SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!

VALENTINE’S DAY…..YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A day of love and affection.

Not in its beginnings.

There are several beginnings. The one most accepted has dark origins. Typical of ancient Rome. Fun and games were enjoyed.

Valentine’s Day had a predecessor. The Feast of Lupercalia. An annual event. February 13-15. In modern vernacular, men hit on women. By actually hitting them.

The men first sacrificed goats and dogs. The men bare assed. Young women were lined up bare assed. The men hit the women with the hides of the goats and dogs slain.

The young women willing participants.

The men and young women drunk during these activities.

The purpose of the beatings were to make the young women fertile.

Following the beatings, the names of the ladies were thrown in a jar. The men picked. The woman selected was then coupled with the man for the rest of the festival. Sometimes longer if the match worked out.

Several centuries later in the third century A.D, two religious men named Valentine lived. One in Rome, the other somewhere else in Italy. Emperor Claudius had them both executed. Each on February 14, but in different years.

The two Valentines were eventually canonized. Resulting in two St. Valentines.

The image of the earlier pagan Lupercalia was cleaned up by naming February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.

Note that Christmas had a similar beginning. A pagan festival involving sex, gluttony and drunkenness. Saturnalia. A 5-7 day event in December. “Throw off the toga” the cry of the event.

The Catholic Church wanted the pagans to join the Church. They offered a deal. Join us and you can continue to celebrate your pagan ways. A marriage occurred.

Eventually, Christmas became Christmas as we know it.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Yale and its Calhoun College, Trump’s enhancing public safety executive order, the immigrants of today the Jews of yesterday, Trump and Miller telling lies when they claim people came from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote, Trump’s war on drugs reversing present thought, Greeks want to stop teaching Greek history, a federal pot law intended to negate State laws permitting marijuana use, Orville dam, and more.

Stopped at Key West Bite to watch Syracuse/Louisville last night.

Bite a sports bar. I was the only one watching a game. Bite may not make it.

Syracuse lost in overtime to #7 Louisville 76-72. A good game. Syracuse down 14 in the first half. Came back and played basket for basket thereafter. Game could have gone either way.

The Michael Flynn in the news is the same Michael Flynn who tweeted stories that Hillary Clinton was involved in pedophilia. That Hillary was part of an operation compelling children to have Satanic sex in a Washington pizza shop.

Flynn may have been a great general. He was a sick man otherwise. The country is better off without him.

The Go Live video I am doing is 12 days old. The viewer numbers has risen significantly. I am pleased so many like and are following it.

Those of you who do enjoy it on Facebook, please press SHARE so more might be exposed to my ramblings.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE EARLIEST SCROOGE OF RECORD

Christmas today is not the same as those of yesterday.

The holiday under different names was celebrated centuries before the birth of Christ. Pagan in substance. Drunkenness, sexual orgies, human sacrifice, etc.

What follows is a brief history of Christmas as practiced in early America. Specifically, the 1600s and 1700s.

The Puritans were the earliest Scrooges of record. Descendants of the English Reformation. Christmas had no place in England because of the pagan history of the holiday. Oliver Cromwell banned the practice of Christmas in England.

The Puritans did not recognize Christmas nor would they permit the few who wanted to to practice it. Christmas was banned in Boston from 1659-1681.

Colonials during the American Revolution did not recognize the holiday. English influence prevailed.

Several years after the Revolution, a handful of colonists began celebrating Christmas. The English influence no longer carried the weight it did prior to the Revolution. It was not Christmas as we know it. The event was rowdy. Similar to Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Tomorrow, I will trace Christmas in America a bit further. The story interesting.

Spent 1.5 hours yesterday morning getting examined. All kinds of tests. All that remains is the actual physical by the doctor which will take place next week.

Stopped at Publix afterwards. Needed a few things. Very few shoppers. However, those that were there were pushing extremely full carts to the cash registers. Early Christmas grocery shoppers.

Peter Max will be in Key West in February. Three separate visits. He will be showing at the Key West Gallery.

His visit exciting!

The Berlin terrorist was caught and killed in Milan.

All Italian cities are beautiful. Milan perhaps the most beautiful. I have visited several times.

Milan is a business and governmental center. Its people as beautiful as the City.

The Piazza del Duomo is one of Milan’s most exciting areas.

The Milan Cathedral aka Duomo di Milan sits at one end of the Piazza. Huge. Magnificent. Steeples galore. Took almost six centuries to build.

I recall one day when the heat was getting to me. I needed cool. Air conditioning is not as prevalent in Italy as in the U.S. Electricity not sufficient to air condition everything. Especially a huge cathedral.

Churches are always cool. Thick stone walls, small colored windows.

I went inside the Cathedral. I fell asleep for two hours. Slept till an attendant/guard nudged me awake. Told me I could not sleep in the Cathedral.

On one side of the Pizza sits a three story stone building. The second floor has a huge balcony. Mussolini stood on the balcony shouting to the crowded Piazza…..War, War, War! He was announcing Italy’s entrance into what would become World War II.

A few blocks off the Piazza is the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The home of the Last Supper. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1495.

The Last Supper is painted on the wall of the dining room. Quite large. 15′ x 29′.

I never  knew it was that large or painted on a wall till I saw the painting for the first time.

An awesome sight! The painting captures the instant moment when Jesus revealed to his friends that one of them would betray him. Da Vinci captured what would have been the shock and rage on the faces of the apostles.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CHRISTMAS FEELING…..FINALLY

I’ve been wandering around not into Christmas. The Christmas feeling never arrived for me. Till last night!

Larry Smith’s Christmas show at The Studios of Key West. Outstanding! His best yet!

I have been walking around since with Christmas tunes and carols repeating in my head. Even visions of sugarplums!

I am into Christmas!

Even more so after tonight. Liz and I are attending St. Paul’s Christmas event. Another winner!

Key West is dead. Few people on the streets and in the restaurants. The week before Christmas always quiet.

Then comes Christmas evening! Key West will be jam packed! No room at the inn! Always so.

We have  een blessed with fantastic weather. Low 80s. Dry. Great!

I am into Christmas gifts today. Shopping, etc.

Enjoy your Sunday!

AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS

Christmas today and Christmas yesterday are as different as day and night.

The precursor of today’s Christmas is rooted in paganism. Paganism involving debauchery, drinking, rape, murder, and anti-Semitism. Paganism that  preceded the birth of Christ by centuries.

The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. No one was even sure if December 25 was the day Jesus was born.

Roman pagans celebrated the earliest event. A week-long party. Ended on December 25. Where the forces of darkness prevailed. Sex, food and drink in abundance. Many murders, for the fun of it.

The Greeks enjoyed a holiday made famous in Lucian’s Saturnalia. More despicable. In addition to drinking, rape and sexual license, human sacrifice.

Saturnalia is the predecessor of Christmas.

The Catholic Church wanted to convert the pagans. Actually, the Catholic Church wanted to increase its numbers. The Church offered the pagans a deal. You join us and you can still celebrate all those Saturnalia things you are accustomed to doing. The pagans agreed and the Saturnalia Carnival came into being.

The Catholic Church participated in and permitted Jews to be ridiculed and suffer. Pope Paul II was head of the Catholic Church in 1466. Part of the celebration involved Jews being force-fed/overfed and then compelled to run along the streets of Rome. Difficult with a full belly. People pelted the Jews with rotten fruit, vegetables and stones. The Pope reportedly watched and laughed.

The Saturnalia Carnival continues through the 18th and 19th centuries. Relatively recent times. Jews continued to be persecuted. They were murdered, women raped, their property destroyed. Rabbis were made to don clownish attire and run the streets. While running, they were jeered and pelted.

Jews asked the Papacy to stop such activities. Pope Gregory XVI refused.

Many of today’s Christmas customs find their origins in the pagan celebrations.

The Christmas tree is one. Pagans for whatever reason worshiped trees in the forest. Eventually, the trees found their way into pagan homes and were decorated.

The mistletoe. Kiss me under the mistletoe. Druids used the mistletoe to poison human sacrificial victims. Norse mythology spoke of two Gods fighting over the female Wanna. The two synthesized to become reflective of the sexual lives of Saturnalia and the Druid’s sacrificial cult.

Christmas presents. In pre-Christian Rome, emperors compelled Rome’s most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during Saturnalia. With the advent of Christianity, the Catholic Church gave gift giving a Christian flavor by bringing St. Nicholas into the picture.

St. Nicholas initially was a combination of good and evil.

St. Nicholas himself was saintly. Of Turkish origin. Died in the mid 300s AD. In 1087 AD, his bones were moved from Turkey to Bari, Italy. He was interred in the burial-place of a traditional Italian woman who had been famous for bringing gifts to children on December 6. St. Nicholas assumed her gift giving qualities merely by burial in her place.

The Catholic Church pushed the pagans to adopt St. Nicholas. Such began gift giving in what finally became Christmas.

Santa Claus as he is visualized today in his bright red clothes and rosy cheeks can be attributed to Coca Cola. In 1931, Coke wanted a “Coke Drinking Santa.” Coke ordered its advertisers to give them such. The result is the Santa Claus of today.

Christmas today is the combination of Christian carnival, pagan gods and a modern-day commercial.

As to America itself, let’s see how the preceding played out.  Starting with the first settlers, the Puritans.

On this wonderful Christmas Day 2015, most of us will be sitting back happy with ourselves. In a joyous festive mood. Thankful for family and friends. Pleased by gifts and food.

And we might believe that Christmas in the United States has always been such. That Christmas as we know it always existed.
Shockingly, it did not!
We start with the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give us. In fact, they took Christmas away from us. The earliest Scrooges of record!
From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. By the Puritans. They believed that Christmas was not consistent with their Puritan ideas and religious reforms. So they abolished Christmas!

The Puritans were descendant from the Reformation. Certain Protestant groups opposed Christmas celebrations. They firmly believed the holiday was rooted in paganism. It was. Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas in England.

Christmas remained a no no through the American Revolution. The English influence in the colonies prevailed. Christmas could not gain a foothold.

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of English influence, started celebrating Christmas. But it was not Christmas as we know it.

The early 1800s found Christmas being celebrated in a bit of a rowdy fashion. Much like Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Then came a couple of books which influenced the situation.

The first was by Washington Irving. In 1809, he wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon. It portrayed Christmas as a peaceful loving holiday. Many attribute Irving’s novel as setting the mood for present day Christmas.

Irving actually created with words Christmas Day as we know and celebrate it. He mentally conceived his concept of Christmas and wrote it on paper. Christmas to that point had not been as he portrayed it.

About the same time, there was another writing. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This, too, captured the American imagination.

During the 1830s, several southern states legalized December 25 Christmas Day as a holiday. The first was Alabama in 1836.

The South continued to favor and celebrate Christmas up to the time of the Civil War. Whereas, the North basically paid little attention to the day. Christmas had become a Southern thing.

Now comes the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to demoralize the Confederate troops. He wanted to show that the South’s Santa Claus was on the side of the North. He authorized a famous artist late in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The picture was the front cover on January 3, 1863 of a prominent national magazine. It was sort of God is on our side thing. Some believe it achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

President Ulysses S. Grant is given credit for making Christmas a national holiday. I question the accuracy of the representation. In 1870, Grant signed a bill into law regarding Christmas Day. The new law read that Christmas “…shall be a holiday within the District of Columbia.” The  District of Columbia is not the whole of the United States. However, Grant is usually given credit for making Christmas a national holiday by that act.

The last state to legalize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907.

I suspect that it was the combination of Grant’s signing regarding the District of Columbia and all of the states legalizing the holiday that finally made Christmas Day a national holiday.

Christmas Day received a further boost by the 1897 editorial in the Sun of New York. We all know it. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas was practiced and recognized as a holiday through World War II. For whatever reason, it received its most gigantic step forward recognition and celebration wise following World War II. Everyone got into the act after the war! Maybe because people were happy and grateful to have won.

Such is the story of Christmas and especially America’s Christmas from its earliest times to today.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas….A Legal Holiday

 

CHRISTMAS 2010, I WROTE AN ESSAY DETAILING HOW CHRISTMAS CAME TO BE A LEGAL HOLIDAY. THE STORY INCLUDES MANY INTERESTING FACETS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN. THE ESSAY WAS NOT PUBLISHED IN THE BLOG AT THE TIME. I SHARE IT WITH YOU NOW WITH MY WISHES FOR A BLESSED AND MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Christmas….A Legal Holiday

 

On this wonderful Christmas Day 2010, most of us are sitting back happy with ourselves. In a joyous festive mood. Thankful for family and friends. Pleased by gifts and food.

And we might believe that Christmas in the United States has always been such. That Christmas as we know it always existed.

Shockingly, it did not!

Let’s go back to the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give to us. In fact, they took Christmas away from us. The earliest Scrooges of record!

From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. By the Puritans. They believed that Christmas was not consistent with their Puritan ideas and religious reforms. So one of their acts was to abolish Christmas!

Christmas remained a no-no through the American Revolution. The English influence in the colonies prevailed. Christmas could not regain its foothold.

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of the English influence, started celebrating Christmas. But it was not Christmas as we know it.

The early 1800s found Christmas being celebrated in a bit of a rowdy fashion. Much like Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Then came a couple of books which influenced the situation.

The first was by Washington Irving. In 1809, he wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon. It portrayed Christmas as a peaceful loving holiday. Many attribute Irving’s novel as setting the mood for present day Christmas.

Irving actually created with words Christmas Day as we know and celebrate it. He mentally conceived his concept of Christmas and wrote it on paper. Christmas to that point had not been as he portrayed it.

About the same time, there was another writing. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This, too, captured the American imagination.

During the 1830s, several southern states legalized December 25 Christmas Day as a legal holiday. The first was Alabama in 1836.

The South continued to favor and celebrate Christmas up to the time of the Civil War. Whereas the North basically paid little attention to the day. Christmas had become a Southern thing.

Now comes the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to demoralize the Confederate troops. He wanted to show that the South’s Santa Claus was on the side of the North. He authorized a famous artist late in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The picture was the front cover on January 3, 1863 of a prominent national magazine. It was sort of God is on our side thing. Some believe it achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

President Ulysses S. Grant is given credit for making Christmas a national holiday. I question the accuracy of the representation. In 1870 Grant signed a bill into law regarding Christmas Day. The new law read that Christmas “…shall be a holiday within the District of Columbia.”

The District of Columbia is not the whole of the United States. However, Grant is usually given credit for making Christmas a national holiday by that act.

The last state to legalize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907.

I suspect that it was the combination of Grant’s signing regarding the District of Columbia and all of the states legalizing the holiday that finally made Christmas Day a national holiday.

Christmas Day received a further boost by the 1897 editorial in the Sun of New York. We all know it. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas was practiced and recognized as a holiday through World War II. For whatever reason, it received its most gigantic step forward recognition and celebration wise following World War II. Everyone got into the act after the war! Maybe because people were happy and grateful to have won.

Such is the story of the legalization of Christmas Day.