I HAVE RETURNED

Amazing how some statements no matter how brief remain in our memories.

It was on October 20, 1944 that General MacArthur returned to the Philippines. He led the invasion force which landed on Leyte.

MacArthur was a bit of an actor. Which in no way diminishes his capability as a warrior. On the first day of the invasion, MacArthur came onto Leyte beach in a landing barge. The front dropped and there he was! Majestic in appearance. He walked off the barge into knee high water.

A microphone was waiting for him on the beach. He said, “People of the Philippines, I have returned!”

Dramatic. Soul striking. Especially to the Filipinos who had suffered under Japanese occupation for almost 3 years.

President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur out of the Philippines when Japan invaded. He did not want MacArthur captured. He needed him to direct the Pacific war ahead.

MacArthur was reluctant to leave. Before he got on the PT boat to begin his escape journey, he announced via radio to the people of the Philippines, “I shall return.”

A promise made. A promise kept.

Many times people do not remember as I do. Only because I have lived longer and lived through people and experiences they have not.

I will mention names and many will give me a blank look. They know not of whom I speak.

I mentioned Neville Chamberlain recently. He was Prime Minister of England in the late 1930’s. Robert Dennard wrote back that he and I might be the only ones who recall Chamberlain.

I understood.

Now comes Burt Lancaster. Many times sitting on my stool in the Chart Room, I will mention Burt Lancaster and his ties to Key West. Not one person has ever recalled him. One of the greatest actors of all time.

I write about Lancaster today because it was on this day in 1994 he died.

Lancaster has 2 Key West connections.

His first movie was The Killers in 1946. Starred with Ava Gardner. The movie was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

Years later, Lancaster actually visited Key West to make a movie. The movie of Tennessee Williams’ play The Rose Tattoo.

The venue of the movie was Key West. The house they filmed it in was 2 doors from Williams’ home. Lancaster actually slept in Williams’ home and changed for scenes in the house.

The Williams home is on Duncan Street. My Lisa lives on Duncan. A mere 1 1/2 blocks away.

Anna Magnani starred in The Rose Tattoo with Lancaster. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a result of her performance.

Lancaster made 70 movies. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Elmer Gantry.

A few of his other movies include Jim Thorpe, From Here To Eternity, The Swimmer, and Sweet Smell of Success.

He starred with Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at OK Corral. Douglas and Lancaster were close friends. Always joking and going off script when appearing on some TV shows.

Lancaster’s later life was not the best. He suffered some illness. May have been a severe stroke. He ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life looking straight ahead and knowing no one.

Douglas visited him often. When asked how the visits were going, Douglas would respond not good and he did not want to talk about them.

Goombay last night. The second and last evening of the event. I did not make it last night either.

I was writing and the words were flowing. Does not frequently happen.  Wanted to stay with it. Stopped at 9:30. Too late to shower, dress and go downtown.

I am not unhappy I missed. I have attended at least 20. All fun. All the same.

There is always next year.

Today is the first day of the for real Fantasy Fest. A calm day nudity wise, though there will be some. The events funky and fun.

A big zombie day!

The Zombie Bike Ride. A family event. Hundreds if not thousands participating. Dressed to scare.

La Trattoria Oceanside is having a Zombie Brunch. Smokin’ Tuna a Walking Dead Contest. Official Zombiefest sites following the Bike Parade include Tiki House, Bagatelle, Sloppy Joe’s, Irish Kevin’s, Mangoes, and the Green Parrot.

Key West a wonderful place to live. Doctors good. The hospital fine. However for major problems, it’s Miami. A 4 hour drive. Less than an hour by helicopter.

A very much needed and used service. Lives saved!

Few have the money or insurance to pay. Key West is in Monroe County. It was announced this week that the County had purchased its third helicopter this past week. The volume of the medical needy requiring it.

The plane used. A 2001 Sikorsky S-76C+1. Its former owner in Sweden. The helicopter cost $1.2 million. With necessary configurations came to $2.4 million.

The beauty of it all is that if you are a resident of Monroe County and in need of helicoptering services to Miami, there is no charge.

What a benefit! I have to assume present cost in the thousands. Well over $10,000. I base my assumption on what it cost to fly 2 hour old Robert to Miami Children’s’ Hospital 15 years ago. There was no County program at the time. Ten thousand dollars.

Lisa did not have that kind of money. She payed the $10,000 over a period of time.

We are all aware of the G7 meeting at the Doral which now will not be. The White House announced yesterday it will be held elsewhere. Trump blamed the crazed and irrational media and Democratic Party.

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote yesterday re the Doral issue: The “…..Trump planned convening of the G7 at the National Doral Miami a gesture of such perverse defiance, such profound contempt, that it takes the breath away.” Trump believes “the Presidency…..his to use and abuse as he wants.”

Humpty Dumpty is tottering and beginning to fall off the wall.

I close with hurricanes.

If you live in the Florida keys you wake each day with a quiet feeling of fear and trepidation that this may be the day for news of a new hurricane heading our way. I sometimes believe it is a self inflicted perversion we enjoy. Otherwise, we would move.

Nestor is out there. Still a tropical storm. I mentioned yesterday it probably would hit Georgia first on the U.S. mainland. The meteorologists indicated a remote chance it would make landfall in Florida.

This morning’s news is Nesotor very early this morning made landfall on Florida’s Panhandle. It is being reported that the damage is not so much from Nestor. Rather by tornadoes which apparently were many and forceful.

Nestor next moves on to Georgia and the Carolinas.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

6 comments on “I HAVE RETURNED

  1. So, this disingenuous president decides not to hold the next G-7 conference in one of his gaudy income producing homes, thus hoping to tamp down even more outcry, but he then gratuitously tags on that he was going to do it at his ‘cost.’ Something he apparently had not thought to mention before now and probably thought people might believe? Yeah, right – just like when he said he was going to use his own money to run his campaign for the presidency, then didn’t. This guy Trump just can’t stop lying about everything, can he!

    • “at no cost”
      When it comes to lining his pockets Trump doesn’t know the phrase.
      When it comes to damaging a nation- his presidency speaks for itself.

  2. MacArthur led the attack on the WW1 Veterans “Bonus Army” that was camped in a DC park while demanding their promised bonuses. Ike was his 2nd in command.

    • Reprehensible and sadly typical of how American has almost always treated it’s veterans. We are quick to go to war and quick to wave our flag, but not so good with the way we treat those who have actually done the work.

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