GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

LINCOLN JUMPED OUT A WINDOW TO STOP A VOTE

I was chatting at the Hot Tin Roof bar last night with a couple from Montana. Trump supporters.

A congenial conversation. Opposing views expressed.

At one poin,t they were expressing their disgust with the Democrats having failed to turn up for one or two committee hearings yesterday. Hearings scheduled for votes re two cabinet picks.

I smiled. Then shared with them a story I wrote in this blog 4-5 years ago.

It was 1840. The actual date December 5. Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Illinois Legislature. He was a Whig at the time.

The Democrats the opposing party.

The Democrats needed a quorum to vote on a piece of legislation they wanted passed. They suspected the Whigs might leave the Chamber so there would not be a quorum. The Democrats had the door locked.

Lincoln was no fool. The Chamber was on the second floor. He walked over and opened a window. Jumped out and ran off. Thereby denying the opposition for the moment the quorum required.

I told my friends, denying a quorum is All American. If Lincoln could do it, so too today’s Democrats.

Sex seems to affect children at an earlier age these days. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine has graduated to sexually explicit classmate photos.

Horace O’Bryant is a Key West school. Kindergarten through 8th grade. An investigation is underway. Sexual photos being shared. The pics taken off campus. Transmitted initially via social media. The pics of middle school students.

Parents, pull your hair out!

A haircut at noon yesterday with Lori. She told me about her recent long weekend Caribbean cruise. Fun. She recommends it.

At one point, the water got rough. Her stomach began to flutter. The remedy was to drink more, she said. The alcohol balanced out the woozy stomach.

Stopped at Farmers Market afterwards. To buy bread. A young immigrant couple sells their home made bread under one of the tents. I who ask everyone everything have never asked them where they came from. The bread is delicious. I bought 15 small loaves. I freeze the bread.

Ran into Boomer at Farmers Market.

The Chart Room and Hot Tin Roof last night. Both places relatively quiet. The Montana couple sat at the bar near me.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy present Buonasera Venezia tonight from 5-8 at the Bottlecap.
A charity fundraiser. I will be there. With Liz. She called yesterday and said she wanted to go. Venice her favorite place. She and her now deceased husband spent many happy days in Venice.

I have been visiting or living in Key West more than 25 years. When first I came, the men did not wear jackets. Dress jackets. Sport jackets. Then one could be noticed every few months. We locals would look at each other and quietly whisper…..Tourists.

I see more and more men wearing jackets the past couple of years. Especially the past few months. Especially when cold. Even however when it is merely part of the dress costume for the evening.

Includes locals.

Key West is changing.

Poet John Keats died in February 1821. Twenty five years old. One of the world’s best romantic sonnet writers.

Keats died in his bedroom in Rome. A four story narrow building at 26 Piazza di Spagna. Immediately next to the Spanish Steps.

I was in Rome 35 years ago with my family for a  month. My wife and daughters deserted me one day to shop. The American dollar was strong. Everything cost one-third of what it did back home.

I was walking around. Sat a while on the Spanish Steps and watched the world go by. Took a walk. Passed the building described. A small brass sign on the side of the door read The Keats Shelley House.

I went in. Explored the four floors. The top floor was the important one.

Keats’ bedroom had been preserved as it was at the time of his death. An outer room had some of his first edition books and manuscripts of his writings. All under glass.

I came across one writing that moved me emotionally.

Recall first that Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg  Address on a brown paper bag. The bag that had carried his lunch.

Keats wrote the opening stanzas of one of his most famous poems on a piece of crumbled paper. The opening lines to Endymion. A several volume work.

Few know Endymion. Most know its opening lines as penciled in on that piece of crumbled paper: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever…..”

Tomorrow at noon Syracuse/Virginia. Tough game. Virginia ranked #9 nationally. I refuse to get excited in spite of Syracuse’s spectacular victory over North Carolina State earlier this week.

I just remembered! I will not be watching the game. At noon, I will be marching in Steve Attis’ New Orleans funeral parade. Followed by mass at St. Mary’s Church.

Enjoy your day!

 

BUBBA SYSTEM

Bubba system. A term used mainly in the Florida keys. Means friends taking care of friends. In Key West, Conchs taking care of each other as well.

Almost a year ago on July 14, 2015, my blog was titled Bubba System At Work. Concerned the Key West City Commission and its treatment of Uber. Uber drivers were being arrested.

Key West is still with out Uber. Many want it. Tourists and locals alike. Thus far, their requests ignored. The City Commission finally discussed the issue last night. Passed the buck.

The City Commission entertained allowing Uber to operate on the island. Fifty persons present. Many spoke. The City Commission decoded to delay a decision. The excuse was that the Florida legislature was studying the issue and Key West should take a wait and see attitude till a State decision was forthcoming. It was contemplated the decision would take one to two years.

A bubba decision! There is no reason why Key West could not take a position at the present time. No State law prohibiting Uber. No assurance the State will take a position at any time.

What the City Commission did was take care of their local friends. The people who own the cab companies.

Money was not involved. Perhaps if it was, a swifter decision could have been made. Like the $12.5 million Peary Court decision. A bubba action if there ever was one. Key Westers are still waiting to find out who the principals are who will benefit from the decision.

Vote those City Commissioners not acting in the best interests of Key West out next election! Replace them! How many times do the people of Key West have to be screwed before they act/react?

Yesterday was cholesterol blood work and an echo test. See my heart doctor next thursday for the results.

Following the blood letting, I went to the Creperie for breakfast. Second tine I have been there. Should go more often. Terrific food! Great coffee!

The Creperie is in K-Mart Plaza.

Started my night on the town with a visit with Mark Watson at the Back Door Bar. Zoey joined us. First time I met Zoey. Charming company. Zoey works at Havana on Duval. The old Camille’s.

Orlando and American medical treatment discussed at length. Good conversation.

Then to Duffy’s for another Maine lobster. I’m hooked!

This week’s KONK Life hit the stands yesterday. My column this week is The Rape of Social Security. Read it. Revealing.

The column was posted thus morning to my Key west Lou website. It can be read there also.

One of the Orlando victims is Patience Carter. She survived. Shot in her legs.

A 20ish Afro-American. Lovely.

Yesterday morning, I came across a video of her reading a poem she had written while in the hospital concerning the shooting. Tears sliding down her cheeks.

I noted she was an intern at FOX in Philadelphia.

Read the Wall Street Journal yesterday at breakfast. Patience’s picture on the front page. Large. The by line stated she got out of the Pulse Club ok. However went back in to find her friends. That is when she was shot.

Rudolph Murdoch owns FOX. He also owns the Wall Street Journal. Patience has a great career ahead of her. A jewel inadvertently discovered. A star rising out of tragedy.

I am considering a trip to Europe. Italy. Greece too dangerous. Italy has some safe spots. If I go, it will be to two places. One is Courmayeur. I have visited before. Chalet living half way up Mont Blanc. The other, Camogli on the Italian Riviera.

We shall see.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was running for the U.S. Senate. A race he lost. He said on this date that a house divided could not stand. He was paraphrasing a passage from the New Testament: “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

We are a divided nation once again. The issues different. Yet we are divided. Divided for many years.

How long can we survive so divided? The division is like a cancer eating away at a body. Will it be cured before it is too late?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SCREW OFF DAY AGAIN

Love wednesdays! The end of my work week. My friday night.

Writing consumes me. Love it! Especially research, the actual writing and editing. Certain days are heavy. I start saturday and run through tuesday evening.

Sunday and tuesday the busiest. The KONK Life column must be to the publisher by 5 on sunday. Takes me all day to do. After researching it on saturday. Tuesday is my blog talk radio show. Additional research, fine tuning the material, and doing the show in the evening.

Today is wednesday. The beginning of my weekly three day vacation.

Anti-gravity treadmill yesterday morning. Hogfish for lunch. I was able to get a seat. Not as many people. Fine tuned my blog talk radio show. Delivered the blog talk radio show in the evening.

I got into the Catholic Church last night. I am unhappy with the way the Cardinals and Bishops are treating him. He is being ignored. He says do something. They do not. They do what they want. I explored the problem.

Political campaigns cost money. I was into Bill and Hillary’s earnings from speaking engagements. Since 2001, $153 million. We should all be on the speaking circuit!

Syracuse/Louisville tonight at 7. Louisville a 7 point favorite. Dan, lets watch it together at Jack Flats. E-mail and let me know if we will be together. I will be bringing a guest.

The New York Times reported today that China has deployed surface to air missiles on an island in the South China Sea. Already some Congressmen are spouting…..We must do something!

Where have they been the past two years? China has been building islands from scratch in the China Sea. Placing air strips on them. Increased its naval vessel numbers beyond ours. Developed new surface to air missiles capable of hitting the US from one of the islands.

China could become an immediate problem if its problems with Japan are not resolved. Both nations are fighting over a series of islands. In the event of hostilities, the US  is bound by agreement to defend/help Japan.

Football czar Roger Godell received $34.1 million in compensation from professional football last year. Actually, he is paid directly by the owners who he continues to make rich.

This next topic is sure to arouse severe and adverse comment.

Recall General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea. He burned and pillaged one community after another. With the full support of his military superior General Ulysses Grant and President Abraham Lincoln.

The philosophy behind such destruction was that it would end the war more quickly if Southern civilians felt the destruction personally.

This used to be the position of the US through World War II. Japan and Germany were left in ruins. We bombed the hell out of Germany. Dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.

Since World War II, the US has proceeded differently. Civilians must be protected. Avoid damage to civilians. Kill and wound them not.

I do not agree. I am of the opinion that the citizens of a nation have in one fashion or another placed their leaders in power and permitted them to remain in power.

Better the civilians die rather than our boys and girls.

Enjoy your day!

 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

You may have wondered how I come up with the topics that become my weekly KONK Life column. The topics are diversified.

I rarely know what I am going to write until saturday or sunday. The column is due at KONK Life on sunday.

I read a lot. My whole life. When 7, I was reading heavy adult material while seated in an easy chair with a dictionary at my side.

This week’s column will involve Abraham Lincoln. His personal life. Things most of us did not know.

I got into Lincoln because of a small piece I read somewhere earlier this week. It said Lincoln was the only President to be a licensed bartender. I never knew.

I started researching the bartender item which lead me to personal characteristics of Lincoln. Most unknown. A column  was born!

Research is complete. I will write the column this afternoon. It will touch on Lincoln’s bartending days and his being considered lazy when it came to physical work. Also, mention will be made that he was non alcoholic, neither smoked nor chewed tobacco, did not use a gun, advocated the vote for women, dressed sloppy, and rarely combed his hair. Finally, the story of his first love who died young causing Lincoln to suffer a severe depression.

Interesting material. Be sure to read the column itself which hits the stands wednesday.

Nancy Robinson was a unique individual. A class act. She died two weeks ago. The Celebration of Her Life will be at 11 this morning at MCC at 1215 Petronia Street. Martha and family will be there. Friends, also. I doubt the Church will have sufficient room for all who attend. Nancy touched everyone.

Stone crab season began thursday. Yesterday at Keys Fisheries in Marathon a stone crab eating contest was held. Twenty five stone crabs per contestant. Participants were required to break the shells also. The winner devoured his 25 stone crabs in 13 minutes 30 seconds.

Disqualification a risk. Throw up and you were out of the contest!

The Humphrey Bogart Film Festival begins wednesday and runs through sunday. The place Key Largo.

Two items on the must see list. The house where the movie Key Largo was filmed. The African Queen boat that Humphrey Bogart and Katheryn Hepburn made the trip through African waters on. There will also be films shown and talks held at various places in Key Largo.

Bocce standings in this morning’s paper. My team dropped from 2nd to 4th place as a result of the two games lost this week. The team that beat us is a half game ahead in third place. We are 4 games out of first place.

We are at a tough place. We have to win most of our remaining games. I am getting nervous.

Watched the first three quarters of the Syracuse/Virginia game yesterday. Missed the last quarter and as it turned out, three overtimes.

When I left, Syracuse was winning by 17 points. In the end, Virginia won 44-38.

Sportcasters indicate the Syracuse defense fell apart in the last quarter and the overtimes.

My thinking is crystalizing. Syracuse is a young team. Many freshmen starting. Even the quarterback is a freshmen. The balance of the season will be so so. Win a few, lose a few. Next year will be different. Glory days will return!

I pray to God!

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Two bocce friends showed up and we had a good time chatting about everything. My friends had to leave early. They were chaperoning the Homecoming Dance at the high school.

My Thailand blog friend Sangjarn sent me a video yesterday. Of a two-headed snake. Ugh! Ugly! The thing was alive. Yellow and orange body. The two heads each looked like a man’s penis with the foreskin pulled back.

I wrote Sangjarn and told her how disgusting! She responded she sent it to me because in her country to see a two headed snake is good luck. She wanted me to have good luck.

Enjoy your sunday!