SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!

STAY OUT OF PEOPLE’S BEDROOMS

The federal government is at it again! Sticking its nose into my bedroom, your bedroom, my sex life, your sex life.

I refer to the new rule announced. One that takes effect immediately. That quick. The government is concerned.

The issue contraception. A danger. Prevents pregnancy.

Attorney General Sessions advised the new rule yesterday. Employers do not have to cover contraception costs in employee health programs if the employer has a religious or moral objection..

The rule is based on two thoughts.

The first is that birth control could involve fertilized eggs being expelled from the uterus. In effect, an abortion.

There is no scientific backing for the preceding.

The second is that it is immoral for a woman to have sex without accepting the possibility of pregnancy.

Both reasons have the Church and government getting into my bed and yours. Together, no less. It is wrong to impose a personal theology on Americans who do not share it.

Fifty five million women will be affected.

Abortion was in the news this past week, also.

Congressman Tim Murphy is a Pennsylvania Republican. Openly opposed to abortion. A long time leader amongst anti-abortionists.

The House of Representatives this past week passed a bill banning late term abortions. Murphy a co-sponsor of the bill.

Married, Murphy also has a girl friend. She advised him she was pregnant. He e-mailed her that she should have an abortion. She reacted by responding how could he even suggest an abortion after his long time stand on abortion.

The world knew within a short period of time Murphy’s position re the pregnancy. Murphy in an even shorter period of time announced he is resigning from Congress.

I want to tie the two together. Contraception and abortion. Think about what I am about to write: Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies, abortion never becomes an issue.

Which now brings me to Newt Gingrich. An immoral man from my perspective.

Gingrich has been married three times. He asked his second wife for a divorce so he could marry his present wife while she was in the hospital battling cancer. He also wanted her to agree to an open marriage.

Gingrich was Speaker when Clinton was charged with impeachment. Yelled and screamed for Clinton’s impeachment. Gingrich viewed Clinton’s sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval office immorality of the highest degree.

Lewinsky was a federal intern at the time.

There is a prohibition against using federal property for sex purposes. Especially when both participants are federally employed in some capacity.

While Gingrich was after Clinton for engaging with Lewinsky in the Oval office, he was having sexual relations with his then girl friend Callista Bisek. Bisek was a Congressional aide at the time. The sex took place in Gingrich’s offices.

Bisek is the woman Gingrich wanted to marry when he asked his second wife Marianne for a divorce while she was in a hospital bed fighting cancer.

Bisek is now Callista Gingrich.

All thus far background for what is to follow.

Callista Gingrich has been nominated by Trump to be Ambassador to the Vatican. She has already received approval on the first necessary vote. It is expected she will easily be finally approved.

Newt Gingrich will be an influence to some degree in the Vatican. Even though he is merely husband to the Ambassador.

Judge not lest ye be judged. I am judging. I can’t help it. Gingrich is the last person I want wandering the halls of the Vatican as husband to the U.S. Ambassador. He will gain influence and express positions I am confident I would not be comfortable with.

Yesterday, a busy one.

Another doctor visit, haircut with Lori, manicure with Tammy, and several other matters.

Dinner at 7 with new friend Brenda at Antonia’s. We sat at the bar. Good company.

Bria Ansara came in and sat at the bar, also. Always good to see Bria. She told us Berlin’s was open last night for the first time. A lot of damage. Restaurant windows blown out.

She was not singing last night. Berlin’s thought there would be few customers.

I stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Chatted with Herschel, Stan and John.

Herschel and Stan are brothers. Herschel lived in Key West for several years. Now resides somewhere out west.

Herschel a good guy. Helps people in need. He spent a week in Houston helping a friend who had damage as a result of Harvey. He has been helping out a former Navy friend in Big Pine since Irma. Stan is also.

The gentleman they are helping was their superior when in the Navy. They have remained friends.

I apologize for not recalling his name. He was at one time Commander of the VFW in Key West.

Stan went to Big Pine following his usual Key West job yesterday afternoon. He found their Navy friend dead.

The cleanup probably too much for him.

I mentioned a few days ago the 1,300 sunk boats that have to be removed from off shore Keys’ waters. Turns out buoys a problem, also. Most blown away. Those that can be recovered will be. The Civil Air Patrol has become involved in identifying them.

Then there are those which will never be located or seen again.

The buoys have to be replaced. A necessity in navigation. Miss a buoy and you are lost. Panic lost in the big wide sea with no land in sight.

Enjoy your day!

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING

Too much heart ache lately. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas. Time for a change of pace. Something light. A bit of love.

Some enchanted evening…..Opening words to Some Enchanted Evening. Uplifting.

Heard the song sung for the first time in years monday at Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna singing as only he can.

Some Enchanted Evening opened on Broadway in 1949. An immediate hit. Starred Enzio Pinza and Mary Martin. Pinza sang Some Enchanted Evening.

The movie was not produced till nine years later. Pinza dead by that time. Rossano Brazzi starred in the movie version.

Rogers and Hammerstein wrote the music and lyrics.

I was in my first year of high school when the musical opened on Broadway. My second year of law school when the movie came out. Danced lovingly to some Enchanted Evening during the time frame and since. Unfortunately, rarely these days.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Primary topics Key West post Irma and Puerto Rico. Lambasted Trump re his Puerto Rico visit earlier in the day. He deserved it.

Blog Talk Radio produces the podcast. They offer it to advertisers with the representation: “Always an interesting perspective on everyday issues.” I try.

Stopped for a drink at Don’s Place late monday afternoon. Missy bartending. Enjoyed our conversation. She stayed for Irma. Her home small, but between 2 large concrete buildings. Her home equipped with all kind of helpful items. Like a generator that can run forever. She had stored fuel in anticipation. Ergo, her refrigerator and air conditioning worked.

Irma a tough time for her!

Stopped at Walgreens yesterday. Picked up 5 prescriptions. All generic. $194. Something wrong! Expensive! My acid reflux pill the killer.

Ran into David scootering out of The Gardens. His mobile home destroyed by Irma. FEMA putting him up for a time. List of FEMA provided hotels/motels included The Gardens.

David had never heard of The Gardens. The finest and most expensive hotel in Key West. Kate Miano’s wonder!

I told David to stay at The Gardens, if he could. I had to convince him.

Yesterday, he told me the place was terrific! He was in a cottage, had a suite, etc.

I have been trying to reach Dr. Langley’s office. I am changing primary care physicians. I had been telephoning to ask that my records be e-mailed to the new doctor. Phone never working.

Receptionist told me everything was still down with them. Wi-fi and telephone. Could not e-mail. She would print out my records and I will pick them up today.

Comcast’s record generally leaves much to be desired. Someone recently told me of an obituary they read where an elderly woman had passed away. The obituary reflected that her life was a happy one, except for three things. One of the three was Comcast!

Key West’s Irma recovery a day at the time. A little better each day. We will return in full force by Fantasy Fest.

I knock the Key West City Commission frequently. Incompetents at governing. They finally did something correctly, however.

It was announced that because of damages and repair costs due to Irma, the 3-5 percent real property tax increase contemplated was being rolled back. Means no tax increase for the upcoming year.

Governor Rick Scott has become my favorite political person due to his handling of Irma. He continues to be concerned and active.

Governor Scott will be in Key West tomorrow morning. The Marriott Beachside at 10:30. He is giving an Irma update. Open to the public.

Trump’s Puerto Rico visit yesterday a disgrace. I won’t bother you with the details. They are being reported all over TV and the internet.

Bottom line remains the same…..Trump is lacking sympathy and only cares about his image which he generally projects erroneously.

I am thrilled!

Parking in Key West a pain! Especially for those living outside its boundary lines. City issued parking permits are available to residents only.

I recently moved. My former residence was 2.5 miles outside Key West. Key West parking was not easy. My new residence is located on the Golf Course.

Turns out a portion of the Golf Course is a part of Key West. I live in that area!

I received a new card telling me I was henceforth to vote in Key West. Aroused my curiosity as to parking. Checked it out. Yes, I am entitled to a parking permit. Whoopee! Whoopee tells you how difficult it is to park in Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA AFTERMATH

Irma came, did her thing, and left. She left behind ruination, despair and hope.

How things stand today.

I drove down Duval yesterday. From the Gulf to the Atlantic. Not a pretty sight. Most storefronts and buildings still boarded. Physical damage on a varying scale to some buildings.

The most significant observation was the desolation. Few on the street. Very few. Like death had visited.

The bars are starting to open. Rick’s, Sloppy Joe’s, Irish Kevin’s, the Bull, and Jack Flats. More employees than customers. Except for the gay bars in mid Duval. Bourbon Street and 801. Packed.

There was a FEMA truck on Duval. Handing out food packages. Only the minority community evident.

I mentioned the FEMA sign up tents behind the Simonton fire station yesterday. Only minorities evident there. It appears we have left racial/ethnic groups behind. Same as Katrina. Not in assistance today. Rather in becoming part of the American dream.

A cruise ship coming in today. Why? Key West today not the Key West of yesterday. Key West needs time to recuperate. Downtown looks like hell.

Three more cruise ships expected this week.

Some say we have to get business going again. Bring the cruise ships in! Locals need to work. Rent is due the first of the month. Only one week away.

I spent yesterday afternoon resting. Actually, sleeping. The return drive killed me. Just as the drive to Birmingham had. My 82 years very evident in the tiredness I am experiencing.

Hit the Chart Room first last night. First time the Chart Room has been open since Irma.

I was the sixth person to arrive. An hour later when I left, I was the only customer remaining.

Shawn bartending.

Peter Petro manages 40 properties. One is the home I live in. I have been bugging the man ever since Irma was on the horizon. Even now since I have returned. Cleanup time. I am a tenant, not an owner. A wonderful experience!

Peter does his job well, even though I am a bit too anxious at times.

Peter was at the Chart Room when I arrived. With his wife Rebecca who I met for the first time. A nice lady.

Rebecca marries people in Key West. She is a Notary and notaries are permitted to do so. In fact, most marriages performed in Key West are by a Notary such as Rebecca. Rebecca also performs live theater at the Red Barn. She is featured in a show opening next month.

Then to Don’s Place to watch the Syracuse/LSU game. Don, David, Stan and Claire there.

Sitting next to me watching the game were Troy and Jenny. Troy a die hard Michigan fan. He was watching Michigan on one screen as I was watching Syracuse on the one next to it.

Syracuse looked good the first half. Gave up 10 points they should not have. Still in the game, however. Syracuse defense played well.

LSU got another touchdown at the beginning of the second half. Syracuse was basically 3 touchdowns behind. I viewed it as the beginning of the end. Went home to bed.

Never even tried to find out the final score till this morning. Syracuse came back. Sort of. Final score had LSU winning 35-26. A late 4th quarter LSU touchdown led to LSU’s 35 points.

Syracuse was a 23 point underdog going into the game. Syracuse played well. They did better than LSU stat wise. Note LSU was a ranked team going into the game.

This is not going to be a Syracuse year. Better than most in recent years I suspect. Perhaps glory will return a few years from now. It has been a long time.

Yesterday was the first day Don’s was open its full hours.

Ice is a problem all over town. Bar owners and restaurants are running all over looking for some to buy.

Our animal and fish friends are of concern also.

A Sugarloaf homeowner was looking out his window. Thought he saw a porpoise stranded in the mangroves. Called the Sheriff’s Office, who in turn contacted Wildlife Conservation and the dolphin hospital Dolphin Plus.

Representatives of all three groups hurried to the scene and effected a rescue. Two veterinarians involved. They waded out to the porpoise. A female. Slightly burned from the sun. Otherwise, ok. Carried her to deeper water and let her go.

I received a red flag call this morning from Jeanne H. Stevenson. Not a Key Wester. Her sister Anne is, however. She can’t reach Anne. Concerned. Wants to know if I could help.

Anne sells newspapers outside the church. All I was told about her.

Anyone having any information re Anne, please let me know so I can convey it on to her sister.

Key West’s curfew was lifted yesterday. Stay out all night folks!

The remainder of the Keys still have curfews.

Comcast making progress. A step at a time. Too little from my perspective. I had TV when I returned home last night. Still no land line or wi-fi.

Sloan due soon. A ton of catch up work to do.

Enjoy your Sunday!

INSANITY AND INCOMPETENCE

It cannot be left unsaid. The situation worsens by day. Trump is insane and incompetent.

The brown shirts marched saturday in Charlottesville. Accompanied by those who believe white people are better than others. Accompanied by those who once covered their bodies and faces in white sheets.

All haters.

Bannon came out of the woodwork. Spoke at length about his beliefs. A revolutionary at heart. Seeking the overthrow of existing government.

Bannon Trump’s Rasputin.

Is a Reichstag next? The White House or Capitol? If so, all that will remain will be the concentration camps.

America stand up!

Impeachment will come. The grounds set forth in Article II section 4 of the Constitution: “…..impeachment for…..Treason, Bribery, and other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Stopped at Don’s Place first last night. Jimmy and John at the bar. Deep sorrow. Joanie not doing well. Hospice has been called in.

Then to the Chart Room.

John bartending. English Peter at the bar. Jean Thornton and Erika Biddle stopped in.

The last time I saw Erika Biddle was at Publix. I wrote about her at the time. Went back and discovered it was April 27, 2015.

At the time, a lovely blond woman came over and said, “You’re Louis Petrone.” She was familiar with my KONK Life writings and radio show. She wanted to tell me.

When she told me she was Erika Biddle, I was ashamed. I should have been searching her out. One of my Key West idols.

Last night was the second time we met.

Erika German born. A community activist where ever she has lived. An environmentalist at heart.

She arrived in Key West in 1994. Her first thought was: “This is the only city I’ve ever visited where I am not the most eccentric person around.” She remains to this day. An intrinsic part of the community. All heart.

Erika takes up causes that others might not. Unpopular ones included. This tiny woman carries the pain of others on her shoulders.

I hope I do not have to wait two more years before visiting with her again.

I was hungry. Stopped at Outback for prime rib. Ran into Doc and his wife.

I have known Doc some 20 years. Used to play golf with him. Only know him as Doc. A retired surgeon from Philadelphia.

We chatted a bit. I rarely run into people older than me. Mentioned I was 82. They shocked me! He 83 and she 85. Both appear in their mind 60’s.

A fun conversation ensued.

Dinner tonight at Berlin’s with Jenna. For sure. She just confirmed.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

For me, last night was unique. I hit more downtown/Duval spots that normal. Did it all between 5 and 10.

Actually, I was at the corner of Sloppy Joe’s at 1. A quick down and back. I did not want to miss the Running of the Bulls. One of Hemingway Days’ finest events.

Stayed all of 15 minutes before returning home.

My evening began with Tammy and a manicure. Tammy just returned from a one month trip to Vietnam tuesday afternoon. The jet lag was not bothering her as she did my nails.

Tammy looked outstanding! The trip definitely changed her appearance. She got the works so to speak in Vietnam.

Magnificent eyebrows. Tattooed. Did not look tattooed at all. Thick. Beautiful. Tammy said they will fade over a period of six months.

Only $50 in Vietnam.

Her eyes done differently, also. Bright!

Her skin a golden tan. Her family lives near a beach. She spent many days at the beach.

Changed her hairstyle and color, also. Difficult for me to describe.

Simply stated, Tammy returned a movie star!

Then to Don’s Place. Had a drink with Jimmy. Jimmy will be painting the inside of my new home in about two weeks.

Boomer bartending. Had not seen Boomer in a while.

Followed up Don’s Place with the Chart Room. John bartending. Saturday not his usual night. He was filling in for Shawn.

Fellow sitting next to me from Oklahoma. Thirty six. In the commercial air conditioning business. Would prefer Key West and many retails. Big commercial jobs have big bills. However they have to go through accounting, etc. for approval and it takes him forever to be paid.

First time in Key West for he and his 26 year old wife.

They have traveled Caribbean and Asian waters. Warm spots. Key West the best. He plans on returning soon.

Another couple could not stop talking about the Garden of Eden. Their favorite spot. Wish it were mine.

I have not been there in 10 years. The two times I went, the only bare body parts I saw were the bare breasts of the female bartender.

I have to give it another shot. The couple claimed full body parts now available for observation.

Three couples came in. Ordered shots. Patron Tequila and Cafe. Patron topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Looked good. John said it was also known as a Body Guinness. Because the drink looked like a miniature Guinness beer.

Decided to walk Duval. A Caribbean Street Festival going big time. The street jammed. Increases the temperature by 20 degrees. A bit uncomfortable when the 20 degrees is added to heavy humidity.

During the Festival walk decided stopped at The Porch. On Caroline, just off Duval. Another place I had not visited in years.

When I last visited, people sat on the huge front porch and drank. Not last night. Things have changed.

You can drink on the porch. However, it appeared most preferred inside.

The inside different. As you walked in the front door of this lovely old mansion, there were signs on either side of you. The sign to the left indicating the room to the left for beer drinkers. The sign to the right indicating liquor and spirit drinkers.

I went to the right and enjoyed a gin.

Both rooms packed.

I have heard a lot recently about a relatively new place on Caroline. Across from the Tropic Cinema. The Saint.

The Saint it was.

Looks like a guest house from the outside. With a fire engine red carpet running to the front door.

The inside blew me out!

The newest smartest place in Key West. Smart being the operative word. A long bar. Tons of people. The people as smart appearing as the room.

Customers primarily in the 30’s to 40’s range.

Something about their clothes. Key West remains a tee shirt/sport shirt/shorts town. These people were dressed appropriately, but a step up. I don’t know how tee shirts and shorts can look smart, but they did. The people and their attire went well together.

The Saint definitely will be added to one of those places I frequently attend. Loved it!

It was time to eat. Tavern ‘n Town the choice. The 9 o’clock happy hour.

Fried calamari and a couple of drinks. Read the newspapers. Enjoyed Bobby Nesbitt. Followed by a new singer. Nick Hagelin. Plays the guitar and sings. Outstanding! Diners cheered and clapped loudly each time he finished a tune.

Only appearing at Tavern ‘n Town one night. Hope he returns.

Was home and in bed at 10. A busy evening. All fun!

I did a change of pace video on Facebook yesterday. Talked about my grandfather and his immigration to the U.S. in 1906.

An excellent piece. Said with humility. My grandfather was a unique person and it was a joy to write about him.

I plan on doing a follow up today re my grandfather. He never knew his parents. Born a bastard. The video will tell the story of how he got his last name (and now mine) of Petrone.

Take a look. Both videos interesting. The video is Key West Lou Live on Facebook.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BIG LIPS, BIG BOOBS AND SENSITIVE NIPPLES

The Chart Room is an interesting place. All type conversations. A multitude of topics covered over the years. Never like last night, however.

A woman’s lips, breasts and nipples.

I did not participate. Sat at the end of the bar with my head down. Afraid someone would ask what I thought.

Four people plus me at the bar. John bartending.

Evan and Liz locals. Young. Late 20’s, early 30’s. Chris and husband. I did not get the husband’s name. Vacationing from southern Pennsylvania. Mid 60’s.

The female body exploration began with lip augmentation. Referred to as big lips in the conversation. All four going at it. The consensus was it was stupid and looked awful. They could not understand why anyone would do it.

Then came nipples. Breast nipples. Chris from a little town in Pennsylvania said size did not matter. Sensitivity did. The four got into inverted nipples, also.

Next, big breasts. Interesting talk. Do whatever makes you feel good. Not too big, however. Too heavy if enlarged. And so on.

That part of the conversation took an hour.

Then we got to a point where I thought I could safely participate. Snow. Huge snowfalls.

Upstate New York thought the place for the worst. Buffalo and Rochester. Then Syracuse. Liz piped up she was from Syracuse. At that point, I got involved. From Utica and went to law school at SU.

Glad I stopped at the Chart Room. An unusual conversation. I had not intended to stop. As you will see from the next few paragraphs, it was the venue of last choice.

My day began at Verizon. Got the video problem figured out. The wi-fi was off. I must have hit a wrong button. Don’t see how. To screw it up, I would have had to hit the app key and then four more. I have never gotten that deep into my cell phone.

An early dinner at Roostica. Lemoncello wings. Spoke a while with owner Bobby. A wedding outside. Tablecloths. Everyone dressed. Laughter from every direction.

Then to bocce. Everyone playing but my team and another. For some reason, the game had been cancelled.

I sat with Sharon a while. Sons and Daughters of Italy playing.

Then to Don’s Place. When no game, the team is there. Not last night. Three guys at the bar and Michael bartending.

I was beginning to wonder why I showered and shaved.

Left for the Chart Room.

William Hackley won some money in 1856 in the Havana Lottery. He and three others purchased a ticket together. Won $400. $100 a piece. A lot of money back then.

The top prize was $60,000. At least $6 million today. Maybe, $60 million.

Hackley mentioned that he and his wife attended the funeral of the child Fanny Porter. Whooping cough killed her.

No vaccinations back then. Vaccinations today. Not perfect. Better safe than sorry, however.

Every one wants a piece of the Ukraine. Good growing fields and excellent mineral deposits.

Putin got as piece two years ago. Near the end of World War I, Germany’s Kaiser and Austria signed a pact to exploit Ukraine’s economic benefits. What a joke! The pact was signed this date 1918. World War I ended six months later on November 11, 1918. Germany and her friends defeated.

The Kaiser did get to exploit Ukraine within those six months. He demanded and received 100 million tons of food rations from Ukraine.

I came across the name Dante in my readings. Not the Dante I am familiar with. However it did recall Durante degli Alighieri, better known as Dante. A distinguished poet in the Middle Ages. Thought to be one of the best writers of his time.

His most famous work the Divine Comedy.

I took two years of Spanish in college. My teacher was Professor Cantatore. Italian. A small elderly man. His enthusiasm for Dante greater than his body size. A cultured man.

Every class, the good Professor drummed into us to read one page of Dante’s Comedy a day.

I never bought the Comedy. I did read a few pages when the opportunity arose. One of my college jobs was working the main desk in the library. A quiet uneventful position. I would take the Comedy off the shelf and absorb some of Dante’s wisdom.

Last but not least. Betsy Dietz died. Seventy five. Finally succumbed to uterine cancer after ten years.

Betsy lived in Key West so many years. She gave to the community. Involved heavily. Helped get AIDS Help started. Active at the beginning and over the years with the King and Queen Festival. A member of numerous boards.

Betsy and Lisa good friends. Every Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Betsy shared the holiday with Lisa, the grandkids, Santa Claus and me.

A rare woman. May she rest in peace.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MY WILLIE NELSON DAY

Yes, yesterday was a Willie Nelson day for me. Not with country music, however. It was the nine hours I was out and about. I felt like I was on the road again.

As the years have added on, my time out of the house during day time hours has diminished. I prefer researching and writing, reading and napping.

Yesterday was different.

I left home at 11 in the morning. My destination Duval Street and the Kinetic Sculpture Parade. My first one. I believe this was the second year for the Kinetic Parade.

Glad I went! Amazing what artists have accomplished with left over metal. Metal that in days long gone by was discarded. In the parade event, especially metal sculptures involving wheels. Like bicycles and tricycles.

I enjoyed and learned!

Walked a bit afterwards. Ended up at Antonia’s. A late lunch.

Antonia’s has a pasta special. For years. You  can order a half portion. I sat in the corner of the bar and enjoyed a linguine dish.

Then to Don’s Place for the Kentucky Derby. Don having his usual Derby party. Inside and out. Most of the ladies in flowered hats. A couple of men dressed in white suits and ties wearing white straw hats.

I arrived at 4. The race was not till 6:45. Enjoyed a few drinks and enjoyed the company of Don, David, Angus, John, Keith, Jennifer, Joanie, Stan and Clare.

The race exciting. Everyone whooping it up. Always thrilling.

Now the banter will begin. Can Always Dreaming win the Triple Crown? I would hope so. It is time again for a Triple Crown winner.

Stayed a while after the race. Left for home. Arrived at 8.

I had been out for nine consecutive hours. Big for me these days!

Notice I did not go out last night. The day time was enough.

Everything is moving into the lower keys. We have had a few sightings of crocodiles over the years. A couple of pythons.

The most recent, an American crocodile. It was sighted at the Boca Chica Naval Base. Eight to 10 feet long. A picture in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Jaws wide open.

The crocodile cannot be killed.  An endangered and protected species. Base personnel believe there might be as many as five such crocs on the base.

The croc observed and photographed has become a celebratory instance! A Base representative asked on Facebook yesterday for readers to suggest a nick name for the crocodile. A contest of sorts. Perverted from my point of view.

It was also reported there have been recent crocodile sightings near Smathers Beach and at Fort Zachary Taylor.

Four years ago, I wrote a lengthy column in KONK Life me drugs. In the article, I mentioned the great success Portugal had been having since 2001 when it decriminalized drug use. Portugal treats the problem as a medical one rather than criminal. The program a gigantic success.

Pablo Escobar a drug czar. His drug cartel made him billions. Perhaps trillions.

His son Juan Sebastian Marroquin wrote recently that drug cartels will die the day drugs are legalized and regulated. Sounds how the United States resolved the alcohol/mafia problem when Roosevelt led the drive for alcohol legalization in the 1930’s.

History is a teacher. We should try decriminalization based on the 1930’s alcohol success in the U.S. and Portugal’s drug success which began in the first years of this century.

Robots! Robots! Robots! I keep talking about them hoping to ignite the American public that they are here and more are coming.

Another while America slept situation. My concern is we are not preparing to retrain human employees who will be jobless.

Few seem to be paying attention to the problem.

It has been reported that the military is training robots to shoot in a war. It is a problem. There is a difficulty in having robots shoot. The robots computerized brain cannot handle who to shoot at. Things in battle happen too fast.

The military is confident the problem will be resolved in due course.

I disagree with Trump’s recent Executive Order which eases existing limits on political activity by religious organizations. God’s House should not be a political bandstand.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

GRAND GUESTHOUSE

Over the years, I have asked hundreds of tourists where they are staying, happy with the accommodations, etc. Rarely do I meet those owning and/or operating the hotels, motels and guest houses.

Last night at the Chart Room, I did. Mike, one of the owners of the Grand Guesthouse. A place I have heard about from many visitors. Never once a negative response. All high on the place.

Mike and his wife own and operate Grand Guesthouse. Again, met Mike last night at the Chart Room. A nice guy. Apparently taking a couple of hours off.

The Grand Guesthouse is located on the other side of  Old Town. A quiet residential area. So residential that the Grand blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. Difficult to know from the street it is a guest house. Yet it is. One with 10 rooms, a pool, parking, etc. All the amenities.

The Grand can be found in the 1100 block of Grinnell. Adults only. A ten minute walk from Duval and the Atlantic Ocean.

Prices reasonable. Accommodations beautiful.

The Chart Room was unusually busy last night. John was busy.

Two lovely ladies sitting at the opposite end of the bar from me. The Grand’s Mike in between us.

The gals from Pittsburgh. Carey and Tracey. Carey a bartender. Tracy’s job described by her as inexplicable. I left it at that.

John told me Che alive and well. His nurse Cheryl went to his apartment. Che opened the door for her. He told Cheryl he just did not feel like going out. Two months?????

Che is turning into a recluse. Bad. He is 83. I am 81 and still get out most evenings.

Three guys from London showed up. Two getting married this weekend in Key West. The Pittsburgh ladies and Mike tried to dissuade them. To no avail.

Met a contemporary. Terence. A retired police lieutenant and Superior Court Clerk from Wilmington, Delaware. Contemporaries in that he is 80 years old.

His daughter is an attorney. His son in law into a phase of software. Terence’s wife with them. The four and a granddaughter all staying at the Pier House.

Terence and his wife are the designated baby sitters. Their daughter and son in law go out evenings or sneak away part of a day. The grandparents remain with the granddaughter.

They love it!

My yesterday began with a noon manicure by Tammy.

An amazing business she and husband Rick run. People moving in and out with regularity. Chairs  constantly turning over.

A money maker! Tammy and Rick made it so.

A little grocery shopping on the way home. My cupboard always bare.

Kentucky Derby this afternoon! I have decided to watch it at Don’s Place. The festivities begin at 4. The race at 6.

On this date in 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby. His time, 1:59:40. Best time ever! Still stands!

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade at noon today on Duval. Do not miss it! You will love it! The kids will love it!

Bria Ansara involved in everything Key West. An art educator, she will be doing a pre-parade workshop for kids behind the Custom House at 10. Opening them up to the joys of working with metal.

Tomorrow night at Aqua, Bria is hosting BOY-lesque. An all male review.

Bocce continues to be a disaster. I was there thursday night when the team lost 2 of 3 games. Can’t understand the downward trend after several seasons of top notch play.

Don’s Place was beat by Not Don’s Place. The Not Don’s is Larry Smith’s team. Several years ago, Don and Larry had words over I don’t recall what. Larry changed the name of his team to Not Don’s Place to break Don’s gonads.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I AM CONCERNED…..

I am concerned. I am uncomfortable with the bombings. I do not approve of them.

There is a silence that permeates the past couple of days. When domestic issues were at the forefront, everyone was discussing what was going on. Especially related to healthcare. People on the street as well as the media.

We bomb Syria and Afghanistan, the silence is overwhelming. This weekend it could be North Korea. When North Korea, the bombings will be big time. Not 59 missiles or the mother of all bombs.

ISIS could still retaliate. On our shores. Several Boston marathon type hits. North Korea, a disaster. I envision the USS Vinson being hit and possibly sunk.

If we stay on the road of these military adventures, expect disaster to strike our shores. You hit me, I am going to hit you back and harder. We are inviting such action.

Then everyone will be talking.

Headed to bocce last night. No one there. No bocce. A bye night.

I headed over to Don’s Place. Sure to run into my team mates. I did. David, Stan, and Clare. Also, Frankie, Sandra and Mike. A couple of drinks and good conversation.

Stopped at Publix on the way home. Still dieting. Will not sunday. I buy diet groceries in small amounts so extra Publix visits required.

Donna telephoned while I was wandering the aisles of Publix. Invited me to dinner tonight. I am to be Donna and Terri’s guest at Conch Republic for stone crabs.

Can’t wait.

The streets were flooded yesterday. Rain extremely heavy in the morning. High tide mid morning. Never fails.

The drama continues. Count von Cosel and his love Elena Hoyos Mesa.

Von Cosel stole her body from the grave. He kept her remains in his bed at home for 7 years. Then discovered. He was never tried. Statute of limitations.

Von Cosel had a large mausoleum constructed for her remains in the Key West Cemetery. Some time later, von Cosel left Key west for good. Two hours after he left Key West, the mausoleum exploded. Fractured into several pieces.

It was believed von Cosel was responsible. Every one assumed he was guilty. Never charged. The town figured he was crazy and good riddance that he had let Key West.

Today, a sad day in American history. Lincoln shot. He was at the Ford Theater in Washington.  Shot in the back of his head.

He was taken across the street to the Petersen House. A boarding house. He was placed on a bed in a back room.

Lincoln died early the next morning.

I visited Washington as a tourist several years ago. For a whole week. My visits included the Ford Theater and the Petersen House.

Two recollections. The Ford Theater was small. The other was the bed that Lincoln lay on in the Petersen House. It had to be too small for a man of his stature.

Enjoy your day! If you are Christian, remember Jesus some time between noon and 3.