MERYL STREEP AND ANTONIO BANDERAS IN TOWN

Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas in Key West for a few days. Filming a movie. The Laundromat.

Movie stars Gary Oldman, also. Do not think he is here. Actual filming in Key West only 2 days. 12/5 & 12/6.

Filming taking place on Caroline Street. Caroline already Christmas decorated. Decorations had to be removed for the filming.

Locals hired as extras. $125 for a 12 hour day.

The Laundromat is the story of a group of journalists who took part in unearthing 11.5 million files linking the world’s most powerful figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes. The film chronicles how a Panamanian law firm allowed the wealthy and connected to funnel money illegally via tax havens.

Last night, a colorful one. The Lighted Bike Ride. Christmas decorated  bicycles and riders. Hundreds participated. The Ride ended at Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. Applerouth one block long. Closed. A block party held for the bike riders.

Love Mary Ellen’s! Not 2 years old yet. A popular spot. Inexpensive. The best tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Funky decorated. Funky games. Like tuesday evenings at 9 for the Dildo Races.

Stopped at Blue Macaw. Cold! Seventy degrees. Temperature dropped to low 60’s during the evening. Heat back on!

Bar crowd skimpy. Said hello to Alisa and Stephanie. Chatted too briefly with Angie.

A bit warmer tonight. Low 70. Still heat time for locals. Our blood is thin!

I watched President Bush’s service at the Washington National Cathedral. Moving. Mourning and celebratory. More celebratory. Showed sides of the man not generally known. Bush had a sense of humor. Stories told which shared that facet of his life.

One of the more humorous involved Bush’s operation of the motorboat at his Maine home. Bush was less than a good driver. He scared the hell out of Putin!

Tears shed on occasion. By those in the Cathedral and Louis.

The eulogies personal and warm. Son George broke down and cried near the end of his. Former Senator Simpson could have had a career as a comedian. Former Canadian Prime minister Mulroney, also.

Jon Mecham articulate. Warm. Weaves words well. Described the President as Mr. Peepers who wanted to be John Wayne to the laughter of all.

Perhaps not everyone. I refer to President Trump. Perhaps Melanie, also. Both obviously uncomfortable, a strange addition to the rest in the Cathedral.

The former Presidents and their spouses sat together in the front row. Trump and Melania came in after they had been seated a while. Before their appearance, the former Presidents and wives were chatting and joking.

Trump arrived and everyone went stiff. Sat quietly staring ahead.

The Obamas were seated next to the Trumps. They briefly and respectfully greeted the Trumps. The Clintons would have nothing to do with him nor Trump they.

Trump appeared uncomfortable throughout. Scowling and arms crossed. Slouching forward. Looked like a slob compared to the other Presidents.

The thought just occurred. If you remove the T from Trump and replace wit with a G, it becomes Grump. Respectfully, what Trump appeared to be during the service.

Trump supported by the Evangelicals. A strong religious group in the United States. Trump did not appear evangelical yesterday. He did not participate in prayers or hymns. The Apostles’ Creed was recited by all. It was even printed in the program. Trump’s lips closed throughout, as were Melania’s. So too with the Lord’s Prayer.

One other Presidential observation. President Carter and Hillary. Sat next to each other. A “created” space between them. Appeared to be by choice. Never saw them talk to each other.

Family. The Bush family tight. Close. The influence of George Sr. and Barbara apparent.

It was obvious throughout that brothers Jeb and George have a close relationship.

Today ends the President’s final services. The family has to be beat. They  are in Houston for a service at the President’s personal Church. Then a 70 mile train ride to his Library where he will be buried with Barbara and Robin.

This is the first time in more than half a century a political figure worthy of note has been  train transported to his final resting place. Robert Kennedy. I clearly recall. A train took his body to Washington. The tracks along the way lined with people paying their last respects. As thousands had done a hundred years earlier for Lincoln.

God bless President Bush! God bless our having been reminded of him. It comes at a time in American history when we need to recall there have been Presidents of character, morality, empathy, humanity, etc.

Enjoy your day!

A DAY OF NATIONAL MOURNING

This morning at 11, family, friends, world, and national leaders will pay homage to George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral.

We no longer refer to funeral services as a time for sorrow, a time for mourning. Though in fact they are. Over the years those two words have transformed into a time for celebration.

Whatever, all apply.

While Bush’s life is being celebrated in the Cathedral, I will be full of sorrow. My heart will mourn for a good man gone.

I will shed some tears. Always do at events of this nature. A box of tissues nearby.

The Washington National Cathedral was completed in 1990. Following 83 years of construction. Though not complete till 1990, used for religious services in the years leading up to 1990.

Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller are laid to rest within the walls of the Cathedral.

Later today, Bush will be flown to Houston. Tomorrow at 5:15 pm, he will be buried on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum next to his wife Barbara and daughter Robin.

Television yesterday showed former Senator  and Presidential candidate Bob Dole pay his last respects to Bush at the Capitol Rotunda. Moving. Friends and foes in the past. One saying good bye to the other.

Bush and Dole are members of the Greatest Generation. Both fought with distinction in World War II. Bush as a Navy carrier pilot shot down twice. Dole as an infantry man so severely wounded he was lucky to survive. Let alone still living today at age 95.

It was touching to watch Dole be helped from his wheel chair to offer a final salute to his friend and leader.

Syracuse won big time last night. Beat Northeastern 72-49. The team looked good. May they continue improving.

Syracuse’s next foe old time rival Georgetown. Saturday afternoon.

Immediately following the game, it was Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Enjoyed doing the show last night. Then again, I enjoy doing it every time it is done. The show went smoothly. Many thoughts shared.

My dear friend Lauri Thibaud has left the Rum Barrel and returned to Aqua. She will be working the Back Bar saturday and sunday evenings. Saturdays beginning at 5, sundays at 4.

Harry Truman time again.

I mentioned yesterday how Truman had bad eyesight, wanted to join the Missouri national guard in 1905, and feared he would fail the eye test. He cheated. Sort of. He memorized the eye chart. Passed with flying colors!

Truman now a private. Proud. Wanted his grandmother Louisa Young to see him in his uniform. He made a special trip to Grandview, Missouri to visit her.

Wore his uniform. Blue with red stripes down the trouser legs, red piping on the cuffs, and a red fourragere over the shoulder.

His grandmother was outraged! She told him the uniform reminded her of the Union soldiers who pillaged the family farm during the Civil War. She admonished him never to return wearing the uniform again.

He never did.

Enjoy your day!

WHY PARIS IS BURNING

Public demonstrations in Paris out of control. A month already. Fires everywhere. Big time damage. Four killed, hundreds injured.

Why? Because the government has imposed a new and higher tax on gasoline which was scheduled to go into effect January 1.

Driving is expensive in certain European countries. Italy and France examples.

Gasoline costs much more than in the United States. At least two times as much. The price of a gallon of gas in France today $5.54. Italy similarly high.

People do not fill their tanks up. Too expensive at one shot. Put in 10 or 20 euros. Like you and I putting in $10 or $20.

In addition to gas, there is an additional financial burden. Makes the cost of gas look minuscule.

Most highways are privatized. The government rents a roadway for 50 or 100 years to a private corporation or sells it outright to the corporation. The corporation in turn agrees to maintain and operate the highway.

No bargain to the consumer. Those who operate motor vehicles on the highways. The corporations impose tolls. The tolls astronomical. Beyond comprehension. So bad that locals opt to drive on secondary narrow pot filled 2 lane roads. Where people’s lives are in danger.

Drivers do everything to avoid privately owned toll roads.

The toll roads are kept in tip top condition. Bridges replaced. Everything done. After all, a money maker for the private corporation.

Trump has pushed privatization to defray the cost redoing our infrastructure. Don’t even consider it. Fight the concept. A pig in a poke. A toll too far.

Tie the cost of a gallon of gasoline to the toll and it is easy to understand why Paris is burning.

Last night, the French government announced the tax increase would not go into effect. As one French leader said, “No tax deserves to endanger the unity of a Nation.”

Busy yesterday.

Sandy’s for a leisurely lunch. Read the newspapers.  Then to Publix. I keep forgetting to buy shaving cream. Beard was cropping up again.

A manicure at 5 with Tammy. Slow day for her business. She says most mondays are lately.

Followed the manicure with a trip to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Rick Dery’s guest Bobby Nesbitt. A huge crowd. Great singing. Bobby opened with White Christmas. Put everyone in the mood.

Met Jean Thornton. We were scheduled to have a drink together. She left me at 7 to meet Haywood at Michael’s for dinner.

Mary showed up before Jean left. Then Lynda and Bob Frechette. Linda, too.

Mary and I had dinner afterwards at La Trattoria. I let Mary order. Don’t ask me why. The pasta was HOT! My esophagus burned all night!

Morgan appeared. A hug and kiss and a chat. Another hug and kiss as I was leaving.

Morgan absolutely impresses me. A beauty! Intelligent! Only 27 years old. She has a Masters in geography. Works with the government or one of its contractors at the Navy base.

The hurricane season technically ends November 30. Key West has a ceremony to commemorate the event. The burning of the hurricane flag. The ceremony was yesterday afternoon at the Waterfront Park.

I did not attend. Jean and Frank Holden did. Jean became irritated. Properly so. The beautiful large expanse of green grass that makes up the Waterfront Park was a mess. Uprooted in parts, sand thrown here and there.

The power boat race people by contract were permitted to use the area. They are required by contract to repair and replace any areas damaged. Apparently have failed or not gotten to it this year.

Jean is on Facebook this morning complaining about the situation and showing pictures of the grounds. She will goose the power boat people into performing. Don’t mess with Jean.

Syracuse/Northeastern tonight at 7. Syracuse 5-2, Northeastern 4-4. Too early in the season to project who will win.

I will be watching the game from home. My podcast follows the game at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A fast moving hard hitting half hour. I vent. Get excited about the good and bad in things. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. I repeat the statement often.

Which brings to mind another Truman story.

Truman had poor eyesight. Not blind as a bat, but close too it. It was 1905. He wanted to join the Missouri National Guard. Battery “B.” He knew he could not pass the eye test.

Missouri ingenuity came into play. Truman memorized the eye chart. Passed the physical with no problem. He became a private in the Light Artillery of Battery “B.” Served as a Captain during World War I. Retired from the Reserves 37 years after entering as a Colonel.

America is in mourning. President George H. W. Bush is dead.

Yesterday was emotionally heavy. The various activities shown on TV. Impossible not to shed a tear here and there. As they will be today and tomorrow.

Bush will be respected for the ages. What a man! What a President! Bush the personification of each.

Trump will never be. Character and virtue are required.

Enjoy your day!

 

GOD, MYSTICISM, BELIEF IN A SUPERNATURAL

Most people believe. Some in a God. Others a supernatural being of sorts.

Some that things happen for a reason. That an individual by his or her actions can compel a result.

I was at the Gardens last night. A sizeable crowd. Peter Diamond entertaining with songs born in my generation.

I was sitting alone in the back when Jackie Tee stopped by to say hello. I last wrote about Jackie a year ago. We met in the Chart Room. Following the meeting, I wrote her story. One involving a broken toe ring and Irma. One based in a religious type belief.

Some background first. Jackie a Canadian. Her first trip to Key West 20 years ago with her husband, 4 1/2 year old son and her sister. They have continued to visit every year for 20 years. Sometimes as much as 4 times a year. Always stay at the Galleon. As Jackie describes it, she is drawn to Key West.

While here 20 years ago, she purchased a toe ring. Wore it religiously for 20 years.

A couple of months before Irma, the toe ring began to split.

The toe ring totally split on September 10, the day Irma hit Key West.

Jackie thought some omen might be involved. A friend who she describes as a “new age spiritual” suggested the ring be repaired. Intimating some good might come as a result.

Jackie had the toe ring repaired. It was returned to her on the same day as Key West was opened for the first time permitting residents to return.

The toe ring have something to do with it? Perhaps. Jackie believes so.

With Jackie last night was her sister Donna. We had met last year at the Chart Room also.

Both Jackie and Donna read my blog every day. Love them!

A bit humid at the Gardens. No breeze last night. I was in need of air conditioning. Left and headed for the Chart Room.

John bartending.

Chatted with Carla and Jerry. First time in Key West. Staying at the Pier House. Both retired. Presently live on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

Jerry had an interesting career. Spent 31 years with UPS. A welder, his title aircraft master. Retired from UPS and went to work the next 10 years at a company called Alston. It was there he met and married Carla.

They are having a ball! No question, they will return.

John mentioned that another person at the bar was from Utica. My home town. Rarely run into someone from Utica.

His name Tom Burns. We talked a long time. An interesting guy.

Tom is not actually from Utica. From Forestport. Fifteen-twenty miles outside Utica. Otter Lake area. Beginnings of the Adirondacks.

He brought me up to date on the Utica hospital situation. The 3 hospitals are merging and planning on rebuilding. In a place presently covered by an old Police Station building and a relatively new City Court House. Both would be torn down.

I immediately thought how my friend Anthony “Muzzy” Garramone would be upset. Muzzy and I grew up together. He eventually became a Judge. Thereafter, Chief Judge of the Utica City Courts.

Utica desperately needed a new City Court House. Muzzy lead the drive politically. He was primarily instrumental for its design. A beautiful edifice the result.

The building was named after him. The Anthony J. Garramone Court House. Other than his marriage and the birth of his children, the biggest day in Muzzy’s life. Much deserved.

Tom is involved with telephones. Believe he mentioned Verizon. Forty nine years old. Has avoided matrimony. Single.

His first visit to Key West. Obviously enjoying it. Who does not?

I have not been back to Utica in 12 years. I have lost contact with the community. He brought me up to date on the local political scene. Especially the recent Congressional race.

The Republican incumbent the daughter of a deceased New York State Supreme Court Justice. The Judge could be a difficult man to work in front of.

The Democrat the young son of a Utica attorney. An outstanding trial lawyer. Extremely successful in the practice. Made his reputation early in his career representing prominent criminals. Successfully so on most occasions.

Tom told me a major issue in the campaign was the early checkered career of the Democratic candidate’s father.

The district traditionally Republican. The Democratic candidate won.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GROCERY SHOPPING WITH THE BLIND

A unique experience yesterday. I took Terri grocery shopping. Donna was ill and asked me to step in.

It was the blind leading the blind.

I shop at the new Publix. Know where everything is. Terri shops at the old Publix. I knew where nothing was. Everything in a different place from the other store.

The experience began with the drive. I was on Whitehead approaching Truman. She said, “Take a left on Truman.” How did she know Truman was ahead?

When we arrived at Publix, she explained the game plan. We were to enter on the right side of the store. Get a cart immediately. She would drive. I was to lightly pull from the front to control direction.

We started on the right side of the store. Needed bacon. She got me to it.

So far, I was comfortable. Not bad. Then it began. Go 2 aisles right. Take a left. Half way down on the right. Top shelf. Box or can colored such and such. Brand name provided.

And so it went.

Occasionally, I took the wrong item off the shelf. She was able to tell by the size of a can if I did wrong. The size not being that much different from that which she wanted.

She directed. I followed. I was proud of myself. I did good.

She wanted me to go one way, I went another. I saw one of the items on her grocery list 2 aisles in the opposite direction from where she wanted me to go.

Blew it for her! Totally discombobulated! She was lost! Not panicked. Merely said to me, “You did wrong. I do not know where I am.”

I righted the wrong and we were on our way again.

I was impressed. She knew where most things were. The side of the aisle as well as shelf. Occasionally, she would tell me she was staying where she was with the cart. The Deli area an example. Too crowded for her. Gave me walking orders and off I went.

Checking out interesting. She can empty a cart, though I did. She pays with a credit card, not a debit. Merely push it in and it registers without her doing anything else.

I was impressed! Her only inability was driving the car itself. Who knows, some day.

Intended to go out last night and watch the Syracuse/Cornell game. Too tired. The shopping trip had tired me out!

Remained home and watched Syracuse beat Cornell 63-55. Cornell was winning by one point with 5 minutes to go. An unimpressive Syracuse game against a lesser opponent.

The nice thing was that Boeheim’s 2 sons were playing. On opposite sides. One for Syracuse, the other Cornell. Neither embarrassed themselves nor their father.

Driving down a street this time of the year in Utica and Key West the same. With one difference. Utica has snow. Otherwise, Key West homes are decorated as those up north. Christmas spirit exists regardless of location. The Key West homes I have seen absolutely beautiful. Obvious that a lot of thought and work were involved.

George H. W. Bush a frequent visitor to the keys. Primarily, Islamorada area. The President an avid fisherman.

Generally stayed at Cheeka Lodge.

Visited before, during and following his Presidency.

His biggest fishing experience involved landing a 135 foot tarpon. The largest game fish he ever caught. Bush was 84 at the time. Took him only 45 minutes to land the giant fish.

Bush used a live crab for bait. Afterwards he said, “It was a thrill of a lifetime…..A great fighting fish was finally baited.”

Bush’s character, sensitivity, caring, etc. coming out from every source. Things we did not know about him. I share two I came across.

In the 1950’s, the Bush’s lost their daughter Robin to leukemia. She was 2 at the time. Bush wrote a letter to his mother following Robin’s death…..”We need a legitimate Christmas angel, one who doesn’t have cuffs beneath her dress. You have to be a father to know this,” he wrote. “We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl. We had one once…..But she is still with us. We need her yet we have her.”

In 2013, Bush shaved his head in solidarity with 2 year old Patrick, the son of one of the agents on his Secret Service detail who was being treated for leukemia and had lost all his hair. He was that type man.

Another nature disaster. The Alaskan earthquake friday in the Anchorage area. A big one. One 7.0 in magnitude.

Trump immediately responded. Issued an emergency declaration making it possible for the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to act.

Trump told the people of Alaska, “Your federal government will spare no expense.”

Trump will fail Alaska as he failed Puerto Rico, Florida, northern Florida, and the California fire areas.

There is not enough money! It was more than color in Puerto Rico. Not enough money. Florida still owed billions to reimburse and /or complete rebuilding following Irma. No one hears about Florida’s Panhandle. Michael destroyed most areas hit. One city totally obliterated. We hear nothing about how great FEMA is doing in the Panhandle because it is not doing enough. California desperately waits dollars rather than criticism. Trump should sweep out the swamp people in his cabinet rather than recommend the forest grounds in California be swept.

He will fail Alaska also. His administration has misused, misallocated, and I don’t know what else, funds for natural disaster relief.

Talk is cheap. Put money where your mouth is, Mr. President. Our country needs you.

Enough for today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

GEORGE H. W. BUSH PASSES ON

We have lost one of our better Presidents. George H. W. Bush. History will remember him as a great leader.

The character of the man first became evident with World War II. He was 18 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Yale was in front of him. Instead, he opted for the U.S. Navy.

Bush became the youngest commissioned aviator in Navy history. One hundred twenty six carrier landings, 58 missions, shot down twice.

Politically, a Republican. In the mold of Barry Goldwater.

Elected to Congress, he voted the Republican line. With a significant exception. He supported Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, believing it provided “a better life for all.”

Bush twice ran for the U. S. Senate. Defeated each time. By age 46, advancing politically did not look promising.

Undaunted, he went on to become Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief Envoy to China, CIA Director, Vice President, and President.

Bush was a one term President. Clinton defeated him.

When running for President the first time, the country was in rough shape economically. Bush promised no new taxes. His famous words: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

The words came back to choke him.

While President, he supported a tax raise. The people neither forgot nor forgave him. The primary reason for his defeat.

Clinton’s dynamism another reason. An entertaining candidate. A distinct contrast with the soft spoken gentlemanly Bush. I voted for Bush. Bush’s character motivated me. I thought Clinton was lacking in that regard.

During his four years in the White House, the Berlin Wall came down. Bush was extremely helpful in molding the new Berlin and Germany.

Operation Desert Storm also occurred under his command. An act of military brilliance. Forced Hussein out of Kuwait. Bush put together a coalition of 28 countries. The war was over in 100 hours.

Two sons achieved political prominence. Son George W. Bush became President. Son Jeb Bush Governor of Florida and unsuccessful candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination.

The moving force behind Bush had to be his wife Barbara of 73 years. A forceful straight forward woman. She died several months ago.

The Nation will truly mourn his loss the next few days. Each of us will feel it. Respect will flow.

MY BOOKS DON’T BALANCE

I have difficulty making my check book balance. And I have only a measly Social Security check to be concerned with.

The federal government on the other hand has tons of money. Especially the Department of Defense/Pentagon. Should be easier. Especially with hundreds of thousands of employees. A number I assume bookkeepers.

No, the Pentagon has trouble balancing its check book.

Congress hired Ernst & Young to do an independent audit of the Pentagon’s finances. Hard to believe, but the Pentagon had not audited itself for decades. A serious error. Especially since 2 of every 3 federal tax dollars collected goes to the Pentagon.

On November 15, Ernst & Young advised it could not complete its audit. Too many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors. A reliable audit impossible.

The amount Ernst & Young could not trace/account for $21 trillion.

Beside poor bookkeeping habits, graft has to be involved. Too many dollars unaccounted for not to have been.

Cold yesterday. Required long pants. Nothing fits because of my 62 pound weight loss. Found an old pair of khakis. Fit. Tucked my shirt in.

I looked terrific! Straight! Did not even have to suck in my stomach!

The proof was when I walked into Lori’s for a haircut. Lori looked at me with bright open eyes and exclaimed “Louis, you look terrific!” One of her associates said, “Oh, my God!”

I threw my arms up in victory and exclaimed “Love it!”

Oh, vanity. However, I deserve to be vain in this instance.

Last night Blue Macaw for a while. One drink. Then off to Publix. Most of the food I had purchased before I got sick I threw away. No longer edible.

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day.

Key West’s gay community was hard hit. I have been here 30 years. I saw it when I began coming down. Sad. Men wasting away.

The interesting thing was the the love. Evident everywhere. Partners taking care of those afflicted. Gays taking care of each other. Straights helping the gay community in every conceivable way.

Key West took the problem in hand. Organized. Worked at the problem.

Today, life can be sustained if a person is afflicted.

A lovely AIDS Memorial sits at the end of White Street at the opening to the bridge. The day will be commemorated with a procession from City Hall to the AIDS Memorial where a service will be held.

No question, it will be sensitive and heart warming.

Syracuse/Cornell tomorrow night at 8. Syracuse should win by 20 points.

A special significance to the game. Coach Boeheim has 2 sons, Jimmy and Buddy. Jimmy plays for Cornell, Buddy Syracuse. Going to be interesting. Mom Juli will be cheering for both teams.

Trump and his defense team have been out foxed.

For over a year, Trump’s lawyers have been fighting Mueller re interview, depose, have the President answer written questions with written answers? Finally, last week the President provided Mueller with written responses. Trump proudly said he prepared the answers himself, not his attorneys.

Trump’s attorneys only permitted Trump to answer collusion with Russia. Refused to have Trump answer obstruction inquiries. Probably because it had to be obvious Mueller had much evidence obstruction wise to charge. However, it appeared little to nothing re collusion.

Yesterday, Trump’s former personal attorney Cohen plead guilty in federal court to lying to Mueller about a host of situations connecting Trump up with Russia. Collusion!

The President is in deep shit trouble. Collusion obviously viable. Big time!

I blame the President for the fix he is now in. His fault. Instead of retaining the best lawyers available, he took on hacks. Lawyers like Rudy Giuliano. Over the hill or incompetent, or both.

Again, Mueller’s play brilliant! Sucked the President’s lawyers right in.

Disease at the border. It now exists. Did not earlier when some were saying illnesses like leprosy were being carried by the immigrants.

Trump has created a situation where more than a thousand migrants are stuck in a small area at the border. Caused by Trump denying them the right to apply for asylum which would have resulted in the prolonged crowding not to have occurred.

Food not plentiful. Showers similarly. Sewage a problem. Portable toilets overused, plugged with crap on the floors. Disease inevitable. TB, chicken pox, and AIDS.

Good job, Mr. President. Everything you touch becomes a disaster.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

JEAN THORNTON RETURNS

A crowd of 200 was waiting at the Key West Airport last night. Waiting for Jean Thornton who was arriving on the Delta flight out of Atlanta.

The crowd yelled and screamed as she descended the plane’s steps. Soon she was hoisted on some burly shoulders and carried into the airport.

Jean is one of the most popular and loved persons in Key West. The Golden Girl. Found gold coins and emeralds when diving with Mel Fisher many years ago. Changed her life!

She was my benefactor also. When escaping Irma, I stayed at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

Her airport reception is fantasy. Created by me. Everything else true. Thought she was deserving of such a reception. A figment of my imagination.

Welcome back, Jean!

I learn more about Captain Tony each day. His daughter Toni a huge help in acquainting me with him.

Tony had an electric car. Made it himself. Piece by piece, part by part. Inside and out. The car tiny. Maximum speed 3 mph.

There was an airbrush painter by the name of Bill Miller in town for years. A friend Of Captain Tony’s. He painted Tony’s face on the side of the car. Took up half of one side. Painted all kinds of other things on the rest of the car.

Tony had an old Lincoln. Airbrushed by Miller, also.

Tony drove around in the Lincoln with his goat Ruff. Ruff meaaahhhing along the way.

Cape Air is a small regional airliner that had been serving Key West for years. Their planes colorfully painted. One had Tony’s face covering better than half of one side.

A cruise back in time to the 1940s. Next wednesday. A preservation fundraiser for the Custom House. KWAHS has gone all out putting the event together.

Cocktails on the veranda of the Custom House first. Then a walk next door to Magaritaville’s Grand Ballroom. The Ballroom will have been transformed into a luxury cruise liner.

Recommended attire 1940s.

The weather outside is frightful…..No snow. But cold! Last night 63 degrees. At moment 64. High supposedly will reach 70 today. Normalcy returns tomorrow when the temperature will be in the low 80s.

The game plan last night was for me to go to Jack Flatt to watch Syracuse/Ohio State at 7. I laid down around 3:30 for a nap. Woke a little after 6. Too late for Jack Flat. Needed to shave, shower, dress, drive into town, etc.

Stayed home and watched the game.

Syracuse played its best game of the season. Its only good game. Beat Ohio State 72-62.

Ohio State undefeated prior to the game at 6-0. Syracuse 3-2.

It all came together for Syracuse last night. The hit on 3s, played great defense. Boeheim mixed his players up. May have hit on the right combination.

An on the road upset win.

My faith has been restored!

Manafort’s duplicity may save his ass with a Trump pardon. It will not help his attorneys or Trump’s attorneys. Their participation in the scheme borders on the criminal. Ethically, they are over the line. Could cost them their licenses.

Trump leaves today for the G 20 meeting in Argentina. He has a meeting scheduled with his “friend” Putin. The two will leave the meeting arm in arm. Friends!

Trump should be meeting with China’s Xi. The U.S. problem with China big. Sensitive.

What makes me laugh is that Russia benefits every time the U.S. and China conflict. For example, Russia is selling soybeans to China.

In 2 years, Trump has pushed Russia and China closer and closer. They have become bedfellows economically. Lets hope it does not happen militarily.

A big day in history. November 29, 1947. It was on this day 71 years ago that the UN voted for partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state.

Conflict ever since. Peace seems impossible. Could be another 71 years and the Jews and Palestinians will still be warring.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING IN HOUSTON

Strange things happening in Houston.

Sunday evening, something went wrong with a Bank of America ATM. It distributed $100 bills instead of $20’s.

Word spread and soon everyone began walking away with $100 bills. Total amount not yet determined.

Bank of America is investigating to determine if a crime was committed by those who walked away with $100 bills. Typical Bank of America. A banking whore first class.

Recall Bank of America experienced the largest number of mortgage defaults as a result of 2008. Showed no mercy. Foreclosed, foreclosed, foreclosed! They can afford to take a hit/loss in this instance. How bad can it be? An ATM only carries a certain number of each denomination.

There was a book and then movie years ago. Each titled Sex and the Single Girl. Houston recently experienced Sex and the Kinky Dolls.

Prostitution is illegal in Houston. No brothels.

A Toronto based company KinkySdollsS (that is how it is spelled) planned to open a Houston location where customers could buy “adult love dolls” and rent them to others for use in private rooms.

The Houston Council said no. Ok to sell. However the dolls could not be used for sexual activity on the premises.

Houston Council no fun.

KinkySdollsS may sue.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key  West Lou. An all Trump half hour.

Show went well. Topics moved smoothly. One blending into the next.

The topic I enjoyed doing the most involved the Ukraine/Russia situation. Appears to me that Russia is overreaching once again.

Putin does not agree. Claims the confrontation Ukraine President Poroskenko’s fault. He is running for President again next year and arranged the confrontation to boost his image.

Would you expect less of Putin?

My concern is the possibility of World War III.  Laugh not. Whose side would we be on. I think we are obligated by treaty to assist the Ukraine.

Trump may not like that.

Trump and Putin will meet in the G 20 in South America later this week. I can see it now. Trump will ask Putin if he started the row. Putin will say the Ukraine did. Trump will tell us he believes Putin. Guaranteed.

Tonight, Syracuse/Ohio State at 7. Present plan is to watch the game at Jack Flatt and have dinner at the same time.

Ohio State ranked #16. Syracuse unranked. Ohio State a 5 point favorite.

Some occurrences hard to believe. Good people going bad.

Raimundo Atesiano was recently sentenced to 3 years in jail. At the time of his crime, he was the Police Chief of Biscayne, Florida. A community of 3,000.

He directed his police officers to frame innocent men in a series of unsolved burglaries. Three black men were framed.

The Chief did so for 2 reasons. First, to please white community leaders. Second, to manipulate property claim statistics.

Leaves a person with an uncomfortable feeling. We have become accustomed to officers themselves committing crimes. But A Police Chief?

A Police Chief makes sense. If a President of 330 million can be suspected of crimes, why not a Police Chief of 3,000.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FIRST COLD SPELL TONIGHT

I can see those in the cold areas of the country smiling already. Yes, it will be cold in Key West for the next 2 days beginning tonight. I will be cold. I am complaining.

Today’s temperature 80 degrees. Tonight, it will drop to 64. I will have the heat on.

Tomorrow, 69 by date and 63 in the evening.

Then a return to normalcy. Eighty degree weather

Yesterday proved my body is finally back to normal. Ran a few errands by day. Last night out.

Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Not “dueling” for a while. Tom Luna on a 6 month sabbatical. Rick Dery ran the show alone. Spectacular! However had to be tired at the end. He sang every song!

My dear friend Liz at the bar. Liz is waning. Hurts. I like her so much. Wish I had met her 15-20 years ago. My friend who was Dean of 2 law schools. I chatted with her a while. Each word she spoke took effort.

Josefina, Linda and Mary singing along with everyone else.

Afterwards, Mary and I had dinner at the bar at La Trattoria. Where I really put my body to the test.

I had limited myself to 2 drinks at Aqua. Enjoyed a third at La Trattoria. And a plate of lasagna. Oh, what a night it was!

Sat next to Dink Bruce. Dink a Key West legend. Everyone likes Dink. That kind of guy.

Dink and some of Hemingway’s artifacts, writings, etc. related.

Dink’s father Toby Bruce. He and Hemingway tight. Together every day.

When Hemingway died, he left behind a pile of boxes in Sloppy Joe’s back room. Hemingway’s fourth wife Mary Welsh Hemingway visited to go through the boxes. She took with her what she thought valuable. Gave the rest to Toby and his wife Betty.

No one bothered to categorize the contents of the boxes till 15 years ago. Most importantly, Hemingway’s first writing. One he did at the age of 10. Other items included additional writings, photos, notes, pieces of his hair, and prints.

Bruce and Betty long gone. Contents now the property of their son Dink.

Dink told me last night Penn State is interested in the contents. He is in negotiations at the present time with Penn State.

Love tuesday nights! My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 for a fast moving half hour of me venting and raving about things. Fun to do! Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I slammed Trump hard yesterday for the use of tear gas at the border. Wrong place, wrong time for such an horrendous act.

Blame has to be spread. Obama’s use of tear gas at the border makes Trump look like an angel.

I was not aware of Obama’s use yesterday when I wrote.

Obama used the same type tear gas frequently. Twenty six times in 2012, 27 times in 2013. Then its usage dropped off. In 2016, only 3 times.

Obama authorized pepper spray on occasion, also.

The Trump administration has come up with another bright idea. Credit scores to be used to determine who may become a citizen. Anyone with poor scores would be ineligible.

The purpose is to prevent immigrants from becoming a burden on the welfare system.

Makes me wonder how my family would have fared under such a rule.

My people came from Italy between 1900 and 1915. Peasants. Third class steerage. Not a pot to piss in, as the saying goes.

This first group worked hard. Most succeeded in living a step above the poverty level.

My mother a most interesting story. She came over as a child. Lived in New York City. Her father had a stroke. She had to leave school while in the third grade to work 14 hours a day in a shoe factory.

They all became citizens. Their children became the stars. Only because of the stringent upbringing which pushed them to do better.

None would have become citizens if the credit score rule were in effect. What would have happened to me and my many cousins?Would we have been able to become the successful professional and business people we did?

Trump campaigned big time on the representation he would bring jobs back. He has done a poor job so far.

It was announced yesterday that General Motors would be getting rid of 14,000 jobs and closing 5 plants. A winner, Mr. President!

Recall he also promised that coal plants would return. Where?

Aluminum companies, also. Good luck!

And then there is the farming industry. Totally mucked up because of the tariff wars. Soybeans, wheat and corn hit especially hard. Soybean sales down 94 percent this year.

Then there is the stock market. Down 2,500 points since early October. Erratic. Up and down hundreds of points each week. If it drops another 2,500 point, we will be in a recession big time.

I believe a recession possible. Between now and late spring. The world is too turbulent.

And so on.

Enjoy your day!