SOUL OF PARIS BURNS

A busy 24 hours. Locally and internationally.

Paris first. Notre Dame Cathedral burned yesterday. A big fire. Roof and spire collapsed.

Paris in tears.

Paris firemen performed excellently. The fire was officially declared extinguished  in 8 hours.

The crown of thorns that Christ wore as he was beaten and crucified was saved. A priest ran into the burning Cathedral to save the ancient religious relic.

The Cathedral is 12th century Gothic in design. The building itself described as a masterpiece.

It will be rebuilt. The stone walls still stand. Already 2 donors have pledged a total of $3.5 million towards the reconstruction.

The Cathedral has survived several major abuses over the centuries. The rampages of the Huguenots in the 16th century, the depredations of radicals during the French Revolution in the 18th century when the cathedral was utilized as the home of the Cult of Reason and a warehouse, and incidental damages suffered in 2 World Wars in the 20th century.

Notre Dame will return!

Respectfully, Trump consistently gets his nose into things he knows nothing about. The Paris fire an example.

First however let’s go back to the California wildfires several months ago. Trump said California was negligent because it failed to sweep the forest lands. Thereby imputing responsibility for the wildfires to California.

His solution yesterday for the Cathedral fire was to use “flying water tankers.” What he had in mind is what firefighters refer to as “water bombing.”

Several professional sources responded immediately such was not the way to go. Water dropped from the air would cause the walls and remaining structure to collapse, worsen the situation, and endanger nearby buildings.

Trump may be an expert in some fields. He is not in firefighting.

He brought to mind the 1958 Spencer Tracy movie The Last Hurrah. Tracy played Mayor Frank Skeffington seeking reelection following several terms in office. The opposition hated him. Tracy was shanty Irish, the opposition Wasps.

The Wasps were blocking funds that the Mayor needed for a housing project in a poor neighborhood.

The son of one of the Wasps was visibly a horse’s ass. An obvious embarrassment to his father. The Mayor called him into his office unbeknown to his father. The Mayor made him Fire Chief. Had some photos taken in a fire hat and holding a horn of sorts.. Sent to the father before going to the press.

The father withdrew his opposition to the housing project. The Mayor withdrew the son’s nomination as Fire Chief. No one knew the better.

Trump may be a wasp. I do not know for sure. Whatever, in the field of fire fighting he is as good as the son who never became Fire Chief.

Anna was back to work  yesterday. She had some personal matters to resolve and was gone 6 weeks. Not easy for an old bachelor to clean house, do the wash, and iron. I am thrilled she has returned!

The outside of the house is getting a clean-up. The owners have had the entire house painted. Looks brand new!

Dueling Bartenders to start the evening yesterday. Teri White in a guest appearance. She and Rick Dery rocked the place!

Donna came in after work. Liz was there with Mary.

Bruce Moore came in especially to hear and see Terri. Bruce visiting for 2 weeks.

Bruce a singer and dancer himself. Appeared several times on Broadway. The guy does not age. He looked the same as when I last saw him 10 years ago.

Took a walk to La Trattoria where I had dinner alone. Dink came over as I was finishing. We talked quite a while.

Dink is a Conch. Born here. His father was Hemingway’s driver.

Hemingway’s last wife returned to Key West a year or two after her husband’s death. A room full of boxes had been discovered in Sloppy Joe’s back room. Hemingway materials. She went to examine the contents.

She took some. The major portion she left. She gave those boxes/items to Dink’s father. Turns out some of the materials have value. An unpublished book, a series of short stories, miscellaneous writings, and other materials.

Dink’s father and mother have passed on. The treasure trove Dink’s. We talked at length about it last night.

A Viking burial! Soon to be one in Key West. To “bury” a prominent Key Wester’s ashes.

Frank Holden well loved by many. To know him was to love him.

He had captained/mastered large vessels since the late 1960’s. Came to Key West and settled here in the early 1970’s. Died here February 25 at the age of 66. His death sudden and unexpected. He dropped. That was it.

Frank one of the Chart Room Bunch. Vino’s and The Porch, also.

At the time of his demise, he was the Admiral of the Conch Republic Navy.

His burial at sea tuesday April 23 at 1. A boat of relatives and friends will accompany his remains out to sea. Boats of others who knew Frank will join the flotilla.

Frank is to receive a Conch Republic Naval Burial at Sea. Airplanes and all. The event has been described to me as a Viking burial.

I suspect the harbor will be full of boats attending the ceremony. Following which there will be a celebration of Frank’s life at Schooner’s upstairs loft.

I was chatting with Donna at Dueling Bartenders. Told her many of my friends are in wheel chairs, or using canes and walkers.

Told her I hoped my time was still a far way off for such assistance.

Donna responded, “No one is promised tomorrow.”

Profound. True.

Which brings me to the prophet Isaiah: “Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their rights and make women and children their prey.”

Remind you of anyone? The man who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Boston Marathon yesterday. Run in the worst weather in years.

The male winner was Worknesh Degefa. Won by 2 seconds. Numbers 2 and 3 were right behind him. A last second spurt did it.

The female, Luorce Cherno. Far and away number 1. She took the lead after 5 miles and never saw the pack behind her again.

The Russian Revolution an interesting event. At least for me. Russian history has always appealed to me. Mixed in with their writings, music, etc.

On this day in 1917, Lenin returned from exile to lead the Russian Revolution. He had been in exile for 10 years. His thoughts and actions impacted the world. Still do.

The Russian revolutionaries had split into 2 groups. The White Bolsheviks and the Red Bolsheviks. The Whites had the power at first. The first President of free Russia and a White Bolshevik  was Alexander Kerensky.

When Lenin and the Reds came to power, Kerensky fearing for his life fled Russia. First to London, then New York City.

I attended Manhattan College in New York City. In my senior year ((1956-1957), 2 Russian history courses were offered for the first time. Covered the Russian Revolution. I was thrilled. Took them both.

The professor was Alexander Kerensky. The man who had been the first President of a free Russia and also a leader of the White Bolsheviks.

Thrilling? You have no idea. To listen to a man who had experienced what he was teaching us. He had been there for everything. Wow!

Tonight another Wow! My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of Louis ranting and raving about whatever moves me at the moment.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

9 comments on “SOUL OF PARIS BURNS

    • I am so struck by our quick willingness to help rebuild a church in France and not so much those in need like the people of Puerto Rico.

      • I think the “Church” in Rome could easily finance the rebuilding of Notre Dame in Paris. I knew a ex priest who worked for the Cardinal in Philadelphia back in the 1970s. He used to tell me how easy it was for the church to raise money, because wealthy parishioners often handed over (donated) huge sums of money to the church for the privilege of a meeting with a bishop, or a cardinal, or any important person in the church, even the pope, which commanded a fee (at that time) of a cool million bucks. He used to joke that “the church” wasn’t in the religion business, it was a scam for celebrity bribes.

        • Generally, when it comes to matters of church and politics…… I yield to Jack Nicholson’s famous line in A Few Good Men…….. as most can’t or simply refuse to.

    • The French Ministry of Culture owns Notre Dame, not the Roman Catholic Church. The French government essentially “rents” out the building to the Archdiocese of Paris.

  1. “Trump may be an expert in some fields”

    From what I see, that is doubtful, unless being a confidence man is a registered profession.

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