CHILDREN SUFFERING POST IRMA

Who is feeding the children of the Keys post Irma?

Irma came and went 5 months ago on September 10. Things appear better in Key West. Duval booming. Though I suspect the tourist numbers are down. Down based on a fear that Irma’s effects still with us.

Physical damage more obvious as you move up the Keys. Especially from Cudjoe to Marathon. House damage, especially. Small tent cities evident. Cars visible housing whole families.

A food problem exists. Full employment has not returned. Too many businesses still closed because of Irma. Waiting for federal or insurance monies to repair or rebuild.

The food problem most evident with children. The schools have brought it to light.

I became aware via an excellent article in KONK E-Blast and the Key West Citizen editorial, both this morning.

The federal government ceased paying for school meals as of February 1. The kids still line up for food. Say, please charge it. The schools charge. Otherwise, many children would not eat.

The numbers shocking. Four thousand living units in the Keys damaged beyond repair. Prior to Irma, homeless children numbered 150. Now, more than 500.

Since February 1, it has been costing the School District $400 a day to feed the additional homeless and others whose parents have not yet returned to work.

The feds who cut off FEMA funding prohibit school food programs from acquiring debt or using surplus funding. The School Board has to figure out how the monies can be found administratively. In the meantime, donations are coming in to keep the children fed.

Another big evening last night.

Began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s scholarship fundraiser. Involved was a silent auction and drawing for a cooked and served Italian dinner for 8.

Free food at the event. Home made by the members. Outstanding! I could not have eaten better anywhere else last night. Dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. Meatballs in sauce. More. All mouth watering.

Blew my diet a bit. Only as to the stuffed dates. Enjoyed two.

Catherine was with me. We went over to Louie’s Backyard afterwards. Sat on the deck outside enjoying a couple of drinks.

I ran into Kate Miano. One of the finest persons in Key West. She told me she decided to run for Mayor. She will win. If she is able to run the City as she does her Gardens Hotel, Key West will benefit big time.

I was pleased and impressed with the announcement by Mueller yesterday that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies had been indicted for screwing around with our Presidential election. Knocks the legs out of Trump’s claim that the Russians did not. Recall, he said Putin told him he and the Russians had nothing to do with it. He believed Putin.

I switched to FOX News immediately upon learning. Curious as to how FOX would be handling the news. Hannity was on. He seemed out of kilter. Unusual for him. Always damning things not Trump. He was obviously confused. He was suggesting the indictments were serious business and proof the Russians had committed wrong.

A couple of hours later when I returned to FOX, it was obvious Hannity had received other orders. Nothing good re the indictments was coming out of his mouth.

This morning FOX was the same. Three newscasters chatting back and forth. All negative re the indictments, of course. They lack backbone. They also don’t want to lose their pay checks.

I came across a Woodrow Wilson quote. Fits Trump perfectly: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump visited Parkland last night. Stopped at the hospital. Spoke to two of the injured children. A boy and girl. Focused his statements on first responders and the wonderful job they did. Failed to discuss the shooting itself, guns, and change to our gun laws.

Governor Scott and Senator Rubio were with him. It is reported Rubio spoke to the President emotionally re the impact on local families: ” This is a community and a state that’s in deep pain and they want action to make sure this never happens again.”

Trump replied: ” You can count on it.”

Good luck!

Trump recently submitted his proposed budget. The budget calls for a 30 percent cut to an Education Department grant program that supports safe schools. The budget also slashes public funds for mental health treatment.

The President speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

Seems to be a Trump morning for me.

Another Trump story involving the ladies. If this paragraph were titled, it would read something like Same Place, Same Week, Same Bungalow, Lake Tahoe.

It was reported that at the same 2006 golf tournament at Lake Tahoe where the President purportedly had a sexual liaison with porn star Stormy Daniels, he had another. She revealed herself yesterday. Her name Karen McDougal. 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year. She received $150,000. Daniels settled for $130,000.

And no one seems to care. Morality out the window as far as this President is concerned.

Syracuse/Miami at noon. Vegas line has Miami a 6 point favorite. Syracuse needs the win. I will be watching.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUMP IMPOTENT

Trump is impotent in three regards: (1) Putin, (2) guns, and (3) respect for women.

Think about it.

Information is leaking out re Nickolas Cruz the Parkland High School murderer.

ABC News reported Cruz told authorities he heard voices in his head to carry out the massacre. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claims Cruz was affiliated with a white nationalistic militia and that he received paramilitary training with them.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Chart Room last night. Enjoy the banter that fills the room. Spent some time chatting with bartender friend John and several customers.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. I was back on the diet after one day of cheating. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Enjoyed a rack of lamb. Just lamb. No vegetables, nothing.

Met an interesting woman at the bar. Yvonnie Ametin. She has resided in Key West 20 years, has three children, a home on Olivia Street, and is involved with social media.

We got into social media a bit. She helps people market via the internet. I found her very knowledgeable.

Interestingly, Yvonnie’s children go to the same Montessori as Robert and Ally. Her oldest daughter and Ally are probably in the same class.

The Side Door at Aqua will be fun tonight. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a fundraiser. The monies raised to go for scholarships for locals moving on to college.

There will be a silent auction. Also, a drawing. Tickets have been sold the past few months to add monies to the scholarship fund. The winner to receive an Italian dinner for 8 at his/her home. Everything provided, including dishes, silverware, clean up, etc.

Food free. A cash bar.

The event begins at 5:30.

Chopin was a sick man when he played his last concert in Paris this day in 1848. He would die of tuberculosis 18 months later at age 39.

Chopin is one of the musical greats. Both as composer and concert pianist.

Words describing his piano talent sensitive and descriptive. One wrote that his piano playing was “…..like the sighings of a flower, the whisper of the clouds…..the murmur of the stars.” Another, “…..the  slyph of the piano…..attached to this mortal world by the merest touch of a finger and nourished by a dream from on high.”

Sad days followed by notable ones. The Bataan Death Marched is ever seared in the minds of Americans and Filipinos. In 1942, the Japanese captured Bataan. The U.S.’s last stronghold in the Philippines.

Americans and Filipinos were force marched 55 miles. Along the way, 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died. From the extreme brutality of the Japanese. They were starved, beaten, kicked, and bayoneted.

Americans and Filipinos recaptured Bataan three years later on this day in 1945.

No death march for the Japanese captured. American and Filipino values different from that of the enemy.

The $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels may turn into a problem for Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and claims he paid the $130,000 settlement monies to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket.

Hard to believe. Does not make sense. Lawyers don’t do that.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the matter. The issue as to whether the $130,000 payment constituted an in kind political contribution.

If anything should come of this, it would be like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of the more popular criminal activity he may have been engaged in.

My Syracuse. Having difficulty winning this season. Needs to win all or one less than all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse plays Miami tomorrow at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHILDREN DIE

Another school shooting. Yesterday, Parkland High School. Located in Broward County Florida. The 19th school shooting  this year in the United States. Today, only February 15. Means 19 school shootings in 46 days. Seventeen killed yesterday. More injured.

The blame lies primarily with the NRA and our elected politicians. The politicos are owned by the NRA.

Children die because politicians are interested in keeping their seats.

Sick!

The extremist NRA lobbies. Elected officials are subservient to them because of the power and money the NRA has. Both of which could be used to defeat them if they dared to oppose the NRA.

Our elected representatives today reflect man at his worst. Money being more important than lives.

The past year saw politicians with a new line following a mass shooting. A line I would guarantee has to have been formulated by the NRA. When asked what the politician thought, what could be done, etc.,  the response always is not the time to talk about it.

If not immediately following a mass shooting, when?

Appreciate the amount of NRA money being spent on Congressional people alone. The New York Times set forth such information on October 4, 2017. I take from the article the top three US Senators who received the most in contributions from the NRA.

John Mc Cain #1. $7,700,000. Richard Burr #2. $6,900,000. Ray Blunt #3. $4,500,000.

The numbers say it all. The truth lies within them.

Big night yesterday. Actually started in the afternoon.

The Custom House first for the St. Valentine’s Day mass kiss-in. My date was Catherine. The kiss-in scheduled precisely for 6pm. One thousand expected. Five hundred couples kissing.

We got there at 4:30. The crowd still small. We knew we could not stay till 6 because of another event. We sat on the steps and chatted till 5:15.

Free rum beginning at 5. We did not get any. By 5, the line was long. The Spectrelles singing. Couples kissing when ever they wanted. The woman slung over on the man’s arm.

We left, but not without kissing. Our first. Immediately turned into 3 or 4. Led to more kissing later in the evening. Made me wonder why we had not done this on previous dates.

Then to the Sons and Daughters of Italy St. Valentine’s day dinner and meeting.

The dinner outstanding. Lasagna! Followed by a huge heart shaped chocolate cake covered deep in frosting.

I cheated. Only the third time since November 27. The night before, I craved cake. Any kind. I am on a low carb diet. The craving was satisfied last night. The lasagna an added bonus.

A night cap was in order. We were off to the Chart Room. John bartending.

Lovely Nikki cried out…..Key West Lou! We had never met before. Nikki is from Atlanta. Reads this blog every day. Thank you, Nikki!

Nikki and her husband Russ are from Atlanta. Vacationing. Have been doing so in Key West annually for many years. They were married on Smathers Beach in 2007.

Nikki is a paralegal. Husband Russ, a marina manager.

They were enjoying Key West with Atlanta friends Tatiana and Doug.

Permit an observation. Both Nikki and Tatiana extremely beautiful women.

I found Tatiana’s name different. Special. She explained she was Brazilian. Tatiana however not Brazilian. Tatiana was born sometime around the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was a Russian skater named Tatiana that impressed her mother. Ergo, the name Tatiana.

Tatiana is a nurse practitioner. Proud of her work and the responsibility that goes with it.

Doug into transportation logistics.

Four wonderful people! Hope I run into them again.

There is a new musical in Key West. Undying Love. Tickets hard to come by.

Described as an off beat musical. It is the story of Key West’s Count Carl von Cosel whose love Elena Milagro de Hoyos had died. He stole her body from her grave. Kept Elena with him for several years till discovered. In his bed. Preserved with wax.

Sick!

Made into a musical, however. And from all I hear, a tremendous success.

The Battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor this day in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed. Led to the Spanish American War.

Key West has two connections to the tragedy.

The first involves many of the sailors who died. They are interred in the Key West Cemetery. Duly honored every year.

The other is the location of the formal hearing to determine the cause of the explosion. The US Court of Naval Inquiry met at what is today’s Custom House. Then a newly constructed federal building.

The stock market crashed last week. I predicted it. Though not an economist, being 82 I have lived through several and could sense this one coming.

I am going to stick my neck out. The crash is not yet complete. There will be another this year, worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUCKER UP…..KEY WEST LOVES LOVE

Today, St. Valentine’s Day. Lovers’ day.

The most personal expression of that love is the kiss.

There will be a mass kiss-in tonight at 6 in front of the Custom House. The second year for the event. A success last year in its first attempt. More than 250 couples participated. More than 500 expected this year.

The purpose of the event is to spread a message to the world. One of peace and love.

The Custom House invites everyone to pucker up at 6 tonight! No charge. Kissing free.

Last night was podcast time for me. I had to rework the program at the last minute. To accommodate the revelations that came out of the Senate Committee hearing involving the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Everything disturbed me. The one the most was the fact that all those testifying agreed that Russia had hacked into the 2016 election, that they were prepared to do it again in 2018 and 2020, and that our government was doing nothing to prevent the anticipated 2018 and 2020 hackings.

Makes sense. Trump denies Russia did anything. God forbid he say anything negative about Putin. There is no leadership concerning the issue.

The 2018 elections around the corner. Looks like Russia will get away with meddling in the mid term elections. And no one seems to care enough to do something about it.

Hard to  understand.

Pads And Tampons And the Problem With Periods. The title of a bill before the Arizona Legislature. Up for a vote. One legislator sent it to committee. The legislative committee an all male one. Just the make up to deal with a female issue.

The problem arose because female prisoners were receiving only 12 thin pads a month to deal with menstruation. Apparently not enough. Especially for heavy flowers. Thicker pads and the addition of tampons required.

The cost measured at $80,000 a year. The bill introduced by a female legislator.

Women knocked the doors down to testify. Former inmates and not.

Their testimony fell on deaf ears. The bill died in committee.

The legislator who sent it to committee is receiving pads and tampons mailed to him at his home and office.

Interestingly, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was faced with the same problem last year. They dealt with it. A memo was issued compelling wardens to issue tampons, pads and panty liners at no cost to inmates.

Trump a deceptive person. Those around him become deceptive after a while. An example being Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen of many years and his handling of stripper Stormy Daniels claim of sexual harassment by Trump.

They allegedly had an affair of sorts several years before Trump’s election. She was going to go public with the information just before the election.

Daniels was paid $130,000 in settlement of any claims she might have had.

The question arises as to who paid Daniel’s the $130,000. Whose pocket did it come out of?

Cohen says he personally paid the money, not Trump. Daniels is silent. She is bound by a non-disclosure clause in the agreement evidencing the payment. If she speaks in any way, she has to return the $130,000.

It appears Cohen is covering Trump’s ass. In the meantime, he may have gotten his ass in a jam. One involving a violation of Campaign Finance Laws. Cohen’s payment could be considered an excess-in kind contribution.

Theodore Roosevelt is recognized as having been a tough guy. No wonder. Life molded him that way.

One of the formative events involved his wife and mother. Both died the same day. This day in 1884. His wife of a kidney ailment. His mother, typhoid fever.

Netanyahu and Trump are birds of a feather. Both thugs and bullies.

I have reported re Netanyahu’s possible arrest the past several months. Police recently advised they are recommending a corruption indictment against Netanyahu, including bribery. The claim is Israeli’s government has turned into a culture of corruption.

Not the Israel of yesteryear. Nor is Trump’s United States the same as before his election.

Enjoy your day! Kiss your wife, woman, partner!

 

SNOWBIRDS RETURN

The season has arrived. Unquestionably.

From what I can see, not as many tourists as normal. Might be Irma and the fear Key West not ready to accept tourists. Which is not the case. Or, it could be the cost of a Key West vacation. Pricey. I have begun to wonder if Key West is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

A different story as  to snowbirds. Those who have second homes in Key West and return on a regular basis. They are here ten fold.

I pointed out yesterday the massive turnout at the Gardens sunday. Mostly snowbirds. Last night the same at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. The crowd unusually big.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual selves. Their singing off the walls. Everyone joining in. The fun part.

Ran into Joe Lysle at Aqua. Made a  mistake a few days ago when I reported he was the new concierge at Casa Marina. He is a concierge, though at the Reach. Both Waldorf Astoria Hotels.

Enjoyed dinner at Tavern ‘n Town following Dueling Bartenders.

I frequently complain about bicyclists. A danger to themselves and the autos on the streets. Bicyclists have no consideration for rules of the road. One way streets, stop signs, red lights, etc. They think they own the roads. Tourists primarily.

Every day a danger.

In the dark of last night, I was returning home. Almost two accidents involving my car and a bicycle. Both bicyclists without lights and ran stop signs.

An accident did occur over the weekend. A bicyclist at 2:19 in the morning driving the wrong way on one way Olivia Street. Came into contact with a Key West police SUV at the intersection of Olivia with White Street.

The bicyclists hit his head on the front passenger door of the police vehicle. He was helicoptered to a Miami trauma center. The police officer and the K-9 dog with him sustained no injuries.

Irma’s after effects refuse to go away. Irma hit the lower Keys September 10. Work still to be done.

Debris clean up major! County and back roads the last to get attention. The County announced yesterday that all debris has been finally removed from County roads.

A major undertaking!

Next, the canals and waterways close to shore. Homes, boats, refrigerators, TV sets, etc. plugging the canals and shore lines. Together with trees and shrubbery.

The last chapter of my recent book Irma and Me is titled Post Irma and is dated October 15. I wrote at the time the debris clean up was on going. Noted…..The debris is non-ending.

I did not realize how correct I was! Here it is five months later and the work continues.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its History Section mentioned Key West’s first electric trolley car began operation on Duval Street this date 1899. Carried 500 people the first day.

Brought to mind my youthful days. I clearly recall riding electric trolley cars in my home town Utica. The Bleecker Street line. In the late 1930’s into 1941. I was anywhere from 3-6 years old at the time.

I googled Utica and electric trolley cars. Came up with This Week in Mohawk Valley History. Includes Utica. The author Frank Tomaino, an outstanding newspaper man back when.

His article indicated Utica’s first trolleys were horse drawn. Began operating in 1863. The first electric trolley St. Patrick’s Day 1890. The last Utica electric trolley train 1941. Went to the barn forever.

Tuesday again. Comes frequently every week. Tonight, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So much happening these days. Most news worthy. I am constantly revising the tuesday night show. As late as dinner time on tuesday. Things worthy of comment occurring hourly it seems.

Tonight will be a fast moving half hour show covering 10 or so topics of interest. My opinions also, of course. Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy.

Portraits of former American Presidents and their spouses hang in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Those of President Obama and Michelle were unveiled yesterday.

Loved Barack’s. Different. The artist Kehinde Wiley. A black man. Established.

News releases today indicated Wiley enjoys challenging the power of white women in his works. Black women decapitating white women.

Did the President know? He must have. He and Michelle selected their artists.

Michelle’s painting I did not like. The concept lovely. Problem is the painting does not look like Michelle.

Michelle’s artist Amy Sherald. A black woman. She had a heart transplant several years ago.

Trump never seems to blame men for sexual wrongdoings. Denial by the man sufficient grounds not to denounce him.

Trump is sick. His thinking probably motivated by the 17 odd women who claimed during the election that they had been sexually harassed by him. He denied the charges. Must be he does not want to blow his cover of denial by not accepting the denials of others.

Enjoy your day!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY BLUME

One of Key West’s most admired and respected persons is world famous author Judy Blume.

Today is Judy’s birthday. Happy birthday!

My daughters knew Judy Blume before me. Well before me. In their formative teen years. Judy wrote young adult novels. For the growing young lady. Issues like menstruation, self esteem, etc. She also wrote children’s books and adult novels.

Her books have sold over 80 million copies world wide and have been translated into 30 languages.

Judy and her husband George Cooper were instrumental with others in bringing Books & Books @ The Studios to Key West.

Judy can be found daily at Books & Books assisting visitors in making book selections.  Stop in today and wish her a Happy Birthday! Stop in any time to say hello.

Sunday means The Gardens. Kate Miano’s fabulous place.

I stopped by last night. Shocked! The most people I have ever seen attending the event. Ninety nine percent snowbirds. They have returned! Love Kate’s sunday party!

On the way home, stopped at Publix. I consistently run out of food frequently. Perhaps I never purchase enough at one time.

The past few days, I have had a desire for capicola. An Italian meat treat! Tasty. Bought a pound last night.

Capicola’s story interesting. More interesting, I made capicola while employed at a meat packing plant while in college.

Let me share my knowledge of capicola with you.

Capicola brought over from Italy. Referred to as capocollo in Italy.

Purchased at the store in its finished form as a fatty pork/ham cold cut surrounded by red pepper. Thinly sliced. The fat gives the meat a unique flavor.

Capicola is made from the pig’s muscle running from the neck to the fourth or fifth rib of the shoulder or neck.

The next few steps in the process not the same. Location alters the processing somewhat.

After cutting, the meat I dealt with was placed in huge jars of brine. Not sure the precise nature of the brine. Some said red or white wine, garlic and herbs. My recollection is that the room where the barrels were stored smelled good!

The brinning room was a large refrigerator. Not freezing. Merely cold. The room very large.

Row after row of the barrels. The barrels huge. Five or six feet tall. At least four feet wide. Made of wood.

The meat was marinated in the brine quite a while. Exact time, I do not recall. When the meat was ready for casing, the barrels were transported into another huge room.

That is where I came into the picture. My job was to stand on a ladder and remove the meat chunks one piece at a time. Did it with a meat hook. Had to be careful to put the hook into the right place on the meat. Otherwise, the meat would appear damaged and I could get fired.

I wore rubber gloves. No thin plastic gloves as we have today. My hands hot inside the gloves. The reason being the cooking ovens were in the same room and immediately next to where I was working.

I took the hooked meat off the hook and rolled it by hand in a large pan containing red pepper. Then I threw the piece on a large table below me. There a dozen or so workers were placing the meat in casings. Hands and small machines required for the operation.

The pepper would get in the gloves. Between the pepper heat and heat from the ovens, the skin began flaking off my hands. I was transferred to another job.

Once cased, the product was placed on huge trees and then sent into the huge ovens to cook. The ovens each the size of a room. After cooking, removed and allowed to hang several days to cool before delivery to stores for sale.

The owners of the meat packing house were good people. Employees were permitted to eat any of the meats produced for lunch. We normally went for the capicola or hot fresh ham warm as it came out of the ovens. A feast!

Syracuse survived yesterday against Wake Forest. Won 78-70. Syracuse has to win almost all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Trump coming out with his infrastructure plan today. $1.5 trillion. He has the ideas, but not the money. I understand he will suggest the federal government put  in 20 percent. The rest to be paid by the States, local governments, and private investment. The last meaning selling or leasing roads and bridges to private corporations.

The Feds do not have the money. However, I believe it has to come primarily from the federal government. It always has. The States and local governments are broke. Where would they get the money?

Private sector participation a no no from my perspective. It would be like using mercenaries to fight our wars, contracting out various federal jobs, and privatized jails.

It does not work. As we are slowly finding out, costly and full of improprieties and wrongdoing.

Trump is looking to private corporations to fund most of the repair/reconstruction work. I have seen how this works in Italy. The roads and bridges are beautiful. No pot holes anywhere. Most roads tolled. Expensive to travel. The toll charges not cheap. As a result, most Italians look for narrow country roads to travel.

Another Trump folly, mistake, not thought out plan, in the making.

Enjoy your day!

ROBOTS ARE COMING…..SOONER THAN YOU THINK

The market crashed. It has had a couple of up days. Not enough to compensate for the overall loss.

Last July, I began predicting a market crash late last year or early this year. A February crash occurred.

I have been speaking of robots and artificial intelligence for over a year. Coming big time! No question about it!

Already on U.S. shores minimally. An onslaught between now and 2020.

My concern and one which I reiterate is that we are doing nothing to prepare for the robot invasion. Few, if any, government programs in place to train and retrain our population.

Andrew Yang has already announced his candidacy for President in 2020. A tech millionaire. He claims unemployment similar to the Great Depression will occur. Which he believes will result in a societal breakdown. Destabilization.

He sees robots replacing truck drivers, retail workers, call center workers, fast food workers, insurance company and accounting firm employees.

All about the same time!

Trump can save our ass. It is on his shoulders. Companies will return to the U.S. Not with the human manufacturing jobs Trump talks about. Most will be robotic jobs. The argument that robotic jobs will create other type human jobs not realistic. Those claiming it are talking pie in the sky.

Trump must recognize what is around the corner and gear up to meet the robotic invasion by training and retraining programs now.

I doubt he has the vision.

Hit the road late yesterday afternoon. In the company of Catherine. We did Martin’s Happy Hour and the Chart Room. I introduced Catherine to the Chart Room.

I was home early. Watched Alex Haley’s Roots till 2 this morning. Roots being shown because February is Black History Month.

There is a Key West Black History Month event scheduled for this coming friday at 3 in the afternoon at Bayview Park. To honor Key West’s Forgotten Soldiers.

Forgotten Soldiers are those Key West blacks who fought on the side of the Union in the Civil War. One hundred twenty six of them.

Featured speaker is Maxwell B. Shavers. Maxwell is 15 years old and presently lives in Richmond, Virginia. His great, great, great grandfather Peter Shavers one of the Forgotten Soldiers.

Eight Key West Shavers fought with the Forgotten Soldiers. One, Frederick Shavers, the only to be killed.

Bear is better. Eight weeks three days old. Donna says slept better last night. Means Donna and Terri slept better also.

The veterinarian put Bear on a boiled chicken and rice diet as opposed to dog food. Bear was experiencing a bowel problem. Seems to be on the mend, also.

I bought Bear a small toy rubber mouse. Squeaks when pressed. Donna says Bear finally started playing with it yesterday afternoon. She sent me a pic of Bear attempting to destroy the mouse.

The label whores fits more than ladies who sell their bodies for income. Men utilizing their services can be referred to in the same fashion. Especially a public official who have campaigned against prostitution and then used public funds to pay for the motel room where he enjoyed sexual pleasures from prostitutes.

A form of hypocrisy.  A do as I say and not as I do thing.

Utah GOP State Representative Jon Standard publicly anti-prostitution. Fought to increase the fine for women convicted of prostitution. Spoke of prostitution’s evils. Blamed the women, never the men purchasing their services.

A prostitute Brie Taylor blew him in.

Standard is married and has four children.

He has resigned his position.

Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared to 14 year old Marie-Bernarde Soubirous for the first time this day in 1858. At a location near Lourdes, France. The Lady appeared 18 times.

Mary-Bernarde died at 35. Later canonized and now known as St. Bernadette.

Thousands travel each year to Lourdes seeking the curative powers of waters that flow where the Virgin Mother appeared. There have been significant recoveries.

I have known only one person who went to Lourdes seeking Mary’s help. He was dying from cancer. He was not one of the fortunate ones.

An 80 degree Key West Sunday in the making. Another glorious day ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

BEAR IN TOWN

There is a bear in town. By name only.

Donna and Terri’s family now 3. A dog. Named Bear. A golden retriever. Eight weeks old.

A baby!

Met Bear last night. Enjoyed dinner at Donna and Terri’s with Bear.

Bear arrived the night before. Flew in from Detroit. Spent 11 hours in a cage.  A 3 hour stop over involved.

Cried all night. Can’t blame him. Stripped from his mother and 8 brothers and sisters. A new environment.

Talked with Donna this morning. He cried again all night. Terri does the night shift.

The game plan is to have Bear trained as a guide dog. Terri is blind in one eye and the other is going. The eye problem has nothing to do with the cancer. Terri is in remission and beaming.

The new Key West Amphitheater presently featuring a four day musical festival. Appears a success. Many tourists in town for the concert. When not at the Amphitheater, they are filling the downtown bars known for good music.

Apparent reason for the early morning shooting at Banana Bay Resort coming to light. Drugs. Police found 4 adults, 3 children and the drugs in one room. Lots of drugs. Marijuana, crack and powder cocaine, MDMS, and drug paraphernalia. All wrapped for sale. In a car outside, oxycodone pills.

Frequent Key West visitor Don Teich spends most of his year working in Asia. He and Chris Maxam are to be married in several weeks here in Key West at the Hyatt.

I mentioned Hemingway recently. For some reason, Don was in Spain. Pamplona to be exact. Where the bulls run. He sent me a photo of him running on the street where the bulls run. At night. Don running, no bulls behind him.

Courageous!

Pebble Beach Golf Tournament this weekend. Watched a bit.

What a course! I played it and its sister courses several times. Pebble Beach the most difficult course I ever played. The pros have their work cut out for them this weekend.

What does a husband do if his wife cheats? Leave, shoot the wife, shoot the lover, whatever?

Marital infidelity appears to have been dealt with in a different fashion in 1829 in Key West. A Mexican Naval officer named Charles Hawkins fought a duel with William Allison McRes, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Four shots fired. One man shot in the wrist, the other in the thigh.

Satisfaction obtained.

Why the duel? Hawkins saw McRes leaving his wife’s bedroom via the window.

Anna wrote to tell me one of the African negros involved in the voodoo killing was apprehended in the Milan railway station. Brought back memories.

About 10 years ago, Anna and I were in the Milan station. I fell down the stairs. Did a number on my arm. An open cut and bleeding.

Anna panicked and rushed me to a drug store in the plaza. She was going to take care of me. Needed bandages, etc.

The bandages, etc. were behind the counter. Anna is yelling for help. The girl was slow. Anna went behind the counter, grabbed what she needed, and wrapped me up.

As I think back, it may have been the first of my falls.

A new mosquito killer is being tested in Miami. The concern dengue fever and ZIKA. The company MosquitoMate.

Male mosquitoes are sterilized in a lab. They are then incapable of impregnating females. The males do not bite, have healthy sex drives, and will mate with females whose eggs then won’t hatch.

Six thousand were dropped on Brewer Park in South Miami thursday. It is expected that over a six month period, a total of six million will be released.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. And vice versa.

California Assemblywoman Christina Garcia has been active in the local and national #Me Too Movement.

A male staffer said that in 2014 following an Assembly softball game, Christina approached him, squeezed his buttocks, and tried to touch his crotch. He told two friends immediately afterwards.

Both the Assemblywoman and male staffer agree she was drunk. She has no recollection.

The matter is under investigation.

Ian Welsh is an English blogger I recently began reading. His most recent blog concerned gender pay equality. Women should be paid as much as men for doing the same job.

He reported how the British Broadcasting Company was handling the situation. The BBC is the largest public broadcaster in the world. Twenty thousand nine hundred fifty full-time employees. An additional 35, 402 part-time, flexible and fixed contract staff.

Rather than increase women’s salaries, the salaries of men are being decreased. As much as 30 percent. All in an effort to tackle the gender pay crisis.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

I PAINTED THE FORDHAM RAM GREEN

So much to discuss today. Material galore. Don’t think I will be able to cover it all.

Lets begin with my yesterday. So much, I may not get beyond Key West exploits.

My car was filthy. I am not a clean car fanatic. When it gets to the point I cannot stand it, the car gets cleaned.

I drive a 2010 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Only 38,000 miles. Last time cleaned about a year ago.

Stopped at the car cleaning place on White Street. Fausto’s a bit down the street on the other side. The car was detailed there a year ago. $50. Told the owner to do it again.

Could I have the car back in 2 hours? No problem.

Walked down the block to Blown Away. Haircut time with Lori. She has been cutting my hair close to 20 years. Takes all of 3 minutes. Includes a rinsing afterwards.

I have next to no hair. She never wants to charge me. I always give her $20.

Close to 2 hours remaining till the car would be ready. Decided to have lunch at the new Sandy’s Cafe a couple of doors down.

Sandy’s Cafe recently opened.  Run by the group that ran Sandy’s for 17 years at the corner of White and Virginia. They had a rental dispute with the building’s owner. Moved to the new place where I had lunch.

A major war has erupted. The landlord at the old place opened a Sandy’s at the old place. Both using the same name. Who has the right? A federal court issue. For real. A lawsuit already pending.

The new Sandy’s had a steady crowd. Very attractive. It is a restaurant. Booths, a bar with stools, etc.

I grabbed a handful of local newspapers. Knew I had to kill almost 2 hours before the car would be ready. Enjoyed a cheese toast with tomato and diet coke. Excellent!

Almost fell asleep in the booth. The waiting seemed like forever.

Went for the car.

Oh, so beautiful! The sun sparkling off it. The owner of the establishment showed it to me with pride. He knew he had done a good job.

To be frank, the car looked new inside and out.

The question is whether I can go another year before getting it cleaned/detailed again.

Late in the afternoon, stopped at Don’s Place. A while since my last visit. I needed to talk with Stan. While there, I also briefly chatted with David, Clara, John, Angus, and Michael.

Ran into Don as I was leaving. Looks good, feels good. Told him not to worry. What will be will be. Enjoy! Don is into heart problems. A stent and pacemaker the past several months.

Bocce opened last night. A new season. Just spoke with David. Don’s Place won all 3 games.

From Don’s Place to the Chart Room.

Two women down the bar from me. We began chatting. Turned out one had gone to Fordham. I went to Manhattan. A huge park separated our two schools.

A fun conversation ensued.

She told me Fordham girls used to come to Manhattan looking for boys. We referred to ourselves back then as boys and girls. The Green Leaf Bar down the hill from Manhattan is where they camped. A good place. Where Manhattan students did their drinking..

I laughed. Manhattan was an all boy’s school. We searched for girls. At the girl’s colleges in Westchester County.

Never the twain did meet! I never met a Fordham girl…..till last night.

A collegiate rivalry existed between the schools.

Fordham’s mascot was a ram. Always a real one. Tradition being what it was, a tall statue of a ram was also on the Fordham campus.

As the annual Manhattan/Fordham basketball game approached, the respective schools did evil things to each other.

Green was Manhattan’s school color. The year 1954. The game a few days away. A group of Manhattan men sneaked onto the Fordham campus and painted the ram statue green.

Ho, ho! A big deal! And we didn’t get caught!

Finished the evening at Tavern ‘n Town. Enjoyed the prime rib medium rare. My diet meal.

Stuck at 18 pounds.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

VOODOO

I mentioned Italy’s immigration problem in yesterday’s blog. Based on personal observation and as reported to me by my friend Anna who lives in Novara. Novara is near Milan.

Anna reads this blog everyday. She responded to yesterday’s blog with a long e-mail. I share excerpts from it. Italy’s immigration problem is different from ours in certain regards.

Italy’s immigrants are primarily from Africa.

“Italy is going down and down…..March the 4th election: right wing will win. Italy is fed up with politicians, mainly of the present government, democrats who packed Italy of immigrants mainly negros and mainly crooks, delinquents. It seems some do voodoo rites!!! Last week in Macerata negros killed, in a flat, an 18 year old girl, chopped her body with knives and machetes, washed them putting the pieces in 2 suitcases and abandoning them faraway in the country. But there was not her heart and bowels!!! Eaten??? A voodoo rite??? Soon after, a crazy white young man in order to revenge the girl, went around downtown Macerata and shot 6 negros injuring them seriously. I could go on…..”

Anna’s husband died several years ago. He served as a national Senator for years and then 8 years as a member of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. At one time, she sent me a photo of her husband and Gorbachev their heads joined together in what appeared to be a serious conversation.

Spent a couple of hours at the Chart Room last night. John bartending.

Lovely Morgan at the bar. My charming 26 year old friend. A big hug. We talked alone at the round table for two hours.

An amazing young lady. Whoever is fortunate to win her over is going to get a great wife. She’s a keeper!

Friend Sandie at the bar. She introduced me to her visiting friend Janie from Philadelphia. Go Eagles!

As I was leaving, ran into Devon at the bar. I see Devon about once a year. A farmer from the midwest. Owns a condo in Key West.

Devon is a smart farmer. He and his brother own a huge farm. They did not fight the big corporations that entered the agriculture business. They joined them! Happy they are. The right move. They have prospered.

Diana Millikan is off somewhere. She travels the world. She e-mailed me yesterday. One of her Hilton Haven Road neighbors told her there were gun shots around 4:30 in the morning. There were. This morning’s Citizen reports a man staying at the Banana Bay Resort was shot in the leg.

No arrests yet.

Irma hit September 10. Its effects still with us.

The canals remain impacted with house, boat and tree debris. Non-navigable. Nearshore waters, likewise.

Monroe County has entered into a $6 million contract with Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to begin a clean up.

Many still are without homes. The homes either completely destroyed or the owners do not have funds yet to rebuild. FEMA and the insurance companies have been unreasonably slow in making payments.

These people have to live somewhere. Some in tents. Others in hotels. FEMA announced yesterday that they would extend hotel time at FEMA’s expense another month till March 3. There will be further monthly extensions. This part of the Irma problem not being resolved.

Mom’s Tea Room. I have written several times about Mom’s Tea Room. A Key West house of prostitution. Alice Reid the madam.

On this day in 1941, the body of working girl Cecilia Thompson Trunk was found in Mom’s. An apparent suicide. On the same day in 1952, another body found. Rita Brown, an apparent suicide also.

Mom’s was a busy place. A big U.S. Navy clientele. The Navy had many stationed here. The Navy did not like Alice or Mom’s. Morality and venereal disease the reasons. They closed Reid’s place a couple of times. A smart woman, however. She would pop up in another location. Closed finally in the 1950’s, never to open again.

Same sex marriage. Its time had come. The world accepting/falling into place. One nation at a time. Till now.

Bermuda reverted.

Bermuda’s law recognizing same sex marriage was less than one year old. Bermuda’s President signed a new law yesterday banning same sex marriage. A reversal. A win for bigotry.

Those of the same sex can live together with all the same rights and benefits as if married. The new relationship called a domestic partnership. The title married neither available nor recognized.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!