CASA ANTIGUA / KEY WEST ROOM ESCAPE

The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!

 

VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!

ANOTHER PRITAM SINGH SUCCESS

Till recently, Stock Island has been the key most forgotten. Step-sister to Key West.

In recent months, construction of two new hotels has been completed. Two more in the planning stage. A Stock Island boom in the making!

One of the hotels is the Ocean Edge Hotel and Marina. At the end of MacDonald Ave.

I have visited Ocean Edge several times. Lunch one time. Drinks another. The others to sit in a contemplative mood viewing the ocean.

As  mentioned in an earlier blog, Ocean Edge is magnificent! A different hotel. A new taste. I described it as a winner in the making.

One of Key West’s premier builders Pritam Singh created the concept, did the construction and operated the facility.

Till a few days ago.

It was announced Singh had sold Ocean Edge to Sunset Hotel Investors for $175 million. God bless America! In addition, he still has a hand in its operation. Singh Hospitality will continue operating Ocean Edge.

Ran a few errands yesterday.

My evening began with the Chart Room at 6:30. John said I was his first customer. A slow start to the evening. The place eventually started filling up.

Then to Don’s Place. Enjoyed a drink with Stan and Claire.

Claire is having less than a good year. She already has had a major surgery. Followed by an infection. Another surgery awaits. Had to be cancelled.

Claire was sitting at the bar with her left arm from wrist to elbow heavily bandaged. A hot cup of tea was spilled on her at work. Third degree burns.

The operation will follow when the arm heals.

David came in. Good to see him. It had been a while.

My dinner was a late one. At Tavern ‘n Town. Their 9-11 Happy Hour. Tapas $7 and drinks 2 for 1. I enjoyed wings, 2 gins and a cup of coffee. The manager picked up the drinks. I paid for the wings, coffee and tax. $11.83. Could I go wrong!

The Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Coast Guard have been dealing with the derelict abandoned vessel problem of late. Concededly, a danger to navigation. On occasion, a life saver.

Yesterday, a diver was reported missing off Bahia Honda. The Sheriff’s Department and Coast Guard were notified. Within 20 minutes, the diver was found 5 miles off shore sitting on an abandoned derelict boat.

Everyone loves Mark Watson! Singer, drag queen bartender, former Fantasy Fest King, etc. Mark frequently comments on Facebook. Yesterday, he came up with a gem: “…..a Republican President has a Republican controlled Congress, and the only thing he’s managed to pass in 6 months is gas.”

John Kelly is Trump’s new Chief of Staff. A retired Marine General, he is known to be a disciplinarian. It has been said he “…..won’t suffer idiots and fools.”

I hope so. Beginning with the President.

The 2020 Presidential race has begun.

John Delaney is a three term Maryland Congressman. He announced yesterday he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. He said he is starting early because no one knows him.

Delaney a self made millionaire. Claims he will throw some of his money into the campaign. Sound familiar?

Farmers Market. I love Farmers Market! Generally buy bread, tomatoes and honey. The Market has been running saturdays during the summer. Thursdays the rest of the year. At Bayview Park.

Enjoy your day!

MURDERERS, ASSASSINS, INFILTRATORS…..JAPAN OVERREACTS

Fire ants are part of our Key West existence. You cannot be here any length of time without being bitten.

For Japan, it is a new experience. Nary a fire ant till May 20 of this year. They came in on a cargo ship hidden away in cargo boxes. Shortly thereafter, more arrived in a different vessel. Now fire ants immigrate to Japan with frequency and reproduce once there.

The Japanese are not handling the fire ant invasion well.

A Japanese newspaper reported early on that a fire ant epidemic in the United States killed 100. Obviously erroneous. Corrected, but the damage had been done. The Japanese people are convinced fire ants are murderers, assassins, and infiltrators.

An over reaction big time.

Additional sanctions have been levied by the U.S. against 13 high ranking Venezuelans.

Stupid!

Maduro and his government may be bad people. However, it is for the Venezuelan people to change the government. Not the U.S.

Thousands protest. The streets are jammed. In the hundreds of thousands. However, the people stop there. They do not go to the next step and take up arms to depose Maduro.

It is their problem, not ours. Especially when the Venezuelan people are not willing to fight for themselves.

When will we learn to keep our noses out of another country’s business?

McCain showed his independence and courage last night with his no vote. I take back any negative statements I made a few days ago re his failure to stand up when the first vote was taken.

Where did this Anthony Scaramucci come from? He is an embarrassment to our government and to the people of the United States.

I am personally embarrassed. The man is Italian-American as I am. He is a throwback to the 1920-1930’s.

Now for my yesterday.

Dropped the car off to be detailed. Needed a thorough cleaning.

Walked over to Lori’s at the other end of the block for a haircut.

Needed to kill an hour after the haircut while the car was being finished. Stopped into the Sunshine Grill for lunch. Where Mattheson’s was formerly located. On White Street, across from Fausto’s.

Great food! Go!

Diner type food. Wholesome.

I enjoyed a Reuben. One of the best I have ever eaten.

Checked the menu out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very reasonably priced. My next visit will be for dinner some evening soon.

Met Karen. The front house manager. Charming and lovely.

The bill carried a comment on the bottom: Eat here or we both go hungry.

Made sense.

Picked up the car. Seven years old. Looked new inside and out.

Dinner was with Donna and Terri last night. Terri had to work late. I stopped at their home and enjoyed a drink and political chatter with Terri. Yesterday was definitely a Trump day!

Terri is more than a vocalist. She understands. Everything. Our conversation ran deep.

Donna finally arrived. Her ass dragging. It had been a 12 hour day.

We had dinner at the New York Pasta Garden. Donna and Teri enjoy the place. Last time I was there was 20 years ago with three of my grandchildren. I thought the food was terrible. Never returned! Last night’s meal was excellent.

I had egg plant parmigiana and pasta. The parmigiana with my Mother in mind. She used to make it frequently.

John owns the Pasta Garden. He also owns the Ocean Grill across the way. Word on the street is he is in the process of buying Camille’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT PUNISH ITS POLITICAL ENEMIES

I am not a fan of Attorney general Jeff Sessions. My prior writings and talk shows clearly evidence my feelings.

However, I give him credit for his present stand against Trump. Especially where Trump complains that Sessions has failed to prosecute Hillary Clinton for purported wrong doings.

Sessions has been firm from day one that he would not pursue Clinton. During his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Sessions stated re a Hillary Clinton prosecution: “This country does not punish its political enemies.”

Third world countries jail political enemies. We are above such conduct. Though Trump keeps trying to pull us into that swamp.

Mini lobster season began yesterday. It ends today.

The weather was horrible yesterday. Two extremely heavy rainstorms.

Two sad occurrences. A man died off Bahia Honda State Park. A 16 year old girl lost a finger while getting out of a boat.

I started my yesterday with a visit to Dr. McIvor, my heart doctor. A test scheduled. One test lead to a second and different one. I get the results monday.

The Chart Room first last night. Dead! Never have seen it so quiet. Chatted with Shawn and a lady customer. She waits tables at Island Dog. Business slow for her also yesterday. She and Shawn were lamenting how little they made or were making in tips yesterday.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner.

Quiet, also.

Rob entertaining.

Met Chris and Marty. Married. Dogs, no children. Both have lived in Key West for years. Both soft ware engineers.

We talked about everything. From high rental prices to difficult tourists to the Bubba system to the New York Finger Lakes. They love upstate New York’s Finger Lakes and have visited several times.

Rick Perry is in Trump’s Cabinet. He is Secretary of Energy. Formerly, Governor of Texas. He has a charming personality, appears intelligent.

He got “punked.” Means someone fooled/deceived him in a telephone call.

What follows raises the question as to how much vetting does the Trump administration do.

Perry took a telephone call from a person he assumed was the Prime Minister of the Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko. They had met a month before. They discussed increasing American coal exports to the Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, helping the Ukraine develop oil and gas deposits, and the Paris Climate Accord.

A 22 minute telephone conversation.

It was not the Ukraine Prime Minister. It was a comedian. Two, actually. Vladimir Krasnoo and Alexei Stolyarov. Known professionally as the Jerky Boys of Russia.

Again, where the hell was the vetting? How does something like this happen? Is nothing sacred in government today?

Impeachment is in the air. Lightly. Not heavy yet.

On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended President Richard Nixon be impeached.

USA Today ran an interesting article on male sperm yesterday. The quantity and quality has been down 1.6 percent a year since 1973. A drop of 59.3 percent.

Not a U.S. problem alone. Similar numbers in the rest of North America, Europe and Australia.

The decline attributed to several causes. Women smoking during pregnancy could affect a son’s fertility years later, male obesity, pesticides, and stress.

Two things scheduled for noon time. A haircut with Lori. The car gets washed.

The car has not been washed in months. The outside looks clean because of the frequent rains. The inside looks like I have been sleeping in the car.

Enjoy your day!

 

SANCTIONS BOTH AVOID AND LEAD TO WAR

Sanctions are constantly in the news. One country does something another country disagrees with and sanctions come into play. Bank accounts seized, shipping prohibited, etc. Cause the offending country to suffer for its wrongdoing.

Sanctions are so prevalent these days that many have come to believe it is a way to avoid war.

I believe such is the case only because a war has not yet occurred.

History repeats itself. We tend to forget.

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt seized all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan’s occupation of French-Indo China. As was intended, the result hurt Japan deeply. Japan lost three quarters of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil.

War was inevitable. Japan could not tolerate the sanctions. Especially the loss of 88 percent of its imported oil. Japan had no oil except that which it imported. Japan’s industrial death was imminent.

Japan in effect said screw you to the U.S. The result Pearl Harbor a little more than four months later.

Two strange occurrences yesterday.

Three weeks ago, I filed a change of address with the Post Office. I am getting mail at my new address. Also, at my old address.

Went to the downtown Post Office to straighten the mater out. I was told by the clerk it could not be happening. I calmly explained again it was. No way, I was told.

It became a problem for the supervisor to deal with. No supervisor. He was somewhere else.

I have to return today.

Next stop was Walgreens. Bought a large container of Bayer Aspirin. Take a whole pill a day for my heart.

When I got home and opened the bottle, the foil seal was broken and completely open. When I return to Walgreens today for an exchange, will I be told it could not happen?

A change of pace podcast last night. Trump has been overwhelming my show as it has the media. There are other stories to be told. Decided to do a limited Trump comment and the rest of the show human events of the past few days world wide.

Because of yesterday happenings, I ended up with three Trump/political observations. However, I did finish with 8 non Trump stories.

I hope that those of you who listened to Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou enjoyed the change of pace.

Being the political animal I am, I want to briefly share with you the three political observations.

Jared Kushner’s testimony has been described by some in the examining rooms as truthful and forthcoming. I would not believe Kushner and his Trump in laws on a stack of Bibles. Liars one and all. It is the nature of the beast. The conclusion of the various investigations will substantiate they speak with forked tongues.

The Democrats came out with a Better Deal slogan yesterday. Sucks! My recommendation is that they hire a professional PR firm to provide a today slogan. Also, it is time for Pelosi and Schumer to go. It is a new day. Their time has passed. Voters world wide have shown in recent elections the desire for new and more youthful faces.

Finally, John McCain. A man I respect and admire. But yesterday he did not go far enough in his comments to the Senate.

McCain has cancer of the brain. Operations, doctors, medicines, etc. His medical bills will be high. Overwhelming if no insurance. He has insurance, however. Ergo, he has a chance to be cured, to survive.

What of the 32 million who will have no insurance if Obamacare is dumped? They will not have the chance to maybe have their lives saved.

It was McCain’s moment. He should have said, I have changed my mind. I stand with those who do not want to repeal, or repeal and replace. Lets fix Obamacare and move on.

He did not.

Historical paths cross.

William Faulkner lived a period of his life in Key West. As did Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway wrote To Have and To Hold. Faulkner went to Hollywood and wrote the screen script for To Have and To Hold. Both the novel and the movie were gigantic successes. Humphrey Bogart starred in the movie.

In the early 1860’s, a U.S. Navy vessel captured a slave ship. It delivered the 1,432 Africans aboard to Key West. Two hundred ninety-four died while here. The remaining Africans were sent to Libya.

The 294 who died were buried somewhere in Key West. No one certain as to the exact spot till several years ago.

The bodies were discovered buried on portions of Higgs Beach and nearby. A plaque has been placed on the beach noting their burial place. Each year, a service is held at the site in their honor.

Have to hustle. A heart test scheduled for 1.

Enjoy your day!

THE SAINT

I returned to The Saint at 5 last night. I was so taken by the place saturday that I wanted to experience it when less busy.

Outstanding in appearance and food!

It was lighter so I could see the whole bar. Long and narrow. Two thirds bar, one third for dining. Dining outside at a level sitting above the pool, also.

The Saint is a hotel. Not a guest house as I first thought. Small street side. Opens up in the back. Looked like new construction around the pool. Three stories.

I was there at Happy Hour. A steady 15 people. Twice as many would have been better. It was obvious the Saint has not yet taken off as a happy hour place.

Two large round lights over the bar. Reminded me of tulips. Fire engine red. The color went with the carpet outside leading into the hotel.

The happy hour menu is half off on all drinks. Re food, entrees reduced to $10. I enjoyed a pasta. Excellent! Pasta al dente, buried in pieces of tuna and peas covered in a red sauce.

The happy hour runs from 4:17 to 7:17. Strange. Asked the bartender why. To correspond to The Saint’s address.

I mentioned in my sunday blog that the bar was smart and the people were smart appearing. Especially clothing wise.

I was correct. The bartender told me a large group of locals had a party for some reason. Which is why everyone was dressed smartly. He noticed it, also.

One negative. Booze selection limited. No Beefeaters, Tanqueray, or Hendricks gin. Another customer asked for Amstel Light. No Amstel Light.

A bad sign.

The bartender was Justin. An amiable fellow. I raised the lack of certain beverages with him. He said the party saturday night wiped them out. Delivery due tomorrow (today).

I hope such is the case.

Experience The Saint. I enjoyed the place and intend to return.

The Democrats announced a new slogan yesterday. A Better Deal for American Workers. A handful of leading Democrats made the announcement. The speakers were Schumer and Pelosi.

I thought the slogan sucked. My party will have to do better if they expect to bring voters back to them.

The party also needs new leaders as the face of the party. Schumer and Pelosi represent yesterday. Time to step aside and let younger persons be the face of the party.

Otherwise, 2018 and 220 will not be Democrat years.

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

I am sick of talking about Trump. He dominates the media. He has dominated my podcast. There are other stories and people in the world worthy of discussion. Human stories.

Ergo, tonight I open with one Trump comment. Then on to non-political happenings. Like the 5 and 2 year old brothers who drove a car 3 miles, English school boys who wore skirts to school in protest, a dog that pulled a drowning baby deer from the ocean.

Also, a drug dealer who called 911 to report cocaine had been stolen from his car, a 5 year old girl selling lemonade from a make shift stand fined $195, Nero not fiddling while Rome burned, and more.

Called a change of pace!

Enjoy your day!

 

SUNDAY…..BRITISH OPEN AND LIZ

Another slow pleasant sunday.

My two biggies for the day were the British Open and Liz.

The British Open spectacular! Actually, Jordan Speith spectacular! He closed as only a winner and potential golf great could. A tough 13th hole. Lucky to have walked away with a bogey. Then 5 under the next four holes. Birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie. Included in the four holes were 50 and 30 foot putts.

Speith not yet 24. In a few days.

I felt sorry for Matt Kuchar. Came in second. Three strokes behind. Fifty years old. A 7 time pro winner. Age upon him. Might never be that close to a major win again.

Rushed over to Liz’s for lunch when the Open ended. Liz now home two weeks after five difficult weeks in the hospital. Her diabetes was out of control.

Liz was born a diabetic. Takes her shots and watches her food intake religiously. When out to dinner, she spends time studying the menu, asks questions of the waiter, etc.

Somehow there was a screw up. Whether she failed to take her medication or dieted incorrectly, no one knows. Whatever, almost killed her.

Liz is an outstanding cook. She did not cook yesterday. Not up to it yet. She did select the ingredients and direct their preparation, however. I enjoyed crab, shrimp and key lime pie. Two different sauces with the crab and shrimp.

We ate at a small table in the garden. a fan blowing upon us to ward off the humidity.

Liz always has help. A woman who resides with her. Liz refers to her as her assistant. Yesterday, the number was up to two. I noticed also a chair has been installed to take Liz up and down the stairs.

Liz is a good person. I enjoy her company. Dean of two law schools. Much in common to discuss. One thing stills bothers me about her. She voted for Trump. Still likes Trump. I do not understand.

Liz just turned 83. I, 82. We are contemporaries. I tell Liz I like older women.

Forgot to mention one thing in yesterday’s blog. On my busy Saturday night, I also stopped at Sloppy Joe’s to watch the finals of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

Sloppy’s packed. I was able to push myself in about 20 feet. Stayed 15 minutes.

A fun event. Each contestant gives a speech why he should be selected. Prior winners judge. A lot of fun banter back and forth.

I left before it was over. Later learned Richard Filip of Fayetteville, Texas the winner. Probably been a candidate 10-15 years. Faithful participation for years required before a look-alike is seriously considered for the title.

Lobster mini season wednesday and thursday. For amateurs, not the commercial lobster fishermen. Their season begins August 6.

Fifty thousand persons will visit the Keys wednesday and thursday to dive for lobsters.

The local bank robber I mentioned a few days ago. We now know how he robbed the bank. Walked up to the cashier and said, “Give me all the bills. I know where you live.”

When arrested, he is reported to have said to the police he wanted to be returned to jail.

Sounds like he wanted to get caught.

If you are able, take a look at my Facebook live video of yesterday. Key West Lou Live. I spoke of my grandfather again. This time how Ellis Island gave him his last name: Petrone.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

For me, last night was unique. I hit more downtown/Duval spots that normal. Did it all between 5 and 10.

Actually, I was at the corner of Sloppy Joe’s at 1. A quick down and back. I did not want to miss the Running of the Bulls. One of Hemingway Days’ finest events.

Stayed all of 15 minutes before returning home.

My evening began with Tammy and a manicure. Tammy just returned from a one month trip to Vietnam tuesday afternoon. The jet lag was not bothering her as she did my nails.

Tammy looked outstanding! The trip definitely changed her appearance. She got the works so to speak in Vietnam.

Magnificent eyebrows. Tattooed. Did not look tattooed at all. Thick. Beautiful. Tammy said they will fade over a period of six months.

Only $50 in Vietnam.

Her eyes done differently, also. Bright!

Her skin a golden tan. Her family lives near a beach. She spent many days at the beach.

Changed her hairstyle and color, also. Difficult for me to describe.

Simply stated, Tammy returned a movie star!

Then to Don’s Place. Had a drink with Jimmy. Jimmy will be painting the inside of my new home in about two weeks.

Boomer bartending. Had not seen Boomer in a while.

Followed up Don’s Place with the Chart Room. John bartending. Saturday not his usual night. He was filling in for Shawn.

Fellow sitting next to me from Oklahoma. Thirty six. In the commercial air conditioning business. Would prefer Key West and many retails. Big commercial jobs have big bills. However they have to go through accounting, etc. for approval and it takes him forever to be paid.

First time in Key West for he and his 26 year old wife.

They have traveled Caribbean and Asian waters. Warm spots. Key West the best. He plans on returning soon.

Another couple could not stop talking about the Garden of Eden. Their favorite spot. Wish it were mine.

I have not been there in 10 years. The two times I went, the only bare body parts I saw were the bare breasts of the female bartender.

I have to give it another shot. The couple claimed full body parts now available for observation.

Three couples came in. Ordered shots. Patron Tequila and Cafe. Patron topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Looked good. John said it was also known as a Body Guinness. Because the drink looked like a miniature Guinness beer.

Decided to walk Duval. A Caribbean Street Festival going big time. The street jammed. Increases the temperature by 20 degrees. A bit uncomfortable when the 20 degrees is added to heavy humidity.

During the Festival walk decided stopped at The Porch. On Caroline, just off Duval. Another place I had not visited in years.

When I last visited, people sat on the huge front porch and drank. Not last night. Things have changed.

You can drink on the porch. However, it appeared most preferred inside.

The inside different. As you walked in the front door of this lovely old mansion, there were signs on either side of you. The sign to the left indicating the room to the left for beer drinkers. The sign to the right indicating liquor and spirit drinkers.

I went to the right and enjoyed a gin.

Both rooms packed.

I have heard a lot recently about a relatively new place on Caroline. Across from the Tropic Cinema. The Saint.

The Saint it was.

Looks like a guest house from the outside. With a fire engine red carpet running to the front door.

The inside blew me out!

The newest smartest place in Key West. Smart being the operative word. A long bar. Tons of people. The people as smart appearing as the room.

Customers primarily in the 30’s to 40’s range.

Something about their clothes. Key West remains a tee shirt/sport shirt/shorts town. These people were dressed appropriately, but a step up. I don’t know how tee shirts and shorts can look smart, but they did. The people and their attire went well together.

The Saint definitely will be added to one of those places I frequently attend. Loved it!

It was time to eat. Tavern ‘n Town the choice. The 9 o’clock happy hour.

Fried calamari and a couple of drinks. Read the newspapers. Enjoyed Bobby Nesbitt. Followed by a new singer. Nick Hagelin. Plays the guitar and sings. Outstanding! Diners cheered and clapped loudly each time he finished a tune.

Only appearing at Tavern ‘n Town one night. Hope he returns.

Was home and in bed at 10. A busy evening. All fun!

I did a change of pace video on Facebook yesterday. Talked about my grandfather and his immigration to the U.S. in 1906.

An excellent piece. Said with humility. My grandfather was a unique person and it was a joy to write about him.

I plan on doing a follow up today re my grandfather. He never knew his parents. Born a bastard. The video will tell the story of how he got his last name (and now mine) of Petrone.

Take a look. Both videos interesting. The video is Key West Lou Live on Facebook.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

HEMINGWAY DAYS GOING STRONG

Key West enjoying Hemingway Days!

Tourists and locals alike.

I went to Sloppy Joe’s for Hemingway’s birthday party. Got there about 6. No way I could get in. I stood outside on  the street on tip toes to get a look.

Hemingway look-alikes all over the placed. No official number yet. I would suggest in excess of 125. White shirts and pants. Red french caps. Red bandannas wrapped around their waists.

Today, the biggest. A day long Caribbean Fair on Duval. Duval closed off to vehicular traffic. At noon, Hemingway look-alikes available outside Sloppy Joe’s for picture taking. Bulls, too.

The best of the best at 1. The Running of the Bulls. Pamplona style. A sight to see!

Six-thirty the final round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Judges limited to former winners. Generally takes 10-15 years before participants are seriously considered to win.

The window on the driver’s side of my Volk’s convertible would not go completely up. Only 2/3’s of the way. I have been meaning to take it to a Volkswagen dealer in Miami. Hated wasting a day.

It has not been easy driving. The heat and rain would come in. I had a huge towel I threw over my left shoulder when it rained.

The inside of the car filthy. Cannot have a car washed with an open window.

Finally decided to try a local repair man. There are several on Stock Island. Garages dirty, hot and greasy.

I met George a few weeks ago. He owns Zip Auto on MacDonald.

I decided to give George a shot.

George said I needed a new part/window. Knew it already from speaking with Miami Volks. George said he could do it, would order the part from Miami.

The job was done yesterday. I had an appointment to go in. Left the car. Donna drove me home. Three hours later, he called. Job done. Come get your car. Donna drove me back.

The window works. The price $200 cheaper than that quoted me by Miami.

Try George if you have car problems. I swear by him as a result of my experience.

Dinner last night with the lesbian wives. Donna cooked. Terri in good spirits. As usual, our time together very enjoyable.

Anna, my Anna. Fears everything.

I wrote a few days ago about Athens’ Ermus Street and the violence which occurred there monday night. Anna was in Athens and fearful.

Anna still in Athens. After spending two months visiting several Greek isles. One visited was near Kos. Kos and parts of Turkey were hit with a major earthquake yesterday. A 6.7. On Kos, two killed, 112 injured, 12 seriously.

The after shocks even worse. Forty after shocks reported. Some as high as 4.6.

It was warned a tsunami could occur.

Anna wrote and asked what she should do. Athens is no where near Kos. Tsunami not a concern. Except to Anna.

I told her to swim fast!

Something that was yesterday, but is not the same today. Limited. An issue. A problem.

I refer to immigration.

The poet Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883. The sonnet instantly popular.

Words from it incorporated onto a bronze plaque and attached to the Statue of Liberty in 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Ain’t that way no more. We try to keep them out. I question whether my paperless, parentless 12 year old grandfather admitted in 1906 would be admitted today.

Enjoy your day!