KEY WEST PART OF U.S.S. MAINE HISTORY

Key West has always had a connection of some sort or another with Cuba.

The two islands are neighbors. A mere 90 miles apart. Many Cubans immigrated to work in Key West cigar factories which made cigars from Cuban leaves. Key West has always been supportive of the Cuban people’s desire for freedom. Many Key West residents today are of Cuban descent.

The first battleship of the U.S. was the U.S.S. Maine. On this day in 1898, the Maine exploded in Havana harbor. Two hundred sixty crewmen were killed.

The cause of the explosion at first was unknown. A U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry sat in session at the Custom House in Key West and took testimony regarding the possible cause of the explosion.

The Custom House construction had only recently been completed. The Custom House conducted and owned by the U.S. government at the time. Today privately owned by the Key West Art and Historical Society.

The Court of Inquiry determined the Maine had been blown up by a mine. However, the Court did not attribute blame to any nation or purpose.

Cuba was owned by Spain at the time. Public sentiment rapidly grew against Spain. Vengeance was called for.

It did not take long for war. The Spanish-American War began in April 1898. Within 3 months, the U.S. had decidedly defeated the Spanish.

In August 1898, an Armistice was signed officially ending the War.

The cause of the Maine explosion was always questionable. In 1976, a team of American naval investigators concluded the explosion was caused by a fire that ignited ammunition which was upon the Maine. Neither a mine nor sabotage was involved. A war had been fought in 1898 for no legitimate reason.

Greed was the motivating factor.

William Randolph Hearst blamed Spain for the explosion. He had no facts to suppport his theory. His purpose was solely to sell newspapers. He claimed Spain responsible for that reason.

It was the first time “yellow journalism” reared its ugly head in the U.S. Other newspapers took up the Hearst position also. “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain” became the cry.

Two hundred sixty crewmen were killed in the Maine explosion. Some of the injured were treated in Havana hospitals. Others, in Key West hospitals.

Most of the dead wee buried in Arlington National Cemetery. However 19 who had been treated in Key West and died, were buried in the Key West Cemetery. A grand stone sits by their graves. A statue of a U.S. sailor holding an oar stands upon the stone.

The grave site is visited by many tourists. Additionally each year, a ceremony is held on February 15 acknowledging and honoring the war dead. The military is always involved. Many Key Westers are part of those paying homage.

Key West has never forgotten.

Sonali Kolhatkar on 2/8/21 wrote an article in Counterpunch as to a means to solve inequality. The title: It’s Easy To Fix Inequality: Tax The Rich.

Makes sense. Doubt it will ever occur in the extreme.

The cry for such is greater today that ever before. Elizabeth Warren has been a major force since her election to the Senate in 2016. Bernie Sanders has always been a proponent of such. Now add to the two the progressives that have in recent years been elected to Congress.

Biden sees the handwriting on the wall.  He has begin leaning more to the left. Understandable. The desire to abolish inequality is almost a religious one. Biden also understands progressives helped him get elected.

Were you aware: Elite news outlets are working overtime to try to block families from getting the $2,000 survival as they were promised. The beltway media is manufacturing consent for the position.

Convoluted economic theories are coming from every corner that the $2,000 is not healthy for the country. The theories being expounded by certain economists and the affluent rich.

Other than pure greed, I cannot understand why any group already well healed would push to deprive those less fortunate of a few extra dollars.

An interesting article on the issue can be found in The Daily Roster 2/9/21.

Lindsey Graham has been drinking Trump’s Kool-Aid. A day does not go by when he does not make some declaration that places him in Trump’s arms.

I find this interesting. Actually shocking. Recall Graham and John McCain were best of friends for years. McCain dies and suddenly Graham is on Trump’s bandwagon.

I am still in Mykonos. A place I disliked on day one grew on me.

DAY 20…..Greece the First Time

Posted on June 16, 2012 by Key West Lou

Yesterday was one terrific day!

I went to a great beach during the day and an extremely good restaurant in the evening.

The beach Super Paradise Beach.

My day began with the drive to the beach in a rented car. An experience.

Mykonos is hills. Up and down. The beach about 15 miles of driving to reach. The usual narrow roads, accidents waiting to happen, sharp curves, etc. The last mile of the drive was the worst and strangest I have ever experienced.

The last mile…..the phrase itself is the connotation I seek to convey. The last mile is straight down. With a couple of tiny curves. When I say straight down I mean that. It was like the first drop on a large roller coaster. I thought the back end was going to flip over forward. And the car and I in a serious accident. The car was not made for such a steep decline. The car’s center of gravity would not have been able to handle it.

I was concerned. With God as my co-pilot however, I made it to the bottom.

The trip was worth it. In front of me a beautiful parking lot and huge building. Super Paradise!

As I was turning the car off, I noticed the gas tank was on empty. I suddenly realized I had never put gas in the car. When I received it, it had half a tank. It was gone! When I ran out going back up the hill, and I would run out, the car would slide back down or whatever.

I had no recollection of having seen a gas station in my 15 mile drive. In fact, I had no recollection of ever having seen a gas station in Mykonos.

The solution was simple. I was on vacation. A rented vehicle out of gas was not my concern. It was the rental company’s. I left Super Paradise Beach several hours later by cab. When I got to my room, I telephoned the owner. A small rental company. The car was due back today.

I expanded the problem to him. Told him I did not want to run around getting a gallon of gas, going back to the car, etc. I acknowledge it was my fault. What could we do?

A gentleman. He said you have to return the car with the same amount of gas as when you took it. I said I knew. If it is empty, you owe me half of a tank. A tank full is 60 euros. I will charge you 25 euros. A good deal! I expected get screwed on the pick up and return portion, however. He explained he had to get gasoline, have someone drive him to the car, and then he had to drive it back. Time and people. It was coming. I could sense it. At least 50 euros more. That will cost you an additional 10 euros, he said.

A deal.

That is how the car problem was resolved.

You have to see Super Paradise Beach. Super it is!

I have never seen anything to compare to it.

A large semi circular beach. Clean sand. Clear water. 280 chairs. 140 beach umbrellas. Great lounging chairs. Like lying on a mattress.

A bar. Huge. Egg shaped. One of the biggest I have ever seen. Open air. A large dining area to the left. Outside. A food concession area. Self service. All kinds of great food. Provided in the automat fashion of old. Lift the glass door and take out what you like. To the right of the bar on a high podium of sorts, the DJ. All under a concretion roof.

Amazing! A money maker without question! Super Paradise goes till 4 in the morning.

We need a place like this in Key West. I have it all figured out. Don Manaher of Don’s Place to run it. He has the genius. Take the quiet end of Smathers Beach. Close it off. Build a similar but smaller facility. Clothing optional. A gold mine!

An example of gold mine is the $15 per two chairs charged for the lounges. Do the math. A gold mine in itself. Of course, the place is not full every day.

I finally found a topless beach. About 75 per cent of the women. All ages. Coupled with thong bottoms. A fantasy come true.

My search for total nudity also satisfied. Though I am not certain satisfied is the correct description.

A young mother was with her two children. A girl about 3 and a boy about 1. Both naked. A pervert I am not. However, that is the closest I have come to total nudity on this trip.

I tell you about this mother and her children for a special reason. Follow me.

I happened to look out into the water. There was Mom standing waist deep. One breast exposed. Junior enjoying his lunch.

Later, I happened to turn over on my lounge. Who was on the lounge directly behind me? Mom and the two kids. Junior was still eating. Mom decided the meal was over. She took her fingers and gently removed her nipple from his mouth. He was not finished. He would have none of stopping. With one set of fingers, he grabbed onto the nipple and shoved it back in his mouth. And chomped away till he was done. Junior was calling the shots in this regard. Not his mother.

A couple of months ago I reported on my internet show of a breast feeding lawsuit recently resolved. The situation gigging rise to the lawsuit occurred somewhere in the northeast. Perhaps Vermont or New Hampshire. A young mom was seated on a regional jet waiting for take off. Her child was hungry. She was breast feeding the child. The attendant said you will have to stop…..some of the other passengers might be offended. The woman refused and she and baby were removed from the plane.

This happened in 2008. The mother sued. The case recently settled. The settlement included a written apology from the regional carrier. A written apology also from the CEO of the big airline. And an undisclosed amount of money. The CEO said in his letter of apology that his airline was breast feeding friendly and that all mothers should be so aware. Come breast feed your child on one of our planes any time!

As it should be.

I played tourist. Enjoyed a couple of pina coladas while lying in the shade of the straw umbrella over my lounge. Later in the day, I was hungry. Tried out the food place described earlier. The food a winner!

I had grape leaves stuffed with rice and big white beans. The big white beans a separate dish.

I have gotten into grape leaves on this trip big time. The beans looked good in their glass cage. Big ones. Covered in an appealing red sauce. So I went for the beans also!

The beans a winner! Tender. It was the sauce however that made them so good. A red sauce with a lot of oil mixed in. Crushed basil leaves and I do not know what else thrown in. The sauce was so good that after I finished, I took bread and wiped the dish clean.

I left before 5. The partying starts at 5. Someday perhaps.

Several people told me to eat at Nikos. A Greek restaurant. Old. It is tiny and in the midst of the big ones on the Chora waterfront. I tried Nikos last night. Superb!

I enjoy lamb shank. The best lamb shank in Key West is served at La Trattoria. Comes standing up buried in a base of gnocchi.

Last night’s lamb shank came buried in greens cooked in a lemon sauce. Equal to La Trattoruia. I was thrilled with the meal!

Sorry to have been a little long today. Good things take time to tell.

One more item. D 15 was the story of my ill fated attempt to climb the volcano. It is being reprinted in next week’s KONK Life. Ask your friends to read it. I think it’s funny.

Enjoy your day!

4 comments on “KEY WEST PART OF U.S.S. MAINE HISTORY

  1. I fondly remember the days when topless women were a common sight in the Keys. Then Reagan came in with “family values” and that ended that.

    • Yeah, Ronald Reagan’s “family values.”

      Ronnie was the first US president to have been divorced. He was also not exactly credited, at least by his children, as being much of a parent, particularly as a good father. And he was a guy that sold drugs to raise money to finance wars he lied about even existed.

      Ronal Reagan the family values president, what a joke!

  2. GOP does not get that a $15 minimum wage or a $2500 stimulus check gets plowed back into the local business economy and not into some offshore secret bank account.

  3. Nor do they get the concept of trickle down, something they promised as their economic miracle.

    But when the time came to prove it, they’re all about NO!

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