…..ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE

In my other life as an attorney, I had a case where my client’s big old tree was hanging over the neighbor’s property, roots causing his driveway to heave a bit, etc.

The neighbor wanted the tree removed. The heaving driveway was a good argument. My client was destined to lose.

Counsel were standing alone before the Bench. No jury. Merely argument.

Opposing counsel made a good argument why the tree should come down. I knew before hand such would be the case.

When preparing opposing papers, I recalled Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The closing stanza…..Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.

The lines were the basis of my argument. With three changes. I deleted the word “Poems” and replaced it with “Arguments.” I deleted “God” and replaced it with “Judge.” I deleted the word “make” and replaced it with “save.”

The new wording rhymed the same however…..Arguments are made by fools like me, / But only a Judge can save a tree.

I won. The tree survived. Joyce Kilmer the one who actually saved the tree.

Why Joyce Kilmer’s Trees this morning.

There is a 100 year old mahogany tree on Simonton. Across from the Gato Building. A huge branch hangs over the street. The branch has never been a problem. Until recently. The over hanging branch and a truck came into contact.

The truck had its roof ripped off. The truck the legal height. The branch illegal. Too low. No problem for 100 years. Now a problem. Cost Key West or its insurance company $9,000 for repairs to the truck.

Key West has a Tree Commission. The Commission wanted to cut the tree down. The public went crazy. Shouted a loud no!

The tree was saved. Legally it should have been cut down. However the public won out. A sign is going to be erected warning of the low hanging branch.

A popular result. One that will not prevent another accident from occurring, however. The City’s liability will then be two-fold.

The Kiss-In last night in front of the Custom House was a gigantic success. As reflected in the large front page photo in this morning’s Key West Citizen. The kissing looked good. Hundreds. Wish I could have been there. With a lady to kiss, of course.

My blog talk radio show was not aired last night. I could not connect with the broadcasting studio. Sloan tried also. She failed. We assume some technical problem at the studio end. I should know this morning. My apologies to all who tried to listen.

Had I known there would be technical difficulties, I would have been at the Kiss-In and later at Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol.

Dee called yesterday and invited me to Valentine’s Day dinner as her guest. The podcast show obviously interfered. We are scheduled to do it tonight. I look forward to being wined and dined by a much younger lady.

The Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor this date in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed.

In March, a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry was held in Key West. At the newly constructed Custom House. Then a federal building.

One month later in April, the U.S. invaded Cuba. The Spanish-American War began.

Loud, proud, patriotic marching music is always tied to John Phillip Sousa.  Tunes like Stars and Stripes Forever.

Sousa and his family arrived this date in 1925 from Havana. They checked into the Casa Marina where they were to spend a few days vacationing.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE SILENCING OF ELIZABETH WARREN

We lose our freedoms a bit at a time. The cumulative effect at some point could be overwhelming.

America lost last night when Senator Elizabeth Warren was charged with impugning the character of a fellow member of the Senate. Jeff Sessions.

Does not make sense. Sessions the Senator was not the subject matter of the discussion. Sessions the nominee for Attorney Genera was. As such, he was fair game.

Especially since Warren was chastised and seated for wanting to read a letter by Coretta Scott Key re Sessions’ qualifications. Her letter of some 20 years ago when Sessions was a candidate for a federal judgeship. Read then, why not now?

The world’s greatest house for debate tainted itself last night by stifling fair comment.

My blog talk radio show last night interfered with watching the Syracuse/Clemson game.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou touched several Trump situations. Topped off with the Chicago Police Department’s unusually high suicide rate.

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Won again! By one point. 82-81. With a 3 pointer at the buzzer. God bless America! God bless Syracuse! Keep it up guys!

This morning finds the water level low. Tide out. Water calm.

A number of houses of prostitution existed in the Key West area in the 1930s and 1940s. The U.S. Naval Base provided most of the customers.

One was Alice Reid’s aka Mom’s Tea Room. She once was found guilty of bringing women across state lines for purposes of prostitution in violation of the Mann Act. Sentenced to three years. Another time, one of her ladies committed suicide. Cecelia Thompson Trunks. An overdose.

Whore houses are no more. Replaced by the socially acceptable strip joints/gentlemen’s clubs.

As well as escort services provided via telephone and the internet. Menu services. Order what you want.

Whether houses of ill repute of old or today’s more modern ways of finding sexual companionship, all wrong. Most of the women young ladies working under adverse conditions. In many instances, the products of human slavery.

Trump’s executive orders becoming cumulative. The orders and proposed legislation empower corporate America. The people losing along the way. A step at a time.

Stephen Bannon not happy with merely changing America. He is out to change the Vatican, also.

Bannon a Catholic. He is not happy with Pope Francis. A liberal. Bannon at best can be described as a far to the right conservative.

Politics everywhere. Even in the Vatican. Bannon has joined with Cardinal Burke to undermine and replace somehow Pope Francis. Burke a conservatve Church leader who was demoted by Pope Francis.

Lenin hoped his communist philosophy would ultimately take over the whole world. Bannon I suspect is hopeful that his far right beliefs will bring down not only government as we know it, but also the Catholic Church. Each to be replaced by new and radically different governments.

Yemen and the United States today. A perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

Trump’s first commando raid was into Yemen last week. A disaster. One American killed, one $75 million helicopter lost, 14 al Qaeda soldiers killed, several citizens killed. One an 8 year old girl.

Yemen might be described as a split country. The U.S. recently assisted the good guys with an anti-terror ground mission.

Yemen is unhappy. Citizens were killed. A no no in most Middle East countries. Yemen’s people are upset. They have been burning the American flag in the streets.

They have also said they want no further anti-terror ground missions. No Americans to fight on their behalf. However, they will permit American military drones to continue their attacks. Also, they will permit American military advisers to remain.

A sort of biting the hand that feeds you situation.

Enjoy your day!

HORSE MANURE…..FREE

Only in Key West…..Free horse manure. Composed. Fully cooked and garden ready.

The Police Department has two horses. Their waste collected, recycled, and offered free to the citizenry once a year.

The manure will be available this saturday at 10 am. The pink PAL gym near the entrance to the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park entrance.

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show begins with several Trump hits. His wrongdoings from my perspective.

Followed by special interest groups lobbying against marijuana, Chicago Police Department’s high suicide rate, police prepared with missile launchers to oppose Sioux Indians at Standing Rock, Mark Zuckerberg wanting to be President, and more.

Last night, a Chart Room evening. Quiet. Met Mike. He joined Victor and me in interesting dialogue. A couple of hours worth. Covered a multitude of sins.

Mike is an owner of Gas Monkey on Duval. The 200 block. Right in the middle of the action.

Technically known as the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. Drinks and barbecued foods.

Mike now a local.

The Gas Monkey is cognizant of local business. Want it. Locals receive a 15 percent discount. On thursdays, 25 percent.

I will shortly be trying the place.

When I first began visiting Key West more than 25 years ago, water vessels were small. Rarely, a big yacht. And then, not that big.

Things have changed. Huge yachts not uncommon.

The biggest so far sits moored off Sunset Key. The Super Yacht Venus. Two hundred fifty seven feet. Crew of 22. Built by Apple founder Steve Jobs.  Jobs died before its completion. His widow Laurese Powell now owner and master.

Tonight, Syracuse/Clemson. Clemson a 2 point favorite. Game at 8. Hopefully Syracuse can continue its recent winning ways.

In 1959, I was a senior in law school at Syracuse. Former President Harry Truman was visiting. The University set up a private luncheon for its purported 12 outstanding students. I was selected to represent the law school.

Two round tables. Seating cards. My seat was immediately to the right of Truman. The whole luncheon exciting! Especially, Truman!

Truman spoke of his unexpected victory over Dewey in 1948. No way Truman could win. Similar to no way could Trump win.

Truman won.

The media wanted to get out early with the election results. On radio and in the newspapers.

H. V. Kaltenborn, in his horsey voice, announced to all the world that Dewey had won. The Chicago Tribune’s headline was Dewey Wins!

Egg on both their faces.

Years later at the Syracuse luncheon, Truman was excited that Kaltenborn and the Chicago Tribune had screwed up. He got ’em!

The Boston Globe joined the ranks of media who came out early with an erroneous result. The Patriots/Falcons game. The front page article titled: A Bitter End. Referring to the defeat of the Boston Patriots.

Neither the Patriot victory nor the Boston Globe miscue ever to be forgotten.

An example of police brutality that should not have been.

It was March 17, 2013. Early morning. The place Los Angeles. Kim Nguyen a graduate student in an MBA program.

Kim apparently had too much to drink. Publicly drunk. She was arrested. Her hands cuffed behind her. She was placed in the back seat of a police car. A police officer with her.

The police officer did not seat belt her nor lock the door next to her. Both required procedures.

On the way to the police station, the officer tried to rape her. Nguyen fighting him off best she could. His hands were to her bare crotch and breasts. The bottom of her dress torn from her.

Nguyen moved back against the door to protect herself. The vehicle was doing 30 mph. The door opened. She fell out. Landed on her face. Broken jaw and lost all her teeth. Jaw wired shut. She spent 17 days in the hospital.

Nguyen settled her case against Los Angles last week for $3.5 million. A proper ending.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook going well. Increasing numbers every day. Comments 100 a day, give or take a few either way. I have only been at this show since last thursday. I am thrilled.

Join me on Facebook’s Go Live. Enter Key West Lou. See and hear me pontificate on something for a few minutes. A very brief few minutes. Sometimes less than a minute. Several times a day.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A GOOD MAN GONE

Stephen Edward Attis has passed on. Known to all as Steve. A good man. None better.

I got to know Steve here in Key west. We had somewhat of a similar background. Both born in 1935. We used to joke that I was older than him. By 2 1/2 months.

Manhattan College frequently came into our conversations. I graduated from Manhattan College. Steve attended Manhattan for a time. He used to tell me he attended several colleges before finally graduating.

Steve born and raised in the Bronx. Manhattan College is located in the Bronx. I also lived for a time at 682 E. 141 St. in the Bronx. We talked how things were then and now in the Bronx.

A bocce player. As the years added on and he had some difficulty with his legs, Larry Smith used to help him stepping on and off the court, picking up the ball for him. In spite of his problems, he shot well.

Steve’s wife, Midge. The two married 61 years. The best of wives. Always with him, always watching out for him.

Steve and Midge regulars at Don’s Place. Loved by everyone.

A New Orleans style funeral procession planned. What else for Steve? Saturday at 12:15. Begins at the Dean Lopez Funeral Home. Onward to St. Mary Star of the Sea for his funeral service.

Never been in a New Orleans type funeral procession. I will saturday.

Spent yesterday afternoon perfecting material for last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

As much as I disliked it, Trump took up the whole half hour. We talk about nothing else anymore.

The show went well. I am anti-Trump so it was easy.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is Neil Gorsuch. Appears extremely intelligent. Extremely conservative, also. I do not approve of him.

Not important what I think. His problem is getting Senate approval. The Dems are lining up against him. Properly so.

Stephen Bannon has become the ring leader in the White House. Trump relies on him. A bad move.

Bannon is a Rasputin. He will not fuck Trump as Rasputin did the Czarina. However, he will screw  the United States. Bannon seeks the destruction of government as we know it.

I have never played dominoes. I have never seen anyone playing dominoes in Key West. Nevertheless, there is a Domino Tournament this saturday at the Southernmost Hotel. The first of many to follow. Sponsored by the Sunset Key West Rotary. Named after and honors the well liked Maury Madruga who recently died.

Remember ZIKA. Hit Florida about this time last year. We were told to beware. ZIKA coming in epidemic proportions.

Where is it today?

Instant fear as with Ebola. Everyone gets excited and jumps to do something immediately. Haste rarely required.

A Sons and Daughters of Italy fundraiser 5-8 friday at Bottle Cap. Italian food, deserts, music, silent auction, etc.

Called Buonasera Venezia. Translated, Good Evening Venice.

Our home grown terrorist Harlem Suarez was convicted on terrorism charges yesterday in Federal Court. Took the jury one hour to convict. Suarez planned on burying a nail filled back pack bomb on Smathers Beach and then detonating it with a cell phone.

He is yet to be sentenced. I suspect a significant sentence. Suarez is going to be an old man when he gets out of jail.

A quote in the World Almanac section of this morning’s Key West Citizen worthy of note. Langston Hughes in Dreams wrote: “Hold fast to dreams / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly.”

I enjoy doing Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook. Every day, several times a day. For a few minutes. I can be seen as well as heard. If you have not, take a look. You might enjoy. Go to Facebook and enter Key West Lou. Voila! Me!

A big evening ahead. Dinner with Liz.

Enjoy your day!

LENIN WANTED TO DESTROY THE STATE…..MY GOAL, TOO

Ed Rollins was on one of the TV talk shows last night. Stephen Bannon the object of discussion. Bannon is the 63 year old Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to President Trump.

It has been said in recent days that Bannon has increasing influence over the President and is either now or becoming the power person on the White House staff.

Bannon’s background is checkered. He was Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, a white supremacy website. David Duke and the KKK found his selection by Trump to be an excellent one. He is anti-Semitic. Democrats and Republicans alike oppose him.

As mentioned yesterday, the comment was recently made that Bannon makes Cheney look like Mother Teresa.

Rollins commented that Bannon had said Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that he (Bannon) wanted to destroy today’s establishment.

Strong words. Trump appointed as a close adviser a man who in effect wants to bring down the government.

I sought the source. Turns out to have been the New York Times. An article on 11/14/16 by Daniel Victor and Liam stack.

The Times repeated a statement made in The Legal Beast. The Legal Beast the source. No source for The Legal Beast’s statement attributed to Bannon set forth.

The purported Bannon statement: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too…..I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

Bannon is known to have such thought and drive most of his adult life.

When asked regarding the comment, Bannon did not deny. He said he could not recall the conversation.

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick interesting thought provoking half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include Bannon, of course. As well as Stephen Miller, a 31 year old White House adviser. The person who wrote the immigration/refugee executive order.

Also, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, the Trump-Putin telephone call saturday, Russia initiating further war activity in Ukraine sunday and monday, Trump’s dying relationship with Congress, police at Standing Rock equipped with missile launchers, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Mark Zuckerberg wanting to be President, and more.

At 8 tonight, Trump will announce his designee for the Supreme Court. I will have something to say about whoever it is. Trump is down to three choices. We know who they are and they have been vetted in the media.

A most enjoyable dinner last night. With friend Andrew who is in for a few days from his Switzerland home. Together with Jim and Donna. An evening of great conversation.

Guy Fawkes died this date in 1606. He had led a Catholic revolution against Parliament and King James. His intent was to blow up Parliament and James I at the same time. He was caught before he had the opportunity.

Fawkes was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He was to be hung, drawn, and quartered.

Fawkes threw himself off the ladder leading to the gallows. Broke his neck and immediately died. Spoiling Parliament’s cruel death plan for him.

The English celebrate November 5 as Guy Fawkes Day. There are bonfires and fire works. Fawkes burned in effigy, also. The event celebrating Fawkes’ failure to blow up Parliament and James I.

Enjoy your day!

A FEW COMMENTS

Short blog this morning. Barbara leaving. Have to get her to the airport for an early flight.

Still biting my tongue re Trump. People voted for a change. He is giving us change.

Some food for thought.

  1. The United States does not operate in secrecy. A federal agency media freeze is un-American.
  2. The President works for the people. The people do not work for the Presidnet.
  3. We have a B Cabinet: Billionaires and bankers.

The Key West City Commission has been considering making Key West a Sanctuary City. Still up in the air. Perhaps, fortunately. Trump is expected to target Sanctuary Cities today.

My blog talk radio show last night. A good one from my perspective. A lot of China and Mexico and the U.S. interplay with them.

Pythons back in the news.

I wrote a lengthy column about four years ago in KONK Life re the Florida python problem. Primarily in the Everglades. The bottom line was they are here to stay. In excess of one hundred thousand. The State is trying to manage the problem. Eradication not possible.

The State has hired two tribesmen from India who have had success in India with the problem. The State is also in the process of bringing in dogs trained to sniff out pythons.

Syracuse won a game last night! A close one. Beat Wake Forest 81-76.

Bocce and the Sons and Daughters of Italy hand in hand this weekend. Makes sense. The Sons and Daughters and the Key West Wildlife Center are having a Bocce Night Fundraiser saturday evening. 5:30-9:30. Bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Cost minimal. You even get to learn and play or play if you already know how. $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be at the fundraiser teaching. It is like riding a bicycle.

William Blakley. Fifty eight degrees this date in 1856. He “made up a fire in the stove.”

Fifty eight degrees in Key West is like 20 degrees up north.

Enjoy your day!

GOING LIVE WITH KEY WEST LOU

My new show debuts monday morning. Going Live with Key West Lou. On Facebook. The path to the show is Key West Lou and Live.

I will be available on everyone’s cell phones.

You will be able to see me as well as hear me. Not sure whether you will enjoy the show. Time will tell.

Several comments a day. Each short. Thirty to sixty seconds. Politics, social matters, sports, etc. Whatever turns me on at the moment. From wherever I am.

The show will be archived. You can find me any time of the day and listen/watch the shows to that time.

Today busy. A haircut with Lori. She is off for a three day/two night cruise to the Bahamas with friends. Says she did it before. Fun.

Fine tuned my blog talk radio show.

A hurried dinner at 5 Guys.

Show in the evening. Loved sharing Teddy Roosevelt’s story how he saved football. He did. I had minimal comments re the inauguration. Did comment, however.

Doing this blog early. Before 5 in the morning. Have to leave for Miami. Time for the Volkswagen to be tuned up. I need some clothes. Will shop while car being tuned.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TONIGHT…..AQUA IDOL

Tonight! Aqua Idol! The start of a new season.

From 6:30-8:00, 14 brand new contestants will vie to be the next Aqua Idol. A journey taking several weeks. Every tuesday evening till there is a winner.

At Aqua, of course.

The event a fundraiser. Held to support the Waterfront Playhouse. Lynda Frechette heads Aqua Idol. She scours the lower Keys for new contestants each season. Fourteen needed. They compete tonight for the first time.

Aqua Idol has been a popular event for years. Get to Aqua early if you wish a seat. It will be wall to wall.

I get cheated. I cannot be there. I will be into final preparations for my podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. A quick half hour of interesting political and social events. Accompanied by my comments, of course. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Football injuries are much in the news these days. Both pro and college ball. There was another time when football injuries were big time. The early 1900s. College ball. Pro ball was in its infant stages.

No helmets or shoulder pads in those days.

Deaths commonplace. A large number each season.

President Theodore Roosevelt got involved. He straightened things out. Had he not, football would have been banned in the United States. That close. Several prominent colleges had already banned football.

The opening topic this evening concerns Roosevelt and how he saved football.

Also, the inaugural this week. God help us! The Mexican people and their unhappiness. Major business closings. Some surprising. ISIS gaining ground in Albania. D.A.R.E. ends its anti-weed campaign. Plus, more.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show.

Then to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom and Rick. Sheila and David. Liz and Mary. And many more.

Dinner afterwards at Mangoes with Barbara and Liz. My first time to the new Mangoes. Lovely. Service excellent. Food merely ok. Not worth the cost.

Major announcement! My new show will begin monday. Going Live with Key West Lou. On Facebook. The show in addition to this blog and my tuesday night podcast.

You will see as well as hear me.

I will do several brief commentaries each day. Whatever strikes me at the moment. Whatever tickles my fancy. From wherever I am. All I have to do is pull out my cell phone and get to it.

The comments will be short. Generally 30-60 seconds.

Archived. Several commentaries can be read at one time.

I am excited. Hope it goes over well. Hope nothing pops up which causes me to push the opening date ahead.

Once again, a problem with stranded whales. Off Hog Key on the Gulf side of Florida. Ninety five whales involved. Eighty one already dead. Naturally or euthanized.

There have been stranded whales near Key West in past years. More than one time. I recall several years ago a pod stranded off Cudjoe Key. Went to take a look.

More than 500 volunteers and professionals appeared over a period of several days to help. Wet suits available to all who wanted to assist.

Some whales saved. Some died.

The effort impressive.

William Hackley mentioned yesterday his hope that what appeared to be a new Seminole War in 1856 would not be as expensive as previous ones. How expensive was expensive back in those days?

I did a bit of research. There were three Seminole Indian Wars. The first in the 1820s. the last 1855-1858.

Strange fact pattern. The federal government wanted to move the Florida Seminoles west to Oklahoma. Contrasted with the post Civil War years when the federal government was trying to move western Indians to Florida.

The Second Seminole War was the expensive one. Cost $30 million in a year when the federal budget was only $25 million. The basis for Hackley’s statement in 1856.

On this day in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower spoke to the Nation. He warned to beware the “military-industrial complex.” He was well aware of their greedy nature and not necessarily acting in the best interests of the country.

Eisenhower was correct. His words not heeded. The military-industrial complex thriving. Encourages wars, overcharges, etc.

I close with Syracuse. My Syracuse. Settling in that this will not be one of Syracuse’s best seasons. Lost yesterday 85-68 to North Carolina.

Syracuse cannot play with the big guys this year.

Enjoy your day!

 

OBAMA FAREWELL SPEECH

Obama’s Farewell Speech last night contained a spectacular moment. Personal and touching. His tribute to his family. Especially, Michelle. Brought a tear to the President’s eyes, tears to Michelle’s eyes. A tear or two to mine.

His words had to touch America’s hearts. Even of those who did not support him.

FBI Director James Coomey exhibited a double standard while testifying before a Senate Committee yesterday. He was asked about what might be described as compromising personal and financial information revealed earlier in the day re Trump and Russia.

The question basically was are you investigating the matter. Coomey responded he/the FBI do not respond as to whether there is an investigation or not.

What concerns me is that Coomey did not exhibit a similar reluctance when he testified before a Congressional Committee re Hillary’s e-mails.

A double standard? Coomey forgets what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Did an airport pick up yesterday. Barbara arrived for a visit.

Fine tuned last night’s blog talk radio show in the afternoon.

An early dinner with Barbara at Roostica.

I stuck my neck out re the Syracuse game last night. Got it chopped off! I thought Syracuse had rediscovered its winning ways and would beat Virginia Tech. I was wrong. Virginia Tech beat Syracuse 83-73.

Syracuse’s fabled zone defense was ineffective once again. Virginia Tech was getting the ball in the middle and under the basket. Horrible!

The game 7-9. Nine my podcast show. Great timing! Great scheduling!

The lead topic involved Harry Truman’s mother in law. Not a nice lady. Treated Truman poorly for the 33 years they lived together. An article listing the six worst mother in laws of all time contained her name. Next to that of Catherine de Medici.

Two other topics of special interest.

One involved vaccines and their safety. Additionally Robert Kennedy Jr. having accepted a position with Trump to head a vaccine safety committee which was to study the safety issue. Kennedy a vaccine skeptic.

The news of Kennedy’s designation and acceptance yesterday afternoon. Last night or this morning, Trump withdrew his vaccine committee idea.

The other topic involved a transgendered convicted murderer doing life in California. He was sick of being a man. Wanted sex readjustment surgery so he could become the female he claimed he was.

California is giving him the operation and paying for it. Taxpayer dollars, of course. The U.S. Supreme Court decided three years ago that prison inmates are entitled to “medically necessary treatment.” Interpreted to mean the best medical care. Better than most can afford. No deductibles, no donuts, etc.

The “treatment” is extended to providing female oriented items such as night gowns, scarfs and necklaces to the transgendered males awaiting surgery.

I published a book several years ago. The World Upside Down. A short story was titled Flora’s Story. Perhaps the best short story I have written.

A true story.

Flora a 40 year old Albanian school teacher. She cleaned apartments on Amorgos summers 12 hours a day 7 days a week. To earn enough money to make it through the year. Albania is a poor country. Her teaching salary was insufficient to make ends meet.

We met on Amorgos two consecutive summers.

I asked questions. She answered. Permitted me to write her story.

Some questions I asked clearly evidence her life style and that of her fellow Albanians.

One was what was the one thing you would want if you could have it. She quickly responded a car. She walks long distances. Busing is poor.

Do you dance? Yes. How often? Once a year at the year end teachers’ party.

Do you drink? Yes. How much? One glass of wine a year at the teachers’ party.

And so it went.

ISIS is making inroads into Albania. A recent thing. I spoke about it on the show last night. I have made inquiry to Flora about it, also. Yet to receive her response. We communicate via Facebook every month.

Three small Albanian villages in the southeast are recruiting and sending soldiers to Syria. Not just soldiers. Wives and children go with them.

The villages are Leshnica, Zagoracan and Rreienj.

The villages are devoid of business. Huge unemployment. Poverty. Most part time farmers. Work seasonal. Many take the Flora route and go to Greece summers to work the farms there.

Those who join ISIS and leave are described as having acquired a religious type fervor regarding ISIS.

Enjoy your day!

 

SEVEN FISHES

Good morning!

Another lovely morning in the Florida keys!

I stepped outside to enjoy a cup of tea. The tide is out. Dramatically so. One of the lowest water levels I have seen in the 19 years I have enjoyed this home.

An interesting sight. Huge rocks rarely observed are visible. The water level significantly below mangrove roots. The water still.

Today, I share the seven fishes usually enjoyed Christmas Eve by my people. Persons whose family immigrated from southern Italy.

Before I do, I want to respond to some comments to this blog over the past few weeks.

I write the blog for me. It gives me pleasure to express myself on a multitude of issues. I do not write to please my readers. At this stage of my life, I feel honored some enjoy reading what is written.

My life is more than this daily blog. I do a weekly radio show. Up to this past summer, wrote a lengthy weekly column for a local newspaper. I am still working on a new type internet show that will be in addition to the podcast I do tuesday evenings.

I could not work the show out to please my needs. I wanted to use Key West Lou on You Tube and have a separate comment column. The Key West Lou thing screwed it up.

I have decided to utilize Facebook. A comment suggestion led me there. When I get to it, I will get to it. I am retired. I do this for pleasure. No reason for me to hurry.

I generally do not respond to comments. I did at the beginning 10 years ago. It ate up my afternoons.

I am thrilled to read your comments. It stops there however. I do not seek the back and forth responding would require.

Then there are those crude disparaging comments that do not warrant responding. Why would I waste my time! The commentor’s language speaks for itself.

I do the tuesday night podcast. I continue to write three books simultaneously. Wonder if I ever will finish another.

As to topics discussed, I get to what I want to get to in good time. If I want to. A few weeks back I was criticized for not responding to an inquiry as to what the seven fishes were. A good topic. In my good time, however.

Timing is important. The primary purpose of the blog is to describe my life in Key West. Which means I have had to do something the day before in order to have something to write about the next day.

Tuesdays are generally spent home. All day. I am fine tuning my podcast show to be presented in the evening. Which leaves me with nothing to write wednesday mornings about my Key West life the day before.

I save a seven fish story for those times. Like a wednesday. That is why seven fishes will be shared today.

I enjoy the political banter. Those in the comments section. I enjoy the play between the commentors.

My political exchanges take place at the Chart Room. Where few agree with me. So what’s new?

The Chart Room gives me Libertarian Victor. A smart guy. All smart. John the bartender, David, Che, and tourists. Marty from days gone by. I miss Marty. We were diametrically opposed politically.

Even my discourses with Liz. A year older than me. Her history includes Deanships at two law schools. A smart lady. A black hearted Republican! Even liked Trump. Disliked Hillary who she knew personally.

My point, I get my political exercise via the Chart Room and Liz.

Having expressed myself thusly, my blog for this morning will be held over till tomorrow. Except for the seven fishes.

My people came from southern Italy. My mother was born in Italy. Southern Italians brought with them the seven fishes. To be eaten Christmas Eve evening.

I am sure seven fishes has listings in excess of the seven I will be sharing with you. I only share those fishes we ate. Especially in my home.

Shrimp cocktail. With cocktails before dinner.

Fried shrimp. Delicious! Shrimp in an egg-flour batter fried in oil. We would congregate in the kitchen eating some before dinner. So good, we could not wait.

Stuffed calamari. Actually, stuffed squid. A part of the squid is like  a condom. Cleaned well during the day. Stuffed with bread crumbs, egg and parsley. Sewed closed. Cooked in the pasta sauce. Served over a large bowl of linguine. A meal for the gods. Tasted even better the next day cold.

Baccala. Actually, cod. Prepared many different ways. Cod is hard and salty. Supposedly to make people recall days when things were tough. We did not eat it hard and salty.

Baccala took three weeks to prepare. Softened in a bowl of oil for three weeks. All kinds of herbs in with the cod. By the time Christmas Eve came around, the baccala was soft and tasty.

Broiled Maine lobsters. Covered in hot butter.

Baked clams.

The final fish a piece de resistance! Smelts! I was crazy for smelts. Another dish we cheated eating as the smelts came out of the pan in the kitchen. Why wait!

Smelts are tiny tiny black fish. As long as your little finger. A third the size width wise.

Fried in oil. Came out crispy. Very crispy. Eaten bones and all, including the head.

Two more topics before I conclude.

My blog talk radio show last night. Hit hard on the theft of Social Security by our government, China moving into robots big time, and an example of Mexican immigration leading to rape.

Tonight at 7, Syracuse/Miami. Miami a one point favorite. I have no comment.

Enjoy your day!