ANTI-GRAVITY TREADMILL, CUBAN COFFEE HOUSE, HUMIDITY, DUVAL, ETC.

My yesterday. Typical.

Started late morning with the anti-gravity treadmill. A wonder! Then to the Cuban Coffee House for lunch. Cuban toast and a large Cuban coffee.

Walked Duval a bit. New Gap Factory Store open. Good size. Homey. Missed the phony hostage/guest house scenario which closed two blocks of Duval. Stopped at Tucker’s. On Duval near Antonio’s. Great sports attire for men and women. Pricey. Will go well with tourists who might not care about price. Doubt many locals will buy there.

Summer definitely here. I could feel the humidity big time as I walked Duval. This is only the beginning. Wait till August and September!

Last night, Don’s Place early. Don. Stan and Claire. Jeneane and Mary from the Pier House at the bar. Sisters. Lovely ladies.

Dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Mood music. Put me in the mood. Mellowed me right out. Did not get the name of singer. He was busy talking with others when I left.

Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights bill into law in the 1960s. He said it would “…..bring peace to our land.” Unfortunately, he was wrong. The black church burning in Georgia a few days ago proof.

The Charleston shooting was June 17. Since then, a mere two weeks, there have been seven black church fires in the South. All but two have already been declared not arson. The two, hate crimes.

I do not buy the results. The non arson ones. The judgment in each case was made by a local fire chief and department. Like the early cops shooting blacks. A Chief and Prosecutor evaluating whether the police shooting was justified.

These cases should all be investigated by top notch experienced arson people. They exist in one place. Insurance companies. They should be on the job immediately together with some expert federal officers to determine cause. The goal being an untainted report.

I wonder, how many white churches had fires during the same two week period.

Anna reports. Credit cards no good in Athens. Most merchants want cash. Will not sell without cash payment. ATM machines busy this morning. Nowhere near the crowds of yesterday morning.

Everyone is at fault to differing degrees re the Greece situation. The consensus is developing that Germany’s Merkel has contributed greatly. She has been labeled as self righteous. Also as having pushed too hard.

Would you believe…..Another Rocky film coming out. Rocky VII. Sylvester Stallone managing , not fighting. Managing Apollo Creed’s son.

Oregon legalized marijuana for personal use. Limited amounts, of course. The fourth State to do so. If anyone had told me in the 1970s and 1980s that this was going to happen, I would have thought them crazy. Similar to same sex marriage. Who would have believed?

Enjoy your day!

 

ELECTRIC STREETCARS

Lets start with a bit of nostalgia this morning.

The History Section of today’s Key West Citizen tells us buses replaced streetcars in Key West on this day in 1926. I am impressed. Utica’s population in 1926 was well over 100,000. Key West a pip squeak in comparison. Utica did not replace its electric streetcars till the late 1930s.

I remember streetcars! I remember riding them in the late 1930s. I was probably 4-5 years old. Then they were replaced by buses. I am assuming just before World War II. The rails however remained imbedded in the streets till after the War.

Did the dentist routine early yesterday morning. I did have a problem. Dr. Lindner said I had an infection in one of the implants. The cause of the pain and swelling. Why? It happens, he said. He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. I have thus far taken three. Pain and swelling gone.

I hurried home to fine tune last night’s blog talk radio show. The show went well. I limited myself to four topics.

The past week was a big week and I wanted to hit what I considered the major issues…..Obama and Amazing Grace, a Greek update, and two significant Supreme Court decisions.

If you missed the show, it is archived on Blog Talk Radio and You Tube. It also is linked to my Key West Lou website keywestlou.com.

Later in the afternoon was a must do trip to Walgreens. I had to pick up five prescriptions. Four that were ready to be picked up and the antibiotic. One thing I have learned is that as one matures (a nice way of saying gets older), doctors and pharmacies become necessary friends.

From Walgreens to Don’s Place. Enjoyed a drink with David and Keith.

Then to Roostica for dinner. Fried eggplant at the bar while enjoying the newspapers.

A significant portion of last night’s show involved Greece. It is the most crucial spot in the world these days. Depending on what happens, a European and/or worldwide recession could occur.

Anna arrived yesterday in Athens. She reported no lines in front of the ATMs in the afternoon when she arrived. This morning the streets are blocked with people trying to get money out of the ATMs. She sent pics.

Greek banks have been shut down for six days. Withdrawals from ATMs is limited to 60 euros a day. Yesterday, the ATMs only permitted a 50 euro withdrawal. There had been such a rush to withdraw that the banks ran out of 10 and 20 euro bills.

Anna reports the demonstration in front of Parliament last night was much larger than the night before. Last night’s was for the group that wants to remain with the euro.

This morning’s news reports that Greece apparently blinked. Greece defaulted yesterday. Last evening, the Greek government announced it would accept the Eurounion’s package with some minor changes. The Euro group is meeting as I write to decide if they will accept Greece’s submission. The Euro group has no choice. To leave Greece outside the Eurounion would be the death knell for the Eurounion.

Anna tells me yesterday hotel rates were low. This morning, they had shot up. Her hotel however was honoring her lower reservation price.

I drove by the Glynn Archer school building yesterday. Or what remains of it. It is being transformed into a new City Hall.

This renovation is going to cost Key West a bundle over and above projected cost figures. Of necessity! The building has been completely gutted internally. Only the outside walls remain. Propped up with metal beams.

The new structure will in reality be a new building with the old outside. It is going to cost a ton more than if an entire new building had been constructed.

Another alternative would have been to use the old Glynn Archer. Move only a few walls internally. Bring in new water and air conditioning systems and whatever else is required. Cosmetically finish off the rest. A new home for City Hall at a much cheaper dollar.

Typical Key West governmental bungling.

Cuba and the U.S. are going to exchange embassies this week. Good! Lets keep moving the reunion along.

Enjoy your day!

 

ANNA GOING TO GREECE

Today’s blog will be short. I developed a dental problem last night. I have a very early appointment this morning.

I told Anna not to go to Greece. She is going. Leaves today.

She spoke with friends yesterday in Athens and Santorini. They all said come. Everything normal, except for the demonstrations. No one will bother you. Life normal.

We shall see. I hope she received good advice.

I would love to be in Greece these days. Has to be exciting. History in the making! The demonstrations should not be a problem if they are similar to those I experienced. Yesterday, 10,000 were protesting in front of Parliament. Where I stood with 4,000-5,000 demonstrators on three occasions several years ago.

I have been watching news reports re Greece on TV. I question if we are being provided with the true picture. We see the protests. We do not see lives outside the protests. Lives going on as usual.

A warning. A Louis one. The Eurounion/Greece problem is opening the door for a Greece, Russia, China deal. Watch. Putin at work again.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. An interesting show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include the President’s eulogy, the two Supreme Court decisions of import last week, the U.S. Navy short of ships, a new way to sneak cocaine out of Columbia, and a Greece update.

I will have heard from Anna by show time tonight with her first impressions of Athens. I will share them.

Enjoy your day!

BABY ANGELINA

Another beautiful Key West morning! A calm one. Nothing moving. Water still. No breeze. Birds chirping. I stepped out on the deck. I felt the whole world was mine.

President Obama’s eulogy at Reverend Pinckney’s service moved me. My emotions got involved. Tears filled my eyes. I thought it was one of man’s great orations. The feeling apparently mutual. Media persons over the weekend have expressed themselves in a similar fashion.

Amazing Great was part and parcel of the eulogy. In fact, part and parcel of the service.

Several years ago, I wrote an article for Amazon Kindle titled Amazing Grace. The story/history behind the Amazing Grace of today. Several times I have reprinted the article. I did again yesterday. Called it Amazing Grace Revisited.

I was motivated by President Obama’s singing of the classic during the eulogy.

Amazing Grace Revisited is this week’s column in KONK Life. Publishes wednesday.

Love Publix! The crossroads of Key West!

Yesterday afternoon ran into Albert and his family. Albert was my trainer at WeBeFit. A terrific guy. Special. Albert was pushing his cart accompanied by his wife. Inside sat Angelina. Their eight month old daughter.

First time I had seen her. A beauty! The face, the hair, the eyes. The eyes especially. Reminded me of the Gerber baby.

God bless!

A week ago on June 23, this blog was titled Cuban Hemingway House. Hemingway’s Cuban home called Finca Vigia. Run down. Filled with Hemingway books, letters and photos. Beat up from the humidity over the years. The home is closed. No tours, etc. as here in Key West.

My article was motivated by the news that an American foundation was providing a not for profit Cuban group with just under $900,000 to save the items. An example of little things beginning to happen because of warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

This morning’s Key West Citizen retold the story. With much more detail and photographs.

The Citizen article revealing. Dink Bruce is a local. Everyone knows Dink. A warm sociable guy. The article reveals that Dink’s father Bruce was a good friend of Hemingway. Bruce did the renovations to Finca Vigia when Hemingway acquired the property. Dink still has some of the renovation drawings.

A small world. One way or another, we all seem to be connected.

Lest I forget, two of Hemingway’s greatest works were written while he lived at Finca Vigia. For Whom The Bells Toll and The Old Man And The Sea.

Greece. WOW days ahead! Greece and the Eurounion are split. Greece is on its own. Unbelievable money problems ahead for Greece. Perhaps also the Eurounion.

Greece has already announced that banks will be closed for six days. Only 60 euros a day may be removed from ATM accounts. The problem is that there are only enough euros left to supply the ATM machines for 3 days. Then, what? Will the drachma return? Or as far fetched as it sounds, will Greece adopt the American dollar as its currency?

My friend Anna telephoned from Novara yesterday. She is scheduled to fly to Greece for a month’s vacation tomorrow. She is fearful of going. I e-mailed her this morning and told her to go somewhere else. Greece will be uncertain for a while.

I would love to be in Greece at this time. Athens and the islands. It will be exciting! Protests, demonstrations. Who knows what else. A moment in history. Not in my plans however.

Have to hustle. Anti-gravity treadmill later this morning.

Enjoy your day!

 

MOST RECENT BIGGIES

Key West is hurricane country! No question about it. The strange thing is that hurricanes do not occur with regularity. Fortunately. Weather is fickle and the hurricanes come and go as they please.

Some small, some big.

The threat of a hurricane lurks every season. We are warned a hurricane is on the way. Advised it is heading straight for Key West. People told to evacuate. Then the storm digresses and goes another way.

It has reached the point where locals pay little attention to warnings to evacuate. Most stay. Because they do not believe the reports. Also because they cannot afford to leave or have nowhere to go.

If the hurricane is 24 hours away and is still thought to hit, locals generally do the same thing. After protecting their homes or apartments, of course. They gather in the homes of a friend who lives on high ground. High ground is the second floor or a small area of Key West 10-12 feet above sea level.

Everyone brings food. It will only spoil if left home in the refrigerator. Electricity destined to go out. The food is all cooked before the storm arrives. Then eaten during the 1-3 days they all live together. Alcohol shared, also.

Some pick out a building that will with stand a major hurricane. Like Don’s Place. Concrete and building block. A protected party time area for the hurricane’s duration.

There have been two big hurricanes in recent years. Georges in September 1998 and Wilma in October 2005.

Georges was less than a 2 by the time it hit. Did some damage. Old Houseboat Row took a beating.

Wilma was the real monster! Started off as a 5 near the Yucatan. Hit on the Florida mainland around a 2. Key West was on the fringe.

The hurricane itself did little damage as it passed over. About a half hour later, the surge arrived. Unexpected. Damaged big time most homes and automobiles. Surge waters covered most of the island 6-7 feet. The water running suddenly through homes.

Water and humidity are a problem. Mold develops rapidly. Homes had to be gutted along the water line. Six to seven feet. Salt water soaked furniture had to be thrown out..

Forty eight hours later, the streets of Key West had mounds.  15-20  feet of plasterboard and furniture. Sitting in front of each home. A battle zone appearance wise.

Lisa’s home took a beating. Six and a half feet of water. Her car in the driveway went also.

Larry Smith tells the typical story. He and Christine were seated on their back porch saying how they were lucky to have missed it again. It being a bad storm. Suddenly, water began trickling from the house onto the porch. In minutes, six feet was gushing out.

Thus it was all over Key West.

The storm that really bothered me was not a hurricane. A mere tropical storm. Winds generally 50-70 mph. Heavy rains. Dark.

I cannot recall the name of the storm. Searched Google and telephoned several people. All remember the tropical storm. None recall the name. Maybe because it did little damage.

It sticks clearly in my mind as if it were yesterday.

My house was prepped for the storm. Plywood sheets covering every window and door. With one exception. A small door in the back leading to the deck. I needed a way to get in and out.

I did all the right things. Filled the bathtub with water to flush the toilets. Bought bottled water. Bought food that did not require heating before being eaten. Like peanut butter, crackers, dried fruits, etc. Candles and flashlights, too. The electric power always goes.

I hated the storm. It was supposed to last at most 24 hours. It lasted 5-6 days. It sat over Key West as a black cloud and did not move. I am stuck in my boarded up house all this time. Could not drive. The street in front of my home flooded.

The power went out on and off. Meant no TV,  no lights. Candle time. I figured I would read. I do not know how Abraham Lincoln read law by candlelight. I could not. So I spent a lot of time laying on my bed in the dark. Contemplating my navel.

I went out on the deck a couple of times. Dark and bitter. Just as bad as being inside. Except inside was dry.

We are into the hurricane season already this year. It lasts till the end of November. Nothing yet. Nor any warnings. However, hurricanes develop quickly. You never know.

Enjoy your Sunday!

LOVE…..

Big decision yesterday by the Supreme Court. One of the most important in years. Same sex marriage legal! Gays and lesbians may now walk through life hand in hand married, if they so wish. Same sex persons entitled to equal dignity under the law.

The decision outstanding!

My fear is that non-supporters of the decision will not quietly go away. Abortion and voting rights major decisions of the past. Abortion legalized in 1973. Voting rights/civil rights recognized in 1965. Still the wars go on. Anti-abortionists are still fighting more than 40 years later. Those seeking to take away the right to vote waging the war anew in recent years. A right all thought was sufficiently acknowledged and solidified  in 1965.

I hope same sex marriage does not receive the same treatment. I suspect it will unfortunately. Fifty years from now opponents will still be trying to eat away at the decision.

Such is the American way.

President Obama eulogized Clementa Pinckney yesterday in Charleston. The 41 year old pastor shot to death by a poorly informed 21 year old white. The eulogy moving. A masterpiece. Both in preparation and presentation.

I was moved to tears.

I found Obama’s entire church presence as shown on TV interesting. I saw the religious man. The black church his territory. From the moment he entered till he left. His singing and body moves said…..This is my church…..I grew up in black churches.

The President was in his religious element.

Staying with the President for a moment, his legacy is growing. He has Obamacare, Osama bin Laden, and two favorable Supreme Court decisions involving Obamacare and same sex marriage. No more at this point.

To be recognized as one of the great Presidents, he needs two more things. Two out of three.  An iron clad agreement with Iran, an end to American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and/or an Asian pact.

I do not know if he can make it.

Clinton was faced with a Republican Congress his last two years in office. Obama has the same problem. Is it a problem, however? Clinton got more things of value done with the Republican controlled Congress. Obama seems to be doing the same thing.

A good day for Louis yesterday. Anti-gravity treadmill in the morning, lunch at Roostica, a drink at Louie’s Backyard, a visit with Don, and dinner at Tavern ‘n Town.

Germany on the cutting edge! They have come up with a new type elevator. Actually an old idea. One that the world stopped using more than 100 years ago. Called Paternoster Elevators. No doors and do not stop at a floor. Jump on, jump off.

Sounds dangerous to me.

I keep following Greece. No deal yet. The issue becomes who will blink first. The Eurounion or Greece. I suspect the Eurounion. If Greece is out of the Eurounion, it will be the beginning of the end for the Eurounion. Greece has a tough road back regardless.

Prices remain strange in Greece. Dropping dramatically in Athens. Going up like crazy in the Greek isles. I do not know how the island merchants can sustain for long charging high prices. People will not spend the summer visiting the Greek isles.

I think I may have had one drink too many last night. If so, I was unaware.

I wanted to go into town early this morning. No way. My battery dead. Left the car lights on. Thank God for AAA.

Enjoy your day!

 

MANGROVE MAMA’S

Infrequently over the years, I have stopped at Mangrove Mama’s. Probably because it is the other way on US 1. My car goes to Key West and back. Not often in the opposite direction.

I had dinner last night at Mangrove Mama’s. Simple. A lobster reuben sandwich at the their small intimate bar. Delicious.

Mangrove Mama’s is at mile marker 19. A large complex. Has always appeared to me to consist of several small buildings somehow poorly joined together. The thought occurred last night that I did not know much about Mangrove Mama’s. So, I learned and share the information acquired with you.

The buildings are more than 100 years old.  Built 1905-1912. Note that buildings is plural. Originally a railroad stop and station agent home for Flagler railroad. Years after the demise of the railroad, the property opened as a restaurant. During winter months only. The name Mangrove Mama’s is the name of one of the first owners.  Rather what she was known as.

Over the years, Mangrove Mama’s has become an oasis for tourists wandering through and a watering hole for locals.

Educating myself re Mangrove Mama’s, I came across another interesting piece of information. Sugarloaf! How did it get its name?

There is a fruit named Sugarloaf Pineapple. Extensively grown on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Different from pineapples as we know them. Ours are yellow inside. Sugarloaf ones white.

Sugarloaf pineapples were once grown on Sugarloaf. I am not aware if now. Whatever, the name Sugarloaf is derived from the Sugarloaf Pineapple.

There is another school that claims Sugarloaf got its name from an Indian mound in the area. Could be. However, the consensus seems to be from the Sugarloaf pineapple.

The Supreme Court decision yesterday re Obamacare a correct one. I am happy for us as a Nation. There are still many out there crying for repeal. TV last night was full of Republicans saying they would continue the fight for repeal. They are Don Quixotes fighting windmills.

Social Security has been with us since the early 1930s. In the early 1950s, there were still anti-Social Security zealots calling for its repeal. It was hard for them to accept that Social Security was a fait accompli. So it will be with Obamacare.

Major events today in Charleston. Some burials, the President speaking, etc. Removal of the Confederate flag part and parcel of the goings on. Take the flag down!

Most assume the Confederate flag has been flying to represent the contrariness of Southerners over their Civil war defeat. Not exactly so. The Confederate flag was of no particular concern to most southerners till 1954. The Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. A civil rights decision. Southerners began flying the flag at that time. As a symbol of their opposition to blacks having equal rights. Southerners adopted the flag as a silent voice in opposition. For this reason alone, the flag must come down.

My column America, Land of the Free appears in KONK Life which is on the stands. It also appeared in KONK E-News Blast this morning. Coincidently, it was linked to my Key West Lou website on Facebook this morning.

Read the article. You will enjoy! The title was written with tongue in cheek.

My blog e-mails sometimes swifter that the media. I have blog readers everywhere.

ISIS attacked a particular spot in France. My computer received three reports re the incident at 5 this morning. All to report the happening. One report from a French reader. The other two from persons in Italy.

The report was soon followed by another. A second attack. Assumed to be terrorist. In Soussee, Tunisia. At a French resort on the water. My friends reported people were shot at while sun bathing. One reported 13 dead. Another 1.

Enjoy your day!

DINNER WITH FRIENDS

Dinner last night with friends. Karen and Dan Visnic. Karen a Pittsburg Shaklee distributor.

We met through this blog. Karen and Dan are loyal readers. Have been for years. Also frequent visitors to Key West. Three to four times a year. Renting a home on Olivia for the month of June.

We met about a year ago. Lunched at Salute’s where we dined last night. They were in Key West during Fantasy Fest. Their daughter and son in law joined them.

I am ashamed to admit, I had never read anything by John D. MacDonald. Their daughter when she returned home shipped me MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Good-By.

Karen and Dan return for another visit in July. I look forward to seeing them again.

Yesterday began with a late morning session on the anti-gravity treadmill. I swear by this machine. Whereas I recently lost 35 pounds, my gut remained. The treadmill is removing or redistributing my belly. Thrilling!

Then to Lee Nails and Tammy for a manicure. Tammy the best! Her keen sense of humor frequently peeked out yesterday.

It was lunch time. The Cuban Coffee Queen. It is becoming a habit. Parking is easy. I love Cuban pressed bread and coffee. The setting perfect.

This morning’s Key West Citizen carried an interesting front page article. Key West hotels are doing terrific. Occupancy up. Hotel rates have increased 55 percent over the past six years.

Key West is an expensive place. Whether a resident or tourist. The major hotels have been taken over by the big corporations in the last five years. My fear is the ever increasing cost of a hotel stay is going to hurt the chicken that lays the golden egg. Gluttony a terrible thing.

I write frequently about turtles. We are crazy for anything having to do with the water.  The keys fortunate to have a turtle hospital in Marathon.

Two Marathon Turtle Hospital staff recently visited Cuba and met with a primary gamekeeper of turtles there.

The Marathon team brought simple medical tools with them. Medical equipment such as microscopes and a box of slides. Simple is not available in Cuba. Basics of any kind not available.

The trip impresses me. Another step in reuniting the bond between the U.S. and Cuba. These little things move ahead more swiftly than government interaction. It appears it is going to take a long time for the U.S. to become friends with Cuba again. People to people appears more effective.

I am unhappy with the Trans Pacific Pact vote yesterday. A victory for Obama and the Republican Congress. History repeats itself. Rarely do nations learn. Ten years from now the bad will be obvious, the damage already done to the U.S.

Clinton had his NAFTA. Cost the U.S. millions of jobs. Jobs alone are not at stake this time. Foreign control of American businesses is. Obama way off base on this one.

I woke this morning to a gray Key West. Even gray, the vista beautiful to behold. The gray is now lifting and the sun coming out.

I always have had a problem re the spelling of gray. Gray or grey? I looked it up this morning. Both spellings correct. Merely different spellings of the same word. Gray commonly used in the U.S. Grey in England. Take your pick!

Enjoy your day!

MICHAEL HOEFLICH

Received an e-mail from Mike Hoeflich yesterday. A voice from the past. We had not communicated in more than 25 years. Mike found me via this blog.

In the late 1980s, I was Chairman of the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Visitors. The Dean at the time resigned. A five person search committee was formed to select a new Dean. I was a member of the search committee.

We spent a year looking, interviewing, reading, etc. in our quest for a new Dean. I sometimes felt as if I was picking the next President of the United States. A trip! We wanted the best of the best. We got it in Mike Hoeflich.

As Board Chairman, I worked closely with the Dean. We were working for the good of the Law School. Mike turned out to be one of the finest people I have met. Intelligent, hard working, articulate, a leader, genuine, etc. It was an honor and pleasure to have worked with him.

Mike left Syracuse after six years as Dean. He moved on to Kansas University where he served as Dean for six years. Since 2000, Mike has taught law at Kansas. A big time professor. Chaired.

I recall Mike’s position clearly re law professors having to write and be published. He pushed the law faculty in this regard. He was a do as I do guy. Mike has published 15 books and 115 articles.

A good man in every respect!

I worked several hours yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. I decided to do a black America show. Stressed three areas.

The first was Charleston and the forgiveness thing. I believe forgiveness accomplishes nothing in solving our racial problems. I am not Jesus and could not turn the other cheek. Said why and what I thought should be done.

The next item involved the Confederate flag. Easy. Take it down! I fear the South Carolina legislature is going to delay. The legislature voted yesterday to debate the issue. Resolution could take forever, if at all.

The final item involved Josephine Baker. Traced her life. The discrimination heaped upon her. Her fight back.

Ran over to Roostica for dinner. Sat at the bar. Looked like a bum. Had not shaved in four days. I was hopeful of not running into anyone. Impossible.

Michelle joined me at the bar. Michelle and husband own Roostica. As well as Hogfish and Geiger Key. Enjoyed an interesting conversation. A I was leaving, Bobby arrived to join his wife.

Ran into Alex and Mary the other day at Publix. Alex, my horn blowing friend. A retired New York fireman, he is into his other life in Key West. He blows his horn at affairs. Many times accompanying Larry Smith. He has made several CDs and videos. He lives in Key West time.

Alex had read last week’s KONK Life column The Petticoat Affair. He was taken by it.

This week’s column publishes today. America, Land of the Free. The title selected with tongue in cheek. We are not the land of the free untill all people are equally treated.

Big day ahead! Anti-gravity treadmill at 11. Manicure at 12 with Tammy. Dinner tonight at Salute’s on the beach with friends. A typical Key West day!

Body Owners has brought me together with a new and different group of friends. All into physiotherapy. The sick, sore, lame and disabled. All ages. I am anxious to make my three times a week workouts. I want to see how my new found friends are doing, share tidbits with them.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CUBAN HEMINGWAY HOUSE

Key West loves Ernest Hemingway. He is part of Key West’s history. His home on Whitehead has become sort of a shrine. The lines run down the block to Truman with people waiting to get in. Sloppy Joe’s, the six toed cats, and more contribute to Key West folklore..

Hemingway called Cuba his home for 20 plus years. 1939-1960. He wrote Old Man and the Sea while living in Cuba. His Cuban home palatial.

Castro took over in 1959. Castro and Hemingway were not the best of friends. Castro immediately confiscated all property. In addition to land and homes was included books and papers. Hemingway personally asked Castro not to take his home. Castro paid him no attention.

Hemingway left Cuba within a year of Castro taking power. Leaving behind his home, books, letters and photos. The books, letters and photos number in the area of 9,000.

Time and the elements have taken their toll re the books, letters and photos. Steps are being taken to repair and maintain them. Cuba has never had the money to do so.

When Obama announced that Cuba and the U.S. were discussing becoming friends again, he shortly  thereafter issued a list of exemptions to the embargo. Note, the embargo is still in effect. The reunion apparently is going to take some time.

The exemptions included the exportation to Cuba of supplies whose purpose was historical preservation. Note, not money. Money still cannot be exchanged. Supplies paid for however in the U.S. can.

National Trust is a U.S. foundation. Cuba has a National Cultural Heritage Council. The Council operates Finca Vigia.  Finca Vigia is Hemingway’s Cuba home and personal property left there. Known also as Lookout Farm.

National Trust is sending just under $900,000 in supplies to the Cuban Council to repair and preserve Hemingway’s books, papers and photos. In addition, a special facility will be attached or built anew to hold the Hemingway materials. None of the money will be used to renovate the Hemingway home itself.

All good! If we are going to be friends, let’s be. Personally, I am not happy that it is going to take time for the reconciliation. Fifty years is punishment enough. The U.S. should be in Cuba now with both feet. It did not take the U.S. very long after World War II to kiss and make up with the Germans and Japanese.

My congratulations to the National Trust for getting things started. Lets do more and soon. Lets get rid of the embargo completely and move forward as old friends reunited.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9 my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Two topics to be discussed are my slant on Charleston and the Josephine Baker story.

Re Charleston, this peaceful reaction to the killings will not work. The Connecticut school children killed changed nothing. Charleston will change nothing. More is required. Such will be discussed tonight.

The thrust of my comments…..I am not Jesus!…..I cannot be expected to turn the other cheek!

Enjoy your day!