THERE’S A BUG IN TOWN AND I GOT IT

I have not had a cold in 20 years. For real. I got one this week. The mother of all colds. Running nose, sneezing, a sore throat, and generally feeling lousy.

Last Sunday, I began noticing a lot of sneezing and complaining of a sore throat, etc. I smiled. Not me. I was immune.

Finally, got hit Wednesday. Yesterday, the worst.

Slept for the first time last night. Woke this morning. Laying in bed noticed no sore throat, no runny nose. Finally over!

No. Once up and around a few minutes and everything started again. Nowhere as horrible as yesterday, however.

Today and tomorrow and I should be fine.

Sorry I rejoined the world of susceptibility to colds.

While dying, I enjoyed watching Syracuse/Connecticut from my bed. Syracuse won 51-21. As expected. Next week, Clemson! A giant in collegiate football. Undefeated also while playing better teams than Syracuse.

Hope we win! Don’t know!

Enjoyed watching Tiger Woods over the course of the afternoon. He’s back! Hope he wins. Holding a 3 stroke lead going into the final round.

Woods played magnificently. Five straight birdies on the front 9.

If he wins today, it will be Woods 80th PGA Tour victory. More importantly, his first tour victory in more than 5 years.

The world is pulling for him.

Stupidity continues to prevail. A most recent example is what is happening to Tammie Hedges in North Carolina.

Terri has been threatened with arrest for having saved more than 2 dozen animals during hurricane Florence.

Terri runs a non-profit called Crazy’s Claws n Paws. She is in the process of building a shelter. Florence hit. Terri offered space to persons without anywhere to leave their pets. Opened her doors. Pet owners and rescuers brought animals in. Terri did not go out and get any herself.

There was no charge for the sheltering, feeding, etc. Total brought in were 17 cats and 10 dogs.

After Florence had passed, Terri received a call from the head of Wayne County Animal Services. He berated Terri. Terri to get a warrant for return of the animals. Implied Terri could be arrested. She was told she was a “lawbreaker” for operating a shelter without a permit. Note she was only constructing the shelter when Florence hit. Not doing business yet.

Terri turned over the animals. Now concerned she may be arrested.

Some in authority are just assholes. The only way to describe them.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BATTLE OF THE COOKS

Donna and Andrea are excellent cooks. Preparation and service outstanding. Tonight, a cook off. At Andrea’s. The two working together to put out a small dinner party meal.

I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy.

Their culinary efforts impressive. I designated them the Julia Childs of Key West.

Yesterday, busy.

First, a haircut with Lori. A runner. She has decided to do the 26 mile marathon in December in Palm beach. Her second run that long.

Then lunch a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe. I began experiencing pain each time I bit into my Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Hurt! Something wrong.

Left and hurried to my dentist Dr. George Lindner. Not there. He had taken the afternoon off. His associate and 2 dental hygienists began working on me.

I have implants. Supposedly never have pain again. Any problems, mechanical. This one not mechanical. I had thoughts of a tumor. At my age even a common cold concerns me. I keep thinking…..Finally the big one!

Turns out to be a bullshit problem. I hope! Will not bore you with the details. Will take a couple of weeks to clear up.

Last night began with the Chart Room. John in Jamaica. Mary who normally works the Beach Bar filling in.

The place quiet. Key West quiet. It is September.

One drink and some friendly chatter with Mary.

I was walking in the Pier House parking lot when I saw at the other end Mary. Another Mary. The one I normally run into at Blue Macaw, the one who works at The Little White House. Dressed magnificently. A bright white/reddish long dress.

And a man! Seemed like they were heading to A&B or the Boathouse for dinner.

Blue Macaw half filled. That September thing again.

Met Tom. Last night was the third evening in a row I ran into him at Blue Macaw. A good looking young guy. Just arrived in Key West. Originally from Philadelphia. Bartending at Hogsbreath and Conch Republic.

Looked down the bar and there was Terri. Brought her to my end of the bar to sit. Introduced her to Tom. She knew others sitting around. Terri was waiting for Donna who was at a business meeting.

Got to admire Terri! Her apartment 500 feet away. A busy intersection to cross. She walked over alone.

Political writer Zach Taylor published an interesting Brett Kavanaugh piece 9/19. Titled: Brett Kavanaugh…..Poster Child For American Aristocracy.

He hits Kavanaugh’s special upbringing hard.

Georgetown Prep a high school for children of the elite. He references Kavanaugh as a test case for the bounds of elite domination. Going a step further, he describes conservatism as ” a system of elite domination, imposed at any cost.”

Kavanaugh’s nomination is described as “a referendum on elite aristocracy whose primary goal is the very existence and protection of conservative government.” He claims the group “live above democratic accountability, not constricted by words and deeds in the way mere citizens can be.”

As to Dr. Ford’s sexual assault allegation, if Kavanaugh were to survive and be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, it would “demonstrate one more dimension in which the American aristocracy is…..beyond the reach of the rabble.”

Other tidbits gleamed from the article included that Georgetown Prep and other nearby schools were part of an alcohol soaked party culture. Misogyny common place.

Trump’s previous appointment to the Supreme Court bench was Neil Gorsuch. Attended Georgetown Prep at the same time as Kavanaugh. Except Gorsuch was not the party boy Kavanaugh was.

So much happening in the world. Too much for the media. A story runs a very few days and then is gone for a while. Sometimes never to return.

I am zeroing in on Florence. Now gone. Damage done. Devastation exhibited. Little now reported re Florence.

Little reported at a time most important. How are Florence’s survivors/refugees being cared for. Shelter, food, water, power, ice, etc. Don’t tell me how many you have serviced. Tell me how many need to be serviced and what progress is being made.

I worry. Florence may be too big for the federal government to handle. Even Washington has limitations. Trump says don’t worry. You are going to be taken care of. We have the money.

I don’t buy it. The desire may exist. Capability another matter.

Time will tell.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SYRACUSE BURIES FLORIDA STATE 30-7

My orange blood boiled yesterday. From excitement! Syracuse beat Florida State. Handily, 30-7.

Mighty Casey did not strike out!

Florida State had won the previous 11 encounters between the schools.

Was Syracuse that good or was Florida State that bad? A combination, I suspect. The test comes in future games. Next week Connecticut. A Syracuse victory. The following week, Clemson. Who knows. A real test.

Star quarterback Eric Dungey got hurt again. Second quarter. Freshman Tom DeVito went in. What a game DeVito played!

It is exciting that well played football is returning to Syracuse. It has been a long time. If my recollection is correct, the late 1990’s was the last time the team experienced golden years. Duncan McNabb’s time.

Spent my Saturday night at Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Met Jean Paul. A Hatian by birth. Came to the U.S. at 19. Now 61. Entertained last night. Played and sang.

Jean Paul multi-talented. A musician and artist. Showed me some of his paintings. Magnificent! Paints his homeland in vibrant colors. He has an outdoor gallery on Duval across the street from Hard Rock Cafe.

The story is told that when Jean Paul came to the U.S. at 19, the family settled in a flat in Brooklyn. Cold! Colder than that apparently. Jean Paul was accustomed to Haitian heat.

We talked long. I like Jean Paul. Sense we will be friends.

Andrea and Joe were at the bar. We sat together. Good people!

Paul was there again with his sister Laura and brother in law Dennis. They escaped Florence. They are from Myrtle Beach.

Laura a former first grade school teacher. Dennis retired from the Post Office.

Larry Baeder played later in the evening. I learned Larry is quite a giving man. Generous of his time. He works gratis teaching the young children at the Community Center music and how to play musical instruments.

I did a Publix stop on the way home. It was 9:50. Publix closes at 10. I moved my ass around fast enough to spend $70 and be out the door at 9:59. The third time I have done late late night shopping recently.

Florence ain’t going away! More and worse flooding for several days yet. Those who failed to leave now being rescued by first responders.

I hope everything works out as Trump projected. The number of people requiring assistance grows by day. I question whether there will be sufficient shelter, water and food. I question preparations for Florence’s arrival. There was sufficient time to be ready.

Trump enjoys twittering. As of this coming thursday, he will have a new toy. Referred to as the Presidential Alert System.

A law was authorized in 2015 establishing an Emergency Alert System. Using cell phones. Provides for immediate contact by the President warning of disasters.

The system is for Presidential use. The subject matter must relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, other man made disasters, or a threat to public safety.

A good idea. My concern is whether Trump will abuse the new system. Use it as he uses Twitter. Probably.

FEMA will test the new system next Thursday for the first time.

There are good people in the world. We do not hear of them enough. I came across one this morning while glancing through John Reinke’s Jasper Jottings.

Dennis Frandsen is a mid west successful banker.  His bank has 35 branches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Luck Public School is located in Wisconsin. This year’s graduating class will number 34. Frandsen has guaranteed each graduate a free college education. He will pay tuition for at least 2 years at a technical college.

The U.S. and Russia are pushing at each other in Syria. Let me share one person’s thoughts.

Ian Welsh is a Canadian blogger I follow. He recently wrote Syria could be straining the already strained U.S./Russia relationship. Russia together with Iran support Assad. The U.S. supports the rebels.

Saber rattling going on. Rumors afloat that Assad plans to use chemical weapons against the rebels. Trump has clearly said the U.S. will retaliate if he does. Russia is pushing Assad.

Welsh thinks the U.S. could lose in a fighting conflict with Russia. The basis for his belief is that the U.S. has fallen behind re missiles and missile defense technology. I believe him correct that the U.S. is behind missile wise.

Welsh describes Trump’s position as follows: He is against getting into a war with Russia “but he seems to have become deranged about Syria’s Iran ties…..U.S. foreign policy…..is doing what Saudi Arabia and Israel want, not what is good for the U.S.”

Sloan coming at noon. A busy afternoon ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEMA…..ARE YOU THERE?……ARE YOU DOING THE JOB?

I worry. Are we going to fall on our face once again when it comes to helping our own? Katrina a Bush failure. Puerto Rico Trump’s.

Florence here. Trump assured us he was ready. FEMA was ready. Both had enough time to get ready. We knew Florence was coming for days. We knew it was going to be a big one.

I am concerned that Trump fails to understand the magnitude of the Florence assistance required. We will know in a week.

FEMA puts out reports constantly. Bureaucratic bullshit. The official FEMA report published at 7 am September 14 spelled out in detail what was being done and would be done. The report was titled the Hurricane Florence Lifeline.

I hope everyone involved read it and are prepared to take on one of the largest natural disaster recoveries in U.S. history.

Last night the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. I wanted to say bon voyage and wish him well. He leaves sunday morning for a 10 day Jamaican vacation.

Mary was seated at the bar. I normally see her at Blue Macaw. Spent some time chatting with her. An intelligent woman.

Mary is a tour guide at The Little White House. I consider myself extremely knowledgeable re Harry Truman. Mary has me beat. I learned several new Truman things from her.

I left Mary at the Chart Room and headed over to Blue Macaw. Packed! No room at the bar! So I left.

It was Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The bill $5.03. Can’t beat it.

Home in bed before 9. A good boy was I.

The Tropic Cinema is Key West. Conceived, constructed and operated by locals. A life like statue of Marilyn Monroe sits in front of the theater. Her skirt blowing upwards from a subway vent beneath her feet.

Monroe laughing.

On this day in 1954, the “skirt” scene was filmed. The Tropic Cinema did well in capturing that moment for Key West.

The VIP Gentlemen’s Club is at the quiet far end of Duval. 1221 Duval. There has been some sort of “club’ there for years. Young ladies siting on the front porch enticing men as they walk by. Young ladies inside.

It appears to be a house of ill repute. I do not think so. More of a rip off place. Men pay a fee to get inside. Once heard $300. Any service by the girls extra. Paid for. Not provided. The ladies do not engage in that sort of thing.

Credit car bills occasionally have a 0 or 2 added on.

The police rarely get involved. They view the problems as contractual/civil rather than criminal.

The place should have been closed years ago. It is a taint on Duval and Key West. No better than the hustlers at the other end of Duval ripping off customers in perfume shops.

Yesterday, the police did get involved. Not for the normal problems, however. Ashley Barrett, age 26, is a “stripper” at the club. She apparently got drunk during the day. Threatened her coworkers first with a knife. Later in the day with an iron.

She was arrested.

Paul Manafort buried Trump yesterday with his plea. He flipped. All the way. Caused Humpty Dumpty to fall off the wall. Ended up with Manafort’s heel on Trump’s throat.

Donald Jr and Jared next. Then, the big one! Deservedly so. He has brought America to the brink of disaster in many ways. Possible shooting wars, the tariff wars, etc.

A pleasurable afternoon awaits. Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a 2 1/2 point favorite. Syracuse’s first real competition this season. I am excited. Hope Syracuse wins!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

COMCAST DOWN AGAIN

The bigger Comcast gets, the poorer its service. Service in the Keys. Failed again yesterday. Internet, e-mail and television. From 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Failure of service has become a consistent pattern.

Comcast has become too big for its britches. In recent years, it purchased NBC. The company probably spends more time and is more concerned about big time NBC rather than Comcast. The Comcast I assume helped finance NBC’s purchase.

As a result of the service failure, I was not able to get the blog out. My apologies, even though not my fault.

I learned a lesson yesterday. Louis cannot live without internet and TV. I read a bit. Never the less, it was a long boring day.

Last night however made up for the day’s earlier frustrations. Partied at Andrea and Joe’s.

Donna, Terri and I were to stop by for drinks and then out to dinner. Never left Donna and Joe’s. My second Key West Julia Child had laid out a table of pickies that the best restaurant could not have topped. Everything from small pieces of meat to shrimp to dips to breads.

At one point, Andrea, Joe and I stepped outside for a cigarette. I know. Bad. While we were standing there, a car drove up. The woman in the passenger seat leaned out and started talking. It was mayoral candidate Teri Johnston.

She was campaigning. Brilliant, I thought! Teri lost the primary by one point. She failed to reach the 50 percent required to avoid a run off. Her opponent received 24 percent of the vote.

Instead of resting home secure that she would probably win in November with these numbers, Teri was out campaigning.

Andrea mentioned that Donna and Terri were inside. Teri is good friends with them. She came in.

The girls hugged and kissed. A happy mood prevailed. One of Teri’s workers walked in with a video camera. Teri, Donna and Terri were videoed while Terri was belting out a song.

Teri then left for her next stop. Another person or persons standing outside their home. By car. Smart campaigning.

Wednesday night was the Blue Macaw. Terri singing with Larry Baeder. For the first time as a paid performer at Blue Macaw. She now has a regular wednesday night gig.

Place packed. Everyone there.

Ran into Stephanie and Angie who I had met the night before.

Stephanie a daytime bartender for 17 years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like hogs breath! Knows my friend George who also has bartended there for years.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts across the street. A smart shop. Exquisitely designed jewelry available.

Matthew McConaughey stopped into Crystals and Coconuts when he was filming in Key West a few months ago. A picture of the star and Angie appears on the internet of McConaughey purchasing a necklace for his daughter.

Irma had an impact on Key West in more than one way. I have lost my fourth couple friends because of Irma. Kentucky’s David and Marilyn. I received an e-mail from David advising they had sold their home around the corner from Santiago’s Bodega and returned to Kentucky.

I assume the fear of another impending storm. Scares the hell out of you. No question. I know.

David was a writer and basketball fan. I shall miss him.

Florence doing its thing. Rains and flooding big time. Two or three more days to go. Irma causes me to worry about these people.

Trump says he is ready for Florence. I hope so. I fear another Puerto Rico, however. Florence is big. The aftermath bigger. Excuses will not fly if there is failure. I expect there will be.

Does Trump know what he is doing?

The number of detained immigrant children has skyrocketed. From 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 this month. Causes alleged involve a reduction in release time, the number straining the children and system, and the fact that most of the children crossed the border without parents.

The last item portraying how desperate parents are to be sure their children will be safe and find a better way of life.

In the meantime, it was announced this week that Trump wants to pay Mexico $20 million to assist in resolving U.S. border problems. The Trump administration sent a Notice to Congress that it requires the $20 million in order to pay Mexico the cost of plane and bus tickets to return unauthorized immigrants in Mexico who are on their way to the U.S. The tickets are to return them home, not to the U.S.

Seventeen thousand unauthorized immigrants involved.

I have to hand it to Trump. He knows how to piss money away. Twenty five million for the wall, $20 million for plane and bus tickets.

I will be surprised if Congress gives him the money.

Syracuse/Florida State tomorrow. A Syracuse win will indicate the direction the season is taking. Florida State a 3 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I FELL ASLEEP

Tuesday night at 9 is my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spend all day tuesday preparing for the show. Never leave the house.

Everything was ready to go at 8. Everything hooked up, notes on the desk, etc. Needed only 30 seconds to make everything operational.

I laid on my bed to watch TV till show time. Fell asleep!!! A no no!!!

Woke and Rachel Maddow was on. Her show starts at 9. It was 9:02. Rushed to my office, did the necessary, and was on the air 3 minutes late.

I was still half asleep. The first few minutes were a disaster. Even got a coughing jag.

I have not looked at the finished product. Some will write me today and tell me how it came out, ask what was wrong, etc.

Florence is bothering me mentally. I attribute the problem to Irma. Amazing!

Spent 60 percent of the show discussing hurricanes. Florence, Maria and the Labor Day 1935 Hurricane.

Trump had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico yesterday. Trump said Puerto Rico was the “best” job the U.S. did. Described the help provided as fantastic. Closed with the assistance provided as “an incredible unsung success.”

What does he smoke?

Trump deludes himself. Puerto Rico a failure if there ever was one. Almost 3,000 dead as a result.

I buy the President is not mentally stable.

Re Florence, he says we’re ready. FEMA ready. A good job will be done. I hope so. However, I am willing to bet he will blow it here also. No one at Trump or FEMA’s level seems to understand what is coming. The devastation Florence will wrought.

Florence is a monster racing to the coast. The Carolinas in danger. Perhaps even Georgia. Hurricanes are fickle. All wind is fickle. Some experts believe Florence could turn left, move south, and not make landfall till it hits Georgia.

Whatever, rain will be torrential. Twenty inches or more. Surges 18-20 feet. Flood waters estimated at 4 feet.

The Carolinas have not been subjected to such a storm since some time in the 1950’s. I read somewhere that Eisenhower was President and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were newlyweds at the time.

My car is sick. Does not start immediately. At the garage. Not the battery or starter. Mechanic thinks it is the ignition.

The car a Volkswagen Beetle. Ten years old. Only 40,000 miles. Should be good for another 10. However, the past two years it has been costing me money. One thing after another.

Terri sings tonight at Blue Macaw. Larry and Terri. A big event. First time she will be paid by Blue Macaw. Beginning this evening, every wednesday a paid performance.

My working lady!

The Southwest Point. A very popular tourist stop. Purportedly the most southernmost point in the U.S. Not really, but accepted as such.

Tourists line up a hundred at a time by day to stand in front of the red, yellow and blue monument. They wait in line so their pictures can be taken standing in front of the monument.

When I finish my night at Blue Macaw, my way home takes me past the monument. Ten at night, there are still people waiting in line to take a picture. Not many. Ten to twenty. Interesting. Definitely a popular tourist attraction.

Pythons a non-resolvable problem for Florida. The State waited too long to deal with them. Now estimated to be more than 1 million. Present goal is to contain the pythons, not eradicate them.

The State periodically runs eradication programs. Hunt down pythons and kill them! Not very successful.

The Irula tribe are born and raised in India. Their specialty is killing poisonous snakes. Male children are taught how to do so beginning at age 3.

They are in Florida now at the invitation of the State. To hunt and kill pythons. I am unaware as to what they are being paid.

The federal government was severely criticized in 1935 following the Labor Day hurricane in the mid Keys. A category 5. Close to 700 World War I veterans were sent to work on U.S. 1. Lived in tents, etc. The hurricane killed 485, most of whom were veteran workers.

The criticism levied against the government was for sending workers into the Keys during hurricane season. Turned out Washington was not cognizant of hurricanes or their season.

A somewhat similar situation occurred recently.

This is hurricane season. Florence on the way. Unquestionably a biggie! This summer Homeland Security took $10 million from its hurricane budget and transferred the money to ICE. ICE was in need of additional funding for immigrant detention and deportation.

Another Trump administration screw up! After Florence departs, Trump will be crying how much money the government needs to help Florence victims and how it does not have enough.

Washington values are misplaced.

Enjoy your day!

 

TUNA PARTY NEVER WAS

The big tuna party yesterday at Kevin and Holly’s never was. I rushed to get ready, pick up Terri and get to their home on time. Terri and I were the first ones there. No one else yet. Holly by the pool. Kevin sleeping.

Strange.

The party had been cancelled. The cancellation was texted and e-mailed to me. I had not look at my messages all afternoon.

Kevin got out of bed and entertained us. We stayed 15 minutes and left for Dueling Bartenders. No sense in wasting an evening.

Took a while to get to Aqua. My car would not start. It goes into the garage as soon as I finish this blog.

Before leaving to pick up Terri for the party that never was, I received a call from Jean Thornton in Birmingham. My savior! I had spent 12 days at her home in Birmingham during Irma last year.

Nostalgia had set in. Yesterday being the one year anniversary of Irma. We reminisced about the occasion. Memorable for those of us who had escaped Irma.

A good crowd at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Terri was sitting next to me. I had a great seat. Terri sang every song along with Tom and Rick.

Donna arrived from work. I stayed a bit longer and left. It was off to Blue Macaw for me. Joe and Andrea at the bar. Mary showed up.

I met two interesting ladies who were seated next to me. Stephanie and Angie. One lovelier than the other.

Stephanie has lived in Key West 20 years. She has worked 17 1/2 of those years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like Hog’s breath!

We had never met.

She knows George. A fellow bartender. Lisa’s friend who became my friend.

Stephanie lives upstairs in the building backing Blue Macaw. On Whitehead. Convenient. Must be pleasurable, also. I often look up at the large porch surrounding the building and think how nice. I am a devoted porch sitter.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts. A store on Whitehead across the street from Blue Macaw. Her store specializes in primitive handmade gemstone and crystal jewelry, hand painted coconuts, and tropical treasures.

I must stop in.

Florence continues its march to land. The Carolinas and Virginia in danger. More than one million persons have been told to evacuate. Florence is expected to hit as a category 4. Maybe even a 5.

Dangerous!

Irma has made me and other Key Westers sensitive to and uncomfortable when it comes to hurricanes.

Today a significant one in American history. 9/11! The day planes took down the Twin Towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon, and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Close to 3,000 killed. Many first responders suffering cancer and other related problems from working at the New York site.

Attacks on American soil have been few. The Revolution and War of 1812. 9/11. All by foreigners who came to the U.S. to perpetrate their evil.

The next attack will not be by foreigners coming upon American soil. Modern warfare makes it unnecessary. North Korea has missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching our shores. China can hit the U.S. from any of the islands recently constructed in Asian waters and from its newly constructed missile naval vessels. Even Russia has updated. Its new submarine fleet can hit anywhere in the U.S. with missiles fired from them.

There are two new type wars. Each making missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. unnecessary.

One is cyber war. Screw up our computer systems. The other economic warfare. Break the back of a nation’s economy.

A lot on the U.S.’s plate for our leaders to handle. Hope they are paying proper attention.

In the past few days, the Key West Citizen has either completely left out or shortened the Citizens’ Voice. Why? It is the most important part of Key West’s local newspaper. A place where people can vent. Many times corrections to problems have resulted because of a complaint read in the column.

Tonight, tonight…..My podcast show! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A fast moving interesting half hour. Tune in and listen to me rant and rave about the good and bad going on in our world. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

IRMA REVISITED

One year ago today, Irma hit the Florida Keys. Everyone is aware of the details. The damage wrought. I want to share feelings experienced. As I experienced them.

As Irma was traveling over the water, its pending arrival resulted in a knot in my chest. Irma was predicted as a category 5. It was heading straight for Key West.

My mind kept repeating…..Get out of Dodge!

Five days before Irma’s arrival, I did.

My escape to Birmingham took 4 days. Traffic unbelievable. Reminded me of newsreels taken at the beginning of World War II. Poland, Czechoslovakia and France. People in long lines walking away from danger. In Irma’s instance, driving.

The miles of slow moving cars added to the realization that we were all escaping a bad thing. Escape not easy. Mental uncertainty jumped in as to whether I would make it.

The gasoline problem added negative thoughts. Sometimes, no gas available. Other times, a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait to get gas. What would happen if there were no gas and we all were left sitting in our cars on the road side?

People panic. I saw at a Pompano gas station, people on foot pushing and shoving to get at gas pumps with cans to fill. Their cars apparently already topped.

Food entered my mind. Suppose where ever I was or ended up, food ran out. How would people behave?

Whatever, I made it to the Thornton’s in Birmingham.

Now my concern and those of my other evacuees went to how Irma was affecting Key West and the lower Keys. Concern, big time. Glued to the TV screen. Anxious for every bit of news.

Irma came and went. Concern for friends who remained on going. Communication difficult. Cell phones non operable.

Thornton guests anxious to return home. Not only to look after their property, but also to help those who remained. The desire to be of assistance ran deep.

The trip home less crowded.  I waited a week after Irma before I left. No sense in returning without air conditioning, power, water, food, etc.

The view fine till I hit Marathon. Then the damage. Increasing the further south I drove. Depressing. Boats on the side of highways, cars in the water, homes flattened like pancakes, appliances all over, debris everywhere.

Islamorada, Big Pine and Cudjoe Key the worse. Unbelievable. Emotional. Tears running down my face.

Finally made it to Key West. Duval desolate. Dark. Power downtown a problem. People in the shadows. Everyone glad to see each other.

One year later, Irma’s foot print remains. Not everyone back in a home. Some still in tents. Food a problem. Jobs a big problem. The canals still plugged with sunken houses and boats. Canal cleanup only recently begun. U.S. 1 looks good. Go off the highway one block in many areas and it looks like Irma hit yesterday.

Recovery a big step. Even a year later, much to be done.

The thing that impacted me the most was the resiliency of the people. Irma gone. Damage left. Everyone pitching in to help. Neighbors and strangers shoulder to shoulder. Any mental depression long gone. Still a job to do and people getting at it.

Enjoy your day!

 

POLICE HAVE NO RIGHT TO STRIKE

It was September 9, 1919. The Boston Police were unhappy. They had been denied the right to unionize. They went on strike. Eighty percent of the force failed to show up for work.

Calvin Coolidge rode the strike into the U.S. Presidency.

Massachusetts Governor at the time. He said, “There is no right to strike against public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime.” He sent in the Massachusetts Militia.

Coolidge enjoyed a politically fortuitous life. He got into the police strike fray as it was dying down. Made a brilliant statement. He was given credit for putting the strike down.

Coolidge was selected to run as Vice-President with Warren Harding as President. Harding died in office. Coolidge became President.

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to watch the first half of the Syracuse/Wagner game. Syracuse looked good. Wagner a small school beginning to grow its football program.

Syracuse has not looked good for many years. They beat Wagner 62-10. Impressive. However, the quality of the opposition has to be taken into account. Next week will tell. Syracuse plays Florida State.

My dear Donna has competition for the title of the Julia Child of Key West. Andrea.

Donna, Terri and I were guests of Andrea and Joe last night for dinner. What a meal! Lasagna! Fantastic! Buttery banana bread for desert.

My diet went out the window!

We all headed over to Blue Macaw after dinner. Terri sat in for a while with Larry Baeder.

It is Terri again this morning. She is singing with Larry at Hard Rock Cafe’s Sunday brunch. Ten to twelve.

Got to admire Terri. She keeps working, putting one foot in front of the other. She has a steady gig at Blue Macaw beginning Wednesday. Her night.

Remember Shrimp Boats Are A Coming. Think Rosemary Clooney sang it. Delete Shrimp boats and replace the term with Florence. Florence is a coming! No question, unless it makes a hard right back into the Atlantic at the last moment.

Florence is headed for the mid Atlantic states. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have already declared a state of emergency. Florence’s path will remain uncertain for 5 days. Then!

The hurricane experts say Florence will begin a rapid intensification beginning today. It will return to hurricane status. Expected to be a major hurricane when it hits.

Some people get away with murder!

The U.S. is facing a major opioid crisis. One hundred plus a day dying. The prescription drug Oxycontin a major contributor. A pain killer. Quick to addict.

Purdue Pharma has been producing the drug for years. The government and the public are aware. The government is doing little. The public trying to do a lot. There are presently lawsuits against Purdue Pharma in over 1,000 jurisdictions.

Purdue Pharma is a family business. The Sackler family. One of the sons is Richard Sackler. At one time, President of Purdue Pharma.

Richard and five others recently obtained a patent for a new drug. To be used where a person has an opioid disorder. To be used for opioid addiction treatment.

I love it! Sackler and family a major contributor to the opioid crisis. Made millions if not billions in the process. Now one of them will add to his wealth for having come up with a cure.

Would you believe!

Only in America!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

MONEY LAUNDERING

The New York Times reported this morning that Trump associates were being looked at for money laundering. Not a major portion of the article. Came up at the very end. The thrust of the writing was the news that Trump was being investigated by Mueller.

I have taken the position for six or seven months that in the end it would be money laundering that would bring Trump down. In this blog, my podcast and Facebook video, I have taken that position. More than once in each place.

I am not claiming to be an oracle of wisdom. I did however pick up on the money laundering several months ago in researching a separate matter. I also talk to tourists/people constantly about certain issues. Key West a good place to do so. Everyone is here at one time or another.

Now we wait to see what will happen. The hole dug by Trump and associates gets deeper by the day.

The Chart Room first last night. An unusual crowd for this time of the year. Wall to wall.

John bartending. He was training Bart who will bartend tuesday evenings at the Chart Room and three other evenings at the Beach Bar. Bart needed no training. He has bartended for 12 years at various Duval drinking establishments.

Janyne walked by the Chart Room on her way home. I nodded for her to come in. Chatted a bit. A lovely lady. A great personality.

Stopped at Outback on the way home. A small prime rib, baked potato and steamed vegetables.

Then, home.

I was on the road at 4. My evening finished by 8. Home in bed at 8:30. Fell asleep. Woke at one and have been awake ever since.

The moral: Never go to bed early unless you need the sleep.

Howard and Cindy Livingston are two of the nicest people in the Keys. I have known Howard for years. Even before he was the Howard Livingston he is today.

Howard a success. As is Cindy. She works every gig with him in one fashion or another. Also provides the moral support a good woman gives her man.

Neither Howard nor Cindy were born in Key west. However, they are loved by all and participate in many charitable events. Recently, Mayor Cates awarded each a certificate designating them as Honorary Conchs.

A big deal!

I recently read something concerning Pepe’s. The great restaurant on Caroline.

Pepe’s is the oldest restaurant in Key West. Born 1909.

Pepe’s special meal is steak smothered in pork chops. Outstanding! Enough for three!

The article seemed to suggest Pepe’s was serving the steak smothered in pork chops back in 1909. Correct? I will have dinner soon at Pepe’s to find out.

Every now and then I enjoy traveling back hundred of years to a significant person or place. Several times, I have visited Dante.

It is Dante again today.

Dante aka Dante Alighieri. On this date in 1300 A.D., Dante became a prior of Florence. He was one of six. they ran Florence politically.

Dante irritated some leading citizens. In 1302, he was banned from Florence.

How swiftly the mighty fall!

Dante and his family became wanderers. They sought the protection of several cities over the years.

The reason I mention Dante today is that during his years as a wanderer, he wrote The Divine Comedy.

A busy morning. A haircut with Lori and a visit to Farmers Market.

Enjoy your day!