GOING LIVE WITH KEY WEST LOU

My new show debuts monday morning. Going Live with Key West Lou. On Facebook. The path to the show is Key West Lou and Live.

I will be available on everyone’s cell phones.

You will be able to see me as well as hear me. Not sure whether you will enjoy the show. Time will tell.

Several comments a day. Each short. Thirty to sixty seconds. Politics, social matters, sports, etc. Whatever turns me on at the moment. From wherever I am.

The show will be archived. You can find me any time of the day and listen/watch the shows to that time.

Today busy. A haircut with Lori. She is off for a three day/two night cruise to the Bahamas with friends. Says she did it before. Fun.

Fine tuned my blog talk radio show.

A hurried dinner at 5 Guys.

Show in the evening. Loved sharing Teddy Roosevelt’s story how he saved football. He did. I had minimal comments re the inauguration. Did comment, however.

Doing this blog early. Before 5 in the morning. Have to leave for Miami. Time for the Volkswagen to be tuned up. I need some clothes. Will shop while car being tuned.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TONIGHT…..AQUA IDOL

Tonight! Aqua Idol! The start of a new season.

From 6:30-8:00, 14 brand new contestants will vie to be the next Aqua Idol. A journey taking several weeks. Every tuesday evening till there is a winner.

At Aqua, of course.

The event a fundraiser. Held to support the Waterfront Playhouse. Lynda Frechette heads Aqua Idol. She scours the lower Keys for new contestants each season. Fourteen needed. They compete tonight for the first time.

Aqua Idol has been a popular event for years. Get to Aqua early if you wish a seat. It will be wall to wall.

I get cheated. I cannot be there. I will be into final preparations for my podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. A quick half hour of interesting political and social events. Accompanied by my comments, of course. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Football injuries are much in the news these days. Both pro and college ball. There was another time when football injuries were big time. The early 1900s. College ball. Pro ball was in its infant stages.

No helmets or shoulder pads in those days.

Deaths commonplace. A large number each season.

President Theodore Roosevelt got involved. He straightened things out. Had he not, football would have been banned in the United States. That close. Several prominent colleges had already banned football.

The opening topic this evening concerns Roosevelt and how he saved football.

Also, the inaugural this week. God help us! The Mexican people and their unhappiness. Major business closings. Some surprising. ISIS gaining ground in Albania. D.A.R.E. ends its anti-weed campaign. Plus, more.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show.

Then to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom and Rick. Sheila and David. Liz and Mary. And many more.

Dinner afterwards at Mangoes with Barbara and Liz. My first time to the new Mangoes. Lovely. Service excellent. Food merely ok. Not worth the cost.

Major announcement! My new show will begin monday. Going Live with Key West Lou. On Facebook. The show in addition to this blog and my tuesday night podcast.

You will see as well as hear me.

I will do several brief commentaries each day. Whatever strikes me at the moment. Whatever tickles my fancy. From wherever I am. All I have to do is pull out my cell phone and get to it.

The comments will be short. Generally 30-60 seconds.

Archived. Several commentaries can be read at one time.

I am excited. Hope it goes over well. Hope nothing pops up which causes me to push the opening date ahead.

Once again, a problem with stranded whales. Off Hog Key on the Gulf side of Florida. Ninety five whales involved. Eighty one already dead. Naturally or euthanized.

There have been stranded whales near Key West in past years. More than one time. I recall several years ago a pod stranded off Cudjoe Key. Went to take a look.

More than 500 volunteers and professionals appeared over a period of several days to help. Wet suits available to all who wanted to assist.

Some whales saved. Some died.

The effort impressive.

William Hackley mentioned yesterday his hope that what appeared to be a new Seminole War in 1856 would not be as expensive as previous ones. How expensive was expensive back in those days?

I did a bit of research. There were three Seminole Indian Wars. The first in the 1820s. the last 1855-1858.

Strange fact pattern. The federal government wanted to move the Florida Seminoles west to Oklahoma. Contrasted with the post Civil War years when the federal government was trying to move western Indians to Florida.

The Second Seminole War was the expensive one. Cost $30 million in a year when the federal budget was only $25 million. The basis for Hackley’s statement in 1856.

On this day in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower spoke to the Nation. He warned to beware the “military-industrial complex.” He was well aware of their greedy nature and not necessarily acting in the best interests of the country.

Eisenhower was correct. His words not heeded. The military-industrial complex thriving. Encourages wars, overcharges, etc.

I close with Syracuse. My Syracuse. Settling in that this will not be one of Syracuse’s best seasons. Lost yesterday 85-68 to North Carolina.

Syracuse cannot play with the big guys this year.

Enjoy your day!

 

DAVID WOLKOWSKY

In March of last year, I wrote an article in KONK Life about David Wolkowsky. Without David, the Key West of today would not have been. Blog readers outside the Key West area may not have had the opportunity to read the article. I print it here for those and as a refresher for you who might have read it.
Enjoy!
DAVID WOLKOWSKY
By Louis Petrone

How would you like to be 96 years old, look around your home town and say…..I am responsible for all this!

Only one person. David Wolkowsky. Without him, the Key West of today would not have been.

He is the father of modern Key West.

Mentioned merely at this point to show a part of David’s contribution. The Pier House and Jimmy Buffett.

David was born in Key West. A for real Conch. His grandfather Albert Wolkowsky settled in Key West in the late 1800s. Opened a fine clothing store on Duval Street.

David grew up in Key West and Miami. Attended the University of Pennsylvania. Remained in Philadelphia after graduation. He began restoring buildings. He is credited with the rejuvenation of Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square.

His successful efforts in Philadelphia made him a millionaire.

David returned to Key West in the early 1960s following the death of his father Issac Wolkowsky He was 40 at the time. Already financially secure.

David was not one to sit still. He was driven. He had to be busy.

The Wolkowsky family owned several properties in old town. He renovated them.

The original Sloppy Joe’s on Greene Street had been condemned. He bought the building and restored it. Today known as Captain Tony’s.

He developed property on Duval and Front Streets. The properties included Pirate’s Alley and the Original Cigar Factory.

Key West in the early 1960s was nowhere like it is today. Not even close. The island was neither Paradise nor a paradise setting.

David was a man of vision. He saw where others did/could not.

The gulf end of Duval Street a mess. Dirty and sloppy. No beach in sight.

David saw possibilities for the area. He purchased the old Cuban Ferry Dock for $106,000. A steal.

The Porterhouse Steamship office was located on the property. He removed it from its foundation and transported it 300 feet. Set the building on pilings in 40 feet of water. Turned it into Tony’s Fish Market. A cocktail lounge and restaurant. A successful undertaking. Guests able to watch shrimp boats moving along on the water.

David wanted to transform Key West into a funky tourist destination. Unconventional, he sought the offbeat.

In 1967, David began construction on a 50 room motel. It was constructed around Tony’s Fish Market. When the 50 rooms were completed, he quickly added 50 more. These facing the ocean. Demand was that good.

David called the motel the Pier House Resort Motel. From which today’s Pier House grew.

The motel had a bar. Called the Chart Room. Still there today. Never renovated since constructed. People drink and raise hell in the same atmosphere as when built.

David sold the Pier House in the late 1970s.

Jimmy Buffett came to town in 1971. Knew very few people. Buffett an unknown. Best described, he was a young man with a guitar who enjoyed his cocktails. His last stop prior to Key West was Austin, Texas. The Austin Buffett sat on his front porch drinking and singing tunes he had composed.

One of his Austin hangouts was Lung’s Cocina del Sar. A bar. Where Buffett met up with Margaritas. The beginning of his search for a casual new place with a who cares attitude. A tropical climate was required. A beach resort place.

Buffet and David met. David was taken by him. Permitted Buffett to play in the Chart Room for tips. Later, for pay. Buffett says David was the first to pay him.

The relationship continues to today. The two close friends and occasional business partners.

Buffett was searching for his Shangrila when first he came to Key West. He called it Margaritaville. He found it in Key West.

Bob Marley also got his start via David at the Pier House Motel.

The Pier House became a magnate for celebrities. David’s personality attracted them.

One was Truman Capote. He came to Key West to spend the winter. At David’s Pier House Motel.

David was living next to the Pier House in a 45 foot 2 bedroom trailer. Ten feet from the water. While having a drink with David in his luxurious trailer, Capote said he wanted to rent the trailer. David acquiesced after some back and forth banter. David moved to a suite in the Motel. Capote into the trailer.

During his three month stay, Capote wrote Answered Prayers.

Capote described the Pier House as “elegant inefficiency.”

The Pier House motel was the beginning of the new Key West. David is credited with putting Key West on the road to becoming a major tourist destination.

Along the way, David built the Reach Resort on the Atlantic side of Key West.

David kept a low profile. He possessed a sly humor. Drove around Key West in a golf cart or his beloved 1926 Rolls Royce. Generally seen in a Panama hat. Several pair of sunglasses on the hat, some hanging from his neck.

David also did what only David could do. He built a house on an uninhabited private island 8 miles off Key West. Built it while building the Pier House. The island called Ballast Key.

David the visionary is exhibited in the construction of the house on Ballast Key.

There was a speakeasy on stilts which also marked the entrance to the North West Channel in Key West. It had burned down. David collected drawings and photographs  of the speakeasy. He wanted his Ballast Key home to look precisely like the speakeasy.

He accomplished his aim.

David had a love for Key West history. What to name his Ballast Key home? Easy. Hemingway House.

The story is David fed his guests at Ballast Key hot dogs, wine and potato chips. The laborers working on the house, chocolate pudding and souffles from the Pier House kitchen. Transported on David’s private barge.

David was known world wide. Many came to visit David and Key West. Better stated, they came to enjoy time with David while seeing Key West. David the attraction.

David entertained at Ballast Key. Major figures. Most if not all his friends. The likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Prince Michael of Greece, Gloria Estefan, Rudolph Nureyev and the Bee Gees. Last but not least, the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Mellons.

Again, all were fed hot dogs, wine and potato chips.

A  Kress Five and Dime was located on Duval Street. David and a small number of  friends bought the building. Three stories. David had a penthouse apartment constructed for himself on the third floor. The Parole Board was on the second floor. Kress, the first. The Kress portion later became Fast Buck Freddie’s.

David’s fame brought him some not unpleasant notoriety.

The novel License To Kill has 007 calling David to say, “David, it’s James Bond…I’ve broken into your island. I hope you don’t mind.”

Town & Country magazine carried a Man Of The Month section. In 1955, David was the March Man of the Month. Cary Grant the April Man of the Month.

Grant was in good company.

David worked diligently to preserve the best of old Key West. He is primarily responsible for the lack of high rises. He worked vigorously to prevent high rise buildings.

Charity wise, David was a giver. A concerned individual. Teachers an example. In 2000, he set up a Teacher Merit Awards Fund. Each year, $25,000 is given to 1 teacher and $5,000 each to nine. Recognition of the outstanding teachers of the given year. David was of the opinion that teachers had to be nurtured and protected.

David Wolkowsky. A legend in his own time. Owed so much. Asked nothing in return. His goal to create a better Key West. He did. His stamp on everything.

MOLASSES FLOODS BOSTON STREETS

Key West is accustomed to street flooding.

If a rain fall is heavy and it is high tide, the sewers cannot take the rain water. Intersections become lakes. Some as deep as two to three feet.

Hurricanes are no stranger to street flooding. Wilma comes to mind. Six and a half feet of water. Not just pouring over the streets. Into homes. Level six and a half feet, also.

On this date in 1919, Boston experienced a significant flooding. Twenty one killed. Dozens of horses, also.

Not water, however. Molasses.

The U.S. Industrial Alcohol Building contained a 58 foot high tank. The tank holding 2.5 million gallons of crude molasses. The tank exploded. Flowed  into and flooded the streets.

Took two weeks to clean the streets. Not bad. It took one to two years to clean up the Wilma mess. I refer specifically to home damage.

Spent yesterday afternoon quietly reading. Stories involving U.S. forces in Europe during World War II.

Then at 4, the Syracuse/Boston college game. Syracuse won 96-81. Interesting since Boston College decisively defeated Syracuse in a game New Year’s Day.

Syracuse’s fabled zone defense was working yesterday. Made Boston College look terrible.

As Boeheim continues to say, Syracuse wins if it plays its special defense hard. If not, Syracuse loses.

What Syracuse needs is consistency. The big post season tournament is slipping away.

Dinner last night at Berlin’s. Decided on beef. A filet mignon. As good as any I have enjoyed at a New York City steak house.

The local community college has steadily grown during my many Key West years. First, a two year community school. Now a four year institution. Presently offering a bachelor’s degree in a certain business area. This summer, a four year nursing degree.

No more a community college. The Florida Keys Community College needed a new name consistent with its movement to four year degrees.

The front page of this morning’s Key West Citizen announces such. Beginning this summer, the name will change. To The College of the Florida Keys.

Congratulations to The College of the Florida Keys. Congratulations to the administrators and faculty who worked hard to make it so.

I have many times criticized the Key West City Commission. Bunglers. Know not what they do. Inept.

Today’s Key West Citizen editorial takes on the Commission and its many shortcomings. Its sins itemized.

The editorial titled: Why Doesn’t the Commission Listen?

The editorial one of the best written in the many years I have read the Citizen. It publicly admonishes the Commission to shape up.

I doubt it will help. Commission members are hard headed. Several times I have engaged one or another with a question, complaint, etc. In each instance, the reason for the particular Commission action was supported by a non-nonsensical reason.

They cannot see. Thinkers they are not.

William Healey continues to suggest a concern re a Florida Indian uprising in 1856.

He mentions several travelers came down to Key West from the Miami River and corroborated the news he had received one day earlier that the Indians might wage war again. He mentions ten Indians also arrived.

Ernest Hemingway’s grandson will appear at the San Carlos on January 26. John Hemingway will discuss Pamplona and running with the bulls. The setting of his grandfather’s The Sun Also Rises.

Ernest Hemingway never ran. His World War I leg injuries prevented his participation. His grandson John not so affected. John has made the run 16 times. Never gored!

John’s appearance is sponsored by the very active Key West Art and Historical Society.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

LA LA LAND

La La Land. Movie extraordinaire! The musical reborn!

Viewed the movie last night. Wow! That good!  A musical. Fact and fiction intertwined. Great acting, singing, dancing, and story line.

A tear jerker. My eyes moist more than once.

Stopped at La Concha happy hour first last night. Then a short walk to David Wolkowsky’s high in the sky home. Followed by the movie.

David the gracious host. What a man! Ninety seven and still going strong.

The party was to introduce distinguished author and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert A. Caro to David’s friends.

Some old friends at the event. Made some new ones. One of the yesterday acquaintances was Jean Carper. A distinguished authoress n her own right. Her books have sold millions of copies. They tell her readers how to use nature/food to cure ills.

Jean recently celebrated her 85th birthday. She looks the same as when I first met her 20 plus years ago. A beauty!

I recall 20 years ago when I had the head cold of head colds. Sneezing constantly. Nose always running. Felt terrible. Anti-histamines not in vogue as today.

I had one of Jean’s books. Looked up head cold. Jean said eat raw garlic. Two cloves every two hours. Worked! The head cold symptoms gone within minutes.

There was  a negative. The house and I smelled big time of garlic. My wife would not sleep with me that night.

Jean’s brother lives in Saquoit, NY, a suburb of Utica.

Met a Judge who sits on some sort of international court on behalf of the United States. Born and raised in Walton, NY. Upstate. Went to Albany Law.

The Judge’s wife charming and lovely.

After the movie, stopped into the Chart Room for a night cap. John bartending. David holding down his bar end seat. Always good to see David.

Actually, two Davids. Kentucky fan David who joined me at Jack Flats a couple of weeks ago. He to watch Kentucky play. I, Syracuse. We sat next to each other. Two screens in front of us. I watched Syracuse on one and David Kentucky on the other.

A busy evening! My mid day found me at Lee Nails with Tammy. My weekly manicure.

Tammy got her new pick up truck last week. She was all excited as we went out side so she could show me. A big one! Huge tires! Tammy is under five feet. I questioned her ability to get in and out. No sweat, her response.

Tammy’s driving around Key West will speak loud and clear…..Don’t screw with me!

This morning’s Key West Citizen front page reports that the South Roosevelt Boulevard issue is going before the City Commission tuesday night. Not a final vote type thing. Merely to get the sense of the community from Commission members.

The worst group to decide/comment/speak for the citizens of Key West.

The issue whether to leave South Roosevelt as it is or switch to two lanes. A no brainer. Most want it left alone. Four easy lanes.

The State makes the final decision. A State representative says opinions seem equally divided. Ergo, he wanted the Commission’s viewpoint.

I don’t know who the State rep has been talking to. Again, most want the four lanes left alone.

I wrote re the issue a couple of weeks ago. I stated that bicycle lobbyists were behind the move. They want lanes set aside just for bicycles. Don’t laugh. True. The bicycle lobbyist is one of the strongest in Tallahassee.

An interesting comment from William Hackley’s diary for this date in 1856. Hackley reported his concern that another Indian war was coming “costing more than the whole state is worth.”

The Florida of yesterday not the Florida of today.

Syracuse/Boston College at 4 today. Syracuse a 12 point favorite. I am back to I don’t know. A terrible Syracuse season.

Enjoy your day!

PERLE MESTA OF KEY WEST

Liz unquestionably is the Perle Mesta of Key west.

From her earliest years, Liz’s hobby has been cooking. Her preparation spectacular! The results special.

Liz’s dinner parties and simple gatherings planned to the smallest item. Her food choices always delicious. All of course prepared by Liz. Her drink choices right on. She knows her wines and stronger alcohols. Mouth watering deserts.

Topping it off, Liz knows how to direct conversations so her guests all participate.

I was her guest at a dinner party last night at her home. Cocktails in the garden. French lasagna the entre. The wines tasteful. The creme cheese desert the end of a perfect evening.

The dinner party small. Liz, Sheila, Barb and Louis.

My today full.

A manicure at noon with Tammy. Cocktails tonight at David Wolkowsky’s. His guest of honor Robert A. Caro. Caro twice a Pulitzer Price winner. He is best known for his biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses.

Later in the evening, I will see La La Land. A musical. The first in many many years.

Florida Keys Community College is to be commended. Every person from day one who contributed to FKCC becoming the institution it is today included.

KKCC is now offering a four year Bachelor’s degree. The first class seeking the four year degree began studies this past monday.

Obviously, Cuba is of great interest to Key Westers. A mere 90 miles away. Most attempting to leave Cuba for the freedom of the United States the past 50 years ended up on our beaches or in our waters.

In 1995, President Clinton established the wet foot / dry foot policy. If a Cuban reached soil, he/she stayed. If still in the water, it was back to Cuba.

Yesterday, Obama announced he was changing the policy. Getting rid of it. Effective immediately. He signed an administrative rule authorizing the same. Trump can undo Obama’s ruling when he takes office.

Today In Keys History noted former President Herbert Hoover arrived in the Keys on this date in 1958 for a fishing trip.

Hoover did not believe public funds should be used for private purposes. Like bailing a bank or business out with taxpayer dollars. As Bush 2 and Obama did.

Many historians and economists believe the great depression of 1929 could have been avoided had Hoover opted to bail out some of the businesses going down.

Trump and L. L. Bean. Linda Bean is a co-heiress of the L. L. Bean business. She sits on the L. L. Bean board. She made a $30,000 contribution to a PAC supporting Trump.

There is now a public cry negative to L. L. Bean’s well being. Even some of her co-board members cry the same tune. She should never have supported Trump. The reason why simple. Most items sold by L. L. Bean are manufactured in China.

Trump in support of Linda Bean and L. L. Bean tweeted yesterday…..BUY L. L. Bean.

So much for Buy American.

Some more re robots and automation.

Connor Forrest wrote an article on August 3, 2015 listing jobs in line for robot takeover.

One was assembly line workers. Ford and Toyota already using robots. The beginning of the end for human employees in many assembly line businesses.

Another involved fast food employees. McDonald’s is already using kiosks for ordering in many parts of the U.S. It is anticipated cooking positions in the fast food industry are next.

Table side tablet ordering systems for ordering. Chili a company so involved.

Enjoy your day!

PRAYER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

I have attended many club meetings over the years. I cannot recall the last time a meeting was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Till last night.

I attended my first meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. It was held at Bottle Cap. The business portion of the meeting began with a prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

My recollection is that prayer is no longer permitted to start the school day. As to the Pledge of Allegiance, some States require it, some have made it optional, some have no law re the issue.

I had no problem with the prayer and Pledge at the meeting. Actually, it felt good to do both again at the beginning of an event. Days of my youth.

The Sons and Daughters are having a fundraiser January 28. Together with the Key West Wildlife Center. The Sons and Daughters portion is to benefit their scholarship fund.

The fundraiser a big deal. A large crowd anticipated. Between 100-200.

It is a bocce fundraiser. Will be held at the Key West bocce courts from 5:30-9:30. New and experienced players welcome. Bocce teachers will work the courts where the newbies will be playing. Hamburgers and hot dogs. Total cost $20.

Following the meeting, I met Barb at the outside bar at La Te Da for dinner. It was crispy duck for me. Meat loaf for Barbara.

This evening’s meal will be exceptional. Liz is having a small dinner party. The woman can cook!

I was looking for something in the afternoon. Looked everywhere, but my desk. My desk a mess. Five years since I have cleaned and rearranged it. Piles of papers here and there.

I had no choice. Had to clean the desk top. Stored some papers in filing cabinets. Threw others out. Did not find what I was looking for.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness so I guess the effort was not without some benefit.

I have referred to Victor at the Chart Room many times as having an exceptional mind. He is a philosopher of sorts. Reads heavy philosophical books.

On my first trip to Greece several years ago, he gave me The Law by Frederic Bastiat to read on the trip.

I started reading it on the first leg of the flight to Atlanta. Stopped after 30 pages. The material too heavy for me.

I thought I left the book on the plane when I arrived in Atlanta. Apologized to Victor on my return. We occasionally joke about it, the book being forgotten on the plane, the material being too heavy for me.

Guess what? I found the book yesterday. It was on my desk. Under a good ten inches of papers. I have no recollection of seeing the book once I departed the plane in Atlanta.

Can’t wait to return the book to Victor. My conscience will finally be clear.

The cross walk problems on North Roosevelt Boulevard appear to be coming to resolution. There are six cross walks. The State says three will be eliminated. Two will have pedestrian activated signals. Nothing required to the remaining one.

Corrections not yet final. Nothing ever is when dealing with the government. The State wants to check their traffic figures once more before finalizing the corrections.

Another year!

Today In Keys History notes that in 1952, 250 shrimp trawlers operated out of Key west. Each averaged a catch of 2,500 shrimp a day.

No more. Shrimp primarily harvested somewhere else today. Only a few shrimp boats remain in the Key West area.

I made mention in my tuesday podcast of the 1951 hit song Shrimp Boats: Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight. / Shrimp boats is a-comin’ /there’s dancing tonight.

Shrimp boats was introductory to my dissertation re robots. Today concerning shrimp fishing itself.

Political correctness continues to go a step too far.

Students at the University of London’s School of Oriental and Asian studies want white philosophers eliminated from their text books. Their position being only African and Asian philosophers should be studied. The students’ purpose “to decolonize” the “white institution.”

They wish to be rid of Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon responded to the request: “There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some would like it to have been.”

Good for you, Vice-chancellor Seldon! Administration hierarchy in the United States are  capitulating to similar type requests by students. Like remove campus statues of white heroes and replace them with African-Americans.

Enjoy your day!

 

OBAMA FAREWELL SPEECH

Obama’s Farewell Speech last night contained a spectacular moment. Personal and touching. His tribute to his family. Especially, Michelle. Brought a tear to the President’s eyes, tears to Michelle’s eyes. A tear or two to mine.

His words had to touch America’s hearts. Even of those who did not support him.

FBI Director James Coomey exhibited a double standard while testifying before a Senate Committee yesterday. He was asked about what might be described as compromising personal and financial information revealed earlier in the day re Trump and Russia.

The question basically was are you investigating the matter. Coomey responded he/the FBI do not respond as to whether there is an investigation or not.

What concerns me is that Coomey did not exhibit a similar reluctance when he testified before a Congressional Committee re Hillary’s e-mails.

A double standard? Coomey forgets what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Did an airport pick up yesterday. Barbara arrived for a visit.

Fine tuned last night’s blog talk radio show in the afternoon.

An early dinner with Barbara at Roostica.

I stuck my neck out re the Syracuse game last night. Got it chopped off! I thought Syracuse had rediscovered its winning ways and would beat Virginia Tech. I was wrong. Virginia Tech beat Syracuse 83-73.

Syracuse’s fabled zone defense was ineffective once again. Virginia Tech was getting the ball in the middle and under the basket. Horrible!

The game 7-9. Nine my podcast show. Great timing! Great scheduling!

The lead topic involved Harry Truman’s mother in law. Not a nice lady. Treated Truman poorly for the 33 years they lived together. An article listing the six worst mother in laws of all time contained her name. Next to that of Catherine de Medici.

Two other topics of special interest.

One involved vaccines and their safety. Additionally Robert Kennedy Jr. having accepted a position with Trump to head a vaccine safety committee which was to study the safety issue. Kennedy a vaccine skeptic.

The news of Kennedy’s designation and acceptance yesterday afternoon. Last night or this morning, Trump withdrew his vaccine committee idea.

The other topic involved a transgendered convicted murderer doing life in California. He was sick of being a man. Wanted sex readjustment surgery so he could become the female he claimed he was.

California is giving him the operation and paying for it. Taxpayer dollars, of course. The U.S. Supreme Court decided three years ago that prison inmates are entitled to “medically necessary treatment.” Interpreted to mean the best medical care. Better than most can afford. No deductibles, no donuts, etc.

The “treatment” is extended to providing female oriented items such as night gowns, scarfs and necklaces to the transgendered males awaiting surgery.

I published a book several years ago. The World Upside Down. A short story was titled Flora’s Story. Perhaps the best short story I have written.

A true story.

Flora a 40 year old Albanian school teacher. She cleaned apartments on Amorgos summers 12 hours a day 7 days a week. To earn enough money to make it through the year. Albania is a poor country. Her teaching salary was insufficient to make ends meet.

We met on Amorgos two consecutive summers.

I asked questions. She answered. Permitted me to write her story.

Some questions I asked clearly evidence her life style and that of her fellow Albanians.

One was what was the one thing you would want if you could have it. She quickly responded a car. She walks long distances. Busing is poor.

Do you dance? Yes. How often? Once a year at the year end teachers’ party.

Do you drink? Yes. How much? One glass of wine a year at the teachers’ party.

And so it went.

ISIS is making inroads into Albania. A recent thing. I spoke about it on the show last night. I have made inquiry to Flora about it, also. Yet to receive her response. We communicate via Facebook every month.

Three small Albanian villages in the southeast are recruiting and sending soldiers to Syria. Not just soldiers. Wives and children go with them.

The villages are Leshnica, Zagoracan and Rreienj.

The villages are devoid of business. Huge unemployment. Poverty. Most part time farmers. Work seasonal. Many take the Flora route and go to Greece summers to work the farms there.

Those who join ISIS and leave are described as having acquired a religious type fervor regarding ISIS.

Enjoy your day!

 

I FOUND MY BIRTH MOTHER

I found my birth mother. A touching statement. Made not by me, but by another.

Let me share her story.

I was in Aqua last night watching Dueling Bartenders. Jean and Joe Thornton there, also. Jean introduced me to her sister. I was not aware Jean had a sister. A half sister. Her name Laura.

Jean was 37 when she received a telephone call from Laura. Laura then 25. Jean did not know she had a sister. Laura said, I am your sister, I am looking for our mother.

Jean was in Birmingham at the time. Laura in Nashville.

Their mother had not made Jean aware she had given birth to another child when Jean was 12 years old.

Laura was taken in by another family and eventually adopted by another.

Laura told Jean she wanted to meet her mother and Jean. Jean made the necessary arrangements and in due course the three met. Their Mother told Jean she had kept the birth secret.

A glorious meeting. Tears and joy. A unit since.

Laura is in key West visiting. She will be here till the end of the month. She now resides in Louisville.

Laura told me she refers to the woman who adopted/raised her as her Mom and her discovered mother as her birth mother.

Jean and Laura loving sisters. So they appeared and acted. Jean could not wait to introduce her sister to me.

God is good. He provided the path and determination for Laura to successfully discover her birth mother and sister.

A lucky threesome.

While still at Aqua, a lovely young lady approached and asked if I was Key West Lou. Her name, Pat Grady. A Key West resident. I am fortunate. A loyal blog reader. Thank you, Pat.

Great game last night! Clemson beat the perennial victor Alabama. By a touchdown made with one second remaining on the clock. The final score 35-31.

Wild!

Tonight Syracuse/West Virginia. West Virginia a 4.5 point favorite. I will stick my neck out. If Syracuse plays as it has in its last two game, Syracuse will win decisively.

I continue to learn.

Enzio Pinza was a great singer and movie actor in the 1950s. He was vacationing at the Casa Marina.

The mood at various times of the day at the Casa can be revealing, overwhelming. At some point one evening, Pinza was seated on the Casa’s terrace overlooking the ocean and moon. He was so taken by the sight, he stood and sang Some Enchanted Evening. A song he had made popular.

The Casa and Pinza singing a fitting combination.

I am listening to Session’s Senate confirmation hearing. Just began. Two Democratic senators have already spoken who have failed the Nation. Both were supportive of his nomination. Disgusting. The man is an obvious bigot. Will work to restrict civil and voting rights. Not support them.

I am ashamed of the two Democratic senators. They lacked the courage to do the right thing.

I have to hustle. Barb is visiting for two weeks. I pick her up at the airport in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FRAN…..WOW!!!

My well being is in the hands of women. Recently, especially.

They are feeding me. Though I do not think I look undernourished. I complain not, however.

Liz feeds me constantly. Cooking is her hobby. Great meals! Wonderful Christmas cookies! Dee recently brought me a big bowl of something good. I have yet to return the bowl. She keeps telling me not to forget.

Now comes Fran. Buffalo’s Fran Dixon. Wife of fellow Syracuse fan Tom Dixon.

The Dixon’s visit Key West 4-5 times a year. For years. Tom owns a small piece of the Ocean Key House.

Fran makes chocolate candies. She brings a couple of small bags to me each trip. Delicious!

Last night she out did herself.

The three of us were having dinner at Roostica. Fran said…..I have a surprise for you! Surprised I was!

She had a bag with her. Goodies for Louis.

Started with a box of home made pasta. Thin linguine. Made by Fran from scratch. Enough for two meals. Two plastic containers with Fran’s own home made sauce and meatballs. One for each meal. Bags of chocolate candies.

Fran and Tom brought it with them on the plane. The sauce was a concern. They packed it in a large container of ice which they placed in one of their bags. One that was checked. Upon arrival at Ocean Key, they placed the two sauce/meatball containers in a freezer till delivery to me last night.

Love you, Fran. Love you Liz and Dee. Continue preparing great dishes for me. At my age, it is not merely the food. It is the concern shown. Thank you!

The way Fran is going, I expect a half a cow next time! Don’t laugh. Upstate New York is a place for cows and slaughter houses. Many the time I bought a half a cow and froze the steaks, etc. Good for six months of meals.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on the introductory topic for tomorrow’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. The subject matter involves Harry Truman’s mother in law. The tale reflects the character of Truman. His mother in law, also.

Watched the Golden Globes last night. Excellent show!

Two items outstanding.

La La Land and all the awards the show received. Musicals of the 1950-60 era have returned! I am anxious to see the movie.

Meryl Streep. America’s outstanding living female actor. Unquestionably. Her comments re the nation’s state of affairs and what she perceived as erroneous thinking on the part of Trump were right on. Her words made clear why Hollywood has turned its back on the soon to be President.

Don’t say…..Actors, what do they know! Remember that Ronald Reagan was an actor before becoming one of America’s greatest Presidents.

Tonight, Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Then Jack Flats or somewhere else to watch the Alabama/Clemson game.

Enjoy your day!