MY GIFT TO YOU

Buffalo’s Bob Saraceno is a blog friend. Yesterday he e-mailed an Andre Rieu You Tube piece. I share it with you this morning. What you are about to see and hear is emotionally moving, Enjoy it as part of the Holy Week spirit. Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or whatever, God is God.

The singers are purportedly nuns. I am not sure. One site referred to them as the Nun’s Choir. They could be nuns. Today’s nuns are more commonly found attired in civilian clothes as they go about doing God’s work.

Sit back and take it all in! What you are about to watch and hear will make you feel good. Better perhaps than you have in a while.

THE MUSTANG

Automobiles were big in the 1960s. Long and sleek. Sweeping rear fenders.

Ford came out with a new car in 1964. It was presented for the first time at the World’s Fair in Flushing, N.Y. It was called the Mustang.

The Mustang was small. Very small in comparison to other cars being manufactured. Low, also. The Mustang appeared to be part of the road it ran on.

The world went crazy over the Mustang! Everyone wanted one! There was a waiting period from order to delivery.

My sister Joan bought one. A convertible. I loved driving it! I could not buy one. Too small for the family I had by that time.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Mustang debut at the 1964 World’s Fair.

I spent two hours at the Pier House Beach Bar yesterday. Lunch time. I ordered breakfast. Ham and eggs. Read the newspapers.

A very lovely woman sat next to me to order a drink. We started talking. She came back two more times to talk. The last time with a bunch of friends.

Her name was Robin. A 40 year old nurse from somewhere outside Columbus, Ohio. A lovely body in a modestly brief bikini. Very little modesty.

I told her and her friends about the Chart Room. They were staying at the Pier House. They had arrived two hours earlier. They could not get into their rooms till 4. I suspected I would run into Robin last night at the Chart Room.

If she was there, I was not. I was exhausted at 6 when I finished my afternoon of writing. Instead, I made myself a sandwich and went to bed.

My afternoon was spent writing next week’s KONK Life column. The Catholic Church: Yesterday and Today. You will find it surprising. I had completed the research before yesterday. It took close to four hours to put the material together in column form.

Key West loves animals, fish, reptiles, any form of non human living creatures. Two events are scheduled reflecting such.

There is a pet stroll scheduled for April 22 at 5 pm. It starts at Mel Fisher and ends at the Westin Pier. It is a fundraiser for the Xena Fund. I hope Robert and Ally walk Jake. It will be a first for all three of them.

The Turtle Hospital is constantly busy. In January, a 140 pound loggerhead turtle was found floating and unable to dive. Obviously sick. The turtle was taken to the Turtle Hospital. Healthy once again, the loggerhead will be released back into the ocean at 1 pm saturday behind Salute’s. There will be a couple of hundred people watching, as usual. Always a big event!

Bocce tonight! I hope we win. This has been a tough season.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FIRE ANTS

If you live or visit Key West, it is difficult to escape the scourge of the fire ant. It is inevitable. You will be bitten. You will be attacked by several or a swarm at one time. Then comes the itching. And more itching. The white heads with black tops. It takes three weeks for the symptoms to disappear.

The place is an Amazon village somewhere in Bolivia. Two young men stole a couple of motorcycles. Their captors tied them to trees swarming with fire ants. Both ended up in the hospital. One in intensive care. The other required dialysis for kidney failure.

And we thought we had it bad!

Interestingly, fire ants originally came to Florida from South America. Most believe Bolivia. They immigrated in 1918 and then again in the 1930s on ocean going vessels.

Spent most of yesterday getting ready for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. It must have been a good show. Immediately received several telephone calls following the show. Each caller appeared excited about what they had just heard. One call came from Milan, Italy. Another from Calitzdorp, South Africa. The others from the USA. The Italian and African calls came in the middle of their nights. I was impressed.

The telephone calls and comments that followed did not reflect a particular topic as the most interesting. Apparently each found the entire show to their liking.

If you missed the show, it is archived. Also on You Tube. Archived it can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. You tubed under Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I am not sure last night’s show has been You tubed yet.

Prior to the show, I enjoyed a quiet dinner alone at Roostica. Reading the newspapers, of course.

There is a war going on in Key West. The War of the Plastic Chairs. At the tennis courts at Bayview Park. Rick Boettger has an excellent column on the conflict in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast.

This week’s edition of KONK Life hits the stands at 5 this afternoon. My first column under the caption Key West Lou COMMENTARY appears. The article concerns Muslim influence in what once was a sedate Sweden.

The columns are the same. Decided a new title was required. Over the years, the column had undergone a transformation. What started as legal observations slowly evolved into political and social commentary.

Enjoy your day!

LIMES…..GREEN GOLD

Who would have believed? All of a sudden, limes are an expensive luxury. Do not expect them with your alcoholic drinks.

There is a shortage of limes.  A recent occurrence. Two reasons. A drought in Mexico. Plus, the Mexican drug cartel. The cartel is fighting for Mexican routes and roads. Limes cannot be safely shipped over the roads.

The price of limes has doubled and even tripled overnight. A case that cost $36 is now $110.

I learned of the lime problem last night. Jean Thornton, Merri and I were chatting at the Chart Room. Jean mentioned Captain Tony’s was no longer serving limes. She understood there was a shortage. My research discovered the rest.

There was a time when an attempt was made to grow limes in Florida. The attempt failed. Florida weather is too cold for lime growing. Additionally, diseases common to Florida vegetation did not help.

There is discussion of attempting lime growing in Florida again. Nothing definite as yet.

I finally was able to get into the art gallery I was not able to last week. Joy Gallery. It is located at the corner of Simonton and Eaton. A comfortable place inside. Chairs, couches and coffee. Free wi-fi. Come in and make yourself comfortable, even if you might not be buying. I suspect I shall be doing some of my writing from there occasionally.

The owner of Joy Gallery is Jim Wallace. Curator is the professional term. I enjoyed my time with him. He is a knowledgeable person.

Stop in and take a look at some of the fine pieces he is showing.

I lunched at Sloppy Joe’s yesterday. A thing I rarely do. I enjoyed lunch with the cruise ship people. A Sloppy Joe sandwich. What else!

I needed some groceries. Stopped at Publix. Apparently I needed little. The bill was only $42. I felt like I had made money!

Merri has been bartending at the Chart Room one or two nights a week for several years. Last night was her last night. Jean, Sheila and I were celebrating her departure. Yes, celebrating. Merri is only moving 100 yards down the walk way. To the Pier House beach bar where she will be working more days a week. More money and constant fresh air. Nil smoke inhalation.

Met Wally Miller in the Chart Room last night. Wally hails from somewhere in New Jersey. His nickname is Mayor. He has visited Key west before.

Wally, his wife and three other couples are staying at the Pier House.

Wally told an interesting story. He and his friends “steal” Key West menus. When home in Jersey, they try to cook certain dishes listed once a month.

It is Che’s birthday again! He is 81 today. Seems like yesterday we celebrated his 80th. Happy birthday Che!

Che sounds Cuban. He is not. Where he got the name Che from, I do not know. Che is a New York City Jew transplanted to Key West.

I briefly discussed neo-Nazism in yesterday’s blog. I was motivated by the Kansas City shooting by a neo-Nazi(s) at two different Jewish synagogues. Three persons were killed. I said the three were Jewish. Turns out one was. The other two were Presbyterians or some similar sect.

Two readers jumped on me in their comments. One said correctly that only one of those killed was Jewish. The other indicated none of the three were Jewish.

Whatever, I was wrong when I said all three. Mea culpa. I try to be careful and get the facts straight. Sometimes I do not. I am only human. I do make mistakes. I would suggest the Bible’s admonition…..Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

In defense, I offer the following. The national news media is always in a hurry to be the first out with a big story. Their facts are many times incorrect. Sometimes I only have those facts to deal with. I write that section of the blog when I read the news on the internet. When the blog is assembled, I unfortunately do not go back to check the facts. There is only so much time in the day. Occasionally, I repeat the erroneous information contained in the news report. As I did yesterday.

Please keep in mind this  is not a gotcha game!

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me. Interesting up to date material discussed. Sometimes with my personal take on the situation. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Tonight some information re the United States’ combat readiness, air pollution in China and France, the economy bringing down some big corporations, how Putin is gaining for his own bank account from monies recently being sent to Ukraine from the U.S., some things I did not know about the Catholic Church, Albuquerque police executing citizens, and more.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE MASTERS AT DON’S PLACE

I was in a thoughtful mood yesterday. My thoughts had to do with my life and Key West.

I discovered and started visiting Key West 26 years ago. Bought my home here 16 years ago. Retired to live full time in Key West 8 years ago.

My life has changed. There has been a total transformation over the years. I no longer dress. It is hard to remember the last time I wore a suit and tie. I do wear long pants (khakis or jeans) about six times a year when it is cold. I rarely know the date or what day of the week it is. I always wear shorts. Crocs, sandals or sneaks depending on the occasion.

Everyone else who has spent a number of years in Key West is as I am. A wonderful world!

I referred to Don’s Place yesterday as the adult playpen of the world. It is typical of Key West. Key Westers enjoy playing games. Just as when they were kids.

Yesterday was the 1st Annual Don’s Place Masters. Seventeen of us played before a huge crowd. The bar was packed! We putted on the bar floor into plastic cups. Not easy. Don’s floor is three different stages of concrete. The undulations were amazing. You could not see them. However, they were there. It was like putting on the closest cut greens ever. A light touch of the ball took you ten feet passed the cup!

The plastic cup holes had miniature flags on them. Hershel served as warden. He had signs saying Quiet Please. The whole scene was like for real.

We played 14 holes. The course was laid out with 7 holes. That is all there was room for. We played the layout twice. I had the highest score. Consistent with my life long lack of physical dexterity. I also attribute it to my age. I was the oldest person playing. Keith won. The spread between his score and mine was a city block!

I have been a Mad Men fan since the show’s inception some ten years ago. Last night was the first show of the new season. I was disappointed. As I was with last season’s shows. The story line has become boring.

However, credit must be given to the accuracy time wise of the presentation. It was around 1970. The accountants were taking over businesses, penny pinchers who knew nothing about a particular business running them. The sex. Wow! Women’s  clothes and hair perfect for the time.

The show brought me back.

Do we understand? What has been going on in Europe can easily cross the Atlantic and happen here. I refer specifically to protests and demonstrations and neo-Nazism. A body of water is no protection from what has been and is occurring in Greece, Italy, France and England.

We have experienced a touch of it in recent days.

There is Charles Bundy in Nevada. Apparently a man of principle. He opposed federal intervention re his cattle raising. Of itself, nothing to get excited about. What did concern  me was the 1,000 armed people who came from all over the United States to defend Bundy against the government. Militia men. Dressed in military camouflage uniforms. All carrying a weapon. All prepared to shot if the government took steps they deemed improper.

You wonder why gun rights have become so important in the United States. There are a sizable number in our society who do not trust government. They are anti-government as government exists today. They arm themselves in preparation for the day the government turns, from their perception, on them.

It almost happened in Nevada this past week. It did not because the government backed off. Whether correct, I have no judgment.

Then there is the neo-Nazi movement. Thus far primarily visible in Europe. Yesterday, in the United States. A group of neo-Nazis killed three Jews at two different Jewish Centers in Kansas City.

Does Kansas City represent the beginning of overt anti-Semetism in this country? Perhaps.

None of this is healthy. I sometimes feel as a nation we are teetering on the edge of a cliff. We must pull back. I am not certain it is possible.

Enjoy your day!

BEST SEASON IN YEARS

This is unquestionably the best season Key West has experienced in years. Tourists galore. Bicycles and scooters all over the place. Hotels and restaurants full.

Everyone happy! Everyone having a good time!

Hopefully, it will continue. Whereas twenty years ago, the season ended Easter Sunday, it now runs into June.

I have a concern, however. The market drop at the end of this past week may foretell coming economic problems. The more than normal world unrest does not help.

Dinner last night was at Square One. Square One is typical of Key West’s resurgence business wise. The place was packed! Happy laughing chatter throughout.

I had dinner with my good friends Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo. The meal was excellent. Tom and Fran excellent company. I was impressed to learn that they were at the Democratic Convention where Carter and Ted Kennedy were at war. They were sitting on the VIP podium an arms length away from both candidates.

The Key West Citizen carried an interesting article on the Vandenberg in today’s newspaper. The proud military vessel was sunk off Key West five years ago. It was intended as an artificial reef. Divers have been frequenting the Vandenberg since day one.

Time has been good to the Vandenberg. It was recently reported that the coral growth is much more than had been expected. Ten different types have been identified.

The Masters will be played in two places today. Augusta and Don’s Place. The Masters at Don’s Place begins at one. Seven holes. Putting only along the floors of the bar. Cups of some sort arranged.

Don’s Place has to be the adult play pen of the universe! I can visualize how the Masters idea was concocted. At the inside bar, of course. Don, David, and Hershel definitely. Maybe Scott and Nate also. Seated at the bar and indulging. Someone probably said…..we should do something for the Masters Sunday. After about two hours of dialogue, the concept for the first annual Don’s Place Masters was arrived at.

Guaranteed fun! I will be there with my putter!

Enjoy your Sunday!

DINNER WITH STEPHANIE

Always an interesting evening. Dinner with Stephanie Kaple. Last night at the Hot Tin Roof.

She was a few minutes late. She had to park her bicycle at the Pier House and walk over. She came flying through the doors. A sight to behold. A knockout white sundress with multi colored small flowers. Her long hair flowing. She hugged me, kissed me, and kept repeating how sorry she was to be late.

Stephanie impresses me. She is 30 years old. A good two generations behind my 78. The world excites her. She is involved in everything. I am surprised she even had time to have dinner with me.

Stephanie is deeply involved with the homeless. Her vocation in life. They are lucky to have her.

She is also the Key West Shoe Girl. Loves high heeled expensive designer shoes. Last night she was wearing Giuseppe Zanotti shoes. Also, Channel earrings. Stephanie saves and spends her money on designer shoes. They are as important to her as the homeless. Maybe more.

We enjoyed a drink and dinner. Both ordered the snapper. Excellent!

Stephanie started playing bocce about three years ago. She is now captain of her team. I would not have expected less. Her team is relatively new to the sport. The team is in second place. Me and my team are experienced. We have been around the block many times. We continue to play poorly in recent seasons.

I walked Stephanie back to her bicycle after dinner.

Stephanie’s mother reads this blog frequently. I am sure she is reading it today knowing I was out with her daughter last night. Mrs. Kaple, worry not! Stephanie behaved herself.

I lunched yesterday at a place I have not been to in at least 5 years. The Hurricane. An outdoor place on the water. The first road off US 1 after leaving Key West. A pleasant place. I prefer Hogfish and Geiger Key. I do not know why.

Someone told me Joy Art Gallery at the corner of Simonton and Eaton was selling Jack Baron paintings. Jack was a dear friend. I have about a dozen of his works. He died a little over six years ago.

It was noon. The gallery was closed. A sign on the door…..Back in 15 minutes. I returned fifteen minutes later. Still locked. I am going to try to stop by today.

I am ashamed. Thursday April 10 was my Father’s birthday. He would have been 99 had he not passed away last year. I forgot. Belated happy birthday greetings Dad!

I apologize. But I must ask him this question…..How is Mom?

The World Upside Down is still out there selling. I am impressed. If you wish to obtain a copy, the book is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

I AM CONFUSED

There has been a recent increase in the cost of gas. We are told it is the Russia/Ukraine confrontation which has caused it. I do not understand. We get very little, if any, gas from the pipelines running across Ukraine.

As usual, the oil companies are taking advantage of a crisis. The price of gas has been gone up everywhere, including the United States.

Louis’ confusion arises from a local situation.

I live outside Key West on an island referred to as Key Haven. A Shell station sits at the entrance at US 1. For two days, the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline has been $4.07. I noticed yesterday the cost at the Shell station at Kennedy and the Boulevard was $3.89. I was by the Shell on Geiger Key at lunch time. The cost $3.89. An $ .18 per gallon difference. The Boulevard Shell station is 5 miles from the Key Haven Shell. The Geiger Key one 7.5 miles.

Do you blame me for being confused? Rip off time. At least as regards the Key Haven Shell.

Haircut with Lori yesterday morning. It now takes longer to trim my beard that cut my hair.

Then visited with Lisa for a while.

I planned on writing next week’s KONK Life column in the afternoon. I stopped at Subway to grab a sandwich to take home. I needed to conserve time. The column would take most of the afternoon to complete.

Buy stock in Subway! I walked in at 12:15. The line was backed up almost to the door. Fifteen persons. No way was I going to wait. Besides being in a hurry, I hate lines.

I do not know what possessed me. However, I said the hell with it and headed up to Geiger Key. Several miles past my home. That is how I discovered that the Geiger Key Shell was selling gas $.18 a gallon cheaper.

I thoroughly enjoyed my fish sandwich lunch. Geiger Key is a relaxing place to eat.

Next week’s KONK Life column did not take as long as I thought. The title is Muslims Taking Over Sweden. I had researched the topic thoroughly prior to yesterday. I was able to complete the article in two hours.

I have not written a KONK Life column for several weeks. I took a few weeks off. Next week marks my return. With a new column title. The Key West Lou COMMENTARY. Over the years, I drifted away from a legal column to commenting on events in general. Ergo, the COMMENTARY.

Bocce last night. Horrible! Horrendous! I obviously played poorly as I expected. I had not played in five weeks. Overall however, we were not with it. Lost the first two games 16-2 and 16-1. I participated in the 16-1 defeat. The third game was close. However, we lost 16-13.

What has happened to us?

Someone asked in a Comment received this morning if bocce being played in Key West meant there was a robust Italian community. Quite frankly, I doubt that many Italians reside in the Key West area. The large number of people playing bocce come from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. The bocce courts are a United Nations unto themselves.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

RAVEN

Raven has been one of Key West’s leading vocalists for many years. I have heard her sing on occasion. She appeared at the Wine Galley as Larry Smith’s guest often. I was never impressed with her.

Last night, I was. Why the change of heart, I do not know. I heard Raven last night and was very much taken with her. It was  pleasure to listen to her. Why last night and not before, I do not know.

I used to tell Larry Smith I did not enjoy her singing. He used to ask why, telling me she was one of the best on the island. Larry was right.

Early yesterday afternoon was at my heart doctor’s office. Dr. Mc Ivor. It was time for another echo heart test.

The balance of the afternoon was spent continuing research for next week’s KONK Life column. It has to do with the Muslim impact on Sweden in recent years. Interesting material.

Spent time chatting with Shawn at the Chart Room. Always good company.

Tom and Fran Dixon from the Buffalo area showed up. They arrived yesterday. Good friends. We talked away over a couple of drinks at the Chart Room. Syracuse basketball was one of the topics. Tom is a diehard fan, also.

We agreed to have dinner together saturday evening at Square One.

Today is what I would describe as a reflective day in history. Reflective for you and me. On this date in 1938, Germany officially annexed Austria. Shades of Russia and Crimea today.

Hitler’s next step after Austria was marching into Czechoslovakia. Will Putin follow suit and forcefully take eastern Ukraine?

Bocce tonight. I have not played in 4-5 weeks. I will get there if I have to crawl. I hope I remember how to throw the ball.

Enjoy your day!

 

ONE HUMAN FAMILY

Today’s Key West Citizen editorial is out of line. Its author appears uniformed.

The subject is One human Family. The term being representative of Key West for many years. The words painting an accurate picture of Key West’s people.

I have been a part of Key West for more than a quarter century. The term has always meant to me a binding together of the heterosexual and gay communities. One loving community.

The editorial lumps every today malady into the term in an effort to portray Key West as no longer that one loving family. It applies One Human Family to bicyclists screwing up traffic, Duval bars making too much noise, and so forth. None of which in my opinion fall under the umbrella of One Human Family.

A unique morning. The wind is strong off the ocean. A bit cold, also. It carries with it a clean smell. The only way the experience can be described.

One of the wonders of Key West is that on any given day we can watch the sun rise and set over water. Very few in this world are blessed with the experience.

Yesterday was a wild one! From 10 to 2, I was running around. Six separate stops in my travels. Dealing with necessary things that somehow all got lumped into yesterday. The traffic problems caused by the boulevard construction did not help. I was exhausted when I returned home.

I enjoyed a light dinner at Roostica. Ten chicken wings covered in a lemon oil and broiled.

Last night was my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I reviewed the weekly sins of the world. Post show comments indicate two the most popular.

One had to do with the dramatic rise in the cost of gasoline the past three weeks. Thirty seven cents a gallon! Yesterday alone, twelve cents. The  station near my home was $3.95 in the morning and $4.07 in the evening.

The other with Afghanistan’s opium trade. It was next to nothing when the U.S. went to war there 13 years ago. Today, it is a thriving $68 billion a year business. Thank you, Uncle Sam.

Watched the women’s NCAA final game last night. Another Connecticut  team the winner. The ladies are the Final Four Champions. Amazing! Connecticut! Both in men’s and women’s basketball!

Chamonix is in France. I have mentioned it in recent years. Chamonix is just over the border from northern Italy. A tiny village. An international ski resort. It sits in  a small valley half way up Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is Europe’s highest peak.

I have visited several times. Only in the summer. Each time I enjoyed sitting at an outside cafe, drink in hand, enjoying the view. The gigantic mountain surrounding me. Awesome!

The earth moved yesterday in Chamonix. An earthquake. A 4.8. No damage or injuries fortunately.

I did a little home work regarding Chamonix and earthquakes. Turns out there have been tons going back to before Christ. Many in the last five years. All I can think of is that there is going to be big time devastation if a larger earthquake hits. Portions of Mont Blanc could come tumbling down on little Chamonix.

Monday afternoon Stephanie Kaple telephoned. To invite me to join her for dinner. How nice! She even gave me my choice of three evenings. We will be dining together friday night.

Enjoy your day!