SLOPPY JOE’S 80th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

Sloppy Joe’s.

Infamous. A Key West tradition. Hemingway hang out.

Proprietor Joe Russell began business at the Greene and Duval Street corner site 80 years ago on May 3, 1938. Russell a Key West icon in his own right. A bootlegger, fishing boat captain, speakeasy operator, etc. An original Key Wester.

Russell had previously operated where Captain Tony’s is located on Greene Street today. A speakeasy at first. When prohibition ended, as the Blind Pig. Put a dance floor in and renamed the place the Silver Slipper.

Hemingway and Russell became best friends when Russell ran Greene Street as a speakeasy. They drank, fished, and gambled together.

The Silver Slipper sold whiskey for 15 cents and gin for ten. A far cry from today’s bar prices.

The move from Greene Street to the present location of Sloppy Joe’s took place at midnight. Russell lost not one penny. Customers, including Hemingway, helped carry the furniture and bottled booze to the new location where they continued drinking.

The old location had ceramic troughs where the men piddled. Russell had no need for them in the new place. Hemingway carried them home to his house on Whitehead. To this day, Hemingway’s six toed cats drink from the ceramic troughs which are fresh water pipe fed.

Syracuse lost in double over time to Florida State yesterday afternoon. An excellent game! Syracuse played well till the second overtime. The final score says it all. 101-90.

Telephoned Catherine while watching the game to invite her to the movies. I wanted to see the Post. She declined. Catherine is an active Rotarian. The Rotary sponsored a marathon over the weekend. Catherine has been working on the race since Thursday. Even in Friday’s pouring rain. Crazy!

She said she was tired. I understood.

I do not enjoy going to the movies alone. Ergo, my evening changed. Started at the Chart Room. Packed! The Eagles game.

Remained for one drink. Chatted with Shaun and a friend he introduced me too. Noel or Noelle. Not sure which. She has managed a couple of restaurants in Key West.

She and I bonded immediately. She is starting on a diet Monday. Keto. Sister to Atkins. However more fatty foods than protein. She told me to beware of dairy products on Atkins. Even though carb free, inhibit weight loss. Maybe that is why I hung in at only a 10 pound loss since 11/27 when I started the diet. I have been eating a ton of cheese.

Beginning today, I eliminate cheese from the diet.

I finally lost 2 pounds yesterday. One more today. After forever at 10. I do not understand why. Cheese part of my diet through yesterday.

Dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. I have not eaten there since I started the diet. I was welcome back like a war hero returned home. Enjoyed a prime rib. So delicious! Great on the Atkins diet.

Cold! Heat on. Fifty six degrees at the moment. High today 63. The cold front will be with us till Saturday.

Shaun’s mother is visiting from Minnesota. Exceptionally cold weather up there. She is freezing in Key West, however. Even though warmer. In Minnesota, she has heat. Shaun’s apartment does not have heat.

Stopped at Donna and Terri’s on the way home for a drink. I worry about Terri. She is doing well. Returning to Tampa in a week for a week of tests. My concern is the flu. Key West is rampant with the flu. Terri’s immune system might not be able to handle it should she get the bug.

In spite of the cold, hope to make Hot Dog Church and Gardens today.

La Te Da’s infamous Sunday afternoon Tea Dance has returned. From 4-7. Party time! Described by some as a little outdoor Studio 54. Men dance with men, women with women, men with women, young with old.

Christopher Rounds is to be complimented in making sure the Sunday afternoon Tea Dance lived on.

The last time I attended a Tea Dance was years ago. At the time, it was held at Atlantic Shores. A WOW place!

Last but not least, the false missile alarm yesterday in Hawaii: Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.

The report caused by human error in Hawaii. Took 38 minutes for the populace to be advised the incoming missile not for real. In the meantime, panic. Understandably so.

This is a perfect example of what could happen with two nuts out there. Jung-U and Trump.

Trump was playing golf when he found out. We have not been advised yet whether it was before it was discovered the attack was not a real one.

Assume the report to Trump was incoming missile headed for Hawaii. Assume further Trump decided to retaliate immediately. Most likely with one or more nuclear missiles. A nuclear war. North Korea would then have retaliated immediately against the U.S.

The beginning of World War III. All because two nuts head the governments immediately involved.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SHITHOLE COUNTRIES

“Shithole countries…..”

Racist. Bigoted.

Nordic. Aryan.

Authoritarian today. Totalitarian tomorrow.

Democracy being tested as never before.

Finally! Got new eyeglasses yesterday. Took 2 months and 3 prescriptions. I can see! Everything distinct and visible. Street signs, buildings, etc. Colors vibrant. Like when I had cataracts removed 35 years ago.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria with Jean Thornton. My  Birmingham hostess following my escape from Irma. Husband Joe was supposed to join us. He has pneumonia. Very tired.

They return to Birmingham today. Will return 3 months from now. Two months at home in Birmingham followed by a one month trip to some part of Europe.

Following dinner, Jean went to Vino’s and I to the Chart Room.

I was to meet Kentucky David at the Chart Room. He was waiting when I arrived.

Met David here a few years ago. He and his wife are snowbirds. They own a second home in Bahama Village. Kentucky home. David a die hard Kentucky fan.

The blog brought us together. Occasionally, we watch a game together at Jack Flatts. On an evening when both Syracuse and Kentucky are playing. Though not each other. We sit at the bar next to each other. Two TV sets in front of us. One with the Syracuse game, the other Kentucky.

David has taken to writing. A mystery. He told me about it.

Takes place in Key West. His fact pattern amazing. David has a vivid imagination. Characters and events I could never come up with.

My publisher advised me once to write a mystery or love story. They sell the best, he said.

I could not get into the mystery. I lacked the necessary imagination. Tried a love story. Publisher said lots of sex. Thought the writing would be a snap. No, again. I found it difficult to put on paper that which I might have experienced.

Met Laura and Jamey. From Iowa City, Iowa. Told them how much I admired Iowans. Shared with them the loving story of my Iowa friends Cindy and Tom.

Jamey sells financial products. Laura a stay at home Mom. Three children.

Laura and Jamey were married at the Pier House 9 years ago. They have returned to Key West once a year since.

Walmart announced yesterday that the new tax law made it possible to do something for its employees. The starting hourly wage was raised to $11 an hour, employee benefits expanded, and bonuses up to $1,000 depending on length of employment.

Sounded good.

Walmart failed to announce plans to close  60 or 63 Sam’s Clubs. Affects 11,000 employees. They received notices of the closings via FedEx during the day. Some went to work before receiving the notice to find locked doors and signs indicating the closing.

Give with one hand and take back with the other. Hero and heel at the same time.

I am old enough to remember Amos ‘n’ Andy. A popular radio show when I was a kid. A comedy.

Two fast talking black men from the Deep South who moved to Chicago to seek their fortunes. However, the black men were not black. They were white men imitating black men. Freeman Gosden and Charles Carrell.

Amos ‘n’ Andy became the most popular radio program in American history. Ran 22 years.

I mention Amos ‘n’ Andy because I recall frequently listening to it. And because on this day in 1926, the show first aired.

Broadway Joe Namath. Alabama football star. New York Jets star quarterback.

Super Bowl III time. Pro football divided into two leagues. The NFL and AFL. The AFL relatively new. The NFL tried and true. Considered superior.

Two teams met this date in 1969 in Super Bowl III. New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts. The money on the Colts.

Three days before the game, Namath announced to the world the Jets would win. In fact, he guaranteed it.

The Jets did win. 17-6. One of the greatest upsets in American sports history.

Enjoy your day!

 

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

VIRGINITY FOR SALE

My July 14, 2016 blog was limited to one subject. The New Prostitution. The story of college girls and young ladies selling their bodies for big dollars to wealthy men who were looking for smart educated women.

No pimp or escort service involved. The ladies independent contractors. Their fee generally $1,000 to $5,000 a night. Many had annual contracts with the men paying in the six figures.

The young women opted for the way of life for the money involved. Money required for tuition, college debt, clothes, and to replace wage stagnation. Very few in the life for the fun of it.

It is not uncommon for peripheral business to spin off successful ones. Millennial ladies selling their virginity. A one time big dollar maker. Attractive to a young lady whose virginity has been preserved.

A lottery generally involved. The men bid for the young lady’s virginal charms.

I find the sale of virginal vaginas difficult to believe. Not the money aspect. Some men have so much money, they can spend it foolishly. What I do wonder is how many women today have preserved their virginity into their late teens and early 20’s. It  does not fit into the promiscuous society we live in.

Bailey Gibson is 23. Still a virgin. She has decided to lose her virginity in the most profitable way. She had been saving it for marriage.

Her virginity is being auctioned off by the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. She and Moonlite will share the proceeds equally.

Not the first time Moonlite has done such a thing. Last year, the virginity of a Katherine Stone was auctioned for $400,000.

There are other such reported cases world wide. An Abu Dhabi businessman paid $2.9 million for a virgin 19 year old model. A Hong Kong businessman $2.5 million for a virgin 18 year old Romanian model.

Why do the ladies do it? They are broke. They do it to service existing debt and/or setting themselves up for life financially.

Smart, dumb, non consequential? I don’t know.

My yesterday did not involve any ladies from the new prostitution or virgins for sale.

It started with a visit to Tammy for a pedicure and manicure. The salon was almost empty. Few customers. Friday generally busy.

I asked Tammy where the ladies were. She said most had called and cancelled saying they did not want to go out in the cold. Sixty degrees.

My first stop last night was the 7 Artists Gallery. Opening night of Andreas Franke’s exhibit. He paints humans in underwater scenarios.

Enjoyed the exhibit. Met the Gallery’s owner Jennifer Badry. Her business card amused me: Janitor, Jeweler, Proprietor.

Turned out we have a common friend. Jennifer brought June Hudson’s name into the conversation. I have not seen June in a couple of years.

I had an hour to kill before being due at Donna and Terri’s for dinner. Decided to stop in the Chart Room two blocks away.

John bartending. Sheila, Jean and Joe Thornton at the bar. The Thorntons having a drink before going over to the Red Barn for a show.

Sheila introduced me to Christina. A lovely person.

Christina works for KWAHS at the Custom House. The front desk person. Sheila, who once worked at the Custom House, said Christina was the go to person.

She bartended at one time in New Orleans. At a place called the Dungeon. John had been there. A bad place. In all my trips to New Orleans, never heard nor got to the Dungeon. A missed experience.

Christina has a Masters in Journalism. She claims her journalistic background makes it possible for her to enjoy her job and life. She views her existence as living history as it is occurring.

Always good company and good food at Donna and Terri’s. Love the ladies! The pot roast Donna prepared, also.

Another good day and night ahead for me. Syracuse/Notre Dame this afternoon. This evening, time with Catherine. Happy Hour at the Saint followed by the Churchill movie across the street at the Tropic Cinema.

I am a history freak. Especially two wars. The Civil and World War II. The Darkest Hour is going to be a real turn on.

Key West and other Keys communities are small town America. Medical specialties for serious illnesses unavailable. One has to get to a hospital in Miami or elsewhere on the mainland swiftly.

Monroe puts a portion of our tax dollars to good use. The County owns two helicopters. Medical personnel on board. The helicopters fly those needing critical care to Miami and elsewhere.

At no cost to Monroe County residents. One of the helicopters rests on the lawn of our local Key West hospital.

The numbers are out re flights for 2017. A record number. Nine hundred twenty three.

The weather. Still cold. Cold for Key West. I was out yesterday in long pants and a heavy winter jacket.

Last night, in the mid 50’s. Today, 69 and the evening 54.

One of the best people to have ever lived in Key West has returned for the season. Patrick “Paddy Cakes” Hayes. Loved by all. A good friend to all.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

TONIGHT…..ANDREAS FRANKE

A special exhibit tonight. At Seven Artists Gallery on Simonton. Vienna artist Andreas Franke. A passionate diver. His preference underwater art.

Seven Artists’ jewelry designer Jennifer Badry responsible for Franke’s exhibition.

Show time 5:30-8:30.

I am familiar with Franke’s work. Outstanding! Worth seeing.

Busy day yesterday.

Started with lunch at Harpoon Harry’s with Guy de Boer. KONK Life and KONK E-Blast publisher.

Guy an old friend. Responsible for my writings, etc. Got me started 12 years ago with a KONK Life column and Internet talk show.

Guy is helping promote Irma and Me. In the very near future, Louis  will be featured in a front full page picture advising the publication of Irma and Me, together with a short article inside. Guy did a similar scenario in 2014 when I wrote my first book The World Upside Down.

A good friend.

After lunch, Guy took me to a back yard to see the boat he is repairing. Actually, rebuilding. A 36 foot power boat. The vessel a victim of Irma. Another boat was thrown into one side. The other side slammed into a dock. The boat a mess.

Guy fears not. He works daily on putting the boat together. Per his explanation of what he was doing, it was obvious he was familiar with the repairs.

He got the boat for nothing following Irma. It was heading for the junk yard. Guy took it off the owner’s hands.

A major job! The boat is a mess.

Spent the afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Been working on it 4 years. Four rewrites. My next publication. Hopefully by Easter.

The Chart Room last night.

Key West is normally quiet following New Years till the first of February. Not this year. Key West continues to be packed this week. The season is here!

The Chart Room was body tight. I was lucky to get a seat when I came in. Someone in front of me was leaving.

Old home week. Sheila, David, Steve and Cindy. And Jean and Joe Thornton. My Irma saviors. I spent 12 days at their home in Birmingham escaping Irma.

I was not aware Jean and Joe had returned. Turns out they have been here a week already.

While I was working on Growing Up Italian in the afternoon, a call came in from Jean. I did not answer. I did not want to interrupt my thought wave. They come and go so I have to be careful. Retention difficult in my old age.

I forgot to call Jean back till I was in the Chart Room at 7. Made my apologies. Jean said she and Joe would be with us shortly.

The reason Jean had called was to invite me to dinner. She had cooked one of her specialties. Chili and corn bread. To compensate, she brought a container of chili with her to the Chart Room. My lunch today.

Met a very interesting fellow at the bar. Paul. From London. We spoke for at least an hour. London, the U.S., travel, business, etc. To bad he leaves today. We agreed we hoped to meet again when he returns next year. This was his fourth visit to Key West.

Today, he leaves for Majorca. He and his wife have a vacation home there.

Then a quick stop to Publix. Out of diet food.

I have been at the diet since November 27. Cheated only Christmas eve and Christmas day. I am not losing. Stuck on 10 pounds since mid December. Depressing. I am losing inches. Clothes loser. Wearing clothes I could not get into.

Today going to be another busy one. A pedicure and manicure with Tammy at 1. Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. Pot roast!

A couple of Trump comments.

Fire and Fury seems to be doing a number on him. If only 20 percent true, still devastating.

The book has opened a Pandora’s box. Brought Trump’s mental stability to the fore front. Dangerous for him. I have considered the President a nut since the primaries. He is not equipped to be a President.

It was announced yesterday that Trump had opened east and west coast waters to oil drilling. A disaster in the making. One big spill and environmental ruination for years to a vast portion of ocean.

The oil drilling thing an example of Trump sucking up to and pursuing the interests of big business.

Another Trumpy. Trump told us the huge corporate tax cut would add thousands of jobs. Comcast announced yesterday it let go 500 employees.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PROHIBITION OVER

The band played, the drums roared…..Recreational marijuana became legal yesterday in California. Prohibition over.

Within five years, most States will permit the use of recreational pot. The reason simple. Tax dollars! Big ones expected.

A few States will resist. Evangelicals, the extreme right their moving force. Those who refuse to learn, to accept. They will view legalized marijuana as morality tossed out the window.

My only stop last night the Chart Room. Quiet at first. Chatted with Shaun. Watched the beginning of the Oklahoma/Georgia game. I left at half time. My recollection Oklahoma winning by 17 points at the time.

While at the Chart Room, met Barbara and Joe. From Westchester, Pennsylvania. Barbara still working. A nurse. Joe, retired. A retired attorney and college educator who taught law classes.

They visit Key West frequently. Their Keys home on Little Torch Key. A mobile home destroyed by Irma.

We talked about the tragedy wrought by Irma. Barbara and Joe’s Little Torch home right in the middle of Irma’s blast.

Got into a discussion re retirement. Two retired attorneys. I ventured I went crazy with nothing to do. My blog born of that boredom. My other writings, TV show, weekly newspaper column, and podcast followed.

Joe agreed re the boredom, the difficulty initially of handling doing nothing.

A voice joined us from the other end of the bar. Tomas Mazeika. An attorney, also! A partner in a major law firm in western United States with offices in most major west coast cities.

Tomas, Joe and I agreed on one thing. Practicing law was/is hard work! The issue arose when I mentioned how content I am writing. Told them I wished I had majored in English and became a writer rather than an attorney. I would not have made as much money, but life would have been a lot easier.

Headed home. I was interested in the Alabama/Clemson game.

Hopped in bed and turned on the game. No Alabama/Clemson. Oklahoma/Georgia still on. Georgia had come back. The game tied. Two overtimes. Georgia finally winning.

An exciting finish.

Began watching Alabama/Clemson. Fell asleep within minutes. Woke at 3:30. Curious as to who had won, I went to my office and turned on the computer. Alabama 24-6.

Georgia/Alabama has the makings of an exciting game!

The jet stream is out of its neighborhood. All the way down to southern U.S. states. Including Florida. The jet stream bringing Canadian cold to us.

Sixty one degrees in Key West at 8 this morning. High today 68. Cold tomorrow. Even colder beginning thursday. Evenings in the mid 50’s and days in the mid 60’s.

The heat on at on at the moment.

Trump acts without thinking. Shoots from the hip. Most times totally unaware of the consequences. Several months ago, Trump decided to get on Venezuela’s back. He heard the people were starving. They had been starving for four years.

He tweeted. Knocked Venezuela’s President Maduro. Threatened a U.S. invasion.

The U.S. invading Venezuela? Pure stupidity!

Maduro reacted. In effect said to Trump, up yours!

The story. The U.S. has been the beneficiary of a deal made many years ago involving oil. Basically means any crude oil transactions and those emanating therefrom, were to be in American dollars. Such kept the U.S. dollar stable.

China has been making noises in recent years that it would like to have countries use the Chinese yuan instead of the American dollar.

Maduro opened the door for China.

Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Venezuela went to the yuan. Russia and China announced they are going to the yuan. More countries will follow.

The U.S. at some point will experience an economic crisis. The stable American dollar will no longer be stable.

The beginning of the scenario occurring because Trump threatened to invade Venezuela.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting discussion. Many items eye opening.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy!

If you have not purchased my recent book Irma and Me, please do so. It is the only published work on the hurricane. Humor and tragedy mixed.

Irma and Me is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TIMES SQUARE BALL 11,875 POUND WATERFORD CRYSTAL

 

 

Tonight at midnight, a new year. 2018. A long time since the birth of Christ.

Times Square this evening will be the center of the universe. Thousands standing in the freezing cold waiting for the ball to drop. The ball, the one we have been watching for years, is rather large. Weighs 11,875 pounds. Twelve feet in diameter.  A Waterford crystal.

Brave people observing the drop tonight in person. The temperature will be freezing. In the teens with a chill factor of -5.

Booze not recommended. It contributes to the dehydration of the body in extreme temperatures.

Key West has sort of dropping balls. Sushi in a shoe at Bourbon Street, a wench coming down the mast at Schooner Wharf, a ball at Sloppy Joe’s. There are more. Each year another establishment is dropping something at midnight.

The bars and streets will be packed. Duval closed off.

I have only done 2 New Year’s eves in Key West. Other times, private parties or at home alone. As I get older, the evening becomes too much work. The crowds rowdy tourists. Parking impossible.

I learned long ago in Utica that New Years eve is amateur night. Since every evening is New Years Eve in Key West, I can afford to miss one a year.

My lesbian wives planned to have me with them tonight. Dinner at Abandonzza, drag show at Aqua, and then Sushi from the street at midnight.

I opted out.

The game plan for me this evening is the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game at 6. Then a TV movie. Followed by an early night to bed.

Aging enters into it.

Syracuse favored by 3.5 points. Both teams part of the ACC. Tonight begins the ACC season. Virginia Tech is the leading 3 point shooting team in the country. Shooting average 45.3 percent.

Last night the Chart Room. Not that crowded. Shaun bartending.

Chatted with Shaun and a few of the tourists. Then home to an early bed.

A good thing Trump does not live in Egypt.

An Egyptian court yesterday sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi and 19 others to three years in jail. The crime: Insulting the Judiciary.

Greece. Oh, how I love Greece!

A Greek anarchist group Rubicon support Palestinians. They are upset with Trump’s soon to be move of the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This past week they rode motorcycles up to the Israeli Embassy and threw bottles of paint against the Embassy building.

Rubicons are not part of the Golden Dawn Party. The Rubicons came into being because they thought the Golden Dawn Party was failing in its responsibilities.

I have written over the years often of the Golden Dawn Party. I once thought that one day they would take over the government via the ballot box. Now, I am not sure.

The Golden Dawn Party are neo-Nazis. Dress like Hitler’s storm troopers. Presently the third largest party in Parliament. Represent 10 percent of the popular vote.

It is thought Trump’s election has re-energized the Party. Golden Dawn leaders say, “Trump’s policies have given us a new wind of support…..We should follow Trump’s beat.”

Crazy people!

What is happening in Iran? Surprising! The demonstrations. Proof that even the mighty can fall.

Could happen, though I doubt it.

Don’t forget the Annual Dachshund Walk at noon beginning at the court house on Whitehead.

Stay sober and safe tonight. Enjoy the evening otherwise!

Happy New Year!

FROM OCCUPIED AMERICA…..FIGHT THE POWER

There is a blog I have followed for several months. Posts several times a week. The Justice Building Blog.

The blog appears to be written by a Miami attorney. Pin points court house gossip and fact. Sometimes hits out at Trump and things happening not consistent with our democratic way of life.

The blog always signs off the same way: From Occupied America…..Fight The Power.

The ending apropos.

A pleasant few minutes with Lori yesterday. Before she began, she took me by the hand and led me outside. To show me her business sign: Blown Away.

Lori has been in her new quarters almost two years. Her husband the busiest sign maker in Key West. He never had time to make a sign for wife Lori and put it up.

He finally did as a Christmas present this year. At a time when he is additionally busy because of Irma.

He did the right thing. He now has a happy wife! She has been bothered by not having a sign up.

Spent my time in the Chart Room last night. John bartending. Business so so. People wandering in and out.

Spoke with a 72 year old man. He had a heart problem similar to mine. Aortic Stenosis. The aortic artery as it passes through the heart narrows. Narrows too much and you’re gone!

He had the surgery 6 months ago. Done through the ribs. Bovine used. A vein or artery from a cow, I assume. Previously, a pig.

He claims he is energized since the surgery.

My problem was discovered seven years ago. Surgery much more complicated at the time. Surgery four or more hours. Lengthy hospitalization. Six month recovery period.

The man was out of the hospital in five days.

Modern medicine advances swiftly.

I was aware the procedure was much simpler at this time. I asked my heart doctor recently why we didn’t do it now. I am getting older. Lets get it done before I get any older and might not be able to handle the surgery.

He was against it. Told me about the movie star Bill Paxton. He had it done when discovered. His philosophy do me when I am young and strong.

He died as a result of the surgery.

My doctor says wait. Tells me I am not ready yet, does not want me to be another Bill Paxton.

I have changed my New Year’s Eve plans. The game plan was to be with Donna and Terri and several others for the evening. Abandozza for dinner at 7. Aqua at 9 for the drag show. The street in front of Bourbon Street at midnight to watch Sushi come down in a shoe.

I thought I could handle it. Upon further consideration, decided the evening too much for me. Spoke with Donna last night. Told her to take me off the list.

The evening not a total failure. Syracuse plays Virginia Tech at 6.

Christmas week is the busiest week of the year in Key West. How busy? I observed last night more bicycles on the streets than cars. And more people crossing the street at intersections without looking.

Every evening a disaster waiting to occur. Rarely does one, however.

Friend Kevin Malloy was in a scooter accident December 13. Just found out. He was helicoptered immediately to Miami. Still in the hospital.

Hurt pretty bad. Broke 8 ribs. Four had to be plated. Badly road burned his face. Required plastic surgery.

He is on the mend. God bless! I look forward to sharing his company again soon.

Think Trump is crazy? The world is crazy!

Yemen has been involved in a three year war. Soldiers needed. Children have been recruited for three years. Two thousand one hundred twenty two so far, not including 2017. Ages generally 12-16. Some as young as 7.

Recruiting/compelling the young to fight who are under the age of 15 is a war crime under International Law.

Who can do anything about it? Can anything be accomplished?

Arab countries in western Asia are exploding. Yemen one example.

Trump is unaware of many things. One, the limits of his Presidential power. He thinks he is omnipotent. A king rather that an elected officer of the people. Acts autocratically all the time.

In an impromptu interview by Michael Schmidt of the New York Times yesterday afternoon, one of the revelations was Trump being of the opinion because he is President he could do anything he wanted with the Justice Department.

The last President who thought that way was Richard Nixon.

Forget not Irma and Me. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE ANGEL ON TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Christmas eve and Christmas day both important. Most Italian-Americans give a bit more attention to Christmas Eve.

Whether the day before Christmas or Christmas day itself, each I would describe as a conspiracy of love. Even relatives who avoid each other all year, bury their animosities. Everyone kumbaya.

The dinner the night of Christmas Eve a big deal. The end of several days of preparation. The day itself further preparation.

Cooking smells permeate the house. A big fish dinner ahead. Seven fishes.

In spite of all the preparation and planning, there are snafus. Last minutes ones. Additional groceries to buy. Last minute gift shopping. Grandma getting her hair done. Wrapping presents (takes forever and many hands), setting the table, finish decorating the tree, some one cannot make it on time, etc.

The conspiracy of love is pure confusion! It reaches its high point and ultimate reward when all sit down to dinner. Anywhere from 10 to 30 guests.

Card tables set up all over the place. Age determines who sits at the dining room table. Some adults are still relegated to the card tables at 25. Since tiny tots. Waiting to move up.

The meal spectacular! Grandmom and Mom did their usual best. Everyone enjoys! Grandmom and Mom taking special pleasure in seeing their family seated all around and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Which brings me to a comparable story. One involving confusion leading to Christmas warmth. And a special reward!

Joan Lunden for more than 20 years was host of Good Morning America. When she left, she turned to writing. Became an acclaimed journalist.

Eighteen years ago, Emotional Health printed one of her short stories. It was about Santa Claus and a bad day he was experiencing Christmas eve day.

Four of Santa’s elves were sick. The trainer elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones.

Santa began to feel pressure.

Mrs. Santa told him her mother was coming. Such increased Santa’s stress more.

Santa went out to harness the reindeer. Not all were in shape to travel the skies that evening. Three were about to give birth.  Two others had jumped the fence. To where, Santa knew not.

Santa began to load the sleigh. One of the floor boards cracked and a toy bag fell to the ground. Toys scattered all over.

Santa had had it for the moment. He needed a drink. Went inside for a cup of apple cider and shot of rum.. He went to the cupboard. Only to discover that the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.

He accidentally dropped the empty cider jug. Broke into hundreds of pieces all over the kitchen floor.

Santa went to get the broom to clean up. Only to discover the mice had eaten all the straw at the end of the broom.

Just then, the door bell rang. The noise further irritated Santa. Obviously not having a good day.

He rushed to the door and yanked it open. There stood an angel. Holding a large Christmas tree.

The angel said cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”

The thrust of the story. After all the exasperations experienced, there finally comes a time when joy abounds. The angel at Santa’s door with the tree, the Italian family sitting down to Christmas eve dinner.

Another reason, also. The story explains the tradition why in many homes, a little angels sits at the top of the Christmas tree.

Love Christmas Eve! I look forward tonight to dinner with Lisa and the family.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

Walt Disney hit with a bang this day in 1937 with the premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The first feature length animated film. Took in $8 million its first weekend.

Critics thought it would be a loser. They referred to the film before its release as “Disney’s Folly.”A lesson learned: Don’t always listen to those who supposedly know more than everyone else.

Who can forget Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc and Happy? Whistled While They Worked: Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go…..

A happy film. Good to be recalled. Even better, to be seen again.

An old friend in Key West last night. Years since we have been together. Dinner at Antonia’s.

Catch up conversation.

After dinner, Mike had things to do. I decided to stop at the Chart Room. Glad I did.

Met Dee Elder from Kansas City. She lost one breast to cancer.

Seems I am getting a mastectomy education lately. Jenny two months ago in the Chart Room. She had a double. Explained the whole procedure to me. She was happy with her new breasts. Intended having her nipples tattooed on.

Seems women who have had to undergo a removal of their breast(s) want to share the experience with everyone. Dee went so far as to show everyone her breasts.

Magnificent! More magnificent, the work performed by the doctors.

Dee had only one removed. She had papillary breast cancer. She explained papillary cancer does not jump from one breast to another.

Her breasts beautiful! Both balanced and appeared the same in size, etc. The doctors do some work on the remaining one to make sure the two breasts look alike when all is done.

We got into nipple tattooing. Thanks to my previous conversation with Jenny.

Dee’s nipple was tattooed. I could not tell. A 3-D tattoo. The shadowing made it appear slightly erect.

Dee told me that only medically licensed tattoo artists were permitted to do the tattooing.

Should my mastectomy education continue, I may write a book on the tattooing aspect. A follow-up to Irma and Me.

This is Dee’s 23rd visit to Key West. Once a year for 23 years.

She is here with her husband to the 26th so I anticipate running into her again. She will probably expose her breasts again. She is proud of them. Good for her!

Need some help. I am looking for Julie from Canada who I met a few weeks ago at the Chart Room. The same Julie I had written about two times earlier re her split toe ring and its magical influence upon Key West during Irma.

Her husband, Conrad.

Julie, please write me at louispetrone@gmail.com. I need your assistance in something I am doing.

Big event tonight! Custom House from 5-9. A holiday concert and bazaar. Guaranteed to be a winner! My friend Dr. Cori Convertino involved with the event.

The tax bill in reality our government for sale. To the rich donors who fill the Republican election coffers with mega dollars.

They want to rule the country……from the shadows.

Trump working his alienation powers again today. At a meeting of the UN General Assembly. A vote regarding the U.S. having declared Jerusalem Israel’s capital and advising it would be moving its embassy there.

The U.S. is going to take a beating. A big one!

Trump has advised that those who vote against the U.S.’s position could face repercussions. He threatens to cut aid to any such country.

Niki Haley said the U.S. would be taking names re those who vote against the U.S. position.

What kind of bullshit is this? Trump’s way in this regard similar to those of an authoritarian figure. Men like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

No way to make friends! No way to keep friends!

The Mayflower Compact signed this day back in the 1620’s by the Pilgrims before they disembarked from the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. Signed by 41 adult male Pilgrims.

No women were permitted to sign. Second class citizens back then.

It took a few hundred years. Women however have come a long way!

Enjoy your day!