…..ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE

In my other life as an attorney, I had a case where my client’s big old tree was hanging over the neighbor’s property, roots causing his driveway to heave a bit, etc.

The neighbor wanted the tree removed. The heaving driveway was a good argument. My client was destined to lose.

Counsel were standing alone before the Bench. No jury. Merely argument.

Opposing counsel made a good argument why the tree should come down. I knew before hand such would be the case.

When preparing opposing papers, I recalled Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The closing stanza…..Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.

The lines were the basis of my argument. With three changes. I deleted the word “Poems” and replaced it with “Arguments.” I deleted “God” and replaced it with “Judge.” I deleted the word “make” and replaced it with “save.”

The new wording rhymed the same however…..Arguments are made by fools like me, / But only a Judge can save a tree.

I won. The tree survived. Joyce Kilmer the one who actually saved the tree.

Why Joyce Kilmer’s Trees this morning.

There is a 100 year old mahogany tree on Simonton. Across from the Gato Building. A huge branch hangs over the street. The branch has never been a problem. Until recently. The over hanging branch and a truck came into contact.

The truck had its roof ripped off. The truck the legal height. The branch illegal. Too low. No problem for 100 years. Now a problem. Cost Key West or its insurance company $9,000 for repairs to the truck.

Key West has a Tree Commission. The Commission wanted to cut the tree down. The public went crazy. Shouted a loud no!

The tree was saved. Legally it should have been cut down. However the public won out. A sign is going to be erected warning of the low hanging branch.

A popular result. One that will not prevent another accident from occurring, however. The City’s liability will then be two-fold.

The Kiss-In last night in front of the Custom House was a gigantic success. As reflected in the large front page photo in this morning’s Key West Citizen. The kissing looked good. Hundreds. Wish I could have been there. With a lady to kiss, of course.

My blog talk radio show was not aired last night. I could not connect with the broadcasting studio. Sloan tried also. She failed. We assume some technical problem at the studio end. I should know this morning. My apologies to all who tried to listen.

Had I known there would be technical difficulties, I would have been at the Kiss-In and later at Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol.

Dee called yesterday and invited me to Valentine’s Day dinner as her guest. The podcast show obviously interfered. We are scheduled to do it tonight. I look forward to being wined and dined by a much younger lady.

The Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor this date in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed.

In March, a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry was held in Key West. At the newly constructed Custom House. Then a federal building.

One month later in April, the U.S. invaded Cuba. The Spanish-American War began.

Loud, proud, patriotic marching music is always tied to John Phillip Sousa.  Tunes like Stars and Stripes Forever.

Sousa and his family arrived this date in 1925 from Havana. They checked into the Casa Marina where they were to spend a few days vacationing.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PRESIDENT CARTER’S KEYS VISITS

Happy New Year! As with practice safe sex, practice a safe evening. Drinking and driving don’t go together tonight or any night.

Most are aware Harry Truman visited Key West many times. His favorite relaxation venue. Few are aware that Jimmy Carter has been visiting the Keys annually for years. To welcome the New Year. Also, to enjoy a vacation.

I first became aware of Carter and his wife Rosalyn’s visits some 15 years ago. I was visiting Howard Livingston at his Summerland home. He made mention that Carter was staying down the road with friends. Mentioned it to me again the next year.

Carter is here for what has become a traditional post Christmas vacation. This time with an entourage. Carter, wife Rosalyn, one grandchild, ten great grandchildren, and other family members. Some 40 people.

I doubt they are staying with friends with such a large group. However, they are somewhere in the Keys this week.

As evidenced by the story and photos of Carter and some of the great grandkids in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Carter and family were at the Marathon Turtle Hospital. He and the great grandkids helped return rehabilitated loggerhead turtle Salty to the ocean yesterday.

Orange Bowl party last night. At Sharon and Giorgi’s home.

Stan a Michigan grad. An enthusiastic one. We watched the game together in his honor.

Unfortunately, Michigan lost by one point to Florida State. 33-32. Michigan played poorly in the first half. Came roaring back in the second half. The last few minutes compared to the final minutes of a pro game.

In addition to those already mentioned, the group consisted of Donna and Bob, Karon, Matt Babich and fiancée, and Paul.

Typical separation of the sexes. The ladies watched in the living room, the men in the den.

Food outstanding! Sharon, the gracious hostess, had prepared well!

I met Paul for the first time. A retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. We spent quite a while together. Even missed part of the second half of the game. My inquiring mind enjoyed his professional experiences. He performed his professional tasks on the ground, not from a Washington office.

I learned a lot from Paul. An interesting man. I suspect we will get together again for a longer chat.

I have avoided going out New Year’s Eve for several years. Primary problem parking. I prefer remaining home in bed watching the ball fall in New York City and Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street on CNN.

Four drops tonight. Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, La Te Da and the Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. A huge crowd at each venue. Bodies pressed together. By 12:15, the crowd gone. Into the bars or home.

A fun experience. I will do it again sometime when I have transportation to and back.

Dachshund Walk at noon today. Pets dressed for the occasion. Parade begins at Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead.

The Casa Marina Hotel opened this day in 1920. A Henry Flagler enterprise. Still standing and continues to be one of Key’s West’s most beautiful places to stay. The pool and beach atmosphere outstanding.

My daughter Lori was married on the beach some 15 years ago precisely at sunset. It was figured to the minute. The sun broke the horizon as they said their I do’s.

Followed by a black tie reception.

A memorable event.

Everything seems to suggest a kumbaya situation developing between Trump and Putin. Do not rely on it.

On December 29, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a holiday message to President John Kennedy. He told Kennedy he looked forward to a threshold year. He further suggested steps be taken to liquidate centers of military danger.

Kennedy sent a cordial response. Wished the Premier a Happy New Year.

Both messages claimed cooperation one to the other in the coming year.

It was not to be.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. We were on the brink of war. I recall the time distinctly. I was a young practicing lawyer with a wife and four children. I feared war was forthcoming. The resolution boiled down to who would blink first, if at all. Fortunately, Khrushchev did.

What happens if Putin tests Trump? Who will blink first, if at all?

Again, a safe and happy New Year!

 

MOE’S WAY

Moe Mosher recently died. A Key West icon. Moe was a barber and entrepreneur. One of the founders of Historic Tours of America.

Moe’s barber shop was and still is on the alley running along side Antonia’s Restaurant. Next to the Cuban Coffee House. The building best described as a small white house. Front had an area with a rocking chair and reading materials next to it. Used by many.

Key West recently recognized the contributions Moe made. It has been decreed that henceforth the alley will be called Moe’s Way. A fitting tribute.

Moe a local figure of note. Julian Bond a national figure.

Julian Bond died yesterday. He was 75. A contemporary. I recall his exploits clearly. I was a young lawyer in the 1960s when Bond came upon the scene.

Bond was black. Initially a militant in the 1960s civil rights movement. He moved over to become a leader in the non-violent movement. He was anti-Vietnam. A very unpopular war. His concern was not only that we did not belong there. It was also that most of the American soldiers fighting and dying were blacks.

He was elected a Georgia State Senator. White Georgia was shocked. The Senate refused to seat him. The reasons given were he was an interloper (he would be a black in a white political body) and a rabble rouser.

Today, Bond’s life is a respected part of American history.

A big sunday for me! Work wise. It took me from 11 in morning to 5 in the afternoon to write this week’s KONK Life column. Actual writing time with revisions, rewrites, etc. It is the rewriting that takes time. I call it polishing the article.

The six hours required even though I had spent parts of friday and saturday researching the material. A lot of data involved. The primary reason it took so long to write. I had to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I titled the article Black Lives Matter / Play Tough. It ties together the Black Lives Matter group, George Soros, the Democratic Presidential campaign, and Nixon dirty tricks. Interesting and revealing. You will enjoy reading it. The column publishes wednesday.

I was able to catch the last hour of the PGA. Great golf! Whereas 20 years ago we had one Tiger Woods, today we have several. The new guys are good because Woods raised the standard. They are meeting that standard as Woods unfortunately fades into the sunset.

Dinner last night at Roostica. Becoming a usual sunday thing for me. It is the sunday special. Spaghetti with meatballs and sausage in a thick pork sauce. Just like grandmother and mother made. Love it!

Amanda was on of the ladies taking care of me. Amanda a lovely blond. Pregnant. We talked about her pregnancy. She is thrilled! Five months. Feels good. Excited. It’s a boy. Has his second name picked. After a grandfather. Does not have a first name yet.

I have to hustle. The anti-gravity treadmill awaits.

Enjoy your day!