My dear friend Jean Thornton and her husband Joe are on a 1 month European vacation.

A fantastic couple. Jean especially. No disrespect Joe. She is a special woman.

Jean has provided us with photos and comment about the trip so far. The portion they are in is a boat trip on certain rivers which takes them through many cities. Jena’s 2 Facebook messages I have received indicate that she and Joe have already dione Amsterdam and Cologne.

A cheap trip this is not. European river boat cruises are top shelf with corresponding costs. Not everything provided, however.

I forget whether Amsterdam or Cologne, Jean wrote she was taking clothes with her that had to be washed. Would you believe! No washers/dryers on board for paying guests.

I am sure carry, clean and return did not bother Jean. Nothing bothers her. She goes with the flow and enjoys life.

She understands also the need to periodically clean clothes.

My escape from Irma found me at Jean and Joe’s home in Birmingham. Twelve days. Who had enough clothes. I did not realize I would be away that long.

Jean washed and dried my shirts. Everyone else’s, also.

Special? You better believe it!

Sloan came over at 1. We had several things to do. Technical. She knows the computer/internet end of things. We got a lot done in a short time.

Spent the balance of yesterday afternoon watching the final round of the BMW Tournament. Justin Thomas won. A big deal! Picks up around $1 million for the tournament. Places him in #1 position for the Fed Ex portion which begins next week. The winner gets $10 million.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria. Bar almost empty. Restaurant, also. The town is dead likewise. I suspect because it is that time. The kids have returned to school. Mom and Dad are broke. Spent money on summer vacations for the family and new school clothes for the children.

Another 4-6 weeks things will return to booming.

It was good to see Tiffany again. We go back 25 years to Antonia’s when she was bartending there.

The History Section of this morning’s Key West Citizen notes that on this day in 1952, the population of Key West was 26,433. Not including Navy personnel and dependents.

I thought the number strange. My recollection was the population of Key West today is around that number. I checked it out. I was correct. The last census of Key West indicated a population of 25,208.

The number makes sense. Key West is a tourist town. Most people come to visit, not stay. Another consideration is Key West is a tiny island. 1/2 x 4 miles. Can only hold so many homes and the utilities necessary to service the homes.

Haward (spelled correctly) McKee is a Key West friend. Met him through Jean Thornton. He was one of the Irma escapees staying at Jean’s home also. Howard ran 2 pics with comments underneath on today’s Facebook.

One was a photo of Obama. Underneath was printed: When you know your shit. The other was a photo of Trump. Underneath was printed: When you know you’re shit.

A great find Haward!

Sharks are a major problem this summer at Cape Cod beaches. Including Great Whites. There have a number of attacks  on both man and large fish. Many of the beaches have been shut down several hours at a time.

Sharks are the new normal. They are everywhere.

In my other life, I spent 10 days to 2 weeks every summer in Chatham. Loved the Cape.

One summer, sharks were a problem. The first time at the time to my recollection. We were periodically pulled out of the water by life guards because of a shark scare. I asked one of the life guards how they could tell. It seems small fish run near the top in large numbers. Sharks come up from underneath and gobble them up. Whenever a large area of ripples appeared, it was for sure caused by the little fish. If they were there, the sharks were also.

On my Greece trips, I have visited Santorini several times. One of the most beautiful places in the world. I would sit outside my room which was carved out of the side of the cliff. Drink in hand, umbrella over my head, I would see several other Santorini islands split from the original Santorini during a massive volcanic explosion around 1500 B.C., if I recall correctly.

Navel contemplation time. God was in his Heaven, all was right right with the world.

The volcano part of Santorini sat before me a couple of miles out. It its blacken majesty.

I decided to climb the volcano. Took the boat trip over. There were about 50 of us. We had a guide. A volcano is a mass of black coal. No other way to describe. Think of one small piece in your hand. Multiply its size hundred thousands of times.

I wanted to be in front when we go to the top. I wanted to look into the belly of the volcano. So I started directly in back of the guide. A relatively narrow path up.

After a while, I was in the middle of the group. then at the end. Then one of the stragglers. Then the last straggler.

No way was I going to make it. Heart attack time! Pure exhaustion!. I sat on a rock and rejoined the group on the trip back.

All this shared with you as a prelude to St. Helena Island.

Never visited there. Merely read about it.

A portion of St. Helena is a volcano. Best described as a “volcanic outcrop.”

Its claim to fame Napoleon was exiled there.

St. Helena is 2,500 miles east of South America, 1,210 west of Africa.

Very much out of the way from everything. The shortest route obviously a boat trip from Africa. Five days.

St. Helena decided it needed an airport. They completed a first class one in August 2017. Could handle the big planes. Problem is air traffic to St. Helena is next to non existent.

I was motivated to write about St. Helena and Santorini together because of some photos I saw of the volcano portion of St, Helena. Exactly like it was with Santorini!

Google St. Helena and take a look at the photos of the volcano. If you are of the generation that had no need to deal with coal, you will see what a big piece of coal looks like.

Donna is on a Caribbean cruise with her granddaughter. Terri here in Key West. By choice.

Terri’s life must go on. I am the designated chauffeur/driver this week. Tonight she and I will do Dueling Bartenders. Terri singing. Then dinner at the bar at Antonia’s.

Enjoy your day!





The things I learn.

There is a community in the U.S. described as the “whitest city in America.” Portland, Oregon.

Portland has been in the news because of yesterday’s confrontation between liberal and far right groups.

The liberal group are known as Antifa. An Anti-Fascist group. The Rose City Antifa one of its leaders.

The far right several groups combined. The most prominent Proud Boys. Proud Boys and the far right can be described as white nationalists. The Southern Poverty Law Center descries Proud Boys as a general hate group.

There have been 12 confrontations in Portland since 2017. Violence occurred in 2.

Ill feeling runs high. Both sides believe they are doing what is right for America.

The far right groups advertised “Death to Antifa……Bring guns.”

Another cry heard “End Domestic Terrorism!”

Proud Boys is described as an “Organization of Terror.”

Yesterday’s confrontation has been described as the largest national supremacist rally ever. Roughly 500 far rights showed up.

The white supremacist group went to Portland seeking violence. It was their intent to turn Portland into a battleground.

The City and the police were concerned. Concrete barriers were used to separate the 2 groups.

Portland was selected by the far right because it is the whitest city in America. How so? Portland is 77 percent white. Less than 6 percent black.  A fertile recruiting ground for racist hate groups.

The State itself bears initial blame. Oregon envisioned itself as a white utopia. Blacks were banned from residency till 1926. Would you believe?

The police are a significant factor. They support far right groups. The police and Mayor are truly separate and distinct. The Mayor’s office operates in fear of the police.

Now comes Donald Trump. A white nationalist, a bigot. He obviously stands with the far right groups. He blames Antifa for the disturbances. Especially yesterday’s. Trump has threatened to designate Antifa a “terrorist group.” Understandable. Trump stood with the white nationalists in Charlottesville, also.

Trump by his words and actions encouraging white nationalist groups. He is in effect saying…..I stand with you.

The first legal time when Trump can be replaced is the 2020 election. I fear we may not make it. Violent street confrontations will soon be the order of the day. rump is otherwise screwing up our democracy.

My admonition my friends is to not support Trump in anything. Other than a tax cut for the rich, what has he accomplished in 2 1/2 years? Come November 2020, vote for the Democrat candidate for President. Also vote Democratic for the Senate and House. Give the new President the tools to work with.

While tensions were manifesting themselves in Portland, I had a quiet day in Key West. We love everyone!

A manicure with Tammy at 1. Ran some errands. Then home to watch the PGA BMW Tournament.

Round 3. Justin Thomas outdid himself. Shot 61. In 1st place going into the final round today. With a 6 stroke lead!

He played so well. Even had 2 eagles.

A change of pace dinner last night. Crispy duck at La Te Da. Ate at the outside bar. Chatted with the people around me.

Key Westers are community minded. Especially our elected officials. However the new City Commission seems to think they sit in Congress in Washington. They attack the big issues rather than the small mundane ones important to their citizens.

The Commission’s present concern is banning plastic straws. A noble thought. Everyday plastics as a whole should be banned. But not by the Commission of a 27,000 person city.

Several months ago, Key West got into banning sun tan lotions if certain substances were contained in them. Something like to scinetist said this was the case. All others no. The 2 in support of the banning took the position that the sun screens they were concerned with were destroying the reef. The reef is important to Key West.

The Commission’s vote was meaningless. Visitors can bring their own sun screen lotions int o Key West. People can also buy sun screen lotions in communities outside Key West and use them in Key West.

There was a suspicion what Key West was doing was going to spark some sort similar action throughout the country. It has not. Probably won’t. Primarily because the scientific proof to evidence harm does not evidence itself in tests.

Why this tirade?Simple. I believe the Commission should concern itself with problems that directly affect their citizens. Like fixing the streets. Resurfacing, repaving, whatever. The streets are an abomination. Especially in the downtown area. No one seems to do anything about it. Talk, yes. Action, no.

Trump knows he screwed up with the tariffs. Does not know how to extricate himself.

Perhaps blame another. His way. This week he said Europe will have problems next. Next referring to Germany. He did nothing wrong.

German will have problems by sometime next year. If so, a world wide recession guaranteed.

The solution to the recession danger is for Trump to quickly resolve the China tariff dispute, all tariff disputes. Then do whatever necessary to help Germany and other European countries. We are all in this recession thing together. The President should back off from his tariff wars, say maybe I was wrong and do the necessary to save the U.S. and rest of the world from a major recession.

It would work to his advantage come the 2020 election.

The Palestinian grandmother of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib expressed her thoughts re Trump: “May God ruin him.”

I assume Palestinians are of the Islamic faith. Muslims. Trump should beware. The Congresswoman’s grandmother may call a jihad down on Trump.

I have a busy afternoon. Sloan has returned from her Colorado vacation. She is due at 1. We have many things to do.

Enjoy your Sunday!




Greed is a terrible thing. Eventually bites the ass of the person perpetrating it.

Aesop’s fable The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg tells the story of a married couple who owned a goose that laid a golden egg. One every day. For greed, they decided to kill the goose to obtain all the gold they supposed was inside.

The goose and the one golden egg every day were no more.

Another way of describing the lesson to be learned is that killing the goose was the short sighted destruction of a valuable asset.

It was reported this week that Florida tourism for the first 6 months of this year was the highest ever. Reflected a 5 percent increase. The number of tourists totaled 68.9 million.

Speaking strictly of Key West, the tourism boost is too much. Each year more and more. Those paid to promote Key West do an excellent job. Too good. Too many visiting our tiny island. Traffic horrendous. Parking a major problem. Cost of everything off the wall.

The hotels and motels are getting big bucks. Restaurants and bars likewise. People don’t seem to mind paying. However, the time will come when they will. Sooner than you may think.

And when it does, Key West will have killed its goose.

Tourism has to be controlled.

Greed the order of the day. Make more and more money each year. One problem, however. Our little town cannot handle all these people. In due course visitors will realize it and start vacationing where prices are cheaper and it is easier to get around. Reasonable might be the better word.

The cause once again will have been the greed that permeates Key West’s business community. They are blind to tomorrow.

Duval Street is named for William Pope Duval, the first governor of territorial Florida.

The first person to own Key West was Juan Salas. He received a land grant for the island from the King of Spain. Eventually, the island was sold to 4 persons. Pardon        Greene, John Whitehead, John Fleming and John Simonton. Four major Key West thoroughfares are named after them.

Fleming’s name was not spelled back then as it is today. It’s original spelling was Fleeming.

Dinner at Roostica last night. They have a half broiled organic chicken that is absolutely delicious. Third time I have enjoyed it.

Seems that most, if not all, things Trump does end up having a negative effect. He is not the man who people thought he was when they voted for him.

I would like to say his most recent screw up involved Russia, but I cannot. That which I shall share with you occurred 2 weeks ago. A long time where the Donald is concerned. He has created more problems since.

The 2 weeks ago situation occurred on August 2 when the U.S. formally withdrew from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty it had with Russia. A treaty in existence for at least 50 years.

A smart move when the treaty was entered into. The U.S. and Russia were, if I recall correctly, the only 2 nations possessing nuclear weapons. The U.S. had the upper hand at the time. The U.S. forced Russia into the treaty in order to protect NATO nations in Europe.

Two weeks ago, Trump said he wanted the U.S. to test a new non-nuclear mobile launched cruise missile. That is why he withdrew from the agreement. Russia was not happy.

Last week, Russia conducted its first test since the U.S. walked away from the agreement. Russia tested what is described as a “doomsday weapon.” A missile of unlimited range to best the U.S.’s missile defenses.

One problem. Russia’s test failed. Sort of a high profile hiccup. The nuclear missile exploded. Five scientists  killed. A radiation spike occurred. At the moment, the radiation has reached the northern coast line of Norway.

Trump unilaterally withdraws from a nuclear treaty with Russia. Within 2 weeks Russia tests a new nuclear missile capable of evading U.S. missile defenses and having an unlimited range.

Things move fast in Russia.

Trump probably smiling that Putin screwed up. He should not. The next time or the time thereafter it will work. Then where will the U.S. be? I have not heard of any nuclear tests by the U.S. Probably not yet on U.S. drawing boards.

The President has placed us in jeopardy once more.

China another major Trump screw up. I need not go into the details. His tariff moves with Russia have placed the world on the brink of a major recession, caused U.S. farmers to hurt big time, forced other U.S. industries to suffer. He has really shown that he understands tariff wars, likes tariff wars, and knows how to win tariff wars.

The preceding has nothing to do with what I shall discuss next. However it portrays the mood presently existing between the world’s 2 largest economies and military forces.

China has re-education camps. First established in 2014. If a Chinese person does not accept the government line, the person is sent to a re-education camp. Supposedly to be re-educated.

I do not accept the re-education part. Those sent are primarily Uighur Muslims. There is no time limit. Could be 8 months, 8 years, or forever.

The Muslims are subjected to all kinds of suffering. The women especially. Many  unknowingly sterilized. They receive shots and are unaware what the inoculations are for. If and when they get out, they discover they cannot bear children. The shots did it!

The total number of camp inmates is uncertain. The number anywhere from half a million to 3 million.

The camps are bad enough. What I do not understand is why the sterilization. For many years China operated under the 1 child rule. A couple could not have more than 1 child. If a woman became pregnant with #2, she was subjected to a non consensual abortion.

In 2016, China upped the number of children permitted per couple to 2.

Why then sterilize these women? Because they are Muslim? Because they are incapable of being re-educated? Why?

Enjoy your day!




A morning stew day. Did not get my blog out yesterday. Combining yesterday’s notes with today’s. There will be no sequence. I take ’em as they come up.

Hang Trump in effigy? Could happen.The number disliking him growing. When the economy busts, as I believe it will, his popularity level will be zip.

Why start with effigy? Because on this day in 1841, then President John Tyler was hung in effigy on the street in front of the White House.

Tyler was a Whig. His party wanted to re-establish the Bank of the United States. Tyler twice vetoed bills sent to him from Congress which would have permitted it.

Those hanging Tyler in effigy were members of his own Whig Party as well as unhappy citizens.

Chart Room last night.

Mel Fisher’s grandson is in town. Named Mel Fisher after his grandfather. A tall young good looking man. Early 20’s. Pleasant personality. He is working at Mel Fisher’s. Looking for a house to buy.

How proud he must be. Mel Fisher was a well liked man. Everyone was thrilled when he found the Atocha and the treasure it contained. I did not know Mel Fisher. Before my time. However, I suspect his grandson has his granddad’s charm and personality.

Thursday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that detained migrant children must be provided food, water, soap and toothpaste. The Court said that such “without doubt essential to a child’s safety.”

Trump’s attorneys argued against the children’s position in general. Specifically even said that soap and a tooth brush were not essential to a child’s good health.

How would Trump feel if Barron and his grandchildren had to go without soap, food, water, toothpaste, and a tooth brush? What is the saying…..Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Another comes to mind. The obligation to help those who have less than you.

It has been reported July was the hottest month in 140 years. All the way back to 1880 which was the first year temperatures were recorded.

Climate change responsible? Scientists believe so.

In the past few years, my opinion of Israel’s Netanyahu has spiraled downward. His authoritarianism has become evident. He and Trump are actually birds of a feather. In every regard. Bullies, tough, my way or the highway.

Israel sits all alone among the various Middle East countries that want to annihilate the nation. Fifty year ago, yes. Twenty five years ago, yes. Today, no. Netanyahu has become part and parcel of the Middle East power structure.

He is even in bed with the hierarchy of Saudi Arabia. Hard to believe!

Initially denying Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib to visit/travel through Israel. Stupid! The media says Netanyahu’s actions were Trump motivated.

Trump as President claims his support of Israel by words and deeds. Too much so.

The media claims Trump told Netanyahu not to let the ladies in. I think it was the other way around.

In any event, Israel has gotten too big for its britches. The U.S. should cut back on all the money given to Israel each year. Beginning with the $4 billion no one understands why it is given. Plus the billions of dollars buried in defense budgets intended  for Israel.

Let one thing be clear, I am not anti-Semitic. Never have been. No one can accuse me of it. However the relationship between Netanyahu and Trump and the Republican Party has gone a step too far. Even further than that.

How can Israel bar 2 U.S. Congresspersons from visiting Israel? Their religion should have nothing to do with anything. Even if the good ladies were Satanists, they should be allowed in. With no conditions attached to their visit.

Insanity pfrevails in the White House! Trump wants to buy Greenland!

Why? We don’t need it. Prominent Greenlanders have responded with comments like Greenland “not for sale”…..”…..must be an April Fool’s Day joke.” The best, “We’re open for business, not for sale.”

A buy sometimes can be a good deal. Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory for example. Others are not. Greenland is not.

Interestingly, Harry Truman wanted to purchase Greenland in 1946. He was willing to pay $100 million in gold. Why the desire to buy, I do not know.

Prominent economists say a recession is on the way. Next year. Trump’s fault. Some do not agree there will be one.

Peter Schiff is a respected money man. He is affiliated with Euro Pacific Capital. His thoughts. “The trade war is already lost, Trump is doomed…..” People are going to go “ballistic.”

He added, “This is going to be the inflationary recession, there’s no way out and it’s a political disaster for Trump because the recession is going to start before he finishes this term, which means he won’t have a second term.”

The moral of the story! Buy gold!

On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Musical Festival opened in Bethel, N.Y. More than anticipated arrived. The land became an island of mud. Pot smoking big time. Insufficient toilets. Insufficient tents.

Great music, however. Twenty four hours a day.

As the song goes, those were the days. They were hippies. This was their time to correct the U.S.’s ways. Make the nation more human. Argue against the Vietnam War.

Two prominent Key West musicians were at Woodstock. Hippies back then. Larry Smith and Christine Cordone.

Woodstock should have been a disaster. It was not. Became an icon instead.

The stock market is up and down. Major down slides. Recovery not in the same numbers. One day last week, the market dropped 800 points.

Instability in the market. Reflects an unstable market place. Investors losing faith. Indicates a recession may be on the way. A big one!

All  I can say is: Thank you, Donald Trump.

An insanity exists in this world. It begins in the White House with Donald Trump.

Trump initiated the tariff war with China. By so doing, he is destroying the economies of both countries. Xi sees it. I do not know if Trump does. Trump continues to aggravate the situation.

Hong Kong is giving China a hard time. Trump being the grandiose person he is has offered Xi assistance in resolving China’s problems with Hong Kong.

Got to be crazy! Why would China want the master mind who is screwing up the economy to sit down and try to work things out between China and Hong Kong. Trump, a man who has no respect for agreements. A man who has screwed around with China at every turn.

The man is not stable.

Mitch McConnell is a high ranking government figure. A Republican. Thirty seven years a Senator. Today, Majority Leader. Power and strength his.

McConnell from Kentucky. He runs for reelection in 2020.

A Russian company found it feasible to construct an aluminum plant in Kentucky. A major investment. Would create 1,000  to 1,500 jobs.

The U.S. had certain sanctions imposed on Russia that were causing Russia problems. The story is McConnell arranged for the sanctions to go away. The Company will now build. McConnell a hero to the Russians and Kentuckians.

After the deal came out, it was discovered that Kentucky would be making a major investment in the company. Not the way business is normally done. Kentucky would buy something like $150 million of the company’s stock.

McConnell in the middle of all this.

The deal stinks. Not the way business is usually done.

I have 3 more topics to complete today’s blog. All 3 are lengthy. This blog already too long. I save the 3 for tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!



Kenneth Cuccinelli is an Italian-American. Born in the U.S. Somewhere in his lineage, his descendants were born in Italy.

His career a successful one. The Virginia State Senate, Virginia Attorney General, a Republican who lost a gubernatorial race. Now serving as Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Mark Razel is a George Mason University political scientist. Re Cuccinelli he said, “People perceive Cuccinelli as a hard-right figure on a number of issues. They don’t tend to see him as having a soft side.”

Hard right figure. His record supports the impression. Cuccinelli is a self-described opponent of women’s sexuality rights, as Attorney General he defended anti-sodomy laws and prohibitions on same sex marriages, he rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.

He has been vigorous in his disagreement re climate change. As Attorney General, he investigated climate scientists, who he argued were engaged in fraud.

He filed lawsuits against the EPA.

An immigration hard liner, he sought to prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending universities, repeal birth right citizenships, force employees to speak English in the work place.

Cuccinelli is beginning to be regarded as an historical revisionist. His interpretation of certain historical records is off base. He challenges the views of yesterday. In cases such as immigration, it involves a reversal of older moral judgments.

Revisionist and moral the operative words.

His confrontation today with history and its meaning as regards the verbiage on the Statue of Liberty is in play. Properly described as an historical revision involving the reversal of an older moral judgment.

The plaque on the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-loss to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Cuccinelli wants a revision which is referred to as the “public charge rule.” The U.S. does not want you if you can’t afford to sustain yourself  upon arrival. He also considers persons of color as falling into the class of the poor requiring public assistance.

He would change a portion of the Statue’s verbiage to read: “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and will not become a public charge.”

As an Italian American, I am ashamed of Cuccinelli. He should be ashamed of himself. What he intends is to limit immigration to whites and those able to sustain themselves financially. No one else.

Not the way it has been in the U.S. We are a nation of immigrants. Our doors are open to those seeking a better life or refuge.

Cuccinelli was born in 1968. Probably to a family already part of the American scene. His parents born in the U.S.

Somewhere back in his family’s history, some came to the U..S. seeking that better life. Under Cuccinelli’s new interpretation, they would not be permitted to enter. Cuccinelli probably would not have received the education he has and become the success he has were it not for them seeking the benefits and protection of the U.S.

He turns his back on that which provided him with opportunity. Had the family not come, Cuccinelli very likely would still be living in Italy working as a farmer or sheep herder.

Which brings me to my background and the reasons I feel Cuccinelli shames himself. Especially in the position he presently holds. It appears he has sold his soul to the company store.

My mother was born in Italy. My father of parents who arrived before his birth. Neither side was affluent. Simply stated, poor. They came seeking the better life for themselves and theirs.

My mother was living in the U.S. when she was 8 years old. Not educated. Not in a public school. At 8, she was working in a New York City shoe factory 16 hours a day.

My father never finished high school. He was ashamed. When I was 10 years old, he studied at home and took final examinations for the third and fourth years of high school. At the high school with the regular students.

He graduated with them also. Cap and gown. My father was excited. We all were. And proud.

I was a welfare baby. Born in 1935 at a hospital that provided free services to indigents. It was the height of the Depression. My parents both were out of work.

My cousins and I are all second or third generation. All successful. All having made contributions which have bettered the U.S.

My grandfather, my father’s father, came to the U.S. when he was 12. He had no family. Knew no family. Grew up on the streets and farm areas surrounding Naples. Neither read nor spoke English.

He made the trip alone.

Cuccinelli forgets. Or maybe he never knew. Perhaps he grew up in a comfortable existence. Whatever, I say again…..Shame on him!

Enjoy your day!




China is a power. Hong Kong is not. Hong Kong is protesting big time.

A power can only tolerate abuse so long…..before it snuffs the little guy out. Such is the way of the world.

The 1956 Hungarian Revolution an example. The Russians let the Hungarians vent a few days. Then sent the tanks in. The student protesters could not leave Hungary soon enough.

Another example is Tienanmen Square in 1989. Student led also. China gave the demonstrators a few days to give off steam. Then sent the tanks in.

Present day protests in Hong Kong are millennial led. Protests time limited. China is massing military vehicles near the city’s border.

Note that each of the three “uprisings” were/are youth led. They try, but seem not able to succeed.

In the last 24 hours, China has said the Hong Kong protesters are “asking for self destruction.” “Terrorism” increasing. Most recently, Molotov cocktails. Those demonstrating must be severely punished “without leniency, without mercy.”

Big day tomorrow for the youth of Key West. Back to school! If all are like Robert and Ally, they are anxious to return.The police will be out in school areas. Enforcing no speeding around schools and school bus rules.

Don’t beware because the police are out. Beware because it is the right thing to do. They are our children!

Key West and the State of Florida were on opposite sides during the Civil War. Key West remained with the Union. The rest of the State with the Confederacy.

As war was being declared, the Union officer in charge of Union troops stationed in Key West led his men to Fort Zachery Taylor. A point from which the Union was able to control ship movement around the Keys the entire war, thereby denying the South much needed supplies.

Vessels that did put into Key West could not leave till owners and crew pledged allegiance to the Union.

Another police screw up story. Hugo, Oklahoma. Two police officers were attempting to apprehend a robbery suspect. He was driving a pick-up truck. Four children were riding in the back seat. Five, 4, 2, and 1 year olds.

The police began firing. The police put 26 rounds into the truck. The driver was not hurt. Three of the four children were. A bullet pierced the front left side of the 4 year old’s brain. The 5 year old suffered a skull fracture, the 1 year old gunshot wounds to the face. The 2 year old not touched.

The 4 were children or step children of the truck driver.

He shot back at the police. However says he did not do so till the police shot at him. Rank stupidity!

The police were in an unmarked car and in plain clothes.

Nothing of consequence has occurred yet. The shootings occurred in April. The 2 officers have been relegated to desk duty.

One of the officers was involved in a citizen shooting several years back. The citizen died. The officer was determined not to be responsible.

How thorough will the investigation be? Will the results ever be made public?

Six months certainly long enough for the investigation to have been concluded and the results made known.

In my long life, 2 things have impressed me greatly. Both without comparison. Man on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down.

Who can question the astronauts stepping on the moon’s surface?

Berlin was split into 4 zones following World War II. Berlin was actually in the Russian zone. However the major powers each wanted a piece of it. The U.S. got its zone.

The East Germans did not like living under Russian domination. They used to cross the street into the U.S. section No wall preventing them from doing so. Many never returned.

One day, the Russians went out and built a barbed wire fence soon followed by a concrete wall. One hundred miles of concrete blocks encompassing the East German zone.

Several years later, the height of the wall was increased to 10 feet. This time guard towers,machine gun posts, and searchlights added.

On November 11, 1989, German citizens from both the East and West sides began tearing the wall down.

Absolutely amazing! Never thought it would happen!

To understand my comments you had to live more than 30 years with the threat of a Soviet/U.S. war hanging over your heads. As school children today are taught what to do if a shooter enters their school, my children were taught what to do if a nuclear bomb was on its way. Whatever was not sufficient. Getting under one’s desk provided no safety.

Putin and Trump are the best of friends. Trump believes everything Putin tells him over the advice of his advisers. Trump and Kim Jung Un are in “love.” Trump tells us Kim writes him “love letters.”

Kim is testing low and intermediate missiles. Capable of carrying nuclear war heads.

Putin recently went back to nuclear testing. A missile that could best any U.S. missile defense the U.S. has.

The test failed. Exploded. Five scientists killed. Radioactivity sprayed everywhere.

The nuclear weapon Putin was testing is called “Petrel.” The missile nuclear armed and powered. If Putin succeeds in turning out this new weapon, Russia will have a missile capable of evading any U.S. missile defense and have unlimited range.

Putin is having his problems. His popularity on the down slide. The economy dipping. Protests occurring. Not the size  of those going on in Hong Kong today. However, I am sure sufficient to cause Putin and Russia’s leaders to have concern.

Tonight, my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Not sure at the moment what I will be discussing. I decide that this afternoon. However, I guarantee a fast moving and interesting show that you will enjoy.

Join me!

Enjoy your day!


This morning’s Citizen in its History Section ran a photo of Julius Stone and the then Governor of Florida taken sometime in the 1930’s.. They had been visiting the National Guard encampment at Fort Zachery Taylor.

Julius Stone brought to mind the blog I wrote on October 20, 2016 titled Gibraltar of the South. The blog was limited to who Stone was, how he came to be in Key West and minimally his accomplishments.

Today, an expansion of that blog. A bit more of the Stone story and persons intertwined in that story.

Things were tough in the 1930’s in Key West. The depths of the Depression. Julius Stone had been appointed WPA Administrator for Florida. He quickly observed
Key West was in worse shape than any other city in Florida.

He therefore opened a WPA office in Key West. One of two in the entire country.

Stone concluded tourism was the only way Key West could improve its economy. He viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. Tourism would work!

Stone was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

A major beginning was required. What? Stone finally decided a locally produced showing of the Pirates of Penzance. An effort to put together in those days, especially in Key West. He succeeded, however, Did it!

Diana Millikan comes into the story some 70 years later.

Diana is a snowbird. Rents a place in Key West on an annual basis. Sneaks down here whenever she can.

She can write. Even better, she is one hell of a researcher. I know. She has researched some items for me.

Three yeas ago, Diana decided to write a play. The play would tell the story of Julius Stone and the Key West production of the Pirates of Penzance.

Diana spent two years writing the play. No one has bought it yet. As she puts it, the play sits in several producers’ offices on a chair in a pile of other plays that maybe someone will get to some day.

I wish you well Diana. Good things happen when you least expect them.

Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes. Were it not for a Mosquito Control Board covering Key West and several miles up U.S. 1, most of us would probably have come down with dengue fever by now.

It was announced over the weekend that Massachusetts is having a mosquito problem this summer. There has been one case of EEE. Authorities are fearful of an outbreak. The EEE is the first case since 2013.

Key West is the perfect place for mosquito invasion. Water everywhere. The reason for the Mosquito Control Board. Directors publicly elected. The operation financed with tax dollars. The organization has several helicopters, trucks, a staff, etc.

We periodically get sprayed on. Also, periodically staff inspects every house within the Board’s jurisdiction. Merely walk around the outside of a house. The purpose to identify pools of water, no matter how small, where mosquitoes could breed.

Mosquitoes serious business!

Not all of the Keys provide the protection, however. Two recollections proving the point.

I was visiting friends in Sugarloaf for dinner in the summer time. I had to fight my way from the car to the house. A wall of mosquitoes. Never saw so many.

About 10 yeas ago, I did not drink for a year and a half. An enlarged heart. Doctors said no more drinking till it shrinks back. Took the year and a half. The heart will/did reduce itself.

Then the doctors said ok to drink again, but with moderation.

During my non-drinking time back then, I drove to Boondocks one evening for dinner. Boondocks is a large open air restaurant. Sits just short of Big Pine.

The place was packed. I was lucky to get a seat at the bar. All of a sudden, I was under attack. Mosquitoes.

The lady sitting next to me was my savior. She handed me a can of mosquito spray and said, “Spray!”

Over the course of the evening, I noticed everyone had a can of spray and were periodically covering themselves again.

We don’t have the problem in our open air restaurants in Key  West. We spray from helicopters!

A colorful picture on the front of this morning’s Key West Citizen. Apparently one of the short rainstorms we kept getting hit with last week flooded Angela Street between Simonton and Duval. The picture showed the water covering the street and sidewalks. Three cars that should not have been there. And the Angela Street side of The Gardens. The outside yellow wall. Glowing! Like a painted picture.

We all have favorite movies. One of mine is The Wizard of Oz.

The movie premiered this day in 1939 in Oconomowoe, Wisconsin.That’s the name of the city. Why it premiered there, I do not know. Perhaps the munchkins came from Oconomowoe.

Judy Garland starred. Her rendition of Over the Rainbow everyone’s favorite. Including Terri White. Where ever she performs, she works it into the list of tunes to be sung.

Great also at Dueling Bartenders. Everyone sings!

I particularly enjoy We’re Off To See The Wizard. Judy, the straw man,and the iron man walking down the road singing along.

A group that determines which songs were the best during a specific time frame voted Over the Rainbow the #1 Song of the Twentieth Century.

Several years ago, I visited Washington. Spent 3 days visiting Smithsonian Museums. One displayed the red shoes Judy Garland wore during the movie.

The Justice Building Blog recently ran an article titled Global Warming. Interesting. A bit scary. A serious warning.

The article traces the earth heating up. From dinosaurs to today. From today to when all liquid on earth is gone.

What then?

The closing paragraph: “The atmosphere will disintegrate and the earth will be a scorched wasteland, much like parts of current day New Jersey. This is our future. We are doomed.”

Trump says the economy is good. He constantly pitches the stock market in support of his position.

I do not believe the stock market alone can be relied on. I have expected it to fall. It will. It is over inflated. Whatever goes up comes down at some point. When it does,it will be 1,000 points a day. As in 1929, investors will be jumping out of high rise windows.

Every now and then I spell out certain industries/businesses that are down sizing, actually going out of business, or have had an extremely bad year.. A new one today. Heavy trucks.

Trucks ship goods cross country. An integral part of how we transport certain commodities. A recent studied indicated that between July of last year and July of this year, heavy truck orders dropped 81 percent. Means the call for and manufacture of 81 percent did not take place.

These are class 8 trucks. Only 9,800 were manufactured during the July to July period. The drop has been described by economists as a “striking collapse.”

During the same period, orders for truck freight trailers collapsed also.

Enjoy your day!


Nothing like a public hanging. Brings neighbors and friends out from miles around. Exciting free entertainment.

Sort of like the days of the Christians and Coliseum. Everyone thrilled. Especially if those who died did it well.

Long time since there has been a public hanging in the United States. The last one was August 14, 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. It involved racism, prejudice and sadism. The crowd estimated at 10,000 to 20,000.

The weather good. The aura of death in the air.

Back in the days when public hangings were common place, it was thought by government officials that the hangings would teach the onlookers to avoid crime, not commit evil, etc.

Public executions were not common to the U.S. alone. Then and even to this day they frequently occur in the Middle East. The crowd roars at a beheading or stoning.

Back to Owensboro.

Rainey Bethea was a 22 year old black man. He raped and choked Lischia Edwards, a wealthy 70 year old white woman. He robbed a piece of her jewelry during the happening.

His fate was sealed. Pled guilty . He thought what the hell. Hang me and lets get this over. His problems were only just beginning.

He was still forced to undergo a trial and jury determination. Determination of what? His sentence. Under Kentucky law, a conviction for murder and robbery mandated execution at a State penitentiary. The prosecutor wanted the execution in Owensboro. The public lusted for vengeance re Ms. Edwards death.

The way to get around the problem was to try Bethea for murder alone. Ergo, the need for an actual trial.

A crazy law. However, that is what it was. To follow it would permit an execution in Owensboro.

Black justice prevailed. No reason to determine guilt or innocence. Bethea had already pled guilty to murder and robbery. Under State law, the jury still had to decide punishment for the commission of a single crime. Murder in this instance. State law mandated 10-20 years or death.

It took the jury 5 minutes to come in with a guilty verdict.

Everyone happy, except Bethea and a Florence Thompson. Thompson was the Sheriff. Her husband had been, but died 3 months earlier. She was appointed to complete his term.

Thompson would have been the first woman in the U.S. to have legally executed someone. She did not want the honor.

Her function actually would have been simple. All she had to do was spring the trap so the floor would give way and Bethea would fall to his death.

The populace was not happy with Mrs. Thompson. Her reluctance could mean no public hanging. She received death threats.

It was decided she could appoint someone.

That someone was G. Phil Hanna. Hanna was an Illinois resident. He was an experienced hang man. He had overseen 70 hangings in his life time.

Hanna was a big shot in the hanging business. Top of the pecking order. It was not his responsibility to spring the trap. His function ended when he put the noose around Bethea’s neck.

Hash was brought onto the execution crew. It became Hash’s responsibility to spring the trap.

Party time arrived! The crowd excited. Actually, blood thirsty.

After Hanna made sure the noose was properly affixed, he signaled to Hash to  pull the lever. Hash was drunk and did not notice Hanna’s order. Hanna finally yelled “Do it now!” He did. Bethea died. The execution was over. The thousands who had gathered to watch it cheered.

Not all were pleased with the execution. One newspaper described it as a “carnival of sadism.” The reporter covering the story thought the crowd enjoyed Bethea’s death too much.

So did the State of Kentucky. Two years later, the State abolished public executions.

Black Bethea had no chance. In 1936 Kentucky, the moment he killed the white Ms.Edwards he was dead. Only the machinations to get him to the point of his punishment remained.

Last night. My first stop Donna and Terri’s for dinner. An outstanding meal. Donna could have been a celebrity cook. Scallops.

Bear seemed bigger. I asked. He was. Bear is only 18 months old. He’s huge! The vet says he has more growing to do.

My next stop was Captain Tony’s for his 103rd birthday party. The bar tourists. Tables and chairs in the back for the party.

I could not find Captain Tony’s daughter Toni. I left. Toni, I was there!

Captain Tony’s is right in the middle of Lobsterfest. Decided to do it. Walked several blocks. Stands selling cooked lobsters. Done every which way. Plus stands selling hand made items.

Duval a mess of people. Almost like trying to move the night of the Fantasy Fest Parade.

In the street next to Sloppy Joe’s was a bandstand. I was there at the right time. A trio playing and singing. People of all ages going crazy. Some fathers with small kids on their shoulders. Everyone moving to the beat of the music. Even me.

The Keys Weekly reported Lobsterfest as “A Crustacean Celebration.” Describes the event well.

I chatted with some people I knew along the way. Even with Donna and Terri. The photo that was everywhere to be seen. The photo of Trump and Melania at the El Paso hospital. Melania holding a baby. Trump was giving the shot a thumbs up.

The conversations I had. Really not conversations. Grievances. Grievances about Trump’s conduct.

The baby was Paul Anchondo. Paul and his parents will forever be remembered because of what happened to their family during the El Paso shooting.

Paul’s mother fell on Paul to protect him. His father fell on Paul’s mother to protect her. Both were killed.

Paul has no parents. The sadness deep. Hard to imagine. Fortunately, it appears his family is large and Paul will be raised as his parents might have raised him.

So what is wrong with the photo shoot and story behind it?

The baby Paul was not at the hospital. Trump asked that he be brought to the hospital so he and Melania could take a picture with him. Someone went and got Paul and brought him to the hospital.

My conversations last night turned on the appropriateness of the request that the baby be brought to the hospital for a photo shoot. Does not seem right to me. Nor to anyone I spoke with last night. This was not a Trump event. This was his visit to extend sympathy to those alive but hospitalized.

John left very early this morning for Columbia. He is there now. Have fun, my friend

Enjoy your Sunday!


Smokey the Bear. We grew up together. I am 84 and Smokey 75. He was in newspapers, on the radio, and on TV frequently. Not sure when I began seeing less and less of him. A time did come when his presence slowly began to diminish.

Smokey was a bear. A cartoon character. Created as a tool to help prevent forest fires. Every showing of Smokey carried the admonition: “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

Verbiage changes with time. “Forest fires” became antiquated. The verbiage was changed. “Wildfires” replaced “forest fires.” The new admonition: “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

Smokey was always attired the same way. A yellow ranger hat and blue jeans. No shirt. Always depicted carrying a shovel.

Smokey became popular almost immediately. A federal law was adopted protecting his name and image.

Note that Smokey’s name contains an “e.” An intentional misspelling when the concept of Smokey was being developed.. The adjective smoky is spelled with out the “e.”

Forest fires a concern even before Smokey’s time. Walt Disney’s Bambi was in effect the first Smokey. Smokey replaced Bambi.

I have written about Mom’s Tea Room several times over the years. As recently as last week.

Mom’s was a house of ill repute in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Navy did not approve of its sea men frequenting a place such as Mom’s. The Navy constantly pressed local authorities to close Mom’s down. Sometimes the local authorities having to do something would raid rather than close a place down.

Note Mom’s was operating in an era when the Mafia controlled prostitution.

One such raid took place on this day in 1941. Mom’s location near Fort Taylor. Three women were arrested and charged with prostitution.

A woman’s way of doing business today has changed dramatically. Changed specifically in the way the solicitation and acceptance takes place.

With rare exception, there are no whore houses per se today. Meeting a lady of the night is via the telephone. An escort service listed in the yellows pages is called. Also via computer. The internet lists such ladies as part of a club. Pictures and all. Call in and ask for whoever turned you on picture wise.

Then there are gentlemen’s clubs. Ladies met and arrangements made for services after the club closed and away from the club.

The closest thing to the whore houses of old are today’s massage parlors. Generally Asian in nature. Springing up all over.

The massage parlors seem to have come in as a wave. No one was aware. They were and are being opened in the corners, nooks and crannies of most buildings. Not obvious to the public.

Last night was the Chart Room. John bartending.

Tonight is John’s last night for a while. He leaves at 6:10 tomorrow morning for Columbia for a week. My farewell words to him were be careful and stay out of trouble.

He laughed.

Burger King’s new Whopper is available. The Impossible. The meat is not meat. The Impossible is made from a plant grown protein. The entire patty meatless.

Burger King advertised you will not be able to tell the difference. I could not. Looked and tasted like hamburger meat.

David Wolkowsky. My good friend who died at 99 several months ago.

The Key West of today would not have been were it not for David. He is the father of Modern Key West.

David is responsible for what today is the Pier House. One of Key West’s leading hotels. Home to the Chart Room.

David started the Pier House as a motel. Fifty units. Erected where the Pier House stands today.

It was on August 11, 1968, that David opened the Pier House Motel to business.

One of his first customers was Truman Capote. He spent almost a year and wrote one of his novel’s while at the Motel.

There is a picture of the Pier House Motel in the History Section of this morning’s Citizen. A magnificent edifice. Not what I expected. Ahead of its time design wise. Should have known. David was on top of everything. He was tomorrow when every one else was still yesterday.

Forget not Captain Tony’s 103rd birthday party tonight at 8. At Captain Tony’s. The world will be there!

I have a double header tonight. Dinner first with Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. The meal will be magnificent. She could make a leather shoe taste like filet mignon! Then to Captain Tony’s party.

Dayton and El Paso seem to be having an effect. All the shootings do. The politicians are finally going to do something. And then nothing gets done!

Even Trump this time says something must be done. He is pushing for detailed background checks. That is it as far as I can see. Mitch McConnell says he does not know. He will decide when the Senate returns in September.

This could be the time! However what will be offered will not be enough. A more detailed background check will only offer a minuscule improvement to a gigantically horrendous problem.

Time to go for it all! Assault weapons and magazines MUST be part of the package. The Republicans will want to walk away offering next to nothing if they can.

Assault weapons won’t fly with a Republican Senate. After next year, things can change. The election of a Democratic Senate. I am assuming the Democrats will continue to control the House. I am further assuming/hoping the Democrats win the Presidency. If Trump were to win again, this country will deserve whatever it gets: Nothing good.

At 7:30 this morning, Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. He hung himself in his cell. The cell being one under “suicide watch” since authorities believe Epstein tried it a couple of weeks ago.

I wonder whether a court proceeding was the motivating factor today. Two weeks ago, a federal judge ordered papers in another case to remain sealed. Friday, a different federal judge ordered all papers in 2 cases to be opened.

Thousands of pages involved. Names. It is anticipated many will reveal the names of prominent persons. Political and business wise. The names of persons who enjoyed the pleasures of underage ladies at Epstein’s Florida and Caribbean homes.

Enjoy your Sunday!