VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

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

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

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

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

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

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

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

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

Enjoy your Sunday!

BARTENDER JOHN…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

I mention John Holster often. The Chart Room bartender. Top notch bartender. Knows how to handle and entertain customers.

My friend.

John has been honored! By the Key West Citizen. He is Citizen of the Day. His picture and a few lines below appear at the bottom of today’s edition at page 3.

Congratulations, John!

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. It was for me yesterday. Laziness permeated my being till I left the house at 6.

Drove to Hot Dog Church. Not for services. Much too late. To meet Donna and Terri. They were the only patrons left at the Back Door. Laurie bartending and chatting with them.

I like Laurie. A straight forward no bullshit person.

I was about 2 hours late. My laziness the blame.

We had a couple of drinks and Donna, Terri and I headed out to dinner. Hogfish.

Sometimes I enjoy hogfish, sometimes not. Yesterday was a day I did. The hogfish outstanding! My guess is the quality of a hogfish meal depends on who is cooking.

Here it was the middle of the summer and Hogfish was packed. Occasionally, some had a brief wait for a table.

Hemingway Days begin this week. A big time!

Hemingway Days is a clean healthy event. Partying up and down Duval. The crowd a different breed.

I look forward to some of the activities. Especially the Run of the Bulls and the Hemingway Look Alike Contest.

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952. Inspiration for parts and characters primarily from Cuba, Key West and San Francisco.

The fisherman Santiago  had many thoughts and some conversation with Manolin re his hero Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio suffered trials and tribulations as Santiago had. In the end, he accomplished great things.

For Santiago who had not caught a fish in more than 80 days, it was to catch the big one.

DiMaggio was Santiago’s inspiration.

Some believe that Hemingway drew on DiMaggio’s father for the character Santiago. Very few. If true, it would be because DiMaggio’s father was a Sicilian fisherman before immigrating to the United States and continued for a period of time to be a fisherman in the San Francisco Bay area.

Another writing giant who lived in Key West was Tennessee Williams. On this day in 1975, Anthony Quinn met with Williams in Key West. Quinn a fine actor. His greatness still a few years away.

Williams had written the play The Red Devil Battery Sign. Quinn starred in it. The play did not go over well. Closed on Broadway after one week.

Quinn was visiting Williams to see if the play could be revived. The play subsequently was in Vancouver and London. Though not with Quinn in the starring role and only a bit more success than had been achieved in New York.

Interestingly, Pierce Brosnan, then a young actor, starred in the leading role in the London revival.

Poor Venezuela!

I have been following Venezuela and its President Nicholas Maduro for four years. Ever since Maduro took office and Venezuela ran out of toilet paper within one year. Four years later and Venezuela still does not have an adequate supply of toilet paper. High infation, no jobs and no food, also.

I consistently ask why the Venezuelan people do not revolt. Yesterday, an informal referendum was held. Note the word informal. The vote had no binding effect.

Maduro wanted a new constitution. One which would guarantee his remaining in office. More than 7 million voted against Maduro’s plan. An overwhelming vote.

Will anything come of the result? Time will tell. However, I doubt it. For some reason, the people are reluctant/afraid to put guns, sticks and stones in their hands and attack the palace.

Enjoy your day!

A DEATH TRAP

Grenfell has been a death trap since 2015 when it was retrofitted. Death by fire inevitable. It happened this past week. The death count 17 so far. Expected to exceed 100. Some burned so badly, identification may not be possible.

Grenfell is a London high rise. The fire occurred wednesday. Rapidly spread upward. Comparable to a fire drawing up a chimney.

An outer sheet was placed over the exterior of the building at the time of renovations in 2015. A space remained between the outer sheet and the building wall. The interior of the sheet plastic.

The process is called cladding. Thought to be environmentally sound. The space between the new outer sheeting and original wall served as insulation.

A final report as to the cause of the fire not yet released. Two stick out and are sure to be included. The space described and the plastic coating. The space served as a draft for the flames to quickly shoot up enclosing the entire building. The plastic highly flammable.

An American company manufactured the covering. Reynobond. Two types. One with and one without the plastic coating. The without more expensive. Probably due to the nature of a different coating.

The difference in using the safe one over the one possible of fire 5,000 pounds.

Cladding is banned outright in Germany. In the United States, it is banned in buildings more than 40 feet high.

Warnings have been forthcoming since 1999 that cladding was not safe. Primarily because of the chimney effect if a fire occurs.

Grenfell a disaster that should not have occurred. An avoidable one. Money and an environmentally sound but dangerous material major contributing factors.

My big event yesterday was shopping at Farmers Market. Bread, tomatoes and honey purchased.

Stopped at 5 Guys. Sitting at the table next to me was the owner of Harpoon Harry’s. Both of us munching away on huge cheeseburgers.

Gotcha time. We laughed when we saw each other. Caught cheating!

Trump is wrong to change the relatively new rules re Cuba. He is acceding to a handful of Cuban immigrants who each year diminish in numbers.

Castro’s revolution was 1959. Cubans who fled left at that time. Many settled in Miami.

Sixty five more or less years ago. Time generally heals wounds no matter how great initially. We should have hated Germany and Japan following World War II. Thousands of our men and women killed. We had better sense. We made them our friends. Look at the relationships that developed.

Trump is sucking up to a handful of American-Cuban voters. Typical. He does not use his head.

I came across an article re Coney Island and its roller coaster Cyclone. Both may be closed today.

Brought back memories of me and my Uncle Gus. My mother’s oldest brother. A barber in the Bronx.

Uncle Gus took me to Coney Island every year when we visited. A ride on the Cyclone always on the agenda. I was 4-10 during those years. Scared of the roller coaster.

Uncle Gus always insisted we had to sit in the front seat. I thought I was going to die each time. Fall out. In the vernacular, I shit my pants!

Uncle Gus loved it! He would yell and scream. I eventually realized I was his excuse to ride on the Cyclone.

In 1858, Lincoln was running for the United States Senate. He lost.

On this day in 1858 at a debate, Lincoln warned that America was becoming a “house divided.” He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Heed well my friends! A warning. Words of wisdom that apply as much today as then.

Enjoy your day!

PERLE MESTA OF KEY WEST

Liz unquestionably is the Perle Mesta of Key west.

From her earliest years, Liz’s hobby has been cooking. Her preparation spectacular! The results special.

Liz’s dinner parties and simple gatherings planned to the smallest item. Her food choices always delicious. All of course prepared by Liz. Her drink choices right on. She knows her wines and stronger alcohols. Mouth watering deserts.

Topping it off, Liz knows how to direct conversations so her guests all participate.

I was her guest at a dinner party last night at her home. Cocktails in the garden. French lasagna the entre. The wines tasteful. The creme cheese desert the end of a perfect evening.

The dinner party small. Liz, Sheila, Barb and Louis.

My today full.

A manicure at noon with Tammy. Cocktails tonight at David Wolkowsky’s. His guest of honor Robert A. Caro. Caro twice a Pulitzer Price winner. He is best known for his biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses.

Later in the evening, I will see La La Land. A musical. The first in many many years.

Florida Keys Community College is to be commended. Every person from day one who contributed to FKCC becoming the institution it is today included.

KKCC is now offering a four year Bachelor’s degree. The first class seeking the four year degree began studies this past monday.

Obviously, Cuba is of great interest to Key Westers. A mere 90 miles away. Most attempting to leave Cuba for the freedom of the United States the past 50 years ended up on our beaches or in our waters.

In 1995, President Clinton established the wet foot / dry foot policy. If a Cuban reached soil, he/she stayed. If still in the water, it was back to Cuba.

Yesterday, Obama announced he was changing the policy. Getting rid of it. Effective immediately. He signed an administrative rule authorizing the same. Trump can undo Obama’s ruling when he takes office.

Today In Keys History noted former President Herbert Hoover arrived in the Keys on this date in 1958 for a fishing trip.

Hoover did not believe public funds should be used for private purposes. Like bailing a bank or business out with taxpayer dollars. As Bush 2 and Obama did.

Many historians and economists believe the great depression of 1929 could have been avoided had Hoover opted to bail out some of the businesses going down.

Trump and L. L. Bean. Linda Bean is a co-heiress of the L. L. Bean business. She sits on the L. L. Bean board. She made a $30,000 contribution to a PAC supporting Trump.

There is now a public cry negative to L. L. Bean’s well being. Even some of her co-board members cry the same tune. She should never have supported Trump. The reason why simple. Most items sold by L. L. Bean are manufactured in China.

Trump in support of Linda Bean and L. L. Bean tweeted yesterday…..BUY L. L. Bean.

So much for Buy American.

Some more re robots and automation.

Connor Forrest wrote an article on August 3, 2015 listing jobs in line for robot takeover.

One was assembly line workers. Ford and Toyota already using robots. The beginning of the end for human employees in many assembly line businesses.

Another involved fast food employees. McDonald’s is already using kiosks for ordering in many parts of the U.S. It is anticipated cooking positions in the fast food industry are next.

Table side tablet ordering systems for ordering. Chili a company so involved.

Enjoy your day!

A SPORTS AFTERNOON

An interesting sports afternoon! I did not view much of it. The results astounding.

First, Syracuse.

Football. Syracuse lost as anticipated. Finally the football season is over. The score of the game unusual. Syracuse beaten by Pitt 76-61. The numbers reflect a basketball score. I am pleased that Syracuse kept it close. Only lost by roughly two touchdowns.

Basketball. Here I thought success would be ours. It was not. Syracuse lost to South Carolina 64-50.

No excuse. However…..Seems South Carolina’s defense was unique. New to college basketball. Syracuse could not handle it.

Boeheim will overcome.

Finally, the Ohio State/Michigan game. #s 2 and 3. Went to two overtimes. Ohio State finally won 30-27.

I only got to watch the overtimes. Fantastic football!

Last night with Liz. A lady. Charming. Her two deanships at law schools make Liz an extra interesting dinner companion.

I picked Cafe. The vegetarian restaurant. A funky appearing place. Reminds me of a college hang out. Food excellent. Business, likewise excellent.

I enjoyed a spinach-artichoke dip and mussels. Liz had some type veggie dish described as a pepper steak. No steak, of course.

Pie at Liz’s home afterwards. Potato pie made with rum. Never had potato pie before. Taste close to pumpkin pie. Made from canned sweet potatoes.

Fidel Castro has died.

A tyrant. Dictator. People forget that he replaced a despot. Batista. Initially, Castro was viewed as a hero.

Somewhere along the way, he ended up on Russia’s side. I have always wondered why not on the side of the U.S.

Batista was a whore. He and his associates became rich. Organized crime and international corporations paved their way in Cuba with bribery dollars.

Key West, the State of Florida and the U.S. have constantly guarded against Castro actions and influences as they might affect each.

An Emergency Management organization exists. Its primary purpose to guard against any large scale immigration. Also to observe any unusual happenings.

Monroe County’s Emergency Management has kicked in. As has Florida’s. Monitoring Cuban activities.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Monday evening at 6. Bayview Park. Key West’s Christmas tree lighting. Santa’s first public appearance.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast has an elderly health article. The article notes that 1/3 of people over 65 fall. I am one of them!

Pope Urban II is responsible to some degree for today’s Muslim problem. On this day in 1095, he ordered the first Crusade. His speech considered the most influential of the Middle Ages.

He cried out “Deus vult!” God wills it! He even told everyone that those fighting would have a remission of all their sins. Such meant immediate entrance into Heaven. No Hell or Purgatory. Sounds sort of like the Muslim 17 or 21 or whatever number of virgins who will be waiting for those who die for the Muslim religion.

Pope Urban’s Crusade was the first movement against the Muslim world. For 461 years, the Muslims had battled and seized 2/3’s of the Christian world. Pope Urban wanted the Christian lands reclaimed.

Whatever the reason, a forever war.

The history of the Key West Rotary continues. This is Installment 23.

I have noticed that beginning with World War II, the history contents of Langley’s work have become sparse. Five years missed here and there. Cannot be nothing occurred. Whatever, this feature of my blog will see its conclusion by the end of the week.

When I started, I advised Langley’s history went to 1975. I recently discovered there was later a sort of addendum bringing it up to 1991.

April 1966 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Key West Rotary. The Club’s golden anniversary. It was celebrated in a befitting manner.

A gala cocktail party and dinner at the Trade Winds Supper Room in the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn was Key West’s largest hotel/motel for years. It was torn down and replaced with what today is the Marriott Beachside.

One hundred Rotarians and guests attended. Guest speaker was Cleve Allen of Coral Gables. His thunder was stolen by Joe Pearlman, one of the Club’s pioneer members. He told stories about yesterday. Back when.

Interestingly, when the Key West Rotary was established 50 years earlier, it was only the third in Florida.

The 1960s found the U.S. heavily involved in Vietnam. The war was very unpopular. Returning soldiers and veterans were not acclaimed. Actually looked down upon.

The Key West Rotary recognized Vietnam veterans were being overlooked. At the January 26, 1967 luncheon meeting, 4 U.S. Marines were invited. They were recuperating from their wounds at the time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Key West.

Enjoy your Sunday!

TO GARAGE OR NOT TO GARAGE

Pru Sowers…..one of Key West’s finest newspaper writers.

She reports in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast re the on and off Greene Street garage proposal. The title of her article similar to Hamlet’s soliloquy…..To be or not to be. Pru’s….. To garage or not to garage.

The article a reflection (from my perspective) of the City Commission’s disarray.

Parking a recognized problem. Two new parking garages bandied around since 2011. One on Greene Street. The City Commission in its divine wisdom voted unanimously in September no garage on Greene Street.

Not a group to let sleeping dogs lie, the City Commission voted to reexamine the issue on November 15 by a 5-2 vote. The vote does not signify that the garage will pass. It is thought most who voted to reexamine will subsequently vote against the garage.

So why waste time looking at the issue again? To accommodate the desire of Commissioner Richard Payne. A retired Florida State Judge. He has a tendency to screw things up.

Kate Miano is one of Key West’s leading citizens. Owner of the highly successful Gardens. The Gardens is across the street from the relatively new public parking lot behind the new City Hall.

Kate walks her dog three times a day by the parking lot. Pru’s article reports Kate’s comment that the lot is never full. I can attest to that. I park there almost daily. Only twice in a year was there not a parking spot.

Kate went a step further. She walked over to the City Parking Department and asked questions. She learned that in the year running from October 2015 to October 2016, parking lot revenue was down. Fell 18.7 percent from the previous year.

Key West needs parking. Desperately. Not a garage on Greene Street, however. Part of the parking problem would be relieved if the City Commission voted to allow Uber and Lyft to operate. Difficult. The Bubba system stands in the way.

Dinner last night with Liz and her house guest J. Richard Hunt. An enjoyable evening. Liz an excellent cook.

I learned that being the Dean of a law school has become a business in itself. Liz was Dean of two. Richard, one better. Of three.

It is cold this morning. Second day in a row. Cold is 70-74 degrees. Yes, such is cold in Key West. I am wearing a sweat shirt as I write.

My home town Utica in upstate New York is experiencing big time snow the past 24 hours,. More today. Already 12-15 inches. Temperature in the low 20s. Chill factor even lower.

One thing I have learned living in Key West these many years. when it is cold cold up north, it is cold in Key West.

Installment 19 of Key West Rotary history.

Disaster strikes. Sometimes we do not appreciate the practical impacts.

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was a 5. Blew out many Flagler railroad bridges. Parts of the highway gone. People could not get back and forth to the mainland. Miami not accessible. Ferries could not operate. Mail significantly reduced. Food prices shot up, where food was available. The law of supply and demand.

The Key West Rotary’s Annual Report issued January 1, 1936, stated the greatest community need was the reestablishment of adequate transportation facilities with the mainland. Noted specifically that parts of the railroad and highway were destroyed by the hurricane.

At the January board meeting, the Club took several steps.

First, the financing of a delegation to Cuba. Interesting why. To obtain the assistance of Cuban government and commercial agencies in having the railroad rebuilt.

I could not determine if the delegation ever went and what, if any, was its success.

The board formed a special committee to correspond with U.S. agencies directly or indirectly concerned with the problems caused by the hurricane.

The February 17, 1936 board meeting centered on air mail and passenger service. The need to improve them. Without the railroad, highway or ability of the ferries to operate, airplanes were the only thing left.

Passenger planes only carried four passengers. More seats on the planes required.

Mail service next to non existent. The suggestion was the airplanes be used to carry first class mail.

The lack of bus transportation a concern.

Key West had become isolated.

The March board meeting noted some progress. The highway had been cleared. Bus transportation began in late February. No vehicular traffic, however.

Letters of support, etc. had been received from Postmaster Farley and Florida’s two federal senators.

Bascom Grooms was outspoken at the meeting. He convinced  the Club to support the conversion of the railroad bridges to handle vehicular traffic.

Enjoy your day!

MASQUERADE PARADE

One of the most famous Fantasy Fest events is Masquerade March. Thousands participate. More than 10,000. Primarily locals. Dressed, faces painted, etc.

The March starts at the Key West Cemetery and winds its way up to Duval. It became so big that several years ago a second route from the cemetery had to be added.

There are those who walk and those who party. I partied.

I had many friends with homes on Fleming. The original parade route. They all threw parties. Porch parties. Good food and drink. I was always invited to someone’s home.

Those on the street and those on the porches all had fun!

The March starts today at 5. Participate or watch. Either way, you will enjoy.

I no longer watch the March. I no longer have a porch to view the March from. My friends have either passed on or moved away.

My hair appointment with Lori at Blown Away was at noon. Blown Away is on Southard, a few doors down from Duval. No parking anywhere. Took me 15 minutes to find a spot.

Jay is operating his new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz on Southard next to Bank of America. A soft opening. Working the quirks out before an official opening.

I had lunch at Jay’s. Not run of the mill. Enjoyed three kobe beef sliders. Delicious!

Then to the doctor for my flu shot.

I was driving home when the rain hit. Torrential! Hard to see! Continued most of the afternoon. A cold wind accompanying the rain.

The rain took care of my last night. No toga party for me. As much as I enjoy viewing a woman’s naked body, not in the rain.

Bocce was the other option. Telephoned Don. Rained out as I expected.

My evening was spent home. Dinner was Chinese delivery. Egg drop soup and egg rolls. The balance of the evening spent playing around with my Hackley type installments which will start soon.

A new national law turned out to be a boon for Key West. It was January 1920. The Volstead Act went into effect. Alcohol banned in the United States.

Key West’s economy boomed as a result. Rumrunning. The rum coming in from Cuba to the United States through Key West.

No Syracuse football tomorrow. A bye week. Going to need it. Clemson next week.

Heard from Anna in Novara. I had written telling her that Italian President Renzi was a hit during his recent visit to the U.S. She was upset. Her position is that Renzi is doing a lousy job and disliked by most Italians.

I had written because recently Italy had an earthquake. I was concerned for Anna. Should not have been. It was nowhere near her.

I recall five years ago when I was staying at Anna’s apartment in Novara. An earthquake hit. A big one. The after quakes even worse.

Anna was crazy running around screaming. I too was concerned, but sat quietly till everything was over.

The Statue of Liberty. Dedicated by President Grover Cleveland this date 1886.

I came across a note that the Statue had 354 steps. I went up each one.

I was 4-5 years old. My dad took me. We were going to the top! The top then the crown. The arm had become too weak to proceed further.

The staircase a narrow circular metal round one.

No way was I able to climb all 354 steps. I was a kid. Got tired. My father carried me half the way.

The trip was worth it. My father held me so I could look out the windows in the crown. To me, amazing. The view spectacular. It went on and on. A wow for a young boy.

I sometimes wonder how things can happen.

Luis Carlos Vega is the Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The chief judge of the highest court.

He took a leave of absence from the position yesterday. Probably never to return.

The Magistrate was convicted of manslaughter in 1984 when he ran over a woman. Killed her. While driving a stolen car.

No jail time. The system was to pay a reparation. He did.

The blot on his record was only recently discovered.

Never would happen in the U.S.! The media knows everything or soon discovers everything.

Tonight. What does it hold for me? I do not know. I do plan on being out.

Enjoy your day!

 

JUDY WOOD…..HEART ATTACK

One of Key West’s nicest persons is Judy Wood. Always a smile and a cheery hello. Judy is one of the bartenders at Tavern ‘n Town.

Last week, Judy had a heart attack. In Winn-Dixie. She is presently in intensive care at the Lower Keys Medical Center.

A prayer is in order.

A tough lady, lets hope she makes it.

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town for me. Bobby Nesbitt time.

The three ladies at the corner of the bar closest to Bobby Nesbitt. Lizabeth, Mary and Josefina. They  must show up at 3 in the afternoon to get the seats. A brief hello and peck on Liz’s cheek.

I sat at the other end of the bar.

Liz came over later to chat. A lovely lady. A knock out. In a black dress. Sexy. A compliment to her 82 years.

Lori and her husband arrived for dinner. Lori has been doing my hair at least 15 years. I had a full head when we started. Always sweet. Takes care of Lisa and the grandkids, also.

Met Jamis. She was sitting one seat away at the bar. An empty seat between us. Stayed empty the entire two hours we were together.

Not sure if I liked her.

Her background not a problem. She presently lives in Apollo Beach, near Tampa. A retired high  school teacher. In Key West for a second time. Other in 1993. Considers herself a Key West virgin. Three children. One with the Federal Reserve. Another an Army major. The third in cyber security.

She turned me off early on when she indicated a dislike for Joe Paterno. Thought he deserved what he got. I have always believed he got screwed.

She got into the conversation at some point that she was a Trumpee. She described herself as such. She sees no danger in a Trump victory.

She said she was waiting for her son. He was upstairs. They were staying at the Beachside. She telephoned him several times. No answer. Must be sleeping, she said. Had a menu. Never ordered. She was waiting for her son. I am not sure if she had more than one drink.

The empty seat bothered me. They are at a premium. If one asked if the seat was taken, she said her son was coming.

The son never appeared nor could she make contact with him.

I question whether a son was ever to appear. I think she wanted an empty seat next to her so she would not be crowded.

Twice I opted to stop talking with her. I found her aggravating. The first time I turned away and went back to reading the newspapers. The second time occurred when I was taking some info for my blog. I forget what she said. Closed my notebook, turned away and said she would not be in the blog. I was not being humorous. She had struck a sensitive cord for whatever.

Her tuned  changed immediately. She obviously wanted to be in the blog. And so she is. Getting more space than entitled. Yet so deserving as she pissed me off. Not easy to do.

Notre Dame walloped Syracuse 50-33. Notre Dame a top team. I was impressed. Everything about the team great. Syracuse had flashes of brilliance. Not enough yet. Not there yet. This season turning out to be a tune up for next year.

Sloan’s picture was in Facebook. With her twin sister. Did not know she had a twin. I was astounded. Could not tell them apart.

Hurricane Matthew not nice. Reached a category 5 yesterday for a brief time. Now back to a category 4. Still heading for Jamaica. Next Haiti. Then Cuba.

A 4 or 5 will do massive destruction. A 5 a total wipeout. Nothing left standing. Key West included. I hope Matthew turns back to sea before hitting the keys.

Immigrants a problem of sorts even in the 1855 days of William Hackley. A local election. Hackley did not vote. The “foreign element is too strong.” Key West had a population of 2,000. Only 200 hundred white. The rest he described as not native born Americans.

The campaign is turning into a sex-along. What about jobs, the economy, Syria, etc.? Even immigration has been forgotten.

Trump’s fault. He apparently relishes in sexual discourse.

On an early morning TV news show today, a video of Trump was shown. Re something he said yesterday. He spoke of Bill Clinton’s misdeeds. Then suggested Hillary had her problems. Suggesting he might have to get into them.

The man is disgusting.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

My bocce team is doing well without me. Tied for first. 11-1.

This week’s Keynoter has an excellent article on lice. The little bugs that end up in children’s hair. Especially during school times. I remember the problem with my kids. Most recently with Robert and Ally a few years ago. Ally especially. Lisa was patient and spent hours combing and picking the bugs out.

There is now in South Florida a chain for lice treatment and removal. Appears successful.

I was impressed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lice under study all the time. We are now into super lice. The super lice are resistant to usual medical/chemical treatment.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER

The 99L tropical wave was supposed to dump rain and wind on Key West sunday. Nothing happened. Not one drop of rain.

Yesterday, an 80 percent chance of rain. Wind from the south. I thought also we would have rain. Not a drop.

Today, an 80 percent chance of rain. I give up. I don’t know. Neither do the weather professionals.

Did my podcast broadcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting. I covered happenings in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Indonesia, Russia and China. Plus, occurrences in four States. A fast moving half hour.

Revealing material. Some sad, some humorous.

A busy day ahead. An early business luncheon at Salute’s. I am looking forward to it. Salute’s has great mussels at lunch. Martin’s Happy Hour with Joseph from Hot Tin Roof. Then, Donna and Terri at Back Door.

No laying around today.

Anna, where are you?

Anna reports this week she is in three different villages hanging off the side of Mont Blanc. Traveling with friends. They presently are at her chalet in Courmayeur. Tomorrow, they cross the border into France. they will be visiting Chamonix and Megeve.

What a life!

Everywhere they go,   there will be chic chalets and cobbled medieval streets.

An historic morning! At 9:45, the first commercial flight between the U.S. and Cuba takes off. Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara. Santa Clara in central Cuba. A Jet Blue flight. The last commercial flight was 50 years ago at the time of the Cuban missile crisis.

Trump knows how to get publicity. He lets little slip through his fingers in that regard.

This afternoon, he will be in Mexico City for a meeting with the Mexican President. Tonight, Trump is in Phoenix giving his much awaited immigration speech. I am curious what this version will be.

The Mexican President is as foxy as Trump. I wonder who comes out ahead. He could make Trump look bad. Not that Trump needs help.

Hillary was in California last night at a fund raiser. At Jimmy Buffetts’ home. Hillary and the Beatles’ Paul McCartney danced.

Enjoy your day!

AGGRAVATION FREE TRIP TO CUBA

Though relations are better with Cuba, a U.S. trip to Cuba still involves some aggravation.

Not for Fleming, however. He even traveled free.

Fleming is a turtle. He was found injured last year and taken to the Marathon Turtle Hospital. Fleming was returned to good health.

On July 22, he was returned to the ocean at Sombrero Beach. Got a big send off.

The hospital attached a satellite tag to Fleming. They follow his travels. He is now in Cuba.

You can follow Fleming’s meanderings. www.tourdeturtles.org.

Yesterday was wednesday. Wednesday is screw off time for me. I spend saturday through tuesday researching and writing. Then three days off beginning with wednesday. Look forward to wednesdays! Love the day!

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. Me, Jenny and the machine. I did not kill myself. Ran at a moderate speed. Still exhausted afterwards.

I have decided to take a week off. I am going to walk at Home Depot those days to see if it makes any difference.

After the treadmill, I hurried to Verizon Wireless. The good one. The one in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center.

Nana took care of me again. She is teaching me how to use my new cell phone. I am a dunce! Having difficulty learning. Retaining all the steps involved. These new phones are computers. Love it! Have to learn how to use them, however.

A generational thing. My era born and I are not mechanically inclined.

Lunch was at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Splurged. Instead of a cheese toast, I had a BLT. On pressed Cuban bread. Delicious!

Halley working up front. Ruby in the kitchen.

Ruby is an experienced cook. Seven years at Outback. She has also worked at several restaurants around town.

Spent the afternoon reading. An interesting World War II story. Involved Normandy on D-Day. A group of engineers were sent in before the landing to destroy whatever was on the beach and in the water that would affect a safe landing.

The landing site Utah beach.

The men were told before hand the mission was dangerous and few would survive. The men worked in groups of three. Only one in each group was alive at the end of the morning.

Last night began with the Back Door at Aqua. Mark Watson back. He just returned from a week on Fire Island.

Then to Roostica for dinner. Gnocchi.

The Florida Keys Community College, aka FKCC, was recently rated by SmartAsset.com.

There are 565 community colleges in the U.S. FKCC was rated #18. Very commendable!

A statement in the commendation hit home. Today’s young are looking for a good inexpensive education that will provide a good return on their investment. Not always the case today with those receiving four year degrees.

The quote: Community colleges “…..provide their students with an inexpensive, world class education and a good return on investment.”

Enjoy your day!