IRMA EVACUEE REUNION

First stop last night was Tammy. My manicurist.

The woman a charm. A mere 34 years old. Born Vietnam. In the U.S. 14 years. Already a proud U.S. citizen. She and husband Rick owners of a thriving nail business.

Always enjoy my half hour with her. We talk of many things.

Then to the main event. Irma evacuee reunion. Those of us who fled the hurricane and ended up spending 12 days as the “guests” of Jean and Joe Thornton at their Birmingham, Alabama home.

Five of us and three dogs.

We bonded.

Only one failed to make the reunion. Dan. Ann, Haywood, Joanne and her friend Tim, me, and the Thorntons at Alonzo’s.

We drank, ate and overall had a good time. Just as it was in Birmingham those 12 days when we were hiding from Irma.

I wrote Irma and Me based on the evacuee situation. Publisher still has not got it out. Thought it would be available for sale three weeks ago. Still waiting.

Most of us ended up at the Chart Room following Alonzo’s. Packed. Streets empty. The Chart Room overflowing. Tourists. I suspect our group were the only locals.

A stimulating evening for me.

Met Jenni and Spence from West Memphis, Arkansas. A great couple!

Jenni a former history teacher. I liked her right away. Now, a high school librarian. Charming and beautiful. Husband Spence a farmer. Soybeans and rice. The farm 5,500 acres. A corporation. Employs 10.

No strangers to Key West. Visit frequently.

Celebrating Spence’s 38th birthday.

I spent most of the evening talking with Spence. An education! Spence is knee deep in the farm situation, Monsanto, pending tax litigation. All tied together. He and an uncle own the farm. They work hard to keep it in their hands and not have to sell to another entity.

A constant battle. Though not hurting financially, the battle one for survival.

Spence opened my eyes to many things.

An interesting announcement in this morning’s Key West Citizen. KWAHS and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit are merging. The Williams portion will continue operation at 513 Truman Ave.

Tennessee Williams lived 40 plus years of his life on Duncan Street. He authored The Rose Tattoo. During this week in 1954, Hollywood began filming The Rose Tattoo two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Bert Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred. Mangani received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

My daughter Lisa and family live one block in the other direction on Duncan from the Williams home.

I continue to live and learn. A commandant of the U.S. Marines was born in Key West. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. Born November 3, 1913. Served as the 24th Commandant of the Marines, 1968-1972.

Ran into Bill from Boston again a couple of nights ago. Would like to run into him again. An interesting person.

We talked college football the first night. I a Syracuse grad. He, Boston college.

The other night he mentioned as we passed a Boston College glory year. Not sure whether 1920 or 1922. Both glory years for Boston!

In 1920, Boston college beat Holy Cross in the season’s final game. Boston went 8-0 that year.

Nineteen twenty two another big Boston College year. Beat Holy Cross 17-13 before a crowd of 54,000. A record for attendance at the time.

Syracuse/Florida State today. Florida State a 6 point favorite. Syracuse could win.

I continue to believe the economic recovery is built on sand. The high market numbers artificially inflated by global central banks. The rich getting richer. the poor, poorer.

A recent study indicated 78 percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Also, 71 percent are in debt.

Trump left for Asia yesterday. An 11 day trip. He will visit 5 countries.

One is China. Trump is out of his class when it comes to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trade will be a big issue. China in a much better position than the U.S. as regards trade. If Trump achieves anything, it will be minimal.

An under current in the discussions will be oil and the petrodollar. Way back when, an agreement was entered into where most of the oil trading countries would sell oil using American dollars. A boon for the U.S. Helps keep the value of the American dollar high.

A month ago, Trump thought he was screwing Venezuela’s President Maduro. He sanctioned the hell out of Venezuela. Basically forcing American banks and business persons to stop doing business with Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Trump cannot see beyond his nose. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Maduro announced that henceforth Venezuela would not sell its oil based on the American petrodollar. It would sell based on the Chinese petro-yuan.

The first major oil producer to break the age long pact that the American dollar was to be used. China happy. Russia, also. Other countries may follow. The result will be the devaluation of the American dollar.

Such will take place over a number of years.

Good job, Mr. President! As you claim, you are one smart man!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

POEMS ARE MADE BY FOOLS LIKE ME, BUT ONLY EMALYN MERCER CAN SAVE A TREE

Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.

It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.

Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.

Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.

Emalyn, a hero.

Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.

Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.

Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.

Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.

The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.

It appeared the nation was against him.

Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.

I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.

The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.

We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.

Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.

We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.

Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.

Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.

An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.

The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.

The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.

H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.

Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.

That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!

I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.

Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.

A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.

He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.

Enjoy your day!

AMERICA’S HORNIEST PRESIDENT

America’s horniest President? Not John Kennedy. Not Bill Clinton.

Warren G. Harding. Considered also our worst President. Referred to as “useless.” His administration blanketed in corruption.

Harding was a lover.

One of his great loves involved Nan Britton.

They met when she was 14 and he 45. The relationship got going in a New York City hotel room when Nan was 18 and the President 49. Everything short of actual consummation. Nan wanted to preserve her virginity.

Two years later when Nan was 20 and the President 51, Nan relented and gave Harding a woman’s most prized possession.

The relationship continued into the White House. Nan had the run of the place. The two were careful as to their sexual escapades. they enjoyed sex in a small closet in the ante-room to the Oval Office. The closet five foot square.

Nan gave birth to a baby girl. He supported her and the child with monthly payments. The Republican National Party did likewise.

Harding and Trump have much in common. In addition to sexcapades, opposition to immigration. Harding enacted racist immigration laws.

Harding referred to Nan as his “sweetheart incompatible.”

He referred to his penis as “Jerry.”

Another of his loves was Carrie Fulton Phillips. Considered Harding’s lifetime mistress.

In 2014, the Library of Congress released Harding’s love letters to Carrie.

In one, he write: “I love your poise / Of perfect thighs / When they hold me in paradise…..”

In another: “Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you….. / He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all.”

Why this story today? Harding was born on this date in 1865.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending.

Chris and Don there! My Syracuse area friends. Love them both!

they are to be married in March. At the Hyatt. they were to be married on the dock. No dock. Irma. Hyatt assured them there would be one in place by March.

Chris is putting the wedding together. A monumental job. In addition to her work as a top executive with a major company.

They relieved me as to what I am to wear to the wedding. I mentioned I had to purchase a sport jacket, slacks and shoes for the event. I only have shorts, shirts and sandals. Don said, “Absolutely not.” The wedding an informal one attire wise. He is wearing shorts and a sport shirt.

A gent and his wife were seated on the other side of me. He a Boston College grad. An attorney. We talked Boston College sports. Especially, football. Doug Flutie, of course.

Then to Hot Tin Roof alone for dinner. Sat at the bar.

They had stone crabs! My meal! Eight dollars per stone crab. small ones. I had six. Equated to one pound. Absolutely delicious!

As good as the small ones at Pier One. More expensive however. Pier One $26 a pound compared to the $48 a pound I paid at Hot Tin Roof.

Turned out to be a good food and good time evening.

A lady two seats over at the bar asked if I were Louis. I was. we had met 5 1/2 years ago at the Chart Room. She recalled i had mentioned her in the blog the next day.

Lesley her name.

Lesley left Key West at some point thereafter. To Nashville. In the process of returning. actually arrived the day before after fleeing Irma for a few days. she has a position as bartender at the new Duval Central soon to open. The former Gecko’s. She already is settled in. Apartment, etc.

Enjoyed her company. Will stop into Duval Central when it opens to visit her.

Duval Central cannot miss. It is between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s. The word is Gecko closed down because the landlord doubled the rent. It happens in Key West.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carried a slew of photos by Bill Klipp of the Fantasy Fest Parade. Great pics!

There has been no public announcement as to the crowd for the parade. Normally, 80,000. Eighty thousand translates into very crowded sidewalks. Hard to move.

the photos showed much fewer spectators. A marathon could be run on the siewalks.

Guess that is why there has been no announcement as to number of watchers.

I was totally into baseball in my early years. Dies not tuen me on in my old age. as eveidenced by the fact that I watched not one inning of the World Series.

Noted this morning that the Houston /astros won the series in seven games. Over th Los Angeles Dodgers. Congratulations to the Astros

Nevember is National Novel Writing Month. My publisher advised it woud be out by the end of the week. tomorrow is friday. hope it on the stands!

Whatever, Irma and Me will be born during National Novel Writing Month. Unintentionally.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Last night was as different as day and night from the previous evening. Whereas thursday evening there were significantly less party goers on the streets, last night was like Fantasy Fest of old. Traffic crazy, Duval and side streets packed with costumed people, a few nudes, etc.

Appears everyone decided to arrive in Key West on the weekend, rather the days leading up to it.

The Masquerade Parade which had started at the Cemetery was moving along Simonton when I arrived. I forgot it was taking place. I was in a traffic jam for a half hour 4-5 blocks back from Simonton.

Finally had to travel over Whitehead and down Front to get to the Pier House. All the time promising myself there was no way I was going to the Parade tonight. Traffic too crazy!

The Chart Room was packed. Stayed about three hours. I did not think the Room could hold that many people.

A mixed group of out of towners sprinkled with a handful of locals. Many out of towners costumed. Conservatively. Only one bare breasted woman and hers were spray painted with a big bird.

As I drove to the Pier House over the long distance last night, I saw little nudity. Again, more costumes.

The past 48 hours, I have discussed with many reasons for the changes. Everyone agrees there is an obvious change.

Definitely less nudity. Perhaps the new group running the event has succeeded in that regard. Whether good or bad, I cannot say at this point. Time will tell.

The other is the number of parties. It used to be some of the bars would have parties on different nights. Different flavored parties. Sort of different strokes for different folks. Perhaps 2-4 an evening.

In recent rears the parties have grown in number. Some evenings as many as 10. Many I spoke with thought the parties were dragging party goers off the streets. Could be.

I am not sure of anything, except things are different this year.

Tonight, the highlight of Fantasy Fest. The Parade! Floats galore! Could be a disaster. Heavy rains scheduled for today and this evening.

Heavy rains at the moment as I sit here writing.

There is something called 93L out there. A tropical storm or hurricane in the making perhaps. Heavy rains and winds. Reportedly will not turn into a tropical storm or hurricane as it passes over Key West.

Could be a very wet evening as the floats travel down Duval.

I doubt the rain will diminish the thrill and boisterousness of the crowd. They will remain in the rain shouting for beads which are thrown from the floats.

I had been drinking. Had not eaten. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home for the late Happy Hour. Quiet. Three or four at the bar. Everyone downtown. I ate lightly and read the newspapers.

Key West has many tales of ghosts living on the island. One involves the ghost at the Key West Cemetery.

The Cemetery is not large. Only so much land available on an island as small as Key West for a burial ground. The cemetery 170 plus years old. Estimated 100,000 already buried there. We stack bodies.

Many claim they have seen a woman of Bahamian descent who they believe is a ghost. She appears both day and night.

She acts in a protective manner as regards the Cemetery. It is claimed she chastises those sitting on grave stones, walk across a grave, or in any way disrespect the dead.

She threatens  them, turns insolent, and then vanishes.

I have never met her. Hope I never do. I enjoy cemeteries so it could happen. I am a lover of history. Tombstone engravings tell the story of a community from way back when to present day.

Robots/artificial intelligence making great headway! Something new every day.

Sophia Robot was introduced recently at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sophia is a female robot. Very attractive. Highly advanced. Well spoken. Responds to questions intelligently when interviewed.

The Saudis were impressed. At the Conference, Sophia was given full rights of citizenship. The first woman to be so honored.

The citizen thing strange. Sophia was born in effect in Hong Kong. Created there by Hanson Robotics. The first foreigner to be honored with Saudi citizenship. The first robot, also.

Sophia did not wear a burqa nor was she fully covered. She was dressed western style. A lovely hairdo.

Sophia can travel anywhere she wants in Saudi Arabia unaccompanied by a man.

Sort of hypocritical. A real Saudi female cannot do many things. A female robot can.

My publisher…..Where is my book? I keep waiting for its publication to be announced. Hurry!

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..TOGA, TOGA, TOGA

 

I have been recommending the best Fantasy Fest events to attend the past few evenings. Several each night.

Tonight, only one. Toga Party!

Forget everything else. The place to be is Sloppy Joe’s. Inside or on the street. Actually, the street more fun till about 3 in the morning. Then go inside for the action.

Men and women clad in white togas. Magnificent attire, especially for women. It will be show me your…..For how many beads? Constant negotiation. The lady always wins. The men happy to pay.

The event, a voyeur’s dream!

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. Sat at the end of the bar in the corner. A few minutes later, a lovely young lady asked if the empty seat next to me was taken. I looked over and said no. Thought I would die!

She was wearing next to nothing. A thong. Bare breasted. Absolutely magnificent breasts.

All I could think was…..Thank you God!

We chatted. She was up and around and then back to the seat again. Talking with everyone.

She was part of a pair. Al and Ann from somewhere outside Detroit. Al an orthopedist.

They have been doing Fantasy Fest for 10 years. Stay generally at the Pier House. The same accommodation each year. More pricey than a normal room.

Al an interesting guy. We chatted a bit. Clothed differently than Ann. Al was wearing a bathing suit and cowboy hat.

At some point, another Fantasy Fest woman arrived. Her breasts spray painted.

The bar was crowded. Most persons costumed up. At one point, I could hear a discussion about men’s nipples. Did not pay attention. The subject of no interest to me.

John bartending. Early 40’s. His second year in Key West. He is enjoying the week!

He went to Kelly’s Kinky Party monday night. The same one I mentioned that I did with my lesbian wives 15 years ago. The nipple twisting story.

John and his date properly attired. Attired perhaps not the correct word. The fewer clothes the better. A black strap here and there sufficient.

John said the event was everything he imagined it would be!

When I did the party 15 years ago, Kelly’s was the only BD/SM party in town. Today at least one an evening during Fantasy Fest.

Decided to invade the Pier House restaurant. Pier One. For stone crabs.

Magnificent! Without question! Go and enjoy. A mere $26 a pound. Sweet and succulent!

Met Livia. A lovely 26 year old bartender/waitress from Slovakia. She has a Masters from her home country. Useless she claims here. She is attending our local community college learning hospitality services.

I returned to the Chart Room. Kevin and Polly there. Kevin had arrived earlier in the day.

I chastised Polly re tattooed nipples on reconstructed breasts. I had told her and Ollie about a lady friend who was having it done. They thought I was crazy.

I researched Google later that night after arriving home. Nipples can be tattooed on. Three dimensional! Woman’s choice. Instead of a nipple, it can be a star, moon or sun. Whatever the woman wants.

Told Polly also my friend Cindy from Des Moines had written. She had a mastectomy. Opted for a nipple tattoo.

Nipples obviously were in vogue last night at the Chart Room. Female and male.

Saw my dermatologist Dr. Pruett in the afternoon. Cut a few things off. Froze others. A once a year visit as a person gets older.

Got my car back. Vinny the Ghost. Doors now open via the use of human hands. Most other things dependent on the electrical system still not working. Mechanic back ordered on the necessary part.

Shootout at OK Corral. The event occurred this day in 1881. Took all of 30 seconds. Estimated 30 shots fired during that time.

Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday.

A famous American happening. Many movies made based on it.

I have a sick and then sicker story to relate.

Recall the Dakota Access Pipeline last year. Sioux Indians protecting a burial ground. A standoff. Many non Indians standing with the Indians in opposition to the oil companies.

Several Congressmen have written to Attorney General Sessions recommending that he prosecute the Sioux and others as terrorists under the Patriot Act.

Understanding Sessions, he might very well go for it.

Trump wants to deport. He deports. Does not appear age nor circumstance matter.

Marie Rosa 10 years old. Here illegally. Her parents brought her across the border when she was three months old. Maria has cerebral palsy.

An ambulance in Texas was taking her from one hospital to another for surgery. Gall bladder. Stopped at a check point by ICE.

After some discussion, Maria was permitted to go forward and get the surgery. ICE followed and stayed with her.

Following the surgery, Maria was taken to a detention facility in San Antonio. Her parents are at home in Laredo, some 150 miles away. At some point over the years, the parents had become citizens. Not Maria, however.

ICE wants to deport Maria.

Where is the conscience of those involved? America not as unhappy with immigrants as the President thinks.

Media announced this morning the President will speak this afternoon. He will announce that opioids have become a national emergency and the government is going to deal with the problem.

Hero Trump!

Not really.

Opioids a national crisis. Sixty four thousand died last year. Averages 142 deaths a day. Normally such would be labeled a crisis. The crisis would be handled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That account has only $57,000 in it.

Instead of labeling it a crisis, Trump is calling it an emergency. This he believes permits him to use monies authorized for natural disasters. Such as hurricanes.

Hurricane monies drying up, however.

Monies for the opioid epidemic will have to be authorized by Congress. Another Trump slight of hand. He says I am going to do such and such and then tosses the ball to Congress to act. If Congress fails to authorize sufficient monies, he can always say I was for helping. It was Congress that failed.

The President never fails.

Some other interesting tidbits.

Melania is going to be involved in leading the fight somehow.

The problem primarily the responsibility of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We do not have such a Secretary at the moment. Tom Price who was using private jets willy nilly resigned and has not been replaced.

We also require a Drug Czar. Trump nominated a Marino a couple of months ago. Marino had to withdraw when it was discovered he was close to the pharmaceutical houses. We still do not have a Drug Czar.

Typical Trump. Make a big deal out of something. Gets great media coverage. Then limbo for a plan.

The opioid problem is now. Requires now treatment, now attention. Actually, yesterday’s. What Trump will announce will take significantly more time to become operational because of funding, staffing and planning.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!

 

JENNY BEAMING POST MASTECTOMY

 

The Chart Room last night.

John back from his Mexican vacation. Good to see him. He was missed.

Met Scott and Jenny. Fortyish. From northern Florida. Honeymooned in Key West. Visit 3-4 times a year.

Contract soft ware engineers.

Staying at the Pier House.

Jenny a cheery personality. She had a story to tell. Told me. Gave me permission to share it.

Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer. A fast moving 2. Opted for the mastectomy. The breast was rebuilt during the surgical procedure.

The woman is alive! A personality. She had to be the same prior to the cancer. Her attitude clear. Meet the enemy and knock it down. She did.

Gumption the only way to describe her.

She requested no nipple. Strange, I thought. She plans on having the nipple area tattooed. With the Key West setting sun.

She still has to undergo chemotherapy. Six chemos. Each three weeks apart. The first scheduled for next week.

Heidi Schrammer back. Met her a few nights ago at the Chart Room. She is the Marathon bartender who was in Key West for a few days.

Finally figured out why she was here several nights in a row rather than back in Marathon. Her home was wiped out. FEMA agreed to provide a roof over her head. The only available rooms left were in Key West.

Heidi has a problem. The FEMA program ends monday. Four hundred hotel rooms FEMA occupied. Where the occupants will go, I know not.

A moving force is requiring what amounts to a FEMA eviction. Fantasy Fest begins this weekend. The hotel rooms are needed.

David came in. Spent a while enjoying his company.

Left for home. Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a bite to eat.

Parrot Heads are a nationwide, perhaps worldwide, Jimmy Buffett fan club. They meet once a year in Key West. They are here this week. Easy to recognize. They wear large crazy hats. Always laughing. Enjoying themselves.

Fantasy Fest begins tomorrow. Goombay. A Bahamian/Cuban street festival. Petronia Street.

A crocodile here. An alligator there. Such has been the story the past few years.

This morning’s Citizens Voice reports a snorkeler off the White Street Pier ran into a six foot crocodile. In three feet of water.

Crocs and alligators have been popping up in greater frequency. Still small in number, however. Ten years from now may not be the case. Crocs and alligators may be here in larger numbers. I do not recall croc or alligator sightings ten years ago.

Still waiting for my new book Irma and Me to hit the stands. Any day now.

I keep several book writings going at one time. Several months already invested in Key West prostitutes. The history of prostitution in Key West.

The prostitution business was healthy and thriving in the 1880’s. As was the liquor business. Seventeen liquor saloons.

Key West’s population was just under 20,000. A thriving city. Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in Florida. Miami and Miami Beach not yet in the picture.

One third of the residents were Cuban born. The cigar factories induced them to come to Key West. Excellent employment. The cigar factories were turning out 62 million cigars a year.

Education had a bi-ness to it. The students were taught in Spanish in the morning and English in the afternoon.

Big Brother is watching us! 1984 just around the corner!

I have been mentioning the armed masked mercenaries in Puerto Rico. An unknown force all of a sudden appearing on the streets of San Juan.

Could happen in a U.S. city tomorrow. With the same suddenness.

Los Angeles is playing with Big Brother/1984.

Los Angeles has 110,000 street lights. A company manufacturing SmartNodes and SmartPoles is on the verge of doing business with Los Angeles. Street pole lights that provide a surveillance network.

Each street light equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers, etc. Microphones sensitive enough to pick up a conversation between two people.

Los Angeles and many other American cities will jump at the chance to install these street lights that spy. There is an inducement. The manufacturer will pay $1,200 to a city per year for every SmartNode installed. Note, per year. For Los Angeles, the pay back amounts to $13.2 million a year.

Politics has not changed in the United States in more than 200 years. Defame your opponent! Exhibit the evilness in him!

In 1796, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were opposing each other for President. Alexander Hamilton supported Adams and personally hated Jefferson.

Under the phony name of Phocion, Hamilton wrote an editorial published in the newspaper Gazette of the United States stating Jefferson was having an adulterous affair with one of his slaves. Later established to be Sally Hemings.

Big night tonight! Dinner with my benefactor and dear friend Jean Thornton. Stone crabs at the Conch Republic!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ARMED MASKED MERCENARIES WALKING STREETS OF PUERTO RICO

During war, battle plan are prepared. After the battle begins and things are not going as expected, the plan is thrown away. A new plan formulated. One outside the box.

Trump is not creating any new methods for helping Puerto Rico. He tells us the food and water are there. It is up to the people to distribute it.

Passing the buck.

Trump fails to take into account that over 100 bridges are down and many roads washed away.

Think outside the box!

Helicopters! Load the helicopters with food and water and fly all over Puerto Rico bringing food and water to those who have seen neither in almost a month.

My sense is the same was suggested to Trump and rejected by him. Why trump has a hard on for Puerto Rico, I cannot understand.

I discovered in the past 48 hours that armed masked mercenaries, wearing battle gear, and carrying arms, are patrolling streets in San Juan and elsewhere. No tags identifying who they are. When asked, they respond…..We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico.

Who are these mercenaries? Where do they come from? Who is paying them?

TV thus far has been silent as to the situation. In the past two days, articles have begun appearing on the internet re the mercenaries.

Little by little, the truth is leaking out. It appears mercenary groups have been invited by the United States to bid to provide armed and unarmed security. Bids have also been asked for help in protecting food and water supplies.

Five bids requested so far. The one for armed and unarmed security by the Department of Homeland Security.

Questions. Assuming the previous correct, why has the Trump Administration not announced it? Why have TV news outlets failed to mentioned it? Why the big secret?

More importantly, if the U.S. can spend money to hire mercenaries to help, why not send the U.S. military instead? The way things normally are done.

Another thing, why the masks and no identification?

Is Puerto Rico being set up for the overthrow of its existing government by the U.S.? United States’ citizens overthrown by the United States?

None of this makes sense to me.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a fast moving sometimes eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include the Puerto Rico armed masked mercenary situation, a post Irma update for Key West, Kansas losing 70 foster children, the size of the White House, stone crab season upon us.

Also, Trump a destroyer rather than a builder, the poem Slow Dance by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in 6 months, the soon to be publication of Irma and Me, new Charlottesville confrontations, and more.

I had not planned going out last night. Changed my mind at the last minute. Was lathered up ready to shave when the lights went out. So much for shaving. Showered and dressed in the dark.

My neighbors were in the street abuzz about the power failure. Some said all the way up to Big Pine. Others, Big Coppitt.

Aqua my first stop. Missed Liz. She and Stacy had left for dinner. Sat and enjoyed Ric Dery singing.

No Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna was somewhere in West Virginia or Virginia attending a 40 year reunion of the cast of a professional show performed 40 years ago.

Lovely Jean Thornton at the bar. A couple of hugs and kisses.

I sat next to David. We decided after a while to leave and go to the Chart Room. The Chart Room was surprisingly packed.

Met a family from New Hampshire. Five in all. Staying at Truman Annex.

Chatted quite a while with CJ, the youngest family member at 24. CJ good company. Excited about life. A history major in college. Looking forward to obtaining a Masters.

A full day. I was home in bed by 10.

Publisher believes Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP A BULLY

When Trump had a successful TV show for years, I thought his facial images and You’re Fired! outbursts were acting.

Then came the Republican primaries. Trump was not the gentleman. Disrespectful of his opponents. He mocked and embarrassed them.

I realized during the debates Trump was a bully. A typical school yard bully. Mocking, threats, attempts to scare another. As written in Macbeth…..Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Trump is not the only bully out there. North Korea’s Jung Un another. One challenging the United States with his limited supply of nuclear weapons. The other wanting to increase the United States nuclear weapon supply ten fold.

They are not engaging in diplomatic talk. No, they are standing face to face throwing serious barbs at each other. Nuclear war a possibility.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The purpose is to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Perhaps Trump and Jung Un should look into the Month and what it stands for.  They might temper down. Become gentlemen considerate of others.

The Chart Room first last night. Met up with Jean Thornton. Good to see her again. My savior during Irma when I evacuated to her Birmingham home for 12 days.

We went over to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ann and Joanne joined us. Two more Irma evacuees who ended up at Jean’s home.

A reunion of sorts.

Ann is a manager at Coach. Joanne a manager at the Audubon House.

It was good to see the ladies again.

The Hot Tin Roof is located in the Ocean Key House. Parts of Ocean Key took a beating. The long dock into the ocean where people ate and drank. Tables last night were crowded around the tiki bar and also around the pool. A no no previously.

It was 9:45 and I was driving by Publix. The refrigerator empty again. Zip. Nothing. Publix closes at 10.

I made a quick trip up and down the aisles. Threw only necessities in the cart. Made it time wise. Spent only $31. Enough to get me into the weekend.

Another test at the hospital today. No big deal.

Post Irma help comes from varied places. Not help one might expect.

The Florida Keys Community College took a bit of an Irma beating. three sides of the College sit on open water. The school was closed for three weeks. Reopened October 2.

Broward College students and employees were concerned for their brethren at FKCC. They sent 50 lap top computers, 35 bicycles, academic supplies, and personal items.

God is good! Broward College is good!

Moving my ass on Irma and Me. Assembling photographs for the book. Everyone has many. Selection the issue. If you have any, send them to me. All of them. I will pick and choose.

Send now. To louispetrone@gmail.com. Provide me with your full name, also.

I thought the Key West Citizen had renewed daily publication from Monday through friday. Published monday, tuesday and wednesday this week. Nothing today. Hope whatever the problem, it can be corrected. As I repeatedly have stated, a community needs a daily newspaper.

Syracuse plays Clemson tomorrow night (friday) at 7. A David/Goliath battle. Except, I doubt Syracuse (David) will win. Clemson is #2 in the country at 6-0. Syracuse unranked at 3-3.

Clemson a 21 point favorite.

Hope springs eternal, however. One never knows.

Sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, Syracuse was playing Nebraska. Nebraska #1 in the country. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won!

Enjoy your day!