THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE

The man who would not die. His name, Rasputin.

History tells us he was a con man supreme, a self-proclaimed holy person, one who caused a royal dynasty to fall. Romanov Russia.

Rasputin helped bring revolution to Russia. He made possible the birth of Communist Russia.

Born Grigory Efinovich Rasputin. To a peasant family. At some point, he underwent a religious conversion. Proclaimed himself a healer.

Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra’s son Alexi was a hemophiliac. Rasputin seemed to have the ability to stop Alexi’s bleeding. The year 1908. From that time forward, Rasputin was an accepted friend, confidant, and adviser to Nicholas and Alexandra. Especially, Alexandra. History believes she had an ongoing affair with Rasputin.

He became a dark influence on the royal family.

All of Russia disliked Rasputin. Nobles, church orthodoxy, and peasants alike. He was constantly drunk, a womanizer, an evil in the Romanov homes. He was concerned not with the best interests of Russia. His concern at all times was his image. Some what like Trump today.

A group of Russian nobles were eager to end Rasputin’s influence over the royal family. They murdered him the night and early morning of December 29-30, 1916.

Even at the time of his death, Rasputin exhibited messianic powers. He was a man who would not die.

The nobles laced his food and drink with cyanide. No effect. They then shot him at close range. He revived and tried to escape. The nobles shot him again. He continued to live.

The nobles finally tied Rasputin up and tossed him into a freezing river.

That did it!

The nobles killed Rasputin. Rasputin killed Romanov Russia. The peasants in due course revolted. In 1922, Soviet Russia was born.

Rasputin put into motion a series of events which even to today affect the world. U.S./Russian relations an example.

Last night, a lovely evening. A charming companion. Catherine.

We dined at Berlin’s. Guy de Boer sitting next to me at the bar. Berlin’s the busiest I have ever seen. Makes sense. Christmas week the busiest tourist time of the year for Key West.

I enjoyed a prime rib again. Terrific! Just the meat and au jus sauce. Part of the Atkins diet.

I am into my fifth week of the diet. Only cheated Christmas eve and Christmas day. I should have lost 15-20 pounds by now. I lost 10 pounds the first week. Not an ounce more since.

Discouraging.

I am thinner. Into shirts and shorts one size smaller. I need the pounds off, however. The scale speaks the truth!

Worry not, I will continue with the diet.

Big event tomorrow at noon. The Annual Dachshund Walk. Hundreds will congregate at the Courthouse on Whitehead to watch the parade.

Only in Key West!

Trump upsets me this morning. I saw the news that a small group had protested in Iran. Trump announced to the world how terrible the Iranian government was, good luck to the protesters, etc.

Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and when to speak.

The world is dividing into two camps. Just as Germany and the Allies did prior to World War II. Iran and Russia are friends. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia friends on the other side. Trump should not encourage further division. He has yet to learn it is better to make friends than enemies.

I wonder how Trump would have felt if after Charlottesville, Iranian and Russian leaders spoke out telling the world the U.S. was bad, good luck to the protesters, etc. Trump would have shouted back that each country should mind its own business.

Trump continues to be a growing menace to the health and security of the U.S.

The weather started turning last night. Today’s high projected at 73. The low tonight 64. Cold for us. Warm to my friends up north suffering in low teen freezing cold and tons of snow.

It will continue cold for a few days. Long pants, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. for us. For me, the heat on tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE ANGEL ON TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Christmas eve and Christmas day both important. Most Italian-Americans give a bit more attention to Christmas Eve.

Whether the day before Christmas or Christmas day itself, each I would describe as a conspiracy of love. Even relatives who avoid each other all year, bury their animosities. Everyone kumbaya.

The dinner the night of Christmas Eve a big deal. The end of several days of preparation. The day itself further preparation.

Cooking smells permeate the house. A big fish dinner ahead. Seven fishes.

In spite of all the preparation and planning, there are snafus. Last minutes ones. Additional groceries to buy. Last minute gift shopping. Grandma getting her hair done. Wrapping presents (takes forever and many hands), setting the table, finish decorating the tree, some one cannot make it on time, etc.

The conspiracy of love is pure confusion! It reaches its high point and ultimate reward when all sit down to dinner. Anywhere from 10 to 30 guests.

Card tables set up all over the place. Age determines who sits at the dining room table. Some adults are still relegated to the card tables at 25. Since tiny tots. Waiting to move up.

The meal spectacular! Grandmom and Mom did their usual best. Everyone enjoys! Grandmom and Mom taking special pleasure in seeing their family seated all around and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Which brings me to a comparable story. One involving confusion leading to Christmas warmth. And a special reward!

Joan Lunden for more than 20 years was host of Good Morning America. When she left, she turned to writing. Became an acclaimed journalist.

Eighteen years ago, Emotional Health printed one of her short stories. It was about Santa Claus and a bad day he was experiencing Christmas eve day.

Four of Santa’s elves were sick. The trainer elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones.

Santa began to feel pressure.

Mrs. Santa told him her mother was coming. Such increased Santa’s stress more.

Santa went out to harness the reindeer. Not all were in shape to travel the skies that evening. Three were about to give birth.  Two others had jumped the fence. To where, Santa knew not.

Santa began to load the sleigh. One of the floor boards cracked and a toy bag fell to the ground. Toys scattered all over.

Santa had had it for the moment. He needed a drink. Went inside for a cup of apple cider and shot of rum.. He went to the cupboard. Only to discover that the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.

He accidentally dropped the empty cider jug. Broke into hundreds of pieces all over the kitchen floor.

Santa went to get the broom to clean up. Only to discover the mice had eaten all the straw at the end of the broom.

Just then, the door bell rang. The noise further irritated Santa. Obviously not having a good day.

He rushed to the door and yanked it open. There stood an angel. Holding a large Christmas tree.

The angel said cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”

The thrust of the story. After all the exasperations experienced, there finally comes a time when joy abounds. The angel at Santa’s door with the tree, the Italian family sitting down to Christmas eve dinner.

Another reason, also. The story explains the tradition why in many homes, a little angels sits at the top of the Christmas tree.

Love Christmas Eve! I look forward tonight to dinner with Lisa and the family.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES COME WITH GLITCHES

I am not technologically adept. A generational thing.

During my Holly wood trip, I purchased a computer monitor. Thirty two inch screen! A few days before in Key West, a new keyboard. All put together on 11/24. My guru TV person Tim Reynolds working with me from Tampa. He hooks up and can operate my computer from Tampa.

I have noticed minor problems the past two days. Need Sloan to correct. She will be here Wednesday.

A major problem today. It may have encumbered your ability to read this blog on Facebook.

I have two Facebook accounts. Key West Lou and Louis Petrone. The blog is supposed to come up on Key West Lou when I direct it from WordPress. The past two days, it has shown on Louis Petrone instead.

Sloan told me on the phone how to temporarily correct it. I hope it works this morning. Whatever, everything will be fine by Wednesday evening.

There is nothing for you to do at your end. I have to perform at mine.

If I fail and it does not come up for you, merely enter www.keywestlou.com.

An excellent weekend food wise. Important because I start a major diet tomorrow.

Dinner Friday night with Barbara at Berlin’s. Sean and Gage bartending. The wonderful Bria singing.

I continue to live and learn. A conversation at the bar involved hurricanes. Turkey vultures have returned to Key West. All over our skies. Someone mentioned that the return of the turkey vultures is an indication the hurricane season is over.

I hope so. We have had a few post hurricane season storms over the years.

Thanksgiving dinner last night at Donna and Terri’s. My second Thanksgiving dinner in as few days. I need the diet!

Donna is a superior cook. The meal magnificent! The company as good.

George and Art joined the festive occasion. Their business strange. They make what they describe as self sculptured art. Stuffed animals. Bears, dogs, octopuses, etc. Anywhere from 6 inches to 26.

Not cheap. A world-wide market. George just returned from a sales trip to Beijing and Taipei. He described their product as having a niche market.

Considered one of the best if not the best movies ever is Casablanca. Starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. A touching weepy love story.

Casablanca premiered in New York City this date 1942.

My recently published book Irma and Me mentions a day at the Thornton’s in Birmingham when my other evacuees and I watched Casablanca.

I was stunned. The women all cried throughout. Two knew the lines perfectly and said them at  appropriate moments.

Definitely a woman’s picture. I have seen it many times. Enjoyed. Never cried.

December 7, 1941 a despicable day. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

On this day in 1941, the Japanese aircraft carrier strike force left Japan for Pearl Harbor. A 12 day trip to Pearl Harbor. Too bad no cyclone/hurricane arose during the trip.

Another live and learn item. One which took too many years to become evident.

MIT released the results of a recent study. Electric cars are not green. Pollute more than petrol and diesel cars. The reason being that a majority of the energy which charges the batteries of electric cars comes from national grids. Many grids use fossil fuels such as gas and coal. All at an environmental cost.

A similar study was released last year in Norway. The study did not receive as much attention as I assume the MIT one will.

Donald, oh Donald. I know not where you come up with things.

Yesterday, Trump announced that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was bad for the banks: “Financial institutions have been devastated.”

So wrong. The Consumer Bureau works to reign the banks in from wrong doing. They oversee such things as mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, and student loans.

Never forget banks are whores. They gave us the 2oo8 recession. Millions lost their homes because of devious and improper mortgage dealings.

Most recently, a major bank such as Wells Fargo devised another illegal approach to increasing profits.

In each event, the banks paid huge fines. Nothing compared to the money the banks made far in excess of the fines paid.

Since 2008, I have been consistent in saying send the CEO’s of these banks to jail. It will only take a few incarcerations to stop the improprieties. There is a problem, however. Our government refrains from arresting and charging any higher-ups.

The failure to arrest/jail will continue under Trump. One way will be to do away with the Consumer Bureau that oversees the banks.

My recent book Irma and Me is available. The story of how Irma chased me through several States. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your Sunday!

SLOW DANCE

Facebook friend Aung Lin sent me a poem. A touching poem by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in six months. The poem, Slow Dance.

Her message is to live life to its fullest. Recognize this young lady will never make it to a prom, graduate from high school, or be married and have a family of her own.

Read and be touched. Impossible not to be.

SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? / Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? / Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? / Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? / You better slow down. / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / Do you run each day on the fly? / When you ask “How are you? / Do you hear the reply? / When the day is done, do you lie in bed / With the next hundred chores running through your head? / You’d better slow down / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short / The music won’t last. / Ever told your child, / We’ll do it tomorrow? / And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? / Ever lost touch, let a good friend die / Cause you never had time / To call and say ‘Hi?’ / You’d better slow down. / Don’t live so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / When you run so fast to get somewhere, / You miss half the fun of getting there. / When you worry and hurry through your day, / It is like an unopened gift….. / Thrown away / Life is not a race. / Do take it slower / Hear the music / Before the song is over.

God bless!

Last night was Berlin’s. First time since Irma. Berlin’s and A& B took a beating. Windows blown out, roof leaks, etc. Still on the mend.

Business slow. Very slow. Only two of us for dinner, several for drinks. No Bria. Not enough customers. Closing time was 9.

I was not that hungry. Oysters Rockefeller, a Caesar Salad, and a couple of drinks.

Two of those stopping in for a drink were Gene and Frank. With Hurricane Disaster Relief. Met one of them lat year at the Chart Room.

Met also Heidi Schramm. An interesting lady. Born in Germany. Now a bartender in Marathon. Marathon took a beating.

She stopped into Southernmost Tattoo on Duval the night before. The place that had a fire a couple of weeks ago. She has a new tattoo on one ankle. A palm tree bending over in the wind. A rest of her life reminder of Irma.

Quick stop at Publix on the way home.

A busy day ahead. Finishing all work related to Irma and Me. Sloan will be helping. Publication soon.

Fantasy Feat around the corner. Goombay, Friday.

I wonder how big a crowd. Business still slow. Many restaurants and bars will not be open till after November 1. Repairs lengthy.

Trump. Oh, our President! In his other life a builder. As President, a destroyer. Examples the Iran agreement, Obamacare, and Puerto Rico.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BERLIN’S ON A FRIDAY NIGHT

It had been a couple of months since my last visit to Berlin’s. It had also been a couple of months since Jenna and I were last together.

We had dinner last night at Berlin’s.

It was catch up time.

Jenna is studying for a realtor’s license. Difficult, she said. Still filming and modeling. The modeling primarily in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

I keep telling her to find a rich man and get married. She complains the ones with money are all too old. Jenna a mere 30. Seeks a contemporary age wise. Key West a difficult place for two heterosexuals to come together.

She traveled quite a bit this summer. Two weeks home in Indiana, a trip to Los Angeles to visit a girl friend, Chicago, etc. A tough life!

She leaves for a one week trip to Hawaii in two weeks.

I told her maybe if she stayed home in Key West more, she might score guy-wise.

Jenna is a knock out! No question about it. Thirty has not affected the freshness of her beauty in any way.

We laughed our way through dinner.

Jean Thornton and the ladies showed up. Sort of a girls’ club. They dine together frequently. Sweet Janyne was with them.

I had run into Jean earlier in the evening when I stopped at the Chart Room for a drink before leaving to meet Jenna.

English Peter showed up. He had been at the Chart Room earlier when Jean and I had. Peter came for a drink and ended up having dinner. Jean and I wanted to treat. We could not agree who should pay. We ended up sharing his bill.

Ran into two interesting couples.

Tim and Susie from the midwest. Middle aged. Impressed me. They kissed even when she left to go to the ladies room.

Tim and Susie have been coming to Key West for 20 years. They have a time share at Banyan Court. One problem this year. They miscalculated their week and arrived a week too early. No room at the inn.

They stayed at the new Perry Hotel on Stock Island. Absolutely loved it! View and room spectacular. Service outstanding. Cheap. $170 a night.

Another couple was from Coral Springs. Did not catch their names. The husband said, “You’re the novelist!” No one ever called me a novelist before. The sound of it felt good. I am aware that even though I write, a novelist I am not.

The couple remembered me from the Chart Room on a previous trip. That triggered my memory. They are in the real estate business. Have a boat. Come down to Key West every 3-4 weeks for a long weekend. Sleep on the boat.

Stopped at the Chart Room first. Already mentioned I visited with Jean and Peter. John, also.

Several years ago, I met an extremely nice couple. Thirty-forty years younger than me. They had a home by the cemetery and visited Key West often. We got together frequently. Then about 4 years ago, we never saw each other again. Why, I don’t know. Maybe they disliked me.

I did not have their number. The wife had mine. She would make the arrangements.

I am having a senior moment. I cannot remember their names.

Last night, I did recall their faces. They were in the Chart Room. Went over and jokingly chastised them for having forgotten me. Both laughed. The wife and I hugged. Always a sweet woman!

She said forgotten I was not. She continues to read my blog every day.

His father was with them. I told him the kids should be ashamed having cast me aside.

I left asking them to call me for dinner.

On the way to the Chart Room, I stopped at Publix. Don’t laugh. I bought 10 Power Ball tickets. Picking today. The prize $535 million.

I never buy lottery tickets. In all the years they have been out, I probably have purchased them six times. Maybe I’ll have beginner’s luck.

A good night!

Two rallies today. The nuts and anti-nuts. One in Boston and one in New York City. At noon and 1 respectively. Will watch both on TV.

Enjoy your day!

SQUATTER’S RIGHTS

The side of the White House sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic, sales stands and any type edifice. Only pedestrians allowed.

All this the idea of President Clinton. In 1995, he closed Pennsylvania Avenue down for two blocks. For safety and precautionary reasons.

Authorities moved everyone and everything out. Dispossessed them.

One elderly woman refused to move. She had been there for years. A tent erected. She was anti everything. As far back and including the Vietnam War.

She contested her eviction. The courts said she could stay. The government had failed to file a necessary document. The courts permitted her to remain forever.

With one condition. The tent always had to be occupied at all times. Generally, by her. If she had to be away for a short time, by another. Never could be empty, however. The tent included several feet of street surrounding it.

And so the lady remains. She was there five years ago when I played tourist in Washington for a week. Short, thin and wrinkled. Her face weathered from the sun.

A police car remains 24 hours a day up Pennsylvania from her. Waiting for her to violate the occupancy provision of the court decree.

I spoke with her. In and out of her tent. A bit screwy. Remaining has become her life cause. As she put it, “They aren’t going to get me!”

I wrote at length about the woman in this blog or a KONK Life column following my visit. I cannot locate the specific writings. Ergo, I cannot provide her name.

Joseph’s 69th birthday last night. We had dinner together at Berlin’s. He is still walking with a six foot staff. I introduce him to people as John the Baptist.

An intellectual. Always a pleasure chatting with him.

Janyne was at the bar, also. Lovely lady. Sweet. She has been the day Beach Bar bartender at the Pier House for fifteen years.

It was good to see Bria again. Her singing special. She, special.

I wrote a lengthy blog about her around May 1. The Best of the Best…..Bria Ansara. Knew she had failed to read it. Makes me laugh. When I said nasty things about her, she did read it.

She had not read it. Was going to look it up when she returned home last night.

A woman of many jobs, one is art teacher at Montessori. The school Robert and Ally attend. She knew them both well. Was taken with Robert. She said he stays after school frequently to help paint the large mural her classes are doing by day. He enjoys painting, she said.

I saw a picture of a Mother’s Day skeleton in KONK Life this morning. Key West is a strange town. I did not know there was a holiday skeleton house on Virginia Street.

For Halloween, the skeleton was as expected. For Christmas, dressed like Santa Claus. For Mother’s Day, a mother holding a baby. Mother’s Day…..Gross, hideous, no teeth, rotten teeth. Ugh!

The Preakness 6:45 tonight. The second step in the Triple Crown. Will probably watch the race at Don’s Place.

Have to move my ass. A manicure with Tammy at 10:30.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A COW’S LIFE

Many times it has been said…..In my next life, I want to be a dog. Most dogs have eternally been well treated by their owners.

Such may soon change. A cow’s life may be a better. A milking cow’s life.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried an enlightening article on the new Dairy Queens.

A happy cow apparently is a cash cow. Dairy Queens produce more milk!

It is a new life for milk cows. Soothing classical music is played in milking rooms, fans and sprinklers to mimic spring breezes, robotic back-scratching sessions. Plus, manure clean floors and climate controlled barns. Cows milked when they want to by robotic machines. Perhaps the best, cows sleep on water beds.

Farmers believe cow cuddling to be critical. Free from stress.

It’s goodbye to a dog’s life, hello to a cow’s life!

My day began with a haircut with Lori. Always interesting. Fifteen years now she has been cutting my hair. Then I had hair. No more today. A once over with #1 on the electric razor and I am done.

Lori never wants to charge me. She says she does nothing. I always leave her $20. It makes me feel like I still have a head of hair.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch. Hot turkey sandwich. Read the papers. Followed by a walk around the waterfront.

Last night at 6 at the Tropic cinema, the lecture I have been waiting for. The Jewish Underground Rail Road in Key West. The room was packed.

Primarily those of Jewish extraction. I may have been the only gentile. While waiting for the doors to open, a Jewish friend asked if I was waiting to see a movie. No, I told him. The lecture. He looked at me with a some what surprised expression.

I would like to say the lecture was fantastic! Off the wall! I cannot. I slept through the whole thing. For shame!

I dozed off as it was starting. Woke during the question/answer period. Fortunately, I sat in the last row end seat. The only one who knew I was sleeping was the woman next to me.

From the question/answer period. Stalin was anti-Semitic. He killed and threw Jews out of eastern Europe countries controlled by him through the 1920s.

America was anti-Semitic during the same years. Warren Harding in 1921 and Calvin Coolidge in 1924 had legislation passed limiting Jewish immigration. I have to add, Italian also.

History records both immigration laws as rigging the system against Jews.

Don’t ask me how the Jews got to Key West. I slept through that portion. However once here, there were underground tunnels in Key West. they hid and/or were moved through them to safety.

After the lecture, it was off to the Chart Room. Congenial John bartending. Ken and Alice there. Two people who worked hard, raised a family and now have almost totally settled in Key West. Purchased a home on White Street. Both always good company.

Things I learn. Gatorade is a Florida discovery. It was conceived in a University of Florida lab in 1965.

Today is Joseph’s birthday! Joseph, former manager of Hot Tin Roof. He and I are celebrating his birthday together tonight at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BEST OF KEY WEST…..BRIA ANSARA

Key West has many persons that can be described as The Best. At the top of any list would be Bria Ansara.

Bria is multi-faceted, multi-talented. Singer, burlesque starlet and art educator. Add on nice person. Loved by everyone.

Till this weekend, I only knew Bria as a singer. At Berlin’s friday and saturday nights. Bourbon Street, monday nights. Her singing touches me. Especially her rendition of yesterday’s love songs. I sit at the bar at Berlin’s mouthing the words to such songs as she sings them.

There is a You Tube video of Bria singing It Had To Be You. Of 1936 vintage. One of my all time favorites.

Never knew her as a burlesque starlet. Of course, the last time I saw a Key West burlesque show was ten years ago when Key West burlesque was in its infancy.

You Tube has everything. Even a video of Bria singing in a burlesque show. Attired.

Bria is an art educator. Discovered by me only this weekend, also.

I noted the Second Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade is scheduled for noon saturday. I was totally unaware of what it involved. Did a little digging with the intent of writing about the event.

Lo and behold, I discovered that Bria is an integral part. Primarily as an art educator. Bria teaches art at the May Sands Montessori School.

Telephoned my source of authority. Grandson Robert. Robert and Ally go to May Sands Montessori. Asked Robert if he knew a Bria Ansara at school. Yes, he said. She teaches us art. Right now, we are working on a mural.

Some additional digging revealed Bria is teaching 140 kids at Montessori how to paint a 420 square foot mural.

Impressive!

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade is at noon. At 10 behind the Custom House, Bria will be conducting a free pre parade workshop for young ones. After which they will march in the parade.

Amazing what a little research reveals. Bria may not me marching. She has a recently discovered stress fracture in one foot.

Key West is fortunate. Bria’s imprint is every where.

Another noteworthy woman is Jean Thornton. For her charm, personality and unending love and concern for everyone. Just two days ago, she telephoned with her concern for Che. No one has seen him in a month.

That’s Jean!

Jean has an unusual and additional claim to fame. Fifteen years ago yesterday, she was diving off Mel Fisher’s vessel. She discovered emeralds and gold. Changed her life. Gave her a nick name also. Golden Girl.

Last night began with Kate Miano’s Gardens. Terri singing. I joined Kate and Donna at their table.

Afterwards, Donna, Terri and I were off to Hurricane Hole for a bite to eat. At least 15 years since I was there. Pleasant. It was dark. There was a comfortable wind. I enjoyed a Maine lobster roll. Loved it!

It is me and Terri tonight. Donna working. Dueling Bartenders time at Aqua. Terri will join Tom Luna and Rick Dery singing.

I have a busy busy day ahead. Preparing for tomorrow night’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Enjoy your day!

BERLIN’S WITH FRAN AND TOM

I am not a happy camper at the moment. Hit the wrong key and lost today’s blog prior to publishing.

Here I go again. Breviated, however.

A great evening. Dinner with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom at Berlin’s. Wonderful people! A fun evening!

A hug and kiss from Janyne. Always a pleasure to be on the receiving end.

Sloan there, also. Introduced me to her twin sister. Don’t look that much alike. However, Sloan has a unique voice. Her sister has the same unique voice.

Discovered Sloan’s daughter hosts at A & B. An absolute beauty and charming young lady.

Bria her usual lovely self. Sean and Gage bartending. They remind me of New York City bartenders. The best! Great personalities!

Fran lost 30 pounds. Atkins. I hate her!

Fran continues to care for me. This trip she brought me three frozen containers of sauce, meatballs and pork. Three meals. She forgot the homemade pasta in Buffalo. She carries the frozen sauce in her suitcase.

Also brought me a container of her home made candies. All kinds.

I think she likes me. Feels sorry I lead a bachelor’s existence.

I was their guest last night. Tonight, Donna and Terri are taking me out.

Must have done something right in my life.

Weather sucks. Fourth day in a row. Heavy rains today all day.

The Conch Republic Drag Race on Duval at 2 this afternoon. The guys will have to lift their skirts as they run to keep them dry.

The Great Sea Battle friday night. I can’t wait. Love it!

Even Harry Truman involved in Conch Republic Days. The Little White House is sponsoring a Truman Legacy Symposium this weekend. At the Little White House, with a few of the talks at the San Carlos Institute.

I was with my bocce team mates thursday night. My cheering them on did not help. They lost two games.

Hard to understand. For five consecutive years, the team has done exceptionally well. Fighting for first place some seasons. All of a sudden, nothing works right.

Keys History section of today’s Key West Citizen carries a picture of Robert Wagner and Peter Graves standing on Duval. This day in 1953. They were here with several other actors making the movie 12 Mile reef.

I was a freshman in college at the time.

The picture shows a very young Robert Wagner. Graves went on to have a successful cowboy TV series.

Other notable stars included Terry Moore, Gilbert Roland and J. Carroll Nash. The big stars Moore and Wagner. The others well known character actors.

They all stayed at the Casa Marina.

Amazing how many movies have been filmed in Key West over the years.

Enjoy your day!

HE RODE INTO TOWN ON A DONKEY

Today is Palm Sunday. A Christian holiday. The day Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

A donkey instead of a horse. Reasons two fold. First, to show humility. Second, to evidence to the people that He came in peace and not as a warrior king.

The people scattered palm branches in front of Jesus.

His entry into Jerusalem triumphal.

Less than a week later, Jesus would be dead.

Though not a major holiday, Palm Sunday was one my Italian family celebrated. Generally at my grandparents’. The whole family. Aunts, uncles and cousins.

The meal not unusual. That would come next week on Easter Sunday. A huge bowl of ziti. If a special touch at all, melted mozzarella on top of the ziti. A meat sauce, of course. Meat consisted of the meatballs, beef and pork which were part of the sauce. A huge pasta bowl of such meats. Salad. The meal concluded with espresso and fruit.

My grandfather would start dinner with a blessing. He would take a small piece of palm and dip it into a bottle of Holy Water he kept. He would say a few words and sprinkle us.

The palms were a big deal. You had to go to Church to get palms. They were given out during Mass. When I was a kid, all the palms a person wanted. In later years, each person attending Church got one. Cost, scarcity, or what? I could never figure it out.

My uncles were pros at making crosses and other things out of palms. Small crosses, large crosses. Horses and other animals. Like the balloons of today which can be molded into anything.

The Italian custom was to visit the homes of friends after Mass. To exchange palms. A hug and kiss. Followed by a Happy Palm Sunday!

I was invited by friends on Sugarloaf to party last night. Drinks at someone’s house first. Then dinner at Square Grouper.

About 20 miles each way. Too far for me if I was drinking. I wanted to have a few drinks since I have been avoiding as best possible alcohol while on a diet.

So, I opted for Berlin’s alone.

Shawn and Gage bartending. The lovely Bria singing. Tuna for dinner.

After dinner, I sat in the lounge for a while listening to Bria sing and sipping a Bally’s Irish Cream.

While at the bar, a hug from behind. It was Lynda Frechette. Together with husband Bob, ML and Brad. All good people. Especially Lynda who does for everyone. They were having dinner inside at A&B.

Bob was wearing a blazer. Confirmed my thought expressed earlier this week that the no jacket Key West no longer existed. Bob had jumped over the fence.

Another couple was listening to Bria also. Charlie and Margo. Margo visiting from Maine. Charlie originally from Fonda, New York. Like 70 miles from my home town Utica. Small world.

Bob now lives full time in Key West. On a boat located in a Stock Island marina.

Walmart, where fort art thou Walmart?

Roughly 10 years since it was announced that a private group was going to build a Walmart on Rockland Key. 335,000 square feet with some smaller stores.

Still not built. Key West Citizen reported yesterday size now 150,000 feet. No date to begin construction advised.

The problem has involved the land owners and developers. Ten years of fighting over money, including a court case.

I wish they would get the project off the ground. We need a Walmart in the lower keys. We wear shorts and t-shirts. Brooks Brothers we are not.

We also need a cheaper place to purchase groceries.

The Key West Citizen wrote on the first page of this morning’s paper that taxis are going the way of the dinosaur. No question about it. Such the case, the City Commission should get off its ass and approve Uber and Lyft for Key West operation.

Let me finish with Trump’s bombing of Syria.

I was/am generally opposed. Not our war. I don’t see the English, French or Germans bombing anyone. They’re too smart.

On the other hand, once the Rubicon has been crossed, Trump should have done the job correctly. Destroyed Assad’s Air Force.

What did Trump do? Fifty nine missiles. Directed at one air base. Twenty planes destroyed. Twelve killed.

In retaliation for 70 plus lives lost. Proportionate? No way!

Even worse, not one of the runways was damaged. It is said the U.S. spoke with Russia in the afternoon and advised what we were going to do. I suspect that during any conversations, Russia said no potholes in the runways, please.

The Democrats describe the bombing as a pin prick. I have to agree. Not a political conclusion on my part. A common sense one.

Enjoy your Sunday!