BEING A BACHELOR HAS ITS ADVANTAGES

A home cooked meal a rarity for a bachelor in Key West. Ergo, I eat out most evenings. Not last night, however. God looked down on me with favor. Cindy cooked!

Cindy and her husband Larry are from Ontario, Canada. They have a second home in Key West. We came together because of this blog. Cindy a loyal reader.

I met Cindy and Larry for the firs time last year at the Chart Room. Then again this year. Cindy asked if I would come to dinner some evening. Definitely! I was pleased with the invitation.

Last night, the occasion.

Cindy prepared lamb chops. Like I have never eaten. Great tasting lamb chops are difficult to get in recent years.

I watched Cindy cook them as I enjoyed a drink with Larry. She did not just broil them. I am not sure what she did. However, they were moved from one pan to another, a sauce or two poured over them.

We dined on their outside rear porch. Cindy served each person’s dish prepared. All 3 overflowing with lamb chops. I said, I can’t eat all this. Little did I know. I ate all of them. Finger licking good. The bones left free of meat.

Delicious!

Cindy set a spectacular table also. An exceptional hostess. A combination of Perle Mesta and Julia Child.

An admonition to Cindy: Invite me again!

I am not leaving Larry out. However, he was no competition for Cindy’s lamb chops.

Larry is a mechanical contractor. Still works. However is able to do so from Key West. His 2 sons back home doing the hands on.

I am a lucky man. I now have 3 great cooks occasionally feeding me. Donna, Andrea, and Cindy.

Forget me not ladies!

Busy afternoon yesterday. Three hours on the go. A haircut, lunch at Fernandy’s, the Farmers Market, Publix, and K-Mart. I was tired when I got home.

Tonight, Berlin’s for dinner. Mary my date, Bria Ansara the entertainment. Looking forward to the evening.

A bit of Key West history.

It was the roaring 20’s. Everyone making money, dancing the Charleston, generally enjoying life.

On this day in 1925, Herbert Hoover, wife Lou Henry, and friends arrived in Key West on the yacht Kilkenny. Hoover a wealthy man. A respected person when it came to economics. At the time of his visit, he was Secretary of Commerce.

The group stayed at the Casa Marina.

Four years later, Hoover was President. Soon after taking office, the dancing stopped. The roaring ’20’s disappeared. Replaced by the Great Depression.

Sadness has befallen Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim and the family of Jorge Jimenez.

Wednesday night Boeheim was driving home following Syracuse’s victory over Louisville. Icy road. I-690.

Jimenez had been a passenger in another car. The car skidded because of the icy road. It stopped against a guard rail. Perpendicular to the highway. The car sticking out onto the highway.

The passengers, including Jimenez, left the car and were walking across the highway to the median. No lights on the highway.

Boeheim came along. Saw the car sticking out in the highway. In trying to avoid the car, struck Jimenez who was still crossing the highway. Jimenez died.

Policed report Boeheim and the driver of the other car were tested for alcohol and drugs. None involved. Speed not an issue. Police conclude the event a pure accident.

The Jimenez family a wreck, Boeheim a wreck. He attended but did not himself conduct practice yesterday. Duke scheduled for saturday night at the Carrier Dome. Questionable at this time whether Boeheim will coach. Consideration also being given to transferring the game from the Carrier Dome to Duke’s home court.

Prayers in order for both Jimenez and Boeheim.

Pardons in the air. Who, if anyone, will Trump pardon?

Lincoln was confronted with a pardon decision during the Civil War.

It was early 1862. Nathaniel Gordon was scheduled to be hung February 2. Gordon had been an American captain of a slave vessel. He was a slave trader.

Gordon was carrying 800-900 Africans to Cuba or Brazil to be sold. An American vessel captured Gordon and his ship. The U.S. had made international slave trading a crime 40 years earlier.

Many slave traders had been caught, tried, and convicted prior to Gordon. None had received the ultimate penalty: death. Gordon was to be the first.

Application was made to Lincoln for a pardon. He agonized over the decision. He finally said that “…..any man who, for paltry gain and stimulated only by avarice, can rob Africa of her children to sell into interminable bondage, I never will pardon.”

He did however extend Gordon’s date of death by 17 days. Lincoln did so in order for Gordon to have sufficient time to make peace with his God.

On February 21, Gordon became the only man in American history to  be executed for the crime of slave trading.

I close with a thought re the U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant who was arrested with guns and other equipment. A white supremacist, his intent was to lead a terrorist attack on members of Congress and the media.

Interestingly, only Democratic Congressional persons were scheduled for death. The media included Joe Scarborough.

Trump has a comment about everything. The Lieutenant was arrested last friday. A week has gone by and Trump has uttered not one word re the situation.

Strange? Not really so. Consistent with his white supremacist/nationalistic feelings, dislike of those who oppose him, and his attitude re the media.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MORNING STEW #6

A number of significant topics today beginning with my yesterday and then into the world. I generally share the topics in some sort of order. On a day like this it would add an hour to the blog. No time today. I have been at it 2.5 hours gathering the information. Started at 6:30. Need to be done by 11.

So I present you with a Morning Stew. Number 6.

Cath scan time yesterday in the hospital. My appointment was for 1. Did not get taken till 2:30. Thought they were taking another look at my aortic stenosis. Nurse told me order sheet indicated aortic aneurysm. Bothered me. I have known for several years about the aneurysm. Do not think about it. Now it is back in my thought process.

Had to fast for the Cath scan. Was hungry following the test. Back to Harpoon Harry’s. Wednesday is Thanksgiving turkey day. I enjoyed a complete turkey meal.

When last in friday, I forgot to tip the waitress. Embarrassing. First thing I did when I arrived yesterday was to find her and give her a $5 bill. She was grateful, but said she actually did not remember me nor that I failed to tip her.

Whatever, I have made a friend for life.

The waitress actually waiting on me was Allana. European born, she has been in the U.S. 30 years. Twenty seven in Aspen. The last 3 in Key West. Knows how to pick her spots to live!

The time sitting around the hospital waiting for the Cath scan gave me time to finish Becoming Michelle Obama. I enjoyed reading it. Recommend you read it.

Nothing fantastic about the book. It is merely the step by step progression of Michelle’s life from her birth in South Chicago to retirement now following the White House. A modest work. Personal. Like Barrack still leaves his dirty socks on the floor.

Today, a haircut at noon with Lori. Lunch. The Farmers Market at Bayview Park for a special bread and tomatoes that are softer than the rocks available at Publix.

I am looking forward to this evening. Dinner at the home of Larry and Cindy. A couple I have visited with 2 years in a row at the Chart Room. They are from Ontario, Canada. Have a second home on the golf course.

Cindy is cooking.

I have a special affinity to Cindy. She is a loyal blog follower.

I will not be appearing with Laurie Thibault this afternoon on her radio show. Traffic is so heavy this time of year that I would be late for dinner. Tune in however. Laurie needs no help. A born natural for radio. Station 107.5 FM, WGAY FM.

Sex and the Catholic Church. Back in the limelight. Today the beginning of a conference of Bishops. A Sex Abuse Prevention Summit at the Vatican. Pope Francis presiding.

The problem an open wound.

The issues will center around gay priests, secret rules, and the abuse of nuns.

A dynamite conference in the making!

Trump has nominated Jeffrey Rosen to be Deputy Attorney General. He will be the #2 person in the Justice Department.

His only connection to the law is that he is a Harvard law grad. Never worked in criminal prosecution. No police background of any kind.

Why? Of what value will he be? I fear another Trump step in trying to destroy the Department of Justice.

Tired last night. Watched Syracuse/Louisville at 7 from home. Syracuse won decisively 69-49.

A great game!

Next #1 Duke on saturday at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse beat Duke 2 weeks ago on Duke’s home court. Duke was #1 at the time, also.

There is a gluttony overtaking college sports.

I watched part of the Duke/North Carolina game following the Syracuse one. Obama was there. No seats available. A huge sell out.

Certain seats were going for $2,600 each. Super Bowl prices. It was announced that 4 seats at the Syracuse/Duke game saturday will be selling for $3,500 each.

College ball? Professional ball?

There is a drive underway to pay college athletes. In addition to free tuition, room and board. The argument is they are making their schools rich.

The day is coming. Very soon. I don’t like it. Something wrong with paying college athletes especially after they are getting a free ride to a college education.

Iran recently publicly hung a 31 year old man for being gay. Seventy one countries have criminalized homosexuality. Eight of them call for the death penalty.

In Iran, gays as young as 9 can be put to death. And they are.

Lesbians included.

Now comes Donald Trump to lead the battle to end the criminalization of homosexuality across the globe. Announced yesterday. He says he will launch a campaign and lead the cause.

Something irregular here. Trump goes out of his way in the U.S. to do whatever he can to hurt the gay community. He is anti LGBT. His most recent action to prevent transgenders from being in the military.

Hypocrisy? You better believe it.

I can remember John L. Lewis. He was a big man in union work in the 1930’s through 1950’s. A huge man with bushy eyebrows.He was CEO of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and President of the United Mine Workers.

An autocrat in his work. Tough guy similar to Trump. A liar, also. He was described during his time as the most experienced truth-twisting wind bag ever produced in the U.S.

Possessed brass testicles. He called a coal strike during World War II.

I mention Lewis today because on this day in 1940 he was a guest at the Casa Marina.

Cemetery stroll sunday. The Key West Cemetery. The history of our island carved into the stones. Always a crowd. Reservations required. Three starting times 9:30 to 10:10. A $20 donation requested.

I love the cemetery. One of the best stones reads: “I Told You I Was Sick.”

Washington Post columnist Reuben Navarrette in a recent article wrote about Trump, El Paso, and his lies.

Trump was in El Paso this past week pushing the border wall/barrier, whatever it is called. He claimed El Paso had one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. till a wall was built on their border. The problem is El Paso was never a high crime city. Before, during or after the wall was built.

Typical Trump exaggeration, lie.

Navarrette wrote  that Trump “…..since his days selling real estate in Manhattan, has never let the truth interfere with a good pitch. The PT Barnum of Fifth Avenue used to attempt to convince people that the Trump Tower had ten more floors than it really did.”

He continued, “Trump doesn’t just sell steak, or the sizzle. He can get by with just selling you the thought of a steak. That’s a gift folks.”

It’s the nature of the beast, folks!

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasan has been arrested. A white supremacist interested in terrorist attacks. Leading them himself. Against the U.S. government.

His intent to kill members of Congress and the media. As part of a purpose to create a white homeland. Among those designated for elimination were Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Joe Scarborough, and John Podesta.

In a draft of an e-mail authorities recovered, Hasan wrote: “Much blood will have to be spilled to get whitey off the couch.”

The U.S. worries about terrorism coming at us from the Middle East. We fail to have any significant concern with the terrorism on our shores lying in silence ready to attack. Our efforts must be directed at them also.

I end with Karl Marx. Author of the Communist Manifesto. Written in collaboration with Frederich Engels. Published this day in 1848.

The Manifesto was slow to take hold. However by 1950, half the world’s population lived under Communism.

Marx’s closing words in the Manifest set forth marching orders for those to become his followers: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite.”

Enjoy your day!

 

BE A GOOD CITIZEN…..HELP PAY DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT

The national debt went above $22 trillion this week for the first time. Big bucks!

Bush 2 and Trump responsible for recent major increases. Bush a piker compared to Trump. Trump added $1 trillion with the snap of his fingers with the new tax law. Accomplished it by benefiting the rich.

The $22 trillion equates to $67,000 per citizen. Cough up my friends. Pay your share into the national treasury. It will help return to the U.S. treasury the monies Trump gave the rich in tax cuts.

Some different ways of viewing the debt.

The U. S. government owes more than any other institution in history. A distinction we could have done without!

In this year of 2019, it will take $383 billion to service the debt. More than the entire national debt of Canada.

It is estimated that by 2023 (a mere 5 years from now), the interest payment will be larger than the U.S. defense budget.

Unbelievable.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou went well last night. I had more fun than usual in doing it.

One item commented upon involved an individual being critical of Israel. Becoming increasingly difficult in the U.S.

Israel is not without its own sins. In recent years, many in the U.S. have expressed innocent comments re Israel. Israel’s purported sins occupation, colonization, and repression. Some have suggested Israel is positioned as Nazi Germany was in the 1930’s.

American political leaders are fearful of being charged as anti-Semitic. They do not comment. Instead, laws are now being passed to suppress adverse Israeli comments. Censor them.

A number of States have passed laws requiring the discharge of any public employee that speaks out against Israel. The Republicans have been trying to get such a law, or one even more encompassing, passed on the federal level.

What happened to Freedom of Speech?

It is every person’s right to express divergent views. Not to be unfairly labeled as anti-Semitic for so doing. Those who wish to speak out re an Israeli issue should be free to do so. Criticism should not be silenced.

Another item briefly alluded to last night involved the wall. What would we talk about if not the wall!

Something I cannot understand. First, it was Build the Wall. Now, Finish the Wall. Finish what? Relatively nothing has been built. Like 50 miles. The border area is 1,500-2,000 miles.

Last year, Trump needed $25 billion to build the wall. The number then fell to $5.7 billion. Then $3.7. He got $1.3 billion.

He now intends to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Borrow from monies already allocated by Congress for defense, hurricane relief, etc., to Finish the Wall.

Realty wise, there is nothing to finish. It remains to be built. Another Trump lie being pushed so his base and others will believe he is living up to a campaign promise.

My day is reserved for a heart Cath scan. One thirty this afternoon. I have been prepping since midnight for the procedure. I am allergic to intravenous dye so must take a couple of medications to prevent any problems.

Today, a memorable one in Key West history. David Wolkowsky began construction of the Pier House Motel this day in 1967. The home today of the magnificent Pier House Resort. Home of my beloved Chart Room.

Coral reefs. A topic of concern to Key Westers. The City commission recently voted to ban sunscreens containing 2 particular chemicals. The 2 most important to protect a person’s skin. Claimed also to be 2 substances injurious to the reef.

I disagreed and continue to disagree with the Commission vote. Insufficient scientific investigation. Never the less, the Commission jumped the gun and imposed a prohibition not warranted.

An Associated Press article by Bernstein and Debre was recently published concerning dying coral reefs world wide. The cause reported climate change. Carbon dioxide plunging into ocean water thereby heating the water and adding to its acidity. The scientific cause. No mention of sunscreens.

There is one coral reef that is surviving, however. It is located in the northern most tip of the Red Sea. Blooming! Alive!. For some reason, the reefs in the area are resistant to rising water temperatures and acidification.

Studies are underway to determine why Red Sea coral reefs survive while those in the rest of the world are dying.

Pedophilia continues to be rampant.

A serial pedophile police officer was recently arrested on 80 counts of sexual abuse of children. Sheriff’s deputy Virgil Wolfe of the Clark County, Montana, Sheriff’s Department.

He is presently free on $100,000 bail awaiting trial.

Police and priests. Others. The problem grows larger. A relatively recent phenomenon or one which is being reported today rather than buried?

Tonight Syracuse/Louisville at 7. Syracuse unranked. Louisville #18. Surprisingly, Syracuse is favored by 1.5 points. Probably because Syracuse this season has a reputation of beating top ranked teams. Yet losing to lesser teams.

Syracuse beat #1 ranked Duke 2 weeks ago at Duke. Syracuse plays Duke again saturday at the Carrier Dome. Duke back in the #1 spot.

A Syracuse win tonight and saturday would be a WOW!

Enjoy your day!

 

U.S. A LEADER IN FORCED STERILIZATION

Countries are like people. None Simon pure. Even the best have shortcomings.

PBS did a Documentary in October on eugenics, another word for forced sterilization. The Documentary was primarily reflective of U.S. involvement in the practice.

Most believe eugenics had its beginnings with Nazi Germany. Not so. The U.S. was way ahead of the Nazis. The 1920’s it high point. The American Eugenics Movement was established to promote and champion eugenics.

Wealthy and educated Americans openly supported the Movement. Including John Harvey Kellogg (Kellogg Foods) and Margaret Sanger.

The Movement’s purpose was to breed a “better” American race. The Movement believed socials ills could be eradicated by limiting the number considered to be genetically “unfit.” The unfit included certain immigrant groups, the poor, Jews, the mentally and physically disabled, and the “morally delinquent.”

“Healthy babies” were the goal. Eugenics was popular. Tens of thousands were sterilized.

The idiocy of the concept finally hit home and the practice generally died in the 1930’s.

Note, generally, not wholly.

Jailed Latina women were forcibly sterilized in California jails from 2006 to 2010. One hundred thirty of them. California has acknowledged the sterilizations were done illegally.

Certain states are compensating those illegally sterilized. Compensation is being paid to victims still alive in Virginia and North Carolina. Note to “victims still alive.” Most of the sterilizations took place in the 1930’s. Meaning most of the victims are now dead. An empty gesture.

Craziness is a swinging pendulum. Even good people do wrong. Fortunately, the wrong is recognized and a practice stopped.

Insanity abounds in Washington these days. One never knows from where Trump is coming or going. Vigilance is required. Otherwise the American people can slip into a gross wrong as exemplified by forced sterilization.

Last night a pleasant one.

Began with a 5 o’clock pedicure. Then Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. The evening concluding with dinner at La Trattoria.

Heather May joined Rick Dery as Dueling Bartenders’ guest performer. A school teacher by day, vocalist by night.

A couple from Illinois I had met a few nights ago at the Chart Room stopped by to say hello. Liz and her entourage arrived. Liz looked terrific! Her mobility unfortunately is a wheel chair. Mary came in after her work day at The Little White House.

Mary joined me for dinner afterwards at La Trattoria’s bar. Always a good meal.

Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol tonight at 6:30. Go! Do not miss it! A great show. A terrific audience.

Love tuesday nights! My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Listen to me rant and rave for a half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

You may wonder why I always express the show’s time with the admonition “my time.” The reason is the show’s followers are world wide. The time is different in many countries.

Rescheduled to tomorrow at 1:30 for the Cath scan. I have 5 pills to take in preparation. I will be up late. The first is at midnight.

Enjoy your day!

 

NO CHICKENS ON DUVAL

Key West is experimenting. A promenade on Duval. Away with cars, motorcycles, bicyclists, and golf cart like vehicles. The streets open solely to pedestrian traffic.

Somewhere this morning I read there were no chickens on Duval. Correct! I have walked the promenade the past 2 nights and saw not one. Never thought about it till this morning.

Why I do not know. Strange. Several yeas ago, Key West hired a “chicken catcher.” He gave up after 2 months. Could not get the job done, he said. Too many obstacles.

Perhaps if we eliminate all type traffic on Key West streets other than pedestrian, Key West might finally eliminate the chicken problem.

Spent last night at the Chart Room. John bartending. Cindy and Steve back after 3 weeks away. Good to see them. The bar was packed off and on. Met many interesting people.

Till much later today, I will be reading and writing.

One of the books I am presently into is Becoming Michelle Obama. About 3/4’s through. I like the lady described in the book. She is a today woman of color who moved up from nothing to something. She expresses her journey modestly.

An every day woman.

Five will find me with Tammy. Time for a pedicure. Followed by Dueling Bartenders. Dinner at La Trattoria afterwards.

What a way to spend a monday evening!

On this day in 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in Key West. He was driven down the Overseas Highway from Miami. Inspected the inactive Naval Station. Then boarded the USS Houston to sail to the Caribbean where he had a front seat to the war games of which the Houston was a part.

What follows might be described as “heavy stuff.” Especially for a Catholic.

The homosexuality and pedophilia involving priests and boys has been news now for several decades. Still being dealt with.

Last week, Pope Francis announced priests and nuns sexually engaging with each other on a world wide scale. Bishops, included.

In three days on February 21, a book will be published exploring the depth of sexual depravity within the Catholic Church. Especially at the Vatican level.

Titled In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy. The author, Frederic Martel.

I read a lengthy review this morning. Shocking, even if only partially true. I am giving the benefit of the doubt however and taking the book as true until indicated otherwise.

Some comments/descriptions in the book include the term “closet” when referring to those participating, the very special friendships existing in the Vatican, how Benedict XVI was forced to resign because of the blatant homosexuality.

Francis being rebuffed by most in the Church hierarchy because of his pushing for reform, Frances further being given a difficult time because of his exposure of Vatican homosexuals and his revealing the down and dirty of what is going on within its walls.

It is claimed a majority of Cardinals share “inclinations” and consider themselves “family.”

Pronouncements about celibacy and vows of chastity concealing a completely different reality. A do as I say, not as I do attitude. Francis believes such must be exposed. The good Pope is most troubled by the “dizzying hypocrisy” of those who advocate a rigid morality while at the same time having a companion or escort. Such the “innocent” description of the homosexual partner.

Though not directly involving nuns, the book makes the point that nunneries are the bastions of lesbianism.

All heavy stuff. Especially if true. I suspect it is. My 83 years have witnessed the rigid authoritarianism of the Church when it came to sex. Ruthless. Many dutiful members suffering unreasonably by the no compromise attitude of the Church. Follow my dictates or go to Hell, in effect.

I plan on reading the book.

From the religious to the lay. Paying federal income taxes.

Two years ago, Trump successfully signed into law the “tax bill.” The promise was no more tax breaks for the special interests and tax loopholes would be closed.

Has not worked out that way.

An example is Amazon.

Amazon reported $5.6 billion in profit for 2017. Paid $0 in federal income taxes. For the year 2018, $11 billion. Paid $0 in federal income taxes.

Note the Trump law reduced corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Amazon has done nothing wrong. They properly took advantage of the new tax law, in addition to any tax credits available.

As did many other corporations.

All Trump succeeded in doing with his new tax law was to lower the taxes on the rich to the detriment of the middle class and poor. As I have suggested in the past, it is taxes paid by the middle class and poor that carry the U.S. Pay its bills. Not the corporations and the rich.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A WHOLE LOT OF LOVE

Love presents itself in many forms.

California recently has been devastated by wild fires. The worst ever. Whole communities destroyed. Lives disrupted. Death visiting some.

Paradise, California, is a small California town. Nearly wiped out by the wild fires.

A local girl’s volleyball team was still determined to play their final championship match – despite having no uniforms or equipment after evacuating with only the clothes on their backs.

The opposing team from Lake Forest High School in Auburn was waiting for them with a big surprise.

Within 24 hours, they had collected donations of $16,000. When the girls from Paradise Adventist Academy showed up, they were greeted with new custom uniforms, knee pads, and socks.

A whole lot of love!

Key West is experimenting. Turning Duval into a promenade on weekends. Only pedestrian traffic. Merchants free to set up tables for dining or retail sales in the street.

Last night the second such night. I walked the area to get a feeling for what was occurring.

Too soon to have a definite feeling. Merely the test’s second night. I will need a few weeks to make up my mind.

The test needs to develop into what it might be. Last night, nothing terrific. If anything, an experiment by the restaurateurs and shop keepers.

The question in the end will be what better suits Key West. Duval as it was or the new night time scenario described.

Time will tell.

Finished my walk and headed over to Donna and Terri’s for dinner. What a meal! Donna is one of the best cooks ever! She had prepared chicken soup with pieces of chicken, carrots, celery, and matzoh balls.

The chicken had been fresh killed. The carrots and celery boiled soft. The matzoh balls made from scratch by Donna herself.

Donna placed a huge bowl of her artistry before me. Delicious! Perhaps the best home made chicken soup ever!

After dinner, we chatted for 2 hours. Great give and take about everything. Terri is not merely a great performer. She is educated and knowledgeable. Donna has smarts. Knows everything.

Then there is me.

The interesting thing about our conversation is that rarely did the 3 of us agree. We each drew on our own experiences in countering the other(s).

A terrific evening.

Big weekend at The Little White House. The structure commemorates Harry Truman’s 11 visits covering 175 days to Key West. He stayed at what is now known at The Little White house.

This weekend descendants of 4 Presidents are at the Little White House. An annual event. They spend 2-3 days and tell personal stories about their Presidential fathers, grandfathers,and great great uncle.

Mingling and talking with visitors are Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel, Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales, Dwight Eisenhower’s granddaughter Mary Jean Eisenhower, and William McKinley’s great great nephew Jack Massee McKinley.

Worthy of a visit.

Seek out my friend Mary. She is an official guide at The Little White House. Historically knowledgeable, especially re Truman.

The Los Angeles Times yesterday ran an article concerning Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency. The LA Times described Trump and the claimed emergency to a T: President Trump is the national emergency.

The measles epidemic has caused the flu epidemic to take a back seat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the U.S. is suffering a “low severity season.”

From October to mid February, only 17.8 million flu cases reported. Whereas in the previous year covering October through May, 49 million cases reported.

Some interesting history. Eniwetok Atoll is part of the Marshall Islands. It was important for U.S. forces to capture the atoll during World War II. It would provide an air base sufficiently close to Japan so as U.S. B-29’s could bomb the Japanese homeland.

On this day in 1944, U.S. troops landed on Eniwetok Atoll. Six days later, the U.S. forces has secured the Atoll.

Casualties between the forces had different results. Japan had 2,677 troops guarding the island. Six days after the U.S. landing, only 64 remained alive. U.S. deaths were 195.

Eniwetok Atoll has a second significance. In 1952, the Atoll was used as the testing ground for the first U.S. hydrogen bomb.

Amazing! In war and peace, tiny Eniwetok Atoll got the hell knocked out of it!

Man is gifted with extreme optimism. Hope springs eternal, things will be better in the future, etc.

The best, most sensitive, and emotional in my opinion are the closing words in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind: “…..tomorrow is another day.”

The words immediately cause one’s eyes to lift and look forward in anticipation of that day.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

THE BEST LAID PLANS…..

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Happened to me yesterday.

I was supposed to have a cath scan yesterday morning. Did preparatory blood work last week. Fasted yesterday morning.

The cath scan could not be done. An iodine dye is injected for contrast purposes. I am allergic to intravenous dye. Could die.

A total foul up. There are some pills I have to take to avoid the possible consequences of the dye. Not arranged. Plus blood work results to check kidneys lost somewhere.

I was not upset. Especially re the preparatory prepping. Want to get it right!

I am being rescheduled for next week.

Hospital visit not totally wasted. One of the nurses a member of Sons and Daughters of Italy with me. Ran into a nurse who took care of me for 10 years when I was with a different primary. And met Tracy. Some sort of big shot in the cath scanning department. She was kind, thoughtful, explained everything in detail, etc.

All the preceding took 2 hours. The scan would have taken 20 minutes.

I did not waste the morning. Almost noon when I left the hospital. Went to Harpoon Harry’s and enjoyed eggs benedict.

Last night began with the Chart Room. John bartending. Met Cregg. Great guy!

Cregg was bartender at the Chart Room in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He was there when Mel Fisher and David Wolkowsky were regulars. Mel Fisher would always tell him “…..today’s the day.” Today arrived to the tune of $400 million.

Cregg’s recollections informative as well as interesting.

Cregg on vacation. Staying at the Pier House with his wife. He now works out of Atlanta. Does major food and drink events.

Mary showed up. We had dinner at Pier 1. Pier 1 is part of the Pier House. The food outstanding. No real formal dining room. The weather was warm so we ate on the outside deck.

Stepping back a day, thursday evening at the Chart Room was one of the best I have experienced. Saw some old friends, made some new.

The evening began with Pittsburgh John. We met 2 year ago in the Chart Room. A big man physically. In the cement industry. Visits Key West 3 times a year. Ran into him again last night in the Chart Room.

Chatted with Sam a while. A new acquaintance. Retired. Lives in Key West off and on. Here this time a year already. A carpenter in his former life. Worked his way up and eventually became a business agent for the union. He was very proud of his career and union affiliation. Properly so.

Abbie and Joe from Vanvilt (sic), Illinois.Both retired school teachers. Visit Key West once a year.

I especially love Abbie. She reads this blog every day!

They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Met Jeff and Beth. From Pittsburgh. Friends of Pittsburgh John.

Jeff a former police officer. In a shoot out. If memory proves correct, he was shot twice. Now retired, he is in security work.

Wife Beth in finance.

They visit Key West 1 or 2 times a year.

Last but not least, Cindy and Larry. From Ontario, Canada. Met them before. Cindy on my love list. She reads the blog everyday, also.

Cindy and Larry own a second home on the golf course. The same golf course I live on. Cindy insisted I come to dinner. Great! Don’t forget me Cindy!

Trump has had another phony moment. He declared the national emergency he has been threatening for a couple of months.

A guaranteed loser in the courts. It will find its way to the Supreme court. Even a conservative Supreme Court will not tolerate his flagrant abuse of power.

Ian Welsh, the Canadian blogger I admire. Though I do not always agree with what he writes. On February 2, 2019, his blog was titled Republic’s End: The National Emergency. His thoughts re Trump’s declaring a national emergency.

He believes Trump to be wrong. I have picked a few lines out of his blog to share. Edifying.

He began with the famous Benjamin Franklin quote re a Republic. Franklin was asked at the Constitutional Convention: “Well, Doctor, what have we got-a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Some Welsh comments directly.

“If you have an abusable law or power, it will eventually be abused.”

“If you set up a law that allows someone to act as a dictator, someone will.”

“The U.S. is accelerating its slide towards depotism.”

“The Founders knew all Republics end.”

Welsh does not believe Trump will be the man to end the U.S. Claims Trump is too incompetent and petty. However, Welsh believes this act by Trump in declaring the national emergency moves the U.S. closer to that day.

I frequently comment that U.S. victims of natural disasters are forgotten. Those of hurricanes and fires. I am correct. The following supports my conclusion.

Rep. Neal Dunn, a Republican, represents the Panama City area of Florida. Part of the Panhandle. Destroyed by Hurricane Michael last October. A category 4 hurricane. Knocked everything flat.

Dunn is disappointed. Those he represents are disappointed, suffering, and angry.

The bill recently signed into law to avoid another governmental shutdown failed to include any relief for the Panhandle. Though the Senate and House had approved $12 billion and $14 billion respectively for disasters. The votes took place 3 weeks ago.

The “disasters” were left off the table in the final deal made.

Let me put this in perspective. One third of all peoples in Florida and Georgia are homeless because of Michael.

Indications are the disaster funding was left out of the law so as to be used in future negotiations re a further spending bill. Such would give Republicans leverage in negotiations with the Democrats.

How callous! How thoughtless! How unconcerned!

When Dunn arrives home to the Panhandle, no one will care about budget negotiations down the road. They need basics. Shelter, water, food, sewage facilities, etc.

The people of the Panhandle claim they have been forgotten. They have.

Representative Dunn says, “I am going home to a disaster.” He is. As well as the rage of those he represents.

Enjoy your day, if you can under the knowledge that others are suffering big time and that those who should care are not.

 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY…..DEBAUCHERY AND TWO SAINTS

Today, one of love. Romance in the air. You feel it everywhere.

Not always the case, however. Valentine’s Day at its beginnings was one of debauchery. Down and dirty. Pain and sex.

The time well before the birth of Christ.

Known as the Feast of Lupercalia. Roman in origin. Some consider it to have been religious in nature. Its activities considered a purification of women.

An annual event. Held from 2/13 to 2/15 each year.

Men and women engaging physically. The women considerably younger than the men.

It began with the men bare assed. They sacrificed goats and dogs. Then removed the hides from the dead animals.

The ladies came into play at this point. Bare assed also. The men beating the women with the hides of the goats and dogs. Men and women alike drunk at this point.

The purpose of the beating with the skins was to make the young women fertile. So it was thought.

Following the beatings, the names of the women were thrown in  a jar. The men picked. Coupled with the woman whose name had been selected from the jar. Coupled for the rest of the feast. Longer if the match worked out.

Years later came the time of Caesar. Year wise around 40 B.C. The feast had become more sensitive. A time of genuine love and concern. The goats and dogs still killed. The women beaten with the hides, though not severely.

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar begins during a Lupercalia.

Caesar’s wife Calpurnia had not been able to conceive. Marc Anthony is instructed by Caesar to strike his wife Calpurnia, in the hope she would be able to conceive.

Some three hundred years later in the third century A.D., 2 religious men named Valentine lived. One in Rome. The other elsewhere in Italy.

Claudius emperor at the time. He had both men executed on February 14, though in different years. The two Valentines eventually were canonized. Two St. Valentines. It is their day of death that we celebrate today as Valentine’s Day.

My yesterday began with some medical tests. Another tomorrow. A Cath scan.

Nothing serious involved. I hope! My blood pressure has been constant for 4 years. Parameters 120 over 70. All of a sudden this past month, off the chart. Averaging 155-165 top side and 80’s to 105 on the bottom.

I have an aortic valve problem. It has remained constant for several years. The Cath scan is to see if it has changed. Would answer the blood pressure problem.

There will be no blog again tomorrow because of the Cath scan.

Following yesterday’s tests, I went to Harpoon Harry’s for breakfast. Love their eggs! Going to sound foolish, but they taste fresh. The only way I can describe them.

Last night, a double header. First, a dinner meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. Then rushed home to see the Syracuse/North Carolina State game. Better I had gone out and had a few drinks instead. Syracuse looked terrible! North Carolina destroyed Syracuse 73-58.

No one on the Syracuse team played well.

Staying with Syracuse a moment, the first football rankings for the new season were announced. Syracuse was listed #56. How??? We had a great year last year. Have several starters returning. Some great recruits.

I expect at least a top 20 team. Hopefully, a top 10 one.

Diana Millikan was to fly Delta out of Key West yesterday on her way home. Never left. The passengers were told the winds from the north were so strong that they could cause a large Delta jet to tip over sideways on the east/west runway.

She will try again today. Expects no problem.

Yesterday morning, the winds were terrific! I thought my umbrella was going to be blown inside out. The rain heavy. Like a prelude to a hurricane.

Larry Smith has taken on a steady gig. The Little Room Jazz Club has reopened with a full bar and food. Larry will be performing on a regular basis during Happy Hour.

The Wine Galley returns!

I close with my guest appearance on Laurie Thibaud’s radio show today. Four to 5:30. Station 107.5 FM, WGAY FM. Tune in. A fun time. Laurie and I chat well together.

Enjoy your day!

MORNING STEW #5

Morning Stew time once again! I got caught up in the Virginia race and sex items and wrote about racism and sexism 2 days in a row. Catch up time now.

Two days of notes shared in no particular order.

Squeaky Fromme. Remember that name? She was part of the Charles Manson cult/family back in the late 1960’s. She did not participate in the Sharon Tate murders, however.

Squeaky spent 34 years in jail for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford. She was released August 14, 2009.

Why is she of significance to my blog? When released, she went to live at 6772 Benton Road, Marcy, New York, with her boy friend Robert Valdner. He had pled guilty to a manslaughter charge in 1988.

Marcy is next door to my home town Utica. They actually adjoin.

I wonder how many know she lives there.

Marcy is a tiny town. Around 8,000 people. In a Wikipedia listing of Marcy under Notable People, 2 are named. One is Squeaky.

How a town gains fame!

A huge crowd sunday at Hot Dog Church. Close to 200, I would estimate. The crowd to celebrate Nancy’s 60th birthday. An Age of Aquarius party.

Many dressed for the occasion. In the hippy style of the day. Many men in attendance in honor of Nancy’s birthday. They too were dressed. What is good for the goose is good for the gander on such occasion.

The Back Bar, Side Bar and inside rooms were packed. People dancing in between people standing and talking. Everyone having a good time!

Donna and Terri in attendance. Terri sang a couple of songs. Blew everyone out! Donna was dressed as she probably did back when. Looked fantastic! Black pants and blouse. White bandanna around her forehead.

Nancy is very well liked. Helpful to all. All the time. This past year has been a bad one for her. A double mastectomy and then a fall resulting in a broken wrist. May all the bad things be behind her and her future years illness free.

Knew many. Including Laurie, Ingrid, Lynda and Bob. Pam, too. I had not seen Pam in a year. She had a heart attack near the time we last met. Everything fine now! God bless her!

John telephoned from the Chart Room. Someone wanted to see me. Would I come over? Eventually did. Glad I did. Met a terrific couple. Michael and Carolyn. Both extremely interesting.

Presently hail from New Mexico. Michael aka Michael Norviel an artist. His works locally show at the Art Gallery at 830 Caroline.

They have been visiting Key West for years. Michael actually lived in Key West in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. He was 8-14 years old at the time. His Dad a contractor working for the Navy.

Michael is 80 and Carolyn 75. Both young and vital.

Michael still paints. Carolyn is retired from a most interesting position. She worked years at the University of New Mexico. A fundraiser. Her job to bring in the big dollars. We shared many stories. I was a big donor at one time at Syracuse. She knew all the tricks surrounding fund raising. I learned many by being the one solicited.

Chatted with another couple sunday night after Michael and Carolyn left. I am ashamed. I failed to write their names in my note book. Whatever, another great couple. I had met them the night before, also.

Visiting From Syracuse.

The husband into Presidential libraries and the like. He had visited Hemingway House earlier in the day. He was the one who told me about Squeaky Fromme living in Marcy.

Last night was Dueling Bartenders. Terri guest performer. What a voice! Joined with Rick Dery, a volatile combination.

Liz, Josephina, Mary, Myra, and Donna enjoying the evening. As well as the other Mary.

I had never met Myra before. She came over to thank me for being so kind to Liz. Whenever I see Liz, I hurry over to her and give her a hug and kiss.

Liz  is moving on. Now in a wheel chair. They let her sit on a bar stool. However, she must be picked up and placed thereon as well as lifted when returning to the wheel chair.

I met Liz 3 years ago. She was vibrant. We hit it off immediately. She 2 years older than me. Her mind sharp. Liz in her other life had been Dean at 2 law schools and the head of the Law Boards for years. A big time legal career!

We dated for a while. Dinner at Berlin’s and the like. She would prepare lunch or dinner for me at least once a week. Her culinary skills outstanding. Knew her wines.

Always a good time!

Now, she barely talks. In and out of the hospital frequently.

Such is life.

Met Teresa and Sam from southern Illinois at the bar. Corn and soybean farmers. I got into China, the tariffs, cash flow, etc. Teresa surprised me. She said they were not hurting. Their production was selling. No change.

It was difficult for me to follow. I suspect how and who you sell to or through has something to do with it.

Teresa and Sam have been coming to Key West for 25 years. They are renting a condo at Truman Annex for a month.

They have a son and daughter. The son is in business with them. The daughter in investments with Edward Jones. Plus 4 grandchildren.

Mary and I had dinner afterwards at La Trattoria. Tiffany bartending. Tiffany and I have known each other for 25 years. Amazing!

I enjoyed spaghetti with oil and garlic. So much for love making afterwards. Mary went to Virgilio’s and I home.

A measles update.

Mother does NOT always know best. Measles were eliminated 20 years ago. But…..

The epidemic is world wide. In the U.S., in certain areas. Generally where a large number of parents exempted their children from inoculations.

Washington is one of the States experiencing an epidemic. A particular County a large number. Clark County. Fifty three infected. Mostly children. One in 4 overall. Forty percent of them kindergartners.

Clark County parents had gone to court and received exemptions from the law requiring children prior to beginning school to have certain inoculations. The grounds for exemption had to be religious or personal beliefs.

One physician said that letting a child go unvaccinated against measles is like dropping a lighted match into a can of gasoline. The explosion/fire spreads rapidly. How an epidemic begins.

Big time in El Paso last night! Trump and O’Rourke speaking at different places. Close however. At one point, Beto’s group marched across the street to where Trump was speaking.

Numbers in attendance important to Trump. He was in a building holding 6,500. He claimed 35,000 there to hear him.

O’Rourke in a park. Police estimated 7,000. Trump said 600. Even dropped the number to 15 at one point.

I give them a tie as to numbers. As to content, not even close. O’Rourke came out way ahead.

Bum Farto, where are you?

Farto was the Key West Fire Chief back in the mid 1970’s. Highly successful. Besides protecting the populace from fires, ran drugs and hookers.

He was arrested and tried in Federal Court. Found guilty of 3 drug violations.

On the day he was to be sentenced, he left home in his car. Never to be seen again. Disappeared! Did not make it to court. No one sure what happened to him.

Some believe he disappeared Jimmy Hoffa style. Others believe to this day he is lying on a beach somewhere with a beautiful young lady next to him having successfully avoided paying his debt to society.

I close with the lovely Judy Blume.

The world knows Judy Blume. Successful author. Wrote books for young ladies/teenagers initially. Many. Her books have sold in excess of 80 million world wide and have been translated into 30 languages.

She is up there with Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

Judy now a Key West resident. She and her husband own Books & Books in Key West.

I make mention of Judy today because it is her birthday. She was born this day in 1938. Happy birthday, Judy!

Almost forgot. One last item. My podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 for a quick interesting half hour. Listen to me rant and rave about this and that. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!