A GHOST STORY

Rain, rain, rain! Wow! Supposed to continue throughout the day. Key West is experiencing peripheral weather from Tropical Storm Michael. Soon to be Hurricane Michael.

Michael will not be a danger to the Keys. Will pass to the west and travel up the Gulf of Mexico. Northern Florida in danger, however. The Panhandle. Governor Scott has already declared a state of emergency for more than 20 counties.

Michael is presently somewhere south of Cuba and near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Michael must be Florence’s beau. The Carolina’s will bear the brunt of Michael. Expected to be a category 2 when it hits. Flooding  worse than the winds.

The Gray Man of Pawley Island, South Carolina is a ghost. Been one since 1822 when he died in quicksand during a storm while trying to reach his lady love. His betrothed went looking for him. Came upon his ghost clad in a gray suit.

He warned her to take her entire family and leave the island. A massive storm was coming. They left. When they returned, all homes had been destroyed except theirs.

Since that time, the Gray Man has appeared many times. In each instance, warning persons of a pending disastrous storm.

The Gray Man failed to warn re Florence’s coming. Thus far, no warning re Michael.

A full Sunday yesterday. Enjoyed brunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri performing with Larry Baeder. Sat with Donna and Joe.

Liz showed up. With Josefina and Mary. Liz attired in dark clothes. Jeans and a black jacket. She looks terrific in dark clothes. A sharp 85 year old woman!

Had a strange experience while walking to Hard Rock. I had to walk 4 blocks from where I parked my car. My legs were heavy. An effort to lift them. My ass dragging.

I could not understand. Maybe I needed to eat. I had skipped dinner the night before. I do it occasionally on my diet. Has never affected me in the past.

Ordered breakfast. An omelet and toast.

The trip back to the car no problem. Legs felt great. I had energy. It was the lack of food. No question food is fuel!

The Blue Macaw last night. Ate. Ribs. Chatted with Paul, Dan and Joseph.

Also with a young man from Biloxi, Mississippi. He, his Dad and a friend were in Key West for a few days. He is being married next July in Key West. I asked what beach. His response…..No beach. At the St. Mary of the Sea Grotto. We’re Catholics.

It was the we’re Catholics that got me. Few express religion these days and few seem to be religiously motivated.

I miss bocce. The comradeship especially. My old team Don’s Place is doing well this season. Tied for 3rd place, 1 1/2 games out of 1st.

Our Nation is sick and getting sicker by the day. Trump no help. He encourages all kinds of negative activity.

Trump was in Topeka Saturday night at a rally. A black protestor from Black Lives Matter interrupted the President. He was removed roughly by security guards. His removal proper, his handling not.

The crowd repeatedly yelled disparaging remarks at the protestor. Some of the audience White Nationals. Expressions like the Nazi salute “Seig Heil!” Others, “Light the motherfucker on fire.” Shades of the old South where blacks were tied to poles or hung from a tree and burned to death. A lot of “Kick his ass!”

Trump proudly stood by. These were his people.

Beware a woman scorned. Women do not forget. Republicans will pay for Kavanaugh’s ascendancy to the Supreme Court.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

NO POKER RUN ANGERS MERCHANTS

This past weekend was Poker Run. Along the Keys. Racing down U.S. 1. Ending some 25 miles north of Key West at Boondocks Restaurant.

Key West no longer a part of Poker Run.

Poker Run a charity fundraising event. Bikers from all over come to Key West. Most ship their bikes to Miami and then ride them down the Keys. Good people most. Actually doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs on a fun weekend. Many with their ladies perched behind them. Everyone attired Marlon Brando style.

Last year a problem arose. Two for real biker gangs came to town for the event. Bad guys. Each gang here to make claim to Key West as their turf. They came looking for trouble. A bloody fight ensued between them at a Greene Street bar.

Key West City fathers became concerned as a result. Set conditions for the Poker Run sponsor to meet. Conditions that would have obligated him personally for injuries and damages. He of course declined.

Marked the end of Poker Run in Key West.

Key West prepared for the onslaught of bikers in the event its refusal to have them was not recognized. Barricades and signs were placed the length of Duval where the bikers normally parked.

Now comes the anger. The Duval merchants. Clamoring over the loss of business. September slow. Some still hurting from Irma. Employees could use the extra money.

I do not condone the for real biker gangs. The bikers other than them were normal tourists, except for attire and mode of transportation.

Key West is changing, however. I am not sure I agree with the changes. Key West has its own flavors. Now, no nudity at Fantasy Fest, no Poker Run. We might very well be contributing to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Sloan spent a couple of hours with me yesterday. Resolved the computer problem about 80 percent. Problems reoccurred last night, though to a lesser degree.

Orchid Bar my first stop last night. Victor bartending. Knew Kevin would be there.

Two couples from North Carolina seated next to us. They got out of Dodge. Escaped Florence. Glad they did. Their community flooded. No way to return. They will wait out the time in Key West enjoying themselves till it is safe to return.

A smart move. Reminded me of Irma and Birmingham.

Then to the Rum Bar. Friend Lauri bartending. Art and George at the bar. No Donna and Terri. Both home recovering from bronchitis and colds.

A problem. Everyone lip kisses Terri. Cannot be permitted. Donna and Terri agree. They are returning to Terri banging elbows with people.

Bocce season has returned. Teams competing three weeks already. Don’s Place tied for 5th place with a 6-3 record. Not bad.

I miss playing.

Ever hear of Herkimer, N.Y.? A little town 12 miles from my home town Utica. The scene of Revolutionary War battles.

Back then, Herkimer was known as German Flats.

It was this day 1778. The fight for freedom raging. Local Iroquois and Mohawk Indians were fighting on the side of the British. Mohawk Indian Chief and British loyalist leader Joseph Bryant led  a surprise attack on German Flats. He led a force of 150 Iroquois Indians and 300 British loyalists in the attack.

Fortunately, the settlers became aware just before the attack that it was coming. They escaped to safety at nearby forts.

The Indians and British loyalists set fire to German Flats. Destroyed 63 homes, 57 barns, 3 grist mills, and 1 saw mill.

The Herkimer of today is much like Key West. Except for the Duval/tourist section. People pleasant. Conservative. Smaller in population. The County seat. I tried many cases in Herkimer County Supreme Court.

I worry about U.S. involvement in Syria. I mentioned certain of my concerns yesterday. I continue today.

Iran is a testing ground re U.S./ Russia relations. Both nations are bumping heads. Putin on the side of Assad, together with Iran. Trump on the side of the rebels, being encouraged by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The area of conflict known as Ibid. The last al-Qaeda stronghold in Syria. The rebels al-Qaeda.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat from Hawaii. An Iraqi war veteran and a current Army reserve officer.

9/11 was last week. Two days following 9/11, the Congresswoman spoke on the floor of Congress. She called on Congress to condemn the Trump administration’s protection of the al-Qaeda in Ibid. She believes Trump’s policies are “a betrayal of the American people. Especially victims of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack.”

The Congresswoman wants military withdrawal and non-intervention in Syria. She claims Trump is seeking regime change.

Her position succinctly stated: Get out of Syria! Not our headache!

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hitting a few bumps in the road. The most recent the allegation of a Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh tried to attack her sexually when they were high school students. Kavanaugh adamantly denies the charge.

I assume Ford will get her day before the Committee this week.

If true, an isolated incident? Are there more sex abuse situations during Kavanaugh’s life? My experience indicates if there are more, now is the time they will come out of the wood work.

Even if no others appear, consider if Ford is believed. Such makes Kavanaugh a liar. Combine that lie with others it appears he made during his hearings. A liar on the Supreme Court?

An interesting week ahead.

Dueling Bartenders tonight. Kevin will probably meet me. Holly is out of state visiting her mother.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ROYAL WEDDING…..THE MOUNTAIN MOVED

Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding this morning a sight to behold. A royal wedding in all its splendor, yet simple.

I shed a few tears.

It was a wedding the likes of none would ever have thought could occur in stately conservative England. Megan a person of color. The ceremony combined her ancestry with that of England’s. The ceremony equally combining the traditions of the black and white races.

This coming together did not have its beginning today. It started with Prince Harry’s mother Diana. Were it not for her, the mountain would have not moved.

The ceremony signified the coming of a new age. A cultural togetherness. The door to a new era completely opened.

Comcast! Will the company ever learn? How Comcast has become the giant it is, I do not understand. The company cannot take care of the simple problems of its customers.

Yesterday, I could not change channels on my two TV sets with either remote. Spent a half hour on the phone. Comcast’s representative extremely helpful. But, could not solve the problem.

Advised me to go to nearest Comcast and ask for the XR-15. Comcast’s most recent remote. I told her service at the local Comcast completely inept. I had no choice, however.

Brought the old remotes as directed. Asked to trade for 2 XR-15’s. Was told they had no XR-15’s. Only 2 of the model I had brought in.

When can I get XR-15? I don’t know. I pressed, explaining I was told to get the XR-15. Asked her to bring my record up on the computer. No time. I was the only customer with 2 Comcast employees in attendance.

Seeing I was adamant (politely so), she now told me she had made a mistake. The 2 remotes she gave me were XR-15’s.

Who was bullshitting who here? I took the remotes and walked out. Too old to wage war. I assume the 2 new remotes should work bevcuse they are the same model I had returned.

My next problem is doing whatever has to be done to get the remotes synchronized with the sets. This is a task my generation was not prepared for.

The Chart Room and Hogfish last night. Especially enjoyed Hogfish. Sat at the corner of the bar and people watched.

A Conch train and a pedestrian came into contact early last evening near the intersection of Truman and White. The train was empty. The pedestrian thought to be homeless. He was helicoptered to Miami.

No further news available.

Bocce playoffs begin today. Assuming the courts are dry.

I miss playing.

My team Don’s Place did not make the playoffs. Sad. Maybe they need me back.

Larry Smith’s team Not Don’s Place did make the playoffs. I telephoned Larry to congratulate him.

Another school shooting yesterday. This time outside Houston, Texas. The Santa Fe High School. Ten dead, ten wounded.

Trump was on TV almost immediately. His usual utterings. Terrible, been going on for years, no decades. Like it is not his fault in any fashion. Claimed  he is committed to putting an end to the shootings.

Trump speaks with a forked tongue. He rattled in a similar fashion following the Parkland shooting 3 months ago which resulted in 17 deaths. Recall, he even brought students, teachers and parents to the White House. Said he was not afraid of the NRA. He was going to do something about the shootings.

Two weeks ago, Trump spoke before the NRA Convention. He was clear in his support:  You have a friend in the White House.

Relationships are disintegrating. Swifter than in previous times. Even world leaders speak openly in disparaging terms with those they disagree. Respect lacking.

Trump bears significant responsibility. He bad mouths everyone. A tough talker. The bully standing on the corner.

License to orally degrade has spread swiftly. Benjamin Netanyahu’s son an example. His name. Yair. Yesterday, Yair redid the wording on a Turkish flag and ran it on Instagram: Fuck Turkey.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR IN CONCERT…..OUTSTANDING

NBC did itself proud last night. Its presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar In Concert. The most recent interpretation of the rock opera which opened on Broadway in 1971.

Some of the comments describing last night’s show: Absolutely incredible…..Electrifying…..Emotional climax…..A resurrection of the inner spirit…..The end miraculous.

I saw the Broadway hit in 1972. The movie in 1973. The TV version last night. Each unique in its own way. Each pleasing, Last night’s perhaps the best.

The scaffold setting added another and different dimension to the show.

A perfect ending to Easter Sunday.

My Easter Sunday began at 9. Breakfast with Lisa and family.

I started a tradition when my children were small. An Easter egg hunt. Outside or inside depending on the weather. We often still had snow in upstate New York on Easter.

When the kids got too old, my wife and I did the hunt. Sometimes, my parents. Everyone whooping it up on the sidelines.

Then came grandchildren. The tradition continued.

Lisa continues the tradition with her children. At 13 and 12, they are too old to hunt for Easter eggs and baskets. Today, items teenagers can use. A new cellphone, items of clothing, etc.

Breakfast was at 9 at the conclusion of the hunt. Still fun.

I noticed Robert was now a young man when I saw him a few days ago.

Ally was a young lady yesterday. Dressed beautifully. Hair done. Carried herself with a bearing. As contrasted with a year ago when she did not care her hair was messy, her clothes equally messy, her conversation less than brilliant. Yesterday, she spoke with the adults like an adult.

Which means I am getting older. I grow as they grow. More an old man each year.

I rose at my usual 6 am  yesterday. Spent two hours researching for yesterday’s blog. Did not write it at the time. Showered and hustled over to Lisa’s.

Returned home at 12:30. Did the blog. Published late. Finished the blog at 2:30.

The balance of the day was one of rest.

Saturday evening I was out. The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship fund. A bocce evening.

This was the second year for the bocce event. Last year considered a success because although for a first time, the club made money.

Saturday night better than last year. Last year, only 3 courts used. Saturday, all 7. The overflow walking around, watching the bocce games, enjoying sausage sandwiches washed down with beer or wine.

Most of those playing bocce were novices. They come to learn. Two experienced bocce members on each court teaching the participants the ropes.

Many worked to make the event a success. Bob Farrow headed the group. He and his helpers deserve much credit.

I tire easily. Saturday night made me feel tired sunday afternoon. I spent the rest of the day in bed. Watched Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. What would we have done without  Charlton Heston?

Then at 8, the magnificence of Jesus Christ Superstar!

For basketball enthusiasts, tonight the night of nights! The final game of the NCAA tournament. The championship Final Four game. The best of the best in men’s collegiate basketball to be determined.

Michigan/Villanova. At 9:20.

Villanova favored by 6.5 points. If Villanova sinks 3’s as the team did saturday night, Michigan does not stand a chance. On the other hand, I question whether Villanova can shoot that well two games in a row. Add to the mix that Michigan has reached this point with a stellar defense.

Should be a hell of a game!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

EASTER SUNDAY

Matthew 20:19…..On the third day he will be raised to life.

Luke 24…..He is not here, he is risen.

Such Easter Sunday’s religious joyous connotation. There also is another joyous one. In a popular sense. Best exemplified by Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade: In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

I used to believe death was the only constant. Life has taught me otherwise. Change is a constant, also. Nothing remains the same. Nothing is as it was.

Easter Sunday attire is reflective of change. Big time. Mike Ragland is a retired police officer living in the Rome, Georgia area. He recently wrote a change type article for the Rome News Tribune titled “In Your Easter Bonnet.”

I have combined some of my thoughts with his for today’s blog.

The tale of Easter Sunday attire begins with Constantine I. Emperor of Rome in the early fourth century. He ordered his subjects to dress in their finest clothes and parade in honor of Christ’s Resurrection.

His decree developed with time.

In Tudor days, superstition originated which claimed that unless a person had new homespun cloth available at Easter, moths and crickets would eat his old clothes.

The Irish added a vestige that stated, “For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes.”

A 15th century proverb from Poor Richard’s Almanac stated that if on Easter Sunday some part of the outfit was not new, one would not enjoy good luck during the year.

German settlers in Pennsylvania as early as 1782 paraded on Easter Monday. Easter Monday was widely celebrated as a holiday. The parading continued for over a century.

Then came the big one!

In 1870, ladies of congregations along New York’s Fifth Avenue began decorating churches with fresh flowers to commemorate Easter Sunday. A New York newspaper noted over half the female congregation members were decked out in their best finery while so doing.

A few years later, ladies and their escorts began walking to other churches to view floral arrangements and to be seen. The strolling area extended from 49th Street to 57th Street on Fifth Avenue.

By 1900, Easter Sunday  was rivaling Christmas as a merchant’s dream and was spreading to other cities.

Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade glorified the day as it had become. Fifteen years later, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire made the movie Easter Parade. One of the most profitable movies made to that time.

I am 82. In my youth, the whole family dressed on Easter Sunday. Where affordable, of course. I first noticed the everyone dressing up thing during World War II when I was 5-10 years old.

We dressed for church. Walked to and back from church as a family. Everyone smiling and exchanging hellos with neighbors and friends.

Followed by Easter Sunday dinner. Exceeded only by Christmas dinner.

The ladies wore hats. New ones, big ones, little ones, frilly and flowered.

I recall Easter Sundays in the 1960’s. Married with four little ones. We all dressed, went to church, and then to a huge family dinner.

The historical Easter Sunday and the one I knew is no more. A thought to be constant having disappeared. No one dresses as they did. Hats, what hats? Few families go to church together. Few go to church. The big meal, rare.

I am glad I was fortunate to have lived through those times. The memories real and warm.

My friends, whatever way you celebrate Easter Sunday, whatever you wear, whatever you eat, enjoy the day. This is what it is. Not bad, not as good, just the way it is.

Happy Easter!

 

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS REINACTED

Christ lived, died, and was resurrected.

Catholics believe He was crucified yesterday, lies entombed in a rock cave with a large rock blocking the entrance today, and will rise from the dead tomorrow.

Tomorrow being Easter Sunday.

Current writings by sociologists and political scientists suggest religion is dying. I see it in my Catholic religion. Churches closing, Catholic schools disappearing, very few women entering the nunnery, priests a problem unto themselves, etc.

Then an occurrence. One that makes me question the premise that religion is dying.

Yesterday in Portland at the Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Church, the Stations of the Cross  were performed. Part of Good Friday activities.

Normally, the Stations of the Cross involve a priest and two altar boys/girls going to each of the 14 Stations and reciting what occurred.

The Portland Church enacted the 14 Stations.

Participants were dressed in the garb of 33 AD. Roman soldiers in dramatic red and gold uniforms. An estimated 100 parishioners in the dress of 33 AD. The cross was large and wood. There even was a replica of a stone burial chamber.

The place Jerusalem. The Stations beginning with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Ending with Him being laid to rest in a tomb of stone.

The parish an immigrant one. The people poor. They come to the United States from other parts of the world. They bring their religion with them. The Stations were recited in French, Spanish and English.

Makes me wonder whether I have been correct in assuming religion is dying. The experts write it is. Universities teach it.

Could it be that only those that need God believe in Him? Did we in the U.S. and other advanced countries become too intelligent and too affluent forgetting Him?

I do not know. But how religion is handled in the Portland Church causes me to stop and think.

Seder last night. With Donna’s family and friends. At her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty two in all. From 3 to 82. Guess who was 82?

I have been celebrating Seder with them for many years. Always a warm family event.

My dinner companion was Terri. We sat next to each other. Her eyes failing more rapidly than anticipated.

Love the lady!

A unique experience at lunch time. Stopped in Sandy’s Cafe. There was my grandson Robert and a lady friend. A girl friend. The two enjoying lunch.

Robert handled introductions well. Was not flustered. His lady friend a bit intimidated.

Robert has gone to another level in my mind. No longer a boy. He is a young man. He will be 14 in two months, in high school in August, college in 4 years.

It was only yesterday Robert was born. Lisa insisted I remain for the birth. Her husband holding one leg up and I the other. Yelling at Lisa to push while Lisa was responding with a loud I can’t do this!

Three hours later Robert was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital. He was born with cancer of the liver. The tumor larger than his liver. Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life.

God is good. All is well today. And…..He has a girl friend!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy have a scholarship fund. One of their fundraisers is a bocce event. Tonight from 5:30-9:30. At the bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Come join us. I will be cooking sausage and hots dogs and teaching bocce to novices.

A fun evening. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be rushing home right after the event. The Final Four begins tonight. I should be able to catch the last game.

World population grows. The scientists tell us at some point there will not be enough food to feed everyone. It is therefore important that we develop alternative ways to grow/create foods. The laboratories of the world become important for this.

Zen Honeycutt published an interesting article on the problem in ECO Watch 3/27/18. The work was limited to Monsanto, glyphosate, herbicides, and pesticides.

I sometimes hate Monsanto for what they do. Other times, I recognize the cause of feeding the world’s peoples is an overwhelming task not without pitfalls.

Glyphosate is bad stuff found in Monsanto’s Roundup. It is also a part of other herbicides and pesticides.

Glyphosate has been discovered in certain wines and beers world wide. Some in popular U.S. brands. All U.S. brands are moving rapidly to change over and use other herbicides and pesticides.

The article makes reference to a Save the Children 2013 report. The report indicated the U.S. has 50 percent more infant deaths on day one of life than all other developed countries involved. The question raised was whether such was due to the widespread use of herbicides and pesticides like Roundup.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MAJOR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS BACK TO BACK

Jewish and Christian religions overlap this weekend. Beginning today.

Tonight, the beginning of Passover. Seder.

Seder is a Jewish ritual feast. Marks the beginning of Passover. Celebrated with a huge dinner. A family and friends event. The meal begins with the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

The narrative of the exodus is called Haggadah. Special blessings and rituals are involved. Commentaries from the Talmud are read. A special Passover soup served. Followed by the eating of symbolic foods, wine drinking, eating matza, and reclining in celebration of freedom.

A big deal!

Followed by a meal of brisket.

I am invited yearly to celebrate Seder with Donna and her family. Tonight, at her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty to forty people.

Donna’s children and grandchildren return to Key West each year to celebrate the holiday with Donna. Mandatory. No one misses it.

Donna has spent the past three days cooking all day. Her children help. A lot of work. A labor of love for them.

Today is also Good Friday. The day Jesus was crucified. Hung on a cross. For three hours till dead.

Christians world wide mourn his death today. I know of the day from my Catholic upbringing.

Traditionally, Jesus is hung on the cross at noon. Three hours of agony follow till He expires.

Fasting and Church services today. Part of the services include the Stations of the Cross.

Passover Seder and Good Friday coincide this year. Not necessarily so every year. Though both occur close in time.

I had a difficult experience in Church one year during the three hours.

I went to a Catholic high school. Sisters of Charity taught us. I was a freshman. Fourteen years old.  The three hours was mandatory for students.

Seated in my row two seats from me was one of the nuns. Directly in front of me in the row in front of me was a lovely woman. Early 20’s I would suspect.

A sensuous ass. I could not get my eyes or mind off it for three hours. I had an erection. I was praying to God to make it go down. No help. I feared the nun would see it. Fortunately, she did not.

It was a difficult three hours. My time for pain and suffering.

For some reason, I was tired all day yesterday. I had intended to go to The Studios to hear author Arlo Haskell of The Jews of Key West. He recently received the Florida Book of the Year award for the writing.

Never made it. I spent the day and evening lying around. Dozing on and off.

Feel fine this morning.

I mentioned yesterday that there had been a change in the operational heads of the Key West Citizen. The publisher and controller were let go.

Turns out the scenario was sort of coup. The change took place monday morning. The publisher must have been aware. He did not show up. The controller did. He was escorted off the premises by two police officers. Two police officers were stationed at the Citizen monday and tuesday.

Key West is a giving community. Many organizations award scholarships for college study. I am a member of The Sons and Daughters of Italy. We have a scholarship program.

One of the ways of funding it are special events. Tomorrow night The Sons and Daughters are having a bocce fundraiser. Tried it for the first time last year. Successful. Hopefully will be as successful this year.

One does not have to be a member to attend. Last year, I would estimate 70 percent of the attendees were not members.

The event is from 5:30 to 9:30 at the bocce courts on the ocean at the corner of White Street and Atlantic Boulevard. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. Includes food, drink, bocce equipment, and instruction for those who have never played.

I am one of those providing instruction. Did it last year. Many of those playing had never played before. Everyone had a good time.

Interestingly, many of those who attended merely to support a fundraiser subsequently joined The Sons and Daughters. I made several new friends as a result of the event.

In March 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Carmen Basilio to regain the Middleweight Boxing Championship. Robinson and Basilio held both the Middleweight and Welterweight championships at different times.

Basilio had beaten Robinson to win the Middleweight title. The same title Basilio lost to Robinson that March 1958.

I knew both men incidentally.

I attended Manhattan College in New York City 1953-57. Located at 242 Street and Broadway. Robinson’s mother lived at 238 Street and Broadway.

Whenever Robinson visited his mother, word spread on the campus. It was easy to know. Robinson drove a big pink Cadillac convertible. We would hustle down to 238 street hoping to see the champion.

If successful, Robinson was always quick to smile and say, “Hi, guys!”

Basilio I knew a bit better. A little bit.

Basilio’s home was Canastota, New York. Twenty miles from my home town Utica.

Canastota is well represented in Key West. Many from the area have homes here. I attribute it to onions.

Canastota is the onion capital of the world. Was in 1958 and remains so today. Everyone I meet in Key West from Canastota was or is in the onion business.

Basilio was known in the boxing world as the “Upstate Onion Farmer.”

At some point in time after Basilio and Robinson had been champions, the International Boxing Hall of fame was opened in Canastota. Yearly inductions.

It was at the inductions I got to see and greet Basilio up close. No more than a hello and how are you. Basilio later became physical education director at Syracuse’s Le Moyne College. I ran into him at some college functions when I was active at Syracuse University.

Enjoy your day!

GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!