Key West and chickens go hand in hand. Tourists love them. Always snapping pictures of them.

I consider the chickens a dirty blight on our landscape.

Not all, however. Someone has a pet chicken. Yes, A pet. Called Loretta.

Loretta’s mistress is Karly Venezia.

This morning’s CBS  Miami reported the story. With videos. Loretta perched on the front of a paddleboard with Karly paddling. Other videos of Loretta following Karly around the house.

Loretta is one year old.

I was not aware chickens were trainable. Apparently Loretta was. Good job, Karly!

Loretta’s story has to be an only in Key West one!

A follow up to yesterday’s story re armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of San Juan. San Juan today. The streets of America tomorrow.

Think about it.

New York State is trying to be helpful as regards Puerto Rico. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo behind the move.

Two days ago, 78 doctors, nurses and other health care providers were flown to San Juan. Under Governor Cuomo’s auspices. They will be deployed throughout Puerto Rico.

On October 10 and again under the direction of Governor Cuomo, 425,000 pounds of food stuffs were flown to Puerto Rico. Things like water, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, canned goods, juice pouches, solar lamps, and dry food.

Cuomo also sent his Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino to supervise distribution of the supplies.

This is governor morning.

Governor Rick Scott. He impresses me more and more.

Florida’s Jewish community centers and day care schools have received increased bomb threats. Scott has asked the legislature to set aside $1 million in January’s budget to protect them. An increase from the $654,000 authorized this past year.

My Comments section has not been receiving comments the past several days. All comments barred. Good or bad. I became concerned and asked Sloan yesterday to look into it.

I have not spoken to Sloan this morning. However, it appears the problem has been resolved. Comment away, my friends! And adversaries, too!

Waiting for a book to finally be published is like waiting for a baby to be born. I am nervous and edgy. Hopefully Irma and Me will make its introduction to the world in the next few days.

Enjoy your day!




A special day. Not just in American history. World wide.

The bikini made its debut this day in 1946. Seventy one years old and still going strong! If anything, skimpier.

The bikini was introduced in Paris. The United States had tested an atomic bomb the week before on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The bikini was named after the blast.

Must be something right about the bathing suit to have survived so long. Men without question derive pleasure from the voyeur perspective. Women because of comfort? Do they enjoy showing off a bit? I have never been able to figure it out. Whatever, stay with it ladies!

Spent the Fourth emptying moving boxes. About 50 percent done.

Took a few hours off in the afternoon. My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. Show not developed. I needed to prepare.

Did the show at 9. Excellent material. Easy to come by. Trump a writer’s dream.

The topic however that interested me the most had to do with plastic bottles.

In the United States alone, 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute. A number! Works out to 480 billion a day.

A disposal problem. Some recycled. Too many to recycle all. Others end up in waterways and landfills.

England may have found the solution. Plastic bags their problem. England taxed plastic bag usage 5 pounds per bag. Close to $5 a bag American money.

Plastic bag usage dropped 85 percent the first year.

Never got to see the fireworks. I was doing my show at the time. could hear the boom booms, however. One after another.

Enjoy you day!

CLEMSON 54 Syracuse 0…..OH, THE PAIN!

Syracuse had played well the two games before Clemson. Sure, Syracuse was 4-4. Clemson 9-0 and #3 in the country.

Just maybe…..I wrote yesterday. Hope springs eternal.

We took a beating. 54-0.

Syracuse basketball on the roll. An exhibition game played already. Colgate this coming weekend.

Should be a good season. Syracuse has a new 7′ 2″ center. He’s rough. In the learning stage. If Boeheim can bring him around, it could be a spectacular season.

Saw my heart doctor yesterday. Got the results of all the tests I have taken the past two weeks. All negative. Everything ok.

I still tire and gasp, however.

The only thing left is my weight. I have gained 30 pounds over the past 1.5 years. I start the diet tomorrow.

I intended to early vote today. Had a feeling the polls might be closed on Sunday. They are closed. In fact, early voting ended yesterday.

No problem, I will vote Tuesday.

The quality of the man. Trump showed what he is made of again yesterday. Note that I do not say Hillary is without sin.

There was an altercation in the audience at a Trump rally in Reno. Someone shouted “gun!” The secret Service jumped on Trump and pulled him off the stage. Trump returned a few minutes later.

There was no gun. There was yelling between a non Trump person and Trump supporters that appeared could get out of hand. No one was arrested.

At Trump’s next rally, Trump people claimed it was an assassination attempt…..that Trump had survived an assassination attempt.

Pure fantasy.

Trump many times reminds me of Hitler in the 1930s. With regard to the phoney assassination attempt, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels was Hitler’s Propaganda Minister. Goebbels used to say if you tell a lie enough times, the people will believe it.

Back to the Key West Rotary History. What follows is installment 7.

My retelling of the Rotary’s history is a rendition of Key West history. Rotarians where community persons. Involved. The two histories run parallel.

Still 1925.

At the December 3 weekly Rotary meeting, developer Malcolm Meacham spoke. Meacham had recently purchased a large portion of Key West, including the airport.

Meacham developed Key West’s first airport. Meacham Field. Today, Key West International Airport.

Passenger service between Key West and Havana has been in the news recently. Pan American World Airways began passenger service from Meacham Field to Havana on January 16, 1928.

The next Rotary meeting was a week later on December 10. Guests were the Monroe County High School football team and their coach Peter Christiansen. Floyd “Diz” Roberts was team captain.

The team had only recently been organized. Rotary members George Perpall and Captain John Maher were leaders in organizing the team.

The Christmas Eve day meeting was not special. The regular meeting fell on that date. The smallest attendance ever at a meeting was noted. Understandably.

The primary topic discussed was the opening of the Overseas Highway. What we take for granted opened January 25, 1928.

Recall how the impact of the Overseas Highway was stressed in an earlier installment. The cry was plan for that which the highway would bring.

Florida was experiencing a land boom in the 1920s. The concept of a highway from Miami to Key West introduced. Since its 1928 formal opening, much has occurred. Including the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.

Today’s U.S. 1 has been redeveloped and refurbished. Including the wood bridges left after Flagler’s Railroad failed which were replaced in the 1980s with modern bridges. Ferry connections eliminated.

The Christmas Eve meeting ended with the members exchanging Merry Christmas and Happy New Year greetings.

Enjoy your Sunday!



One of the greatest Final Four basketball games last night. Villanova beating North Carolina 77-74.

The last 13.5 seconds everything! An off balance long 3 by North Carolina to tie the game. A 3 pointer attempt by Villanova with 4.7 seconds left. The ball scoring at the buzzer. Villanova the winner!

I stayed up late watching the game. Exciting!

Worked on tonight’s blog talk radio show yesterday afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting topics. Starting of course with some Final Four basketball. Including my Syracuse.

Then a new Smell Dating website, this week’s KONK Life column re the failure of education in the U.S., the gentleman’s A, New York City taxi drivers ejaculating on passengers.

Also, Saudi Arabia to execute homosexuals, Trump and abortion, GMO labeling battle continues, millionaires leaving France in fear of Muslims, Austin now requiring kids’ lemonade stands to be licensed, etc., a hospice CEO telling nurses to hasten the deaths of patients, and more.

Join me at 9 tonight my time. Fast moving and exciting.

Began last night with an early repast at Martin’s Happy Hour. Brie, tuna, scallops, and stone crabs. Returned home ready to watch the game.

This morning’s Key West Citizen’s This Date in History carried three items worthy of mention.

The first concerns Katherine Harris. Florida Secretary of State during the Bush-Gore recount. She was born this date in 1957. I have always thought she did not play fair during the recount.

Key West Fire Chief Bum Farto was to appear in court this date in 1976 to be sentenced for drug dealing. He never showed up. Disappeared. Never to be seen again. A Jimmy Hoffa scenario?

Key West loves Harry Truman and Harry Truman loved Key West. On this date in 1969, Harry and Bess left Key West for the final time. Their last Key West vacation.

Enjoy your day!


I enjoyed last evening’s talk by Lou Harris tremendously. He was the final speaker in the 2015 Friends of the Key West Library Speakers Series. Harris is 94. He has been a part of American history. He is respectfully known today as the Dean of American Pollsters.

Harris was an intimate of former Presidents. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. He shared some Johnson quirks. Humorous. He knew Joe Kennedy very well.

He decried today’s pollsters. They give he who is paying the bill what they want. Not necessarily the truth. Romney being an example. He sees Hillary as the next President. However, the e mails will be a problem for her. He thought Elizabeth Warren would be a more exciting candidate.

Harris recognized the growing strength/power of women. They are rapidly become leaders. Simply because they are better equipped to handle problems.

Education a problem. Our children not getting a proper education. Unless remedied, it could lead to the United States becoming the biggest banana republic ever. Also, children cannot learn if 16 percent go to school hungry.

He was clear that racial problems must be fixed.

He damned corporate America.

The evening was a pleasurable experience for me.

I was with June hudson. We stopped at La Concha after the talk for a drink. Ran into Aaron and Karen. Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Did some sataki.

On the way to our cars, it started raining. Pouring a better description. We ducked into the Chart Room till the rain stopped. It poured all night also. It is still raining heavy as I write. Strange because we are no where close to the rainy season.

Met Louis Snow for the first time at the Chart Room. Snow is a retired attorney from Skaneateles, N.Y. Home also of my friends Dan and Lisa Reardon. He knows them.

Snow is a frequent visitor to Key West. His present trip for 6-8 weeks.

I hope we run into each other again this trip. I would enjoy sharing war stories with an attorney who practiced in some of the same court rooms as I did.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me. The topics interesting.

Topics such as Russia giving Denmark a nuclear warning, Andorra becoming the new place for money to be laundered, a police impersonator who had the misfortune of pulling over a real cop, a woman who was convicted of killing her child and had served 20 plus years being released because the proof against her was grossly unreliable, the Phoenix Zoo discovering after two years that a two year old bear was a female and not male, and more.

Another morning where I have to hustle. I have a late morning appointment with my dermatologist. A routine six month check up.

Enjoy your day!



From day one this blog has been primarily about my life in Key West. Since the fall has kept me home, my life is how I feel, etc. No bars, restaurants or dancing girls.

I now have a black eye! Started coming out yesterday. A beauty! I don’t remember the last time I had one. The cuts on the side of my eye still there. However, healing.

My back started hurting yesterday. I have had a bad back for years. Whether the fall caused my back to go out or it was just time again, I do not know. I do know it hurts like hell! Not sciatica this time. Pain confined to the lower lumbar region.

I bled the most from my lip. A scab remains where it was cut. I think the cut was good size. I cannot see it because of the scab.

I look like shit. However, I will be staying home so few will see me.

I am an expert on sore backs. Except for the sciatica one. A couple of Beefeaters has always helped relieve the pain. I am going to Beefeaters at noon. Two good drinks before lunch. Even if it does not relieve the back pain for a while, I am guaranteed to feel good.

I have no food. Called Anna. Gave her an abbreviated grocery list. She is picking things up for me.

Saturday night at home will not be bad. Syracuse plays Duke at 7. On ESPN so I will have no difficulty getting the game on TV. Probably enjoy a Beefeater or two during the game.

Duke is #4 in the country. Duke is a 14.5 favorite. I expect Syracuse to lose. I expected them to lose last week and they won! Who knows.

Years ago there was a movie about the gang that could not shot straight. The House of Representatives is a gang that cannot shot straight. They play politics with Homeland Security while we have threats of ISIS and soldiers being killed and wounded yet in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our country is disjointed. One solution is to vote the bums out who are playing games with our safety. Simple to say. Hard to accomplish. They are gerrymandered, locked in.

One further comment. Washington does not understand what is going on in the rest of the country. If they did, they would not be playing these games. Or, maybe they would. For some, the hatred for Obama is so deep they know no other way to legislate than to obstruct.

Enjoy your day!


Key West has a Tree Commission. Not strange. Key West has a commission for everything. Talk about mini managing!

The Tree Commission came into being in 1971. It’s sole purpose at the time was to stop the paving of green areas. Since that time, the Commission’s power has grown. Today the Commission regulates all kinds of trees on public and private property. Things like branch removal, crown cleaning/thinning, and crown reduction.

Is the Commission a good thing? I do not know. What I do know is that every time a friend has received a letter from the Tree Commission, he/she was upset. Very upset!

I went to Don’s Place at noon to watch the Syracuse/Pitt game. I knew I could not get it on my home TV. Don’s Place could not either. Toni helped looking for channel numbers. The bartender was helpful. However no Syracuse/Pitt game.

I returned home immediately. I do not enjoy day time drinking.

My recollection told me the game might be available on the internet. It was. I sat at my desk and was able to enjoy 3/4s of the game.

I was impressed with watching the game on the internet. For real. You can get the picture to cover the whole screen. It seemed I was closer to the action than on TV. By at least 50 percent, crazy as it sounds.

Syracuse lost 65-61. Defense fair. Offense terrible. A continuing problem. Syracuse has difficulty getting the ball in the basket. Cooney scored zero points. His back was out . You could see it. He took very few shots. Normally he plays the entire game. Not last night. Probably less than half.

I am anxious for the season to be over.

Long Time TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford was in the keys yesterday. Tavernier. Kathie is also a wine producer. She was at the Winn-Dixie signing bottles of her Scheid Family Wines. More than 1,000 in attendance.

I misspoke when I said she was in the keys yesterday. She actually spends much time in the keys. She and husband Frank have a home in the Key Largo area which they have enjoyed for years.

I finished reading Maria Laurino’s The Italian Americans.

The first half was fascinating and informative. The second half not so much as I was somewhat familiar with the events covered.

Two new things I learned from the book. Both deplorable.

In the late 1800s, mob lynchings of Italians was common in New Orleans, Tampa and the south generally.

I knew that during World War II, those of Japanese descent were interned in camps for the duration. I did not know that Italians and Germans were also. They were interned and/or restricted.

Those who were interned were Italians who had lived in the U.S. for many years but had not been naturalized. Others were merely restricted. Which meant they could not go into certain areas and down certain streets. They were subjected to a curfew and were required to carry papers identifying themselves.

Joe DiMaggio’s parents were restricted for the entire war. Even though Joe and his three brothers all fought for the U.S. in the war.

Larry Smith is a dynamo. Loved by everyone, though frequently criticized. A musical entertainer of much talent.

Tomorrow night Larry is the featured speaker at the Friends of the Key West Library. The event is at St. Paul’s Church at 6. Larry is going to talk about the kinds of music that have influenced his career as a pianist and composer.

Go! Larry is always enjoyable. I plan on being there.

The sun is out and shinning. Key West is in for a second consecutive day of warm weather. Somewhere in the mid 70s.

Enjoy your Sunday!




Valentine’s Day unquestionably a day of love. Key West restaurants will be overbooked. It is the evening lovers dress and are on the town.

The Day is thought to have been derived from several saints named Valentinus. Many believe only one saint was responsible. St. Valentine of Rome. The Middle Ages locked in the romantic aspect. Courtly love became the vogue.

Certain  countries decry Valentine’s Day. Muslim nations. The Day is considered anti-Islamic. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Criminal in certain of these countries. Illegal to sell candy or flowers or anything suggesting the Day. Even items colored red.

There is always a new twist to a special day. The Bronx Zoo came up with one in 2011. Still selling. Thousands have bought the item. Rather than candy and flowers, adopt for your love a cockroach. A Madagascar hissing cockroach.

The cost $10. The roach is not delivered. Rather a colorful certificate acknowledging the adoption.

In addition to loved ones, mothers in law and ex-wives are popular recipients.

I took two Civil War courses in college. Wrote two papers. One about the Presidential election of 1864 involving Lincoln and McClellan. The other, I cannot recall.

The courses turned me on to the Civil War. I have since read many books involving the subject.

Last night, the Key West Art and Historical Society opened a special exhibit involving the Civil War at the Custom House. I attended.

The exhibition was limited. Small. Informative, however. I was made aware of some things I had not seen before and/or did not have knowledge concerning.

My hometown Utica is in the Mohawk Valley. Many major battles of the Revolution were fought there. A U.S. Naval vessel served to blockade Key West waters during the Civil War. The U.S.S. Mohawk. I assume named after my home valley.

Fort Zach Taylor was the Union’s primary fortress in Key West. Equipped with ten inch cannons. I was surprised to learn the cannons had a range of 3 miles.

The front page of the New York Herald dated April 15, 1865 was displayed. The day after Lincoln’s assassination. Yellowed with brown edges. Glass enclosed for preservation purposes.

The newspaper reported that at the same time Lincoln was shot, Secretary of State Seward while in bed at home was stabbed twice in the neck and twice in the chest. Initially, a conspiracy was thought. Apparently there was no connection between the two attacks.

Seward was the leading Republican contender for the Presidential nomination heading into the 1860 convention. However, Lincon defeated him.

Seward grew up in Auburn, N.Y. Near Syracuse. I tried many cases in Auburn. An old city that never got made over. My friend Dan was born in Auburn. He opted not to be a politician. He is a restaurateur. His business sits on Skaneateles Lake.

Shirrel Rhoades is my publisher. He is also President of the Key West Art and Historical Society. I ran into him at the exhibit. We chatted a bit.

Then to the Chart Room. I had a terrific time! Two old friends and one new. Carol from New Hampshire, Ginger from Memphis, and Rosie who is from Memphis also. Carol and Ginger are actually snowbirds. They have been visiting Key West for many years two months at a time. Rosie visiting.

The ladies were good company. I enjoyed being with them. Rosie leaves today. Carol and Ginger are here into March. I hope I run into them again.

Sheila and David stopped in. Sheila is on the staff of the Custom House. She had spent some time there with me earlier in the evening. Rosie will have to wait till next year.

Syracuse/Duke at 6 this evening. Playing at Syracuse. Duke a 7 point favorite. I suspect Syracuse will lose by more. An upset is possible, however.

Weather continues to be Key West cold. The high today 64. This evening in the mid 50s.

Enjoy your day!



God is good!

Aurora Phoenix recently celebrated her five month birthday. Yes, five months. A wonder she is alive.

Her parents are Key West entertainer Rock Solomon and Michele Musel.

Aurora was born three months premature. Weighed less than a pound. She was not expected to make it through the first night. Within two weeks of her birth, she had heart surgery and 11 blood transfusions. She was kept alive at certain periods via a breathing machine. Her hospital stay was 100 days.

You say wow! She is a miracle baby! There is more. Aurora was a twin. An identical twin. Her twin sister Aria did not make it.

Aurora had PTTS, a rare condition that affects only identical twins and which had claimed her sister Aria’s life. The doctors thought Aurora would be blind. Via special treatment, the problem is receding and it is now believed Aurora will not suffer any loss of vision.

Aurora continues to need specialized medical care. Her parents take her once a week to Miami.

God bless!

I wrote early afternoon. Next week’s KONK Life column. The National Football League Tax Exempt. An interesting portion is the revelation of what motivated Congress in the first instanced to grant the tax exemption. Old fashion horse trading.

This week’s KONK Life column Greece In The Driver’s Seat was posted on my Facebook site this morning.

Later in the afternoon, Sloan was over. We worked on this and that. Her technical assistance is invaluable. I need her. I am from that generation which is not computer literate.

My Saturday night was typical. Tavern ‘n Town and Bobby Nesbitt. Not many people. I sat at the bar and read while humming to whatever Bobby was singing.

I ate a little more, also. Actually, a lot more! Salmon, spinach and risotto. Plus, two rolls. I almost went for desert. Key Lime pie. Better judgment prevailed, however.

In between Sloan and Tavern ‘n Town, I watched the Syracuse/Pitt game. Syracuse lost 83-77. A close game all the way. Decided in the last 3-4 minutes. I thought Syracuse played exceptionally well.

A small note of interest popped up on the internet last night. An announcement by the NCAA that a 30 second clock would be experimented with in the NIT. Apparently the numbers are not as good as previously re persons watching college basketball. The NCAA wants to make the games faster and supposedly more exciting. I learned from the article also that girls’ college basketball is played with a 30 second clock.

Last week, I mentioned an unusual sunset. The sun behind a bank of gray/black clouds. Radiating through in a reddish/pink color. I was not the only one taken by the sunset. This week’s Conch Color ran several photos of the sunset taken by various Key West persons. Amongst them,  Carmelo Vitale, Amy Culver, and Vicki Gordon.

Money abounds in some quarters. It was announced that China’s Sunshine Insurance Group was buying the Baccarat Hotel in New York City. Paying $2 million plus for each room, the highest price ever paid on a per room basis for a New York hotel.

After renovations, the cheapest room will be $900 per night. Not a recession figure

Starwood has contracted to manage the hotel.

Brian Williams was an asshole. The only way to describe his statements. What to do? Hillary Clinton did the same thing. The Senator from Connecticut lied as to his military service. No punishment was involved in either case. The public was quick to forget.

Does his being a news announcer make a difference? I do not know.

Generally, people who misspeak have excellent credentials without the lie. Why do it?

A birthday party this afternoon! For my dear friend Jenna.

Enjoy your Sunday!




Raul Castro announced yesterday that a new relationship with the United States was conditioned on the U.S. giving back Guantanamo and paying reparations for 50 years of separation from the U.S. I think we should throw in the Empire State Building, also.

It appears Cuba may not want to dance.

Guantanamo actually belongs to Cuba. We were only leasing it. When trouble started, we kept it. A legal argument may exist. Reparations, forget.

Castro Cuba was and still is friends with Russia. The U.S. and Russia keep making moves against each other. Especially, economically. It could be Castro doing his friend Putin a favor.

A great evening last night! I was out with the Reardons. Dan and Lisa. They own a restaurant in Skaneateles, NY and are snowboards. They spend two months a year in Key West.

We started at the Chart Room with a drink. Then across the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner.

The Hot Tin Roof was packed. The streets loaded with tourists. Both signs the season has definitely arrived.

The elected officials who run Key West have a propensity to do stupid things. The season is upon us and two main blocks in downtown Key West are under repair. One on Duval, the other on Simonton. Both blocked off 24 hours a day. I had to make two different detours within four blocks of the Pier House. So did everyone else. Which added to the traffic and aggravation situation.

Termites have always been a problem in Key West. Homes are tented and bombed to do away with the little devils. They are called drywood termites.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported another type termite in Key West and the lower keys. The Asian subterranean termite.

This termite does not get its beginnings in the wood of a building. It generally starts under the ground. It needs dirt. Then it moves up into a building. Tents are of no assistance. Pesticides must be injected into the dirt. The termite is reported to be more dangerous and damage causing than the dogwood.

The Asian subterranean termite arrived on Stock Island sometime in the 1990s via a boat. It has since traveled to New Town and up the keys as far as Big Coppitt.

One thing about living on a sub-tropical island is that we have a lot of bugs. All kinds. However and to the credit of those who deal with them, a good job is done keeping the bad guys under control.

Enjoy your day!