KEY WEST ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

For me, last night was unique. I hit more downtown/Duval spots that normal. Did it all between 5 and 10.

Actually, I was at the corner of Sloppy Joe’s at 1. A quick down and back. I did not want to miss the Running of the Bulls. One of Hemingway Days’ finest events.

Stayed all of 15 minutes before returning home.

My evening began with Tammy and a manicure. Tammy just returned from a one month trip to Vietnam tuesday afternoon. The jet lag was not bothering her as she did my nails.

Tammy looked outstanding! The trip definitely changed her appearance. She got the works so to speak in Vietnam.

Magnificent eyebrows. Tattooed. Did not look tattooed at all. Thick. Beautiful. Tammy said they will fade over a period of six months.

Only $50 in Vietnam.

Her eyes done differently, also. Bright!

Her skin a golden tan. Her family lives near a beach. She spent many days at the beach.

Changed her hairstyle and color, also. Difficult for me to describe.

Simply stated, Tammy returned a movie star!

Then to Don’s Place. Had a drink with Jimmy. Jimmy will be painting the inside of my new home in about two weeks.

Boomer bartending. Had not seen Boomer in a while.

Followed up Don’s Place with the Chart Room. John bartending. Saturday not his usual night. He was filling in for Shawn.

Fellow sitting next to me from Oklahoma. Thirty six. In the commercial air conditioning business. Would prefer Key West and many retails. Big commercial jobs have big bills. However they have to go through accounting, etc. for approval and it takes him forever to be paid.

First time in Key West for he and his 26 year old wife.

They have traveled Caribbean and Asian waters. Warm spots. Key West the best. He plans on returning soon.

Another couple could not stop talking about the Garden of Eden. Their favorite spot. Wish it were mine.

I have not been there in 10 years. The two times I went, the only bare body parts I saw were the bare breasts of the female bartender.

I have to give it another shot. The couple claimed full body parts now available for observation.

Three couples came in. Ordered shots. Patron Tequila and Cafe. Patron topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Looked good. John said it was also known as a Body Guinness. Because the drink looked like a miniature Guinness beer.

Decided to walk Duval. A Caribbean Street Festival going big time. The street jammed. Increases the temperature by 20 degrees. A bit uncomfortable when the 20 degrees is added to heavy humidity.

During the Festival walk decided stopped at The Porch. On Caroline, just off Duval. Another place I had not visited in years.

When I last visited, people sat on the huge front porch and drank. Not last night. Things have changed.

You can drink on the porch. However, it appeared most preferred inside.

The inside different. As you walked in the front door of this lovely old mansion, there were signs on either side of you. The sign to the left indicating the room to the left for beer drinkers. The sign to the right indicating liquor and spirit drinkers.

I went to the right and enjoyed a gin.

Both rooms packed.

I have heard a lot recently about a relatively new place on Caroline. Across from the Tropic Cinema. The Saint.

The Saint it was.

Looks like a guest house from the outside. With a fire engine red carpet running to the front door.

The inside blew me out!

The newest smartest place in Key West. Smart being the operative word. A long bar. Tons of people. The people as smart appearing as the room.

Customers primarily in the 30’s to 40’s range.

Something about their clothes. Key West remains a tee shirt/sport shirt/shorts town. These people were dressed appropriately, but a step up. I don’t know how tee shirts and shorts can look smart, but they did. The people and their attire went well together.

The Saint definitely will be added to one of those places I frequently attend. Loved it!

It was time to eat. Tavern ‘n Town the choice. The 9 o’clock happy hour.

Fried calamari and a couple of drinks. Read the newspapers. Enjoyed Bobby Nesbitt. Followed by a new singer. Nick Hagelin. Plays the guitar and sings. Outstanding! Diners cheered and clapped loudly each time he finished a tune.

Only appearing at Tavern ‘n Town one night. Hope he returns.

Was home and in bed at 10. A busy evening. All fun!

I did a change of pace video on Facebook yesterday. Talked about my grandfather and his immigration to the U.S. in 1906.

An excellent piece. Said with humility. My grandfather was a unique person and it was a joy to write about him.

I plan on doing a follow up today re my grandfather. He never knew his parents. Born a bastard. The video will tell the story of how he got his last name (and now mine) of Petrone.

Take a look. Both videos interesting. The video is Key West Lou Live on Facebook.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BARTENDER JOHN…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

I mention John Holster often. The Chart Room bartender. Top notch bartender. Knows how to handle and entertain customers.

My friend.

John has been honored! By the Key West Citizen. He is Citizen of the Day. His picture and a few lines below appear at the bottom of today’s edition at page 3.

Congratulations, John!

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. It was for me yesterday. Laziness permeated my being till I left the house at 6.

Drove to Hot Dog Church. Not for services. Much too late. To meet Donna and Terri. They were the only patrons left at the Back Door. Laurie bartending and chatting with them.

I like Laurie. A straight forward no bullshit person.

I was about 2 hours late. My laziness the blame.

We had a couple of drinks and Donna, Terri and I headed out to dinner. Hogfish.

Sometimes I enjoy hogfish, sometimes not. Yesterday was a day I did. The hogfish outstanding! My guess is the quality of a hogfish meal depends on who is cooking.

Here it was the middle of the summer and Hogfish was packed. Occasionally, some had a brief wait for a table.

Hemingway Days begin this week. A big time!

Hemingway Days is a clean healthy event. Partying up and down Duval. The crowd a different breed.

I look forward to some of the activities. Especially the Run of the Bulls and the Hemingway Look Alike Contest.

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952. Inspiration for parts and characters primarily from Cuba, Key West and San Francisco.

The fisherman Santiago  had many thoughts and some conversation with Manolin re his hero Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio suffered trials and tribulations as Santiago had. In the end, he accomplished great things.

For Santiago who had not caught a fish in more than 80 days, it was to catch the big one.

DiMaggio was Santiago’s inspiration.

Some believe that Hemingway drew on DiMaggio’s father for the character Santiago. Very few. If true, it would be because DiMaggio’s father was a Sicilian fisherman before immigrating to the United States and continued for a period of time to be a fisherman in the San Francisco Bay area.

Another writing giant who lived in Key West was Tennessee Williams. On this day in 1975, Anthony Quinn met with Williams in Key West. Quinn a fine actor. His greatness still a few years away.

Williams had written the play The Red Devil Battery Sign. Quinn starred in it. The play did not go over well. Closed on Broadway after one week.

Quinn was visiting Williams to see if the play could be revived. The play subsequently was in Vancouver and London. Though not with Quinn in the starring role and only a bit more success than had been achieved in New York.

Interestingly, Pierce Brosnan, then a young actor, starred in the leading role in the London revival.

Poor Venezuela!

I have been following Venezuela and its President Nicholas Maduro for four years. Ever since Maduro took office and Venezuela ran out of toilet paper within one year. Four years later and Venezuela still does not have an adequate supply of toilet paper. High infation, no jobs and no food, also.

I consistently ask why the Venezuelan people do not revolt. Yesterday, an informal referendum was held. Note the word informal. The vote had no binding effect.

Maduro wanted a new constitution. One which would guarantee his remaining in office. More than 7 million voted against Maduro’s plan. An overwhelming vote.

Will anything come of the result? Time will tell. However, I doubt it. For some reason, the people are reluctant/afraid to put guns, sticks and stones in their hands and attack the palace.

Enjoy your day!

DALE AND KENDRA

 

Blog late this morning. 11:30 and just starting. Slept late, laid around in bed.

I had an exceptionally good time last night. My activities limited to the Chart Room and Antonia’s.

Old and new faces at the Chart Room.

Met Dale and Kendra. Great people! From  near Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have been visiting Key West every year for 10 years.

Both school teachers. Dale, a high school history teacher. Kendra teaches elementary school.

Parents of twins! A boy and girl. Now 5 1/2 years old.

This was a special meeting. For them and me. Dale has been reading my blog since 2010. Seven years!

He and Kendra have visited the Chart Room each trip during that time looking to meet up with me. Finally, last night.

We chatted a while. I enjoyed my time with them tremendously. Good people.

Jean Thornton! Last night, finally! She has been back several days and we have been missing each other. Jean’s sister was with her. Two exciting women.

These are Mel Fisher Days. Jean is back in Key West for the annual celebration.

Some 15 years ago, Jean went diving with Mel Fisher. Pushed herself on him. Took her a year for him to finally agree to take her diving. Fisher had already found $400 million in Atocha gold and emeralds.

Jean discovered some gold coins and emeralds herself that day. Would you believe! Quit her school teaching job and bought a condo in Truman Annex. Since that time, she spends at least six months a year in Key West.

Love her dearly!

Enjoyed a lengthy political discussion. With two Trump supporters. Interesting. We rarely agreed. Friends at the start and we were still friends at the end of the conversation.

One was Kevin. Kevin is a regular at the Chart Room. Owns a home on White Street. I knew he leaned conservative from prior discussions. Learned he leaned farther than I thought last night.

The other was Gordon Anderson. Gordon owns the Larian Motel in Tombstone, Arizona. Proud of it. Number one for two consecutive years on Trip Advisor.

Gordon visits Key West twice a year. A huge Mel Fisher aficionado. Took the tour yesterday of the Fisher lab. Learned how stones, jewels, coins and other artifacts are preserved. Excited him.

Today, the Mel Fisher Schooner Wharf Party. He and Kevin were making plans to attend.

The politics were good. Kevin and Gordon’s views generally diametrically opposed to mine. They enjoyed, also. We chatted back and forth.

Covered a multitude of sins. The Second Amendment. Both extremely knowledgeable about gun rights. Both conceal carry. Legal in Florida and Arizona. Kevin had me feel his gun which he carried in the back of his pants covered by his shirt. First time I was aware he carried.

They viewed Trump as the new Messiah (my description). Echoed the Republican speaking points. To the letter. Media responsible for the negatives heaped on Trump, everything is Obama’s fault. Both felt that if Trump were impeached, the people would rise up. Not tolerate it.

We have a problem. Our country is split 50/50. Both sides dug in. I do not ever recall politics this hard fixed.

The Chart Room crowded. John working hard.

Tom Cochran was a bartender back in the days when the Chart Room began and Jimmy Buffett was starting. The Chart Room’s bartender.

I have never met him. He was standing at the end of the bar. Tall. Cowboy hat. Tourists listening to him in awe as he described Jimmy Buffett’s beginnings, etc.

Never got to talk with him. The crowd surrounding him too tight. Hopefully, another time.

Time to eat. Opted for Antonia’s. Place packed. Fortunate to get a seat at the bar. TK bartending. I have known TK better than 20 years. Still looks as young as when I met him. He attributes it to botox.

Met Mike Grasso who was seated next to me. In advertising. Philadelphia. MCG Media LLC. His shop.

Knowledgeable. If I recall correctly, he owns or has a piece of Back Page.

We spoke of Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square and David Wolkowsky. Exchanged growing up Italian stories.

Mike left. Replaced by Roddy and Clarisse. They had been seated a few seats away. Could tell I was a lawyer. Sat next to me for desert.

Both attorneys. Young compared to me. But then, everyone is. Married four years. Roddy a civil litigator in Orlando. Clarisse an immigration specialist in Miami. They have homes in Orlando and Miami.

We did lawyer talk.

Enjoyed them! The world their oyster. I wish them well.

As I was paying my bill preparatory to leaving, in walked John Marston. A Key West attorney and friend. He introduced me to his lady. A beauty! Great smile! I had never met her before. I am ashamed to admit I cannot recall her name.

Finally, home to bed.

Tonight, party time. I joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy last year. Love the members! Fun people!

A bocce party. Pizza, beer and wine. Good company and simple food and drink. Nothing better.

Enjoy your day!

 

ONLY IN THE CHART ROOM

I frequently write or say…..Only in Key West! Last night it was only in the Chart Room!

Great people. All interesting.

During the course of the evening, Jessica appeared. I mentioned Jessica a few days ago. The lovely 40ish woman who came into the Chart Room.

I was in the process of leaving. Jessica mentioned to the bar her husband had returned home that day. She was staying a week to have fun. The intimation sex.

Fine. Strange. Her business only. Why share.

Jessica reappeared last night. Stood at the end of the bar and said, “I’m buying for the bar. Shots.”

She then proceeded to tell us she was in a hurry. Someone was coming to her room. No intimation this time. Sex!

A meretricious relationship awaited her. The term a throwback to my lawyering days.

With that, Jessica was off.

Her total time in the Chart Room all of two minutes. Time enough to buy for the bar and announce what was next on her agenda.

An efficient use of time. Hope she was not as time efficient when she returned to her room.

The others at the bar were not revealing with regard to later evening intentions.

Met some nice people. No misunderstanding. Jessica was nice, too.

Sitting next to me was Jeff Wear. Got a boat education. Jeff is involved in boat sales in West Palm Beach. Mariner Marine. Specialize in Grady-White boats. Better described as elegant outboard powerboats.

He and wife Michelle have a 37 foot Grady-White that they frequently power to Key West for a weekend. The boat last night was at the Galleon.

Jeff once was a Keys resident. Lived 5 years in Islamorada.

Interesting. Jeff and Michelle live in Stuart and work in West Palm. A fun area. Yet they find Key West more appealing for get away weekends. The flavor of Key West difficult to find elsewhere.

Mike and Amy were seated on the other side of me. From western Massachusetts. They have visited Key West many times. The first time for their honeymoon.

At the other end of the bar were Mark and Kim from Connecticut. Their fourth visit. Mark builds computer boards.

John enjoyed himself while bartending. It was a fun evening.

I had not eaten. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. The Tavern’s new 9-11 happy hour terrific. Since it is late, I eat less.

The cost can’t be beat. Fried calamari, bread and two drinks. $18. I feel ashamed every time I pay the bill after a late evening there.

Spent yesterday afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Some day, I will finish the book.

This Trump meeting of a year ago involving Donald Jr. gets stranger by the day. Seems hard for young Donald to tell the truth.

We were informed yesterday there was a fifth person in the room. A Russian-American lobbyist who once was a member of Russia’s military and counter-intelligence.

A few minutes ago on MSNBC, I heard announced that one of Jr.’s attorneys called in and said their was a sixth person in the room. Sounds like a joke telephone call. By the end of the day, we will know if the message was genuine.

I do not mean to insult Donald Trump, Jr. by referring to him as Jr. Fewer letters to type.

A day or two ago, his father referred to him as a good kid. Probably is. He is neither Jr. nor kid, however. He is 10 days younger than the French President.

Got to hurry. A haircut appointment.

Enjoy your day!

 

LAZY GECKO…..SO LONG, FAREWELL, AUF WIEDERSEHEN, ADIEU

Today, the last for Lazy Gecko. It closes at the end of business this evening. I give the Gecko a Sound of Music goodbye. Well deserved.

The Gecko has been part of the Park Ave. 200 block of Duval for many years. Seated between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s.

Word on the street is someone bought the building Gecko is in and raised the rent. Beyond what Gecko proprietors thought they could pay.

The number I hear is $30,000 a month.

High, but not high in comparison to rents of other lower end Duval properties.

Word on the street also suggest Irish Kevin’s got a kick up in the rent. To $65,000 a month. Irish Kevin’s is significantly larger than the Gecko and does a much bigger business each night than the Gecko.

There is a party tomorrow night at the Gecko for its regular customers. A going away event.

Gecko’s demise sad. Life, however.

My new neighbor is gone, also. The golf course crocodile.

The croc was a she. Nine feet long, 200 pounds. Caught in the middle of the night after a four hour struggle. The croc was taken somewhere up the Keys and released.

She was caught at her home at the 11th hole pond.

The crocodile had traveled a bit. In the less than the month’s time she lived at the pond, she had also been sighted on Stock Island and Key Haven. Key Haven my former residence.

Stopped at the Chart Room first last night. Who calls out Lou? My political adversary/friend from the other evening. Paul. The fellow from Indiana who lives in Mike Pence’s district and knows him. The same Paul who got excited while talking in support of Trump.

The guy is my friend! No question. We talked long last night. No politics. Met his wife Kim. A honey. Typical midwest. Warm and friendly.

Pete came in for a beer. We started talking. Age came into the discussion. I advised him I had just turned 82. He told me he was 76. Looked exceptionally great for his age.

Pete has been in Key West since the 1970s.

He still works. A civilian employee for the federal government. Said he had to. He has a 14 year old son to educate. Born of his fourth marriage.

I laughed, he laughed. It is funny when you think about it.

I admired his desire to make sure his last child’s education was totally paid by him. He had done it for his other children.

I told him I understood. I educated my four children. One hundred cents on the dollar. I did not want them to struggle financially through school as I had.

The one hundred cents on the dollar included a car and spring break vacations. I frequently thumbed. Spring break? What was that?

Near the time I was getting ready to leave, Jessica walked in. A Miss America type! Actually, Mrs. America. Around 40. Lives near Los Angeles.

I was in a hurry to eat. It was 9 and I had not had anything since breakfast. The growling in my stomach took precedence over Jessica.

My destination was Tavern ‘n Town. They have a new Happy Hour from 9-11. Tapas and drinks half price.

Last night was my fourth visit.

I like the late Happy Hour. A tapas, two drinks and a light bill. $18.

Can’t go wrong.

I made an error in yesterday’s blog. Mentioned Mel Fisher Days was ending today. Not so. Mel Fisher Days has not yet begun. It starts next thursday and runs through saturday. The event commemorates Fisher’s discovery of the Atocha.

This weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal carried an interesting article front page. Cookie tables at wedding have  become larger and more common.

I recall cookie tables at the weddings of my children. Their mother, the family and friends baked for weeks in preparation for the cookie table. I was unaware that it had now grown into a big time expensive item for what the Journal described as “modern weddings.”

The article reported a recent wedding in Youngstown, Ohio where 18,000 cookies consisting of 150 varieties were served.

Enjoy your sunday!

 

 

 

ROOFTOP BIRTHDAY DINNER

A wonderful evening! Birthday dinner at the Rooftop as the guest of Joseph Lyles.

Joseph, the host extraordinaire. My John the Baptist friend still walking with his seven foot pole.

Joseph has had an extensive career in the food industry. Managed fine dining at places like the Hot Tin Roof and Little Palm Island.

A man held in high esteem by his restaurant cohorts. Clearly evident last night. The owner and chef stopped by the table. The table itself special. Special appetizers selected by Joseph before I arrived.

The chef recommended the snapper special. Joseph and I followed his advice. Did not go wrong.

Courtesy even to a double locals discount. I was impressed.

Joseph is a person of deep intelligence. A thinker. I enjoy his company. We have decided to do it again. Next time at Martin’s for Happy Hour.

A passing comment. I had not been to the Rooftop in at least 10 years. You hear me say this often. Ten years. Key West has many fine restaurants. Plus, I am a creature of habit. Enjoy going to the same places.

I am adding Rooftop to my list of places to frequent. I forgot how good it was.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! So many Happy Birthday greetings. I am a lucky man.

Barbara enjoyed dinner with Joseph and I last night. She left early this morning to return to New York. She was a tremendous help in getting me unpacked, etc.

We lunched together at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday. One of those sudden heavy summer rains occurred. Kept us at Harry’s an extra half hour.

Spent most of the day unpacking. More to go, though not much.

I have been in Key West many years. I feel like I am a part of Key West. The feeling is accompanied with an attitude that I know everything about my island.

I do not. As I frequently learn.

The wall behind the bar at the Chart Room is loaded with photos. Some covering each other.

The other evening, I discovered one of Mel Fisher and Johnny Carson.

Fisher found the Atocha and gold in July 1985. Like $400 million worth. Within days, he was on the Johnny Carson show. July 30, 1985 to be exact.

Soon thereafter, Carson traveled to Key West. He wanted to dive the Atocha. Fisher took him.

Fisher also took him to the Chart Room where the photograph was taken.

In depth knowledge of William Hackley is a bit at a time. On this date in 1856, Hackley wrote in his diary that he received a letter from his mother. Enclosed in the letter was his “quarterly salary.”

Leads me to believe Hackley might have been a trust fund baby.

Hoover Dam…..One of the wonders of the world! Definitely so at the time of its completion in 1935.

Time and other construction has diminished its number one position as the largest of dams. Today, Hoover Dam is the 2nd highest in the United States and 18th largest in the world.

I write about Hoover Dam for several reasons today.

One is that construction began this day in 1930.

Others include the dam being finished two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget. A feat impossible in today’s world.

Interesting to note is 21,000 men worked on the dam during its 5 year construction period. Jobs for many during the great depression.

Enjoy your day!

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

This day in history…..I was born! July 6, 1935.

I am 82 years old today. Wow! My father made it to 98. His father 94. My father’s sister Mary 102.

I of course have no recollection of the day of my birth. All I know is what my mother told me. It was hot and humid. No air conditioning in 1935. She was in labor 23 hours.

She was not a happy camper about the 23 hours. Her comments always concluded with…..You were worth it!

A mother’s love.

Stopped by my former home yesterday. Wanted to get the garbage containers off the street. Found a note on the front door: Pipe broke. Boil water from 6/29-7/2.

I left 6/29. Apparently before the pipe broke. A tragedy avoided.

Still unpacking boxes. Hope to finish today. My back is killing me.

Jimmy and Johnny stopped over in the afternoon. Not to welcome me to the neighborhood. I am having the inside of the house painted. They will start in about three weeks.

Chart Room last night.

A touchy evening.

Political chatter.

Met a 60ish gentleman from Indiana. Lives in Mike Pence’s district. Knows Mike Pence. Unhappy with the way the Dems are treating Trump. Thought the Republicans gave Obama a free ride and Trump was entitled to the same.

He was getting excited. I was calm. John said, no politics.

I was at the other end of the bar. He came over about 10 minutes later and we talked about non-political things for about 15 minutes. Nice of him.

Another fellow was seated next to me. His first time in Key West. Been here a few days. Staying till sunday. His goal is to have a beer in as many bars as possible. The Chart Room was #23.

Old movie houses. Key West has one. To this day. Though not a movie theater today. A Walgreens. The movie theater outside facade remains.

The movie house was called the Strand Theater. Opened in mid Duval in the early 1920’s. Seated over 800. Initially showed silent films. Then talkies.

The Strand was destroyed by fire on this date in 1934. Rebuilt and reopened as the Strand. Closed in the 1980’s. Theater attendance was falling.

Various businesses operated out of the Strand. For several years, it was a big time gay bar. Went only once. When I was relatively new to Key West and unaccustomed to certain of its nuances. A midnight show: A  Black Mass. My deviate mind compelled my attendance.

I was sitting on a ledge waiting for the show to begin. The place packed. All genders, all sexual preferences. Two men dressed as nuns came by. One said he/she would like to hold my nuts. His palm opened. He held two peanuts.

I was out the door.

Ripley’s is now in the 100 block of Duval. From 1993-2002, it operated in the Strand. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium.

Today, the majestic theater of old a small crowded Walgreens.

I consider Forrest Gump an outstanding movie. Forrest Gump opened this day in 1994. Starred Tom Hanks.

My day will consist of  more box openings and then dinner tonight at Rooftop. Friend Joseph is taking me out to dinner for my birthday.

Enjoy your day!

 

DISNEY STILL GETS ME

A child at heart. I am glad I still am on occasion.

Last night was one of those times. I enjoyed the children’s favorite Aladdin Jr at the Waterfront Playhouse.

I never would have attended were it not for Larry Blackburn’s daughter Sydney playing the female lead Princess Jasmine and Donna and Terri’s granddaughter Lev performing as the Matron.

Both outstanding. The entire cast outstanding! The show professionally performed.

I stopped at the Chart Room first for a drink. Then Aladdin. Then back to the Chart Room again.

John bartending.

Glad I returned to the Chart Room. Met Tim and Stephanie. Locals, also. Though our paths never crossed before.

Tim works for David Wolkowsky. One of his responsibilities is taking care of Ballast Key.

When Tim mentioned he worked for David, I brought to his attention the KONK Life article I did several years ago about David. Tim surprised me. He had read the article. David had read it. David referred Tim to it.

At the time, David laughingly referred to the article as his obituary. A pang of guilt hit me for a moment. Then I realized such is David’s nature to comment in a joking fashion about some things.

It will be many more years before David has need of an obituary. He is only 98.

To those who may be unfamiliar with David, he is Mr. Key West. The Key West of today would not have been were it not for him. Even to Jimmy Buffett.

Buffett tells how David gave him his first paying job. At the Chart Room, no less. The same chart Room we were in last night. The same Chart Room David constructed as part of the Pier House which he built.

It was after 10 when I left the Chart Room. Had not eaten since breakfast. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. Tavern ‘n Town has added a Happy Hour from 9-11. Perfect for me last night!

Today an historical one in Key West. Uber and Lyft are finally allowed to provide service in Key West.

I read an article yesterday that Key West is the last major market for Uber and Lyft service. Disgraceful. We should have had it two years ago. However, the Key West Commission continues to operate via the Bubba system.

An even better example of the Bubba system in operation is that no new cab licenses have been issued in Key West for 75 years. Called taking care of your own, generation after generation.

Got a manicure thursday at Lee Nails.

No Tammy. I forgot she was taking her two children home to visit the family. Tammy is originally from Vietnam. I recall her telling me the trip would take something like 34 hours. Three or four stopovers included.

Husband Rickie stayed home. Someone had to run the business.

When I telephoned and discovered Tammy had left, I panicked. Who was going to do my nails? You, Rickie? No Mr. Lou, he said. You get a beautiful girl. The prettiest. Nina.

I could not place Nina. When I showed up friday, we met. Loverly! Came to the U.S. two years ago from one of the eastern bloc countries. Loves Key West people and weather.

Nina is 23 years old. A bashful 23.

Tammy had obviously left Nina with marching orders as to how I liked my nails done. Nina did a magnificent job. Especially the buffing.

Yesterday, I wrote about cursive writing. Most do not seem to appreciate handwriting as much as I do. It has to be my age. I learned to hand write when 6. The computer did not enter my life till many many years later. I am less adept with the computer than with handwriting.

My friend Tom in Des Moines believes there is no need for cursive today. Initially intended to speed things up from hand printing, today not needed. The computer is everything.

I mention cursive again this morning because typing on a screen came to be on June 29, 1975 around 10 in the evening. In a small California town.

Prior thereto, man had never hit a key and a letter appeared on a screen.

The mere fact that it happened gave birth to multiple changes in the way we live. The future of business changed, how we communicate with each other changed, etc. The world changed.

The responsible individual was Steve Wozniak.

Ten months later Wozniak and two others formed Apple. The other two, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.

Last year, Apples revenue was in excess of $215 billion. Its employees, 116,00 world wide.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ATM

Everyone, everything has a birthday. Two days ago, ATM. Fifty years old. the first ATM having been opened on June 27, 1967. Barclay’s Bank in London.

Prior to ATMs, you could only get money out of a bank during bank working hours: 8-3. On weekends, not at all.

We have been spoiled!

Move completed yesterday. I am surrounded by boxes. Every room. Taking today off. Tired. Will get at arranging things hopefully tomorrow.

I am at Starbucks at the moment. Still do not have wi-fi or anything else Comcast provides.

I am going to head over to Verizon when I am done. I have a vague recollection I have wi-fi on my cell phone.

Chart Room first last night. Sat and slowly drank. Not crowded. Three couples sitting at the round table. From New York City. Boisterous. Loud. Laughing. Having fun.

Their bar bill over $300 for six people. When leaving, they apologized for the noise, etc. No problem. They said they were from the City and that is how NYC people are.

They tripped onto the Chart Room. First time. Loved it!

I got to show off a bit. Two of the ladies wanted to know about the names and ashes of those in the bar.

Dinner after the Chart Room at the Hot Tin Roof. One of my favorite dining places. Not last night.

I was not that hungry. Ordered bread and fried calamari. Asked for the bread first and quickly. Told the bartender I had been drinking.

Note the Chart Room charges for bread. $3. Stupid, but that’s the way it is. My bread did not arrive till I was almost done with the calamari.

Some nights you just can’t win!

May such be one of my biggest problems in life

A lawsuit has been filed in California federal court. Some group wants fluoridation of water stopped. Claim neurotoxicity and not consistent with the Toxic Substances Control Act.

I recall when fluoridation came to New York State. I was in high school. A bitter war. Many opposed.

Ten years later, dentistry as known then was not the best of careers. Fluoridation had cut back dramatically tooth decay. For many years, dental school was avoided by many.

Dentistry is back big time these days. Implants, etc. Fluoridation still around. Pseudo experts claiming it unhealthy.

I am 81 and still here.

Florida’s Senator Rubio is sometimes his own worst enemy. I happen to like him. However, he sometime says stupid things. He needs more maturity. Like another ten years. Then he might be Presidential timber.

His latest statement giving me concern is the Republican healthcare bill. He is not concerned that 22 million will be without coverage by 2016. He considers by that number “…..only a small percentage will be hurt.”

One of Key West’s favorite people was married on June 28, 1919. Harry Truman married Bess.

Enjoy your day!

LOVELY REBELLIOUS PRINCESS JASMINE LARRY BLACKBURN’S DAUGHTER

A wonderful evening!

Stopped at the Ocean Grill for a bite to eat. Sat at the bar. Soon after, Larry Blackburn and family arrived.

Larry is well known in Key West. His profession photography. A photographer extraordinaire. Special. He literally captures the world around him.

Larry’s daughter Sydney Blackburn was with him.

To say Sydney is a beauty is to minimize her attractiveness. She is absolutely lovely! Naturally so.

Sydney is only 14 years old. I was surprised. Could pass for 18-20 with ease.

Sydney is appearing at the Waterfront Playhouse thursday and friday. She plays the female lead in Aladdin.

World famous. Aladdin is a Middle East folk tale. It has been seen on Broadway, a national tour, and as a Disney movie.

The beautiful and rebellious Princess Jasmine the female lead role.

I look forward to seeing Sydney in the role.

Key West’s premier videoer is Tim Dahms. He will be videoing Aladdin. Larry is doing the photography and public relations. Campo Bravo the sponsor.

Not to be forgotten is Stephanie Hellstrom, Larry’s wife. She and I chatted quite a while. She operates the Panama Hat Shop on Fleming.

Before going to the Ocean Bar, I stopped at the Chart Room. Shaun doing a great job. He has the Jimmy Buffett story down pat.

Where were you Charlotte? A former Key Wester now living somewhere in a mid Atlantic state, e-mailed me she would be in for the weekend, would we be able to meet? I e-mailed back the Chart Room. Nothing etched in stone. Charlotte generally spends most of her Key West time at the Chart Room.

Not last night. No Charlotte.

I was disappointed.

An interesting couple sat next to me at the bar. Very interesting. Charlie and Rhonda from Charleston, South Carolina.

Not newbies to Key West. Visit often. Charlie an engineer. Repairs train engines. I mentioned that in his other life, Howard Livingston was once CEO of a Chicago plant that made diesel railroad engines.

Charlie and Rhonda were familiar with Howard. They attend his shows frequently. Charlie said they have every CD Howard has made.

Rhonda’s job exciting. She is an ophthalmic technician. Thirty two years. I have bad eyes. Eight surgeries. I totally respect those in medicine who help people continue seeing.

They have been married 33 years. Two children. Their daughter a marine biologist. Their son an Army captain. The son is being deployed to Afghanistan soon.

So much for Charlie and Rhonda’s history. More impressive was our discussion that began with boiled peanuts.

I never heard of boiled peanuts. Roasted yes, boiled no.

Boiled a big deal in the Charleston area. They took me through the whole process. Boiled in the shells. Canned. When time to enjoy arrives, heat the peanuts in the micro.

Delicious!

Charlie is into grit mills also. Another education. His family got the recipe 80 years ago.

The food followed by a Charleston Bloody Mary mix. Special. Add horseradish before serving.

Charlie brings the boiled peanuts, grits and Bloody Mary mix with him when he visits Key West for his Key West friends. He and Rhonda have made many Key West friends over the years.

Charlie too nice. He wanted to rush back to his hotel to get a bag of the goodies for me. He said it would only take 15 minutes. I said no.

The compromise is he is going to leave a bag full for me at the Chart Room bar.

Something struck me about the couple. They are very pro Charleston. Their home town. Proud and big time supporters of the community.

It was a good night! Nice people at both places. Enjoyed myself.

Enjoy your sunday!