HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY BLUME

One of Key West’s most admired and respected persons is world famous author Judy Blume.

Today is Judy’s birthday. Happy birthday!

My daughters knew Judy Blume before me. Well before me. In their formative teen years. Judy wrote young adult novels. For the growing young lady. Issues like menstruation, self esteem, etc. She also wrote children’s books and adult novels.

Her books have sold over 80 million copies world wide and have been translated into 30 languages.

Judy and her husband George Cooper were instrumental with others in bringing Books & Books @ The Studios to Key West.

Judy can be found daily at Books & Books assisting visitors in making book selections.  Stop in today and wish her a Happy Birthday! Stop in any time to say hello.

Sunday means The Gardens. Kate Miano’s fabulous place.

I stopped by last night. Shocked! The most people I have ever seen attending the event. Ninety nine percent snowbirds. They have returned! Love Kate’s sunday party!

On the way home, stopped at Publix. I consistently run out of food frequently. Perhaps I never purchase enough at one time.

The past few days, I have had a desire for capicola. An Italian meat treat! Tasty. Bought a pound last night.

Capicola’s story interesting. More interesting, I made capicola while employed at a meat packing plant while in college.

Let me share my knowledge of capicola with you.

Capicola brought over from Italy. Referred to as capocollo in Italy.

Purchased at the store in its finished form as a fatty pork/ham cold cut surrounded by red pepper. Thinly sliced. The fat gives the meat a unique flavor.

Capicola is made from the pig’s muscle running from the neck to the fourth or fifth rib of the shoulder or neck.

The next few steps in the process not the same. Location alters the processing somewhat.

After cutting, the meat I dealt with was placed in huge jars of brine. Not sure the precise nature of the brine. Some said red or white wine, garlic and herbs. My recollection is that the room where the barrels were stored smelled good!

The brinning room was a large refrigerator. Not freezing. Merely cold. The room very large.

Row after row of the barrels. The barrels huge. Five or six feet tall. At least four feet wide. Made of wood.

The meat was marinated in the brine quite a while. Exact time, I do not recall. When the meat was ready for casing, the barrels were transported into another huge room.

That is where I came into the picture. My job was to stand on a ladder and remove the meat chunks one piece at a time. Did it with a meat hook. Had to be careful to put the hook into the right place on the meat. Otherwise, the meat would appear damaged and I could get fired.

I wore rubber gloves. No thin plastic gloves as we have today. My hands hot inside the gloves. The reason being the cooking ovens were in the same room and immediately next to where I was working.

I took the hooked meat off the hook and rolled it by hand in a large pan containing red pepper. Then I threw the piece on a large table below me. There a dozen or so workers were placing the meat in casings. Hands and small machines required for the operation.

The pepper would get in the gloves. Between the pepper heat and heat from the ovens, the skin began flaking off my hands. I was transferred to another job.

Once cased, the product was placed on huge trees and then sent into the huge ovens to cook. The ovens each the size of a room. After cooking, removed and allowed to hang several days to cool before delivery to stores for sale.

The owners of the meat packing house were good people. Employees were permitted to eat any of the meats produced for lunch. We normally went for the capicola or hot fresh ham warm as it came out of the ovens. A feast!

Syracuse survived yesterday against Wake Forest. Won 78-70. Syracuse has to win almost all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Trump coming out with his infrastructure plan today. $1.5 trillion. He has the ideas, but not the money. I understand he will suggest the federal government put  in 20 percent. The rest to be paid by the States, local governments, and private investment. The last meaning selling or leasing roads and bridges to private corporations.

The Feds do not have the money. However, I believe it has to come primarily from the federal government. It always has. The States and local governments are broke. Where would they get the money?

Private sector participation a no no from my perspective. It would be like using mercenaries to fight our wars, contracting out various federal jobs, and privatized jails.

It does not work. As we are slowly finding out, costly and full of improprieties and wrongdoing.

Trump is looking to private corporations to fund most of the repair/reconstruction work. I have seen how this works in Italy. The roads and bridges are beautiful. No pot holes anywhere. Most roads tolled. Expensive to travel. The toll charges not cheap. As a result, most Italians look for narrow country roads to travel.

Another Trump folly, mistake, not thought out plan, in the making.

Enjoy your day!

I ACHE…..I FELL

It happens every now and then. Fortunately, with less frequency.

I fell thursday night. In my bathroom. The toilet bowl and floor became my enemies.

Lucky I did not break my left hip. Could not get up. Always a problem for seniors who fall. Lay there for an hour. Finally crawled the 30 feet to my bedroom.

Getting on the bed not easy.

My left leg and knee a mess of big bruises and small cuts. My left arm the same. My right arm a mess from elbow to wrist. Both knees hurt.

My left hip the worse. Glad I did not break it. Major bruise and small cuts. Difficult to put weight or pressure on it. Laying in bed and sitting a problem. Going up stairs painful.

Spent yesterday in bed on my side.

No blog yesterday because of the fall.

Cheryl Keast, love you! You always are concerned when there is no blog. Wonder if a computer glitch or worse. Worse this time.

Perhaps my next book should not be Growing Up Italian. Problems of the Elderly might be better. I have experience in both areas.

Blog short today. Sitting literally a pain in the ass. Want to get back to bed.

The Government shut down. Disgraceful.

Of course, I consider Trump to blame. He and his wall/immigration issue disruptive. Needs the wall and some immigration concessions for his base. The solid 39 percent.

The Democrats know they have him in a bind. They are correct in holding out for DACHA, CHIP, opioid funding, and aid for Puerto Rico.

If both sides were smart, they would get it done in one swell swoop at this time.

Smart however no longer an attribute of politicians.

The far right, alt-right, and evangelicals worry me. Most of whom make up Trump’s solid base. Actually, scare me.

They have brought us a President such as Trump and opened the door to all kinds of political nuts who now sit in Congress.

Rick Saccone is the GOP Congressional candidate in a special Pennsylvania election. Last thursday, Trump traveled to North Fayette Township to campaign for Saccone.

Who is Saccone? A scary background. He was an interrogation consultant for the U.S. Army at the infamous Abu Ghraib in Iraq. A torture expert. He has written extensively in support of tactics widely condemned as torture by human rights experts. Like waterboarding, stress positions, and sleep deprivation. Also, the use of execution threats, dogs, and electrocution threats.

Is Saccone the type of person we want in Congress? There are enough right wing nuts already.

People are known by the company they keep. Trump looks bad in supporting Saccone.

The election result will be an indication of Trump’s present popularity. He carried the Congressional district by 20 percent a year ago.

Terri White getting healthier by the day. Saw her local cancer doctor this week. Her tests all good.

Terri is singing the next few days. Sunday at Kate Miano’s Gardens. Monday at Aqua with Dueling bartenders.

Go Terri!

Enough. Back to bed time.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

Last night was the final evening of Gombay. I did not go out. It poured heavy several times during the evening. I hope it did not disrupt Goombay too much.

Today, the beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. Shed your clothes and join in!

Joking.

Tonight at 6, the Zombie Bike Ride. Thousands will participate. Riders costumed and made up. Some scary weird. Bikes decorated, also.

Bicycles big in Key West. Sole means of transportation for many.

Though not an official part of Fantasy Fest, Kate Miano’s Gardens from 5:30-8:00. Kate’s sunday evening event has become a Key West tradition.

Entertaining this evening are the CRZBs. Supposed to be  excellent. A jazz ensemble. The only player I know is Skipper Kripitz. An excellent drummer and an extremely fine person.

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

My day yesterday was watching the Syracuse/Miami game. Syracuse lost 27-19. A different play result here or there, the score could have been reversed.

Syracuse played poorly in the first half. Dungey had nothing working for him. His second half a beauty, however!

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

If I had to pick one item that contributed big time to Miami’s victory, it was their speed. Fast off the line. It took almost all of the first half for Syracuse to accommodate.

Syracuse has gained momentum as the season has worn on. They will make a bowl this year. Next year, watch out! Dungey back!

King and Queen of Fantasy Fest have been identified. King is “Saint Paul” Murphy. Queen, Destiny Montgomery.

I know Destiny. Sings often with the Dueling Bartenders. A lovely young lady with a magnificent voice!

Several years ago, a local group worked hard to bring a film festival to Key West. They succeeded. This year’s Key West Film Festival is scheduled for November 15-18. Thirty films will be shown.

This day in 1962, President John Kennedy announced he had ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. Kennedy warned the U.S. was ready to retaliate if any missiles were launched.

The Cuban missile crisis was upon us. The crisis continued for six days. A nuclear war was imminent. no question about it. Either the Soviet Union backed off and removed them or a nuclear war would occur.

Naval war vessels from both sides were face to face in the waters between Key West and Cuba.

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

It was an emotional moment to watch on TV the Russian vessels turning around to return to Russia.

Feelings were high. The situation tense. What is happening presently with North Korea kid stuff in comparison. Though no less serious.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev a nut. Similar to Trump, far worse.

Key West was in the middle of the fracas. Artillery guns were erected on Smathers and other beaches pointing towards Cuba. Military personnel were transported quickly and in large numbers to Key West.

Khrushchev blinked. Fortunate for everyone. Kennedy had met the enemy and beat him.

Some things are nor readily revealed to us via the media. An example is the Executive Order Trump signed this past week recalling 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

We are fighting in so many places that we have an insufficient military personnel. Another example is that the military has lowered its standards for successful enlistment. The U.S. will now accept applicants who have a marijuana history.

For several years, I have suggested a return to the draft or mandatory military time following high school graduation.

I believe we would be in fewer wars if more families were directly involved. A President and Congress would be reluctant to engage in new wars if the people back home had a direct personal interest in those fighting.

Still waiting on Irma and Me. I had a desire for strawberry ice cream at 3 this morning!

Enjoy your Sunday!

GEORGE

I was paying my bill at the bar at Antonia’s last night. Sensed someone behind me. Turned. A lovely blond. Magnificent. Hair style a bit different. Short punk? Punk pixie? Short spiky? To me, they all look alike. The cut marvelous.

It was obvious she knew me. I could not recall her. It was George. George is a lady.

I have seen George probably six times in fifteen years. The first time at Lisa’s wedding. The event at the Southernmost Beachside. We took over the restaurant and entire beach. Food and drink stations everywhere.

I was at one of the martini bars. A young lady spoke to me. George. She introduced herself as a friend of Lisa’s. My recollection is we enjoyed two apple martini’s each as we talked.

I recall not the specifics of the conversation. Recognized George was a deep thinking sensitive woman. I enjoyed our time together.

As mentioned earlier, last night was the sixth time I have seen her in 15 years.

George is a bartender at Hogsbreath. When we first met. Even  today. Dillon her husband.

We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then invited me to join her friends at the other end of the bar. She wanted me to meet Joni, a relative newcomer to Key West.

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

I refer to Cori normally by her title. Doctor. She has a Doctorate. Impressive. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS).

Cori’s work brilliant. Her shows and offerings at the Custom House beyond the best. I have come to admire her greatly.

Nic, her husband.

I was introduced to Joni. Told she read my blog everyday. Such made her an instantaneous hit with me.

We walked to the other end of the bar and chatted.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, she has lived in Key West six months. Already bought a place. A condominium on Petronia between Duval and Whitehead.

Joni has an MBA. Spent a lifetime working in finance for Sunoco. Already employed in Key West. With KWAHS.

Attractive. A nice person. I sense we shall meet again.

Sitting next to me during dinner were Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. A Key West love story. Both widowers. Now have a home in Key West.

In her other life, Jan was in the scrap metal business in northern Indiana. We had much to talk about. I was an environmental attorney. Sheet metal and environmental lawyering go hand in hand.

Bob impressed me. He owned a BMW distributorship in Westbury, Long Island. Third largest in the country. Sold 4,000 BMW’s a year.

Nicole bartending. Seven straight weeks. TK stayed north with his mother extra long. TK back tuesday. Nicole will return to waitressing.

I enjoyed Nicole’s company as bartender. A charming engaging woman.

Prior to Antonia’s, I was at Kate Miano’s Gardens. The Gardens was hit hard by Irma.

The property extensive. Surrounded by a large wooded area. Huge trees. Some probably back to Indian days.

Many wiped out.

There was one empty area relatively large. I thought perhaps a guest house had been situated the spot. No. Merely tall trees. All gone.

Irma has effected her business. She had to return deposits in the six figures. No insurance to cover the tree losses.

Kate is one of the smartest and aggressive women I know. She and her Gardens will recover.

Saw many friends. Jean Thornton one of them. My joy to see Jean. We will have a special bond the rest of our lives.

Earlier in the day, Sloan and I spent four hours finalizing work on Irma and Me. Tedious. E-mailed everything to the Publisher. He advised the book may be out by week’s end.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE SUN ROSE

The sun rose this morning. As it does every morning in one fashion or another. Today, a bright orange ball.

I  went outside to watch. Always beautiful, always uplifting. The beginning of a new day.

Yesterday, a laid back one for me. Other than an hour in the sun on the deck, I was inside. Researched tonight’s blog talk radio show. Watched TV in the evening.

Topics galore for my show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Without question, the Orlando story. A must. I have personal thoughts. as many do. I will share them this evening.

Having contrary thoughts not a bad thing. People not all the same. The problem is many in this country forget there are always two sides to a story, to a belief. Sometimes several.

the key is to listen. Respect. Think.

The show will also discuss California’s failure to count 2.5 million votes in the recent primary. Then the outing of another Secret Service failure. An agent e-mailing from the White House obscene material (his penis pic) to teenage girls, soliciting some for sex, etc.

How do these guys become Secret Service agents?

People can stand up for their rights and win. The tale of a Pennsylvania community that  successfully fought Nestle’s attempt to extricate 200,000 gallons of water a day from their township. To sell in supermarkets as Deer Park bottled water.

A few words re my KONK Life column this week: The Rape of Social Security.

Plus more.

The show is at 9 my time. A half hour of fast moving opinionated material. Many times revealing. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Debra and Patrick are back in town. Have been for a few weeks.

Debra and Patrick very entertaining. Debra a fine voice. I have been privileged to hear her sing for more than 20 years. Generally, at La Te Da. This year, she and Patrick appeared elsewhere than in Key west. They have returned for a few weeks.

Debra and Patrick will appear friday and saturday nights at the Little Room Jazz Club.

One of Key West’s premier entertainers Larry Smith has been appearing monday nights at the Little Room Jazz Club for a year. Don’t miss him!

Pope Francis. A man of wisdom. He sees where others refuse to look. Sunday he blasted a world in which war is fed but the hungry are not. His words.

Enjoy your day!

GAY MASS SHOOTING

Anne from Ithaca is a loyal follower of this blog. She commented on why I advised no blog yesterday. She gave me the benefit of the doubt. Thought because of the Orlando killings, I was saying nothing so people could ponder the event on their own before I expressed my thoughts.

Wish your observation was correct, Anne. Makes me look good. Thank you. Not the reason, however. I was tired.

This week’s KONK Life column is The Rape of Social Security. Researched it on saturday. Needed verification of some facts before writing. Rose at 6 yesterday morning to check the facts. Followed by putting the article together.

It was almost 11 when I finished. I was tired! Writing the blog would have been like climbing a mountain. Took a day off. Went to bed and slept till late afternoon.

I never knew of the Orlando disaster till late afternoon when I woke. Ergo, I cannot take credit for having made what Anne perceived as a thoughtful gesture.

Nevertheless, thank you Anne.

You do not need me to tell you the Orlando killings and injuries should not have been. The work of a radicalized young man. Anti-gay and anti-female. He had wrapped himself in his religion.

What blows me out is that the culprit was American born in New York City. Educated. Through college. Not some Muslim nut from the Middle East who somehow got into our country.

How did he get radicalized? My thought is the internet has to have been a major contributing factor. Information and contacts galore available 24 hours a day.

Yesterday was part of Gay Pride Week. The shootings occurred at a gay night spot. Pride Week being celebrated all over the United States. Including of course Key West.

Gays and straights alike wore black arm bands yesterday in Key West.

I want to stay with the Islamic mind/teachings for a moment. A Dutch woman was in Qatar. She had a drink at a bar. The next thing she remembers is waking up somewhere else. Waking up and discovering her body had been had. Raped. Suspects she was served a mickey at the bar.

She reported the incident to the police. They arrested her. The way it is in the Middle East. Women are not supposed to have sex outside marriage. If they do, it is automatically deemed to be the woman’s fault.

She was jailed in March. Tried this past week. Found guilty of illicit consensual fornication and drunkedness. Sentenced to a year in jail and three years probation. Sentence suspended. She is being thrown out of the country. Happily so.

They located the guy. Found guilty of illegal consensual sex and drinking alcohol. Got 100 lashes for the sex and 4o additional lashes for the drinking.

I would normally say these people are crazy. Muslims in general. However, I have seen the error of my ways and wish to be politically correct. Seriously so. Not all Muslims are driven by the thinking of the Orlando shooter nor the laws of Qatar. How do we distinguish between the good guys and the bad? Therein is the problem.

Trump’s comments following the killings off base. He shoots from the hip. Too volatile to be President.

Met Lynn Sherman at the Gardens last night. First time. She is an artist. A successful one. Her paintings sell. She paints fronts of homes on small canvases. She has had several showings at the Lucky Street Gallery.

An interesting woman. Good company.

My lesbian wives Donna and Terri are back in town. Ran into them saturday night at Tavern ‘n Town and last night at the Gardens. Glad they have opted to return. They add to the quality of Key West.

Met two interesting men at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Albert Sullivan and Richard Manley. One sitting to my left and the other to my right.

Albert is a physician-scientist. Richard the Manley of Manley de Boer for 40 years.

Humidity becoming a killer. Heavier each day. And it is only June!

Enjoy your day!

 

JIMMY OLSON

My first stop last night was a first.

Jimmy Olson entertains thursday evenings at the Gardens. Inside. Sits at a baby grand, plays and sings. Impressive. His singing and the ambiance. I recommend the evening to you.

Guy de Boer made an appearance. Shooting pictures for KONK Life.

Kate Miano holding court outside. A lovely and pleasant woman always. Her company a pleasant experience.

There was a political gathering in the gardens around the pool. Met Andrew Korge. Husband, father, civic leader and now the Democrat candidate for State Senator. Korge hails from Miami. Involved in real estate.

Korge and I talked a bit. He espouses Democratic values. Something I like.

One admonition to Korge, don’t forget us in Key West because we are a small island far from the mainland. Some representatives have.

Dinner was at the bar at Michael’s. First time in a long time. I do not know why I do not go to Michael’s often. The place is first class in every regard.

Suzette bartending. Have known her for years. She never changes. Always lovely.

Big game tonight. Syracuse/Gonzaga. Sweet Sixteen. The game is at 9:40. Gonzaga a four point favorite.

I hope for two things. Syracuse wins. I stay awake to see the whole game.

Canastota is the onion  capital of the world. It is a small village lying between Utica and Syracuse. Four thousand residents.

Besides being the onion  capital, it has two other distinctions. It is the home of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was the home of Carmen Basilio.

Basilio at one time was the welterweight and middleweight world boxing champion. He beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight championship. Robinson regained the championship in  a 15 round decision fight this day in 1958.

Basilio was the pride of central New York during his fighting years and thereafter.

Robinson’s mother lived in the Bronx. Around 232nd Street and Broadway. Robinson visited her often. His pink Cadillac convertible parked in front of her home.

I attended Manhattan College. Located at 242nd Street. Often on a walk, my friends and I would see Robinson’s car. A few times the Champion himself. Always a wave and smile and a hello guys.

How did the United States come to acquire Key West as its own? On this day in 1822, a Lt. Matthew Perry of the U.S.Navy planted an American flag on Key West. The action formally made Key West a property of the United States.

It is the little things in life that aggravate. Yesterday around noon, I received a telephone call from the Fraud Protection Bureau. Someone was using one of my cards. The card was automatically canceled.

I had to go to the bank to get a temporary card. While there, I was advised there appeared to be other improper charges.

Such is his life.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

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LONG WRITING DAY

Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is the day I write my KONK Life column.

I have wanted to write about the U.S. involvement in a war with Russia from 1917-1918. An interesting story. One few know about. The U.S. sent 13,000 troops.

The U.S. involvement was in a civil war. The Russian Civil War. The Reds/Whites battle.

We are involved in civil wars in the Middle East today. A lesson to be learned here. Ergo, I expanded the article to include civil wars and fighting wars to win. The Russian Civil War and today’s Middle East conflicts have much in common. Birds of a feather.

One problem. The longer the story, the longer it took to complete. Instead of finishing 3-4, I was at it till just after 6.

The time worth it. I was pleased with the final product. I hope you will be. The article publishes wednesday. The title: Stay Out of Civil Wars, Fight Wars To Win.

The extra time screwed up my sunday evening. I had intended to go to Kate Miano’s Gardens at 5. The sun broke late afternoon and it would have been perfect. There is always next week.

Rain. Heavy Rain. The last three days. Pours. Then stops. Only to return a couple of hours later.

The temperature is dropping also. The high today 71. 71 will be the highest all week. By weekend, the high will be down to 67. Long pants weather.

We have been lucky. December was terrific. We can handle a few weeks of cold.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff had a tongue in cheek comment in a recent article. Something to the effect that if Trump wins, he will rename the White House Trump Palace.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are at each other’s throats. These Middle East wars are civil wars. Based on religion. It is the Sunni/Shia battle which has been ongoing since just after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The issue is which sect will lead the Muslims. Over 300 hundred years and still not resolved.

We are crazy to be involved. We should get out. We have been involved steadily in the Middle East in one fashion or another for fifteen years. Not our war!

Read an interesting comment somewhere this week. Cannot recall which publication. I read constantly. In any event, the comment was to the effect that Americans should not fight each other so much. We are not enemies but Americans first. We help ISIS when we destroy each other.

Enjoy your day!