I am into Fidel Castro this morning. Accidentally, inadvertently.

I became interested in Castro and Key West in the years prior to his becoming the head of Cuba. Not much to report. A scarcity of information. Surprising.

My initial interest was not Castro. It was the old stone house on the corner of Reynolds and South Streets. Actual address 1401 Reynolds. The structure today gray. Constructed from now dirtied coral.

Called the Old Rock Coral House. Year built hard to pin point. I would say 1933.

Castro was the revolutionary in 1956. In the mountains, not Havana. In need of money, he visited Key West hoping to raise funds here for the revolution. He also hoped to excite young men to join him in the cause.

He had an additional reason. He wanted to speak from the second floor porch of La Te Da where Jose deMarti had once spoken and excited some to return to Cuba with him. I could find no record that Castro spoke at La Te Da. His speech was at the San Carlos Institute.

Castro remained in Key West 10 days.

Castro was in Key West one other time. In 1948. He had married and honeymooned in Miami for 10 days. Then somehow to New York City. Not an overt revolutionary at the time. Merely a young man. The couple stayed in New York City for a time.

Castro purchased a 1947 Lincoln while in New York. The turn on for him were the electric windows. A new feature at the time. He drove the Lincoln from New York to Key West. Then he, the wife and Lincoln on the ferry to Havana. I could not determine if Castro stayed overnight in Key West.

A little more Key West lore. The Henry Flagler Overseas Railroad.

Its inaugural trip January 22, 1912. A massive Key West celebration. One event mired the joy of the day. A pick pocket was in the crowd. Earned a good day’s pay.

Syracuse did not get selected for the NCAA Tournament. The call proper. They did not deserve to be in. Their play did not warrant an invitation.

Instead, Syracuse will play in the NIT. They are the 1st seed in the NIT. I wish there was a way to say no to an NIT invitation. Good manners and money prevent such. I view the NIT for second class citizens. Those not good enough to play in the big show. True. However, difficult for me to accept.

The US Attorney fiasco will remain in the news for another week. The news this morning is that two days before the letter to 46 US Attorneys asking for their immediate resignations, Trump personally had given a pep talk to all of them on a conference call.

My Sunday spent being lazy. Read, slept and watched TV. The exception, dinner at Roostica. Lemoncello wings.

Enjoy your day!



An interesting sports afternoon! I did not view much of it. The results astounding.

First, Syracuse.

Football. Syracuse lost as anticipated. Finally the football season is over. The score of the game unusual. Syracuse beaten by Pitt 76-61. The numbers reflect a basketball score. I am pleased that Syracuse kept it close. Only lost by roughly two touchdowns.

Basketball. Here I thought success would be ours. It was not. Syracuse lost to South Carolina 64-50.

No excuse. However…..Seems South Carolina’s defense was unique. New to college basketball. Syracuse could not handle it.

Boeheim will overcome.

Finally, the Ohio State/Michigan game. #s 2 and 3. Went to two overtimes. Ohio State finally won 30-27.

I only got to watch the overtimes. Fantastic football!

Last night with Liz. A lady. Charming. Her two deanships at law schools make Liz an extra interesting dinner companion.

I picked Cafe. The vegetarian restaurant. A funky appearing place. Reminds me of a college hang out. Food excellent. Business, likewise excellent.

I enjoyed a spinach-artichoke dip and mussels. Liz had some type veggie dish described as a pepper steak. No steak, of course.

Pie at Liz’s home afterwards. Potato pie made with rum. Never had potato pie before. Taste close to pumpkin pie. Made from canned sweet potatoes.

Fidel Castro has died.

A tyrant. Dictator. People forget that he replaced a despot. Batista. Initially, Castro was viewed as a hero.

Somewhere along the way, he ended up on Russia’s side. I have always wondered why not on the side of the U.S.

Batista was a whore. He and his associates became rich. Organized crime and international corporations paved their way in Cuba with bribery dollars.

Key West, the State of Florida and the U.S. have constantly guarded against Castro actions and influences as they might affect each.

An Emergency Management organization exists. Its primary purpose to guard against any large scale immigration. Also to observe any unusual happenings.

Monroe County’s Emergency Management has kicked in. As has Florida’s. Monitoring Cuban activities.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Monday evening at 6. Bayview Park. Key West’s Christmas tree lighting. Santa’s first public appearance.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast has an elderly health article. The article notes that 1/3 of people over 65 fall. I am one of them!

Pope Urban II is responsible to some degree for today’s Muslim problem. On this day in 1095, he ordered the first Crusade. His speech considered the most influential of the Middle Ages.

He cried out “Deus vult!” God wills it! He even told everyone that those fighting would have a remission of all their sins. Such meant immediate entrance into Heaven. No Hell or Purgatory. Sounds sort of like the Muslim 17 or 21 or whatever number of virgins who will be waiting for those who die for the Muslim religion.

Pope Urban’s Crusade was the first movement against the Muslim world. For 461 years, the Muslims had battled and seized 2/3’s of the Christian world. Pope Urban wanted the Christian lands reclaimed.

Whatever the reason, a forever war.

The history of the Key West Rotary continues. This is Installment 23.

I have noticed that beginning with World War II, the history contents of Langley’s work have become sparse. Five years missed here and there. Cannot be nothing occurred. Whatever, this feature of my blog will see its conclusion by the end of the week.

When I started, I advised Langley’s history went to 1975. I recently discovered there was later a sort of addendum bringing it up to 1991.

April 1966 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Key West Rotary. The Club’s golden anniversary. It was celebrated in a befitting manner.

A gala cocktail party and dinner at the Trade Winds Supper Room in the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn was Key West’s largest hotel/motel for years. It was torn down and replaced with what today is the Marriott Beachside.

One hundred Rotarians and guests attended. Guest speaker was Cleve Allen of Coral Gables. His thunder was stolen by Joe Pearlman, one of the Club’s pioneer members. He told stories about yesterday. Back when.

Interestingly, when the Key West Rotary was established 50 years earlier, it was only the third in Florida.

The 1960s found the U.S. heavily involved in Vietnam. The war was very unpopular. Returning soldiers and veterans were not acclaimed. Actually looked down upon.

The Key West Rotary recognized Vietnam veterans were being overlooked. At the January 26, 1967 luncheon meeting, 4 U.S. Marines were invited. They were recuperating from their wounds at the time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Key West.

Enjoy your Sunday!


A lovely morning! For a change!

I stepped out on the deck just as the sun rose. Beautiful!

Some rain predicted. Not much. Just heard thunder.

Sick turtles are in the right place when in the Keys. There is a turtle hospital located in Marathon. The Marathon Turtle Hospital.

Extended cold weather and high winds are not healthy for turtles. Such weather also contributes to a red tide. All dangerous to turtles. Such weather can also be potentially fatal. Can result in tissue generating tumors.

Clearwater sent 18 turtles to the Marathon Turtle Hospital recently. All sick. Only 9 survived the trip. The other 9 presently stable. They are being sent to a local hospital today to be CAT scanned to see if tumors are developing.

I know turtles live in water. Crocodiles also. I am not sure their species. Fish, mammal, what?

Anyhow, an American Crocodile was seen in Little Hamaca Park in Key West yesterday. Resting on a drainage pipe. Five to six feet long. Rob O’Neil was able to get a picture. It ran in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

The lower Keys had another sighting last year.

I am not happy even one has arrived in Key West. Where there is one, there has to be more, will be more.

An anthropologist recently told me the Keys are a croc’s home also. That we must learn to live together.

I prefer not to live with them.

At Body Owners yesterday morning for the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny back. Good to see her. Jenny was away a few days. Her mother in law died in northern Florida. Sad, but not sad. She was 102.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for some interesting topics. Some the would you believe type.

Topics include a Kentucky bill requiring wife and doctor approval before Viagra can be purchased. Introduced by a female legislator. Her philosophy being if men can make laws about sex and reproductive rights for women, similar laws should be adopted for men.

Eliot Spitzer at it again. In a Plaza Hotel room registered in his name, a woman called 911. Said Spitzer was choking and hitting her. Police arrived.

Some people never learn!

Other topics include Justice Antonin Scalia, Catholic bishops not following Pope Francis’ dictates re disclosure of sex abuse, and Venezuela finally being totally out of food. And more.

Desired stone crabs last night. Went to Martin’s. Closed on Mondays.

Second choice was the new Waterfront Restaurant. My second visit. No stone crabs, of course. Enjoyed the best calamari ever! White and soaked in beer batter.

Many visit Sarabeth’s. A fine eating establishment at the corner of Simonton and Southard. Are you aware it was once a synagogue? Yes. Dedicated this date in 1908. Rodef Shalom Synagogue.

There were once three synagogues in Key West. Key West at the turn of the century (1900) was the Miami Beach of Florida. Actually, there was no Miami Beach at the time. Jewish vacationers visited Key West for their winter sojourn.


In the 1920s, Miami Beach was developed. That was the end of Key West as a vacationing place for affluent Jews. They flocked to Miami Beach. With their leaving, the need for three synagogues went also. Today, there is one synagogue in Key West.

Good morning, June.

Everyone enjoy their day!