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!

 

SUPER BOWL

Big day in America! Super Bowl!

In my other life, I attended many. Not that I was a sport fanatic. I enjoyed the partying. Since moving to Key West, I have become lazy. I dislike leaving the island for anything. As for partying, every night is party night in Key West.

Three choices as to where I will watch the game. Don’s Place. Will be fun. Tavern ‘n Town. All TVs will have the game with audio. The audio is important. My bedroom in my new recliner chair. This third option may be the one. I can pour myself a drink and lean back.

I did my Saturday night usual. Dinner at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Good food and Bobby Nesbitt. An excellent combination.

Saw my heart man Dr. McIvor. Stress test ok. Pain back in my chest returned. Don’t worry, don’t know I was told. It hurts, however.

I have been tired this past week. Extremely. Physically and mentally. Turned out my meds for blood pressure had to be reduced because of my weight loss. I have been off them for 24 hours and feel great this morning. Half doses from now on.

Doctor’s scale said 34 pounds lost. It may be off a bit. Thought I was at 32. Either number makes me happy.

Key West has a new live theater. The Key West Theater. On Eaton Street, just one block off Duval. Beer and wine available during the show.

Key West has several live theaters. All doing well. Truly an artsy community.

I love the way my bedroom is coming! I have been redecorating it. I put the new lamp on the corner of my desk. A tan shade covering a colorful oriental vase. The lamp sits between a painting of my mother and a Henry Moore print. Magnificent!

An interesting item in the Key West Citizen’s History section this morning.

On this day in 1935, Ernest Hemingway was fishing with the editor of Scribner’s and the editor of Rod and Reel. On Hemingway’s boat. All three caught a sailfish.

I am sure they headed for Sloppy Joe’s afterward. Not the one we know today. The original on Green Street. Now Captain Tony’s. Sloppy Joe’s did not move to Duval till 1937.

A letter to the editor caught my attention. There are a small number of do gooders and holier than thous who want to correct what they consider not so healthy nudity at Fantasy Fest. My Bible recollection is God created Adam and Eve without clothes. If it was good enough for the Lord, it should be good enough for Key West. Though most wear some clothing during the festival.

Blasphemous I am not trying to be.

I dislike people who seek to impose their beliefs on others.

Here it is Sunday and I have not written my KONK Life column yet. Had neither the desire nor energy during the week. I attribute it to my meds.

Today is the day. One of two topics. I have not decided which.

One about the Greek election and what I see coming down the road this year. Greece could initiate a world wide depression or be the place where World War III begins. Or, both.

The other is about Japan’s loss of libido. The young people of Japan have lost their sex drives. For real. As a result, Japan’s population numbers are decreasing dangerously. The reasons why sex drives have been put on the shelf would be the substance of the article.

Enjoy your Sunday!