The new North Roosevelt Boulevard is terrific! A pleasure to travel!

There are a few problems. Some in the process of correction. Others, not.

One is that the driving lanes on both sides are open to bicycle traffic. Bicycles are actually painted on the road way signifying A-OK. Envision it. Bicycles driving down the middle of a Boulevard lane.

A disaster in the making! Not yet, however.

Yesterday, the wrong of permitting the bikes was evident. Traffic is exceptionally heavy this week. A holiday week. Many tourists. Families.

Traffic was unusually slow on the Boulevard going into town. I thought there might be an accident. There was not. It was a family riding their bicycles.

Each helmeted. The only safety feature taken into consideration.

The father in the lead bike. A small child sitting in the basket in front. This is going to sound like the Three Bears story. Mama bicyclist on the second bike. Then three smaller bikes with three children riding them. The oldest could not have been ten. All in a straight line, one behind the other. Oblivious to the traffic hold up they were causing and the danger the family was in.

Publix’s parking lot was a no parking zone. I had to go around the lot three times to find a spot.

I had a noon appointment with Tammy for a manicure. Lee Nails was packed! Locals and tourists. I was the only male. The ladies obviously getting ready for New Year’s Eve. A lot of chatter and laughing.

I wrote one more chapter to Growing Up Italian. Concrete Sidewalks Grass Backyards. Who had a backyard?

Then spent considerable time preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. A good one. Some things are in my craw. Bothering me. Tonight,  I will vent. Tomorrow, some will write and tell me I’m crazy.

Some of the topics of note include my analysis of the New York City Police Department  problem, a lawsuit being filed against the New York City Police Department every 2 1/2 hours, Greece on a collision course with Germany which perhaps could result in war, some consider Ukraine the prelude to World War III, and the U.S. purportedly being out of Afghanistan.

My analysis of the NYPD situation and Obama’s comments re finally being out of Afghanistan are guaranteed to stir the pot.

Join me for an interesting and challenging half hour. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine this evening.

Enjoy your day!


Mark Howell is an author/writer extraordinaire!

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

Joanna’s hippie days provide the setting.

Mark wove it all into a loving tale.

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

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

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

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

You have to admire the guy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!



Sheila threw a party to celebrate Peter’s visit to Key West. Yesterday afternoon. At her apartment. An outstanding event!

It was good to see Peter, of course. Captain Peter, English Peter. The same tall distinguished gentleman. White hair and a white tache. British accent, of course.

The food sheila put out was delicious. Or so it appeared. I ate nothing because of my diet. Sheila had a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. She also baked several different deserts. Ask me not what they were. I kept a respectful distance less I be tempted.

The crowd from the Chart Room were there. And a bunch of people I had not met before.

I had a very good time. Stayed about three hours. Thank you, Sheila. Thank you Peter for providing Sheila with a reason to throw a party.

Jean Thornton had been at the party earlier. Jean was the one instrumental in getting Peter back to Key West for a visit. She came down from Birmingham for the party. I missed her. Jean had run off to the burning of the 2014 hurricane flag at Truman waterfront. Each year in which no hurricane has touched Key West, the event takes place. It is conducted by the Conch Republic Navy.

It was 77 degrees yesterday. With a cool chill in the air. Sweater time!

I have to hustle. Two doctor visits today. Blood testing with my internist at 8:30. Visit with my heart doctor at 4:30. In between, a manicure with Tammy.

Seniors should be paid each time they see a doctor. We see them so often. It would be a welcome addition to Social Security.

Enjoy your day!


Key West has a model railroad club. It has an annual show. This year it is at the Moose Lodge on Eisenhower. Today.

It has been years and years since I saw a model railroad. They were a big deal back in the 1930s through 1950s. Remember, people primarily traveled by trains in the 1930s and 1940s. Significant commercial aviation did not come into play till the late 1940s.

My parents bought me a Lionel model train for Christmas 1940. Actually, it was from Santa Claus. They had to have saved all year to buy it. It was top of the line. A very heavy engine, several cars, and an oval track. Motorized, of course.

Christmas Day, my father and uncles monopolized the train. They were on their hands and knees around it. I could not get close. I recall my mother coming into the room and telling them to let the baby play with it. I was the baby. A lot of good it did.

I played with the train set for years. When I became older and lost interest, we placed it around the base of the Christmas tree every year and ran it.

Somehow, I lost it. I recall it being in a box in the attic of our first home. Where it went from there, I do not know.

My yesterday began with a manicure with Tammy. We talked about Thanksgiving. I asked if she would cook a turkey this year. She said no. She did it last year and no one ate it. Fortunately, she cooked a Vietnamese meal also and had it on the table. She told me her 5 and 7 year olds do not like American food. Even MacDonald’s. At some point, there will be an Americanization of Tammy’s children. She will then have to cook American food special for them.

I walked afterwards. Back into a good health kick. Parked the car at the airport and walked Smathers Beach and back. Got a little difficult towards the end.

I spent several hours writing next week’s KONK Life column. Putin The Winner So Far. Compares Putin and Obama’s accomplishments this year.

I went off the beaten track last night. Had dinner at the Boathouse. A seat at the bar on the far side. Gave me a view of the whole restaurant.

The place was packed. It is strictly a tourist spot. Rush them in, rush them out. No chatter with the wait staff. Prices about $2 higher than a comparable eating place elsewhere in Key West. In spite of my comments, it is a place to stop and enjoy. It sits on the waterfront. A dock immediately in front. Boats lining the marina.

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to see the Cole Porter show at the Waterfront Playhouse. I called Jenna. She agreed to join me this evening. Later when I was reading this week’s KONK Life, I noticed that the show is next week, not this week. I keep making these mistakes.

Jenna and I will be going next friday.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its Today in History section notes that on this day in 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the Jefferson Memorial.

Two years ago,  I did the tourist thing for a week in Washington. I was most anxious to see the Lincoln Memorial. The imposing figure of Lincoln sitting in a chair. I saw it and was duly impressed. A WOW, until I saw the Jefferson Memorial. More imposing and impressive. Jefferson stands about 20 feet tall. See both the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials if you have the chance. Take the kids. The trip will be good for them.

Nicholas Kristoff is a syndicated New York Times columnist. In a recent article, he wrote that one third of American teenage girls become pregnant. He claimed a birth by a teenager occurs one every minute. The thrust of his article was that our young people need to know more about sex and have available to them birth control.

Alabama and Mississippi State this afternoon. The game of the season thus far. Should be terrific! I plan on watching it either at Don’s Place or home on the couch.

Enjoy your day!



Before I get into Michael Sweeney, let me tell you how great the weather continues to be. Warm and cool at the same time. A perfect breeze coming in off the ocean.

Met the talented Michael Sweeney yesterday.

I have decided to dress up my blog talk radio show a bit. A significant number listen. I have no formal introduction. After a welcoming statement, I start talking. I wanted more. A musical introduction. Talked with Larry Smith. A musical genius. He said we need equipment and engineering, I got the guy.

The guy was Michael Sweeney.

We met at Sweeney’s studio complex on Stock island mid afternoon. We were there into early evening. We finally came up with something we all liked. I do not have the final product in hand. Sweeney is polishing it in the vernacular of his business.

I am neither musically nor machinery inclined. What Sweeney was doing was impressive. Sweeney would add drums, take away the trombones, up the audio, move the music back a step, etc. All with special equipment. The final product sounds like I have a whole symphony behind me.

It was a lot of work. All to create a six second introduction.

Lori cut my hair thursday. Tammy gave me a manicure yesterday. Both places seemed to have more business. The increased activity was evident. Both attribute it to two things. The snowbirds are beginning to return. The locals have more spending money because of Fantasy Fest. Ladies hold off getting their hair and nails done when cash flow is limited.

The Parrot Heads are in town. Tons of them. Difficult to realize, however. Parrot Head headquarters is at the Casa Marina. Ninety five per cent of the Parrot Head activities are at the Casa Marina. The Casa Marina eats, the rest of the community benefits little.

They did go off campus yesterday. The Parrot Heads left the Casa Marina for their Margaritaville Street Festival. In front of Margaritaville on Duval and at the intersection of Duval and Fleming. Music and everything. My friend Howard Livingston and his Mile Marker 24 group played.

On this day in history, November 1, 1939, the Key West Naval Base was reactivated. It was established in 1823. The 1935 Labor Day hurricane wiped the base out. The government did not reopen the base till this date in 1939.  World War II obviously made the base busier. Interestingly, the Key West population increased during those years primarily because of the base’s presence. Key West’s population in 1940 was 13,000. In 1945, it was 45,000.

My pool broke this morning. I was hearing strange noises. Went outside. The water level in the pool was down a couple of inches. Followed the noise. Something wrong with the motor. A cap blew off the top and water was spraying out. I could not turn the pool off as I normally do. The lever was frozen. Finally got everything to shut down by throwing the pool breakers.

Enjoy your day!


Ho, ho, ho! The good guys won last night. We beat the opposing team 2-1. Wowie!

Everything has to be read in perspective. Our team is named Don’s Place. The other team, Not Don’s Place. Larry Smith humor. He captains Not Don’s Place.

The game was a money one. The inner competition five teams have.

Larry’s team came into the contest last night with a commendable record. 11-1. We, a modest 6-6. We killed them in the first game. Won a close second game. Lost the third. Who cared by the third game!

It was a difficult fun filled night. A lot of yelling and challenging back and forth. I mean yelling! Especially Larry who wants to make sure he is heard.

We all made our contributions to the victory. However, there was a star on our team. A person who excelled. Stan! Stan made a closing shot in the second game that gave us three points and the win. An impossible shot!

John from JDL came over to say hello. One of the nicest guys in town. I told him to save me a seat saturday at noon. I would be over to watch the Syracuse/E.Michigan game.

Started physiotherapy for the right shoulder yesterday morning. The torn rotator cuff problem. My therapist is Debbie. Welcome her to the blog.

Then to see Tammy for a manicure. I always feel better after I chat with her. She has a soothing disposition.

There was a pregnant woman enjoying a pedicure. Seven months. A girl. I felt sorry for the baby. Mom had the vibrator on and her body was rapidly bumping back and forth. The child in womb was reseiving a hell of a ride!  The baby had to wonder what mom was up to!

My column for next week’s KONK Life is researched. I will write it this morning after I finish this blog. It is titled Mob Rule. Interesting. It is my thoughts re where society in general is taking us these days. The article cannot help but be controversial. Not intended. I doubt many will agree with my observations.

Turtles. Back in the news.

First, the study I mentioned the other day will be difficult to interpose. It suggested kill off a portion of the turtle population world wide to save the seagrass. I discovered this morning that turtles are a federally listed endangered species. Good! The message is stay away from our turtles!

The other item concerns another turtle found in dire straits in the waters off Key West.  The turtle was entangled in a fishing line. It also had wrapped around its front right flipper a rope from a lobster trap. The rope was still attached to the trap. The turtle had been carrying the trap about. The flipper was almost completely severed. The turtle was taken to the Marathon Turtle hospital. Lets hope they can perform wonders. They usually do.

It rained big time yesterday afternoon and through out the night. The sky is black outside at the moment. No question, a rainy day ahead all day.

There was a question whether we would be able to play bocce last night. Obviously, we did. Between storms. The new courts are clay and the water was quickly absorbed. They were a wee bit slow when we started and soon were up to speed.

Enjoy your day!


Bocce and Social Security. The two are related. Sort of.

Tonight the new bocce season begins. August 14, 2014. Exciting!

On this same day August 14 in 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Exciting, also! Without the law, there would be no Social Security and Medicare today.

A point of information. People are always saying Social Security is broke. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If the United States honored its obligations.

President Johnson needed money for the Vietnam War. He looked at all the money sitting idle in the Social Security Fund. He legally devised a method by which the government could take the unused funds for its own purposes. The government keeps taking and never pays back.

The United States owes the Social Security Fund $2.7 trillion. Social Security is the government’s biggest creditor. Number 2 China is owed less than $1 trillion.

When people yell Social Security is broke, they either intentionally forget or do not know what I have set forth. Even today the government continues to  borrow money from the Social Security Fund. Your money and mine.

My yesterday began with a manicure at Lee Nails. Love Tammy!

I spent the afternoon researching further next week’s KONK Life column. Glory and Disgrace. About Great Britain in the early days of World War II. I plan on writing the column this afternoon.

Don’s Place was my first stop last night. Don is back. I was glad to see him.

I chatted a while with Stan and Clare and Hershel and Erika. Bocce, of course. Said hello to Grant.

Then to the Chart Room. Buffalo’s Tom Dixon is back in town! A rabid Syracuse fan. A Buffalo Bills fan, also. I asked Tom how the football team was going to be this year. He said terrific. I could not understand. Syracuse football has not distinguished itself in years. Turned out he was talking about the Buffalo Bills.

Tom’s wife Fran joined us. A charming lady.

We were together quite a while. We agreed to dine monday night at the Hot Tin Roof.

I had dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da. Always an interesting venue.

The people of the Keys and the turtles who live in its waters are lucky to have the Marathon Turtle Hospital.

Pine Tyme is an 80 pound loggerhead. In June, some fisherman found him in the ocean off Big Pine unable to dive. They got him on their boat and brought the turtle to the Turtle Hospital. Where he was named Pine Tyme.

Pine Tyme’s problem was gas in his intestines. He was not expelling it. He was full of air. No wonder he could not dive.

Pine Tyme has been treated and cured with antibiotics. He will be returned to the ocean friday.

I have been discussing on my various shows and in writing the past two years what I describe as the militarization of our police. Police departments across the country are receiving left over war machinery from the government. Police have also become cocky since 9/11. An item I discussed on my blog talk radio show this past tuesday.

Validity for my remarks is what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri at the moment. People are demonstrating. Some looting. The police have prohibited protesting in groups. Last night, the police were out in military gear. Armored vehicles. Repeating guns on top of them. The police used smoke bombs and tear gas to stop the demonstrators. At this point the demonstrators were merely walking down the street in group fashion.

You cannot defecate on a people. The demonstrators retaliated with molotov cocktails.

See the pictures and videos on television and the internet. Decide for yourself whether the police went too far, whether the police incited the retaliatory violence by the crowd.

Enjoy your day!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!




One of Key West’s best people! A person full of love and warmth! A lady with a heart!

Diane Schmidt.

Diane is special. She cracked the glass ceiling a  long time ago. She has been the General Manager of the Westin Key West Marina and Resort for many years.

It came to her attention that an injured Afghanistan veteran and his fiancée were in Key West and wanted to get married. The young man had suffered a traumatic brain injury. He has difficulty walking, some speech impediment and other problems. Diane decided the couple should have a first class wedding at Westin’s Sunset Key. At Westin’s expense!

The event was last night. A story book wedding.

Diane and Westin came through again. Thank you Diane. Thank you Westin. We are proud that you are part of the Key West family.

I started my yesterday with a late morning manicure. I find my time with Tammy therapeutic. We talk about everything. I admire the success she and her husband are achieving. The American dream. The reward of hard work.

Then to the gym. Not for a scheduled work out. Merely to ride a stationary bike for a while. Not the simple kind. This one was hard hard! Albert was there. He made sure I spent 15 minutes on the bike. I was ready to quit after 5. In the end, I had ridden the equivalent of 4.5 miles. The sweat was pouring off me.

I was tired. Went home. Intended to finalize my blog talk show for last night. Needed an hour’s nap first. Then to completing the prep work for last night’s show.

Shot over to Roostoca for a pre-show dinner. Veal marsala. Outstanding!

Then home to do the show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A lot to talk about. We live in a crazy world. Crazier by the day.

Post show comment indicated much interest in the 50 percent Detroit water customers who cannot pay their bills. The United Nations is looking into helping. I tied the Detroit story in with the 50,000 children coming over the border into Texas. I am concerned that we might not be standing up to our responsibilities in properly caring for them. I noted the world was watching.

The thrust of my talk was that we were beginning to suffer the plights of third world countries and might be slipping into a third world morass. Think about it.

Moses said…..Let my people go! I wish the Sudanese government would stop screwing around and let the Sudanese woman they have been holding go. The lady who was sentenced to death by hanging because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

She was finally let go 48 hours ago. She, her husband and their two children were at the airport intending to fly out of the country. She had the necessary documentary papers to leave. She was not permitted to do so. The authorities said something was wrong with her travel documents A “criminal violation.”

Two days later, she is still at the airport. Not arrested. Merely detained.

These people never let up. Let this woman go!

Enjoy your day!


Before getting into the difficult, let me speak of the nice.

This morning!

Beautiful once again. No wind. No clouds. Blue sky. Still waters.

Across from my home sits the MTV house and Ed Swift’s home. The MTV house is yellow, blue and pink. Ed’s lime in color. The sun reflecting on both makes for a dramatic view! Even Gougan could not have painted the scene.

That is the good. Now for what might be considered the bad. My gym time yesterday was absolute torture. The worst yet. One hour of pure agony. Albert worked me harder than ever before.

This is my fourth week. He gradually increases the tempo, etc. each session. Yesterday it seemed like I stepped into another millenium. I left exhausted and aching.

Three hours later, I was sitting at home researching topics for tonight’s blog talk radio show. The real aches set in! Wow! Nowhere specific. Everywhere.

I went to bed. I hurt.

Four hours later, I felt a bit better. Only a bit. This morning, I am 80 percent recovered.

Albert is not overpushing me. The problem is I come to him in terrible shape. He is moving me slowly. I can see when I compare myself to the other old timers in the gym are doing. I have given Albert a worn out body that has not really exercised in many years. I am convinced that if I can survive, a year from now I will be glad I did this.

While I was sitting at the counter working on tonight’s show, my left eye started bothering me. Pain and pulsation. Shit, I broke a blood vessel! I went to the mirror. No broken blood vessel. Something had bit me. My eyelid was swollen, bright pink and almost totally closed.

Yesterday was a day I could not win with my body.

Great blog talk radio show tonight. Topics include the Pope and his excommunication of the Mafia and his no no re marijuana, organ implants, youthful immigrants still coming into Texas, the Republicans threatening a government shutdown over the EPA, half of Detroit residents cannot pay their water bills, a water war in the making between Arizona and California, Australia to produce GMO milk, and more.

Great material! interesting! In many instances revealing!

Join me at 9 my time.

The Seven Mile Bridge will have delays all day tomorrow. Ford Mustang is shooting a commercial. Movies, TV and advertising love using the bridge as a site. Why not! An extremely beautiful setting! An experience crossing it! Seven miles of bridge between open ocean on both sides. With the sun shining, it cannot be beat.

My today will be subdued. A manicure at 11 with Tammy. An afternoon spent completing tonight’s show. Then the show itself this evening. Maybe Roostica for dinner.

Big day for travelers today and tomorrow. Larry and Christine Smith and daughter Jordan leave Key West today for a three week journey. England first to visit John and Ali. Then Italy. Anna flies out of Milan tomorrow for Athens and three weeks in the Greek isles.

My friends, enjoy!

Each of you enjoy your today!