TONIGHT…..ANDREAS FRANKE

A special exhibit tonight. At Seven Artists Gallery on Simonton. Vienna artist Andreas Franke. A passionate diver. His preference underwater art.

Seven Artists’ jewelry designer Jennifer Badry responsible for Franke’s exhibition.

Show time 5:30-8:30.

I am familiar with Franke’s work. Outstanding! Worth seeing.

Busy day yesterday.

Started with lunch at Harpoon Harry’s with Guy de Boer. KONK Life and KONK E-Blast publisher.

Guy an old friend. Responsible for my writings, etc. Got me started 12 years ago with a KONK Life column and Internet talk show.

Guy is helping promote Irma and Me. In the very near future, Louis  will be featured in a front full page picture advising the publication of Irma and Me, together with a short article inside. Guy did a similar scenario in 2014 when I wrote my first book The World Upside Down.

A good friend.

After lunch, Guy took me to a back yard to see the boat he is repairing. Actually, rebuilding. A 36 foot power boat. The vessel a victim of Irma. Another boat was thrown into one side. The other side slammed into a dock. The boat a mess.

Guy fears not. He works daily on putting the boat together. Per his explanation of what he was doing, it was obvious he was familiar with the repairs.

He got the boat for nothing following Irma. It was heading for the junk yard. Guy took it off the owner’s hands.

A major job! The boat is a mess.

Spent the afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Been working on it 4 years. Four rewrites. My next publication. Hopefully by Easter.

The Chart Room last night.

Key West is normally quiet following New Years till the first of February. Not this year. Key West continues to be packed this week. The season is here!

The Chart Room was body tight. I was lucky to get a seat when I came in. Someone in front of me was leaving.

Old home week. Sheila, David, Steve and Cindy. And Jean and Joe Thornton. My Irma saviors. I spent 12 days at their home in Birmingham escaping Irma.

I was not aware Jean and Joe had returned. Turns out they have been here a week already.

While I was working on Growing Up Italian in the afternoon, a call came in from Jean. I did not answer. I did not want to interrupt my thought wave. They come and go so I have to be careful. Retention difficult in my old age.

I forgot to call Jean back till I was in the Chart Room at 7. Made my apologies. Jean said she and Joe would be with us shortly.

The reason Jean had called was to invite me to dinner. She had cooked one of her specialties. Chili and corn bread. To compensate, she brought a container of chili with her to the Chart Room. My lunch today.

Met a very interesting fellow at the bar. Paul. From London. We spoke for at least an hour. London, the U.S., travel, business, etc. To bad he leaves today. We agreed we hoped to meet again when he returns next year. This was his fourth visit to Key West.

Today, he leaves for Majorca. He and his wife have a vacation home there.

Then a quick stop to Publix. Out of diet food.

I have been at the diet since November 27. Cheated only Christmas eve and Christmas day. I am not losing. Stuck on 10 pounds since mid December. Depressing. I am losing inches. Clothes loser. Wearing clothes I could not get into.

Today going to be another busy one. A pedicure and manicure with Tammy at 1. Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. Pot roast!

A couple of Trump comments.

Fire and Fury seems to be doing a number on him. If only 20 percent true, still devastating.

The book has opened a Pandora’s box. Brought Trump’s mental stability to the fore front. Dangerous for him. I have considered the President a nut since the primaries. He is not equipped to be a President.

It was announced yesterday that Trump had opened east and west coast waters to oil drilling. A disaster in the making. One big spill and environmental ruination for years to a vast portion of ocean.

The oil drilling thing an example of Trump sucking up to and pursuing the interests of big business.

Another Trumpy. Trump told us the huge corporate tax cut would add thousands of jobs. Comcast announced yesterday it let go 500 employees.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE COMPANY STORE

Sixteen Tons. Tennessee Ford. I Owe My Soul To The Company Store.

A great song. Fifty plus years ago.

Delete the word “owe”. Add in its place “sold.” Now reads I Sold My Soul To The Company Store.

A day or two ago I write Senator Chuck Grassley had sucked on the public tit too long. Thirty six years. Today, Utah’s Senator Orrin Hatch. Elected to the Senate for 40 years. The longest sitting Republican Senator.

He joins Grassley. Hatch has sucked on the public tit too long.

I have always admired Hatch. We got old together. He is 82 or 84.

A stand up guy in the past. Generally fighting for the right. Politics be damned. Relatively silent the past few years.

This past week, Hatch came out of the woodwork. No longer sitting quiet. Now an outspoken supporter of the Senate tax bill. I found it strange. He even shared his “poor” upbringing. Described himself as part of the lower middle class. Not poor. Try a level or two down. That is poor!

Two days ago, Hatch got to fly on Air Force One. With President Trump. Probably the first time in years he has been on Air Force One.

They headed to Hatch’s home state. Utah. There Trump removed “monuments designations” from two protected natural areas. Two million acres. He hailed Hatch. Hatch hailed Trump.

By his action, Trump opened 2 million acres to development. Commercial development. Like coal.

Coal is yesterday. No one seems to realize it, except Trump. Maybe Hatch.

Whatever, Hatch got a big share of Utah land open to eventual waste. In the process may have picked up some local glory.

Time to go, Senator. Forty years too long. Your values have changed.

I came across a quote yesterday: “Time to retire Senator…..when pedophilia is acceptable, you no longer represent our country.”

Together with Trump, Hatch is supporting the election of Alabama’s Moore.

I discussed Hatch and Grassley last night on my podcast show. The thrust…..They have sucked on the public tit too long.

Watched Syracuse/Connecticut last night following my show. Syracuse won 72-63. Syracuse played well early on. Had a 17 point lead at one time. Played Connecticut even in the second half.

Going to be a tough Syracuse year.

The game was part of the Jimmy V Classic. Purpose to raise money for cancer research. Dick Vitale spoke at half time. Introduced three young boys who are cancer survivors. Thus far. Their stories sad. Their smiles beautiful. The message send dollars so we can some day beat cancer.

George Mira. Fifty  plus years ago a University of Miami football star and 1962 All-American. Professional ball followed. He now resides in Coral Gables.

Mira a Key Wester early on. Born in Key West January 11, 1942. Played football at Key West High School.

Trump screwing things up again. Bad judgments on his part.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate stood trial for murder of a young lady in San Francisco. After a lengthy trial, he was acquitted last week.

As far as I am concerned, the jury spoke. It is the American way.

Apparently Trump was not satisfied. Thought justice not done. Attorney General Sessions and other federal officials announced two federal indictments. One for possession of a firearm, the other being an immigrant in possession of a firearm.

Zarate a non-white immigrant.

What else was to be expected!

The other involves Trump and Jerusalem.

It has been advised Trump will announce tomorrow that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and that in due course he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump a trouble maker. Does not know when to leave well enough alone.

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

OUTSTANDING FLAGLER RAILWAY EXHIBIT

Slept late. Bed followed by a meeting. Ergo, blog late today. Sorry.

I went to the opening of the Flagler Railway Exhibit at the Custom House last night. Outstanding!

Curator Dr. Cori Convertino performed well. She was in charge of the exhibit. A permanent one. A lot of work and time had to be involved. The finished product made it worthwhile.

I could not find Nicky’s drawing of Flagler. It’s there. I will return when there is no crowd and I can take my time looking.

Dr. Convertino in attendance, of course. All decked out in long. Looked terrific! A hug and a kiss of congratulations.

Ran into George. George is a female. She bartends at Hogsbreath. For at least 15 years.

I had not seen her in years. She never changes. I told her so. Looks the same as when I first met her at Lisa’s wedding 13 years ago.

Walked over to the Chart Room following the exhibit. Another fun evening.

Sheila was there. First time in three months that I have seen her. Sat next to her.

Linda Cunningham seated next to Sheila. She contributed to making it an enjoyable evening. In her other life, Linda was an editor. In Key West, she is a Board member of The Stars and Stripes.

Kevin and Holly at the other end of the bar. Chatted with them briefly. Holly her usual lovely self.

Met Grace and Steve. They reside in one of the Villages. Visiting Key West for the holiday weekend.

Grace into legal case management. Steve a former crane operator. Now, retired.

Nice people. Steve especially expressive.

John handled the bar well. Joined in the conversations when he could.

Zbigniew Brzezinski died. Eighty nine years old. A distinguished American. He was National Security Adviser under President Carter. He succeeded Henry Kissinger in the position.

Brzezinski’s family escaped Europe before World War II. Amazing the heights Brzezinski attained.

He is the father of Mika Brzezinski, one of the Morning Joe hosts.

The Rainbow Flag. One and a quarter miles long. From one end of Duval to the other. An expression gay pride.

A portion of the flag is referred to as Section 93. It has been exhibited in several parts of the U.S. and as far away as Australia.

On January 11, Section 93 will participate in a unity and pride parade in Washington, DC. The Equality March for Unity and Pride. It will lead the parade.

Big time sailboat races no more in Key West. For thirty years, the Key West Race Week held in waters off Key West. A big deal!

Unfortunately, participation has dwindled. In 2001, 326 boats. In 2016, 130. This past January, 90.

The numbers explain the cancellation determination.

At a Trump rally in March, Senator Jim Kane’s son was present. Senator Kane was Hillary’s Vice-Presidential running mate.

The son is Linwood “Woody” Kane.

Young Kane was opposed to Trump. He and friends disrupted the rally. One threw a smoke bomb.

That was March. He was arrested this week for his activities at the rally. My question: Why did it take two months to arrest him? Does not make sense.

You can always find an outside the box event in the Keys. This afternoon a dog wash fundraiser. Sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department. Being held at the Keys Animal Hospital. The proceeds go to the Florida Keys SPCA.

Enjoy your day!