supporting and perhaps supplying the rebels.

On my blog talk radio show this past tuesday, Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou, I set forth how certain American banks were attempting to make money out of the upheaval. Goldman Sachs wanted to loan the Maduro government $1.68 billion. Bank of America $3 billion

I referred to the banks as whores. My impression has not changed in the past 36 hours. The banks are working deals when a significant portion of the Venezuelan people are suffering under Maduro. To make it even more contemptuous, the banks are in apparent opposition to President Obama’s stand. The banks support Maduro, the President the protestors.

The banks should keep their noses out of what constitutes  the foreign affairs of the United States. They should not be acting in opposition to the President, whose position is the position.

The banks do not care about anything. Their lack of respect for the 99 per cent and the President in this circumstance is obvious. When they get too big for their britches, the mighty fall.

Enjoy your day!




In the present era, banks continue to be whores.

A perfect example is Capital One. Capital One is one of the largest bank distributors of credit cards world wide.

A new addition to Capital One’s contract was announced/discovered yesterday. The contract between Capital One and the card holder is all those pages one receives once a year in the mail from Capital One. Small print, both sides of a sheet. Somewhere buried is something new between Capitol One and its card holders.

It provides that Capital One can contact a cardholder anytime it wants, including “personal visits.” The personal visits are “…at your home and at your place of employment.”

Simply stated, Capital One has added to its many rights, the right to walk into your home unannounced at any time. Further, bother you at your place of employment.

The IRS and police cannot enter your home without a search warrant or some type court order. The Fourth Amendment prohibits illegal searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment applies only to governmental interference, however. Capital One is not the government or a government agency.

Additionally, Capital One’s new rights are predicated on a contract. A civil matter. The courts have not been favorable in recent years to the public in confrontations of this nature. The court decisions generally have held the contract controls.

If Capital One can do it, I am sure the other credit card companies will follow suit. Be prepared for a new guest at the dinner table. The bill collector.

I spent yesterday afternoon finalizing last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I enjoyed doing the show last night. There were a lot of other goodies to talk about in addition to the Capital One issue.

Between final preparation and the show, I ran off to Hogfish for an early dinner. Sat at the bar and chatted with my fisherman friends. These guys are the true old time fisherman. Teeth missing, bearded, weather beaten faces.  Theirs is another world.

Syracuse basketball again tonight! This time against Boston college. Syracuse a 16 point favorite. Means nothing based on recent games.

Syracuse remains undefeated at 25-0. Boston college is 6-19. We should beat their asses! But…..who knows anymore? Syracuse seems to play to the level of its competition.

We should win.

Saturday is Duke. What a game that will be!

I will be watching the Syracuse/Boston College game at Don’s Place tonight. Join me, my Syracuse fans.

Enjoy your day!