In my other life as an attorney, I had a case where my client’s big old tree was hanging over the neighbor’s property, roots causing his driveway to heave a bit, etc.

The neighbor wanted the tree removed. The heaving driveway was a good argument. My client was destined to lose.

Counsel were standing alone before the Bench. No jury. Merely argument.

Opposing counsel made a good argument why the tree should come down. I knew before hand such would be the case.

When preparing opposing papers, I recalled Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The closing stanza…..Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.

The lines were the basis of my argument. With three changes. I deleted the word “Poems” and replaced it with “Arguments.” I deleted “God” and replaced it with “Judge.” I deleted the word “make” and replaced it with “save.”

The new wording rhymed the same however…..Arguments are made by fools like me, / But only a Judge can save a tree.

I won. The tree survived. Joyce Kilmer the one who actually saved the tree.

Why Joyce Kilmer’s Trees this morning.

There is a 100 year old mahogany tree on Simonton. Across from the Gato Building. A huge branch hangs over the street. The branch has never been a problem. Until recently. The over hanging branch and a truck came into contact.

The truck had its roof ripped off. The truck the legal height. The branch illegal. Too low. No problem for 100 years. Now a problem. Cost Key West or its insurance company $9,000 for repairs to the truck.

Key West has a Tree Commission. The Commission wanted to cut the tree down. The public went crazy. Shouted a loud no!

The tree was saved. Legally it should have been cut down. However the public won out. A sign is going to be erected warning of the low hanging branch.

A popular result. One that will not prevent another accident from occurring, however. The City’s liability will then be two-fold.

The Kiss-In last night in front of the Custom House was a gigantic success. As reflected in the large front page photo in this morning’s Key West Citizen. The kissing looked good. Hundreds. Wish I could have been there. With a lady to kiss, of course.

My blog talk radio show was not aired last night. I could not connect with the broadcasting studio. Sloan tried also. She failed. We assume some technical problem at the studio end. I should know this morning. My apologies to all who tried to listen.

Had I known there would be technical difficulties, I would have been at the Kiss-In and later at Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol.

Dee called yesterday and invited me to Valentine’s Day dinner as her guest. The podcast show obviously interfered. We are scheduled to do it tonight. I look forward to being wined and dined by a much younger lady.

The Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor this date in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed.

In March, a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry was held in Key West. At the newly constructed Custom House. Then a federal building.

One month later in April, the U.S. invaded Cuba. The Spanish-American War began.

Loud, proud, patriotic marching music is always tied to John Phillip Sousa.  Tunes like Stars and Stripes Forever.

Sousa and his family arrived this date in 1925 from Havana. They checked into the Casa Marina where they were to spend a few days vacationing.

Enjoy your day!




Happy Valentine’s Day!

A day of love and affection.

Not in its beginnings.

There are several beginnings. The one most accepted has dark origins. Typical of ancient Rome. Fun and games were enjoyed.

Valentine’s Day had a predecessor. The Feast of Lupercalia. An annual event. February 13-15. In modern vernacular, men hit on women. By actually hitting them.

The men first sacrificed goats and dogs. The men bare assed. Young women were lined up bare assed. The men hit the women with the hides of the goats and dogs slain.

The young women willing participants.

The men and young women drunk during these activities.

The purpose of the beatings were to make the young women fertile.

Following the beatings, the names of the ladies were thrown in a jar. The men picked. The woman selected was then coupled with the man for the rest of the festival. Sometimes longer if the match worked out.

Several centuries later in the third century A.D, two religious men named Valentine lived. One in Rome, the other somewhere else in Italy. Emperor Claudius had them both executed. Each on February 14, but in different years.

The two Valentines were eventually canonized. Resulting in two St. Valentines.

The image of the earlier pagan Lupercalia was cleaned up by naming February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.

Note that Christmas had a similar beginning. A pagan festival involving sex, gluttony and drunkenness. Saturnalia. A 5-7 day event in December. “Throw off the toga” the cry of the event.

The Catholic Church wanted the pagans to join the Church. They offered a deal. Join us and you can continue to celebrate your pagan ways. A marriage occurred.

Eventually, Christmas became Christmas as we know it.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Yale and its Calhoun College, Trump’s enhancing public safety executive order, the immigrants of today the Jews of yesterday, Trump and Miller telling lies when they claim people came from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote, Trump’s war on drugs reversing present thought, Greeks want to stop teaching Greek history, a federal pot law intended to negate State laws permitting marijuana use, Orville dam, and more.

Stopped at Key West Bite to watch Syracuse/Louisville last night.

Bite a sports bar. I was the only one watching a game. Bite may not make it.

Syracuse lost in overtime to #7 Louisville 76-72. A good game. Syracuse down 14 in the first half. Came back and played basket for basket thereafter. Game could have gone either way.

The Michael Flynn in the news is the same Michael Flynn who tweeted stories that Hillary Clinton was involved in pedophilia. That Hillary was part of an operation compelling children to have Satanic sex in a Washington pizza shop.

Flynn may have been a great general. He was a sick man otherwise. The country is better off without him.

The Go Live video I am doing is 12 days old. The viewer numbers has risen significantly. I am pleased so many like and are following it.

Those of you who do enjoy it on Facebook, please press SHARE so more might be exposed to my ramblings.

Enjoy your day!



Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve are much alike. Amateur night. Many out who normally are not. Restaurants and bars packed. Ergo, I decided to stay home. I was a couch potato most of the day.

Other than watching the Syracuse/Duke game, writing next week’s KONK Life column What recovery?, and some reading, I did nothing.  Enjoyed every minute of it.

Duke defeated Syracuse 80-72. Both teams played well. Syracuse fell behind with about 10 minutes to go and never caught up. Syracuse and Duke meet in two weeks again. Crazy ACC scheduling!

I wrote next week’s KONK Life column. The recovery is not what Washington touts it to be. Which is what I wrote about. Hit certain areas of poverty that still exist. Like 16 million public school children homeless.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports the Key West City Commission is working on a custom made parking lot for tour buses. Tour buses are those that bring people in generally for a day. They come from all over Florida. The passengers spend some money. I cannot believe it is much.

The City Commission has already authorized$18,220 for preliminary design plans.

Screw the tour buses! Take care first of the car parking problem. Those living outside Key West (as I do) find it extremely difficult to find a parking spot since the new parking ordinance went into effect. Typical of this City Commission that seems to lead with their asses rather than their heads.

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!