MY MOTHER…..A WISE WOMAN

Big day today! Mother’s Day!

The person who knows us best.

My mother was unique. Then, I assume all mothers are.

She was born in Italy. The last of eight children. The first girl. The previous seven boys. Her parents felt fortunate they finally had a daughter. They named her Fortunata, Italian for Fortune.

She came to the U.S. at an early age. Never made it beyond the third grade. At 9, she was working 16 hours a day in a shoe factory in New York.

Move swiftly ahead.

I had become a lawyer. A successful one. On my drive home after work, I would stop to see my mother. She was always ready for me. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass filled with ice on the kitchen table.

We would sit and talk. About nothing and everything. My day. The kids, her grandchildren. My father. Whatever moved us at the moment.

She could tell when I had something on my mind. What is the problem, she would ask. I would share and this woman with only a third grade education generally in her own way had a solution.

She has been gone more than 30 years. Missed! A day has not gone by when I have not thought of her.

On the wall opposite my desk, her painting hangs. She is in my face several times a day. I talk to her frequently.

I wish she could talk back.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column which publishes wednesday. Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. Interesting. Big pirate back when. One of the biggest. His story.

Finally got out of the house last night. Catherine took pity and picked me up. We dined at the bar at Berlin’s.

Bria Ansara not singing. Home sick. Laryngitis.

Sloan’s daughter hosting. Always a warm greeting.

Catherine told me about a site I should take a look at. I did this morning. I am going to share it with you. Absolutely terrific! https://youtu.be/580dYcYneA.

The man Randy Rainbow. A humorous pundit.

Remember Sound of Music? How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria……He sang it with North Korea in place of Maria. While dressed as a nun.

Pouring this morning. As it did yesterday morning. Then, the rest of the day beautiful. Hopefully, it will be the same today.

Donna and Terri have promised to come get me and take me to Hot Dog Church later this afternoon.

I am a lucky man. Surrounded by loving women who want to care for me. Lesbians included.

I am a Manhattan College grad. As is John Reinke. John writes a weekly blog re Manhattan graduates. Titled Jasper Jottings. A slew of information.

This morning’s blog mentioned Japanese bus drivers. They are on strike. Striking differently, however. They have kept driving. The difference, they refuse to take fares.

There is an eloquence associated with great men. I read somewhere that Lincoln would not have been a great President without the Civil War and slavery. Churchill without World War II. Roosevelt without the Great Depression and World War II.

Whatever the reason, permit me to share examples of eloquence.

The bombs were falling all over Europe. Churchill elected Prime Minister. He said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…..Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt upon taking office and facing the Great Depression: The “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His address to Congress asking for a declaration of war following the bombing of Pear Harbor: December 7, “a day which will live in infamy.”

Psychics everywhere. Key West included. Not all for real. Some dishonest.

New York’s Psychic Zoe, aka Ann Thompson, is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant. Arrested. Charged with fortune telling fraud.

Took 2 victims/clients for $800,000. One for $740,000, the other $72,000. Each began with a $5 charge. The victims were plied with things like never being able to love again if the victim did not continue with the clairvoyant. Clearly chicanery. Clearly a fraud.

I feel sad for the gullible who satisfied an emotional need by succumbing to the lies in this instance of a fortune teller.

A psychic worth $800,000 should have been able to see her investigation and arrest coming and avoided it. What happened?

I am amused by North Korea making all these concessions prior to the actual meting between the two leaders. The most recent is North Korea has invited foreign journalists (including U.S.) to be in North Korea May 23-25 when North Korea dismantles its nuclear test site.

Query: What about the nuclear warheads, etc. which North Korea already has? I doubt Jung-Un will destroy them. In fact, I guarantee he will not.

Then what is Trump going to say? He has told us constantly that he is firm  in the total denuclerization of North Korea. Which includes nuclear weapons North Korea already has.

Hurricane season around the corner. Begins June 1. At a time  we are not yet finished with recovery work from Irma. Lets hope this will be a hurricane free season.

If you have not read Irma and Me, please do. It will provide the opportunity to understand what happens prior to, during and following a hurricane. My book combines humor and tragedy. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

My Yesterday…..Research, Berlin’s, and Bria Ansara

 

Enjoyed my yesterday.

Researched all day. Love digging for information.

Berlin’s last night for dinner. A full house. Got the last seat at the bar. The meal excellent as was Bria Ansara. Her singing touching everyone.

A big night ahead.

Syracuse/Duke at 6:15 on ESPN. Duke ranked #5 nationally. Going to be a tough game. Syracuse needs the win. We shall see.

Dinner with Donna and Terri tonight at La Trattoria. Cocktails first at their home. I have to see Bear. It has been a week.

Key West the home of writers. One, Tennessee Williams. Lived here more than 40 years. Williams died this day in 1983.

Williams’ The Glass Menagerie played yesterday afternoon on Turner Classics. I captured a small portion of its end. I have seen The Glass Menagerie at least twenty times. Amazed each time by the power of Williams’ words.

Spent a bit of time watching CPAC. Second day in a row. The first day, wild screaming Wayne La Pierre. Barbarians at the gate.

Yesterday, the master of exuberance Donald Trump. He was before his people. That 37 percent.

CPAC an ultra conservative group. Not the conservatives of yesteryear, however. Neither Barry Goldwaters nor Ronald Reagans.

What I saw were extremists. Too many Lock Her Up chants. Encouraged of course by Trump. He beat Hillary. I do not understand why he cannot let the dead rest.

The audience reminded me of street thugs. A tough appearing and tough acting crowd. The absolute fringe of the Republican Party.

Their apparent rowdiness meshed well with the Trump we have come to know.

CPAC had difficulty attracting speakers. Prominent politicians avoided the show. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, for example. The only Senator was Texas’ Cruz.

I cannot understand Cruz. During the primary, Trump accused Cruz’s father of being involved somehow in the Kennedy assassination. Cruz now sucking up to the man.

Prominent non office holders also absent. None!

The speakers consisted of Trump and members of his White House staff. Plus FOX News.

Even the mighty fall. Inner corrosion eats away.

The Douglas High School shooting the beginning of the end of the NRA as a power in American politics. The wrong group attacked. High school children. They have no fear. They are like a snowball that starts rolling down a hill. Small at the beginning. Gets larger with every turn. The students with every day.

Corporate America is turning its back on the NRA. Several have severed ties with the NRA. Ties involving co-branding partnerships, discounts to NRA members credit cards, etc. An economic blow to the NRA. Swiftly like a saber decapitating a person.

Corporations involved include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, Enterprise, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, and American Airlines.

Justice comes in many forms. One the soon to be filed bankruptcy application by Remington. In trouble financially. The filing will be for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company may survive. Whether it will be the giant it has been for two centuries remains to be seen.

Remington began in 1816 in Ilion, NY. Fifteen miles from my hometown of Utica. Remington remains the major employer to this day in Ilion. It also has other plants throughout the United States.

Remington is America’s oldest gun maker. A definite part of  American gun culture. The name Remington appears on frontier flintlocks as well as US Army .45’s.

I learned something in the last 24 hours while researching this topic.

Guns sales rose dramatically in the 10 years prior to Trump’s election. Since his election, sales have fallen dramatically. The reason is gun sales rise when politicos are elected who want to pursue more stringent gun control laws. People run to stack up on guns.

Trump supports the NRA, its members, etc. Gun laws supposedly not going anywhere under him. So gun lovers fear not and buy fewer guns.

Such has been Trump’s first year. Till now. I am assuming gun sales have shot upward based on post Douglas talk.

The down trend in gun sales is one reason Remington got into financial trouble. The other is that it was a Remington manufactured AR-15 that killed the first and second graders at Sandy Hook. Remington has borne the burden of defending against lawsuits arising out of the Sandy Hook incidence, though Remington itself was not found liable. Lawyers cost money. Especially in big money cases.

A side note of interest. Remington built a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014 to manufacture AR-15s. Prior to 2014, they were manufactured at the Ilion plant.

A soap box morning. Required sometimes. Things have to be said. People made aware.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRIP AROUND THE WORLD

No blog yesterday. I was not sick. Comcast was. No wi-fi or TV from 8 to 2:30. When Comcast returned, it was too late to do the blog. By the time I finished, it would have been at least 4. Many would have missed reading it.

A senior plague is falling. Do I know! Donna fell last night. Broke her left shoulder.

Donna was dining at Mangoes with Terri and friends. Stood up from the table. Took two steps and dropped. Appears she went straight down. Terri believes Donna passed out. Ended up with the fractured shoulder and a bloody nose.

Wednesday night was quiet. Dinner at Berlin’s and early to bed. Last night, quieter. Early to bed.

Things moving rapidly world wide. I want to share a few that may not have come to your attention.

The Koch Brothers. Richer than rich.  Part of the one percent.

It is reported the Koch Brothers spent $20 million supporting passage of the new tax law. A pittance compared to the $1 billion to $1.5 billion they will save in taxes alone.

A worthwhile investment.

The day after the House passed the tax bill in December, the Koch network made a $500,000 contribution to one of Speaker Ryan’s campaign accounts.

Another good investment.

There is a robot revolution. I have been talking about it for at least two years. Many are. Is Washington listening?

Robots and artificial intelligence are transforming the United States. Are we ready? Jobs are everything. The future is automated. Every job at risk.

I disagree with Trump when he says jobs are coming back. Companies, yes. Jobs not necessarily. Most large companies now situated in Europe that might return are automated. Rely big time on robots.

Our government does not seem to be doing enough, if anything, to prepare for the robotic way of production. There is neither discussion nor action.

Mubarak was a great Egyptian leader. Our friend. A friend of Israel. The U.S. deserted him when the revolution came. The new government jailed him.

The present Egyptian regime is authoritarian. On the verge of totalitarian. A recent experience may foretell what might occur in the United States.

Keep in mind Trump is authoritarian.

Egypt has a Presidential election in March. Don’t think because an election is scheduled that a country is democratic. Putin is facing one in Russia in a few months.

Egypt’s present President had his top opponent and thirty of his staff arrested tuesday. Some family members, also. Most jailed in unknown places.

Justification…..The arrests were part of Egypt’s wide ranging war on terrorism.

Most agree that Russia influenced the U.S.’s most recent Presidential election via the internet. The use of social media.

Our close friend Israel is now doing the same thing. Just as Russia did. Israel’s goal to flood the internet with comments favorable to candidates Israel would like to see elected. Israel’s purpose to promote desired content on social media and search engines, including Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Netanyahu is becoming a despot. I have not looked favorably upon him since he came to the U.S. to speak to a joint session of Congress. Invited by the Republicans. Not invited by Obama. The custom having been to be invited for a visit by the U.S. President.

Presently, Netanyahu a friend of Trump. Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy would be moving there.

China drifting further and further away from the U.S.

China has become best friends with Russia. China has built and continues to build islands in the South China Seas. Islands where none existed before. To be used as military airfields. In the last six years, the number of Chinese Navy vessels has increased dramatically. New up to date war machines.

Now, China is working on creating a superhuman army. A top secret till recently.

During the last three years, 86 Chinese citizens underwent surgery to dramatically alter their genes. Chinese doctors selectively edited DNA cells in the patient bodies and replaced them with stronger genetics.

The U.S government is aware and concerned.

The Chinese have been involved in cloning. The Chinese recently announced two healthy monkeys “born” of cloning. Considered a step closer to cloning a human. Probable. Monkeys are primates. Primates include monkeys, apes, and humans.

Trump in Davos. Scheduled to speak today.

The African nations are upset with Trump’s recent “shithole countries” comment.

The word is the African nations will walk out when Trump speaks.

Trump met with the head of the African Union yesterday.  Their talk amiable. Trump did not apologize.

Whether a walk out occurs will be interesting.

Enjoy your day!

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!