CASA ANTIGUA / KEY WEST ROOM ESCAPE

The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!

 

SHOCKING NUMBERS

Tom Keller is a snow bird who owns a home in Key West. We are Chart Room friends.

He e-mailed me an article this morning from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The opinion/commentary had to do with raises in the minimum wage and robots. Written by former CEO of CKE Restaurants Andy Puzder.

The robot portion is interesting in itself. However, it is the job numbers set forth which motivate my comment here.

The numbers refer to entry level jobs.

A significant number of young people (20-24) are without work. Blacks lead. Forty percent in Chicago and 30 percent in New York and Los Angeles.

White men, 10 percent in all areas reported.

Nationally, black men 24.1 percent and whites 16-19 percent.

My question concerns 10 years from now. What will the numbers be? I suspect higher. How can they not be with the increasing wave of robots that will be replacing human employees.

Spent more time than normal yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. New Trump news kept breaking. I was required to reset, rearrange and add topics for the show.

Trump had a big day. The gassing in Syria and the missile launching in North Korea. Tied in with Tillerson’s comments.

I added the preceding to my Trump comments which already included Trump seeking out bad guys as friends as opposed to countries that have been our friends for generations, Trump’s NAFTA reversal based on oil industry pressures, the Pentagon announcing the number of troops on the ground in Syria and Iraq henceforth secret, and young Kushner over his head and overloaded.

A lot of Trump.

Someone recently wrote a very negative comment about this blog. A free country. So be it. One of his items hit a soft spot. Harry Truman. The writer suggested I write too much about Truman.

I do. And I should. Truman is as much a part of Key West as Hemingway.

Truman loved Key West and Key West loves him to this day. He is remembered all over the island. From The Little White House to Truman Annex to the Harry Truman look a like who walks around certain public events to public discussions based on his life, etc.

Truman spent 175 days vacationing in Key West spread over 11 trips.

Which brings me to a today Truman observation. Truman and wife Bess left Key West this day in 1969. The end of a two week visit.

His last.

Bum Farto, where are you? Farto the Key West Fire Chief convicted of drug dealing.

He was due in court this day in 1976 for sentencing. Never showed up. Never seen since.

The suspicion is he was the victim of a Jimmy Hoffa ending.

The U.S. had a run of police shooting blacks. The U.S. Attorney’s Office under Obama got involved. Investigated the major cities having a frequency of such problems. After two years of investigation and discussion among the feds, mayors and police chiefs, solutions in writing are being arrived at. Called Consent Decrees. Federal officials will oversee actions by local police till the problem has worked itself out.

Till yesterday. Trump stuck his nose in.

Trump is pro-police. Does that make him anti-black? I don’t know. In any event, Attorney General Sessions’  people appeared in Federal Court in Baltimore yesterday asking the Court for a 90 day delay in signing the Consent Decree. The reason to be sure the Consent Decree did not work against Trump’s goal of promoting officers and morale while fighting violent crime.

I would assume shooting unarmed blacks a violent crime.

Sessions a bigot from day one. He as well as Trump not qualified for the positions they hold.

Enjoy your day!

BERLIN’S WITH DIANA

An interesting dinner with Diana Millikan last night. At Berlin’s.

I have known Diana three years. Only met her face to face two times. each for dinner. Last night being the second. We communicate via e-mail.

I find her intelligent and interesting. She has a problem, however. Her mind moves faster than her lips. Or, vice versa. A task to keep up with her some times.

Diana had an agenda. A list of items she wanted to cover with me. I am not sure we got to them all. However, I was tired at the end.

One of the things discussed is a book we hope to do together. Famous Key West buildings/structures of old. Diana’s responsibility to search out old photos and arrange them. Mine to write a brief narrative beneath each.

A famous whore house in the 1930s, a building where the shrimp catch was processed in 1900, the Rose Tattoo House, the public mortuary where bodies were left on ice, etc.

The past.

On this day in 1952, Ernest Hemingway completed writing The Old Man and The Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day saying the book was finished and he thought it was the best writing he had ever done.

Bum Farto. His name as familiar in Key West as Ernest Hemingway and Harry Truman.

Farto was the Key West Fire Chief. A popular figure. He had been convicted in February 1976 of drug charges. Jail a certainty.

On this day in 1976, Farto was reported missing by his wife. Never to be found again.

“Where is Bum Farto” became an immediate saying and continues to this day. An integral part of Key West history.

How did the Where is Bum Farto question come into being? From T-shirt sales. Even back then, T-shirts a Key West money maker. A vendor printed T-shirts with the saying.

William Hackley. 1856. His wife Matilda had need of dental services. A Dr. Walton accompanied Hackley home that day. The dentist plugged three of Matilda’s teeth and commenced Aleltas.

What were plugging and Aleltas?

Plugging a dental word. If the decayed part of the tooth was smaller at its orifice than internally, the hole could be plugged. Plugging arrested the disease and preserved the tooth for years.

I find it hard to believe. Closing up the hole without removing the decay?

Aleltas a problem for me. Could not find a word so spelled. The closest and referable to dentistry is Alertas. I could not find a definition for Alertas. If any of you do, let me know what it is.

Did two Facebook Go Live videos yesterday. One about visas, the other robotic soldiers.

An American traveling in Europe has it made. Move from country to country as if back home and going from one state to another. No stopping, show me your papers, etc.

The Eurounion is not happy with what Trump plans to do with regard to limiting/denying access to certain persons. By voice vote this past week, the Eurounion decided to require Americans to obtain visas before traveling through their countries. Goes into effect in two months.

Going to be a pain in the ass! Show me your papers! Stand in long lines to have them examined!

The Euorunion  nations fighting back against Trump’s move to further vett those entering our country.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech at 4 today. Both teams have the same number of wins and losses. Georgia Tech beat Syracuse three weeks ago.

The Vegas line has Syracuse an 8.5 point victor. I hope so. Syracuse needs to win to be seriously considered for the big tournament a couple of weeks away.

I will be watching the game at Jack Flats with Dee. Dinner afterwards at Antonia’s or Martin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

JIMMY HOFFA AND BUM FARTO…..WHERE ARE YOU?

On this day in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Five weeks later on September 9, 1975, Key West’s Bum Farto disappeared. No relationship between the two.

Hoffa had been a prominent union leader. It is thought organized crime had a hand in his disappearance.

Farto was Key West’s Fire Chief. He had been arrested for selling cocaine from fire stations under his jurisdiction.

Both have not been heard from since their disappearances. Safe to say, they probably never will be heard from. Some day if we are lucky, we may hear the how and why of their disappearances.

Yesterday afternoon was spent researching this week’s KONK Life column. I have not decided on the title yet. The subject matter is the treatment of homosexuals in Germany. For a period of 84 years. Beginning in 1871 and ending in 1985.

Special emphasis given to Hitler’s treatment of gays. Jews were gassed. Though in significantly lesser numbers, homosexuals maltreated also. Castrated.

I will write the column this afternoon.

Last night was dinner at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Bobby Nesbitt time, of course. Bobby waved me over. He laughingly told me how much he enjoyed the Bagel column.

I was looking for a change of pace article last week. Can’t write about heavy stuff all the time. Bagels were it. As opposed to this week’s column which will involve the horrendous treatment of homosexuals in Germany. Especially, Hitler’s Germany.

Terri still good. Actually as if nothing happened to her this past week. A heart attack last Tuesday. God love her!

Enjoy your Sunday!

VILLANOVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the greatest Final Four basketball games last night. Villanova beating North Carolina 77-74.

The last 13.5 seconds everything! An off balance long 3 by North Carolina to tie the game. A 3 pointer attempt by Villanova with 4.7 seconds left. The ball scoring at the buzzer. Villanova the winner!

I stayed up late watching the game. Exciting!

Worked on tonight’s blog talk radio show yesterday afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting topics. Starting of course with some Final Four basketball. Including my Syracuse.

Then a new Smell Dating website, this week’s KONK Life column re the failure of education in the U.S., the gentleman’s A, New York City taxi drivers ejaculating on passengers.

Also, Saudi Arabia to execute homosexuals, Trump and abortion, GMO labeling battle continues, millionaires leaving France in fear of Muslims, Austin now requiring kids’ lemonade stands to be licensed, etc., a hospice CEO telling nurses to hasten the deaths of patients, and more.

Join me at 9 tonight my time. Fast moving and exciting. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Began last night with an early repast at Martin’s Happy Hour. Brie, tuna, scallops, and stone crabs. Returned home ready to watch the game.

This morning’s Key West Citizen’s This Date in History carried three items worthy of mention.

The first concerns Katherine Harris. Florida Secretary of State during the Bush-Gore recount. She was born this date in 1957. I have always thought she did not play fair during the recount.

Key West Fire Chief Bum Farto was to appear in court this date in 1976 to be sentenced for drug dealing. He never showed up. Disappeared. Never to be seen again. A Jimmy Hoffa scenario?

Key West loves Harry Truman and Harry Truman loved Key West. On this date in 1969, Harry and Bess left Key West for the final time. Their last Key West vacation.

Enjoy your day!

BUM FARTO…..WHERE ARE YOU?

Joseph “Bum” Farto. The Jimmy Hoffa of Key West.

Farto was the Key West Fire Chief. He was under investigation for selling cocaine out of the fire stations and other matters.

Forty years ago today, Farto left home in his car. He did not get far. Two cars blocked his car in. One in front and one in the rear. Men in suits and ties jumped out, dragged Farto from his car to one of theirs. The two cars drove away.

Farto has neither been seen nor heard from since.

Bum Farto, where are you?

Today another big one for another reason in Key West history. The Beatles were here!

It was September 9, 1956. The Beatles plane was heading to  somewhere in north Florida for a show. Hurricane Dora got in the way. The plane was sidetracked to Key West. The Beatles spent two days at the Key Wester Motel on South Roosevelt Boulevard.

People went crazy! Understandably so.

The Beatles spent time swimming in the motel pool.

There is a story that following their departure, people were showing up at the pool and taking small amounts of the water out in bottles. Beatles holy water.

September 9 a big day in history for another reason. Elvis Presley!

It was 1956. Presley appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember watching his appearance. The whole country was watching to see the new musical dynamo.

We could only see Presley from the waist up. His swaying hips were not permitted to be shown. Considered too erogenous at the time.

It was Harpoon Harry’s for a late breakfast yesterday. The best eggs in Key West!

Then to Publix to shop. Something going on at Publix besides renovations. This is the second visit in a row were there were not enough checkout counters open. Only three yesterday. Which meant waiting in long lines.

I hope Publix is not trying to make an extra buck by having customers wait. Waiting in line to check out was common years ago. Not today.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I hit big on two very current problems. Kim Davis and the European immigration crisis.

Kim Davis on TV yesterday appeared to be a prophet talking to God…..A He is coming look. Kim standing next to Mike Huckabee with her arms extended up reaching to the sky. Her lips moving.

The lady is enjoying her 15 minutes. Huckabee and Cruz, who was in the crowd, are using this woman for their own selfish reasons.

Sick.

Woe as to what is coming in Europe! Merkel says all European nations must take these hundreds of thousands in. Makes sense. Charity and morality involved.

Few however are considering the impact on their respective countries. How do we feed and clothe them? Schools will be overloaded. Free medical will kick in. Where will they live? Will there be enough jobs?

Eventually the face of each nation will change. The immigrant impact will be dramatic.

I wanted to watch Stephen Colbert last night. Never made it. Eleven thirty too late for me.

Womenfest begins tomorrow. One of the best Key West events. The ladies and their friends elevate fun to another level. Hit the bars in the evening and you will understand.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter one and all! To those not Christian, Happy what ever your holiday. Such as Passover. And to those neither Christian nor Jewish, a Happy Day to you!

When my children were young, I started a family tradition. An Easter Sunday egg hunt. It was for the children. Then their children. Now for the two young ones left. Robert and Ally.

There came a time in between when the children were no longer young and the grandchildren not yet on the scene. We kept the tradition going. The older people did the searching. The first participants were my mother and father. One year, my former wife and I did the scurrying around searching.

This morning I have to be at Lisa’s at 9. For the Easter egg hunt!

The tradition is more than 50 years old.

Great basketball last night! Kentucky was not the better team on the floor. Especially in the last 5 minutes. Wisconsin deserved to win. Kentucky has nothing to be ashamed of. They had a hell of a year!

Monday night, Duke/Kentucky. I suspect it will be one of the best games ever.

On this day in 1969, President Truman and his wife Bess left Key West for the last time. The President’s 11th visit. The day he left was the 175th one he had been in Key West.

Where are you Bum Farto? When I first saw the statement many years ago, I thought it was a joke. Bum Farto? Who would have a name like that?

Bum Farto was at one time the Key West Fire Chief. He was convicted on a drug charge in 1976. He failed to show up in court for sentencing. He has neither been seen nor heard from since.

Enjoy this holiday Sunday!