MY COUNTRY, ‘TIS OF THEE, SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY…..

My Country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty…..Let freedom ring!

No more. We’re losing it.

Democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of Donald Trump. Politicians more concerned with expediency rather than correctness.

Yesterday, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Today, Stephen R. Mallory.

Mallory of Key West fame. Confederate fame, also. Key West’s famous Mallory Square is named after him. His bronze bust sits in the Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden. One of 39 recognized for having had a major impact on Key West.

He was a United States Senator from Florida 1851-1861. During that time, he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

He joined the Confederacy when Florida seceded. He served as Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy during the entire Civil War. He did an excellent job for the Confederacy.

He fled Richmond at the end of the War, was captured, imprisoned, and charged with treason. After one year, he was paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

Mallory rarely if any time returned to Key West. He settled in Pensacola where he practiced law til his death.

I spoke of the Mallory/Confederacy problem last year when the move to remove statues, proclamations, etc. of Southern supporters arose. I asked: Should Mallory Square be renamed? Should Mallory’s bust be removed from the Garden of honor?

My answer then simple. The same today. Leave well enough alone. Broward, Mallory, and all the rest part of American history. Good, bad or indifferent.

History should neither be altered, destroyed nor removed.

Attended the Key West Craft Show yesterday afternoon. Covered half the length of Whitehead. Everything on exhibit, everything for sale. Great craft!

The Craft Show has been ongoing more than 30 years.

I bought my first Jack Baron painting 20 years ago at the Craft Show. A black Madonna and Child. $3,500. My wife at the time said I was out of my mind.

I still have the painting, as well as many other Baron works. It gives me joy every time I look at it.

Visited with Diana Millikan at cocktail time at her Key West home on Hilton Haven Drive. Her tiny condo sits on a canal.

Diana and I have been working on a book together for ever so long. It seems to be taking forever to complete. We are still at the research stage. The novel intended is a history of Key West prostitution. All the way back to 1660.

Diana just returned from a trip to Haiti to attend the funeral of a friend. She was down with dysentery for three days. She said she drank bottled water. Turned out the water was bottled in Haiti with Haitian waters.

Then to the Chart Room. Shaun bartending. Quiet.

Heard a cruise ship could not dock yesterday. Wind too strong.

Spoke with Tom and Fran Dixson in Buffalo last night. They recently returned from a cruise to Cuba. Leave soon for a 2 week tour of Rome and southern Italy. They are traveling with a Buffalo area seminary. The trip includes an audience with the Pope.

Too much on  my mind sometimes. I thought the Syracuse/Pitt game was tomorrow night. It was saturday night. Missed it. Syracuse won 60-55.

Next game wednesday evening against Georgia Tech at 8. I will not miss it.

Donna called last night. They made it to Tampa. Donna hurting bad. Going to find a Tampa orthopedist today.

Terri’s testing began at 6:30 this morning. I wish her well.

New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Key West, Fantasy Fest.

Beads have been clogging New Orleans’ catch basins for years. To the point, water ain’t moving. A bead removal project underway. Estimated 93,000 pounds of beads (46 tons) to be removed. Sixty four thousand catch basins. Cost: $7 million.

Will Key West ever be so afflicted? Hope not.

We have been complaining about Russian interference in our elections. Putin has turned the tables on us. He is complaining of U.S. meddling in the Russian elections to be held March 18. The pot calling the kettle black.

There is no need for any country to attempt to influence Russian elections. Putin either kills or jails the opposition before the election.

We take automobiles for granted. To drive or ride in. There was a time when autos were new, however.

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the first American President to ride in an auto. September 1901 in a Stanley Steamer.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHERE DID $500 MILLION GO?

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. More than 200,000 killed. The island devastated.

People responded. The American Red Cross alone received $500 million from donors.

It is now 2017. Seven years later. Where did the money go? Apparently not for new homes, roads and schools. Such a legacy not evident.

The Red Cross provided shelters to 130,000. New homes, only six. Food and blankets provided by the Red Cross, also.

The Red Cross has refused to provide a list of specific programs it ran, the cost and expenses related to each. Only provided was a pie chart showing percentage of money that went to each pie slice sector.

Haiti’s Prime Minister does not know where the money went.

I am not casting aspersions on the Red Cross. I would not expect  the Red Cross to be experienced in rebuilding a developing country. However, there are experts who do know and could be hired. The money went somewhere. The donors and people of Haiti have a right to know.

Stopped at the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch yesterday. It had been a while. Cuban cheese toast and a cold Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers. The USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Three months ago, I became interested in female genital mutilation. Especially in Europe and Asia. I prepared notes to be used as the basis for a topic involving the mutilation on my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I could see a discussion of the topic would take more time than normal. As much as 15 minutes. I put the notes aside for use another date when I had room for it.

Two weeks ago on April 11, I led with the subject on the show. It was interesting. Received many comments.

The USA Today I was reading at the Cuban Coffee Queen took me by surprise. The lead front page article concerned female genital mutilation. USA Today referred to it as “demonic.”

The USA article was primarily devoted to the problem as it exists in the United States. Exists meaning today. Note that I had dwelled on Europe and the Middle East.

Young girls are being mutilated in the United States. The female offspring of Muslim families. By a doctor or woman sworn to secrecy. As are the children.

What surprised in the article was the claim that fundamentalist Christians are also involved. To what degree not indicated.

Fundamentalist doctors available.

The story of a three year old girl was reported. She was taken by her fundamentalist mother to a fundamentalist doctor for the procedure. Clit removal. The mother told the doctor she feared her daughter would masturbate in later life. The deed was done with a swift cut of the scalpel.

Not to be left out, the article suggested some Catholics were believers/followers of the procedure.

Spent part of the afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast show.

Dear friend, everyone’s friend, Patrick “Patty Cakes” Hayes is in Key West visiting. Bartender some 20 years at Square One, now the Ocean Grill. He retired and left a few years ago.

A good man. The best of the best.

Patrick, where are you? I want to run into you.

Lunch today at Salute’s with Amy Bondurant and her husband David Dunn. New to Key West. Recently bought and renovated a home.

Amy was Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2 to a European organization. Her husband, a Washington attorney.

We have never met. Today the first time. Not sure how we have come together.

Medical science is amazing! Something new and beneficial everyday. Last friday in the Netherlands, a robotic arm was attached to a man. A mind controlled prosthetic arm. Snaps on to the bone. Clicks on. The wearer controls the arm by thought alone.

Enjoy your day!

 

1950’s MILK MAN

The Keys History section in this morning’s Key West Citizen has several 1943 photos of Adam’s Dairy. One of the photos is that of a milk bottle.

Milk back then was contained in a glass bottle. As was chocolate milk and orange juice. No plastic cartons.

I was a milk man in 1959 while attending law school. I was at the dairy at 3:45 in the morning loading my truck. Left the dairy for my first delivery 4:15. Finished the run in time so I was seated for the start of my first class at the law school at 9.

Two recollections of the job.

I learned how to carry five glass bottles of milk in one hand. Three through the fingers and two in the palm. Impresses me to this day.

The other was that I had to drive the milk truck standing. Not easy. Took me a while to get it down.

The clutch and brake were the same pedal. Down a certain distance, the clutch. Further, the brake. Both close. If I went down too far and inadvertently hit the brake, disaster could occur.

One time the suddenness of the braking caused the cases of milk behind me to rapidly pitch forward pinning me against the front window. Bottles flying out the open doors. The truck stopped on its own in a field down the road. Thank God for the field.

Milk flowing down the street. Broken glass all over.

In addition to the clutch/brake pedal, one had to shift with the right hand.

Those were the days. No school loans. Work. Worked your way through school while going to school.

Prepared for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Topics include the Washington scene, Russian protestors, James Bond in Key West, March Madness, $10 trillion missing from Pentagon, spinach leaf replacing heart tissue, and more.

Join me at 9 my time for a fast moving and revealing half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

My first stop last night the La Concha bar.

Then on to Books & Books for the Kay Redfield Jamison lecture re her latest work concerning the poet Robert Lowell. A review of his bipolar disorder.

Judy Blume did an excellent job in getting Jamison to come to Key West and putting the talk together. The crowd was huge. Twice the usual size.

After the lecture, hurried over to Donna and Terri’s for dinner. Donna an outstanding cook. Pot roast last night.

Terri’s adopted son and his lady friend with us. They are visiting for a week.

Adopted son threw me off. The adopted son is 35. White.

Terri explained that years ago when he was a small person, he would stand daily outside Radio City Music Hall. Trying to get in. Terri was performing. She was opening for Liza Minnelli.

After seeing him for several days, Terri confronted him and the rest is history. He now lives and works in New Haven.

Diana Millikan has a friend of consequence arriving today for a visit. Business and pleasure. Robert Labrousse is the Haitian Minister of Haitians Living Abroad.

Robert and Diana first met in Paris in 1966. Robert was a U.S. Army MP at the time. They renewed the acquaintance during the years Diana lived in Haiti.

Robert will be in Key West for three days. Socializing with Diana and meeting with local Haitians.

The athletic event of the year takes place saturday. For those in the best of shape. The Cow Key Bridge Zero K Run.

The bridge is 300 feet long. The distance of the run. More than 1,000 will participate. Most will walk. Most will be costume attired. The winner’s time will be around 40 seconds. The winner will have run.

Only in Key West!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ELIEZAIRE

I was having dinner at the Hot Tin Roof last night. A gentleman at a nearby table kept smiling at me. He looked familiar. I could not place him. He finally came over.

It was Eliezaire!

I know Eliezaire from my Yacht Club days. He was part of the Yacht Club staff. It was good to see him again.

We know someone for many years and yet know little about the person. Such it was with Eliezaire. As we talked, I learned he worked only one night a week at the Yacht Club and has been doing so for 10 years. His primary job is at Ocean Key. He has been an engineer at Ocean Key for 18 years. An excellent track record! Originally from Haiti.

Eliezaire was having dinner with his family. I went to his table to meet them. His lovely wife Erica and his three daughters. His son was not with them. Eliezaire and Erica’s daughters absolutely beautiful! Two were excited to meet. The third apprehensive. Like….Who is this guy?

I finally caught up with Jean Thornton. She was at the bar with Eddie. We exchanged big hugs. A mutual admiration society.

Jean had mentioned in Facebook yesterday that she was in her cow costume riding over to the Cow Key Bridge Run at 8:30. The race was not till noon. She was there early because she was working the event, in addition to later participating.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I never made the race. It suddenly became too much work to go out early in the day to walk 300 feet.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an excellent article and photos of the event. More than 1,000 participated. Most cow look alikes. Ingenious costumes. Dogs participating also.

An utter here, an utter there run.

The Seven Mile Bridge Marathon was yesterday, also. It had 1,500 participants. The Cow Key Bridge event is only in its second year. A 1,000 turn out is excellent. It also shows how crazy Key West is! Any excuse for fun. We are all children at heart.

Stopped at the Chart Room before dinner. Chatted with Vic and a couple from Virginia.

My day was spent at home researching this week’s KONK Life column. It concerns the California water drought. Interesting. Tons of material. One portion will have to do with those who are and will be making big dollars off the suffering of others. It seems to have become the American way.

The bocce rankings are in the paper. We are still in third place. This week’s two losses did not alter our standing. Other near competitors lost also, which kept us in third place.

Key West is into the Conch Republic Celebration. Two of today’s events include a musical breakfast this morning at Smokin’ Tuna and a Conch Cruiser Show at Schooner Wharf this afternoon. Never a dull moment in Key West!

Enjoy your Sunday!