When I first purchased my Key West home 15 years ago, I joined a health club/gym. It was located on Truman at the back of the Bargain Book Store.

The conversations that went on were off the wall! I always thought that a camera and recording of the events would make for great TV! The Internet then was not as it is now. So it was TV rather than the Internet for viewing purposes.

Until yesterday, the only other place where dialogue was as entertaining was Don’s Place. I’ve always thought that a camera at the end of the bar going out worldwide over the Internet would be a winner.

I discovered a third such place yesterday.

Lee’s Nails. Tammy and her following.

I stopped in at one for a pedicure and manicure. Business was sparse. However those there made for a good mixture.

As I was getting a manicure by Tammy, her husband Ricky was giving a pedicure nearby to some woman. There was also a lovely young Asiatic woman seated to the front of Tammy and I who was getting a manicure.

A Christmas tree stood in Lee Nails. A real one. Big! Covered with lights and balls. Looked terrific!

Somehow a conversation got going concerning the tree. I asked the cost of the tree itself. I assumed something around $70. Ricky said no, over $300! He was referring not only to the tree, but also to the lights and decorations. Which were plentiful.

Tammy had a heart attack! She did not realize her husband had spent so much money.

As the conversation proceeded, Ricky told us that he threw the tree away with all the lights and ornaments on it every year. This did not make sense. Who throws away lights and decorations? Ricky does.

Ricky said that if a person kept the lights and decorations, it would bring bad luck in the new year.

The woman he was giving a pedicure to said she had a boat. She would never bring a banana on the boat because she felt it would bring her bad luck. Ricky came right back and said he would not eat a banana in the morning because he felt it would bring him bad luck all day.

There is more.

The beautiful young Asian girl to the front of me getting a manicure said, I saw a ghost! A real ghost!

She claims she saw Alice. Whoever Alice is. She saw Alice on the second floor at the art house. I do not know what she meant by the art house. However she was very firm that she had seen Alice the ghost. The woman getting a pedicure piped in that she believed in ghosts. Everyone began talking about ghosts.

And so it went.

Love Key West!

I then headed over to Don’s Place. Pro footbal time. Sunday afternoon. The whole world was there. I spent time inside and out talking with people. Had a good time.

Afterwards to Lisa’s for Sunday supper. Christmas was in the air. Ally had made a  Christmas wreath in school. The wreath was hanging on the front door. It was paper colored with crayons. Robert had made a sign welcoming everyone to their home for Christmas. The sign was on a piece of paper and done in crayon also. Both were very proud. Of course, I complimented each on the fine work and told them that Santa Claus would appreciate seeing these things when he arrived at their house on Christmas eve. I was rewarded with big smiles.

Everyone participated in the war effort during World War II. Everyone sacrificed. Sacrifice even came down to what was on the table to eat.

There was not enough meat for both the military and civilians. Meat first went to the fighting forces. That left a limited supply of meat available to the public.

In order to control and be fair in the distribution of meat, rationing stamps were provided. In order to buy meat, a person had to provide the store keeper with a certain number of stamps received from the federal government. Whatever amount of meat the stamps allowed, that was the amount that could be purchased. This stamp thing extended to gasoline also. Car owners were very limited in the amount of gas that could be purchased. Something like 3 or 4 gallons a week. Another reason why people took the bus!

There was very little meat on the table therefore. I do not think the war made that much of a difference with regard to meat consumption in my home. We were poor. Meat would have been unusual in any event.

Rationing stamps obviously were important. There was a way additional stamps could be obtained. Fat was needed for the war effort. I am talking about the drippings that came frying something on the stove. Any kind of fat. My mother used to keep an empty coffee can and put that drippings in the can. When the can was full and hard, I would walk it over to Johnson’s Supermarket a block away. There were no supermarkets back then. Grocery stores were merely called supermarkets.

Mr. Johnson would give me two or three rationing stamps in exchange for the fat. The government encouraged fat savings and the surrender of fat in exchange for stamps. Fat was required for the war effort.

Everyone had a victory garden. My father planted one in a corner of the backyard. We had tomatoes, carrots, peppers and lettuce as I recall. There may have been some other things. This was encouraged by the government also. Again it was because there was not enough food to go around.

I have a busy day ahead of me. A business luncheon. Then Courtney working me out at the gym. Tonight meeting with some friends I have not seen in over a year for drinks.

I know. How can you be drinking and working out at the same time. What can I tell you!

Enjoy your day!

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