GETTING THERE

Still on the mend. A bit better each day. Pain considerably less. Almost gone.

Problem is nausea from the heavy antibiotics. Not eating much food the cause.

I am starting to get stir crazy. The need to get out of the house is developing. I look forward to becoming a member of society again.

To top a rather uncomfortable situation off, my air conditioner is screwed up. The thermostat. Does not kick off when temperature level reached. Ergo, I am either too hot and sweating, or freezing cold. My body has become the thermostat. However, it is not as quick nor accurate as a properly working thermostat.

This morning’s Key West Citizen’s Today In history reported an interesting Key West tale.

The year 1829. Charles Hawkins caught William McRea jumping out his wife’s bedroom window. They fought a duel. Both were wounded, but lived.

Several months later McRea was walking on Whitehead Street. Hawkins came up behind him with a shot gun. Both barrels hit McRea in the back killing him.

McRea was charged with murder. An impartial jury could not be found in Key West. The case was transferred to St. Augustine. There were no witnesses available to testify against Hawkins. The judge dismissed the case against him.

Hawkins moved to Texas. Where he became the first Commodore of the new Navy of the Country of Texas.

Bocce. A great picture and great article front page in the Citizen Sports section this morning. The picture of Turtle Kraal, winner of the playoffs. Turtle Kraal beat us in the playoffs.

I knew Turtle Kraal was a big time winner. The article reported even bigger than I thought. Turtle Kraal’s championship was the seventh consecutive one for the team.

An enviable championship record!

Enjoy your Sunday!

NOT THERE YET

Still under the weather. Antibiotics help. I can tell. Less and less pain each day. Painkillers go out the window today. Can’t stand not being all there.

When confined, it hard to talk about things. This blog is about my life in Key West. My life presently is my bedroom. That’s all there is folks!

I did next week’s KONK Life column yesterday. Took longer. Got it done, however. The title Saudi Arabia And The Hypocrisy Of It All. Interesting material. May surprise you.

I sent it to the publisher. Afterwards laying in bed, a spelling mistake hit me. I talk in the article about the UN Human Rights Council. I referred five times to it as Relations, not Rights.

Correcting is harder to do than writing once in the publishers hands. Two hands, actually. We are working on the corrections today. Started yesterday. Worked on it at 3 am when I could not sleep.

Enjoy your day!

STILL SICK

On the mend. Not there yet.

Pain considerably less. Problem now nausea. The antibiotics and pain killer. We’ll get there.

I spent the day in bed and on a recliner in the bedroom. Slept on and off. In between, I did the research for next week’s KONK Life column. Concerns Saudi Arabia. You will not believe!

The start of hurricane season around the corner. June 1. Let us hope it ends as quietly as it begins, with nothing in the middle.

This week’s KONK Life column The President Who Saved Football is available everywhere today. Printed in KONK Life. Carried in this morning’s E-Blast News. Available via link on my Facebook Key West Lou and Louis Petrone sites.

You have to get sick to know how much you are loved. I thank everyone for the telephone calls and e-mails.

Enjoy your day.

ON THE MEND

On the mend. I think.

Home basically lying down all day yesterday. Awake off and on through the night. Did not want to miss a pill!

I am about 30 percent better. Still have pain, but nowhere what it was. When asked in hospital pain on 1-10. I said, 10 plus!

The pain pill is terrific! Love it! Within 10 minutes, I am in la la land. Reminded me of my daughter Lori when she gave birth to her son. She was suffering in labor as women do. Got an epidural. Oh, this is wonderful repeatedly came out of her mouth afterwards.

I am on antibiotics for 10 days. Pain killer as needed. I skipped a pain pill during the night. Intentionally. A mistake. Will stay on the every four hour routine today.

I consume a lot of fruit on a daily basis. Strawberries and blueberries every day. I suspect the seeds may have contributed to my condition.

It is stay at home time for a few days. Think I am able to do a bit of research. What, I do not know as yet.

Sorry that my life will be boring for a few days. Nothing to report, except how I am handling and what I am doing with home confinement.

Enjoy your day!

STACY

An exceptional evening last night! I met Stacy!

Stacy found me. She has been a loyal blog reader for years. A frequent Key West visitor, our paths did not cross till last night. At the Chart Room, of course.

Stacy was with her husband Steve and friends Sue and Ron.

Stacy and Steve live in Erie, Pennsylvania. Parents of two. Steve is in IT with GE. Stacy a stay at home Mom. Parents of two.

I do not mean to lessen the pleasure of meeting Sue. Sue also a blog follower. However, it was Sue who went out of her way to be sure I knew Stacy was the one who really wanted to meet me.

Sue and Ron live in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Ron is in marketing. Sue a stay at home Mom like Stacy.

I was impressed that Stacy and Sue were stay at home Moms. And proud of it! A dying breed today.

We had a good time. Especially the ladies and I.

Along the way the discussion centered on  my book The World Upside Down. I chastised Stacy for not having read it. She promised she would order a copy.

My book led to a book Stacy helped author. Laura’s Gem. My recollection is Stacy wrote the last three chapters. The book was a joint effort. Several ladies involved.

May I be fortunate to meet up with Stacy and Sue and husbands on their next visit.

Sheila, Frankie and Jean Thornton at the bar.

Jean suggested we have dinner together. I begged off. She was into Hot Tin Roof and I not. I was not sure at the time we talked where I would eat.

I missed dining with a celebrity! This morning’s Key West Citizen front page has a major article on Jean. Key West’s Golden Girl. The story of Jean diving with Mel Fisher some 20 years ago and discovering a 21 link gold chain, a silver coin and an emerald.

Jean’s life changed. The Indiana school teacher quit her job. Soon she and husband Joe bought a second home in Key West. Jean is here 6 plus months a year. Joe much less. He still works for a living and travels often.

Jean leaves today. She will return July 8. I can’t wait to have dinner with her. A celebrity! (Though true, said in a joking fashion. Love Jean and always enjoy being in her company.)

Dinner was the outside bar at La Te Da. Monday night. I was alone with the newspaper. Duck the meal. Always outstanding!

My morning began on the anti-gravity treadmill. A wonderful invention! I never tire when on it. I feel like I could walk forever. As soon as I finish, I am dead! It takes me several hours to recover. I spend the time in bed.

I visited T.J. Maxx. I was not impressed.

Today is Ho Chi Minh’s birthday. He died in 1969. He was Vietnam’s leader during the Vietnam War.

Minh was initially our friend. He fought with our troops in Asian jungles during World War II.

Following the War, he made a personal request to Truman to support he and his followers in their fight for freedom from France. Truman declined. He said Minh and his people were of the wrong political party. They were Communists.

Sixty thousand dead Americans could have been avoided had some sort of relationship been possible.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me for a fast moving half hour of interesting topics. Many eye opening.

Tonight’s list includes Iraq and what are we doing there?, Obama yesterday advising certain military equipment would no longer be shared with local police departments, my concern–what about the equipment already in their hands?, Australia raining spiders, IRS employees who do not pay their taxes, and more.

Enjoy your day!

 

BIG TV/MOVIE NIGHT

Mad Men! Last night, the final show. The end of a great series.

The ending different from most. I expected a negative ending. Nothing good for the key characters. Not the case. Everyone ended up happy. Everyone got what they wanted. Even Don’s first wife who was dying of lung cancer. She controlled her last few months.

Sunday night movies great, also!

Cabaret! Roughly 45 years old. Liza Minnelli. Joel Grey. As good last night as when I first saw it way back when. I was fortunate along the way to see two Broadway productions, also.

Key West’s Kelly McGillis in Top Gun! She and Tom Cruise. Around 30 years old. A terrific action/love flick. Remains an appealing movie.

My yesterday was spent writing. Researched and wrote this week’s KONK Life column. The President Who Saved Football. A not well known story of Teddy Roosevelt’s involvement in the game when there was a move to outlaw college football. There was no pro football back then.

T.J. Maxx opened its doors in Key West at 8 yesterday morning. I never made it at anytime.

This morning’s Key West Citizen is silent as to any T.J. Maxx news. Is it because of advertising, too late to print for today’s edition, or what?

No problem. Maxx went viral. Social networking. Everyone in Key West appeared to be on the internet yesterday singing the wonders of the new store.

I hope to visit T.J. Maxx today.

On this day in history in 1980, the Mount Saint Helena volcano erupted in Washington State. A Harry Truman was involved. Harry Randall Truman. Eighty three. Spent most of his life on the mountain.

When  warned to leave, he said…..I’m going to stay right here…..no way that mountain could reach me. It did. Harry and his 16 cats died. Harry’s body never found.

Harry was an arbitrary cuss. Much like Harry S Truman. I sense the similarity between the two.

Slavery. Two items have come to my attention.

Another day in history thing. On this day in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson decided the separate but equal doctrine Constitutional. A perfect example of how warped judicial thinking at the highest level can be. We fought the Civil War 40 odd years earlier to free the slaves.

The other slavery item is one I never knew. It came to my attention the past few days. I cannot recall the source.

There was a time African muslims enslaved 1.5 million white Europeans. Between the 16th and 18th centuries. The situation referred to as the Barbary Slave Trade. The Africans would invade seaport communities in places like Italy and Greece. Take captives. They would also attack Mediterranean traveling ships and take passengers off. The scenario on land and sea a pirate operation. The Barbary Coast pirates.

Why did I not know? Why had I never heard?

My curiosity was further aroused. What happened to the descendants of the white slaves? I did some quick research. I could find no answer.

Enjoy your day!

BOCCE PLAYOFF RESULTS

Bocce playoff finals today. My team will not be playing.

We did well in the quarter finals yesterday morning. Won two successive games by good margins. Yesterday afternoon was another story, however.

We played Turtle Kraals in the semi finals. Turtle Kraals has been #1 in the monday league for years. They lose 0 to 2 games a season. That good! They generally win the playoffs. We were stuck playing Turtle Kraals in the semi finals.

We did not do well. We were up 7-2 in the first game and lost. The second game was downhill from the start.

Turtle Kraals is excellent! They play with precision. They know what they are doing with every shot. They do it. They play bocce like chess. Always a shot or two ahead mentally.

It was a pleasure watching Turtle Kraals play. None of us on our team felt bad that we lost. We expected it going in.

We have developed into a good team over time. Otherwise, we would not be consistently making the playoffs in recent years. However the difference between Turtle Kraals and us is like professional baseball. Turtle Kraals a major league team. We, triple A or class A.

Bocce playoffs are a festival. People galore. Food and drink free. People bring chairs to watch.

The only negative was the sun. Blazing hot during our first match. Tents were available, but not used. Management said the wind was too strong. They would blow over. I did not think the wind was that strong.

The sun affected me. It affected everyone. There was little protection from it.

I went home after the first match, showered and napped.

The evening was a bit cooler and then ok when the sun set.

Cuba and Key West have officially begun the bonding process. The Havana Challenge. An amateur boat race. Starts Tuesday in Cuba.

Five 16 foot catamarans left Key West yesterday for Marina Hemingway in Cuba.

The races were held in previous years. Illegally, however. This year the U.S. Commerce Department issued a license authorizing the event. First time! A step forward in relations.

I missed the Preakness. We were sitting around waiting for the game with Turtle Kraals to begin. I see where American Pharoah won. Great! Two legs down, one to go. The Belmont next.

American Pharoah’s victory indicative that he may very well be a top flight racing horse. He had the number 1 pole position, gale force winds came up as the race started, and torrential rains fell.

Can’t get any better than winning a horse race under those conditions!

Today is Sunday. The first of my three consecutive writing days. Today, I will spend most of the day writing and rewriting next week’s KONK Life column.

The column will be about football. The Tom Brady event is upon us. Brain injuries in the news.

There was another day, another time, when football was in a bad way. Much worse than today. On the verge of being outlawed. By federal law. The President at the time stepped in and literally saved football.

A yesterday scenario similar to today’s events.

T.J. Maxx opened at 8 this morning. A circus atmosphere advertised. The opening a big deal!

I will not get there today. I probably will never leave the house. I will be typing away all day. Tomorrow hopefully I can shoot over for a look.

Enjoy your Sunday!

BOCCE PLAYOFFS TODAY

We made it! The bocce playoffs!

We ended the season in 4th place. The top 5 teams in each of the four leagues make the playoffs. We play at noon today against the 5th place team of the wednesday night league.

A big deal! A festive occasion! Tons of people watching. Tents and food.

Another pleasant evening last night. Stopped at Louie’s Backyard first. Met Aziza. A local. Lives on Big Coppitt. Married. Four lovely children. Proudly showed me their pictures. Her husband prominent in the area. A realtor. Aziza a paralegal.

Aziza is originally from Russia. This led into Flora and Albania. Recall Flora’s Story in my book The World Upside Down.

A lovely interesting woman. She was killing time. She had an hour till her husband’s plane flew in from Washington where he had been on business a few days.

Then to the Chart Room.

Che at the bar. First time I have seen Che in three months or better. He was sick and rushed off to Miami. A stent problem and pneumonia.

Che is a robust appearing 82. He left, never telling anyone he was sick, etc. His door was locked, his car gone, no one answering the telephone. We all thought the worst.

I chewed Che out royally for not letting anyone know what was happening with him. We were all worried. Properly so. Chart Room regulars consider ourselves Che’s family.

Met Laureen and Chris at the bar. An enjoyable conversation evolved. Included Che.

Laureen and Chris have been visiting Key West for 18 years. They live on Amelia Island. Probably the northern most point in Florida. They come to Key West to visit Florida’s most southern point.

Laureen is CEO of a private health care company. Ted a third grade teacher.

Nice people.

Several movies have been filmed in Key West over the years. One is the 1947 Reap The Wild Wind. Starred John Wayne. The movie was based on a 1940 novel by Thelma Strabel. She serialized the story and sold it to the Saturday Evening Post.

Apparently the book resulted in big dollars to Strabel. She took the money and built a home in Key West. She did this immediately upon selling the story to the Saturday Evening Post.

The house was at 400 South Street. At the time, it was the southernmost house in Key West. The house no longer exists. Someone bought, demolished, and built another in its place.

My personal reading is not consistent. I seem to enjoy everything. Mid-week, I mentioned reading several World War II stories. Yesterday, I got into Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima.

Catholics believe that the Blessed Mother appeared before three Portuguese children in 1917. I am a fallen away Catholic. Nevertheless, I continue to believe Fatima occurred.

There is much to read regarding Fatima.

All that glitters is not gold. As we all know. I refer to a GMO situation not in the best interest of the American people.

The Agriculture Department has or soon will adopt a regulation permitting GMO Free to be put on the labels of all foods not containing GMOs. A sop!

The movement across the country is to have foods containing GMOs labeled as containing such. Monsanto and the other GMO big guys have been fighting this movement. By providing the opposite, the government has once again succumbed to the desires of Monsanto and friends.

GMO Free is not Contains GMOs. Intentional misleading.

Big sports day! The bocce playoffs and then the Preakness. I have always enjoyed racing. As a sport. A gambler I am not. I spent many an August day in Saratoga.

Enjoy your day!

JOHN G. RINGROSE

I learned this morning that my former classmate and friend John Ringrose had passed on. A nicer guy never lived!

John and I went to law school together. John was from Rome, about 15 miles from Utica. We were both married while in law school. John’s wife Darlene a gem. We had our first borns while in law school. We occasionally babysat for each other.

John went on to become a Judge. Surrogate. Surrogate Judges handle wills, estates and the like. I did not do that work at all. I only once appeared before John. It was a court proceding. I thought John did a good job as Judge. I hope he thought I did a good job as a lawyer.

John and I roomed together in New York City for six weeks while taking a cram course for the bar exam. We stayed in a dilapidated fire trap of a hotel. Our room was on the sixth floor.

It was the middle of the night. I was sound asleep. I was hearing fire engines and smelling smoke. I opened my eyes. There was John going out the door with his books and notes in his arm. I asked what was going on. He yelled there’s a fire. He was leaving without waking me! I never let him forget.

Though John’s upbringing was far from wealthy, his early years were more affluent than mine. I knew no affluence. John’s father was a Surrogate and Supreme Court Judge.

John’s background provided him with a degree of experience that accompanies such. John unknowingly introduced me to many new and exciting things. He expanded my world.

John took me to my first Broadway Show. Sound of Music. He introduced me to fine New York City restaurants. I enjoyed my first Manhattan with John at one of those restaurants. I tasted my first standing prime rib with John. John and Darlene invited my wife and I to dinner while we were in law school. We all lived in left over army barracks from World War II.

Friends come in and out of our lives. Especially if we live a long time. While John and I were close in law school and our early years in the practice, we drifted thereafter. No particular reason. Just the way it is. We always remained friends, however.

I feel sad. It is that time for our generation, however. We move on to that other life. I look forward to running into John there. Perhaps enjoying a Manhattan with him.