DOLLEY MADISON ALMOST CAPTURED BY BRITISH SAVING WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A COPY OF WASHINGTON’S PORTRAIT

Dolley Madison became one of America’s most famous First Wives this day in 1814. The War of 1812 already 2 years old. The British close to taking Washington. President Madison had left to fight the approaching British Army.

He told Dolley to get out soon. She was getting some things together. The last object she decided to take was the portrait of George Washington. No way was she going to leave it to be defaced by the British.

Dolley lost time taking the portrait down. The frame was screwed to the wall. Finally, she cut the canvas out and rolled it up to be taken.

The British at the time a breath away. Dolley was able to escape, however.

The next night, the British dined in the White House using the White House’s silver and china. Then, they burned the White House down.

Dolley forever remembered for her bravery in saving Washington’s portrait.

It was only later that discovered that the portrait was not the original by Gilbert Stuart. It was merely a copy.

Made no difference. Dolley had made her mark in history.

A unique experience last night. Dinner at La Trattoria with Mary. A new friend.

Mary had invited me to dinner. Told me at the time she would be paying. I said, no. She said, yes. A generational thing. Mary is younger than me generation wise. My generation, the man always pays. Hers, it makes no difference.

She wanted to make the point. I let her. Enjoyed her company and a good meal.

Cheated. Not with Mary. With the meal. I celebrated my hitting 200 pounds. Ordered lasagna. Gained a pound. Worth it.

Mary and I then headed to Blue Macaw for a drink. I was tired. It was past 9. Mary still alive and raring to go. I begged off and left her. No problem. She understood. A generational thing.

The bartender at La Trattoria an old acquaintance. She was the one who came around the bar and gave me the Heimlich the night I was choking. Bonded forever.

Today, a haircut at noon with Lori. Then a walk of about 50 feet to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch.

Tonight, the Chart Room. Several nights since I have been there.

The weatherman at it again. Predicts thunder storms tonight. Describes it as “light up the night.” Correct. Dogs and humans will be startled. Lightening at the ocean comes right through the blinds. Lights up the room!

My man in Europe. Paul Harding. On a three week vacation with his partner Ron. Harding has been advising me on European public urinals.

He was in Amsterdam yesterday. Outdoor public urinals commonplace. Normally constructed because men pee in the streets. I still cannot understand such activity.

In any event, Amsterdam built the public urinals to save lives, not to kill bad odor. Turns out in the 3 years prior to the public urinals being constructed, 51 men died in Amsterdam canals. They fell in the water while peeing and drowned.

One of the jurors in the Manafort trial has spoken out. Paula Duncan. She said re the 10 charges that resulted in a hung jury, there was only one hold out. Eleven were for guilty.

Manafort should swiftly move his ass to Mueller and cooperate. He has yet another trial. He will never get out of jail otherwise.

Juror Duncan an interesting person. A Trump supporter. Did not affect her judgment. Plans on voting for him again in 2020. Wears a red MAGA hat. It was in the back seat of her car while she was playing juror.

Duncan advised the deliberations were heated and emotional on occasion. Tears shed by some.

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for a woman activist. Her name Israa al-Ghomgham. Everything secretive. She may already be on trial before a terrorist court.

One of the charges involves violent behavior. She demonstrated for the right of women to drive, the cessation by the Sunnis of preventing the free practice of religion, and more opportunity for work and education for women.

Israa a Shiite Muslim activist. Religion plays into this also.

Trump a good friend of the Saudis. He should intervene on Israa’s behalf. He won’t. He was quick to say the U.S. would invade Venezuela. In the past 24 hours, he has denounced the black government of South Africa. A female life not as important as oil and racism.

Pete Rose. One of baseball’s greats. He was banned from baseball this day in 1989 for life for betting on baseball. Never bet on his team to lose, only to win.

It has now been 29 years. We are a forgiving people. Time for the ban to be lifted. Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame! Lets do it before he dies.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HUGGING ROBOTS

Robots are taking over the world. With a shocking quickness. Silently, however. Sneaking up on us.

Robots are working assembly lines, in warehouses, cleaning homes, even making love.

Now comes the hugging robot. Five years in development. The goal to design robots to give hugs humans will love.

Makes sense. People love to give and receive hugs.

Success almost here. Hugging robots being fine tuned at this stage.

Yesterday busy. Especially during the day. Many errands to run.

Squeezed in lunch at Sandy’s Cafe.

Last night, the Chart Room.

Packed. Surprising. Key West is into off season.

Jean Thornton’s birthday was being celebrated. Many celebrating with her.

Barb, whoever you are, where were you? You wrote and asked to meet me and if I would sign your copy of Irma and Me. I replied ok. Chart Room wednesday at 6. I was there. Apparently you were not. I asked several women if they were Barb. No Barbs. Bartender John was asked to look out for you also.

What happened?

On the way home, remembered I had not eaten. Stopped at Five Guys. Two cheeseburgers lettuce wrapped. No fries. A diet meal.

Another doctor visit this afternoon. Part of getting ready for my Cleveland Clinic visit. Following the doctor visit, I will be stopping by Liz’s for a drink and some interesting conversation.

My KONK Life column a couple of weeks ago concerned Black Caesar the Keys Pirate. Today Port Royal, a Caribbean pirate haven.

Port Royal was a small island off Jamaica. Six thousand five hundred residents. All one way or another involved with piracy.

The island headquarters not only for piracy, but also smuggling and debauchery. It has been described as the “most wicked and sinful city in the world…..one of the lewdest in the Christian world.” In other words, a fun place.

On this day in 1692, 3 powerful quakes hit Port Royal. A large tsunami, also. At one point, half the island was under 40 feet of water.

Port Royal’s population 6,500. Three thousand died that day. Thousands more in the days following the quakes.

Port Royal could not be rebuilt. People thought it was built on coral like Key West. Turned out not to be. Strictly dirt. The mud remaining prohibited rebuilding.

Undaunted, the pirates¬†moved operations to Jamaica itself. Built a new city. Called it Kingston. Today, Jamaica’s largest city.

Trump is a historian of note. Written with tongue in cheek, of course.

Yesterday, he did it again. While he and Trudeau were having a heated telephone conference re the tariff issue, Trudeau asked how Canada could be a security threat to the United States. Trump’s reply was to the effect that Canada had burned down the White House.

Canada did not put the White House to the torch. It was the British. During the War of 1812. At a time when Canada was not even a nation. It did not become one till 1867. During the War of 1812, it was a British colony.

A year earlier, the U.S. had invaded Canada and burned down York. York today Toronto. The British were burning down the White House in retaliation for the Americans having burned the British colony of York.

The interesting and generally unmentioned story of the White House and its burning involves Dolley Madison. Dolley was the wife of then President James Madison. The White House had been evacuated. Dolley remained with a handful of workers.

Her concern was the portrait of George Washington. She did not want it to fall into the hands of the British.

The painting was screwed into the wall. The screws would not come out. Dolley ordered the frame broken and the canvas removed.

It was only then that she swiftly departed to avoid capture.

When word got out of her courage and the saving of Washington’s painting, Dolley became a national heroine.

A hundred years later, some historians claimed Dolley was not the person who saved the painting. She had long fled. It was some house slaves led by a Frenchman overseer type.

The Dolley Madison heroine story is considered more reputable.

Before I receive a ton of e-mails, Dolley is spelled correctly. The “e” is part of her name.

I sometimes wonder what Trump studied in college. It is obvious he did not read history books.

Enjoy your day!