HEART OF AMERICA

The heart of America was represented in the Chart Room last night. The very spirit and essence. Family businesses.

One, the Bair family. Ohio people. Have owned and operated Bair’s Concessions, Inc. for 60 years. Three generations. Business headquartered in Lancaster, Ohio.

Bair’s Concessions provides food services to traveling carnivals. Hot dogs, cotton candy, etc. They move around as the carnivals do. Bair’s has its own staff, vehicles, equipment, etc.

Hard workers. The season six months. No time off.

Key personnel include this generation’s parents Brent and Nikki, their son Trent and his wife Annie.

The family spends 3 of the other six months annually in Key West resting up and enjoying.

Met them through the blog. Annie and Nikki regular readers. Love ’em! Bought Irma and Me, also.

John told me Annie had been in and out of the Chart Room for two weeks looking for me. She and mother in law Nikki wanted to meet, Annie wanted her book signed.

The Bair men quiet. The Bair ladies talkative. Vivacious women.

The other family business involved Phil. From Milford, Connecticut. Phil here with Christina for Don and Chris’ wedding. Don’s company and Phil’s do business together.

Phil has a home in Tuscany.

I have no further information re Phil and Christina. We were seated at the round table with Don and Chris. The wedding was primary conversation. The Chart Room noisy. And I was on my way to one drink too many.

Fortunately, Phil and Christina will be here for the wedding. I will probably see them tonight at a pre-wedding party. Definitely at the wedding saturday night.

At the bar was the new love of my life, Morgan. John’s lady. A hug, a kiss and great conversation.

Ted from Wampsville still in Key West. We have to get a dinner in.

His friend Ken with him. Ken from Canastota. Both small towns in central New York. Thirty miles from my home town Utica.

Chatted a bit about onions. Canastota is the onion capital of the world.

When Anna would drive me around rural Novara, we were surrounded by rice fields. As far as the eye could see in every direction. Same in Canastota, except they are onion fields.

I left the wedding group. Had enough for the evening. Headed to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. Lamb chops. That’s all.

Lynda and Bob Frechette came in for dinner. Two of the loveliest people in Key West. Friends. I enjoyed my coffee with them. We chatted about things going on in Key West.

Some of the Key West roads are in abominable shape. Depressions, not holes. Come upon you suddenly, however. I hit one hard the other day. Something broke under the car.

George at Zip Automotive does my repair work. Dependable and reasonable. I dropped the car off to George yesterday. He drove me home. Later in the day he returned to deliver the car back. Need a part. Has to come from Miami. Three days wait. No problem. Car can be driven.

Zip Automotive is on Maloney Avenue on Stock Island. Three or four doors up from Roostica.

George a working man. Owns the garage. His hands and clothes coated in grease. Fiftyish. A conservative. Knows what he is talking about. Especially, numbers. Better than me. Loves Trump.

We are diametrically opposed politically. Love talking with him!

Today, a Louis day. A haircut, manicure and pedicure. With a lunch in between at Sandy’s cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. A favorite meal.

Today, World Water Day. Purpose to raise awareness re water scarcity, how to preserve it, and how to use it safely.

W. H. Auden said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FOR PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Corporal punishment for school students is alive and well in 15 states. Would you believe? Bend over the desk and get your ass paddled!

Arkansas a state permitting corporal punishment. Came to my attention as a result of National School Walkout Day. Involved the Arkansas Greenbrier Public School. Greenbrier is located in an ultra conservative area.

Three students opted to participate in National Walkout Day. Only 3. They were vocally insulted and degraded by their fellow students. Two among the smartest in their class. The 3 consisting of both genders.

They left school and sat on a bench on school grounds for 17 minutes. They were told to return to class or face punishment. They opted to remain for the 17 minutes.

They were directed to the principal’s office upon reentry. They were given a choice as to punishment. Corporal punishment or a 2 day suspension. The punishments offered dictated by school board and school policy. The 3 agreed to corporal punishment. Two swats by a paddle on their derrieres.

Their parents were advised of the punishment prior to it being inflicted.

I consider the use of corporal punishment barbaric. In this case, the use of violence on 3 students who were protesting violence. A state sanctioning it and the parents agreeing to it some form of insanity in this day and age.

I admire the 3 protesters. They followed their consciences and took their punishment. They will go far in life.

St. Patrick’s Day did not turn out as anticipated. No corned beef and cabbage. Neither in a restaurant or as a take out. Restaurants too busy for take out. Terri fell eliminating going out to a restaurant.

Bear follows Terri everywhere. Always at her feet. While at home, he somehow got between her legs and she went down. Her head and knees came in contact with the tile floor. Ok, but sore.

Bear lay next to her on the floor crying.

Bear is 14 weeks old today. Getting big! Very big! We are solid friends. He has taken to me. I was seated on the couch most of the time. He was next to me, with me, etc.

Terri into dogs in her past life. Bear is already trained in certain respects. Upon command, he sits, lays down, offers his paw, and high fives. Except, the high fives are both paws.

We ended up ordering from Sandy’s Cafe. They deliver. A Cuban meal for 3 under $20. I had my favorite, Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee.

Bear and I watched most of the Kentucky/Buffalo game together. Buffalo has a better team each year. This year, the best so far. Though an underdog, I thought they might upset Kentucky. I was wrong. Kentucky killed them.

This afternoon at 2:40 on CBS, Syracuse/Michigan State. Syracuse the underdog once again.

I hope to watch the game and then hurry over to Kate Miano’s Gardens. Early Sunday evening always a fun time there. An added reason tonight. Terri is singing.

At some point, I have to shop. The refrigerator totally lacking in food. All I had yesterday before the Cuban sandwich at Donna and Terri’s was a cup of tea and 4 slices of bacon. No wonder I am losing weight!

For a month, Diana Millikan has been forwarding me information gathered from The Jews of Key West. Author Key West’s Arlo Haskell. When we met for dinner recently, she brought her copy of the book for me to glance over.

Diana thought the book was terrific. She was correct.

It has been announced that The Jews of Key West has received the 2017 Florida Book Award.

Trump is impressed by dictators. Perhaps evidencing a desire on his part to become one.

The Philippines and China have a drug problem. It was overwhelming at one point. No longer. Duterte and Xi kill drug dealers. With little or no attention payed to judicial process. Duterte has them shot on the street.

Both men came to this kill them outright approach based on a simple rationale. They were executing a person for killing one person. Drug dealers ultimately are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Justification enough. Kill them, too!

Trump has advised he likes the approach. He has promised a plan to deal with drug dealers this week. The kill them all approach, I suspect.

Opioids are killing 115 plus persons a day in the U.S.  Most manufactured by American pharmaceutical companies. A few pharmaceutical CEO’s should be indicted for producing these killers of hundreds of thousands of our people. Everyone agrees the problem is at a crisis stage.

Pharma Company-1 makes Fentanyl Spray. Bad stuff. Addictive. Fifty to a hundred times stronger than morphine.

Two Pharma employees and 5 doctors were recently arrested in New York. Pharma was sponsoring educational programs. Doctors were invited to speak for which they received exorbitant fees. A pre-condition to the invitation was that the doctors had to be big prescribers of Fentanyl Spray. The fee received based on the number of prescriptions for the Fentanyl Spray a doctor wrote.

Doctors were entertained lavishly to jump on board. A Pharma representative greeted several at a New York strip club. Pharma paid $4,100 for a private room, alcoholic drinks, and lap dances.

I do not agree with Trump’s thoughts re making the death penalty applicable to drug dealers. A step too far. If he does however, he should add drug company CEO’s who produce a product contributing to the opioid crisis.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

KATE MIANO FOR MAYOR

A couple of heavy items to discuss today. Sad topics. I have opted to start with the happy rather than those.

Which means first and foremost, Kate Miano.

Lovable, warm, caring, interested in people and causes. An available helping hand. A successful woman to boot.

The 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award. Former Fantasy Fest Queen. Conch Shell Blower winner. The list endless.

Kate has been around a while. She personifies the Key West of yesterday and today. Perfectly blended.

Instead of sitting back and relaxing, she wants to take on Key West’s present woes. Solve the community’s problems. As only a Mayor can do.

The election is not till August. Already something like 10 persons have filed to run. The total in the end will be 10-12.

A Kate Miano for Mayor Kickoff Party is scheduled for friday March 9 at the Gardens Hotel. Six in the evening. Open bar and food. Come, join, visit, meet. Kate would love for you to stop by.

I would too. Bring your friends.

I have had company for a few days. Delivered the company to the airport yesterday for return to the north country. Flight canceled. The Northeaster. Flights cancelled today, also. At the moment, tomorrow looks good.

Early to the Chart Room last night. Good friend John bartending. Stayed a couple of hours. When I left, standing room only.

It never fails. As soon as the sun has set, tourists come pouring into the Chart Room.

Met some very interesting people.

Cathi and Mark from Atlanta.

We talked of Irma and its impact on Atlanta. Cathi and Mark lost a few trees. I told the story of my being kicked out of an Atlanta hotel after two nights because Irma was coming.

Cathi and Mark married 21 years. She “the best real estate agent in Atlanta.” Mark into finance and insurance.

Both 50ish, considering retirement and buying a home in Key West. Are frequent visitors to Key West. Hope they do opt to live here. They would be welcomed with open arms.

Met a sort of neighbor from upstate New York. George from Rochester. Ninety miles from my home town of Utica.

George unquestionably smart. Spent his career as a Physics Professor at the University of Rochester. Physics was always too heavy for me.

George and I almost contemporaries. He is 87. Sharp.

He used to visit Key West regularly years ago. He was in the Chart Room looking for his old friends Che and British Peter. Che at 83 has become a recluse. British Peter now living in the State  of Washington.

George lived on a boat in days gone by. He still owns the slip on Stock Island.

It was time to eat. I decided to return to Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So good the last time. Knew it had to be good again. It was.

Mary Ellen’s nothing fancy. I would describe it as typical Key West.

Entertainment last night. Dildo races. Electric vibrator dildo races.

Only in Key West.

A two foot board, ten feet long. Tipped forward about 25 degrees. Groved so the dildos would fit just right.

Betting beforehand. Bid on which dildo you wanted. The one you hoped would win. Bidding as high as $20-30 for each dildo.

The vibrators were turned on, the gate opened, and the dildos off and running! Spectators yelling just as if at a race track.

I did not bet.

As I was leaving, I heard the next race announced. The “Don’t Drop the Soap Race.”

Again, only in Key West!

I am still with the happy.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. The President made 11 trips to Key West totaling 175 days. He loved the place!

Truman arrived this day in 1951 for a three week visit. He would be staying at The Little White House.

Now for the unhappy. Two re Trump and one re Secretary of the Treasury Steve Munchin.

Trump announced yesterday steep tariffs beginning next week on steel and aluminum coming into the United States. Twenty five percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The beginning of trade wars. Most of which historically have resulted in depressions and actual shooting wars.

Trump does not seem to care. He thinks he knows what is best.

The tariff increase would be world wide. No country left out.

Canada is our close friend and neighbor. We buy more steel from Canada than any other country.

China is the U.S.’s banker. The U.S. already owes China in excess of $1.3 trillion. We borrow from China almost daily. We never pay back. China always renews the notes.

Woe us if China decided to stop lending and called in the notes.

Trump does not seem to consider all ramifications before he makes a move. To our nation’s detriment.

The market knows what could occur. It dropped 500 points yesterday.

Another Trump catastrophe in the making. Guns, the NRA.

Wednesday he had a White House meeting involving himself, Congressional people, and parents and victims of some of the shootings. He spoke with bravado how something had to be done and he was going to see it got done. Preferably in one bill. He would sign it right away.

Not everyone bought what he was selling. He had been heard before re other important matters and failed when the time came to keep his word.

That was wednesday afternoon. Thursday evening there was another meeting in the White House. Only Trump. Pence and a representative of the NRA. Just the three of them.

The NRA rep was Chris Cox. Cox is the Executive Director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.

The meeting of the three appeared to have been kumbaya. In a tweet following the meeting, Cox reported Trump “does not want gun control.” Trump tweeted re the meeting: “Good (Great) meting in Oval Office tonight with the NRA.”

Trump playing games. He should have had Cox at the public meeting wednesday afternoon. A face to face confrontation between both sides. A no bullshit meeting.

My guess is the NRA will never budge re AR-15’s and other weapons of war. They will hold firm knowing their bought and paid for Congress will do their bidding.

Finally, Secretary of Treasury Steve Munchin. A former Goldman Sachs banker. An asshole first class from my perspective. Always ready to do Trump’s bidding. Not a free thinker. Happy to be Secretary of the Treasury. Beams with the joy of it.

Munchin married a much younger Scottish actress this summer. Good for him. Nothing wrong in it. However, he took his bride on their honeymoon on an Air Force jet that cost $25,000 an hour to operate. Taxpayer dollars. He justified it by claiming his security required it.

The man a pig impressed with his own self importance.

Munchin spoke at UCLA monday. The students were not nice to him.

One student referred to him as an enemy of the people because of the new tax law. Also referred to him as a plutocratic bullshiter.

Students in the audience yelled “I think you’re full of shit.” They denounced the Republican tax bill as an attack on “people who are in poverty.”

Munchin retaliated with wanting the students to identify themselves and the reason why a question was being asked.

The event was being videoed. Munchin had agreed before hand that it could be and later UCLA could run it on its TV network. Munchin withdrew his permission following his speech.

Cell phones are great. Some students videoed Munchin and excerpts can be found on the internet.

College and high school students are close in age. I sense a marriage and movement in the making. The young will not be silenced.

Enjoy your day!

 

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!

 

 

KEY WEST BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR RESIGNS…..GREAT!

I am rarely excited about the decisions of the Key West City Commission. They make decisions, pass rules and regulations, and then sit in the corner like Little Jack Horner. Each sticking his thumb in the pie and coming up with a plum. Saying simultaneously…..What a good boy am I!

Decisions off the wall. They throw money at everything. Frequently not the solution.

Last year, the Commission hired a Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. Chris Hamilton. Never met Hamilton. Began to think he was crazy as he got into the job.

The man moved. Earned his salary by making changes. Changes I considered not always good.

Bikes his job. He removed parking spaces and replaced them with bike lanes. He added bike lanes in dangerous places.

The man was pro-bike and anti-car. He forgot we who drive cars worry constantly about hitting a bike rider who with his 5 member family are rolling down a Key West Street. Some of the kids 4-5 years old. Then there is the 60ish woman who probably has not been on a bike in 40 years. She has trouble keeping her ass on the seat and wobbles uncontrollably.

I could go on.

I hope the position remains unfilled. Traffic congestion and parking problems have to be decided at one time by a group. Not piece meal. The City may be moving in that direction.

Got to the Chart Room early. Before 5. Wanted to see John about something. My self phone lost his number.

My game plan was to go from there to bocce. Never made bocce. The Chart Room was too interesting and fun to leave.

Met George. Nice guy. 47. From New Jersey. A software engineer. Could have been an Arts major. Reads everything. Big on Hemingway.

George visits once a year with a group of friends. One a police officer from Red Bank. The officer’s police patch hangs on the Chart Room wall. He proudly pointed it out to everyone.

George told me about Pompous Hemingway. A book of sorts by Hemingway. I tried to find it this morning. Could not. George, if you are reading this blog this morning, e-mail me how to find the book in the Comments section. Forget the long number you gave me. Turned out I did not know how to use it.

The new amphitheater is constantly discussed these days. Who to name it after? That person or company pays a fee for the privilege. Normally, very generous.

Several names have been mentioned. Jimmy Buffett one of them.

The anti-Buffett talk is amazing. Many do not want the facility named after him. Hard to understand. Jimmy Buffet is a part of Key West as much as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

A local I had never seen before was sitting at the other end of the Chart Room bar. Attractive. Her feet up on the bar stool next to hear. In her slightly inebriated high pitched voice she was berating Buffett as a choice.

In the very room where Buffett got his start!

Key West has bright stars in many areas of accomplishment. Dr. Cori Convertino is one.

Cori is affiliated with the Key West Art and Historical Society. She is the Curator at the Custom House.

She is a recognized maritime history expert.

Cori recently completed a two year project. The Flagler Railroad section of the Custom House. Fantastic!

She has been invited to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy September 14-15 at a maritime symposium. Her topic to be involves Commodore David Porter and his anti-piracy efforts in 1823 which effectively eliminated piracy from Key West waters.

Sally Rand was a famous fan dancer for many years. Even into her 60’s. She lived in Key West in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

I met her in 1965. At a convention at Grossinger’s in New York’s Catskill mountains. I was attorney for the group holding the conference.

Sally was retained to perform one evening.

I met her the night before at a small cocktail party at the Grossinger residence. At 60, Sally was still beautiful. We hit it off and I spent much time the next two days when not working in her company.

I was unaware she was the lady friend of one of my client’s officer staff. A secret friend. They had had a tiff.

Three days following the convention, I received a letter advising my services were no longer required and I was terminated.

A learning experience.

Harvey has displaced one million persons. Forty four dead. The number will increase as more bodies are found. Beaumont is a community of 120,000 persons. They have no drinking water.

The sadness of it all.

Irma is on the way. Similar in power to Harvey. Still two thousand miles away. A hurricane already. Expected to be a 4 when it hits in a week. Winds will be 140 miles per hour plus.

Whether it will reach land or turn north up into the Atlantic not yet certain. At this time heading for the Bahamas. Too soon to determine its impact, if any, with the United states.

After Harvey, I am concerned. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

For me, last night was unique. I hit more downtown/Duval spots that normal. Did it all between 5 and 10.

Actually, I was at the corner of Sloppy Joe’s at 1. A quick down and back. I did not want to miss the Running of the Bulls. One of Hemingway Days’ finest events.

Stayed all of 15 minutes before returning home.

My evening began with Tammy and a manicure. Tammy just returned from a one month trip to Vietnam tuesday afternoon. The jet lag was not bothering her as she did my nails.

Tammy looked outstanding! The trip definitely changed her appearance. She got the works so to speak in Vietnam.

Magnificent eyebrows. Tattooed. Did not look tattooed at all. Thick. Beautiful. Tammy said they will fade over a period of six months.

Only $50 in Vietnam.

Her eyes done differently, also. Bright!

Her skin a golden tan. Her family lives near a beach. She spent many days at the beach.

Changed her hairstyle and color, also. Difficult for me to describe.

Simply stated, Tammy returned a movie star!

Then to Don’s Place. Had a drink with Jimmy. Jimmy will be painting the inside of my new home in about two weeks.

Boomer bartending. Had not seen Boomer in a while.

Followed up Don’s Place with the Chart Room. John bartending. Saturday not his usual night. He was filling in for Shawn.

Fellow sitting next to me from Oklahoma. Thirty six. In the commercial air conditioning business. Would prefer Key West and many retails. Big commercial jobs have big bills. However they have to go through accounting, etc. for approval and it takes him forever to be paid.

First time in Key West for he and his 26 year old wife.

They have traveled Caribbean and Asian waters. Warm spots. Key West the best. He plans on returning soon.

Another couple could not stop talking about the Garden of Eden. Their favorite spot. Wish it were mine.

I have not been there in 10 years. The two times I went, the only bare body parts I saw were the bare breasts of the female bartender.

I have to give it another shot. The couple claimed full body parts now available for observation.

Three couples came in. Ordered shots. Patron Tequila and Cafe. Patron topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Looked good. John said it was also known as a Body Guinness. Because the drink looked like a miniature Guinness beer.

Decided to walk Duval. A Caribbean Street Festival going big time. The street jammed. Increases the temperature by 20 degrees. A bit uncomfortable when the 20 degrees is added to heavy humidity.

During the Festival walk decided stopped at The Porch. On Caroline, just off Duval. Another place I had not visited in years.

When I last visited, people sat on the huge front porch and drank. Not last night. Things have changed.

You can drink on the porch. However, it appeared most preferred inside.

The inside different. As you walked in the front door of this lovely old mansion, there were signs on either side of you. The sign to the left indicating the room to the left for beer drinkers. The sign to the right indicating liquor and spirit drinkers.

I went to the right and enjoyed a gin.

Both rooms packed.

I have heard a lot recently about a relatively new place on Caroline. Across from the Tropic Cinema. The Saint.

The Saint it was.

Looks like a guest house from the outside. With a fire engine red carpet running to the front door.

The inside blew me out!

The newest smartest place in Key West. Smart being the operative word. A long bar. Tons of people. The people as smart appearing as the room.

Customers primarily in the 30’s to 40’s range.

Something about their clothes. Key West remains a tee shirt/sport shirt/shorts town. These people were dressed appropriately, but a step up. I don’t know how tee shirts and shorts can look smart, but they did. The people and their attire went well together.

The Saint definitely will be added to one of those places I frequently attend. Loved it!

It was time to eat. Tavern ‘n Town the choice. The 9 o’clock happy hour.

Fried calamari and a couple of drinks. Read the newspapers. Enjoyed Bobby Nesbitt. Followed by a new singer. Nick Hagelin. Plays the guitar and sings. Outstanding! Diners cheered and clapped loudly each time he finished a tune.

Only appearing at Tavern ‘n Town one night. Hope he returns.

Was home and in bed at 10. A busy evening. All fun!

I did a change of pace video on Facebook yesterday. Talked about my grandfather and his immigration to the U.S. in 1906.

An excellent piece. Said with humility. My grandfather was a unique person and it was a joy to write about him.

I plan on doing a follow up today re my grandfather. He never knew his parents. Born a bastard. The video will tell the story of how he got his last name (and now mine) of Petrone.

Take a look. Both videos interesting. The video is Key West Lou Live on Facebook.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

HEMINGWAY DAYS GOING STRONG

Key West enjoying Hemingway Days!

Tourists and locals alike.

I went to Sloppy Joe’s for Hemingway’s birthday party. Got there about 6. No way I could get in. I stood outside on  the street on tip toes to get a look.

Hemingway look-alikes all over the placed. No official number yet. I would suggest in excess of 125. White shirts and pants. Red french caps. Red bandannas wrapped around their waists.

Today, the biggest. A day long Caribbean Fair on Duval. Duval closed off to vehicular traffic. At noon, Hemingway look-alikes available outside Sloppy Joe’s for picture taking. Bulls, too.

The best of the best at 1. The Running of the Bulls. Pamplona style. A sight to see!

Six-thirty the final round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Judges limited to former winners. Generally takes 10-15 years before participants are seriously considered to win.

The window on the driver’s side of my Volk’s convertible would not go completely up. Only 2/3’s of the way. I have been meaning to take it to a Volkswagen dealer in Miami. Hated wasting a day.

It has not been easy driving. The heat and rain would come in. I had a huge towel I threw over my left shoulder when it rained.

The inside of the car filthy. Cannot have a car washed with an open window.

Finally decided to try a local repair man. There are several on Stock Island. Garages dirty, hot and greasy.

I met George a few weeks ago. He owns Zip Auto on MacDonald.

I decided to give George a shot.

George said I needed a new part/window. Knew it already from speaking with Miami Volks. George said he could do it, would order the part from Miami.

The job was done yesterday. I had an appointment to go in. Left the car. Donna drove me home. Three hours later, he called. Job done. Come get your car. Donna drove me back.

The window works. The price $200 cheaper than that quoted me by Miami.

Try George if you have car problems. I swear by him as a result of my experience.

Dinner last night with the lesbian wives. Donna cooked. Terri in good spirits. As usual, our time together very enjoyable.

Anna, my Anna. Fears everything.

I wrote a few days ago about Athens’ Ermus Street and the violence which occurred there monday night. Anna was in Athens and fearful.

Anna still in Athens. After spending two months visiting several Greek isles. One visited was near Kos. Kos and parts of Turkey were hit with a major earthquake yesterday. A 6.7. On Kos, two killed, 112 injured, 12 seriously.

The after shocks even worse. Forty after shocks reported. Some as high as 4.6.

It was warned a tsunami could occur.

Anna wrote and asked what she should do. Athens is no where near Kos. Tsunami not a concern. Except to Anna.

I told her to swim fast!

Something that was yesterday, but is not the same today. Limited. An issue. A problem.

I refer to immigration.

The poet Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883. The sonnet instantly popular.

Words from it incorporated onto a bronze plaque and attached to the Statue of Liberty in 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Ain’t that way no more. We try to keep them out. I question whether my paperless, parentless 12 year old grandfather admitted in 1906 would be admitted today.

Enjoy your day!