Last night was one of surprises.

One good, one bad.

The good one first. It was first last night, also. My dinner at Outback.

The Key West Outback has a new owner. Jessica Hughes. Changes are obvious already.

My drink arrived swiftly following order. The meal, also. Prime rib. The best I have ever had at Outback. A Commodore cut.

I asked the waitress if the new owner had made some changes. I described and complimented the services. She said there is a new multi colored sign in the kitchen. Its purpose to move things. She said it has. Several people have complimented the improved service as I had.

I never got into the quality of the meat with her. I shall try to talk with Jessica the new owner the next time I dine at Outback.

The bad had to do with Regal Cinema. Went to the movies after dinner.

The movie was Bridget Jones’s Baby. The third in a series. I had seen the previous two. This one lacked the quality of the first two. Not the problem, however.

The seats. It has been a while since I have been to the Regal Cinema. New seats! The worst ever! Not comfortable at all!

The first thing I noticed was the seats were considerably narrow. Like a tourist airline seat. More narrow, in fact. The seats and back poorly designed. Impossible to be comfortable. I tried every possible position. Sat up right, slouched, sat on a hip, etc.

Regal Cinema lost me last night. Henceforth, I shall only attend Tropic Cinema.

Let me play movie critic for a minute.

Renee Zellweger  has aged. It has been a while since her last Bridget Jones movie. Looked like she had some plastic surgery done. Not for the better. The bubbliness gone. She looked too old for the part.

Attention grammar critics. The title of the movie is Bridget Jones’s Baby. Is the Jones’s spelled correctly? I think it should have been Jones’.

The Rose Tattoo was filmed in Key West. The movie based on Tennessee William’s play of the same name. Hal Wallis arrived in Key West this date in 1954 scouting for locations to shoot the movie.

Much of The Rose Tattoo was shot on Duncan Street. 1400 block. The house where the movie was shot at one end. Tennessee William’s home the other.

Lisa lives on Duncan two blocks away.

The Rose Tattoo house was allowed to fall into bad shape. Unoccupied for years. Renovated recently and rented out. Nothing special about its appearance. Nor was there anything special about it in the film.

Tennessee William’s home is magnificent! Still in great shape. Maintained as it was.

This morning’s Key West Citizen front page had a huge photo and story re Burmese pythons. The story reported baby pythons are being discovered in Key Largo. Suggested there are 10,000 to 100,000 in South Florida.

I wrote a KONK Life column re pythons five year ago. Title: Pythons Are Coming. Wrote a follow up a couple of years ago. One of the thrusts was that the Burmese pythons were on the move southward from the Everglades to the Keys. Only one had been discovered in Key West at the time. Along a runway at the airport. Remains the only Key West one reported.

The number of phytons in the paper is grossly understated. Florida authorities suspect the number could be as much as one million. No exaggeration. There are so many that their growth is out of control. The State admits it cannot eliminate them. Hopefully only control their growth and spread.

My KONK Life column this week is An american Revolutionary War Hero Who Lost His Head. Interesting reading. It is on the stands today. The article appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast and was linked also to my Key West Lou website.

Enjoy your day!


Joseph Warren was a leader in the early days of the fight for freedom. In the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, he was out in front as a protagonist. He died at the Battle of Bunker Hill early in the War.
Few today know of him. I did not till this past week when I came across a short story which mentioned him. Roused my curiosity. Motivated me to learn more about him.
He was a man!
Warren was born June 11, 1741. Died, June 17, 1775. His life short lived. Thirty four years. Much accomplished however during that time.
He was part of the fomenting years leading up to the Revolutionary War. Trained as a physician, he began his practice at the age of 22. In Boston.
Warren was considered a foremost physician. His patients from the upper crust. Men such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Even prominent loyalists sought his professional services. His patients included the children of the Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the British General Thomas Gage, and Gage’s American born wife Margaret.
Warren used his medical practice to spy on the British. His wife had died. He became involved with General Gage’s wife Margaret. Margaret provided Warren with advance notice of the planned British movement on Concord. Margaret being American born was disposed to the colonial cause. She was a constant source of information.
General Gage finally dealt with the Margaret problem. He put her on a British vessel and sent her off to Britain. She played no part in colonial matters thereafter.
Warren was a leader of the Sons of Liberty. A foremost patriot. As time went on, his patriot disposition became more apparent. Open and public.
There was a time he was a grave robber. As such, a member of Spunkers. Spunkers was a group of Harvard medical students who raided grave yards, jails and poor houses in search of bodies. Bodies that could be used for medical training purposes.
The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770. It became a rallying point for those opposed to British treatment of the colonists.
The Boston Massacre was commemorated each year thereafter. Warren twice spoke to two separate annual meetings.
The second such meeting took place on March 6, 1775. The meeting was held in the Old South Meeting House in Boston. The enemy was present. Hundreds of British officers and soldiers surrounded the building and were stationed inside.
The crowd of colonists spilled into the aisles.
Warren had no fear. He was a man of brass testicles. He appeared at the meeting dressed as Cato. A flowing white Roman toga. A symbol of democracy at the time.
Not intimidated, Warren delivered a rousing address.
Warren was the Masonic Grand Master of St. Andrew’s Lodge of Freemasons. A big deal. The group met at the Green Dragon Tavern. The Tavern was considered the early headquarters for the Revolution.
Many of the Masons meeting were members of the Sons of Liberty. Paul Revere was one. Warren and Revere were best friends.
The Boston Tea Party did not go over well with King George III and Parliament. The colonists were considered upstarts who needed to be put in their place. Taught manners. Made to know who their uppers were.
Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts of 1774. The Acts suspended colonial government and closed the Port of Boston till payment was made in full for the lost tea.
No way the colonists would accept such submission. It was not part of their psyche. Warren in September 1774 drafted a radical set of resolutions in opposition for Suffolk County communities. Boston area communities. Titled the Suffolk Resolves.
The Suffolk Resolves stated, “No obedience is due” to the Intolerable Acts. The Resolves called for a boycott of British goods and for local militias to prepare for armed resistance.
The Suffolk Resolves were endorsed overwhelmingly by the Continental Congress. The British called the document “undoubtedly treasonable.”
Warren sensed fighting might take place soon. He sent Paul Revere on a five day ride to Philadelphia to warn of the possibility. This was not the famous Paul Revere ride. The “Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” That was to come later.
The time did come later. Warren learned the British troops were preparing to cross the Charles River and march to Lexington. The British intended to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Then on to Concord to seize colonial munitions. Thank you, Margaret Gage.
Warren dispatched Paul Revere on the famous midnight ride. He sent Revere across the Charles River and into the surrounding country side. He dispatched William Dawes on the longer land route.
Boston was under siege following Lexington and Concord. The patriots needed cannons to give them the firepower to force the British out of Boston.
Where to get them? Benedict Arnold said, “I know.” There were 80 canons at Fort Ticonderoga which at the time was under British control. The British force defending Ticonderoga was small. Arnold was confident he could overtake the force and capture the cannons.
Warren gave Arnold approval to try. Arnold succeeded. The canons were a major help in evicting the British from Boston in March 1776.
Warren also served on the Boston Committee of Correspondence.
It was June 1775. Warren was supposed to be at a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Instead, he opted to fight in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Three days before, Warren had been appointed a Major General by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.
Thirty four years old at the time.
When he arrived at the site of the battle, the two commanders already there wanted to turn command over to Warren since he outranked them. Warren had no battle field experience. He declined and asked where the toughest fighting was taking place. Breed’s Hill. Warren grabbed a musket and went to Breed’s Hill to fight as a private.
At this stage, it is important to understand how the British viewed the colonials. As traitors. They had opted to fight the mother land.
King George III stated that any colonials in arms against royal authority were traitors and to be treated as such. Death by hanging.
The British normally provided a trial first. Not in the colonies, however. For whatever reason, treason trials were not held. The colonials were either immediately hanged or sent to prisoner of war camps.
Hanging might have been better. The colonials held in prisoner of war camps were maltreated. Brutally. Even beheadings. Torture common place. Much like the Japanese treatment of Allied prisoners of war during World War II.
More American sailors and soldiers died in prisoner camps than from combat itself.
British atrocities of colonials of either sex were commonplace. The British of Revolutionary days were not the nice guys of today. Traitors were scum and to be treated accordingly.
Having set the prevalent British mental attitude, we return to Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Serving as a private at Breed’s Hill.
The colonials bravely fought off the first two advances of the British. The third overwhelmed the colonials.
Warren was out of ammunition. As his fellow colonials were withdrawing, Warren remained behind to fight off the British as best he could. He did not survive long.
British Lt. Lord Rawdon knew Warren. Most British did. As Rawdon came over a small hill, he found himself directly in front of Warren. Not more than a foot apart. Rowdan shot his musket at Warren’s face. The bullet entered his forehead area and came out the back of his skull.
Rawdon neither liked nor respected Warren. Obviously. Otherwise, he would not have shot him.
Rawdon then proceeded to strip Warren’s body of all clothing. Other British soldiers arrived. Warren’s dead body was bayoneted till unrecognizable.
There was a shallow hole nearby. British Captain Walter Laurie pushed Warren’s body into the hole together with a dead colonial farmer. Laurie recollected that as he pushed Warren into the grave, he “stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain.”
Two days later, British Lt. James Drew went to the site. He opened the grave, spit on Warren’s face, and then cut his head off. Following which Drew is reported to have committed every act of violence upon Warren’s body.
Warren’s head was left with his body in the shallow grave. Dirt thrown over.
Though respect was lacking for Warren by lower ranking British officers and soldiers, some higher ranking persons did think well of him for whatever reason. General Gage on learning of Warren’s death said, “Warren’s death is equal to the death of 500 men.”
The British thought Warren’s death would discourage the colonial cause. They were mistaken. Warren’s death encouraged the revolutionary cause. He was viewed as a martyr.
Had Warren lived longer, he would have played a prominent role in the American revolution and the political life of the new nation thereafter.
Many historians of the era believe Warren would have achieved the summit of political life in the United States.
Note that nowhere is Washington’s name mentioned. Turns out that at the time Warren was better known and perceived as a better leader than Washington. Loyalist Peter Oliver surmised in 1782 that if Warren had lived, George Washington would have been “an obscurity.”
Ten months after Warren’s death, Paul Revere and Warren’s brothers exhumed Warren’s body. A question arose. Which body was Warren’s? The one without the head or the one with. Remember, Warren had been buried with a farmer.
Revere was known as a silversmith. He had other talents. He was a dentist of sorts.
Warren had lost his left upper eye tooth. Revere had made an artificial tooth and secured it in Warren’s mouth with a golden wire.
The body without the head was Warren’s. As was the severed head. Therein lie the artificial tooth and golden wire.
Warren left four children. Penniless. His wife had died several years earlier. Warren was engaged at the time of his death. His fiancee Mercy Scolley took the children in and cared for them.
The issue of their education was a matter of concern. Where was the money to come from? His friends and the Continental Congress took care of the situation.
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Mercy Oates Warren and Benedict Arnold assumed the responsibility together with the Continental Congress.
Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote several lines of poetry that many believe are referable to Joseph Warren: “My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; But ah, my foes and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light!”
Too bad Joseph Warren’s story is little known. At the very least, his life should be reflected in school history books. There is always room for one more American hero.


The Key West Citizen daily runs on page 3 its Citizen of the Day. Photo and biographical sketch.

Today’s honoree is Edward Henry.

I do not know him personally, yet feel I do know him personally. Edward works in the pharmacy department at Walgreens on the Boulevard. Always a smile, always helpful. Sometimes difficult I am sure. Prescription purchasers are not always happy campers.

Edward is a big guy. Reminds me of Shaquille O’Neal. Carries himself with the same humility.

Congratulations, Edward! You are much deserving of the recognition.

Spent my day time yesterday writing thus week’s KONK Life column. An American Revolutionary War Hero Who Lost His Head. The Joseph Warren story. Interesting. More revealing, the treatment of the colonists by the British during the war. The column hits the stands wednesday.

Intended to have dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Thought the bar would be empty on a sunday night. Not so. No room.

Went to La Trattoria Oceanside. No room at the bar. However, I was able to get a well located table with a magnificent view of the water. Enjoyed spaghetti and oil. A dish I have not had in ages.

My waiter was CJ. I did not recall him. He did me. He worked years ago at La Trattoria on Duval when I was a regular customer. He recalled me by name.

His step mother is Erin. She was bartender at La Trattoria on Duval for years. Now bartends at Smokin’ Tuna.

CJ is getting married in November. He is all excited! Good luck to him and his bride.

I mentioned Berlin’s yesterday. I had been there friday evening. New singer, I thought. Was not sure of her name. An excellent entertainer.

A comment to the column corrected me. Devin. I thank him. Brie her name. Brie not new to Key West or singing. She has been here 10 years.

I have  mentioned a couple of times this past week that Helen Mirren was in Key West making a movie. Together with co-star Donald Sunderland. Shooting was taking place at Higgs Beach and the Hemingway House.

The movie is titled The Leisure Seeker. It is the story of an elderly couple. The wife a cancer patient. Her husband entering into Alzheimer’s. They decide to take a road trip to Key West in a Winnebago.

The weekend bombings. What can I say? What can we say? Eventually, the problem will be resolved. Could take a number of years. In the meantime, vigilance the key.

The problem will not be resolved here. It will be in the Middle East by the total destruction of ISIS.

President James Garfield died this date in 1881. An assassin’s bullet on July 2 started the sequence of events leading to Garfield’s death.

I wrote a lengthy KONK Life column on the subject five years ago.

Garfield was shot at the Washington Railroad Station. One bullet in his arm. The other on the right side of his back behind the pancreas.

Garfield laying on the filthy railroad station floor. Robert Todd Lincoln was with him. Lincoln called a Dr. D. Willard Bliss to care for the President. Bliss turned out to be an arrogant individual impressed with his own perceived self-importance. He cared for Garfield till his death some two and a half months later.

During that time, roughly 80 physicians also were called in. Bliss always in charge, however.

The problem was no one could find the bullet in the President’s back. Fingers and instruments prodded the hole searching for it. Dirty fingers and instruments. This was before the medical profession realized there were germs. Bacteria.

Infection set in. The President’s body became accessed big time internally.

The bullet had to be found and extracted. Bliss called in Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell had invented a metal detector that was supposed to locate bullets in the body. It had been successfully tested on Civil War veterans.

The detector did not work on the President. A scratchy buzzing sound was constantly heard. Something was wrong.

Garfield lay on a mattress which lay on a metal coil bed spring. The metal bed spring had recently been invented. A patent pending. Not yet on the market for sale. One had been given Garfield for publicity purposes.

The metal bed spring mattress screwed up the metal detector. No one realized it at the time.

An autopsy showed that the prodding by fingers and instruments had moved the bullet from the President’s right side to his left. The bullet could not be located because it was not where it was supposed to be.

Charles Guiteau went on trial for the murder of the President. His defense was that medical malpractice had killed Garfield, not his shooting. The jury did not agree. He was found guilty and hung.

Guiteau made his own closing argument to the jury. “Yes, I shot him, but his doctors killed him.”

Enjoy your day!