Key West has ghosts. Several observed with frequency.

Key West does not have an exclusive on ghosts. One comes to mind today. Her name Mary Surratt. On this day in 1865 Mary was hung in Washington, D.C. Executed. Her crime: An alleged conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Mary bears the distinction of having been the first woman executed by the U.S. government.

She was hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentiary in Washington. Today, the site of Fort McNair.

She went to her death wearing a long black dress. Hands and feet bound. Her head covered.

It is claimed that Mary still walks the grounds of Fort McNair. Children of soldiers stationed there claim they play with a “lady in black.” Others have seen her walking the grounds of the Fort.

There is an old wive’s tale that ghosts continue  to remain at a particular earthly place because of some unhappiness, some unfinished business. In Mary’s case it might be because her involvement with Lincoln’s assassination was questionable. She may have been innocent. Many thought her innocent. Others, the death penalty too harsh.

It was thought President Johnson would pardon her at the last moment or reduce her sentence to life in prison. Her morning scheduled hanging was held off till the afternoon in anticipation of one or the other. Neither came. She was hung.

Celebrated my 84th birthday last night with good friends Donna, Terri and Mary. Dinner at Tavern & Town.

Terri in great shape. Since she had the stent put in 2 weeks ago, she is full of energy.

When it came time to blow out the candle, my dear friends began singing Happy Birthday. Soon Terri’s voice overwhelmed them. She sings magnificently! Happy birthday like you have never heard it.

The dining room cheered her when she was done.

As we were walking out following dinner, we passed Bobby Nesbitt who was performing in the bar area. He shouted out…..Louis Petrone, Happy Birthday! He started to sing Happy Birthday. Terri joined in. At the end, the bar gave Terri another great hand.

My personal thanks to all who e-mailed and telephoned yesterday. It made me feel good.

Key West’s old City Hall sits on Greene Street. Still used for such things as community meetings. A new City Hall was opened on White Street 2 years ago. A lovely building!

KONK Life ran a photo of a Key West City Hall on Greene Street which was dedicated July 4, 1876. Sort of looks like, could be, the old City Hall still standing on Greene Street. I say maybe because it does not look like the 1876 one. Then again hard to tell. Throw a couple of small additions on a building and a staircase and it could be the same one.

Mario Sanchez is one of Key West’s famous people. An artist. He did bas relief carvings. Then painted over them in vibrant colors.

KONK Life ran another photo this morning. One of Sanchez working in his “studio” on July 7, 1962. The studio unique. In the shade outside under trees.

Cary Grant made Operation Petticoat in Key West. While here, he purchased 4 of Sanchez’s pieces. When Grant later made That Touch of Mink, the Sanchez works Grant had purchased could be seen in the film.

Sanchez’s wood paintings outstanding. Relatively small. At one point in Sanchez’s career, they were selling for $50,000 a piece.

I fear the California earthquakes of the past 2 days will be with us for another month. Experts are predicting up to 10 more. Some aftershocks, some actually new quakes. Anyone could be above the 7.1 on the rector scale recorded yesterday.

Yesterday’s quake is being described as the worst in 20 years.

Twenty years ago, my dear friend Bob Marks was working in the San Francisco area when the quake hit. He telephoned me 3 days after. He still could not get home. In order to do so, he had to cross the San-Francisco-Oakland Bridge. Big. The top section of the bridge had collapsed. Would take forever to fix. Access to the other side not yet worked out.

The earthquake a big one. Rector Scale reported 6.9. Sixty seven people killed. Thousands injured. Five billion dollars in property damage.

The ultimate cost to rebuild the bridge $6.4 billion. It is claimed the new suspension spa will withstand the strongest earthquakes that may occur in the next 1,500 years.

Hope we don’t find out the estimate is incorrect.

I thought today would be a day without Trump. Not to be.

This morning’s news report comments made by British Ambassador Kim Darroch about Trump. The comments are in memos sent to the British Foreign Commonwealth. Somehow released and verified to be so contained.

Remarks made were between 2017 and now.

Observations like “inept” and “incompetent.” “Uniquely dysfunctional.” U.S. government “divided.”

Re collusion between the Trump election team and Russia: “The worst cannot be ruled out.”

Enjoy your Sunday!





  1. And yet so many insist on crediting him for the rising economy which was on the same upward path way before he was appointed President by the Electoral College. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw it up.

    • I’d like to say he won’t but he is a loose cannon. Thus far, for those of means invested in the market, he hasn’t killed Obama’s hard work. I guess that is something- but “staying out of the way and not messing up a good thing” is hardly the only accomplishment we should expect from a 70+ leader. The fact is, he is very unstable bad man and bad for America.

    • But the economy (and the unemployment rate / Jobs added) all began to slow from their rates of improvement after Trump took office. Besides, if he lies about everything else, like the rate of illegal immigrants, etc., etc., why should we believe the economic figures he says are so good?

  2. A closing note…Trump is at war with his own appointee to the Fed Reserve. Once again Trump thinks he is the cats meow on all things and wants the rates lowered. The fact that Trump’s Organization has in excess of 300 million dollars in adjustable rate debt may have a lot to do with it. Trump stinks of corruption and self service.

  3. Some know what you are talking about, nodding politely while backing away slowly to safe distance then running like hell.

    • Not everybody runs away, there are those like you who absolutely don’t get what we’re talking about, but choose to stick around anyhow and try to jab hateful bits into the conversation, all the time pretending your opinions are being ignored. Truth is, hate is not an opinion, nor is TROLLING an opinion. Lou writes a blog about his life and his observations and opinions while living in Key West, and people like you post on HIS blog about how he isn’t reporting your view on things. Get a grip dude!

  4. ‘Obama’s hard work’. It would be nice if Trump did what Obama did, after-al he was called the Deporter-in-chief. He deported more illegals than all presidents combined.

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