GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

TRUMP…..WORSE BY DAY

Trump appears to be losing it. He may already have.

Consideration of his mental stability is neither a Democratic nor Republican thing. Just good common sense.

We may be on te brink of war with North Korea. Reason enough to be concerned. Two nuts with their fingers on the button.

The problem is how to be rid of Trump.

Many are advocating the 25th Amendment. Empowers the Vice-President and a majority of the officers of the Executive Department (considered to be the Cabinet), or such other body as Congress to provide, to determine if the President should be removed. The grounds….The President is unable to discharge the powers of his office.

Ratified in 1967. Never used.

I would not use it. It would be precedent setting. I fear in the future a group of dissidents seeking to dispose of a President would rely on it. A peaceful Presidential coup. The U.S. was not created for Presidential coups.

Then how?

Mueller moving to impeachment would help. However, it does not appear Mueller is ready.

The answer. I don’t know. I am fearful of what is happening. I have no solution.

If Trump’s mental capacities becomes worse, perhaps then the 25th amendment.

I worry about North Korea and a nuclear war in the meantime. One that definitely would result in nuclear bombs falling on American cities.

My third day without hot water. Cold showers really wakes a person! Precludes shaving, also.

Landlord has been by. Says the problem is electrical. What do I know?

Landlord says he can’t get anyone here till friday morning between 9-11. I have no choice but to wait. Carpenters, electricians, etc. are all gainfully employed since Irma.

Last night terrific! Donna and Terri invited me for dinner. We shared four dozen stone crabs. Love the girls!

Big day today! Only one thing scheduled. A haircut with Lori. Always pleasant. Enjoy Lori. She has been my barber for 15 years.

Saturday schedule full. Three things I want to do. Don’t know if I can fit all three in.

The first I definitely will.

Thirty years ago, I was Best Man when Bob and Helen Marks were married in Portland, Oregon. We have seen each other probably only two times over the years.

Bob and Helen are stopping in Key West on a Viking cruise for the day saturday. I plan on meeting them at 12:30 and enjoying a leisurely lunch with them at Louie’s Backyard. Much catching up to do.

The evening is where the problem exists.

Syracuse plays Kansas at 5:30. Kansas ranked #2 nation wide. Got to see the game!

The always fabulous Christmas Parade at 7. Generally watch it with Lisa and the grandkids. Whether I will depends on how the Syracuse/Kansas game is working out.

Basketball over the grandkids. I know terrible! They are now 12 an 13. I have only missed one Christmas Parade over the years. This may be the second.

Matt Lauer down the tubes. Who is next? There will be a next and a next. Such is sex and its motivations.

My concern is that mob rule seems to be taking over. The crowd commands. Where is due process, the right to defend ones self?

The cry for “justice” is rampant nation wide.

Not every harassment calls for the death penalty. There are degrees. Grab ass one or two times is not comparable to pedophilia. Each should carry punishment equal to the severity of the charge.

A lot of big guys are coming down. What about the pedophile running for Senator in Alabama? What about the man in the White House who on video and later in an interview admitted grabbing pussies/crotches? Do they pay?

I spoke with two ladies yesterday re the problem. Both first expressed the need to kill. Each then followed up with what might be described as complicity. What was the woman’s part? Why did she not complain at the time? Both thought because they wanted to keep their jobs and hoped silence would get them that promotion.

The madness must stop. An orderly process followed. Get the bad guys, but get them legally!

Enjoy your day!

 

KATE MIANO…..FLORENCE SPOTTSWOOD HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

They don’t come better than Kate Miano. A heart of gold, concerned for everyone, a community leader, a respected voice. And my friend.

It has been announced Kate will receive the Florence Spottswood Humanitarian of the Year Award. A big deal. Key West’s most prestigious recognition.

Kate will receive the award at a gala on January 27.

Congratulations Dear Lady. I know of no one more worthy.

There is something about small towns and parades. The best!

Key West’s Christmas Parade is December 2. A ton of Santa Claus’ riding on floats, candy thrown to children at the curb viewing in awe, bands, noise, etc.

Everyone turns out to watch. I will be with Robert and Ally at our usual spot on Truman.

Thanksgiving was thursday. I get to celebrate it again this evening with Donna and Terri. Lucky me!

A double hit. Oh, the pounds!

I am concerned not. The heart catherization doctor said lose 40-50 pounds. I start monday. Stay tuned to see if I make it all the way.

Christina Oxenberg is one of Key West’s finest writers. Her words soul touching. Sensitive best describes them.

Christine had a column in KONK Life this morning. About Kenyatta Arrington. Arrington one of those people who contribute to Key West’s culture.

Christina points out he rode a bike for years. With his back in ramrod fashion. Always wore a tight worn velvet suit with buttons all over and a top hat.

He would sing outside the supermarket. His voice described as angelic.

Last year, rid himself of the suit, bought a new wig and moved his venue to Duval.

Christina learned he was saving money to move to Norway. He was in love and his lady was waiting for him.

He will not make it. His impaled body was found floating near the pier.

Woodrow Wilson commented on a person’s ego. The quote reminds me of Trump: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump tells us the economy is fine. On the rise in every respect.

Thanksgiving was celebrated this week. Not all Americans gave thanks. Many are still without. A recent study indicated the number of homeless in major cities is comparable to those that existed during the Great Depression.

The number of homeless is increasing rather than going down. Homelessness is reaching the crisis level. A state of emergency brewing.

An example is an area described as most of Los Angeles County. Shelters are bedding down 55,000 per night. Up 25 percent from last year. Includes men, women and children. The number does not include those that sleep in cars, the woods and under bridges.

Homeless children nationwide are up 60 percent since the end of the recession.

Things are good, Mr. President! You and yours should swap places with the homeless for a week.

The terrorist attack on an Egyptian mosque killed in excess of 300, injured in excess of 100.

The Arab world is engaged in war one way or another. One of my concerns is that the U.S. is fighting on different sides in some of these wars. Resulting from Trump’s decisions.

He knows not what he is doing.

Robots keep coming. Walmart the most recent major business testing their use.

Walmart is quietly testing two new robots. One self-driving floor scrubbers. The other self-scanning robots to replenish inventory on shelves.

Each will replace humans. The poor middle class will be further diminished.

Syracuse plays Boston College at 12:20 today. The last football game of the season for Syracuse. Good! The season has not been a spectacular one.

I must say however Coach Baber has done an excellent job in improving the team. Next year should be a much better season.

I close with Irma and Me. My book re Hurricane Irma and how she chased me through several states and disrupted my life and that of several others.

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

SANTAS GALORE

The not to be equaled Key West Christmas Parade last night. Always the best. Young and old alike watching. Babies in arms. The Key West community enjoying a happy occasion.

Santa Claus. There had to be at least 15 on the floats. I recall one Christmas Robert and Ally asking Lisa…..Which one is the real Santa Claus? Lisa thought for a moment. Then…..All of them! There are parades everywhere in the world at the same time. Santa can’t be at all of them. These are Santa’s assistants.

A brilliant response. They bought it.

Robert and Ally knew there had to be only one Santa Claus. The one that showed up at their home at dinner time every Christmas Eve. Poppa’s friend.

As with my children and other grandchildren, there was always a Santa Claus to personally visit them Christmas Eve. The real one! The kids all had the opportunity to sit on Sant’s lap either at my home in Utica or in Lisa’s in Key West.

I loved arranging it! A thrill for me as well as them.

I watched the parade from Don’s Place. As it started, I walked down to the County Office Building on Truman to watch with Robert and Ally. The same spot every year. This year I could not find them. Too crowded. Walked back to Don’s Place.

An enjoyable time at Don’s Place. He had about 30 chairs outside. A pop corn machine. Free pop corn. Very good by the way. David working the pop corn machine.

Herschel and Erica in town for a one week visit. Returned to Indiana three years ago. Part of our bocce team. Erica and I were partners on occasion.

We are having dinner together Monday night.

Bartender John from the Chart Room showed up. We chatted through two drinks each.

I was home before 9. As I hit the pillow, I recalled I failed to pay my bill at Don’s. Called and told him. He said forget about it.

Another major Christmas event next Saturday. The Lighted Boat Parade off Schooner Wharf. An event! Hitch a ride on one of the boats and try it.

Yesterday a two hour session with Sloan. Even called in Tim Reynolds up in St. Petersburg. We were having trouble with the volume for my soon to be new show Louis Petrone Says. It took a while, but Sloan and Tim got it ironed out.

Sometime next week, I will be starting a streaming show on You Tube. Several times a day. You will be able to see me. Live!

The show will be in segments. Several a day. No certain number. Each show roughly 30-60 seconds. As something tickles my fancy, I will sit down at my desk, turn on the computer and say…..It’s me again!

I also will still be doing this blog and my Tuesday podcast show.

David and Goliath. The Old Testament returns this week in Standing Rock, North Dakota. Confrontation time. Two thousand protesters and an additional 2,000 veterans. Standing against the might of federal, state and local governments. As well as an outside mercenary group Tag Swan. Thought to have been brought in by the corporation interested in building the pipe line.

Why David and Goliath?

The “bad guys” have top military equipment. Like rubber bullets, concussion grenades, stinger grenades, water hoses, tear gas and huge armored vehicles. The bad guys claim they need this type equipment to protect themselves from the Native Americans who are using sling shots against them! In addition to rocks and bottles.

The Native Americans also ride on horses to do whatever they do. Against the mechanized force of governments improperly being used. The horse soldiers remind me of the Polish Army attacking Hitler’s blitzkrieg of tanks, troops, and planes at the start of World War II.

An interesting article in  this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. About seniors and falling. The article stated 1/3 of all persons over 65 fall. Do I know it! Terrible!

I fell 5 times last year. Each fall a bad one. I fell three weeks ago. One of the worse. Still hurt. Luckily, no broken bones so far.

Syracuse beat North Florida yesterday 77-71. Not an impressive victory.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT

I see it coming! they are going to “fix” South Roosevelt Boulevard. A fixing not required.

South Roosevelt Boulevard works well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! the recommended move from 4 lanes to 2 is not needed. The wide sidewalk running along the beach is more than sufficient for walkers, bikers, etc.

I walked the walk for years. almost every day. different hours. Never had a problem regarding too many people.

What is involved here is change for the sake of change. The lets do something mentality where nothing need be done.

I fear the decision has already been made. I am aware there are public hearings ahead, etc. the players at the Florida Department of Transportation want it. Certain City officials want it.

The terms being bandied around sound of something new and magnanimous. Like corridor study, repurposing, optimal configuration, and future reconstruction.

It has been reported that South Roosevelt being redone is the final improvement recommended by the Project Development and Environmental Study.

I did not even know a change was contemplated till a couple of months ago. This Project development thing makes me suspect it has been out there for years.

It is time for the City Commission to stand up and do the right thing. Instead of succumbing. Commissioner Kaufman has already indicated the reconstruction sounds good. Time for him to move over on the side of the people. Most of decisions thus far not the best.

My first stop last night was Office Max. I need earphones for the computer. Many earphones. Blew my mind. Too complicated. the sales person was no help. she knew less than me.

I bought nothing. called Sloan and told her to buy the right one.

Why the earphones?

I soon will be doing another show. Yes, one on top of what I do already.

It will be a streaming in effect on You Tube. Several times a day. Roughly 30-60 seconds. One topic/issue. As the day progresses and I see something worth mentioning, I will sit down and get it out. Easy. No big deal.

I will be doing the show from my desk in my bedroom. You will be able to see and hear me. The shows will be archived so you can go on at any time and catch up.

Once set up, you will be able to find me by Louis Petrone. Key West Lou did not work because I am already archiving my tuesday night podcast show on You Tube under the Key West Lou designation.

The show’s actual title is Louis Petrone Says…..

I will let you know soon the actual date the show will commence.

I may even wear a baseball cap on occasion.

Stopped at Duval Square to view Larry Blackburn’s photo exhibit. Spectacular!

Larry also has a hat and Ecuadorian store at 510 Fleming. Interesting items available.

Finally, Berlin’s. Dinner at the bar. No Bria. She was in a wedding. The food continues to be great. I enjoyed lobster and mushroom risotto.

A group came in. Ordered drinks. One of the men asked for…..Diet. The bartender looked at him. The patron responded to the blank look…..This is how I work out. Diet! Meaning diet soda, of course.

Great diet!

Christmas Parade tonight. The best! I will watch at Don’s Place and at the County Office Building. First with friends and then to join the grandkids.

Syracuse/North Florida at 4 today. No comment, other than I suspect Syracuse will win. Not sure these days.

Enjoy your day!

 

WORLD AIDS DAY

Today is World AIDS Day. Especially important in Key West. Too many lost over the years.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an excellent front page article re this day.

At 4:30 this afternoon, the Candlelight Walk. Then at 6, the annual recollection ceremony. At the Edward B. Knight Pier. To remember loved ones lost to the disease.

The article notes an increase in HIV and AIDS cases in the past nine months. From 4 to 21. Sounds alarming. I doubt it is.

A new State law comes into play. This year the first for its imposition. The new law mandates HIV and AIDS testing as part of all annual physicals. Except where the patient opts out.

Increased testing means more positive results. Inevitable.

I completed my Key West Rotary history yesterday. Twenty six separate installments. Interesting to do. Onerous on occasion. Some days added as much as two hours additional work. A pleasure, never the less.

Martin’s for Happy Hour yesterday. With friend Joseph.

Joseph down to one cane. Big progress! He anticipates that soon there will be no need for a cane.

Conversation excellent. Joseph wants to do a blog. Needs to fill in his time now that he is retired. I told him I would have Sloan help him set up. I sense Joseph’s blog will be an intellectual one. Philosophical.

Martin’s food continues to be outstanding. I enjoyed small lamb chops and baked brie. Joseph, snails and schnitzle strips.

Magic bartending. From Poland. Many Poles have immigrated and settled in Key West. My Italian ancestors in the cold northeast many years ago. Weatherwise, the Poles selected better. Warm weather year round as opposed to biting cold winters.

Next stop, Don’s Place.

Chatted with Don and David.

Joanie is back. For the winter. Good to see her!

Quick stops on the way home at Walgreens and Publix.

Tonight, a manicure with Tammy at 7. Followed by dinner at 8 at Outback.

William Hackley writes that on this date in 1855, he paid William C. Dennis “for the hire of a negro woman.”

This Hackley has done in the past. Diana Millikan an historian of sorts. She believes one of the negro woman’s duties was washing Hackley during his morning baths. She believes it was a slave’s customary duty to be performed for her master. I told her to find authority for it somewhere. She is still looking.

The hurricane season ended yesterday. Hope hurricanes are aware that Key West should experience no further ones this year as November 30 has come and gone.

You can never be sure. I recall several years ago when October 31 was the end of hurricane season. We got hit by one the first week of November.

A big saturday awaits! The Christmas Parade. At 7 on Truman. Always fun. Especially for the kids. Tons of candy thrown from parade floats.

Enjoy your day!

 

SAD DAY IN AMERICAN HISTORY

President John Kennedy was assassinated this day in 1963. All America cried. It was the end of Camelot.

The excitement and anticipation of his Presidency has never returned.

It seems impossible! The year is rapidly moving to its end. Major holidays ahead.

In two days, Thanksgiving. Christmas one month later.

Key West gets into holidays big time. Especially, Christmas. Two big parades.

The first December 3. Key West’s annual Christmas Parade. More exciting than Macy’s parade. For real!

The parade on Truman. The whole community turns out. The beads of Fantasy Fest are candy for the children. Thrown from the floats.

Robert and Ally go crazy. Waiting to catch as many goodies as they can. They come prepared. Each with a large bag.

The Lighted Boat parade December 10. An experience. Out on the water in a boat decorated like a Christmas tree. Forty or fifty other boats similarly attired. Generally cold. Nothing like being on the open water on a cold December evening. You wear everything! Even long johns if you have them.

The bigger the boat, the more fun. A band. Dancing. Great food. Alcohol.

Nance Frank is Key West personified. She operates an art gallery on Greene Street. Gallery on Greene. Many a local artist has become successful because of her efforts.

The City Commission is dancing around with a parking garage on Greene Street. Nancy wrote a Letter to the Editor which appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast.

Stay away, she says! The 600 block of Greene Street is one of the last vestiges of old Key West. A concrete two or three story parking garage destroys the flavor of the block.

An excellent letter from one who knows best!

I recall building sand castles on the beach with my children. Not a lost art. The children of yesterday the adults of today. Some still build sand castles. Only bigger. Much bigger. Huge!

The Third Annual International Sand Art Competition this week. Wednesday to sunday at the Casa Marina.

Stop by daily and watch the artists work. Beginning friday evening, the sculptures will be lite. Wild!

A premature slap on the back in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

Work was begun a few months ago on the Truman Waterfront Park. After 15 years of screwing around with the project by the City Commission and others.

A major announcement in this morning’s newspaper. First two steps on schedule for the planned December 2017 completion.

A year away!

Guaranteed it will not be on schedule December 2017. Excuses, reasons will be forthcoming. Behind. Over run costs accumulating.

The City Commission is ultimately responsible for the project. History will repeat itself. Behind! Excuses numerous!

Does anyone in government really pay attention to these things?

Podcast time. My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine o’clock. Join me for a fast moving thoughtful eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include the technological revolution making humans obsolete, people of Flint still without clean drinking water, Maduro continues to screw up in Venezuela, Secret Service having lost or cannot find 11,780 items.

Also, CIA appointee Pompeo a supporter of torture and anti-GMO labeling, Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions wants to reverse marijuana legalization, Russia withdrawing from UN’s International Criminal Court, and more.

I will not be writing today’s installment re Key West Rotary history. The Key West Rotary and Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts were big nationally and in Key West in the 1930s.

My research not completed. Yesterday busy getting ready for tonight’s podcast.

Tomorrow, Installment 20.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

THE NATURE OF THINGS

When it wants, nature commands.

Very early yesterday morning, I stepped out onto my deck. I was amazed at the calm. There are many days when everything appears calm, but yet there is a slight movement in a palm leaf or something. Yesterday, no movement. Nothing at all.

Reminded me of Hurricane Georges. The night before was the same. Quiet. Peaceful. Absolutely nothing moving.

I learned back then the meaning of calm before the storm. Georges hit hard the next day. So too the storming yesterday afternoon and last night. Extremely heavy rain. Joined by thunder and lightning throughout the night.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Continued with the 30 second fast thing. Increased the speed more than previously.

Then to Lee Nails and Tammy for a manicure and pedicure. Lee Nails amazes me. Tammy and her husband have built a huge following.

There was a break in the rain at dinner time. I decided on Hogfish. Mentally it seemed like the place to be after the rain. I was right. You could taste and smell the rain. All pleasant. Enjoyed my time at the bar.

I screwed up. I mentioned the other day that the Boat Parade was this saturday. Fortunately, I received many e-mails correcting me. The Boat Parade is a week from saturday. This saturday is the Christmas Parade. An event! Enjoy it somewhere along Truman.

Boeheim’s NCAA appeal has been decided. The only change was that the 9 game penalty begins saturday with the Georgetown game. Instead of at the beginning of the ACC season. A better result than before. Still sucks.

A raw deal for Boeheim. He had no direct tie to the charges. Which in and of themselves did not warrant the overall harshness of the original decision.

Few know the composition of and how the NCAA works. Worthy of a column at some point.

I have not been a fan of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for some time. They are a traditional group to the far right. Similar to the Protestant religious far right. The Bishops are generally in opposition to the changes Pope Francis is working to bring about.

The bishops recently met in Baltimore. Note that many did not show up for the scheduled meeting. Those present prepared a political document to guide Catholic voters.

The nerve of them! Priests belong in church preaching God’s word from the pulpit. Not in the public market place telling me and other Catholics how we should vote.

The bishops are way out of line.

Trump is beginning to get under my skin again. When asked how things will get done, he says it’s all about management. Skillful management contributed to the death of six million Jews.

Trump is a loose cannon.

Syracuse plays Georgetown tomorrow. A battle between former Big East foes. Syracuse/Georgetown games were always exciting and hard fought. Tomorrow should be interesting. The game is at 1 on FOX.

My weekly interview on KONK News takes place on local radio 104.9 at 12:15 today. Fifteen minutes of me answering questions and discussing this week’s KONK Life column The Eiffel Tower.

Enjoy your day!