LOBSTER SEASON…..GOOD OR BAD

The lobster season is upon us. Last year, a disaster thanks to Irma. Traps blown all over.

This year another disaster. The tariff war with China. The Keys sell millions of dollars a year of spiny lobsters to China. The Chinese love spiny lobsters! So much so that on occasion they are willing to pay anything to get them.

The Key West Weekly 8/9/18 had an excellent article on the subject. The thrust how the China/U.S. trade war will affect the Keys lobster season. Titled: Too Soon To Tell.

The facts.

Irma literally blew the season away last year. However, all was not lost. Many of the traps which were strewn all over the ocean bottom were able to be relocated. The relocated lobsters have had an extra year to grow and hopefully will be sold this season..

Ergo, an abundance of lobsters available for sale.

The problem is cost per pound. The average the past 2 years between $9.50 and $10.50 per pound. A wholesaler must sell for at least $6 to $7 a pound to break even. China is the Keys biggest customer. Tariffs imposed by both the U.S. and China the problem.

The U.S. tariff is 25 percent. China imposed a retaliatory tariff of 17 percent. The combined tariffs add 42 percent onto the normal cost of the lobsters.

A lot of money.

The Asian holidays are approaching. If China is consistent and does not care of the cost, the season will be banner one. There is something about spiny lobsters that suggests such will be the case. The Chinese love them and generally are willing to pay!

The highest per pound cost China has ever paid was $20.50.

Local wholesalers do not appear concerned. Noting however that China is the key.

Time will tell.

Chart Room first last night. I almost left when I first arrived.

A number of 40 year olds were celebrating some sort of reunion. Loud. Boisterous. Cigar smoking.

Big time noise and cigar smoke thick enough to cut with a knife a couple of steps too far. I sat it out for a while at the bar with David, Cindy and Steve.

My thought…..Deliver me!

After a while, they up and left. A new world! The quiet overwhelming. The cigar smoke soon dissipated. Everything kumbaya.

Stomach grumbling. Time to eat. Headed over to Blue Macaw. No room at the bar. Left.

Headed over to Sandy’s Cafe. Finished the evening off with a Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee.

Then to home and bed. An early evening.

Florida has early voting. Began this year August 13. Ends August 25. I will probably vote next week.

My voting place is the County Office Building on Whitehead. I vote where Key West residents vote. I am a Key West resident.

Strange.

I live at the golf course. Many many homes. Most on Stock Island. A handful totaling 40 built on Key West land. I live in one of those homes. Ergo, vote in Key West and for Key West candidates.

The weatherman’s humor showing again. Afternoon thunderstorms predicted. His add on tidbit: Afternoon wake up – loud!

Means big time thunder. Thunder by the ocean loud booming. Scares dogs and humans alike.

BOB has not written in over a week. Only one chapter left. Concerns politics and politicians. BOB’s viewpoint as one would expect. Tomorrow or the next day, BOB will finish up.

Two deaths the past few days. One after another. Yesterday, Arthea Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Fondly remembered by most. Certain anti-blacks probably did not care.

The day before, Trump took away John Brennan’s security clearance. A petty move by a small man. Brennan a former head of the CIA. A man who performed exceptionally under 6 consecutive Presidents.

A piece of America, a piece of democracy, died by Trump’s action.

Wake up America! Day by day, Trump does one or more things adversely affecting our freedoms.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST BEWARE…..GILLEAN AND ROZALYN IN TOWN

Met them last night! Two lovelies from Virginia Beach! Gillean and Rozalyn!

At the Blue Macaw.

Lovely fails to describe them sufficiently. Beautiful! Early 30’s. Arrived yesterday. Staying till tuesday. Guarantee they will leave their imprint on Key West.

Gillean in marketing. Rozalyn a nurse.

They already had a list of must do/see things. Garden of Eden at the top of the list. Gillean can’t wait to go topless. Excited.

Both experienced divers. Plan on exploring the reef.

I suggested several places to play, eat and drink. Rozalyn put them all into her cell phone.

I suspect I will run into them. The Garden of Eden the best spot. However, I have not been on the roof in years. My heart no longer can handle the three flights of steep stairs. If I could make it, my heart probably would not be able to handle what I would see up there.

Hopefully we will see each other again sunday morning at the Hard Rock Cafe brunch. Terri and Larry Baeder will be singing. Guaranteed monday at Dueling Bartenders.

Started my yesterday at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Then to Publix. I really needed groceries!

Some reading in the afternoon. Still going through Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. I highly recommend it. She traces modern day authoritarian figures beginning with Mussolini and Hitler. Leads up to Trump.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. One of Key West’s great personalities.

Met 2 guys. One from Scranton. The other originally from Albany, his wife Rochester. My home town Utica in the middle.

They were headed over to Michael’s for dinner.

Met Dion. Another lovely. An evening for lovely women!

Dion from Jamaica. I have visited twice. Many years ago. We talked about then and now. Interesting.

A tragedy yesterday. Of monumental proportions. Donna and Terri had Bear neutered. His testicles snipped. Horrendous! The mere thought bothers me.

Bear not a happy camper last night.

David Wolkowsky keeps popping up the past couple of weeks. My friend will be 99 saturday. A small party of 25 planned. I am invited. Can’t wait. An intimate event as only David can arrange.

David is Mr. Key West. If not for him, the Key West of today would not exist.

David bought a key 10 miles off Key West in 1974. Ballast Key. He constructed a magnificent home. All the amenities, although 10 miles off shore.

In his earlier days, he entertained big time at Ballast Key. World and national figures including British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Leonard Bernstein. His forever friend Jimmy Buffett a frequent guest.

David’s menu always the same. Champagne, hot dogs and chips.

A move is underway to rename Ballast Key to David Wolkowsky Key. This past week, the Monroe County Commission approved the change. Next, the approval of the federal government is required. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names. If they approve, the change will take take effect 5 years following David’s death.

Things never get better in Venezuela. Yet Maduro survives. Amazing.

The economy is in the shit house. Has been for several years. People do not have enough food. Several years ago, they ate their pets and zoo animals. People have trained themselves to eat every other day. Even babies.

Desperate times bring on desperate deeds. Many Venezuelans have turned to piracy. Old time piracy. Blackbeard’s type. Venezuelan pirates are rampaging the Caribbean in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago. Attacking yachts and fishing vessels.

Criminal chaos unleashed.

One victim who survived a pirate attack reported his group were doused with hot oil, hacked with machetes, and thrown overboard. Following which their boat was taken.

Manafort’s trial goes to the jury today. He spent a lot of money on items associated with the good life. Ten thousand dollar custom made suits an example.

Manafort has been sitting during the trial dressed to the nines, except he wears no socks. Turns out as a prisoner he can only wear government issued white socks. He is in court wearing magnificent suits and shoes. No socks! White socks do not go with his attire. He would rather go without.

The U.S. does not belong in Syria. Never the less, we are there. As is Russia and several other nations. All want a piece of the pie, ultimate control, etc. Russia and the U.S. till recently on opposite  sides. Trump however has us moving closer to being in bed with Russia.

Putin believes Russia will be involved with Syria for the long term. Hopefully forever. He is pulling a Hitler trick to assure such. He is after the Syrian youth.

Beginning this year, Syrian children will be permitted to attend Russian military academies in Russia. The first group begins September 1. The Syrians permitted to attend are the children of Syrian war heroes. Those who died in the long bloody Syrian conflict.

The intention is to develop the children into the military elite of the Syrian Arab Republic. Within 15 years, a sufficient number will have made it through the program and will control the Syrian military.

All Russian brain washed.

The program has been approved by a Russian governmental decree. Means Putin approved. It is referred to as “adaptation training.”

Hitler did something similar with the Hitler Youth. Hitler’s attitude then and Putin’s now: Get them while their young!

Enjoy your day!

 

YOU WON’T BELIEVE…..PUBLIC URINALS

The modern world moves in strange ways.

Paris and Berlin have a common problem. Men peeing in the streets. Big time! The ladies not at all.

Arrests, fines, etc. have not solved the problem.

Paris’ solution unusual. Public urinals on the streets. Strictly for men. Open and exposed. A bright red metal box 2′ x 3′ sitting on a pole. A large opening on one side. A man steps up to the box, pulls out his private, and excretes into the hole.

These boxes are on public streets. In full view of everyone. No privacy involved. Near popular tourist spots. One sits near Notre Dame Cathedral. Several along the Seine. One near a school.

Twenty two erected so far. All eco-friendly. No odor. Straw inside. The straw periodically removed and used for compost.

Again, not for the ladies. As to #2, a private commode still required.

Berlin liked the idea of what Paris was doing. The Germans came up with their own way, however. A study undertaken. Now complete. The study requires gender equality. Neutral toilets for public use.

Men peeing in the streets the problem again.

The Berlin plan requires the construction of small buildings to be used as public toilets. With an unusual twist.

Receptacles common for male peeing use hang on a wall. Some run from chest height to the floor. Others chest height to just above the knees. A man stands before the receptacle, pulls out his private and goes.

The smaller of the receptacles to be used in the new public facility. The bottom lip will extend out a bit more than normal.

Men and women alike will use the receptacle. The men in the usual fashion. Women standing in front of the receptacle, lifting their dresses or dropping their pants, followed by their panties. The women will pee standing up as the men do.

For the other type excretion, a commode required. Somewhere else. The new gender compliant facility only for peeing.

Would you believe?

The subject was the opening topic in my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. More interesting than Donald Trump.

Another topic involved Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Hell hath no fury like as a woman scorned. A woman rejected in love can be angry and dangerous.

Omarosa and Trump together a long time. Fifteen years. Omarosa black. He a racist. Strange that whatever the relationship, it lasted that long.

She appears to have tapes. For everything. Trump is a womanizer and misogynist. My gut tells me they must have had sex. Embarrassing for the President if such is the case and reflected on a tape or two.

Yesterday, Omarosa dropped a bomb. Claimed Trump knew about the Hillary e-mails before they were even leaked by Wikileaks. Such would mean Trump was aware of their existence via a Russia connection.

Omarosa has appeared before Mueller. When asked if she had a tape re the e-mails, she said she could not respond.

I spent yesterday afternoon preparing for last night’s show. Cupboard bare again. I did not feel like going to Publix for food at lunch time. Ergo, drank 2 Dr. Atkins 15 gram protein shakes. One for breakfast, the other for lunch.

By dinner time, I was famished. Did not realize how much. Went to Roostica. Ordered the 3 meatball over polenta appetizer. Always cognizant of my diet.

I devoured the food with a speed that shocked me. I was ravenous. Still hungry. Ordered brushetta. Swiftly put that down.

Not a smart way to eat. Do not plan on doing it again.

Thought overall I would lose a pound. Instead, gained a pound.

Key West icon and legend David Wolkowsky requires mention. On this date in 1978, he bought the Kress Building on Duval for $210,000. Soon thereafter became Fast Buck Freddie’s.

David built a penthouse home for himself on the roof of the building. Absolutely magnificent! I have attended several parties there.

David still throws large parties on the roof. More intimate ones at his home in the Casa Marina Flagler area. David will be 99 years old on August 25. I will be attending a birthday party for him at his Flagler  Street home.

The Woodstock Festival opened this day in 1969. On Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, N.Y. Two hundred thousand were expected. Close to a half million showed up.

A raucous three day event. Will forever be known as the perfect example of America’s 1960’s youth counterculture.

Big name musical entertainers appeared. The likes of Airplane, Who, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, and Arlo Guthrie. Last but not least, Key West’s Larry Smith and Christine Cordone.

Those were the days….

In  a recent column in the Washington Post, George Will wrote an interesting statement. Short but to the point: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Enjoy your day!

 

ANOTHER DAY OF BEAUTIFUL SOUND

Terri White two days in a row! Nothing could be better!

Terri was guest performer last night at Aqua. She participated with Tom Luna and Rick Dery in Dueling Bartenders.

Her voice…..Magnificent! The woman a top notch vocalist. The crowd went crazy for her tune renditions.

The entire show was good. How could it not be? A trio of great singers…..Tom Luna, Rick Dery and Terri White.

Do yourself a favor. Stop by some monday evening 5:50-8-00 and enjoy!

Tom looking better. Still recovering from a kidney stone surgery. Needs to put back on a few more pounds.

Donna was there, of course. The lovely Jean Thornton, also. She leaves tomorrow for her home in Birmingham. Key West will not know her again till October 15. I will miss her.

Sheila and John at the end of the bar.

Joe Phillips came over to say hello. We had met some time back. He and his wife relatively new to Key West. His wife, Andrea Phillips. Both veterans. Several tours of duty each. Joe’s first actual war engagement was Kuwait.

Donna and others were headed over to Antonia’s for dinner. The $10 summer pasta special. Too many carbs for me. I am protecting my diet. Begged off. Went to Sandy’s Cafe instead for a Cuban cheese toast and diet soda.

I mentioned yesterday that Antonia’s appeared to be closed at this time of the summer. I was wrong. Only sundays till the end of September.

Cuban dancing music saturday night in Key West. At the Key West Theater. The show Havana Nights Cuba. A combination of Havana spirits and Latin rhythms.

The beat exciting!

Sometimes the public is kept ignorant. Intentionally. I came across an item this morning that has not appeared yet in the media. It involves Peter Strzok, the FBI Special Agent fired this week. Trump considered his firing a great victory.

The information I came across indicated Strozk still a Federal employee. He had two jobs. Worked for the FBI and CIA. He is the Section Chief of the CIA’s Counterespionage Group. Served as such in recent years while also serving as Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.

If true, the man was sheep dipped. In intelligence work means he had an alternate identity.

True or false? Time will tell. Quickly, I assume.

If true, nothing wrong with it. Merely shows Trump is not as smart as he thinks. He does not know everything. Nor do those who closely work with him.

The crazies keep coming out to public view. Persons way out who want to be in government.

The most recent is New York’s Carl Paladino. A very wealthy man. Lives in New York’s 27th Congressional District. The Buffalo-Rochester area. The District where present Representative Chris Collins announced following his arrest for insider trading that he would not be running for reelection.

The seat a solid Republican one.

Paladino totally off the wall. He ran for Governor against Cuomo. Lost by 30 points. He was Co-Chair of Trump’s New York Campaign.

Similar to Trump in many ways. Loud, conservative and known for insulting people.

He reminds me of Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan. One difference. Jordan is a pussy compared to Paladino.

Paladino is anti-immigrant. In 2015, he bemoaned “non-Americans walking around.” Another time, he denounced the “damn Asians coming here to go to school.”

Even worse, he is anti-black. Anti-Obamas definitely. He once said of Barack Obama, “Barack should die from mad cow disease.” Not a friend of Michelle’s either: “A man who should go live with gorillas.”

The nuts run because normal people are reluctant to enter today’s extremely dirty political fray.

Paladino is running in a Republican primary for the seat.

Strange things happen. This one I do not understand. There has to be a legitimate reason for it. George Papadopoulos is scheduled to be sentenced September 7 for lying to the FBI. He has been cooperating with the Mueller team.

Mueller obtained a protective order yesterday to prevent/prohibit the release of evidence bearing on Papadopoulos. The Court granted Mueller’s request for the protective order immediately.

Does not mean anything wrong. Unusual, however.

Omarosa and the tapes. Wowie! She spent 15 years working with Trump. First on the Apprentice and then in the White House. A long relationship. In some fashion, she is going to blow the whistle on the President.

The 15 year relationship does not make sense. Trump not known for long term relationships. There has to be a glue that kept them together. It would be extremely amusing if one or more of the tapes involved sex.

Tonight the night! My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting and eye opening occurrences.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

KICK ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN…..THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

The U.S. and Turkey are supposedly friends. Both led by authoritarian figures. Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Birds of a feather.

Turkey has always been considered a key American ally. The U.S. has a large military base there. There is also a NATO base.

Friends no more. A pissing match instead. Trump is irritated Erdogan will not release an American minister it has held prisoner since 2016. Trump suggested an exchange. Some Turkish citizen the U.S. has been holding.

Erdogan said no. No one says no to Trump. Especially another authoritarian figure. As far as Trump is concerned, it is his way or the highway as far as Turkey is concerned.

Turkey has been hurting economically. Its currency fell to a record low this morning. Inflation 17.75 percent. The country is on the verge of an economic meltdown.

Turkey’s crisis has made the American dollar strong when pitted against Turkish currency.

Friday Trump delivered a major blow to Turkey. All because Turkey continued to refuse his demand that the minister prisoner be released. Trump doubled the tariffs already imposed on Turkey as part of the tariff wars. Aluminum rose to 20 percent and steel 50 percent.

Trump tweeted friday with the news: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

European and Asian stock markets have reacted to the tariff increases. The feud perhaps the start of a world wide recession similar to 2008. Though not considered imminent at this time. Turkey’s economy ranks only 17th world wide.

My concern is it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. One of the major California fires still burning a perfect example.

Trump is kicking a “friend” while the friend is down. Not what friends are for!

Now to my yesterday.

Brunch 10 to 12 at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri White was singing with Larry Baeder. A WOW! Great show! Performances outstanding! Be certain to go next week. Terri and Larry will regularly appear at brunch time every sunday.

For a blind woman, my girl does terrific!

Terri has another gig tonight. She is singing with Dueling Bartenders Tom Luna and Rick Dery at Aqua.

Go girl, go!

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA. Excellent golf. Brook Koepka won. By 2 strokes over Tiger Woods.

Brook has won 3 of the last 6 majors. Only 28. He has only one other win. A tour win. Unusual for someone who has won three big ones.

Tiger gets better every week. He is due back as a winner soon. And then a consistent one.

Tiger shot a 64 yesterday. His putting not yet what it was. Had a few dropped, he would have won.

On one of the last holes, he hit a 40 foot plus putt. It hung on the lip of the cup. Everyone holding their breaths waiting for it to drop. It did not.

Jean Thornton and I partied together last night. Began at the Orchid Bar. Victor bartending.

I meet a lot of interesting people. A couple I met at the Orchid Bar last night, one of the most interesting.

Dan and Pam. Now hail from Largo, Florida.

Dan is retired from the New York City Carpenter’s Union. Pam still working. Bookkeeper for general contractors.

Dan described two jobs he was especially proud of. One was the scaffolding when the Statue of Liberty was being shaped up. The other involved something to do with a major job at the UN where he had 80 men working under him.

Then to the Rum Bar. Jean and I not traveling together. Jean rides her bicycle all over town.

The Rum Bar will be a regular sunday stop for me. My friend Lauri the bartender there sunday evenings. Left Aqua after 17 years to work the Rum Bar.

With Lauri running the show, the Rum Bar is quickly becoming a new locals place. Donna and Terri, Sally, Ingrid, Art and George there when Jean and I arrived.

Jean and I decided on Antonia’s for dinner. Closed. Must be shut down for the slow days of August and September.

No problem. We went across the street to La Trattoria.

We had a terrific time! Jean a wonderful companion.

Tiffany bartending. She mentioned we have known each other for 25 years. True!

Dinner done. I was tired. Jean still raring to go. I went home. Jean peddled her bike to Vino’s.

The white nationals/supremacists were holding a major rally in Washington yesterday. Publicized Unite The Right 2. Turned out to be a flop. Only a small contingency of the group appeared.

Why?

These are bad people. Fascists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members. They believe there is only one race. The white race.

They became empowered by Trump’s statement following Charlottesville last year. The President supported them. Seemed to legitimize them.

I think they realized though the President supported them, most of the people did not. The vermin disappeared back into the woodwork instead of participating in the rally.

This does not mean they will not return to raise havoc another day. They will. They are mostly young whites. Some are your neighbors, though you are not aware of their political leanings.

Be on your guard.

For the past several years, I have written and spoken re Afghanistan and its opium fields. Ninety percent of the heroin on American streets comes from the poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan.

How so if the U.S. has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for 16 years? The poppy fields neither attacked or destroyed. Poppy farming goes on. Heroin a thriving business.

I have consistently suggested someone has to be on the take.  More than one. Too much drug money involved for it not to be so.

A recent government report indicates that as the Afghanistan war progressed, opium production increased. Even though the U.S., separate from war dollars, has spent $8.62 billion between 2002 and 2017 in an effort to eradicate the opium problem.

The attempt to eradicate an absolute failure. As the report stated: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.”

Enjoy your day!

CONSISTENCY LACKING

My yesterday afternoon was spent watching the PGA and Tiger Woods. I frequently hit the remote to see what was going on in Charlottesville.

Tiger was terrific everywhere, except on the greens. His putter failed him. Yet, he is only 4 behind going into the final round today.

Charlottesville not what I expected. The opposition to the white nationals was not organized. There were few protesters also. The media described them in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

What I saw on TV was a strong police presence. The authorities ready for whatever was going to happen. A tight ship was run. No permits were allowed for anything.

Many of the protesters were University of Virginia students. Their cry…..Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand!

Internet photos indicate few blacks protesting. Most of the students white.

Fortunately, the event was largely devoid of conflict.

It also failed to make a clear response in opposition to white nationalism.

If groups are going to oppose what I view as a growing cancer, they must plan better their rallies and protests so the message will be clear. Yes, cops are a problem. Decidedly. However lets not confuse the message. One issue at a time.

I have a feeling the demonstration in Washington today will be much different. The white supremacists will be out in force. It is their rally. I expect those in opposition who failed to show in Charlottesville will be there in large number also.

Chart Room first last night. Met a couple from Fort Lauderdale. His 14th year visiting Key West. Comes down for Lobsterfest each year. His companion a former Miss Norway. Looked just as I would have expected a Miss Norway to look. Beautiful. Light skinned, blond hair. Great smile.

A point to be made. Several months ago, Trump said in effect immigrants should come from Norway. That all white look! Similar to Hitler’s desire for an Aryan race. Light skinned blond men.

Left the Chart Room and headed for Duval. Walked a few blocks through Lobsterfest. Lobsters being cooked every which way. The smells delicious.

I was hungry. Did not buy a lobster, however. I don’t like Florida lobsters. Guess I am a snob. Prefer Maine lobster. The taste is different.

Drove to Hogfish for dinner. Packed as if it were season. Luckily found a seat at the bar.

Nothing dramatic occurred. I talked to no one. No one seemed to want to talk with me. I enjoyed my fish and people watched.

I was home in bed before 9:30.

I missed Captain Tony’s birthday party Friday night. Of his 13 children, I only know daughter Toni. A kind person. She e-mailed me yesterday forgiving me in effect for not showing up. Closed her message with “Next year!!!”

Terri sings this morning at Hard Rock Cafe. During brunch. From 10-12. I have to hustle to get there on time.

Tonight, Jean Thornton.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

DAVID WOLKOWSKY’S PIER HOUSE MOTEL AT DUVAL-ON-THE-GULF

The best laid plans of mice and men…..

Last night was to be Captain Tony’s at 8 for his 102nd birthday bash. Thought it would be fun. Locals and tourists combined.

Never made it.

I enjoy researching. Can be a trip! Occasionally, a drudge.

Began researching at 2 yesterday afternoon. I was right into it. It was quickly 7. I was enjoying myself. Decided to skip Captain Tony’s party. I was confident he would not miss me.

I worked till 2 am. Dead this morning.

Tomorrow morning from 10 to noon, Terri White sings! With Larry Baeder at Hard Rock Cafe. Brunch time. Terri will be appearing every sunday morning with Larry.

I plan on having brunch at Hard Rock tomorrow morning. My lady entertains!

David Wolkowsky is responsible for the Key West of today. No one had his vision when he opened the Pier House in 1968. Actually, on this day in 1968.

Called the operation the Pier House Motel-At-Duval-On-The-Gulf. Fifty rooms.

David a person who could see whether others could not. The Duval location was nothing but a mud pit when he decided to develop it.

David has had many accomplishments. One notable is Jimmy Buffett. Buffett will tell you David was the first person in Key West to pay him to sing. In the Pier House Chart Room, of course.

David not yet a 100. He has a ways to go. He will be 99 later this month. I received my invitation to his birthday party yesterday.

Mom’s Tea Room was a popular place back in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A bar with ladies of the night. Even in the day time.  A house of ill repute. A whore house.

If my recollection is correct, she operated at different times at 3 locations. Two in Key West and one on Stock Island. The authorities kept closing her down. The local police were not concerned. The federal government was. The Navy base was large in those days. The Navy did not feel it proper for their men to frequent a place like Mom’s.

On this day in 1941, Mom’s Tea Room was located near Fort Zachery Taylor. The constabularies raided the place. Three of Mom’s ladies were arrested.

Recall the power outage I reported this week. The one that occurred thursday night while I was at the Blue Macaw. The power outage was caused by a sailboat that struck a transmission line at the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge.

Irma beat up the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Located at 1 Whitehead. Recently reopened. The Museum has a 65 foot tower. The view spectacular. The island and Key West Harbor.

The Museum and tower are free to locals through September 30. Take advantage!

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are friends. We have lived together since way before World War II.

Friends take care of each other.

This past week, a fishing boat was out 63 miles northwest of Key West. A man on board was thought to have had a heart attack. The Naval Air Station was called. A Coast Guard boat arrived swiftly.

The crew recognized the man required immediate attention. A helicopter was called. The helicopter arrived in 9 minutes.

A medic was lowered from the helicopter. Arranged for the man to be lifted to the helicopter. He was flown to Lower Keys Medical Center. He is in stable condition.

Today and tomorrow tumultuous ones. Our country’s dark side will be exposed. Today, Charlottesville. Tomorrow, Washington, D.C.

Today is the one year anniversary of what could be described as the Charlottesville race riot. A wound opened. Exposed. A President who indicated support for the bad guys. By so doing, blatantly evidencing his racism.

White nationalists were on the march. Persons of color and those supporting them in opposition.

The vermin came out of the woodwork.

White nationalists are pro-white. Supportive of those who have come to America from European countries. They are white. Nazis at heart. Supportive of Hitler and his beliefs. Anti-Semitic.

An advanced U.S. group consists of those with extreme far right leanings. They are known as the alt-right. Whether extreme, all are white supremacists.

They Heil Hitler! Use the Nazi verbiage, Sieg Heil!

Primarily young. Difficult to distinguish or be aware of their political leanings. Your next door neighbor.

They believe white people are a race unto themselves. Whites presently are a majority in the U.S. They want to maintain that majority. They believe non-whites are on a mission of genocide to destroy whites. They seek to protect their own.

They are anti-immigration. Immigration allows additional non-whites to enter the country.

Trump supports them. They support Trump. They are part of the hard-core Republican conservative base that supports Trump.

They claim history supports their position.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 set forth the rules for granting naturalized citizenship. Immigration was limited to those who were “free white persons” of “good moral character.”

The law remained such till the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868. Did not blanket cover everyone, however. Granted citizenship only to black people born in the U.S.

The issue as to other non-whites was resolved in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898. Allowed for naturalization to be available to everyone.

John C. Calhoun is a respected historical figure. Never the less, he was pro white and anti all other persuasions. He said, “We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race – the free white race…..Ours, sir, is the Government of a white people.”

I took the time this morning to spell out in some detail the background, etc. re the white nationalists. They are the enemy of our democracy. They seek to change it. By so doing, destroy it.

You will hear much on the media today and tomorrow re Charlottesville and Washington happenings. Our country may bleed a little.

Understand what is going on.

Enjoy your day!

 

USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CAPTAIN TONY…..I BEAT THE MAFIA

Captain Tony Tarracino an icon. Part and parcel of Key West. Died at 92. His 102nd birthday being celebrated friday night at 8 at Captain Tony’s.

A crowd guaranteed. Family and friends. Tourists.

A unique personality. Tony is remembered as a salon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Last Mango In Paris. The song’s opening line…..”I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat’.”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor. Illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Got out of Dodge. Escaped to Key West.

I only know one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Tony who is a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Warm and charming. Look forward to seeing her friday night at the birthday party.

Key West a money maker for investors! Developers have faith Key West prosperity will continue. It was announced yesterday that a San Francisco group KHP Capital Partners had purchased six Key West guest houses. A package deal. One hundred nine million dollars. Two hundred twenty two guest rooms.

The Key West City Commission gave formal approval to the proposed “pocket park” at the Atlantic end of Duval. A group will rent the last block from the City. Perhaps the pier. I am not sure.

Tables and chairs will be set in the street. Nine parking places to be removed. Food will be served from the Southernmost Beach Cafe and the Southernmost Guest House. A food truck will be located on the Guest House property.

I do not approve. The Bubba system at its worst. The street and its view should be left as is. Nature already perfect. Does not require upgrading.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. A friend from last year at the bar. Gordon Anderson from Tombstone, Arizona.

Gordon runs the Larian Motel in Tombstone. Two blocks from O.K. Corral.

A year changed nothing re our political views. Gordon remains firm in his conviction that Trump is the right guy to be President. He has faith in him. Believes in him. Has hope for Trump’s Presidency.

Gordon appears to be one of the 89 percent Republicans who remain supportive of the President.

The give and take was excellent. Just as it was last year.

Then to the Blue Macaw for ribs and a drink. Met Doug. Ten years a Key Wester. Works at the Hemingway House as a guide. Loves the job.

Doug is from the Boston area. We chatted re Boston, Hemingway, his wives, his girl friend who eventually moved to Key West, etc.

A nice guy. Enjoyable conversation.

The weather man’s advice in simple terms for today: Nice day, nice night.

Thank you.

Trump was going to clean the swamp. Good luck! It is worse than ever. A culture of corruption pervades. From the White House down. A fish rots from the head.

The most recent alleged wrongdoer is upstate New York Congressman Chris Collins. A Republican. Represents the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

He was arrested for insider trading. His son and son’s fiance’s father, also.

Collins was the first Congressperson to support Trump. He seconded Trump’s nomination at the convention. Served on Trump’s Transition Team.

We may not know the winner of the Ohio Congressional race for a while. The Republican candidate is ahead by 1,504 votes. However more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. They are required by law to be tabulated by August 24.

I close with my thoughts re Federal District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis. He is hearing the Manafort case.

Ellis has been a Judge 31 years.

He is obviously cantankerous on the bench. Disrespectful to attorneys. Involves himself in questioning too much. Etc. He is aware of how he conducts himself. He once said, “I am a Caesar in my own Rome.”

He should be off the bench. I wrote and spoke re judges who sit too long two weeks ago. At that time re the Supreme Court where Justices sit for life. Thirty plus years not uncommon. Justices in their 80’s common.

Too old to serve. Judges do not get better with age. They get cantankerous, mean, disrespectful. Know everything. Tempers short.

I advised at the time that the reason our Founding Fathers did not set an age limit for federal judges was the length of life back then. The average life of a white male was 35 years.

All Federal judges sit for life.

Judges are like everyone else. People think because they wear black robes they are supposedly fair and without human shortcomings. Judges are just like everyone else. If they have a bad night or morning with their wives, the lawyers feel it in the courtroom. Some are prejudiced. Dislike persons of color, certain ethnics, etc. They don’t know it. I have never met a bigot who knew he was a bigot.

And so on.

Ellis is to old for the job. It is time that thought be given to a Constitutional amendment setting a fixed number of year for the job. Justice will fail to be served in all instnaces otherwise.

I missed doing the blog and Key West Lou Live show yesterday. A new pill. Reacted adversely with my other medications. I was in rough shape yesterday morning. Kept feeling I was going to pass out.

Enjoy your day!