THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE

The man who would not die. His name, Rasputin.

History tells us he was a con man supreme, a self-proclaimed holy person, one who caused a royal dynasty to fall. Romanov Russia.

Rasputin helped bring revolution to Russia. He made possible the birth of Communist Russia.

Born Grigory Efinovich Rasputin. To a peasant family. At some point, he underwent a religious conversion. Proclaimed himself a healer.

Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra’s son Alexi was a hemophiliac. Rasputin seemed to have the ability to stop Alexi’s bleeding. The year 1908. From that time forward, Rasputin was an accepted friend, confidant, and adviser to Nicholas and Alexandra. Especially, Alexandra. History believes she had an ongoing affair with Rasputin.

He became a dark influence on the royal family.

All of Russia disliked Rasputin. Nobles, church orthodoxy, and peasants alike. He was constantly drunk, a womanizer, an evil in the Romanov homes. He was concerned not with the best interests of Russia. His concern at all times was his image. Some what like Trump today.

A group of Russian nobles were eager to end Rasputin’s influence over the royal family. They murdered him the night and early morning of December 29-30, 1916.

Even at the time of his death, Rasputin exhibited messianic powers. He was a man who would not die.

The nobles laced his food and drink with cyanide. No effect. They then shot him at close range. He revived and tried to escape. The nobles shot him again. He continued to live.

The nobles finally tied Rasputin up and tossed him into a freezing river.

That did it!

The nobles killed Rasputin. Rasputin killed Romanov Russia. The peasants in due course revolted. In 1922, Soviet Russia was born.

Rasputin put into motion a series of events which even to today affect the world. U.S./Russian relations an example.

Last night, a lovely evening. A charming companion. Catherine.

We dined at Berlin’s. Guy de Boer sitting next to me at the bar. Berlin’s the busiest I have ever seen. Makes sense. Christmas week the busiest tourist time of the year for Key West.

I enjoyed a prime rib again. Terrific! Just the meat and au jus sauce. Part of the Atkins diet.

I am into my fifth week of the diet. Only cheated Christmas eve and Christmas day. I should have lost 15-20 pounds by now. I lost 10 pounds the first week. Not an ounce more since.

Discouraging.

I am thinner. Into shirts and shorts one size smaller. I need the pounds off, however. The scale speaks the truth!

Worry not, I will continue with the diet.

Big event tomorrow at noon. The Annual Dachshund Walk. Hundreds will congregate at the Courthouse on Whitehead to watch the parade.

Only in Key West!

Trump upsets me this morning. I saw the news that a small group had protested in Iran. Trump announced to the world how terrible the Iranian government was, good luck to the protesters, etc.

Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and when to speak.

The world is dividing into two camps. Just as Germany and the Allies did prior to World War II. Iran and Russia are friends. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia friends on the other side. Trump should not encourage further division. He has yet to learn it is better to make friends than enemies.

I wonder how Trump would have felt if after Charlottesville, Iranian and Russian leaders spoke out telling the world the U.S. was bad, good luck to the protesters, etc. Trump would have shouted back that each country should mind its own business.

Trump continues to be a growing menace to the health and security of the U.S.

The weather started turning last night. Today’s high projected at 73. The low tonight 64. Cold for us. Warm to my friends up north suffering in low teen freezing cold and tons of snow.

It will continue cold for a few days. Long pants, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. for us. For me, the heat on tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT

I see it coming! they are going to “fix” South Roosevelt Boulevard. A fixing not required.

South Roosevelt Boulevard works well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! the recommended move from 4 lanes to 2 is not needed. The wide sidewalk running along the beach is more than sufficient for walkers, bikers, etc.

I walked the walk for years. almost every day. different hours. Never had a problem regarding too many people.

What is involved here is change for the sake of change. The lets do something mentality where nothing need be done.

I fear the decision has already been made. I am aware there are public hearings ahead, etc. the players at the Florida Department of Transportation want it. Certain City officials want it.

The terms being bandied around sound of something new and magnanimous. Like corridor study, repurposing, optimal configuration, and future reconstruction.

It has been reported that South Roosevelt being redone is the final improvement recommended by the Project Development and Environmental Study.

I did not even know a change was contemplated till a couple of months ago. This Project development thing makes me suspect it has been out there for years.

It is time for the City Commission to stand up and do the right thing. Instead of succumbing. Commissioner Kaufman has already indicated the reconstruction sounds good. Time for him to move over on the side of the people. Most of decisions thus far not the best.

My first stop last night was Office Max. I need earphones for the computer. Many earphones. Blew my mind. Too complicated. the sales person was no help. she knew less than me.

I bought nothing. called Sloan and told her to buy the right one.

Why the earphones?

I soon will be doing another show. Yes, one on top of what I do already.

It will be a streaming in effect on You Tube. Several times a day. Roughly 30-60 seconds. One topic/issue. As the day progresses and I see something worth mentioning, I will sit down and get it out. Easy. No big deal.

I will be doing the show from my desk in my bedroom. You will be able to see and hear me. The shows will be archived so you can go on at any time and catch up.

Once set up, you will be able to find me by Louis Petrone. Key West Lou did not work because I am already archiving my tuesday night podcast show on You Tube under the Key West Lou designation.

The show’s actual title is Louis Petrone Says…..

I will let you know soon the actual date the show will commence.

I may even wear a baseball cap on occasion.

Stopped at Duval Square to view Larry Blackburn’s photo exhibit. Spectacular!

Larry also has a hat and Ecuadorian store at 510 Fleming. Interesting items available.

Finally, Berlin’s. Dinner at the bar. No Bria. She was in a wedding. The food continues to be great. I enjoyed lobster and mushroom risotto.

A group came in. Ordered drinks. One of the men asked for…..Diet. The bartender looked at him. The patron responded to the blank look…..This is how I work out. Diet! Meaning diet soda, of course.

Great diet!

Christmas Parade tonight. The best! I will watch at Don’s Place and at the County Office Building. First with friends and then to join the grandkids.

Syracuse/North Florida at 4 today. No comment, other than I suspect Syracuse will win. Not sure these days.

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.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT

Insanity sometimes prevails in the halls of government. Change for the sake of change. Decisions without basis in fact made.

I am talking about the most recent suggestion by the State Department of Transportation to turn South Roosevelt Boulevard into 2 or 3 lanes rather than the present 4.

Justification is it will make room for cars, bikers, vendors and walkers.

No basis for the justification.

Traffic moves easily along South Roosevelt Boulevard. Parking sufficient. Probably the only place in Key West. Vendors few and those still here have plentiful space.

As to walkers and bicycles, who in Key West has more room than on the very wide walk running along the ocean. Whenever crowded, not crowded.

A new play has developed in the United States. Redoing roadways . Called “lane repurposing.”

We do not need lane repurposing along the ocean. Especially at Smathers Beach. There are many areas within Key West that do, however. The State should do its lane repurposing in tosoe places.

Again, the State wants to make driving, parking, bicycle riding and walking easier and less crowded. There are no problems on South Roosevelt Boulevard!

The City Commission is involved. Properly so. Except certain of its members are idiots re the issue. Mayor Cates and Commissioner Kaufman like the idea. They are of the opinion congestion exists for bicycles and walkers. I ask both of these gentleman…..When was the last time you walked South Roosevelt Boulevard? Rode a bike there?

Try it! Neither bicycle nor pedestrian will inhibit your walk or bike ride.

Kaufman is beginning to bother me. I do not know him. He is an attorney who successfully ran for his Commission seat. He is also an agent of change. Perhaps even an unintentional trouble maker. It seems to be his nature.

Change for the sake of change is of no value. A new idea is not necessarily a good idea.

Let this be Kaufman’s first and last term as Commissioner. He should return to the law and screw up the judicial system.

I fell last night! Again! Did a number on my body. My head took a beating in the process. A bump the size of a quarter on the back. Oozing blood. My head continues to hurt this morning.

As usual, I was not looking where I was walking. I was stepping up the one step to my front porch. Neither looked nor lifted my foot enough.

Dinner last night was with neighbor Andrew. Andrew owns the MTV house across the water from me. He is in for a few days from his present home in Zürich. He called and said lets go to dinner. I tried to back off because of my diet. To no avail

Andrew took me to his favorite restaurant. The Cafe on Southard across from Bank of America. The vegetarian restaurant. I am not a vegetarian. I did enjoy however a piece of mahi mahi.

No alcohol. I am still on my diet.

This morning makes one week on the diet. I cheated not. Lost 8 pounds. All water, I am sure. But 8 pounds is 8 pounds. I continue on the diet this week.

Rotary reminds me of the tune Christian Soldiers. Onward Christian soldiers…..

The Rotary took hold world wide as well as in Key West. Its purpose to serve, to do good. The local has been so performing for more than 100 years.

The Key West Rotary considers all issues. They walk away from nothing. Seek knowledge from every source.

This is installment 13. It concerns the subject matter of the September 8, 1932 luncheon meeting.

The United States was deep in depression in 1932. The market crashed. Three years earlier.

William W. Demeritt. Chairman of the Monroe County Unemployment Relief Committee. He gave a report concerning the state of the relief program. Unemployment benefits for those out of work.

By the end of August 1932, the numbers of unemployed were as follows. White men, 473 married, 267 single. Colored men, 180 married, 83 single. Women, white 89 and colored 114.

Mouths to feed. Mouths fed.

Amazing that the statistics had to be divided between white and colored. The Civil War had ended 57 years earlier.

Enjoy your day!

USS KEY WEST

The Key West Citizen showed a partial picture of the submarine USS Key West front page this morning. The replica was part of the Veterans Day Parade yesterday.

The picture tickled my interest. I researched the USS Key West.

There have been three USS Key Wests over the years. The first was a steamer during the Civil War. The second a World War II frigate. The third the submarine represented in the parade.

The submarine was launched in 1985. The vessel has spent its entire career in the Pacific. Remains active.

I have been dieting since monday. Satisfied so far. However, I have had to control myself. Have remained in every evening. As explained in an earlier blog, I have to avoid the near occasions of sin for me. Food and drink. I am weak.

Tonight, I am going out. I miss people. Need to have their company. Need to converse.

Syracuse basketball began this week. Syracuse beat Colgate 83-55. Not to get excited about. The first several games each season are played against teams of lesser quality. Warm up games.

The lesser talented schools come to the Carrier Dome knowing they will be beaten. Not a problem for the school’s administration.

The superior college pays a stipend to the less able one to take the beating. Dollars sufficiently significant to induce the lesser talented school to participate.

Syracuse football today. Against North Carolina State. Each team 4-5. North Carolina a seven point favorite.

Syracuse may lose. Our extremely talented sophomore  quarterback Eric Dungey may not play. He was injured in last week’s Clemson game.

On this day in history 1948, 25 convicted Japanese war criminals were sentenced, Seven received death sentences. One, Tojo. The trial took 30 months.

One of my law school professors was Robert Miller. I took two of his classes. Criminal Law and Evidence.

Miller had an interesting background. He was one of the defense attorneys in the trial. He occasionally peppered our classes with stories from trial.

In the 1970s and 1980s, I visited La Costa frequently. A health spa. I called it a fat farm. People went there to lose weight and tone up their bodies. Easy to do on 800 calories a day and a 9-5 exercise regimen.

La Costa is located outside San Diego.

Movie stars took advantage of the program. People like William Holden, Rodney Dangerfield, and Arlene Dahl. Repeat customers, we became friends.

William Holden died this day in 1981. I got to know him well during our visits. Alcohol was a no no. We would sit together in a quiet lounge drinking Perrier and smoking cigars in the evening.

Holden was a gentleman. Water volleyball was one of the exercise activities. Twice a day. Holden was always the first out of the pool to retrieve a ball.

He was short. Surprisingly so. Like 5′ 6″ at best. Maybe 1 or 2 inches less. I asked how he always looked so tall in the movies. Always equal to or taller than the ladies he would kiss. He laughed.

Back in those days, bottled Coca Cola came in wood cases. Cases would be stacked one upon the other. He stood on the cases, thereby conveying his tall appearance.

The USS Constitution is the oldest U.S. vessel in service. The Constitution had two contacts with Key West.

The story begins with this installment 11 based on Key West Rotary history.

At the December 31, 1931 luncheon meeting of the Key West Rotary, Commander Louis G. Gulliver was guest speaker. He was the commanding officer of the Constitution.

The Constitution had arrived that morning in Key West. It was located at the foot of Duval Street.

The Constitution had been reconditioned at a cost of $12 million. Earlier in 1931, the Constitution began a three year 90 port visit.

That morning alone in Key West, over 500 people had already visited the Constitution.

The Constitution was a wood hulled three masted frigate. Long in history even in 1931. George Washington had named the Constitution. Her first engagements were in the quasi-war with France and the defeat of the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

The quasi-French War interesting. The U.S. owed France money. The French Revolution occurred. The U.S. refused to pay the Revolutionary government. The U.S. position was that the money was owed to the King’s government which no longer existed.

During the several years of Revolutionary government, the U.S. and France warred. Never on land. Only on the sea.

The Constitution was highly successful. Captured many merchant vessels and sunk five battleships.

There was a move in the late 1920s to decommission the Constitution. It was in terrible shape. Need refurbishing big time.

The public cried out a loud no. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a poem in tribute to the vessel. Many believe Holmes’ poem contributed greatly to the saving of the Constitution.

Today, the Constitution is being reconditioned once again. A three year restoration at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts.

There is another connection with Key West. Not a big deal. Significant nevertheless.

A model of the USS Constitution under glass is located on the second floor south porch of The Little White House.

The 200th anniversary of the Constitution took place in 1997. On July 21 in Boston Harbor, the Constitution proudly sailed in an armada of tall ships. The Constitution rang out a 21 gun salute during the sail.

I was there in Boston Harbor. Exciting. Moving.

I was on my son in law Mark’s boat. Us and a thousand other vessels. So it seemed. Celebrating an American day!

Enjoy your day!

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN

Trump is the man! The people selected him. He deserves our support. I wish him well.

He will screw up, however. Inevitable.

We are all entitled to our opinions.

Many of you who follow this blog are Republican or Conservative. Or, a bit of both. When I say something in the political arena with which you disagree, some of you hit back with all kind of vulgarities.  Do I call you a flaming asshole when I disagree with you? Not nice. I would expect Republicans/Conservatives to have better manners.

Trump was voted in on a wave of populism. The last truly populist President was Andrew Jackson. Way back in 1829 was he elected. Jackson turned out to be an excellent President. I hope Trump will also.

Protests yesterday in ten or more major U.S. cities re Trump’s election. The last time I saw such protests was in 1968 during the Chicago Democratic Convention which nominated Hubert Humphrey. The Chicago protests were larger and violent.

I live on a little island known named Key Haven. There was a question on the ballot as to whether Key Haven residents wanted mosquito testing using genetically modified mosquitoes to take place on Key Haven. Some 3 million GM mosquitoes would be dropped.

The vote was against. 419-224. I doubt it will help. The powers to be decided beforehand it would be a non-binding vote.

Superboat races began yesterday. A big deal! Every hotel, restaurant and bar on the Gulf filled with spectators.

Poker Run will no longer be locally sponsored by Key West’s Sunrise Rotary. The bike gangs put the nail in the coffin. I suspect Poker Run next year will be held in another Florida community.

Veterans Day friday. Key West’s parade begins at 4 on Duval. The parade is sponsored by the U.S. Navy.

We must never forget our veterans. As a nation, we have failed in recent years.

The U.S. Marines. Their birthday! On this day in 1775, the Marine Corps was born. During the American Revolution.

Ever hear of Mary Anderson? On this day in 1903, she obtained a patent for the first windshield wiper. Her invention was mocked. Her patent ran out. Someone else picked it up and got rich. She never made a penny from her invention.

Another Key West something I never knew. The Bagatelle Restaurant at 117 Duval was relocated there in 1974. The two story house was originally located on Fleming next to the library.

Key West Rotary history time.

The year 1928.

The February 16 weekly Rotary meeting was held at the Hotel La Casa Marina. A special guest speaker. Ruth Bryan Owen. She returned two years later as a member of the U.S. Congress. She was from Miami. Her election district included Key West.

Ruth Bryan Owen was one of the first women to super achieve.

Her father was William Jennings Bryan. He ran unsuccessfully for President three times. A pacifist. Prosecutor in the famous Tennessee Scopes trial.

Ruth was married three times. Divorced her first husband. Outlived the next two.

During World War I, Ruth volunteered as a war nurse on the Egyptian-Palestine front. She was there from 1915 to 1918. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed her Ambassador to Denmark and Iceland. She was an early producer and investor in Hollywood film making.

A pacifist as was her father.

Ruth was a delegate to the San Francisco Conference which established the United Nations. Thereafter, she was named an alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

During her lifetime, she always remembered and was a friend of Key West.

Day 4 of the diet. Made it through the first 3 days. Think I am going to make it.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FDR ON HIS HOUSEBOAT IN FLORIDA KEYS

I continue to learn.

This time that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent the winter months 1924-1926 on a houseboat in the Florida Keys.

We have Karen Chase to thank for the knowledge.

FDR’s legs were paralyzed. It was thought warm air and warm water would help his condition. FDR and his friend John Lawrence bought a used 71 foot houseboat. They christened it Larooco.

FDR spent two consecutive winters cruising on the Larooco in the Florida Keys.  Fishing and swimming.

We would never have known had it not been for Karen Chase discovering FDR’s daily log covering the trips. Chase discovered the log a few years ago. She put the log into book form.

FDR On His Houseboat – The Larooco Log, 1924-1926 was introduced to the public two days ago at Hyde Park.

The Custom House has invited Chase to speak about FDR’s time on the Larooco as part of its Distinguished Speaker Program. She is scheduled to appear at the Custom House November 17.

Visualize FDR living on the houseboat. Paralyzed, yet fishing and swimming. In our beloved Florida Keys. A story!

It is finally at an end. The Presidential campaign. I will be voting for Hillary later this morning.

I started my diet yesterday. Made it through day 1. I did not leave the house at all yesterday. It was the only way I could avoid the near occasion of sin for me. Food and drink. I know my limitations.

Spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics. Some thought provoking. Like the failure of government to see and do anything about two new areas of unemployment in the next four years.

Also, Comey letter #2, a Venezuela update where Vatican intercession has failed, Steven Seagal becomes a Russian citizen, Saudi Arabia extending its lobbying efforts to U.S. governors, a dozen drugmakers under grand jury investigation, a possible cyber war, the real reason behind the ongoing Syrian War, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed interesting! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President. The nation was excited. The Eisenhower years had been good. Somewhat subdued, however. Kennedy was young and appeared vibrant. He had a young beautiful wife and family.

His years were called Camelot. America would achieve the best of everything. Excitement prevailed.

Unfortunately, Kennedy did not have enough time. He was assassinated in 1963. The dream died.

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

A statement I cannot make too many times.

On this date in 1948 and 1951, Truman returned to Key West to work and vacation. It is reported re the 1948 trip that Truman landed at Boca Chica. Twenty five thousand people cheered him on the drive to the Little White House.

The Key West Rotary. Installment 8.

One day. April 4, 1927.

A thursday. Rotary International President Paul P. Harris had left monday. Thursday was the regularly scheduled luncheon meeting for the Key West Rotary.

A big day. Time wise and work wise.

Members had been notified to come to the meeting in overalls. Overalls being the term used I assume for shoulder type dungarees or some other type work pants.

Work the members did! They removed rubbish the length of Duval Street. The event known as Scour Duval for Rubbish Thursday.

The clean up was done in conjunction with the Woman’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Trucks were donated by businesses and individuals. The Rotarians manned them. Twenty trucks. One truck per block of Duval. The rubbish collected was taken to the city dump to be incinerated.

The meeting was also the election meeting.

Robert F. Spottswood was elected President. The Spottswoods have enriched Key West for years. Conchs. The family through the generations community minded.

I assume the new President was grandfather to the present day Robert Spottswood. Robert and wife Elena are my friends. Ever helpful. Work hard on behalf of Key West. One of Robert and his family’s present successes is the Marriott Beachside.

Rotary members went all out to be helpful during the 1920s. They could not do enough for Key West. An inspired group.

George A. T. Roberts was elected Sergeant at Arms at the same time Spottswood was elected President. He died three years into his term. His stone is inscribed with the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.

The men were believers all!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WHO IS POURING TEA? WHO IS PRESIDING AT THE PUNCH BOWL?

Things were different 100 years ago.

Party time today alcohol and food. Then, poured tea and a presided over punch bowl.

The secondary status of women evident. Rarely were wives’ names mentioned. It was John Smith and wife, Tom Jones and wife.

My installment 7 of Key West Rotary History evidences the differences.

One day. April 4, 1925.

The Key West Rotary was expecting a special guest. International President and Rotary Founder Paul P. Harris and his wife. They were arriving from Havana on the passenger ship Governor Cobb.

A large delegation of Key West Rotary members and wives greeted the arriving guests at the waterfront. Together with City and Chamber of Commerce officials.

The Harris’ were guests at the home of Rotary President Andrew R. Miller and wife at their home at 1401 Duval Street.

A reception was held immediately following the Harris’ arrival at the Miller home.

There was a receiving line. In addition to the Harris’, Rotary Vice President and Mrs. Robert Spottswood greeted guests and made appropriate introductions to the Harris’.

Mrs. Bascom Grooms poured tea. Mrs. Melvin Russell presided at the punch bowl.

The Miller home was decorated in Rotary colors. Gold and black. The centerpiece was the Rotary seal surrounded with marigold flowers. The candlesticks held gold candles.

The reception lasted into the evening. The Harris’ were not staying overnight. The reception continued till Harris and his wife caught the late train to Miami.

Spent an hour on Duval yesterday afternoon watching the Superboat Parade. Huge magnificent boats! The races are scheduled for wednesday, friday and sunday.

Then to Publix to shop for diet food. Inexpensive. $50 for the week. I started the diet this morning. Hope I make it! If I get through this week, I will.

Tavern ‘n Town last night for what I humorously call my last supper. I intended to pig out. The normally good/heavy stuff on the menu did not appeal to me. I ended up having chicken. No desert. Did enjoy three drinks, however.

No booze on the diet.

Met Sue and Kerry at the bar. They have owned a home in Key West and been snowbirds for more than 25 years. Nice people. From the South Jersey area.

Sue workedint an Atlantic City Hospital intensive care unit. Kerry, the Atlantic City casinos.

Thirty six hours from now, the campaign will be over. Good! for some reason, too much this year.

James Comey screwed up. No question. He properly tried to correct his most recent wrongdoing by issuing another letter yesterday. To the effect that after review, there was no evidence of Hillary wrongdoing in the 650,000 Weiner e-mails.

Anna telephoned yesterday from Novara. Her friend Celestina was with her. I have met Celestina several times. A fun person. Happy all the time.

The three of us chatted for a half hour. Celestina speaks no English. My Italian poor. Anna had to translate.

Anna said it was cold in Novara. Novara is in northern Italy. Anna also reported her home in Courmayeur covered with snow. Courmayeur half way up Mont Blanc near the French border.

I told them 80 degrees and sunny in Key West. They wanted to know when they could visit.

I wrote a lengthy column about Jeanette Rankin three years ago in KONK Life. An interesting woman.

On this date in 1916, Rankin became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. From Montana. Western women worked shoulder to shoulder with the men. They had a different respect than their eastern compatriots.

Rankin did not last long in office. One term. She was a pacifist. Voted against entry into World War I.

Some twenty years later, Rankin was again elected to the House. Again, only for one term. She was the sole vote against the U,.S. declaration of war against Japan following December 7, 1941.

Rankin needed police help to leave the House building following her vote. A crowd of angry persons had her confined in a telephone booth.

Enjoy your day!

FOG AGAIN

When the sun came up this morning, there was a mild fog laying over the island. Within an hour, it was a heavy fog. Thick. It is now another hour later and the fog is lifting. Still out there, but drifting away.

About 3 weeks ago, Key West experienced fog on two different days. I mentioned how unusual it was to experience fog. Strange. Strange because it is not common to the lower keys.

Larry Smith was at his best last night! He was the speaker at Friends of the Library at St. Paul’s Church. Many in attendance. Twice as many as last week.

Larry served up a musical education. I learned some things about composing I never knew. Catherine sang some medleys which fit into Larry’s talk. I enjoyed!

Dan joined me for Larry’s talk. Wife Lisa did not. Their daughter and 5 1/2 month old grandchild are visiting.

Afterwards, we went across the street to La Concha for a drink. The bar located off the street has been redecorated. Strictly a wine place. Dan said there was another bar in the lobby. We had a drink there after which Dan left me to return to his grandchild.

I crossed the street and walked back towards the Gulf. My goal was the Hot Tin Roof. Streets crowded. People waiting in line outside of restaurants to get in. It appears to be a terrific season.

Today is tuesday. My blog talk radio show once again this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me at 9 for a half hour of interesting and eye opening material.

Topics will include some background re the young girls running off to join ISIS, Home Land Security, Berwick, Pa. may soon have chickens running around like Key West, American people understanding, and more.

My diet. I have now lost 36 pounds. Not bad!

Two problems occurred recently. I got stuck at 27 pounds for 10 days and at 30 pounds for two weeks. My doctor says it was because my body discovered I was starving and was storing food. I guess I stopped starving each time.

I am not starving myself, though I am eating much less.

Syracuse/Notre Dame tonight. I anticipate Syracuse will lose. Notre Dame has an exceptional team this year. They are ranked in the top 10 nationally.

To the basketball gods, please let the basketball season end!

My home town is Utica, N.Y. The Adirondack mountains an hour drive away. I do not recall seeing any bears in Utica, though I did see many over the years when in the mountains.

I never considered the Florida keys as having bears, let alone a bear problem. This morning’s Key West Citizen reported on the problem.

Years ago, the bear population was decreasing in south Florida dramatically. The government made bears a protected species. Now Florida thinks there are too many. Estimated at 3,000. There have been four maulings recently.

The State says we are going to start hunting bears again, a few have to be killed.

I do not recall anyone ever having seen a bear in the lower keys. My recollection is that there might have been one or two seen in the mid keys. Whatever, a hunting we will go!

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST OVER PEOPLED

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice printed an interesting comment re the number of people presently in Key West. The thrust being too many. Basically, the writer commented….. how many people can fit in Key West?…..the island is too crowded…..traffic a mess.

Quite frankly, I have had the same thoughts several times since the first of the year. Long traffic lines at lights, cars moving at a snail’s pace, tourists walking every which way when crossing a street, bicyclists driving every which way. Where are we going to put all these people if the upward trend continues?

The thought occurred that maybe no cars in Key West might help. Have parking lots on US 1. Figure out how to get everyone into Key West. Also, close down Duval and make it a walking thoroughfare with outside tables, etc.

Neither of my solutions bears merit nor would either fly. Never the less, something has to be done. Otherwise, we will not have to wait for higher water levels to bury Key West. The sheer weight of people on the Island will do it!

One solution that would help is to build more parking garages in convenient places, The City Commission thinks and builds everything. Rarely taking parking into consideration. Parking has become a horrendous problem, especially since the new parking regulation which only permits permitted Key West residents to park on the streets.

Stopped by Pier 1 yesterday to pick up the two lamps I bought the other day. They had to be ordered. I found the staff at Pier 1 very congenial and helpful.

Spent a good amount of time at the Chart Room last night.

Met Mary Jo and Greg. They are from someplace in Indiana. Snowbirds. Though Mary Jo considers herself half a Conch. They bought a home on Eagle Street four years ago and spend six months a year here.

Mary Jo was a cardiac operating nurse in her other life. Now retired. Her job was to travel where ever to pick up hearts and lungs for transplants. Then rush back to the operating room. A heavy responsibility.

Greg still works. A police officer, he is Chief of Detectives. He and I talked long about police issues facing us today. It was interesting to hear from the other side. There is a reason for everything.

David joined us. Then lovely Charlotte. Charlotte from North Carolina. She visits Key West about six times a year. She works for United Health Care. I am always on her re the screwed up drug program they provide.  To no avail, of course. Charlotte is also a marathon runner. All over the country.

David, Charlotte and I went to dinner together afterwards at Hot Tin Roof. A good time!

My weight is stalemated again. At 31-32 pounds. Spoke to a doctor friend about it. I was told my body is in starvation mode. It stores everything I eat. Admittedly, I eat little. To get the metabolism working properly again, I have to increase my physical activity. Should be easy. Means starting at zero. I have gotten lazy in my old age. Also, I should increase my caloric intake a bit.

We shall see.

Syracuse/Pitt at 4. Pitt a 3 point favorite. I will probably watch the game from home. I have Sloan in earlier and Keith and Jennifer at some point.

Enjoy your day!