ERIKA BIDDLE…..A MOST INTERESTING WOMAN

The plan was to meet Jean Thornton at Dueling Bartenders last night. Bobby Nesbitt the scheduled guest performer. Found Jean at the bar seated next to Erika Biddle.

I probably have run into Erika no more than five times over the years. She is unique. The woman has tasted much of life. Both good and bad.

Erika was born in Germany in the years immediate following World War II. Though having avoided the war itself, she remembers clearly the destroyed cities, the debris, etc. waiting for reconstruction. Recovery was slow.

She recalls going without food. The lack of food experience was evident later in the evening when we dined at Antonia’s. I never saw a plate so clean at the end of a meal.

Erika came to Key West in 1994 after living in several cities around the world. She was immediately aware Key West was for her. She once said regarding Key West, ” This was the only city I ever visited where I’m not the most eccentric person around. Here I’m the normal one.”

Her eccentricity best reflected in a nudie calendar venture she put together. An avid environmentalist, Erika came up with a way to raise money for environmental purposes.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once mentioned something to the effect that the environmental cause was best reflected by a nude woman. Soon after, an English movie came out where a bunch of elderly English women needing money for a charity did a nudie calendar of themselves.

Erika was emboldened. She convinced 15 Key West ladies to agree posing for a nudie calendar. Titled: Women Sustaining the Earth. The women between 44 and 78 years of age. All lovely. The calendar tastefully done.

Sold well!

Erika’s life or parts thereof great book material.

It rained for 2 hours early in the afternoon. Big time! Roaring thunder! Brought to mind Zeus, ancient Greece’s sky and thunder god. King of Mount Olympus.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person a humorist.  Yesterday’s prediction: Mostly cloudy, a shower; free car wash. The shower could have been better described. It was a monsoon! The “free car wash” right on. My car shiny bright after the sun dried it off.

I am ahead of the game time wise re my next KONK Life column. This week’s already done and at the printers. It is titled Sit At Attention Or Die. A bit of Kim/Trump. It is the article for a week from tomorrow that I was working on.

A change of pace topic. Felt compelled to get away from Trump. Environmental. About sand. As with water, in short supply world wide. Hard to believe.

Sand is the new gold.

I read yesterday that recent wind storms have affected Florida’s sandy beaches drastically. The sand loss described as Gone With The Wind.

An interesting article in the making.

The music at Dueling Bartenders the best. Always is. Bobby, Tom Luna and Rick Dery made the walls shake.

Bobby recently married Mike Mulligan. They had lived together 37 years. About time! In honor of the nuptials, Bobby sang I’m Getting Married In The Morning from My Fair Lady.

Jean, Erika and Louis walked over to Antonia’s for dinner. Jean and Erika interesting women. I enjoyed being with them.

Diseases come and go. Initially death causing and then man finds the pill/shot making it possible to avoid the sickness.

Yellow fever was a major killer in the mid 1800’s. The Citizen’s Keys History section mentioned that on this date in 1865, the vessel Adventure arrived in Key West in distress. Four crew members had yellow fever. The four were taken to the Marine Hospital.

The yellow fever spread from the four to Army troops stationed in Key West. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died. The number of civilians infected and dead not recorded.

A thought. Mull it. Conservative Americans are all about family – unless the family has darker skin and is from another country.

Child abuse in the news constantly these days. The immigrant children taken from parents. The abuse takes other forms and occurs on a smaller scale around the country.

An undocumented mother lives in San Antonio with her 4 year old daughter. A San Antonio Sheriff deputy was having sex with the four year old. Apparently on a regular basis.

The four year old told her mother over the weekend. The mother confronted the officer. He did not deny. He made it clear however that if she told anyone, she would be deported.

Fearing the police, the mother went to a fire station and told the fire officers what was going on. The deputy was arrested yesterday.

What is occurring on the border sick. What happened to this four year old equally sick.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine sharp. A quick half hour of me pontificating about anything that tickles my interest. Provocative. Eye opening. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

POST SUMMIT THOUGHTS

I am addicted to politics and world events. I am paying for it this morning. I remained awake most of the night watching the Singapore Summit. Trump’s press conference was 4 am.

My first thought is I should have gone to sleep. I am dead! Laid in bed till 9. Here it is after 11 and I am just beginning the blog. Still have to prepare for tonight’s podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Be awake and sharp while I do the show.

What a day it’s going to be!

Talk is better than fury and fire. Trump and Kim agreed on nothing significant. The joint agreement said nothing. Denuclearization danced around.

However, the two met. They are now friends. Trump invited Kim to Washington. The world’s worst dictator has come front stage. They will engage in telephone chats. Things kumbaya. At least for a while.

Not enough for Trump to win the Nuclear Peace Prize. A meet and greet insufficient. A promise to denuclearize was required. The man who deserves the Prize is Moon Je, President of South Korea. He is the person who got the ball rolling resulting in the Summit.

One final thought. Trump was not ready. He has to prepare for these meetings. He requires a knowledgeable staff to guide him. Trump’s personality, good or bad, insufficient when it comes to the details.

So no misunderstanding exists, I consider the Summit a failure, except that now two leaders have come to know each other and will communicate.

Success may come re nuclear weapons. Down the road, however.

History tells us of a major success that began as a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1987. They were unable to agree on anything of importance. Nothing was signed. The Summit was considered a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev however began to talk informally. They now knew each other. Those talks paved the way to the eventual end of the Cold War and at that time the threat of nuclear war.

My KONK Life column several weeks ago was titled: I’m The President, Aren’t I?” Concerned Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall. In front of Brandenburg Gate.

Reagan and aides had worked on the speech for several weeks. Reagan wrote what he considered a strong line in the speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” His top advisers thought the sentence too strong. Wanted it out. It came out. Reagan would put it back in. This back and forth continued.

It was the morning of the speech. Reagan in a quandary. The line out. He still wanted it in.

He had a conversation with Deputy Chief of Staff Duberstein.

Reagan: I’m the President, aren’t I?

Duberstein: Yes, sir, Mr. President. We’re clear about that.

Reagan: So I get to decide whether the line about tearing the wall                       down stays in?

Duberstein: That’s right, sir. It’s your decision.

Reagan: Then it stays in.

A dramatic moment. I recall watching Reagan on TV. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Two and a half years later, the wall came down.

Big trees from little acorns grow. The Singapore Summit could result in good. Or, not. Time will tell. One thing certain. Trump and Kim must continue to talk if good is to be accomplished.

My podcast tonight. Join me. Nine o’clock.  A quick half hour of my ramblings, sharing thoughts, etc. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show must be good. Or at least, interesting. My numbers keep going up. The show has acquired national advertisers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HOUND DOG

This day in 1956 a big one in the entertainment industry. Elvis Presley appeared on the Milton Berle Show.

First time Presley’s entire body was shown. No guitar to cover his pelvic area. His infamous gyrating pelvis finally visible to the whole world. Prior to that evening, Presley’s hip action was considered scandalous. Tight assed America decried his stage actions.

Presley exhibiting full body form sang Hound Dog.

The song as well as Presley were both more popular after the Milton Berle Show. America had seen all of Presley. Loved his voice. Loved his gyrations. The country turned around. Presley was on his way!

Last night began at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Destiny the guest performer. Destiny is this year’s Fantasy Fest Queen. A lovely face and a lovely voice.

The bar pretty well packed. Spoke with Edie and Julia for the first time. Regulars at Dueling Bartenders. We had a nodding acquaintance. Jean Thornton formally introduced me to them last night.

Edie and Julia warmed my heart. They read this blog every day! Love them!

Also singing away with everyone else were Liz, Mary, Josefina, Linda and Don.

Time to eat. Where to go? An easy choice. Antonia’s. Not only for the good food. Nicolle the bartender an attraction in herself. A very hospitable person.

The yellowtail was delicious. Perfect for my diet.

Nicolle’s love of her life is Darragh. He bartends at Blue Heaven. Met him for the first time at my book signing a couple of months ago.

Marsha was sitting to my left at the bar. She has been a Key West resident 7 years. Works at Key West Bait & Tackle.

Mother of three, grandmother of 3.

Marsha was especially proud she has no need for a car. She lives in Old Town and gets around easily on her bicycle.

Good for her! No car payment, no insurance bill.

To my right at the far end of the bar sat another lovely lady. Jenn Stefanacci. I asked if I could join her. She said yes and I moved down. I had coffee while she was finishing a pasta dish.

Jenn works at 223 & Co. and TBD Bar.

One trait women possess. They dislike a cheating husband. History teaches men to beware a woman scorned.

This morning’s Blue Paper reported A Key West story containing such elements.

A husband was napping sunday on a couch. His wife got into his cell phone. Came across a message on his cell phone from an ex-lover. The message was three years old.

She lost it.

Hit him repeatedly with her fists. Turned on the burners and threw a towel in the oven in an apparent effort to burn down their abode. Worst of all, she chased her husband with a kitchen knife threatening to “gut” him.

She has been charged with battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A teaching comment in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice. The solution to kicking poverty and becoming rich: “We were so tired of being poor we went down and registered as Republicans, then bought a house on Shark Key and a yacht. Never thought it would be that easy.”

Brought a smile to my face.

Monsanto has to be one of the  most hated corporations in the world. Some countries will neither permit Monsanto to plant nor sell their products.

Putin threw them out of Russia about 5 years ago. The U.S. has been in bed big time with Monsanto. Primarily made possible by our Congress which has passed a ton of laws favorable to the company.

After thursday, there will be no more Monsanto. The U.K.’s Bayer is buying/merging with Monsanto. Bayer has assured the name Monsanto will never be used again. Bayer has further assured the European Union it would neither produce nor sell Monsanto type products in Union countries.

European comment has been big re the sale/merger. Some have described the coming together as a “deadly wedding.” Others, “diabolical.”

The Philadelphia Eagles were invited to the White House. Most players declined the invitation. Trump retaliated. After being informed of their not coming, he withdrew the invitation. Sort of after the fact.

Instead, Trump claims a group of 1,000 will visit the White House in the place and stead of the Eagles. They and Trump will stand for the National Anthem which Trump assures will be played loud and clear.

Trump fails to understand the issue is not paying honor to the flag and National Anthem. It has to do with black discrimination and the many falsehoods the President speaks. Some people are getting fed up.

A further example is Giuliani. One of the President’s attorneys. He has been all over the media lying and exaggerating various issues of the case. Giuliani appeared at Yankee Stadium last week. He is often there. His seat is front row behind home plate.

Giuliani was booed when the public address system announced his presence.

The public is slowly waking up.

Tuesday again. Love tuesdays! I get to do my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Wild! I say what I want. Offer opinions many do not agree with. Whatever, the show is a fast moving half hour full of all kinds of issues affecting us.

Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy. Nine o’clock my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MILE HIGH CLUB DANGEROUS

Sex in the sky! On an airplane, of course. Referred to as the Mile High Club.

I always wanted to try it. In my working days, I generally flew first or business class. Many overnight flights. Would have been easy to accomplish. My wife disagreed. Thought I was crazy.

At 82, I can look back and say there is not much I have missed. Reluctantly, the Mile High Club is one.

Apparently, the deed on a commercial flight is now considered criminal. A 48 year old woman and 28 year old man met on a Delta flight recently. She orally copulated him. They were arrested on landing.

Today being a holiday, I filled some prescriptions yesterday. Walgreens first. Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. The usual. Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Dripping in butter. To die for!

My cell phone was not working. Stopped at Verizon in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center. Sim card dirty. The young lady knew immediately. Took it out and cleaned it with an eraser on the end of a pencil. Amazing!

Watched Cavaliers/Celtics game 7. For the right to go to the NBA Finals. Celtics favored. Cavaliers won 87-79.

LeBron James responsible. He carried his team all the way! Scored 35 points. Many assists. A couple of blocked shots. He did it all!

The Cavaliers won because they were experienced. Had been there before. Did not falter when down 12 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics an excellent team. Need seasoning, however. As the game went on, their youth was evident. Too many mistakes that only time teaches a player not to make.

The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum only 20 years old. A star already! What a future he has ahead of him.

This will be the 8th consecutive NBA Final that LeBron James will be playing in.

SH*T SHOW. A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff. He was on Morning Joe today.

LeDuff views America in crisis. He shares places and happenings reflecting the same. From Ferguson to Flint to Trump’s unstoppable campaign for President.

He talked how Trump during the campaign was suggesting a return to 1950’s type living. Actually, LeDuff said it would have been the 1990’s. Not enough people around who remember the 1950’s.

I do. My college and law school years. The time I married. My son born. Bought my first car. People employed. Etc. Good years. I have always recalled them fondly. Everything kumbaya. I have mentioned the 1950’s in the past as a good time to have lived in the U.S. The Eisenhower years.

Today, Memorial Day.

No Key West parade. I checked throughout the Keys. No parades anywhere. Many commemorative events, however.

A day when the graves of those who died for their country are decorated with flowers.

The custom interestingly began back in the Civil War. Both sides did it. The decorating and remembrance that went with it continued and grew to what it is today. Whether the 1860’s or today, emotions the same.

Tonight, Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Obama spoke wednesday in Las Vegas at a technology conference hosted by Okata, the identity security company. He said, “America may not survive.”

He added, “I think the big challenge today is how we maintain a sense of common purpose rather than splinter or divide. We are seeing this debated on social media every day, but if we don’t figure it out then our society and democracy may not survive…..part of our polarization is that if you watch Fox News all day, or read the New York Times, you are occupying two different realities.”

Alberto still on the move. Has not made landfall yet. Continues to aim for the Panhandle. Other parts of Florida and other States subject to heavy rains and flash flooding.

It has already rained heavy 2 times this morning in Key West.

Ellicott City, Maryland experienced disaster yesterday. Unexpected. Six inches of rain in two hours. Rivers overflowing, rampaging. Cars swept away. Rising water reaching the third floor of some homes.

Google News is running a video. Find it and see first hand. I could not believe what my eyes beheld. Water running down streets 1 or 2 stories high. Cars being lifted and swept away.

I am beginning to think someone upstairs is trying to tell us something.

Key West gas prices the past 3 hours from $3.10 to $3.15 a gallon. Predicted to go higher over the summer. Experts say the blame falls on Saudi Arabia who decided to curb production in 2016 so prices would rise.

I recall the Saudis as “our friends” who gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Trump/Iran not significant in the price increase. Only 3-5 cents.

Student loans always in the news. Some high. Higher than I thought.

Mike Mera is 37. An orthodontist. Borrowed $600,056 for his education. Now owes in excess of $1 million. He makes his monthly payment religiously. $1,589.97. Will never get ahead. The interest is $130 a day. Per month, $3,9000.

He’s not the only one. One hundred one borrowers owe in excess of $1 million.

I am not a bird expert. One who is is an ornithologist. I looked up the word.

The reason is this past week I discovered two birds living in my walled yard. Bigger than a sparrow, smaller than a pigeon. Shades of brown.

They obviously are a couple. They are together all day. Generally sit on a wood bench in the corner next to each other. Rarely move. Never fight.

Enjoy your holiday!

 

 

 

GOING TO NEED NOAH’S ARK SOON

In my 30 years of living in and visiting Key West, I have never seen rain like we are experiencing. Especially this time of the year. May is normally a dry month. People talk about needing rain.

It poured again yesterday. All day! Heavy!

Streets are flooding that never flooded before. Amazing!

The Comcast saga continues. Repair man due yesterday between 1 and 3. Got a call at 2. Three to four hours behind. Will come tomorrow (today).

I have been without TV since thursday.

Visited Dr. Jones late afternoon. Received my various test results. No cancer. Do have a problem, however. Cleveland Clinic next for consultation. Surgery probable in due course.

I am ok. Mentally in tune with what is occurring.

Aqua after Dr. Jones. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Guest performer the lovely Laura Richardson. Laura the owner of Salt Gallery.

Met Laura’s parents. Both retired corporate attorneys. Key West residents. Enjoyed my conversation with her father. Her mom seated too far away for any meaningful conversation.

Rick Dery a director, also. He has directed Pride Follies for several years. This year’s show is June 2 at 8 in the evening at the Key West Theater.

Always a winner!

Word on the street is Bank of America on Southard closing. I have not been able to verify the information. If so, the building would make an excellent dance facility. I have always thought downtown Key West needed a place where everyone regardless of age could get out there and do their thing.

Zombies in southern Florida! Reported by a power outage alert sunday in Lake Worth. The outage affected 7,880 residents.

The “alert” reported power was lost “due to extreme zombie activity.” Obviously a bogus report. Or was it? Actual cause remains unknown.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. My opinions shared. Though not necessarily the same as those who are tuned in.

The show’s audience gets larger each week. I love it! My advertisers love it!

Join me for a fast moving half hour.

Pope Francis a breath of fresh air in the world of Catholicism. Two weeks ago, he said in speaking to a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

The second time Francis has spoken in acceptance of homosexuality. A man of courage and conviction. The Bible tells us homosexuality is a sin.

Trump makes me laugh. He does not accept Venezuela’s election results. Phony, a sham. Earlier had threatened invasion. Now has fallen back to severe sanctions.

There are many tyrants elected in phony elections world wide. Putin, for example. Trump should threaten him and all other tyrants with invasion and/or severe sanctions.

Why pick and choose. Go after everyone.

The Trump administration continues on a fast track to dismantle Obama signature policies. Could Obama have been that wrong? Or is there another reason?

I suspect it may be because Obama is a person of color and Trump a racist. Or, it could be because Obama made fun of Trump at a White House Correspondents Dinner. When slighted, Trump has the memory of an elephant.

The Trump/Kim summit almost blew up. Trump may have saved it. John Bolton appears to have been the cause.

Bolton is crazy. A neo-con. A war hawk big time. Scares me.

In preliminary talks with North Korea, Bolton told the other side the U.S. supported a Libya Solution. Gaddafi was convinced to give up his nuclear program. Several years later, Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe, captured, tried and executed.

The North Koreans are not fools.

Some have suggested that Bolton’s meeting with his North Korean counterparts was an amateur hour.

The recent U.S./China trade talks another example of amateur hour play on the part of those representing the U.S. Nothing resolved. Problems kicked down the road.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mulchin should be sent back to Wall Street. He is neither qualified to be Treasury Secretary nor engaged in trade talks on behalf of the U.S.

Yesterday, Trump described Congressman Devin Nunes as “a very courageous man.” For pushing the DOJ and FBI for the name of an informant.

Recall Nunes’ support of Trump since day one. Running to the White House to report something that had happened in his Committee. More recently, having the House Intelligence Committee, which he Chairs, issue a majority report saying in effect no Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

I consider Nunes a stooge for Trump, an informant of sorts. He has forgotten his Congressional responsibilities in sucking up to the President.

An Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday causes me great concern. Note it was authored by Brigadier General Ronen Manelis of Israel’s Defense Forces.

The Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy last week proved a disaster. At least initially. Now, I am not sure.

It was reported many Palestinians were protesting at the fence. On the Gaza side and unarmed. Israeli forces unloaded on them. Missiles, small fire, etc. Sixty two killed. Eight of them children. Two thousand seven hundred injured.

The world, including me, dumped on Israel.

Now it appears things may not have been as they appeared. Further investigation is required.

The Opinion claims the protest was funded by Hamas as a terrorist propaganda operation. Hamas provided free transportation to innocent citizens to the border, including women and children. These people were hired in effect as extras: $14 per person, $100 per family, and $500 if anyone was injured.

What is truth? The world should know.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A BEGUILING HISTORY…..THE SOUTHERNMOST HOUSE

Big trees from little acorns grow.

The story of Key West. A tiny island 4 x 2.5 miles. A huge history. Whatever the eye can see, a story anxious to be told.

The Southernmost House. 1400 Duval Street. The corner of Duval and South Streets.  An historic mansion sitting on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Southernmost was built in 1897 by Judge Jeptha Vining Harris. The cost $250,000. An extremely huge sum in those days.

The Judge’s wife was Florida Curry. Florida was the youngest daughter of William Curry, Florida’s first millionaire.

A three story structure. Queen Anne Victorian in design. Open water views. Public rooms, two story balconies, and large glass stained windows to catch the ocean breezes.

Elegant.

The new Curry home had one oddity. Only one bedroom.

Electricity was a novelty at the time. Florida retained the services of Thomas Edison to oversee the design and installation of an electrical system.

Socialization and entertainment on a humongous scale took place during the years the Judge and Florida resided in the House.

Soon came the prohibition years 1919-33. An air conditioning system was installed. Air conditioning as new as electricity was when installed.

The use of the mansion changed. It became a speakeasy. The first floor was turned into a restaurant. The second was utilized for casino gambling. The third for “socializing.”

The Southernmost was visited during the prohibition years by celebrities and gamblers. The House was a stop over on the way to Havana.

The 1940’s found the House being turned into a night club. The Cafe Cayo Hueso. A gathering place for the rich and famous. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Tallulah Bankhead, Louis Armstrong, and Charles Lindberg.

The Southernmost was completely renovated in 1949 for use once again as a private residence. Many dignitaries visited. Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.

Today, the Southernmost House has acquired a new dignity and elegance. One bedroom when constructed in 1897. Now a class 18 room bed and breakfast.

Spent yesterday afternoon at Hot Dog Church with Donna, Terri and friends. A weekly lesbian gathering. Good food and company. A few males are welcome. I am one of them.

The event is held at Aqua’s Back Bar. Lauri in charge.

Later in the evening, I enjoyed a light dinner with Donna and Terri at their home.

Bear is getting big. Only 18 weeks old. Looks full grown already. Well trained. I am still his buddy. He lay next to me with his leg on mine.

Terri singing tonight! She is the featured performer at Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. The place will be packed with those wanting to hear Terri sing.

I am doing the blog late this morning. I had to be at the hospital early this morning for a barium swallow test. Suspect I will be in Miami in June for surgery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LAST SUPPER…..MINE

I viewed last night’s dinner as my Last Supper. Till tomorrow night. Today, liquids only.

Tomorrow morning, a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I have had them before. The procedure nothing. Knocked out. The prep today the problem. You who have had the procedure understand. Those who have not, your time will come and you will understand.

I enjoyed lamb chops at Antonia’s. The lovely Nicolle bartending. As I think about it, I was enjoying lamb chops last monday at La Trattoria when it became necessary for Carrie the bartender to Heimlich me.

One of the reasons for the procedures tomorrow.

After Antonia’s, It was Publix. I had to buy various liquids to consume today. No food till tomorrow afternoon.

Prior to dinner, I stopped at Aqua. my usual monday evening haunt. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery great. My friend Liz sitting on the other side of the bar enjoying them also. Liz looked great! A new hairdo.

Due to the fun time I shall be enjoying today and tomorrow, some activities/events have been cancelled. My Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou podcast will not be aired this evening. Nor this blog and my Key West Lou Live video tomorrow morning.

Paraphrasing General Douglas MacArthur, I shall return thursday.

Big Pine is 30 miles up the road. North on US 1. Got killed by Irma. Still recovering. Many yet homeless.

Sunday another disaster befell its residents. A raging wildfire. Still burning yesterday. Thought to be under control, but will not be sure until today runs its course.

Smoke covering the Key.

Local, state and federal forestry personnel battling the flames. Fire crews brought in from all the agencies. Including a helicopter which dropped 500 gallons of water at a time.

As of last night, 100 acres already burned. Strong winds encouraged the fire. Dried vegetation left over from Irma fueled it.

A tough fire to fight. The firefighters would put out one area only to find another had begun elsewhere.

Fortunately, losses limited to one house and one garage. No lives.

William Hackley became a part of our lives 2 years ago. Hackley lived and worked in Key West prior to the Civil War. He kept a diary. The Key West Citizen found portions of it and has been reporting Hackley’s life on a daily basis.

I have read 99 percent of the articles. Hackley is moving. Leaving Key West. He has been packing for a couple of weeks. Somewhere along the way, I must have missed a diary entry. I do not know why he is moving.

While in Key West, Hackley and his family enjoyed the life of the well to do. Hackley an attorney holding various positions.

I did a little digging and came up with Hackley’s life after leaving Key West. Only 10 years. He died during a yellow fever epidemic while living in Memphis in 1867.

Hackley left Key West in 1857. Settled in Joliet, Illinois for 6 years. Ran into financial difficulties. Moved to Memphis, Tennessee.

From 1863-1865, Hackley worked as a special agent for the US Treasury and as a cotton agent. In 1865, he became a special agent of the Treasury Department responsible for gathering cotton which had belonged to the Confederate States in Mississippi.

A yellow fever epidemic of great proportion struck in 1867. Hackley infected. He died in Memphis from yellow fever in 1867.

Trump making noises about immigration again. The “caravan” immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala trying to reach the United States. Most seek asylum. They have the necessary paperwork prepared for presentation to US officials at a border point.

Trump announced in recent days that the “caravan” was reaching the Tijuana crossing into the United States. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to deny them entry.

Typical of Trump, he made it sound like barbarians were at the gate.

Not so.

The initial group leaving Honduras and Guatemala totaled 1,200. Families, many with children and babies. All walking.

The group reaching Tijuana 50. A handful. With papers.

Trump is going to deny them entry without even a proper review of their papers. Some or all just might qualify for entry.

Trump is a big man physically and a big man in every other respect. A giant. He is beating up little people.

Enjoy your day!

.

 

 

 

WOE THE WEB WE WEAVE…..

My legal career was spent in the court room. When ever I would catch a witness in a lie or a party’s case full of lies, I would start my summation to the jury by looking them in the eye and with all seriousness say…..Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I would follow it up with the story of throwing a pebble into a still pool of water. The pebble would cause a small circle to surround it. The circle in the water would get bigger and bigger. As a lie got bigger and bigger and took in more people.

Yesterday it was Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity.

Trump’s lies ultimately bring everyone around him down. Including his children.

Will Trump throw them under the bus as he has others? Will he take the rap to save them? Interesting.

Saw Dr. Jones yesterday morning. He scheduled me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for a week from tomorrow.

I am anxious for the endoscopy. For the past six months, food gets stuck in my throat. Cannot wash it down. Fluid shoots back out my mouth. Takes a bit of gulping to get the food to pass.

Till last night.

I was enjoying lamb chops at the La Trattoria bar. Carrie bartending. Fortunately.

A piece of meat got stuck in my throat. Carrie saw I was in trouble. She came running over and started with back blows moving to the Heimlich. Did not work. Gulping did not work.

I could breath.

I walked out. Gulped for two blocks. Finally the meat moved down.

A relief. The longest it has taken. Thank God I am doing the endoscopy next wednesday. Dr. Jones is aware of my problem and will stretch my throat and esophagus while I am under.

Lunch yesterday after the Dr. Jones visit at Sandy’s Cafe. My favorite snack. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large cup of Cuban coffee.

The waitresses at Sandy’s are a happy bunch. They spread that joy to the customers as they wait on them.

Last night Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt guest performing. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing their usual. The three singing a song together outstanding!

Many Bobby Nesbitt friends in attendance. Lynda and Bob Frechette, David, Lisa, etc.

We sang along with Tom, Rick and Bobby.

Loved it!

It was after Dueling Bartenders that I went to La Trattoria for dinner.

Marty Leshaw and I were Key West friends for years. We would meet at the Chart Room and then have dinner together somewhere. Marty left Key West. Returned to his primary residence in Fort Lauderdale.

Marty and I communicate infrequently. I heard from him yesterday. Did I hit 40 yet? Meaning pounds lost. Whatever the inquiry or statement, I always enjoy hearing from Marty. Though we disagreed on almost everything. Especially politics.

I have fond memories of our relationship.

Trump is visiting Key West thursday. For two hours. He flies into Boca Chica. Then he will be part of a caravan of cars taking him to the Truman Waterfront. He is visiting the Joint Interagency Task Force South. A military anti-smuggling center.

Some are thrilled by his visit. Others could care less.

Diana Millikan returns to Key West tomorrow. She e-mailed me she plans to stand on the corner of Truman and White and wave at Trump as he passes. She has been a die hard Trump fan since day one. Part of that 35-40 percent.

Global climate change a concern to us who live on the ocean. We have been warned for several years that the waters will rise and take away some homes built on the water.

Michael Mann is a climatologist.  He says the change is coming and sooner than thought.

All has to do with currents. Southern waters, including the Gulf Stream, will flow northward. The colder deep waters of the north will flow southward.

I do not understand this changes things. The bottom line however is that the scenario will not be good. Our water levels will increase 1.6 feet. Surface temperatures will be warmer for most of the US east coast. Europe will be colder because of changes in the Gulf Stream.

Mann says “…..we’re close to a tipping point…..the changing currents are without precedent…..the event about a century ahead of schedule.”

He also says all this may not happen. That we are dealing with systems we don’t fully understand.

Love the Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen. Readers say it the way it is.

This morning’s column had a note from a local. The iguana problem the subject.

The writer had the solution. Bring in about a hundred Jaguars and mountain lions. The natural enemies of iguanas.

My  thought is the suggestion will help resolve another problem. The too many people on the island problem. Jaguars and mountain lions are the natural enemies of humans, also.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk  with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. I express my thoughts as to the conduct and sins of many. Guaranteed you will like the show. A quick moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

BUSY…..BOOK SIGNING AND PODCAST

Yesterday, busy. Today, busy. Adrenalin flowing. Ready to go.

Today, the Irma and Me Book Signing. Tonight, my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Both required preparation. Especially the podcast.

Yesterday was get ready time. Began at 5:30 am.

Got an early start on the day’s blog.

Then an hour getting things ready for today’s book signing. Finding a bag to carry the books, a box to hold cash, a bank run for a roll of nickels and different cash bills, prepare tonight’s Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou show, and I don’t recall what else.

Finished all by 4. I was ready. Almost, still needed today’s blog which I am doing at the moment.

Out for the evening. Needed a drink. Enjoyed one at Catherine’s when I picked her up. Felt better.

First stop was Aqua’s for Dueling Bartenders. Terri performing. Would not have missed it.

Bear greeted me. Getting bigger. He was with George and Art.

Lynda and Bob Frechette at the bar. I went over leaving Catherine at the other bar. Who are you with, Lynda asked. I could not remember Catherine’s name. I was doing good.

Lynda and Bob will be at the book signing.

Dinner afterwards at Antonia’s bar. Nicole bartending. She made my day. Not only is she stopping by the book signing, she has already ordered the book via Amazon.

Finished the evening early. I was tired. Dropped Catherine off and went directly home intending to hop in bed. Changed my mind. Instead prepared notes for the blog I am presently writing.

I received a call from Jean Thornton during the day. She called to wish me well at the book signing.

Jean is an integral part of Irma and Me. It was at her and Joe’s home in Birmingham where I stayed for 12 days having escaped Irma. Louis, six other humans, and three dogs.

The book signing will be sort of a reunion. Five of the others have e-mailed and told me they will be there. The sixth, McKee, also e-mailed. He will not. He is on a cruise somewhere.

Neither will Jean and Joe. They leave from Birmingham today for a one month European cruise. Sounds exciting. Fly to Barcelona and get on a ship. Their home for the next 30 days. Primarily Scandinavian countries. Twenty different ports.

The Irma and Me book signing noon to 3 at Andrews Inn. Located at Zero Whalton Lane. A street running perpendicular to Duval between Truman and Olivia. Across from Viva Cafe.

Tonight at 9 my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. All done and ready to go. Some interesting topics. Only two involving Trump. I try to get away from Trump in my talks. We get too much of him otherwise every day.

Topics include visits to a few old time Key West bordellos, a discussion concerning Florida beaches which are no longer public, a transgender vote by the people rather than elected officials in Anchorage, the caravan, Syria, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Interesting. Sometimes provocative. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

My blog for today done! And it is only 8 am rather than 11 am. Last night’s prep helped. I have nothing to do till 11 when  I leave for the book signing.

Enjoy your day!