My poor Lisa is still sick.

I spent some time with her yesterday. This walking pneumonia continues to hang in there. She is still home from work. Saw her doctor yesterday. He tells her it takes time. She is closing in on her third week.

The pythons are back in the news!

Burmese pythons to be specific.

Two have recently been discovered in the lower keys. One more than 11 feet long. Key Largo is the entrance to the keys and is about a 100 miles north. In the past 2 years, 9 pythons have been captured.

The pythons are not native to the keys. Nor to Florida in general. So how do they get here? Simple. People buy them in pet stores and raise them as pets. After a while, the pythons get too large to handle. So their owners release them into a wooded area some where.

Florida’s waterways are a convenient conduit for python traveling. For whatever reason, they seem to swim south. And some are ending up in the keys!

Florida’s wooded areas are not a natural habitat for pythons. It is strange therefore that they are migrating to the keys and the keys’ massive mangrove growths.

The State has commissioned a study to determine why they are here in the keys, what they eat, etc. in an effort to eventually dissuade the python movement.

The pythons are not yet a problem. So it is probably good the study is being done at this stage. The last thing I would want is to walk out to my pool and see a 10 foot python sunbathing!

The G20 Summit in Europe starts today. I am concerned. There is always a tendency for the little guy to beat up on the big guy when the big guy is down! We are down! Lets see how “our friends” treat us.

Memories are short. We have basically helped every one in this world! With the exception of the English who have never forgotten our assistance in World War II, most other countries are quick to take a jab at us when the opportunity presents itself.

Yesterday President Obama fired the General Motors CEO. Good for Obama! Enough pussyfooting around. With all this tax payer money being invested, Obama has every right to flex a muscle here and there. And the message he delivered yesterday is very clear. Shape up or ship out!

What bothers me is that we keep defecating on the auto industry. And the banks and AIG seem to be getting a free ride. Auto workers are forced to renegotiate contracts. An auto Ceo is fired. But with the banks, there is a different approach. A softer one. Not right! The bankers are the ones who got us into this trouble. Let heads role! Break contracts! What is good for the goose, is good for the gander!

Key West is a unique place! Many famous and outstanding people have retired here. One is Lou Harris. Harris was THE pollster for years. Especially back in the 1960s and 1970s.

Harris now lives in Key West. Has for years.

Last night he spoke at the public library. Interesting! He shared many views peppered with his experiences.

He speaks occasionally around the island. Catch him the next time he does. A very worthwhile experience.

I started my evening at 6 listening to Harris. Then to the Chart Room to meet Marty. We had earlier agreed to meet and have dinner together.

The Chart Room was crowded with locals. A good place to taste the flavor of Key West.

I told Marty I had to get a steak in, per my doctor’s orders. To help my iron defieciency problem.

So we were off to Michael’s. A place for steak! Perhaps the place for steak!

My meal was excellent. However when you have not eaten beef in ages, it sort of sits in your gut. I still have that heavy feeling this morning.

Oh, what we do in the name of health!

I wish my doctor would recommend a nice young lady for me!

Have a good day!

What a great sport’s Sunday!

First, basketball! Love this March Madness!

Michigan State destroyed favored Louisville! A big time victory! Louisville came into the game ranked first in everything. They never were in the game. It seemed as if Louisville did not come to play. That is how it goes. A winning team cannot be up for every game. This observation takes nothing away from Michigan State who was clearly the better team yesterday.

Then came the North Carolina/Oklahoma game! North Carolina the better team and won big time going away!

Could things get better? They did!

Golf! Tiger Woods! Tiger won Arnold Palmer’s Tournamnet. In dramatic fashion! With a 12 foot putt on the last hole! Vintage Tiger Woods!

I laid around the house all afternoon watching these great sport events. Could not stay in last night, however. It was time to get out!

So I showered and dressed and was out on the town!

My first stop was the Chart Room. Had a drink with friends.

Then I opted to go over to La Te Da. I was not that hungry. However I had a craving for Alice’s sushi appetizer. I figured I would eat it at the outside bar.

It was not my time, however! La Te Da’s Sunday Tea Party had just concluded and the bar was packed with partyers from the Tea Dance. Every one was drinking. No one eating. And no room at the bar, in any event. Not the place for my Sunday evening snack.

So I stayed not. I decided on La Trattoria, even though I had eaten there the night before. Kathy is the Sunday bartender and always good company.

I am glad I ended up at La Trattoria. Had a good time!

Kathy was her usual pleasant self. She is always attentive. Probably because we are almost neighbors from up north. Kathy comes from Albany and I Utica.

Some interesting people at the bar.

Debra and Dan. They had just arrived from the Boston area. They were staying at the Hyatt and planned to be in Key West for a week.

But that was not their original plan.

They had a week booked in St. Kitts. Paid $4,000 for the trip upfront. When they got to the airport in Boston, it was discovered that wife Debra’s passport had expired 2 months earlier. So no trip to St. Kitts.

They decided to travel anyway. Their first plane was to Miami, so they flew to Miami. Stayed overnight. Rented a car and drove to Key West. They had never been here before.

I shared some tips with them as to where to dine, play, etc. Debra vigorously wrote everything down. Don still loves Debra. Not mad at her. Accepts without complaint that he just lost $4,000. A good husband! Or, maybe she is a terrific wife!

It was pushing 9 o’clock, so I sent them over to Larry Smith’s Sunday showcase at the Pier House.

They left and were replaced by Michael and his wife from Concord, New Hampshire. They are finishing a 6 week stay here in a rented house in Old Town. We hit it off right away. Michael is an attorney in Concord and close to my age. We talked about law school days, the practice and things of that nature.

Nice people. I hope I run into them when they return next year.

That was my day. Not bad. Actually, very good.

Yesterday I commented on the high school girl I ran into at Borders that obviously had been drinking. And this was around 3 in the afternoon!

The feedback has been significant. Many telephone calls and e mails. Apparently this is a nationwide problem! Wow! And sad! Where have we failed in this regard as a society, as parents?

Gray outside. The sun is trying to come up. Another great Key West day anticipated. The weather has been fantastic. Low to mid 80s by day. Low 70s by night. And just a touch of humidity by day.

What better place to be!

It is Sunday again! A lazy, restful day! I love Sundays!

The weather has definitely turned! There is a touch of humidity by day. Enough to require air conditioning. However, the evenings are cool enough so you can get by with an open window.

My poor Lisa is still sick. Though she did seem a bit better yesterday. But not by much.

I went over for lunch and stayed a while. Robert had a tuna sandwich, Ally peanut butter and me a cheese sandwich. Then we had pretzils. Ally kept dunking her pretzels in peanut butter. What a combination! Then Ally sat on my lap and read to me. Following which Robert and I spent some time outside hitting golf balls. Plastic ones.

Basketball was terrific yesterday! Especially the Villanova/Pitt game which I finished watching while having dinner at the bar at La Trattoria. Love March Madness!

Then I went to the Keys Piano Bar for a drink. Chatted with Bill and June Hudson. We seem to frequent the same places!

After the Keys, I crossed the street to La Te Da. Debra and Michael were playing. Debra’s singing is so delightful!

I took a seat at the bar and enjoyed! And had my second and final gin of the evening! What a good boy am I!

I chatted with the bartender Sassy for a while. We both agreed it had been a short tourist season.

La Te Da was crowded. But not crazy packed as it should be during the season. The sesason ends Easter Sunday or a week later. And Easter Sunday is only 2 weeks away!

La Trattoria was only a little more than half full while I was having dinner. And this is on a Saturday night!

Forget the Keys Piano Bar! Twelve people at the most!

All a sign of the times! The recession is having its impact on Key West. People are either not spending what they have or do not have it to spend!

I am anxious to see the figures after the season as to attendance in Key West this year. I would guess that we are down at least 20 per cent, if not more.

I had a disturbing experience a few days ago.

I was sitting in Borders reading a book. I came upon a quote which interested me. I wanted to copy it. I had neither pen nor paper.

There was a young girl sitting next to me. About 3 feet seperated our chairs.

It was obvious she was a student. She had her shoulder/book bag slumped on the floor. She looked at best 15-16 years old. A high schooler!

I asked if she had pen and paper. She quietly extricated both from the book bag and handed them to me. I did my copying. Then I turned handing the pen back to her and said, “Thank you.” Turning towards me, she took the pen and said, “Your welcome.”

If I were not sitting, her breath would have knocked me on my ass! Heavy with alcohol! This teenager had obviously had a few in mid afternoon!

It bothered me! As I am sure it disturbs you, also!

Is this the way it is with high schoolers in Key West? Is this the way it is with high schoolers all over the country?

A real problem, if it is!

A great day ahead! The Sunday papers, Meet the Press, more college basketball, Kate Miano’s Gardens at 5, Larry Smith’s Sunday Showcase at 9 and I don’t know what else!

Enjoy your day! I am going to enjoy mine!

It’s 4 am. I woke and could not fall back to sleep.

Not bad though. The weather is perfect. Windows and doors open. No air conditioning required.

Quiet. Very quiet. Soundless. Only the noise of the ocean running by.


Last night was a disaster! Maybe that is why I am having difficulty sleeping!

Syracuse lost! Badly! Oklahoma beat them 84-71. The ride is over for Syracuse!

Syracuse had a good season. Ended up around 15th in the country. Could have been better, though. They hit a losing streak near the end of the Big East season. Then came back big time in the Big East tournament. Winning in 6 overtimes will go down as a classic performance!

They played poorly last night. Never had it. If the two teams met again next week, the result could be directly opposite. But that is not how things go.

The good news is that basically the whole team returns next year!

Yesterday started quietly. Paper work in the morning. Then lunch at the Yacht Club.

Lisa telephoned. She craved oranges. So to Publix I went.

Lisa is still sick. It appears it will take a while to kick the walking pneumonia. I played the good father during the afternoon and stayed with her.

Stayed for dinner, also. We did Chinese take out. Robert and Ally love ribs. Devour them! What a mess they both were when they were done.

Then it was home to the Syracuse game. The result still bothers me. I could tell 3 minutes into the game that it was not going to be a good night!

Oh well, as the Brooklyn Dodgers of old were wont to say…..Wait till next year!

A full day yesterday!

Started with a bone density test and chest x ray at the Lower Keys Hospital.

The hospital has improved with its personality, cleanliness and timeliness over the years. It was a disaster several years ago when I had major surgery. I shall never forget. I went in for an emergency appendectomy. A 20 minute operation I was told. I came out 6 1/2 hours later minus 25 per cent of my colon. Which, as it turned out, I did not have to lose!

Things do seem better. But trust me, it will be a cold day in hell before I have surgery here again!

Anyhow, yesterday turned out to be a pleasant visit for some routine testing. And the best part of it was Heather! Heather is the radiologist who took care of me.

A nice young lady. Beaming, cheerful, professional. Most importantly, concerned. Twenty four and a single Mom. Very lovely. She has lived in Key West most of her life. Her parents came when her Dad was in the Navy. The family remained after his retirement. Dad was the upsatirs bartender at Turtle Kral for 14 years. More recently, he bartends at Cowboy Bill’s.

I hope that when any of you need an x ray here in the keys, you are lucky enough to have Heather take care of you.

Afterwards I went over to the new Key West Steamplant to see the condos. Calling them condos is not precise. They are exquisite residences.

This is one of Ed Swift’s developments. His wife Nancy had invited me over to take a tour.

You have to see it to believe it! That good! Words alone cannot fully describe the beauty and splendor Ed Swift has created!

First, you have to understand what was. An abandoned electric company. A derelict. Consumed with enviromental problems. A blight on the Key West community!

Swift had a vision. And he is in the process of completing that vision.

The residences are all large. 2,000 to 3,000 feet of actual indoor living space. Throw in the huge balconies and independent roof space/pool, overall living space is around 5,000 square feet.

The development concept is exciting! Most of the residences are 3 floors, including the private rooftop space each residence has. And your own private elevator! From the garge, to each floor of the residence and to the roof.

The roof top view is spectacular! Most have a clear sight of the harbor! The view actually took my breath away. I had never seen the splendor of the harbor from that height.

These residences obviously are not for everyone. On the pricey side. But there is a market for them and that market is being satisfied.

Thank you Ed Swift for the fine job you have done!

Ed Swift grew up here in Key West. He has prospered. But he does not forget. He gives back. He is one of the largest financial contributors to local charities. And generally a silent one at that. And then there is affordable housing. There is no greater supporter and proponent for affordable housing than Swift.

There are some in the keys who do not always speak well of Ed Swift. A minority, but they exist. And I think the reason why are the trains and trolley cars Swift operates. Yes, he owns those cute vehicles carrying tourists around town!

The problem is when you get stuck behind one, it is 3-4 blocks of slow driving.

Small inconveniences disturb people.

It used to bother me when I first came to Key West. I was always in a hurry. Over time however I have come to appreciate being stuck behind one of Swift’s trains. The slow travel gives me a chance to appreciate the archecture of Old Town, look upon the faces of happy visiting families riding those trains and think a bit.

It all works out when you get in Key West time! And I am always now in Key West time!

Lisa is still sick at home recovering from walking prneumnonia. I bought lunch and brought it to her. She was not hungry. She did not eat. So I ate my lunch and her lunch! So much for the battle of the bulge yesterday!

Then to Borders to continue reading an interesting pre World War II book.

Followed by a nap. I had to rest up for bocci last night.

We finally played better last night. All of us. Jules, Bebe, Rob, Don, Brandon, Maria, Michelle, Cris and me. But we still lost all 3 games! Two were very close! All took forever to play! A real competition last night.

We all felt good afterwards. We are the cellar team! Last place! We played the 2nd place team. We did well! About time!

It was 10 and I was tired. I had consumed 2 gins while playing. So I skipped Don’s Place and headed home to bed.


Golf was fun yesterday!

We played a scramble game. There were eight of us. We split into 2 teams of four.

I played with Don, Tom and Bill. Don is long and an exceptional golfer. Shots high 70s and low 80s. Tom is in the high 80s. Bill low 90s, with an occasional score in the high 80s. And then me, around 115.

We moved along. Played par golf on the front side. Could not drop a 5 foot putt on any hole! The birdies eluded us!

Finally got a bird on 10. Excited all of us! Lost the bird effect a couple of holes later when we could not sink a 5 foot putt for a par.

Now we were pushing for birds!

In scramble, each person’s drive must be used at least one time a side. On the back nine, Don and I had used our drives. Of course, we were using Don’s drives as much as possible since they were genrally twice the distance of any one else.

So we ran into a problem. We came to the 17th tee and had yet to use a Bill or Tom drive. Which meant one of their drives would be used on 17 and the remaining player’s drive used on 18. Regardless of the quality of the shot!

The 17th hole is the easiest par 4 on the course. On in 2 and 2 putt for a par. Could easily be a bird.

The drive from the tee has a huge wide farway. Water to the left. Houses to the right. The water rarely comes into play. The houses do.

Both Bill and Tom are excellent golfers. Generally straight and true off the tee.

Not yesterday on the 17th hole!

Bill went into the water on the left, which again is rarely in play!

No sweat. We still had Tom. No way he was going into the water!

Yesterday he did! Farther and deeper that Bill!

We ended up taking a double bogey 6 on the hole. Our dream of winning the scramble over!

We finished 2 over. The other team came in at even par.

But we had fun! And that is the important thing! Don, Tom and Bill are good guys to play with. It was a jocular round!

We sat around the porch of the club house drinking and chatting afterwards. Bocci was the issue of the day! It seems to be most days. A consuming issue for those of us who play.

We play tonight. We are having a bad season. We are in the cellar. Basically the same team that finished one game out of the play offs last season! Oh, how the mighty fall!

I understand there is to be a shake up tonight. In hopes of turning things, Jules and I are being seperated as partners. I will not be playing in the first match.

I am destroyed! Not really. We have to do something. It is not just Louis who is playing poorly. It is the whole team and we recognize it!

Last night I stopped at Aqua to hear Bobby Nesbitt sing. Bruce Moore showed up and so we we were treated to a duo performance. Great singing!

Afterwards I had a quiet dinner alone at the bar at Antonia’s. I felt a carb need. So lasagna it was!

Golf tired me out yesterday. I was home in bed early. In fact, I fell asleep before 9 and slept like the dead till this mnorning. I was tired!

Just before I fell asleep, I flipped on Channel 79. 79 is a local Key West channel that plays old old black and white movies and serials.

There was a black and white on the screen. Very old. Probably an early talking movie. Late 1920s or very early 1930s.

So old I did not even recognize the stars! Had no idea who they were!

All of a sudden this youthful singer shows up in the film. For about 20 seconds. It was Bing Crosby! This had to be one of his very first film appearances. He was a nobody who had a few seconds on camera. In and out of the scene. And that was it for him!

Did Crosby look young! He appeared all of 17 to me! And thin! Never saw him so thin! And his own hair!

This morning I have a couple of tests to do at the hospital. This getting old is a pain! Always doctoring. Always fixing. Always tuning up. But it is better than the alternative!

And then bocci tonight!

I have no idea what will happen this afternoon. But that is the way it is supposed to be when you are retired!

Talk with you tomorrow.

Interesting day yesterday!

In the morning I received a call from a bill collector about a $443 x-ray bill from last year. I told her I had Medicare and back up insurance. My bills were covered one hundred cents on the dollar. Resubmit. No, she would not. She told me it was my responsibility to call Medicare, who had rejected the claim and straighten it out.

I dreaded calling Medicare. An almost impossible telephone system.

But I did.

After 3 hours, 6 different 800 numbers and 9 bodies, the problem was resolved. Medicare had screwed up. The bill would be paid.

What an ordeal! I feel sorry for the many people who have to go through this bureaucratic system on a frequent basis.

There is a positive side, however. If you hang in there and press all the correct buttons, your problem will receive attention. But oh soooooooo long!

Terri White! Former Broadway star extrodinaire! Now a Key West resident. Back on Broadway this week. She opens in a revival of Finian’s Rainbow Saturday night.

Terri has a distinguished background. She was a Tony nominee for her performance in Barnum. Won an Obie for her work with Tommy Tune in another show. A singer and hoofer, she has brought pleasure and joy to many over the years.

You can see Terri in rehearsal for Saturday’s opening! Go to the second page and click REHEARSAL. Up comes a 3-4 minute video of Finian’s Rainbow. And a minute into it, there is Terri singing Necessity and dancing!

My poor daughter Lisa is sick. She has been pale and under the weather for 2 weeks. She finally saw a doctor yesterday morning. Walking pneumonia. She was home yesterday. I spent a bit of time with her. Hope she spends a few more days home.

I had a business lunch scheduled with a charming young lady from the cruise line world. It was cancelled. To my disappointment.

So I lunched alone at the bar at the Yacht Club and read the newspapers. Relaxing. Pleasurable.

Then it was across the street to Borders. I am a freeloader when it comes to books. I sit in Borders and read book after book. I am presently into one about the 3 years immediately before World War II. Insightful!

My dinner appointment last night with lady #2 was kept as scheduled. Another business conference. But in a great setting.

We had dinner at La Te DA. Duck, of course. Terrific! Alice is cooking again!

Bobby Nesbitt and Bruce Moore have returned from their most recent gig on a cruise ship in the South Pacific. Tahiti, Bora Bora and New Zealand. They performed a Broadway tunes show last night upstairs at La Te Da. I caught the show.

These guys are great alone! Spectacular together! See one of their shows if you have the opportunity.

Tom Oosterhoudt publishes a local weekly newspaper. It is called Conch Color. A series of bright photographs showing every aspect of Key West life. It’s a winner! One of the best local publications on the island.

The Truman White House has recently undergone major renovation. To restore it as it was when President Truman spent 175 days of his Presidency here in Key West and lived in the home now called the Truman White House.

The newly restored Truman White House will be dedicated I believe in May. Efforts are being made to have President Obama attend.

Oosterhoudt (I wish he had a shorter name) editorialized about Truman and the restoration in this weeks’s edition of Conch Color. As you will recall, I am a big fan of President Truman. One of our best Presidents from my perspective! And someone that my path in life briefly crossed with three times, as detailed in an earlier blog.

In one papragraph, Oosterhoudt described some of Truman’s succcesses. Some of which took place while he was here in Key West.

I could not do better than Oosterhoudt in describing those instances. So I am going to quote directly out of Osterhoudt’s editorial.

“…Truman signed the United Nations charter in 1945. He ended World War II by dropping the atomic bomb the same year. In 1947 he created the “Truman Doctrine” and dedicated the Everglades National Park. He was the first to recognize the state of Israel in 1948, giving it international credence. That same year, he desegregated the military and Federal government in so many ways giving birth to the civil rights movement. In 1949, Truman created NATO. If his desk at the Little White House could talk, would it have some stories to tell! In 1951, at that very desk, Truman signed the order to fire Gen. Douglas MacArthur.”

A wow!

This morning golf! I can’t wait to humble myself again! Some day…..just once…..Lord, please give me a good round!

Good morning world!

I would like to say the sun is up, the sky blue. But it is too early! It is pitch black outside. However if the weather report is to be believed, it is going to be another glorious day in Key West!

Yesterday was quiet.

Lunch at Paradise Cafe. No chickens. Makes me wonder where they are. Propogating? Perhaps. They periodically seem to disappear for awhile. Then the mother hen reappears with ten little chickies following behind her.

Last night was dinner with Lisa and the grandkids. I missed Sunday dinner and had to make up. Otherwise, Lisa would be upset with me!

My grandchildren Robert and Ally have so much energy! Non stop in everything they do. Wow!

The news yesterday was big with Obama’s toxic asset plan. I do not understand it. The fact that the market went up dramatically as a result of the anouncement, scares me a bit. Is this toxic asset plan another slight of hand investment strategy? I am a fairly intelligent person. Well educated. And to be frank, I do not understand the plan at all!

I have dealt with toxic torts my whole life. Asbestos, pcbs, hazardous substances of every nature. Nothing good ever comes from a toxic substance. And I fear nothing good will come from these toxic assets.

The very name bothers me. Toxic assets. How can anything toxic be an asset?

The bank and AIG bonus situations continue to bother me also. As everyone else!

Astronomical amounts, these bonuses! Many in the millions! And big millions, at that!

A new level of wealth was created. I read somewhere recently that the folks at AIG got so rich they were having their gums capped! Makes the point!

Too much! Too quickly! Apparently too easily!

Most Americans work hard all year for a salary. Either hourly or weekly. They bust their butts every day. Their only expectation is a small raise at the end of the year. That is the American way!

Now along come banks and insurance companies. Basic industries in this Nation. Two industries that are consumer driven and were initially established to serve public needs. The public that works for a set salary and the hope of a year end raise.

But the banks and insurance companies have a different way of rewarding their employees. Bonuses!

Examine from where and why the bonuses are paid. The bank and insurance employees get paid bonuses for making more money for their companies. Money made from screwing their customers or the public.

Think of it! How many times have you paid a point extra for a loan or when it came time to sign the papers, the mortgage was a bit higher than advertised. One example in the insurance industry is the claims person who squeezes the injured party and delays settlement so the innocent accident victim is forced to settle for less out of need and desperation. That claims person is paid a year end bonus based on how much he saved the company in a multitude of claims that year.

We all work for an employer. To whom we owe proper diligence. But these companies are set up to reward their employees by screwing the public who uses their services. Not right! It is a consumer/people be damned attitude! A basic morality issue.

Look where it has brought us! Bailouts and millions in bonuses to company leaders and employees who got us into this situation in the first place! Failure rewarded!

What a screwed up society! We have to correct these bad habits, and fast, or we will all be selling apples on street corners! The homeless shelters will not be large enough to accomodate the number of people clamoring to get in!

Sunday night at the Pier House I ran into Kurt. My golf buddy. He shoots 72 and I shoot 115. Kurt is a gentleman. He also can be a tough guy. Kurt is a night bartender at Don’s Place. A big guy. Weighs in near 300 pounds.

Someone gave him some shit. Kurt says the guy was stalking him. There was a confrontation. Fists were thrown. Kurt, of course, won. However in the process, he lost. Broke his right thumb. Took seven weeks to heal. No golf. And a pain, otherwise.

Kurt was at Larry Smith’s Sunday Showcase with his mother and brother. They are from Indiana. First time visitors. I chatted with them for awhile. Nice people.

I told Kurt’s Mom that Lisa’s husband was from Indiana also. And I told her what a great guy he is! She understood. As I described Corey to her, I expressed my thought that all folks from Indiana are solid good people with all kinds of values. Middle America, she proudly stated!

I could see as I talked with his Mom where Kurt got the kindness he exudes.

I just looked out the window. Still way early! Gray outside. However now I can see the ocean and a palm tree. A slight breeze pushing both. Pretty!

Lunch today with one woman. Dinner with another. A double header! Going to be a good day! Do not get excited, however. Business. Well, sort of!

Talk with you tomorrow!

A good Sunday yesterday!

Syracuse played Arizona State at noon. Syracuse won by about 11 points. It took Syracuse’s best game to beat Arizona State. But beat Arizona State they did! And now Syracuse is on its way to the Sweet Sixteen!

There’s nothing like March Madness!

I stopped at the Gardens last night around 6. The Sunday night event was on going. A couple of hundred people.

Good music and good company. A lovely setting.

I ran into June and Bill Hudson. They are back from Delaware. They told me they were off to the Wine Galley for dinner and Larry Smith. They asked if I wanted to join them. I was uncertain. Told them I wanted to make a couple of other stops and might see them.

I went over to La Te Da. My intention was to have a light snack at the outside bar. The place was too packed however. No room at the bar!

La Te Da is now on my hit list of places to eat. It has been a long time since I enjoyed La Te DA’s cooking. The reason that it is so good is that Alice is back cooking. A culinary artist!

Intertestingly, Saturday I lunched at Paradise Cafe. Paradise Cafe is nothing special. A run down former gas station. Sells cheap cuban sandwiches and coffee. But the sandwiches are so good!

Who did I run into Saturday at Paradise Cafe! Alice, chef premier at La Te Da. A compliment to Paradise’s cuban sandwiches!

I told Alice, “We both know the best places to eat.” She laughed. Alice knew what I meant, however. Not only does she cook, she walks the dining room floor constantly chatting with her patrons, offering a cheery hello, asking if one is happy with the food, etc. So she knows I have been eating at La Te Da again. In fact, I told her I returned because she was cooking!

Dejected I could not eat at La Te Da, I walked across the street to the Keys Piano Bar. Only a handfull of people. However, I stayed awhile to enjoy the music.

It was still early so I went over to the Pier House’s Wine Galley. And sure enough, there were Bill and June Hudson. They had not ordered yet, so I joined them for dinner.

Sunday is Larry Smith’s Showcase. Last night he featured Peter Delaney. Peter is a native of Norwich, Connecticut, who now spends much time in the Key West area. I have heard Peter sing before. A great voice!

Kathleen Peace was part of the program, also. I love Kathleen’s singing! Spectacular! Actually spectacular is not sufficient to describe the range and quality of her voice. She is one of the best, professionally and personally!

By the way, in all the running around last night, I only had 2 drinks. A good boy am I!

I read an article recently that an Ohio school had nearly 700 applications for one open janitorial job. A sad sign of the times!

It reminded me of my law school days.

It was 1959. My son John had just been born. Beside scholarship money and two part time jobs, I now needed a third job. Another mouth to feed!

Sears was advertising a part time evening janitorial position. Perfect for me! I applied! The personnel guy rejected me. He said I was over qualified. I would not be happy sweeping floors. I told him it did not matter what the work. I would do it and do it well. I would be timely. And happy!

My words fell on deaf ears. All he knew from his perspective was that I was over educated to clean toilets. He just did not understand! I needed the job!

Just as many others need a job or additional job today! With so few to go around.

A sad time for all of us! A sad time for America!

I read a lot. Always have 3 or 4 books going at the same time.

This reading is an interesting thing. During all the years I was practicing law, I had no time for recreational reading. I read legal papers, briefs and documents all day. So at night I had no desire to read. My eyes were tired. Or maybe it was an excuse. I don’t know.

Now in retirement, I read like a thirsting man lost in the desert who just found a water hole!

I finished Tom Brokaw’s Boom! Good book. A very good book.

Long. Almost another War and Peace. Over 600 pages.

It is about the 1960s. A turning point in the life of our country.

I lived through those years, so the book perhaps may have had a greater appeal to me.

Though I lived through it, I was not part of the radically distrurbing scene that occurred. I went to college and law school in the 1950s. I was an Eisenhower child. Everything was serene and OK! Apple pie and motherhood! The road to succes was to do as had been done. Follow the tried and true.

I believed. It was the American way.

I started practicing law at the beginning, in 1960. I thought all the demonstrators for the various causes were nuts trying to upset the apple cart of what was the tried and true way to live the American life.

I wore a suit, shirt and tie. Never let my hair grow long. Never got involved in the causes and issues of the day.

And were there causes and issues!

Vietnam, civil rights, women’s rights, assasinations and everything else!

My mind said any war fought by my country was good. After all, we were a good people and we could only maintain the good fight. We were pure. Every one else, contaminated.

I found the demonstrations on and off campuses hard to fathom. These people had to be nuts. Students burning buildings on college campuses! All I could think of only a few years earlier when I was in college was who my next date was going to be! The protesters’ values had to be misplaced!

I recall several peaceful marching demonstrations in Utica. All in protest of the Vietnam War. Some professionals and prominent businessmen walked in those parades. I thought two things. They were crazy and they had courage! I did not agree with them. That is why they were crazy, from my perspective. Courage because I questioned if I could so march if I had such a contrary and what I considered minority belief.

The battle for civil rights was astounding! And it was a battle!

I admired those blacks and their walks. I admired even more their Ghandi like approach. The courage it took to walk into those horses and clubs!

And the confrontations! Governor Wallace at the steps of a college trying to stop a black student from entering. A constitutional confrontation of the highest sort!

The killings in the south of whites and blacks alike trying to enforce voters’ rights.

President Johnson, a Texan, signing into law the most sweeping recognition and enforcement of clvil rights! He said when he did it that his act was the end of the Democratic Party in the south. And it was!

Women’s rights! Women went crazy in the 1960s!

It all started with the pill. Women became sexually liberated. Conception was no longer an issue. They screwed like men! I could not believe it! Women wanted to have sex! And as much as they could get!

With sexual freedom, came other liberating thoughts. Now women wanted to be like men in general. Freedom in the work place, equal pay for equal work and all that kind of stuff. Second class citizenship was out the window for them. They sat in front of the bus. In fact, they wanted to drive the bus!

And death! Assasinations of a magnitude unconceivable!

First, John Kennedy. My President! I could not believe any one would shot my President, the President. His brother, Robert Kennedy. I had the same feelings. And simultneously the question constantly in my mind. What was my country coming to?

Martin Luther King! What did he do to deserve his death? He was only trying to correct a basic wrong. Prejudice is a cancer. He was eradicating it. Peacefully, though disturbingly to many in the white establishment. Death was his mantle. He did reach the top of the mountain!

And so it was! Dynmaic, ever changing.

The belly of America regurgetated. The vomit spewed all over.

But we all felt better afterwards. Our Nation is a better place to live because of the the 1960s.

Until now, of course, and this economic crisis. But that is not for today.

I did baby sit last night. Fun! A joy!

The movie was… guessed it! The Wizard of Oz. I am beginning to hate it! But the grandkids love it! So watch it we did!

I made popcorn. Ally and I ate most of it. Robert did not seem hungry.

I colored and read books with Ally. Played with trucks and Ironman with Robert.

At some point, Ally came over and climbed up on my lap. She rested her head on my chest and fell asleep. How good!

Robert was determined to stay up with me. He faltered a little after his sister and fell asleep on the couch.

It rained while I was baby sitting. Big wind and heavy rain. Monsoon style! And it kept pouring for a couple of hours.

Lisa, Corey and step grandson Cameron had gone to a Montessori fundraiser at Southernmost. A reggae band. Bob Marley’s former backup band.

Lisa and team came home around 11. Each drenching wet. Each more soaked than the other.

This was a beach concert. No covering. About 1,000 people. They whooped it up while getting wetted down!

I came home to my own disaster.

When I left around 6 to go to Lisa’s, the sun was shinning. It was a nice day. I did not anticipate a rain storm. Nor, I suspect, did anyone else.

I left the sliding doors and windows open!

My bedroom got it! The wind from the Atlantic blew the water into the room about 5 feet. Carpets and throw rugs soaked soaked! My ottoman soaked. Some books nearby wet.

I cleaned up as best I could. Closed the sliding doors to prevent further rain coming in. I woke during the night after the rain stopped. Opened the sliding doors again. My concern was mold. That is how wet it all was!

This morning I am happy to report that everything is dry.

The sun is up. But I cannot see it. A bed of gray clouds is over the island. TV says scattered showers today. So I guess that is the kind of day it will be.

The wind is blowing. Actually, howling. And I can see whitecaps on the water.

Syracuse plays Arizona State at noon in Miami. Probably on national televison. Should be a good game.

Lest you forget, I love Sundays! God’s day of rest! My day of rest!

The Sunday papers! Meet the Press! The added bonus today of the Syracuse basketball game! And tonight in Key West! Probably starting with music and drinks at the Gardens at 5!

Enjoy your day as I am mine!