Two years ago, I wrote an article for KONK Life involving Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Merlo was the love of Williams’ life. The relationship tender and then tumultuous.

Tennessee Williams’ birthday is being celebrated this month. Many activities. One last night at Studios of Key West. His Words and Letters. Words and letters written to Williams’ closest female friend, Maria Britneva. Substantially involving the Williams/Merlo relationship.

Merlo’s influence on Williams is reflected in the fact that Williams wrote his finest works during their time together. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Rose Tattoo, and Night of the Iguana.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A production well done.

Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was playing across the street at the Key West Theater while I was enjoying His Words and Letters.

Prior to the Williams’ show, I enjoyed La Concha’s happy hour while browsing the Sunday newspapers.

One of the items mentioned in yesterday’s Key West Lou video on Facebook involved outhouses. Details immaterial here. Final video comment was that Hemingway had the first indoor plumbing in Key West. Put in his home on Whitehead when he purchased it in 1931.

Bad day at Black Rock. Two basketball giants felled at the NCAA Tournament. Louisville and Duke.

So it goes

Congressional hearings begin today re Russia’s interfering in a U.S. Presidential election. Not the first time. Occurred once before. The election of 1796.

John Adams and Alexander Hamilton running for President. Great Britain and France had just concluded a war against each other. Bad feelings rampant in each country.

For some reason, U.S. support was important to each nation. John Adams, with the support of George Washington, backed Great Britain. Hamilton, France. Hamilton’s position was that France’s assistance during the Revolution mandated U.S. support.

France threatened open warfare with the United States if U.S. support was not forthcoming.

Adams was elected President. No war occurred.

I mentioned yesterday that Florida reported the screwworm problem was no more. A tried and true process had defeated the maggot type insects. The release of sterile screwworm flies. One hundred forty million since October.

Jean a female loggerhead turtle found sick in December. Taken to Marathon’s Turtle Hospital. She was impacted.

The hospital named her Jean. Cared for Jean till friday. A recovered Jean was released back into the ocean at Sombrero Beach.

Enjoy your day!




Recall Trump’s words during the campaign…..We are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

Government contract notices listed on a federal website ask for proposals for construction of the wall by March 29. The wall to be 30 feet high.

Trump’s budget as sent to Congress requests monies this year. Tax dollar monies to commence construction of the wall. Described as a down payment. $2.6 billion.

Allocated between a pedestrian wall and vehicle barrier. Broken down, $6.5 million a mile for the pedestrian fence and $1.8 million a mile for the vehicle barrier.

Estimated cost for the entire project vary depending who is being asked. Anywhere from $12-21 billion.

I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall. Trump has changed his tune. We are going to build and pay for it and then pursue Mexico for reimbursement.

Good luck!

The Syracuse basketball season ended yesterday. Syracuse lost to Ole Miss 85-80. I’m glad it’s over. Most of the games were painful to watch.

I watched yesterday’s game. Same story. We did not have it together. Took forever to make the first three pointer. Defense not what it should have been. Etc.

Villanova lost! Wow! Winner of the Final Four last year. Number 1 seed overall this year. Wisconsin beat Villanova 65-62. Such is the beauty of the NCAA Tournament. You never know when a lesser team is going to be up enough to beat a favorite.

Villanova was my choice for #1. Saw the team as the big winner.

Dee took me to dinner last night at Berlin’s. Two pound Maine lobsters. Delicious!!!

Dee just returned from Bali. Interesting stories to tell.

The William Hackley saga continues. His 8 day clock was not working. Would run down before 8 days up and was not keeping accurate time. He brought it to be repaired.

The verbiage immediately brought to mind 5 Day Deodorant Pads. Such was the name of a deodorant that hit the market in the early 1950s. Small circular pads soaked with deodorant.

I was in high school when 5 Day became popular. Used it. Did I use a deodorant before? Don’t recall. I do not think many, if any, used deodorant till the early 1950s.

Did we all have body odor before deodorant became popular? I do not recall.

Another interesting question was whether people did not daily bathe back then. Otherwise, why the 5 Day name? My mother made sure I took a bath every day. We did not have a shower.

The Studios of Key West has an interesting show scheduled for 8 tonight. I hope to make it.

It will be a reading and discussion of Tennessee Williams’ love letters.

Williams was gay. Had several lovers over the years. One was Frank Merlo. I wrote a column for KONK Life two years ago re the relationship. I thought Merlo to be the greatest love of Williams’ life. Williams wrote his best works during the 14 years they lived together in Williams’ Key West home and a New York City apartment.

The greatest love theory was mine. I am curious what I will hear this evening.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the recent battle with screwworms has been won. The flesh eating maggot problem eradicated.  Florida’s deer population, among others, saved. Especially the little deer living in Big Pine and on Little Deer Key.

Credit be given where credit due, Florida is on top these things.

Two significant Key West events March 25.

The last season tour of the Key West Cemetery. Three separate tours that day. Make a reservation. Always crowded. Attend if you never have. The history of Key West reflected on the stones. Also, some interesting quips by the deceased. My favorite is…..I told you I was sick.

Equality Florida is having its 20th Annual Gala. From 5:30 to 8:00. At the Gardens Hotel. A perfect venue for the event.

Equality Florida is Florida’s largest and most powerful gay rights organization.

Enjoy your Sunday!




Racial discrimination an in your face item today. Trump’s attempts to limit/stop Muslim immigration an example.

Today, it is Muslims. At another time, the Chinese. The year 1888. On this date in 1888, the U.S. passed a law forbidding Chinese laborers from entering America. Note the word “laborers.” Merchants, extra smart persons and seafarers not included.

California was the tender spot. Over 100,000 had come in. The Anglo cry was they were taking up the white man’s jobs and causing wages to be low.

By 1888, some Chinese had become successful. They owned and operated laundries and restaurants. Both considered women’s work up to that time.

The U.S. continued to discriminate against and exclude laboring Chinese till 1943. The middle of World War II. The Chinese were our ally and such blatant racism could not be permitted to continue.

Spent a little time yesterday reading about turtles and the Florida Keys. A tale of love.

Sloan came by mid afternoon. I called her. Needed her. I wanted to improve on my new Go Live videos on Facebook. Two problems. Quickly resolved.

Big night! Jenna at Berlin’s. We had not seen each other for several weeks. It was catch up time.

Jenna is absolutely amazing. Her professional life continues to develop. Her income accompanies the success.

She was excited I was doing FB videos. She was watching them. She quickly shared with me two things I could do to make the videos better. Love her!

Compared to Jenna, I am a rank amateur when it comes to social media, FB, video, etc.

She shared with me a recent exciting experience.

Jenna has been running the past year. I should be so thin! She has competed in several 5Ks. Comes in 1st or in the top 5.

She works out with Dante. Another thin creature. His abs pronounced.

Jenna ran a short video on FB of her and Dante standing waiting to run. Eleven thousand views! Wow! Even she was surprised. She could not figure out why the video became instantaneously hot.

Would I love to have 11,000 views!

Bria stopped by. Lovely! Enjoyed her singing afterwards.

Tennessee Williams time.

This afternoon at 2 at the Tennessee Williams Gallery at 513 Truman, a talk about the making of The Rose Tattoo. Starred Anna Mangani and Burt Lancaster. Filmed in Key West in a house 2 doors from Williams’ home. The movie based on a Tennessee Williams story.

One week from today at The Studios of Key West, a presentation involving Williams and Frank Merlo. Williams and Merlo were lovers. They lived together in Key West and elsewhere for years. I believe their love letters the basis of the show.

I wrote about the Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo relationship in an article in KONK Life three years ago. The emphasis was on the influence that Merlo had on Williams life and writing.

The State of Florida took like a 100 years to complete the reconstruction of North Roosevelt Boulevard. The State screwed up re the cross walks. How to long to spell out. If you live in Key West, you know.

Too many accidents at the crosswalks. Serious injuries the result.

The State has been screwing around about correcting the situation. Nothing definite from them.

City officials are trying again. The State has to come in and fix. It is a State highway. Even if the State agrees, I can tell you it will be an additional 2-3 years to get to it because of funding. Not in the budget or proposed budget.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. On this date 1950, the President arrived in Key West for a one month vacation. A working one. At the Little White House.

I am fortunate to live on this island. Warm most of the time. Experienced enough snow while living up north.

New York City got hit by a major snow storm in 1888. Began this date. Forty inches in 36 hours. The City was isolated for days. An example being that messages to Boston had to be routed through England.

Here I go again with robots and autonomous intelligence. It is not sneaking upon us. It has. And no one is talking about where those human employees being replaced by robots, etc. will work.

The issue is not bringing jobs back from Europe, Asia and Mexico. Such an issue 20 years ago. Over the next 3-4 years, it will be the robots taking over.

And no one talks about it. Not even Trump who professes to know everything.

California plans to permit no driver vehicles on its highways by the end of the year. No steering wheel, no pedals, no driver.

A biggie beginning at 5:30 today. The NCAA Selection Show. I do not expect Syracuse to be selected.

Enjoy your Sunday!



The Chart Room last night was mostly friends. Some old, some recent, some new.

I walked into John, Sheila, Jean and Joe, Tom and Clare, Nanette and Jean Louis. Later, David, Anna and Everett, and Paul.

Sheila, the love of my life. Always happy. Joe and Jean smiling and chatting. Waiting for the Alabama game saturday. Jean will jump off a building should Alabama lose.

Tom and Clare from Aqua a couple of weeks ago. Tom a retired lawyer. Wife Clare, a former teacher and now PhD statistician. Tom and Clare were with friends from Florida’s New Port Richey. Nanette and Jean-Louis.

Nanette a retired middle school principal. Jean-Louis an energy consultant.

Nanette brought to mind a Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy musical film from the 1930s. No, No, Nanette.

Chatted a bit with everyone. I was waiting for Paul. I met Paul at Giorgio’s home the night some of us watched the Michigan game last week. Paul is retired Naval Intelligence. A good time to talk with Paul in view of the intelligence political items on the front burner in Washington. I was not disappointed in our talk. Enlightening.

Saw David at the end of the bar as I was paying the bill. Seated next to him were Anna and Everett from monday night at Aqua. Their boat named Anna Cabana. Nice people.

David, Anna and David Alabama fans also.

Headed home. Stopped at Roostica on the way for lemoncello wings. Lucked out. Sat next to a bocce opponent. His name escapes me. A tough adversary. He loved to roll first. Long. Ninety nine percent of the time, his ball was right on the polina or mere inches away.

Things that surprise me. The number of people familiar with smelts. I wrote about smelts yesterday. My favorite Christmas fish. Many responded. Many aware of smelts. I received an education re where they are available to be harvested. One spot is western New York State. I did not know.

One of yesterday’s items that I did not have room to get to involved Richard Nixon. On January 4, 1974, Nixon refused to hand over tapes subpoenaed by the Watergate Committee. It was the beginning of the end for Nixon. He resigned eight months later.

Another item held over to today involves the Marathon Turtle Hospital. A unique rare facility.

Fifteen juvenile turtles were air lifted from Cape Cod to Marathon. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. An endangered species.

The baby turtles had pneumonia. Brought on from cold Cape Cod waters. Weighed anywhere from 2-10 pounds.

Today in Keys History carries a photograph of the ground breaking for a Masonic Temple in July 1950. The building today The Studios of Key West.

A three story building. Where did the Masons go? Is there a formal Masonic Temple in Key West somewhere else? I don’t think so. Surprising.

William Hackley day. On this date in 1856, he was up and raring to go at 7 in the morning. Rain coming in  from the northwest. Hackley wrote, “It is so dark now in the office that I can scarcely see to write.”

No electricity in those days. Everything by candle light, if possible.

Candle light tough to work by. I recall one of the Key West hurricanes where I was stuck in the house for several days without electricity. Candles only. To this day, I cannot understand how Lincoln studied law by candle light. Reading tough!

Skaneateles restaurateur Dan Reardon back in town. A snowbird. Two to three months a year. A die hard Syracuse fan. We will be watching some games together.

Syracuse played Miami last night. Syracuse won 70-55. Game not televised.

I am pleased Syracuse won the game and in good stead. Miami came into the game 11-2, Syracuse 8-6. News reports state Syracuse’s fabled defense finally worked, the players crashed the boards and their offense was effective.

Pitt saturday at noon.

Roger Kostmayer is a Key West resident. I have never met him. However from his letters to the editor have come to know him. I would describe him a walking conscience.

In a recent letter to KONK E-Blast, he wrote: “Without warning or debate, in the dark of the night behind closed doors, the Republican caucus effectively killed the Office of Congressional Ethics, an act of extraordinary hypocrisy.”

Enjoy your day!
























I’ve been wandering around not into Christmas. The Christmas feeling never arrived for me. Till last night!

Larry Smith’s Christmas show at The Studios of Key West. Outstanding! His best yet!

I have been walking around since with Christmas tunes and carols repeating in my head. Even visions of sugarplums!

I am into Christmas!

Even more so after tonight. Liz and I are attending St. Paul’s Christmas event. Another winner!

Key West is dead. Few people on the streets and in the restaurants. The week before Christmas always quiet.

Then comes Christmas evening! Key West will be jam packed! No room at the inn! Always so.

We have  een blessed with fantastic weather. Low 80s. Dry. Great!

I am into Christmas gifts today. Shopping, etc.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Occasionally, the best laid plans of mice and men go astray.

It did for me last night.

Tuesday night is my blog talk radio show. Final preparation and fine tuning in the afternoon.

Nine came and I could not connect with Blog Talk Radio. Something wrong at their end. Frustrating.

Material put together for the show cannot necessarily be used next week. Generally stale.

I wish to briefly share two items from the show with you this morning. They were topics #s 1 and 2.

The first had to do with airport screening. Those wonderful people who prod us, check our bags, etc. at security in airports can make some extra money. The Drug Enforcement Agency pays a finder’s fee/commission to them if they discover large sums of money carried by a traveler.

An incentive for abuse here.

This is not TSA performing security duties. It is fishing on behalf of another federal agency. Not what TSA was established for.

The Inspector General of the Justice Department recently issued a report critical of the activity. What will come of it, I do not know.

Every nation seems to owe China money. The United States, $1.7 trillion.

Ecuador owed China $7 billion. China said pay up. Ecuador said we do not have it. China said ok, then give us 3 million acres of the Amazon Rainforest. An even swap. Why? The rainforest has a huge untapped oil reserve.

Assume China calls in the U.S. debt. We could not come up with $1.7 trillion. Would China take the Grand Canyon? The Empire State Building? Even better, all of Manhattan?

I had a 5 o’clock meeting yesterday downtown. Not the time to travel. The return trip to Key Haven horrendous.

Traffic backed up from Grinnell for the Palm St. bridge and the Boulevard. I went over White hoping to have an easier time on Truman. Traffic backed up to the Truman/White intersection.

Too many cars. Too many people.

The powers to be created the situation. Let them now come up with a cure. I doubt they can. Somebody must in the next few years.

Larry Smith is doing it again!

The Larry Smith Quartet will perform sunday night at 8 at The Studios of Key West. A major performance!

A jam session consisting of Larry’s original compositions.

Appearing also will be Dan Brubeck. Dan is the son of Key West icon Dave Brubeck. Dan is an accomplished musician in his own right. His drumming talent recognized world wide.

An event! Don’t miss it!

Enjoy your day!


I enjoyed a few drinks with David last night at the Chart Room.

While we were talking, a couple approached. Tim and Maureen from Tennessee to say hello. We met for the first time last March.

Our conversation revealed we had mutual Key West friends.

Nice people. Glad they stopped by. They are Key Westers in the making. Told them to buy a house!

Prior to the Chart Room, I had a doctor visit at 4. Then a drink at Square 1. Bocce friend and Square 1 chef Jay came by to chat. He leaves today or tomorrow for Park City, Utah to snowboard.

A stop followed at Studios of Key West. The new art gallery is fantastic! Loved it! The work being shown Martiini, the artist who works with metal. Many of his pieces large and magnificent. As were the prices. Wow!

I make the money observation because I purchased two of Martini’s works about 20 years ago. Large pieces. In the $200-300 range. None even close to that price range today.

A work by Christine Cordone was hanging. A lovely water color.

Then walked across the street to listen to Judy Blume speak on behalf of the Friends of Key West Library. The line was long. Wrapped around the block as far as the eye could see. I was not in the mood to wait in line. Skipped Judy Blume.

Walked Duval a bit. The new CVS in place of Fast Buck Freddie’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Yet, no where Fast Buck Freddie’s windows. A part of Key West lost forever.

Ran into Guy deBoer. He was sitting in front of the cigar store on Duval a few doors past St. Paul’s. He was writing today’s E-News Blast.

Earlier, I was driving down Duval towards the Pier House. A tourist woman on a bicycle in front of me. In front of her, an electric cart of tourists. Tourists are easy to recognize.

We had to stop for the light at Caroline. The woman on the bike went around to the side of the electric cart. She proceeded to berate the hell out of the driver. No question, she was mad!

She was telling him he came within a foot of her as he drove past. I smiled. A foot is a lot of room on Duval. Especially around 5 in the late afternoon.

The World Almanac Section in this morning’s Key West Citizens notes  the British burned down the Library of Congress and its 3,000 volumes in 1814. A new Library to be built. No books, however. The World Almanac indicated the government purchased Thomas Jefferson’s library of 6,487 books.

The reason for the purchase not mentioned.

Congress authorized the purchase because Jefferson was broke. He laid in bed dying a bankrupt in effect. Congress properly felt an obligation to one of our nation’s founders. Ergo, the purchase.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. Interesting topics. Cutting edge. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have to hustle. Back to the doctor’s at 8:30. Fasting blood work.

Enjoy your day!



Bicycle riding a problem in Key West. A problem for bike riders, cars and pedestrians. Anyone who says it is not does not, does not know what he/she is talking about.

Note the State of Florida gives Key West a ranking as the top Florida city for fatal crashes involving bikes. ‘Nuff said.

Key West has hired a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. His name Chris Hamilton. He comes to us from Virginia where he was involved with transportation issues. Says he has been visiting Key West for 20 years. He is now living on Stock Island and rides his bike to work at Habana Plaza on Flagler every day. No problems.

Hamilton claims it is a joy to bike ride in Key West. He always feel safe.

Respectfully, Hamilton does not know what he is talking about.

The bike problem is not on Stock Island or Flagler. It is primarily in Old Town and on Northern Boulevard. I suggest he ride his bike on Simonton from Caroline to Front late afternoons between 5 and 6. Duval in the afternoon. The length of Caroline, also.

It is an obstacle course. for vehicle drivers trying to avoid hitting tourists bike riding. Includes families with young kids and seniors who have not been on a bike in 50 years.

The problem is not with local bike riders. It is with the tourists. Don’t tell me there are not enough tourist bike riders to be a problem. Check the number of bicycles rented daily in Old Town.

I have a cold. I have not had one in years. A head cold. My fault. This has been a cold and wet week. I am on the anti-gravity treadmill five days a week. Raise a big sweat.

I immediately leave the building when I am done. Sweating away and no jacket. The car a 100 feet away. Normally, no problem. In this week’s cold, a big problem.

I deserve the sneezing and stuffed head I am undergoing this morning.

No treadmill for me today.

Immediately following the treadmill, I was at Lori’s getting a haircut. Still sweating.

Last night, a new experience. An English speaking opera at The Studios of Key West. A Thousand Splendid Suns. The lives of females in a Muslim country. Very subservient. Forcibly so.

The opera a work in progress. We only saw the first act. There is more to come at some time.

I went to learn about female life in an Arab nation. I learned nothing new. The ill treatment of women shown was what is already known by most. It was hard for me to follow the forceful singing. The sheer volume deafened the sound.

I am being critical, I guess. The story took too long to tell. I actually dropped off in sleep two times.

I compliment the Studios for offering this performance. Key West is bare of opera activity. I also compliment the performers. In spite of my negative comments.

Dinner followed at Hot Tin Roof.

Kissing is the title of this week’s KONK Life column. A history of kissing. The article was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. It is also carried in today’s E-Blast.

I will not be doing my usual friday noon 15 minute radio interview with Don Riggs today.

Enjoy your day!


When I first started visiting Key West 26 years ago, the season was February 15 to the end of Easter week. Key West has come a long way! The season now almost year long.

The town was dead from January 1 to February 15. Then dead only to February 1. Now, January jumping. Part of the season.

The Proof of the pudding is this January. It started before Christmas and has not stopped. Tons of visitors.

The season is really here when locals have to call for a reservation. I went to Tavern ‘n Town last night for dinner. 6:15. Not a seat in the bar or in the bar area. I did not want to drive downtown because the problem would be the same.

I went to the hostess desk. I could hear one hostess saying to a couple an hour to hour and a half wait.


Fortunately, Tavern ‘n Town Restaurant Manager Marcus walked up. I quietly asked Marcus if he could help, pointing out there was no room at the bar. The hostess went to interrupt him. He gently put up his hand to her and me. The message was clear. He would take care of it. He did. I was taken to a lovely table in the new dining room.

I have lived in Key West long enough to know a reservation is required during season. It was my fault if I could not be seated. It was nice that Marcus recognized I was a regular customer. I eat at Tavern ‘n Town at least two nights a week. Sometimes, three.

Ran into Tino at Tavern ‘n Town. We hugged. He will be here a couple of weeks.

I am going to the opera tonight. At The studios of Key West. I have been to only one opera in my life. Did not enjoy it. Not understanding the language one of the problems.

Two reasons why I am going tonight. The opera is in English. Second, the topic interesting. Concerns two Arab ladies married to the same man in a Muslim country. The every day lives of the two ladies.

I am excited about the opera. There is much to learn about Muslim customs. The opera is titled A Thousand Splendid Suns.

My plan is to have dinner afterwards at Hot Tin Roof. I will call for a reservation.

My sole outing day wise yesterday was to use the anti-gravity treadmill. Dave using it also. Always good to see Dave.

I spent the afternoon at home being lazy.

Syracuse played Boston College last night. Syracuse won 60-42. Expected, but not certain this year.

Cold yesterday. Cold last night. Kept the heat on. Raining now. The day supposed to warm up. To around 75 degrees.

Enjoy your day!




Busy day yesterday. I was running behind in preparation for my blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Became necessary to miss the anti-gravity treadmill.

The day was spent researching and organizing tonight’s show. Interesting topics. The $1.3 billion Powerball Jackpot. That kind of money worthy of comment. My thoughts re Trump and the Muslim woman at the South Carolina rally, meat we eat no longer required to be labeled as to country of origin (Thank you, Congress), number of US bombs dropped on Muslims in 2015 together with numbers as to who hit, sunday’s no pants subway ride. and more.

The show is at 9 my time. A quick hard hitting half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Dinner at Roostica. Got the only empty seat in the house. At the bar. The place packed. It was obvious why. Snowbirds! They are back in droves. Could tell by the conversations around me. Happy campers all!

The football game one of the best ever! Two great teams! Alabama and Clemson met head on. Alabama winning 45-40. It was a pleasure watching from the comfort of my bed.

Mike Shield’s son passed on several months ago. He was cremated.  His ashes slowly cast into the ocean at the Simonton Pier sunday. By one of the visiting Tibetan monks.  A warm spiritual disposition.

I am going to complain. I want to attend an event at The Studios of Key West. The opera A Thousand Splendid Suns. Thursday at 5. Went to buy two tickets on The Studios’ website. Tickets not available via the internet elsewhere.

The experience a disaster. The website itself is too long and too complicated. Forget that. My complaint is specifically directed to ticket ordering. Everything is required short of college grades. Too much info and too much time involved. Again, I just wanted two tickets.

I finally paid for two via my Visa card. There is still a problem. One of the many questions asked the name of the attendees. Not marked with an asterisk requiring the names be provided. I left it blank. No one’s business. Too much information as the saying goes.

My computer receipt does not list two tickets in my name. It did have two blank spaces labeled attendees. I have this uncomfortable feeling I may have paid but there will be no record of it.

Cold and rainy this morning. Typical January.

Enjoy your day!