BUBBA BUSTS

Bubbas are native born Key Westers. Also referred to as Conchs. A distinction. Those so born are proud of their heritage. Bubbas are also those who though not born in Key West have been residents a very long time and are deeply entwined in the business of the community.

On this day in 1985, the jury returned in a federal court criminal case involving 14 Bubbas. Twelve were found guilty. Involved were drugs.

The 1985 bust was not the only Bubba bust. There was one 10 years earlier in 1975 and another 10 years later in 1995. The feds would swoop down and make arrests.

The federal authorities in 1995 were concerned local authorities would reveal the investigation. The feds never advised local authorities of the investigation till arrests had actually been made.

The 1975 Bubba bust is best remembered.

James “Bum” Farto was Fire Chief. He was arrested and convicted of drug dealing. Following conviction, he disappeared on a trip to Miami. His car was found in a Latino neighborhood.

Bum Farto has never been found. A famous saying has developed over the years: Bum Farto Where are You? On tee shirts, etc. Farto has gained more notoriety in disappearing than if he had lived a calm routine life as Key West Fire Chief.

Tuesdays always quiet for me. I remain at home and fine tune my podcast to be delivered at 9 in the evening. The Show: Tuesday Talk with key West Lou.

Show went well last night. Love doing it! I sit back and vent. Share my feelings with everyone.

My numbers are increasing. I have national advertisers. Who would have believed!

Yesterday’s Rosanne Barr incident. ABC and Disney did the right thing. Costly, also. Not only for ABC and Disney. The many minions who worked the show, also. The little people. A hit show and their jobs lost.

Roseanne has a big mouth. Always has. Even 20 years ago. Would she have been as racist in her comments yesterday were it not for Donald Trump?

A President sets the moral tone for the country. The standard. Trump is a racist. Ergo, everyone else is entitled to be. He gives license to the Roseanne Barrs to be more vocal than they might have been.

This week’s KONK Life hits the stands at 5 this evening. My column this week: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday. One of the best columns I have written. Read it, if possible.

In May 1937, the Volkswagen was born. Hitler wanted a state owned automobile company that could produce a cheap car. An affordable vehicle for the masses.

Hitler achieved his goal. The Volkswagen. Cost under 1,000 Reich marks. $140 American money.

The German term for Volkswagen means “The people’s Car Company.”

Hitler’s concept got its start in 1937. The company produced few or no cars. Hitler needed tanks. The plant was converted to a tank making facility.

The U.S. is in a time of diminishing influence world wide. For this we have Donald Trump to thank.

An example being the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact. There was and is money to be made in and with Iran. China recognized this fact immediately. It was recently announced a Chinese investment firm is going to invest $2 billion in an oil refining plant in Iran.

China and Russia are looking for ways to invest in Iran.

On this day in 1431, Joan of Arc was martyred. She was burned at the stake. By decision of the Catholic Church.

Burning at the stake. A religious inspired death. Concerned and caring.

Not one of the Church’s finest moments.

Church and government do not mix. Like oil and water.

We have a problem today with religion. Evangelicals have become politicized. They support Trump regardless of his many wrongdoings. The Catholic Church also on occasion.

Not a healthy scenario.

Have to hustle. I have a late morning heart doctor appointment with Dr. McIvor. Routine.

Frequent doctoring a scourge for the elderly. Tiring. A pain in itself. Necessary, however. I am glad I am able to do it.

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!

PROFESSIONALISM AT ITS BEST

Pain an interesting thing. Activity limiting. Kept me home and down again yesterday.

I am still suffering. Getting better, however. I can now sit. Bed the problem. Can only lay in one position painless. Not my normal position. A small turn in bed and the shot of pain wakes me.

I watched the New England Patriots game yesterday. Tom Brady phenomenal. Professionalism at its best.

Tom Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft. Not in the first round as one would expect. Rather the sixth round. A cheap dollar pickup for the Patriots. He was the 199th person drafted that year.

Today, the hottest commodity in professional football. At age 40, he is still playing as if in his 20’s. His throws perfection.

When the day comes that he is no longer a player, Brady would like to be a U.S. Senator. A welcome addition to the present inepts in Washington.

Trust. A virtue not to be found in Washington.

A vote at noon today to lift the shut down. The vote based on an alleged deal made between McConnell and the Democrats: Support a continuing resolution till February 8. Keep the government going. I/we promise that come 2/8 if the issues of concern to the Democrats have not been resolved, we promise to work on them further and bring each to a vote.

I would not buy it. Hope the Democrats do not buy it. Each side dishonorable. The Democrats should not blink. Keep the government shut down till the problems of concern are successfully worked out.

Reagan said with regard to nuclear deals with the Russians…..Trust, but verify. No way to verify other than pushing for all concerned to work extra long hours and get the job done. Then vote.

The country can stay closed 3-4 weeks. The last time a similar situation occurred, it was closed 16 days. I would also insist on a proviso that Congress not be paid till the task gets done.

The noon vote, if it occurs, will be interesting.

Trust has become a U.S. problem internationally under Trump. His word cannot be relied upon.

Russia and China are taking full advantage. Russia is extending its power/influence over Ukraine and Syria unabated.

China grows stronger in the South China Seas and economically. Economically as regards the Chines yuan. The yuan is replacing the American dollar as currency in certain oil trades.

Trump precipitated the dollar/yuan problem by threatening to invade Venezuela and cutting off Pakistan from financial aid. The leaders of each country said up yours to Trump and announced they were moving over to the yuan.

To lighter matters.

Key West has free ranging chickens living on its streets. Tourists think they are cute. Most locals consider them foul.

In 2004 and after much discussion, the City Commissioners decided to rid Key West of the chickens. A chicken catcher was hired on January 22. Armando Parra, Sr. A barber and self proclaimed self taught bird catcher.

He quit on August 4.

His contract was to run to September 1.

He was to be paid $20 per chicken caught, with a 900 chicken limit. He caught 542 before quitting. The number considered one quarter of the chicken population.

Parra claimed he quit because the City Commission was mini-managing him. What streets to work, where to leave the chickens alone, etc. His general impression was the City was not committed to eliminating the chickens.

No one has dealt with the problem since. The chicken population grows. Chickens are prolific. Their gestation period 29 days.

Five years ago, I wrote a lengthy article for KONK Life regarding cursive writing. A dying art. Taught in very few schools. The computer key board was considered more important to students than the ability to hand write.

I thought the move stupid. A generation has now grown that cannot hand write their names.

Change is in the air. Fourteen States and New York City’s elementary schools now mandate that cursive writing be taught. More are expected to join.

One reason put forth to teaching cursive writing again is the belief it helps the student to learn if he/she must hand write it.

Of course, computer keyboards will remain. Combined, double edged teaching tools.

Enjoy your day!

 

PBS MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT…..INSPIRATIONAL

A lot to cover this morning.

The eve of every Memorial Day, PBS holds a concert on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Patriotic.

Last night’s was extremely emotional, as well as patriotic. I shed many a tear. We need more events like last night to remind us what our men and women are going through in Afghanistan and Iraq. What has and is happening to their minds, bodies and families.

The 30th Annual Minimal Regatta at Schooner Wharf yesterday afternoon. I missed it this year. However, this morning’s Key West Citizen carries many photos of the boats and participants.

The boats all looked fantastic. Evidencing the degree of work that went into preparing the vessels.

Only in Key West. Two women fighting because one could not give an orgasm to the other.

For real. Reported in this morning’s Crime Report. Two reunited female lovers staying at Margaritaville. Four in the afternoon. In their room. One of the women told the police her girl friend was inept at helping her to achieve an orgasm.

No arrests were made.

Sloppy Joe’s. On this day in 1937, Sloppy Joe’s celebrated its grand opening at Joe’s newly acquired bar on the corner of Duval and Greene Streets. Had to be a hell of a party! Can you imagine…..Hemingway one of the participants!

The Key West City Commission continues to have their heads up their asses! One of the worst bunch of civil servants I have seen in my lifetime.

Mel Fisher Museum is part and parcel of Key West. Funded originally by Mel Fisher himself after he struck gold. Now dependent on a small souvenir operation and donations.

The Museum applied for a zoning change so it could add some minimal fund raising activities. The City Commission unanimously voted no.

I do not understand. New construction and remodeling is being permitted all over Key West contrary to existing codes and laws. Yet the City Commission does not oppose. An outdoor amphitheater is under construction. Approved by the City Commission quickly and without sufficient analysis. A disaster in the making when finished.

Strangers/outsiders get more favorable attention from the Commission than locals.

I could go on ad infinitum.

These oracles of wisdom decided to blunt the Museum’s request. One that was no big deal in comparison to others approved by the Commission.

Remember Roy Schneider in Jaws when he said, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” A similar situation confronted a 73 year old fisherman in Australia.

He was in a small boat. Very small. Without warning, a 9 foot 440 pound white shark jumped in the boat. Knocked the fisherman over. Caused injury to one arm. A lot of bleeding.

The fisherman was on his knees eye ball to eye ball with the shark. He scurried to the front of the boat. Not much room in the boat.

Modest, the fisherman described the event as “just a mundane thing.”

The fisherman survived. The shark died.

Merkel can be a pain in the ass. A tough woman. An even tougher political leader. Many the time I have disagreed with her. Not however with regard to her recent comments re Trump at the NATO meeting.

Merkel said yesterday that Europe is basically on its own. The U.S. cannot be depended upon. She said, Europe “must take our fate into our own hands.” Europe cannot rely on “others.”

The result of Trump continuing to suck up to our enemies and defecating on our friends. You do not turn your back on nations that have stood with us and we with them for more than 50 years. A relationship that has insured neither a European war nor world war during that time.

Evangelicals have become big Trump supporters. Lance Wallnau is an evangelist who is an author and preacher. He says he has some Jewish blood running in him from a long distant relative.

Wallnau compares Trump to King Cyrus. A leader found in the Biblical Book of Isaiah. Cyrus was in power during the 500s BC. He was supportive of Jews. A Moses, in effect. History claims he delivered the Jews. Questioned by some historians.

Wallnau refers to Trump as “King Cyrus under siege.” Also, as the “anointed one.”

Wallnau met with Trump last year. He claims he “heard from the Lord” while meeting with Trump.

He views Trump as “a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.”

Wallnau is popular in evangelistic circles.

God help us!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CATHOLIC CHURCH PRO ABORTION

Trump’s representation that Obama tapped his telephone. Absurd. The man is sick and dangerous. What next can we expect from Trump? The Catholic Church is pro abortion?

A delightful late afternoon lunch yesterday. With Liz, by Liz. Crab Louis. Enjoyed in her garden.

Last entertainment Liz will be doing for a while. She is scheduled for a hip replacement tuesday.

Eugene Robinson speaks tonight. The erudite Washington Post columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and MSNBC commentator. At the Key West Theater. Sponsored by the Key West Friends of the Library. At 6. Admission free.

I spoke yesterday on my Facebook video about the starvation/malnutrition of children. Worldwide and in the United States. The numbers of kids going to school hungry in the U.S. shocking.

I mentioned that 20 percent of Florida’s public school children go hungry.

This morning’s Key West Citizen printed portions of a United Way of Florida report issued last week. Almost half of Monroe County households live at or below the necessary income threshold.

Hackley reported that this day in 1856, the dentist Dr. Walton returned to Hackley’s home. To remove two of Hackley’s teeth. Third visit by Dr. Walton in three days. A total of 10 teeth pulled and three filled for various household members.

Ouch!

An issue resounding in Key West in recent days. Is Key west still bohemian? A Key Wester offered his opinion in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice: “Key West will remain bohemian until the day the chickens stop chasing the dogs.”

Which means forever!

The wind continues to be strong. Sea rough. Larger white caps than normal. Been 3-4 days now. Weather reports rough seas to continue today.

Rough water bad in several ways. Day time boat operators make no money. Water too difficult to go out. Tourists lose because they cannot enjoy our waters. Finally, concierges take a beating. They cannot book boat trips thereby earning a living.

Word on the street is Poker Run is returning. Last year things got too rowdy. Biker gangs arrived. Trouble. Fights, beating, etc.

Marlon Brando and his bikers took over Duval.

Sponsors Sunset Rotary and City of Key West decided to ban future poker runs. A decision accepted by most Key Westers.

It has been reported that Sunrise Rotary and the City have rethought their decision. There will be a poker run this year.

Could be a bad move. Damage to persons and property possible if last year’s biker gangs return.

The Mosquito Control Board is at it again. I appreciate it is the Board’s responsibility to protect us from mosquitoes. They have always done a good job. Till the Board voted to test Oxidec over my island of Key Haven. The move was rejected by residents in a vote in the last election.

A new company now involved. MosquitoMate. They are going to test their product over Stock Island. Forty thousand fixed mosquitoes per week.

Some random thoughts.

It has been over a year and no ZIKA reported cases caused by Keys’ mosquitoes. It makes me wonder why the hurry to bomb my island in the first place.

The other is the selection of Stock Island for test purposes this time. Stock Island is basically next door and to the south of Key Haven. Is it because Stock Islanders do not have the money to confront and defeat the Board? Stock Island is relatively poor. Mostly occupied by $7-12 hourly Key West workers.

Dred Scott decision published this date in 1857. Decided slaves were property and an owner could transport them anywhere he wanted.

The decision was supported by the claimed fact that there were no free blacks in 1787 when the Constitution was drafted.

If Dred Scott had come before the Supreme Court in recent years, Justice Scalia would have ruled as the Court did in 1857. The reason being Scalia believed decisions should be made based on what existed in the late 1700s when the Constitution was drafted.

Though Scalia was a great legal mind, I never agreed with his decisions. Decisions that had to be made based on the way the the Founding Fathers found things.

Conservatives loved him.

I believe Scalia did more harm than good in his many years on the Supreme Court bench.

Cursive writing is making a come back. Wow! Fourteen states have decided to teach kids how to write as well as operate a computer.

A whole generation does not know how to write. Not even their names.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE SQUEAKY WHEEL

It is time again! For the handful of righteous to complain about Fantasy Fest. Specifically, the nudity. More hearings. Press attention.

The group is a squeaky wheel. Receives more attention than deserved.

Fantasy Fest is an adult party. If the nudity offends, stay away!

Dinner at La Trattoria by the Ocean last night. Food good. Food always good over the years.

I tried Open Table to make a reservation. For 7 o’clock. Received a confirmation. Arrived at 7. The hostess told me my table was still occupied. I asked how long a wait. She did not know.

She had already noted I had an Open Table reservation. I reminded her of that fact. Give me any table. She said the next one. I told her I would be at the bar.

Forty five minutes and two drinks later, I returned to her. Asked pleasantly when I should start complaining? About what, she asked. I told her and reminded her of our earlier conversation. She remembered neither me nor the reservation.

She told me my Open Table reservation showed a no show/cancellation.

Politely, I said just give me a table. She looked up and said, Oh, I see one over there.

Ordered. A century later, still no food. A long wait. No drinks, either.

I do not know whose fault it was. I suspect the hostess. I was there on time. She probably failed to click some part of the Open Table program..

Anti-gravity treadmill in the morning. Research in the afternoon. Next week’s KONK Life column will tell the story of a female pirate.

US 1 and Northern Boulevard are both dangerous travel lanes. An accident slows down traffic and sometimes causes delays of 3-4 hours.

A three car crash occurred on US 1 yesterday. On Niles Channel Bridge. Minimum injuries, fortunately. Police directed traffic over one lane for two hours. During that time, traffic was backed up 8-10 miles in both directions.

An interesting fact. Locals do not seem disturbed when delays occur. An accepted part of the Key West life style.

Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Visited our island 11 separate times for a total of 175 days.

In 1953 after leaving office, Truman decided to tale a family vacation to Honolulu. Wife Bess and daughter Margaret joined him. A Kansas City newspaper made it sound like a desertion of Key West.

Nothing farther from the truth. Truman returned several times to Key West after he left the Presidency. Stayed at a private residence those times.

Commercial air travel was not yet in vogue. It was a train from Kansas City to San Francisco. Then a boat to Honolulu. The Union Pacific Railroad and the liner President Cleveland.

Truman had been to Honolulu one time before. On his trip to Wake Island to chastise General Douglas MacArthur. When he landed in Honolulu, he refused a flower lei. Said it was not appropriate for a President to wear. On the later trip no longer being President, he accepted the lei.

The Catholic Church has screwed things up more than once over the years. Religion in general has.

On this day in 1633, Galileo made his first appearance before the Roman Inquisition. He was charged with heresy for advocating the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. The Catholic Church disagreed. The Church claimed the earth and not the sun was the center of the universe.

My problem is not with the Church’s ignorance. It is why the Church was even involved in an astronomical/scientific issue. One that had nothing to do with saving souls.

Greece, my Greece. Poverty and hard times still abound.

The Eurounion imposed a new and more severe austerity program on Greece last year. Since that time, farmers have had their social security payments tripled and their taxes doubled.

Last month, the farmers protested. In Athens. Eight hundred strong. Drove their tractors into town and blocked a main thoroughfare. A demonstration followed. Soon a battle between farmers and police. The farmers defended themselves against the police with tomatoes and shepherd’s crocks.

Question: Why was this scenario not reported to us by the media? I have no recollection of reporting or discussion.

If I am correct, it is further proof that the news we receive is selective in nature. I blame the corporations owning the various news media. They call the shots.

Enjoy your day!

POLITICAL JUNKIE DAY

I am a political junkie. Today is a day made for me and others like me. Hillary Clinton testifies before the Benghazi sub-committee. All day and probably into the evening.

I have to squeeze the hearing in among other activities. The anti-gravity treadmill one hour into the hearing. Fortunately, there is a TV set attached to the treadmill. Then I have an appointment for a haircut. Need the haircut. Tonight, bocce. I might skip boce depending on how interesting the hearing is at six this evening.

Last night began with Don’s Place. Don and David. Don’s wife Stephanie stopped by.

Don and I left to have dinner. Don wanted to go to La Te Da. I had been there two nights before. Why not. I could enjoy crispy duck again.

The outdoor bar and restaurant were very busy. Two evenings earlier, dead. Things always pick up all over Key West thursday evenings.

We had a good time.

Tonto bartending. She and Don friends from way back. Olga came running to the outdoor bar from the restaurant. Olga from Roostica. Turns out she also waits tables at La Te Da. I was the recipient of a big hug.

The duck was excellent. The people at the bar typical Key West friendly. We stayed quite a while.

The Catholic Church is at war. I love it. Things are getting hot at the Synod. The German bishops and the U.S. bishops are at odds over divorced persons being permitted to take communion. The Germans favor it. A change in church law would be required. The U.S. bishops want the law to be left as is.

My Church has to open the windows and let fresh air in.

The present no communion for divorced persons  rule is a man made law. Nowhere does the Bible say it. What the Germans want to do is provide a different more liberal interpretation.

There is intrigue at this Synod. I am confident one or more books will be written about the behind the scene shenanigans at some point.

I am disappointed Joe Biden has decided not to run.

I got to know him back in the 1980s when I was Chairman of the Board of vVsitors at the Syracuse University Law School. Biden was a Syracuse law grad. Attended many law school events.  Watched also a few football and basketball games from my Carrier Dome box.

Biden would have made an excellent President. His many years as a Senator would have made it much easier for him to work with Congress than any of the other candidates running.

A good man lost to the country.

My KONK Life column this week Lincoln the Man has been linked to my Key West Lou website. keywestlou.com.

Bocce tonight. We need three wins.

Enjoy your day!