‘Tis the season to be jolly…..

My KONK Life column this week is An American Christmas. I went all the way back to Christmas’ beginnings in pagan Rome and traced its development to modern day America.

Christmas in Roman days was not as it is today. It involved all type of debauchery, rapes, killings, etc. An example is caroling.

Today groups dressed go home to home singing Silent Night and the like. In pagan days thousands of years ago, it involved naked people dancing around stone circles. In addition to going house to house. The frivolity included rape and other sexual abuses.

Since I had gotten my column out saturday, yesterday was basically a free day. The one exception was working with Sloan in the morning for an hour. With nothing to do, I did nothing. Laid around in a lazy fashion.

The Miss Universe contest. What a screw up! The winner was Miss Philippine. By mistake, it was announced that it was Miss Columbia. After Miss Columbia had been crowned, the mistake was revealed.

I suspect Miss Columbia will reap benefit from the mistake. Being second in this instance might be more beneficial that having come in first.

Sadness follows Jimmy Carter in his later years. Carter recently disclosed he has a terminal cancer. Last week, his 28 year old grandson Jeremy died.

Key West’s proposed Truman Waterfront Park has taken 15 years to reach the ground breaking ceremony which took place last week. A black cloud seems to hang over the project.

The groundbreaking is an indication things are ready to move forward. The first stages.

The City Commission has a new member. Richard Payne. A retired Florida Judge. An excellent jurist.

Why Payne wanted to get back into politics at the ground level by running for Commissioner, I do not understand. There comes a time to sit back, relax and enjoy.

Payne appears to screw things up. First, he did not appoint the Planning Board member who had served for years. He wanted to appoint his own. Technically, Payne had the power to do so. Not a popular move, however.

Now comes the Truman Waterfront ground breaking. Payne announces that the waterfront would make an excellent place to locate a Key West-Havana ferry service. He was aware there was an agreement with the federal government that donated the land to Key West that use of the water area itself was forbidden.

Payne suggested no problem. He was going to go over the paper work to see if the government was guilty of any breaches.

I can see another 15 years going by before anything further is done with the Truman Waterfront.

Payne should drop the issue. It is not feasible from a time perspective. I am sure other problems will reveal themselves if Payne’s move is continued.

Syracuse/Montana State tomorrow night at 7. The game is televised in Key West on ESP3. ESP3 is Comcast channel 7.

It took me a while to figure out. Hope it is helpful to some.

Enjoy your day!



We live in dangerous times. You do not need me to tell you.

A recent crisis that has the capacity to bring matters to the boiling point is Turkish planes shooting down a Russian jet. Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan are issuing inflammatory statements. Each threatening the other.

Turns out Putin and Erdogan do not like each other. There is personal animosity between them for other reasons. These guys will go nose to nose.

Pavel Felgenhauer is a defense analyst. He bluntly described the situation as follows: “Right now they’re measuring dicks, and that’s very dangerous.”

My yesterday began with a doctor visit. I decided to have breakfast out following the visit. Tried Sq. 1 sitting outside. Years since I have done it. I was pleased. Good food. A great place for people watching.

The Key West Aloe store is on Duval just around the corner from Duval Square. I stopped in. Wanted to try their shaving gel. No shaving gel.

I thought how sad the old Key West Aloe store on Front street is gone. The new owners moved the store and everything else several years ago to another spot in Florida. The new Key West store tiny. Well done in brown and white colors, as are the tubes of aloe products. No aroma.

A lovely place. However, nowhere as large and as nice as the one I remember.

Yesterday was Syracuse basketball again. The final game of the Atlantis tournament being played in the Bahamas. Syracuse beat Texas A & M 74-67. An excellent victory.

The other three teams in the tournament were all ranked. Syracuse, not. Syracuse will be when the new rankings come out monday.

Good wins for Syracuse. The two games tested Syracuse. We still lack that one extra tall muscle bound big guy unfortunately.

An interesting season ahead.

The Keys Coral Reef is bleaching. Not good. Could be bad, though not necessarily. Depends on things I am not familiar with. Extreme warm water doing it. Second consecutive year the bleaching has occurred.

The hurricane season ends in a couple of days. November 30 to be exact. Vultures have returned. Large congregations of them.

We do not need the date to tell us the hurricane season has ended. The return of the vultures signifies the end of the hurricane season. Nature telling us.

I continue to be repitious. Truman loved Key West, Key West loves Truman.

On today’s date 1949, Truman, wife Beth and daughter Margaret arrived for a three week vacation.

Two China items of interest.

China has a large growing middle class. They want all the things the middle class of any nation expects. One is good food. Beef to be precise.

China does not have enough beef to satisfy its middle class. No problem. A 14,000 square meter factory is being built at a cost of $313 million. Its purpose, to clone cows. The plant is expected to produce 100,000 embryos a year.

Reports indicate cloned beef ok to eat. Tastes like the real stuff. A question arises. Is this another GMO situation?

China continues to expand militarily. China is establishing its first military base in Africa. In a little country called Djibouti. The base is the first expansion of China’s military power beyond the Asian Pacific.

Bocce playoffs today. A big deal, as I continue to tell you. Exciting. We play at 3. If we win, at 6. If we win again, tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!




On this day in 1971, Frank Romano and Joe Liszka opened the Key West Aloe store on Front street. They called it Key West Fragrance & Cosmetics. However, the shortened Key West Aloe took hold and the store became so known.

I initially disliked the store. A woman’s place! Perfumey! Too pretty! Over a period of time, the very essence of the room captured me. I would enjoy entering just to walk around breathing in the sweet aromas and enjoying the subtle colors of everything..

I never got to know Frank Romano. I do have a large Jack Baron painting of him. Bought it at a charity auction many years ago.

I was fortunate to get to know Joe Liszka the last couple of years. A nice guy. Great sense of humor.

Now both gone. As is their Front Street store. Frank and Joe sold out many years ago. The new owners over the passage of time closed the sales store on Front Street and the factory on Green Street.

Stopped at Publix yesterday. Just to pick up a few things. The wrong time. Packed! Thanksgiving shoppers! A lot of stop and go in the aisles. Each crowded.

Publix had to have had a good day. The carts overloaded with holiday goodies.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick hard hitting half hour. Join me.

One of the topics tonight will be excerpts from this week’s KONK Life Column. Muslim Refugees…..No. I go beyond the terrorist issue. I go where France, Britain, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands are today. They have accepted Muslim immigrants in large numbers the past several years. Their experience is lesson enough to close the door to these refugees.

Before you accuse me of being anti-Muslim, uncharitable and un-American, read the column which publishes tomorrow in KONK Life.

Other topics tonight include a couple of Trump items. His approval of waterboarding and the media capitulating to his rants. Some little known facts thrown in about Thanksgiving. Not nice. And more.

Winter is moving into Key West. The nights are chilly. Around 70-72. There was a chill in the air this morning when I went outside to get the mail. The days are warm. Around 78 degrees. No humidity.

Perfect weather from my perspective.

My annual physical this afternoon. Dr. Jackie Lefferts will be prodding me.

Syracuse’s football season ongoing. Syracuse plays Boston College saturday. Boston College a three point favorite.

I am not sure where the game is being played. Obviously every other year in Boston. For years, I made the trek with several other couples for the game. A fun weekend. Though always cold. We dressed appropriately for the games. Hats and gloves included. An outdoor stadium.

We usually stayed at the Harborside or Harborfront Hotel. Lovely. Ate well, partied well.

A must for at least one meal was the Sail Loft Restaurant. On the water. Not fancy. Fresh Maine lobsters to die for. Great fried clams.

Has the Reply problem been corrected? I know it has for some. I want it to be for everyone. If any of you are still having a problem, write and let me know at

Editing blog to add: Great White shark seen off Marathon.

Enjoy your day!


One of Key West’s finest passed on yesterday. Joe Liszka. A gentleman.

Joe and his partner of many years Frank Romano started Key West Aloe. The business took off. It became a multi million dollar world wide operation.

Joe was one of the founders of Fantasy Fest. Way back when Key West was dead in October. Frank thought Fantasy Fest was a way to bring tourists in during the slow season. How right he was.

I have only known Joe for two years. We met at WeBeFit. Joe had been working out a while when I started. He was way ahead of me. Tougher, also. I did not last too long. Had to quit after I popped two ribs.

Joe and I were neighbors in Key West. I was welcome in his home.

I last saw Joe two weeks ago. He did not look well. I asked how the gym was going. He said he was not doing it any more. I did not press for details. It was obvious his time was limited.

Joe’s obituary is in this morning’s Key West Citizen. I suggest you read it. A family obituary. A niece talking about her uncle. A warm remembrance.

Last night and this morning, the national news is mentioning an upstate New York Republican Congressman who commented that the sub-committee investigating Benghazi/Hillary had gone too far afield re Hillary. The Congressman, Richard Hanna.

Richard would be my Congressman if I were still living in Utica. I knew Richard as one business person to another. We did not have a personal relationship.

Richard was a contractor. Excavations primarily. The son of dairy farmers. A straight arrow. Only way to describe Richard. Soft spoken. Always up front. A no bullshit guy.

Though I was not close to the Congressman, I was close to one of his best friends. Albert Mazloom. Albert cut from the same cloth as Richard. I always thought no wonder they are so close. A birds of the feather flock together thing.

My yesterday began once again with the anti-gravity treadmill. I keep increasing  the speed. A bit each time. I have not adjusted yet, however.

Stopped at the Marriott Beachside bar for lunch. Outside by the pool overlooking the ocean. The ambiance brings me to the place.

Last night, Don’s Place for quite a while. Don, Stephanie, David, Keith, John and Jimmy. Bocce a big part of discussion for Don, David and me. Tonight a big match. The team is only a 1/2 game behind us in the rankings. A test for us.

On the way home, I stopped at Outback for something to eat.

This week’s KONK Life column Worse Ever Congress linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

Enjoy your day!



It’s time again! Talk on the street last night….. Is a hurricane coming?

Danny is its name. It is presently nothing way out in the Atlantic. We will not know till next week if it will be a Florida keys problem. Probably not. But you never know! Wind is fickle.

Some thing screwy yesterday morning. My phone. I was on it from 7-11. Business. Made me late for my 11 o’clock appointment at Body Owners where the anti-gravity treadmill awaited.

Took my sweaty body over to Roostica for lunch afterwards. Bobby Mongelli moving around. An outstanding business person!

Another business person of note arrived for lunch. Joe Liszka. Joe and his partner Frank Romano started Key West Aloe around 1970. Became a gold mine. They sold about 15 years ago.

Frank is now gone.

I met Joe when I was going to WeBeFit. Joe is older than me. I admired what he was able to physically do. Better than me. While there, Joe invited me to a party at his home. An excellent host. He lives in Key Haven also.

Stopped at Don’s Place at 5. Stayed a couple of hours. Visited with Don, David, Nate, and Toni. Actually spent quite a while chatting with Toni. A charming lady. Good company.

I had a choice at that point. Go out to eat or go home and watch Donald Trump. I am ashamed to say I went home. I am a political junkie.

I am not a Trump supporter. His business success is admirable. Such in and of itself does not make a President.

Our country continues to be in difficulty. The 1/99 percent thing does not go away. Listening to Trump, I suspect his actions would be those favoring the 1 percent. This morning he said on Morning Joe that he was against raising the minimum wage. He believes it would make us less competitive against foreign manufacturers.

Strange. The guys at the top of the American companies continue to make millions of dollars annually for themselves. They have their 3-4 homes world wide and private jets. The wealth is not shared. Notice Trump has his jet and homes. Even a helicopter. Trump would have the 99 percent continue to suffer to keep the rich in their exorbitant toys.

This thing about no longer considering a child born in the U.S. of parents illegitimately here not citizens not right. Trump is crazy! It has always been and will ever continue to be that a person born in th U.S. is an American citizen.

Trump says the scholars tell him the law/Constitution in this regard can be changed. What scholars? If he wishes to pursue the issue legally, he will find lawyers to support him. If a fee is available, there is unquestionably a cause to be pursued.

Those Spanish galleons carrying all sorts of wealth that sunk off the Florida coast some 400 years ago present the opportunity for some today to strike gold. Literally!

It recently was disclosed that 4 crew men from the A/V Capitana discovered gold to the tune of $4.5 million three weeks ago somewhere off Florida’s east coast.

My column in this week’s KONK Life is Black Lives Matter / Play Tough. The article was linked this morning to my Key West Lou website.

Bocce tonight! The best!

Enjoy your day!



Key West adding another notable to its memorabilia/tradition book.

Mel Fisher’s search/dive boat when he discovered gold, jewelry, etc. was the J. B. Magruder. The Magruder still in operation. The vessel and its crew are in Key West for Mel Fisher Days. The Conch Republic Navy is making the Magruder part of its fleet. An honor!

The Magruder is sitting in front of Schooner Wharf. Just about every event relating to Key West days of old take place at Schooner Wharf. The key location for such Key West events. Schooner Wharf one of the few remaining places evidencing the Key West flavor of days gone by.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I have been increasing speed, incline, etc. a bit. In spite of the air conditioning, I was sweating big time by the end of the half hour.

I had some things to take care of in the Square One area. While walking on the Duval side, I noticed a Key West Aloe store. I have walked by the site many times. Never noticed it before.

Key West Aloe was started in Key West many years ago by two fine gentlemen. They sold some 15 years ago. The new owner minimized Aloe’s presence in Key West. The plant was moved to another community. The store moved several times.

Key West Aloe the best after shave lotion! No question about it. I have been using it for 25 years. I had run out. My face missed the cooling gel.

I went quickly into the store. The gel has a newly designed container. Threw me off. I bought the gel. I cannot wait to shave this morning!

Key West Aloe is an integral part of Key West history.

Lunched at Harpoon Harry’s. Packed. Wednesday the turkey dinner special. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Of course, I ordered it! Cost $10.

I had difficulty parking. The large public lot across the street was full. I waited a bit till someone pulled out. As I was walking to get my parking ticket, I searched the license plates. Most out of staters. Tourists still visiting.

Yesterday’s Miami Herald carried the Key West/Uber story. It is now a crime to operate one in Key West. An excellent article.

My KONK Life column this week is Illegal Human Trafficking. The title written with tongue in cheek. It is the Uber story internationally. I close with the Key West involvement.

I wrote the article sunday and e-mailed it to the publisher sunday evening. KONK Life hit the stands yesterday.

The two columns are different. I go into detail as to who is behind the company, where the financing has been coming from, why they are so successful, etc. If such interests you, read my KONK Life column. It is also available as of today on my Key West Lou website.

United Airlines computer went down yesterday. As did that of the New York Stock Exchange and Wall St. Journal. We are told merely coincidental. I am skeptical. Find it hard to believe.

Wars today are not only fought with guns. Wars are fought economically and via hacking and/or screwing up another country’s computer systems.

Coincidence or intentional?

While enjoying my oatmeal this morning, I was leafing through AARP’s magazine which I received yesterday. I am old enough to read the AARP publication.

There was a comment regarding grieving the death of a close one. The question was how long should one grieve. The answer…..As long as it takes.

Enjoy your day!