History is interesting. Many times only pieces are shared. Why, I know not. However, such is the way history is reported.

The United States participated in two significant battles during the Spanish-American War. One most everyone knows. The other, few are aware of.

We begin with the one little known. A significant naval battle. The U.S. won. The Asiatic Squadron of the U.S. Navy destroyed the Pacific Squadron of the Spanish Navy after a seven hour long battle. The battle took place May 1, 1898.

Spain lost all seven of its ships. Three hundred eighty one Spanish sailors were killed. No American vessels were lost nor did the U.S. suffer any combat deaths.

The rarely heard of naval battle is known as the Battle of Manila Bay.

The other significant battle has a world wide reputation. A significant U.S. land victory. The Battle of San Juan Hill. The Battle brought fame to Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. 

The Battle of San Juan Hill was the bloodiest of the war for American troops. The reason two-fold.

First, American troops outnumbered the Spaniards 16 to 1. Which meant there were more Americans available to be killed. Second, the Spaniards held the hill top. The Americans had to charge up an open hill to get at them. The Americans never faltered. They did their duty and many died.

The tornado that hit Palm Beach Gardens at ground level over the weekend was a terrible disaster. Wind speed was 136 mph. Someone videoed cars being picked up by the wind and tossed around. “Flipped” was the term used to describe the air flights of the vehicles.

I never got out on March 17 so missed my once a year St. Patrick Day corned beef and cabbage meal. Got it last night at Brady’s Irish Pub on Flagler. A feast!

I ate at the bar. Seated two stools away was an old friend I have not seen in many years. Amy Culver. A joy to run into her.

When I first came to Key West 30 some years ago, Amy owned Mangoes. At some point she got involved in helping certain African tribes develop. She frequently traveled to Africa to work with them. Post Mangoes, her Key West work involved business consulting.

I got involved with the Key West Cemetery yesterday. Checking out a particular stone.

The world knows of that one particular headstone that reads: “I Told You I was Sick.” I was not searching for that stone. I was looking for the one about owning a piece of Key West. Finally came across it: “I Always Dreamed Of Owning A Small Piece Of Key West.”

Great golf sunday afternoon. The final round of the Mexican Open. Tony Finau won by 3 strokes.

One of the runner ups was Jon Rahm. Rahm and Finau are close friends. It was obvious following the match. Rahm and Finau broadly smiling as Rahm warmly embraced Finau as only friends can.

Rhonda Fleming was a major movie star in the 1940’s and 1950’s. She continued working on a limited basis into the 1990’s. A red haired beauty.

Rhonda was born in 1923 and passed on three years ago in 2020 at the age of 97. God bless her!

We became friends for a brief two day period sometime around 1980. Our meeting place was La Costa outside San Diego. La Costa was a “fat farm” I generally attended twice a year from the mid 1970’s into the 1980’s.

I have written many times of the friends I made there The men included William Holden, Rodney Dangerfield and Evel Knievel. Got to know Holden and Knievel well. Dangerfield more than a passing acquaintance, but difficult to say you really knew him. He was the same in person as he was on the screen. No different.

Rhonda and I had next to each other dining tables. We never talked, however. Few talked at lunch or dinner. Too bushed from the exercise. Everyone ate breakfast privately in their rooms.

The last 2 days I was there on one of my trips, Rhonda struck up a conversation. We got to spend 2 lunches and 2 dinners together.

A wonderful woman. A devout Christian. Such was obvious from our conversations.

Tennessee Williams was a Key West resident for many years. He lived on Duncan Street. Lisa’s home today is less than 2 blocks away from the Williams home.

At dinner friday night with Steve and Cindy Thompson, we got into Tennessee Williams. The reason Williams bought the Duncan Street property was because it was on the ocean at the time. Across from his front door the Atlantic.

No more. Today there are several blocks of homes before what is now the beginning of the ocean is reached.

Not the reason I mention Williams today. Actually it is because on yesterday’s date May 1 in 1955, Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” Recall the great movie starring Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives.

Sloan tonight at 6. We’re working on the Baron collection.

Enjoy your day!


  1. Boy oh Boy Lou, that bar on Flagler you now call Brady’s Irish Pub has had more new owners and called by more different names than Marilyn Monroe had the clap.

    How long do you think this one will last?

    • Last 3 years 3 owners. Hasn’t made any difference. Food, bartender, customers the same. Last owner painted the inside. Owner #2 the inside. I’m happy.

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