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.

 

SYPHILIS IN KEY WEST

Syphilis is a venereal disease of old. A cure available. A quick one. Penicillin. The disease still around, however. Just not in significant numbers.

Six months ago, Key West had no syphilis cases. Recently, 10. An epidemic of sorts.

Nine of the 10 involve 18 and 19 year old males. Recent high school graduates. The final one a much older male.

Investigation revealed the 9 young ones got the disease post-graduation.

Authorities advised the infection not necessarily gay acquired.

The matter remains under investigation. The initial Key West source of the infection and others who may be infected.

Some things just never go away.

I have two pair of horn rimmed glasses. Thirty or more years old. Lens replaced, never the frames. Love the frames! Cost $700 each when purchased. Think I got my money’s worth.

One of the frames broke. Old age probably. I took the glasses to Key West Optical yesterday. Located in the gray shopping center on Kennedy and Flagler.

They were able to fix the frame! No guaranty how long the repair will last. Whatever, I am thrilled. I am wearing the glasses at the moment.

Key West Optical good people. Not the first time I have gone in for a repair. Always happy to help. Always no charge.

Moved on to K-Mart. Need a small table and stool. Did not have the size I needed. I want to move my video show outside. The background would be magnificent.

Then to Don’s Place. No room in the parking lot or street. Did not get to stop. No disappointment. I will see my Don’s Place / bocce friends tonight at bocce.

The Chart Room the next stop. Chatted with John a bit.

Steve Kelly seated next to me at the bar. Mid-50s. From West Chester, Pennsylvania. With his friend Pete. Both staying at the Pier House. Prior Key West visitors.

Steve and I hit it off immediately. A lot in common. An interesting conversation.

Steve is in a family business. His Mom and Dad started it. He runs it now. His son works with him and will take over when Steve walks away.

The business involves sporting goods. Athletic equipment. Called Kelly’s Sports. Sells directly to public and private institutions, as well as the public. University, colleges, and private schools. Sells also to booster clubs, parent organizations and fan clubs.

A big operation. One hundred employees. We laughed about payroll.

Steve and his son have been moving the business into internet sales. The wave of the future that is already here.

Easily observable was that Steve is proud of the business. His third generation family business.

I have been on a diet. Nothing even close to heavy. Yogurt and cottage cheese. Needed a steak last night. A small one. Stopped at Outback for their 6 ounce filet mignon and steamed vegetables. Like I had not eaten in several days. I had not!

Watched McDonald’s All American High School Basketball on TV. Some of the kids are good. They know it. You can see it in their faces.

My grandson John played on a Niki All American Team eight years ago. I traveled to see him. Think it was Charlotte. John was good. Not Division 1 good. He played at Albany State for four years. Captained the team in his senior year.

John is now in his last year of law school.

Moving back to the afternoon for a moment, I did some legal research. An issue I wanted to resolve. I felt like a lawyer again.

Skipper Kripitz is one of the most loved persons in Key West. Also, one of its best musicians. Skipper plays the drums.

He arranges the Tuesday night show at Virgilio’s. Always a sell out. This coming Tuesday the Savage Beets.

I read a write up on the show. Skipper was described as ubiquitous. A big word. Smart as I think I am, I did not know what it meant. Looked it up. Defined as found everywhere. Applies to Skipper. He is all over town playing.

Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway in my life the past 24 hours.

I could not sleep during the night. Watched an old movie on TV. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. I have seen the movie at least a dozen times. The story and setting turn me on. Filmed in Rome.

Tennessee William’s in the credits. First time I noted it. Williams wrote the novel from which the movie was made.

The Ernest Hemingway tale disturbs me. Love Ernest Hemingway!

A Nicholas Reynolds wrote a new book: Writer, Sailor, Soldier: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961.

The book sacrilegious in part.

Reynolds writes Hemingway was a Russian spy 1940-41. Doing espionage for the Soviet Union. Worked with the NKVD, predecessor to the KGB. His cover name Argo.

Attempted to verify the representation. Hard to do. A prior book written in 2009 suggested the same, but indicated Hemingway probably did it to get background for a novel.

I did not have time to research further. Patrick, if the subject interests you, do a little digging and let me know what you come up with.

Have to hustle. A haircut appointment.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

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!