MISSED A GREAT GAME

I completely forgot about Syracuse/North Carolina State last night. For shame! Especially since Syracuse scored a great victory!

Syracuse was down 16 points with 8 minutes to go. Gillon threw in a 3 pointer with 2 seconds to go to tie. Syracuse won in overtime 100-93.

Gillon a double star. Scored 43 points.

I first was to have dinner with Liz last night. Cancelled because of Steve Attis’ death. Wanted to go to Don’s Place to learn more about it and details re Steve’s funeral saturday.

Spoke with David. Steve died in an automobile accident. I cannot say at 81 he should not have been driving. I am 81. However, our physical conditions dramatically different.

Go Live with Key West Lou attracting a following of its own. Comments moving up dramatically. Take a look. Facebook. Enter Key West Lou. See and hear me for short periods several times a day.

Stopped at Chart Room after Don’s Place. John bartending. An interesting evening. Couples from everywhere. England, Iowa, Chicago and Hempstead, Long Island. All previous visitors. One couple presently renting for 3 months.

Unquestionably, insanity prevails in Key West. Craziness. We are having a Polar Bar Plunge. I am laughing as I type this. So stupid! A polar bear plunge in relatively warm water.

Noon sunday behind Salute’s. The event officially titled the Conch Republic Polar Bear Plunge.

A couple of This Day items in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

This day in 1936, heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey was in town. Fought several exhibitions. Then continued his trip to Havana.

This day in 1953 found band leader Guy Lombardo and his family visiting. An extended vacation at the Casa Marina.

Guy Lombardo was big in the 1940s. He played to a sell out crowd every New Year’s Eve at the Waldorf Astoria.

My Uncle Gus and Aunt Louise lived in the Bronx. Each year Uncle Gus and Aunt Louise dressed for the occasion. My Uncle in a tuxedo, Aunt in long. They took the Jackson Ave. subway to Manhattan. The subways were safe then. Many dressed as my aunt and uncle.

Uncle Gus was well liked. A quiet man. A barber. Aunt Louise did hair in their apartment.

Ruben Navarette in a recent Washington Post column had some interesting words re Trump. His article titled Trump the Rocky Balboa of U.S. Politics. He wrote that with all the abuse thrown at Trump during the campaign and now as President, Trump is still standing.

James Joyce wrote many books. Most long. Big time long. I was glad I never took a course where I was required to read one of his books.

Joyce commented about someone he had had words with. Joyce said the individual should “…..devote his whole life to reading my books.”

Punishment, in effect.

His most famous work Ulysses had 265,000 words.

Enjoy your day!

 

A GOOD MAN GONE

Stephen Edward Attis has passed on. Known to all as Steve. A good man. None better.

I got to know Steve here in Key west. We had somewhat of a similar background. Both born in 1935. We used to joke that I was older than him. By 2 1/2 months.

Manhattan College frequently came into our conversations. I graduated from Manhattan College. Steve attended Manhattan for a time. He used to tell me he attended several colleges before finally graduating.

Steve born and raised in the Bronx. Manhattan College is located in the Bronx. I also lived for a time at 682 E. 141 St. in the Bronx. We talked how things were then and now in the Bronx.

A bocce player. As the years added on and he had some difficulty with his legs, Larry Smith used to help him stepping on and off the court, picking up the ball for him. In spite of his problems, he shot well.

Steve’s wife, Midge. The two married 61 years. The best of wives. Always with him, always watching out for him.

Steve and Midge regulars at Don’s Place. Loved by everyone.

A New Orleans style funeral procession planned. What else for Steve? Saturday at 12:15. Begins at the Dean Lopez Funeral Home. Onward to St. Mary Star of the Sea for his funeral service.

Never been in a New Orleans type funeral procession. I will saturday.

Spent yesterday afternoon perfecting material for last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

As much as I disliked it, Trump took up the whole half hour. We talk about nothing else anymore.

The show went well. I am anti-Trump so it was easy.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is Neil Gorsuch. Appears extremely intelligent. Extremely conservative, also. I do not approve of him.

Not important what I think. His problem is getting Senate approval. The Dems are lining up against him. Properly so.

Stephen Bannon has become the ring leader in the White House. Trump relies on him. A bad move.

Bannon is a Rasputin. He will not fuck Trump as Rasputin did the Czarina. However, he will screw  the United States. Bannon seeks the destruction of government as we know it.

I have never played dominoes. I have never seen anyone playing dominoes in Key West. Nevertheless, there is a Domino Tournament this saturday at the Southernmost Hotel. The first of many to follow. Sponsored by the Sunset Key West Rotary. Named after and honors the well liked Maury Madruga who recently died.

Remember ZIKA. Hit Florida about this time last year. We were told to beware. ZIKA coming in epidemic proportions.

Where is it today?

Instant fear as with Ebola. Everyone gets excited and jumps to do something immediately. Haste rarely required.

A Sons and Daughters of Italy fundraiser 5-8 friday at Bottle Cap. Italian food, deserts, music, silent auction, etc.

Called Buonasera Venezia. Translated, Good Evening Venice.

Our home grown terrorist Harlem Suarez was convicted on terrorism charges yesterday in Federal Court. Took the jury one hour to convict. Suarez planned on burying a nail filled back pack bomb on Smathers Beach and then detonating it with a cell phone.

He is yet to be sentenced. I suspect a significant sentence. Suarez is going to be an old man when he gets out of jail.

A quote in the World Almanac section of this morning’s Key West Citizen worthy of note. Langston Hughes in Dreams wrote: “Hold fast to dreams / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly.”

I enjoy doing Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook. Every day, several times a day. For a few minutes. I can be seen as well as heard. If you have not, take a look. You might enjoy. Go to Facebook and enter Key West Lou. Voila! Me!

A big evening ahead. Dinner with Liz.

Enjoy your day!

BICYCLE LOBBY FORMIDABLE

Some road corrections I cannot understand. One being the abnormal concern for bicycles in Key West. Bicycles dictating road changes to accommodate them.

Northern Boulevard permits bicyclists to operate in the driving lane of the relatively new North Roosevelt Boulevard. At the same time a wide sidewalk runs along the highway.

Now discussions are being had about redoing South Roosevelt Boulevard. Reducing the four lanes down to two. A primary motivation being to make room for bicyclists. The walk along the ocean is eight feet wide and has been accommodating bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, and moms with baby carriages, for years. All without problem.

Why the sudden the concern for bicycles? I only learned the reason the past few days. The bicycle lobby in Florida is formidable. An influence to be reckoned with. Who would have believed? An example of a big tree from a little acorn growing.

The media should unveil the lobby. Bring it out into the light. Make people aware.

It used to be WE THE PEOPLE ran the country. No more. Elected legislators do not listen to those who elected them. Instead, they are at the beck and call of lobbyists. Money talks!

We have lost control of our government over the past 30 years. Corporate America calls the shots. Be cognizant. Time to start taking our government back.

Last night, party time! Don, Herschel and Erika. I invited Herschel and Erika out to dinner. They are visiting for a week. Don joined us.

We started at Don’s Place. Then dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da.

La Te Da full. We had to squeeze a fourth seat in at the bar to accommodate our group.

A good time had by all. Except for an aggravating bartender. Service sucked. His personality matched the service. I was disappointed Tonto was not working.

Weather soon to be a problem. An Arctic blast coming in. Going to be below zero in some northern areas.

We will feel the Arctic weather in Florida friday and saturday. Thirty and 40 degree weather predicted for Orlando and above.

The blast will reach Key West. Not badly. However, cold enough.

The high today is 82 degrees. Friday will be a high of 73 and low of 67. Both cold for us. Laugh not. I will have the heat on for the 67 degree night. Seventy three by day is sweatshirt weather.

Saturday is projected to be a bit warmer. Seventy six-71 degrees.

It will be cold on the boats participating in the Lighted Boat Parade saturday night. Long pants and a jacket.

I wrote about Standing Rock yesterday. Suspected a Trojan horse. Still do. In spite of the fact that the Department of Army closed down the job yesterday. A victory for the Native American Sioux. A temporary one, I fear.

Another example of corporate America controlling government thinking/results. The people not important. We have become plebeians. Corporate America, patricians.

The Department of Army said different routes would be sought, piping would not be allowed under the Missouri River. A new environmental study to be done.

Why my concern that all is still not well, that yesterday’s victory is not etched in stone?

The decision to stop the job was made by the Department of Army. Not the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. True, the Corps is a division of the Army Department. However decisions had been made by the Engineers up to this point. Suggests to me the Engineers did not support the decision to close down the job.

The corporation’s CEO said his company would still be proceeding with the job. A screw you to the Native Americans and Department of Army.

The CEO was also confident that Trump would approve the continuation of the pipeline once sworn in. Trump has already publicly proclaimed he supports the pipeline.

Tomorrow December 7. As President Roosevelt said, “A day that will live in infamy.” Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

The day before, Roosevelt was convinced the Japanese intended to attack Thailand. Intelligence had so advised him.

Roosevelt sent a telegram to Emperor Hirohito. Hoping to stop the attack on Thailand, the President asked that “for the sake of humanity,” the Emperor intervene “to prevent further death and destruction in the world.”

Japan’s vessels headed for Thailand were intended as a bluff. Its greater force was headed for Pearl Harbor.

A few weeks ago, the Greeks demonstrated against Obama while he was at a State dinner in his honor in Athens. I have already explained that scenario from the view point of my Greek friend Jim Brown.

Yesterday, another demonstration. This one for charity. Called the Athens Santa Run. Thousands of Greeks dress as Santas packing the streets of downtown Athens.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Standing Rock and Pearl Harbor lead the agenda of topics. Followed by a Venezuela update, Russia and the International Criminal Court, a German mayor knocked unconscious because he wanted his city to build free housing for Syrian immigrants, and more. www.bogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

SANTAS GALORE

The not to be equaled Key West Christmas Parade last night. Always the best. Young and old alike watching. Babies in arms. The Key West community enjoying a happy occasion.

Santa Claus. There had to be at least 15 on the floats. I recall one Christmas Robert and Ally asking Lisa…..Which one is the real Santa Claus? Lisa thought for a moment. Then…..All of them! There are parades everywhere in the world at the same time. Santa can’t be at all of them. These are Santa’s assistants.

A brilliant response. They bought it.

Robert and Ally knew there had to be only one Santa Claus. The one that showed up at their home at dinner time every Christmas Eve. Poppa’s friend.

As with my children and other grandchildren, there was always a Santa Claus to personally visit them Christmas Eve. The real one! The kids all had the opportunity to sit on Sant’s lap either at my home in Utica or in Lisa’s in Key West.

I loved arranging it! A thrill for me as well as them.

I watched the parade from Don’s Place. As it started, I walked down to the County Office Building on Truman to watch with Robert and Ally. The same spot every year. This year I could not find them. Too crowded. Walked back to Don’s Place.

An enjoyable time at Don’s Place. He had about 30 chairs outside. A pop corn machine. Free pop corn. Very good by the way. David working the pop corn machine.

Herschel and Erica in town for a one week visit. Returned to Indiana three years ago. Part of our bocce team. Erica and I were partners on occasion.

We are having dinner together Monday night.

Bartender John from the Chart Room showed up. We chatted through two drinks each.

I was home before 9. As I hit the pillow, I recalled I failed to pay my bill at Don’s. Called and told him. He said forget about it.

Another major Christmas event next Saturday. The Lighted Boat Parade off Schooner Wharf. An event! Hitch a ride on one of the boats and try it.

Yesterday a two hour session with Sloan. Even called in Tim Reynolds up in St. Petersburg. We were having trouble with the volume for my soon to be new show Louis Petrone Says. It took a while, but Sloan and Tim got it ironed out.

Sometime next week, I will be starting a streaming show on You Tube. Several times a day. You will be able to see me. Live!

The show will be in segments. Several a day. No certain number. Each show roughly 30-60 seconds. As something tickles my fancy, I will sit down at my desk, turn on the computer and say…..It’s me again!

I also will still be doing this blog and my Tuesday podcast show.

David and Goliath. The Old Testament returns this week in Standing Rock, North Dakota. Confrontation time. Two thousand protesters and an additional 2,000 veterans. Standing against the might of federal, state and local governments. As well as an outside mercenary group Tag Swan. Thought to have been brought in by the corporation interested in building the pipe line.

Why David and Goliath?

The “bad guys” have top military equipment. Like rubber bullets, concussion grenades, stinger grenades, water hoses, tear gas and huge armored vehicles. The bad guys claim they need this type equipment to protect themselves from the Native Americans who are using sling shots against them! In addition to rocks and bottles.

The Native Americans also ride on horses to do whatever they do. Against the mechanized force of governments improperly being used. The horse soldiers remind me of the Polish Army attacking Hitler’s blitzkrieg of tanks, troops, and planes at the start of World War II.

An interesting article in  this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. About seniors and falling. The article stated 1/3 of all persons over 65 fall. Do I know it! Terrible!

I fell 5 times last year. Each fall a bad one. I fell three weeks ago. One of the worse. Still hurt. Luckily, no broken bones so far.

Syracuse beat North Florida yesterday 77-71. Not an impressive victory.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD AIDS DAY

Today is World AIDS Day. Especially important in Key West. Too many lost over the years.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an excellent front page article re this day.

At 4:30 this afternoon, the Candlelight Walk. Then at 6, the annual recollection ceremony. At the Edward B. Knight Pier. To remember loved ones lost to the disease.

The article notes an increase in HIV and AIDS cases in the past nine months. From 4 to 21. Sounds alarming. I doubt it is.

A new State law comes into play. This year the first for its imposition. The new law mandates HIV and AIDS testing as part of all annual physicals. Except where the patient opts out.

Increased testing means more positive results. Inevitable.

I completed my Key West Rotary history yesterday. Twenty six separate installments. Interesting to do. Onerous on occasion. Some days added as much as two hours additional work. A pleasure, never the less.

Martin’s for Happy Hour yesterday. With friend Joseph.

Joseph down to one cane. Big progress! He anticipates that soon there will be no need for a cane.

Conversation excellent. Joseph wants to do a blog. Needs to fill in his time now that he is retired. I told him I would have Sloan help him set up. I sense Joseph’s blog will be an intellectual one. Philosophical.

Martin’s food continues to be outstanding. I enjoyed small lamb chops and baked brie. Joseph, snails and schnitzle strips.

Magic bartending. From Poland. Many Poles have immigrated and settled in Key West. My Italian ancestors in the cold northeast many years ago. Weatherwise, the Poles selected better. Warm weather year round as opposed to biting cold winters.

Next stop, Don’s Place.

Chatted with Don and David.

Joanie is back. For the winter. Good to see her!

Quick stops on the way home at Walgreens and Publix.

Tonight, a manicure with Tammy at 7. Followed by dinner at 8 at Outback.

William Hackley writes that on this date in 1855, he paid William C. Dennis “for the hire of a negro woman.”

This Hackley has done in the past. Diana Millikan an historian of sorts. She believes one of the negro woman’s duties was washing Hackley during his morning baths. She believes it was a slave’s customary duty to be performed for her master. I told her to find authority for it somewhere. She is still looking.

The hurricane season ended yesterday. Hope hurricanes are aware that Key West should experience no further ones this year as November 30 has come and gone.

You can never be sure. I recall several years ago when October 31 was the end of hurricane season. We got hit by one the first week of November.

A big saturday awaits! The Christmas Parade. At 7 on Truman. Always fun. Especially for the kids. Tons of candy thrown from parade floats.

Enjoy your day!

 

I HEARD FROM CRETE

This blog has moved into its 11th year. I have made many friends via the blog over the years. World wide. A few I have been fortunate to meet. Others, not. However the level of communication has been sufficient that I feel I know them personally. Like we get together for a drink together now and then.

One “close friend” is Crete’s Jim Brown. Crete is one of the Greek isles.

Jim is a transplant from Great Britain to Crete. A resident of Crete for many years. Married with family. Earns a living by entertaining. A band. His band.

We occasionally chat via Facebook re politics.

I wrote Jim last week concerning Obama’s poor reception while visiting Greece. Seven thousand protested against him, the American flag burned, etc. The media suggested the Communists responsible.

I did not understand. The Communist Party in Greece is negligible. The powerful out of office party is the Nazi Party. Know as the New Dawn.

I wrote Jim re my concerns. He responded.

He does not believe the protests were anti-American. The Greek people are pissed. They like to vent. Need to vent. They are generally upset with the powers to be internationally. They do not believe the rest of the world gave them support in their “war” against Merkel and the Euro Union.

He said I should not be concerned about the American flag being burned. The protesters burned a Greek flag also.

Brown believes Tsipras sold them down the river, that austerity is crippling the Greek people.

The suicide rate has tripled. He writes these are “sad times my friend.”

He mentioned the Nazi Party hates all foreigners. He did not believe they were involved in the protests.

An absence in his e-mail was he never mentioned the Communist Party or Communism or a Communist part in the protests.

Does his silence re the Communist aspect say anything?

Worked with Sloan yesterday afternoon. Soon, I will be streaming on You Tube. In addition to everything else I am doing.

Bocce playoffs later in the day. Fun. Don’s Place got beat by monday’s #4 team.

Florida State beat Syracuse 45-14. Only one game left. Pitt. Then the season will be behind us.

Dinner tonight with Liz and her house guest. Another law school dean. Should be an interesting evening.

Typical Key West result. The new City Hall was to be dedicated tomorrow. The ribbon cutting. Announced in this morning’s Key West Citizen that there will be no ribbon cutting. The building not ready yet.

The Mosquito Control Board announced that it will be going ahead with genetically modified mosquito testing. Not in Key Haven, however. Key Haven residents voted it down in the recent election. The Board is looking for another key to run the test.

Weather has changed. We are going into winter. Cool this past week. No air conditioning required evenings. Sleep with the windows open. Rarely need air by day.

The temperature level is good. High 70s by day and low 70s by night.

Key West Rotary minutes 1935 reflect the influence of the federal government in resurrecting Key West from the depression, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, and the demise of Flagler’s railroad. The three had kicked Key West in its ass.

A board meeting was held on December 16, 1935 at Strunk.s new home on Flagler. Federal support was discussed. Favorably.

Responsible was the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

La Semana Alegre was scheduled for the week of February 2, 1936. Also known as the Week of Joy Festival.

Ninety thirty five found the WPA successful in many ways in assisting a Key West recovery.

One the performance of Pirates of Penzance scheduled during La Semana Alegre.

A side note. Snowbird Diana Millikan is writing what she hopes will be a novel regarding WPA’s showing of the Pirates of Penzance in Key West. Her research deep. Her writing skills excellent.

Some background concerning the WPA and Key West. One of FDR’s programs to get America on its feet again.

As a result of the hurricane, demise of the railroad and the depression, Key West had become one of America’s poorest cities. Eleven thousand residents were receiving some form of federal assistance.

The WPA saw the possibility of a metamorphosis. To turn Key West into a tourist mecca. The purpose to make Key West a destination for people with money to spend.

WPA viewed Key West as a cultural destination. Artists, writers, etc. The WPA spent money beautifying Key West’s streets, homes and landscapes. A one year make over basically.

A no screwing around plan. Get in and get it done. Which the WPA did.

By the end of 1935, thousands had visited Key West for the first time. Ordinary people looking for an out of ordinary vacation spot.

The Key West Rotary planned to take advantage of the new Key West by scheduling a several city Rotary meeting for Key West during the February Week of Joy.

The thought occurs how differently things were in the 1930s when contrasted with today. Roosevelt’s government moved its ass to get things done. Key west an example. Nothing gets done that quickly today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

GATO HOUSE GHOSTS

Key West is home to many ghosts. Key Westers take the ghostly viewings amusingly but seriously.

One of the ghost stories involves the Gato House aka Casa Gato. Located at 1209 Virginia Street. People residing there.

What follows is my installment 12 derived based on a Key West Rotary history.

The Gato House ghost story begins for our purposes with the Key West Rotary luncheon June 2, 1932. The Rotary and Ladies of St. Paul’s Church were involved with the luncheon. The proceeds were donated to the Mercedes Hospital. The Mercedes hospital today the Gato House located at 1209 Virginia Street.

The Gato House was built by one of Key West’s early leading citizens. Eduardo H. Gato. A Cuban immigrant who made his fortune in the cigar business.

He built his Key West home at an end of the island facing the ocean. He purchased the lot in 1887.  Construction was completed in 1890. He brought carpenters from Cuba to build the house.

In 1911, Gato permitted a philanthropic group of Cuban residents to use the building as a hospital for indigents. Gato and his family no longer resided in the house.

Gato had one request. He wanted the hospital named in honor of his wife Mercedes. So done. The hospital was named Casa de la Pobre Mercedes Hospital. Referred to as Mercedes Hospital.

In 1919, Gato sold the property to the City of Key West. He retained title to the building itself. The property sold to the City later became Bayview Park.

The building was still being operated as the Mercedes Hospital. It was moved to its present location at 1209 Virginia Street. Same name, different address.

The Mercedes Hospital was run most of its years by Maria Valdez de Gustens. Addressed as Mother Gustens. Described by all as an angel and saint.

The Mercedes Hospital continued till some time around the beginning of World War II when it closed.

The former Mercedes Hospital  in due course became an apartment house. Commonly referred to as the Gato House. In the interim between being the Mercedes Hospital and an apartment house, the building was empty, windows broken. The rear of building became a popular place for cockfights to be held.

Since becoming an apartment house, it has acquired an additional description. A ghost house.

Jan Stefano was residing in one of the apartments. Night time. She was in bed sleeping with her boy friend. She felt someone touching her wrist. She woke immediately.

She observed a short stout woman at her bedside. Her hair in a bun. Wearing a gray dress with long sleeves and a high collar. Standing next to the woman was a man. The woman appeared to be in charge. Stefano thought the woman was taking her pulse. When she turned to wake her boyfriend, the ghosts disappeared.

Whether the ghosts have been sighted since, I have not been able to ascertain.

Most Conchs and long time Key Westers believe the event occurred and that Mother Gustens walks the house looking after its occupants.

My yesterday…..

Lazy. Some research and writing. Sloan back from Europe. We worked together in the afternoon.

The evening spent at Berlin’s with Liz. An enjoyable and interesting companion.

Bria her usual beautiful self.

I am still dieting. It will be one week tomorrow morning. No cheating yet. Ordered a 2 pound Maine lobster boiled. No vegetables. Only the lobster.

No drinking, either. It was water for me.

I had checked a calorie counter before going out for dinner. A 2 pound lobster has negligible calories.

One problem. I was hungry after consuming the lobster. Most of the 2 pounds is in the shell.

Berlin’s packed. Really packed. Waiting for tables inside A&B Lobster House. Monied people. Otherwise, they would not be able to afford the boats they race and the crews required to maintain them.

Today is the last day of the Powerboatboat races. If you have not seen, go! An experience!

This morning’s Key West Citizen listed voting figures. One impressed me. Monroe County consists  primarily of the Keys. 79.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots. A big number! Upstate New York my home for 70 years. Never anything near that percentage voted.

Syracuse beat yesterday by North Carolina State. 35-20. Not an excuse. Our star quarterback Eric Dungey could not play because of injuries. I suspect Syracuse would have won if he had.

The balance of the season does not look good. Even if Dungey is able to play. Our last two opponents are Florida State and Pittsburgh.

Next Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Several Key West transgenders died this past year. Some suicides. The reason the day is one of remembrance.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

UPSIDE DOWN PINEAPPLE IN SHOPPING CART

Yesterday, I received a site to look at from a reader. I did…..If you are in a grocery store and put a pineapple upside down in your shopping cart, it means you are into “extracurricular activities outside of marriage.”

I went to Publix. Had to shop anyhow. Rushed to the fruit counters. No pineapples!

Two sunday dinners yesterday within two hours of each other. The second was the problem. I did not want to insult Dee who had prepared it for me.

I enjoyed an early sunday dinner with Rich and Cynthia Boettiger at their home. Both good company. Rich and I go at it politically. Cynthia sits back . Speaks rarely. When she does, it is a pearl of wisdom.

On the drive home, I received a call from Dee. I had not seen Dee in three months. She said she was driving down from Cudjoe with a special meal she had prepared for me.

Dee, a smart woman. She has a PhD. in psychology. Knows the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

In comes Dee with a huge bowl of pasta. Angel hair. Covered in a delicious smelling sauce buried in grated cheese. My people call it sauce. Dee is from Boston where it is called gravy.

I did not wish to offend. Ate the huge dish she put before me. Then a second helping she pushed upon me.

Cynthia and Dee back to back! A little heavy.

Dee left. I collapsed in bed. Watched the end of the Cleveland/Chicago game. Chicago won. Still have a long road ahead to ultimate victory. Going to be interesting.

In the Comments section of this morning’s Key West Citizen was a compliment to the City for the fine clean up job of Duval following the parade.  Seventy thousand at the parade saturday night. Duval a mess afterwards. By 8 sunday morning, pristine clean.

It has always been such. When I was an early morning Duval  walker, I always took note of the clean up. Impressive!

Bocce. Don’s Place now 18-6. Tied for second with Hell’s Rangers who recently defeated Don’s 3-0.

The famous poet John Keats was born this date in 1795. He died 21 years later.

I have mentioned Keats often. Thirty five years ago, the family and I were spending a month in the Rome area. I tripped across Keats’ home. Next door to the Spanish Steps. I was able to view the bedroom, his final resting place. As well as a room filled with his poems handwritten on paper under protective glass.

I recommend any one visiting Rome to visit Keats’ residence. A moving experience.

Now to the second installment of a writing motivated by Wright Langley’s History of the Rotary Club of Key West. This installment covering the years 1915-1919. Note that the history of the Key West Rotary parallels that of the United States in certain instances.

Rotary International was born in 1905. Intended to be an international service organization. Service above self, the motto.

The aim was to bring business and professional leaders together to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

Rotary International was ten years old when in 1915 Key West was asked to form a Rotary Club. The chair of the organizing committee was local attorney Jefferson B. Browne.

A group of community leaders met for informal luncheon meetings in a Duval Street store between Front and Greene Streets.

The Key West Rotary was officially organized on March 17, 1916. It was elected to membership in the International Rotary on April 1, 1916.

Five officers plus twenty six additional charter members made up the group. Attorney Browne was elected President. Other officers consisted of attorney William Malone, jeweler Frank Johnson, and grocery store manager George A. T. Roberts.

Rotary sought the best men to comprise the local Rotary. Not out of snobbery. Rather to assure that the men  selected had the power and influence to get things done.

President Browne wrote to Rotary Secretary Chelsey R. Perry in Chicago…..We have the best men in the City in our club…..We intend to make our club a strictly high class one.

The influence and ability to get things done was soon evident. They were instrumental in organizing a Key West chapter of the American Red Cross in 1917. The club also provided the leadership in forming the Key West Chamber of Commerce.

By 1916, World War I was raging in Europe. The United States joined the conflict in April 1917 when Congress signed a war resolution.

The War was not the only major Congressional vote in 1917. Later that year, the Volstead Act was passed. The Eighteenth Amendment. Outlawed the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages. The States finally ratified the law January 29, 1919.

From that date forward, Key West’s economy shot upward. Key West became a significant port of ingress for alcohol. Especially, rum from Cuba. Key West acquired the title of rumrunning capital of the world.

Nineteen nineteen was memorable for the Key West Rotary. Two of its members attended the Rotary International Convention in Edinburgh, Scotland as delegates. Drs. William Warren and Joseph Renedo.

Enjoy your day!

 

TERRI ON THE MEND

It was back to the Lower Keys Medical Center at 8 yesterday morning for the CAT scan. Properly home medicated before hand.

I thought I would have to go through Admissions again. I had no order form this time. No papers. I felt like my grandfather when he was getting off the boat from Italy.

Not a problem. The radiologist was waiting for me at the door to the hospital. She took me by the hand and lead me to her department. Telling me I needed nothing. She was using monday’s paper work.

The whole thing took 15 minutes. The radiologist was Mechelle. I spelled it correctly. That is the way her parents spelled it. A Navy family.

I was wobbly when I got off the table. Continued to walk a bit unsteady. Into the elevator and up to the third floor. Wobbly walk continued as I entered Terri’s room.

The radiologist told me not to drive. I might feel that way. I did.

Donna a good friend. She picked me up and after returned me to my home. Donna was with Terri. The hospital is 5 minutes from my home. Donna was happy to get out of the hospital for a few minutes. She has been sleeping overnight on a chair in Terri’s room.

Terri looked terrific! She looked like death warmed over monday. The doctors still do not know why her kidneys were screwed up. A high number. Now coming down.

Her immediate problem was blood. they discovered tuesday night she was losing blood. Gave her two pints. That is why Terri was herself when I saw her.

She was hungry when she woke. First time she ate while in the hospital. She was sitting up in bed paying her bills over her cell phone when I arrived.

Don’s Place first last night. Chatted with David, Toni and Becca.

Then to the Back Door at Aqua and Mark Watson. Mark very concerned about Terri. They are close.

Quiet. Three guys in drag walked through.

Parking is a gigantic problem during Fantasy Fest. Does not exist. Lucky to find a spot 8-10 blocks away. To visit Back Door, I park in the public lot behind the new fire station. Not last night. Signs all over the place…..No Parking.

A pain in the ass. Obviously the City is preparing to use the lot for the remainder of Fantasy Fest for something else. Probably the buses bringing in out of town tourists who come in for a day from Miami. Typical City Commission attitude. Screw the locals!

I finally found a spot on the street after driving around a few minutes. City meter. $2 an hour. Same as in the parking lot. Much less convenient, however.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for something to eat. Quiet. Every one downtown.

Soup and an appetizer. Followed by Key Lime pie. I had not had a piece in a while.

Michael entertaining. He took a long break and we chatted at the bar. Presidential politics.

Two guys sat next to me for a drink. We talked constantly. Primarily, Presidential politics.

One of the men was Bill Glowka from the Mecca, California area. A CPA. He was all aglow telling me about his participation with Galilee Center in California. He is a board member. The organization assists the needy.

Take a look at their website. An interesting operation. www.galileecenter.org.

I have begun asking people who they favor for President. Seems more Trump than Hillary. Many not voting. Several doing write ins.

The Trump supporters are middle aged men with out a college education. Blue collar workers. The women decidedly for Hillary. Those not voting think both are so bad that neither is worth their vote.

William Hackley has been writing the past several days of his hunting exploits. Must be the way food was put on the table in 1855. He generally shot ducks, teal and goose.

I finally get my flu shot today. Later than normal. I totally recommend the flu shot. Started 16 years ago. No flu since then. Prior to that time, I was good for three attacks a year.

USA Today ran an article yesterday saying that women will earn as much as men in 170 years. Don’t buy it! Today’s women will not stand for it. Equality will be achieved in the next decade.

Enjoy your day!

 

GOOMBAY!

Finally! Goombay! Last night!

Goombay is of Haitian or some other Caribbean derivation. Goombay is a round goat skin drawn over a round or square wood or metal bottomless pail. Played with the hands. There were a lot of palms slapping on goat skin tops last night.

Goombay has become an annual event for some. Don entertains a group from his bar. He has been doing this for years.

We met last night at Don’s Place. A drink or two. Eleven of us in a cab ride to 801. 801 is one of the most popular Key West gay bars. It sits on Duval at the beginning of Goombay.

After a few more drinks, we headed out. First a group picture. We take one every year. No one has ever seen the finished product.

For some  of us, the initial walk is short. One block to the outside bar of Bourbon Street. Another premier gay bar. It has become a habit to stop there to listen to Blue. A singer. A long time friend of Don and David.

We sat enjoying a few more drinks. Some of the group danced. On soft sand.

The group at this point consisted of Don, David and Billie, Stan and Clare, Dan and Betty, and Louis. Don was my date.

Now came the walk up Petronia Street. Booths/stands on each side of the street. Music coming from everywhere. All kinds of Caribbean type food. The street crowded.

Similar to New York’s San Gennaro Feast, except San Gennaro is Italian in nature.

I had to eat. Opted for a sausage sandwich.

Once we left Bourbon St., we separated. Impossible for a large group to move together. The goal Blue Heaven.

I got there last.

Blue Heaven is a large outdoor restaurant. Packed.

I stayed for one drink. Exhausted. It was time to leave. I snuck off with no good byes.

As I was leaving, I heard Louis! Turned and it was Jean Thornton. She has been back two weeks and it was the first time we have seen each other. A big hug and kiss.

I will see Jean again this afternoon at a retirement party for Joe Lyles.

My car was at Don’s Place. A big walk. Especially with how my heart has been behaving recently. I took it slow and made it. No adverse physical feelings.

Today busy.

Syracuse/Boston College at noon. Will watch at home.

Then to the Hot Tin Roof for Joseph Lyles’ retirement party. Well deserved!

Tonight became a problem. I had a date scheduled with lovely Jenna for dinner. Does my heart good to be out with a beautiful 30 year old woman.

Then I found out that there was a bocce make-up game tonight. Don’s Place/Hell’s Rangers. Big time game between two big time teams this season. Don’s is alone in first place. Hell’s Rangers in third. Hell’s Rangers generally in first place most seasons.

The match has turned into a party. Hell’s Rangers bringing the food and Don’s the drinks. A cook out!

I wanted to see the bocce match. I gave up Jenna for a bocce game! A sure sign I have gotten old.

Jenna understood. We are going out together tomorrow night.

I mentioned the Rick Pitino situation yesterday. David Taylor wrote me a long in depth review of the situation from his perspective. David now lives in St. Louis. However, spent many years in Kentucky. He was aware first hand of facts I knew not. Will share them with you as the Pitino matter develops.

Enjoy your day!