MICHAEL’S CONTINUING SAGA

The old hymn…..Onward Christian soldiers. Michael appears to have moved to the tune. Though not with God on his side. In and out quickly. Did not hang around. In less than two days, did a number on northern Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Now over the Atlantic, 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk.

The Panhandle pure devastation. Comments include unprecedented damage, a war zone, communities obliterated, an Air Force Base wiped out, catastrophic, looks like an atomic bomb dropped, cars and boats piled up like rubbish.

Keeps going. Entire blocks empty, houses on them smashed by storm surge and wind, washed out to sea.

First responders going in. Difficult work. The war zone description repeated frequently.

Michael maintained hurricane intensity 200 miles inland. Unusual.

Though Michael far out to sea, Virginia still experiencing dangerous wind gusts.

Michael gone. Recovery help required big time. I do not hear of FEMA’s involvement. Sure they must be there. Tell us. I am concerned Trump will fail the Panhandle as he did Puerto Rico. It all comes down to money. Soon I suspect we will hear there is not enough money. Then what?

Sad stories. Every one of them. One of the worst, 11 year old Sarah Radrey. Staying with her grandparents in Georgia. A car port crashed through the roof and killed her.

God help Sarah, her parents, and her grandparents. Tragedy of the worst kind!

Stopped into the Chart Room first last night. John working. Had not seen him in a week.

The room was packed! Tight standing room only. Forget getting a seat. Highly unusual this time of year. Off season.

Met two nice people. Lisa and Bob. Celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

Lisa and Bob from River Edge, New Jersey. Bob affiliated with the New York City Carpenters Union. Lisa works for a podiatrist.

Two grown sons. Twenty four and twenty two.

Their third visit to Key West. Second time at the Pier House. First time stayed at the Ocean Key across the street.

We talked of many things. A bit of politics. Lisa and I on opposite sides of the fence. She watches FOX News!

Liked them. Hope to see them again the next time they return.

David showed up somewhere along the evening. Always good to see David. I enjoy his company.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Enjoyed a drink, brie and good company. Andrea, Joe, John, Doug, Mary, Donna, and Terri.

I was anxious to talk with Doug. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House.

I have been into ghosts the past few days. First, South Carolina’s Gray Man. Yesterday, Key West’s Angel of Mercy Maria Gutsens.                      .

Researching for more ghost tales yesterday, I came across an article claiming Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline were making nocturnal visits to the Hemingway House.

Hard to believe! Doug would know.

Doug said no to Ernest, maybe to Pauline, but suggested Asa Tift as the real ghost. Asa was a wrecker/salvager in Key West’s early days. A self made tycoon. Built the Hemingway House for he and his family.

I could find nothing to substantiate the Asa story. Did come across more re the Hemingways.

Ghost appearances are technically referred to as manifestations. Many manifestations at the Hemingway House.

Hemingway writing in his loft work room, seen walking around the house, and standing on the veranda occasionally waving at passersby.

Pauline standing at the top of the central staircase looking to the loft watching her husband working and out the window her children playing outside. Occasionally standing at night by the gate smoking a cigarette.

One manifestation is hearing the typewriter clicking in the early morning. Supposedly, Hemingway writing. Could not be true. Hemingway did not type his works. He hand wrote them with a pencil. Then either Pauline or his sister would type them up.

My home bound trip from the Blue Macaw evenings takes me right by the Hemingway House. I shall be looking manifestations.

Key West’s humorous weather man at it again. He predicts this evening at 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Follows it up with…..Stars play peek-a-boo.

Traffic is reaching the breaking point on US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. The only highway through 140 miles of the Keys. Traffic especially heavy the past two years. A recent study attributes the increase to tourists. Claim tourists jam the highway.

Merely sharing. I have no comment.

Another study suggests two major medical problems. The first obviously the flu. The other too many C-sections. The number world wide has doubled from 2000 to 2015. The increase in the U.S. up as much as 30 percent in certain years. China up as much as 62 percent.

The message most of the C-sections not required. Medical problems for mother and child increasing as a result.

DOW doing well. Two days ago, down more than 800 points. Yesterday, more than 500. Today?

Trump’s lack of character evident with the Jamal Khashoggi situation. Trump says U.S. economy more important. We have a $110 billion agreement with Saudi Arabia for planes, etc. Trump says Khashoggi not even a citizen. Correct. He is a legal U.S. resident however and writes for the Washington Post.

News this morning says the $110 billion agreement mostly a holdover from the Obama administration. Actually, letters of intent. Not binding. Saudi Arabia has never purchased anything pursuant to the agreement.

Tonight, I dine! Andrea cooking. Joe making pina coladas. Andrea’s food preparation dining without question. Joe’s pina coladas fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION…..LABOR DAY HURRICANE 1935

It is that time of the year. The hurricane season. The beginning of September considered the worst time.

At the moment, there is a potential tropical storm developing in the Atlantic. One hundred seventy five miles east of Marathon. Not a big deal. Yet. Winds 30 miles per hour. The lower keys will receive 2-4 inches of rain today through tomorrow morning.

The storm not named yet. Not considered a problem till it hits the Gulf. It is projected it will then develop into a tropical storm or hurricane. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana have been warned they could be in trouble.

Last year, it was Irma. Hit the lower keys September 10. Projected as a category 5. Hit Key West as a 1. However, Cudjoe north to Marathon a 4. Significant damage. One year later, recovery still ongoing. Homes destroyed, debris not removed, people living in tents, people without food, etc.

Labor Day 1935 the worst up to that time. A category 5. One hundred eighty five miles per hour when it hit land near Islamorada. Surge 18-20 feet. Islamorada obliterated. Portions of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway damaged or destroyed. Four hundred eighty five killed.

Death and destruction. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The most intense hurricane to have struck the United States up to that time.

Six hundred ninety five World War I veterans were working on the Overseas Highway. Several camps in the area. A rescue train left Miami at 4:25 pm. Several delays on the way due to a number of non storm related problems. The rescue train did not arrive till 8:20 pm.

It arrived just as the storm surge hit Islamorada. The train’s 11 cars were swept off the tracks. Only the locomotive and tender remained.

Railroad bridges destroyed. Never to be rebuilt. It was the end of the Railway.

Corpses all over the place. The humidity and heat outrageous. Bodies swelling. Splitting open three days after the storm. Health officials concerned. Bodies buried or cremated. Mostly cremated. Some merely thrown in piles and incinerated. Others placed in wood boxes, piled on one another, and then cremated.

The greater percentage of the dead were veterans working on the Overseas Highway.

Though the railroad bed was of no use, certain portions of the road bed and bridges survived. They became part of the Overseas Highway which was completed in 1938. The Highway connected Key West and Miami.

Ernest Hemingway assisted in rescue efforts. He initially rode out the hurricane at his home in Key West. Then hurried up the keys by boat to help. He was incensed by the devastation and deaths.

Hemingway blamed the U.S. government of negligence in sending the veterans to work in the keys during hurricane season. He wrote a critical article titled Who Killed The Veterans which was published in The New Masses magazine.

Hemingway viewed the veterans as unwitting victims of a system that appeared to lack concern for their welfare.

Hemingway was correct. The federal government had forgotten their obligation to those who fought in World War I. Veterans had earlier protested in Washington. Following which the government settled them in work camps such as those that were situated on the Overseas Highway.

The government had a study made to determine responsibility for the deaths of the veterans. The study determined it was an Act of God. A whitewash.

The government did not care and did not want to bear responsibility. Shades of Trump and Puerto Rico.

The National Commander of the American Legion at the time was Ray Murphy. He blamed the loss of life on “Inefficiency, Indifference, and Ignorance.”

The inefficiency the manner in which the camps were set up. The indifference in that no one was in charge of safety. The ignorance that no one understood the real danger from a tropical storm.

May such a storm never occur again. A hope. It will. Recall Andrew in 1992. Wiped out Homestead and the Air Force Base nearby. Ninety five percent of the structures in Homestead leveled.

I appreciate that today’s blog concerns the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. I would be remiss however if I failed to mention Terri White. A force unto herself.

This past year found Terri falling into total blindness. A gutsy lady. A professional singer. Many Broadway shows to her credit.

She still works.

Saturday night, Terri sang at Blue Macaw. Sunday morning at Hard Rock Cafe. Tonight part of Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Go Terri!

Enjoy your day!

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!