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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FANTASY FEST PARADE A SUCCESS

I am assuming the Fantasy fest Parade last night was a success. Assume because I did not see it.

I stopped watching the parade ten years ago.

Parking always a problem. I got towed two successive years. Cost $250 each time to get my car back.

Parking always many blocks from Duval. A long walk to and back from the parade.

Too many people. The streets jammed with viewers.

Seen one, seen them all.

Normally, the Sunday edition of the Key West Citizen would run pictures of the parade and police estimates as to the size of the crowd. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Sunday edition of the Citizen.

I was able to find some news about the parade in a Miami paper on the internet. However, the news portion only ran up to the beginning of the parade. There were a few photos and a video of portions of the parade itself. Unfortunately, neither could provide a sense of the size of the crowd.

So definitive information not available to share till tomorrow morning.

Another reason for not attending last night was topical storm Phillipe. Phillipe is the 93L storm I mentioned yesterday. Got upgraded to a tropical storm. Pouring rain was expected.

From what I have been able to ascertain, Key West lucked out as it did with Irma. At the last minute, Phillipe shifted and the parade did not get poured on. Merely a few drops.

Some ask why the Parade so soon after Irma. Perhaps it would have been better to adjourn it a month to get Key West in better shape.

Simple, my friends. Money.

A proper reason this year at this time. Key West’s labor force primarily consists of waiters, waitresses, bartenders and kitchen help. They all took a beating because of Irma. Closed for the storm. Most did not reopen right away. Some still not open. Damage too extensive. The workers without income.

Rent became due. Most scraped to meet the rent. Very expensive to rent in Key West. Extremely. some landlords got piggish immediately. Rose their rents $300-700 a month. Levels many would not be able to meet. Many of the waiters, etc. have left Key West since Irma. They simply could no longer afford to live here.

Therein lies the reason Fantasy Fest was pushed. Workers for the hotels, restaurants, and bars were in need of the cash infusion.

Two things have been eating at me the past few days. I did a Facebook live video on one the other day.

The first is Trump and his opioid emergency announcement.  Means nothing unless it is funded. Congress has to authorize the money. Congress is not even talking about it.

A typical Trump move. Make a major announcement. Toss the responsibility/next step to Congress. If Congress fails, Trump cannot be blamed.

Keep in mind also we do not have a Secretary of Health, etc. nor a Drug Czar at the present time. Who is going to run the program?

The other involves Puerto Rico and its power grid. Seventy five percent of Puerto Rico is still without electric power. Some six weeks post Irma.

Three hundred million dollars has been appropriated to get work going to restore electricity.

The contract has been given to Whitefish Energy Holdings. The company two years old.  Two employees, the principals. Located in Whiteface, Montana.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is from Whiteface, Montana.

Something smalls here. As it should. We have a President and his family who are engaged in business dealings world wide. Refusing transparency. Business as usual.

As the saying goes…..What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I many times reference a happening as “only in Key West.” I have an only in Mississippi one to share.

A young African-American mother was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in Pearl, Mississippi. Her 4 month old baby was with her.

The police checked identities and found the driver and mother had unanswered misdemeanor warrants pending. They were taken into custody.

The baby’s grandmother arrived within minutes at the scene. The police would not turn the  baby over to her. They deemed the baby “abandoned” under the law. the baby became a public charge and was place in a public facility.

The misdemeanor charges were resolved. The mother asked for the return of her child. Judge John Shirley of the Pearl Youth Court said no.

There were pending court costs. Until the court costs were paid, the mother was prohibited any contact with the baby. The baby in the meantime was placed in the custody of the grandmother.

Note, no contact. Even visiting not permitted.

A not for profit got involved. The Solenge MacArthur Justice Center. Went to bat for the mother big time. Publicized what they viewed as a gross miscarriage of justice.

Took 14 months. Mother and child finally reunited. Judge Shirley was forced to resign and the Youth Court was disbanded.

I have a home party to attend at 4. Following which I hope to stop at Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

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!

GOOMBAY NINE DAYS AWAY

 

Ho ho ho! Fantasy Fest around the corner. Nine days away. Goombay the start. Begins friday October 20. The Fantasy Fest Parade October 28.

Hope Irma does not keep tourists away. Except for debris on some side streets, the town will be ready. Bars and restaurants waiting.

Spent 1.5 hours at the hospital yesterday. The first of many tests I am scheduled for. Tomorrow another one.

One of the topics discussed last night on my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou was Puerto Rico and solar power.

Telsa’s Elon Musk met a few days ago with Governor Ricardo Rossello. They discussed solarizing the whole island rather than rebuilding the electrical system. Musk claims solar power cheaper and quicker to install.

Musk has already solarized the entire of American Samoa and a part of Hawaii.

The United States is lagging behind in the development of solar power. Blame the electrical companies, their well paid lobbyists, and federal and state legislators who dance to their tune.

China is the U.S.’s major competitor in anything economic. Beating the hell out of us. Solar power an example.

China’s solarization is twice the capacity of the United States. China also manufactures solar panels, etc. for export. China exports 99 percent of the panels it manufactures. Jobs a plenty.

Brilliant! Certain of our leaders have told us over the years that solar panels would be a new industry employing many. The U.S. should be the world leader. The words never turned into deeds. Politics, again.

Stone carbs! My favorite food!

The stone crab season begins October 15. This sunday. I can’t wait.

Irma behind us, Key West boards and commissions are back in business. One is the Tree Commission. For years, their business appears to have been ordering the removal of trees. Too many. To the abhorrence of Key West citizens.

Irma took down many trees. Removal should not be part of the Tree Commission’s agenda any further. Key West needs trees! Many kinds! All kinds!

The order of the day for the Tree Commission is to preserve the trees remaining and add to them.

Jenna Stauffer. My Jenna. Loveliest of the lovely. This 82 year old man loves taking 30 year old Jenna to dinner. We have been friends for 9 years.

Jenna just received her real estate license. Her shingle hangs with the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services team.

Everyone affected by Irma. Even baby turtles. Might never become  baby turtles. Most nesting beaches washed away by Irma.

An unnamed  group has joined together. Concerned. They are working at the preservation and restoration of the nesting beaches.

What follows not a Key West problem. Yet.

Reptiles are being found in toilets world wide.

A lizard was found in a Florida toilet. Probably an iguana.

Malaysian toilets are the squat type. Squat over an opening in the floor. A big lizard resting in the toilet.

The best in Pretoria, South Africa. A five foot snake. The commode the style we are accustomed to. A sit on toilet. The police could not get the snake out with poles and hoops. Finally, one officer grabbed the snake by its head and pulled it out.

Can you imagine sitting on a toilet, looking between your legs, and seeing an iguana or snake cuddled in the bowl? You might never go again!

Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this date in 2002. Carter achieved more in his post Presidency years than while President. The award much deserved.

I am pleased to announce the publisher has agreed to go forward with Irma and Me. The body of the book, the meat, is complete. It is that which surrounds it that I have to complete in the next few days.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA AND ME…..5 HOURS

Spent five straight hours working on Irma and Me yesterday afternoon. Noon to 5. Completed rough draft and sent it off to the publisher.

Still have to work on the Index, Introduction, Acknowledgements, a FINI segment, add pictures, and put together a cover.

Poor Liz. My dear friend. I visited her in the hospital early evening last night. She has been in 8 days. Her diabetes out of control. She has been a diabetic since birth.

Liz is my older friend. She is 83, one year older than me.

I admire her. She has an excellent mind. Liz was Dean of two law schools.

One of the things discussed was how the NBA would handle its basketball players from a legal perspective should they opt to kneel when the National Anthem is played. The NBA season begins soon.

We discussed death also. Quite a jump from basketball to death. Death is something persons my age and Liz’s think about on occasion. Not a morbid talk. I would characterize it as inquisitive.

An excellent Chart Room last night. Many tourists. Interesting because the streets were empty.

Met Lisa and Greg. Visiting from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Two children. A son 23 and daughter 16. Lisa especially charming. She is a school proctor. Greg manager of a distributing company.

They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Plan on some day buying here.

Then came the Cat! Her name. Actually a nick name. Short for Catherine.

Cat was at the other end of the bar. Told Shaun to buy me a drink. We had not talked yet. Not even a hello or nod of the head. I first refused, then said why not!

Cat is from Iowa. One of my favorite places. Told her of my dear friends Cindy and Tom. I do not recall what city Cat was from.

Cat a sharp woman. Had to be to buy me a drink! I joke. Smart because she is a CPA. My greatest asset for more than 40 years was my CPA Bill Hatfield. I made no economic moves without his advice. Which I always followed.

Cat’s husband is Kenny. A cattle baron of sorts. Sells cattle.

Cat returns for Fantasy Fest. Bringing a group of friends with her. We discussed beads, Sloppy Joe’s toga party, etc.

Cat a fun person. Hope I run into her at Fantasy Fest.

Now came Jill. It was my night!

Jill has been in Key west 30 years. We never met till last night. She is a bartender at Rum Barrel. Studied English at Western State and Colorado. Most Key West bartenders are college educated. Bartenders because they make more money at bartending than they would in another pursuit.

Jill benefited when Irma hit. She was vacationing in Portugal and could not return. Lucky her!

It was after 9 and I still had not eaten. Drove to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Sat at the bar, read the newspapers while enjoying an order of fried calamari.

This Las Vegas incident horrific! Fifty plus dead, 200 plus wounded. Described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Crazy people are always with us.

A truism. One which involves Trump. Never fails. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

Trump does not listen. He shoots from the hip. Does things his way. Fails to take into account repercussions. Fails to follow the advice of advisers.

He knows everything.

A wonder!

Trump decided to pick on Venezuela. Felt sorry for the people. He sanctioned Venezuela, banks were restricted from doing business with Venezuelan entities, etc.

He also threatened Maduro. Made comments that sounded like a military effort might follow.

I understand Venezuela. I have followed Maduro since he became President more than 4 years ago. A bad President. A corrupt one, also.

Venezuela ran out of toilet paper soon after he first took office. Venezuela still does not have enough toilet paper. Then Venezuela ran out of food, jobs, etc. Terrible conditions have existed for more than 4 years. Increasingly worse with each passing day.

I have maintained that Venezuela’s problems are their own. Within. A civil war is required to change things. The problem is the people of Venezuela do not have the balls to stand and revolt. They threaten, come close, but never make it.

Venezuela is not our problem. Venezuela presents no threat to the United States.

I suspect Trump might be interested in Venezuela because of its oil reserves. It has the largest oil deposits in the world. Invade under one pretense and take control of Venezuela’s oil might be the Trump motivation.

Sorry for the long introduction re the point I want to make.

Years ago, the U.S. got a rule into effect which most countries to this day follow. Any purchases of oil must be accomplished by the use of U.S. dollars. OPEC supported. Referred to as petrodollars. Keeps our dollar sound.

Maduro has said screw you to Trump. He announced last thursday that all businesses signing contracts with  Venezuela would do so in a foreign currency other than the U.S. dollar.

He intends for Venezuela to primarily use the Chinese yuan. China is thrilled. As is Russia who is in the middle of everything.

China wants its yuan to replace the dollar. Other countries are already in China’s fold.

China is and has been in an economic war with us. They are subtly beating the U.S. At every turn.

Trump does not see it. He would rather threaten military action rather than understand the ongoing economic war and its consequences.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!

CABINET KISSES ASS

Trump news overwhelming. Directly and indirectly. On a daily basis.

Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. The camera went around the table and captured comments by each Cabinet member telling Trump what a great job he was doing.

Actually, sickening. Powerful independent people in their other lives paying adulation to a leader not entitled to their words.

The Cabinet represents the President’s chief advisers. They fail when they kiss ass.

Trump’s comments at the same Cabinet meeting. Claimed he was one of the most productive Presidents in American history. He has passed more legislation at a record setting pace. Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt could come close.

Trump deceives himself. He is a mental case. He and Roosevelt are not even close to being in the same class. Name one piece of major legislation Trump has passed.

Boeing. I thought Trump beat up Boeing early on. Brought Boeing to the table of submission. Trump’s message to Boeing understood: My way or the highway.

Boeing is now building or in the planning stage to build plants in China, Saudi Arabia and India. Boeing says worry not. The overseas moves will not reduce the number of jobs Boeing has in the United States.

What about increasing jobs? Much needed jobs!

Trump is like Nero. One played a musical instrument. Trump keeps looking at himself in the mirror and reciting what a good boy am I. Nero so doing while Rome burned. The other while America dies.

Boeing secured $50 billion in defense and commercial sales from Saudi Arabia during Trump’s recent state visit. The pact included an agreement to complete Boeing Apache attack helicopters in Saudi Arabia.

Boeing is also interested in assembling fighter jets in India. A deal involving more than 100 planes.

Does color matter?

Public Theater has been presenting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in a modern setting. Donald Trump is portrayed as Caesar. A Caesar dressed in a business suit with a long tie who gets knifed to death on the stage. Hair Trump style.

Delta and Bank of America pulled their sponsorships of the show.

The same play toured the United States in 2012 by The Acting Company. Caesar was played by an Afro-American actor in a business suit. Closely resembled Obama.

No one withdrew their sponsorships nor were there any adverse comments.

Last night began with delivering Terri to Aqua. I did not go in. Hurried to Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat and read the newspapers. The season is over and seats at the bar available.

Returned to Aqua afterwards. Enjoyed the end of Terri’s performance. Chatted with Donna. Lynda and Bob Frechette also.

Tom Luna and Rick Dey the Dueling Bartenders.

Key West is fortunate to have Donna and Terri and Lynda and Bob and Tom and Rick as residents and supporters.

Home early. Part of my game plan for the evening. Wanted to catch the Cleveland/Golden State game. A good one! The Warriors have won it all. A new dynasty born.

My podcast tonight. Some Trump and some other things. All interesting. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

GRAND GUESTHOUSE

Over the years, I have asked hundreds of tourists where they are staying, happy with the accommodations, etc. Rarely do I meet those owning and/or operating the hotels, motels and guest houses.

Last night at the Chart Room, I did. Mike, one of the owners of the Grand Guesthouse. A place I have heard about from many visitors. Never once a negative response. All high on the place.

Mike and his wife own and operate Grand Guesthouse. Again, met Mike last night at the Chart Room. A nice guy. Apparently taking a couple of hours off.

The Grand Guesthouse is located on the other side of  Old Town. A quiet residential area. So residential that the Grand blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. Difficult to know from the street it is a guest house. Yet it is. One with 10 rooms, a pool, parking, etc. All the amenities.

The Grand can be found in the 1100 block of Grinnell. Adults only. A ten minute walk from Duval and the Atlantic Ocean.

Prices reasonable. Accommodations beautiful.

The Chart Room was unusually busy last night. John was busy.

Two lovely ladies sitting at the opposite end of the bar from me. The Grand’s Mike in between us.

The gals from Pittsburgh. Carey and Tracey. Carey a bartender. Tracy’s job described by her as inexplicable. I left it at that.

John told me Che alive and well. His nurse Cheryl went to his apartment. Che opened the door for her. He told Cheryl he just did not feel like going out. Two months?????

Che is turning into a recluse. Bad. He is 83. I am 81 and still get out most evenings.

Three guys from London showed up. Two getting married this weekend in Key West. The Pittsburgh ladies and Mike tried to dissuade them. To no avail.

Met a contemporary. Terence. A retired police lieutenant and Superior Court Clerk from Wilmington, Delaware. Contemporaries in that he is 80 years old.

His daughter is an attorney. His son in law into a phase of software. Terence’s wife with them. The four and a granddaughter all staying at the Pier House.

Terence and his wife are the designated baby sitters. Their daughter and son in law go out evenings or sneak away part of a day. The grandparents remain with the granddaughter.

They love it!

My yesterday began with a noon manicure by Tammy.

An amazing business she and husband Rick run. People moving in and out with regularity. Chairs  constantly turning over.

A money maker! Tammy and Rick made it so.

A little grocery shopping on the way home. My cupboard always bare.

Kentucky Derby this afternoon! I have decided to watch it at Don’s Place. The festivities begin at 4. The race at 6.

On this date in 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby. His time, 1:59:40. Best time ever! Still stands!

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade at noon today on Duval. Do not miss it! You will love it! The kids will love it!

Bria Ansara involved in everything Key West. An art educator, she will be doing a pre-parade workshop for kids behind the Custom House at 10. Opening them up to the joys of working with metal.

Tomorrow night at Aqua, Bria is hosting BOY-lesque. An all male review.

Bocce continues to be a disaster. I was there thursday night when the team lost 2 of 3 games. Can’t understand the downward trend after several seasons of top notch play.

Don’s Place was beat by Not Don’s Place. The Not Don’s is Larry Smith’s team. Several years ago, Don and Larry had words over I don’t recall what. Larry changed the name of his team to Not Don’s Place to break Don’s gonads.

Enjoy your day!