I GET MY FIRST SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK TOMORROW

I have heard the term southern hospitality my whole life. It is true! This past week proof.

Jean and Joe the most hospitable without question. Opened their home, refrigerator, etc. to us. Jean just took my dirty clothes and threw them in the washer.

They can never be repaid. Nor do they expect it. They will be remembered, however.

Then there are Jean’s neighbors. Three full dinner meals prepared. Desserts and breakfast food. Even a few bottles of booze and wine.

All because they were friends of Jean and Joe and felt sorry for us.

Last night’s benefactor was Cindy. A cheerful woman. Widowed some 40 years. Prepared Greek chicken and accompanying dishes. Outstanding!

Cindy a die hard Democrat. Hard to find in this Republican state. Very outspoken in her opposition to Trump and Republicans. Loved her!

Cindy was all excited. She told us that tomorrow (today) she would receive her first Social Security check. An event! I recall when I received my first. A return on something you paid for and had to wait a long time to receive.

We ran out of wine at dinner. Eight bottles.

This hurricane evacuation thing is emotional. Very much so. All of us are just coming down. The knowledge Irma did not hit Key West as hard as expected, the knowledge that our homes sustained little damage helps.

Peter Petro called me last night. We now have cell phone service. He is the realtor who takes care of my home. I lost 3 trees. Two in front and one in the back. A dented rain gutter. No water damage. House stinks because I left food in the freezer and refrigerator.

Talked with Anna this morning. The roads in Key West itself are open. She is going to the house today to clean out the freezer and refrigerator.

Spoke with Lisa last night. Still in Jupiter. Their home looks ok. From the air. Roof still on.

The family’s first report was from two of Ally’s girl friends. Note Ally and the girl friends are in the seventh grade and 12 years old. The two young ladies walked over to Ally’s house, checked things out and reported to Ally everything looked ok.

There is humor in tragedy.

Mark Watson reported on Facebook this morning that “I got to sleep butt ass naked in a/c…..I lived like a free man!”

Key West has a For Sale column that runs daily on Facebook. free. Someone from Ramrod Key advertised yesterday…..House for sale free. A picture accompanied the ad. The home totally destroyed. Flat on the ground.

Tragedy without humor, also.

Carol Schreck lives on a 53′ Defever trawler docked at the Key West Yacht Club. The vessel sunk in its slip. Even though Carol and friends securely tied it to posts, etc.

Carol had planned to stay. Her boat strong and properly secured. Fortunate she did not.

The boat began jumping around when Irma hit. A few men from the Yacht Club jumped in the water to further secure it. Could not. The water too rough. Dangerous. Had to get out.

The Garrison Bight Pier is roughly a quarter a mile away across the inlet. Carole’s trawler has large pieces of concrete jetty material attached or in the trawler which it is assumed came from the Garrison Bight job.

Hers was the only boat to sink at the Yacht Club.

I have a negative comment to retract.

I mentioned a few days ago that people were lighting candles at the St. Mary of the Sea outdoor Grotto. Tradition tells us praying and lighting candles at the Grotto will prevent significant storm damage to Key West.

Many prayed once again. I questioned and doubted.

I have read several reports today where persons attribute the lack of bad damage to Key West to the candle lighting and praying.

Maybe it works. Real devastation was only 15 and 25 miles away in Cudjoe and Big Pine

I plan on visiting the Grotto, lighting a candle and saying a prayer of thanks when I return.

I suspect I will not be leaving till monday. Perhaps later.

Power presently limited to 16 percent of Key West. Water limited to 4 hours a day. Must be boiled. Medical services available on a very limited basis at the Community College. Hospital still closed. Search and rescue on Cudjoe Key and Big Pine still ongoing. Only food is that government is bringing in. Stores still closed. a few gas stations open. Curfew dusk to dawn continues. Call service spotty. AT&T and Verizon up and running.

Perhaps the worst problem from a practical perspective is the stink. Got a call this morning. Told don’t hurry home. Key West stinks! Seaweed, fish, garbage and trash all over. Waste Management not able to clean yet.

Cathy Hakola wrote me yesterday. Facebook, I believe. Told an interesting story. I cannot find it this morning to recite in detail and correctness as received.

Her story has to do with ghosts. Key West has several ghost stories. Most probably false. I suspect a couple true.

One of the true ones involves the Gato House which once was a hospital. Now an apartment house.

Cathy a nurse. A nurse who also rented an apartment in the Gato House after the hospital closed.

History tells us the hospital was run by a very dedicated nurse. Well respected by all.

The claim is her ghost still resides in the Gato House.

Cathy was sick. She woke in the middle of the night to discover someone holding her hand and rubbing her arm. A woman. The ghost.

This went on for several minutes. Cathy says she was not afraid. Found the episode comforting. Woke the next morning much better.

Enjoy your day!

HEMINGWAY DAYS GOING STRONG

Key West enjoying Hemingway Days!

Tourists and locals alike.

I went to Sloppy Joe’s for Hemingway’s birthday party. Got there about 6. No way I could get in. I stood outside on  the street on tip toes to get a look.

Hemingway look-alikes all over the placed. No official number yet. I would suggest in excess of 125. White shirts and pants. Red french caps. Red bandannas wrapped around their waists.

Today, the biggest. A day long Caribbean Fair on Duval. Duval closed off to vehicular traffic. At noon, Hemingway look-alikes available outside Sloppy Joe’s for picture taking. Bulls, too.

The best of the best at 1. The Running of the Bulls. Pamplona style. A sight to see!

Six-thirty the final round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Judges limited to former winners. Generally takes 10-15 years before participants are seriously considered to win.

The window on the driver’s side of my Volk’s convertible would not go completely up. Only 2/3’s of the way. I have been meaning to take it to a Volkswagen dealer in Miami. Hated wasting a day.

It has not been easy driving. The heat and rain would come in. I had a huge towel I threw over my left shoulder when it rained.

The inside of the car filthy. Cannot have a car washed with an open window.

Finally decided to try a local repair man. There are several on Stock Island. Garages dirty, hot and greasy.

I met George a few weeks ago. He owns Zip Auto on MacDonald.

I decided to give George a shot.

George said I needed a new part/window. Knew it already from speaking with Miami Volks. George said he could do it, would order the part from Miami.

The job was done yesterday. I had an appointment to go in. Left the car. Donna drove me home. Three hours later, he called. Job done. Come get your car. Donna drove me back.

The window works. The price $200 cheaper than that quoted me by Miami.

Try George if you have car problems. I swear by him as a result of my experience.

Dinner last night with the lesbian wives. Donna cooked. Terri in good spirits. As usual, our time together very enjoyable.

Anna, my Anna. Fears everything.

I wrote a few days ago about Athens’ Ermus Street and the violence which occurred there monday night. Anna was in Athens and fearful.

Anna still in Athens. After spending two months visiting several Greek isles. One visited was near Kos. Kos and parts of Turkey were hit with a major earthquake yesterday. A 6.7. On Kos, two killed, 112 injured, 12 seriously.

The after shocks even worse. Forty after shocks reported. Some as high as 4.6.

It was warned a tsunami could occur.

Anna wrote and asked what she should do. Athens is no where near Kos. Tsunami not a concern. Except to Anna.

I told her to swim fast!

Something that was yesterday, but is not the same today. Limited. An issue. A problem.

I refer to immigration.

The poet Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883. The sonnet instantly popular.

Words from it incorporated onto a bronze plaque and attached to the Statue of Liberty in 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Ain’t that way no more. We try to keep them out. I question whether my paperless, parentless 12 year old grandfather admitted in 1906 would be admitted today.

Enjoy your day!

MAN WALKS ON THE MOON

Many times I have mentioned that the two happenings which excited/impressed/moved me the most were man walking on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down.

Today, the anniversary of the first man on the moon.  The year 1969. Neil Armstrong: “…..one mall step for man, one giant step for mankind.”

It happens too many times as I get older. Go for a routine physical feeling fine. Walk out concerned.

Every 3-4 years my blood pressure goes out of whack. It is out of whack again. Big time. One of the highest numbers I have recorded.

My ankles a bit swollen, also.

Most people might not be greatly concerned. At 82, I am. Everything concerns me.

Tests next week. Water pills for a few days immediately.

My blood work normal.

Doctor thinks my murmur is louder.

Sad about John McCain. A brain cancer tumor. One of America’s greats. May God help resolve the problem rather than take him.

Trump at it again. His consistency is his inconsistency. Never know what he is going to do. When he does perform, it is generally incorrect.

Three items of concern this week so far. Note it is only thursday.

First, pulling the CIA out of Syria. A major Putin victory. Makes us look less than dependable to the free world. Plus, Trump got nothing from Putin in return.

Second, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which Trump appointed. Met for the first time yesterday in Washington.

I listened to the Chair and Vice-Chair speak. Two nuts. Both already believe there were major problems in 2016.

Finally, Trump’s words last night re Sessions, the Justice Department and Mueller. Trump fears the police arm of our government. He should if he has something to fear. Which I believe he does.

He wants to get rid of Sessions and the Acting Attorney General. Also Mueller, if Mueller gets into his and his family’s finances. On top of which he wants the FBI to answer directly to the President.

Anna, my Anna. She is presently in Athens. Always in a place where excitement is going to occur.

She e-mailed me yesterday. The media carried the story, also.

Ermou Street in Athens is one of its finest shopping areas. Like our Fifth Avenue. I walked down it twice every day. To Playka and back.

I wrote about Ermou several years ago. The streets full of beggars. Like I had never seen before. Makes our homeless look good.

So you can understand. Every day there was a man with no arms and legs. Face badly scarred. Hair burned never to grow again. Blind.

Propped up on a curb. His hands out searching for contributions.

Anarchists ran Ermou Street monday. Breaking windows, destroying the inside of shops. Throwing chemicals about. Sixty stores involved.

They were protesting on behalf of a 29 year old woman whose appeal of her terrorist conviction had failed.

The police did not interfere. When asked why, they said they did not have instructions to do so.

I can understand. As I wrote many times several years ago, the Greek Nazi Party is influential with the police. Half the members of the Nazi Party are police officers. The Golden Dawn (the actual name of the Greek Nazi Party) are a law unto themselves.

I wrote I had a sense of fear every time I saw them. Young Aryans. Blond. Great bodies. Wear black shirts, ties and pants. Swastika look a likes as armbands. The Hitler salute.

The Jew of Hitler’s days is the immigrant of today. They blame immigrants for everything.

I saw what I assumed was an immigrant being violently beaten by them one day. Just off Ermou street. Two police officers were nearby. They turned and walked away.

Hemingway Days today. At 6:30, the preliminary round of the Hemingway Look-Alike contest. Sloppy Joe’s

Big day in Key West history. On this day in 1985, Mel Fisher discovered the mother lode of the Spanish galleon Atocha. After 15 years of searching and struggling. $400 million in gold, jewels, and other artifacts.

Enjoy your day!

 

LOUIE’S BACKYARD

My yesterday included a visit to the dentist. When younger, I went with fear and trepidation.

Now, no sweat. I have implants. A once a year visit to check them out.

I left the dentist’s office at 3:30. Diana Millikan was to meet me at 4:30 at Louie’s Backyard. I decided to spend an hour alone and so went directly to Louie’s.

The restaurant not one of my favorite places. The outside bar in the back is. Sits on open water. The Atlantic to the right, center and left. Sun shining bright. A sailing boat or two in the distance.

God’s world!

Dog’s Beach runs along the side of Louie’s. A small beach. No more than 30 feet wide. Really for dogs. They were on the beach and swimming as I entered.

College students also. They had discovered Dog Beach. They have much to learn. Never would I lie or run around on Dog Beach. Animal excrement everywhere.

Chatted with a fellow seated next to me. Involved with Las Vegas casinos. Comes to Key West twice a year to dive.

He was experiencing a problem. He had gone through four masks yesterday. The first three kept filling with water. Thought it was his mustache. Cut it back three times yesterday till he got a tight fit.

Diana showed up. Diana is an excellent researcher. I would describe her as an investigative researcher. Brought a Key West book with her for my scrutiny. Maureen Ogle’s History of An Island of Dreams.

The little I browsed through interesting. Very.

I frequently mention William Hackley. The Key West Citizen runs daily excerpts from his diary. The year 1856.

Ogle wrote about Hackley some 25 years earlier in the late 1820’s and 1830 when he first arrived in Key West.

Some of Ogle’s observations warrant I begin with her overall view of Key West. Then, Hackley.

Key West was described as the crossroads of the Caribbean. World wanderers found their way to Key West. In the 1820’s and 1830’s, it was a man’s world. More men than women. The men mostly tough.

By day, they crowded the taverns, boarding houses, docks, and shops. Waiting for the next new wreck to be announced. Key West was a ship wrecking town.

Lawyers and agents were a different breed. They lounged on shady verandas in white linen suits and straw hats. Smoking Cuban cigars.

Night time, all type men were drinking and boozing. Everyone woke the next morning with a first class hangover.

Now comes William Hackley. A young lawyer. Late 1820s.

Hackley was a bit naive, socially retarded. Not worldized yet.

In 1830, he attended a 20 person dinner party. Four of the 20 were women. It was the first time Hackley had “eaten in the company of ladies.” He reported several of the ladies “got a bit merry.” Whatever that means.

It was not till the early 1850’s that Hackley married.

Callie Morehouse sat next to me. First time I meeting her. She is the Owner/Private Chef of Provisions of Key West. Does large parties and dinner parties.

An interesting lady.

With her was a younger friend from Paris. A beauty!

My eyes still work.

I dropped Diana off at her hotel and was home by 6. I am dieting once again. Wanted to prepare my own meal.

Today quiet. A manicure. Tonight, bocce.

I was shocked to learn Mike Hopkins is the new basketball coach at Washington. He has hung out 22 years at Syracuse waiting to succeed Boeheim. Next year was supposedly the year. I am not sure what happened.

My Trump comment today simple. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. So too will Trump.

I read something re healthcare by Kathryn Norris this morning. She described the health care bill as Reverse-Robin-Hood. Take from the poor and give to the rich. She viewed the bill as trading affordable healthcare for millionaire tax breaks.

Patrick Henry. On this day in 1775, he uttered the famous words “…..give me liberty or give me death.”

Heard from Anna this morning. She is in London. She was in London yesterday during the terrorist attack.

She has had similar experiences including the earth quake near her Novara home and an avalanche near Courmayeur where Anna has a chalet half way up Mont Blanc.

Claims she is “lucky.”

Enjoy your day!

 

TRUMP OVERLOAD

Seventy seven minutes. The time spent by Trump yesterday being interviewed by the press.

A free wheeling interview.

Comments are many. I will limit mine to one: Overload. The President looked as if the job was getting to him. Tired. Slow. His responses not as they once were.

The specifics you can get from the media.

One thing concerns me at the moment. Those who supported Trump in the election still support him. After all that has been seen his first month in office.

I hope they will not complain if a catastrophe befalls us.

Lori for a haircut yesterday morning. I went to bed after doing the blog. Slept through my appointment. Lori took me later in the day.

Her new salon is filling out. Pics on the wall, plants on the floor.

Anna brought me home made pierogies. Always delicious!

My cooking of them has always left something to be desired. They stick to the pan, break up, etc. Anna told me how to do it.

Bring the water to a boil before placing the pierogies in. They will sink to the bottom. Stir constantly to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Stir until the pierogies float.

I stirred, they floated and none broke up.

Melted some butter. Poured it over the pierogies. Then a touch of salt and pepper. Voila! A gourmet treat!

The Chart Room last night. Chatted with David and John.

A young lady sitting to my right. I figured early 20s. Turned out to be 26. Thin. Lovely. Great skin.

A different generation. Tattoos. All over. A small diamond on her left cheek bone.

Her name Panda. Showed me her right hand. Starting with the thumb, PANDA spelled out. One letter to each appendage.

Her life not easy. She thinks she has her life finally in order. Attending college. A psychology major. Wants to help people who might be screwed up as she once was.

Lives in Fort Pierce. First time in Key West. Fun for a few days.

I wish her well.

A fellow whose name turned out to be Bill came over and asked if I was Key West Lou. He was excited. Did my heart good. He has been reading me for 10 years.

Bill is from Sarasota. His son is getting married this weekend in Key West. At the Hemingway House. Catered by La Trattoria. The reception a guaranteed winner.

Bill is a home builder. Unique. He builds homes in  the Caribbean. Starting price $12 million.

I hope we run into each other again before he leaves town. An interesting person. I would like to get to know him better. Time was limited last night. He had a slew of wedding guests with him.

Did you ever have a desire for a certain food? Of course. We all occasionally do. Mine for a couple of days was a big greasy cheeseburger.

I stopped at 5 Guys on the way home. Not greasy, but good!

I was home in bed before nine o’clock. Watched a 1932 Myrna Loy movie.

On this day in 1972, Dustin Hoffman and his family spent the weekend in Key West. At David Wolkowsky’s Pier House Motel. Today, the gigantic and elaborate Pier House Resort. Big trees from little acorns grow.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech sunday at 6:30. Syracuse needs to win. The NCAA tournament is slipping away. They are talking about Syracuse being one of the four bubble teams having to play their way in.

Russia has a spy ship 30 miles off the Connecticut coast. Opposite Groton, a submarine base.

Many getting excited. Don’t understand why. Russian ships have been in international waters off the U.S. for years. Once beyond the 12 mile limit, waters are international.

We do the same thing to them off their coast line.

No reason for excitement/concern.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook doing well. In two weeks, the volume of viewers has increased 40 percent.

Take a look. See me. I talk about anything and everything several times a day. Short comments. One to five minutes.

I ask one favor. If you watch, press SHARE so all your followers will have the show made available to them. I am obviously trying to increase my viewer followers.

Enjoy your day!

STANDING ROCK…..TROJAN HORSE

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

It was announced last night that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had put a hold on the Standing Rock problem. The Corps was going to review the permits and that at this time there was no easement for the pipeline company to proceed.

Sounds like a victory for the Native Americans. The Native Americans 2,000 strong and U.S. military veterans were prepared to confront the Corps and pipeline people in events planned by the Corps for today.

The confrontation avoided.

What happens when the Corps changes its mind or completes this review with a favorable pipeline ruling? The Native Americans will have left the site. The veterans will have gone home.  It will probably be too late to stop the pipeline construction.

I worry the Native American victory is a hollow one. Trump has already indicated he favors the pipeline.

It has been reported that Trump owns stock in the pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners. If so, will the stock be sold prior to his taking office? Will Trump enter into a blind trust as his modern predecessors have?

The Key West City Commission is doing it again! Screwing things up! The move is underway to increase public parking by $1 an hour. Raise an additional $1 million plus a year.

The real reason given is to help relieve the parking problem. It is thought the $1 increase will discourage people from driving their vehicles downtown.

I park in the public lot behind Antonia’s. At least 4 days a week, I am in town twice a day. Once in morning and then again in the evening. I live 2.5 miles outside Key West. About 7 miles from downtown Key West.

Without getting into the numbers, accept that it will cost me a minimum of $54 a week to park. The charge $3 per hour. When I am downtown, I spend money in Key West establishments. Mucho dinero. Most of the restaurants I favor are on the high end. I am a good Key West customer.

Some might say if you can afford to enjoy Key West in some what of a spendthrift fashion, you should not complain. I do complain. I do not like being had.

This $1 parking raise will be finally determined by the same City Commission that is presently considering the reduction of South Roosevelt Boulevard from 4 to 2 lanes. The reason to reduce vehicular traffic, plan for additional parking, give the bikers space, etc. Not the solution. In fact, a plan for change where change not required.

Big week fun wise! December always a month with fun things to do.

Three biggies. One wednesday evening. The Lighted Bike Ride. A couple of thousand people dressed Xmas style riding on bikes similarly attired.

Also, Joyce Stahl’s Nutcracker. Now a Key West tradition. Runs one week beginning saturday December 10.

Saturday evening will also find boats lite up like Christmas trees. On Gulf waters opposite Schooner Wharf. The Lighted Boat Parade.

Today a significant one in American history. Prohibition repealed in 1933.

Prohibition did not succeed. Obviously. It brought increased drinking, packed jails, and increased crime. Similar to the drug situation in the U.S. today.

History has taught us nothing. Yes, several states have legalized marijuana use for recreational or medical use. Not enough. Lets take the bull by the horns and blanketly correct the situation.

Syracuse/Connecticut tomorrow night. Two former Big East foes meeting in Madison Square Garden.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi defeated in a referendum yesterday. He resigns today.

My friend Anna is politically knowledgeable. Her former husband, now deceased, was a federal senator for years. Then served in the Prime Minister’s cabinet for two terms. Responsible for transportation.

Renzi was only elected last year. From day one, Anna was writing telling me what a disaster he was and would be. She was correct. I received an e-mail from Anna this morning. She wrote: “We won!!!” Renzi the “Obama friend is going to pack and going home!!!”

Renzi’s opposition received 60 percent of the vote.

Renzi was in the U.S. a few months ago. He received a State dinner. Anna was incensed. Felt he did not deserve it, Obama did not know what he was doing.

Dinner tonight with Herschel and Erika. Don’s wife Stephanie is out of town. Don is joining us.

Enjoy your day!

WHO IS POURING TEA? WHO IS PRESIDING AT THE PUNCH BOWL?

Things were different 100 years ago.

Party time today alcohol and food. Then, poured tea and a presided over punch bowl.

The secondary status of women evident. Rarely were wives’ names mentioned. It was John Smith and wife, Tom Jones and wife.

My installment 7 of Key West Rotary History evidences the differences.

One day. April 4, 1925.

The Key West Rotary was expecting a special guest. International President and Rotary Founder Paul P. Harris and his wife. They were arriving from Havana on the passenger ship Governor Cobb.

A large delegation of Key West Rotary members and wives greeted the arriving guests at the waterfront. Together with City and Chamber of Commerce officials.

The Harris’ were guests at the home of Rotary President Andrew R. Miller and wife at their home at 1401 Duval Street.

A reception was held immediately following the Harris’ arrival at the Miller home.

There was a receiving line. In addition to the Harris’, Rotary Vice President and Mrs. Robert Spottswood greeted guests and made appropriate introductions to the Harris’.

Mrs. Bascom Grooms poured tea. Mrs. Melvin Russell presided at the punch bowl.

The Miller home was decorated in Rotary colors. Gold and black. The centerpiece was the Rotary seal surrounded with marigold flowers. The candlesticks held gold candles.

The reception lasted into the evening. The Harris’ were not staying overnight. The reception continued till Harris and his wife caught the late train to Miami.

Spent an hour on Duval yesterday afternoon watching the Superboat Parade. Huge magnificent boats! The races are scheduled for wednesday, friday and sunday.

Then to Publix to shop for diet food. Inexpensive. $50 for the week. I started the diet this morning. Hope I make it! If I get through this week, I will.

Tavern ‘n Town last night for what I humorously call my last supper. I intended to pig out. The normally good/heavy stuff on the menu did not appeal to me. I ended up having chicken. No desert. Did enjoy three drinks, however.

No booze on the diet.

Met Sue and Kerry at the bar. They have owned a home in Key West and been snowbirds for more than 25 years. Nice people. From the South Jersey area.

Sue workedint an Atlantic City Hospital intensive care unit. Kerry, the Atlantic City casinos.

Thirty six hours from now, the campaign will be over. Good! for some reason, too much this year.

James Comey screwed up. No question. He properly tried to correct his most recent wrongdoing by issuing another letter yesterday. To the effect that after review, there was no evidence of Hillary wrongdoing in the 650,000 Weiner e-mails.

Anna telephoned yesterday from Novara. Her friend Celestina was with her. I have met Celestina several times. A fun person. Happy all the time.

The three of us chatted for a half hour. Celestina speaks no English. My Italian poor. Anna had to translate.

Anna said it was cold in Novara. Novara is in northern Italy. Anna also reported her home in Courmayeur covered with snow. Courmayeur half way up Mont Blanc near the French border.

I told them 80 degrees and sunny in Key West. They wanted to know when they could visit.

I wrote a lengthy column about Jeanette Rankin three years ago in KONK Life. An interesting woman.

On this date in 1916, Rankin became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. From Montana. Western women worked shoulder to shoulder with the men. They had a different respect than their eastern compatriots.

Rankin did not last long in office. One term. She was a pacifist. Voted against entry into World War I.

Some twenty years later, Rankin was again elected to the House. Again, only for one term. She was the sole vote against the U,.S. declaration of war against Japan following December 7, 1941.

Rankin needed police help to leave the House building following her vote. A crowd of angry persons had her confined in a telephone booth.

Enjoy your day!

MASQUERADE PARADE

One of the most famous Fantasy Fest events is Masquerade March. Thousands participate. More than 10,000. Primarily locals. Dressed, faces painted, etc.

The March starts at the Key West Cemetery and winds its way up to Duval. It became so big that several years ago a second route from the cemetery had to be added.

There are those who walk and those who party. I partied.

I had many friends with homes on Fleming. The original parade route. They all threw parties. Porch parties. Good food and drink. I was always invited to someone’s home.

Those on the street and those on the porches all had fun!

The March starts today at 5. Participate or watch. Either way, you will enjoy.

I no longer watch the March. I no longer have a porch to view the March from. My friends have either passed on or moved away.

My hair appointment with Lori at Blown Away was at noon. Blown Away is on Southard, a few doors down from Duval. No parking anywhere. Took me 15 minutes to find a spot.

Jay is operating his new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz on Southard next to Bank of America. A soft opening. Working the quirks out before an official opening.

I had lunch at Jay’s. Not run of the mill. Enjoyed three kobe beef sliders. Delicious!

Then to the doctor for my flu shot.

I was driving home when the rain hit. Torrential! Hard to see! Continued most of the afternoon. A cold wind accompanying the rain.

The rain took care of my last night. No toga party for me. As much as I enjoy viewing a woman’s naked body, not in the rain.

Bocce was the other option. Telephoned Don. Rained out as I expected.

My evening was spent home. Dinner was Chinese delivery. Egg drop soup and egg rolls. The balance of the evening spent playing around with my Hackley type installments which will start soon.

A new national law turned out to be a boon for Key West. It was January 1920. The Volstead Act went into effect. Alcohol banned in the United States.

Key West’s economy boomed as a result. Rumrunning. The rum coming in from Cuba to the United States through Key West.

No Syracuse football tomorrow. A bye week. Going to need it. Clemson next week.

Heard from Anna in Novara. I had written telling her that Italian President Renzi was a hit during his recent visit to the U.S. She was upset. Her position is that Renzi is doing a lousy job and disliked by most Italians.

I had written because recently Italy had an earthquake. I was concerned for Anna. Should not have been. It was nowhere near her.

I recall five years ago when I was staying at Anna’s apartment in Novara. An earthquake hit. A big one. The after quakes even worse.

Anna was crazy running around screaming. I too was concerned, but sat quietly till everything was over.

The Statue of Liberty. Dedicated by President Grover Cleveland this date 1886.

I came across a note that the Statue had 354 steps. I went up each one.

I was 4-5 years old. My dad took me. We were going to the top! The top then the crown. The arm had become too weak to proceed further.

The staircase a narrow circular metal round one.

No way was I able to climb all 354 steps. I was a kid. Got tired. My father carried me half the way.

The trip was worth it. My father held me so I could look out the windows in the crown. To me, amazing. The view spectacular. It went on and on. A wow for a young boy.

I sometimes wonder how things can happen.

Luis Carlos Vega is the Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The chief judge of the highest court.

He took a leave of absence from the position yesterday. Probably never to return.

The Magistrate was convicted of manslaughter in 1984 when he ran over a woman. Killed her. While driving a stolen car.

No jail time. The system was to pay a reparation. He did.

The blot on his record was only recently discovered.

Never would happen in the U.S.! The media knows everything or soon discovers everything.

Tonight. What does it hold for me? I do not know. I do plan on being out.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE LADIES CELEBRATE

Womenfest has arrived. An international meeting of lesbians and their friends. An annual Key West event.

The weekend will be busy. The ladies take over. Their numbers huge. All kind of fun activities.

Kelly McGillis will be here. She was one of the orangizers of the event back when. You may recall her as the lovely lady in Top Gun opposite Tom Cruise. For several years during her acting career, Kelly lived in Key West. She was an owner of two restaurants with her then husband.

Dancing, singing, pool parties, naked cruises, setting sun cruises, tag football, etc. Go for it ladies! Key West is yours!

Went to bocce last night. To watch. No bocce. The courts were still wet from the morning’s rain. Stopped at Don’s Place. Only Keith from the team there. Talked to him a bit.

Then to the Chart Room. Business good. Chatted with John a while. He is off to Puerto Rico and other points next week. A ten day vacation.

Some Key West from the past.

The Beatles were in Key West for two days years ago. They were flying to Jacksonville to do a show. Hurricane Dora prevented the trip from being completed. They landed in Key West.

The Beatles stayed at the Key Wester Motel. Frolicked in the pool.

After they left, an enterprising young man filled small bottles with water from the pool. Sold them as water the Beatles had swum in.

Bum Farto was a famous Key West Fire Chief. Also a cocaine dealer. He had strong connections with Columbia. He was indicted and headed for jail.

On this day in 1975, he disappeared. Never to be seen again. Many believe he went the way of Jimmy Hoffa.

1855 and William Hackley. Baby better. Expects her to grow soon. Present problem is Baby has thrush. William has a leg problem. Ankle to knee swollen on one leg. No pain. He walks on it.

On this date in 1975, Elvis Presley made his big time TV debut. On the Ed Sullivan Show. The whole world watched. Even me.

Elvis’ moving hips were considered immoral. The TV camera only framed him in from his chest up.

That’s the way it was back then!

I periodically speak of Courmayeur and Chamonix. Places I have visited many times. Places I mention in this blog. Where Anna has been the past week.

Both communities sit on the side of Mont Blanc. The tallest mountain in Europe. Part of the Alps. Awesome appearing!

Anna e-mailed me twice yesterday and the news is talking about the almost disaster on Mont Blanc between the two towns.

Cable cars run up and down the mountain. Go 11,000 feet high.

I did it once about five years ago. From the time the cable car started moving, I was convinced I had made a mistake. As it moved up and I looked down, I knew I had made a mistake. A never ending fall. I was uncomfortable.

Tragedy almost occurred yesterday. Several of the cars stopped half way up. The cables got screwed up. More than 100 people involved. One a 10 year old.

The cable cars are covered gondolas. Helicopters were able to get some out. About 100 were stuck overnight. Blankets, food and water were gotten to them together with a rescue person to keep them calm. All from helicopters.

In  the morning, the remaining 100 were able to get down via the cable cars. Things got fixed.

I was right five years ago. You had to be crazy to get on one!

Look at the photos on the internet. The view below the cable cars is like looking into a never ending deep hole in the earth.

This week’s KONK Life column the Star Spangled Banner…..Birth To Today appears in this morning’s E-Blast and has also been linked to my Key West Lou web page.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CONNIE GILBERT

Key West makes claim to many interesting diverse persons. Recently unfortunately, several have passed on. One sunday.

Connie Gilbert.

Connie was a Key West resident some twenty years. Made her contribution primarily as an activist. She was not afraid to speak up.

A thoughtful supporter of women’s rights and civil rights. An advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Carol Tedesco was a close friend. She best describes Connie as “…..a person who stirred things up in a good way.”

Spent the day yesterday preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Obama being insulted at the Asian meeting, Hermine still making trouble, private mercenaries mauling even children at pipeline protest, Melania’s lawsuit, France’s driverless buses in use, Israel’s driverless gun vehicles protecting the Gaza border, and the surprising number of police arrested for sexual abuse crimes.

Plus, 9 million more people employed in government than the private sector, private jail a debtor’s prison for children whose parents cannot pay juvenile court fees, finally people talking about TTP’s corporate courts, and Colin Kaepernick.

Got a telephone call yesterday from Guy de Boer. Driving in Georgia. On his way back to Key West. After three wonderful weeks on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Chart Room first last night. Glad I decided to stop. George and Dillon at the bar. George a lady, Dillon the man.

Years since I have seen them. I recalled the only time George and I really talked. An interesting conversation. Thirteen years ago at Lisa’s wedding reception. At the martini bar. George made an impression. Over the years, the meeting and conversation have crossed my mind.

George an extremely lovely woman!

She has been a bartender at Hogs Breath 19 years.

Dillon is from Indiana. That automatically makes him a great guy. Dillon is in charge of the collection at the Mel Fisher Museum. Some thirty odd years now.

Then to Berlin’s for dinner. Sat at the bar.

Berlin’s is a cigar bar. Rarely have I seen someone smoking a cigar there. Last night was different. Twelve people sitting in the alcove. Most puffing away. Even some of the women.

Emilie bartending. First time we have met. Charming. Has worked the Berlin bar several years. She is enamored. With a bright smile on her face, she told me about her boy friend. He is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. He presently is at sea. Second mate on a Merchant Marine vessel.

Met Thomas also. Executive sous chef. A nice guy. We had a brief but good conversation. He is in Key West while his son finishes school.

Food! An appetizer. Large. No room for anything else. A Maine lobster/escargot dish baked in a partial pastry shell covered with a cream sauce. To die for! Finished the evening with a cappuccino.

My friend Howard Livingston’s Southernmost Coconut Castaways’ Friend Club has a Jump Up scheduled for saturday. 11:30-6:00. Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street. A fundraiser for the Xena Club.

Anna telephoned yesterday. She was in Chamonix, France. Has been there a week staying in a hotel. Unusual since her Swiss chalet is only 20 miles away in Courmayeur, Italy. I suspect I know why. Coumayeur is quiet. Chamonix a party town.

Both communities sit half way up Mont Blanc. Highest mountain in Europe. Snow and ice on the mountain tops all year long. Anna said the weather has been unusually warm. The ice is cracking, snow sliding down the mountain. Mini avalanches. There have been a couple of deaths and several injuries.

I read an article over the weekend about northern Italy during World War II. Especially the northern portion including Milan and its surrounding area. Anna lives in Novara. A twenty minute ride from Milan.

The article had to do with the Nazi killing of Italian resistance fighters. Fifty thousand. Many from the north area.

I recall when visiting Anna, she walked me to a place where many executions took place. Less than five minutes from her apartment.

A large brick wall stands. Long. The Nazis lined people up against the wall for execution. The bullet pock marks evident everywhere.

The thought alone leaves me with a chilling feeling.

Enjoy your day!