HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERNEST HEMINGWAY

July 21, 1899. Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. A great day for literature, a great day for Key West.

Hemingway is part and parcel of the fabric of Key West. Visible in many ways 365 days a year. At the moment, Hemingway Days. Today, the famous Running With The Bulls. Get down to Sloppy Joe’s around one. Watch the Hemingway Look a Likes assemble and then run with the bulls.

Dinner last night at Donna and Terri’s. Good drink, fantastic meal and their special company as always.

I learned last night I too have to adjust to Terri’s blindness. There are occasions where two persons can communicate merely by looking at each other. Realized I cannot do it any longer with Terri. She can’t see me. I must speak to engage her.

How awful it must be for Terri.

Terri is not permitting the problem to keep her down. She sings tonight at Blue Heaven. From 6:30-9:30. Jean Thornton and I are having dinner tonight at Blue Heaven. Specifically to enjoy Terri.

The present Key West Cemetery has been in existence since 1847. Many of the graves are unmarked. The Cemetery is attempting to identify the occupant of each grave. A tedious almost impossible function.

When identification is complete, the Cemetery will establish a search engine on the City’s website.

Give a helping hand to the Cemetery. If you know someone who is buried in an unmarked grave, contact the Cemetery and let them know.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person continues to amuse me. Today, partly sunny and mild. Described as “…..nice day to hit the beach.” Tomorrow’s verbiage the winner. Partly cloudy and humid. Described as “…..think Saturday with a little sweat.”

Two quotes have caught my attention.

A Mark Twain one in the Comment section to this blog: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The other, I cannot recall where I came upon it. Wrote it down to share with you, however: “The House and Senate are ostriches burying their heads in the sand.”

Both quotes related to Trump in some fashion.

I did my Key West Lou Live show on Facebook earlier this morning. Titled: God Is A Republican?” Religion and politics. The harm religion can cause when involved with government. The Evangelical influence today.

Take a look. You might enjoy. You also might not agree with me.

Rome burned this month in 64 AD. Much of Rome destroyed. Nero rebuilt it.

Some claim Nero started the fire because he wanted a new and more modern Rome. Most historians disagree. Though Nero did want a new modern Rome.

A false story also exists that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. He did not. The fiddle had not yet been invented in 64 AD. Nero was 35 miles away at the time of the fire.

Nero did use the fire to his advantage, however. He disliked Christians. Considered them a danger. He used the fire as an excuse to arrest, torture and execute hundreds of Christians. Most were fed to the lions or burned to death.

Nero used as an excuse that the Christians had caused the fire.

BOB still tired. Working, however. Fantasy Fest next.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

HEMINGWAY INJURED

 

My topic for next week’s KONK Life column changed from yesterday to today.

My plan was to write about ICE. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. A group some view as Trump’s private army.

I began research during the week. More to do yesterday and then write the article. It never happened. I got out of my desk chair to get something and my back went out. An every 5-6 year experience. Back just goes. Killer spasms.

So much for any further research or writing yesterday.

I rose early this morning to complete the ICE research and write the column. Even before writing this blog. I completed the research. Eight pages of it.

I decided I would write today’s blog at that point and leave the ICE column for this afternoon. In searching internet for information suitable for the blog, an item on a history site garnered my attention.

On this day in 1918, Ernest Hemingway was a Red Cross driver on the Italian front. It was World War I. A mortar shell hit nearby. He received serious right leg and knee injuries.  Kept him hospitalized for six months.

Hemingway fell in love with American nurse Agnes von Kurkowsky. The relationship formed the basis for A Farewell To Arms.

Part of Hemingway’s recovery found he and Agnes spending a week at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in Stresa. On Lake Maggiore which separates Italy and Switzerland.

I have visited Stresa and Lake Maggiore several times. Enjoyed drinks each visit at the Grand Hotel. A huge magnificent structure from days gone by.

I made appropriate inquiries and was shown the bar room where Ernest and Agnes imbibed. A small room in the back of the first floor with one window overlooking gardens. No longer a bar. Today, a storage room.

In August 2015, I wrote what I considered a short but interesting rendition of the Ernest/Agnes relationship. It ended when Agnes sent him a Dear John letter following his return to the U.S.

Many years later after Ernest had departed Key West for Cuba, Agnes moved to Key West. Worked as a librarian for years. The two never met during any of Hemingway’s infrequent visits.

The 2015 column contains the Ernest/Agnes story from beginning to end. Covering a span of almost 40 years.

I was moved when I reread the 2015 column. I decided to rerun it next week as my KONK column and hold my notes concerning ICE for another time. Love always more interesting than pain and suffering.

Hemingway’s First Love hits the stands Wednesday.

Happy Birthday! continued into last night. Dinner with Lisa and the family. Loved it!

Robert and Ally are betting big. Fourteen and thirteen respectively. Young adults. Ally still enjoys the experience of singing Happy Birthday and watching the candles being blown out.

At 83, I only get one candle. Eighty three plus one would probably blow my heart out as I tried to blow the candles out.

I blew my diet. Per request, Lisa made a white cake with chocolate frosting. Two big pieces. Loved it!

My back pain was tempered. Had taken 3 Advil. Still sore. Tolerable, however.

Following Lisa’s headed over to the Chart Room. Kevin back in town. Arrived yesterday at 5. Two gins with Kevin and my back felt even better. Enjoyed our conversation.

Sleep came easy because of the Advil and gin. No pain till I got out of bed this morning. Three more Advil.

A stormy morning. It has been raining for at least an hour. Heavy. Exceptionally loud thunder and lightening. The lightening periodically coming through the blinds.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

TIP STEALING AND SEX NIGHT AT THE CHART ROOM

A doubleheader today. Two columns in one.

Keys Energy screwed things up yesterday. Made it impossible to get the blog out and had me sitting on South Roosevelt Boulevard forever waiting to make the turn north onto US 1.

Keys Energy was doing maintenance work from 8 to 2 yesterday in our neighborhood. No power, no wi-fi, no nothing. Keys Energy also was doing some big time electrical work at Cow Key Bridge. A huge crane rising out of the water.

I begin with tip stealing. An example how Trump is taking from those who earn less and giving to those who earn more.

The Trump Administration announced a proposed rule which in effect amounts to tip stealing. Affects waiters, waitresses and bartenders, as well as kitchen help.

Permits restaurant employers to illegally pocket tips earned by employees. If the employer pays minimum wage, the employer can legally pocket “pooled” tips. Tips that could be shared with other restaurant staff such as chefs and dishwashers.

Dollar amount involved estimated at $6.1 billion per year.

It is claimed many restaurant owners are already pocketing a portion of the tips illegally. The Trump proposal legalizes the illegal.

I mention tip stealing because it affects many Key West restaurant workers.

Spent the afternoon working on Growing Up Italian. My next book. Getting there. See light at the end of the tunnel.

Attended Mary Lou Hoover’s fundraiser at Kate Miano’s home. Many people. A success. Kate’s new home divine.

Mary Lou running for a Key West City Commission seat.

Jean attended the fundraiser with me. Then we enjoyed dinner together at La Trattoria.

Key West native Sebrina Maria Alfonso returns to Key West friday evening with the Southern Florida Symphony. The Symphony was born in Key West 20 years ago.

The theme of the performance involves Ernest Hemingway. The event at the Glynn Archer Performing Arts Center.

The contract was let for the construction of the Custom House this month in 1888. All that building for $107,955.96! Money bought a lot more in those days.

Speaker Ryan announced taxpayer funds will no longer be used to pay suits against Congressmen with regard to sexual harassment matters.

Talk is cheap. It took a law to permit the use of taxpayer dollars in such situations. It will take a law to abolish the law.

Lets get it done pronto!

This is wild! Reading, home and street lights from leaves. Kale, watercress, arugula, and spinach. Eventually would replace electrical energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy has been funding MIT research to make it work. Already producing lighting power dimly.

Sounds like it will come.

Our friends the iguanas. Not really friends. Nasty creatures. I wrote recently they are overpopulated in Florida. They eat our flowers and shit in our pools. The State has initiated a program to eradicate or control them. Will end up like the pythons. Control. Eradication impossible. Too many already here.

This morning’s Comment Column on page 2 of the Key West Citizen advised that iguanas are available online from Puerto Rico. Fifteen dollars to $49.99 a pound. Referred to as Chicken of the Trees.

Iguanas are minimally eaten in south Florida. Purportedly taste like chicken Eaten big time in Central and South America.

Today’s blog begins here.

Sex in the Chart Room. Not real sex. Merely conversation.

Three couples. All tourists.

One mentioned that they had been at Teaser’s strip club till 2 am. Hung over. Especially the husband. Husband and wife both enjoyed.

One of the other couples immediately decided they were going to Teaser’s when they left the Chart Room.

The third asked if there we any nude restaurants or bars in Key West. Oh, the reputation we have!

They were advised not. They were told about the Garden of Eden. The rooftop clothing optional bar on top of the Bull & Whistle. Completely open to the elements.

Cold last night. Mid 60s. Not the time to take your clothes off on the Bull & Whistle’s rooftop.

Could not disillusion the third couple. They decided to go anyway. If they ultimately did, even with clothes on they would have frozen their asses off.

Met Art and Sherry at the bar. Not interested in strip clubs or the Garden of Eden.

They have lived in Key West two years on a boat. Sits outside Turtle Krawl. Art mid forties. Formerly a CPA. Decided to give it up and live the good life in Key West. He drives a trolley by day. Thrilled with his new life.

Art not the first to have done it.

My yesterday included a haircut with Lori and Publix to stock up on more diet foods. Such is my life in Key West.

Duval has Christmas wreaths hanging from light poles from one end to the other. You feel the season as you walk Duval.

Omarosa Mangault Newman in the news. A White House Assistant to the President. African-American. The only White House black staff member. She had easy access to the President.

She was fired yesterday. By John Kelly. Her credentials taken. Reported she was accompanied off White House grounds.

Wonder what she will have to say about Trump.

The book, the book, the book! Irma and Me. Sales continue. I am excited. You might consider acquiring a copy yourself. Easy fun reading. Makes an excellent reasonably priced Christmas gift, also.

Today, friday. I have no plans for tonight. Regardless, I know it will turn out to be a fun time. Can’t miss in Key West!

Enjoy your day!

 

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!

 

 

 

BERLIN’S WITH DIANA

An interesting dinner with Diana Millikan last night. At Berlin’s.

I have known Diana three years. Only met her face to face two times. each for dinner. Last night being the second. We communicate via e-mail.

I find her intelligent and interesting. She has a problem, however. Her mind moves faster than her lips. Or, vice versa. A task to keep up with her some times.

Diana had an agenda. A list of items she wanted to cover with me. I am not sure we got to them all. However, I was tired at the end.

One of the things discussed is a book we hope to do together. Famous Key West buildings/structures of old. Diana’s responsibility to search out old photos and arrange them. Mine to write a brief narrative beneath each.

A famous whore house in the 1930s, a building where the shrimp catch was processed in 1900, the Rose Tattoo House, the public mortuary where bodies were left on ice, etc.

The past.

On this day in 1952, Ernest Hemingway completed writing The Old Man and The Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day saying the book was finished and he thought it was the best writing he had ever done.

Bum Farto. His name as familiar in Key West as Ernest Hemingway and Harry Truman.

Farto was the Key West Fire Chief. A popular figure. He had been convicted in February 1976 of drug charges. Jail a certainty.

On this day in 1976, Farto was reported missing by his wife. Never to be found again.

“Where is Bum Farto” became an immediate saying and continues to this day. An integral part of Key West history.

How did the Where is Bum Farto question come into being? From T-shirt sales. Even back then, T-shirts a Key West money maker. A vendor printed T-shirts with the saying.

William Hackley. 1856. His wife Matilda had need of dental services. A Dr. Walton accompanied Hackley home that day. The dentist plugged three of Matilda’s teeth and commenced Aleltas.

What were plugging and Aleltas?

Plugging a dental word. If the decayed part of the tooth was smaller at its orifice than internally, the hole could be plugged. Plugging arrested the disease and preserved the tooth for years.

I find it hard to believe. Closing up the hole without removing the decay?

Aleltas a problem for me. Could not find a word so spelled. The closest and referable to dentistry is Alertas. I could not find a definition for Alertas. If any of you do, let me know what it is.

Did two Facebook Go Live videos yesterday. One about visas, the other robotic soldiers.

An American traveling in Europe has it made. Move from country to country as if back home and going from one state to another. No stopping, show me your papers, etc.

The Eurounion is not happy with what Trump plans to do with regard to limiting/denying access to certain persons. By voice vote this past week, the Eurounion decided to require Americans to obtain visas before traveling through their countries. Goes into effect in two months.

Going to be a pain in the ass! Show me your papers! Stand in long lines to have them examined!

The Euorunion  nations fighting back against Trump’s move to further vett those entering our country.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech at 4 today. Both teams have the same number of wins and losses. Georgia Tech beat Syracuse three weeks ago.

The Vegas line has Syracuse an 8.5 point victor. I hope so. Syracuse needs to win to be seriously considered for the big tournament a couple of weeks away.

I will be watching the game at Jack Flats with Dee. Dinner afterwards at Antonia’s or Martin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

MOLASSES FLOODS BOSTON STREETS

Key West is accustomed to street flooding.

If a rain fall is heavy and it is high tide, the sewers cannot take the rain water. Intersections become lakes. Some as deep as two to three feet.

Hurricanes are no stranger to street flooding. Wilma comes to mind. Six and a half feet of water. Not just pouring over the streets. Into homes. Level six and a half feet, also.

On this date in 1919, Boston experienced a significant flooding. Twenty one killed. Dozens of horses, also.

Not water, however. Molasses.

The U.S. Industrial Alcohol Building contained a 58 foot high tank. The tank holding 2.5 million gallons of crude molasses. The tank exploded. Flowed  into and flooded the streets.

Took two weeks to clean the streets. Not bad. It took one to two years to clean up the Wilma mess. I refer specifically to home damage.

Spent yesterday afternoon quietly reading. Stories involving U.S. forces in Europe during World War II.

Then at 4, the Syracuse/Boston college game. Syracuse won 96-81. Interesting since Boston College decisively defeated Syracuse in a game New Year’s Day.

Syracuse’s fabled zone defense was working yesterday. Made Boston College look terrible.

As Boeheim continues to say, Syracuse wins if it plays its special defense hard. If not, Syracuse loses.

What Syracuse needs is consistency. The big post season tournament is slipping away.

Dinner last night at Berlin’s. Decided on beef. A filet mignon. As good as any I have enjoyed at a New York City steak house.

The local community college has steadily grown during my many Key West years. First, a two year community school. Now a four year institution. Presently offering a bachelor’s degree in a certain business area. This summer, a four year nursing degree.

No more a community college. The Florida Keys Community College needed a new name consistent with its movement to four year degrees.

The front page of this morning’s Key West Citizen announces such. Beginning this summer, the name will change. To The College of the Florida Keys.

Congratulations to The College of the Florida Keys. Congratulations to the administrators and faculty who worked hard to make it so.

I have many times criticized the Key West City Commission. Bunglers. Know not what they do. Inept.

Today’s Key West Citizen editorial takes on the Commission and its many shortcomings. Its sins itemized.

The editorial titled: Why Doesn’t the Commission Listen?

The editorial one of the best written in the many years I have read the Citizen. It publicly admonishes the Commission to shape up.

I doubt it will help. Commission members are hard headed. Several times I have engaged one or another with a question, complaint, etc. In each instance, the reason for the particular Commission action was supported by a non-nonsensical reason.

They cannot see. Thinkers they are not.

William Healey continues to suggest a concern re a Florida Indian uprising in 1856.

He mentions several travelers came down to Key West from the Miami River and corroborated the news he had received one day earlier that the Indians might wage war again. He mentions ten Indians also arrived.

Ernest Hemingway’s grandson will appear at the San Carlos on January 26. John Hemingway will discuss Pamplona and running with the bulls. The setting of his grandfather’s The Sun Also Rises.

Ernest Hemingway never ran. His World War I leg injuries prevented his participation. His grandson John not so affected. John has made the run 16 times. Never gored!

John’s appearance is sponsored by the very active Key West Art and Historical Society.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

WHERE IS MEDIA RE PROTESTORS

Back again!

Normalcy has returned!

First stop yesterday morning was Verizon. The old one in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center. Good people. I know. I have done business with both Verizons in Key West. The other a rip off. Not caring with help once you have bought.

Then to Publix. Out of food again.

I sense a silent raise in prices again. Everything costs $5 or $10. Bill runs up at that rate.

The lead up last week to this week’s Republication Convention was primarily re anticipated protestors/demonstrators. Police officers from all over the country came in to deal with the protestors. Five thousand officers.

How much have you heard since the Convention began monday? Next to nothing. Perhaps nothing. Seems as if the media has blocked out any news re the protestors.

Wrong! Protests part of the news. Especially the past two years. What is happening is selective reporting. The American people being denied the right to know.

I dug into the internet this morning. The protestors are in Cleveland. In large numbers. A few altercations. Nothing of consequence. Some arrested. Two police sustained minor injuries. Urine thrown around.

Some one videoed the street scene. I watched a portion of the video this morning. A street fair. Demonstrators walking around. Booths selling all kinds of things. Delegates walking through the crowds.

Cleveland’s Chief of Police says everything going well, under control. He is correct. By not giving the protestors a national/international stage, Cleveland has discouraged them from demonstrating their causes.

The peace and quiet could end today. If not, such will only cause the protestors to find another venue in the near future to express their positions.

Being stripped of land line telephone, internet and TV tuesday night, I was unable to do my blog talk radio show. Being a political junkie, I wanted to see the Republican Convention. Drove downtown. Stopped at several places. None showing the Convention. All watching baseball games.

I could not win.

Monday night I was at Aqua for the Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Beatrice singing. Magnificent!

Josey at the bar. A terrific new friend recently made. We chatted two hours.

Josey taking a three week trip in September. To her home country Macedonia. A couple of neighboring countries. Then, one whole week in Greece.

I envy her!

The subject matter of next week’s KONK Life column decided. Bagels! Will not be boring! Guaranteed!

Last week’s column was The New Prostitution. Has caused talk. Primarily among women. Those in the 40-60 year old bracket.

No matter how the subject matter is portrayed, to each it was nothing less than prostitution. Nothing justified the prostitution in their opinions. I countered to each the fact that the ladies would graduate debt free, have no long term college loans to pay, etc. Made no difference. Sin is sin. Wrong, wrong. No justification for prostitution.

Interesting. I wish some younger ladies had approached me with their thoughts.

Each woman who sought me out to talk were mothers.

My birthday was July 6. Still being celebrated. Donna and Terri are taking me to lunch at Hogfish today for my birthday.

Enjoy your day!

 

MUCH TO TALK ABOUT

It’s amazing! yesterday, I was tired. Dead tired. Doing the blog an ordeal. Never got to researching this week’s column.

This morning totally different. I am alive! Slept well.

Ergo, I have much to share this morning.

I have decided not to do a KONK Life column for this week. I should have researched it yesterday. Would have written it today. Generally, five hours for research and five hours for writing. Means a ten hour effort today.

Too much in one day. Would also effect the quality of the writing. When tired, I tend to get sloppy. Rewriting takes a long time. So, I am skipping. Playing hooky. Forgive me.

I am cheating at the moment. One eye on the keyboard. The other on the TV set. The British Open. Mickelson and Stenson in a real battle. Yesterday and so far today. Exciting golf.

I mentioned yesterday I was pulling for Mickelson. As big a star as he is, Mickelson has not won in three years. His age the problem. Forty six. In that time, he has been in or close to the lead many times. For three days. Loses his energy on the fourth. This is probably his last shot at winning another major.

William Hackley reports today that Baby is improving. Seems ok, except for some throat sores.

Hackley mentions he paid $12.50 for the Havana goat. The goat that failed to provide milk. $12.50 a lot of money in 1855.

I pushed myself to go out last night. If I stayed home, I would have fallen asleep early. To wake early. I wanted a normal night’s sleep.

Went to Tavern ‘n Town. My usual Saturday night haunt. Bobby Nesbitt time. I sit at a corner of the bar reading the newspaper and eating slowly while humming to Bobby’s singing. Love it!

David Brown is the Dallas police Chief.  He is becoming an American folk hero. Properly so.

He recently said, “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country.” He may be correct. Worthy of thought.

As I think of his words, I am reminded of what we have been putting our troops through in the last 15 years. Multiple deployments. Three and four times.

Hemingway Days begin this week. Two interesting/exciting events.

Nancy Sindelar is an Ernest Hemingway scholar. She is speaking at the Custom House thursday evening. Her topic: People and Places That Influenced Ernest Hemingway.

I am a Hemingway buff. Her talk sounds interesting.

Boat race time, also. One of the events is the Key West Marlin Tournament. Three days. Cash prizes totaling $50,000. Bicardi the sponsor.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West has never stopped loving Truman. He enjoyed 175 days in Key West over a period of 11 trips.

Today, an historical day for Truman. Not President long and World War II still ongoing, Truman met Russia’s Joseph Stalin for the first time. At the Potsdam Conference. The two were alone for this first meeting.

Imagine these two guys sizing each other up!

Some politics.

Watched Trump introduce Pence yesterday morning as his VP selection. Trump did not seem to care. He spoke for almost a half hour in introducing Pence. About himself. Rarely Pence. Trump failed to stay on stage while Pence spoke. At the end of Pence’s talk, Trump’s whole family came out. Pence only his tiny wife.

I suspect Trump really does not care about the VP spot. He will be the winner or loser. He is the star. The campaign will be run thusly.

I was not impressed with Pence. He did not seem ready for the big time.

Watched Pence on the Hannity show two nights ago. He worried me. He made it clear that we knew where ISIS was. We should go in and clean them out. The inference: War! War! War!

Reminded me of the square I visited in Milan. Someone pointed out the second floor balcony of a building on the square. Told me Mussolini stood there and announced to his people: War! War! War!

Trump is a prophet. Going to do this and that. A false prophet. Beware.

There has been talk of a small group trying to change the Republican voting process so as to deny Trump the nomination. It appears to have failed.

The last time such was attempted was in 1976. Reagan trying to steal the nomination from Ford. Ford defeated the move. Reagan had to wait 4 more years before he could run for President.

Ford’s floor manager who lead the effort which defeated Reagan was a young Paul Manafort. The same Paul Manafort heading Trump’s election efforts today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

ANNIE DILLARD

Literary giants seem to find their way to Key West for some portion of their lives. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and John Hersey to name a few. The three have passed on.

There are famous authors having homes in Key West who have not yet gone to that other place. They write and play here.

One is Annie Dillard. In the company of Hemingway, Williams and Hersey. She and her husband spend summers in Cape Cod and winters in Key West. They have had a home in Key West since the late 1990s.

Dillard is considered a major voice in American literature. All her books have continued in print without interruption. Many have been translated into foreign languages. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

President Obama will be recognizing the work of certain artists, including writers, this week in Washington. One of those to be honored is Annie Dillard. She will receive the National Humanities Medal.

Congratulations, Annie Dillard! Thank you for being a part of Key West.

My yesterday began once again with the anti-gravity treadmill. I am in the process of scheduling an extra day a week. Going from three to four. I can handle it. Hopefully in a couple of months, I can do five mornings a week.

Roostica for lunch. Limoncello wings. Broiled, not fried. Delicious.

Poker Run begins monday the 14th. The big bikes will begin roaring in. More than 10,000 of them. Womenfest concludes sunday. As the dainties leave, the toughies come in. Not to say that women cannot be tough. Extremely so on occasion.

Key West has a Washington visitor today. Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy.

He will be here to inspect the Boca Chica Naval Air Base and port operations. Unfortunately, he is in and out. He will not be spending any time visiting our island.

Mabus is a person of distinction. His credentials impressive. He is the longest serving Secretary of the Navy since World War II.

Donald Trump appears to have a limited vocabulary. Everyone is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Tells me nothing. Criticism is proper. Tell me and everyone else however what it is that makes others stupid.

This week’s KONK Life column hit the stands yesterday afternoon. You may want to read it. The story of Tennessee Williams and one of his loves.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

THE WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN…..

I watch Morning Joe every day. Religiously.

Joe’s opening lines this morning sort of paraphrased the title of my book. The World Upside Down.

Joe opened with…..”The world is upside down. The political world is upside down.” The reference to media handling of Trump. Anti-Trump pitch, incorrect quote reporting and failing to recognize the mood of the country.

I have had similar thoughts the past two weeks. The media seem to want to take control of the election. Influence the electorate. Not the way things are supposed to be done. An unencumbered free press delivers information to the people. Influencing/controlling not the media’s responsibility.

I am normally up and at the computer between 5 and 6 in the morning. Not yesterday. My Saturday night went so late that I overslept. Woke at 8:30. I had to hustle to get yesterday’s blog out.

Sunday is writing day for me. My weekly KONK Life column. It is due at the publisher’s by Sunday. This week’s article concerns a Hemingway love affair. His first. Titled Hemingway’s First Love. Took several hours.

It’s good! Sorry to say so myself. It tells the whole story. The tale does not end soon after Hemingway left Italy. It involves events which occurred in Key West in the 1960s following his death. Revealing.

Dinner at Roostica last night. Spaghetti with meatballs and sausage special. The sauce the closest to that which my mother and grandmother made. My only complaint is that pork pieces are not available. The pork falls apart in the Roostica preparation. Pork adds to the flavor of the sauce. I miss having  pieces to eat.

One thing I continue considering odd.  My people called sauce sauce. Everyone in Utica called it sauce. I never heard gravy till Roostica opened. I raised the issue with other Italian-Americans here in Key West. All only knew sauce as gravy. Interesting.

Terri White coming east! She has a solo performance scheduled at The Kennedy Center in New York City on October 16. I hope she and Donna can find the time to shoot down to Key West for a few days afterwards.

I have mentioned here and on my blog talk radio show several times this past year of China’s move into the South China Sea.

China has been in the business of what might be described as land reclamation. They are building small islands where water previously existed. The purpose to erect airfields on the islands. It greatly extends China’s ability to exert dominance in the area.

Also involved is China’s naval buildup the past five years. China has swiftly constructed a large navy. Superior to anything the U.S. can place in the area. Our Navy has not received sufficient funds in recent years. We are spread too thin to counter China’s buildup in the South Seas area.

Time to pay attention.

Ferguson in the news again. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Seems just like yesterday. There were demonstrations. Police in battle equipment again.

Things got out of hand. A black was shot. He is dead.

Reports this morning tell us that some blacks were yelling…..We are at war!

Bothersome. Apparently things have not improved in Ferguson.

Enjoy your day!