BLACK ANGEL OF DEATH

 

Terror can strike anywhere. Everywhere. Even Key West.

A criminal trial began yesterday in Federal District Court in Key West. The defendant, Harlem Suarez. His goal was to leave a backpack bomb on a Key West beach. In due course, the bomb would blow. People injured and killed.

Suarez a terrorist. Lived on Stock island.

The FBI were on to Suarez. Two undercover agents sold him an inert backpack bomb. Then arrested him.

Suarez had a Facebook site. He spoke of the glories of ISIS on the site. Also, ran pics. One of a terrorist holding the head of a decapitated woman.

Suarez referred to himself as the Black Angel of Death.

Lisa, my grandchildren, my friends, Key Westers, tourists, use the beaches.

Suarez should die.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting happenings. Some revealing. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

A multitude of topics. All exciting. Like Putin unhappy U.S. troops suddenly in Poland and Norway, police at Standing Rock had/have missile launchers, Trump to sign order today permitting Standing Rock and Keystone Pipeline to proceed, Chinese take lung cleansing vacations, affordable water a looming crisis.

Also, a Mexican TV channel being launched in the U.S., FDA approves a GMO pineapple for sale without testing, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says U.S. priorities screwed up/wasted trillions on wars and Wall Street/not enough on its people, Mark Zuckerberg for President?, and more.

Only one place to be a 6 this evening. Aqua. For Aqua Idol. A several week singing contest. Great voices. Equally great planning by Lynda Frechette who spearheads the event.

Wind still blowing big time day time  yesterday. I took a ride over to the White Street Pier. In the past, extremely windy days resulted in waves crashing over the pier. A sight to see.

I was not disappointed. Nature pissed off. Waves rising high before slamming down on the pier.

I did not walk on the pier. Some did. I feared I would fall/get knocked over. I don’t need nature’s assistance to fall. I do well enough on my own.

The winds were 50 mph.

A portion of the Westin’s dock gave way because of the winds and waves. A mistake. Not the Westin anymore. Now the Margaritaville.

My evening began at Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders time.Tom Luna one of the dueling bartenders. Last night his birthday. Celebrated with cake for all.

Barbara was with me. As we arrived, Liz and friends were leaving for dinner.

Walked over to Antonia’s for dinner afterwards. No room at the bar. Decided to head home, stopping at Outback first.

Syracuse/Wake Forest tonight. Syracuse a 2.5 point favorite. I have no idea who will win. My team not doing well this season.

Enjoy your day!

 

TONIGHT…..AQUA IDOL

Tonight! Aqua Idol! The start of a new season.

From 6:30-8:00, 14 brand new contestants will vie to be the next Aqua Idol. A journey taking several weeks. Every tuesday evening till there is a winner.

At Aqua, of course.

The event a fundraiser. Held to support the Waterfront Playhouse. Lynda Frechette heads Aqua Idol. She scours the lower Keys for new contestants each season. Fourteen needed. They compete tonight for the first time.

Aqua Idol has been a popular event for years. Get to Aqua early if you wish a seat. It will be wall to wall.

I get cheated. I cannot be there. I will be into final preparations for my podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. A quick half hour of interesting political and social events. Accompanied by my comments, of course. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Football injuries are much in the news these days. Both pro and college ball. There was another time when football injuries were big time. The early 1900s. College ball. Pro ball was in its infant stages.

No helmets or shoulder pads in those days.

Deaths commonplace. A large number each season.

President Theodore Roosevelt got involved. He straightened things out. Had he not, football would have been banned in the United States. That close. Several prominent colleges had already banned football.

The opening topic this evening concerns Roosevelt and how he saved football.

Also, the inaugural this week. God help us! The Mexican people and their unhappiness. Major business closings. Some surprising. ISIS gaining ground in Albania. D.A.R.E. ends its anti-weed campaign. Plus, more.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show.

Then to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom and Rick. Sheila and David. Liz and Mary. And many more.

Dinner afterwards at Mangoes with Barbara and Liz. My first time to the new Mangoes. Lovely. Service excellent. Food merely ok. Not worth the cost.

Major announcement! My new show will begin monday. Going Live with Key West Lou. On Facebook. The show in addition to this blog and my tuesday night podcast.

You will see as well as hear me.

I will do several brief commentaries each day. Whatever strikes me at the moment. Whatever tickles my fancy. From wherever I am. All I have to do is pull out my cell phone and get to it.

The comments will be short. Generally 30-60 seconds.

Archived. Several commentaries can be read at one time.

I am excited. Hope it goes over well. Hope nothing pops up which causes me to push the opening date ahead.

Once again, a problem with stranded whales. Off Hog Key on the Gulf side of Florida. Ninety five whales involved. Eighty one already dead. Naturally or euthanized.

There have been stranded whales near Key West in past years. More than one time. I recall several years ago a pod stranded off Cudjoe Key. Went to take a look.

More than 500 volunteers and professionals appeared over a period of several days to help. Wet suits available to all who wanted to assist.

Some whales saved. Some died.

The effort impressive.

William Hackley mentioned yesterday his hope that what appeared to be a new Seminole War in 1856 would not be as expensive as previous ones. How expensive was expensive back in those days?

I did a bit of research. There were three Seminole Indian Wars. The first in the 1820s. the last 1855-1858.

Strange fact pattern. The federal government wanted to move the Florida Seminoles west to Oklahoma. Contrasted with the post Civil War years when the federal government was trying to move western Indians to Florida.

The Second Seminole War was the expensive one. Cost $30 million in a year when the federal budget was only $25 million. The basis for Hackley’s statement in 1856.

On this day in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower spoke to the Nation. He warned to beware the “military-industrial complex.” He was well aware of their greedy nature and not necessarily acting in the best interests of the country.

Eisenhower was correct. His words not heeded. The military-industrial complex thriving. Encourages wars, overcharges, etc.

I close with Syracuse. My Syracuse. Settling in that this will not be one of Syracuse’s best seasons. Lost yesterday 85-68 to North Carolina.

Syracuse cannot play with the big guys this year.

Enjoy your day!

 

I FOUND MY BIRTH MOTHER

I found my birth mother. A touching statement. Made not by me, but by another.

Let me share her story.

I was in Aqua last night watching Dueling Bartenders. Jean and Joe Thornton there, also. Jean introduced me to her sister. I was not aware Jean had a sister. A half sister. Her name Laura.

Jean was 37 when she received a telephone call from Laura. Laura then 25. Jean did not know she had a sister. Laura said, I am your sister, I am looking for our mother.

Jean was in Birmingham at the time. Laura in Nashville.

Their mother had not made Jean aware she had given birth to another child when Jean was 12 years old.

Laura was taken in by another family and eventually adopted by another.

Laura told Jean she wanted to meet her mother and Jean. Jean made the necessary arrangements and in due course the three met. Their Mother told Jean she had kept the birth secret.

A glorious meeting. Tears and joy. A unit since.

Laura is in key West visiting. She will be here till the end of the month. She now resides in Louisville.

Laura told me she refers to the woman who adopted/raised her as her Mom and her discovered mother as her birth mother.

Jean and Laura loving sisters. So they appeared and acted. Jean could not wait to introduce her sister to me.

God is good. He provided the path and determination for Laura to successfully discover her birth mother and sister.

A lucky threesome.

While still at Aqua, a lovely young lady approached and asked if I was Key West Lou. Her name, Pat Grady. A Key West resident. I am fortunate. A loyal blog reader. Thank you, Pat.

Great game last night! Clemson beat the perennial victor Alabama. By a touchdown made with one second remaining on the clock. The final score 35-31.

Wild!

Tonight Syracuse/West Virginia. West Virginia a 4.5 point favorite. I will stick my neck out. If Syracuse plays as it has in its last two game, Syracuse will win decisively.

I continue to learn.

Enzio Pinza was a great singer and movie actor in the 1950s. He was vacationing at the Casa Marina.

The mood at various times of the day at the Casa can be revealing, overwhelming. At some point one evening, Pinza was seated on the Casa’s terrace overlooking the ocean and moon. He was so taken by the sight, he stood and sang Some Enchanted Evening. A song he had made popular.

The Casa and Pinza singing a fitting combination.

I am listening to Session’s Senate confirmation hearing. Just began. Two Democratic senators have already spoken who have failed the Nation. Both were supportive of his nomination. Disgusting. The man is an obvious bigot. Will work to restrict civil and voting rights. Not support them.

I am ashamed of the two Democratic senators. They lacked the courage to do the right thing.

I have to hustle. Barb is visiting for two weeks. I pick her up at the airport in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FRAN…..WOW!!!

My well being is in the hands of women. Recently, especially.

They are feeding me. Though I do not think I look undernourished. I complain not, however.

Liz feeds me constantly. Cooking is her hobby. Great meals! Wonderful Christmas cookies! Dee recently brought me a big bowl of something good. I have yet to return the bowl. She keeps telling me not to forget.

Now comes Fran. Buffalo’s Fran Dixon. Wife of fellow Syracuse fan Tom Dixon.

The Dixon’s visit Key West 4-5 times a year. For years. Tom owns a small piece of the Ocean Key House.

Fran makes chocolate candies. She brings a couple of small bags to me each trip. Delicious!

Last night she out did herself.

The three of us were having dinner at Roostica. Fran said…..I have a surprise for you! Surprised I was!

She had a bag with her. Goodies for Louis.

Started with a box of home made pasta. Thin linguine. Made by Fran from scratch. Enough for two meals. Two plastic containers with Fran’s own home made sauce and meatballs. One for each meal. Bags of chocolate candies.

Fran and Tom brought it with them on the plane. The sauce was a concern. They packed it in a large container of ice which they placed in one of their bags. One that was checked. Upon arrival at Ocean Key, they placed the two sauce/meatball containers in a freezer till delivery to me last night.

Love you, Fran. Love you Liz and Dee. Continue preparing great dishes for me. At my age, it is not merely the food. It is the concern shown. Thank you!

The way Fran is going, I expect a half a cow next time! Don’t laugh. Upstate New York is a place for cows and slaughter houses. Many the time I bought a half a cow and froze the steaks, etc. Good for six months of meals.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on the introductory topic for tomorrow’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. The subject matter involves Harry Truman’s mother in law. The tale reflects the character of Truman. His mother in law, also.

Watched the Golden Globes last night. Excellent show!

Two items outstanding.

La La Land and all the awards the show received. Musicals of the 1950-60 era have returned! I am anxious to see the movie.

Meryl Streep. America’s outstanding living female actor. Unquestionably. Her comments re the nation’s state of affairs and what she perceived as erroneous thinking on the part of Trump were right on. Her words made clear why Hollywood has turned its back on the soon to be President.

Don’t say…..Actors, what do they know! Remember that Ronald Reagan was an actor before becoming one of America’s greatest Presidents.

Tonight, Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Then Jack Flats or somewhere else to watch the Alabama/Clemson game.

Enjoy your day!

 

FLU SHOT DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK

When it rains, it pours…..

Donna and Terri have been having a rough time of it. Battling Terri’s cancer.

Donna got the flu shot this year. Not the time to taunt the gods. Terri and the flu would not be a good combination.

Donna has the flu! Big time! The worst from her perspective. Strong coming from Donna who has had some heavy illnesses in the course of her life.

Donna has a type of influenza A. One of the influenza’s protected by the flu shot. Hit her New Year’s eve. Twice in the hospital yesterday. Temperature 103.

Donna says it is death. Even getting a little better is in the death area.

The flu shot does not always work. Some still come down from the flu. Not from the shot itself. You cannot get the flu from the shot itself. The virus injected is dead.

Hang in there Donna. Terri, stay away from Donna.

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

A major topic is the Theft of Social Security. The Fund would be sound if the government stopped taking surplus funds out every year. Presently, the United States owes Social Security just under $3 trillion.

You will find the truth interesting. It will anger you as well.

More robot discussion. China is on the way to replacing in excess of 600,000 employees at one of its plants with robots. Also, further exploration of poor veteran care at Veterans’ Hospitals. The story of a veteran who died with maggots in his wounds.

Plus, a Texas police officer who sexually assaulted a 13 year old girl, a Mexican scheduled for deportation and/or removal 19 times who raped a 13 year old girl on a bus, the Miami cop who was fired for bragging the black neighborhood was a good place for gun practice, the EPA intentionally hiding radiation in water at a number of sites, the story of a 13 year old boy paralyzed from a chicken pox vaccine, and more.

Aqua big last night! Tons of people. The season ongoing.

Many friends. Sheila, Jean and Joe Thornton, Stephanie, Liz, Mary and Josefina. Tom and Rick doing the Dueling Bartenders thing.

Made two new friends. Anna and Everett. Owners of Anna’s Cabana. A lovely 40 foot power vessel. They live on the boat when in Key West. It is presently docked near A&B Lobster House.

Anna is the Captain and Everett the first mate.

You know who is boss in that family!

They told me they were steady dinner customers at Berlin’s. We hope to run into each other.

An Alabama night. Anna and Everett Alabama residents. As are Joe and Jean. Anna and Everett plan on being at the game in Tampa on January 9. Joe and Jean will be gut wrenched here in Key West.

In distant past years, there was a drop off of tourists immediately following New Year’s day. Not in recent years. Not this year.

I had difficulty finding a parking place near Aqua.

Liz and the ladies left early to have dinner at Virgilio’s.

Liz and her friends like to whoop it up. Spent New Year’s eve at the bar at Aqua from 5:30 to 11:00.

Then to Bourbon Street to her Bria sing. The best!

Tim and Scott at the bar. Enjoyed a couple of drinks with them. Friends of Donna and Terri. Know them from the Back Door.

They work for Bourbon Street, though not last night. They told me how busy New Year’s eve was. They were still tired.

Stopped at the street level bar/restaurant under Crabby Dick’s where Alex plays tuesday nights. Chatted with Alex and his wife. Met Alex’s brother who is vacationing here.

I was energized. Not tired enough to go home yet. Walked over to Virgilio’s to chat with Liz and friends.

Virgilio’s impressed me. A good 10 years since I had been there. A night club back then. Still a night club. However, a restaurant during dinning hours. The place was packed. Had there been room, I would have joined the ladies for dinner.

Dinner was at Outback. Easy. A cheeseburger. Watched the final minutes of the USC/Penn State Rose Bowl game. A tremendous finish! Just like pro ball. The last couple of minutes everything. USC won with a field goal in the final minute after intercepting a Penn State pass.

Somewhere along the way last night, Hard Rock Stadium  came into the talk.

When first built in 1987, it was the Joe Robbe Stadium. Joe Robbe was the first owner of the Miami Dolphins. He was also the prime mover in getting Joe Robbe Stadium built.

I was in Joe Robbe Stadium in 1987. For Super Bowl XXIII. The Stadium impressed me no end. Especially the elevators.

Think of the long almost vertical elevators at the Atlanta airport. Robbe Stadium had similar elevators. Multiple ones. Side by side. You rode up swiftly to your seat before the game. The elevators took you back to ground level after the game. All elevators were down only after the game.

When Robbe died in 1990, he left a $100 million estate.

Back in the early 1970s, I had a condominium at the Jockey Club in Miami. A private club. The place to be in the those days. Fun 24 hours a day.

Joe Robbe had a condo there also. Occasionally we would enjoy a drink together at the bar. A nice guy. Willie Shoemaker would join us on occasion. He lived at the Jockey Club, also.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHRISTMAS TWO DAYS LATE

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Blog Talk radio had a technical difficulty last week. My show never aired. Neither I nor listeners were able to get in.

Last week’s lead topic never heard will be presented tonight. The American Christmas Story. Two days after Christmas. The story still fitting. One most of you have not heard. A touch of paganism, its celebration banned in Boston in the late 1600s, not a celebrated holiday during our revolutionary years, A Christmas Carol, Civil War impact, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and on and on till today.

Join me at 9 my time. A quick interesting half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night, Aqua! Monday night. Dueling bartenders time.

Liz and friends Mary and Josefina at the bar. I joined them.

Liz’s relative Christina was there. With Brian. Liz and Christina are related. Christina and Brian Liz’s house guests for the holiday.

Sheila at the other end of the bar. Went over for a kiss.

Tom and Rick singing. Bria a visiting performer. She stopped by for a moment and gave me absolution once more for my poorly expressed thoughts concerning her several weeks ago.

Tom sitting next to me. Met him for the first time. His wife Claire with him. I did not get to talk with Claire unfortunately.

Tom, a retired attorney. A major law firm partner. He and Claire live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Key West visitors for many years. Snowbirds. Presently here for a four month stay.

Claire has an interesting background. Initially, a science teacher. Then returned to school herself and obtained a Doctorate. In statistics. Returned to the working world as a professional statistician.

Walked over to Bourbon St. following Aqua. Bria sings monday nights. I was unaware she would be appearing also at Aqua last night. I enjoy Bria’s singing so treated myself to seeing her twice in one evening in two different venues.

Syracuse basketball tonight. Cornell. Syracuse should win.

The true test of the team’s ability begins January 1 when the ACC starts its season. Syracuse plays Boston College New Year’s Day.

I fear I am going to bleed a lot of orange this season!

Debra and Patrick back in town! Great entertainers. The best. There was a time they spent the season at La Te Da. No more. They moved north to Richmond, Virginia. Return sporadically to Key West.

Tuesday January 3, Debra and Patrick will appear at Virgilio’s as part of Skipper Kripitz’s League of Crafty Musicians. On saturday January 7, they will appear from 5-8 at Salute’s Sunset Happy Hour.

Do yourself a favor. Go listen to Debra sing and Patrick play.

Only in Key West. This saturday at noon the annual Dachshund Walk. Other dogs may participate. Costumes suggested. Noon at the Monroe County Courthouse.

Enjoy your day!

EVENING CUT SHORT

Busy day yesterday. Running around doing all kinds of tasks. Including Xmas shopping.

Do not get the impression I am buying a ton of gifts. Not. I am walking around trying to purchase the most thoughtful gift for the few I buy for.

So busy, I never had lunch. Which affected my evening activities.

I had a three pronged plan for last night. Aqua, Alex, and Bourbon Street. Only made Aqua.

Sheila at Aqua. Love her.

So too, Liz. And her friends Mary and Josefina. Joined them at the bar.

Liz dressed all in black. Dynamite!

I enjoyed three drinks with the ladies. They left for dinner at La Trattoria. I remained as it was too early for Alex.

Then my stomach started. Could not understand why. Finally realized that Louis had not stopped for lunch.

So much for Alex and Bourbon Street.

I started home. Knew I had to eat something. Bulk up. Figured 5 Guys would do it. It did. A cheeseburger and fries. I felt fine even before I finished the burger.

Tom and Rick singing at Aqua. A lot of Christmas carols. A lot of people. Twice the normal crowd. Obvious people starting to drift into Key West for a Christmas holiday.

Europeans and Asians included. Germans and Japanese primarily.

The Custom House tonight for its first special Christmas event. Music and holiday lights on the porch/promenade. The Custom House itself open to visitors. Should be good!

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A fast moving interesting and revealing half hour.

Topics include more on robots replacing workers, General Motors closing five factories for 1-3 weeks, China returning U.S.’s submarine drone, whether Russia’s Turkish ambassador being shot in Turkey an Archduke Ferdinand, purpose of the electoral College, two separate groups of pharmaceutical houses sued by government for price fixing and doctor bribing, and more. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your Day!

 

ROBERT FROST’S TIME IN KEY WEST

The Today In Keys History section of the Key West Citizen carried a brief comment re Robert Frost. To the effect that it had been announced on this date in 1934 that Robert Frost would spend the winter in Key West. His first visit.

Inquisitiveness tickled my fancy. Where did he stay? What did he do? Etc. Did a bit of research.

The winter of 1934 may have been Frost’s first visit, it was not his last. He returned in 1945. Spent every winter in Key West through 1960.

Jessie Porter’s home was a haven for writers. Daily visits. Sitting around and talking. Frost included.

Porter’s home was at 410 Caroline St. A garden cottage was located on the property. Frost leased the cottage during his 1945-1960 stays.

Porter’s home today is known as The Heritage House. It is listed as a National Literary Landmark.

Away from the Porter premises, Frost’s favorite place to hang out was the Casa Marina.

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

Topics off the wall! All kinds of interesting things happening. I will open with the alleged Russian hacking of the Democrats and the opposing views of the CIA and FBI.

Followed by Chinese factories making our Xmas toys under deplorable working conditions, pharmacy executives arrested for bribing doctors to recommend their pain killing drug, a black man arrested for DUI strapped into a chair and beaten by a police officer causing the black man to lose sight in one eye, Venezuela eliminating half its paper money, and more.

Aqua first last night. Liz and Mary there. Sat with them. Jean Thornton on the other side of the bar. Tom Luna, Rick and Traci entertaining.

Alex tapped me on the shoulder to say hello. His wife standing outside. Alex was playing across the street. I will have to stop in next week to hear him blow his horn.

Liz and Mary left for dinner at Antonia’s. I headed for Bourbon Street.

Berlin’s Bria sings monday and tuesday evenings at Bourbon Street. Went especially to hear her. As usual, outstanding.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Jen and Paul. Jen vacationing from Fargo, North Dakota. Paul a December snowbird for years.

Jen and I had an interesting conversation re Standing Rock. She lives where it all happened. I expected her to be sympathetic to the Sioux cause. She was not. She felt the Native Americans were making a lot out of nothing.

Interesting.

While the Polar Vortex is reaping havoc on the northwest, Key West weather has never been better. Mid 80s yesterday. Never hot. No humidity. Comfortable.

The Polar Vortex is expected to be felt over the keys early next week. Very cold weather. Significant drop in temperature.

The war between the community and the Lower Keys Medical Center continues. An attorney hired by the community group reported that the hospital board had no authority to act and that the legal paperwork involved years ago was binding.

The battle will continue. I don’t understand why the community group does not take a direct assault on the company operating the hospital for insufficient care, over billing, etc.

Last but not least. My new streaming show will not debut thursday as planned. The best laid plans of mice and men…..

Only one problem. Described yesterday. It will not be resolved by thursday.

Enjoy your day!

 

DON AND CHRIS ENGAGED

Finally, Don and Chris are engaged. It only took 11 years for Don to bend a knee and ask…..Will you marry me? With a 2.5 carat engagement ring in hand.

Chris burst out crying and exclaimed…..Yes!

Chris should not have been so quick to accept. I would have made Don sweat a while for making Chris wait 11 years.

The couple happy. The wedding next year in Key West.

I met Don and Chris several years ago at the Chart Room. They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Don is part owner of a South Korea company. He spends the better part of the year in South Korea. Chris travels for her employer. Marketing. Most recently in Germany.

Home is Syracuse.

Larry and Peggy…..I am proud of your son for finally doing the right thing. Chris is a wonderful person. Devoted to your Don. Don equally wonderful and devoted to Chris.

The perfect couple.

Don and Chris joined me at Aqua last night. Tom Luna and Heather Mae performing.

We parted company after Aqua. Don wanted to watch a football game. I wanted to go to bed. Stopped at Roostica on the way home for lemoncello wings.

Big night for the kids! Christmas tree lighting and Santa Claus at Bayview Park last night. Santa arrived on a fire truck, horn blaring all the way.

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

A different show tonight. My plan is to discuss one topic. A topic which the media fails to give proper attention. Actions taking place which bring shame to our Nation.

Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native Americans, a pipeline, and excessive police activity.

An interesting, fast moving, informative show. Again, join me.

Syracuse/Wisconsin tonight in basketball. Wisconsin a 6 point favorite.

My show interferes with watching. Game at 7. I will get in the first half and probably last 5 minutes. It will be the first time this season I will see Syracuse play.

Installment 25 of my rendition of the Key West Rotary history by Wright Langley. Today, years 1986-88.

Tomorrow, the final installment. Will center around Key West Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Rotary’s budget in its infant years beginning in 1915 had to be a pittance. Not that way by the time 1986 came around. The projected income budget for the year was $68,415.

Rotary’s 1988 Annual Report noted the Club had 100 members.

Major accomplishments for the year included raising funds for Polio Plus, sponsoring Key West’s only Fourth of July fireworks (a tradition which began in 1979), sponsoring the Sunrise Rotary Club, continued the annual $4,000 scholarship, and established the Key West Rotary Foundation.

Tomorrow, Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Enjoy your day!

THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

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