I WAS WRONG…..

I was wrong.

I have been in Key West during Fantasy Fest some 30 years. Initially, I did them all. One year after another. After a while it became you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. So I stopped attending.

Toga Party was my favorite event. Thursday night at Sloppy Joe’s and in the street in front of Sloppy’s. I wrote in detail yesterday what it was like. My last Toga Party (always as an observer) was at least a dozen years ago.

A voyeur’s dream!

I decided to go last night.

I stopped at the Chart Room first. Friend Ted from Cazenovia, NY was there, with friend Terri. Ted is a former attorney. A terrific guy. Visits Key West two times a year. He came specifically for Fantasy Fest. His first. Terri’s, also. Terri a 20 year veteran of corporate finance.

Being a helpful soul, I advised Ted and Terri a good event to see last night. My admonition: Don’t miss Toga Party. Explained what and where it was.

My good deed for the evening.

Around 8 o’clock, I walked over to Sloppy Joe’s. Excited!

In the past, Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s was cordoned off. A block on either side also. No cars. Pedestrian walk. Totally crowded with party revelers. Last night, cars as usual.

Strange, I thought. It came to mind there was little traffic when I drove down US 1 and along Truman Avenue. Normally took extra long to get into town. It also dawned on me I had no problem finding a parking spot. Open places all over.

Something amiss.

I got in front of Sloppy’s. About 3/4’s filled inside. Less people than when a cruise ship comes in. The sidewalks crowded, but walkable.

Few bare assed women wearing togas! I saw a total of 4. Walking down the sidewalk with their husbands or boy friends who were similarly attired.

Things had changed in the last 12 years. Wow! Big time! The “adult party” appeared no more. Subdued considerably.

The same local company had run Fantasy Fest for years. Three years ago, some felt the event had become too risqué. A new company was hired. One that promised a more subdued event. Subdued? Killed!

I wonder how long the merchants will put up with a quieter, cleaner Fantasy Fest. The sole purpose for Fantasy Fest was to give merchants an opportunity to make money during Key West’s slow time.

I apologize to my readers for yesterday’s total erroneous representation of Toga Party. I also apologize to Ted and Terri. My only interest was to make their evening more enjoyable.

While in the Chart Room, met another attorney. Scott from Poughkeepsie. He has been visiting Key West since 1992. A Simon Court regular.

Scott has had a distinguished career. Cases litigated from Puerto Rico to Key West to New York.

We exchanged lawyer war stories.

Disappointed with a Toga Party that sucked, I drove over to Blue Macaw. Ran into Mary. We enjoyed dinner and a couple of drinks together. Mary works at The Little White House. A Harry Truman expert.

The parking meters have changed. Cost to park in Key West has increased. From $3 an hour to $4. Disgraceful! A gouging!

These attempted bombings scary. The 11th discovered this morning. Directed to New Jersey Democratic Senator Corey Booker.

What is occurring is domestic terrorism. Can you imagine how we would feel if the attempted bombings had been successful? Two former Presidents, a Vice-President, a former Presidential candidate, Congressional members, and a movie star not afraid to speak out on political issues, dead or injured. The country would be in mourning. Republicans, included.

We are in a cold war. A Democrat/Republican one. Tempers are boiling. The cold war could easily tun into a hot one. Bullets and molotov cocktails flying. Citizens killed and injured.

The last time the U.S. was confronted with such anger and ill will between political parties was in the 1850 years leading up to the Civil War. It took a Civil War to settle the issues.

Trump proudly said on TV the other night he was a nationalist. “There I said it,” he said.

Does the man know that of which he speaks? Nationalists is a  fancy cover up word for neo-Nazis and members of the Klu Klux Klan.

Bravery in war not uncommon. For God and country commonplace. We do not hear of the many acts or events of bravery. One became immortalized by the famous poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Charge of the Light Brigade.

The battle fought on yesterday’s date in 1854. Known as the Battle of Balaclava. Part of the Crimean War. British Light Forces and  Russians on opposite sides.

The British task an impossible one. They had to take a Russian position at the top of a hill. Russian guns on three sides as they rode up the hill. To the left, right and in front of them. The Brits suffered a high number of casualties.

Tennyson’s poem portrayed the battle and bravery of the men: “Into the Valley of Death / Rode the six hundred. / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die…..Cannon to the right of them, / Cannon to the left off them, / Cannon in front of them…..Into the jaws of Death, / Into the mouth of Hell / Rode the six hundred…..When can their glory fade? / O the wild charge they made! / All the world wondered. / Honor the charge they made! / Honor the Light Brigade, / Noble six hundred!”

Enjoy your day!

GOOMBAY FRIDAY NIGHT

It’s that time of year! Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Thousands of visitors. Ten days of fun!

Goombay first. Friday and saturday. Then a week of Fantasy Fest.

Goombay a family thing. A street festival. Reminds me of the Italian feasts. Except the food is different. Everything with a Bahamian, Latino, Cuban, Central American flavor.

Held on Petronia Street in Bahama Village.

Sunday begins Fantasy Fest. Adult! No kids! Bare breasts and sometimes other parts of the body. Mostly female, some male.

Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. We are having dinner together tonight. Meeting at the Chart Room. Then I don’t know where for dinner.

Tom and Fran smart. They arrived monday night, leave friday morning. They are getting out of Dodge before the madness begins.

After 20 years of Fantasy Fests, some sort have had it! Did one, did them all!

A new bartender at the Chart Room. John still there. However, his days have been changed.

The new bartender Tammy. She works tonight. Can’t wait to meet the lady. Her regular job is on the roof of the Bull bartending. The infamous Garden of Eden. A place where people go bare ass all times of the day and night. Especially this coming week. Tourists consider it a deviant place. The roof will be packed.

A strange thing happened yesterday in San Juan. The offices of Mayor Carmen Yulin were raided by the FBI. She is the woman who stood up to Trump for failing to do enough for the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Yulin’s offices are also described as San Juan’s municipal offices.

An FBI spokesman said more than 10 and less than 50 agents were involved. Sounds like a big deal. Why the secrecy as to the number of agents?

The spokesman added the FBI were investigating “fixing contracts, falsifying documents…..having to do with federal funds.”

It was reported members of City government were targeted, not the Mayor herself. The Mayor pledged full cooperation.

I have a concern. Hope I am wrong. In reality, is this retaliation or retribution against the Mayor for having stood up to Trump?

Trump has ruthlessly beat up the FBI. They went strictly by the book during the Kavanaugh investigation. However, I thought they could have investigated further than they did. Now a strong heroic woman has her public office investigated. Bothers me. Hope it is on the up and up.

The FBI has always been an above board professional organization. However with the ruthless beating it has been taking the past several months, I wonder if they sort have given in a bit in opposing the President in some circumstances.

Canada has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Became legal at midnight last night. An individual can legally carry up to 30 grams. A bit more than 1 ounce. An ounce is 28.3495 grams. The statute has rounded it off to 30 grams.

Uruguay is the only other country to have legalized recreational marijuana.

The Canadian government is giving serious consideration to going a step further. Consideration is being given to issuing pardons to all convicted for possession of 30 grams.

It has been 15 days since Jamal Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered. Saudis can be cruel.

It is obvious Trump is trying to cover Saudi Arabia’s ass to some extent. A bad move. Not consistent with American character and sense of right.

Saudi Arabia considers itself untouchable due to oil and money. The U.S. does business with them. Big time. The Saudis consider the U.S. friends.

Friends like the Saudis the U.S. does not need. Never forget they gave us $4 a gallon gasoline and most of the 9/11 culprits were Saudi citizens.

The Saudis have strange ways of getting rid of bodies. They must give significant thought to the how.

In 1956, Nasir As-Sa’id fled Saudi Arabia fearing for his life. A writer, also. In 1979, he was kidnapped on a crowded Beirut Street. Then taken to the Saudi embassy where he was tortured and killed.

No dismemberment for As-Sa’id. Rather his body thrown out of a plane over Saudi Arabia’s “empty quarter desert.”

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) a strange bird.

Last week, students were protesting. One asked him a question and held his cell phone up to record the Senator’s answer. The Senator “ripped” the phone from the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office later reported it was an error of judgment on the Senator’s part.

He has compared Trump to Winston Churchill. Would you believe! He said Trump may “not be a choir boy, but he is a man of history.”

Last month during the Kavanaugh hearings, Perdue referred to the protesters as “Nazis.”

Then there is Obama. Republican hatred for Obama runs deep. The Senator was speaking at a Facts and Freedom Coalition in June. Re Obama, he said let his days be few. Apparently a religious fanatic, he relied on Psalm 109:8…..”Let his days be few.”

Syracuse/UNC saturday. Syracuse a 10 point favorite. Hope the ‘Cuse returns to its winning ways.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE COUGH THAT ISN’T GOING AWAY

I got a cold and cough big time 5 weeks ago. It seemed like everyone I know got it too.

Here it is 5 weeks later and I still have a cough. A very slight one.

I generally get the flu shot around October 1. Did not because of the cold, etc. You are not supposed to get the flu shot if you are sick in any way.

I went to see Dr. Norris yesterday. My real concern was whether I could get the flu shot yet. He said no. Must first get rid of the cough. Now he was concerned why the cough was still around 5 weeks later. He gave me a prescription for some drug and sent me off for a chest x-ray. Also gave me a sermon about smoking.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean met up with me. We enjoyed Tom and Rick. Chatted briefly with Liz and Linda.

We wanted stone crabs. Yesterday, opening day of the season. Came up empty. No one had them yet. We will do it another time.

Went to La Trattoria for dinner. Guy de Boer joined us as we were finishing. A good meal and good company. Following which I headed home and Jean to Vino’s.

Friday Goombay! Jean and I are going to walk the street together. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. The wild time!

I am excited. Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon arrived late last night. I will ba having dinner with them some night this week. Tom e-mailed Fran had brought a supply of sauce. Love the woman!

A hurricane comes and goes. Its effects remain a long time. Irma a perfect example. Irma hit the lower Keys more than a year ago. People without homes even today. A Rebuild Florida Bus will be parked at City Hall in Key West today and tomorrow. To assist those still without adequate housing.

Michael’s death toll at the moment 17. The number will grow significantly. Sixty thousand people missing. Search crews are out. Going through the rubble of each house.

Trump and Melanie were in the Panhandle and Georgia yesterday. The President never learns. Was it in Puerto Rico following Maria that he threw rolls of paper towels? Yesterday, it was bottles of water. Tossed and handed.

I’m beginning to think Trump is a frustrated ball player.

I saw on TV yesterday men running around wearing blue tee shirts with FEMA printed in bold white letters on the back. It seemed like they were intent in getting in the video being taken.

The video was being shot in Lynn Haven, a town in the Panhandle hit badly. There were food and water tents. The food and water were not delivered by nor being given out by FEMA. Their food and water still on its way. It was from volunteers who drove it in and were handing the food and water out themselves.

Good people, one and all. Key West an example of such good people. A large truck left City Hall yesterday loaded with things people will need in the Panhandle. Four or five volunteers went along. One said it was pay back time. A time to say thank you for the assistance the lower Keys received from the people of the Panhandle during Irma.

FEMA and other federal help appears to be directed to the search efforts for the 60,000 unaccounted for. FEMA and Governor Scott said a couple of days ago that is the way it had to be. Find those first who are trapped or dead. Then the flow of food, water, etc.

Does not make sense to me. FEMA a huge organization. Should be ready to assist in every respect when a disaster such as Michael occurs. They have had enough experience. They also knew before Michael made landfall the magnitude of the storm. The military can be called in to help if need be.

Several months from now, the Washington cry will be not enough money, can’t complete the recovery job, perhaps even can’t help anymore. The federal government still owes billions of dollars to Florida and Monroe County for monies the feds were going to pay re Irma problems. The State and County have had to play with their budgets, cut some services, raise taxes, etc. this year because the monies not yet paid.

Tonight my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me. I have much to discuss. Many things bothering me that should be bothering you also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SESSIONS’ NAMESAKE GENERAL BEAUREGARD FIRED ON FORT SUMTER

On this day in 1861, the Civil War began. The Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter. By the next morning, Union forces were beaten and surrendered the Fort.

The Confederate forces were led by General P.G.T. Beauregard.

Beauregard a lovely name of the old South.

Attorney General Sessions’ full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Sessions is named after his father whose parents gave him Beauregard as a middle name.

Not all Confederates supported the plan to bombard Fort Sumter. One in opposition was Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs. Toombs wrote Confederate President Jefferson Davis: “You will only strike a hornet’s nest. Legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary. It puts us in the wrong. It is fatal.”

Toombs thought negotiation could resolve any problems and that the Union would accept secession of the Southern states. He also believed the manufacturing power of the North would ultimately bury the agrarian South.

I mention Toombs’ words because they are similar to the purported words of the Japanese Admiral who lead the assault on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is claimed to have said, “I fear all we have done is to awake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Many believe Kumamoto so spoke. Historians disagree. His words actually film dialogue. The Admiral and his quote part of the movies Tora, Tora, Tora and Pearl Harbor.

Last night began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner meeting.

One of the members Mac cooked. Chicken marsala and pasta. Delicious!

Mac has played a special part in the lives of Robert and Lisa. For seven years, I engaged Robert to play Santa Claus for them.

A great Santa Claus!

Robert and Ally are now too old to believe in Santa Claus. I intend to have Mac join Robert, Ally and me at some point for lunch.

A notable experience in the making! How many kids have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus years later when they no longer believe?

Headed over to the Chart Room afterwards. John bartending. David and another at the bar. The other Robert Coburn. Robert one of the other authors at the books signing two days ago.

We had never met before two days ago. We greeted each other last night like long lost friends.

Robert started writing five years ago as I did. He also is 82. I am one month older. He will be 83 in August and I in July.

We had a good time.

Robert a snowbird. His home in California’s Carmel. A lovely place. He is on a plane this morning to Carmel. He returns to Key West in June.

The Key West Citizen runs a daily column titled Citizens Voice. A place where people can complain/compliment. Mostly complaints.

A local apparently wanted to reflect on Key West sins. He wrote that as he ran a stop sign on his bicycle, he saw a man using a leaf blower to remove iguanas and chickens from a native tree he was about to cut down. The tree was located near the amphitheater where he had earlier heard the Navy loudspeaker booming. All this made him think about the snowbirds in illegal short term rentals.

Judge Robert Cical. An example of a life destroyed.

Judge Cical a jurist on New York’s Suffolk County District Court.

He became addicted to his 23 year old female neighbor’s dirty panties. He was breaking into her next door house to steal them. He was caught. Some of the panties in his pocket.

He has been arrested. His defense…..an urge made him do it.

Sexual predilections common today with many elected officials. Beginning with the President and working down.

I have revived my video Key West Lou Live on Facebook. Did my second show this morning. Discussed the new toy of the rich. Private railroad cars.

Join me at your convenience. Available any time of the day. Two-three minutes of interesting chat.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ROBOTS ARE COMING…..SOONER THAN YOU THINK

The market crashed. It has had a couple of up days. Not enough to compensate for the overall loss.

Last July, I began predicting a market crash late last year or early this year. A February crash occurred.

I have been speaking of robots and artificial intelligence for over a year. Coming big time! No question about it!

Already on U.S. shores minimally. An onslaught between now and 2020.

My concern and one which I reiterate is that we are doing nothing to prepare for the robot invasion. Few, if any, government programs in place to train and retrain our population.

Andrew Yang has already announced his candidacy for President in 2020. A tech millionaire. He claims unemployment similar to the Great Depression will occur. Which he believes will result in a societal breakdown. Destabilization.

He sees robots replacing truck drivers, retail workers, call center workers, fast food workers, insurance company and accounting firm employees.

All about the same time!

Trump can save our ass. It is on his shoulders. Companies will return to the U.S. Not with the human manufacturing jobs Trump talks about. Most will be robotic jobs. The argument that robotic jobs will create other type human jobs not realistic. Those claiming it are talking pie in the sky.

Trump must recognize what is around the corner and gear up to meet the robotic invasion by training and retraining programs now.

I doubt he has the vision.

Hit the road late yesterday afternoon. In the company of Catherine. We did Martin’s Happy Hour and the Chart Room. I introduced Catherine to the Chart Room.

I was home early. Watched Alex Haley’s Roots till 2 this morning. Roots being shown because February is Black History Month.

There is a Key West Black History Month event scheduled for this coming friday at 3 in the afternoon at Bayview Park. To honor Key West’s Forgotten Soldiers.

Forgotten Soldiers are those Key West blacks who fought on the side of the Union in the Civil War. One hundred twenty six of them.

Featured speaker is Maxwell B. Shavers. Maxwell is 15 years old and presently lives in Richmond, Virginia. His great, great, great grandfather Peter Shavers one of the Forgotten Soldiers.

Eight Key West Shavers fought with the Forgotten Soldiers. One, Frederick Shavers, the only to be killed.

Bear is better. Eight weeks three days old. Donna says slept better last night. Means Donna and Terri slept better also.

The veterinarian put Bear on a boiled chicken and rice diet as opposed to dog food. Bear was experiencing a bowel problem. Seems to be on the mend, also.

I bought Bear a small toy rubber mouse. Squeaks when pressed. Donna says Bear finally started playing with it yesterday afternoon. She sent me a pic of Bear attempting to destroy the mouse.

The label whores fits more than ladies who sell their bodies for income. Men utilizing their services can be referred to in the same fashion. Especially a public official who have campaigned against prostitution and then used public funds to pay for the motel room where he enjoyed sexual pleasures from prostitutes.

A form of hypocrisy.  A do as I say and not as I do thing.

Utah GOP State Representative Jon Standard publicly anti-prostitution. Fought to increase the fine for women convicted of prostitution. Spoke of prostitution’s evils. Blamed the women, never the men purchasing their services.

A prostitute Brie Taylor blew him in.

Standard is married and has four children.

He has resigned his position.

Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared to 14 year old Marie-Bernarde Soubirous for the first time this day in 1858. At a location near Lourdes, France. The Lady appeared 18 times.

Mary-Bernarde died at 35. Later canonized and now known as St. Bernadette.

Thousands travel each year to Lourdes seeking the curative powers of waters that flow where the Virgin Mother appeared. There have been significant recoveries.

I have known only one person who went to Lourdes seeking Mary’s help. He was dying from cancer. He was not one of the fortunate ones.

An 80 degree Key West Sunday in the making. Another glorious day ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

JOHN WAYNE HE AIN’T

 

John Kelly is no John Wayne. I refer to the former Marine general who presently serves as Trump’s Chief of Staff.

Kelly looks good. Especially in uniform. Tough, honest appearing. Pure virtue.

He is not. He personifies the adage…..You can’t tell a book by its cover.

Kelly has difficulty telling the truth. He does not understand American history. Sound familiar? Two Trump failures.

Most recently, Kelly said the Civil War could have been averted by compromise and Lee was a great general.

Yes, the Civil War could have been averted. All Lincoln and the Union had to do was enshrine slavery forever in the United States. As to Lee being a great general, Kelly is creating history. He is forwarding a view of Lee with which most historians do not agree.

Time for a cholesterol lunch yesterday. A cheeseburger at Five Guys.

Then to Publix. Out of food again.

Grocery shopping continues to be tiring. Pushing the cart around the store, loading the car, bringing the groceries in, keeping the groceries. Knocks me on my ass! Not kidding!

Did my podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Part of the program involved three separate stories involving children. Anger you and touch your heart at the same time.

It seems it is getting easier to prepare and do the show. I have been thinking about it. Why easier? The answer simple. Trump.

Seven topics last night. Trump directly or peripherally involved in five.

I continue to live and learn. Homeless children a major problem at the moment. I mentioned yesterday there are an additional 320 homeless children in Monroe County because of Irma.

Discovered today there is a Florida Keys Children’s Shelter in Tavernier. Free housing and delicious meals for kids 10-17.

Only 19 beds. Each filled since Irma. Parents whose homes are gone drop the children off at night and pick them up in the morning. Foster children cared for, also.

Obviously not enough beds. However, better than nothing. Every little bit helps.

The Irma homeless problem manifests itself in another fashion.Hotels provides free rooms to families. FEMA pays the tab. $201 per night in Key West. $93 a night outside Key West.

Some hotels did not close their doors to the Irma homeless because of Fantasy Fest. Those that did are trying to reopen them.

FEMA has extended its program to pay for hotel living through December 2. Many hotels though willing to take people in cite the Power Boat races and other events where hotel accommodations are in demand. Business is business.

The hotels are trying to be cooperative, work things out.

The numbers interesting. Immediately following Irma there were 2,700 households in need of rooms. The number has fallen. It is now 600. Still a healthy number.

On this date in 1512, the Sistine Chapel was opened to the public. Michelangelo had completed God and Adam’s arms stretching towards each other. The Creation of Adam.

A masterpiece for the ages.

Thirty five years ago, I did a one month Italy vacation with the wife, children and my parents. My Dad never was easily impressed. As we were standing with  heads tilted up to view Michelangelo’s work, my father asked…..What’s the big deal?

The Manhattan terrorist attack yesterday proves we are never going to be really safe. Could take another 50-100 years to resolve the terrorist problem.

Eight died and 11 were injured.

New York City vigilant. The last New York terrorist attack was 9/11/2001.  Sixteen years ago.

Some numbers recently released re police shootings of civilians. Thus far this year, 782 in the United States. Contrast that with similar shootings in England and Wales combined. In the 27 years from 1990-2016, 62.

My publisher has assured me Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week. I hope!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRUMP MACHIAVELLIAN?

While in college, I took some political science courses. One had as required reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Machiavelli was born this date in 1469. He is considered a father of modern political theory. The Prince written by him in 1532. A political bible to this day for many.

Machiavelli was a friend to Cesare Borgia. A political leader. Of the worse kind. A bad guy. Borgia inspired Machiavelli’s title character in The Prince.

Some observations re Machiavelli’s The Prince.

The term Machiavellian is used to describe an action undertaken for gain without regard for right and wrong.

Machiavelli’s vision of an ideal leader: An amoral, calculating tyrant for whom the end justifies the means.

Machiavellian is associated with the practice of diabolical expediency in the realm of politics.

Descriptions applicable to Trump? I think so.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. Opening topic was a review of some of Trump’s actions of the past week.

Like referring to Jong Un as “a smart cookie” and saying he would be “honored” to have him visit Washington. Inviting Duterte to the White House. Exhibiting a lack of knowledge of American history re Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. Refusing to withdraw his description of Obama as a “sick and bad guy.” His pre-existing conditions comments inaccurate and misleading.

Glad there are only seven days in a week!

Japanese War Crime Trials began this date 1946. The primary trial was in Tokyo. Japan Premier Tojo the key defendant. The charges war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Japanese charged overall far exceeded those similarly charged who were Germans. Five thousand accused were tried and judged by tribunals across the Pacific.

While in law school, I was fortunate to have Robert Miller as my Professor in Criminal Law and Evidence. Miller had served as defense counsel to certain Japanese in the war crimes trials. My recollection is it was in the Philippines. I may be wrong as to location, however.

Miller sprinkled his lectures with stories of the trials. Using them to make a point and keep our interest.

We were fortunate to have had him.

The Kentucky Derby this saturday. Everyone is having a party! I am undecided between Kate Miano’s Gardens and Don’s Place.

Willie Shoemaker is one of the greats of the jockey racing world. Comparable to baseball’s Babe Ruth.

I mention shoemaker today because it was on this day in 1986 that he rode Ferdinand to a Kentucky Derby win. Ferdinand was 18-1. Shoemaker was 54 years old at the time. He was the oldest jockey to win a Kentucky derby.

Ferdinand was not his only Derby winner. Actually, Shoemaker won a total of 4 Kentucky Derbies, 2 Preakness Stakes and 5 Belmont Stakes.

I was privileged to know him.

In the mid 1970’s, I had a condominium at the Jockey Club in Miami. A private club. Members only on the grounds, restaurant and bar.

Shoemaker had a condominium at the Jockey Club, also. We would frequently meet at the Club’s bar. Generally, the men waiting for their wives to come down for dinner. Shoemaker charming,  soft spoken. Always the gentleman.

He was perfect sized for his chosen profession. Ninety eight pounds, 4 feet 11 inches.

The gung ho type. In his later years, he was in a terrible automobile accident. Left him a quadriplegic. Paralyzed from the neck down. He became a trainer. From his wheelchair. Won many races and his horses several millions of dollars.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARTHA WASHINGTON AND BESS TRUMAN BIRDS OF A FEATHER

John from the Chart Room had a night off. We did dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Good food and good company! As usual, the Hot Tin Roof was packed.

I asked in yesterday’s blog…..Where was the U.S.S. Vinson? It was supposed to be in North Korean waters. Nothing had been mentioned as to its location for almost two weeks.

My inquiry was premature by several hours. Yesterday afternoon it was announced the Vinson had arrived in Korean waters and was engaged in war games with South Korea. TV this morning is showing videos of the Vinson and smaller vessels in Korean waters.

Today, there is a Coast Guard cutter named the U.S.S. Mohawk. Stationed here in Key West. Yesterday, yesterday being 1859-1864, there was a screw steamship in the Navy named the U.S.S. Mohawk.

I write about the Mohawk of old because yesterday was significant in its history. An event which ultimately became even more significant in Key West history.

In 1860, the Mohawk was operating against pirates and slavers off the east coast and in the Caribbean. On April 28, 1860, the Mohawk captured the slave ship Wildfire. The Wildfire carried 530 slaves from Africa. The crew and slaves were delivered to Key West.

The crew was imprisoned. The slaves placed in a compound under the protection of the Mohawk’s Marines.

Subsequently, vessels of the United States captured two more slave ships. The slaves on each were delivered to Key West and placed in the same compound as those from the Wildfire. Total number of slaves exceeded 1,200.

What to do with the slaves? Obviously return them to Africa. Where in Africa, however? Ultimately decided to relocate all of them to Liberia, a country in Africa. President James Monroe had as a practical matter returned previous slaves to Liberia. Liberia was a welcoming place for returned Africans. They created a new society.

Not all the slaves confined in Key West were returned. Some had died. Two hundred ninety five. They were buried on Higgs Beach. Many years later in recent times, their graves were discovered. A small monument sits on Higgs Beach recognizing the final resting place of those who did not live to return to Africa.

The Mohawk continued functioning till 1864 during the Civil War in defense of the United States. The Mohawk is the reason Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga’s and Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West remained in Union hands.

Beat up from combat, its boilers to badly damaged, its general condition unfit for further fights, the Mohawk was sold in 1864.

It was renamed the Alliance and remained in commercial service till 1869 when it was wrecked at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

Martha Washington and Bess Truman may be described as birds of a feather. Neither was happy her husband became President and each was less than supportive of her husband during his days as President.

Bess Truman’s story is more familiar to us. Perhaps because of its closeness in time.

Note the many trips by President Truman to Key West. Eleven. Consumed 175 days. Bess was with him only a few times. While Truman was living and working in Washington, Bess was home in Independence. She preferred the company of her Independence lady friends.

Martha’s questionable helping hand less known.

Washington was sworn in for his first term as President in New York City on this date in 1789. Martha was not with him. She was back in Mount Vernon.

Washington was tired/beat up prior to making the trip from Mount Vernon to Washington. He was trying to close down the business end of Mount Vernon. There were bills to pay. He had a difficult time arranging for a loan to cover them.

Martha was not happy he had agreed to become President. She was tired of public life. Wanted to live the rest of her days in Mount Vernon as a domestic wife. She abhorred politics. She refused to join her husband in New York City for the inauguration.

A comment or two on Washington’s inauguration.

His inaugural speech was important to him. He had several persons helping him. One by one in succession. Over a period of several months. He was displeased with every rendition. He finally called in James Madison for help. Madison spent a week at Mount Vernon helping Washington knock out the final draft.

There was a reception following Washington’s swearing in. It is recorded that Washington mentioned to some in attendance that democracy was fragile. He hoped what they had created would survive.

It did. Still fragile, however. You never know what could happen. Especially in the sensitive times we live in.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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!