GOOMBAY LAST NIGHT

The beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay, last night.

Been doing Goombay for at least 15 years. Never changes. Except it gets bigger. Longer, more stands, new restaurants. Band at end of Petronia more sophisticated. A Larry Smith presentation last night. Christine Cordone singing. Several accompanists.

Joni with me. An interesting woman. Former Sunoco executive. Sharp.

Met Joni for last night’s fun experience behind Bourbon Street. A drink. Listened to some music.

Prior to meeting Joni, stopped at 801. The customary Don’s Place crowd. A tradition has developed. A group goes together. Leaves by taxi from Don’s Place. Dropped off at 801. A couple of drinks.

I was early for my Joni meet. Stopped into 801 looking for my friends. As expected, they were there!

Joni and I walked Petronia to the big band stand at the end. I kept telling her to stop where ever and we would buy some stand food. She never took me up on the offer. I suspected she was not fond of the food either. Never has turned me on.

Therefore, we stopped into Blue Heaven. Sat in the restaurant part and enjoyed some food.

Joni lives on Petronia. Two hundred feet off Duval. Thought I was dropping her off. No, she was not ready yet. So it was off to Bourbon Street’s front bar.

I have never been to Bourbon Street late at night. A different experience.

The place was mad!

Lots of ladies. Dancing up a storm.

Employees walking around in black jock straps and black bow ties.

My back was to the bar. I turned around. One of the jock strap guys was dancing on the bar.

Strip joints have women dancing on the bar, stage, etc. wearing nothing. Mostly men in the audience, though a handful of women. Last night at Bourbon street similar, except lots of men and a handful of women.

Syracuse/Miami 3:30 this afternoon. ESPN. Syracuse 4-3, Miami 6-0. Miami a 17 point favorite.

Can Syracuse duplicate its victory over Clemson last week with a win over Miami this week?

The opioid crisis not being handled well. During the campaign, Trump labeled it a crisis. After the  election, no crisis but he would deal with it. This past week, Trump returned to describing it is a crisis.

While he vacillates, Rome is burning! 142 a day dying in the U.S. from opioid overdosing.

The Comments section to this blog is active. Some strong political differences.  I have mentioned armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of Puerto Rico two times this past week. No comment from anyone. Isn’t the issue worth discussing. I see it as San Juan today, New York, Los Angeles or Miami tomorrow.

Our country stranger by the day. What happened to the America of old? Dickinson, Texas an example.

Harvey did a number on Dickinson. Residents need money to rebuild and/or replace belongings. The application for funding is titled Harvey Repair Grant. Contains a strange clause. In order to qualify for the funds, one must sign a verification not to boycott Israel.

What the hell does Israel have to do with U.S. citizens obtaining money form its own government to get through the Harvey crisis?

The Verification reads as follows: VERIFICATION NOT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL: By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) Does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

The Verification is based on a recently passed Texas State law requiring contractors to so certify. Which by local hands has been extended to applicants themselves.

This pledge conditions Harvey relief. Requires the signed pledge not to boycott in order to get funding to rebuild.

Clearly violates the First Amendment.

No question Texas is a conservative state. Occasionally, far to the right. The Verification an example.

A further example also of the crazy people running our government. From the White House down to the Texas State Legislature to the Texas Governor who signed it into law.

Another day, no Irma and Me. I hate the waiting!

Enjoy your day!

 

FROM MOSES BASKETS TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Not only is Key West One Human Family, it is One Happy Family. Family being the operative word.

This story involves Blue Heaven, its owner, and its employees over the years.

Richard Hatch owns Blue Heaven. An absolute Key West success! Tourists wait in line to dine.

Hatch understood the personal needs of his staff. He permitted hosts, waitresses, etc. to bring their babies to work. Generally in baskets. Moses baskets.

A number of the babies are now full grown. A good number graduated from the Key West High School several days ago. The mothers of many have continued to work at Blue Heaven over the years. Some of the recent graduates also during their high school days.

The graduation called for a Blue Heaven Party. What else!

The party was held at Hatch’s home. The home lovely. A huge pool in the back.

A crowd estimated at 100.

Organizing the party were Donna’s daughter Stacey and Satia. Both still working at Blue Heaven after all these years. Both had children graduating.

A good time had by all! All because of a Richard Hatch who had the foresight to understand young mothers some 20 years ago needed to take their kids to work. He worked with them and they and their children have happily worked with and for him.

A sad occurrence in 2015. A visitor at the Tiki Bar at the Galleon decided to dive in the ocean. The dock was roped off. He went over the rope. Might have been drinking.

An unfortunate accident occurred. He hit head first. Water shallow. An instantaneous quadriplegic.

He sued. The basis of the suit was that the Bar and Galleon had no signs posted warning of shallow water and no signs posted prohibiting diving.

The case was settled this past week for $10.75 million.

I enjoyed a perfect evening last night. Watched the 1946 Cole Porter movie starring Cary Grant. and Alexis Smith. Night and Day. A tear jerker.

The music a killer! Touching! Romantic! Glad I opted to remain home and watch the movie.

Songs like Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, You’re the Top, You’d Be So Easy to Love, In the Still of the Night, etc.

Wow!

Trump has stirred the emotions of Middle East countries. He emboldened Saudi Arabia by his visit. Four days ago, the Saudis blockaded Qatar and threaten to attack Qatar. Turkey has since entered into a military pact with Qatar. Iran has offered food and ports to Qatar.

Great job, Donald! Keep it up and our country will end up looking like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of the President, he spoke to a group of Evangelicals yesterday. His strongest group of supporters. His message: “We’re under siege.”

Amazon is smart business.

Amazon has recognized the middle class no longer exists. It wants customers from both ends of the economic spectrum, however. Those at the bottom and those at the top.

Amazon has had Price Membership for several years. For $99 a year, it provides free 2 day shipping. Amounts to $10.99 a month.

They recognize the other market and are going after it. Amazon announced it will provide 2 day shipping service to those in the lowest economic scale. $5.99 per month. A state issued debit card for government benefits required to participate.

Cultural and religious differences frequently clash these days.

The Saudi Arabia (Them again!) soccer team is participating in the World Cup in Australia. A moment of silence was called for in memory of the recent victims of the London Bridge attack.

The Saudi Arabia team refused to observe the moment.

The Saudi Arabia Soccer Federation later in the day issued an apology.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

EMPOWERED

Last night was Donna and Terri evening. My guests at dinner to celebrate their anniversary and Terri’s birthday.

We were going to meet at Lucy’s. A new restaurant at the far Gulf end of Grinnell. Arrived first. Spent $12 to park my car in the garage next door. Ridiculous!

Lucy’s packed. A dozen people waiting for tables. Air conditioning appeared to be out.

Telephoned Donna and said Lucy’s a no go. We decided to meet at the bar of Half Shell Raw Bar. We would decide where to eat from there.

Key West is into season. Every restaurant would be packed. I saw what had been anticipated as a great evening turning into a pain in the ass getting a table somewhere.

As I was walking past the old PT’s on Caroline, I noticed it was now called the Bite. Basically a sandwich place. Sports bar of sorts. Had heard good things about the place.

Stepped inside. Not packed. Air conditioning working. Called my lesbian wives and told them to meet me there.

We had a great time! The food good. Many locals we knew filtered in during the course of the evening.

Terri bald. The chemotherapy. Thin. Lost a lot of weight. She was bundled. Cold. Her hands freezing.

She continues with chemo into April. Then the two of them are off to Tampa. A procedure available in Tampa. They will have to remain in Tampa.

The plan is to take Terri’s stem cells and grow bone marrow from them outside her body. Following which the new bone marrow would be introduced into Terri’s body.

Amazing! Terri a trooper!

The Women’s March entered into the conversation.

Donna’s daughter Stacie is the manager of Blue Heaven. One of her daughters is Hannah. Hannah a 17 year old high school senior.

Stacie, Hannah and some of the other Blue Heaven ladies made the trip to Washington and participated in the Women’s March.

Donna said she got a call from her granddaughter Hannah during the March…..Grandma, I feel empowered!

Donna’s son Scott and his wife Kathy marched in Boston. Scott described the Boston march to his mother…..There are no words!

I have another birthday to celebrate tonight. Dee’s. She wants to go to La Trattoria Oceanside.

Tomorrow night the bocce fundraiser at the bocce courts.

I will have had three busy nights by the time I am done.

Rick Dery one of the Dueling Bartenders. His picture appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. He looks terrific!

On this day in 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force bombed Germany itself for the first time. The 8th Air Force did it. Took off from England. Fifty three bombers made Germany. Only three lost.

The bombing described as retribution. Germany deserved it. More would follow.

Former Mexican President Fox described Trump yesterday as Hitler. Many others have during the campaign and even to today.

Enjoy your day!

 

GOOMBAY!

Finally! Goombay! Last night!

Goombay is of Haitian or some other Caribbean derivation. Goombay is a round goat skin drawn over a round or square wood or metal bottomless pail. Played with the hands. There were a lot of palms slapping on goat skin tops last night.

Goombay has become an annual event for some. Don entertains a group from his bar. He has been doing this for years.

We met last night at Don’s Place. A drink or two. Eleven of us in a cab ride to 801. 801 is one of the most popular Key West gay bars. It sits on Duval at the beginning of Goombay.

After a few more drinks, we headed out. First a group picture. We take one every year. No one has ever seen the finished product.

For some  of us, the initial walk is short. One block to the outside bar of Bourbon Street. Another premier gay bar. It has become a habit to stop there to listen to Blue. A singer. A long time friend of Don and David.

We sat enjoying a few more drinks. Some of the group danced. On soft sand.

The group at this point consisted of Don, David and Billie, Stan and Clare, Dan and Betty, and Louis. Don was my date.

Now came the walk up Petronia Street. Booths/stands on each side of the street. Music coming from everywhere. All kinds of Caribbean type food. The street crowded.

Similar to New York’s San Gennaro Feast, except San Gennaro is Italian in nature.

I had to eat. Opted for a sausage sandwich.

Once we left Bourbon St., we separated. Impossible for a large group to move together. The goal Blue Heaven.

I got there last.

Blue Heaven is a large outdoor restaurant. Packed.

I stayed for one drink. Exhausted. It was time to leave. I snuck off with no good byes.

As I was leaving, I heard Louis! Turned and it was Jean Thornton. She has been back two weeks and it was the first time we have seen each other. A big hug and kiss.

I will see Jean again this afternoon at a retirement party for Joe Lyles.

My car was at Don’s Place. A big walk. Especially with how my heart has been behaving recently. I took it slow and made it. No adverse physical feelings.

Today busy.

Syracuse/Boston College at noon. Will watch at home.

Then to the Hot Tin Roof for Joseph Lyles’ retirement party. Well deserved!

Tonight became a problem. I had a date scheduled with lovely Jenna for dinner. Does my heart good to be out with a beautiful 30 year old woman.

Then I found out that there was a bocce make-up game tonight. Don’s Place/Hell’s Rangers. Big time game between two big time teams this season. Don’s is alone in first place. Hell’s Rangers in third. Hell’s Rangers generally in first place most seasons.

The match has turned into a party. Hell’s Rangers bringing the food and Don’s the drinks. A cook out!

I wanted to see the bocce match. I gave up Jenna for a bocce game! A sure sign I have gotten old.

Jenna understood. We are going out together tomorrow night.

I mentioned the Rick Pitino situation yesterday. David Taylor wrote me a long in depth review of the situation from his perspective. David now lives in St. Louis. However, spent many years in Kentucky. He was aware first hand of facts I knew not. Will share them with you as the Pitino matter develops.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID WOLKOWSKY

David Wolkowsky…..Happy Birthday!

David turned 97 last week. God bless him!

Key West would not be what it is today without him. David, a genius. A man of vision.

Terri White sang last night! At Blue Heaven. I stopped in for a while. A God-given voice!

The humidity was too much. At least, for me. I think for everyone. Terri hung in there. Had to break at one time because of the heat.

Terri sings again. Tonight. At The Little Room Jazz Club. 9-12. Inside and air conditioned!

Friend Anne in Ithaca, NY e-mailed me last night. She caught Terri’s performance last night on Facebook. Live.

Modern science is amazing. I was sitting next to Donna. Donna had her cell phone on  and was videoing Terri’s performance. She told me it was going directly to Facebook. Obviously, it was.

Stopped at Outback afterwards for dinner. No room at the inn. Packed. Mostly families. The start of a holiday weekend obvious.

Walked down to the Chinese Restaurant. The same thing. First time I have ever seen the Chinese Restaurant full. As I walked in, I saw a booth open up. Smiled at the hostess who I knew while nodding at the booth. She nodded her assent.

A bad night diet wise and health wise. I ordered a combination. Egg drop soup, egg roll, pork egg foo yong, brown rice and orange sherbet.

Don’t forget, Brewfest today at the Southernmost. Street party 3-10 in the 1400 block of Duval.

The godfather of Brewfest is Matt Babich. I have known Matt and his former wife Carrie more than 20 years. Matt has been the manager of Southernmost all that time. He knows his job well!

Lisa worked for Matt and Carrie at Southernmost for several years as Sales Manager. Her last job before going into business for herself.

Hermine. Wow! Look at the number it did on north Florida. Glad it missed us. Sorry it hit anywhere.

Here it is saturday. Time to research this week’s KONK Life column. Once again, I am not sure what. I have two topics in mind. One will win out and I will begin the research later this morning.

Sloan coming at 2. Will interfere with my research. Need her for some technical matters, however. It is going to be a long day.

Enjoy your day!

JENNA and ME

Last night lovely! Jenna and I enjoyed dinner together. At Azur. We celebrated my birthday. I was Jenna’s guest.

Jenna and I have been friends eight years. When she first came to Key West. Green. Wet behind the ears. No more. An experienced woman in her field. Television, advertising, modeling. She is at her best when hosting and interviewing on a TV show.

Beautiful! A knockout!

We enjoy each other’s company though 51 years separate us.

Jenna is razor then. Runs 5-7 miles a day. A cheap date. She eats nothing. Orders an appetizer. Finishes only half. Takes the other half home. Her body slim.

She has taken up racing. Recently won her first race. A 5K.

Walked yesterday. Working at good health! Read and napped during the afternoon.

Hemingway Days around the corner. July 22-26.

One of the events scheduled is a poetry reading. Sponsored by the Key West Poetry Guild. Hemingway wrote poetry in his early days. His poems will be read. Blue Heaven. Tuesday July 22 at 5.

Hemingway was familiar with Blue Heaven. A regular of sorts. He refereed local boxing matches there.

No question, I am hooked on William Hackley. His 1855 diary being run on a daily basis by the Key West Citizen.

He and his wife Kate have a new born. Kate not making enough milk. William brought in a goat from Havana. The goat not doing the job. The baby is literally starving.

Kate tried breast fed twice during the night. Not enough. The baby is in trouble.

The British Open got to me right away. The first day Scottish time was 1:30 in the morning our time thursday. I watched the whole thing. Got about two hours sleep.

I did not watch last night. Slept.

Phil Mickelson doing well. Time is passing him by. He is 46. I would like to see him win this big one.

Three years ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the medical care jailed inmates receive. The best! Better than you and I. And we pay for it. They do not.

The issue of special food has once again arisen. Certain Jewish inmates want kosher foods. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists whatever their religions permit.

Special dishes cost extra money. Florida, $12.3 million a year. Florida wanted to say no more. everyone eats the same. An intermediate federal court said this week that jails must provide special meals for inmates who claim the same on religious grounds. The court also went on to say that the argument it costs too much money does not fly. Find it! Such was the court order to Florida.

Special religious meals are provided in 35 state jails and throughout the entire federal system.

This week’s KONK Life column The New Prostitution was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. It also appeared on E-Blast.

What happened in Nice horrible! Eighty plus lives. A terrorist attack by one man.

I fear the attack may decide our Presidential election. Trump claims he is going to protect us. Shouts it loudly and clearly.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

HOME CONFINEMENT TOLERABLE

Yesterday was another day in. Not bad. Actually good. The title says Tolerable. Turned out to be more than tolerable. I enjoyed the day.

I normally research my KONK Life column on saturday. Started yesterday. Gave me a two day head start. Research not finished. Another 30 percent to go.

The subject involves who pays for national political conventions. The Republican one is two weeks away. Who picks up the tab for the balloons, confetti, alcohol, etc.

An interesting eye opening subject. You will enjoy reading the article.

Jennifer stopped in yesterday. While Anna is in Poland visiting family, Jennifer has been giving me a hand around the house. I sent her grocery shopping.

Today, the beginning of the Fourth of July weekend. Key West will be crowded. A fun weekend for all ahead.

Tomorrow, I am free!

Early afternoon, I will be with Tammy for a manicure. Tomorrow at 5, Don’s Place. David is 65. He is retiring. A surprise retirement party for him. Not a surprise, however. Someone told him.

Then to Blue Heaven. To hear Terri sing. I missed her show last saturday.

I will be back in the grove!

This week’s KONK Life column is Captain Bligh A Good Man. It was linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. It also ran on KONK’s E-Blast.

When it came to sex types and/or tastes, I knew gay, lesbian, homosexual, lesbian, and cross-dressing. During the final stages of the gay battle, the word transgender started to pop up. I must admit, I had never heard the word. Almost eighty years old and I did not know what the word meant. I had to google it.

It was announced yesterday that the ban on transgenders in the military has been lifted.

Good!

What next?

Stupidity knows no class. Even smart people can be stupid.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday in her private plane meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

Enough said.

Enjoy your day!

 

RESPECT GEORGE WILL

George Will and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. With one difference. He is to the far right. I consider myself a liberal tending more toward the middle.

Will has been in the forefront of the Republican establishment forever. I read his columns. Enjoy the times he is on TV talk shows. Even though I do not agree with his positions, I enjoy keeping up with what the other side is saying.

Will announced yesterday that he is leaving the Republican Party because of Trump. A man of his convictions. He could have taken the easy way out and said he was not voting for Trump. No pussy footing involved. I respect that.

Will’s position simply is let the Democrats win this election. Work on 2020. Trump is that bad for the country and he must not win.

Speaking of Trump, I mentioned yesterday that no camera shots were shown of the crowd Trump was talking to in Turnberry. I suspected it was small. It was. The crowd was shown on TV this morning. Less than 30 people.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK column. It will be about William Bligh. Captain of the Bounty. Remember the movies Mutiny on the Bounty.

Movie making takes liberties with the truth. In the Bligh/Bounty movies significantly. Bligh was not the bad guy. Actually good to his men.

Surprisingly, Bligh faced three court martials. He was exonerated in all three. Historians view him as a good leader wronged by events not of his making.

I plan on writing the column this afternoon.

Never got to see and hear Terri White at Blue Heaven last night. My reservation was for 7:30. Jenna got held up at work.

It was a later dinner for us at Martin’s inside. Wienerschniztel and brie. We ate in the air conditioned inside dining room.

Tuesday weighing on me. Don’t know why. I have been through this before. In addition, my sciatica has returned.

Can’t win.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

TERRI WHITE SINGS

Tonight…..Terri White sings! At Blue Heaven. 6:30-9:30.

This is Terri’s first Key West performance since returning. She is retired. Moved back home to Key West with her wife Donna. Terri will do an occasional Key West gig. Nothing more.

Terri is officially retired. She had no choice. She went blind rather suddenly in one eye. If my recollection is correct, her last solo performance was at Kennedy Center. She fell off the stage. Her depth perception is shot.

I will be at Blue Heaven enjoying Terri. My evening will be doubly pleasing. Jenna will be with me.

I did nothing yesterday. Laid around. Read, napped and watched TV. I am taking it easy till we are sure what if anything is going on with my heart.

Hemingway. I have been reading a lot of Hemingway this past week. Not his works. Stories about the man himself. Interesting and revealing.

Hemingway was not a nice guy all the time. Especially as he got older. Mean.

Once an enemy, always an enemy. He wrote of his former friends, now enemies, as characters in his books. Making them look bad.

His sex life all over the place. Besides several wives, he had at least two long term affairs with lesbian women. Who apparently became bi as a result.

Hemingway is considered to have been bisexual by several who wrote about him. Going as far back as F. Scott Fitzgerald during their Paris days.

I would love to write a Hemingway column taking in all these facets. Too much involved, however. Also, I would owe it to the man to research even more deeply than I have. A lot of work. A ton of material. It would have to be a novel.

Anna telephoned yesterday from the Milan airport. She was waiting for a plane to Athens. She decided not to let the immigration problem screw up her summer.

She will spend a few days in Athens in a small hotel near Playka. She promised to visit my favorite outside cafe and drink a silent gin and tonic toast to me.

Her second stop will be Santorini. Things safe there, she says. After that, not sure. Maybe Amorgos.

I envy her.

She mentioned that Silvio Berlusconi had heart surgery ten days ago in Milan. An aortic valve replacement. Appears to be doing well.

My primary problem is with my aortic valve. Interestingly, my father’s problem was with his aortic valve.

Anna follows Berlusconi’s doings closely. Most Italians do. In spite of everything, he is a loved man in Italy. Anna says Putin has been in constant touch with Berlusconi. The two are known close friends. Putin built a home next door to Berlusconi in Portofino.

Trump in Scotland as seen on TV. Boring. Unimpressive.

My sense is he did not have a crowd. Hard to determine. The camera remained on him and never showed us those listening to him.

Americans are movie lovers. Especially of the old west. On this day in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn took place. Custer and his 200 men were wiped out by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The Native Americans had 3,000 against Custer’s 200.

I have to research this week’s KONK Life column today. I research on saturday and write on sunday. My usual problem again. Do not know yet what I am going to write about.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRAINWRECK

Went to the movies last night. Saw Trainwreck. Thought it was a wreck.

I went to view the movie because of all the hype it has been receiving. A great funny show. Contemporary sex. I was not impressed.

The first third of the movie I had trouble staying awake. The rest of the movie had its funny parts. If contemporary sex is as was represented, I have missed out on a lot. I am sure I have. It is a different world.

LeBron James is in the movie. He has a significant part. Plays himself. He is an actor! No question about it. The man has talent in a second field. The thought occurred during the movie that his performance was worthy of an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

I was right on. This morning’s news reports James signed a major Hollywood contract yesterday.

Trainwreck was the last stop of the evening. Prior to the movie, I enjoyed an early dinner at Tavern ‘n Town. Michael Emerson entertaining. Enjoyed his singing.

Hot Tin Roof’s Joseph came in for dinner. Went over to his table to say hello. I like Joseph.

Across the bar from me were two Key West lovelies I seem to be running into frequently of late. Sisters Mary and Jeneane. Friends from the Pier House. They were with a woman of Asian extraction. A beauty.

My morning began with the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. For whatever reason, knocked me on my ass yesterday. I was dead all afternoon. Spent the afternoon in bed after lunching at Hogfish. I thought food would pep me up. It did not.

I plan of visiting the Farmers Market at lunch time today. The refrigerator is empty. I want to buy a few Farmers Market items before heading over to Publix.

Hemingway Days continue. Hemingway boxed. Enjoyed mixing it up. He encouraged other Key Westers to box. Neighborhood boxing matches were held at Blue Heaven. Hemingway refereed them.

In addition to fishing, boxing, and writing books, Hemingway wrote poems. As part of Hemingway Days, there will be a reading of his poems tonight at Blue Heaven. The program titled Papa’s Poems. Early. Like 5 o’clock.

Anna reports she had a great meal at Mythos last night. Mythos roasted a baby goat on a spit. Anna says it tasted like lamb. I believe it. Mythos did a goat for me on my last visit to Amorgos.

My KONK Life column re Planned Parenthood and the sale of fetus body parts hit the stands last night. It is available throughout the Keys today. I linked it to my Key West Lou website this morning. keywestlou.com. Read it and believe!

Enjoy your day!