My next book is Growing Up Italian. Completion is still a long way off. Yesterday afternoon, I worked on two chapters.

One had to do with a serious ear infection I got at about 3 years of age. No emergency rooms in those days for the poor. The doctor came to the house and operated on me on the kitchen table. After knocking me out with chloroform, of course.

The other was the time I came down with scarlet fever. Around age 3 again. A communicable disease. The building we lived in was quarantined. I still remember the big sign on the front to stay out. I was shipped off to the county hospital. We were on whatever was welfare those days. I was placed in quarantine.

Enjoyed the Chart Room last night. Personable Mari bartending. One of the nicest people in Key West.

A vacationing couple came in. They were from Saratoga Springs. I piped up I was from Utica. The communities are about 90 miles apart. They mentioned the gambling mogul Stevie Wynn was looking at Saratoga Springs for a casino. I shared with them that Wynn was born and raised in Utica.

There was a fisherman seated at the bar. He, Mari and I spent quite a while talking. Chickens came into the conversation. Key West chickens. They complained about the noise the roosters make. I shared with them a piece of information I came up with a couple of years ago while writing a column on Key West chickens. When a rooster coc-a-doodle-dos, he is looking to get laid. He wants sex and is announcing to hens nearby that he is on his way. Watch chickens when a rooster coc-a-doodle-dos. The hens generally run the other way!

I wear crocs. I have been wearing them for years. Probably have gone through a dozen pairs. I rarely wear shoes.

The sole wears down to smooth rubber after a while. Dangerous if the ground is wet. Slip and fall easily. The breaking of a bone always a danger. My crocs were in that condition.

There is a croc store on Duval near Irish Kevin’s. I stopped in after the Chart Room and bought a pair. Had the salesperson snip off what ever was holding them together and put on the new ones on to walk out with. I asked him to throw the old ones away. He said they did not throw them away. They are saved and shipped to Africa for use. I suggested a worn croc was dangerous. He agreed, but said something on their feet was better than nothing.

The crocs were $35. When they first came out 5-7 years ago, the same pair was $65.

When I left the croc store, I was only 3-4 doors away from Burger Fi. I opted to dine at Burger Fi. Dougie the bartender was off. I sat at the bar. Enjoyed a brisket burger. Went big time. Brisket is $2 more than a regular burger. Also ordered onion rings. I had tasted the fries the last time and was not particularly impressed. The onion rings were to die for! The best I have ever eaten!

Burger Fi is a busy place. There are two ordering lines. There were at least 10 people in each line the hour I was there. And the lines move. The place is a gold mine.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Join me for a fast moving half hour. A topic for sure involves more revelations regarding the Farm Bill. Plus, Beijing an environmental mess, how St. Valentine’s Day came to be, Connecticut and gun registrations, and more.

Enjoy your day!


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