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!

JACK KELLY

My undergraduate school was Manhattan College. Over the past few years, Jack Kelly and I have run into each other at the Chart Room. Jack a Manhattan grad also. A bit younger than me. He graduated in 1968. I, 1957.

The Manhattan College thing provided instant bonding.

Jack once had a home on Cudjoe Key. Long gone. In recent years, he has been taking a week here and there to visit Key West.

Jack was at the Chart Room last night. Always good to see him. We talked a bit about Manhattan and some of the grads. One or two we both know. Then Jack surprised me. He is returning to Key West full time.

Jack is buying a home in Bayview. He is also in the process of closing on three restaurants. That’s returning big time!

One is the former Finnegan’s Wake. Last operated for several days as Backspace. Jack will be reopening it as Cayheuso. A tapas place.

Another is World of Beer. Near Sloppy Joe’s. Jack plans on naming the new establishment Jack Kelly’s Citizen. Such vanity! Not really. Turns out the location was the first home of the Key West Citizen.

The third place is on Front Street. Across from Two Guys. Not Island Dogs. Next door to Island Dogs. An empty two story commercial building.

The name of the new enterprise escapes me. Its purpose not. Jack intends it to be family friendly. In addition to food, etc., the restaurant will provide all kinds of games for the kiddies to busy themselves with. Even the parents.

Jack is retired Air Force. He presently lives in Washington, DC. He remains active with the Arnold Air Society.

Welcome back, Jack! Good luck!

Jack and I hung together for a few hours at the Chart Room. While there, I met Devin Callahan. A snow bird. He is in Key West frequently. Surprising we had not met before.

Then Wilk and Erin. Their second visit to Key West. Hail from Spring Lake, NJ. My cousin Lois had a summer home there and I frequently visited. A high rent district.

Wilk liked my watch. He kept looking at it and commenting. He has one similar to mine. The watch is nothing fancy. A SWATCH. I bought it at an airport kiosk in Athens three years ago.

I learned something about the watch. It is water proof. Never knew. He says he showers and everything with it on. Showed me on the back where it says Water-Resistant.

We got into Lobsterfest. Wilk and Erin are enjoying the event. He did mention however he was shocked when they had to pay $15 each for two broiled lobsters on the street. He initially thought the price out of line. So did I when he mentioned it. However after tasting and enjoying the lobsters, he said they were well worth it.

The high point of the conversation was when Wilk told me he was a Mercedes technician. Joy of joys! I bought a Mercedes 420 SEL new in 1987. Kept it 27 years before selling. In mint condition. Only 124,000 miles. Never driven in winter the last 20 years. Everything original and in good shape.

I took care of the Mercedes. Probably because it was the first expensive car I ever bought. Paid $54,000 cash in ’87. A lot of money for a car back then. A lot of money period!

Lobsterfest by the way appears to be a gigantic success this year. Makes me happy. Lots of kids. A family event.

Met Tyler and Sandy. Celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! They are from Cherry Hills, NJ. It was a New Jersey evening.

Tyler is in real estate. Sandy a distributor for Wegmans. Sandy was surprised I knew of Wegmans. Not a southern supermarket. I explained I originally am from upstate New York. Ergo, know Wegmans.

Jack, Tyler, Sandy and I ended up having a late dinner at Michael’s. Great food! Enjoyed the veal chop. The dinner conversation enjoyable. Humorous on occasion. Jack, Tyler and Sandy good company.

The lovely Suzette bartending.

A long day ahead for me. I will be writing this week’s KONK Life column. The research is complete. It is the story of Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurkowsky. Their love story. Agnes was Hemingway’s nurse when he was recovering from war wounds. Agnes is Catherine Barkley in A Farewell To Arms.

There is more to the story than most know. I will be tracing the impact of their love affair into the 1960s.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

MONT LA PIANA

The Alps. The tallest mountain range in Europe. I was fortunate on recent European trips to see and enjoy Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is part of the Alps. It is the tallest mountain in Europe. Part of Mont Blanc sits in northern Italy.

I have visited Courmayeur often. Courmayeur is a little town half way up Mont Blanc. The homes are Swiss chalets. The people welcoming.

My friend Anna spent Easter weekend on Mont La Piana. Mont La Piana is relatively small. A little more than a mile high. Part of the Alps, it sits next to Mont Rosa. Mont Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps.

Anna’s son Antonio has a second home on the top of Mont La Piana. Anna was the guest of her son Antonio and his wife Miriam. Antonio and I are good friends. I love his wife Miriam. Three years ago, I was in Novara on my birthday. Miriam is a chef by profession. She cooked a birthday meal for me. Outstanding! Dom Perigon included.

Miriam is a Moroccan. She is 21st century New York City! Miriam told me Morocco is not like the rest of the Muslim world. The women are respected, dress today (mini skirts), drive, etc.

It is impossible to drive to the top of Mont La Piana where Antonio’s chalet is located. You park the car at the base and take a cable car to the top. It is winter there. Pics were sent me. Snow everywhere. Covering the Swiss chalets half way to their roofs.

I wish every one could see the Alps up close. Awesome! Magnificent!

My tuesday nights are devoted to my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Ergo, I do not leave home on tuesday nights. I am able to do the show from my home. Tuesday by day is stay at home, also. I am busy with final preparations for the show.

Last night’s show was special. I covered Duke/Wisconsin, how money corrupts politicians, California water and Nestles, South Carolina and Chicago police killings of blacks, and Iceland.

Post show comments indicate the police shootings hit a tender chord.

I had intended to solely speak of the 14 year old Chicago boy killed and the strange conflicting police reports which followed. I was watching the news on TV about an hour before my show. The South Carolina shooting was being reported.

By this time you are familiar with that shooting. All the networks are carrying the story. The police officer involved has been arrested and charged with murder. A video is involved. Follow the story, as well as that of the 14 year old Chicago boy. Eye openers!

A police story appeared on the front page of the Key West Citizen this morning. Involved a 2011 incident. The officer tasered a man who fell striking his head. He suffered brain damage. To this day, he lies motionless in a hospital bed.

The Key West story is one to follow, also. It appears the police officer was innocent of wrongdoing and the individual suffered a stroke of bad luck. Further investigation may prove otherwise.

Whatever, there are too many police brutality happenings these days. When will they stop? How will they stop?

On April 8, 1928, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Pauline landed in Key West via a steam ship from Havana. Hemingway intended to stay only a few days. He stayed ten years. Good for him and good for Key West!

Enjoy your day!

HEMINGWAY’S SPAIN

It is impossible to think of Key West and not Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent ten years in Key West. During that time, he did all the things people do when on the island. Drank, partied and fished. He also completed writing A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway’s grandson Michael Hemingway was in Valencia, Spain yesterday. He met one of his grandfather’s closest friends, Francisco “Canito” Cana. Cana was a bullfight photographer during his Hemingway days.

Cana shared many stories with Michael. Especially, the “…..feasts and binges.” He told him of Pamplona and the running of the bulls. How he and Hemingway would eat a huge dinner the night before with much wine. The next day, they would watch the running of the bulls. Followed by coffee in the Plaza Castillo.

Cana added that Hemingway loved Spain, their drinking sprees, the wine they guzzled, and the flask of vodka he always carried.

First it was Syracuse, my Syracuse. Today it is Manhattan, my Manhattan. My poor Jaspers!

Not a basketball year for me.

Manhattan lost in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Manhattan had to play its way in. Had they won, the prize was playing Kentucky next.

Manhattan lost to Hampton College 74-64. Surprising since Manhattan was an 8.5 point favorite. Also, Manhattan’s record was 19-13. Whereas, Hampton’s 16-17.

Such is life! There is always next year!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. A part of Duval Street was closed off. The area jam packed. Most wearing green and drinking glass after glass of green beer. Everyone on a Duval crawl!

An interesting factual correction re  St. Patrick. He did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland was too cold for snakes. St. Patrick did drive the idol worshiping Druid religion out as part of his Christianizing most of Ireland. Over the years, the Druids being driven out has transformed into the snake story.

Netanyahu won. Surprising. You cannot always trust the polls. Query: How will this affect Iran’s thoughts re a nuclear agreement? Iran may now fear Israel and use that reason for not entering into a deal with the United States. It is assumed Israel has nuclear bombs.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show discussing Tom Cotton. The new kid on the block as I described him. A far right tea party type. Also, a neocon. Backed by big money and powerful people. Beware was my message. The man is being groomed for a Presidential run at some point.

This week’s KONK Life publishes today. My column is the Making of a Star. The Tom Cotton story. Read it. A guaranteed eye opener.

I am sick and tired hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. A red herring going nowhere. When are these idiots going to start discussing things like jobs and income inequality?

Nancy Robinson is a Key West icon. A lady. Known to everyone in Key West. Mother of Martha Robinson.

Nancy has been sick. She is still sick. In and out of the hospital. Now home. Definitely not well. Say a prayer for her.

Enjoy your day!