JAMES FENIMORE COOPER’S THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS

Who of us cannot remember James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. Hawkeye, Uncas, Chingachgook, and Magua.

Thrilling!

On this day in 1826, The Last of the Mohicans was published. It was part of Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. The action took place in upstate New York. Set during the French/Indian and British War a good 20 years prior to the Revolution.

The best selling book became a best selling movie many times in later years. Something like 8 movies were born of the book.

One of the more recent was in 1992. At least two more followed.

The 1992 film starred Daniel-Day Lewis.

Part of Cooper’s early life was spent in the Cooperstown area. His father William Cooper discovered/created Cooperstown. William Cooper built the home of homes on a knoll overlooking Otsego Lake.

The house was first built in 1799. Then abandoned for some reason. In 1734, Copper’s son James returned. The house was dilapidated. He had it renovated.

The house was built by his father in the Federal style. Son James rebuilt it in Gothic.

The house burned down in 1851. The property stood barren. Years later, the New York Historical Society took it over and rebuilt Otsego Hall. Today an independent group operates it as a museum. One of many names. The most popular The James Fenimore Cooper Museum.

Nearby a Farmers Museum has been constructed. A series of small buildings representing homes, farms and business places as they were in pre-Revolutionary days.

I have visited the entire properties many times. For social events at the Museum. charity fundraisers and the like. The Farmers Museum with most of my grandchildren. Nothing like showing them how people lived back then. How small furniture was in comparison to today’s because people were smaller. The opportunity to visit a doctor’s and attorney’s offices. The butcher, baker, and candlestick maker also.

Lest it be forgotten, Cooperstown is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Many the induction, some baseball games, and visits to the Hall itself. The visits with grandchildren at various times.

A life reflecting the old history of the area was born at various times over the years by reason of James Fenimore Cooper’s publication of The Last Mohicans.

Two remembrances that stick in my mind.

I had two of my granddaughters at the farm portion. Roughly 6 and 4 years old at the time.We were at the pasture looking at a horse. While we were admiring the horse and talking, the horse got an erection.

The girls looked at me strangely. I did not know what to say. Merely took their hands and walked away. They asked nothing, I shared nothing.

Another time was during the Clinton/Lewinsky matter. My twin grandsons Matthew and Michael were with me. They were around 8 at the time.

We had just left the “lawyer’s office.” The radio was on in the office. It was reciting Clinton’s misdeeds. Matthew looked up at me and asked, “Papa, he did something wrong, didn’t he?”

That was an easy one. I just said “yes” and we moved on.

Looks like Donald Trump may be able to reside in Mara-a-Lago after all.

The Town of Palm Beach completed its legal review of the matter. Their determination at this time is one of approval. The town decided there was nothing in the agreements and town ordinances prohibiting Trump from residing there.

The decision seemed to turn on phraseology in the agreement that Trump could live there if he was a “bona fide employee of the resort.” The agreement states such includes being a corporate officer.

Jared Kushner went into the White House with his father in law a man with financial problems. He became an “adviser” to the President. Waived any salary by taking only $1 a year.

A report yesterday stated that Jared and Ivanka in their last year in the White House jointly earned $120 million.

That’s public service for you!

Continues to be cold. In the high 50s during the night. High today will be 68.

Enjoy your day!


I am learning it is difficult to go back 9 years and repeat the Greece story in orderly fashion. Some days have disappeared. Then found. Some days are mixed with each other.

To straighten this all out would take oodles of time. Time I do not have with everything else on my plate.

The key is everything I wrote is there. Not exactly in the correct place, however.

The story overall is interesting. A paragraph here and there muddled makes no difference.  Like what you will read today. I should be writing about Santorini. Some of the paragraphs talk about Athens.

Fortunately, nothing so far appears to have been repeated.

Today’s blog beginning with “I screwed up” is as written 9 years ago.


DAY 9…..Greece the First Time

Posted on June 6, 2012 by Key West Lou

I SCREWED UP. LOST TWO THIRDS OF THIS BLOG. CANNOT RECREATE NOW. HAVE TO RUN. WILL PICK EVERYTHING UP TOMORROW.

…kitchen at one end. Tables covering the rest. Nothing fancy. Very basic, except again for the view and food.

It is a fish place. Very fresh fish. You are taken into the kitchen to select your own fish. Everything is explained including weight. everything is charged by the pound.

I had scorpion and boiled potatoes. A meal to die for!

Never had nor heard of Scorpion before. A fat red fish. Fire engine red. Big eyes. Ugly. The waiter told me it would be delicious. It was.

The boiled potatoes. Oh, so good! Sliced about 1/4 inch thick. Covered with oil and lemon.

Two appetizers before. Three gins for me. Two wines for my companion.

The bill was less than $50 American money. I was not charged for the three gins and two wines. The appetizers were on the house, also. The owner’s daughter came over to tell us of the house’s generosity and encouraged us to return.

The Greeks are worried about the economy. Just as Key Westers were a few years ago. They are doing everything to be hospitable and encourage return business. Tourism is their only industry.

In the few days I have been here, I have noticed that everyone, tourists and locals alike, dress sloppy. More sloppy than Key West visitors. I am getting into it. Not a bad way to live. Not to worry about one’s appearance.

I have been asking around how the economic crisis is affecting business on Santorini. The response is the same from all. It is not, except for the German tourists. Two years ago, the German tourists were openly blaming the Greeks for the euro crisis. The Greeks on Santorini got fed up with their attitude. Told the Germans in effect to shove it. The Greeks here developed the same mental frame as the early Texans….Don’t tread on us!

The aforementioned situation resulted in a resurgence of World War II ill will. Apparently the Germans committed many atrocities while occupying Greece.

The two events have resulted in few, if any, German tourists. And the Greeks do not care!

There is something happening here. You can feel it. I refer to the economic/euro crisis. It is a tinderbox waiting to ignite.

There are two major problems in the world today. One is Iran. A military problem. The other the euro crisis which I fear might explode here in Greece. If it does, it will be like the volcano explosion 3,500 years ago.

I received bad news this morning. Jenna e-mailed me that Courtney Aman died. Courtney was my trainer. A good guy. A good liver. He was only 50ish. Muscle bound. Worked out, lifted weights, trained, ran, ate properly, did not smoke or drink. Shows you what good living will do for you.

I liked Courtney. We got along well. Attended a few parties together. He was a Key West fixture. He will be missed.

Enough for now. I am getting a manicure in 15 minutes.

What a life!

Enjoy your day!

I started my last day in Athens at a small outdoor cafe on a back street. Glad I did! The menu set forth a prosciutto and cheese toasted sandwich. It was cheap. Sounded like a Greek version of Cuban cheese toast with tomato. I ordered it.

I was correct! Two very thin slices of white bread without crust. Toasted. A slice of prosciutto and a great tasting cheese pressed between the slices of bread. Outstanding.

The hotel of hotels in Athens is the Grand Britannia. I stopped in to look it over. Magnificent! Decided to have a cup of coffee.

The Greeks do things in a big way. My coffee was served in the main dining room.

I ordered Turkish coffee. Had never had it before. Will never have it again. Did not like it. Turkish coffee is thick. Your spoon can almost stand alone in the cup. That is how thick it is! Coffee grains come with the coffee. They end up sitting in the bottom of the cup. A good amount. It is not easy to drink Turkish coffee without occasionally having to deal with the grains.

In addition, I did not like the taste. Try Turkish coffee if you have the opportunity. You might like it. Different strokes for different folks.

The Grand Britannia dining room was elaborate. At one end there were two palm trees sitting two stories high. Palm trees in Athens? I walked over to take a closer look  The maitre de came over. Real I asked. He said yes. I said no. We had a language problem. He was trying to tell me the outer trunks were real and stuffed. The palms not real.

I figured I had seen the only palm trees in Athens. Turns out I was wrong. The rest of the day I saw several. Smaller than the ones in the Grand Britannia dining room. Real.

I was tired. The heat was getting to me. I decided to walk back to my hotel and take a nap.

As I walked towards the hotel, the air and temperature must have been just right. All of a sudden I could smell the outdoor food stands, cart foods and outdoor cafes. The smell was unique. The last time I experienced it was in my college days in New York City. Bronx and Times Square times.

I finally made it to the hotel and my air conditioned room. Television in Athens is in Greek. I know no Greek. I turned it on anyhow to look at the picture screen. Better than nothing! I watched Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Key West’s own Kelley McGillis. I watched it all. In Greek. I had seen the movie enough times to understand what was going on.

It was my last night in Athens. Still no Greek dancing and throwing of dishes. Walked through the Plaka area where I had been two evenings earlier. Stopped at the outside cafe where I had done my drinking. The manager recognized me. He gave me directions to the place I wanted to go. I stayed with him a while. This is pro basketball play off time in Europe. I do not know who was playing. I whooped it up with my friend and his friends. Our team lost by 20 points.

European professional basketball is not up to the same standard as American ball. It was obvious. I never mentioned it, however. I told every one the teams were great, Especially their team.

The restaurant turned out to be on the poor side of Acropolis and the Parthenon. Outdoor cafes galore. Acropolis and the Parthenon plus other smaller temples sitting up on the hill. A bit farther away than the restaurant I had enjoyed the view from the night before. Drinks and food seventy per cent cheaper.

I sat their enjoying the night life version of ancient Greece. Then the music started. Greeks are fun people. Their country may be going down the tubes economically. They are partying as the ship sinks. Good for them!

The other side of the mountain is also known as the Rockefeller side. Much of the Rockefeller Foundation renovation money was spent on the poor side. An interesting mixture of wealth and those not so fortunate.

There was music. All night. Two players. A piano board player and a guitar player. A singer. Looked like and sang like Key West’s Peter Diamond. Even down to the hat.

Dancing started with the women. All ages. Even into the 80s. All kind of dances. On some occasions, a man would get up and dance alone. He reminded me of a swan. Why, I don’t know. Just so graceful.

Every one smokes in Greece. The piano and guitar players. The dancers. Even the guy who danced. A cigarette hanging from their lips.

No dish breaking. I was disappointed. Learned it was outlawed several years ago.

I finally got into it. Ended up on the dance floor. Every one took pity on me. I was shown various steps. Within minutes, I was Greek.

Greeks are happy. They sit at their tables and sing. Warm, also. I saw many couples touching and kissing each other. Generally those 50 and older.

I had to hustle this morning. An early plane to Sanitori. I am here. Tomorrow a different Greece.

I cannot close without expressing myself on an issue. The Catholic Church and its attempted hit on the nuns. I believe the Vatican and U.S. Conference of Bishops are on the wrong track.

As you are aware, the nuns have their own union type organization. It is known as the Leadership Conference. Some 80,000 nuns strong. And being women, they are strong. Strong willed.

A former spokesman for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement yesterday knocking the nuns. The nuns have come out in support of things like contraception.

He said…..”Does it occur to them (the nuns) that they might need some help?” He was referring to the fact that the number of nuns diminishes each year.

A nonsensical observation on his part. What of the Catholic Church itself? There are fewer Churches today that 20-30 years ago. Most have closed because there are fewer Catholics or fewer supporting organized Catholic religion. As many as up to four Churches have been closed at one time and combined into one parish.

Fewer and fewer those of the male gender are entering the priesthood.

It appears that whoever made the statement on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Bishops was in effect the pot calling the kettle black.

Interestingly, the nuns are also advocating that women be permitted to become priests. Threatening to the Church hierarchy?

Rome through the U.S. Conference of Bishops have told the nuns to stand down. To cease and desist. I doubt it will occur.

So there is no misunderstanding, I am a Catholic. A fallen away one, so to speak. Nevertheless a product of a Catholic education. Grammar school, high school and college. Also a husband at one time whose wife had five consecutive pregnancies in five years. We lost the last one. There was a reluctance back then for Catholics to practice birth control.

Rome would have done better to pick its battle. Especially when the Catholic Church is still dealing with its own problems. Like the Catholic Church covering up pedophilic activities on the part of priests for more than twenty years.

Enough spouting off for today.

Enjoy your day! Join me tomorrow for another part of fabulous Greece!

There are three churches in the area. They all have bells. Apparently large. Each clang very noisy. They all go off on the hour. Fortunately, only by day. They do not go off at the same time. They must be planned. One church at a time with a short separation between each. It is like living in New York City by the elevated subway train.

Everyone drives too fast for me. Most of the roads are narrow, especially in the countryside. One lane. Not each way. Both ways, the same lane.

When an approaching car is seen, both vehicles play chicken to see who is going to move onto the shoulder first.

There is a Catholic church in Milan that has the Last Supper. The real one. I may take the train into Milan this afternoon to see it.

Thursday I leave for Athens. After this earthquake, I think it is time to leave Dodge.

Enjoy your day!

Note: While I was doing spell check, the after shocks came. Trembling. Chandeliers moved again. Someone just ran in to tell me TV announced the disturbance as a severe earthquake. I have been hearing for the past few minutes sirens. Probably fire engines and ambulances. Another person just ran in to tell me that the quake was a 5.8 on the Richter scale. What I thought was the aftershock turned out to be a second quake. 4.0 on the Richter scale. I must admit my stomach is getting a bit queasy. I am uncomfortable. My thought process tells me that if I must be in an earthquake, this building is a good place. It has withstood quakes, floods and wars for over a thousand years and still stands. Hopefully, I will blog you again tomorrow. I am not leaving you yet. TV announced all trains to Milan have stopped running. I do not know specifically why. I doubt I will be viewing the Last Supper this afternoon. It was further announced that a  thousand year old cathedral about a one hour drive from Novara collapsed. So much for my theory that thousand year old buildings are a safe place.

Enjoy your day!

2 comments on “JAMES FENIMORE COOPER’S THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS

  1. I is my experience, having moved away from upstate NY in my college years, that nobody outside of NYS, knows much about James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. Hawkeye, Uncas, Chingachgook, and Maguam or Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, apart maybe from the movie and Cooperstown. Although the latter ONLY with it’s connections to baseball.

    Pity really that it’s just a NYS thing. Maybe if John Wayne had been interested and done a movie? But then it would have distorted everything and not been as interesting.

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