DOTTIE CLIFFORD…..A FAMILIAR FACE

One of the most thoughtful persons I have met in Key West is Dottie Clifford. We go back 20 years. We used to see each other often years ago. Less starting 10 years ago. The last time 5 years ago.

Dottie is being honored today. The Key West Citizen presents her front page as a Key West Familiar Face.

Dottie an almost Conch. Been here 40 years. The Citizen article notes that when she first arrived in Key West, it was a hippie outpost. Today, a world renown hospitality hot spot.

She has seen it all!

Dottie is President and owner of the Key West Attractions Association.

Calamity befell her a few years ago. Pancreatic cancer. Normally, the death knell. God was with her. Dottie survived. She has been cancer free for two years.

Her illness did not diminish her bubbly personality. Uplifted all the time. You hear her cheery laugh before you even see her.

Dottie, here is to another 40 years!

The Paradise Big Band performed recently. Its 20th anniversary.

I missed the event this year. Ralph De Palma’s photos appeared in this morning’s E-Blast. There were my friends! Holly and Peter Diamond singing and dancing, Skipper Kripitz on the drums, and Larry Smith the piano.

A special time. Sorry I could not make it.

Dueling Bartenders last night. One of the best events in town. Great singing! The kind that busts the walls. Tom Luna and Rick Dery the bartenders. Bobby Smith a guest bartender.

What a trio!

Tons of people.

Liz and her entourage of 4 came in. She is the Queen at Battling Bartenders and treated as such.

Liz looked magnificent! Like just off her motorcycle. Bright red turtle neck sweater, a necklace of white stones, and a black bikers jacket. I looked to see if Marlon Brando was following her.

Friend Liz is 83 and former Dean of two law schools.

With Liz were Josefina, Genevieva, and Debbie. Plus an unknown gentleman.

Skaneateles Dan Reardon and wife came in. Together with Dan’s visiting brother John and his wife.

Dan and I are orange hearted Syracuse fans. We talked about saturday’s defeat.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for another prime rib. Great for my diet.

I was fortunate to get a seat next to Jean and Ron. They are from Eastern Maryland. Jean a retired school administrator. Ron a general contractor. Grandparents to three. This their third or fourth visit to Key West.

Ron a Maryland fan. Maryland was playing Michigan. Maryland lost by 1  point. The last 5 minutes exciting. A Michigan  foul shot with 1.5 seconds to go gave Michigan the victory.

I got into the game with Ron. Whooping it up! Especially a Maryland 3 pointer with less than a minute to go.

A Mike came from the other end of the bar. Asked if I was Key West Lou. Mike advised he is a loyal blog reader. Loved Mike!

Stopped by to say good night when leaving. Met his wife. Nice people.

I can see! Amazing! I have had my new prescription glasses since friday. The difference they make! Reminds me of when I had cataract surgery on both eyes.

I waited too long to get new glasses. Never again.

I learned I needed them when I escaped Irma. Road signs impossible to read. Turn offs not visible till upon them. Lucky I survived night driving.

Speaking of Irma, my book Irma and Me appears to be selling. If you have not ordered it, please do so. Guaranteed you will enjoy! Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and  Kobobooks.com.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have a ton of topics to share. Normally get through 10. I have accumulated 25 during the week in anticipation of the show. I will spend the afternoon selecting those to be used and organizing tonight’s format.

One of the topics will include Trump’s shithole countries comment. I read this morning the Alt-Right loves Trump because of the reference. They hate immigrants.

Think about what I am going to write. Immigrants are disliked and a problem world wide. The immigrants of today are the Jews of yesterday. Peoples need a scapegoat, someone to hate.

Enjoy your day!

 

AFRICAN CEMETERY

There is a goodness to Key West people. Unique.

Key Westers are caring. Be down on your luck and the locals rise to help.

Such is not a recent thing. The year 1860 an example.

The US Navy captured three American owned slave ships. Transported more than 1,400 of the Africans on board to Key West. These were not slaves. They had been captured in Africa and were on their way for sale in Cuba and central America. At which time they would become slaves.

They were refugees at the time of their salvation. African refugees.

Key West immediately pitched in. Constructed housing and a hospital. All in what today is the Higgs Beach area. The hospital needed to care for Africans made sick or injured during the trip from Africa to where the vessels were captured.

More than 100 died. Some believe the figure to be 245. Whatever, the dead refugees were buried at Higgs Beach.

Forgotten by time. Till 2002. Some repair/maintenance work was being done int he Higgs Beach area. A few bodies were discovered. Bones that is. Experts called in. Utilizing ground penetrating radar, the remains of more African refugees were discovered.

Certain locals got together to make sure the graves would never be disturbed. The area was determined to be an African Refugee Cemetery. The area fenced off. A series of pedestals and other items erected explaining and commemorating what lie below.

A Day of Remembrance is held once a year. Today that day. From 6-8 this evening, a ceremony will be held. African dignitaries attend from various parts of Africa. Including a King. The King has become an annual visitor.

Spent three hours late yesterday afternoon sipping, enjoying the view and chatting with others at Louie’s Backyard. The Outside Deck.

Then home. I craved the sauce and meat Fran Dixon from Buffalo had recently brought me. The food was frozen solid. I could not wait for it to thaw. Ergo, microwave required. A problem existed. The sauce and meat were frozen in a plastic container.

I telephoned Fran in Buffalo. She and Tom were in the car on their way to dinner.

Explained my plight to Fran. She said micro 2-3 minutes. The frozen block will slip out. Plastic container will not melt.

I performed as directed. No problem. Transferred the food to a large microwavable bowl. Twenty minutes later, hot sauce, meatballs and pork.

Dinner simple. Dunked bread in the sauce. Ate the meatballs and veal. Nothing left at the end. Magnifique!

I live and learn. This time via Diana Millikan.

Diana is renting an apartment on a canal running along side Hilton Haven Road. Boats are parked on the canal. The boat in front of Diana’s place is named the Head Honcho.

The toilet on a boat is referred to as the head. Perry Chaing’s business is cleaning out the heads. A big business. Name of boat derived therefrom. Head Honcho.

What I learned. Years ago, toilets/receptacles were placed at the bow or base of the bow. The head of the vessel. The splashing waters would clean the toilets/receptacles.

Today, boat owners and boats world wide are sophisticated. Head Honcho’s hired!

Head Honcho’s business in Key West is known as Marine Sanitation Solutions Inc.

Tomorrow the eclipse. The moon will block out most of the sun. A shadow will be cast over the Earth. Around 3 in the afternoon. Wear the special glasses!

St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church is located on Truman Ave. The Church was dedicated this date in 1904. Still stands more than 100 years later.

I attend Church infrequently. However when I do stop into St. Mary’s, I am subjected to the warmth of a small island Caribbean house of worship. Sun shining in. A touch of warmth. A flavor not experienced elsewhere.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

VICE NEWS re CHARLOTTESVILLE

This blog has been titled from day one My Life In Key West. Such is why at some point I detail my day before.

Which brings me to yesterday. I never left the house.

My yesterday was Louis glued to television and the internet. Searching information re Charlottesville. Most of it repetitious, some new.

Included was a Vice News’ report which contained an interview by a Vice News reporter. A portion of her report was a personal interview with Christopher Cantwell who appeared to be a white supremacist leader.

The reporter a slight young lady. White tee shirt and jeans. Long dirty blond hair braided. Large eye glasses.

Looked like a college student. Could not have been. Too smart. Obviously experienced. Smarter than the people she interviewed.

She did a first class job. Got the personal interview with Cantwell, became a passenger in the van transporting Cantwell and others from one place to another. She was accompanied by a top camera man. His shots of her and the scenes taken during the protest professional.

The Cantwell interview is available free on You Tube. Twenty two minutes. I recommend it to you.

I am going to share portions of the interview and comment on certain video shots of the protest with you as my blog for today. What happened in Charlottesville and in the few days since are important to all Americans. As are the rantings of President Trump yesterday.

The video started with a shot of white supremacists walking down the street carrying large torches. A long shot. Hundreds parading. Intimidating.

Reminded me of Hitler tapes showing his brown shirts parading in 1930’s Germany.

Loudly chanting in unison as they marched along: Jews will not replace us…..Blood and soil…..Whose Streets? Our Streets…..

White supremacist leader Christopher Cantwell: We make ourselves capable of violence…..Donald Trump gave his daughter to a Jew…..Jew like Jared walking around with the white girl Ivanka…..Go kill these people if we have to…..They are anti-white vermin, anti-white filth…..Jewish Communists…..We are slowly unveiling our power, you ain’t seen nothing yet…..We are part of a national movement worldwide…..

The Vice News video reported the  white supremacists to be well organized. Came ready for the event. Shields, helmets and clubs.

At one point, a group of white supremacists were at Lee’s statue and unable to get out. A crowd from the other side was closing in on them. The white supremacist leader on the phone said he would get them out and now. He had 200 men with guns.

It appeared he was not needed yet and would be called back if the 200 were required.

Police conduct interesting. I reported in my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook and in my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that the police did not engage. They appeared restrained. Police orders were to not engage if both sides were fighting, unless ordered to do so by higher command. The order never came.

I was correct.

The police were only authorized to move the groups along.

The Vice News video shows police standing across the way watching, not engaging. Behind barricades. There were shots of the police attempting to move the crowds along. Their efforts appeared ineffectual and were ineffectual.

Turns out, police have what they describe as a reconsidered intervention strategy. Let the protesters fight. If police intervene, the thought is the situation would be aggravated.

Charlottesville is the second time the new strategy has been used. The first was at Berkeley in February.

I suspect the police want to avoid injuries to themselves. Why shed blood for blacks who do not like them and whites who do not respect them.

Trump’s words yesterday have emboldened the Alt Right. Boston this coming weekend is going to be interesting.

Our nation is in a new day. The vermin have come out. They are supported by the President.

The onslaught must be stopped now. Otherwise, the crazies, the brown shirts and the white sheet nuts will take over. The America we know will be no more.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SHAME AND DISGRACE

 

Abraham Lincoln’s head hung in shame last night as he sat in his monument in Washington. His mind run through with the disgrace of it all.

Charlottesville, Virginia. A moment that will go down in American history. A moment when the dark side of man came to the forefront. Anti-color, anti-Semite, anti-affirmative action, and anti-establishment.

Domestic terrorists. American born and bred.

The trouble makers a significant part of Trump’s base. It cannot be denied. White supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan. Dissidents all.

From day one, Trump has encouraged violence. The manner and words he used in the primaries and election against opposition. His yells to those who spoke out against him  at rallies to be thrown out, beaten. His promise to pay the attorney bills of anyone arrested. His chants to jail Hillary.

It goes on. The man is mad. He drives those who are mad. They feed off him.

Breitbart News is a leading white supremacist supporter/outlet. West Wing adviser Steve Bannon was once its CEO. Stephen Miller, who I have likened to Joseph Goebbels, wrote for the publication.

Yesterday represented America’s Arab Spring. With one significant difference. Egypt’s Arab Spring was a protest against a corrupt government. Charlottesville’s in support of evil in its many forms.

Yesterday afternoon was Robert and Ally time. Interestingly, we discussed what was blaring on the TV sets while having lunch at the new Denny’s.

Robert and Ally had a handle on the situation. I was amazed and impressed. At 13 and 12, they understood the right and wrong of Charlottesville.

At first, I was surprised. As I thought further, not. If I and my friends had a grasp on Hiroshima at the age of 10, Robert and Ally a few years older could have an understanding of Charlottesville.

Liked Denny’s! My first time. Robert and Ally had been before and recommended that we have lunch there.

Then to a unique experience. Key West Room Escape.

I questioned when I made reservations whether Robert and Ally would enjoy it. Even if I would. We all did!

Located in the Casa Antigua on Simonton, The Escape consists of two rooms. We were locked in. We were told we had 60 minutes to find the last page of Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms manuscript.

Not easy! Mentally arduous! Required team effort. We worked together.

I could not have provided Robert and Ally with a better afternoon. Nor Poppa. The grandkids got right into it. Their intelligence obvious. Not an easy task to find the page.

I found Robert and Ally’s mental acuteness exceeded mine. No question about it.

We failed. One step away. The last one. However, we were not able to figure out the last clue.

Young or old, go! You will leave excited. The Adrenalin running.

The proprietor is Kyle Turk. He watches at all times via hidden cameras. Periodically suggests whether you are hot or cold in your quest to discover the next clue.

Turk has come up with a winner. Different and exciting. I hope it takes hold.

I never made it to Giorgio and Sharon’s Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner party last night. I was exhausted by the hunt. Dropped Robert and Ally home. Did not stay. Went to my home. In bed at 6. Never got out.

Enjoy your Sunday!