I’M BACK!

It is a little past one in the afternoon. Finally, I am back!

Computer problems. Two days. Repair person worked at his home and mine.mine. He visited me today. Brought his super dooper tablet. Would not work in my home. Nor would my computer which he had fixed. He had a long conversation with Comcast. Problem in the house wiring or outside.

When does he repair man come? We all know how Comcast is. I am supposed to get a call telling me re tomorrow morning. Hopefully! We shall see.

In the meantime, I am at Lisa’s. Working on  my computer. No problem!

I missed one blog and last night’s blog talk radio show because of the situation. Sorry.

The mini lobster season  started today. I watched the boats go out. I watched them drop anchor out on the sea. Does not appear to be as many as in  previous years. The newspaper will provide the numbers tomorrow.

I had two interesting stories ready to go. One concerning Florida sharks and the other lionfish. Too late for today. I will fit them in sometime this week.

Till tomorrow. I expect tomorrow to be late also. The repair man and I have an appointment with an orthopedist for my shoulder.

Enjoy your day!

 

SLOPPY JOE’S

I am late getting the blog out this morning. Sorry. I was up at my usual time to do it. The computer would not work. After playing around with it a couple of hours, it has started working. Hope it stays that way.

Curiosity sometimes arouses me. This morning it was where did Sloppy Joe’s get its name. I thought one of two places. Either the owner Joe Russell’s first name or after the famous sandwich the restaurant serves. I was wrong in both instances.

Hemingway was instrumental in the name selection.

One of Hemingway’s Cuba friends was Jose Garcia. Jose ran a bar in Havana. The Rio Havana Club. The floor was always messy from melted ice. Jose also sold fish. Spaniards are tidy meticulous people. They started referring to Jose’s place as a sloppy place. This eventually translated into Sloppy Joe’s and became the name of the bar.

Jose also served a popular sandwich. Ropa vieja. Not similar however to the Key West Sloppy Joe sandwich.

Hemingway took his buddy Joe Russell on a trip with him to Havana. Hemingway convinced Russell he should name his Key West place Sloppy’s Joe’s. In honor of Jose’s Havana bar. The Havana bar was popular. Very. The two most popular places in Havana in those days were Sloppy Joe’s and Myer Lansky’s race track.

I hope Peter Anderson was aware how loved and respected he was. Key West has gone all out in honoring his memory. Peter was a fun person. This past saturday there was a Secretary Sunset Salute at Louie’s Backyard. Louie’s outside bar was one of Peter’s favorite haunts. It was a celebration of life party. Everyone enjoyed.

The celebration of Peter’s life is not over. This saturday there will be a parade in his honor. On Duval from Mallory Square to Front Street. Then a party at the Southernmost Cafe. The parade will be full of pomp and circumstance. It will be long. Many participants. For those who might not be to handle such a lengthy walk, Ed Swift is donating trolley cars. The parade and party will be another celebration of Peter’s life.

Went to Dan Reynen’s birthday party yesterday. Number 45. Dan is the owner of WeBeFit. I had a good time. Spoke with many. Spent time with my trainer Albert and his wife Jill. Both nice people.

The food and drink were excellent. The ladies attractive. What struck me was their shoes. The very high heeled ones. The shoes were outstanding. The women wearing them, also.

Then to Lisa’s for sunday dinner. I picked. I was already full from the party.

Enjoy your day!

 

LOBSTER MOBSTER SEASON / CHAOS

I mentioned a few days ago that the mini lobster season begins this week. An armada of boats will be on the waters diving for lobsters.

What I did not realize is how unhappy some of the locals are with the mini lobster season. Which lasts only two days, by the way.

Yesterday’s Keynoter and one its readers reflected the unhappiness in the paper’s editorial and a letter to the editor.

The editorial made mention of the tens of thousands of lobster hunters who would be descending on the Florida keys. Thirty thousand are expected. Only 71,000 people live in the keys. Hotels, motels, restaurants, and bars will benefit. Some locals will nod their heads in disapproval.

The person who penned the letter to the editor should have been an author by profession. He described the mini lobster season as the lobster mobster season. He also stated that the large number of boats result in chaos on the water.

Mack the turtle is on the mend. Mack who somehow found his way to the boat basin of the Marathon Turtle Hospital in May. At that time, he was wrapped in fishing line and his body was loaded with tumors. Mack has had five operations since May. The tumors are the big problem. The hospital plans on keeping Mack another year to make sure there are no tumor regrowths. Then if all is well, Mack returns home to the ocean.

A keys resident on Plantation Key has a big problem. The resident owns Jersey Boardwalk Pizza. He has also been using a logo that very much looks like the logo used by the State of New Jersey for the Garden State Parkway. Two different shades of green and round. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority says he cannot. Constitutes trademark infringement. The pizza guy says my restaurant, I am going to continue using the name and logo.

New Jersey has sued our Plantation Key friend in federal court.

A stupid waste of State funds. No one is going to think New Jersey or its highway system are operating a pizza parlor on Plantation Key in the Florida Keys. However…..I believe New Jersey will win.

Thirty years ago, I had a similar case in upstate New York. My client’s last name was Sears. He was a retired police officer. He lived in some very small town in the Adirondack Mountains. Probably less than 500 people. For fifteen years, he had been operating the Sears Realty Company in that little town.

Sears Roebuck found out. They sued him in federal court for trademark infringement. They wanted my client to cease and desist using the name Sears. They claimed people might become confused and think Sears Realty was the big time Sears. Impossible!

I laid the facts before the Judge, Suggested Sears was overly concerned and unfair. The Judge said, Mr. Petrone, I agree…..however the law is the law, your client is infringing and must stop using the Sears name. It was immaterial that Sears was my client’s real name.

So it goes. That is why our Plantation Key neighbor is going to lose. The shame of it all is that it will cost him a ton of money to fight New Jersey in federal court.

Tavern ‘n Town last night. It was saturday. Bobby Nesbitt time. Sat at the bar and enjoyed him. Manager Judy stopped by to say hello. Ran into Allan Wimer who ironically I spoke with on the telephone a few days ago for the first time in at least 10 years. He was at a wedding dinner. We had a good chat.

I have a birthday party this afternoon. Dan who owns WeBeFit  is 45 years old. The party should be fun. I hope these health aficionados eat bad food and drink alcohol.

I said yesterday that Michelle Obama had teamed up with Monsanto to provide healthy genetically modified food to America’s children. I could not understand.

I was wrong. The story was out there. It was being reported. Had gone viral. However subsequent reports indicate it was a false statement. My apologies to the First Lady.

Enjoy your sunday!

KUMBAYA

We live in a bleak moment in human history. Such cannot be denied.

Perhaps the world should adopt the Key West mentality. Live in Key West time as Howard Livingston recommends. Peoples should take things as they come. Not make a federal case out of everything. Kumbaya everyday.

Last night was supposed to be dinner with Jenna. I canceled. Probably foolishly.

I am enamoured with Jenna. She, with me. It thrills me to have dinner with this lovely statuesque 27 year old beauty. All 79 years of me!

Yesterday afternoon, I went back to Growing Up Italian. I am writing two books at one time. The other is Greece, The First Time. The words were flowing. My thoughts right on. I did not want to stop to dine with Jenna.

Foolish, I agree. Sometimes my priorities are misplaced.

I was disturbed with a Michelle Obama news release yesterday. Many of you will be also.

It was announced that Michelle Obama was teaming up with Monsanto to promote children’s food. Monsanto has introduced a 5 year $50 million program to market healthy (?) genetically modified food to children. Most of the world opposes and fear Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms/seeds. Not a well thought out move on Michelle’s part.

Love Turner Classic Movies. Woke this morning at six to Julius Caesar. The 1953 movie starring Marlon Brando as Mark Anthony. I quoted part of Mark Anthony’s words in a recent KONK Life column…..The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.

When I was writing the column, I was not sure whether it was Mark or Marc. I went with Marc. A bit of a twist. A spelling I thought Shakespeare would have used.

I was wrong.

Shakespeare spelled it as Mark throughout. Anthony he used two different ways. In some places, he refers to Mark Anthony as Antonio. The reason for whatever way spelled by Shakespeare appears to be the Latin spelling of Mark Anthony. Marcus Antonius.

Always learning.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE SHAME OF IT ALL

Key West weather is strange. Perhaps weather along the ocean everywhere is.

This morning is absolutely beautiful. Serene best describes it. Nothing moving. The sun bright. The sky blue with a smattering of isolated white clouds.

The weather man says it is not going to stay that way. Predicts 80 percent chance of rain later this afternoon. Hard to believe!

Lobster mini season next week! A big deal! People come from all over to dive for Florida lobsters. The season starts tuesday. Three days. Each day an armada will pass my home as it enters the ocean. The only way to describe it. Each year it reminds me of what the English boats must have looked like heading to Dunkirk.

Poachers show up. I call them thieves. 200-250 lobsters reside under my dock. The dock is 144 feet long. When I go out at sunrise on tuesday, there will be a black rubber suited swimmer picking at my lobsters. One year, I poked the guy in the head with a pole. He shot up, looked at me, and swam away like a thief. Which he was.

I did write next week’s KONK Life column yesterday. The Shame Of It All. About the Detroit water situation. My purpose was to share facts that normally do not appear in the national media. An interesting story. Obviously revealing. Read it when published next week. You will enjoy.

I wanted the column to be a double header. I wanted to explore the children immigrating into Texas also. Shame, again. The two subjects combined would have made for too long a piece. De Boer limits my words.

The children problem is a perfect example of how dysfunctional our government has become. A shameful episode thus far. It is clear the Republican House may do nothing or come up with a bill that will be dramatically short in dollars. Tea party members in the House are flexing their muscles.

Regardless how the problem occurred or whose fault it is, the children are here. A fact of life. We have to do something to care for them. The media generally now is showing the pictures of how these children are living. What happened to the compassion parents and grandparents in the House normally have? Children are children.

If the House fails, Obama must show he has courage. Immediate courage. He must act. Even if he bends the rules a bit. It would not be the first time for him nor the first time a President has done so.

Recall Reagan  and Iran Contra.

Drones are frequently in the news these days. Never in a good way. Yesterday was different. An 83 year old Wisconsin man had been lost for three days. He had Alzheimer’s. A drone was sent up to hopefully locate him on the third day. It did. In 20 minutes. The man was lost in  a bean field.

Drones apparently do have a good side.

Enjoy your day!

 

BEATLES’ GEORGE HARRISON

Several years ago in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, a memorial pine tree was planted. Dedicated to George Harrison of Beatles fame. The tree recently died. Killed ironically by beetles.

I have mentioned repeatedly on my radio show the drought problems world wide. A severe drought area is Southern California. The drought has weakened vegetation such as the pine trees. Thereby making pine trees such as the one dedicated to George Harrison susceptible to a beetle onslaught.

It was the gym first thing yesterday morning. Me and Albert. The exercise does not get easier.

Albert and I have some interesting conversations while he is brutalizing me. Yesterday it was the privatization of jails. Albert brought it up based in a television show he had watched the night before.

I have a bit knowledgeable concerning the situation. I did a television show on it two years ago. Jail privatization is not a solution. One reason is dishonesty. Man’s desire for easy gain reaches the highest levels.

A particular county in Pennsylvania had privatized its jails. Two Family Court Judges started sentencing high school kids to 4 to 14 days in jail. For minor stuff. Like talking back to a teacher. One was a girl student with straight A’s. Her four days in jail screwed her up mentally.

The increase in sentencing by the two Judges was noted. An investigation ensued.

Turned out the two Judges were on the take. The jail operators were paying them a stipend for each child sent by them to their jail. Both Judges are now doing long term sentences in jail themselves.

Just one reason I am opposed to privatization of jails.

Music again. Yesterday, it was Frank Sinatra at the gym. The whole hour. His singing made it easier for me to accept what was being done.

I took a late afternoon walk. In the heat and humidity. Parked the car at Square One and walked down Duval to the Southernmost Complex and the Reach. Two of the prettiest spots in Key West.

My return trip found me at the outside bar at La Te Da. I needed water. The water was followed by a drink. I was comfortable. The people at the bar interesting. I decided to have an early dinner.

Normally, I enjoy the lacquered duck. Outstanding! I did not want a full meal, however. I opted for a cheeseburger instead. Turned out to be just as heavy. Though good!

Heard from my friend Anna yesterday. She was in Kusadasi, Turkey. Apparently a short boat ride from where ever she was staying in Greece.

I must write my column for KONK Life today.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHATEVER LOLA WANTS / DAMN YANKEES

There is always background music at WeBeFit. I suspect to take one’s mind off the pain.

As I was leaving the gym monday, I heard…..Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. From my college days!

This has been a music week. First, Don’t sit Under the Apple Tree and now, Lola. Music from the past. The distant past.

Lola was a featured tune in the Broadway musical and then movie Damn Yankees. I saw the movie. Unfortunately, not the stage show. Gwen Verdon  starred in both and sang Lola. Lola has something to do with the devil. A sultry woman, a sultry tune.

My blog talk radio show was last night. Because I screwed off monday, my show was not ready. I had to work on it quite  awhile yesterday to be ready for last night.

I opened with the Detroit water problem. I had spoken about it last week. Last night was an update. A detailed one. More facts had come out during the week. I was able to explore the nitty gritty.

A key factor is the unfairness involved. The water company is pursuing the little guy and not the businesses who owe. Anyone owing more than $150 or behind two weeks is pursued. Their water turned off. Only residential properties. Most of which are occupied by persons of color.

Many businesses also owe money. At least one auto company. Two businesses owe in excess of $1 million. A golf course over $200,000. The brunt of the money owed is from businesses and not residents.

When those in authority were asked why only the residents were having their water turned off and not the businesses, the reply was simple and stupid. It was claimed that a resident’s water ccould be turned off easily. Lift a small outside door, turn a switch and attach a wire. No special training required.

To turn off a business on the other hand, requires much more work. Purportedly complicated. Required special training which no one at the water company had.

Does not make sense to me. Go after the big bucks! Get yourself ready to do it! Do it!

Detroit came up this morning on Morning Joe. It was like many on the panel were not that familiar or were hearing about the issue for the first time. Mika said we will have to get into this tomorrow. I am discovering the live TV talk shows are generally a day or two behind in reporting an event. Whereas, the internet is right on!

The gym again this morning. I am into the scene. Though I dread it.

Enjoy your day!

 

LAZY DAY

Started my yesterday with the gym. Nothing different. Grueling. I get through it by saying to myself…..Louis, this is the best thing you have done for yourself in years!

My plan for the rest of the day was to work on tonight’s blog talk radio show. My preparation was 70 percent complete. However, I could not get going. I did not seem to care. I just wanted to take it easy. As Howard Livingston would say, I was in Key West time.

I did nothing. Which means I have to do it today.

I went out for dinner last night. Geiger Key. Glad I did. Very few customers. Quiet and peaceful. Sort of went with the mood I was in. I enjoyed my time there.

I mentioned yesterday Phoenix’s Wally Collins won the Hemingway Look A Like Contest. Further mentioned that it generally took 10 years of participation before a person became a winner. Not in Wally’s case. He has only been participating 6 years!

When I went to bed, the sky was a bit overcast. Looked like it might rain. It did. Poured! Wind howled! I went out on the deck this morning. My deck chairs are blown all over and toppled. They are heavy. Had to be a strong wind.

Lisa and family were returning from the grandparents who live somewhere in northern Florida. About an 8 hour drive. The car died in Florida City. The family, including Jake, spent the night in a motel. They are hopeful they can get the car repaired and get back on the road today.

It was party time for Robert and Ally. Pizza delivered to the room. I am not sure what Jake ate.

Tonight, my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine in the evening. One half hour. Fast moving and interesting. Revealing. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include why the recent epidemic of police brutality situations, CIA owing Michigan more than $20,000 of employee withholdings for state income taxes, a real expose re the Detroit water problem, what happened to the 219 girls abducted in Nigeria, Microsoft to lay off 18,000 in the next 12 months, Muslim honor killings up, RJReynolds hit with a $23 billion jury verdict, Venezuela now taxing air (you read it correctly), and more.

If you are unable to listen this evening, the show is archived immediately. Additionally it is now available on my Key West Lou Facebook page every day.

Enjoy your day!

 

TOUCHES OF KEY WEST

The Hemingway Look A Like Contest ran well into the evening saturday night. At Sloppy Joe’s. 131 contestants. Wally Collins, a Phoenix restaurateur won.

I do not know how many years Collins has been a contestant. The word on the street is it takes at least 10 years of participating before anyone is seriously considered. My friend Hank from Melbourne has been trying for 21 years. Has not made it yet!

Hemingway and Key West go hand in hand. He lived in Key West from 1931-39. Wrote To Have and Have Not and A Farewell to Arms while here. Worked on parts of other novels.

Tennessee Williams was another outstanding writer who made his home in Key West. From 1949-83, he lived at 1431 Duncan Street. One and a half blocks from where Lisa now lives. While visiting and not yet having settled in Key West, Williams wrote a first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire. He wrote it in 1947 while staying at the La Concha Hotel on Duval. The La Concha stands to this day.

During the Civil War, Florida seceded. Key West however remained in Union hands. The Union had a naval base and military personnel here.

A Conch today is a person who was born in Key West. A much respected designation. Those who came here to live but were not born in Key West, and have resided in Key West for seven years, are known as Freshwater Conchs.

The term Conch has a far deeper history. The first Conchs were persons of European ancestry who immigrated from the Bahamas. They came in increasing numbers beginning in the 1830′s.

By 1889, Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in Florida. The salt and salvage businesses though good were starting to decline. Cigar making was on the rise.

Key West was isolated prior to 1912. No railroad or highway. Water the only access. In 1912, Henry Flagler completed his railroad to Key West.  Flagler’s Overseas Railroad. Much of the railroad was destroyed by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. It was never rebuilt.

US 1 was completed in 1938. A highway connecting Key West with mainland Florida. Called the Overseas Highway.

The one person close in Key West fame to Hemingway is Harry Truman. Truman spent a total of 175 days over a course of 11 visits while President. He stayed at a part of the Naval Base which is now Truman Annex. The building was known as the Little White House. It is now listed on the National Registry.

The Naval Base was first established in 1820. It remains to this day. Spread around and significantly smaller. At its strength, it had 15,000 military and 3,400 civilian personnel.

Cruise ships first docked in Key West at Mallory Square in 1984.

Key West is reputed to be the southernmost point in the United States. Close, but not actually. Ballast Key which is a privately owned island to the south and west of Key West is the southernmost point.

Cuba is a mere 90 miles from Key West. Closer than Miami which is 155 miles from Key West.

Hurricanes are always a concern. Yearly. Generally in the fall months. Though some on occasion a bit earlier. Wilma in 2005 and Georges in 1998 were the two worst hurricanes in recent years.

Hope you found these bits of information interesting.

Enjoy your day!

 

RUNNING OF THE BULLS

Yesterday was the day! The running of the Bulls! An integral part of Hemingway Days.

Over a hundred Hemingway look a likes gathered on Green Street. White pants and white shirts. Red berets. Red sashes around the waist.

The bulls not for real. Though they did look ominous. Made of wood. On wheels.  One Hemingway look a like riding and a dozen others pushing and pulling.

I don’t know why, but I love this part of Hemingway Days the best each year.

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town and Bobby Nesbitt. Sat quietly alone at a corner of the bar, read the newspapers, enjoyed a drink and had something to eat. All the time humming away to whatever Bobby was singing.

Manager Judy there again last night. Does a good job. The Marriott Beachside is a first class hotel. Top shelf dining a must. Judy helps supply it. Her dining room precision run.

I was hit with some nostalgia last night.

I was driving to Tavern ‘n Town. Had the radio playing. It was on Sirius station 4. Music from the Forties. The tune…..Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree. Don’t laugh. Songs with such names were popular back then.

It was during World War II that Don’t Sit Under the Apple tree was a hit tune. Around 1943. A popular radio show was Your Hit Parade. Saturday nights at 9. The top tunes of the week were sung. My father bought sheet music. Just the words. My mother, father and I would sit in the living room with the radio on. No TV back then. We would sing a long with the songs being sung on the show.

Snooky Lanson was one of the male stars. Strange, I remember his name. Even at 8, I sensed something was wrong with the name Snooky.

Frank Sinatra was one of the show’s performers. But only for a while. He was just merging as a popular soloist. He screwed up the words to the #1 song of the week. Don’t Fence Me In. Another one of those titles! The show fired him. How stupid! Little did they know.

The show was sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes. Most adults smoked back then.

James Garner died yesterday. A great movie star. He was in his mid 80s. I enjoyed his movie and TV work. Our lives closely paralled age wise. I enjoyed him all my adult life.

Enjoy your Sunday!