FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES…..

United Airlines. As far back as I can remember…..Fly The Friendly Skies With United.

No more. Screwed up their reputation big time two days ago.

Dr. David Dao a passenger. Flight not overbooked. Full, however. United needed 4 seats to transport a United crew to another city. Passengers all seated when request and offer made.

No one willing to accept the money United offered. Four passengers had to go. Dr. Dao one of them. He refused. Chinese, he thought he was being profiled.

You saw the video. Security yanked him out of his seat. His head hit the arm rest hard. Knocked him out. Head cut. Blood running out of his mouth.

Dragged off the plane.

Everyone videoing what was going on.

Stupid! Uncalled for! United not friendly!

Melania Trump in the news!

Nine months ago on August 20, 2016, a British newspaper the Daily Mail printed unkind and untrue statements about Melania. The Daily Mail is digitally available in the U.S.

Statements sordid and untrue.

Melania sued for libel. She recently settled. For $2.9 million and an apology.

I thought it was a cheap move when she sued. Some people do not believe in suing. Philosophically opposed.

I could see husband Donald in the background telling her to go for it.  Not so cheap as it turns out.

Lunched alone at Mangrove Mama’s yesterday. Bought some newspapers and drove up US 1.

Mangrove Mama’s has a flavor all its own. Old and rustic. Woodsy. A pleasant place to spend a couple of hours.

Spent some time later in the afternoon prepping for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

My report re female genital mutilation a bit lengthy. Sad and revealing.

I do not understand the City of Key West. i refer to the Mayor, City Commission and others involved in the operation of Key West.

A never before problem has arisen. I sometimes think they create problems for the sake of doing so. The problem has to do with what a City employee may say if questioned by a reporter.

The dialogue by many concerned as reported confusing. Certain however is that transparency will ultimately take a hit.

Even in Key West, the people’s right to know is being diminished.

Politicians are prone to making stupid statements. the latest is Secretary of State Tillerson’s re the Ukraine at the G7 Conference in Europe. Tillerson asked his fellow attendees why American taxpayers should care about Ukraine.

An oil company CEO should not be Secretary of State.

The last 24 hours have found Trump being lauded for his missile bombing of Syria and his tough handling of world problems. Especially calling to task world despots.

I think Trump is doing wrong. He is challenging certain world leaders to war. Bringing us to the brink of war. The U.S.’s public statements about Putin and Kim Jong-un the fuel that initiates wars.

Putin and Kim Jong-un crazy. Trump, also.

Not a healthy situation.

What goes around comes around. Recall during the State of the Union address in 2009 when a Congressman shouted out to an Obama statement: “You lie!”

The person in question Rep. Joe Wilson.

Wilson held a Town Meeting this past week. His constituents continuously shouted out in unison: “You lie!”

Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is a bigot and hater. A man whose head is still back in the 1860’s.

Note Sessions middle name is Beauregard. Sessions is so named after Confederate Civil War hero General P. C. T. Beauregard. Beauregard led the Confederates in the attack on Fort Sumter, the attack that began the Civil War.

Carsten Flemming Hansen was a 75 year old Dane. He was hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm and internal stomach bleeding problems. Non operable because of his age. He was told he had only hours or a few days to live.

Hansen asked if he could have a last request. He asked for a cigarette and a cool glass of wine. The hospital, though non smoking, accommodated him. He was taken out on the balcony to his room in a wheel chair as the sun was setting. Cigarette and wine in hand. His family with him.’

He died a few days later.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PITTSBURGH JOHN

Friday night at the Chart Room. A good night! Tons of people. Interesting people.

Sat and chatted with John for a while. From Pittsburgh. In the concrete business. Responsible for concrete sales in several states.

John visits Key West three times a year. Religiously. February, July and October.

His youthful experiences unusual.

John was the bat boy at the Pittsburgh Pirates ball field. For the opposing team. Worked with visiting stars like Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Schmidt.

Not only was he fortunate to be a bat boy to professional players, he also got to shot hoops with another baseball luminary. Rocco Clemente. John lived in the right neighborhood. The Clemente family neighbors five doors away.

Ron and Tresha from Michigan. Interesting people. Ron a psychologist. Tresha owns a Midas operation. Used to own two, sold one. Between the two, they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.

From out of the blue came Carol. Carol from New Hampshire. She visits Key West every season for two months. Rents the same apartment on Whitehead. We met the last time she was in Key West. At the Chart Room, of course.

Her downstair neighbor was with her. From Memphis. An annual renter, also.

In between, chatted with John. The best bartender in Key West!

Stopped at Outback on the way home. Prime rib.

Sat next to two interesting people. Husband and wife. Never got their names. The conversation interesting.

He is a retired executive from a pharmaceutical house. Just behind the banks in screwing the American public.

He obviously did not agree. Gave me all the stock reasons why prescription drugs have to be so expensive.

He buys his drugs from Europe. His actions speak louder than his words.

Spent a couple of hours on the deck yesterday afternoon. Reading some Civil War history. I took my first course in Civil War history my second year in college. Have been hooked on it ever since.

Parking for charter buses the brain child of the Key West City Commission. Took away many vehicle parking places in the lot and on the street.

So far, the lot is a failure. From my perspective. I have only seen one bus parked there. One time.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an article setting forth the glories and successes of the parking lot. My experience not the same as reflected in the article.

The article says City representatives claim 4-5 buses using the lot a day. Again, I have only seen one one time.

The City charges $100 a day to park. The lot has been open six months. The buses still parking all over Key West. Illegally now. The City is going to start ticketing the buses. Fine $250.

I assume more buses will then be parked in the lot.

On this day in 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in Key West briefly. He was driven down from Miami. Did a quick tour of the inactive U.S. Naval Base. Then on the USS Houston to watch Caribbean war games.

Trump will not be giving a State of the Union address. A new President does not make such a report his first year in office. Makes sense. He has been President less than two months.

Trump will address Congress, however. His presentation is listed as an Address. February 28.

I worry. Trump is going to go a step too far at some point. Further than any mishaps to date.

It has been reported that a plan is being circulated in Homeland Security to activate 100,000 National Guard. Purpose to round up unauthorized immigrants. In one big swoop.

Don’t know if anything will come of it. Dangerous if done. I remind you once again to recall Germany in the late 1930s and Germany in the rest of Europe during World War II. Nazi soldier driving up to homes/apartment houses to arrest Jews and other enemies of the State.

We are better than that.

Enjoy your day!

SYRACUSE BEATS #6 FLORIDA STATE

So many matters of importance occurred in the last 24 hours. Trump, immigration/refugee ban, draining the swamp, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc.

For me, the most important was Syracuse defeating Florida State 82-72. Florida State ranked #6, Syracuse unranked. A big victory. Students rushed the floor in excitement.

I was alone watching the game from the comfort of my easy chair. I shouted out a GREAT! at the end of the game. No one heard me. I was like the tree falling in the forest. No one hears it.

Worked on rewriting one chapter in Growing Up Italian. Sunday Dinner. A great family time!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fund raiser yesterday. A bocce fundraiser. Excellent attendance. Many who had never played bocce. I served as teacher to two novice sisters from Little Torch Key.

Who would have thought bocce could serve as a fundraiser? Giorgio did. He is to be complimented.

Cold continues. Sixty three during the evening. The high today only 67. Rain big time off and on. Winds 20-30 mph. White caps visible in the ocean. A gray day expected.

Two Civil War events on tap this week. Described as Living History events.

One in the Palm Garden of the Key West Library. Thursday from 11-3. All kinds of information and artifacts re the Civil War.

The other at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Friday and Saturday. Part of Civil War Heritage Days. A mid 1860s encampment.

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven was published this day in 1845.

Remember Goodnight Irene, If I Had a Hammer, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, and Blowin’ In the Wind?

Peter, Paul and Mary. Hits they sang.

Peter, Paul and Mary did not write the music they sang. They did make the tunes winners, however. Even Bob Dylan benefited. It is said the vocal group made Dylan’s revolution possible. Blowin’ In the Wind was one of them.

Andrew Jackson was our Nation’s first populist President. Trump is a populist President. Trump and many of his followers compare Trump to Jackson.

In 1834, there was a labor dispute. Workers on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The workers were rebelling because of persistent poor working conditions and low pay. The workers consisted of Irish, German, Dutch and blacks.

Jackson sent in federal troops to quell the disturbance. It was the first time a President had ever done so.

Trump has not sent federal troops anywhere. Not yet. He could in the future. Recall this past week his observations re Chicago, carnage, murders, etc. He suggested the Federal government might have to go in if things did not get better. The National Guard?

Trump’s handling of the immigration/refugee situation yesterday reflects a Jackson type mentality. Overbearing, overwhelming.

A further comment re the immigration/refugee order. Seven countries were named. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Not one terrorist from the seven named nations has ever performed a terrorist act in the United States.

Whereas, Saudi Arabia has. Seventeen or eighteen of the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Saudi Arabia not listed in the order. Oil, money the reasons? Whatever, the Saudi’s have had their heads up our asses for years. One arm around our shoulders, the other in our back pocket.

One more Trump issue.

He claimed during the campaign that he was going to drain the swamp. Get rid of lobbyists who come directly from government and end up working for lobbying groups that require government favors. A five year ban.

Trump’s order refers to administration officials. I do not know what administration officials refers to. Merely his immediate White House staff? Does it extend to Congress and the military?

I did a little digging. Could not come up with the answer.

Congressmen eat big when they move from the hallowed walls of government to working for lobbying groups. Recall Eric Cantor who was defeated in a Republican primary four years ago. He immediately was hired by a lobbying group. Starting salary $3.4 million a year. He did not even finish his term. He resigned his seat soon after the election and went to work in the private sector.

Our generals and admirals likewise benefit. Eisenhower warned us to beware of the military-industrial complex. They hire the retired military at huge dollars who then go back to their still in the service friends and work out contracts generous to the military manufacturer/producer.

Yes, the honeymoon is over. I gave Trump a week before criticizing him. I wanted to wait longer. He is our president. Give him a chance.

I figured three to six months. No way where Trump is concerned. He is a dynamo. He has already done more in his first week than any other President. More does not necessarily mean good, however.

He is not qualified for the position. He is a trouble maker.

I worry.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I FOUND MY BIRTH MOTHER

I found my birth mother. A touching statement. Made not by me, but by another.

Let me share her story.

I was in Aqua last night watching Dueling Bartenders. Jean and Joe Thornton there, also. Jean introduced me to her sister. I was not aware Jean had a sister. A half sister. Her name Laura.

Jean was 37 when she received a telephone call from Laura. Laura then 25. Jean did not know she had a sister. Laura said, I am your sister, I am looking for our mother.

Jean was in Birmingham at the time. Laura in Nashville.

Their mother had not made Jean aware she had given birth to another child when Jean was 12 years old.

Laura was taken in by another family and eventually adopted by another.

Laura told Jean she wanted to meet her mother and Jean. Jean made the necessary arrangements and in due course the three met. Their Mother told Jean she had kept the birth secret.

A glorious meeting. Tears and joy. A unit since.

Laura is in key West visiting. She will be here till the end of the month. She now resides in Louisville.

Laura told me she refers to the woman who adopted/raised her as her Mom and her discovered mother as her birth mother.

Jean and Laura loving sisters. So they appeared and acted. Jean could not wait to introduce her sister to me.

God is good. He provided the path and determination for Laura to successfully discover her birth mother and sister.

A lucky threesome.

While still at Aqua, a lovely young lady approached and asked if I was Key West Lou. Her name, Pat Grady. A Key West resident. I am fortunate. A loyal blog reader. Thank you, Pat.

Great game last night! Clemson beat the perennial victor Alabama. By a touchdown made with one second remaining on the clock. The final score 35-31.

Wild!

Tonight Syracuse/West Virginia. West Virginia a 4.5 point favorite. I will stick my neck out. If Syracuse plays as it has in its last two game, Syracuse will win decisively.

I continue to learn.

Enzio Pinza was a great singer and movie actor in the 1950s. He was vacationing at the Casa Marina.

The mood at various times of the day at the Casa can be revealing, overwhelming. At some point one evening, Pinza was seated on the Casa’s terrace overlooking the ocean and moon. He was so taken by the sight, he stood and sang Some Enchanted Evening. A song he had made popular.

The Casa and Pinza singing a fitting combination.

I am listening to Session’s Senate confirmation hearing. Just began. Two Democratic senators have already spoken who have failed the Nation. Both were supportive of his nomination. Disgusting. The man is an obvious bigot. Will work to restrict civil and voting rights. Not support them.

I am ashamed of the two Democratic senators. They lacked the courage to do the right thing.

I have to hustle. Barb is visiting for two weeks. I pick her up at the airport in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve at Lisa’s last night. A magnificent meal. Good company. Robert and Ally all excited.

Santa could not make his usual pre-dinner visit this year. He was busy up the keys visiting children he had not been able to in previous years. Robert and Ally were disappointed. They still believe.

Yesterday, I mentioned three writings that changed Christmas in the United States. Three writings that gave a new complexion to the holiday. A Visit from St. Nicholas, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Cooper, and A Christmas Carol.

The three writings got Americans on a new road. Christmas as celebrated today broke ground. Took many years to arrive at the point it is today, however.

Christmas divided the North and South. Not just slavery. Christmas was a Southern thing. The North paid little attention to it.

Lincoln wanted to demoralize Southern troops during the Civil War. The South believed Santa Claus was on their side.

Lincoln authorized a famous artist in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The drawing appeared on the front cover of a prominent national magazine on January 3, 1863.

Sort of a God is on our side thing.

Some historians believe the cover drawing achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

Enjoy your Christmas Day!

TRUMP TIME

Donald Trump is in the forefront these days. More than previously. Justifiably so. The man is mad. America is viewing his instability. More and more each day. He is self destructing before our eyes.

Better now than later. If elected, I worry about him and the nuclear button. So should you.

I spoke of Trump on my blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Half the show. Example after example of his instability.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for the podcast.

The Civil War has intrigued me since my college days. Today, I read everything I can get my hands on re the War.

The Key West Library is sponsoring a Civil War event. Titled Civil War Living History. In the Library’s Palm Garden. Saturday, August 13.

The editorial in yesterday’s Key West Citizen concerned Social Security. It was a republication of an editorial carried in the South Florida Sun Sentinel titled Put Priority On Solvency For Social Security.

A bad editorial. Avoided discussing the real reason why Social Security has money problems. The reason being the government borrows surplus monies in the Social Security Fund and never pays back. The government owes Social Security $1.8 trillion. Social Security is the biggest creditor of the United States. Ahead even of China.

The issue of pay back is always avoided in articles. If the government started paying back over a long period, the monies would be more than sufficient to keep Social Security payments at a level where cuts would not be required. Not even discussed.

The American people continue to get screwed by a government that borrow’s their money with no intent to ever pay back.

The William Hackley saga continues. Baby doing much better. Visited Mrs. Hews four times this date in 1855 for breast feeding.

A quick Venezuela update.

Two weeks ago, Venezuelans were eating their pets. This past weekend, they were invading zoos and stealing the zoo’s inhabitants. For consumption purposes obviously.

Curacao is one of the largest cities in Venezuela. Has a large zoo. Some people snuck into the zoo in the middle of the night. They were after a horse.

When the zoo keepers arrived in the morning, all that remained of the horse was the head and ribs.

A Venezuelan revolution is long overdue. Recall three years ago they ran out of toilet paper. The country is still out of toilet paper.

My column in this week’s KONK Life is German Persecution of Homosexuals. Sick, sad. Hits the stands today.

Key West has many fun events. One of the local favorites is the Battle of the Bars. Bartenders and servers engage in a competition down Duval Street. The winner gets bragging rights for a year.

The Battle of the Bars this sunday at one.

Enjoy your day!

 

BREAKFAST CLUB

Key West has two breakfast clubs. I assume most communities have at least one. Larger communities more.

Schooner Wharf and Don’s Place are the Key West notables.

A breakfast club is for those who want to enjoy or have a need for an early morning drink. The bars open at 7. Customers immediately lining up at the bars.

Nothing wrong with an early morning drink. One of Key West’s favorite persons did so. Harry Truman. Truman would rise each morning and take a two mile walk. Followed by an ounce of Old Grandad or Wild Turkey.

Truman’s generation thought an early morning drink was beneficial to the circulation of those past sixty. Truman was known to say it was “to get the engine going.”

Reminds me of my grandfather who would take a shot of Canadian Club each night before retiring. He claimed it was good for the heart.

Saw the doctor at lunchtime yesterday.

As a person grows older, the body grows things. A wart or two. Growths a bit larger than warts. Crazy colored things.

Periodic removal is required lest something serious develop. Yesterday was removal day for me.

My face looks like it has been through a meat grinder! Add to it Neosporin rubbed all over. I look terrific!

I did not go out last night. There was no pain or discomfort. Did not want to be seen.

Spent the afternoon and evening preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Research complete. A little fine tuning today and I will be ready to go.

Join me. Topics interesting. Some revealing. The show at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. You will love it! Followed by General P. T. G. Beauregard.

Then the story of a second Revolutionary War Lexington battle. Followed by the new IRS reg permitting taxes to be paid at a 7-Eleven. I don’t see it working.

The present CIA head said no waterboarding by the CIA even if a President orders it. Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs getting away with murder. An Illinois couple refusing to permit marriage of a homosexual couple at their establishment fined $80,000.

There is much talk of tax avoidance. Those who bury money on foreign shores be damned! Turns out the U.S. is third in the world hiding money for foreigners.

My KONK Life column this week is Shakespeare Incidentals. A few Shakespearian phrases originating with Shakespeare. You will be surprised! Guaranteed!

And more.

Seahorse Key has a problem. No one knows how to deal with it. Cottonmouth snakes cannibalizing each other. Birds disappeared last year. Snakes now eating each other.

Sunday’s Cow Key Bridge continues to receive acclaim. This morning’s Key West Citizen refers to it as the Walking Cow Stampede.

After screwing around for almost three years, the Key West City Commission has approved a new taxi company for Key West. To service a special need. Handicapped persons.  Four handicapped accessible vehicles are being permitted.

I doubt the Chinese are smarter or stupider than us. I do believe however they can be more enterprising.

The China FDA closed down 35 popular restaurants. The restaurants were spiking food with opiates. Like morphine, codeine, and noscapine. To make the food addictive so customers would return. Noodles, hotpot, grilled fish, and fried chicken were being seasoned.

Soup a big hit. Soup was being spiked with ground poppy powder (opium).

Enjoy your day!

CHRISTMAS RADIO SHOW

Part of my blog talk radio show last night was devoted to Christmas. A first time venture.

I enjoyed it. Hopefully the show was well received.

What I did was share some parts of this week’s KONK Life column An American Christmas. From the Puritans to George Washington to the Civil War. Threw in some pagan background. Particularly sources of Christmas things such as the Christmas tree, mistletoe, carols and gift giving.

The KONK Life Christmas column hits the stands tomorrow. It will be linked to my Key West Lou website thursday.

A dermatologist visit yesterday. My head looks like it has been through a meat grinder.

I spent time yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Did the show at 9. As indicated, part of the show was devoted to Christmas. I followed up the Christmas portion with a discussion of homeless children. Santa Claus will not be visiting most of them.

The greatest nation in the world has just less than three million homeless children. They live/sleep in abandoned cars, in woods, under card board boxes, under bridges, where ever. They go to school unbathe and without breakfast.

Does not speak well for our society. Does not speak well for our governmental leaders who bear the most responsibility.

Today is the anti-gravity treadmill and Christmas shopping. Tonight, probably out with Don.

Note I did not get to Christmas shop monday. Here it is two days before Christmas and there is nothing to put under the tree. Trust me, I will get it all done today. I have no choice.

Syracuse beat Montana State last night 82-60. Syracuse does not have a legitimate tall man. Neither does Montana State. Our tall man was taller than theirs, however. Helped big time.

I could not get the game on TV. It was not where I thought it would be and nowhere else.

I watched the game on the internet. Streaming. The small screen a bit uncomfortable. However, I at least got to watch the game.

On December 22, 1860, Florida officials met in Tallahassee to decide if Florida should secede and join the Confederacy. They did. Key West as a practical matter did not.

There were a number of reasons why Key West remained loyal to the Union. One was that most of the people living in Key West were transplanted New Englanders and Bahamians. Key Westers celebrated the day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, for example.

Key West became important preventing supplies in reaching the Confederacy. Forty Union warships rested in Key West waters. They captured or sunk 200 Confederate vessels.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST BUSY AND QUIET

I recently mentioned it felt like the season was upon Key West. Yesterday, I was driving into town for a doctor visit. US 1, the Boulevard and Truman were jam packed with vehicles. Traffic moving slowly. Especially on US 1 and Truman.

On the return trip, I decided to use Flagler to avoid the traffic. Surprisingly, Flagler was crowded. More so than when the Boulevard construction was ongoing.

Last night, it was the Chart Room and then Hot Tin Roof.

On the way in, I noticed many people on the streets in the downtown area. Not so in  the Chart Room or Hot Tin Roof. Quiet.

It appears the tourists are here. However, not spending money. A proper observation for me to make. Key West’s lives or dies on tourism business.

I have mentioned the spending situation a couple of times this year. Nothing has changed. The tourists are coming in large numbers. Paying a big dollar at the hotels. Less at the bars and restaurants. They are buying pizzas and beer to dine on in their expensive hotel rooms.

Lynda Frechette! One of Key west’s leading persons! Sweet. Lovable. Caring.

Front page this morning’s Key West Citizen carried a large photo of Lynda and another smaller one of her and friends. Lynda was featured as a “Familiar Face.” Another way of saying an important person. Which Lynda is.

Tonight, tonight…..My blog talk radio show! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time for a fast moving thought provoking half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include Congress opening the floodgates to foreign investment in U.S. realty, gun buying dramatically on the rise in Germany, Venezuela rejects GMOs entirely, homeless children on the rise in U.S. and England, the black cloud over Jimmy Carter, the Miss Universe debacle, Trump’s use of schlong, and more.

Speaking of schlong, I am not Jewish My understanding however is that the word can be used in several ways. The most obvious as the name of a male’s personal part. It can also be used to describe a loser or someone capable of being beaten. Though I am anti-Trump, I suspect Trump was using the later description of the word.

Never the less, Trump should be more selective in his choice of words. His gutter approach is distasteful. I for one would not want him speaking as he is during the campaign were he elected President.

On last week’s blog talk radio show, I discussed the TPP and its affect on the American shrimp industry. Thailand is a major exporter of shrimp to the U.S. and else where world wide. Cheap to buy. The reason being Thailand uses slave and forced labor. They either pay these people nothing or pennies a day.

Our shrimp industry cannot compete.

Even before TPP takes effect, major U. S. companies have been purchasing Thai shrimp. Like Wal-Mart, Kroeger Wholesale Food, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden. Chicken of the Sea shrimp sold in Safeway and Albertson stores contain Thai shrimp.

TPP is a job loser for the U.S. Our leaders never learn from the past.

On this day in history in 1860, an election was held in Tallahassee to determine if Florida would join the Confederacy. It was so voted. However, Key West did not join the rest of Florida. Key West remained basically loyal to the Union. Fort Zachery Taylor was important to the Union’s cause. Key Wester’s celebrated the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Key West remaining loyal to the Union was caused in significant part by the nature of the people living in Key West. Most were transplanted New Englanders and Bahamians.

Syracuse basketball tonight. Against Montana State. Syracuse a 17 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day unquestionably a day of love. Key West restaurants will be overbooked. It is the evening lovers dress and are on the town.

The Day is thought to have been derived from several saints named Valentinus. Many believe only one saint was responsible. St. Valentine of Rome. The Middle Ages locked in the romantic aspect. Courtly love became the vogue.

Certain  countries decry Valentine’s Day. Muslim nations. The Day is considered anti-Islamic. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Criminal in certain of these countries. Illegal to sell candy or flowers or anything suggesting the Day. Even items colored red.

There is always a new twist to a special day. The Bronx Zoo came up with one in 2011. Still selling. Thousands have bought the item. Rather than candy and flowers, adopt for your love a cockroach. A Madagascar hissing cockroach.

The cost $10. The roach is not delivered. Rather a colorful certificate acknowledging the adoption.

In addition to loved ones, mothers in law and ex-wives are popular recipients.

I took two Civil War courses in college. Wrote two papers. One about the Presidential election of 1864 involving Lincoln and McClellan. The other, I cannot recall.

The courses turned me on to the Civil War. I have since read many books involving the subject.

Last night, the Key West Art and Historical Society opened a special exhibit involving the Civil War at the Custom House. I attended.

The exhibition was limited. Small. Informative, however. I was made aware of some things I had not seen before and/or did not have knowledge concerning.

My hometown Utica is in the Mohawk Valley. Many major battles of the Revolution were fought there. A U.S. Naval vessel served to blockade Key West waters during the Civil War. The U.S.S. Mohawk. I assume named after my home valley.

Fort Zach Taylor was the Union’s primary fortress in Key West. Equipped with ten inch cannons. I was surprised to learn the cannons had a range of 3 miles.

The front page of the New York Herald dated April 15, 1865 was displayed. The day after Lincoln’s assassination. Yellowed with brown edges. Glass enclosed for preservation purposes.

The newspaper reported that at the same time Lincoln was shot, Secretary of State Seward while in bed at home was stabbed twice in the neck and twice in the chest. Initially, a conspiracy was thought. Apparently there was no connection between the two attacks.

Seward was the leading Republican contender for the Presidential nomination heading into the 1860 convention. However, Lincon defeated him.

Seward grew up in Auburn, N.Y. Near Syracuse. I tried many cases in Auburn. An old city that never got made over. My friend Dan was born in Auburn. He opted not to be a politician. He is a restaurateur. His business sits on Skaneateles Lake.

Shirrel Rhoades is my publisher. He is also President of the Key West Art and Historical Society. I ran into him at the exhibit. We chatted a bit.

Then to the Chart Room. I had a terrific time! Two old friends and one new. Carol from New Hampshire, Ginger from Memphis, and Rosie who is from Memphis also. Carol and Ginger are actually snowbirds. They have been visiting Key West for many years two months at a time. Rosie visiting.

The ladies were good company. I enjoyed being with them. Rosie leaves today. Carol and Ginger are here into March. I hope I run into them again.

Sheila and David stopped in. Sheila is on the staff of the Custom House. She had spent some time there with me earlier in the evening. Rosie will have to wait till next year.

Syracuse/Duke at 6 this evening. Playing at Syracuse. Duke a 7 point favorite. I suspect Syracuse will lose by more. An upset is possible, however.

Weather continues to be Key West cold. The high today 64. This evening in the mid 50s.

Enjoy your day!