ARROGANT PARKING RATE PLAN

Key West is a small island. One and one half by four miles. It has been buried with too much construction, too many hotels, restaurants, bars, vehicular traffic, and tourists. I am surprised the island has not yet sunk. Key west is a new Atlantis in the making.

The Key West City commission is money crazy. Always the need for more money. Only to be not spent or spent to do totally illogical things. Last night, the Commission voted to increase parking rates by $1. Parking is already too expensive. Street parking $2 per hour, Mallory Square $4 per hour, the Bight $2.50 per hour.

The Commission says don’t worry, tourists will be paying it. They forget there are people like me. I do not live in Key West proper. I am 2.5 miles outside Key West in Key Haven. However, I drive into town twice a day. Costs me $8-10 a day to park. Now to go up by a dollar an hour.

In addition to which I spend a ton of money in Key West.

Key West workers have been told not to worry. They can park at one of the two municipal garages and be bused wherever.

The Commission is also going to require the Parking Department to chalk mark ties to better control time/overtime. Brilliant! Most if not all cities were doing it 60 years ago. None today. They depend on more sophisticated means to ascertain time violators.

The Commission does not realize this is the 21st century.  Get with it, guys!

Hurricane Matthew. Wow! By the grace of God, Key West will miss it. However, the mainland is in for a beating. This is one of the worst hurricanes ever. A high 4 with the probability of becoming a 5. Destruction galore!

Tomorrow morning at this time, Matthew will be over Palm Beach.

Good sized water vessels have already come into Key West for shelter from the storm. More expected. They are primarily dropping anchor in the Outer Mole and the Coast Guard sector.

Don’s Place first last night. Good conversation with Don, Stan and Clare. Clare promoted! She is now the Manager of Dion’s at White and Truman. A big place, a big job.

Then to Back Door and Mark Watson.

David stopped by. He educated me. The sky had a golden hue. He said it was called the Golden Light and appeared when a hurricane was on the way.

Met Jan and Kim.

Jan is a snowbird. RV lover. A retired Marine master sergeant. Drove to Key West from northern Georgia. I enjoyed her company. A knowledgeable person re world events. Especially Russia and the Middle East.

Kim arrived in Key West a few hours before appearing at Back Door. From Los Angeles and Portland. Came a long way to spend some time in Key West. She is here for several months, perhaps forever. A biologist by education and a journeyman electrician by experience. She appeared to enjoy the electrical work better.

October is the tenth anniversary of Girls’ Night Out. From 16 the first night to 2,000 ten years later. Good job, Mary Lou Hoover!

Greater love hath no man…..A tale of morbid obsession. The story of Carl Tanzer aka Count von Cosel. Tanzer is the whacky hospital employee whose love died. He dug her body up two years after burial. Took her to his home. Kept her in his bed seven years before being discovered.

Tanzer was arrested on this day in 1940.

Syracuse/Wake Forest saturday. Wake Forest a 2.5 point favorite. I suspect Wake Forest will beat Syracuse by a much higher number. This not the year for our football team! We continue to wait. Patiently.

One of the giants of the 20th century was Anwar Sadat. Egyptian President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, peacemaker with Israel.

Sadat was assassinated this date in 1981. He was in a stand reviewing troops. Islamic extremists did not like him. Two reasons. First, his peace efforts with Israel. Second, that he permitted the deposed Shah of Iran to remain in Egypt to await death from cancer. He refused to return him to Iran to be tried for war crimes.

A vehicle with armed troops drove up in front of the stand Sadat was standing on. Their guns blazed, grenades exploded. Sadat took four bullets and died.

The event was filmed/recorded. I can still see Sadat standing tall and glaring into their eyes. He never budged, never attempted to duck nor avoid the assassins.

Enjoy your day!

 

A WONDERFUL DAY

It is almost impossible not to have a good day in Key West. Short of being hung up in a hospital bed with two broken arms and two broken legs, every day is wonderful.

My yesterday was wonderful. In some instances, special.

The day started with lunch at Lizabeth’s home. In her shaded garden. A French salad. The name escapes me. Outstanding! Salmon, anchovies, eggs, black olives, potatoes, etc.

Accompanied by wine.

Good company, good food, good wine. What more can one ask for?

I enjoy Liz and our conversations.

One problem. I am not a wine drinker. Even a good wine. I went home a bit tipsy. Straight to bed. Slept three hours.

Must mention the wine. Bellini. Lizabeth and her husband used to drink it in Venice at Harry’s Bar. Owner, the famous Giuseppe Cypriani. Inventor of the the now world famous Bellini wine.

Another Key West resident frequented Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway. His primary watering hole when in Venice.

I was refreshed after the nap. Decided to go to the Back Door and Mark Watson. Intended to meet Donna and Terri. Did. And many more.

There were a ton of women. Unusual for Back Door. Turned out it was a meeting of a group from Girls’ I Know.

If it’s Girls’ I Know, it’s Mary Lou Hoover time. The founder of the organization years ago. An organization that has grown to thousands and extends beyond Key West’s borders today.

Mary Lou has her hands in many things. One several years ago. Mary Lou was Fantasy Fest Queen 2007.

Mary Lou has had a concern for suicide victims and those thinking of committing suicide. Last year, she started Out of the Darkness. A group committed to suicide awareness and prevention.

A walk is planned. An Out of the Darkness Walk. Takes place Sunday November 6. Registration begins at noon. Speakers and entertainment scheduled.

This is no small time event. It has the backing of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Walk already has several national big dollar sponsors.

Mary Lou and Charlie Waite are husband and wife. I envy them. One of Key West’s happiest couples. In love with each other!

I had enough to drink. Should have gone home after Back door. Did not. Instead joined Donna and Terri at Salty Angler. First time there for me. The ladies were going to play Trivia. Me play trivia?

I did.

Mary joined us. That completed our team. I knew next to nothing. Mary and Donna knew quite a bit.

I left before the exercise was over. I do not know where we stood in the rankings or if we won. We did come up with two special oral answers. For which we were rewarded with free shots each time.

Then home to bed. Slept well. A given after the wonderful day I had.

Enjoy your day!

NATHAN HALE

Nathan Hale. An American Revolutionary War hero.

Hale was 21. A Yale graduate. Then school teacher. Joined the Connecticut regiment to fight in the War. Appointed a captain.

New York City was occupied by the British. The colonists needed a spy to enter New York City ascertain British troop size and location. Hale volunteered.

He spent several days in New York carrying out his responsibility. The British were not stupid. They knew there was a spy in their midst. They were closing in on Hale. Finally, captured him.

British General Howe himself said to Hale that he would be hung in the morning. No trial. Not that one would have helped much.

As Hale was being led to the gallows, it is claimed he uttered the famous words…..”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Historians question whether Hale uttered the words. Written documentation lacking.

Another reason is that there is an early 1700’s poem containing similar wording.

Whatever, it is good for us to believe Hale so spoke.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch yesterday. My usual. Ham and eggs and fries. Then a walk along the waterfront.

A mid afternoon visit to the dentist. Dr. George Linder. Nothing wrong. A routine yearly visit to check my implants. A thorough examination of the entire mouth. Well worth the visit.

Last night for cocktails at Aqua’s Back Door. Mark Watson bartending. He bartends every wednesday night. That is why I go.

I was there quite a while. A number of people I knew came in. Good company all! Donna and Terri. Zoey. Zoey’s real name is Zorica. She is a native of Macedonia. Manages Aqua’s liquor and cigarette store attached to Aqua.

Jimmy Olson and Jimmy back from New Hampshire.

A lady named Lisa.

Big day for Donna! A bit tired also. First day at work. She can be found three days a week at the Butterfly Conservatory.

The cosmetic stores on Duval continue to be involved in fraud and chicanery. I do not understand why the City/Codes does not close them down.

The most recent incident involves a 70 year old tourist. She purchased a few items. Not much. When she received her credit card statement in the mail, the charge was in excess of $5,000. The matter has been reported and the police are investigating.

Citizen activity is growing in Key West. A vigilante approach in some instances.

Re the cosmetic shops, The Key West Rip Off Response Team. They have picketed some of these establishments in the past. They too are looking into the $5,000 over billing.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice tells the story of a Georgia free range chicken farm where bald eagles are eating up the profits.

Some 15 years ago, I was sitting outside the old Paradise Cafe enjoying Cuban toast and coffee. A mother hen with 5 little chicks were walking by. The chicks in an orderly line.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud swoosh. I looked up. There were two hawks carrying off two of the chicks. The mother hen and three remaining chicks moved on as if nothing happened.

I do not know the difference between a bald eagle or hawk or any similar bird. The two I saw might very well have been bald eagles.

Homeschooling is big in Florida. The Key West Art & Historical Society has announced a new program to support homeschoolers. Two hours a month. To add/supplement to what  is being taught at home.

If anyone is interested, the Custom House’s Director of Education Adele Williams should be contacted.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Connecticut a 5 point favorite. Time to win another one!

Enjoy your day!

UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER

The 99L tropical wave was supposed to dump rain and wind on Key West sunday. Nothing happened. Not one drop of rain.

Yesterday, an 80 percent chance of rain. Wind from the south. I thought also we would have rain. Not a drop.

Today, an 80 percent chance of rain. I give up. I don’t know. Neither do the weather professionals.

Did my podcast broadcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting. I covered happenings in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Indonesia, Russia and China. Plus, occurrences in four States. A fast moving half hour.

Revealing material. Some sad, some humorous.

A busy day ahead. An early business luncheon at Salute’s. I am looking forward to it. Salute’s has great mussels at lunch. Martin’s Happy Hour with Joseph from Hot Tin Roof. Then, Donna and Terri at Back Door.

No laying around today.

Anna, where are you?

Anna reports this week she is in three different villages hanging off the side of Mont Blanc. Traveling with friends. They presently are at her chalet in Courmayeur. Tomorrow, they cross the border into France. they will be visiting Chamonix and Megeve.

What a life!

Everywhere they go,   there will be chic chalets and cobbled medieval streets.

An historic morning! At 9:45, the first commercial flight between the U.S. and Cuba takes off. Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara. Santa Clara in central Cuba. A Jet Blue flight. The last commercial flight was 50 years ago at the time of the Cuban missile crisis.

Trump knows how to get publicity. He lets little slip through his fingers in that regard.

This afternoon, he will be in Mexico City for a meeting with the Mexican President. Tonight, Trump is in Phoenix giving his much awaited immigration speech. I am curious what this version will be.

The Mexican President is as foxy as Trump. I wonder who comes out ahead. He could make Trump look bad. Not that Trump needs help.

Hillary was in California last night at a fund raiser. At Jimmy Buffetts’ home. Hillary and the Beatles’ Paul McCartney danced.

Enjoy your day!

HERMINE ON ITS WAY?

I continue to learn.

Had I not decided to spend the last end of my life in Key West, I would have known little about hurricanes. Still little. However more than I knew back then.

The hurricane Gaston is out there some where. It will not make US landfall.

However…..Behind Gaston is tropical wave 99L. Tropical wave and with a number new to me. A tropical wave can turn into a tropical depression/storm. A tropical depression/storm can turn into a hurricane.

We have been told tropical wave 99L is behind Gaston. Also behind Puerto Rico. It is some 900 miles away. Presently over or soon to be over Hispaniola. Hispaniola and Puerto Rico part of the Greater Antilles.

Whether 99L turns into a tropical storm or hurricane depends what happens as 99L passes over Hispaniola. Hispaniola’s mountains are 10,000 feet. 99L could break up as it passes over the mountains. Such would be the end of any hurricane danger.

Whatever 99L is after the mountains will determine what will happen as regards the southern US. Could be a heavy wind/rain storm. Or, a hurricane.

If 99L turns into a tropical storm or hurricane, it will receive a new name. Hermine.

Whether wind and rain, tropical storm, or hurricane, it will be over the Keys sunday, monday and tuesday.

Truman Capote died on this day in 1984. Best known for In Cold Blood.

Capote once spent a couple of months in Key West. He booked into David Wolkowsky’s Pier House as it stood at that time. Wolkowsky lived in a trailer next to the Pier House ten feet from the water.

Capote was in a suite. After arriving, he was in Wolkowsky’s trailer having a drink. Wolkowsky’s trailer was very well done. Capote said I want to stay here. Wolkowsky said this is my home. So the conversation went on. Wolkowsky finally relented and gave up his trailer to Capote. Wolkowsky moved into Capote’s suite.

I intended to start my evening at the Back Door with Mark Watson. Closed. Mark never shows up if it is raining. The Back Door is outside.

It was not raining at 5. It had stopped around noon. The sun was out and blazing hot at 5.

Mark just wanted a night off.

I went inside to Aqua’s main bar. Rick Dery bartending. My Joe’s Chicken Shack friends Tim and Todd at the bar. Sat and talked with them. Good guys. One drink only.

Then to Sq. 1. John recently purchased it. Wanted to congratulate John. John not there. Met Ryan. The new bartender. All the employees were new. Recognized none of them

I asked if Jay was cooking. Ryan asked me who Jay was. Guess Jay is gone, too.

Ryan has only been in Key West one month. From Montana.

I enjoyed an appetizer and one drink.

Then home. Before 9. Early to bed.

Disaster!

I fell going up the stairs! Stubbed my toe on the last step. Went flying.

My fault. I was hurrying up the steps and not looking. At my age, I am not supposed to do either. No reason to hurry. No one waiting for me in bed.

At my age, when you fall, you fall hard. My nose. Where the bridge of my glasses rest. Thought I broke my nose. Swollen this morning. A bit bruised. A couple of small cuts. Talked to my doctor. Does not think it is broken. Don’t worry about it.

My wrists and knees hurt. Really bad. My left arm/shoulder, also.

I had a cut on my left foot shin bone. Bled more than a small cut should have.

My major problem after a fall is getting up. Big time difficult!

Whatever, I am alive and well this morning.

The Custom House celebrates its 125th birthday this year. Construction was completed 1891. At the time, housed federal offices. Courts, post office, etc. The building plans used were from a previous federal construction.  The new federal building in Aberdeen, Mississippi completed in 1887.

The William Hackley saga continues. Baby still sick. Fever till 2 in the afternoon. Fever returned in the evening. Matilda’s breasts continue to be a problem. Boil on one broke. Painful.

Hackley called for the doctor in the evening. To check out Baby. The doctor had a bit of a concern. He had just returned from treating a smallpox patient. He was concerned whether he should visit the child.

The doctor finally decided it was ok. He had no knowledge of anyone becoming infected by a doctor who had recently cared for a smallpox victim.

Glad we live today rather than back then.

Bob Saraceno and wife Sue are in town. Will be getting together with them at some point.

Enjoy your day!

 

BACK DOOR WITH DONNA AND TERRI

Three weeks since I had seen Donna and Terri. The drought ended last night. A Donna/Terri fix always good. Ran into them at Back Door.

Terri looked like Terri. Fine, except for a bit of strain showing on her face. It has only been three weeks since her heart attack.

Donna was Donna. Always looks good. Shared with me Terri’s strict diet. In detail. Terri eats nothing. What she does consume, Donna prepares.

Donna the good spouse.

Terri sings saturday night at Little Room Jazz Club.

Tim was part of our chat group. Tim of Joe’s Chicken Shack. Next door to Bourbon Street. He was outfitted in orange and blue. Also had an orange pen. Dressed Syracuse!

Todd and Katey at the bar also. Katey on vacation from Buffalo. A high school softball coach and English teacher.

Almost forgot. Mark Watson. One of Key West’s best.

Needed to eat something. Stopped at Submarine on the way home.

The Key West City Commission took another step re Truman Harbor last night. Not one that meets with my approval. Voted to investigate the Harbor problem further. Authorized the City Attorney to engage the services of a law firm familiar with such problems. Will probably end up being a Washington one.

A waste of money! Forget the Harbor! Get to work building. This project began 15 years ago and at best is only .00005 percent complete.

Sometimes, we have to be reminded. The United States is presently engaged in four ground wars. Boots on the ground! Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. The United States can also be found in 100 other countries. Not fighting.

This week’s KONK Life column is on the stands. Mommy, I’m Hungry. The article was also linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

Venezuela is now at the famine stage. People are raiding zoos, stealing animals and eating them. Last week, a group snuck into a zoo in the middle of the night. Went for a black stallion. In the morning when the zoo staff appeared for work, all that was left was its head and ribs.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SOME KEY WEST HISTORY

Big trees from little acorns grow…..

The Pier House Motel opened this date in 1968. Fifty units. From that modest beginning, the Pier House of today grew. Key West’s premier hotel.

My friend from physiotherapy David Wolkowsky responsible. The 50 unit motel was his brain child. The hotel’s growth guided by his hand.

David is 96. God bless him!

David has been responsible for more than merely the growth of the Pier House. Key West is his baby! He made it what it is today.

Mom’s Tea Room was once a popular place. Always busy. A man’s place. A whore house, house of ill repute, bordello. It is no more.

On this date in 1941, Mom’s Tea Room was raided. Three prostitutes arrested.

Not Mom’s first raid/arrest. The U.S. Navy a thorn in her side. Weighed on local government to close down the place. The Navy believed the place was not healthy for its men.

This is not the first time this blog has reported on Mom’s Tea Room. Twice before. April 9, 2015 and February 8, 2016. More detail in each writing. The blogs are archived on www.keywestlou.com. Right hand side of page, scroll down. Find month and year. Click on. Find date.

The owner of Mom’s Tea Room was Rose Rabin. She ran three places over the years. One off and on Stock Island through 1953. Another on Truman Avenue before World war II. The third a post World War II place known as the Imperial Club. The Navy was on her ass re all her clubs.

Whore houses are a thing of the past. Today are primarily escort services and gentlemen’s clubs (strip clubs). Services the same. Merely obtained via a different method.

Walked Home Depot yesterday. Only 15 minutes and at a slow pace. Exhausted afterwards. Concerns me.

While walking, I heard from Dee. She was calling from somewhere in Michigan.

Dee worked 30 years for AIDS-Help here in Key West. Her boss during those years died this week. She was in Michigan to attend his services. She is scheduled as one of the speakers.

Dee was a wreck. Crying. Understandable.

Stopped at Walgreens. To pick up Nexium generic for my acid reflux.

I am pissed at pharmaceutical houses and insurance companies. I have a drug policy through AARP. Does not pay everything. Always a co-pay. Then there is the donut.

I have been taking two Nexiums a day for years. My co-pay $40 a month. A couple of months ago, the price out of pocket for me became $174. No way! I switched to the generic. The generic costs me $41.50 a month. Slightly more than the for real pill.

Generics are supposed to be cheap.

I talked to Walgreens, the insurance company and the pharmaceutical house at the time. The insurance and pharmacy houses not nice at all. Actually impolite. Basically, the prices can be raised at any time. The judgment that of the pharmaceutical house. Take it or leave it!

F–k ’em!

Excuse my exasperation.

Back Door last night with Mark Watson. David there. Met Tim and Todd. John, who I had met before.

Tim and I talked quite a while. He manages Joe’s Chicken Shack on Duval. Another place for me to try.

Then to Outback’s for dinner. Ran into Doc. I only know him as Doc. Never have known his real name. We played golf weekly 20 years ago. I rarely see him now.

I was thrilled when he told me how much he loved my KONK Life column, reads it every week, etc. Thought I spent all week researching.

Doc made my night. It thrills me whenever someone compliments the column. I take pride in it.

The local hospital problem a real one. Will be ongoing quite a while. There will be some resolution. How much, difficult to determine.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported the City Commission was having a meeting tonight re the issue. The Citizens’ Committee, hospital representatives and public invited.

Key West’s City Commission is inept. Typical politicians. Want the public to know they are doing something. Generally not the right thing.

Certain Commission members are prepared to sue the company that owns the hospital. I believe it not the time, if ever. A lawsuit is only going to screw things up, delay resolution, etc.

Whatever, the Commission blowhards seem committed to a lawsuit. Then the problem is off their shoulders. Let the City Attorney worry about it. Blame delays and lack of resolution on the lawsuit.

In the mean time, what about patients? Any lawsuit will delay resolution of patient problems for years.

Enjoy your day!

AGGRAVATION FREE TRIP TO CUBA

Though relations are better with Cuba, a U.S. trip to Cuba still involves some aggravation.

Not for Fleming, however. He even traveled free.

Fleming is a turtle. He was found injured last year and taken to the Marathon Turtle Hospital. Fleming was returned to good health.

On July 22, he was returned to the ocean at Sombrero Beach. Got a big send off.

The hospital attached a satellite tag to Fleming. They follow his travels. He is now in Cuba.

You can follow Fleming’s meanderings. www.tourdeturtles.org.

Yesterday was wednesday. Wednesday is screw off time for me. I spend saturday through tuesday researching and writing. Then three days off beginning with wednesday. Look forward to wednesdays! Love the day!

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. Me, Jenny and the machine. I did not kill myself. Ran at a moderate speed. Still exhausted afterwards.

I have decided to take a week off. I am going to walk at Home Depot those days to see if it makes any difference.

After the treadmill, I hurried to Verizon Wireless. The good one. The one in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center.

Nana took care of me again. She is teaching me how to use my new cell phone. I am a dunce! Having difficulty learning. Retaining all the steps involved. These new phones are computers. Love it! Have to learn how to use them, however.

A generational thing. My era born and I are not mechanically inclined.

Lunch was at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Splurged. Instead of a cheese toast, I had a BLT. On pressed Cuban bread. Delicious!

Halley working up front. Ruby in the kitchen.

Ruby is an experienced cook. Seven years at Outback. She has also worked at several restaurants around town.

Spent the afternoon reading. An interesting World War II story. Involved Normandy on D-Day. A group of engineers were sent in before the landing to destroy whatever was on the beach and in the water that would affect a safe landing.

The landing site Utah beach.

The men were told before hand the mission was dangerous and few would survive. The men worked in groups of three. Only one in each group was alive at the end of the morning.

Last night began with the Back Door at Aqua. Mark Watson back. He just returned from a week on Fire Island.

Then to Roostica for dinner. Gnocchi.

The Florida Keys Community College, aka FKCC, was recently rated by SmartAsset.com.

There are 565 community colleges in the U.S. FKCC was rated #18. Very commendable!

A statement in the commendation hit home. Today’s young are looking for a good inexpensive education that will provide a good return on their investment. Not always the case today with those receiving four year degrees.

The quote: Community colleges “…..provide their students with an inexpensive, world class education and a good return on investment.”

Enjoy your day!