GEORGE

I was paying my bill at the bar at Antonia’s last night. Sensed someone behind me. Turned. A lovely blond. Magnificent. Hair style a bit different. Short punk? Punk pixie? Short spiky? To me, they all look alike. The cut marvelous.

It was obvious she knew me. I could not recall her. It was George. George is a lady.

I have seen George probably six times in fifteen years. The first time at Lisa’s wedding. The event at the Southernmost Beachside. We took over the restaurant and entire beach. Food and drink stations everywhere.

I was at one of the martini bars. A young lady spoke to me. George. She introduced herself as a friend of Lisa’s. My recollection is we enjoyed two apple martini’s each as we talked.

I recall not the specifics of the conversation. Recognized George was a deep thinking sensitive woman. I enjoyed our time together.

As mentioned earlier, last night was the sixth time I have seen her in 15 years.

George is a bartender at Hogsbreath. When we first met. Even  today. Dillon her husband.

We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then invited me to join her friends at the other end of the bar. She wanted me to meet Joni, a relative newcomer to Key West.

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

I refer to Cori normally by her title. Doctor. She has a Doctorate. Impressive. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS).

Cori’s work brilliant. Her shows and offerings at the Custom House beyond the best. I have come to admire her greatly.

Nic, her husband.

I was introduced to Joni. Told she read my blog everyday. Such made her an instantaneous hit with me.

We walked to the other end of the bar and chatted.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, she has lived in Key West six months. Already bought a place. A condominium on Petronia between Duval and Whitehead.

Joni has an MBA. Spent a lifetime working in finance for Sunoco. Already employed in Key West. With KWAHS.

Attractive. A nice person. I sense we shall meet again.

Sitting next to me during dinner were Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. A Key West love story. Both widowers. Now have a home in Key West.

In her other life, Jan was in the scrap metal business in northern Indiana. We had much to talk about. I was an environmental attorney. Sheet metal and environmental lawyering go hand in hand.

Bob impressed me. He owned a BMW distributorship in Westbury, Long Island. Third largest in the country. Sold 4,000 BMW’s a year.

Nicole bartending. Seven straight weeks. TK stayed north with his mother extra long. TK back tuesday. Nicole will return to waitressing.

I enjoyed Nicole’s company as bartender. A charming engaging woman.

Prior to Antonia’s, I was at Kate Miano’s Gardens. The Gardens was hit hard by Irma.

The property extensive. Surrounded by a large wooded area. Huge trees. Some probably back to Indian days.

Many wiped out.

There was one empty area relatively large. I thought perhaps a guest house had been situated the spot. No. Merely tall trees. All gone.

Irma has effected her business. She had to return deposits in the six figures. No insurance to cover the tree losses.

Kate is one of the smartest and aggressive women I know. She and her Gardens will recover.

Saw many friends. Jean Thornton one of them. My joy to see Jean. We will have a special bond the rest of our lives.

Earlier in the day, Sloan and I spent four hours finalizing work on Irma and Me. Tedious. E-mailed everything to the Publisher. He advised the book may be out by week’s end.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR RESIGNS…..GREAT!

I am rarely excited about the decisions of the Key West City Commission. They make decisions, pass rules and regulations, and then sit in the corner like Little Jack Horner. Each sticking his thumb in the pie and coming up with a plum. Saying simultaneously…..What a good boy am I!

Decisions off the wall. They throw money at everything. Frequently not the solution.

Last year, the Commission hired a Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. Chris Hamilton. Never met Hamilton. Began to think he was crazy as he got into the job.

The man moved. Earned his salary by making changes. Changes I considered not always good.

Bikes his job. He removed parking spaces and replaced them with bike lanes. He added bike lanes in dangerous places.

The man was pro-bike and anti-car. He forgot we who drive cars worry constantly about hitting a bike rider who with his 5 member family are rolling down a Key West Street. Some of the kids 4-5 years old. Then there is the 60ish woman who probably has not been on a bike in 40 years. She has trouble keeping her ass on the seat and wobbles uncontrollably.

I could go on.

I hope the position remains unfilled. Traffic congestion and parking problems have to be decided at one time by a group. Not piece meal. The City may be moving in that direction.

Got to the Chart Room early. Before 5. Wanted to see John about something. My self phone lost his number.

My game plan was to go from there to bocce. Never made bocce. The Chart Room was too interesting and fun to leave.

Met George. Nice guy. 47. From New Jersey. A software engineer. Could have been an Arts major. Reads everything. Big on Hemingway.

George visits once a year with a group of friends. One a police officer from Red Bank. The officer’s police patch hangs on the Chart Room wall. He proudly pointed it out to everyone.

George told me about Pompous Hemingway. A book of sorts by Hemingway. I tried to find it this morning. Could not. George, if you are reading this blog this morning, e-mail me how to find the book in the Comments section. Forget the long number you gave me. Turned out I did not know how to use it.

The new amphitheater is constantly discussed these days. Who to name it after? That person or company pays a fee for the privilege. Normally, very generous.

Several names have been mentioned. Jimmy Buffett one of them.

The anti-Buffett talk is amazing. Many do not want the facility named after him. Hard to understand. Jimmy Buffet is a part of Key West as much as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

A local I had never seen before was sitting at the other end of the Chart Room bar. Attractive. Her feet up on the bar stool next to hear. In her slightly inebriated high pitched voice she was berating Buffett as a choice.

In the very room where Buffett got his start!

Key West has bright stars in many areas of accomplishment. Dr. Cori Convertino is one.

Cori is affiliated with the Key West Art and Historical Society. She is the Curator at the Custom House.

She is a recognized maritime history expert.

Cori recently completed a two year project. The Flagler Railroad section of the Custom House. Fantastic!

She has been invited to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy September 14-15 at a maritime symposium. Her topic to be involves Commodore David Porter and his anti-piracy efforts in 1823 which effectively eliminated piracy from Key West waters.

Sally Rand was a famous fan dancer for many years. Even into her 60’s. She lived in Key West in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

I met her in 1965. At a convention at Grossinger’s in New York’s Catskill mountains. I was attorney for the group holding the conference.

Sally was retained to perform one evening.

I met her the night before at a small cocktail party at the Grossinger residence. At 60, Sally was still beautiful. We hit it off and I spent much time the next two days when not working in her company.

I was unaware she was the lady friend of one of my client’s officer staff. A secret friend. They had had a tiff.

Three days following the convention, I received a letter advising my services were no longer required and I was terminated.

A learning experience.

Harvey has displaced one million persons. Forty four dead. The number will increase as more bodies are found. Beaumont is a community of 120,000 persons. They have no drinking water.

The sadness of it all.

Irma is on the way. Similar in power to Harvey. Still two thousand miles away. A hurricane already. Expected to be a 4 when it hits in a week. Winds will be 140 miles per hour plus.

Whether it will reach land or turn north up into the Atlantic not yet certain. At this time heading for the Bahamas. Too soon to determine its impact, if any, with the United states.

After Harvey, I am concerned. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Enjoy your day!

 

OUTSTANDING FLAGLER RAILWAY EXHIBIT

Slept late. Bed followed by a meeting. Ergo, blog late today. Sorry.

I went to the opening of the Flagler Railway Exhibit at the Custom House last night. Outstanding!

Curator Dr. Cori Convertino performed well. She was in charge of the exhibit. A permanent one. A lot of work and time had to be involved. The finished product made it worthwhile.

I could not find Nicky’s drawing of Flagler. It’s there. I will return when there is no crowd and I can take my time looking.

Dr. Convertino in attendance, of course. All decked out in long. Looked terrific! A hug and a kiss of congratulations.

Ran into George. George is a female. She bartends at Hogsbreath. For at least 15 years.

I had not seen her in years. She never changes. I told her so. Looks the same as when I first met her at Lisa’s wedding 13 years ago.

Walked over to the Chart Room following the exhibit. Another fun evening.

Sheila was there. First time in three months that I have seen her. Sat next to her.

Linda Cunningham seated next to Sheila. She contributed to making it an enjoyable evening. In her other life, Linda was an editor. In Key West, she is a Board member of The Stars and Stripes.

Kevin and Holly at the other end of the bar. Chatted with them briefly. Holly her usual lovely self.

Met Grace and Steve. They reside in one of the Villages. Visiting Key West for the holiday weekend.

Grace into legal case management. Steve a former crane operator. Now, retired.

Nice people. Steve especially expressive.

John handled the bar well. Joined in the conversations when he could.

Zbigniew Brzezinski died. Eighty nine years old. A distinguished American. He was National Security Adviser under President Carter. He succeeded Henry Kissinger in the position.

Brzezinski’s family escaped Europe before World War II. Amazing the heights Brzezinski attained.

He is the father of Mika Brzezinski, one of the Morning Joe hosts.

The Rainbow Flag. One and a quarter miles long. From one end of Duval to the other. An expression gay pride.

A portion of the flag is referred to as Section 93. It has been exhibited in several parts of the U.S. and as far away as Australia.

On January 11, Section 93 will participate in a unity and pride parade in Washington, DC. The Equality March for Unity and Pride. It will lead the parade.

Big time sailboat races no more in Key West. For thirty years, the Key West Race Week held in waters off Key West. A big deal!

Unfortunately, participation has dwindled. In 2001, 326 boats. In 2016, 130. This past January, 90.

The numbers explain the cancellation determination.

At a Trump rally in March, Senator Jim Kane’s son was present. Senator Kane was Hillary’s Vice-Presidential running mate.

The son is Linwood “Woody” Kane.

Young Kane was opposed to Trump. He and friends disrupted the rally. One threw a smoke bomb.

That was March. He was arrested this week for his activities at the rally. My question: Why did it take two months to arrest him? Does not make sense.

You can always find an outside the box event in the Keys. This afternoon a dog wash fundraiser. Sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department. Being held at the Keys Animal Hospital. The proceeds go to the Florida Keys SPCA.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

HITLER REVISITED

History repeats itself. No question. In one fashion or another.

Recall Auschwitz. Hitler’s pride. An example of German efficiency.

The gas chambers were so effective, that the bodies could not be disposed of fast enough. Mass graves were not doing the job. Crematoriums came into play. Burn the bodies! Quicker, cleaner, less burdensome. Also, ashes not discoverable in later years. Mass graves are.

Some 70 years later comes Syria’s Assad. Guilty of mass executions. Problem was body disposition and secrecy. A crematorium was constructed at Sednaya Military Prison. Problem resolved.

Note Assad has killed thousands without resort to judicial proceedings.

Assad is supported by Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States supports the rebels opposing Assad. Russia is supposedly not the U.S.’s friend. Perhaps Trump’s however. Saudi Arabia has become a much closer friend since last week’s visit by Trump. Trump was sucked up to big time.

Zeroing in on Saudi Arabia, how can the U.S. be friends with a friend and supporter of a mass executioner such as Assad?

Trump forgets who our friends are. He plays up to despots while insulting and ignoring those who have been friends of the U.S. for years.

I was correct re the effect of the south wind yesterday. The rain storm came at 6:30 last night. Heavy and prolonged. Streets flooded.

The last block to my home deeper in rain water than I have ever seen. I questioned whether I should drive it. The alternative was walking through water 12-18 inches deep. I said screw it. Hit the pedal hard and rammed through the water.

The Chart Room first last night. Kevin and Holly there. John bartending. Quiet. We chatted for a couple of hours. A lot of laughing involved.

Stopped at Outback on the way home for dinner.

Memorial Day Weekend begins tomorrow. Key West will be buried in tourists. Everyone having a good time.

Much will be going on. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta sunday. Don’t miss it! Lots of laughs!

Dr. Cori Convertino is a talented woman. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society. Located at the Custom House.

Tomorrow night a new exhibit opens. One Dr. Convertino has spent months working on. Overseas to the Keys: Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway Exhibit.

John Kennedy had a way of inspiring. He made us feel we could accomplish the impossible. He gave us pride.

On this day in 1961, Kennedy announced his plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

We believed him!

Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 21, 1969.

Kennedy pride. Not the Trump pride Trump tries to foist on us.

Staying with Trump for a moment, Trump reminds me of what happens when a pebble is thrown into a pool of water. The circle caused where the pebble hit grows. Ring after ring. Each larger than the previous

Sort of like……Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

Enjoy your day!