the Fool on Little Torch ponders this and that past, present and future in the Florida Keys, mostly

Sloan eats BBQ sandwich

The Fool on Little Torch (FOLT), as I’m called by a confederacy of sounders off on’s Coconut Telegraph, chomping a bbq pork sandwich at a wedding reception on Big Pine Key last November. One of the confederates, or Deer Ed, also contributed this art work, after I wrote that everyone, including me, as a demonic twin.

Sloan on the beach

From Sunday’s CT, I highlighted three parts and provided the coconut:

coconut telegraph

What I learned from a lot of years of reading the Coconut Telegraph.

1. If you want to know what’s happening, make sure you read everyday. 2. We all scan FTR, we read some, agree or disagree, but sometimes he just grabs our attention because his facts are dead right. He is very smart and I want to see who he really is. 3. Everyone who reads bizarre things is smart enough to know that it is only one side of the story. 4. During an election we are thankful there is a separate section for politics. 5. Editor has a different calendar than us. Sometimes days are the same for 3 days. 6. We read what Sloan writes, until he mentions dreams or angels, then we scan through the rest, but we still appreciate him. 7. We all go to the businesses that advertise here first, unless there is no other choice. 8. The girl who advertises as a realtor, works harder than most. If I was buying of selling I would hire her. 9. All the cartoons are funny, the jokes are great too. We look forward to them. 10. I don’t know much about YouTube. When someone posts a link, I usually watch 5 more in the same category. 11. I do not give to charity unless I can see results. Howard Livingston shows me results with his band and posts it here. 12. If your name is Tussa, we will not hire you to trim our trees…..we remember. 13. If you want to use a school credit card at my business, hell yes, you are a big spender. 14. I really like the sky clips that tells us what time to see planets or stars. 15. We can always tell when someone has an unhappy ex spouse, they try to trash them here–like showing IRS documents that are public info, but none of us would bother looking them up. 16. When one of our locals die or gets hurt, or gets real sick, this is the only place to find out. 17. Yes Vaseline and iodine mixed do help all infections, including cracks in feet. 18. The flea market is the best place to shop for bargains. 19. Our newspaper do not tell us about local events, Coconut Telegraph does. Only if the people who are sponsoring them, post them in time. Often they are posted the day of the event. 20. Big Pine has a really cool history and everyone that adds to it makes it better to read. I hope everyone who reads this enjoys this enjoys it as much as me and no one should think it’s all negative. I miss Saturday when the Ed takes a day off, but he deserves it. I think he makes 1 dollar an hour for his time editing our posts.



I like the way this opiner speaks for all Coconut Telegraph readers, although I doubt he knows more than a dozen of the thousands of Coconut Telegraph readers personally.

I had dinner with From The Right and his wife and Deer Ed, at FTR’s initiation. I saw who FRT really is. It did not change anything. I still seldom scanned FTR, because he was unable, or unwilling, to see the problems caused by the Republican Party and its elected officials in Washington, D.C. If he had bashed the idiots on both the left and the right, I would have applauded. What I read with interest recently was what FTR wrote about his recent illness, and about guns not having any causative effect in the Sandy Hook School Massacre, and it was wrong to try to control guns in America …

I told Deer Ed in a comment I sent in for publication, that FTR’s recent medical travail was caused by FTR being so far right, which Deer Ed did not publish. My experience with ED, whom I know personally, is he censors whatever he doesn’t like written about people he knows, including himself. Except he has freely published vicious anonymous attacks against me. Attacks ultimately aimed at the angels who run me, since they had me write what got the Sloan-haters so riled up, and what causes this speaker for all to start scanning after I mention angels or dreams.

fool moon howling

This speaker for all appreciates me not at all, nor the angels who sent me to the Coconut Telegraph back in 2006. But for those angels and my dreams, I would not have come to the Keys in late 2000, I would not have published anything on the Coconut Telegraph, I would not have opened and published on and, I would not have run even once, much less seven times, for public office in the Keys. But for those angels and my dreams, Deer Ed, the speaker for all, and the Coconut Telegraph readers never would have heard of me nor read anything I wrote. But for those angels and my dreams, no one in the Florida Keys ever would have heard of me, except the few salts who knew me from the old days, when I spent time in Islamorada, before the angels came calling and started making my dreams.

Meanwhile, moving westerly …


This Citizen editorial cartoon appeared during 2007 race for the District 3 County Commission seat in Key West. When asked at a candidate forum what were the three biggest dangers facing the county? I said, “The Gang of  Three,” who were three notorious county commissioners voting in block, taking the county government to hell at warp speed. When asked to say more, use up my allowed two minutes to answer the question, I said, “The Gang of Three.” Everyone there knew who I meant, including two of the gang members sitting at the front table with me and other candidates. The editorial cartoon appeared soon thereafter.

It was the angels nobody on the Coconut Telegraph, or most anywhere else, wants to read about, who told me to hammer on the Gang of Three theme throughout that campaign, and it seemed to have paid off: two of the Gang were unseated that year.

The several-term Conch incumbent in my race, Sonny McCoy, who had been Mayor of Key West several times, was defeated in the Republican primary by newcomer Carlos Rojos, who then was defeated in the general election, as was I, by the Democratic candidate, Heather Carruthers (who ran unopposed in 2112 for a second term).

The third gang member was unseated when his seat came up in 2010, after he had gone through a reformation and we had become buddies.

Mario Di Gennaro

That would be Mario Di Gennaro (photo). Seems folks in the Keys, including folks on the County Commission, have forgotten it was not them but was Mario who was behind the Florida Legislature allocating $200,000,000 for upgrading sewerage collection and  treatment in the Florida Keys, which state wampum today gets reported fairly often in the local newspapers without any mention of Mario having had anything to do with it.


crazyI see in The Citizen today that the Key West City Commission approved a complicated deal with Joe Walsh, the owner of several successful Key West restaurant/bars. Walsh is not a Conch. I know him somewhat after frequenting one his establishments when I last lived in Key West, that would be the Jack Flats sports bar on Duval Street. According to the article, Walsh will rehab the City’s white elephant, which used to be the Waterfront Market near Schooner Wharf, and turn it into a waterfront micro-brewery and restaurant.

Waterfront MarketWaterfront Market, when it was in operation

The City is putting $2 million into the deal for the building rehab, which will be tacked onto the rent. Walsh is giving personal guarantees, unlike what you see when Conchs try to get the City to give them sweet deals on City property. Truman Waterfront and its various fiascoes comes to mind.

City Commissioner Mark Rossi, who owns restaurant/bars/strip joints on Duval Street voted against the city chipping in for the rehab. The mayor and four commissioners voted for it, and one commissioner, Billy Wardlow, was not at the commission meeting.

You can read all about it, front page, by clicking on, and then paying the fee with a credit card.

cruise ship leaves Outer Mole

Meanwhile, here again is the lovely photo of what cruise ships today, the little ones, do to Key West’s channel bottom. The photo I several times tried to get The Citizen to publish, to no avail. The concrete spit/pier is The Outer Mole, above that on the other side of the small harbor, which the Navy controls, is Truman Waterfront, which the Navy gave to the City a decade ago, and it’s still going nowhere mired in lovely Key West politics.

Which leads into a letter from the editor in The Citizen today below another photo I provided with some help from Google.

Disney skysraper cruise shipThis skyscraper is almost 2 times bigger than the monster tearing up the channel bottom above

Jumbo ships are too big for Key West

Key West cannot digest jumbo ships. The channel should not be widened.

David Wolkowsky

Ballast Key

I don’t know David, but I have heard some stories about him. Somewhat older than I, I’m 70, he swings a lot of weight behind the scenes in Key West. If he says Key West doesn’t need jumbo cruise ships, everyone living there should stand up and take note.

cruise ship invasion

But I doubt Mark Rossi below will do that.

Mark  Rossi

The more cruise ship passengers in Key West, the more money Mark makes in his Lower Duval Street bars/restaurants/strip joints. Mark has not recused himself from discussion and voting on cruise ship issues which face the City and come before, or might come before, the City Commission.

Regardless of what Mark, or the City Attorney, or the Florida Ethics Commission say, Mark has a conflict of interest when it comes to cruise ships. He also has a conflict of interest when it comes to voting on whether or not one of his business competitors in Key West, who does not run strip joints, can do business with the City. I imagine for Mark to recuse himself for conflict on interest would require an Act of God.

act of God

Maybe Mark will have that experience. I hope so. I was struck three times in succession by spiritual lightning in early 1987. The effect was quite remarkable. I’m still never getting over it.

troll uprising 2Photo taken by Rose Dell in Coco’s Kitchen, Big Pine Key, circa 2010, after she finally figured out that I had taken off my beard, a relatively brief phenomenon when clean-shaven also didn’t prove to be a chick magnet.

Sloan Bashinsky

About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also and If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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