WE’VE MET THE ENEMY, AND IT’S US

 

KONK Life is a local once a week publication. It has an ancillary publication. E-Blast. E-Blast publishes daily on the internet. Solely on the internet.

This morning’s E-Blast had an interesting Letter to the Editor. By Key West local Roger C. Kostmayer. A man seasoned by years, knowledgeable and frank.

The letter titled Listen to Pogo. Pogo being the famous comic strip philosopher.

Kostmayer began with two factual happenings. One that the U.S. is under attack from without by Russia and from within by Congressional Republicans. The other is that the attack has resulted in a self imposed crisis.

He concludes with a famous Pogo observation…..We’ve met the enemy, and it’s us.

Spent most of yesterday afternoon working on Growing Up Italian. My grandparents were met with a difficult world in their early years here. The anti-Italian sentiment significant.

I enjoyed a 30 minute happy interruption while working on the book. Jean Thornton called. She was taking a walk in Birmingham and decided she would like to talk with me. Just pass the time of day.

That’s Jean!

It was cold in Birmingham. High 40’s or low 50’s as we were talking. She told me the evenings were in the 20’s. And I complain when it is in the 60’s!

Jean is on a diet also. Weight Watchers. Walking part of the routine.

We covered a multitude of items. Every Key West tidbit I tried to share, Jean already knew. She has her finger on the pulse of Key West constantly.

Jean and Joe will soon be off for a three week stay in Hawaii. Return home for a few weeks. Then the big one as she describes it. A month somewhere in Europe.

I could have been out with a lovely woman last night. Instead, I declined. Wanted to watch the Syracuse/Georgia Tech game at home.

I should have gone out. Could not get the game on TV. Later in the evening, the sports news reported Syracuse lost 46-41. Not a good year!

I spent the evening reading How to Win a Fight with a Conservative by Daniel Kurtzman.

Page 179 contains a brief passage titled: The Koch Brothers, GOP Corporate Overlords. The passage concludes: “…..Republicans from every state will line up at their door to grovel at their feet and ask for campaign contributions, a practice known throughout political circles as “sucking Koch.”

I initially considered leaving the quotation out as it appeared tasteless.

Turtles are taking a beating in this cold weather. Florida waters unusually cold this year. The Marathon Turtle Hospital and similar Florida facilities bursting at the seams. An overflow. Turtles everywhere.

Marathon recently took in several more turtles. From North Florida waters. The turtles described as cold stunned. Last year, Marathon flew up to Cape Cod and returned with a large number of Cape Cod turtles that were suffering from the cold waters there.

Cold water slows a turtle’s metabolism. Making the turtles vulnerable to infections and illnesses. One of the problems associated with exposure to cold waters are tumors. Some bug/virus creates the tumors in the turtles.

The hospital stay for cold stunned turtles is generally one year. Tumor resolution the primary reason for the long stay

One of the best loved men in Key West is Joseph Lyles. Affiliated for many years with the Hot Tin Roof. His most recent position as Manager.

Joseph had back problems. Underwent an operation to correct the problems. The result not good. Still has back problems, needs a cane to get about, and cannot move swiftly.

So much for continuing as a restaurant manager.

Joseph has been reemployed. At the Casa Marina. As a concierge.

Go, Joseph! All of Key West is happy for you.

Guy de Boer just telephoned. Did you see it? What? This week’s KONK Life is out. You and Irma and Me are on the front page!

As soon as I finish the blog, I will go out and get a copy.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its Keys History section had a piece of information regarding Ernest Hemingway. On this day in 1935, Hemingway and two friends went fishing on Hemingway’s boat. All three caught a sailfish.

An unusual occurrence.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

EDWARD HENRY

The Key West Citizen daily runs on page 3 its Citizen of the Day. Photo and biographical sketch.

Today’s honoree is Edward Henry.

I do not know him personally, yet feel I do know him personally. Edward works in the pharmacy department at Walgreens on the Boulevard. Always a smile, always helpful. Sometimes difficult I am sure. Prescription purchasers are not always happy campers.

Edward is a big guy. Reminds me of Shaquille O’Neal. Carries himself with the same humility.

Congratulations, Edward! You are much deserving of the recognition.

Spent my day time yesterday writing thus week’s KONK Life column. An American Revolutionary War Hero Who Lost His Head. The Joseph Warren story. Interesting. More revealing, the treatment of the colonists by the British during the war. The column hits the stands wednesday.

Intended to have dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Thought the bar would be empty on a sunday night. Not so. No room.

Went to La Trattoria Oceanside. No room at the bar. However, I was able to get a well located table with a magnificent view of the water. Enjoyed spaghetti and oil. A dish I have not had in ages.

My waiter was CJ. I did not recall him. He did me. He worked years ago at La Trattoria on Duval when I was a regular customer. He recalled me by name.

His step mother is Erin. She was bartender at La Trattoria on Duval for years. Now bartends at Smokin’ Tuna.

CJ is getting married in November. He is all excited! Good luck to him and his bride.

I mentioned Berlin’s yesterday. I had been there friday evening. New singer, I thought. Was not sure of her name. An excellent entertainer.

A comment to the column corrected me. Devin. I thank him. Brie her name. Brie not new to Key West or singing. She has been here 10 years.

I have  mentioned a couple of times this past week that Helen Mirren was in Key West making a movie. Together with co-star Donald Sunderland. Shooting was taking place at Higgs Beach and the Hemingway House.

The movie is titled The Leisure Seeker. It is the story of an elderly couple. The wife a cancer patient. Her husband entering into Alzheimer’s. They decide to take a road trip to Key West in a Winnebago.

The weekend bombings. What can I say? What can we say? Eventually, the problem will be resolved. Could take a number of years. In the meantime, vigilance the key.

The problem will not be resolved here. It will be in the Middle East by the total destruction of ISIS.

President James Garfield died this date in 1881. An assassin’s bullet on July 2 started the sequence of events leading to Garfield’s death.

I wrote a lengthy KONK Life column on the subject five years ago.

Garfield was shot at the Washington Railroad Station. One bullet in his arm. The other on the right side of his back behind the pancreas.

Garfield laying on the filthy railroad station floor. Robert Todd Lincoln was with him. Lincoln called a Dr. D. Willard Bliss to care for the President. Bliss turned out to be an arrogant individual impressed with his own perceived self-importance. He cared for Garfield till his death some two and a half months later.

During that time, roughly 80 physicians also were called in. Bliss always in charge, however.

The problem was no one could find the bullet in the President’s back. Fingers and instruments prodded the hole searching for it. Dirty fingers and instruments. This was before the medical profession realized there were germs. Bacteria.

Infection set in. The President’s body became accessed big time internally.

The bullet had to be found and extracted. Bliss called in Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell had invented a metal detector that was supposed to locate bullets in the body. It had been successfully tested on Civil War veterans.

The detector did not work on the President. A scratchy buzzing sound was constantly heard. Something was wrong.

Garfield lay on a mattress which lay on a metal coil bed spring. The metal bed spring had recently been invented. A patent pending. Not yet on the market for sale. One had been given Garfield for publicity purposes.

The metal bed spring mattress screwed up the metal detector. No one realized it at the time.

An autopsy showed that the prodding by fingers and instruments had moved the bullet from the President’s right side to his left. The bullet could not be located because it was not where it was supposed to be.

Charles Guiteau went on trial for the murder of the President. His defense was that medical malpractice had killed Garfield, not his shooting. The jury did not agree. He was found guilty and hung.

Guiteau made his own closing argument to the jury. “Yes, I shot him, but his doctors killed him.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PRESIDENT’S DOCTORS KILLED HIM

On this day in 1881, President John Garfield was at the Washington, D.C. railroad station. He was shot twice by Charles Guiteau, a demented lawyer. One bullet was of no consequence. Another was. The one in his back.

Doctors at the railroad station hurried to help the President. Others were called. They worked on the President as he lay on the dirty railroad floor.

Ninety one days later, the President died. Of everything under the sun. The bullet in his back was never found till his body was autopsied.

Doctors prodded with dirty fingers for three months his back wound looking for the bullet. Could not find it. The prodding was on th right side since the hole was on th right side. No one thought of looking somehow on the left side. The prodding fingers had moved the bullet over.

Desperation set in. The bullet had to be found or the President would die.

Alexander Graham Bell had invented the telephone five yeas earlier. He was famous. He also invented a metal detector. Referred to as an induction balance. Graham claimed it could locate the metal bullet in the President’s body. Graham had already successfully tested it on many persons. Always located the bullet.

The metal detector could not locate the bullet.

Metal box springs were new. Not yet for sale. A free one had been given the President. It was on his bed beneath the mattress. Graham and the doctors were not aware the metal bed spring was diverting the charge resulting only in static.

Guiteau was tried for murder. He said…..I shot the President, but the doctors killed him. He was convicted and hung.

I briefly write this story today because it is the day Garfield was shot. I wrioe about the incident in a KONK Life column on October 7, 2015. The Doctors Killed The President. You  can read the story in detail in that article. It can be found at my website www.keywestlou.com. The bar on top of the page has an entry KONK Life Column. Hit it. Hit what comes up. Then scroll down till you come to the article.

Today is freedom day for me. I can drive again. Drink, too. Will be out this afternoon and evening.

On July 4, the Fourth of July 5K Run/Walk will take place. 7:30 at Knight Pier (formerly White Street Pier).

Few in the younger generations know of Olivia de Haviland. A famous movie star in the 1930s-1950s. Today is her birthday. One hundred years old! God bless!

Still in great shape. Except hearing and seeing diminishing. Still lovely.

Olivia won two Academy Awards for Best Actress. She starred in eight films with Errol Flynn. Swashbuckling type movies. A star during Hollywood’s Golden Age, She was featured in 49 films. Like Robin Hood, Gone With the Wind, The Snake Pit, Light in the Piazza, and They Died With Their Boots On.

The Amistad came up in my readings yesterday. The Amistad was a slave ship. On June 28, 1839, the ship carrying 53 African slaves left Havana for a sugar farm on the other side of Cuba. Five days later in the midst of a violent storm, the slaves mutinied. They were led by the slave Cinque.

Their intent was to sail to Africa. Good seamen they were not. Two months later they were off the coast of New England.

Slaves or free men? The United States Supreme Court ruled they were free men.

Amistad’s connection with Key West? The slaves never made it to Key West. None are buried here. The connection minimal. Yet when the connection occurred, it turned out to be a big few days in Key West.

In January 2003, a reproduction of the Amistad sailed into Key West harbor. It tied up behind the Key West Hilton, now the Weston. Locals and tourists alike visited the Amistad.

Enjoy your day!