WOLKOWSKY DID IT AGAIN…..NIXON AND TRUMAN AT PIER HOUSE 1969

The father of modern Key West is David Wolkowsky. Ninety eight and still going strong.

David built the Pier House. Its beginnings 1968. Nothing but mud where it presently stands. He started with a 50 unit motel. Called it the Pier House Motel.

David knew everyone. Persons of prominence came to stay at his motel. Two United States Presidents at one time in 1969.

I was at the Chart Room last night. John showed me a photo on his cell phone of the two Presidents and their wives. He had received the photo earlier in the day from Tim. Tim and his wife live with David and assist him with his everyday living.

Seated at a piano playing was Richard Nixon. Standing behind him, Nixon’s wife Pat, Harry Truman and Bess. It appears the picture was taken by David. A note written on the photo said: “To David Wolkowsky. The view at the Pier House-the greatest.” Signed: “Richard Nixon.”

A piece of memorabilia.

My Wampsville friend and former Court Clerk Ted was to join me for dinner last night. He called after I was sitting waiting for him for an hour to report he could not make it. He either was sick or met a lady. I hope the latter.

Met John from northern New Jersey at the bar. Nice guy. We chatted about the glories of the Jersey beaches.

I was hungry. No Ted. Called Catherine. Asked if she wanted to feed me. No problem. I hurried over and partook of all kinds of delicious cheeses. Even got to watch a great movie. The one which received this year’s Academy Award as Best Picture. The Shape Of Water. Miss it not! Absolutely fantastic!

The writer had to be extremely talented. I have never seen a movie with so many surprising scenes. The unexpected every few minutes. Great writing!

Tonight at 9:40, Syracuse/TCU. TCU a 4 point favorite.

My day yesterday began with a noon doctor visit with my primary care physician, Dr. Norris. To review my blood and urine test results.

God bless! Everything good.

More importantly, my weight. When I was in last week for my annual physical, I had lost 24 pounds. One week later, 2 more. Total loss to date 26 pounds. Love it!

I suspect my home scale is broke. It has not moved in 7 weeks. Always shows a 20 pound loss. My heart doctor’s machine showed a 22 pound loss 2 weeks ago.

Time to get a new scale.

Blood pressure 110/80. Wowie!

Health increasingly important as one gets older.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is like 50 feet from Dr. Norris’ office. Stopped for lunch. Enjoyed Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large hot Cuban coffee. I know, I cheated. Cuban bread made with pork lard. Milk in the Cuban coffee. I felt I was entitled.

Spring breakers all over Key West. Well behaved.

It seems every year, the spring breakers look younger to me. Makes sense. As I am one year older each year, they would of necessity look younger. Kids!

Key West a place where adults can be children again.

The foot race for all ages has been scheduled. The Cow Key Bridge Race. April 15.

The bridge is 300 feet long, the length of the race. It has been dubbed a zero K race. Designed for “athletes” who don’t want to wake up early or break a sweat. Over 1,000 will participate. Most costumed.

How we value things sometimes does not make sense. Seventeen were killed at Douglas High School. The students reacted and are reacting. Washington not.

This past week a dog was made to ride in a United luggage bin. The one above the passenger seat. The dog died. Within 48 hours, legislation was filed in the U.S. Senate to make sure a dog would never again be placed in a bin where he/she could die.

It would appear we value dogs more than children.

Trump and his minions are slowly turning our country to one like Germany was in the 1930’s.

Night time in  Delano, California. ICE looking for a particular Mexican to arrest and deport. Saw a Mexican couple getting into a SUV. The man looked like the one they sought.

As ICE approached, the couple panicked and took off. ICE gave chase. The SUV turned over. The couple died. The couple parents of 6 children.

Turned out the couple were illegals. Further turned out the man was not who ICE was seeking.

I appreciate ICE is doing its job as directed by superiors. Such does not make what they are doing correct.

The ICE of today are the Gestapo of yesterday. Our government is moving in the wrong direction. Many support Trump and believe in him. As did the Germans with Hitler.

The madness has to stop. America wake up! If not, in the end everyone will suffer including Trump’s followers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TWO GREAT COUPLES

Last night unusual. Spent time with two great couples. One I had met last year. The other, new.

I was at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Crowded. I was sitting alone at a small table. All of a sudden Tom and Clare Keller appeared. Took me a few seconds. We had met last year.

They joined me.

Tom and Clare new residents to Key West. Closed on a condominium in January. All excited. Properly so.

Both retired. Time to enjoy and play. Life without concern. They are ready.

Tom is a former Washington DC attorney. We have a mutual friend. He knows her much better than I. Former Ambassador Amy Bondourant. An Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2. Amy and her husband relocated from Paris to Key West last year.

Tom and Amy were law partners in Washington.

Tom and Clare two new friends.

The other couple Kristina and John. I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. I had not intended. However, my stomach was growling. Enjoyed my diet prime rib.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Kristina and John. A vacationing couple from Mays Landing, New Jersey. Near Atlantic City. A very enjoyable couple. We talked of many things. From the beauty of Jersey beaches and their bikini clad women to whatever.

Both at with the FAA. Kristina a research manager with drones. Sounded interesting. John not at liberty to tell me what he did.

Married. Two children.

They return home this morning. I can’t wait to meet up with them again next year.

Now back to Aqua and Dueling bartenders.

Terri the guest artist.

Two weeks ago, Terri received favorable news from her cancer hospital in Tampa. She is in remission. Her singing last night exhibited a gusto I attribute to the news. She also danced and pranced about. Terri was a Broadway hoofer as well as singer.

She was singing a love song. Came over and threw her arm around me in what was intended as a hug. It was not. My face became imbedded in her left breast. I could not breathe. She did not know.

Bear at Aqua also. His first time. Only 10 weeks old. What a good boy! Sat under a chair and ignored everyone. Probably scared seeing all the people. A never before event for him.

Donna came in later. She has been dieting. Looked good. Tall and thin.

I met at the Aqua bar last year a man from Utica. Not Utica, NY. Utica, Michigan. He was back last night. This time with an oxygen tube in his nostrils. Made no difference, he was whooping it up at the bar having a good time.

While at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, Fred Tillman stopped by to say hello. Tillman a Key Wester for years. Owned Kelly’s and two other restaurants for years. He catered Lisa’s wedding.

His outstanding achievement from my perspective were the years he was married to Hollywood actress Kelly McGillis. The Kelly McGillis of Top Gun/Tom Cruise fame. Kelly lived in Key West with Fred and they operated the three restaurants together.

Now, long divorced.

I last saw Fred in December at David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday party. Go David!

I have spoken of David many times. He is the father of modern Key West. Key West would not have developed as it has were it not for David.

An example is the Pier House. David built the Pier House. A section at a time. On the gulf end of Key West that was nothing but a mud puddle. On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. A few rooms to become a gigantic resort. Big trees from little acorns grew.

Tonight, Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol. Five thirty at Aqua. Singing galore. A fundraiser for Lynda’s beloved Waterfront Playhouse.

Mary Lou Hoover busier than normal. She is running for Key West Commissioner. She will be the best Commissioner ever! Her campaign kick-off is February 26 at Salute’s.

Tonight, my podcast. What I describe as an internet radio show. You can see my picture and hear my voice. Nothing moves. Somewhat similar to radio.

I am into my third year. Impressed. I have advertisers. Not solicited by me. They come because of the size of my listening audience. Two of my favorites are GEICO, Ins. and Old Navy.

Showtime tonight is 9. The show a quick moving half hour. I talk about everything. A lot of politics. I am a political junkie.

My opinion generally shared. Love being able to share my thoughts on an issue without concern or permission.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

A PARTY!

A delightful birthday party last night! David Wolkowsky’s 98th. A small intimate gathering of 20. One hour. Dom Perignon served.

Mr. Key West looked terrific! Smiling. Greeting everyone warmly.

A man for the ages. His mark left here and in Philadelphia.

Afterwards, the Chart Room.

Business strange. The placed packed and then deserted. Not a soul, except for John and me.

David came in. Love David. I was ready to leave when he arrived. I overstayed my time by two drinks.

Harvey. What a wallop! A 4! Terrible! Going to hang around a few days. Even worse.

Due to Harvey’s intensity, still do not know damage or deaths. Damage for certain. I hope none or few deaths.

Trump and Venezuela. I have followed Venezuela since Maduro became President more than 4 years ago. I got turned on to Venezuela when the country ran out of toilet paper 4 years ago. Toilet paper still limited in supply.

Trump has imposed certain sanctions on Venezuela. Trump says he does not like the way the people are being treated nor the government’s corruption.

Venezuela is none of our business! Two reasons.

First, Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States. In no fashion!

Second, it is a civil problem that eventually will result in a civil war. Again, none of our business.

Trump could be laying the basis for U.S. intervention in the country. I say, not one American life should be sacrificed for a conflict that has nothing to do with us.

The real reason Trump is interested in Venezuela is its oil supply. Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

He wants to gain control of the oil.

Recall, Trump has recently suggested the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and taken control of Iraq’s oil. He has also recently mentioned North Korea’s large mineral deposits, suggesting they would be beneficial to the U.S.

We are not that type people. The U.S. does not wage war to gain valuable natural deposits.

This Christopher Columbus thing is boiling over. I was one day ahead of the deluge.

New York City Mayor William de Blasio is reviewing “symbols of hate” in New York City. For removal, of course. It is said one of the statues under consideration is Columbus’ statue on Columbus Square. The one that stands more than 70 feet high.

I have come full round on the issue. Back to my original position. Leave the statues alone! They are part of our history. Good, bad or indifferent.

The nation is being rabble roused by a small group. A minority. We gave in to their demands re Confederate statues/monuments. Now, the demand goes further. Hundred of years earlier. Wrong! It is the squeaky wheel being greased. Politicians the first to hear and abide by the demands.

Lets step back, take a deep breath, and think the issue with all its ramifications.

Further, let no one say I am a racist.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID WOLKOWSKY

David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday being celebrated this evening. One of Key West finest! The Key West of today would not be were it not for him. He is properly referred to as Mr. Key West.

I will be at the party.

I have mentioned David often in this blog. Even wrote a lengthy article about him in KONK Life last year. Titled: David Wolkowsky. Read and enjoy. Learn much about the man. www.konknet.com/2016-03-04-3/.

Truman Capote died this date in 1984. David and Truman were friends. They became friends when Capote first stayed at David’s new Pier House Resort Motel.

The time 1968. David had recently completed construction of the Motel. The Motel that would grow into what is the fabulous Pier House today. Capote was a visitor. He wanted to see David’s best accommodations before he took one.

Following the selection process, David invited Capote to have a drink with him. David was living in a luxurious 45 foot 2 bedroom double wide trailer parked 10 feet from the Motel’s waterfront.

Capote told David he wanted to stay in the trailer. Capote had come to Key West for the winter. David finally acquiesced to Capote’s request. He moved into a suite in the Motel and gave Capote the trailer.

While living in the trailer, Capote wrote Answered Prayers.

A hero is like an angel. Appears when needed. Assuming you believe in angels.

A hero appeared on the Key West scene yesterday. Actually, a heroine. Jerika Rudolph. Eighteen years old.

Jerika was traveling om South Roosevelt Boulevard when she observed a Chevy Trailblazer jump the seawall and mangroves into the channel.

Jerika did not hesitate. Pulled over. Told the passenger with her to call 911. Ran across the street and jumped into the water.

She saw a man, woman and 6-7 year old child. The adults trying to break the windows. She got the woman and child out. the man was able to get out on his own.

From the time Jerika reached the car and extricated two of the passengers, the vehicle had already been carried 100 feet by the current.

Talking with authorities after the event, Jerika was asked if she was afraid. Never gave it a thought, she said. My concern was to get the people out.

The long awaited Duval Loop begins operation August 31. Part of a new Key West park and ride program. A bus will travel around the perimeter of Duval Street picking up and dropping off people who parked their cars somewhere and wanted to visit certain downtown spots. The ride always free. The aim to relieve congestion.

Hope it works. Parking and traffic impossible.

Hurricane Harvey making its way to the Corpus Christi area of Texas. A big one. Predicted to be a 3 when it hits. High water levels. Three feet of rain expected over a period of a few days.

You read correctly. Three feet of rain!

Hurricanes no fun. Believing discretion the better part of valor, I have always left when a hurricane was predicted. Returned a few days later when permitted to find damage beyond comprehension.

I stayed for a tropical storm once. Forget its name. The tropical storm was a disaster in itself. It hung over Key West without moving for seven days. I was able to get out of the house once. To my deck.

Windows boarded. Power off most of the time. No TV. Alone in the dark or with candles. Impossible to read. It made me wonder how Lincoln studied law by candle light.

The wind blowing loudly and incessantly. The rain beating against the house.

Food supply held out. Primarily peanut butter and crackers. Bottled water.

I sympathize with the Texans. The force of hurricane 3 will be a far more difficult and dangerous experience than a tropical storm.

Americans are a forgiving people. Time to forgive Pete Rose and permit him to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

Rose’s sin was he bet on baseball games. The serious sin, he bet on his own team the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team. Only to win, he said.

Rose was a star of stars in his playing days. Still holds the record for the most hits at bat during a career. Well in excess of 3,000.

Rose was banned in 1989. Twenty eight years ago. He has been humiliated and suffered enough.

The economy is good. Or, so we are told. Especially by Trump. It is. However, primarily for the already rich.

A recent Harris Poll indicates more than three-quarters of American households live paycheck to paycheck. Seventy eight percent.

Tough times. Too many Americans having a difficult time making ends meet.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST…..TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION

 

What follows is strange and bizarre. The story not consistent with Key West’s true nature.

The saying truth is stranger than fiction applies. Without question. It would be difficult for a writer to conceive of such a fact scenario.

Sometime during the dark of monday morning, Mark Brann and Justin Tyler Calhoun were in bed. Wake and chatting. Brann 67, Calhoun 24.

The home Brann’s on 12th Street. Calhoun a lover, sometime visitor, stripper, and homeless person.

Gender confusion comes into play. Following the event, the Sheriff’s report describes Calhoun as a female, the Key West Police report a male.

Calhoun accused Brann of being a cannibal. Brann did not take fondly to the charge. A fight ensued. Brann grabbed his gun and shot at Calhoun. Missed. The two fought over the gun.

Calhoun struck Brann in both his eyes with a pen. Shoved a piece of wood in Brann’s mouth and pushed it into his throat. Then stomped on the wood to push it further into Brann’s throat. Not done yet, Calhoun took a dresser drawer and beat Brann about the head and throat.

Calhoun was bare ass. Grabbed a dress, jumped out a window, and ran off. He was subsequently arrested.

The authorities report he has generally agreed with the facts as described.

The makings of a book. A sick one.

My day was strange physically. Felt fine in the morning. All of a sudden around noon, dead tired again. Exhausted. Could not shake the feeling the rest of the day.

Terri came over early in the afternoon. Her work not yet completed. The shower head had to be replaced. Bouncy and cheery, she hopped in the shower and went to work

Job 95% complete. A part problem She will fix when next she visits. Which will be after September 1. Terri leaves thursday to New Jersey to spend a week with some old show friends. Then to Tampa for a week or more for more tests. The results will decide if she is a candidate for a heavy surgery.

I tried working on tonight’s podcast. Slow going. Got a third done in the time I would normally have completed the job.

I feel great this morning! Full of energy! Will complete the research today. The show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9 tonight my time.

Without question, Trump will dominate the show. Charlottesville in all its aspects. Including the police told not to intervene in the fighting unless so ordered. Throw in a little North Korea and the half hour is gone.

The show is fast moving. Interesting. I generally come up with a piece of information not yet revealed by the media. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

On this day in 1969, Woodstock opened. Near Bethel, New York. Mostly hippies. Performers galore. Over 400,000 in attendance.

I am sure many present day Key Westers were there. I know of three. All fabulous musicians/entertainers today in their own right. Larry Smith, Christine Cordone, and Terri White.

A never to be forgotten experience.

As I have written many times, the Key West of today would not have been without David Wolkowsky. Still enjoying life at 98!

The Kress Building on Duval was purchased by David on this date in 1978. Cost all of $210,000. Can’t buy any structure in Key West today for that price let alone the Kress Building.

For years, the Kress building housed Fast Buck Freddie’s on the first floor. An extremely fine department store. Today, home of a CVS drug store.

David continues to have a connection with the building. Years ago, he created a rooftop residence. A penthouse. Magnificent!I have attended several parties in the sky. The feeling you get when at David’s residence.

I close with a complaint.

The triangle at the intersection of US 1 and North Roosevelt Boulevard is under reconstruction. To rectify a mistake during the original construction only a few years ago.

I travel through the intersection 2-4 times a day.

Where are the workers? Last week, I saw none. The week before, 3 one morning.

Typical Key West public construction.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MADMEN BOTH…..NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE

Two madmen facing off against each other. Not caring about their people. Caring about their images. Ready to blow up the world.

A nuclear apocalypse in the making.

God help us!

At first I thought it was Kim Jung Un playing his usual game. Not at all. Donald Trump has welcomed the challenge. The bravado that goes with it.

Instead of calm diplomacy, Trump adds fuel to the fire daily. Terms like…..Fired and ready…..Locked and loaded.

Face is especially important in the Far East. Jung Un is being backed into a corner.

Trump in the meantime is in all his glory. Watching him on television yesterday, he was on a high. On the biggest stage in the world. He has thrown the gauntlet down. Telling Jung Un in effect…..Don’t screw with me!

If nuclear war occurs, I can see Trump and Jung Un at the end. Each sitting on top of massive death and destruction in their respective countries. Each thinking as Jack Horner once said…..Oh, what a good boy am I!

My yesterday began pleasantly. As was the whole day. A haircut with Lori.

Then to Lisa’s to pick up Robert and Ally for an afternoon with Poppa.

I walked in. Everyone looked at me strangely. Robert and Ally had friends in. I saw Robert eating a sandwich. Why are you eating? We are going out for lunch?

Yes, we are going out for lunch. Not yesterday, however. Saturday. I screwed up. It happens at my age.

Last night the Chart Room. A unique time.

At some point the Chart Room was empty. Just David, John and Louis. For about 45 minutes. The silence overwhelming.

David and I sat at the round table. Enjoyed a terrific conversation. No background noises bothering us. Not enough booze imbibed to affect our thought processes.

It was great! David a thinker. Knowledgeable.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a light snack.

Jenna called me before I went out last night. We were to go out tonight together. She cancelled. She has a shoot in Fort Lauderdale and is leaving tonight.

She loves me no more!

We agreed we would get together next week.

Donna had telephoned before Jenna. Asked if I wanted to join my lesbian wives tonight. Said, no. Going to dinner with Jenna. Ten minutes later I was on the phone asking Donna if I could join she and Terri tonight.

My dates this evening, the wives! A fundraiser first at Bottle Cap. Then dinner somewhere.

Tom Luna. The best of the best. A good guy. A fixture at Aqua for years. He is leaving. Going to bartend at The Marker wednesday, thursday and fridays from 3-7. He will continue monday nights at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Joanie. Painter Joanie. Bocce Joanie. Don’s Place Joanie.

I mentioned she was sick and at Kendall Hospital in Miami.

Joanie has been diagnosed. Stage 4 liver cancer.

Pray for her!

Key West has been reading William Hackley daily the past couple of years. Thanks to the Key West Citizen that is running excerpts from his diary.

I have suspected Hackley rented slaves. Not an owner. I also suspected Hackley was a good guy. No more.

He mentions in a diary entry this date in 1856 that he whipped Spring. Never heard of Spring before. Whipped him to make him obey.

Spring skipped away and ran home. When he returned, Hackley chained him and “whipped him well.”

Spring has to be either a slave or a dog. Whipping in neither instance acceptable. Hackley no longer held in the high esteem by me.

Finally, David Wolkowsky recognition. On this day in 1968, David opened the Pier House Motel. Today the site of the Pier House Resort. Big trees from little acorns grow.

David juvinated that end of Duval. He rejuvenated other areas of Key West. The Key West we know would not have been without him.

Enjoy your day!

DALE AND KENDRA

 

Blog late this morning. 11:30 and just starting. Slept late, laid around in bed.

I had an exceptionally good time last night. My activities limited to the Chart Room and Antonia’s.

Old and new faces at the Chart Room.

Met Dale and Kendra. Great people! From  near Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have been visiting Key West every year for 10 years.

Both school teachers. Dale, a high school history teacher. Kendra teaches elementary school.

Parents of twins! A boy and girl. Now 5 1/2 years old.

This was a special meeting. For them and me. Dale has been reading my blog since 2010. Seven years!

He and Kendra have visited the Chart Room each trip during that time looking to meet up with me. Finally, last night.

We chatted a while. I enjoyed my time with them tremendously. Good people.

Jean Thornton! Last night, finally! She has been back several days and we have been missing each other. Jean’s sister was with her. Two exciting women.

These are Mel Fisher Days. Jean is back in Key West for the annual celebration.

Some 15 years ago, Jean went diving with Mel Fisher. Pushed herself on him. Took her a year for him to finally agree to take her diving. Fisher had already found $400 million in Atocha gold and emeralds.

Jean discovered some gold coins and emeralds herself that day. Would you believe! Quit her school teaching job and bought a condo in Truman Annex. Since that time, she spends at least six months a year in Key West.

Love her dearly!

Enjoyed a lengthy political discussion. With two Trump supporters. Interesting. We rarely agreed. Friends at the start and we were still friends at the end of the conversation.

One was Kevin. Kevin is a regular at the Chart Room. Owns a home on White Street. I knew he leaned conservative from prior discussions. Learned he leaned farther than I thought last night.

The other was Gordon Anderson. Gordon owns the Larian Motel in Tombstone, Arizona. Proud of it. Number one for two consecutive years on Trip Advisor.

Gordon visits Key West twice a year. A huge Mel Fisher aficionado. Took the tour yesterday of the Fisher lab. Learned how stones, jewels, coins and other artifacts are preserved. Excited him.

Today, the Mel Fisher Schooner Wharf Party. He and Kevin were making plans to attend.

The politics were good. Kevin and Gordon’s views generally diametrically opposed to mine. They enjoyed, also. We chatted back and forth.

Covered a multitude of sins. The Second Amendment. Both extremely knowledgeable about gun rights. Both conceal carry. Legal in Florida and Arizona. Kevin had me feel his gun which he carried in the back of his pants covered by his shirt. First time I was aware he carried.

They viewed Trump as the new Messiah (my description). Echoed the Republican speaking points. To the letter. Media responsible for the negatives heaped on Trump, everything is Obama’s fault. Both felt that if Trump were impeached, the people would rise up. Not tolerate it.

We have a problem. Our country is split 50/50. Both sides dug in. I do not ever recall politics this hard fixed.

The Chart Room crowded. John working hard.

Tom Cochran was a bartender back in the days when the Chart Room began and Jimmy Buffett was starting. The Chart Room’s bartender.

I have never met him. He was standing at the end of the bar. Tall. Cowboy hat. Tourists listening to him in awe as he described Jimmy Buffett’s beginnings, etc.

Never got to talk with him. The crowd surrounding him too tight. Hopefully, another time.

Time to eat. Opted for Antonia’s. Place packed. Fortunate to get a seat at the bar. TK bartending. I have known TK better than 20 years. Still looks as young as when I met him. He attributes it to botox.

Met Mike Grasso who was seated next to me. In advertising. Philadelphia. MCG Media LLC. His shop.

Knowledgeable. If I recall correctly, he owns or has a piece of Back Page.

We spoke of Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square and David Wolkowsky. Exchanged growing up Italian stories.

Mike left. Replaced by Roddy and Clarisse. They had been seated a few seats away. Could tell I was a lawyer. Sat next to me for desert.

Both attorneys. Young compared to me. But then, everyone is. Married four years. Roddy a civil litigator in Orlando. Clarisse an immigration specialist in Miami. They have homes in Orlando and Miami.

We did lawyer talk.

Enjoyed them! The world their oyster. I wish them well.

As I was paying my bill preparatory to leaving, in walked John Marston. A Key West attorney and friend. He introduced me to his lady. A beauty! Great smile! I had never met her before. I am ashamed to admit I cannot recall her name.

Finally, home to bed.

Tonight, party time. I joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy last year. Love the members! Fun people!

A bocce party. Pizza, beer and wine. Good company and simple food and drink. Nothing better.

Enjoy your day!

 

DISNEY STILL GETS ME

A child at heart. I am glad I still am on occasion.

Last night was one of those times. I enjoyed the children’s favorite Aladdin Jr at the Waterfront Playhouse.

I never would have attended were it not for Larry Blackburn’s daughter Sydney playing the female lead Princess Jasmine and Donna and Terri’s granddaughter Lev performing as the Matron.

Both outstanding. The entire cast outstanding! The show professionally performed.

I stopped at the Chart Room first for a drink. Then Aladdin. Then back to the Chart Room again.

John bartending.

Glad I returned to the Chart Room. Met Tim and Stephanie. Locals, also. Though our paths never crossed before.

Tim works for David Wolkowsky. One of his responsibilities is taking care of Ballast Key.

When Tim mentioned he worked for David, I brought to his attention the KONK Life article I did several years ago about David. Tim surprised me. He had read the article. David had read it. David referred Tim to it.

At the time, David laughingly referred to the article as his obituary. A pang of guilt hit me for a moment. Then I realized such is David’s nature to comment in a joking fashion about some things.

It will be many more years before David has need of an obituary. He is only 98.

To those who may be unfamiliar with David, he is Mr. Key West. The Key West of today would not have been were it not for him. Even to Jimmy Buffett.

Buffett tells how David gave him his first paying job. At the Chart Room, no less. The same chart Room we were in last night. The same Chart Room David constructed as part of the Pier House which he built.

It was after 10 when I left the Chart Room. Had not eaten since breakfast. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. Tavern ‘n Town has added a Happy Hour from 9-11. Perfect for me last night!

Today an historical one in Key West. Uber and Lyft are finally allowed to provide service in Key West.

I read an article yesterday that Key West is the last major market for Uber and Lyft service. Disgraceful. We should have had it two years ago. However, the Key West Commission continues to operate via the Bubba system.

An even better example of the Bubba system in operation is that no new cab licenses have been issued in Key West for 75 years. Called taking care of your own, generation after generation.

Got a manicure thursday at Lee Nails.

No Tammy. I forgot she was taking her two children home to visit the family. Tammy is originally from Vietnam. I recall her telling me the trip would take something like 34 hours. Three or four stopovers included.

Husband Rickie stayed home. Someone had to run the business.

When I telephoned and discovered Tammy had left, I panicked. Who was going to do my nails? You, Rickie? No Mr. Lou, he said. You get a beautiful girl. The prettiest. Nina.

I could not place Nina. When I showed up friday, we met. Loverly! Came to the U.S. two years ago from one of the eastern bloc countries. Loves Key West people and weather.

Nina is 23 years old. A bashful 23.

Tammy had obviously left Nina with marching orders as to how I liked my nails done. Nina did a magnificent job. Especially the buffing.

Yesterday, I wrote about cursive writing. Most do not seem to appreciate handwriting as much as I do. It has to be my age. I learned to hand write when 6. The computer did not enter my life till many many years later. I am less adept with the computer than with handwriting.

My friend Tom in Des Moines believes there is no need for cursive today. Initially intended to speed things up from hand printing, today not needed. The computer is everything.

I mention cursive again this morning because typing on a screen came to be on June 29, 1975 around 10 in the evening. In a small California town.

Prior thereto, man had never hit a key and a letter appeared on a screen.

The mere fact that it happened gave birth to multiple changes in the way we live. The future of business changed, how we communicate with each other changed, etc. The world changed.

The responsible individual was Steve Wozniak.

Ten months later Wozniak and two others formed Apple. The other two, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.

Last year, Apples revenue was in excess of $215 billion. Its employees, 116,00 world wide.

Enjoy your day!

FATHER’S DAY…..HARD TIME BECOMING A NATIONAL HOLIDAY

Big day today! Father’s Day! Many the proud father today. Many the happy kids giving Dad a Father’s Day gift.

Father’s Day seems like a natural. Unfortunately, it was not considered so for many years. Congress opposed efforts going back to 1098 to establish the holiday. The excuse was it would lead to commercialization of the day.

Would you believe?

Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson exercised their best abilities to legalize Father’s Day as a national holiday. Richard Nixon was finally successful. In 1972, he signed a Congressional bill into law recognizing the 3rd Sunday in June as such.

Father’s Day had its beginnings in the Middle Ages in Catholic Europe. St. Joseph was the father of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph’s Day was June 19. June 19 became recognized as Father’s Day also as a result.

Father’s Day did not take hold in the United States till early in the 20th century. Immigrants at the time probably brought the holiday with them.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads. Enjoy the day. It is yours. Well deserved. As Mother’s Day is for the Moms.

Tammy for a manicure yesterday. The place is a gold mine! People with and without appointments coming in. Tammy and her staff working hard. always smiling. Accommodated one and all.

Dinner last night with Donna at Duffy’s. Terri home. She has a cold. Has to be careful whatever the problem. She threw Donna out of the house and told her to join me.

Even those not ill, but who care for those who are, get run down. Need a change of pace.

Home before 9. Watched the Watergate special on MSNBC. Excellent!

David Wolkowsky did it again! The man is amazing. Ninety eight years old and still active.

Mr. Key West annually since 2001 has given $65,000 a year to Key West High School teachers. Recipient teachers awarded are referred to as Teachers of Merit. One receives $25,000. Eight others, $5,000 each.

A better man does not exist. He is all heart and soul.

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of the Rocky Marciano/Ezzard Charles World Heavy Weight Championship fight.

I was there! June 17, 1954.

I had just finished my freshman year at Manhattan College. My parents drove to New York City to pick me up. While there, my Father and Uncle Gus decided to attend the fight. At Yankee Stadium. They took me!

It was a typical New York City Italian evening.

We took the subway. Our seats were in left field. We could see nothing. My Aunt Louise had made us sandwiches which we took with us wrapped in wax paper and carried in a paper bag.

Fortunately, my Uncle brought binoculars. He had done the rodeo before. My father and Uncle treated me fairly. I got my time with the binoculars.

I was impressed before the fight. Big black limousines driving over the outfield to the seats surrounding the ring in the infield. Out came men in tuxedos and ladies in long. The fight was a social event.

I was impressed.

The fight began. Blurry unless you had the binoculars in hand.

Turned out, I had use of the binoculars at the right moment. I saw Marciano hit Charles so hard on the side of his face that I thought his fist was going to come out the other side of Charles’ face.

I could actually see the force of the blow thrust half of the other side of Charles’ face outward. Looked 3-4 inches to me. I thought Charles’ head was going to come off.

Marciano won soon thereafter. Marciano went on to win the rest of his fights. He retired undefeated.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

OCTOPUS FOR DINNER

I enjoyed a rare meal last night. Octopus. Not squid/calamari.

The last time and only time I ate squid was on my Greek trip where I failed in attempting to climb the Santorini volcano. My poor body could not make it up the hill. I thought I was going to die.

The boat did not return to Oia immediately. It took us to a very small island. One tiny white stone house.Extremely small.  A larger white stoned bathroom building.

A husband and wife living on the island.

We had stopped for lunch. The couple’s place was the only game in town. The menu limited. Octopus and wine.

The octopus was a baby one. About three feet in diameter. Cooked on a large outdoor grill. The charcoal type we use in the U.S. The husband  kept basting the octopus with oil.

I was served a chunk of one of the tentacles. I would judge it was cut from the middle of a tentacle or closer to the body. About ten inches. One and a half to two inches in diameter. The skin a quarter of an inch thick. The center hollow and empty.

Absolutely delicious! Tender! Tasty!

I heard Bruschetta had octopus. Decided to stop and have some last night. Ordered it without looking at the menu.

Not quite the same as the Greek one. Size only. What I was served last night was the end of the tentacle. Slender. Totally filled with meat. The tiny suction cups part of the meal. A bit gross. Did not recall them on the island.

About 15 inches in length. Every inch a delight! I enjoyed each morsel. The taste the same as on the island.

For dessert, I enjoyed Sicilian cassata.

An outstanding meal!

Previous to Bruschetta’s, I was at the Chart Room.

A bunch from Philadelphia. Ate the hot dogs. John had to replenish the supply.

Chatted with one of the guys. He was very interested in the Chart Room. I explained David Wolkowsky’s  involvement. Threw in the Jimmy Buffett story.

Then asked since he was from Philadelphia, did he know Rittenhouse Square. Of course, a big Philadelphia deal. I then shared with him that Wolkowsky was responsible for its rejuvenation and what it is today. He was amazed. He did not know.

A couple at the end of the bar from London. Sixtyish. John and Marie. We chatted a while. Nice people. Interesting people.

John a retired London cab driver. The stories he had to tell! Drove a lot of movie stars. The nicest was Lauren Bacall.

Marie still working. An accountant with Zippo. The lighter company. They have a London facility.

I got into my Beefeater problem. Could find it at only one bar when in London several years ago. He was not surprised. Depends what the liquor distributors are pushing.

We talked about London food. Excellent! The London theater, also. Equally excellent!

About plane travel in Europe. Not like the U.S. Cheap. Meals on most flights. All the booze you want. Polite staff.

Trump watch out! Mueller will follow you to the ends of the earth! If you are guilty of any wrongdoing, he will discover it.

Tonight, a Custom House lecture. The Jewish Underground Key West 1918-1939. A large crowd expected. It is being held at the Tropic Cinema.

Have to move my ass. I have a haircut appointment with Lori this morning. Following which a visit to Farmers Market to pick up a few things.

I do pretty good for a bachelor.

Enjoy your day!