I attended the monthly meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Italy last night at the Bottle Cap. Always enjoyable. Good food, good people. Interesting conversations.

Giorgi sponsored me in the club. He was elected President last night.

I sat with Paul, Sharon and Donna.

A new member and first timer was a woman whose name I cannot recall. Sorry. She recently arrived from Italy. Her family has been in the gelato business for years. Like three generations. In Italy. A store recently opened in Key West.

A daughter in Key West. She is managing the store for her father.

The family was not happy with the machinery used to make gelato which was available in the U.S. She brought family machinery with her.

The new store is called Gelateria Nuovolfiore Key West. Address 407 e Front Street.

She brought samples for us to enjoy. All terrific!

I have been dieting three weeks. Cheated last night. Big time. Ate everything. Did not feel guilty at all.

Edward Toppino is a Key West icon. A giant. Today around 90 years old. He is a member.

His father built US 1. For real. Ed got into the business. Today his sons and grandsons. Ed a neighbor. Lives around the corner from me.

Ed told us about the 1935 hurricane and its impact on US 1. The hurricane was a 5 and one of the worst to hit the lower keys. Certain railroad bridges down or broke. The road in bad shape. If my memory is correct, over 400 dead.

Ed spoke about some of the railroad bridges resupported and used for the highway. The difficulties in building the highway at that point.

One of the problems was where to live. Tents used prior to the hurricane. Ed’s father built a motel in Marathon to house his family and some of his employees.

The railroad, Flagler Railroad, died with the hurricane. Flagler’s dream no more. The motel in Marathon still stands.

Stopped at the Chart Room afterwards. John off. A new female bartender. She said she would be working four nights.

Friend Ken at the bar. He is in and out of Key West. Leaves tomorrow. Will return in a month.

Met Mark and Jim. From outside Flint, Michigan. Interesting conversation.

Spent the afternoon listening to Trump and Tillerson. I fear they are leading us into a war.

Bocce tonight, depending on the weather. Has been pouring big time all morning. May clear up. If it does soon, the courts will dry by bocce time.

Conch Republic Days begin friday. Seven at Schooner Wharf Bar. A short exciting parade. Lively costumes. Shell Blowing Contest.

The famed commentator now dead Charles Kuralt was a frequent visitor to Key West. Schooner Wharf was his favorite place. He referred to it as the “… of the universe.”

Sarin gas has been in the news since Assad bombed his people with it. Sean Spicer got sarin gas and Hitler screwed up two days ago. The news has been following his mea culpas.

No one has mentioned that Hitler was in fact involved with sarin gas. The Nazis developed it. Then stockpiled it. Hitler refused to use it against the Allies.

The gas used in the death chambers was not sarin.

I spoke of Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions and his Civil War Confederate namesake General P. C. T. Beauregard yesterday.

A follow up re the General.

The General bombarded Fort Sumter for 33 hours. The Union force was not prepared for the battle. Little ammunition, cannons, food, etc. The Union surrendered.

Turns out Beauregard was a gentleman. He did not take the Union forces and contractors working on the fort prisoner. He permitted them to leave and march north.

There were 118 military and 43 construction workers. Not one had sustained an injury during the fight. The South lost a dog during the battle. Plus one soldier who was killed by an accidental explosion after the battle.

Robot, robots, robots! They are everywhere! Moving in on everything we do.

Today, chess. An expert chess team played two robots. The robots won most of the matches.

Enjoy your day!



I have attended many club meetings over the years. I cannot recall the last time a meeting was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Till last night.

I attended my first meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. It was held at Bottle Cap. The business portion of the meeting began with a prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

My recollection is that prayer is no longer permitted to start the school day. As to the Pledge of Allegiance, some States require it, some have made it optional, some have no law re the issue.

I had no problem with the prayer and Pledge at the meeting. Actually, it felt good to do both again at the beginning of an event. Days of my youth.

The Sons and Daughters are having a fundraiser January 28. Together with the Key West Wildlife Center. The Sons and Daughters portion is to benefit their scholarship fund.

The fundraiser a big deal. A large crowd anticipated. Between 100-200.

It is a bocce fundraiser. Will be held at the Key West bocce courts from 5:30-9:30. New and experienced players welcome. Bocce teachers will work the courts where the newbies will be playing. Hamburgers and hot dogs. Total cost $20.

Following the meeting, I met Barb at the outside bar at La Te Da for dinner. It was crispy duck for me. Meat loaf for Barbara.

This evening’s meal will be exceptional. Liz is having a small dinner party. The woman can cook!

I was looking for something in the afternoon. Looked everywhere, but my desk. My desk a mess. Five years since I have cleaned and rearranged it. Piles of papers here and there.

I had no choice. Had to clean the desk top. Stored some papers in filing cabinets. Threw others out. Did not find what I was looking for.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness so I guess the effort was not without some benefit.

I have referred to Victor at the Chart Room many times as having an exceptional mind. He is a philosopher of sorts. Reads heavy philosophical books.

On my first trip to Greece several years ago, he gave me The Law by Frederic Bastiat to read on the trip.

I started reading it on the first leg of the flight to Atlanta. Stopped after 30 pages. The material too heavy for me.

I thought I left the book on the plane when I arrived in Atlanta. Apologized to Victor on my return. We occasionally joke about it, the book being forgotten on the plane, the material being too heavy for me.

Guess what? I found the book yesterday. It was on my desk. Under a good ten inches of papers. I have no recollection of seeing the book once I departed the plane in Atlanta.

Can’t wait to return the book to Victor. My conscience will finally be clear.

The cross walk problems on North Roosevelt Boulevard appear to be coming to resolution. There are six cross walks. The State says three will be eliminated. Two will have pedestrian activated signals. Nothing required to the remaining one.

Corrections not yet final. Nothing ever is when dealing with the government. The State wants to check their traffic figures once more before finalizing the corrections.

Another year!

Today In Keys History notes that in 1952, 250 shrimp trawlers operated out of Key west. Each averaged a catch of 2,500 shrimp a day.

No more. Shrimp primarily harvested somewhere else today. Only a few shrimp boats remain in the Key West area.

I made mention in my tuesday podcast of the 1951 hit song Shrimp Boats: Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight. / Shrimp boats is a-comin’ /there’s dancing tonight.

Shrimp boats was introductory to my dissertation re robots. Today concerning shrimp fishing itself.

Political correctness continues to go a step too far.

Students at the University of London’s School of Oriental and Asian studies want white philosophers eliminated from their text books. Their position being only African and Asian philosophers should be studied. The students’ purpose “to decolonize” the “white institution.”

They wish to be rid of Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon responded to the request: “There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some would like it to have been.”

Good for you, Vice-chancellor Seldon! Administration hierarchy in the United States are  capitulating to similar type requests by students. Like remove campus statues of white heroes and replace them with African-Americans.

Enjoy your day!