FROM MOSES BASKETS TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Not only is Key West One Human Family, it is One Happy Family. Family being the operative word.

This story involves Blue Heaven, its owner, and its employees over the years.

Richard Hatch owns Blue Heaven. An absolute Key West success! Tourists wait in line to dine.

Hatch understood the personal needs of his staff. He permitted hosts, waitresses, etc. to bring their babies to work. Generally in baskets. Moses baskets.

A number of the babies are now full grown. A good number graduated from the Key West High School several days ago. The mothers of many have continued to work at Blue Heaven over the years. Some of the recent graduates also during their high school days.

The graduation called for a Blue Heaven Party. What else!

The party was held at Hatch’s home. The home lovely. A huge pool in the back.

A crowd estimated at 100.

Organizing the party were Donna’s daughter Stacey and Satia. Both still working at Blue Heaven after all these years. Both had children graduating.

A good time had by all! All because of a Richard Hatch who had the foresight to understand young mothers some 20 years ago needed to take their kids to work. He worked with them and they and their children have happily worked with and for him.

A sad occurrence in 2015. A visitor at the Tiki Bar at the Galleon decided to dive in the ocean. The dock was roped off. He went over the rope. Might have been drinking.

An unfortunate accident occurred. He hit head first. Water shallow. An instantaneous quadriplegic.

He sued. The basis of the suit was that the Bar and Galleon had no signs posted warning of shallow water and no signs posted prohibiting diving.

The case was settled this past week for $10.75 million.

I enjoyed a perfect evening last night. Watched the 1946 Cole Porter movie starring Cary Grant. and Alexis Smith. Night and Day. A tear jerker.

The music a killer! Touching! Romantic! Glad I opted to remain home and watch the movie.

Songs like Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, You’re the Top, You’d Be So Easy to Love, In the Still of the Night, etc.

Wow!

Trump has stirred the emotions of Middle East countries. He emboldened Saudi Arabia by his visit. Four days ago, the Saudis blockaded Qatar and threaten to attack Qatar. Turkey has since entered into a military pact with Qatar. Iran has offered food and ports to Qatar.

Great job, Donald! Keep it up and our country will end up looking like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of the President, he spoke to a group of Evangelicals yesterday. His strongest group of supporters. His message: “We’re under siege.”

Amazon is smart business.

Amazon has recognized the middle class no longer exists. It wants customers from both ends of the economic spectrum, however. Those at the bottom and those at the top.

Amazon has had Price Membership for several years. For $99 a year, it provides free 2 day shipping. Amounts to $10.99 a month.

They recognize the other market and are going after it. Amazon announced it will provide 2 day shipping service to those in the lowest economic scale. $5.99 per month. A state issued debit card for government benefits required to participate.

Cultural and religious differences frequently clash these days.

The Saudi Arabia (Them again!) soccer team is participating in the World Cup in Australia. A moment of silence was called for in memory of the recent victims of the London Bridge attack.

The Saudi Arabia team refused to observe the moment.

The Saudi Arabia Soccer Federation later in the day issued an apology.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST A RICH SMALL TOWN

I did my good deed for the year during the night. Maybe for the next ten years.

I received a telephone call at 4 this morning. A friend was in trouble, needed help.  It was out of bed, into clothes, and into town.

As a result, I am dead tired. Probably will be all day.

Duval at 4 in  the morning is strange. Almost no one on the street. It was like everyone had disappeared. Only the buildings remained. Eerie.

Bloomberg Business did a survey to determine the 20 richest small towns in America. Key West one of them. Came in 13th.

I question the survey result. The survey was based on real estate values and median salaries. Real estate values have  been out of whack in Key West for years. Whether buying or renting.  The mean salary based on the survey was in the low $50,000 area. Not many making that much. There must be an unusual number of millionaires residing in Key West to raise the average to that level.

So much for the study.

Yesterday was the anti-gravity treadmill in the morning, lunch at Roostica and the Galleon’s Sunset Tiki Bar at cocktail time.

I thought I would run into Jean, Sheila and David at the bar. Generally their friday haunt. Found out Jean left town two days ago, and Sheila and David were no where to be found.

Someone put their arms around me from the back. It was Pati. We spent a couple of pleasant hours together.

JJ bartending. He previously worked the Chart Room. A great personality. He was thin. Obviously lost weight. Told me 20 pounds. How, I asked. He is building something outside. He is at it from 7 in the morning. The humidity a killer. A lot of sweating. The pounds just fell off.

I asked him for a job.

I was on my way home when I decided I was hungry. Stopped at Outback. Glad I did. Enjoyed great conversation with two guys sitting next to me at the bar.

Both in their thirties. One a government worker, the other out of work. Both extremely knowledgeable. We talked of our country, politicians, Trump, and life in general. The life we credit/blame on our political leaders.

Both would like to leave the U.S. and move to another country. One has property in Mexico on the Pacific coast.

We agreed as we left, it had been a good evening.

My KONK Life column Black Lives Matter / Play Tough is being correctly run in this morning’s E-Blast. You may want to read it.

Danny is fickle. First a nothing storm. Then a category 2 yesterday which turned out to be a category 3. We are told Danny will die after Puerto Rico. We shall see.

Market down 530 points friday. Monday will tell if the market was adjusting or we are at the start of another recession. China the culprit. All has to do with oil.

Trump announced 36 thousand for last night’s rally. He had to get a stadium to hold all the people. Turns out the stadium was only half full. Twenty thousand. Still a good number. In fact, an excellent one.

Will the Trump mania run its course and burn out?

Watched Jimmy Carter on TV yesterday announcing his medical problem. The man is a class act.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MS13

I wish to return briefly to the Milan train attack of 48 hours ago. The one where the conductor almost had his arm totally severed with a machete. Police reports yesterday suggested the people involved were from Central America. Did not make sense to me. I thought it was connected to Italy’s immigrant problem

It has been established not to be immigrant caused. The two assailants were from Central America. One from Ecuador and the other San Salvador. Both 20 years old.

They are part of a gang. An international gang known as MS13. Short for Mara Salvatrucka. A transnational gang.

MS13 got its start in the l980s in Central America. Immigrated to other parts of the world, including the U.S. Originally in Los Angeles. Today other parts of the U.S. Places like Washington. DC, Fairfax and Prince George Counties, Maryland, Long Island, Boston, Houston and Charlotte.

It is estimated MS13’s numbers are 8,000-10,000 in the U.S. Thirty thousand to 50,000 world wide.

The group is described as merciless. They distinguish themselves with violence, revenge and cruel retribution. Their cause is partially financed by child prostitution. They have a prostitution ring composed of runaway young girls. They search them out for the purpose.

MS13 sounds like a small time ISIS. Equally violent. The distinction between the two is that MS13 has not grown as swiftly as ISIS. MS13 is not connected to ISIS nor was it to Al-Qaeda.

I make mention of MS13 because I had never heard of it till yesterday. Even though it has been a problem in several parts of the U.S. over the years. I doubt many of you have heard of MS13. Why have we not? Is it another example of the media being selective in not sharing MS13 activity with us?

I wrote by day yesterday. Last night, I stopped at the Galleon’s Sunset
Tiki Bar for a drink. Tourists galore. Then to Pepe’s bar for dinner. I like Pepe’s. I especially like Pepe’s food. Good healthy stick to your bones food.

Big party tonight! In the hundreds. The bocce league’s party. All 56 teams attending. Always a good time. The party is at the new Waterfront Restaurant. The building where the Waterfront Market was located for years. This will be my first time there. I am anxious to see the layout and taste the food.

I woke with a bang this morning! The kind from the sky. With it came a bolt of lightning. Lit up my bedroom. Announced a rainy day ahead.

I was so engrossed with my writing yesterday that I forgot my noon manicure appointment with Tammy. Rescheduled for today at noon.

Enjoy your day!.

ANOTHER KEY WEST WATER TRAGEDY

Tragedy struck on two occasions recently. Both water related. In one incident, a man was left paralyzed. The other, dead.

Sunset is big in Key West! A tourist attraction. The celebration takes place on the Gulf side of Key West at Mallory Square.

Sunday night, a 49 year old man visiting with family and friends decided to jump off the sea wall where the performers were playing. A friend went in first. Then, he.

He could not get out on his own. The current too strong. Two others jumped in attempting to save save him. Too late.

About a month ago, a similar incident occurred. A group of male friends were partying at the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon. One of them decided to run, jump over the heavy rope fence and into the water. It was low tide. He is now paralyzed for life.

People do stupid things. Sometimes resulting in bad happenings. These are two examples. Sad both occurred. There seems to be a tendency with Key West visitors to do crazy things. Not just jumping in the water. Many times what is done has an adverse result.

Physiotherapy yesterday. Grueling again. I had to nap a bit when I got home. I am definitely our of shape. Anything physical tires me. Even sex.

At least, I have stopped falling down.

Spent a considerable time yesterday putting together tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting topics. A police update and my opinion where all this is going, Monsanto’s gall re Roundup, Lake Mead/Hoover Dam going dry, some banks charging depositors for holding their money, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I went up the keys for dinner. Not far. Mangrove Mama’s. A quiet night. Few customers. I sat at a table in the bar.

A pattern has developed in my life. Sunday, monday and tuesday seem to be heavy writing days. Sunday is the KONK column. Monday is getting ready for tuesday night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday is fine tuning the show.

Not a complaint. Merely sharing. I love writing!

Enjoy your day!

 

BOB AND SUSAN

My base of those I call friends has expanded greatly because of this blog. Many e-mail me from all points of the world. They share with me their joys and sadnesses. I learn of their children and parents. They offer comments and political observations to what I may have written the day before.

The friendships are genuine. Though we rarely meet face to face.

One of my blog friends is Bob Saraceno from the Buffalo area. He reads me daily, e-mails every couple of months.

Bob is in Key West this week. We made arrangements to meet last night at the Chart Room. The evening turned out to be one of the most pleasant I have experienced.

Bob is here with Susan. They are a couple. They have purchased a home in Fort Myers. Key West will be their vacation spot. It is a mere four hour ferry boat ride away.

No question, I am a liberal at heart. Bob, a conservative. Our respective political leanings have never affected our relationship.

The three of us talked about everything. We were together quite a while. At least three hours.

Bob is Sicilian. I am not. My people are from the Naples area. I told him I was fearful of Sicilians. They had a reputation of cutting throats in the middle of the night. I also offered that my mother in law was Sicilian and we never got along. I attributed it to her Sicilian ways.

We drank a little too much. Laughed more. Had a great time!

They asked for a place to dine tonight. I suggested the Hot Tin Roof. I am having dinner there tonight with Donna and Terri and will probably run into them.

Key West has a reputation of being a drinking town. It is. Tourists, especially. Many indulge a bit too much. Something bad occasionally occurs as a result.

The word on the street last night was that someone had dived into the water at the Hyatt, struck his head, and could not feel from the neck down. Terrible. Potential for a serious injury. As bad as a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

The morning paper ran the story. It was not the Hyatt. It occurred at the Galleon. The Galleon’s Tiki Bar.

A 40 year old tourist dove off the pier at the Galleon. Normally shallow, it was even more shallow at the time. The tide was out. The water only three feet deep. Hard rock at the bottom.

A tragedy.

It is not easy to dive into the ocean off the Galleon deck. There is a thick rope fence/barrier. Formidable.

An article in this morning’s Key West Citizen projects an easy hurricane season ahead.  Minimal. The report worries me. I would rather it was predicted that a bad hurricane season was ahead and nothing happened.

Key West got hit bad by hurricanes for a number of years. The last big one was Wilma in 2005.

My recollection is Wilma was only a #1. It was the water that followed. Like a tsunami. About an hour after the wind departed, the water arrived. There was no warning. The water height 6-7 feet. Lisa ended up with  6 1/2 feet of water in her home. Larry and Christine were sitting on their back porch chatting about how lucky they were that there was no damage to their home. Larry says all of a sudden the water started trickling in and within seconds was one foot deep and on its way up.

I learned something from reading the article. Key West and Pensacola are the two most hurricane prone areas in Florida. One end of the State to the other. Key West to the extreme south. Pensacola is part of the Panhandle. An area to the extreme northwest of Florida.

Enjoy your day!