TONI TARRACINO SHARES HER LEGACY

Captain Tony is a Key West legend. An icon. Remembered. Revered.

His former bar on Greene Street still bears his name. The bar inside and out as it was in his day.

Toni one of his children. Today, a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Plus involved in a multitude of other things like marrying people, planning weddings, painting and blog writing.

Her blog is titled Sharing My Key West Legacy. http://tonitarracino.com. One of the best I have read. She has her hands on everything Key West.

I told Toni her material was so good I would be plagiarizing her recollections on occasion.

She wrote of the West Martello Fort. Its history. Today home of the Garden Club and a wedding venue. She mentions the Autograph Tree. Never heard of it. Yet, she knew.

The tree stands at the entrance to the Fort. People have scratched and otherwise written their names and initials on the leaves over the years.

Another story involves the fish sitting on the outside of Capt. Tony’s bar.  Second floor level. People always turning their backs to the fish and trying to throw quarters into its open mouth.

Toni shared the origin of the custom.

As a girl, she helped out at the bar. There actually was a slow season then. The summer. The bar was hot. She and other staff would take benches outside and sit on them. The heat inside too much.

One of those sitting with Toni was a rabid Larry Bird fan. He used to stand, yell “top of the key” and try to throw quarters in the fish’s mouth.

Toni and friends thought it too hot for him to do it as he was. They convinced him to stand on the curb on his toes with his back to the fish.And then try to successfully throw quarters into the fish’s mouth.

A tradition was born. You know the story. A continuing event born out of heat, boredom, and today a bit of alcohol.

My Key West yesterday.

A manicure with Tammy. Business slow. Will pick up next week. Tammy said women like to pretty up for Thanksgiving.

Then a visit with  Dr. Norris. He’s not concerned with what now has been determined to be a ligament or muscle protruding on the left side of my neck. Five inches long. I feared it was my carotid and I was heading for a stroke.

A late lunch at Cuban Coffee Queen. The Queen I was at is in the bowels of Key Lime Square. As is Dr. Norris’ office. I sat looking down the Square towards Southard. It was quiet. Peaceful. Few people. Sun hitting the trees and foliage just right. A relaxing moment.

On the way home, I drove pass David Wolkowsky’s home on Flagler. Someone was working on his Rolls Royce or some ancient roadster. The hood was up. David had two vintage vehicles. Each close to 100 years old.

Last night, Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Joe and Andrea back after 2 weeks in Ohio. Good to see them again. Terri singing. Donna at the bar, of course.

More Key West nostalgia.

Some small guys enjoy big ladies. Especially sexually. In 1993, Rocky was out and about. Rocky a 7 pound male Chihuahua. He saw an 80 pound female Rottweiler. One or both in heat. The dirty deed was done. The 80 pound Rott got pregnant.

The Rottweiler’s owners sued. I have no idea what the offspring looked like. In any event, the Rott owners won. The court awarded them $2,567.50.

Pythons have overtaken southern Florida. Actual number unknown. Estimated to be in excess of one million. Cannot be eradicated. Hopefully contained.

The government hires snake hunters. One recently killed the largest ever. A 17 foot 5 inch python weighing 120 pounds. In the Homestead area.

Imagine the beauty wrapping itself around you.

Another problem now out of control are iguanas. The State failed to pay attention. They eat our flowers and defecate in our pools. They are all over the roadways. A danger to driving.

The State has commenced a program to get rid of the iguanas. I hope it is not too late as with the pythons.

Tonight, Syracuse/Connecticut play basketball at 7 in Madison Square Garden. Two former Big East foes. Syracuse ranked #15 nationally. Connecticut not ranked.

I will be home watching the game.

A cold spell coming in. The temperature will be 75 degrees tomorrow. Down from 85 in one day. Most Key Westers will say they love it. I will say I’m cold! Just how it affects me.

Never got to the notes re world events I wanted to share. All less than a week old. Perhaps tomorrow. I got carried away today with Key West items.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

AN AMERICAN HERO FORGOTTEN BY HISTORY

Two men with Armistice Day stories to be told. Two men who exhibited love and respect for their country in different ways.

World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am in 1918. The Armistice has been signed at 5 in the morning, scheduled to go into effect at 11 that same morning.

Henry Nicholas Gunther was born in 1895 of German immigrant parents. In Baltimore. Raised and schooled there.

He became a member of the 313th Infantry Regiment. Known as Baltimore’s Own. He arrived in France in July 1918.

Gunther was involved in fighting in the Argonne on November 11. Front line. Just before 11 am, Gunter’s group was confronted by a German road block which contained a machine gun. His sergeant ordered Gunther to fix his bayonet and charge the Germans.

Gunther did as ordered. As he charged, there was a burst of machine gun fire. Gunther was killed. He died at 10:59 am.

The Americans were unaware of the truce. The Germans were. They kept shouting at Gunther that the war was over. Gunther apparently did not understand and kept coming. They shot him.

Gunther was 23 at the time. He was the last American to be killed in World War I.

General Pershing recognized Gunther at an Armistice ceremony the next day. He referred to Gunther as an American hero.

Today, Gunther is an American hero forgotten by history.

One hundred years later to the day, it was Armistice Day again. November 11, 2018. The free world commemorated the occasion in Paris. The heads of the world’s free nations in attendance.

Trump was there. In his room at the American Embassy at a very special moment.

There was a ceremony at an American cemetery. Aisne Marine American Cemetery. Fifty miles outside Paris. The final resting place of American soldiers who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood.

Trump failed to honor his country’s war dead. He did not attend. It was raining. He was the only world leader who failed to attend.

A tale of two men. One a hero. The other, I am not sure how to label.

Hemingway personally experienced war as an ambulance driver and war correspondent. He did not like war. I question how he would have addressed heroism. Whatever, he did write, “In modern war…..you will die like a dog for no good reason.”

Busy day yesterday.

My cell phone was screwed up. A simple problem I could not resolve. I am not mechanically inclined in any fashion.

Hurried over to Verizon in the Win-Dixie Shopping Center. They set me straight in seconds.

Then picked up Robert and Ally. No school because of the holiday. Robert now a freshman in high school and Ally in the eighth grade.

Both adults.

We went to Sandy’s Cafe. They’re choice. A favorite of theirs, also.

They shared with me their present day experiences.

Robert loves high school. He received an award as the outstanding freshman student of the quarter. Based on grades, activities, etc. He continues to practice almost daily his tennis. A star in making. No question he will be on the varsity team when they begin play in January. He went to a dance. With a group. Talked to girls, did not dance.

Ally a typical eighth grader. Top year at her school. A big shot. She had straight A’s on her recent report card. She is developing into a beauty. Pure femininity. She is anxious to get to high school. Her brother’s comments make her so. She knows there is another world awaiting her there.

I noticed yesterday morning a bulge on one side of my neck. Vertical. About 5 inches log. Protruding out of the side of my neck.

Panic set in. My carotid artery. I was on my way to a stroke.

Was in Dr. Ivor’s office at 3 to see nurse Susan Neill. She and McIvor have been caring for my heart for 12 years. She checked me out. Not carotid. Ran some tests. Found nothing wrong. Perhaps my weight loss had caused some muscle or blood vessel to protrude.

I felt better. Still concerned, however. I am a hypochondriac. Told her I was seeing my primary Dr. Norris wednesday for some blood results. I would see what he had to say.

Susan and I have become friends over the years. I learned yesterday was her first day at work in 8 weeks. She was wearing a big boot on one foot.

She was not a happy camper.

She was at St. Mary’s Church. Placing some flowers on the altar. As she turned to step down, she went down. Fractured some important bone in her ankle/foot. Now has screws, pins, and gross discomfort.

I hurt for her.

It was 4 in the afternoon. Too early to go home. Too early to really go out. Had a choice to make. Went out. To Blue Macaw. A couple of drinks, a light dinner and some good company.

Everyone with physical problems. Doug, who is a tour guide at the Hemingway House, is in intensive care. His heart. His co-worker Alisia told me.

Paul and Ron came in. Paul told me he is experiencing the same throat problems I complained about 6 months ago. He is undergoing a procedure friday to correct it.

What a world! What a life! It’s called getting old!

I was home by 8:30. Went to bed. Fell asleep almost immediately. Woke at midnight and could not sleep the rest of the night.

Doug Bennett writes an interesting blog…..This Week On The Island. A series of events marked with photos.

His opening and closing verbiage paragraphs always read the same. Part of the introductory paragraph: “Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.”

The last paragraph: “Key West, Close to Perfect, Far from Normal.”

I especially like his last statement.

Today, tuesday. My podcast show tonight. Nine my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Join me. I rant and rave about whatever moves me at the moment. A fast moving half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MY FAMILY AND ELLIS ISLAND

Ellis Island closed its doors as a point of immigration on this day in 1954. Today, it is an Immigration Museum. Visited by 2 million persons a year.

Prior to 1892, immigration was handled by the states. Effective January 2, 1892, the federal government assumed responsibility. Ellis Island was the first immigration center. The first person to pass through the new immigration center was 15 year old Annie Moore.

My family, my ancestors, passed through Ellis Island. My mother, her parents and 7 brothers. On my father’s side, his parents.

Ellis Island was named not for some public figure. Rather for the man who owned the island in the 1770’s, Samuel Ellis.

A bit of snobbery, prejudice, and caution involved in processing those arriving to the U.S. First and second class never stopped first at Ellis Island. They received a brief shipboard inspection.

Third class was another story. They were run through Ellis Island. These were the poor. The peasant and peons from the old world. My family among them.

Third class underwent medical and legal inspections. To insure against contagious diseases or legal problems that would make them a burden or danger to citizens of the U.S.

I am named after my father’s father. My grandfather Louis. He was 12 when he came over as a third class passenger. Just after the turn of the century.

He was held on Ellis Island for 3 months. Properly so. He had some contagious disease. I cannot recall what. He was treated, cured, and then permitted entry.

Two years ago, I met Valerie Leary and her husband at Martin’s. Visiting from Delaware.

Valerie together with several girl friends have been visiting Key West this past week. They did it all! Even the boat races!

Valerie and I got together last night at the Chart Room for a few drinks. An attractive woman. Fiftyish. A public servant since last we met. Now a Councilperson in New Castle, Delaware.

After a while, one of her group joined us. Megan. A lovely 27 year old. In the bug business. Her Dad’s. Will run it some day.

I filled Megan in on David Wolkowsky,  the Chart Room, Pier House and Jimmy Buffett.

The ladies were undecided where to dine. I suggested several places. Eventually the conversation worked its way to stone crabs. Neither had ever enjoyed them. I sent them to Conch Republic.

There are always 2 sides to a story. Two feelings in opposition. Especially politically.

I am unabashedly a Democrat. A Liberal. I believe government among other things exists to help the less fortunate.

There are those who do not agree with me, think Trump is the end all, etc. Roughly 50 percent of the population.

With tongue in cheek and wishing to show this blog is fair and balanced, I share with you a Letter To The Editor featured in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. Written by a Paul Sofranac: “Most patriots are grateful to have a President such as Donald Trump. No, he doesn’t mince words and he is not PC but he’s as solid a leader we’ve had in a long, long time. Civility? What civility? Only results count and people love a benevolent dictator, one who cares for the nation and isn’t sold out to external interests or steep state agenda. Embrace him with all your might, as your whining accomplishes nothing but to bring further malaise and suspicion of ulterior motives for your rant.”

A quote from the opposite side of the spectrum. By Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A newly elected New York City Congressperson. Defeated in the Democratic primary a multi term Congressman.

During the campaign, she said, “I’m not running from the left; I’m running from the bottom. I’m running in fierce advocacy for working-class New Yorkers.”

William Holden was a terrific actor. The best of the best. He died this day in 1981 at age 63.

I knew Holden. Met with him several times. At La Costa outside San Diego. La Costa was a resort that catered to those who wanted to lose weight, work on an addiction problem, etc.

Back in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, I used to go twice a year. To lose weight. A problem even back then. Eight hours exercise and 800 calories of food a day. It worked.

Holden went because he was an alcoholic. He went to dry out.

We met and became friends. Evening friends after the toil of the day was complete. We would sit in the bar at night, drink Perrier and smoke cigars. Sometimes Rodney Dangerfield would join us. A trip.

Holden a most humble person. His humility absolutely amazing.

Ronald Reagan and Holden were best friends. When Reagan and Nancy Davis married in 1952, Holden was Best Man. When Holden died, Reagan wrote, “I have a great feeling of grief. We were close friends for many years. What do you say about a longtime friend-a sense of personal loss, a fine man. Our friendship never waned.”

The college football listings are out. Syracuse ranked #12. The highest ranking Syracuse has achieved in 20 years.

It’s all on the line next saturday. Syracuse plays #3 Notre Dame. Notre Dame 10-0, Syracuse 8-2.

Syracuse can win.

Dueling Bartenders tonight at Aqua. Can’t wait. The best singing in Key West for the price of a drink.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHEN THE GUNS WENT SILENT

Today is November 11. One hundred years ago this day at precisely 11 am, the guns went silent ending World War I. An armistice had been arrived at.

One hundred years marks a call for major celebration. One is being held in France, the site of the worst fighting during World War I. World leaders present. France has prepared a commemoration.

A five day event. Began yesterday. The glory of the event dampened only by rain and Donald Trump.

The five day event is a Peace Forum also. Beginning tomorrow, three days of discussions involving joining together for mutual protection and climate change.

The first significant event yesterday. A visit to a U.S. Military Cemetery 50 miles outside Paris. The Aisne Marine American Cemetery. Two thousand two hundred eight eight gravesites, mostly American. An additional 1,060 names etched on a wall representing Americans who were missing, their bodies never recovered.

Trump opted not to go. The excuse was the rain caused security and logistical problems. The weather prohibited the use of a helicopter. Trump would have to have been driven.

All world leaders made the 50 mile drive, except for Trump. I wonder if Trump failed to go because of concern for his hair. I am serious. Not being facetious. Recall last week that Trump was caught in a drizzle as he spoke before being flown off somewhere. His precisely appointed hair was altered a bit as a result. He made mention of it the rest of the day.

Trump sent Chief of Staff Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford in his place.

The heads of all nations represented by their leaders. Trump sends the second team.

There is criticism Trump did so because he neither understands nor respects history. This was an American cemetery.

Today a similar story re Trump’s obvious disdain for the event. He makes like he does not want to be there. His conduct described as truculent and petulant. He appeared like a grouch to me.

There was a function prior to the actual ceremony commemorating the day. Trump did not attend the event.

Following the function, the world leaders walked to the Arch de Triomphe in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder, all carrying raised black umbrellas. All except for Trump. He rode over.

The commemoration took place at the Arch de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Well done.

No holding back. Europe concerned about Trump. France’s President Macron in his 20 minute speech said, “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” Aimed right at Trump who a few weeks ago on national television said, “I am a nationalist. There I’ve said it.”

Europe is opposed to nationalism. History recognizes nationalism as the cause of World War I.

The event solemn. No word better describes it.

Mention was made that 100 years ago at 11 in the morning, the bells tolled all over Europe in celebration of the armistice.

There is a feeling that Trump neither knows nor understands history. Nationalism caused World Wars I and II. The League of Nations failed because of nations going their own way.

Patriotism as part of relationships between countries may best be described as love of one nation for another. Nationalism, hatred of one nation for another.

A luncheon followed the event. What happened there not yet reported.

Three more days involved. The Peace Forum. Trump not attending. He leaves Paris this afternoon and returns home. The subject matter of the Forum working together and climate change. Topics Trump not interested in.  Whatever, an insult to the nations remaining.

So much for the commemoration and Trump.

Remained home last night. Watched Syracuse play basketball against Morehead State. Morehead a good team. I was impressed. Syracuse won 84-70.

In spite of the win, Syracuse did not look good. Something I fail to understand. We have 4 3 point shooters. Took few 3 pointers and missed most of them. The team generally drove to the basket. Seemed they did not finish when they did. Could have scored more baskets had they.

Syracuse has 3 point guards. All out with injuries. Have not played yet this season. Could be one of Syracuse’s problems. It’s like having a line man step in for the quarter back.

Boeheim has a deep bench. First time in years. He played it. The bench and starters did not jell. Maybe Syracuse cannot go deep.

Teri Johnston gets sworn in tomorrow morning as Key West Mayor. She has asked my beloved Terri White to sing.

Ernest Hemingway finished A Farewell To Arms the first three weeks he was in Key West. He wrote the last page 39 times before he was satisfied.

My car has been down for a week. I have not gone out during that time. I live one island up from Key West. Could have rented a car or used Uber. Decided instead to remain in and work. The car was my excuse to do some research and writing that was far behind.

Car now working. I feel house bound. Tonight, Louis is out!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

A NUMBER OF ITEMS…..

Busy morning ahead. Doctor visit, hair cut appointment, etc. Ergo, I am briefly hitting on some items I think  or would like to think need mentioning. No special order involved.

Fifteen thousand U.S. Army personnel now on the way to the southwest border. The number ha gone from 800 to 15,000 in a week. Fifteen thousand as many troops as we have in Afghanistan.

Watched Beto O’Rourke being interviewed for an hour monday night. Reminded me of Robert Kennedy.

Economy doing good? General Electric has a crack in its wall. Under financial stress. Dividend 119 years old. This year reduced to a penny a share.

Staying with the economy, General Motors experiencing tariff and market pressures. Eighteen thousand jobs to be eliminated. Salaried employees going via buyouts.

Harry Dent an economist. Called the financial bust of 2008. Says the DOW will experience a catastrophic plunge. As low as 6,500. Hard to believe that low. Claims it could happen as soon as the next few months. An economist I am not. However, I have been predicting a recession since last year. Thought it would occur late this year or early next year.

China’s President Xi has ordered his military to “prepare for war.” Diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing have hit rock bottom.

Chart Room first last night. Tammy bartending. Parrotheads in town. Took over the Chart Room. I only stayed for one drink. All seniors, they were not talking to each other or to me. Merely staring ahead.

Drove over to Blue Macaw. Better. People communicating. Terri singing. Chatted with Lynda and Bob Frechette, John and Fiona, and Mary.

Syracuse football doing well this year. So far, 6-2. Saturday, Wake Forest at noon. Hopefully Syracuse will continue its winning ways.

Syracuse basketball has arrived. Thrilled I am! Played Le Moyne in a practice game last night. Syracuse won by 37 points. Don’t laugh that it was Le Moyne. Le Moyne made it to the Elite Eight last year. Season officially opens tuesday when Syracuse plays East Washington.

Beware! Big Brother increasingly looking over our shoulders. His presence has greatly increased since Trump became President. The U.S. is accelerating efforts to monitor social media to preempt major anti-government protests. Social media posts of American citizens who don’t like Trump are the force promoting latest U.S. military funded research.

Think of all that is happening involving the U.S. Question: Is the U.S. on the verge of a nervous breakdown?

On this day in 1512, the Sistine Chapel was exhibited to the public for the first time. One of Michelangelo’s greatest works. Thirty five years ago, I was in Rome and had the good fortune to see it. Magnificent!

Fantasy Fest over. I am waiting for the Citizen to print its analysis of the event. Business volume and number of participants. Up or down? I have been asking around what locals think. Generally, more risqué and fewer people.

This has been fun!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WHAT A MORNING…..

What a morning! When things go wrong, they screw up all the way!

It is now 12 noon. I am just starting the blog. Normally, I begin at 6 in the morning.

I had an 8 am doctor visit. Fasting blood work. Left the house at 7:45. Heavy going to work traffic. I was late. Got to doctor’s office 8:10.

Receptionist wanted to know why I was there. Blood work, I said. She said tomorrow.

She took pity on me and said sit down, I’ll work you in. Five minutes later, my blood was being drawn.

The doctor’s office is all of a 100 feet from the Cuban Coffee Queen. I stopped in for breakfast. Cuban cheese toast and coffee. Instead, I was served a regular huge portion of bread embodying 2 eggs and cheese. More food than I would eat in a day.

They said enjoy. I said what the hell and did!

Could not finish the sandwich. Too much.

Went to my car to go home to do this blog. Battery dead. I was beginning to suspect this was not my day.

Called AAA. Excellent repair man. Told me something was corroded and that was why the battery was not functioning. He did his thing and then charged the battery.

Everything in good order! One problem. My trip home delayed. The repair man told me I had to drive the car 45 minutes to charge the battery. More delay. I spent the 45 minutes driving up US 1 and back.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou tonight. Normally I prepare the show tuesday afternoon. I would have had to move my ass to get it done and done correctly if such was the case today.

For whatever reason, I prepared tonight’s show yesterday afternoon. Why, I do not know. First time. In any event, I will not be rushed when I finish this blog. God must have known the problems I was going to experience this morning so moved me to do today’s work yesterday.

Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders last night. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual great entertainers. Terri White guest performer. Now blind, you would never know it. Her performance outstanding!

Wife Donna with her, of course. Donna dressed in black. Looked fantastic. The black contrasted well with her white hair.

Sheila and her California designer friend Carol at the bar. Jean Thornton with them. Liz on the other side. Greeted Liz with a kiss. Enjoyed a couple of drinks with Jean.

Jean left and Mary showed up. I was a lucky man. All these lovely ladies to chat with.

In between, Catt Zinger and her sister Stephanie sat next to me. Tom Luna introduced me to Catt. What a history!

Catt and her husband now live in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Catt visiting Key West for 3 weeks. Lived here for several years. While in Key West, she bartended at Garden of Eden for 5 years. Also did some bartending time at Aqua where she got to know Tom Luna.

When Catt married 5 years ago, the service took place at the Garden of Eden. Eighty guests. A bus or train used to transport guests around as the couple did a pre-planned Duval crawl.

One stop was Aqua. Tom Luna bartending. A good friend. Catt said Tom went out of his way to make the stop a memorable one. The group spent 2 hours at Aqua. She is forever felt grateful to Tom for the fun time he provided.

Almost forgot sister Stephanie. Lovely, also. Not from Hawaii. Lives somewhere in Florida.

On the way home, I stopped at Dion’s on US 1 for Dion’s chicken. I have been in Key West for 30 years. Would you believe…..Never tried Dion’s chicken before. A popular item in Key West.

Took the chicken home and devoured. So good! Even better. Hard to describe how good. I will be enjoying it with some degree of regularity from now on.

Clayton and Valerie two of the most respected persons in Key West. Clayton left Australia many years ago and after time in a country or two ended up in Key West. I first met Clayton when he was bartending at Antonia’s. Valerie when she was bartending at Hot Tin Roof.

The couple has operated Vino’s on Duval for 8 years. Hard workers. They have 2 other Vino’s elsewhere in Florida.

The Fantasy Fest Parade resulted in a problem. With all the “perversity” going on, it is fodder for preachers who decry such “wrongdoing.”

A preacher ended up in front of Vino’s. Remained. Had a microphone electrically operated. Stood in front of Vino’s and would not leave. Told everyone in effect how bad they were.

The preacher was affecting Clayton’s business. People were not going into Vino’s. Those on the porch who had paid for a seat were being disturbed.

Clayton twice asked the preacher to please stop and move on. He refused to hear Clayton. Words were exchanged. Clayton was pushed by the preacher.

Retaliation is wonderful. Clayton cut the wire to the microphone.

The police arrived. The preacher was not arrested for battery. Clayton was arrested. For cutting the wire. The charge misdemeanor mischief.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum will be in Key West thursday morning. At 8:30. An early bird. On Higgs Beach, behind Salute’s.

Come hear Florida’s next Governor.

A local blog this morning. Join me tonight for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. Material all non-local. I have much to say. Hear my pointed ranting and raving. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

OLD COUPLE

Strange experience last night.

I did not want to go into town. Parking a problem during Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Three different times my car has been towed. $200 plus each time. Additionally, after 25 years I have seen all there is to see about the events. I have rarely attended in recent years.

Diane Millikan is back. Gave her a call and said join me for dinner. Meet me at the new SONIC across the street from where you are staying.

Sonic a new short order food operation in Key West. Mega bucks involved for the property. I was curious what it was like.

I opted to eat at an outside table rather than in the car. One orders by standing in front of a huge screen. The size of a 50 inch TV screen. The menu listed. A press button operation. Someone answers and you place your order.

When the food and bill arrived, I noticed something unusual on the bill: CUST INFO: OLD COUPLE.

Bothered me. Not because I am old. Because SONIC obviously had to have a camera built into the screen that automatically deduced Diana and I are old. SONIC probably requires the information for their purposes. However, it irritated me someone was taking my picture and labeling me without my permission.

See if I eat their cheeseburgers again!

The food sucked. Not because of the picture taking. It did. And the tables were dirty. All of them. I had to clean one off before we sat down.

Today the day! The beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. A wild week ahead. Tourists galore. As many as 60,000 the night of the parade. Every year, I wonder where they sleep. There are not enough rooms in the Keys to accommodate all of them.

A Michael update. Michael’s strength and the surge unearthed 15 19th century ships that had been wrecked off Dog Island by a hurricane. The hurricane occurred in 1899. The ships are siting on the beaches.

Syracuse/UNC an interesting game yesterday afternoon. I missed the best part. I fell asleep.

With 3 minutes to go, Syracuse was losing. I think by 3 points. That is when I fell asleep.

I assumed Syracuse lost and never checked the final score when I woke. I did last night when I returned home. Syracuse won in a double overtime 40-37.

Friends have been e-mailing me and asking…..Wasn’t it a great game!

Not the first time this has happened to me.

This morning’s news advises that Trump announced following his latest rally last night that the U.S. was going to exit its nuclear treaty with Russia. A treaty that was entered into in 1987 between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reagan at the time used a Russian proverb as to how he was going to handle whether Russia was complying with the provisions of the agreement. Doveryai no proveryai. Trust, but verify.

Trump claims Russia has been violating the treaty. Why rush to a North Korea type confrontation? All Trump had to do was ask Putin if Russia was. If Putin said no, then Trump should be comfortable with the response. As he was each time Putin told him Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election.

I suspect Trump is playing this new game to show voters he is tough. The November 6 elections around the corner.

Also, this confrontation in the making provides Trump with evidence in the Mueller investigation that he is not friends with Russia. He’s willing to go to nuclear war with them!

Realistically, I doubt any war is about to occur. Russia militarily is not our equal. Except in their new submarine fleet that can shoot missiles onto our shores.

The only way Russia could stand up to the U.S. militarily is if China joined them. A possibility always. Putin and Xi have been making all kinds of economic deals the past few years.

Behind Trump’s present blustering is John Bolton. A bad man. A war monger. Most previous Presidents have been able to avoid him. Trump, not. Bolton talks tough. As does Trump. Birds of a feather.

Trump is turning migration into a campaign issue again. People are escaping Guatemala to avoid harm, to seek a better life for themselves and their children, etc. Trump makes it sound like an attack en mass is coming.

Many of the 4,000 are stuck on a bridge over a river separating Guatemala and Mexico. Body to body. No food, no toilets, no water, no shelter, etc. Sounds like the aftermath of Michael.

One woman interviewed crying while kneeling on the bridge clutching her 11 month old infant to her breast. The baby had a fever. The baby was without a diaper. There were none.

I continue to say if people are willing to walk 2,000 miles and go through these type conditions, they cannot be bad. They are in need. In need of a better way.

Forget the money. We piss money away on many things. Here at least it would go for a good cause.

This is not a crisis. Authorities say except for a spike here and there, immigration is at a 40 year low.

Time to help a neighbor. We forget. Especially the Golden Rule…..Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t respond with…..God helps those who help themselves. These people are trying to help themselves. They are walking 2,000 miles and jeopardizing the health and lives of themselves and their children.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

ONE VOTE

Better late than never. Blog late. Sorry. Something arose that had to be dealt with. Pushing 2 in the afternoon as I begin.

Tomorrow will tell if Kavanaugh has made it to the Supreme  Court. The final vote.

Today, the Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination Under Senate rules, the actual vote cannot take place for 30 hours.

It appears the matter will be settled by one vote. Two votes against required to defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination. Murkowski has advised she will be voting against. That leaves two additional no votes. Collins and Manchin.

Does either have the courage?

Chart Room last night. John, Steve and Cindy. Good conversation. Some dwelled on David Wolkowsky. Steve and Cindy lived in Key West in the 1970’s and observed Wolkowsky’s activities first hand. They also knew him. Cindy for many years was secretary to Jimmy Buffett. Wolkowsky and Buffet were partners in various business ventures.

My bedroom TV down again. This time for good. I cannot blame Comcast. The set is shot. Need to buy a new one.

The weather seems to be adjusting itself. Temperature down from 90 to 80. Last night cool. Weatherman predicts tonight will be clear and breezy. His heart tells us…..Stars on the water.

My dear friends Tom and Fran Dixon in Santorini. Envy them! One of the most beautiful places in the world. They sent me a photo of themselves. The look of happy honeymooners.

Tomorrow at 12:20 Syracuse/Pitt. Syracuse a 3 point favorite. I believe Syracuse will win by more than 20 points.

The International Monetary Fund is concerned the world economy might be at risk of another financial crisis. It reports debt is above the 2008 level. That and the fact that the banking system has failed to reform itself makes the Fund uncomfortable.

There are suspicions J. P. Morgan might be the Lehman Brothers of 2008. Several reasons. China’s debt is growing too rapidly. It is becoming volatile. Regulators are complacent. Finally, breaking of international agreements, especially by the Trump administration.

The talk is of a Great Depression.

Getting back to Kavanaugh and the Senate vote, it comes down to a battle between good and bad. From my perspective, Kavanaugh brings disrespect to the Court and could be the seed for a slow but deadly erosion beginning first with respect followed by decisions contrary to the public good.

The authoress Becca Fitzpatrick wrote: “Sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.”

I hope she is correct.

Authoress Mackenzie Herbert wrote: “Bad things happen to good people. Rain always falls on the people who deserve nothing less than the sun.”

Happening to the women of the U.S. at the moment.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

MOONING

Is it mooning or the finger that best expresses one’s feelings on occasion? I must confess I have extended my finger a few times. Never mooned, however.

Twenty three year old Peter Kehoe mooned last thursday in Dublin, Ireland. A strange set of circumstances led to the mooning.

Peter and his girl friend hurried to the Dublin Airport to catch a 7 am flight to Amsterdam. They were late. The plane was already moving.

Peter broke down the airport door and ran toward the Ryanair plane.

He shouted “Wait!”

Ryanair personnel caught Peter and held him for the police. He was arrested.

The charge was damage to a door lock. He was released pending trial.

As he left court, reporters and a crowd awaited him. Peter turned, dropped his pants and mooned them. Then departed.

Mooning Constitutionally protected free speech had the matter occurred in the U.S.? I don’t know. The finger is.

Mooning probably indecent exposure.

I avoided politics yesterday. Today a bit also. So much on the airways it loses its bang. I have decided to take a rest from that which has been consuming our minds for 2-3 days.

Last night, we celebrated Lisa’s birthday. Dinner at Chico’s, a Mexican restaurant on Stock Island. It was fun.

I shared a story about Lisa’s birth with the family. One they did not know.

We had a boy and then 2 girls before Lisa was born. We were sure the fourth would be a boy. We would name him Louis. The wife and I never considered it would be a girl.

Took 3 days for us to come up with a name. Our baby lay in the hospital unnamed. Finally, Lisa Marie.

After dinner, we returned to Lisa’s. Birthday cake! Robert and Ally had baked the cake. Great tasting! Even Jake enjoyed a piece. A small one.

A political comment. I question the value of the FBI report in the Kavanaugh matter. If the White House limited the questions and persons to be interviewed, the investigation is a sham. This additional FBI review is a strange one. Not aware of any done in a similar fashion in the past.

Trump says the investigation is unencumbered. I do not believe him. The American people are entitled to one free from Presidential control.

The tariff war with Mexico and China appears to have been resolved. Not completely, however. Aluminum and steel not a part of the Canadian portion of the agreement.

The big tariff war is with China. In the billions. The British Foreign Office issued a report this past week that the U.S. is currently winning the war. I wrote/spoke to that effect last week. China’s economy in rough condition prior to the tariffs. However, I believe things will balance out and within 6 months both the U.S. and China will be mutually hurting.

My concern goes beyond the economic war. I fear a military one. Something I have been alluding to frequently. China’s military is new and strong. The U.S. not yet capable of stopping new Chinese missiles heading to our shores. There is more.

Asians are a proud people. Some countries will take Trump defecating on them. China will not. At some point they will say enough is enough. Then the economic war will turn into a military one.

Recall the time before World War II. Japan had invaded Manchuria. President Roosevelt told Japan to get out. They refused. Roosevelt blocked passage of oil vessels from various Asian islands to Japan. Japan could not survive without the oil. Pearl Harbor the result.

Ah, the credit card! Now usable for Sunday collections at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. Called “tap and go.” Don’t even have to swipe. Merely tap the card on a small metal box at the Church entrance. It records donations $10 at a time.

One tap, $10. Expensive Church going for most.

Tonight Terri sings at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Hope she is well enough. They refused her chemo thursday because she had a fever, cold and congestion.

I will be at Dueling Bartenders.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WORLD LEADERS LAUGH AT TRUMP

When Trump was running for President, he frequently said the U.S. needed a President who was not a joke in the eyes of the world: “We need a President who isn’t a laughing stock to the entire world. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning.”

World leaders laughed at Trump yesterday. Openly and publicly as he addressed them at the United Nations.

Laughter occurred two times.

First, when Trump said, “In less than 2 years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

The laugh from all followed.

The second time involved the German delegation openly laughing when Trump claimed Germany was becoming “totally dependent on Russian energy.”

The man is a buffoon. He makes a mockery not only of our Nation, but each and every one of us. I am sure the thought of other peoples is….. What has happened to the American people?

Nothing like throwing gasoline on a fire. Trump did it with China.

The U.S. and China are in a major trade war. The trade war of all trade wars. To further aggravate China and let them know he was no pussy, Trump authorized a $330 million military sale to Taiwan.

China’s ire obvious. For the time, China merely said that the action jeopardizes Sino-U.S. cooperation.

I fear if the trade war continues tit for tat, what began as a trade war will turn into a military one. You can only push some one or nation around so long.

Our government is degenerating. The Presidency with Trump. Our Congress as it behaves. The Kavanaugh war a perfect example. The Senate is not distinguishing itself.

Civility is a dying art. It is like respect. If you do not give respect, you should not expect it in return.

Most in this country feel they are constantly being defecated upon. By the “elite.” Understandably so. Since the 1980’s, things have gotten decidedly better for important people and worse for everyone else.

Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi were having dinner at the expensive Fiola Restaurant in Washington. A group approached and began heckling the Senator and wanting to know his position on Kavanaugh.

Though I agree with the hecklers, I would not confront the Senator in the fashion they did. Not my way. On the other hand, these people have a right to disturb the Senator as they did. A restaurant interruption is public approbation in a small way. The elite should not be immune from the consequences of their behavior.

The confrontation small. However to be expected by the affluent these days. A people being jerked around will respond in various ways.

I have 2 observations.

First, what was Cruz doing in Washington? He was not required in Washington till thursday for the Kavanaugh hearing. He is in a tight race in Texas for his Senate seat. Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running a neck and neck race against him.

Cruz must be overly confident.

Fiola is one of Washington’s most expensive restaurants. The menu pre-fix. $90-$145. Wine prices off the wall. Not a dinner for two that most can afford.

An Irma update.

Irma occurred more than a year ago. Woeful stories continue to pop up.

A Big Coppitt family lived in a home erected to withstand a category 5 hurricane. Strongest concrete, hurricane proof doors and windows. The family opted to ride out Irma in their home.

The Blue Paper recently revealed a story untold. The category 5 home did not hold up. Irma came into the house.

The family reported the house began to shake. A crash was heard in the children’s bedroom. Two young children were in the bedroom with the door closed.

The door flew open. The young son came out with blood matting his blond hair. His injury required 10-12 stitches. The daughter at first could not be located. Later found unharmed.

The hurricane was in the bedroom. A window and part of a wall gone.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. First talking show I have done in several days. My bronchial condition made it difficult to speak.

I spent half the show talking about David Wolkowsky. My friend, Key West’s friend, who died in his sleep sunday night at 99 years of age. A rare individual.

Enjoy your day!