REPUDIATE OR VALIDATE

Sixteen days to elections. The midterm perhaps the most important in U.S. history. In less than 2 years, Trump has taken us down a dark road. Evil at every turn.

Time to save the country. In the manner prescribed in the Constitution. The ballot. Vote!

Vote not as a Republican or Democrat. Vote as an American. To save our country.

The Republicanism Trump proclaims is not that your fathers knew. It is different. Tending to fascism and dictatorship.

Stand together. Republicans swallow your pride and vote for a Democratic Congress. Your vote must be cast to repudiate Trump. To vote Republican, is to validate him.

Trump has begun making immigration an up front issue again. A “caravan” of 4,000 has left Guatemala and Honduras and is on its way to the U.S. They are escaping death.

Trump says he will send the U.S. Army to the border to stop them. He also continues to believe separating children from parents will eventually put a damper on immigration efforts.

Does Trump ever wonder why people would walk 2,000 miles to reach the U.S.? Things must be extremely bad for them to undertake such a trip.

What happened to…..”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?”

My mother and my four grandparents came from Italy. All poor. Peasant stock. “The wretched refuse of your teeming shores.” They yearned for the better life. For themselves and their children born and to be born. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

The 4,000 walking the 2,000 miles to our southern border a humanitarian crisis. Our borders should be open and not closed to them. The U.S. once took in masses in greater numbers from Ireland and Italy. They should do the same today for those soon to be knocking on our door.

One of Trump’s quirks is name calling. He finds a name for anyone he dislikes or disagrees with. I thought the names flowed freely from his demented mind. Turns out they are crafted and planned.

It has been reported Horseface for Stormy Daniels was practiced in the White House by Trump. He went around asking people what they thought.

Apparently as President he had nothing better to do at the time.

Then there is Jamal Khashoggi. First, the Saudis cut off his fingers. Then decapitated him. Concluded by using a chain saw to cut his body into parts.

Trump is not disgusted, not infuriated. More concerned with “friendship” of a country some consider an enemy and with money. The deplorable acts committed upon Khashoggi’s body cannot and should not be tolerated by any civilized person. Yet in his own fashion, Trump does.

I share these most recent examples of Trump actions to give further evidence of the road the U.S. is on. My friends one and all, vote Democratic next month. Repudiate Trump. Validate him not. Save our country in the process.

Yesterday, a full one. A haircut with Lori. Followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Last night, Hard Rock Cafe and Chart Room.

Donna and Terri had me as their guest at Hard Rock. Enjoyed a large rack of ribs and the good company of my lesbian wives.

Stopped by the Chart Room on the way home. Visited with the new bartender Tammy. So lovely! Soft spoken. Sweet.

The Chart Room is her second job. Her first, the Garden of Eden.

Ollie was at the bar. A while since we last had run into each other.

Ollie’s full name is Oliver Kofoid. Why I share this with you, I am not sure. The name and the man do not fit.

Ollie is friendly and witty. A good guy. Community oriented. A citizen and scientist.

Ollie began his early life by getting kicked out of high school. Never returned. Eventually was able to get into a college. Earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science.

Today in his 50’s, Ollie has worked at the Key West Water Treatment Plant more than 20 years. The operator of the plant is OMI which is part of Jacobs Engineering. Ollie is a Lead Operator. A position of some importance.

He was dressed in his Coast Guard Blues last night. Ollie is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Two rows of ribbons on his chest.

He has refereed soccer and served as a lacrosse official for Key West schools for years. He is President of his condo association. Ran twice for a seat on the Mosquito Control Board. Lost both times. Why I do not understand.

Ollie dislikes mosquitoes. Seriously. Considers them a plague.

Ollie has a strange sense of humor. He deals with sewage. He once had tee shirts made and gave them out to his friends. Inscribed thereon: “Input From Every Asshole In Town.”

Irma did a number on the wastewater treatment plant Ollie is responsible for. He and several others recently accepted on behalf of their company an award for their performance during the hurricane.

The generator had failed. Ollie and his team effected emergency repairs and kept things running. Critical wastewater and storm water services as a result continued till a new generator arrived. Property and the environment were protected big time because of their efforts.

The National Water Environmental Federation recently gave the Key West Wastewater Treatment Operators its highest award: The Water Heroes Award for going ABOVE & BEYOND.

Lynda and Bob Frechette are back in town. Welcome! You were missed!

Tonight, Goombay. I meet Jean Thornton at 7 at Bourbon Street to begin what I know will be a festive evening.

Enjoy your day!

 

EXCITEMENT BUILDING

Excitement is building. You can feel it. Especially if you are a Key West local. Fantasy Fest is coming! Begins tomorrow night with Goombay.

The Chart Room first last night. Met up with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon. Just returned from a Greece trip. We were meeting for drinks and then dinner where ever.

Love Fran! Takes care of me. From Buffalo, she brought me 6 jars of meat sauce. Meatballs, pork and beef included. I can depend on such a gift every time they return to Key West.

We spoke of their visit to Santorini. One of my favorite places. Got into Gary Hart. A recent Atlantic article says he was set up re the Bahamas boat pic by Republican campaign manager at the time Lee Attwater.

Tom’s brother Bill was Hart’s campaign manager which added to the flavor of the conversation.

Met the new bartender Tammy. An attractive blond. Will be working 2 nights at the Chart Room. The other 5 at Garden of Eden. The naked rooftop place above the Bull. I will be frequenting the Garden beginning soon.

I do not strip. Too embarrassed. Enjoy watching the bare assed ladies running around. My voyeur nature.

Barb and Carl from New Hampshire were at the bar. I met them last year. Barb is in insurance and Carl a firefighter. Due to retire in 2 years. Good for him!

They have a son C.J. who I met last year. Barb got him on her cell phone/skpe whatever and we chatted a few minutes. C.J. is 26. A fundraiser and advertiser for Meals on Wheels in Londonderry, New Hampshire. He also dabbles in writing on the side.

We decided on Ibis for dinner. Fran and Tom had been there the night before and said the stone crabs were fresh and delicious. I had a concern they might still be frozen. Michael whipped up our waters and I heard the stone crabs had been affected.

We enjoyed a $250 stone crab meal. Love Fran and Tom. But they were wrong. They had been frozen. I know, I can tell. I did not bust their bubble that we had gotten screwed.

Oh, well.

Next week, the stone crabs being served should be fresh everywhere.

I am moving fast this morning. A haircut at noon with Lori. Then a quick stop at Farmers Market. Have not been there in a while. Want to buy some big juicy tomatoes and small rolls.

Nine years ago, Key West was plagued with the Acevedo scandal. Theft from the school district.

Kathy Reitzel was bookkeeper at the time. She claims she discovered the takings and reported them. Then she was fired. She claimed she had been fired because she was a whistle blower.

Took 9 years to reach trial. The jury returned yesterday. Denied her whistle blower status. However awarded her a $60,000 verdict for breach of contract. A long wait for a poor return. The jury did not accept her as a whistle blower which was the main thrust of her case.

Never forget those who help you.

Monroe County staff and fire rescue crews have been to the Panhandle lending a helping hand. Those they were helping had come to the Keys to help following Irma.

The Key West Art and Historical Society sponsors a Distinguished Speaker Series. On October 25 at the Key West Theater on Eaton, Dr. Pamela Stephenson Connolly will speak on The History, Culture, and Politics of Bondage/Domination/Sadomasochism. Emphasis will be on the nature and role of BDSM among couples.

A fitting presentation during Fantasy Fest. Especially since several BDSM public parties are featured during the week.

Only in Key West!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GOOMBAY FRIDAY NIGHT

It’s that time of year! Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Thousands of visitors. Ten days of fun!

Goombay first. Friday and saturday. Then a week of Fantasy Fest.

Goombay a family thing. A street festival. Reminds me of the Italian feasts. Except the food is different. Everything with a Bahamian, Latino, Cuban, Central American flavor.

Held on Petronia Street in Bahama Village.

Sunday begins Fantasy Fest. Adult! No kids! Bare breasts and sometimes other parts of the body. Mostly female, some male.

Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. We are having dinner together tonight. Meeting at the Chart Room. Then I don’t know where for dinner.

Tom and Fran smart. They arrived monday night, leave friday morning. They are getting out of Dodge before the madness begins.

After 20 years of Fantasy Fests, some sort have had it! Did one, did them all!

A new bartender at the Chart Room. John still there. However, his days have been changed.

The new bartender Tammy. She works tonight. Can’t wait to meet the lady. Her regular job is on the roof of the Bull bartending. The infamous Garden of Eden. A place where people go bare ass all times of the day and night. Especially this coming week. Tourists consider it a deviant place. The roof will be packed.

A strange thing happened yesterday in San Juan. The offices of Mayor Carmen Yulin were raided by the FBI. She is the woman who stood up to Trump for failing to do enough for the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Yulin’s offices are also described as San Juan’s municipal offices.

An FBI spokesman said more than 10 and less than 50 agents were involved. Sounds like a big deal. Why the secrecy as to the number of agents?

The spokesman added the FBI were investigating “fixing contracts, falsifying documents…..having to do with federal funds.”

It was reported members of City government were targeted, not the Mayor herself. The Mayor pledged full cooperation.

I have a concern. Hope I am wrong. In reality, is this retaliation or retribution against the Mayor for having stood up to Trump?

Trump has ruthlessly beat up the FBI. They went strictly by the book during the Kavanaugh investigation. However, I thought they could have investigated further than they did. Now a strong heroic woman has her public office investigated. Bothers me. Hope it is on the up and up.

The FBI has always been an above board professional organization. However with the ruthless beating it has been taking the past several months, I wonder if they sort have given in a bit in opposing the President in some circumstances.

Canada has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Became legal at midnight last night. An individual can legally carry up to 30 grams. A bit more than 1 ounce. An ounce is 28.3495 grams. The statute has rounded it off to 30 grams.

Uruguay is the only other country to have legalized recreational marijuana.

The Canadian government is giving serious consideration to going a step further. Consideration is being given to issuing pardons to all convicted for possession of 30 grams.

It has been 15 days since Jamal Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered. Saudis can be cruel.

It is obvious Trump is trying to cover Saudi Arabia’s ass to some extent. A bad move. Not consistent with American character and sense of right.

Saudi Arabia considers itself untouchable due to oil and money. The U.S. does business with them. Big time. The Saudis consider the U.S. friends.

Friends like the Saudis the U.S. does not need. Never forget they gave us $4 a gallon gasoline and most of the 9/11 culprits were Saudi citizens.

The Saudis have strange ways of getting rid of bodies. They must give significant thought to the how.

In 1956, Nasir As-Sa’id fled Saudi Arabia fearing for his life. A writer, also. In 1979, he was kidnapped on a crowded Beirut Street. Then taken to the Saudi embassy where he was tortured and killed.

No dismemberment for As-Sa’id. Rather his body thrown out of a plane over Saudi Arabia’s “empty quarter desert.”

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) a strange bird.

Last week, students were protesting. One asked him a question and held his cell phone up to record the Senator’s answer. The Senator “ripped” the phone from the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office later reported it was an error of judgment on the Senator’s part.

He has compared Trump to Winston Churchill. Would you believe! He said Trump may “not be a choir boy, but he is a man of history.”

Last month during the Kavanaugh hearings, Perdue referred to the protesters as “Nazis.”

Then there is Obama. Republican hatred for Obama runs deep. The Senator was speaking at a Facts and Freedom Coalition in June. Re Obama, he said let his days be few. Apparently a religious fanatic, he relied on Psalm 109:8…..”Let his days be few.”

Syracuse/UNC saturday. Syracuse a 10 point favorite. Hope the ‘Cuse returns to its winning ways.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE COUGH THAT ISN’T GOING AWAY

I got a cold and cough big time 5 weeks ago. It seemed like everyone I know got it too.

Here it is 5 weeks later and I still have a cough. A very slight one.

I generally get the flu shot around October 1. Did not because of the cold, etc. You are not supposed to get the flu shot if you are sick in any way.

I went to see Dr. Norris yesterday. My real concern was whether I could get the flu shot yet. He said no. Must first get rid of the cough. Now he was concerned why the cough was still around 5 weeks later. He gave me a prescription for some drug and sent me off for a chest x-ray. Also gave me a sermon about smoking.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean met up with me. We enjoyed Tom and Rick. Chatted briefly with Liz and Linda.

We wanted stone crabs. Yesterday, opening day of the season. Came up empty. No one had them yet. We will do it another time.

Went to La Trattoria for dinner. Guy de Boer joined us as we were finishing. A good meal and good company. Following which I headed home and Jean to Vino’s.

Friday Goombay! Jean and I are going to walk the street together. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. The wild time!

I am excited. Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon arrived late last night. I will ba having dinner with them some night this week. Tom e-mailed Fran had brought a supply of sauce. Love the woman!

A hurricane comes and goes. Its effects remain a long time. Irma a perfect example. Irma hit the lower Keys more than a year ago. People without homes even today. A Rebuild Florida Bus will be parked at City Hall in Key West today and tomorrow. To assist those still without adequate housing.

Michael’s death toll at the moment 17. The number will grow significantly. Sixty thousand people missing. Search crews are out. Going through the rubble of each house.

Trump and Melanie were in the Panhandle and Georgia yesterday. The President never learns. Was it in Puerto Rico following Maria that he threw rolls of paper towels? Yesterday, it was bottles of water. Tossed and handed.

I’m beginning to think Trump is a frustrated ball player.

I saw on TV yesterday men running around wearing blue tee shirts with FEMA printed in bold white letters on the back. It seemed like they were intent in getting in the video being taken.

The video was being shot in Lynn Haven, a town in the Panhandle hit badly. There were food and water tents. The food and water were not delivered by nor being given out by FEMA. Their food and water still on its way. It was from volunteers who drove it in and were handing the food and water out themselves.

Good people, one and all. Key West an example of such good people. A large truck left City Hall yesterday loaded with things people will need in the Panhandle. Four or five volunteers went along. One said it was pay back time. A time to say thank you for the assistance the lower Keys received from the people of the Panhandle during Irma.

FEMA and other federal help appears to be directed to the search efforts for the 60,000 unaccounted for. FEMA and Governor Scott said a couple of days ago that is the way it had to be. Find those first who are trapped or dead. Then the flow of food, water, etc.

Does not make sense to me. FEMA a huge organization. Should be ready to assist in every respect when a disaster such as Michael occurs. They have had enough experience. They also knew before Michael made landfall the magnitude of the storm. The military can be called in to help if need be.

Several months from now, the Washington cry will be not enough money, can’t complete the recovery job, perhaps even can’t help anymore. The federal government still owes billions of dollars to Florida and Monroe County for monies the feds were going to pay re Irma problems. The State and County have had to play with their budgets, cut some services, raise taxes, etc. this year because the monies not yet paid.

Tonight my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me. I have much to discuss. Many things bothering me that should be bothering you also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THINGS I DID NOT SHARE

Michael has dominated my blog the past few days. Other matters, I let slip to the wayside. Just went through my notes. I want to share some of the items with you. I am reporting them as they appear with no order or sequence.

I was watching MSNBC yesterday morning. A reporter at a California college campus. Talking with 40-50 students.

Millennials. The hope of the Democratic Party.

How many of you are going to vote? Only one hand raised. When others were questioned, they said their only concern was school. An attitude like don’t bother me.

Based on news reports, I thought this was the year the kids were going to vote. A rush to the polls. Not so. If the Democratic Party is depending on them, forget it!

Something wrong organization wise within the party. Democratic Party leaders constantly talk about the millennial vote. Have they got it wrong! The millennials will not be contributing this election to saving America.

I came across this quote in How To Win A fight With A Conservative: “We can’t be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolph Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolph Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.”

Sounds like someone talking about Trump. Not so. Obama. Would you believe? Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga) expressing fears one week after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. Broun believed Obama would create a security force akin to the Gestapo to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

The government screws up. Suddenly, the simple becomes a bureaucratic mess.

An Ohio woman got a ticket for failing to use her seat belt. When she went to pay, she was told her driver’s license had been suspended for 3 months for failure to pay child support. She told the Motor Vehicle person there had to be a mistake. She never had children. In fact, she had never been pregnant.

She has been busting her ass to get the problem resolved. A government goof has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. No one can help her. Each agency blames the other or the computer. In the meantime, she is not driving.

Shakespeare wrote in the Merchant of Venice when he had Portia speaking to Shylock re mercy: “The quality of mercy is not strained.”

It was 2000. Two black brothers ages 21 and 20 were being sentenced for murder in New York City. They had murdered a gang member who had sexually assaulted one of their wives.

Justice Gustin Reichbach could have sentenced them to life. A maximum sentence. Never to be released.

The Judge felt a degree of sympathy for the brothers. Instead, he sentenced them to 17 1/2 years to life. Significant. It meant they would be able to seek parole after serving 17 1/2 years.

Both were paroled last year after 17 1/2 years.

Today, one attends Cornell and the other Columbia. All because one Judge saw something in the brothers that others might not have.

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) is typical of a number of southern Republican politicians. Four examples why.

In the past few days, the Senator was being questioned by college students concerned that Georgia courts were preventing college students, primarily black, from voting based on a claim their registrations were improper. A total falsehood.

One of the students asked the question. He was holding his cell phone out to record the response.

The Senator “ripped” the phone out of the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office says it was an error in judgment on the part of the Senator.

The Senator in a recent speech compared Trump to Churchill. He said, Trump is “not a choir boy, but a man of history.”

Two weeks ago, he described Kavanaugh protesters as “Nazis.”

Can’t even leave Obama alone. At a recent Facts and Freedom Coalition in June, the Senator said let Obama’s days be few. He relied on Psalm 109:8: “Let his days be few.”

God loving men?

Now to yesterday news and happenings.

Stone crab season opens today! Hooray!

Stopped first at the Rum Barrel last night. Sunday night my Lauri fix. A wonderful lady.

Then to the Chart Room. Glad I stopped. Jean Thornton at the bar. She introduced me to Don Kincaid. They are old friends.

Don has been with Mel Fisher  in one capacity or another since the 1970’s. He is the man who found the first gold coin when the Atocha was discovered. He has written for National Geographic. Serves on the Mel Fisher Board. Today, a professional photographer.

Susan and Huggie came in. We had met before, though I did not recall them. They understood. Susan and Huggie are from Charleston, South Carolina and visit Key West twice a year.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean and I plan on meeting.

Enjoy your day!

I CALLED IT

I complained yesterday Trump and FEMA were failing as regards Michael. They failed to show up for duty!

Trump needs to make a few visits to the devastated areas. More important than flying around the country doing 3 political rallies a week.

Someone commented today better the President stayed away at this time. Might disrupt recovery efforts. What recovery efforts as  you will see as this blog unwinds. The affected people need to know their leader is behind them and cares. He does not even have to bring paper towels.

The real failure at the moment if FEMA. Still in Washington. Doing TV shows trying to bullshit the country as to the great job being done.

I stated people needed the basics. Water and food first. Then ice, power, sewage, and shelter. Most of the tiny barrier towns are reporting it will be at least 2 months before they have water, sewage, and power.

What do they do in the meantime? The government, federal and state, must step in and help. One of the reasons government exists is to help in times of disaster.

No one appeared to be complaining yesterday re  Trump and FEMA’s failures. I decided too. Not because I am a genius. My age comes into play. Eighty three. I have seen a lot over the years. Puerto Rico and other disasters. Government failure in New Orleans. Government failure in general in time of need.

I was disturbed the media was not talking about no water, no food, etc.

So I expressed myself yesterday. Today, FEMA’s failure big time in the news. Trump’s failure not mentioned yet.

The cry from Michael’s survivors is, “We’re not getting any help.” There is no food, no water, no FEMA. Survivors are furious. They have been left to fend for themselves, with little help from the government.

The Panhandle’s Chantelle Goolspy an example. She was able to get through to FEMA in Washington by phone. We need help! She was told to call the Red Cross. The Red Cross told her to call 211. 211 is a Florida emergency help number.

She said, “We need food, water, anything, we’re not getting any help.”

She was told to hang on. Do the best she could. It would be a few days before food, water, etc. would be forthcoming.

The people feel they have been forgotten by the outside world.

There is the Lipford family. They own, live on, and work a 160 acre farm that has been in the family since the Civil War. Michael left them cut off from civilization. The older Mrs. Lipford says the family feels like it has been shoved back to frontier days. She washes clothes in a bucket. She bathes in a creek where her husband made a small wall of stones to hold water.

Their daughter is 23. She is wielding a chain saw to cut away fallen trees, except that every two hours she must return to the house to breast feed her 6 week old son.

Mr. Lipford said, “I want power and water. The rest we can deal with.” Shades of a strong self help person from another day.

Panama City Beach has resorted to self-help. Not waiting for federal emergency assistance. Volunteers from other Florida areas unaffected by Michael have brought food and water to Panama City. A food kitchen has been set up. Fifteen hundred meals were prepared for locals.

A church has set up 15 stations within Panama City where it is prepared to deliver meals every day. Ready to go. Need the food to cook, however.

One comment from the area: “The American people are helping us, FEMA will come into the game and get the accolades in six months.”

A federal, state and local Emergency Operation Center has been established at Gulf State College. Telling people they have to ration the food and water they have. The group’s primary concern remains looking for survivors. Sixty thousand residents remained.

Governor Scott impressed me with Irma. He is not with Michael. He too is advising: “Everybody just needs to help each other right now.”

Many get their water from wells. Wells not helpful at the moment. They run on electricity.

This failure should not have been. Everyone knew Michael was coming. Trump told us on TV no problem, we have enough money.

In due course, we should be told two things. One, why the failure to prepare. The other, why is the money supposedly available not being used.

Enjoy your Sunday!

TRUMP AND FEMA YET TO REPORT FOR DUTY

Michael made landfall wednesday. Trump has yet to visit. FEMA boots on the ground few, if any.

A devastated people need to see their leader face to face. A visit/his visit would provide encouragement. Uplifting. Those affected need to see him.

Where is Trump? In different States most evenings conducting rallies to Make America Great Again and in anticipation of the November 6 elections.

Take your time Mr. President. The people of northern Florida are not going anywhere. In and out of the Panhandle next to impossible. However, Mr. President you have a helicopter. You can go everywhere. You should have been in Mexico Beach instead of Lebanon, Ohio.

FEMA. What is FEMA doing? What has it done so far? FEMA’s absence is obvious. FEMA’s boots on the ground are needed.

Instead, I see FEMA head Brock Long on national TV yesterday from Washington with a slew of other agency heads telling America what a good job they were doing. Shades of Bush 2, Brownie, and Katrina.

Talk is cheap at a time like this. Basics are needed. FEMA has to get them in. Water, food, ice, power, and shelter. Food and water immediately. Ice soon thereafter. To cool the body externally and internally. Power a given. No air conditioning, cooking, refrigerators operating, etc. without. Shelter. Something. Even a tent. It will be tent cities at first.

These people need help, not bullshit.

Irma hit the Keys last year. Heavy damage in some areas. Damage still exists in certain areas. As with many north Floridians, I evacuated. Eighty percent of Key West left. Irma was coming straight for us as a category 5. Fortunately, at the last minute it took a twist and went over Key West as a category 1. Sixteen miles up US 1 it became a 4. Destruction heavy from Cudjoe Key north to Marathon.

I wrote the only book re Irma. My personal feelings in getting out of its path, difficulty in avoiding Irma all the way up Florida, 12 days with friends in Birmingham, Alabama. The trip back. The destruction I saw coming down US 1. Key West’s desolation. Like the town had died. Difficulties the first few weeks. Difficulties yet to be resolved. Etc.

If you want to feel first hand what I did and what Michael’s ravishes have caused, read my book. Not technical. Personal. You will feel. It is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Dinner last night at Andrea and Joe’s. The lady is a cook! Baked breaded chicken, mashed potatoes heavy with butter and sour cream, her home made butter, warm bread, etc. Dessert, cheese cake likewise home made.

I made it a pina colada night. Joe’s pina coladas brought me back to Aruba’s beaches. He is the master pina colada maker.

It has been off season in Key West. All over come friday. Tourists will bury the town. As many as 60,000 the night of the parade. I don’t know where they sleep.

Goombay is friday and saturday. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. Goombay for the kids. Fantasy Fest for adults.

Wisteria Island back in the news. The Blue Paper yesterday, the Key West Citizen today. The government is suing present owner Roger Bernstein. To settle title. The federal government says it owns the island. Bernstein says he does and his family has for years. Been paying taxes on the island for 50 plus years.

My friend David Wolkowsky was involved at one point. David “owned” Wisteria Island. He was not sure, but had bought it at some point from a third party.

It was 1967. David was constructing the Pier House. Wolkowsky borrowed $20,000 from Bernstein to build the Pier House’s bathrooms. The note was secured by Wolkowsky with Wisteria Island.

Bernstein would not extend David’s time to pay. He took title to the island in satisfaction. David not being sure the title was good, gave a quit claim deed which Bernstein accepted. A quit claim deed says in effect I am not certain I own the property. If I do, you get good title. If not, you get nothing but a worthless piece of paper.

The federal government’s claim in the lawsuit is based on things that happened in the 1820’s and 1920’s.

David passed on a a few weeks ago. I am sure David is smiling in his grave. Smiling at Bernstein who refused to extend his time to pay, took his island, and now may end up with nothing.

Bernstein for years has wanted to develop a resort hotel on the island.

No Syracuse football today. A bye week.

I am into ghosts.

Last night when driving home from Andrea and Joe’s, I passed the Hemingway House. No traffic. I stopped in the middle of the street. A light in an upstairs window. Did not see Hemingway.

A weird ghost story follows.

Amethyst Realm is 28. She lives in Bristol, England. She is employed as a spiritual guidance counselor.

She claims she has had sex with ghosts. Somewhere in the area of 20. Prefers them to men.

The first time was 13 years ago. She and her husband had moved into a new home. New to them. The first time she felt an “energy.” It became physical. She felt pressure on her thighs and neck. A heavy presence on her body. She could feel someone breathing on her and stroking her.

She claims a 3 year affair with the first ghost. Till a night when her husband came home and saw a “shadowy shape” on top of her. The ghost swiftly departed, never to return.

Since then, she claims experiences with at least 20 different ghosts.

She wants to get pregnant by a ghost. She has researched “phantom pregnancies.” Claims a ghost can impregnate. The problem is carrying the fetus to term.

I came across several other similar stories. One by a man.

Psychotherapists claim such sex experiences are hallucinations. They occur as one is falling asleep. The time between awake and sleep.

Sex with a ghost a step too far for me. On the other hand should I ever actually meet a ghost, I might change my mind. If there are ghosts, it opens the door to the possibility.

Donna and Terri taking me to dinner tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

MICHAEL’S CONTINUING SAGA

The old hymn…..Onward Christian soldiers. Michael appears to have moved to the tune. Though not with God on his side. In and out quickly. Did not hang around. In less than two days, did a number on northern Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Now over the Atlantic, 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk.

The Panhandle pure devastation. Comments include unprecedented damage, a war zone, communities obliterated, an Air Force Base wiped out, catastrophic, looks like an atomic bomb dropped, cars and boats piled up like rubbish.

Keeps going. Entire blocks empty, houses on them smashed by storm surge and wind, washed out to sea.

First responders going in. Difficult work. The war zone description repeated frequently.

Michael maintained hurricane intensity 200 miles inland. Unusual.

Though Michael far out to sea, Virginia still experiencing dangerous wind gusts.

Michael gone. Recovery help required big time. I do not hear of FEMA’s involvement. Sure they must be there. Tell us. I am concerned Trump will fail the Panhandle as he did Puerto Rico. It all comes down to money. Soon I suspect we will hear there is not enough money. Then what?

Sad stories. Every one of them. One of the worst, 11 year old Sarah Radrey. Staying with her grandparents in Georgia. A car port crashed through the roof and killed her.

God help Sarah, her parents, and her grandparents. Tragedy of the worst kind!

Stopped into the Chart Room first last night. John working. Had not seen him in a week.

The room was packed! Tight standing room only. Forget getting a seat. Highly unusual this time of year. Off season.

Met two nice people. Lisa and Bob. Celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

Lisa and Bob from River Edge, New Jersey. Bob affiliated with the New York City Carpenters Union. Lisa works for a podiatrist.

Two grown sons. Twenty four and twenty two.

Their third visit to Key West. Second time at the Pier House. First time stayed at the Ocean Key across the street.

We talked of many things. A bit of politics. Lisa and I on opposite sides of the fence. She watches FOX News!

Liked them. Hope to see them again the next time they return.

David showed up somewhere along the evening. Always good to see David. I enjoy his company.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Enjoyed a drink, brie and good company. Andrea, Joe, John, Doug, Mary, Donna, and Terri.

I was anxious to talk with Doug. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House.

I have been into ghosts the past few days. First, South Carolina’s Gray Man. Yesterday, Key West’s Angel of Mercy Maria Gutsens.                      .

Researching for more ghost tales yesterday, I came across an article claiming Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline were making nocturnal visits to the Hemingway House.

Hard to believe! Doug would know.

Doug said no to Ernest, maybe to Pauline, but suggested Asa Tift as the real ghost. Asa was a wrecker/salvager in Key West’s early days. A self made tycoon. Built the Hemingway House for he and his family.

I could find nothing to substantiate the Asa story. Did come across more re the Hemingways.

Ghost appearances are technically referred to as manifestations. Many manifestations at the Hemingway House.

Hemingway writing in his loft work room, seen walking around the house, and standing on the veranda occasionally waving at passersby.

Pauline standing at the top of the central staircase looking to the loft watching her husband working and out the window her children playing outside. Occasionally standing at night by the gate smoking a cigarette.

One manifestation is hearing the typewriter clicking in the early morning. Supposedly, Hemingway writing. Could not be true. Hemingway did not type his works. He hand wrote them with a pencil. Then either Pauline or his sister would type them up.

My home bound trip from the Blue Macaw evenings takes me right by the Hemingway House. I shall be looking manifestations.

Key West’s humorous weather man at it again. He predicts this evening at 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Follows it up with…..Stars play peek-a-boo.

Traffic is reaching the breaking point on US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. The only highway through 140 miles of the Keys. Traffic especially heavy the past two years. A recent study attributes the increase to tourists. Claim tourists jam the highway.

Merely sharing. I have no comment.

Another study suggests two major medical problems. The first obviously the flu. The other too many C-sections. The number world wide has doubled from 2000 to 2015. The increase in the U.S. up as much as 30 percent in certain years. China up as much as 62 percent.

The message most of the C-sections not required. Medical problems for mother and child increasing as a result.

DOW doing well. Two days ago, down more than 800 points. Yesterday, more than 500. Today?

Trump’s lack of character evident with the Jamal Khashoggi situation. Trump says U.S. economy more important. We have a $110 billion agreement with Saudi Arabia for planes, etc. Trump says Khashoggi not even a citizen. Correct. He is a legal U.S. resident however and writes for the Washington Post.

News this morning says the $110 billion agreement mostly a holdover from the Obama administration. Actually, letters of intent. Not binding. Saudi Arabia has never purchased anything pursuant to the agreement.

Tonight, I dine! Andrea cooking. Joe making pina coladas. Andrea’s food preparation dining without question. Joe’s pina coladas fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

MICHAEL

Hurricane Michael. BADDDDDDD! One of the worst of the worst!

Florida’s Panhandle took the biggest hit. A Category 4. Winds 155 mph.

Michael has been described as the third most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. First is the Labor Day 1935 hurricane. Second, Camille in 1935.

Considering wind speed alone, Michael, the fourth worst. The Labor Day 135 one continues to lead the pack. Then, Camille. Followed by Andrew in 1992.

Fortunately, Michael was fast moving. Over and out rapidly. Had it stayed around a while as most hurricanes do, the already terrible devastation would have been worse.

The best way to describe Michael’s impact is to view comments from 3 communities hit hard. Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Port St. Joe.

Mexico City…..Homes reduced to kindling, roofs lying in the middle of US 98, a whole condo building gone, not there.

Panama City…..Storm trackers devastated at scale of destruction, roar of storm sounded like a jet engine as winds accelerated, chunks of US 98 washed away by the surge.

Port St. Joe…..Parts of buildings torn away, very very scary. One person reported: “Absolutely horrendous. Catastrophe…..There’s flooding. Boats on the high way. A house on the highway. Houses that have been there forever…..shattered.”

I thought Rick Scott was an inept Governor till Irma. His handling of Irma impressed me. He was on the problem a week or two before. Organized everything. Spoke to us daily on TV. Gave the populace confidence. Handled the storm and recovery well.

My impression of Scott completely turned as a result. Though I disagree with him philosophically re many issues, I respect him.

Scott is in the ball game again. He has been preparing north Florida for Michael.

The man is a leader. The people of north Florida were encouraged yesterday when he said, “Hurricane Michael will not break Florida.”

Charlotte Corriher. Lovely, charming. Lived in the lower Keys for several years. That is when I met her. At the Chart Room initially.

Charlotte a runner. Travels all over the U.S. running marathons.

Charlotte presently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

She wrote me re the Gray Man ghost today. I mentioned the Gray Man 2 days ago. Charlotte wrote, “I never heard of the Gray Man until this year when Florence was headed our way. Saw lots of posts and pictures where people claimed to see him.”

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Last night, the renewal of our monthly meetings.

Love the organization! The people are happy and easy going. Must be their Italian heritage.

New officers were elected last night at the official meeting following social hour where lasagna was enjoyed by all.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Terri was singing. An amazing lady! Worked at Blue Heaven the night before. Blind and still earning a living.

Chatted a while with Joe and John. Then spent some time with Donna. Not a happy camper. She had a colonoscopy earlier in the day and was still complaining about the prep.

We have all been through it.

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The women continue to be out there beating the drums advising women to have their mammograms, raising money, etc.

The movement is well organized nationally and locally. Participating in various events are the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Womankind, and Zonta.

My readings this morning re breast cancer brought to my attention something I did not know. A woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes.

Ladies, keep up the good work!

The Jamal Khashoggi matter has brought to the forefront again Saudi Arabia’s relatively new leader Mohammad Bin Salman. He wants to be a dictator. The center of power in his country. An authoritarian. Believes in one man rule.

Shades of Trump?

The DOW dropped over 800 points yesterday. Two reasons claimed. The tech sector is under performing and there is a concern that rates will rapidly rise.

To me, the drop will be temporary. However do not expect it to always be so.  I still believe a world wide recession will occur next year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

A KEY WEST GHOST STORY…..MARIA VALDEZ DE GUTSENS

I mentioned the Gray Man ghost yesterday. The reaction amazing. People love ghost stories!

Ergo, I opted to begin today’s blog with a Key West ghost story. The ghost’s name…..Maria Valdez de Gutsens.

Maria was the administrator of the Mercedes Charity Hospital in Key West. Her title Matron. She ran the hospital for 23 years.

The hospital had previously been the Gato home. Gato the famous cigar producer. He built the home originally where Bayview Park stands today. Overlooking the water. The end of Key West. New Town not even a thought in anyone’s mind.

When his wife died, he sold the home. It was bought and moved to what is now 1209 Virginia Street. A couple of doors down from White Street.

The home became the hospital. The hospital closed in 1942.

Maria was loved by all. People referred to her as an Angel of Mercy.

The former hospital today is an apartment house. It is believed Maria still walks the halls, rooms and porches. There have been several reports of having seen her.

One report was by a man in bed sleeping. His wife next to him. He woke feeling someone holding his wrist. He swears it was Maria, with a man standing next to her. She was taking the pulse of the man in bed. He turned to wake his wife. Maria and her companion disappeared.

Last year when I was looking for an apartment to rent, the Gato House had one available. Checked it out. Looked ok. I recalled Maria’s story. Could not rent the apartment. If Maria and I met up, I would not have been able to handle it.

I am a sort of believer in ghosts.

Alley is on her school’s volleyball team. I went to watch her play at 5. I was impressed. By her and her team mates.

Ally was proud to be playing. You could see it in her face.

Her team won both games easily.

Poppa fell! I was seated in the middle half way up the bleachers. I went to leave after the game. Most were staying for a second game that had been scheduled. Maneuvering around those seated, I tripped/lost my balance and went down!

Times when one feels like an asshole.

I was concerned I had broken my left leg or hip. I was bleeding. No way I was going to stay there and get help. I got myself up, down the bleachers and out the building. My sore leg and hip last night are without pain today. The bleeding I took care of when I got home.

The next game, I will sit at the end of a row on an aisle.

Prior to Ally’s game, I spent the afternoon preparing for my podcast show in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show talking about Michael and how Irma had impacted my feelings for those who will go through hell in northern Florida tonight.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Monthly meeting begin anew this evening. I look forward to the meeting. The members are fun people. There is a social hour first. Food and drink. Then a business meeting.

So much happened news wise yesterday and in the past few days. All worthy of mention. I have decided to refer to the occurrences as Hot News.

Michael on the way. At the moment a category 4. Hits landfall around 6 this evening. God help those who opted to remain.

Trump’s friend Saudi Arabia misbehaving. Turkey in cahoots. Saudi journalist Jamal Kheshoggi is a U.S. resident and Washington Post contributor. He was a critic of current Saudi policies.

It is believed he was assassinated. His body then dismembered. Trump has yet to make mention of the incident.

Recently, there was a failed attempt to assassinate Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. One of individuals thought to be involved was  political opponent Fernando Alban.

Alban was in custody. Being held on the 10th floor of the Bolivian Intelligence Service. He went out the 10th floor window. The claim, he was a suicide. His supporters say bullshit. He was thrown out!

Trump has yet to comment on this issue, also.

Trump at an Iowa rally last night. He mentioned Diane Feinstein. The crowd yelled…..Lock her up! Trump smiled. Never said no, not the American way.

The same thing happened when Hillary was mentioned during the campaign.

Trump encourages violence with his silence.

Nikki Haley resigned yesterday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She and Trump enjoyed a love relationship when her resignation was announced. Both said all kinds of nice things about each other.

The first Cabinet person to leave and not get condemned by Trump. Why did she get a free ride?

So much for Hot News.

I continue to live and learn.

We all buy ice cream in super markets. A favorite American dessert. Keep it in the freezer and pull it out when the desire hits. Which unfortunately is often.

Brands like Breyer’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle.

Guess what? They are all owned by the same company. Unilever. A British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company.

America’s first robot farm has begun operation this week. The robots replace humans. The robots described as “incredibly intelligent machines.”

The company involved is Iron Ox. A hot entity. Las year, outside money people invested in excess of $10 billion.

It is claimed the robot farm can turn out 30 times more produce than a traditional farm.

The robot farm is a hot item because the farming industry is facing a serious labor shortage and there is a growing pressure to produce more crops.

Enjoy your day!