IMPORTANT DAY IN HISTORY

September 22 is a significant day in our country’s history. Two major events occurred.

Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on this day in 1862. Note the word “preliminary.” Lincoln did not actually sign the Emancipation Proclamation order till January 1, 1863. When he advised the Nation of his intent on September 22, he said he would sign an order so directing within 100 days. Internal politics prevented him from doing so earlier. Nothing changes.

“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” So spoke Nathan Hale on September 22, 1776 as the British were about to hang him. Hale was young. Late 20′s. A Yale graduate. Volunteered to spy for the Colonies. Worked the New York City area for several months. It is thought his cousin Samuel Hale turned him in to the British. Samuel was a Loyalist.

My back, my back, my back! I have not gotten more than two hours sleep in each of the last two nights. Cannot lie flat or in any manner. Cannot stand or sit. What do I do? See the doctor. Which I intend to do his morning.

The pain radiates around my back to my groin and then down the leg to my ankle. The worst pain is the top of my upper leg and knee. As I have already advised, gin relieves the pain. I had no gin in the house. Switched from heat to ice. The ice was a big help.

Needed a new hose. Was off to Home Depot yesterday morning. Home Depot is already replete with Halloween paraphernalia. Even real pumpkins. Exciting. I am still a little boy at heart.

Stopped at Don’s Place early afternoon to watch the Buffalo Bills game. Chatted with Don, David, Keith, and Larry. Left at half time. Sitting was difficult for me. I kept squirming to find a comfortable position.

I did have two drinks. They definitely helped.

Sunday dinner with Lisa and family. Lisa cooked a Thai dish. First time for this particular Thai dish. Excellent! Tasty! Don’t ask me what. All I know is that the noodles, chicken and vegetables were delicious in whatever the sauce she cooked them in.

Ally evidences a talent for sketching and painting. She gave me an acrylic several months ago. I was impressed. This week she showed me a parrot she had sketched. Right on!

Poppa decided to encourage her. I gave her my easel and unused canvases to go with the paints and brushes she already had. Bought her an eraser and some other things at Ben Franklin. the only place in Key West to buy paint supplies.

We started yesterday. She has pencil drawn the parrot on a canvas. Today after school, we start painting. We have already selected the colors. I have to show her how to mix white to get different shades. This is going to be fun for the both of us!

Enjoy your day!

 

DRUG TEST ELECTED OFFICIALS

Monroe County’s tobacco testing of its employees continues to bother me. It is the law carried a step too far.

Justification for the new law is to save taxpayer dollars.  Elected officials are also on the County payroll. They should be tobacco tested. They get paid with taxpayer funds. Let them be tested. Pee in the cup. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander!

This same thought process should be applied where States and other governmental subdivisions/agencies require drug testing for welfare recipients. Again, elected officials are paid with taxpayer dollars. If one segment of our governmental process is to be subjected to abuse, let all bear the indignity.

The amusing thing about drug testing of welfare recipients is that studies have shown small numbers came up positive. Around 1 per cent, if I recall correctly.

Whatever, let the Governor as an elected official pee in the cup also to justify his continued right to be paid. Whether the Governor receives his full salary or $1.

My yesterday afternoon saddened me. Big time. Syracuse lost. Badly. 34-20.

I watched the Syracuse/Maryland game at Don’s Place with Don, John and David. John is a Maryland graduate.

I thought after watching last week’s game that Syracuse was on its way to a terrific season after a number of years of struggling. I was wrong. Syracuse got whipped.

No fun ahead for Syracuse either. Next saturday it is Notre Dame at the Meadowlands.

I got to Don’s Place at noon. Left at 5. Went to Lisa’s. Enjoyed Saturday night dinner with the family.

Then it was back to Don’s Place at 7. Keith’s 37th birthday. Party time! Jennifer had arranged for some goodies to be picked at. There was a line at the bar. Everyone celebrating the occasion.

I left at 8:30. I had had enough of Don’s Place for the day.

Enjoy your Sunday!

A SANTA CLAUS LIE

Since my first born was able to comprehend Santa Claus, I have lied about Santa Claus. A good lie. The lie has continued to present day. More than fifty years.

Probably to boost my image in their eyes, I have repeated the same lie every year to my children and grandchildren. The grandchildren are now all adults, except for Robert and Ally. The lie is that Santa Claus is my friend. We talk on the phone all the time. I have even arranged for Santa Claus to telephone me while one or two of them were with me. It was  proof that Santa and I were buddies.

Every Christmas, I arrange for Santa Claus to visit where ever I am at dinner time Christmas Eve. The kids knew he was coming. He was my friend! They waited excitedly. When he arrived, he would talk with each of them. Of course he knew all their secrets, whether they had been good or bad, etc.

I prepped Santa Claus each year to greet me as…..Louis, my friend!….. as he embraced me.

I think it may be the end of the line. The lie may not be able to be perpetrated further.

Last night Robert and Ally sat down in front of me and asked…..Poppa, how is Santa Claus your friend? I made up some cock and bull lie. Another one. Oh, the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I am not sure they accepted my answer. Both were very serious during the conversation.

I have a feeling that between now and Christmas, Robert and Ally will sit me down to tell me the truth. They are 10 and 9 respectively. It is time.

Friday night in Key West was packed. Bikers in town. Beautiful big expensive bikes all over. Black leathered bikers and their ladies attired in leather. A sight to see!

I had a drink at the Chart Room. Emily told me the Wine Galley had been redone and was open for business. I took a walk over.

The Wine Galley and I go back at least 20 years. When I first went, it was Bobby Nesbitt’s room. Every week without fail. The room was smaller than it is now. However, comfortable and intimate. Then it was Larry Smith’s room. The Wine Galley was redone and made  larger.

Now the Wine Galley is no one’s room. There is neither place nor room for a piano.

The new Wine Galley is stunning. Magnificent. A cocktail lounge. Sexy. The room was packed with biker/tourists last night.

Although spectacular, the new Wine Galley cannot stand up to the room when it was Bobby Nesbitt’s and Larry Smith’s. There was something missing last night.

Stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Jimmy was there. A different Jimmy from yesterday’s blog. Jimmy I met first years ago at the Southernmost Complex. He was  a handyman/gardener. Lisa worked there six years. They became friends. Jimmy also played bocce thursday nights for years, though no more.

Jimmy is now retired. I had not seen him in several years. He came over and greeted me with …..You’re Lisa’s father!

It was good to see Jimmy again.

At 12:30 today, the Syracuse/Maryland football game. Syracuse back to a 1 1/2 point favorite. Big deal! I have a feeling we have better team this year and we will win this game by more than a couple of points.

I will be watching the game at Don’s Place.

Today is Keith’s birthday. Happy birthday, Keith! There is a small bash as 7 tonight at Don’s Place in his honor.

Enjoy your day!

BALL BUZTERS

Last night was a most pleasurable bocce evening. And I did not play! My back made me a spectator/coach.

We played Ball Buzters. The best! Always #1 or 2. These guys must have started playing together while they were in their mothers’ wombs. They play that well.

Our team Don’s Place played that well last night, also. We were competitive. All three games were decided by a point or two. We won the first and lost the next two. But happy we were. It was a fun evening. We played the best and were able to hang in  there with them.

My parking comments yesterday hit a sensitive chord. Many responses. Both sides of the issue venting. All arguments had merit. My sense is parking will still be a problem 10 years from now.

Started yesterday with a haircut. Always good to see Lori at Blown Away.

I spent the afternoon writing next week’s column for KONK Life. The Al Qaeda Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. There is a new al Qaeda group. They ventured out recently on their first escapade. They wanted to capture or damage the United States carrier the USS George Washington which was in Karachi harbor. Instead, they attacked a Pakistani frigate which they mistook for the carrier.

Poker Run begins today. An annual event in its 42nd year. A big deal.

Ten thousand bikes will roar into Key West today and tomorrow morning. They will leave Sunday late afternoon or monday early morning after a weekend of fun.

Many bikers bring their wives or girl friends. Generally perched sitting behind them.

The bikers are not the bad guys of Marlon Brando fame. They are doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs disguised to look bad having a weekend of fun.

The event is sponsored by the Key West Sunrise Rotary. It is a fundraiser. The charities benefiting are a national diabetes organization and certain local charities. The funds raised will be between $80,000 and $100,000.

I seriously question  who the Federal Reserve works for. The American people or the banks?

The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that household wealth had risen 1.7 percent in the 2nd quarter. The rise was attributed to stock and mutual fund increases and the rise in household values.

Did your stock portfolio go up? Do you have a stock portfolio? Do you own a home?

It is primarily the stock portfolios of the 1 percent that enjoyed the upward gain. Not the 99 percent.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST MIRACLE ON 34th STREET?????

With all due respect,  local Key West governments sometimes operate with their heads up their asses!

Two incidents of note for today.

The first involves Key West parking. The City Commission has decreed a new residential parking program which goes into effect October 1. Basically, residents will be able to park. Non-residents will have to go through hell.

I live 2.5 miles outside Key West on an island called Key Haven. I drive into Key West every day two times. Lunch time for a couple of hours. Then in the evening for drinks, dinner and fun. I spend money on both occasions.

I do not want to have to walk long distances nor pay what I consider an exorbitant fee to park.

Then there is my friend Jimmy. He has a small but active painting business. Himself, his wife Joanie and John. Jimmy paints homes and commercial buildings inside and out in Key West. He drives a beat up old van. Carries his ladders on top. Jimmy wants to know where he will park. Jimmy thinks the new parking plan is a scam for the City to take in more money.

Jimmy is astute. He approached me with a solution last night. He said…..Remember that movie with Santa Claus where the judge said….. if the Post Office thought the guy was Santa Claus, he was Santa Claus…..the Post Office is an agency of the United States government…..the United States therefore thinks he is Santa Claus…..that is good enough for me.

Jimmy lives on Stock Island. Even closer to Key West than me. Less than a mile out.

His mail and mine bear a Key West address. After our specific street and numbers, the mail for those residing in Key West and out is addressed: Key West, Florida 33040. Jimmy’s statement simply stated…..If it’s good enough for the Post Office, it should be good enough for the Key West City Commission.

The other problem involves the Monroe County Commission. In their divine wisdom, they have decided that public employees (County employees) should not smoke. They have passed a law which is in the process of going into effect. No County employee may smoke. Not even at home. There will be cigarette testing similar to drug testing. Pee in a cup. Get caught with tobacco product in your urine and you will be fined. Worse? I don’t know.

The County Commissioners say it will save on insurance premiums. Taxpayers of the County should not have to pay for a higher cost of health insurance because of those who get sick from smoking.

Hear this from Louis. The law will never pass muster in court.

Finis. So much for preaching.

Enjoy your day!

LOOKIE LOU

My name has been misappropriated. A public agency has a program which encompasses Lou in its title. Lookie Lou. The agency is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. FWC for short.

Lookie Lou involves state wildlife officers searching for violations, safety errors, etc. while out on a separate mission. Ever vigilant.

Yesterday for example 29 Cubans successfully made it to American soil. Good for them! They set foot on Loggerhead Key. The FWC went out to pick them up. On the return trip, the FWC crew came upon fisherman with four undersized snappers and also made several boat safety stops.

Lou is universal. A name from the ages. I have used it for eight years as Key West Lou, 79 years as Lou. The FWC has been in business since 1999. I do not know when the FWC started Lookie Lou.

My blog talk radio show went well last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I had a good time doing the show.

No boots on the ground appears to have drawn the most comment. Obama says no U.S. boots on the ground. The European and Arab nations who have joined with the U.S. to combat ISIS have all said no boots on the ground from their end. All willing to provide air assistance. Nothing more.

Who fights the war then? Unless nuclear bombs are used (which I cannot conceive the U.S doing), a war cannot be won by air action alone. Soldiers on the ground are always required.

My conclusion was and is that military contractors would be hired by the U.S. to do the fighting. Mercenaries. Solely in the beginning and partially later on if American ground troops are sent in. My question was why have we not been told this? The government should be honest with the American people. Lay it all out now. The good, bad and indifferent.

A physiotherapy session yesterday. I was not impressed with the treatment. Be that as it may, I threw my back out while doing it. The therapy exercises were extremely simple. One short movement however and my back hurt! Hurt all night and still hurts this morning. I am back to where I was.

My back hurt, I felt sorry for myself. Decided I was entitled to a treat. My lunch was a chocolate milk shake at 2Scoops. Didn’t help my back. Did help my state of mind.

Some afternoon time was spent in final preparation for last night’s blog talk radio show.

The line re saturday’s Syracuse/Maryland game has changed. It dropped from 2 to 1 1/2. Syracuse still favored.

I know I am sticking my neck out. However, I think Syracuse walks away with this one. By a significant number. I was impressed with Syracuse’s play against Central Michigan last week.

Enjoy your day!

 

NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND A JOKE

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. A quick moving eye opening half hour.

One of the topics involves Obama’s representation that the U.S. will have no boots on the ground. If we do not have soldiers fighting and the other nations joining us do not, who is going to wage the ground war? I suspect mercenaries. Military contractors will provide the boots.

Why is this not mentioned? Why the secret? Who will be paying the mercenaries?

Other interesting topics include the Pentagon providing college campus police with grenade launchers, Guatemala striking down Monsanto Law, and Pope Francis’ statement that World War III may already have begun.

Yesterday started with a visit to the main Post Office downtown. I did not receive mail this past week. They are looking into it. I get too much mail to miss even one day.

The Post Office is a good place to run into people. Caught David walking back to his job with his lunch in hand. Ran into Jim from Joy Gallery. He has my Jack Baron’s for sale. We had a good conversation.

Next was a business meeting at the Marriott Beachside. Every time I walk into the lobby, I think how lucky we are to have this hotel with a touch of New York City situated in Key West.

Roostica for lunch. Megan at the bar. Not working. A guest. What a beauty! Got two hugs and kisses. One when I first came in and one when she was leaving.

Worked on Growing Up Italian. Wrote a chapter, refined and rerefined. Got to get my ass in gear with the bookwriting. It comes in spurts.

Stopped at Don’s Place for a drink early evening. Chatted with Grant. Petey at the other end of the bar. Petey from saturday at JDLs. She came over and gave me a hug and kiss. I love the attention of these young beauties. Even if it is only because I am a likable old man.

Then to the Chart Room. Spent some time chatting with Che. I have not seen him in a couple of months. Che my friend with a Cuban name who is a New York City Jew. Love it!

Syracuse plays Maryland saturday. Syracuse a 2 point favorite. Which means no one knows who is going to win.

The Key West Citizen ran a front page article on tegu lizards. Every kind of lizard eventually finds its way to the Keys. Tegu is new. Was found in Key West. First one. Experts say probably a pet that the owner did not want anymore and set free.

Only four have been discovered to date in the Keys. Not nice guys. They have sharp teeth and claws and are aggressive. The one found in Key West turned out to be a honey. It is now at the Sheriff’s Animal Farm. The attendants say the lizard is docile and likes to be touched. Not consistent with its purported nature.

Enjoy your day!

JAMES FENIMORE COOPER

Today is the birthday of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851). A famous American author. Penned Leatherstocking Tales. His most well known work, The Last of the Mohicans.

Cooper spent most of his life in Cooperstown. The same community in upstate New York that today is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. His father founded Cooperstown. A community which sits on beautiful Otsego Lake.

Cooperstown is a 45 minute drive from my hometown of Utica.

Father and son Cooper were men of wealth. The elder having come by it the old fashioned way. He worked for it. His son inherited substantial monies at age 21. Nevertheless, the younger Cooper worked hard. First as a seaman and then as an author.

Father Cooper built the family home on Otsego Lake. He called it Otsego Hall. His son James lived there after his father’s death. The home at some point burned down.

It was replaced in later years with what today is known as The Fenimore Art Museum. I have  visited the building many times. As an attendee at cocktail parties and as a tourist. The home sits on a small hill overlooking the lake.

A rural village and farm were constructed nearby. It is called Farmers’ Museum. America, 1845. A whole village. Small buildings for a doctor’s office, a lawyer’s office, a grocery store, a blacksmith shop, a home, a farm, farm animals and more. Very real.

The buildings and furnishings are the same as they were in 1845. People back then were smaller than today. The beds and furniture reflect the difference in size from today. Even the smallest of us would be too big for the beds.

The Farmers’ Museum is the home of the Cardiff giant. All 10.45 feet of him. The Cardiff giant was a hoax. Someone had this giant constructed from wood and other materials. The body was planted on a farm. “Accidentally” dug up a few years later. Touted as the discovery of a prehistoric man. It was several years before the statue was deemed not for real. It has no place at the Farmers’ Museum, but there it lies. I found the Cardiff giant interesting.

My father took me to visit the Farmers’ Museum. I took my children and most of my grandchildren.

On one of the visits, it was me and twin grandsons Mathew and Michael. They were 4. We passed a horse who at the moment had an 18 foot erection. Their eyes bulged. I said nothing. Just hurried them along.

A little later, we were in the Museum’s drug store. This was the time of the Clinton/Lewinsky matter. A radio news show was discussing the matter. Matthew looked up at me and said…..Poppa, he did something wrong. Didn’t he? I responded…..Yes, he did.

An observation. Cooperstown is small town America. Yesterday preserved. The Baseball Hall of Fame and the Fenimore sites have made the community neither touristy nor tarnished. Much of its condition is due to the care and attention provided by the Singer Sewing Machine family. They have resided in Cooperstown for years. It is their community. They are proud of it. They have controlled building on the lake, kept the area pristine clean and sparkling. Nothing happens with out their blessing. They are to be complimented for what they have preserved and achieved.

Yesterday was a normal Key West sunday. A visit to Walgreens and Office Max. Lunch outside at Salute’s. A mahi mahi sandwich and the sunday papers. A couple of hours at Don’s Place watching professional football. Don was in all his glory as Buffalo won. Spent a bit of time working on tuesday’s blog talk radio show. Dinner in the evening with Lisa and the family.

Enjoy your day!

 

Syracuse 40 Central Michigan 3

Would you believe! I did not even pick Syracuse in the pool. After Villanova, I expected another bad season. Central Michigan is a decent team. This was a good victory because of the number of points Syracuse scored. Syracuse was also phenomenal on defense. Now to the ACC.

I watched the game at John Lukas’ Sports Pub. I was the only Syracuse fan. There were a bunch of Ohio State fans. I do not know what game the third group were watching.

John let each TV set go full volume. Blasting! I was listening to three games at one time. Not easy.

Met Carrie, a new bartender. Originally from the Boston area. Had a place for skiing in Killington, Vermont. Vivacious. Recently engaged.

Petey works part time for John. I did not know. She is a Don’s Place and bocce friend. A very nice young lady. Always a kiss and hug for me. I am a cheap buy. All it takes is a hug and kiss.

Key West parking has been come more difficult. October 1, it will be the worst! Guaranteed! As of October 1, the rule basically is that only Key West residents can park in Key West. Except for some non residential parking spaces. I have been looking for two days and have only found a half dozen.

Yesterday’s parking problem was of a different nature. I generally park in the empty lot next to John’s place. Yesterday signs had been erected that were not there before. Parking permit needed or you will be towed. I had to park in the City parking garage around the corner. Cost me $10 for 5 hours. Aggravated the hell out of me!

I did not get to watch golf today. I see Furyk is in third place. Two strokes behind the two leaders.

Jim is a senior citizen as far as golf is concerned, He has not won in a couple of years. He is always up there, however. He keeps earning good checks. So much so that he is #5 of active players in earnings. He has won a major and won the Fed Ex several years ago. He is my dark horse pick to win tomorrow.

I had the pleasure of meeting Furyk and his family 15 years ago at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona. They were there for a few days of relaxation and fun. A nice guy. Down to earth.

Since Joan Rivers’ death, I have wondered if she ever visited Key West. Most celebrities have at one time or another. Parade is a local newspaper. Joan’s picture is on the second page of this week’s edition. Shows her doing a book signing at Voltaire Books in Key West in 2009.

I have decided to stay in tonight. For some reason, I am tired. Perhaps the enthusiasm during the game.

Enjoy your Sunday!

THOSE WERE THE DAYS…..

Today’s Key West Citizen makes mention in its Key West History section that plane fares Key West/Miami 50 years ago were $8 one way and $15 round trip. Those were the days! Today one is looking at something in the low $200 to has high as something in the $600 range.

In the 1970s, I had a condo at the Jockey Club in Miami. My Shangrila at the time. I spent at least one long weekend a month there. The airfare Syracuse/Miami round trip was $80 tourist and $100 first class. First class included a small tablecloth and cloth napkin, steaming prime rib sliced at your seat, all flavors of ice cream, etc. Again, those were the days!

I spent several hours yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Mob Rule. It publishes wednesday evening. The article took much longer to compose than I had expected. The subject matter has its twists and turns. My view of things definitely controversial. I wrote what I did because I thought it had to be said.

Last night was a fun night. I did nothing but sit and sip with friends at two of my favorite Key West places.

First was Don’s Place.

Jimmy and Joanie have become parents! They adopted a dog. Four years old. His owner wanted to get rid of him. The dog has social/mental problems. He was left alone 20 hours at a time. Jimmy and Joanie had him at the bar and intend to take him to work. They will make great dog parents.

The dog sat quietly the whole time I was there. Neither a peep nor a move.

Lori is a physical therapist. I engaged her in talk re my shoulder. She was helpful. Yanked my shoulder and back around a bit in evaluating me.

Chatted with John.

Frankie was at the bar when I walked in. A king at bocce and Lisa’s neighbor. Their backyards adjoin. I like Frankie and his wife Sandy. Two great people!

Then the Chart Room. A very enjoyable time.

David was holding court at the end of the bar. I had not seen him in a while. We sat together for about two hours and chatted with each other and everyone else.

David is gay. Two lovely young ladies in black cocktail dresses walked by. Tanned, long blond hair. David told me they were ladies of the night. In from Miami for a job. I thought he was kidding at first. They kept walking around. We continued to observe them. David was hooked on the working girl thing. I finally asked how he knew. He had talked with them earlier on the street.

I am the type who could not get laid in a whore house, as the saying goes. David who has no interest in such ladies has no difficulty in engaging them in conversation.

Sheila came in. A kiss and hug. Love her!

Emily bartending and keeping up with our conversation.

Met an interesting couple from the Washington, DC area. Actually, they live in Arlington, Virginia. Shawn and Michele. One L. Shawn is a senior VP for a footwear company. Michele works in the retail field.

We buried them in places to go. Dinner, drinking, and dancing. Shawn was entering the info in his computer as fast as his fingers could move.

It is amazing. I have lived in Key West for years. Think I know everyone. Not the case. Two lovely ladies came into the Chart Room. Both locals. For many years. One is Christy. She is a massage therapist. I am embarrassed to say I cannot recall her friend’s name. I thought the friend unusually attractive. A senior with all white hair. Loved the white hair!

Two days ago, I chastised the Key West Citizen for failing to make mention of 9/11. The day was September 11, 13 years later. The topic is and will always be major in our history.

Yesterday, the Citizen made mention three times. Photos and reporting re memorial services at Mallory Square, the new Fire House on Grinnell, and the 9/11 campus in New York City. Great. However an historical rendition at the very least should have been a major front page article on September 9 itself.

Syracuse football today. Syracuse plays Central Michigan at Central Michigan at noon. I will be watching the game at John Lucas’ Big Ten Sports Pub.

Enjoy your day!