One of the nice things about living in Key West…..I saw the sun rising this morning. A bright golden ball.

The band is playing. The drums roaring. Today is grandson Robert’s ninth birthday! An event! We celebrate tonight with dinner and cake. This will be Jake’s first birthday party. I wonder how he will react.

Nine years ago today was a tragedy. Robert was born…..with cancer of the liver. The tumor larger than his liver. Robert had two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life. At Miami Children’s Hospital. A great place.

Robert is ok today. You would never know he came into this world facing great odds.

I have yet to buy my grandson a birthday present. As soon as I finish this blog, I will be off on the search. Not easy in Key West. Stores are limited for a gift for a 9 year old. For me it will be K-Mart and Sears. Ain’t no place else to go!

Yesterday’s Key West Citizen in its historical Key West section made mention of Thelma Strabel, a book she wrote, and her obtaining a building permit to build a home in Key West. The year was 1940.

What captured my attention was the name of book. Reap The Wild Wind. It was made into a movie. I recall it clearly. About salvaging out of Key West back when. John Wayne and Paulette Goddard starred in the film.

I have seen the movie. I did not like it. The reason simple. John Wayne played a bad guy. The only John Wayne movie where he was not a hero. It did not fit his mold.

Reap The Wild Wind was written in 1940. Made into the movie mentioned in 1942.

Thelma Strabel scored with the book! The Saturday Evening Post serialized it. The movie followed.

Strabel took the Saturday Evening Post monies and built a home at 400 South Street. It became the southernmost house in the United States. Her property attracted visitors galore.

400 south Street was supposedly the last house on the block. Looking south, a person could almost see Cuba.

Strabel’s home no longer exists. It was torn down by a subsequent purchaser and a larger home built.

I am not sure exactly where 400 south Street is. I do not know if the number still exists. I assume it is whatever the last house is on South Street. Next to the present day tourist attraction recognizing the spot as the southern most point in the United States. Today or soon, I am going to go to that point and see if I can locate a #400. I will share my finding with you.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. My blog talk radio show. Loved doing it! Glad many of you are listening via the internet. The show is archived and can be heard anytime.

I spent yesterday afternoon working on last night’s show. Breaking news daily so there is always last minute adding, detracting, and/or editing to be done.

Monday night I had dinner at Hot Tin Roof. With three lovely ladies. All related. Jenna and her Mom and Aunt who were visiting. I had a wonderful time. How could I miss? The only man in the company of three women!

I have done two recent blogs regarding the Pier House. Zeroed in on the Chart Room and Wine Galley. I am absolutely amazed at the response. Everyone loves the Pier House! Especially the Chart Room! All are saddened by the sale. All hope the two special rooms remain as is and open.

Enjoy your day!



  1. lou, i do not read your blog anymore but something drew me to it today. thank god robert is doing well and i am very happy for all of your family. today is a very good day.

  2. May I suggest a “coupon booklet” say nine (for nine yers old) individual activities with you that could range from the mundane (i.e., spend a Saturday afternoon where Grandpa will drive you where ever you want) to the funny (i.e., Grandpa will answer truthfully to the best of his ability whatever question you have) to the bizarre (i.e., Grandpa with try to juggle for you) to the cute (i.e., one big hug when you feel you need it no matter the hour).

    Yeah, I’m a fat old white guy injineer with no kids. But I’d love to have had one so I’d have grandkids to spoil rotten.

    Just a suggestion!

    • Thank you. I do most if not all these things anyhow. But the booklet a good idea! Maybe next year. I gave him a $50 card for the movies. He is at that stage where he likes to go. With the family, of course. That may just cover their tickets!

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