The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson is one of the world’s outstanding columnists. No question about it.
He and his wife enjoy Key West. They spend one month during the season here. She painting at the Studios of Key West. He reading, writing, giving talks, and walking around chatting with those he runs into.
In a recent column, Robinson commented at length about the protesters who have been demonstrating in several states. He opened the column with an old Cole Porter song. Don’t Fence Me In. Published in 1934. Its popularity remained strong through World War II.
I recall singing it many times with my parents. That’s what we did back then. My Father used to buy sheet music. Words only. Some evenings, we would sit int the living room as a family singing off the sheets.
Don’t Fence Me In had an unusual popularity. Remained popular an especially long time. Recorded by some of the top singers of the era: Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Ella Fitzgerald, and Willie Nelson.
As Robinson reflected, the tune fits today’s protesters. Describing the song as the Protesters Aria for today’s generation my doing.
Don’t Fence Me In’s opening words: “Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, / Don’t fence me in. / Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, / Don’t fence me in.”
The “protesters” don’t understand that unless they “fence” themselves in, many more deaths that should not have occurred will occur.
A step back in Key West history. A banking story.
The Bank of Key West sat at the corner of Front Street and Exchange Alley. The bank had been opened by some affluent Key Westers. The building was destroyed by fire in 1846.
The people of Key West were panic stricken. As far as they were concerned, their money burned in the fire. The bank owners sensed a run on the bank in the making.
Fortunately, all books, cash, notes and valuables were stored in a fireproof safe on the second floor of the bank. The owners were aware however that their depositors might not believe that their monies were safe.
Two of the owners took the bull by the horns. The day after the fire, they took space at the U.S. Naval Station. A large table was set up. “Heaps of silver dollars and packages of currency were piled on the table. Bags of silver were stacked all over the floor.
Behind the table were two of the owners. George Lewis and George W. Allen. The sight of the men and money dissuaded the crowd who had come to withdraw their funds. They left without doing so. Their confidence restored.
“Square Grouper” is a familiar Keys term. In the 1970’s and 1980’s when drug trafficking was big, boats or planes would fly offshore the Keys and drop bales of marijuana into the water. Local dealers would go out in small boats and pick up the bales.
Apparently square grouper days have returned.
Thursday afternoon a barrel of marijuana washed up on shore in Marathon. The barrel contained 5 separate large plastic bags. The contents of each marijuana. Total weight 90 pounds.
This morning’s KONK Life ran a photo the north end of Duval in the late 1960’s. What a difference the years have made!
The area totally unrecognizable. No Pier House, Ocean Key Resort, Hogs Breath or Mallory Square.
The price of gasoline has benefited purchasers from the over supply of oil world wide. Everywhere, but in Key West. Till this week. The price dropped under $2 a gallon. At one station only. The Shell Station in Key Haven at the corner of U.S.1.
The Lower Keys Medical Center is opening to additional business. Not a total reopening. Effective May 4, the hospital will resume outpatient surgeries and elective procedures.
All hospitals hurt financially if they cannot perform outpatient surgeries and elective procedures. A hospital full of coronavirus patients is not a money maker.
The hurricane season is a month away. Opening day June 1. The word is it could be a rough one.
Powerful hurricanes not expected till mid August. These are described as the “red meat” of hurricanes.
I have learned not to place much faith in hurricane prognostications. They rarely are accurate. The “big one” usually comes when least expected.
The hotel industry taking a beating. Understandably.
The Hotel and Lodging Association released new data. These are nation wide figures. Seventy percent of employees are laid off or furloughed. Eight in 10 hotel rooms remain empty.
May Johnson still sick. Today’s entry from her 1896 diary: “Better but very weak from yesterday’s vomiting.”
I mentioned yesterday New York City’s problem with dead bodies. Insufficient funeral personnel and inadequate monies to bury people.
The government could pick up the bill. FEMA is authorized by law to finance the burials IF the President consents. Trump has refused to consent.
Ergo, the bodies stack up. Many in large refrigerated trucks.
A senior living facility has experienced 98 deaths. Most of the bodies stacked in refrigerated trucks outside the senior building.
Donald, a little help for the dead! Can it be so bad? Is it because they cannot vote? Or perhaps because many are Puerto Ricans and black?
The banks, hotels, corporations, universities, etc. receive stimulus assistance. What about the little guy who lives in a small apartment with his family. The rent came due yesterday. He could not pay it.
Several months ago I suggested a solution to the problem. It was one we all knew had to occur.
My solution simple. Defer rent payments till things return to some semblance of normal. Where the landlord has a mortgage, defer mortgage payments to the bank for the same length of time.
A big help!
Why not done? Others have made a similar suggestion. Is it because it would screw up a bank’s cash flow?
The White House announced it is prohibiting Fauci from testifying before a House Appropriations Sub-Committee wednesday.
I do not know whether the President has power to do so with Fauci.
I do know this. It makes it appear Trump has things to hide. I doubt anyone would argue the point.
It is wrong to bar Fauci from testifying. The coronavirus crisis is perhaps the worst that has ever faced this nation. Transparency required. The people have a right to know exactly what is going on.
Trump always likes to keep the truth hidden. Wrong each time. Especially wrong this time.
Donald, Donald, Donald. When are you going to stop screwing around with China? You have already caused enough damage going back to the time you were elected.
The stock market began a radical drop friday afternoon. It began with the White House announcement that Trump was considering imposing additional tariffs on China in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.
The market will probably open down monday morning.
I cannot understand Trump. To his way of thinking, a strong market means a strong economy. A position I do not agree with.
Not the issue, however. Trump does think so. It would seem he is cutting his own throat by imposing additional tariffs.
His thought process confusing.
Enjoy your day!