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Key West...Impromptu Show...Cuban Food


Wednesday November 2, 2022 


Good morning from beautiful Key West, Florida where will have WARM sun and a high of 88 today here at the southernmost place in the United States.



I made a 3-and-a-half-hour drive over the water from Homestead to Key West yesterday on a gorgeous sunny day. Last year when I drove to Key West and out, I drove at night, so I missed the gorgeous water views. That was not the case yesterday and I took my time and soaked up the great views.


I rolled into town and checked into my hotel which is a nice luxury hotel where I have a view of the ocean right outside my window, and the pool, and the big stage where a lot of the Parrot Head concerts are going to happen that I’m going to help emcee this week.


I will say, the hotel, which is part of a luxury chain has some major issues that were not cleared up even late last night when I turned down the sheets and crawled into bed. The elevator doesn’t work and I’m three stores up which mean I drug a suitcase, a hanging bag, a computer bag, and guitar up three flights of stairs in high humidity. Temperature was 88…index had it way up in the 90’s. I saw a lot of unhappy folks struggling to get up the stairs with their baggage.


Then add to that…the ice machines were broke AND there was no internet all day. If you’re getting this blog, it means they finally got it up and running while I was asleep. Geez. You just don’t expect that from this kind of hotel.



Next year this big Parrot Head Convention will be moved to Gulf Shores. That makes me happy. Closer!  And this hotel they tell me is shutting down to be re-made. Considering the list of problems, I understand why. And it will be interesting to see if this big gathering returns a year later because of all the problems of their host hotel. We’ll see.



I did get checked in soon enough that I could make a run to the Island Dogs Bar near Duval Street where my friend Brent Burns holds court everyday here. I got up and did 5 songs, 3 of those songs we’ve written. It was fun hearing the crowd sing “Going Ugly Early” at the top of their lungs! Brent also tried out a couple of new tunes off his latest album that’s just out that we co-wrote, and both went over great. Good to see.



And then Brent, his girlfriend Colleen, some mutual friends who went with us on a Rhine River Cruise in Europe a few years ago Bill & Raynelle and I went to a local Cuban Restaurant they had found last year that they loved. I know why. The food was SO good, and the sangria wine wasn’t bad either. Great choice to wrap up the first day here in Key West. 



15% of Americans came down with long COVID symptoms. That means there were roughly 420,000 less folks working because of long term illness.


Fordham University is coming under fire from some of their students, faculty, and teachers. That’s because they are requiring everyone to get a 4th booster shot. Toughest policy in the country right now. Some students are taking it to court.


New York is reporting an increase in hospitalizations again. This time from the newest COVID strain. Anyone else tired of new COVID strains?



And now we have a cornhole cheating scandal. Uh huh. Some of the topflight teams have been using illegal bags. The bags are lighter and thinner than the regulation bean bags. And this news comes on the heels of the fishing cheating scandal where some competitive fishermen were putting weights in the fish to record more pounds at weigh in. Geez.


And yes. There is competitive cornhole folks. Leagues…pros. Tossing bean bags into a hole. I found that out when I was in Cincinnati where some independent producers made a movie about “Cornhole”. A comedy. AND they used a song I wrote for them “Cornhole the Song” that played over the credits at the end of the movie. The song made zero dollars as the movie went straight to DVD. But it does exist…and here’s a bit of what the movie looks like.



The Fed is apparently going to raise the rate again today. It’s supposed to help curtail inflation. Hasn’t happened yet. So it might be time to review the plan. Maybe? This coming from someone who knows very little about these sort of things. But I do know things are EXPENSIVE these days.



The Phillies killed Houston last night in game 3 of the World Series that took place in Philly. Something very cool happened at the game. Tim McGraw attended. He was wearing his dad’s, the great reliever for the Phillies Tug McGraw back when THEY won a World Series uniform. When the cameras found him, he turned around at pointed at his Dad’s number on the back of the jersey, and of course the Philly crowd erupted.


Tim did not find out that Tug was his father until he was 11 years old by finding his birth certificate one day. And I’ve told a personal story about this a time or two, so skip ahead if you’ve already heard this. But…


I played in a celebrity baseball game many years ago in Cincinnati when I was on the radio. It was media folks playing alongside some old pro baseball players to raise money for a charity. Joe Torre was there. So was Tug McGraw. I sat next to him between one of the innings and a baseball sat between us on the bench. Now, I rarely ever asked for autographs. But I ask for one that day and he signed it for me. I held onto it for years. Then I took a radio job in Milwaukee and one of my first assignments was to emcee a concert at the State Fair where the headliner that year, or one of the headliners, was a young Tim McGraw who was just becoming a country star. I took a tape recorder and got on his bus to interview him. And guess what I took with me?  Yep. That baseball with his Dad’s autograph on it.


When I showed it to him he asked me how I got it?  I told him. Then he flipped the baseball over and signed the other side of it. It’s my favorite piece of memorabilia I own.



My significant other and I were discussing mistakes we have made in our relationship. I suggested she should embrace her mistakes. She then hugged me.



I can hear the waves hitting the shore outside my window this morning. So I’m looking forward to emceeing whatever Parrot Head shows they need me to emcee today. Registration takes place this morning here in the hotel and a whole bunch of parrot heads will be mingling. My friend Brent Burns is going to be playing some of our songs as they do so. I’ll be catching some of that and visiting with lots of folks I’ve gotten to know over the past few years who love the lifestyle and the music that goes with being in or near a beach.


Have a great Wednesday!


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