EMPOWERED

Last night was Donna and Terri evening. My guests at dinner to celebrate their anniversary and Terri’s birthday.

We were going to meet at Lucy’s. A new restaurant at the far Gulf end of Grinnell. Arrived first. Spent $12 to park my car in the garage next door. Ridiculous!

Lucy’s packed. A dozen people waiting for tables. Air conditioning appeared to be out.

Telephoned Donna and said Lucy’s a no go. We decided to meet at the bar of Half Shell Raw Bar. We would decide where to eat from there.

Key West is into season. Every restaurant would be packed. I saw what had been anticipated as a great evening turning into a pain in the ass getting a table somewhere.

As I was walking past the old PT’s on Caroline, I noticed it was now called the Bite. Basically a sandwich place. Sports bar of sorts. Had heard good things about the place.

Stepped inside. Not packed. Air conditioning working. Called my lesbian wives and told them to meet me there.

We had a great time! The food good. Many locals we knew filtered in during the course of the evening.

Terri bald. The chemotherapy. Thin. Lost a lot of weight. She was bundled. Cold. Her hands freezing.

She continues with chemo into April. Then the two of them are off to Tampa. A procedure available in Tampa. They will have to remain in Tampa.

The plan is to take Terri’s stem cells and grow bone marrow from them outside her body. Following which the new bone marrow would be introduced into Terri’s body.

Amazing! Terri a trooper!

The Women’s March entered into the conversation.

Donna’s daughter Stacie is the manager of Blue Heaven. One of her daughters is Hannah. Hannah a 17 year old high school senior.

Stacie, Hannah and some of the other Blue Heaven ladies made the trip to Washington and participated in the Women’s March.

Donna said she got a call from her granddaughter Hannah during the March…..Grandma, I feel empowered!

Donna’s son Scott and his wife Kathy marched in Boston. Scott described the Boston march to his mother…..There are no words!

I have another birthday to celebrate tonight. Dee’s. She wants to go to La Trattoria Oceanside.

Tomorrow night the bocce fundraiser at the bocce courts.

I will have had three busy nights by the time I am done.

Rick Dery one of the Dueling Bartenders. His picture appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. He looks terrific!

On this day in 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force bombed Germany itself for the first time. The 8th Air Force did it. Took off from England. Fifty three bombers made Germany. Only three lost.

The bombing described as retribution. Germany deserved it. More would follow.

Former Mexican President Fox described Trump yesterday as Hitler. Many others have during the campaign and even to today.

Enjoy your day!

 

JENNA and ME

Last night lovely! Jenna and I enjoyed dinner together. At Azur. We celebrated my birthday. I was Jenna’s guest.

Jenna and I have been friends eight years. When she first came to Key West. Green. Wet behind the ears. No more. An experienced woman in her field. Television, advertising, modeling. She is at her best when hosting and interviewing on a TV show.

Beautiful! A knockout!

We enjoy each other’s company though 51 years separate us.

Jenna is razor then. Runs 5-7 miles a day. A cheap date. She eats nothing. Orders an appetizer. Finishes only half. Takes the other half home. Her body slim.

She has taken up racing. Recently won her first race. A 5K.

Walked yesterday. Working at good health! Read and napped during the afternoon.

Hemingway Days around the corner. July 22-26.

One of the events scheduled is a poetry reading. Sponsored by the Key West Poetry Guild. Hemingway wrote poetry in his early days. His poems will be read. Blue Heaven. Tuesday July 22 at 5.

Hemingway was familiar with Blue Heaven. A regular of sorts. He refereed local boxing matches there.

No question, I am hooked on William Hackley. His 1855 diary being run on a daily basis by the Key West Citizen.

He and his wife Kate have a new born. Kate not making enough milk. William brought in a goat from Havana. The goat not doing the job. The baby is literally starving.

Kate tried breast fed twice during the night. Not enough. The baby is in trouble.

The British Open got to me right away. The first day Scottish time was 1:30 in the morning our time thursday. I watched the whole thing. Got about two hours sleep.

I did not watch last night. Slept.

Phil Mickelson doing well. Time is passing him by. He is 46. I would like to see him win this big one.

Three years ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the medical care jailed inmates receive. The best! Better than you and I. And we pay for it. They do not.

The issue of special food has once again arisen. Certain Jewish inmates want kosher foods. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists whatever their religions permit.

Special dishes cost extra money. Florida, $12.3 million a year. Florida wanted to say no more. everyone eats the same. An intermediate federal court said this week that jails must provide special meals for inmates who claim the same on religious grounds. The court also went on to say that the argument it costs too much money does not fly. Find it! Such was the court order to Florida.

Special religious meals are provided in 35 state jails and throughout the entire federal system.

This week’s KONK Life column The New Prostitution was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. It also appeared on E-Blast.

What happened in Nice horrible! Eighty plus lives. A terrorist attack by one man.

I fear the attack may decide our Presidential election. Trump claims he is going to protect us. Shouts it loudly and clearly.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

HOME CONFINEMENT TOLERABLE

Yesterday was another day in. Not bad. Actually good. The title says Tolerable. Turned out to be more than tolerable. I enjoyed the day.

I normally research my KONK Life column on saturday. Started yesterday. Gave me a two day head start. Research not finished. Another 30 percent to go.

The subject involves who pays for national political conventions. The Republican one is two weeks away. Who picks up the tab for the balloons, confetti, alcohol, etc.

An interesting eye opening subject. You will enjoy reading the article.

Jennifer stopped in yesterday. While Anna is in Poland visiting family, Jennifer has been giving me a hand around the house. I sent her grocery shopping.

Today, the beginning of the Fourth of July weekend. Key West will be crowded. A fun weekend for all ahead.

Tomorrow, I am free!

Early afternoon, I will be with Tammy for a manicure. Tomorrow at 5, Don’s Place. David is 65. He is retiring. A surprise retirement party for him. Not a surprise, however. Someone told him.

Then to Blue Heaven. To hear Terri sing. I missed her show last saturday.

I will be back in the grove!

This week’s KONK Life column is Captain Bligh A Good Man. It was linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. It also ran on KONK’s E-Blast.

When it came to sex types and/or tastes, I knew gay, lesbian, homosexual, lesbian, and cross-dressing. During the final stages of the gay battle, the word transgender started to pop up. I must admit, I had never heard the word. Almost eighty years old and I did not know what the word meant. I had to google it.

It was announced yesterday that the ban on transgenders in the military has been lifted.

Good!

What next?

Stupidity knows no class. Even smart people can be stupid.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday in her private plane meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

Enough said.

Enjoy your day!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT!

Grandson Robert was 12 years old yesterday. God bless!

The celebration might not have been. Robert was born with cancer of the liver. The tumor was larger than his liver. He had two major operations in the first eight days of his life.

God was good!

Lisa cooked a Happy Birthday sunday dinner and a birthday cake. The meal outstanding! As to the cake, very little left. Robert had a sleep over the night before. The guys pretty much devoured the cake.

Ally’s birthday is in two weeks. Yesterday, she looked beat up. Had a bad stomach bug the day before.

Summer vacation around the corner. We talked about what they will be doing. One thing will be Seacamp on Big Pine. An educational sea camp. The kids are excited.

Spent yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Heroin Will Survive New Drug Bill. It is a followup to my article three weeks ago Afghanistan and America’s Heroin Addiction.

The new column hits the stands wednesday.

The first heroin column appears on E-Blast this morning.

My picture on E-blast took me back for a moment. I have not seen it in years. It was taken during my first Greece trip five years ago. I am sitting at a table at my favorite restaurant writing my blog. The bearded Louis.

Stone crab season ended yesterday. A good season. Stone crabs galore. I enjoyed every one I ate. To me, the best of foods. I always say if I knew my meal was to be my last one, I would order stone crabs.

Movie star Roy Scheider had a home in Key West. Scheider of Jaws and French Connection fame. Puchased 630 Dey Street in March 1982. His winter home.

Everyone does everything in Key West.  Scheider was a regular at Camille’s when it was on Duval. He was frequently seen at the breakfast bar chain smoking.

Fausto’s is celebrating its 90th birthday. Its main store today on Fleming, just off Duval. A family business. Quality foods. Surprising however that it has lasted so long. Means whatever they sell has to be good.

I am anti-Trump. No question. I may even be anti-Clinton. I may not even vote.

That being said, the New York Times on saturday did a number on Trump. An unfair one. Front page. The article’s thrust was how Trump behaved with women.

The article should never have been written. It lacked substance. All it proved is Trump can occasionally be an asshole with his mouth.

Trump deserves an apology.

Enjoy your day!

SCREW OFF DAY

Wednesday is my friday. First day of no writing, except for my daily blog. Ergo, I refer to it as my screw off day. This week thursday joined the club. I enjoyed a second simple day and evening.

Hogfish for lunch. Season over. Not crowded.

La Trattoria on the Ocean for dinner. At the bar. Stephanie bartending. First time I met her. A go getter.

She has been a bartender 30 years. Been in Key West 2 years. Originally from Long Island.

Stephanie is going into business. She is opening an organic fruit drink bar at Body Zone in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center. Work underway. Should open in three weeks. Drinks will be available street side and inside.

I wish her well.

That takes care of lunch and dinner. Nothing else till 9 in the evening.

Last night watched the Clinton/Sanders Debate from the comfort of my bed. A boxing match. Both equally good. Hillary’s major fault is she can be evasive and fail to respond to a question.

I recently ate at Square Grouper. Discovered where the name came from.

In the 1970s, the lower Keys were the U.S. entrance for fisherman carrying bales of marijuana. A bale of marijuana was also known as a square grouper.

James Fenimore Cooper. An acknowledged and respected writer. Especially of Indian tales. Last of the Mohicans and Leatherstocking Tales. He also authored non Indian stories.

One was venued in the Florida Keys. The name Jack Tier, or, the Florida Reef. Set on a naval ship. Cooper early in his life had been a midshipman in the U.S. Navy.

The story involves a sailor and ship captain. The relationship appears to verge on a homoerotic relationship. At the end of the book, it is discovered the sailor is a woman. Not just a woman. The captain’s wife.

The book gathers dust to this day. Was not popular when written nor is it today.

Cooper’s home was Otsego Hall in Cooperstown. A 40 mile drive from my home town Utica. Cooperstown the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, also. Otsego Hall has been rebuilt. It is a tourist attraction. Also site of many cocktail parties. Several of which I was fortunate to attend.

This week’s KONK Life column is Shakespeare Incidentals. It was linked this morning to Key West Lou. .keywestlou.com. It also appears in todays KONK News E-Blast.

Enjoy your day!

$13

There is an old proverb…..For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. Followed by the horse, rider, battle and Kingdom being lost.

Yesterday, for want of a $13 payment, my blog was lost.

The blog never appeared.

Last week, one of my credit cards was fraudulently used. The Fraud Bureau picked it up and cancelled the card. I have been using a temp since then awaiting my new card from the bank.

The card cancelled was the one I have used for years to pay a monthly $13 fee to GoDaddy. GoDaddy had the card number and took $13 out of the account each month.

GoDaddy is a domain builder, domain registrar, etc. I am not exactly sure what GoDaddy does. However, it is the beginning of this blog and the foundation/platform for everywhere the blog goes, how it gets there, etc.

GoDaddy shut my blog down because my card was no longer good. All for $13. Therein lies the reason no blog yesterday.

An entity and person died this past weekend. Both renown. Syracuse University and Tom Oosterhoudt.

Syracuse made the Final Four. Lost to North Carolina last night. Beat badly. I am not destroyed. Syracuse overachieved in the tournament. Boeheim and the team outdid themselves.

Whatever abilities carried Syracuse to this point in the tournament were absent last night. The pre tournament Syracuse team was on the floor.

Such is life. Again, I compliment the team and coach for having made it as far they did. Made an otherwise poor season a great season!

Tom Oosterhoudt a Key West icon and legend. Died early friday morning in a Miami hospital at age 65.

Tom a former City Commissioner and presently editor/publisher of Conch Color. Tom started Conch Color 11 years ago. He and his mother Mary Ann Worth own Casa Antigua on Simonton.

The Casa Antigua carries with it a piece of Key West history that Tom was proud of. Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway came to Key West by ship from Paris in 1928. The Casa Antigua then known as the Trev-Mor Hotel. Where Pelican Poop was located for years was the Trev-Mor Ford dealership. Hemingway had ordered a Ford to drive north from Key West.

The Ford had not arrived. Hemingway and his then wife were put up by the Trev-Mor people at the Trev-Mor Hotel. Two weeks later, the car arrived. By that time, Hemingway was sold on Key West. He did not leave till years later. He spent the next two years living at the Trev-Mor Hotel. Then bought his famous home on Whitehead Street.

While living at the Trev-Mor those two years, Hemingway finished A Farewell to Arms.

 

Last night was Tavern ‘n Town early with June. Had to be home before 9 to watch the Syracuse game. Bobby Nesbitt entertaining. Ran into Harrell Odom and Barry Cook from Nashville. Snowbirds. Harrell a heart doctor. I met Harrell several years ago at a dinner party at Donna Barnett’s.

Research complete for this week’s KONK Life column. Writing the column next. Will do it this afternoon. Not sure of the title yet. The column has to do with he failure of America’s educational system. Education being something more of us should pay attention to rather than merely giving lip service.

Temperature 88 yesterday. A one day cold spell upon us. High today only 78. I hope you find amusing my representation re the drop in temperature.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

8 FOOT CROCODILE IN POOL

We have everything in Key West.

Used to have many cats. Now, few. Some think the iguanas ate the cats. Chickens still around, though in fewer numbers. Pythons into the Keys. Only one so far in Key West. Two years ago. An 8 footer along the runway at the airport. Some think it may have been droped there.

Now, crocodiles?

Over the years, there have been a few sightings in the lower keys of a crocodile in a canal. Recently, one in an Islamorada pool.

A home fronting on the ocean. A pool between the home and ocean. Yesterday morning, an 8 foot croc seen in the pool. Authorities called. Nothing to do. Crocodile climbed out of the pool on its own and returned to the ocean.

No one wants a crocodile in their back yard. Whether Islamorada or Key west. Hope this was a one time occurrence. Islamorada is 77 miles from Key West.

What bugs me is that crocodiles are considered a threatened species. So says the federal government. Can’t kill them. Does not make sense. Crocodiles can kill humans, but humans cannot kill crocodiles.

Back on the treadmill yesterday. Felt good. Went slow. Spent the rest of the day writing. Dinner last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

An excellent crowd. I walked around to determine local/tourist mix. I must have been the only local. Knew no one.

I spent five days nursing my cold. All five days spent at home. Killed the cold. Also rested my body. I felt rested yesterday. Ready to go! Must have needed the down time. I have been complaining to myself lately how tired I felt.

This week’s KONK Life column Late Night Diner published wednesday in KONK Life. Today, it is running in E-Blast.  It was also linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

It is the story of artist Edward Hopper and his painting Nighthawks. People in a diner late at night.

Yesterday was National Hugging Day. Also known as National Hug Day. Not new. Began in 1986. Has grown dramatically world wide. Consideration is being given to renaming the day International Hugging Day.

The day was started to get people out of the lull/depression which hits between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

There is a most hugable person each year. The Most Hugable Person 2016 is Tim Harris of Albuquerque. Tim is a 30 year old Down Syndrome individual.

Tim has hugged people on National Hugging Day for purposes of charity fundraising. In 2014, he hugged 1,000 people and raised $6,000. Last year, he hugged 2,000 people and raised $13,000.

This day in 1912 was a big one in Key West. Overseas Railroad’s first train arrived in Key West. Multitudes welcomed the train.  It was Henry Flagler’s dream come true. A train from Florida’s mainland to Key West.

The 1935 Labor Day hurricane wiped out a good portion of the railroad and killed hundreds. The railroad took its biggest hit in the middle keys. The hurricane was a 5. Was labeled Storm of the Century.

The railroad bed and bridges were not rebuilt. The railroad had not been making money. Remnants of the bridges can be seen in a drive on US 1 through the middle keys.

There was no blog published wednesday. Many of you contacted me yesterday asking where it was. I don’t know. I did what I always do and thought it published. I went back yesterday and tried to find it. No way. I must have hit a wrong key and the blog is out there somewhere in never never land.

Sorry.

Enjoy your day!

I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE

 

Yesterday was I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day.

To participate, open your window stick your head out,  and shout I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. The Day provides an opportunity for us to fight back against all injustices inflicted upon us. Nothing like vetting frustrations and aggravations.

The verbiage giving rise to the day comes from the 1976 movie Network. Peter Finch played Howard Beale.  A TV news broadcaster who became a bit deranged and told people on his nightly news show to open the window, etc.

They did.

Finch won the Academy Award for his performance. Unfortunately, he died before the vote was taken.

Better the Howard Beale way than the Trump way. I watched Trump in Vermont last night. His conduct and tone in ordering his henchmen to throw an anti-Trump spectator out made me uncomfortable. It would have made you uncomfortable also. My heart chilled.

Yesterday was easy. Started with the anti-gravity treadmill. Then to Publix. I was really out of food. Bare cupboards and refrigerator.

Ran into Bobby and Michael Shields.

Met Bobby on my first trip to Key West 25 years ago. I saw a Tea Dance advertised at La Te Da at 4 sunday. We had Tea Dances in college. A place to meet others. My former wife and I were newcomers to Key West. We went.

We got there an hour early. Sat at a table for two outside. Soon all tables and chairs were removed. We remained sitting at what was now the lone table in the middle of the floor. People started coming in. Bobby was one of them. He had an admiral’s suit on.

It suddenly dawned on me that the wife and I did not belong. We got out fast.

Michael Shields is involved in the arts and writing and everything else even remotely associated with the arts. I first met Michael several years ago when I started doing an internet show for KONK Life. His show followed mine. A nice guy, as is his lady Carol.

Lunched at Harpoon Harry’s. Ham and eggs.

Harpoon Harry’s is a walk back in history. Decor 1950ish combined with the flavor of Key West.

Worked lunch off with a walk along the waterfront.

The homeless problem on lower Caroline must be dealt with.

The homeless are permitted to panhandle in two Key West locations. The one on Caroline was part of an open lot. A large tree by the sidewalk where the homeless could spend the day in the shade and do their thing.

Construction is going on now. A temporary wall surrounds the property. There is an indentation in the wall to accommodate the tree and homeless. Maybe 10′ x 20′.

A new location is required. It has been mentioned several times in the newspaper. Enough talk. Whoever is responsible, do it! The scene looks terrible and is also a danger to the homeless resting there.

I am impressed! Our local Community College will now have a four year degree program. The name of the facility has been changed to College of the Florida Keys.

I congratulate all involved in the effort to bring the school to the four year level. Not an easy task.

A doubleheader today re this week’s KONK Life column Stay Out Of Civil Wars / Fight Wars To Win. It appeared in E-Blast this morning. I will be interviewed at 12:30 today on 104.9 radio re the article.

Enjoy your day!

NEW YEAR’S EVE WEDDINGS

Happy New Year! Happiness, health and prosperity! May all be yours!

The wedding of the year! Don and Stephanie’s daughter Elizabeth married David. The evening outstanding.

The wedding was outside at 7 behind the Firemen’s Museum on Grinnell. One block from Don’s Place. The setting perfect. Massive green lawn covered with white chairs.

The wedding party beautiful! Including the guys! The bride looked especially good. I was impressed with the men’s tuxedos. Normally, rented and ill fitting. Rented last night. However perfect fitting and looked new.

Don wore a white jacket. Distinguished appearing. James Bond reincarnated.

I hate Don. He is so thin clothes fit him perfectly. I have not had such a body since college.

Stephanie elegant. The only way to describe her.

Elizabeth and David cried as they exchanged vows. Brought a tear to most eyes.

The mother is always the one with the responsibility to put a wedding together. School teacher Stephanie, I give you an A+. You pass with honors.

The reception. Stephanie’s A+ covers the reception, also. It is like Part 1 and Part 2 of an examination.

Don’s Place never looked better! Don’s Place could never look better! Shocking!

A huge white tent. Chandeliers. Large round tables with soft linens covering and beautiful flowers. Gold chairs.

A dance floor. Used all evening! Food, the best. Everything tasty.

People blended well. A family wedding with friends added. Family from all over the country. The women all decked out. The men sweating in suits and ties. Obviously not aware of Key West heat.

The wedding of the year!

The reception was to go on past midnight. Hats and other things necessary to welcome the New Year in available. I could not make midnight. I was home in bed sleeping at 10. Woke at 2 and wished myself a Happy New Year!

Everyone was getting married last night.

Sushie wed. Sushi of drag queen fame. Sushie, the photographer. Sushi who has been coming down in a red slipper from the second floor of the Bourbon St. Pub for years.

Last night, Sushi was attired in a lovely white wedding gown. Before making the trip down at midnight, Sushi married long term partner Jeff Kucin.

In front of the thousands waiting for Sushi’s midnight descent in the red slipper.

There are a couple of other things I would like to share. However, the wedding comments are too touching to be joined with anything else. I will add them to tomorrow’s blog.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!

 

 

SNOWBIRDS RETURN

Snowbirds are back. You can see them, feel them, hear them. All good things.

Snowbirds are those who own Key West homes who do not spend the full year here. They return to Key West when the cold hits up north. Snowbirds also include those who do not own, but return and rent each year during the winter months.

Snowbirds mostly in their 50s and up.

They blend right in. Hook up with old friends. Locals and other snowbirds.

I sensed the time was here for the snowbird influx earlier this week while at the Chart Room. The bar was packed. All senior citizens. I knew then the snowbirds were back. Observed it at the Cuban Coffee Queen yesterday. I stopped for lunch. Did not stay. A waiting line. The benches and stools taken.

I was at Hogfish last night for dinner. The same thing. Standing room. Waiting for tables. I luckily found a seat immediately at the outside bar. The inside bar consisted of fishermen and their ladies. Otherwise, Hogfish was packed with returning snowbirds.

I have gotten into grouper recently. The grouper last night was outstanding!

Key West and the Battleship Maine are intertwined. The Maine left Key West for Cuba. It was blown up while in Havana Harbor. Triggering the Spanish-American War.

Many were killed when the Maine went down. A significant number were returned to Key West for burial. On this date in 1898, a Battleship Maine Cemetery Plot was dedicated in Key West. Ten thousand watched the procession and dedication.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. If it does not kill me, it has to help big time. Body Owners has become like a morning club for me and others being worked on. The staff part of the club. Makes hard work easier.

Then a haircut with Lori. Always enjoy visiting with Lori. She has been cutting my hair for 15 years.

Stopped at Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. No room.

Went home for lunch. Anna there. Anna has been cleaning my house and doing my laundry for 10 years. A Polish immigrant who worked hard and is achieving the American dream.

Is it only immigrants who achieve the American dream today? Why not American born? Is it because the American born have lost something along the way? What?

A three hour nap. I was tired for some reason. Laid down and fell asleep immediately.

“The nights still belong to Hitler.” One of the quotes/observations  in this week’s KONK Life column Helen Sperling…..Holocaust Survival.

I saw the printed column yesterday in KONK Life. Somewhere between me and the printer, the column got screwed up. Sperling’s name was misspelled in the title. Quotes near the end of the column took a beating. One completely left out. Others bunched together. My listed order ignored.

Nothing can bed done. The publisher offered to rerun the column next week. I said, no. Next week should be and will be a new story.

I apologize for the errors/sloppiness. Not of my doing, however.

Staying with the Helen Sperling story, it appears in two additional places today. KONK E-Blast carries it. No errors. The column was also linked to my Key West Lou website. No errors.

I will be interviewed on KONK News at 12:45 today. 104.9 radio. The subject matter will be the Helen Sperling column.

There have been many police/black shootings. More blacks killed than police officers. Most officers not indicted. I read somewhere yesterday that cops have become uncharged murderer’s. I will receive a number of contrary comments tomorrow. However, I agree with the uncharged murderer’s label.

June Hudson…..Don’t break a leg! You will never make it back to the Keys!

Enjoy your day!