LOUIE’S BACKYARD

My yesterday included a visit to the dentist. When younger, I went with fear and trepidation.

Now, no sweat. I have implants. A once a year visit to check them out.

I left the dentist’s office at 3:30. Diana Millikan was to meet me at 4:30 at Louie’s Backyard. I decided to spend an hour alone and so went directly to Louie’s.

The restaurant not one of my favorite places. The outside bar in the back is. Sits on open water. The Atlantic to the right, center and left. Sun shining bright. A sailing boat or two in the distance.

God’s world!

Dog’s Beach runs along the side of Louie’s. A small beach. No more than 30 feet wide. Really for dogs. They were on the beach and swimming as I entered.

College students also. They had discovered Dog Beach. They have much to learn. Never would I lie or run around on Dog Beach. Animal excrement everywhere.

Chatted with a fellow seated next to me. Involved with Las Vegas casinos. Comes to Key West twice a year to dive.

He was experiencing a problem. He had gone through four masks yesterday. The first three kept filling with water. Thought it was his mustache. Cut it back three times yesterday till he got a tight fit.

Diana showed up. Diana is an excellent researcher. I would describe her as an investigative researcher. Brought a Key West book with her for my scrutiny. Maureen Ogle’s History of An Island of Dreams.

The little I browsed through interesting. Very.

I frequently mention William Hackley. The Key West Citizen runs daily excerpts from his diary. The year 1856.

Ogle wrote about Hackley some 25 years earlier in the late 1820’s and 1830 when he first arrived in Key West.

Some of Ogle’s observations warrant I begin with her overall view of Key West. Then, Hackley.

Key West was described as the crossroads of the Caribbean. World wanderers found their way to Key West. In the 1820’s and 1830’s, it was a man’s world. More men than women. The men mostly tough.

By day, they crowded the taverns, boarding houses, docks, and shops. Waiting for the next new wreck to be announced. Key West was a ship wrecking town.

Lawyers and agents were a different breed. They lounged on shady verandas in white linen suits and straw hats. Smoking Cuban cigars.

Night time, all type men were drinking and boozing. Everyone woke the next morning with a first class hangover.

Now comes William Hackley. A young lawyer. Late 1820s.

Hackley was a bit naive, socially retarded. Not worldized yet.

In 1830, he attended a 20 person dinner party. Four of the 20 were women. It was the first time Hackley had “eaten in the company of ladies.” He reported several of the ladies “got a bit merry.” Whatever that means.

It was not till the early 1850’s that Hackley married.

Callie Morehouse sat next to me. First time I meeting her. She is the Owner/Private Chef of Provisions of Key West. Does large parties and dinner parties.

An interesting lady.

With her was a younger friend from Paris. A beauty!

My eyes still work.

I dropped Diana off at her hotel and was home by 6. I am dieting once again. Wanted to prepare my own meal.

Today quiet. A manicure. Tonight, bocce.

I was shocked to learn Mike Hopkins is the new basketball coach at Washington. He has hung out 22 years at Syracuse waiting to succeed Boeheim. Next year was supposedly the year. I am not sure what happened.

My Trump comment today simple. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. So too will Trump.

I read something re healthcare by Kathryn Norris this morning. She described the health care bill as Reverse-Robin-Hood. Take from the poor and give to the rich. She viewed the bill as trading affordable healthcare for millionaire tax breaks.

Patrick Henry. On this day in 1775, he uttered the famous words “…..give me liberty or give me death.”

Heard from Anna this morning. She is in London. She was in London yesterday during the terrorist attack.

She has had similar experiences including the earth quake near her Novara home and an avalanche near Courmayeur where Anna has a chalet half way up Mont Blanc.

Claims she is “lucky.”

Enjoy your day!

 

DOGFISH DEMANDS HOGFISH RENAME TO SPEARFISH

It’s called growing pains. Microbreweries/minibreweries have been gaining in popularity in recent years. Competition arises. The older guys don’t like the newer ones. Pressure arises. Pressure brought by the older companies upon the newer companies.

Hogfish have been around since time immemorial. Fished with a spear.

Dogfish have been around equally long. A  shark species.

A company in Delaware whose name contains Dogfish wants local Florida Keys Brewing Co. to change the name of one of its beers. Hogfish. To avoid confusion. Don’t want people ordering Hogfish thinking it is a Dogfish brew.

Ridiculous. I do not see it in this situation. No one has a singular hold on fish names. Especially under these circumstances.

Florida Keys Brewing may be considering capitulation. I can understand. Legal costs in such a case can be burdensome. Especially for a relatively new company.

I would take one last shot at the problem. Florida Keys Brewing should tell Dogfish they will change Hogfish to Spearfish if Dogfish changes its name to Shark.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

Chart Room last night. Drunk lady not there. I assume she was a tourist. I had never seen her before and hope to never see her again. Bill bartending.

Ran into Ted. Ted from Wampsville, NY. How many of you have heard of Wampsville? Wampsville is a small community in central New York. County seat for Madison County.

Ted is a fellow lawyer. Spent most of his career as a court clerk. A responsible position. The brains behind the judge.

Ted has vacationed in Key West for years. This year for a whole month. Retired.

The past two years, Ted has stopped into the Chart Room looking for me. Our paths did not cross. We exchanged cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses to avoid such a problem in the future. We intend to have dinner together before he leaves.

Ted and I exchanged legal talk. I tried cases in the Madison County Courthouse over the years. I enjoyed the conversation. Lawyer talk. A while since I have had someone to do it with.

John was outside at the Beach Bar. Visited him. Cold!!! The Beach Bar sits on open water. Low 60s with 20 mph wind.

Met Brian and Shanon at the Beach Bar. Nice people. From Columbus, Ohio. I love Columbus. Spent many a day working there on Nationwide matters.

Brian a realtor. Shanon in HR work.

First time in Key West. Having a great time!

On the way home, stopped at Publix. Cupboard really bare. Spent twice what I normally do.

Watched a bit of the Syracuse/UNC-Greensboro game. Syracuse won 90-77.

William Hackley still having dental problems. 1856 had to be a painful year. He was up most of the night with intense teeth pain. Went to Dr. Walton’s office in the morning. Dr. Walton “sacrified” his gums and “cut down to the roots.”

Dentistry years ago not as it is today. Pain!!! I recall my visits in the late 1930s and 1940s. Today, almost painless.

I can imagine how painful it had to be in 1856. Dentistry? Or, butchery?

The North Roosevelt Boulevard cross-walks continue to be in the news. Someone wrote to Citizens’ Voice re the danger: “Next to all the cross-walks on North Roosevelt Boulevard should be kiosks where you can buy life insurance.”

Something bothers me. I am a liberal at heart. As most of you are aware. I believe conservatives generally are on the wrong track.

The Key West Library is permitting its facility to be used at noon today for a two hour meeting. The group the Florida Keys Indivisibles. Political. Democratic at heart. Popularly referred to as bird doggers.

The organization is an activist training seminar. Speakers I assume trained provocateurs. The cry to organize and oppose. Require legislators to attend a town meeting, attend town meetings yourself, tie up with similar groups across the etc.country, be confrontational,  etc.

Will the rhetoric of the campaign ever cease?

Sounds like a guerrilla training camp to me.

Bocce tonight.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

REPUBLICAN SELL OUT

I fell this morning. Again. Was not paying attention. Two steps. Forgot. Thought one. Went flying. Nothing broke. Hurt all over. A couple of bruises already. Blood thinner.

I have been an admirer of Paul Ryan for many years. Straight forward. Tells it the way it is. Till yesterday.

I am disappointed. He was on television explaining the House’s bills re repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He was bullshitting viewers.

Some things not mentioned, others glossed over.

The first that there would be many uncovered that are covered now. Something like 15 million.

Cost of the new law unknown. We’ll get to the figures later. He expects the public to buy a pig in the poke.

No time to wait for the COB report which would set out numbers like uncovered and cost. Why the hurry? Because the COB’s numbers will show the large number of uncovered who are covered now and the high cost in many instances.

The proposed bill a boon to insurance companies.

Political chicanery at its worst. Trust us…..We’ll take care of you. Bullshit. The proposed bill is written for the rich and is a detriment to middle and lower income peoples.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a Key Wester who speaks his mind. Generally, his thoughts correct. Writes many Letters to the Editor.

In one published recently in KONK Life, he reminded readers of Paul Revere’s…..Beware, the British are coming! He transposed the saying to today’s events…..Beware, the Russians are coming! Additional thrust to his letter was that Russia’s cyber activity is a declaration of war. A new type war. We have to prepare to retaliate.

Enjoyed a manicure with Tammy yesterday. She asked if I had seen Jenna recently. Told her Jenna and I were having dinner Saturday night.

Happy Hour at Martin’s. The best happy hour in town! I enjoyed a couple of drinks, 3 small lamb chops and a chunk of warmed brie.

Did happy hour with Diana Millikan. We are exploring doing a book together. Something about Key West.

A Tom Favette joined us. A friend of Diana. A retired cigar maker. From the way he talked, apparently a big time one. An interesting man.

Left. Hurried over to bocce. When Diana finished her conversation with Tom Favette, she intended to go to San Carlos to hear a talk by Fidel Castro’s daughter.

Bocce fun. Team won 2 out of 3. Tough. Won the first two 16-15. Lost the third 16-5.

Seems like most people I know are sick or getting sick. A lot of cancer. One of my bocce lady friends came by to say hello. Always a hug and kiss. She appeared thinner.

She had cancer several years ago. Had a double mastectomy two weeks ago as a precautionary measure. The ladies rebuilt during the surgery.

A strong person. God bless her!

Did two Go Live videos yesterday on Facebook. One I referred to as the Silent Coup. Politics. Interesting. The other the Divided States of America. No question we are divided.

Trump wants to vet immigrants thoroughly. Hope he vets them better than General Flynn who he brought on as National Security Adviser.

Flynn lobbied from August to November last year on behalf of certain Turkish elements. His lobbying a secret. Recall, Flynn also spoke at the Republican Convention.

Flynn recently was identified by the FBI as a foreign agent doing work for a company that could aid the Turkish government. Two days later, Flynn filed with the appropriate agency that he was such a foreign agent. For his foreign agent work from August to November, he was paid $530,000.

Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives, Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. A guaranteed outstanding meal!

Enjoy your day!

ROBOTIC SOLDIERS

Ironic.

Yesterday, I spoke about robots on my live video show on Facebook. A topic I have discussed many times over the last two years.

My point robots are already here. Will be in greater numbers over the next 2-3 years. In every aspect of our society.

Yesterday’s video concerned Wendy’s and MacDonald’s who are already involved. Both will move forward dramatically over this year.

Now, I read this morning that robotic soldiers are around the corner. The corner being ten years. I would suggest earlier as robot implementation moves rapidly.

Can you imagine? No more human bodies being maimed and killed. Let the robots do it!

Another segment of Go Live concerned China now permitting two child families. There are not enough young to take care of elderly parents. Nursing homes are rare in China. Care for the elderly a family obligation.

My yesterday began with a haircut with Lori. She just celebrated a birthday. A gentleman does not tell. She is still young, however.

Then to Farmers Market. Picked up 12 loaves of my favorite bread. Freeze most. Some day I will remember to ask the country of origin.

Lunch at 5 Guys on the Boulevard. Excellent! Heavy! Meant no dinner last night.

5 Guys on Truman and Duval has closed.

Bocce. Sat with Don’s Place and watched. My team, though I have not played in three years. Miss playing.

The team did not do well. Lost 2, won 1. Can’t give up games this early in the season.

Don is back. He missed last week. He was in Hawaii for a family wedding. Enjoyed Hawaii. The waiting/airport part left something to be desired. As those of us who have traveled to Hawaii well know.

Stopped and chatted briefly with my Sons and Daughters of Italy club members. Georgio, where were you?

Tonight, dinner with snowbird Diana Millikan. A unique woman. Interesting and wacky at the same time. Her sense of humor rubs wrong most of the time. In spite of which, I enjoy her company.

Remember the guy who ran down with his moped/scooter two Key Westers on bicycles a few days ago. While shouting “faggot” and “you are in Trump country now.”

The bad guy was from North Carolina. He has been arrested there. Plans on fighting extradition.

Little White House inaugurating a new event. An Easter egg hunt. The first annual Easter Egg Roll is scheduled for April 1. Kids up to 12 eligible to participate.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech at 4 tomorrow. Each must win to receive serious attention for the NCAA Tournament.

Every now and then something bothers me. Requires a venting.

Eugene Robinson is an Associate Editor of the Washington Post, a columnist, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a frequent participant on Good Morning Joe. I like the man. Admire and respect him.

Robinson and his wife visited Key West last year. They return this year. Today or tomorrow I suspect. He and his wife may have vacationed here in previous years also.

I for one am honored that Robinson has selected Key West for his get away home. Perhaps he will join us full time when he retires.

My problem. Robinson is scheduled to speak Monday at 6 at the Key West Theater. On behalf of the Friends of the Key West Key West Library. Admission free.

I discovered yesterday that he is appearing at The Studios of Key West Sunday. Admission being charged. $250 for a one hour meet and greet and seat for his talk. If one opts out for the meet and greet, the charge is $40.

I doubt the money is going into Robinson’s pockets. Probably a fundraiser for The Studios. Whatever, wrong.

Many of his stature vacation with regularity in Key West. They frequently speak. For nothing. It is wrong for The Studios to use Robinson in this fashion!

Enjoy your day!

 

MOONLIGHT…..I SLEPT

Enjoyed a good meal and good company last night. I have little recollection of the movie we saw after dinner.

Dinner was at Jim and Donna’s with my MTV neighbor Andrew. Jim’s son Joey joined us for dinner. Donna cooked a unique meal. Good chatter accompanied the feast.

The game plan was to see Moonlight afterwards at Tropic Cinema. We did. I do not recall much. Ten minutes at best.

I fell asleep. Have not done it at the movies in years. Donna was sitting next to me. She said she bent over several times to see if I was breathing.

I am not ashamed. Andrew fell asleep towards the end of the movie.

My opinion as to the movie? I did not see enough to tell. Did the first 10 minutes boredom put me to sleep? I do not know.

Will I see the movie again? Probably not based on the comments of my friends.

Spent some time working on Growing Up Italian. It had been a couple of weeks. Reworked and tweaked the chapter having to do with making wine. My grandfather did every two years. A family event. He had a huge press in the cellar.

The thing that sticks most in my mind was the crushing of the grapes. First, the press. Then, the women. Finally, the children. My turn. Our feet were washed and we were allowed to jump in and around. Enrico Caruso singing in the background.

Did two Go Live segments on Facebook. Go Live with Key West Lou. One had to do with my impression as to how Trump did in his Address to Congress. The other female genital mutilation.

Sessions doing well so far. Has issued several orders undoing years of civil rights successes. The man a bigot.

Now the question arises as to whether he met with a Russian two times re the election.

The thought occurred when I heard the scenario this morning: Russian ties, Russian lies.

My poetic tendency finally revealed!

The stock market is in ascendancy. Like a rocket to the moon. Trump claiming credit.

I am old enough to have seen/experienced several market failures. All I know is that which goes up, comes down. Regarding the stock market, the fall is swifter and more dramatic than the rise.

Bocce tonight. I go to watch my team play, provide support. I miss playing the game.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARTIN FELT…..KEY WEST 1974

This blog is read primarily in the United states. It also has followers world wide. From Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand for example.

I received an e-mail this morning from Martin Felt. Martin has lived the past 30 years in Tuscany.

Martin lived in Key West for one year in 1974. Lived for a while on Poorhouse Lane. Poorhouse is a street running perpendicular off the cemetery.

Martin mentioned that he spent time walking in  the cemetery. He also recalled taking and pumping water from a well. The well thing especially caught my interest. Comments were received a couple of days ago re Key West wells near the Casa Marina. I think from Patrick. I was not aware of well water availability in Key West up to that time.

Martin is presently involved in writing a book about his 1974 Key West experiences. Should be interesting. A different world back then.

My yesterday began with an early visit to my heart doctor, Dr. McIvor. I swear by him! A routine test. Will get the results monday. I am not concerned.

Last night was the start of the bocce season. I missed it. Too tired. I was up at 5 in the morning to get the blog out before the doctor visit. By 5 in the afternoon, I was falling asleep watching television. I was in bed and asleep at 9 for the evening.

Spoke with David this morning. Don’s Place is off to a flying start. Won all three games last night.

Heavy date(s) tonight! With lesbian wives Donna and Terri. They are taking me out to dinner. Donna is a concierge. She has a ton of Hogfish free cards.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook. Off to a flying start. Three weeks so far. A learning and adjusting activity. My viewers already exceed my beloved blog dramatically. By 300-400 percent. Amazing! Mostly a different group. Interesting.

A new play opens next week at the Key West Theater. 129 Miles From Walmart. The purpose of the title is to state unequivocally there is no Walmart for 129 miles. Suggesting Key West is a different place. It is. Like nowhere else.

Sessions now Attorney General. Not even  two weeks. Doing damage already.

The transgenders one issue.

Private prisons another.

The Obama administration ordered private prisons to be phased out. Maltreated prisoners, costly, no dollar savings, etc. Yesterday, Sessions ordained private prisons would continue. His reason, the federal government would need additional jail space in the future. For what? Immigration detainees?

Interestingly, an increase in jail population occurred beginning with Reagan. Population up 78 percent under Reagan. Fifty six percent under Clinton. Thirty two percent under Bush 2.

Finally dropped under Obama. Increase limited to 5 percent.

Staying with reversals under the Trump administration, the CIA was ordered this week to halt support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria. Does this mean we are on our way to joining with Putin in support of Assad?

CPAC interesting yesterday. Bannon in the forefront. Openly expressed his view that it was not establishment change in the U.S. alone he sought, it was world wide. The guy is dangerous!

Back in November in the New York Times, Bannon was compared to Lenin. Lenin sought the overthrow of existing government. Took a while. However, his philosophy finally succeeded. Bannon wants to accomplish the same thing.

I read somewhere that Cheney was Mother Teresa compared to Bannon.

Trump is on TV speaking before CPAC as I write. He is with his own. They are cheering his every thought. He is glowing in the adulation.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A GOOD MAN GONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where is it today?

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

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

Called Buonasera Venezia. Translated, Good Evening Venice.

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

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

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

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

A big evening ahead. Dinner with Liz.

Enjoy your day!

SYRACUSE BEATS #6 FLORIDA STATE

So many matters of importance occurred in the last 24 hours. Trump, immigration/refugee ban, draining the swamp, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc.

For me, the most important was Syracuse defeating Florida State 82-72. Florida State ranked #6, Syracuse unranked. A big victory. Students rushed the floor in excitement.

I was alone watching the game from the comfort of my easy chair. I shouted out a GREAT! at the end of the game. No one heard me. I was like the tree falling in the forest. No one hears it.

Worked on rewriting one chapter in Growing Up Italian. Sunday Dinner. A great family time!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fund raiser yesterday. A bocce fundraiser. Excellent attendance. Many who had never played bocce. I served as teacher to two novice sisters from Little Torch Key.

Who would have thought bocce could serve as a fundraiser? Giorgio did. He is to be complimented.

Cold continues. Sixty three during the evening. The high today only 67. Rain big time off and on. Winds 20-30 mph. White caps visible in the ocean. A gray day expected.

Two Civil War events on tap this week. Described as Living History events.

One in the Palm Garden of the Key West Library. Thursday from 11-3. All kinds of information and artifacts re the Civil War.

The other at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Friday and Saturday. Part of Civil War Heritage Days. A mid 1860s encampment.

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven was published this day in 1845.

Remember Goodnight Irene, If I Had a Hammer, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, and Blowin’ In the Wind?

Peter, Paul and Mary. Hits they sang.

Peter, Paul and Mary did not write the music they sang. They did make the tunes winners, however. Even Bob Dylan benefited. It is said the vocal group made Dylan’s revolution possible. Blowin’ In the Wind was one of them.

Andrew Jackson was our Nation’s first populist President. Trump is a populist President. Trump and many of his followers compare Trump to Jackson.

In 1834, there was a labor dispute. Workers on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The workers were rebelling because of persistent poor working conditions and low pay. The workers consisted of Irish, German, Dutch and blacks.

Jackson sent in federal troops to quell the disturbance. It was the first time a President had ever done so.

Trump has not sent federal troops anywhere. Not yet. He could in the future. Recall this past week his observations re Chicago, carnage, murders, etc. He suggested the Federal government might have to go in if things did not get better. The National Guard?

Trump’s handling of the immigration/refugee situation yesterday reflects a Jackson type mentality. Overbearing, overwhelming.

A further comment re the immigration/refugee order. Seven countries were named. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Not one terrorist from the seven named nations has ever performed a terrorist act in the United States.

Whereas, Saudi Arabia has. Seventeen or eighteen of the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Saudi Arabia not listed in the order. Oil, money the reasons? Whatever, the Saudi’s have had their heads up our asses for years. One arm around our shoulders, the other in our back pocket.

One more Trump issue.

He claimed during the campaign that he was going to drain the swamp. Get rid of lobbyists who come directly from government and end up working for lobbying groups that require government favors. A five year ban.

Trump’s order refers to administration officials. I do not know what administration officials refers to. Merely his immediate White House staff? Does it extend to Congress and the military?

I did a little digging. Could not come up with the answer.

Congressmen eat big when they move from the hallowed walls of government to working for lobbying groups. Recall Eric Cantor who was defeated in a Republican primary four years ago. He immediately was hired by a lobbying group. Starting salary $3.4 million a year. He did not even finish his term. He resigned his seat soon after the election and went to work in the private sector.

Our generals and admirals likewise benefit. Eisenhower warned us to beware of the military-industrial complex. They hire the retired military at huge dollars who then go back to their still in the service friends and work out contracts generous to the military manufacturer/producer.

Yes, the honeymoon is over. I gave Trump a week before criticizing him. I wanted to wait longer. He is our president. Give him a chance.

I figured three to six months. No way where Trump is concerned. He is a dynamo. He has already done more in his first week than any other President. More does not necessarily mean good, however.

He is not qualified for the position. He is a trouble maker.

I worry.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIEND PACKED CHART ROOM

The Chart Room last night was mostly friends. Some old, some recent, some new.

I walked into John, Sheila, Jean and Joe, Tom and Clare, Nanette and Jean Louis. Later, David, Anna and Everett, and Paul.

Sheila, the love of my life. Always happy. Joe and Jean smiling and chatting. Waiting for the Alabama game saturday. Jean will jump off a building should Alabama lose.

Tom and Clare from Aqua a couple of weeks ago. Tom a retired lawyer. Wife Clare, a former teacher and now PhD statistician. Tom and Clare were with friends from Florida’s New Port Richey. Nanette and Jean-Louis.

Nanette a retired middle school principal. Jean-Louis an energy consultant.

Nanette brought to mind a Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy musical film from the 1930s. No, No, Nanette.

Chatted a bit with everyone. I was waiting for Paul. I met Paul at Giorgio’s home the night some of us watched the Michigan game last week. Paul is retired Naval Intelligence. A good time to talk with Paul in view of the intelligence political items on the front burner in Washington. I was not disappointed in our talk. Enlightening.

Saw David at the end of the bar as I was paying the bill. Seated next to him were Anna and Everett from monday night at Aqua. Their boat named Anna Cabana. Nice people.

David, Anna and David Alabama fans also.

Headed home. Stopped at Roostica on the way for lemoncello wings. Lucked out. Sat next to a bocce opponent. His name escapes me. A tough adversary. He loved to roll first. Long. Ninety nine percent of the time, his ball was right on the polina or mere inches away.

Things that surprise me. The number of people familiar with smelts. I wrote about smelts yesterday. My favorite Christmas fish. Many responded. Many aware of smelts. I received an education re where they are available to be harvested. One spot is western New York State. I did not know.

One of yesterday’s items that I did not have room to get to involved Richard Nixon. On January 4, 1974, Nixon refused to hand over tapes subpoenaed by the Watergate Committee. It was the beginning of the end for Nixon. He resigned eight months later.

Another item held over to today involves the Marathon Turtle Hospital. A unique rare facility.

Fifteen juvenile turtles were air lifted from Cape Cod to Marathon. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. An endangered species.

The baby turtles had pneumonia. Brought on from cold Cape Cod waters. Weighed anywhere from 2-10 pounds.

Today in Keys History carries a photograph of the ground breaking for a Masonic Temple in July 1950. The building today The Studios of Key West.

A three story building. Where did the Masons go? Is there a formal Masonic Temple in Key West somewhere else? I don’t think so. Surprising.

William Hackley day. On this date in 1856, he was up and raring to go at 7 in the morning. Rain coming in  from the northwest. Hackley wrote, “It is so dark now in the office that I can scarcely see to write.”

No electricity in those days. Everything by candle light, if possible.

Candle light tough to work by. I recall one of the Key West hurricanes where I was stuck in the house for several days without electricity. Candles only. To this day, I cannot understand how Lincoln studied law by candle light. Reading tough!

Skaneateles restaurateur Dan Reardon back in town. A snowbird. Two to three months a year. A die hard Syracuse fan. We will be watching some games together.

Syracuse played Miami last night. Syracuse won 70-55. Game not televised.

I am pleased Syracuse won the game and in good stead. Miami came into the game 11-2, Syracuse 8-6. News reports state Syracuse’s fabled defense finally worked, the players crashed the boards and their offense was effective.

Pitt saturday at noon.

Roger Kostmayer is a Key West resident. I have never met him. However from his letters to the editor have come to know him. I would describe him a walking conscience.

In a recent letter to KONK E-Blast, he wrote: “Without warning or debate, in the dark of the night behind closed doors, the Republican caucus effectively killed the Office of Congressional Ethics, an act of extraordinary hypocrisy.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GATO HOUSE GHOSTS

Key West is home to many ghosts. Key Westers take the ghostly viewings amusingly but seriously.

One of the ghost stories involves the Gato House aka Casa Gato. Located at 1209 Virginia Street. People residing there.

What follows is my installment 12 derived based on a Key West Rotary history.

The Gato House ghost story begins for our purposes with the Key West Rotary luncheon June 2, 1932. The Rotary and Ladies of St. Paul’s Church were involved with the luncheon. The proceeds were donated to the Mercedes Hospital. The Mercedes hospital today the Gato House located at 1209 Virginia Street.

The Gato House was built by one of Key West’s early leading citizens. Eduardo H. Gato. A Cuban immigrant who made his fortune in the cigar business.

He built his Key West home at an end of the island facing the ocean. He purchased the lot in 1887.  Construction was completed in 1890. He brought carpenters from Cuba to build the house.

In 1911, Gato permitted a philanthropic group of Cuban residents to use the building as a hospital for indigents. Gato and his family no longer resided in the house.

Gato had one request. He wanted the hospital named in honor of his wife Mercedes. So done. The hospital was named Casa de la Pobre Mercedes Hospital. Referred to as Mercedes Hospital.

In 1919, Gato sold the property to the City of Key West. He retained title to the building itself. The property sold to the City later became Bayview Park.

The building was still being operated as the Mercedes Hospital. It was moved to its present location at 1209 Virginia Street. Same name, different address.

The Mercedes Hospital was run most of its years by Maria Valdez de Gustens. Addressed as Mother Gustens. Described by all as an angel and saint.

The Mercedes Hospital continued till some time around the beginning of World War II when it closed.

The former Mercedes Hospital  in due course became an apartment house. Commonly referred to as the Gato House. In the interim between being the Mercedes Hospital and an apartment house, the building was empty, windows broken. The rear of building became a popular place for cockfights to be held.

Since becoming an apartment house, it has acquired an additional description. A ghost house.

Jan Stefano was residing in one of the apartments. Night time. She was in bed sleeping with her boy friend. She felt someone touching her wrist. She woke immediately.

She observed a short stout woman at her bedside. Her hair in a bun. Wearing a gray dress with long sleeves and a high collar. Standing next to the woman was a man. The woman appeared to be in charge. Stefano thought the woman was taking her pulse. When she turned to wake her boyfriend, the ghosts disappeared.

Whether the ghosts have been sighted since, I have not been able to ascertain.

Most Conchs and long time Key Westers believe the event occurred and that Mother Gustens walks the house looking after its occupants.

My yesterday…..

Lazy. Some research and writing. Sloan back from Europe. We worked together in the afternoon.

The evening spent at Berlin’s with Liz. An enjoyable and interesting companion.

Bria her usual beautiful self.

I am still dieting. It will be one week tomorrow morning. No cheating yet. Ordered a 2 pound Maine lobster boiled. No vegetables. Only the lobster.

No drinking, either. It was water for me.

I had checked a calorie counter before going out for dinner. A 2 pound lobster has negligible calories.

One problem. I was hungry after consuming the lobster. Most of the 2 pounds is in the shell.

Berlin’s packed. Really packed. Waiting for tables inside A&B Lobster House. Monied people. Otherwise, they would not be able to afford the boats they race and the crews required to maintain them.

Today is the last day of the Powerboatboat races. If you have not seen, go! An experience!

This morning’s Key West Citizen listed voting figures. One impressed me. Monroe County consists  primarily of the Keys. 79.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots. A big number! Upstate New York my home for 70 years. Never anything near that percentage voted.

Syracuse beat yesterday by North Carolina State. 35-20. Not an excuse. Our star quarterback Eric Dungey could not play because of injuries. I suspect Syracuse would have won if he had.

The balance of the season does not look good. Even if Dungey is able to play. Our last two opponents are Florida State and Pittsburgh.

Next Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Several Key West transgenders died this past year. Some suicides. The reason the day is one of remembrance.

Enjoy your Sunday!