CHE A NO SHOW

Several of us were at the Chart Room at 5 yesterday to visit with Che. An old friend, Chart Room cohort, one who has an empty hole in the bar awaiting his ashes, a first class debater in any friendly argument, a man soon to be 84.

The meeting had been arranged by Jean Thornton. Che has become a recluse in recent months. His health failing. He would not open his door if someone knocked. We wanted to visit with him.

No Che. Failed to appear. Probably decided he simply did not want to do it. No problem. Che has earned the right to call them as he sees them.

We sat at the round table and enjoyed ourselves. Jean, David, Cori, Nic, Captain Frank, Valerie, Lisa, and Louis. Later, Quincy Perkins showed up.

Jean made a batch of deviled eggs and brought them for all to enjoy.

Later, Jean and I had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Sheila bartending.

Jean and I are a match. We get along well. I consider her a benefactor. Escaped Irma by staying at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

The Ocean Key House pier was severely damaged by Irma. The contractor waited six months to get back to Ocean Key that he could not do the job for the price bid. Another company has stepped in. They are swiftly working. A huge crane, huge wood posts, etc. I understand the entire pier is going to be redone in concrete.

My sunday afternoon was spent writing this week’s KONK Life column. Sit At Attention Or Die. A Kim/Trump tale. Mostly, Kim. It hits the stands wednesday evening.

The article was well researched and wrote swiftly. I had time left over. Skimmed the internet a bit to determine what the following week’s article will be.

Came up with the subject! Sand! The world is running out of sand. A black market has developed. I did some preliminary research. Interesting.

What a difference 100 years make! Price of Key West Hotel rooms.

In 1914, the Panama Hotel was located at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. A new hotel. Running water in each room. A big deal! Rates $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00.

A sad situation. Paul Donnelly was the Key West Citizen Controller. In a management restructuring in March, Paul was one of the those let go.

Paul got in trouble last thursday in Plainview, Michigan. He robbed a bank. Walked up to a teller, handed her a note saying this is a robbery and my bag contains a bomb.

Paul walked out with $4,700. Eight hours later, he was arrested without incident.

Paul was in Plainview visiting relatives. The relatives claim Paul was suicidal, the bank robbery a call for help, he was fighting alcoholism, the sudden loss of his job had affected him, and he had recurring problems from a brain tumor.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life article re Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The Waterloo battle was waged this day in 1815.

I discovered in my research at the time that the popular reason for Napoleon’s defeat was not correct. It was not the genius of the Duke of Wellington, though his military prowess probably did make some contribution.

Napoleon had hemorrhoids. They were extremely painful the night before. He doped himself with some narcotic that evening and in the late morning when he woke to kill the pain. He overslept. Did not get to the battlefield till just before noon. The battle had started in the early morning.

He could not sit comfortably on his horse. As a result, he did not move around the battlefield to personally view and assess conditions.

The battle was lost early evening.

My research clearly indicated it was the hemorrhoids that did him in.

The immigration children problem disturbs me as it must most of you. Children separated from parents. Sort of a Sophie’s choice, though not as final.

Totally un-American. Not what good people do. I am ashamed my country is doing this.

The problem has to be resolved like yesterday. Realistically, by the end of this week.

How would Trump have felt if his three oldest when young were taken from him and his wife in a fashion similar to what is occurring at the borders? Or, Barron today?

Cock fighting in the lower Keys was a big deal back when. Perhaps even today. I recall a few years ago a group was arrested for involvement with cock fighting.

BOB reports British Peter had a cock fighting experience.

The time would have been the mid 1990’s. Peter was driving cab for a living. New to the job. Got a call asking if he would go to Rockland Key to pick up a fare. Peter jumped at the chance. The fare $17 plus tip.

He picked up 3 young boys each with a paper bag on a side road off US 1. They asked to be taken to Bahama Village. Made sure they had money to pay. Started up and reached the intersection with US 1.

All of a sudden, a huge truck was behind the cab. Lights glaring, horn blowing, and the driver waving out the window. Peter had no idea what was going on. He immediately called for help. The Sheriff’s Department arrived in 2 minutes.

The guy in the tuck ran to the cab. The boys jumped out and ran onto US 1 emptying their bags as they ran. They assumed the chickens would run into the woods. Not so. The chickens were fighters. They engaged in a mammoth cock fight on US 1 in front of the Sheriff Deputies.

The guy in the truck was arrested. The kids taken into custody. The chickens collected.

A problem arose. The Sheriff/County had no place to keep the chickens pending trial. Evidence. They solved the problem in Key West fashion. The chickens were turned over to the now defendant truck driver who they assumed knew how to safeguard them.

BOB does not tell  us how the case ended. Was there a trial? Were the chickens produced? I doubt it. These chickens were lucky if they saw the light of day following the incident.

The situation bothered Peter. He put a sign in his cab: No Rockland County trips, no Rockland County residents.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BRITISH PETER

Bob Smith shares the Key West of the 1990’s in his book BOB. One character of that time and still alive is Peter. Commonly known as British Peter.

I was fortunate to know Peter. As many today who still enjoy the Chart Room. It was the Chart Room where we all met and became friends.

Peter was British through and through. Appearance wise, tall, thin, with a white mustache. His accent decidedly British. His demeanor conservative. BOB says “a more polite and erudite fellow you will never meet.”

Peter for many years lived on a sailboat. Moored it 2 miles out into the Gulf. Used a dingy to go back and forth. One night, Peter had a bit too much to drink. A moonless evening. He went out to return to his sailboat.

He left the dingy when he thought he was at his boat. He was not. Dingy floated away. Peter floating. Had to find the boat or die. He swam around a while and fortunately bumped into his boat.

Another Peter tale involves his world travels. He was somewhere in the Pacific off a small island on a sailboat. Pirates came upon him in the dark of night intending to rob and perhaps kill him.

Peter no slouch. Always prepared. He shot and killed one of the pirates before leaping off his boat and swimming to shore. As Peter tells the story, he fully anticipated the pirates to find him the next day and kill him for having killed one of their own.

Peter was off the island as dawn broke.

BOB talks about Bob running into the Peter at the West Indies Lounge on one occasion. I do not recall the place nor could I find it on the internet. However, I am sure it was den of inequity with Peter and Bob observing, not participating.

Peter no longer with us in Key  West. He had inherited a home in the State of Washington years ago. Five years ago, he decided to move to the home and spend the rest of his days there. Peter has returned at least 3 times over the years to visit.

BOB shares another Peter story. One involving Rockland Key and cock fighting chickens. Saved for tomorrow.

One of Peter’s closest Chart Room buddies was Che. They discussed everything. Argued a better description. Che an in your face type. Peter would not let him get away with anything.

Che now 85. Ailing. None of us have seen him at the Chart Room in at least 6 months. He has become a recluse.

Jean Thornton thought it was time he got out. She has arranged for Che to be at the Chart Room at 5 this afternoon to meet and greet friends.

Che has a distinction. One of the holes in the Chart Room bar bears his name. He is one of two remaining alive. A portion of his ashes will be deposited in the bar when he passes on.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK life column. Ten pages of notes. Not sure of the title yet. The topic involves Kim and Trump. Kim’s background emphasized. Trump is in bed with a dog who has fleas.

I will write the article this afternoon.

Snuck out for an hour for a pedicure and manicure with Tammy. Love Tammy! Respect and admire she and her husband Ricky’s success. They deserve it!

Last night, the Chart Room. Met Mary Anne. Has lived in Key West since 1990. We never met before. Amazing!

A small world. Mary Anne knows Bear. And, Donna and Terri. Mary Anne is the assistant manager at the Lower Keys Animal Clinic on Kennedy. A vet’s office. The Doc Bear’s vet.

Cori Convertino stopped by to say hello. Talented. Hard working. She is actually Dr. Cori Convertino. Has a Ph.D. She is in charge of the exhibits at the Custom House. Ever changing, time absorbing to erect. Each one a “work” in itself.

Jenna! My love! We have not seen each other in months. My fault. She calls, I am too busy. Accidentally saw her last night.

Jenna and her beau stopped in for a drink before seeing a movie at Tropic Cinema. We swore we would get together soon. Very soon!

Read an interesting report this morning. A recent study shows millionaires now control half of the world’s wealth.  Personal wealth globe wise in 2017 totaled $201.9 trillion. Up 12 percent from 2016.

The rich getting a lot more richer and doing it a lot faster.

Happy Father’s Day to all who will be remembered and to all who will not. Life moves in strange ways.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

ESPRESSO MARTINI

Espresso Martinis were popular in the Key West of the late 1990’s. Locals and tourists alike imbibing. Even me.

Not consumed as much these days. I hear the drink rarely ordered. Till last night.

I was at Berlin’s waiting for Jean Thornton to join me for dinner. Two couples came in. They were a party of 20, early, having a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of their group.

The ladies exceptionally lovely. Hair and make up perfection. Dresses obviously from the world’s finest stores. Jewelry like you would not believe. The real stuff. I have not seen that much expensive jewelry on a woman in years.

The ladies were polite, but demanding. They knew exactly what they wanted. Both espresso martinis. Directed Shaun how to prepare them. Each drinking a slightly different variation. An espresso martini is generally prepared with vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.

The group must have been off one of the 165 foot yachts being seen more frequently in our harbor.

As usual, a pleasant evening at Berlin’s. Jean the best of company. Bria singing. Shaun and Gage to chat with. Janyne arrived. Waiting for friends for dinner in the restaurant itself. Joined us for a drink. A charming woman. She has been operating the Pier House Beach Bar for 17 years.

After the two couples left the bar area, I asked Shaun and Gage who had discovered/invented the espresso martini and where. My impression was Key West in the late 1990’s. Gage checked with someone in the kitchen. He said New York City in 1977.

I checked it out on the internet this morning. Wikipedia says Dick Bradsell in the late 1980’s at the Brasserie in the Soho section of London.

Jean and I stopped at the Chart Room after dinner for a nightcap. Business slow. John bartending. Jean left. I was getting ready to pay the bill when a lady came in and sat next to me. The bar seats were all empty.

She said, “Hello, Louis” I smiled and said hello in return. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I politely said no. She said, “The Chart House last year.”

“Oh, I said.” Truth be known, I still did not recall her.

We made small talk and I left after paying for her drink.

BOB time.

Military evacuation when a hurricane is approaching. Primarily Navy. In the 1990’s, the Navy had a huge contingency in Key West and the Boca Chica Naval Base 10 miles up Route 1.

Military personnel and their families were taken to secure shelters or flown to points north on Navy planes. Free of charge, of course. A plan already in place. Each military person had a number and directions for he and his family.

BOB did not approve. The military were getting a free ride at taxpayer expense. A convenient ride. Whereas poor civilians had to gas up and slowly drive north under adverse conditions.

Amy Bondurant and husband David Dunn for real Key Westers. They moved to Key West more than a year ago and call it home. In their other lives, Amy was an Ambassador under Bush 2, David a prominent Washington attorney.

They still maintain a Paris home dating back to Amy’s ambassador days. Amy e-mailed me from Paris. They intend soon to bicycle through Denmark.

Amy sent as part of the e-mail an article which she thought sobering and wanted to bring to my attention. The article was written by Benn Steil and appeared in the 6/12/18 edition of Foreign Policy. Titled: The World Will Die So Trump Can.

The thrust of the article was the United States as we know it was in decline and responsible was Donald Trump.

He attributed such to the recent failure of the G-7 summit, Trump’s negative remarks re Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Trump’s glowing misunderstanding/non-understanding of tariffs, Trump’s sucking up to authoritarian leaders while making enemies of our friends of 50 years.

Steil’s concern was that Trump has/will become the “new normal.” The U.S.we knew gone. Perhaps never to be again.

This blog goes out over a dozen sites. Some have comment sections. Yesterday’s blog title was Sessions’ Improper Use Of Bible. A reader and frequent commentator is I’mNotLou.

I don’t make the names up!

I’mNotLou’s comment: “Sessions is more a religious forger than a person of faith. He is like too many ‘religious’ folk these days – a student of pick and choose for what suits your taste or your bigotry.”

Trump is dragging the U.S. into a tariff war with China, amongst others. China is the biggest importer of soybeans grown in the U.S. Soybeans a huge part of the economy of several states. Most of which supported Trump in the election.

China will not take this tariff increase sitting down. Trump is picking on the wrong nation to abuse. Beside intending to meet the tariffs dollar for dollar, China has already advised it is looking to the soybean fields of South America for future purchases. Argentina, for example.

Mexico also imports U.S. soybeans. Mexico says it will be looking to South America.

U.S. farmers growing soybeans not happy campers.

Enjoy your day!

 

SESSIONS’ IMPROPER USE OF BIBLE

Thousands of immigrant children taken from their parents. Placed in fenced-in areas inside abandoned Walmart buildings. A tent city being planned.

They are the concentration children of America. I am not proud. I am ashamed. Ashamed that something like this could happen in the United States. Many are likewise ashamed. A large number not, however.

Attorney General Sessions can claim major credit. He tells us he is enforcing a law that has not been enforced recently. Incorrect. What he is doing is using a new philosophy to justify his handling of the children. There is no law permitting what is being done.

Sessions considers himself a God-like man. He even quoted the Bible in a speech yesterday in Fort Wayne to support his wrongdoing. The New Testament Book of Romans Chapter 13 wherein St. Paul commanded that the laws of the government be obeyed because God had ordained the government for his purposes.

One problem, however. Sessions misused the Biblical quote. He failed to read the entire passage. The balance would have made him aware of Chapter 13’s true meaning.

The same quote Sessions used was relied upon by others in the past.

Southerners used the quote to justify southern slavery in the 1840’s and 1850’s. South Africa invoked it during apartheid. Hitler to justify his authoritarian rule in the 1930’s.

Even Nero got in the act. He was anti-Christian. Enemies of the state, he said. Killed them. Necessary to quell dissent. He relied on the quote when ordering Christians dipped in oil and set on fire. To light his gardens at night.

Sessions should read Matthew 25:35…..I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

There is nothing in the Bible saying children should be separated from parents.

America, wake up! We are turning into a bad people! Silent acceptance of improper deeds builds up. To a point where Trump could become the Pied Piper. The masses blindly following him.

Sessions did do something good recently. His Department of Justice announced the successful conclusion by a task force of a 3 month operation called Broken Heart. The goal of the task force the identification and arrest of suspected child predators. The crime, child sex trafficking.

The task force consisted of federal, state, local and tribal officers/agents working in unison. The group totaled 4,500.

A successful effort. Two thousand three hundred arrested.

The media has failed to report or comment.

BOB reflected on the cry to evacuate when a hurricane threatens. Only one way out. Drive. The government says gas up and drive to the mainland 150 miles away.

BOB considers the government direction to be ill conceived. There is not enough gas in Key West to fill everyone’s tank.

I must compliment Gov. Scott. He had it right for Irma. He knew gasoline would be a problem. He used one lane or a shoulder of a highway to get the gas filled tankers to the Keys.

I direct your attention to this morning’s Key West Citizen. The weather report section on page 2. Whoever writes it has a sense of humor. Today’s forecast is “Clouds, sun, a t-storm.” The writer’s comment in small print below: “Nature confused.”

Dinner tonight with Jean Thornton at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOB WISDOM RE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Bob Smith was an oracle of wisdom. He wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, sharing his thoughts with the world.

Today, BOB and hurricanes.

My sense is naming hurricanes and following their path on TV was a relatively new thing in the 1990’s. BOB thought they gave a feeling of preparedness. A false feeling. Hype had nothing to do with being ready for 100 mile plus winds and rain.

He felt Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved his point.

Evacuation always important. Many failed to leave. Almost always. Traffic extremely slow, not enough gas, etc.

BOB had the solution. Airlift Key West residents out. Like the Berlin airlift. The federal government could label the program the Florida Keys Evacuation Plan.

FEMA was not doing a good job. Useless. My observation is that FEMA improves with every hurricane. However 26 years after Andrew, still do not have it down.

BOB believed FEMA would never improve.

BOB disparaged politicians big time. Tiny brains. Did not know how to get the job done: “I have long since abandoned the idea that reason rules with these clowns.”

I took it easy yesterday. The previous 3 days had been hectic.

Began with a walk up and down White Street. Should be referred to as the new White Street. Many buildings remodeled. All type new businesses opened and opening. Exciting.

Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Situated right in the middle of White Street. It has become one of my favorite lunch haunts. I sit quietly, read the newspapers, and enjoy Cuban cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee.

Last night, a late one for me. I am usually in bed by 9. Last night, 12:30!

My evening began late. Bria Ansara’s birthday party was 8-10 at Bourbon St. Got there 8:30. Crowd building. By the time I left an hour later, the place was jam packed. People dancing, singing, waving their arms.

Bria entertaining. A lovely woman. Magnificent. A talented vocalist.

Saw her in a different light last night. Normally, I get to see and hear Bria at Berlin’s on the weekend. She sings on those evenings a lot of tunes from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Music for oldies like me. Music from my time. The music of most Berlin customers.

Bourbon St. last night, A much younger crowd. No one even close to my 82 years. They were whooping it up. Bria leading them.

A lot of people I knew. Many from Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. Many women who perform in Key West, also. Fantasy Fest Queen Destiny, one of the bartenders from Berlin’s, Guy de Boer, Chris the photographer, Erin, and others I recognized but whose names I could not recall.

Since I wasn’t dancing, singing or whooping it up to today’s music, I left after an hour. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.  Glad I did.

Ollie was holding court at the end of the bar. A Key West icon.

Met Mandy and Gene. Ollie introduced us. Spent 2 hours chatting with them.

Gene originally from Syracuse. Grew up in Camillus, a small community adjoining Syracuse. Mandy and Gene today live in Smeltfield, Virginia. The home of Smeltfield Ham and Bacon.

They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Gene still working. An industrial designer. He designs aircraft carriers. I was impressed.

Mandy retired. However her work background equally impressive. She spent her career working with the Navy and Coast Guard at their highest echelons.

We talked about everything. They hope to return for Fantasy Fest. Have never seen it.

I liked their attitudes. They are both 60. Kids educated and gone. They are ready to live.

Go for it!

My drive to Bria’s party found me on North Roosevelt Boulevard at the right time. There before me was the setting sun. A huge yellow ball. Caught the sun just as it was cutting the horizon.

A benefit of living in Key West.

I intend for today to be another Louis day. Only thing scheduled is a haircut with Lori at noon. Going to try to schedule a manicure and pedicure for later in the afternoon.

It’s a good life!

Enjoy your day!

 

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN VISITS

Finally met Barb last night. Iowa Barb. A devout blog reader. She had written she would be visiting Key West and wanted to meet. Also wanted me to sign her copy of Irma and Me.

We finally got together last night at the Chart Room.

Barb a charming woman. She has been a librarian for 39 years at the Iowa State University Library. Has visited Key West 9 times in the past 10 years. Loves Key West! Knows her way around.

Interested in politics. Dislikes Trump. Understandable. Her father was a Teamster for years.

Her sister Debbie with her. Debbie’s first Key West visit. She is the Cambridge, Iowa City Clerk. Made sure to tell me her politics were different from her sister’s. Debbie a black hearted Republican.

I had not planned on going out last night. Spent the afternoon researching for this week’s KONK Life column. Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about Stormy Daniels motivated me to look up Giuliani’s sex history. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

My intent was to write the column last night. It has to be to the publisher today.

John called and said a Barb was looking for me. Would I come down? Ergo, I will not be writing about Giuliani and his sexcapades till this afternoon.

My today a busy one. Have to finish the blog. Watch Robert in a tennis competition at one. Write the Giuliani column.

I definitely will not be going out tonight.

Dorothy Downs was at the bar. I have not seen her in a couple of years. Her husband was a dentist. He had an office in Miami and one in the Keys. They frequented the Chart Room often.

Dorothy told he her husband had passed away last year. Sad.

We talked at length. I learned more about her last night than in all the times we had met previously.

She is a writer. Five books. Dorothy is an art historian, specialist in American art, wrote and produced the PBS documentary Pillars of Power about Seminole and Miccosukee women.

Dorothy’s most recent book is Canoe Back In Time. The story of a special Miccosukee girl who was given the gift of being an artist.

The book is selling.

My handwriting is poor. Dorothy’s worse. She wrote down her e-mail address for me. Impossible to read. Dorothy, you have mine. Write me soon so I will have yours.

Three pirates came in. Two men and a woman. One of the guys was soon asleep head down on a table. They had been doing the Duval Crawl.

I spoke with the two sober ones. Explained I had recently written about the pirate Black Caesar and also the pirates of Port Royal.

The three were part of a pirate group. A nightly thing in Key West. Called Eat Drink Discover Key West. An eat and drink venture.

Sounds interesting. If you are, the group can be booked online at www.EatDrinkDiscoverKeyWest.com.

Everyone was gone, except for Kevin and me. We chatted a while. He is recovering well from his horrendous accident.

Needed to eat. Stopped at Hogfish on the way home. Sat at the bar and enjoyed hogfish. What else!

It began pouring on the way to Hogfish. Continued raining when I left. Fortunately, I am always prepared for rain. Two umbrellas. One at home and one in the car. Large black ones.

A BOB comment about waking in Key West: “A cat fight has set off the dogs. The dogs have set off the roosters. The din moves back and forth across the island in waves. Human sounds join in. There is no way anyone is sleeping through this, that’s it, I’m awake…..it looks like a nice day. Another beautiful day in Paradise.”

The Belmont later today. Hope Justify wins.

Trump’s words yesterday re his summit meeting with Kim and the degree of his preparation: “I’ve prepared my entire life for the North Korea summit.”

I worry.

Trump is on a high. He has screwed up G7. He is on his way to meet with Kim. He figures the world and the Nobel Peace Prize are his if he succeeds with Kim.

I do not see it happening.

Weather around 90 this past week. Heavy humidity. Weather man says some thunder today. Describes it as “rock ‘n’ roll thunder.”

As Porky Pig was wont to say at the end of his cartoons of yesteryear…..That’s all folks!

Enjoy your day!

 

ETHIOPIA BURN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Trump’s weak knowledge of American history has generated a lot of comment. One of the best appeared in the Justice Building Blog: “Neither Canada nor Ethiopia invaded and burned the White House.”

If not Canada, why not Ethiopia?

Visited Dr. Norris yesterday. He thinks I may be too old for the surgery contemplated. My primary care physician. My hear doctor said no problem. The endoscopy doctor was concerned that my age might be a problem.

I feel the best I have in 20 years and I am being told that at 82 I am too old for a relatively simple surgery.

My next stop Cleveland Clinic strictly for a consultation. To determine if my age is a concern to them.

Last night the Chart Room. Better than a doctor visit.

John bartending. Not that many people. Those who did stop in interesting.

Sheila arrived with her house guest Sandra. Sandra a nurse from Roanoke, Virginia. Loved Sandra the moment we met. She reads my blog every day!

A terrific couple from Marathon sitting to my right. Robert and Angela. In Key West to celebrate their anniversary. Thirty three years today.

Congratulations!

They live up the road a bit. Marathon. Visit Key West a few days here and there. Marathon a great place to live. However, its night life leaves something to be desired.

They have a 54 foot power boat. Showed me a photo. Magnificent! Generally come down with the boat for a one month stay in March.

Originally from San Antonio, Robert was a CPA. Today works part time/as little as possible as a private equity investor.

Angela a retired elementary teacher. Once owned a lower Keys taxi company.

Excellent conversationalists. Hope to run into them again.

David came in. Good to see him. We do not run into each other often these days.

Steve and Cindy arrived. Enjoy their company.

Cindy brought me Bob Smith’s book. Titled: BOB. He wrote it in 1990, 1997, or during the years in between. Cannot be sure.

The cover of the book is Bob in drag. He was straight with a warped sense of humor.

Married to Annie. A better woman does not exist.

Bob died several years ago. He is one of those whose ashes lie in the Chart Room Bar. A distinction!

He was a friend.

Bob’s book is a collection of Key West antidotes told from Bob’s perspective. I have decided to share some with you in the coming days. Probably months. There are that many.

How is this: “There are only two kinds of people in this world: assholes and the rest of us. Race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, you name it, doesn’t matter. You’re either an asshole or you’re not…..problem is you can’t easily tell who is and who isn’t…..Here’s what we need to do. When we come across a true asshole we need to brand them square in the forehead: A.H. Our proclivity for prejudice will finally be well placed and justified. The whole world will be better off.”

The G7 meeting today and tomorrow. Tensions will be great. Heated words may be exchanged, the calm shattered.

I wish I could watch the exchanges.

We as a Nation should be ashamed. I refer to the detention of immigrant children.

A few years ago, several Walmarts closed down. They are now being used to house the children. Reportedly in cages on concrete floors. The cages described as big. Fencing. Wire and nets stretched along the top to prevent escape.

The situation as reported described by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Or). Although he is a U.S. Senator, he was denied entry at one of the Walmarts. Police called. He was almost arrested. He did gain entry to another apparently without permission.

The White House has accused Merkley of spreading lies.

Bet he isn’t!

CNN’s gifted story teller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61. A suicide.

Suicides dramatically up in recent years. Locally, nationally, and internationally.

Tomorrow at 5 on Duval, the 15th annual Key West Pride Parade. Key West’s Sea-To-Sea Rainbow Flag extending the length of Duval carried on the hands of many with pride.

Enjoy your day!

BALLS IN NORTH DAKOTA

A strange title. Refers to male testicles. As this story develops, you will agree it appropriate.

If I could video the Chart Room, the shows would be terrific. The conversations some evenings would be difficult for a professional writer to compose.

Last night an example.

It was David, Kevin, John, Mike from Liverpool, Ollie, and me. Ollie the star. He was wound up. Irma still getting to him.

Ollie is a first class citizen. Always volunteering, helping the community. Does for others. The nature of the man. From the heart.

Ollie lives at Santa Clara. He is President of the Homeowner/Tenant Association. As such, he tried to keep things under control as Irma struck.

He had keys to each apartment. Important.

Water never hit the building. It was 3 feet high in the parking lot, however.

Owners/tenants had friends stay with them during Irma. The building considered a safe place.

Some young adults arrived with their scooters/mopeds.

Ollie discovered the scooters parked in one of the hallways. He yelled and screamed and said get them out of here. Against fire laws.

When he returned, the scooters were no longer in the hall way. He discovered them in the apartment. The next time he looked, they were no longer in the apartment. They were on the fire escape.

Frustrated, Ollie called the Fire Department. By the time they arrived, the scooters were gone.

Later, there was smoke. Fire smoke. Not from the scooters. A main breaker caught on fire. He called the Fire Department.

Ollie heard a lot of noise coming from one apartment. A strange yet familiar noise. He entered to find someone trying to blow out the candles in the room with a leaf blower.

Pool water was used to flush toilets. During the several no power days, tenants swam in the pool. Ollie had cookouts for the tenants. Somehow, he got some food. Cooked on the outside grill. A party each evening. Sounded like Birmingham.

FEMA has been supplying the people of Key West with food packages. Labeled MRE. Stands for Meals Ready to Eat.

Ollie a bit of a joker when not taking his President duties seriously.

He handed me a gray squared small packet. Labeled MRE-P. It was a prophylactic. A condom. I looked at him and said, you’re kidding. No, he said. FEMA also had MRE-Ts. Tampons.

It was a joke.

Ollie got into a dissertation  as to where he wanted to be buried. He had visited the two local cemeteries. Shocked at how expensive! Decided the only thing of value he  had to leave were his testicles.

He has signed the necessary paperwork and also placed in his will what he wants done with them.

His family has a burial plot in North Dakota. He wants his testicles removed and transported to North Dakota for burial. He does not care what happens to the rest of his body.

The man was serious!

Ollie walked behind the bar. There sitting amongst all the pics was what Ollie described as a Ball Coffin. A cylinder about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Military green. His testicles were to be transported in the cylinder.

Ollie ended the story by raising a fisted hand and shouting…..Balls in North Dakota!

He was sober.

Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a sandwich. Sat at the bar. Robi bartending. Another customer nearby, Bob. Bob is a marine mechanic.

The three of us had a lengthy conversation. Discussed many things. Including Puerto Rico and grown children. Each of us have adult children. Our stories of them similar. A different generation from ours.

Spent a couple of hours at Dr. Norris’ office yesterday. My new primary care physician. A first visit. I believe I will be in good hands.

I have a dinner date this evening. With Brenda who I met last week at the Chart Room.

Enjoy your day!