THE WALL…..BILLIONS OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS

Recall Trump’s words during the campaign…..We are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

Government contract notices listed on a federal website ask for proposals for construction of the wall by March 29. The wall to be 30 feet high.

Trump’s budget as sent to Congress requests monies this year. Tax dollar monies to commence construction of the wall. Described as a down payment. $2.6 billion.

Allocated between a pedestrian wall and vehicle barrier. Broken down, $6.5 million a mile for the pedestrian fence and $1.8 million a mile for the vehicle barrier.

Estimated cost for the entire project vary depending who is being asked. Anywhere from $12-21 billion.

I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall. Trump has changed his tune. We are going to build and pay for it and then pursue Mexico for reimbursement.

Good luck!

The Syracuse basketball season ended yesterday. Syracuse lost to Ole Miss 85-80. I’m glad it’s over. Most of the games were painful to watch.

I watched yesterday’s game. Same story. We did not have it together. Took forever to make the first three pointer. Defense not what it should have been. Etc.

Villanova lost! Wow! Winner of the Final Four last year. Number 1 seed overall this year. Wisconsin beat Villanova 65-62. Such is the beauty of the NCAA Tournament. You never know when a lesser team is going to be up enough to beat a favorite.

Villanova was my choice for #1. Saw the team as the big winner.

Dee took me to dinner last night at Berlin’s. Two pound Maine lobsters. Delicious!!!

Dee just returned from Bali. Interesting stories to tell.

The William Hackley saga continues. His 8 day clock was not working. Would run down before 8 days up and was not keeping accurate time. He brought it to be repaired.

The verbiage immediately brought to mind 5 Day Deodorant Pads. Such was the name of a deodorant that hit the market in the early 1950s. Small circular pads soaked with deodorant.

I was in high school when 5 Day became popular. Used it. Did I use a deodorant before? Don’t recall. I do not think many, if any, used deodorant till the early 1950s.

Did we all have body odor before deodorant became popular? I do not recall.

Another interesting question was whether people did not daily bathe back then. Otherwise, why the 5 Day name? My mother made sure I took a bath every day. We did not have a shower.

The Studios of Key West has an interesting show scheduled for 8 tonight. I hope to make it.

It will be a reading and discussion of Tennessee Williams’ love letters.

Williams was gay. Had several lovers over the years. One was Frank Merlo. I wrote a column for KONK Life two years ago re the relationship. I thought Merlo to be the greatest love of Williams’ life. Williams wrote his best works during the 14 years they lived together in Williams’ Key West home and a New York City apartment.

The greatest love theory was mine. I am curious what I will hear this evening.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the recent battle with screwworms has been won. The flesh eating maggot problem eradicated.  Florida’s deer population, among others, saved. Especially the little deer living in Big Pine and on Little Deer Key.

Credit be given where credit due, Florida is on top these things.

Two significant Key West events March 25.

The last season tour of the Key West Cemetery. Three separate tours that day. Make a reservation. Always crowded. Attend if you never have. The history of Key West reflected on the stones. Also, some interesting quips by the deceased. My favorite is…..I told you I was sick.

Equality Florida is having its 20th Annual Gala. From 5:30 to 8:00. At the Gardens Hotel. A perfect venue for the event.

Equality Florida is Florida’s largest and most powerful gay rights organization.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

HULA HOOP / CONCH SHELL BLOWING

A great Sunday out there! Sun shinning, nary a cloud. Wind unusually strong. Has been for a few days. Blowing down from the north. Makes the 80 degree temperature not feel warm. Comfortable.

Hula hoops hit the U.S. big time in 1963. Appeared in the market place for the first time this date in 1963.

A round plastic hoop. Hip swiveling and gyrating.

Within 4 months, 25 million had been sold.

My older children got into it. Tried to teach Dad. No way. I could not do it.

About five years ago, there was a hula hoop revival. Ally was six years old. She was an expert. could even do it around her neck.

She tried to teach Poppa. Again, I was a failure.

Sue Cassell worked at Don’s Place at the time of the revival. A young lady. Twentyish. A pro with the hula hoop. Amazing. Blinking lights wrapped around the hoop.

I took Ally to watch Sue.

The hula hoop had a part in Key West’s Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest yesterday. Christie King of Big Pine hula hooped while blowing a large conch shell.

My intent was to watch Syracuse/Georgia Tech yesterday afternoon at Jack Flats with Dee. Followed by dinner some where.

Dee begged off. Experiencing dizzy spells. I decided to stay home and watch. Then skip out to dinner somewhere.

A mistake.

The game was not televised in Florida.

In any event, Syracuse won. Big! 90-61. Should help Syracuse get an invitation to the big tournament.

After the game, Dee telephoned. Dizziness gone. Let’s go to dinner.

We dined at Hot Tin Roof. The place packed. As are the streets of Key West. It is season!

Aristotle said …..Friendship is the chiefest good.

Dee and I have been friends for a quarter century. We see each other frequently for a while. Then not see each other for several years.

The Key West City Commission continues its perverted ways. They are eliminating parking spaces in residential areas to create bicycle lanes.

We need parking! The parking situation is desperate!

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1948, Truman left Key West to return to Washington. Exactly one year later in 1949, he returned to Key West for a vacation.

William Hackley had the dentist Dr. Walton back at his home this day in 1856. Dr. Walton pulled two teeth from Hatty and six from Charlotte.

Don’t know if Hatty and Charlotte children or help. Sounds rough. Six teeth at one time.

There was a time when dentistry was a trade and not a profession. A side line practiced by barbers and blacksmiths. I suspect a profession by Hackley’s time as the title Doctor used.

By 1946, World War II was over. It had become evident that the Soviet Union was no longer a friend. Of the United States and other Allies who fought together to defeat Germany.

Winston Churchill on this date in 1946 spoke at Missouri’s Westminster College. President Truman on the stage.

Churchill’s eloquent words were delivered. Words never to be forgotten. Even to today. “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” He described it as a Cold War.

Stalin responded from Moscow that the speech was “war mongering.”

Sound familiar?

Putin suggests the same when actions are taken by other nations which he considers not in the best interests of Russia.

We are in a new Cold War.

Sadness takes many forms. As does pain and suffering.

A picture appears on page 9A of this morning’s Key West Citizen. A picture of a 9 month old Somalian baby. Ali Hassan. Malnourished. Starving. Body bones clearly defined. Arms strange. Eyes bright.

Starvation has been an ongoing problem in Somalia. Now, a drought also. The article set forth that 110 had died in a 48 hour period ending yesterday.

Enjoy your Sunday! I suspect a pause at this point before you do. The thought of Ali and Somalian starving touching. Leaves one with an empty feeling.

VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER DAY LATE

My Valentine’s Day celebration was a day late. My podcast show was scheduled tuesday night.

Dee took me to dinner to celebrate the occasion. Note, she took me. An unusual experience. The lady pays. Loved it!

Even gave me a box of candy and a small stuffed animal. The animal to sleep with. Can’t win all the time.

Dinner at Spencer’s. Outside. On covered porch. Terrific meal. Outstanding company. We sat when the sun was shining. The view to die for. Still there when it got dark. A storm came up. Heavy rain and lightning. Wild!

Lunch time found me at the Cuban Coffee Queen. A couple of weeks since my last visit. I enjoy the place. Sat for a while enjoying a Cuban cheese toast and cold Cuban coffee. Reading the newspapers, of course.

Stopped at Publix on the way home. Needed only a few things. Cost me $63. How do families survive these days?

An interesting story in this morning’s Key West Citizen. A restoration of some of the gravestones at the Key West Cemetery.

A special grant had  been obtained. A number of graves were repaired. They were showing their age, toppled over, etc. The restorers believe the restored gravestones are good for 150-200 years.

My Facebook Go Live with Key West Lou show two weeks old today. I am absolutely impressed with the increase in viewers. Dramatic.

Take a look. See me live and chatting about this and that. Whatever moves me at the moment.

The NRA wins again!

Obama was responsible for a regulation last year prohibiting guns to be sold to persons with mental disorders. Affected 75,000 persons. A needed regulation from my perspective.

It was payback time yesterday. The Senate voted to repeal the regulation. The House had done it earlier. The bill goes to Trump for his signature. Trump will sign it.

Called political payback. Stupidity applies, also. Some nut is going to go off and kill several persons/children at one time.

What happened to conscience?

Enjoy your day!

…..ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE

In my other life as an attorney, I had a case where my client’s big old tree was hanging over the neighbor’s property, roots causing his driveway to heave a bit, etc.

The neighbor wanted the tree removed. The heaving driveway was a good argument. My client was destined to lose.

Counsel were standing alone before the Bench. No jury. Merely argument.

Opposing counsel made a good argument why the tree should come down. I knew before hand such would be the case.

When preparing opposing papers, I recalled Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The closing stanza…..Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.

The lines were the basis of my argument. With three changes. I deleted the word “Poems” and replaced it with “Arguments.” I deleted “God” and replaced it with “Judge.” I deleted the word “make” and replaced it with “save.”

The new wording rhymed the same however…..Arguments are made by fools like me, / But only a Judge can save a tree.

I won. The tree survived. Joyce Kilmer the one who actually saved the tree.

Why Joyce Kilmer’s Trees this morning.

There is a 100 year old mahogany tree on Simonton. Across from the Gato Building. A huge branch hangs over the street. The branch has never been a problem. Until recently. The over hanging branch and a truck came into contact.

The truck had its roof ripped off. The truck the legal height. The branch illegal. Too low. No problem for 100 years. Now a problem. Cost Key West or its insurance company $9,000 for repairs to the truck.

Key West has a Tree Commission. The Commission wanted to cut the tree down. The public went crazy. Shouted a loud no!

The tree was saved. Legally it should have been cut down. However the public won out. A sign is going to be erected warning of the low hanging branch.

A popular result. One that will not prevent another accident from occurring, however. The City’s liability will then be two-fold.

The Kiss-In last night in front of the Custom House was a gigantic success. As reflected in the large front page photo in this morning’s Key West Citizen. The kissing looked good. Hundreds. Wish I could have been there. With a lady to kiss, of course.

My blog talk radio show was not aired last night. I could not connect with the broadcasting studio. Sloan tried also. She failed. We assume some technical problem at the studio end. I should know this morning. My apologies to all who tried to listen.

Had I known there would be technical difficulties, I would have been at the Kiss-In and later at Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol.

Dee called yesterday and invited me to Valentine’s Day dinner as her guest. The podcast show obviously interfered. We are scheduled to do it tonight. I look forward to being wined and dined by a much younger lady.

The Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor this date in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed.

In March, a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry was held in Key West. At the newly constructed Custom House. Then a federal building.

One month later in April, the U.S. invaded Cuba. The Spanish-American War began.

Loud, proud, patriotic marching music is always tied to John Phillip Sousa.  Tunes like Stars and Stripes Forever.

Sousa and his family arrived this date in 1925 from Havana. They checked into the Casa Marina where they were to spend a few days vacationing.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

IT’S COLD

Cold this morning! Surprised me. Normally, I can sense a change in weather before it occurs. Missed this one.

The weather for several weeks has generally been in the 80s by day and mid to high 70s by night. I woke this morning to 67 degrees. The high today is projected at 71. Tonight, the temperature will drop to 63.

I already turned the heat on.

Nights will be cold all week. 62-64 degrees.

Tonight is the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s fundraiser. At the bocce courts. The courts sit on the Atlantic. Long pants and jacket time.

My responsibility tonight is to explain/teach novices the game.

The event opens at 5:30. Stop by and have some fun. Enjoy a beer and hot dog. Meet some great people.

Happy New Year! Asian New Year!

A manicure with Tammy yesterday. Tammy born and raised in Vietnam. In U.S. now 12 years. A U.S. citizen since last year. Proudly so.

Tammy educated me a bit as to the Asian New Year.

Celebration week long. Today, the actual day. She and her family have been celebrating all week long. Party at each other’s homes. Food only. No booze. Everyone must be in their own homes by midnight.

This is the year of the Rooster. Did not understand what that meant.

Today being the for real New Year’s Day, families stay home and do a quiet family day.

Fireworks are to ward off evil spirits. I cannot recall what the paper dragon symbolizes.

Learned something interesting. Vietnamese men are entitled to have two wives. They live together with the husband. Her grandfather and father had two wives.

No way will she permit her husband Rickey to have two wives. He is Vietnamese, also. Tammy, Americanized.

Celebrated Dee’s 60th birthday last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

La Trattoria Oceanside not one of my favorite places. Last night was only the fifth time in 5 years I have gone there. Dee wanted to go. She likes the place.

My dislike reasons are simple.

They did not have our reservation last night. The third time for me in my five visits over two years. The hostess did not care. We ended up with a shit table.

The service is always slow. To get a drink, place an order, get served. The food not worth the charge.

It will be a long time before I go to La Trattoria Oceanside again.

Everyday, a bit. My rewrite of Growing Up Italian going slowly. This is the fourth rewrite. I do not want to do another. I am pleased with the progress.

Going Live on Facebook not where I want it. For some reason, I continue to appear rigid. I am. Also, I have not worked out the distance factor yet.

I am also screwing up otherwise. I did seven separate shows yesterday. Three got lost. I did not press all the buttons to post. One had no voice. I do not know why.

Hang in there folks! I will get it!

The Women’s International Flag Football Tournament in full swing. In addition to the European nations mentioned yesterday who are participating, there are also teams from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a three point favorite. I will be watching the game on TV.

The annual Key West Craft Fair this weekend. Bundle up and go to the first three blocks of Whitehead. The show always terrific.

In between the Syracuse game and bocce at 5, I hope to spend a couple of hours with Liz.

As a nation, we are late in doing something about lost jobs. The issue today is not jobs leaving the country. A yesterday issue. Four years from now in the next Presidential campaign, we will be arguing robots and automation. We are always behind.

Enjoy your day!

EMPOWERED

Last night was Donna and Terri evening. My guests at dinner to celebrate their anniversary and Terri’s birthday.

We were going to meet at Lucy’s. A new restaurant at the far Gulf end of Grinnell. Arrived first. Spent $12 to park my car in the garage next door. Ridiculous!

Lucy’s packed. A dozen people waiting for tables. Air conditioning appeared to be out.

Telephoned Donna and said Lucy’s a no go. We decided to meet at the bar of Half Shell Raw Bar. We would decide where to eat from there.

Key West is into season. Every restaurant would be packed. I saw what had been anticipated as a great evening turning into a pain in the ass getting a table somewhere.

As I was walking past the old PT’s on Caroline, I noticed it was now called the Bite. Basically a sandwich place. Sports bar of sorts. Had heard good things about the place.

Stepped inside. Not packed. Air conditioning working. Called my lesbian wives and told them to meet me there.

We had a great time! The food good. Many locals we knew filtered in during the course of the evening.

Terri bald. The chemotherapy. Thin. Lost a lot of weight. She was bundled. Cold. Her hands freezing.

She continues with chemo into April. Then the two of them are off to Tampa. A procedure available in Tampa. They will have to remain in Tampa.

The plan is to take Terri’s stem cells and grow bone marrow from them outside her body. Following which the new bone marrow would be introduced into Terri’s body.

Amazing! Terri a trooper!

The Women’s March entered into the conversation.

Donna’s daughter Stacie is the manager of Blue Heaven. One of her daughters is Hannah. Hannah a 17 year old high school senior.

Stacie, Hannah and some of the other Blue Heaven ladies made the trip to Washington and participated in the Women’s March.

Donna said she got a call from her granddaughter Hannah during the March…..Grandma, I feel empowered!

Donna’s son Scott and his wife Kathy marched in Boston. Scott described the Boston march to his mother…..There are no words!

I have another birthday to celebrate tonight. Dee’s. She wants to go to La Trattoria Oceanside.

Tomorrow night the bocce fundraiser at the bocce courts.

I will have had three busy nights by the time I am done.

Rick Dery one of the Dueling Bartenders. His picture appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. He looks terrific!

On this day in 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force bombed Germany itself for the first time. The 8th Air Force did it. Took off from England. Fifty three bombers made Germany. Only three lost.

The bombing described as retribution. Germany deserved it. More would follow.

Former Mexican President Fox described Trump yesterday as Hitler. Many others have during the campaign and even to today.

Enjoy your day!

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE…..LOBSTERS AND CHAMPAGNE

 

It was 4 in the afternoon yesterday. I was settled in. My game plan to watch the two semi-final college football games. The second game would end about 11:30. In time for me to catch the ball falling in New York City and then Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street. Sushi is carried every year on CNN.

The telephone rang. It was Dee.

She asked, where are we going? Going to what, I asked. Dinner, she said. My response: Holy shit, I forgot!

Dee left to weeks ago to visit family up north for Christmas. She telephoned before she left and said we should have an early dinner together New Year’s Eve. I was to make the arrangements.

It completely escaped me!

I stopped going out on New Year’s Eve years ago. Age, too many people, amateur night, parking a problem. Additionally, I am out many evenings each week. Any night out in Key West is like New Year’s Eve.

What to do? Dee said, we ARE going out! I said yes, BUT you make a reservation somewhere, figure out the parking, and get me home early. Your headache!

Dee called back 10 minutes later. Take a shower and get ready. I will pick you up at 5:30. Dinner at 6 at Martin’s. I will drive and park at the Gato building.

I was ready. Dee not unhappy with me. Chastised me not. We have been friends 25 years. She understands me.

A great evening! Martin’s packed. We had a terrific table on the back side of the bar. Dined on lobsters and champagne. We chatted, we laughed.

Dee pulled off the last minute reservation well. She is an old friend of one of the Martin brothers. He took good care of her.

Dee looked the best I have seen her. She was diagnosed four years ago with a #4 throat cancer. Two years of surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc. followed. Dee took a beating.

She made it, however. God was good.

I was home at 9:15. In bed at 9:30. Intended to watch TV till midnight and watch the ball drop in New York City. Followed by Sushi at Bourbon Street.

Never happened. I fell asleep immediately. The champagne. Slept well. Did not wake once. Opened my eyes this morning rested. Raring to go today.

Today is Meet the Press at 10. Followed by Syracuse/Boston College basketball at noon. The opening of the ACC season. Syracuse a 1o point favorite. Hope the prediction remains true.

Enjoy your New Year day!

DOING NOTHING

Doing nothing. A specialty in itself. Great when it happens. Yesterday was a do nothing day for me. Not intended. It just worked out that way.

Spent my sunday reading the papers, watching TV and napping. Did a little work on the streaming show I am trying to get going. Problem is separating the new show from other things I have done. Louis Petrone and Key West Lou bunches everything together on You Tube. Even the TV show that I stopped doing five years ago.

I did go out last night. My MTV house neighbor Andrew is in for a few days. He was here last a month ago. Returns wednesday to his Switzerland home. Two days later, he and the family leave for three days in Bangkok and a month in Australia. Vacation time.

An  interesting life!

We ate at the Cafe. Andrew likes veggie food.

Dee was there. With visiting cousins. We were supposed to have dinner together saturday night. She cancelled out because of her cousins’ surprise visit.

Dee returned friday from Boston. Spent a week consulting with her cancer doctors. She went through two bad years of operations and treatments.

She received good news. Nothing adverse to report. She is on top of the world. Understandably so. Her cancer was a 4. Success rare.

We are down to one problem with kicking off the new show. You Tube is commingling everything with Louis Petrone and Key West Lou. Even the TV show I stopped doing five years ago. I want to have the new show appear alone.

Sloan and I have been at it since 7 this morning.

The Arctic storm came and went. Fast. One cold night. Key West style. Then back to warmth. Yesterday, the high was 84.

Airline prices continue to be too high! Expensive to fly. The airlines fail to notice that gas prices have been down quite a while.

United announced yesterday that beginning with 2017, it will offer what ts calls “basic economy.” Prices lower than regular. In order to compete head to head with discount airlines.

Enjoy your day!

DEE…..AIDS HELP

Two dear friends are fighting cancer at this time. One is Terri. I have spoken of her many times. Presently doing chemo twice a week.

The other is Dee.

Yesterday was World AIDS Day. Key West had its annual candle walk and ceremony. The ceremony at the former White Street Pier.

Dee participated.

Dee has a Doctorate in Psychology. After college, she ended up in the Keys. Bought a home on Cudjoe.

Found employment with AIDS Help in Key West. Spent the next 25 years of her life working with AIDS Help. Committed. Dedicated. Helping AIDS victims became her life cause.

Dee retired several years ago. Took a teaching position at Boston University. Returned to Cudjoe as frequently as possible.

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with throat cancer. A 4. Surgeries and chemo followed. She survived. She was in remission.

The cancer has returned.

Dee participated in the ceremony last night. She returns to Boston today. Monday she is back in the hospital to see what can be done.

I wish her well. As with Terri, two nice people who do not deserve what is happening to them. Nor does anyone.

I was landlocked all day yesterday. Could not get out of my home. Keys Electric was trimming trees. They had been doing so all week on my block. Finally got to me yesterday.

They spent the entire day cleaning my overhanging foliage. The pile grew ever so tall in front of my driveway.

I did not care. Had no plans for the daylight hours.

Last night, it was a manicure with Tammy. At 7. Her last customer of the day. She and her staff work hard. From 8 in the morning to 7:30 at night. Some of the girls work 7 days a week. Others, 6 or 5.

Tammy is from Vietnam. She has been here 15 years. Became a citizen last year. Married to Rick. They have two children.

Tammy not yet totally Americanized. Still no turkey on Thanksgiving. She cooks only Vietnamese food. Never cooks special on the holidays.

She says her family does not like American food. I tell her if she does not cook it for them, they will never know if they like it.

Santa Claus came up in our conversation. No Santa Claus. The children are 9 and 7. Just a story they have been told. Tammy is Santa Claus! She provides the Christmas gifts. They do have a Christmas tree.

Sounds harsh. Not. It is her and her husband’s way. The children have been raised to understand. Everyone happy. No one sad.

Tammy and the kids do celebrate Halloween. Tammy dresses, also. Accompanies her children to protect them.

I grabbed a quick bite at Outback afterwards.

Don’t forget Larry Blackburn’s photo show tonight from 6-9. He does great work. The place, Duval Square. I plan on being there.

Caught a news release on the internet this morning re the Michigan City Rotary. One hundred years old!

Significant! However, the Key West Rotary is 101 years old. Formed in 1915.

Why no national publicity last year for the Key West Rotary?

Diana Millikan is into William Hackley’s life! She writes the “negro” rent paid yesterday was to a different person than the previous. Which would mean Hackley has two rented slaves.

A major disgrace. Standing Rock. Native Americans seeking to protect their drinking water and ancestral remains. Federal, state and local governments fighting them. Working in effect on behalf of the pipeline company.

Though government forces have hit the Native American protesters with grenades, water hoses, rubber bullets, stunning devices, etc., the Native Americans have not fought back. Not one iota. They are protesting similar to Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

Things will hit the fan so to speak next week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told the protesters to move by December 5 or they would be trespassers subject to arrest. Six to eight thousand of them.

Those already arrested by local police for various reasons have been placed in large dog cages. Sitting on concrete floors. Temperatures freezing by day and night.

Terrible! The land the protesters are occupying is considered Indian land by the Native Americans and many knowledgeable in these matters. The federal government has no right to be on the land or telling the protesters what to do.

Never the less, the federal government participates against the Native Americans.  Supported by state and local police departments. And a mercenary group, Tiger Swan. It is presumed the mercenary militants paid for by the pipeline people.

An American disgrace. One that can only get worse.

Enjoy your day!

GOOD NIGHT LAST NIGHT

It is hard to have a bad night in Key West. Last night was extra special.

It was the company, food, and ambiance.

I was at Berlin’s for dinner with Donna and Terri. Celebrating their anniversary. The event was two weeks ago. The party had to be delayed a bit. Terri was diagnosed with cancer.

Terri has just completed two weeks of chemo. Her last treatment was wednesday. She said she felt well enough to go out last night. Glad she did. She enjoyed herself immensely.

Shane and Gage bartending. The lovely Bria entertaining.

Lynda and Bob Frechette showed up. They were having diner at A&B. Joined us at the bar after their dinner. Two of the nicest people in Key West. Unquestionably.

A lovely young lady came up to me. Striking. Could not recall who she was. I’m George, she said. We hugged and talked.

George is a female. Through and through. Known as George in Key West. Whether her real name, I do not know.

George is Lisa’s friend. George bartends at Hogs Breath. The past 20 years.

I have only seen George 4-5 times in my life. First time was Lisa’s wedding 14 years ago. We met at the martini bar at the reception. Enjoyed a couple of martinis each while chatting. She looks today as she looked then.

I do not recall what we talked about. I believe she does. A mystery surrounds the conversation. She has never shared it with me.

I was glad to see her again. I have made a mental note to stop at Hogs Breath some evening to see her again.

My yesterday began with a 11:15 business meeting. Then a haircut with Lori. My appointment was wednesday. I forgot. Fortunately, I was able to get  in yesterday.

I am a quick haircut. All of 5 minutes. Number 1 on the electric  razor. My hair gone.

Yesterday was Lori’s last day on Southard. Beginning monday, her business Blown Away will be housed in a new building on White Street. Across from Sandy’s.

Stopped for lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I had not been there for three weeks. Could not eat at the Coffee Queen while dieting.

As to the diet, it is ended. I stopped wednesday night.

I am disciplined till I am disciplined no more. I need to see success on the scale. Lost 8 pounds the first week. Only 3 the following two weeks. Not worth the self denial involved.

I am watching my eating, however. Last night at Berlin’s, I had a small salad and two stone crabs. Plus, three drinks. It’s the booze that does it. Wasted calories.

It is amazing how much better I feel since off the diet. I feel good!

I ordered a cheese toast and Cuban coffee. The cheese toast left me feeling heavy. Understandable. Cuban bread is made with pig lard.

Dinner with Dee tonight. Excellent company. She does not know it yet, but I am taking her to the vegetarian restaurant Cafe on Southard. I am not a veggie. However some one in my party when I was last there enjoyed mussels. I love mussels. And the broth made for bread dunking afterwards.

The weather continues to be perfect. Eighty by day. Seventy by night. No humidity. No need for air conditioning day or night.

Don and Chris have returned! Have not seen them yet. Received an e-mail form Don asking if I wanted to watch the Syracuse game with him tuesday night. Does not work for me. I do my radio show tuesday evenings.

Syracuse has basketball and football games today.

Playing South Carolina in basketball. Both teams undefeated. Syracuse a 6 point favorite.

The last football game of the season with Pitt. Pitt a 24 point favorite. I am glad the football season ends today. Syracuse has won only 4 games.

Now for Installment 22 of my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

It was May 20, 1950. Armed Forces Day. A parade down Duval.

The Rotary sponsored a float. The float highlighted Rotary International. Four lovely young Key West ladies on the float. clad in full length white dresses.

The ladies would not be so attired today. Not that they would be dressed risqué. Simply, less clothing is worn by all today.

The Korean War ongoing in the early 1950s. Our first war since World War II. America still concerned for their military. Vietnam would later change the feeling.

A December 1951 meeting was held at St. Paul’s Parrish Hall.

Retired Major Earl Dillon appealed to the Rotarians to donate blood. They were running out of blood on the front lines in Korea. The need desperate.

So desperate, front line soldiers were donating blood for their fallen companions.

I was in high school during the Korean War. Never knew of the blood problem.

Dillon had a son serving in Korea. Dillon read from a letter received from his son: “This is no police action. This is war!”

Rotary responded immediately. A special committee was formed to organize the blood donations. The Rotary gave mightily.

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