MY COUNTRY, ‘TIS OF THEE, SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY…..

My Country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty…..Let freedom ring!

No more. We’re losing it.

Democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of Donald Trump. Politicians more concerned with expediency rather than correctness.

Yesterday, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Today, Stephen R. Mallory.

Mallory of Key West fame. Confederate fame, also. Key West’s famous Mallory Square is named after him. His bronze bust sits in the Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden. One of 39 recognized for having had a major impact on Key West.

He was a United States Senator from Florida 1851-1861. During that time, he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

He joined the Confederacy when Florida seceded. He served as Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy during the entire Civil War. He did an excellent job for the Confederacy.

He fled Richmond at the end of the War, was captured, imprisoned, and charged with treason. After one year, he was paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

Mallory rarely if any time returned to Key West. He settled in Pensacola where he practiced law til his death.

I spoke of the Mallory/Confederacy problem last year when the move to remove statues, proclamations, etc. of Southern supporters arose. I asked: Should Mallory Square be renamed? Should Mallory’s bust be removed from the Garden of honor?

My answer then simple. The same today. Leave well enough alone. Broward, Mallory, and all the rest part of American history. Good, bad or indifferent.

History should neither be altered, destroyed nor removed.

Attended the Key West Craft Show yesterday afternoon. Covered half the length of Whitehead. Everything on exhibit, everything for sale. Great craft!

The Craft Show has been ongoing more than 30 years.

I bought my first Jack Baron painting 20 years ago at the Craft Show. A black Madonna and Child. $3,500. My wife at the time said I was out of my mind.

I still have the painting, as well as many other Baron works. It gives me joy every time I look at it.

Visited with Diana Millikan at cocktail time at her Key West home on Hilton Haven Drive. Her tiny condo sits on a canal.

Diana and I have been working on a book together for ever so long. It seems to be taking forever to complete. We are still at the research stage. The novel intended is a history of Key West prostitution. All the way back to 1660.

Diana just returned from a trip to Haiti to attend the funeral of a friend. She was down with dysentery for three days. She said she drank bottled water. Turned out the water was bottled in Haiti with Haitian waters.

Then to the Chart Room. Shaun bartending. Quiet.

Heard a cruise ship could not dock yesterday. Wind too strong.

Spoke with Tom and Fran Dixson in Buffalo last night. They recently returned from a cruise to Cuba. Leave soon for a 2 week tour of Rome and southern Italy. They are traveling with a Buffalo area seminary. The trip includes an audience with the Pope.

Too much on  my mind sometimes. I thought the Syracuse/Pitt game was tomorrow night. It was saturday night. Missed it. Syracuse won 60-55.

Next game wednesday evening against Georgia Tech at 8. I will not miss it.

Donna called last night. They made it to Tampa. Donna hurting bad. Going to find a Tampa orthopedist today.

Terri’s testing began at 6:30 this morning. I wish her well.

New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Key West, Fantasy Fest.

Beads have been clogging New Orleans’ catch basins for years. To the point, water ain’t moving. A bead removal project underway. Estimated 93,000 pounds of beads (46 tons) to be removed. Sixty four thousand catch basins. Cost: $7 million.

Will Key West ever be so afflicted? Hope not.

We have been complaining about Russian interference in our elections. Putin has turned the tables on us. He is complaining of U.S. meddling in the Russian elections to be held March 18. The pot calling the kettle black.

There is no need for any country to attempt to influence Russian elections. Putin either kills or jails the opposition before the election.

We take automobiles for granted. To drive or ride in. There was a time when autos were new, however.

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the first American President to ride in an auto. September 1901 in a Stanley Steamer.

Enjoy your day!

 

REPUGNANT / INSULTING

Some things are as American as apple pie. They need not be changed and should not be changed.

Budweiser has announced it is changing its name. Temporarily.From May 23 through election day. The new name….. America.

Bud is trying to capitalize on the election. Remember, Trump is going to make America great again. Bud is capitalizing on election fever.

The renaming applies only to 12 ounce bottles and cans.

The move is not a political one. Rather an advertising idea to boost sales. Bud has been turning out millions less beers the past several years ago.

It also has to do with poor foreign judgement. Bud is a Belgian company run by a Brazilian. What does the home office know about these things!

Worked through the lunch hour yesterday. Fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Left me with some free time in the afternoon. I put it to good use.

I drove up US 1 to Mangrove Mama’s. Lobster reuben time in a pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

I enjoyed doing last night’s show.

Two issues appear to have garnered the most interest.

One, the Portland School Board voting to ban school texts denying the existence of global warming.

The other America’s suicide rate. It is the highest it has been in 30 years. Suicides up for women and those formerly of the middle class. Only place not up is for those over 75. Places me in the safe group. A benefit of being 80.

Pass the buck time in the Florida keys. By public officials. Nothing new.

The Monroe Country Board of Commissioners wants to add to the sin tax. The tax on alcohol and tobacco. To pay for fire and ambulance services and to fund monies given to social service agencies. The alcohol/tobacco part is what gives it the sin tax label.

My problem with the proposal is the County Commissioners do not have the balls to vote on the issue themselves. And then defend the result the next time they run for election.

Instead, they propose having the people vote on the issue at the elections on November 8.

What further galls me is that the election result will not be a non binding one.

Voting by the citizenry does not seem to carry any weight. Commissioners do not feel bound to abide by the election result. Point: Peary Court.

The Marker Waterfront Resort opened two years ago. It sits near Schooner Wharf. Marker does not have an inside bar. Only a bar outside by the pool. Tried it twice. Did not enjoy. The place was dead.

Marker has come up with an idea to goose interest in the bar. One I like.

Marker is going to run movies outside by the pool every thursday evening at 8:30. Starting tomorrow night and running through the summer.

Top Gun came out 30 years ago. Marker is celebrating the film’s birthday by running it as its first film. One of Key West’s best known luminaries Kelley McGillis is the female head.

Zika. Controversial. This morning’s Key West Citizen has a Letter to the Editor re the issue. By John Prosser of Big Pine. Excellent. Suggest you read it.

Prosser does not understand the sound and fury.  He attributes the sudden concern the result of media hysteria and prediction of epidemics.

Prosser clearly stands on one side of the issue.

I stand on the same side. I spoke recently on my blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that I thought Zika was another Ebola. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Thus far, 157 pregnant women in the United States have come down with Zika. The number does not make for an epidemic.

I am going to be buried tomorrow with comments by those disagreeing with me. Bring them on! There are two sides to the issue.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MICHAEL HOEFLICH

Received an e-mail from Mike Hoeflich yesterday. A voice from the past. We had not communicated in more than 25 years. Mike found me via this blog.

In the late 1980s, I was Chairman of the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Visitors. The Dean at the time resigned. A five person search committee was formed to select a new Dean. I was a member of the search committee.

We spent a year looking, interviewing, reading, etc. in our quest for a new Dean. I sometimes felt as if I was picking the next President of the United States. A trip! We wanted the best of the best. We got it in Mike Hoeflich.

As Board Chairman, I worked closely with the Dean. We were working for the good of the Law School. Mike turned out to be one of the finest people I have met. Intelligent, hard working, articulate, a leader, genuine, etc. It was an honor and pleasure to have worked with him.

Mike left Syracuse after six years as Dean. He moved on to Kansas University where he served as Dean for six years. Since 2000, Mike has taught law at Kansas. A big time professor. Chaired.

I recall Mike’s position clearly re law professors having to write and be published. He pushed the law faculty in this regard. He was a do as I do guy. Mike has published 15 books and 115 articles.

A good man in every respect!

I worked several hours yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. I decided to do a black America show. Stressed three areas.

The first was Charleston and the forgiveness thing. I believe forgiveness accomplishes nothing in solving our racial problems. I am not Jesus and could not turn the other cheek. Said why and what I thought should be done.

The next item involved the Confederate flag. Easy. Take it down! I fear the South Carolina legislature is going to delay. The legislature voted yesterday to debate the issue. Resolution could take forever, if at all.

The final item involved Josephine Baker. Traced her life. The discrimination heaped upon her. Her fight back.

Ran over to Roostica for dinner. Sat at the bar. Looked like a bum. Had not shaved in four days. I was hopeful of not running into anyone. Impossible.

Michelle joined me at the bar. Michelle and husband own Roostica. As well as Hogfish and Geiger Key. Enjoyed an interesting conversation. A I was leaving, Bobby arrived to join his wife.

Ran into Alex and Mary the other day at Publix. Alex, my horn blowing friend. A retired New York fireman, he is into his other life in Key West. He blows his horn at affairs. Many times accompanying Larry Smith. He has made several CDs and videos. He lives in Key West time.

Alex had read last week’s KONK Life column The Petticoat Affair. He was taken by it.

This week’s column publishes today. America, Land of the Free. The title selected with tongue in cheek. We are not the land of the free untill all people are equally treated.

Big day ahead! Anti-gravity treadmill at 11. Manicure at 12 with Tammy. Dinner tonight at Salute’s on the beach with friends. A typical Key West day!

Body Owners has brought me together with a new and different group of friends. All into physiotherapy. The sick, sore, lame and disabled. All ages. I am anxious to make my three times a week workouts. I want to see how my new found friends are doing, share tidbits with them.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

NOT AN ORDINARY DAY

I spent all of my yesterday into the early evening completing research and writing this week’s KONK Life column. Did not finish till 7 in the evening. Unusual to have taken so long.

It was the subject matter. The plight of the Afro-American in today’s society. Not boring. I approached the problem from a different perspective. I specifically addressed three situations. World War I’s Gene Bullard, World War II’s  Josephine Baker, and the recent Charleston killings.

I have discovered over the years that the writing of an article in the first instance does not take much effort. Once research is completed, the first draft goes quickly. It is the rewrites that take time. The devil is in the details.

I generally do three rewrites. To me, it is polishing the material. Words and phrases corrected/changed. Much like apples when sold in years gone by. They were purchased dirty at the fruit counter. Today, they come to us polished. Then, needed some buffing.

Writing involves a lot of buffing.

The unusual amount of time yesterday kept me from Father’s Day dinner with Lisa and the family. Dinner was set for six. I telephoned Lisa at 5:30 to tell her I needed at least another hour and a half to complete my column. It was already several hours late to the publisher. I told her the earliest I could make it was 8. I still had to shower.

Lisa said the meal was ready. It would be cold by the time I arrived. She said she would feed the family and save some food for me. I knew I would be exhausted by 8. I said…..Love you…..will not be stopping by. She understood.

My ankles came into the picture. I sat at the desk all day. By 7, they were swollen. Water filled. As if I had been on a long flight to Europe. It was water pill time when I went to bed. This morning, normal ankles. Helped by three nocturnal bathroom visits.

Caught the end of the U.S. Open. The last three holes some of the most exciting golf ever.

There was a house fire on Ramrod Key yesterday. Ramrod is two keys above me. All of 2 miles.

A mother and her two youngest died. Sad!

Fire fighting is a bit different in the Keys. There are few fire hydrants. The reason simple. The Keys are at water level. Ocean water sometimes 6-12 inches below ground level. Difficult to lay pipes.

There are a few fire hydrants near U.S. 1. The one for Key Haven is almost a mile from my home.

Fire fighters draw water from the ocean to fight fires. They have it down to a science. Works effectively. Hoses are dropped in the water and sucked into the hoses. Most homes have water available to them. Either from being on the ocean or on a canal.

Another police brutality situation the past few days. Owasso, Oklahoma. Involved a police officer from the Nowata Police Department. Shotgun butting of the person to be arrested while in his truck. After he had been tasered. Then again six blows to the head while the tased man was on his stomach on the ground.

All recorded on a camera. Interestingly, a camera set in the back window of one of the police cars.

The officer has been suspended.

Have to move! Anti-gravity treadmill later this morning.

Enjoy your day!