MEMORIAL DAY 2016

Memorial Day. A day of remembrance. A time to recall those who paid the ultimate price for their country. They died.

What concerns me is that man will always have a Memorial Day. It is man’s nature to make war. To kill one another.

World War I was to be the last major war ever. World War II was the war to end all wars. Nevertheless, wars have been ongoing.

My yesterday was divided between two major events. Writing this week’s KONK Life column and spending time at Schooner Wharf watching the Minimal Regatta.

Yesterday morning, my mind was a blank as to what to write about. I had several thoughts. None came together for me.

I was doing my morning Facebook routine. There was a posting by Joseph Lyles. A friend. A good man in every respect. He posted a several line column of statistics. All had to do with the economy’s impact on various groups of people..

I used Joseph’s posting as the basis for my column. America Has Lost Its Promise. My observations were that the economy is what has made a Trump and Sanders successful. Further, if things did not change, America was headed for an Arab Spring.

Once the column was done, I was off to Schooner Wharf. Minimal Regatta time. Yesterday, the 25th Annual Minimal Regatta.

Participants construct their boats. Construction  items limited to plywood fasteners, duct tape, and 2′ x 4’s. Nothing else. Most boats do not complete the race. They fall apart.

Presidential politics found its way into the Regatta. Trump and Clinton participated. Look alike copies.

Stepin Fetchil was born in Key West this day in 1902. I have written about him several times over the years. Though not generally recalled in Key West, he attained national fame.

Stepin was born of Indian parents. His birth name Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andew Perry. Nothing appears re his Key West years. He lived in Key West only 8 years. His parents moved the family thereafter to Tampa. Stephin never returned.

Stephin’s claim to fame. He was an Afro-American comedian and actor. Most famous during the 1930s. The first Afro-American movie actor to become a millionaire.

This year many have say there should be a third party. One will be there on election day. The Libertine Party. Not new. Has been around for years. However, this year putting forth quality candidates at a time America is crying out for a third party.

The Presidential candidate is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The Vice-Presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor William Weld.

Johnson is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.

The team will not win. However, they will make noise. Hopefully enough to qualify the Libertine Party for the Presidential debates.

In  recent months, I have written and spoken on my blog talk radio show of the new close relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel. One example being the King of Saudi Arabia giving Netanyahu $80 million for his campaign last year.

It has been announced Saudi Arabia is going to build a gigantic embassy in Israel. In Tel Aviv.

I find this surprising. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since the late 1940s. They still do not. In addition, Saudi Arabia has been in the forefront to annihilate all Jews in Israel and to destroy in every respect the nation of Israel.

Strange bedfellow

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake this date in 1431. In English controlled Normandy. Her judges, Church authorities. Her crime, heresy. She followed God’s words as spoken to her rather than the rulings of the Church.

An interesting point seldom mentioned. Not one witness spoke in support of any of the charges. The Court wanted to find her guilty and did. Ecclesiastical due process 1431.

Enjoy your day!

 

CONCH REPUBLIC PILOT DIES

William Gordon died yesterday. He was flying a World War II vintage P-41 at a New York city air show. his plane crashed into the Hudson river.

Gordon was 56.

Gordon was no stranger to Key West. Earlier this year, he participated in gthe Naval Air Show at Boca chica. He also flew a bi-plane on behalf of the Conch Republic Air Force in the Conch Republic Days Bloody Battle recently.

He was no stranger to Key west. in recent years he has visitied many times. Friends indicate it was his intention to permanently reside here at some point.

May he rest in peace.

Sloppy Joe’s grand opening recently passed. I forgot to mention it. I refer nogt to the four years Sloppy Joe’s wass located at what is now Captain Tony’s on greene Street. TRather to the corner of Duval and Greene opening on May 5, 1937.

The grand opening was at 9 in the evening. Free dancing. First time i was aware dancing was a pay event in Key West then or now.

Sloppy Joe’s has remained openb for 79 years. The place the mosrt popular in bar in Key West. It provides a unique Key West flaor. It will be in th dsame place doing the same business 79 years from now.

Screwy afternoon yesterday. Lunched at 5 Guys. no food at home. Intended to grocery shop after lunch.

5 Guiys’ parking lot empty. It was 1 pm. thought the place waqs closed. Not so. i walked in and the employees all standig around. Not a customer present.

I placed my oder and waited. cionmtinued to wait. was taking forever to get fed. and I was the only one prfesent!

the problem appeared to be everything had been closed down to some extent. The cooking arfea had to be heated. Fresh French fries had toi be made.

Finally, my number was called. 84. I looked agt the employee who called my number. i had a strange look on my face. he suddenly understood and bust owut laughing. I did, also. I was the only customer in the place. Sitting right in front of where he was.

Then to Publix. Parking lot half full. where were the other shoppers on the saturday of Memorial Day Weekend?

I went inside. Very few.

I asked the gent behind the cold cuts counter where were all thje peeople. He said they had come in in droves in the morning. it had been quiet since.

Spent a couple of hours rfeasearching this week’s KONK Life column. Four different subjects. None turned me on. None I thought would be of interest to readers.

Here it si sunday morning and I still do not have a topic. Bad!!! My column  has to be to the Publisher by 5.

Dinner time! Wanted to try something different. Did. ended up at the Half Shell Raw Bar. I had not b een therre in at least 15 years.

Enjoyed! A dozen fresh oysters and a crab stuffed lobster. To die for!

Today is Bob Hope’s

 

DA VINCI’S LAST SUPPER

This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Da Vinci’s greatest work, The Last Supper.

On one of my Milan trips several years ago, I was fortunate to view The Last Supper. Overwhelming!

I never realized til the viewing that Da Vinci had painted The Last Supper on a dry wall. It is roughly 15 feet by 28 feet. Contributes to the overwhelmingness.

The Last Supper was painted in the 15th century. Within 60 years, deterioration had begun. Nature, a war, etc. contributed further to its deterioration.

Finally in the 20th century, a 22 year restoration took place. Concluded in 1999.

The painting sits in a large room. The building the room is located in sits next to a large Church. However, The Last Supper is not in the Church. It is in the large room.

I make the distinction because to view The Last Supper before me was like being in Church. Solemn. Respectful.

I sat an hour taking it all in. An emotional time that stayed with me the balance of the day.

My day yesterday began with Lori at Blown Away. Haircut time.

Lori is a runner. Long distance. She recently competed in the KEYS 100 relay race. She ran 16 miles of it.

Lori is a tiny lady. Thin, of course.

She amazes me.

Then around the corner to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch and newspaper reading.

I normally enjoy Cuban cheese toast. Yesterday, I sexed it up. Added ham. Did not like it as much as without. I will be back to the cheese toast alone next time.

The Chart Room first last night. The new bartender at work. Emily has quit. She bought a home and some land in Indiana and will shortly be moving there.

Good luck Emily! You are a good friend who will be missed.

The new bartender is John. Appears to be a nice guy.

A fellow named JT came in. We started talking. Thirty nine years old. Went to Marist College. Majored in history. Has a Masters in education. Engaged now with the Poughkeepsie School District.

JT was a walk on with the Marist basketball team. I had attended Manhattan. The two colleges occasionally meet in basketball. The conversation was interesting.

JT and I had dinner together at the Hot Tin Roof bar.

On the way to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Che was inside. I had not seen Che in months. In fact, I had asked John about him earlier in the evening.

Che is not Cuban. His name misleading. He is a New York City Jew. Extremely intelligent.

Che is the only person I run into occasionally in my night time pursuits who is older than me. He is 86.

It was good to see him. And find him healthy!

Key West gasoline prices have risen in the last 5 weeks. Dramatically. From $2.05 a gallon to $2.63. This is how it began several years ago. I filled my gas tank yesterday. Cost me just over $30. The first time in months I have been in the 30s. Better however than the $60 it cost a couple of years ago.

We are into the Memorial Day Weekend. Tons of incoming US 1 traffic yesterday into the evening. Northern Boulevard busy, also.

There is always one! A man was riding a bicycle. The simple foot operated kind. The type that cannot go fast. He was driving down the Boulevard. In the middle of the driving lane. Ambling along. Not a care in the world. Traffic backed up big time behind him.

The wide sidewalk by the water was empty.

God is good! Sometimes even government.

For whatever reason, the road direction in Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is being changed to make way for a new entrance.  One hundred fifty five trees to be cut down.

Local bird lovers became incensed. The gray kingbird spends several months a year in the trees. A meeting was held. The problem discussed. The government acquiesced. At least 60 of the 155 trees will not be cut down.

This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Maya Angelou having died this day in 2014.

Maya was in Key West one time, as I recall. Her dear friend Oprah planned a party for Maya’s 86th birthday. A long time Caribbean cruise. Referred to as a floating birthday party.

Oprah planned one day of the celebration for Key West. On Sunset Key.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

ANOTHER BOCCE PARTY

Bocce parties are like bowling banquets. Only less formal and more fun.

Last night was our small five team competitive group’s get together. Always an enjoyable evening.

The thought occurred last night that I have known many at the party for years. Some as many as 15 years. We are the same kids today that we were back then. As far as bocce is concerned, none of us grew up. Perpetual youth.

Awards were given. Larry Smith’s team came in first. Clare got the best cheerleader/most improved award. Don the screw up award for a shot that lost our team first place in the 5 team group and #2 in the thursday night league.

David played his part last night. Excellent as usual.

I sat with Tom, Nicky, Dan, Betty, Jennifer and Larry Smith most of the evening. Tom and Nicky and Dan and Betty return home in a few days. Not to return till october.

Stopped at Lori’s for a haircut at noon. My appointment was for yesterday. The girl put it in the book for next thursday. I try again today.

The foul up was no problem. The Cuban Coffee Queen is around the corner. I stopped in for lunch.

A doctor’s appointment at 1. To check the area where things were cut off my head and face two weeks ago.

My KONK Life column this week has to do with bees. Bees as used in warfare. As far back as cave man days.

The column published wednesday. This morning it appears in KONK E-Blast. It was also linked to my Key West Lou website. .keywestlou.com.

The last two weeks, Guy deBoer has run in E-Blast a pic of me taken 4 years ago in Greece. On Amorogos, my favorite place. The photo reminds me of how relaxed and laid back I was when there.

Back to younger days? A recent study indicates pot smoking today is highest in the over 55 group. The study contained a picture of grandma lighting up.

Enjoy your day!

 

DONUT HOLE

The government has yet to take the pharmaceutical companies to task. As well as the insurance companies that work with them.

My complaint has to do with the donut hole. A coverage gap.

Explanation. I have Medicare and a personal plan I pay to cover the difference not covered by Medicare. In other words, I spend extra money to cover my ass. And I still have a copay with each drug purchased.

The insurance company only covers the difference till I spend x number of dollars on drugs. Then I am on my own. I pay the whole amount till a certain figure is reached. Back on the usual plan at  that point.

I was told I reached the donut yesterday. What did it mean as a practical matter. I have been paying $40 a month out of my pocket for a particular prescription. High. My doctor did not want me on the generic. Everything else I take is generic. I went to pick up my month’s supply yesterday. $196.91. Wow! Legalized thievery!

Of course, I did not pay it. I told them to give me the generic. Still high. $36 copay.

The drug and insurance companies are getting away with murder. Nothing seems to be done. Obama gave them a free ride to get Obamacare through.

The government and insurance industry took hospitals and doctors under control. Well, part way. The same should be done with pharmacy drugs.

We have read lately about the long TSA security lines at airports. Sometimes up to three hours. People missing their planes.

Something has to be done. All articles I read, with the exception of one, blames the TSA. I came across some interesting facts I would like to share with you.

In the first 5 months of this year, TSA screened 18 million more people than the first 5 months as last year. With 5,800 fewer employees.

Which means Congress cut TSA’s budget for this year. Complain to your Congressman.

I began last night at Aqua’s Back Bar. Mark Watson time. Met Vanessa. Interesting woman.

Then to Duffy’s for dinner. Prime rib.

Jennifer hosting. Jana managing. Mark bartending. All good people. At a restaurant I have come to enjoy. Try Duffy’s. The food is good and prices reasonable.

Memorial Day Weekend starts tomorrow. Key West will be buried in tourists. Party time for three days and nights.

I was made aware yesterday that a dear friend back home had died. Bahram Omidian. A psychiatrist. An Iranian.

Bahraham was one of the nicest people I have known. Special. Few like him. Kind. Humorous.

I am overcome by his passing. So much so I cannot write today the story of his life as I saw it. Another day.

The first Thanksgiving was in 1621. Things did not remain kumbaya.

The Puritans and Indians were constantly battling. Killing each other.

On this date in 1637, the Puritans and their Mohegan friends attacked a Pequot Indian village in the dark of night. Mostly women and children that evening.

The Puritans and Mohegans killed 500.

There were several more attacks over the years. In one, the Puritans cut off Indian heads and rolled them like bowling balls down the streets.

Bocce party tonight. The one for the five teams that play on thursday night. I am not sure who won this year. Could be my team or Larry Smith’s.

My team is called Don’s Place. Larry’s Not Don’s Place. Key West mentality involved in the name Larry selected.

The party is at Don’s Place.

Enjoy your day!

 

REPUGNANT / INSULTING

Some things are as American as apple pie. They need not be changed and should not be changed.

Budweiser has announced it is changing its name. Temporarily.From May 23 through election day. The new name….. America.

Bud is trying to capitalize on the election. Remember, Trump is going to make America great again. Bud is capitalizing on election fever.

The renaming applies only to 12 ounce bottles and cans.

The move is not a political one. Rather an advertising idea to boost sales. Bud has been turning out millions less beers the past several years ago.

It also has to do with poor foreign judgement. Bud is a Belgian company run by a Brazilian. What does the home office know about these things!

Worked through the lunch hour yesterday. Fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Left me with some free time in the afternoon. I put it to good use.

I drove up US 1 to Mangrove Mama’s. Lobster reuben time in a pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

I enjoyed doing last night’s show.

Two issues appear to have garnered the most interest.

One, the Portland School Board voting to ban school texts denying the existence of global warming.

The other America’s suicide rate. It is the highest it has been in 30 years. Suicides up for women and those formerly of the middle class. Only place not up is for those over 75. Places me in the safe group. A benefit of being 80.

Pass the buck time in the Florida keys. By public officials. Nothing new.

The Monroe Country Board of Commissioners wants to add to the sin tax. The tax on alcohol and tobacco. To pay for fire and ambulance services and to fund monies given to social service agencies. The alcohol/tobacco part is what gives it the sin tax label.

My problem with the proposal is the County Commissioners do not have the balls to vote on the issue themselves. And then defend the result the next time they run for election.

Instead, they propose having the people vote on the issue at the elections on November 8.

What further galls me is that the election result will not be a non binding one.

Voting by the citizenry does not seem to carry any weight. Commissioners do not feel bound to abide by the election result. Point: Peary Court.

The Marker Waterfront Resort opened two years ago. It sits near Schooner Wharf. Marker does not have an inside bar. Only a bar outside by the pool. Tried it twice. Did not enjoy. The place was dead.

Marker has come up with an idea to goose interest in the bar. One I like.

Marker is going to run movies outside by the pool every thursday evening at 8:30. Starting tomorrow night and running through the summer.

Top Gun came out 30 years ago. Marker is celebrating the film’s birthday by running it as its first film. One of Key West’s best known luminaries Kelley McGillis is the female head.

Zika. Controversial. This morning’s Key West Citizen has a Letter to the Editor re the issue. By John Prosser of Big Pine. Excellent. Suggest you read it.

Prosser does not understand the sound and fury.  He attributes the sudden concern the result of media hysteria and prediction of epidemics.

Prosser clearly stands on one side of the issue.

I stand on the same side. I spoke recently on my blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that I thought Zika was another Ebola. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Thus far, 157 pregnant women in the United States have come down with Zika. The number does not make for an epidemic.

I am going to be buried tomorrow with comments by those disagreeing with me. Bring them on! There are two sides to the issue.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

4 POINT SHOT

Basketball has a major change in the works. Serious consideration is being given by the NBA to add a 4 point shot. Something 4 feet or longer behind the present 3 point line.

Shots from just after half court will become common place.

What an impact it will have on the game. Even the defense. Four pointers will require an extended defense.

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Monsanto getting beat up, Israel and Saudi Arabia strange bedfellows, 157 pregnant U.S. women diagnosed with Zika, U.S. suicide rate at a 30 year high.

Also, Hugo Chavez’s daughter worth $4.2 billion and living in New York City, 5 non-financial companies hold 1/3 of all cash, a Nestle attempt to privatize water supply thwarted, the Portland School Board banning texts that deny climate change, and more.

Interesting material. Join me for a quick half hour dissertation.

Spent most of the day yesterday researching material for tonight’s blog talk radio show.

Dinner at nearby Roostica.

The New York Post recently ran an article titled: How Corporate America Bought Hillary Clinton for $21 Million. Covers her post-Secretary of State years 2013-2015. Breaks down the $21 million speech by speech.

Enjoy your day!

ROBERT / SUNSET KEY

Today’s Key West Citizen gives rise to my first two comments this morning.

My grandson Robert just turned 12 years old. He is in the sixth grade at Montessori. A piece of his art work is on the front page of today’s Citizen in the upper left corner under Weather.

My first reaction to the painting was Robert paints much better than that.

I read the caption underneath. Robert Malcom….. Montessori Charter School….. First grade. My Robert? Robert is not in the first grade.

Did some quick digging. Turns out the painting is by my Robert. Done by him when he was in the first grade and published by the Citizen at that time. Something like six years ago.

The Citizen appears to recycle these paintings. They rerun them over the years.

A small painting in a small corner by a small person. Would it not be better if the Citizen ran the children’s current art work? A small thing to ask for the small people.

Staying with the Citizen, I learned something interesting from its Today In History section.

I always thought Sunset Key got its beginnings many years ago as a garbage dump. I was wrong. The Citizen set forth the correct story this morning.

In 1965, Key West’s main shipping channel was dredged. What to do with the fill? 1.1 million cubic yards of the fill were dumped where Sunset Key sits today. Created a 30 acre island. Which years later become the beautiful Sunset Key.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. To Bee or Not To Bee. Not Shakespeare. Rather, the story of bees in warfare. Hits the stands wednesday.

Last night, Tavern ‘n Town. Expected an all alone evening. Had my newspapers.

Turned out to be a lovely evening. Most enjoyable. A not alone one. Victoria sat next to me at the bar. Never met her before. However, we engaged in an evening of interesting fun filled chatter.

Victoria is a local. Works for PayChex. Has worked for PayChex a long time. She was celebrating her birthday.

We talked of Greece (where she has visited), travel, and Key West relationships.

A good evening.

News! Tropic Cinema will soon be showing first run movies. A big deal for Tropic Cinema.

How does the song go? The weather outside is frightful…..

Not here in Key West. Sunny all day. Temperatures in the mid to high 80s. Even humidity. The humidity showed up about a week ago. It will probably remain. Key West’s summer has begun.

Enjoy your day!

BOCCE PLAYOFFS

It was festival time yesterday at the bocce courts. Playoffs! Tents covering players from the blazing sun. Food and drink. Lots of spectators. Even babies.

We played the #1 team from monday night. We were #3 from the thursday night league. Got our asses whipped in the first game. 16-4. We were competitive in the second. Lost 16-15.

We are done.

The team that beat us will probably go on to win the whole thing. Three times. They were good. No question about it. Precision shooting. Missed only one blast.

Joe Quartarone e mailed me. He is an officer in the national bocce organization. He made inquiry of the Key West league via my blog. He wanted to know among other things numbers. How many players, teams, etc. I told him 56 teams, over 500 players.

He wrote back excitedly. Key West has one of the biggest leagues in the country. He is going to visit, etc.

Watched the Preakness at Don’s Place. For some reason, it did not excite me this year.

Probably because I was anxious to get over to the Firehouse Museum. A birthday party. 102 years old. A mamey tree. Purportedly the grandfather of all mamey trees in the United States. DNA proven.

The tree is on the side of the Museum. Majestic. 54 feet tall.

About 200 at the party when I arrived.

The tree’s fruit is used to make ice cream. There was free ice cream. Tried it. Delicious!

During the course of the afternoon before going to the Museum, I asked many if they had ever heard of a mamey tree. No one knew what I was talking about. Guess I asked the wrong people. The 200 at the Museum knew.

While at Don’s Place, Clare and Stan introduced me to Clare’s new boss. John Cary. He is the new President of Dion Oil LLC. Dion’s is now owned by Uphoff Ventures. Uphoff purchased the business from the Dion family several months ago.

Don’t let the oil in the name of the business fool you. Dion’s is best known for its chicken. The absolute best!

Cary a nice guy. Intelligent. He should do well in caring for and expanding Dion’s.

I was home before 8. Wanted to watch the Lyndon Johnson movie on HBO. All the Way. I was disappointed.

Johnson was portrayed in too dramatic a fashion, nutty, and intense.

Johnson was a hard driving individual. However to portray him as a man who did not want to get out of bed when things got tough was an insult to the man and his true history.

Spent yesterday morning researching this week’s KONK Life column. I will write the column this afternoon. To Bee or Not To Bee. Not Shakesperian. It is the story of bees as used in warfare. From centuries before the birth of Christ to present day.

How many movies have we seen of wagon trains? Going west. Did you ever give thought to how long a trip took. I never did.

Read something this morning that evidences the time factor. On this day in 1843, what has been described as the Great Emigration began. A covered wagon trip from Independence, Missouri to Oregon. One thousand settlers and 1,000 cattle.

Five months.

A quiet Sunday ahead. I have nothing planned.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

DANCE CARD FULL

Generally, I many times have no idea of what I am going to do. Today, I know exactly into the evening.

I slept late. It is 10ish and I am just starting the blog. Then research for this week’s KONK Life column. About bees. Bees in warfare. Titled: To Bee or Not To Bee. Love the title!

Bocce. Playoffs today. My team ended up third. All alone. Without playing thursday night. Rained out. Six teams tied for third. One, us. We had beat the other five earlier in the season. Gave us third place alone.

The team plays at 3. I will be there to cheer them on. Spoke with Don yesterday. We are playing monday’s #1 team. Tough!

When the game is over, we will all head to Don’s Place. Win or lose. For the Preakness.

Not done yet.

After Don’s, going to a birthday party. At the Firehouse Museum on Grinnell. One block from Don’s place. The mamey tree 102nd birthday party.

The mamey tree in question lives on the Firehouse Museum property.

What is a mamey tree? I did not know till this morning. A tree common to Central and South America. Some in Florida and rest of U.S. Grows 60-70 feet tall. Bears different colored fruit in the shape of a football.

The father of all mamey trees in the U.S. is the one planted at the Firehouse Museum. DNA substantiated.

The fruit is made into ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies. I will try the ice cream tonight for the first time.

The party is 6-8 pm.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny encouraged me to move on. I increased the speed. Though not by much.

I am a creature of habit, as mentioned many times. Which means I ended up at the Cuban Coffee Queen again for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee. Plus, the newspapers. I sat an hour or two reading.

Then home. Early afternoon. Tired. The increased speed on the treadmill? Not sure. Whatever, I took a two hour nap.

Last night, a premier event. Dinner with Jenna at Michael’s. Jenna and I had not seen each other in three months. It was catch up time.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that the Oklahoma Senate had this week passed a bill making abortion a felony. A felony for the doctor performing the abortion. It reached the Governor yesterday. The governor vetoed the bill.

Words of wisdom from Aristotle: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”

Trump will never avoid criticism.

Enjoy your day!