ARGENTINE TANGO

Dance the Tango! The Argentine Tango!

Tonight!

Key West Theater on Eaton Street. Part of the Key West World of Culture Dance Series. Learn or watch. Your choice.

Trump on the receiving end. The tide is turning. It does not seem he can take it as well as he can give it out.

Liberty University a major Trump supporter. Liberty’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr. at the forefront. A few graduates are unhappy with Falwell’s support of Trump following Trump’s Nazi and alt right comments. So far, one hundred. They are returning their diplomas.

I have become a fan of the Justice Building Blog. Sometimes bland, sometimes humorous. Today’s on the funny side.

Trump on frequent occasion makes statements that are historically incorrect, nonsensical, just plain stupid. Some quotes attributable to Trump listed today. None said by Trump. Could have been, however.

Like…..”Nazis are people too. Americans.” How about…..”We spend all the money on nuclear weapons and don’t use them. What good are they? Or…..”Lincoln did not believe in global warming. Neither did Patton. Neither do I.”

Confederate statues and memorials being removed. Some in the dark of night. My thoughts move back and forth.

At first, I did not agree. Like it or not, the Civil War is part of American history. The Nation united following the war. Southern peoples have the right to honor their heroes of that moment in American history.

Then I heard the voices of today’s African-Americans. Most of the statues/memorials were constructed during the 1920’s by and in support of the Klu Klux Klan or in support of southern States during the 1960’s civil rights disturbances.

Their voices loud and clear. Whether a statue, monument or flag, we are reminded of our slavery heritage. These items represent a time when our people suffered.

I understood. Or, thought I did. Tear them down became part of my thought process.

Now, I find myself swaying back and forth between both conclusions.

Which brings me to Key West and the issue.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reveals three Confederate statues/memorials. One in Bayview Park. Another, Clinton Square. The third, Mallory square itself. There is a fourth I discovered myself.

The Confederate memorial in Bayview Park was constructed in 1924 by the Stephen Mallory chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.

The one in Clinton Square erected in honor of Confederate veteran and Judge J.V. Harris.

Mallory Square the best of the best or outrageous based on one’s perspective.

The huge expanse known as Mallory Square is named after Stephen R. Mallory. Mallory was raised in Key West. A United States Senator representing Florida prior to the Civil War. Served as Confederate Secretary of the Navy during the Civil War. Charged with treason following the war. Imprisoned for a time. Then paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

When a U.S. Senator, his first speech was for a return to flogging on U.S. Navy vessels. The nature of the man reflected?

I am unaware if he continued to live in Key West during his Senatorial years or any time thereafter. He died not in Key West, but at his home in Pensacola.

Well my fellow residents of Key West, do we tear down the Bayview Park memorial, the Clinton Square statue, and rename Mallory Square? No thought given so far. I doubt that Key Westers really care.

One more example. Asa Forseyth Tift.

Tift was the first owner of what today is the Hemingway House. He built it in 1851. Tift owned 14 slaves. They constituted the labor force used.

Tift’s bust is located in the Memorial Sculpture Garden at the edge of Mallory Square.

Should the Hemingway House be torn down? Should Tift’s bust be removed from the Memorial Sculpture Garden?

All food for thought. What is good for Charlottesville, Baltimore and other cities, should be good for Key West. Lets have a universal application. Or, cease and desist with the removal of these historical representations.

A confusing issue for those with no ax to grind. Like me.

Enjoy your day!

 

HELEN MIRREN FILMING MOVIE IN KEY WEST

The great English actress and Academy Award winner Helen Mirren filming parts of a movie in Key West. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The movie involves a retired couple taking a trip on their RV. Donald Sunderland plays Mirren’s husband.

The Key West Citizen ran a photo of Mirren being driven in an electric cart in this morning’s paper..

Mirren filmed in front of Salute’s yesterday. Today, she will be shooting at the Hemingway House. Tomorrow, I do not know.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I enjoy doing the show. I assume people enjoy listening. I base the last sentence on the numbers and fact that I now have a few national advertisers. Like Geico and Walgreens.

I decided not to discuss politics. We are getting bombarded. I a political junkie am getting tired of listening. The worse Presidential campaign I have experienced. A lot of gutter snipping. Little policy discussion.

Ergo, I did not get into politics at all. Explained to the audience at the beginning I would not be and why.

Wells Fargo was the biggest item in my judgment. Especially with the news that the high echelon person responsible for the unit doing the bad deeds had retired in July. Her walk away payout $124.6 million. My point, crime pays.

A 4th case of Zika has been discovered in Monroe County. In Big Pine. Travel related.

Babe is now 3 months old. Daddy Hackley says she is “quite well.” Weighs 14 pounds.

Last year I fell many times. In one series, five times in seven days. All while going up or down stairs. I was sent to physiotherapy. Spent three months learning not only how to climb stairs, but also walk.

The key is to pay attention. Look where you are walking. Remember to lift your feet. Take your time.

It works. As simple as the instructions sound, I have only fallen once since. The reason I did fall was that I was not looking, not picking up my feet, and moving fast.

Falls Prevention Awareness Day is September 22. A notice re  the Day set forth facts with which I was not aware. The numbers apply to persons over 65. In 2014, 2,400 persons were fatally injured from falls. Fifty thousand hospitalized for non-fatal injuries.

Syracuse/South Florida saturday. South Florida a two touchdown favorite. After the beating Syracuse took from Louisville friday, I fear what might happen.

Enjoy your day!

RUM CAKE

Last night pleasant. Made new friends and saw old friends at Tavern ‘n Town.

Allen and Mel. Sitting to my right. Live on Cudjoe Key. Interesting backgrounds. Allen retired from the U.S. Navy. Mel the rum cake lady.

Mel owns and operates a business that makes rum cakes. Flavors galore. The Conch Republic Rum Cake Company.

I could tell from Mel’s comments that her rum cakes are popular. I am ashamed to say I never have tried one.

One of the places where sold is the Farmers Market at Bayview Park. Thursdays at noon. I am a frequent visitor. To buy Greek bread and honey. I ignore the other tents. No more. Next thursday, I will be at Farmers Market searching for Mel. I am anxious to taste her rum cakes.

Seated to my left, another great couple. Marybeth and Jose. Visitors from Port Lee, NJ. On second thought, more than visitors. Snowbirds a more apt description.

Marybeth and Jose were married in Key West 15 years ago, Have returned many times since. They were married at the Hemingway House. Recalled the officiate who married them. Linda Mendez.

Marybeth is self-employed. As a retail and marketing consultant. She gave me some tips re further blog exposure. Jose is engaged by a clinical laboratory.

We are having dinner together tomorrow night.

Ran into two old friends. Melissa and Madeline. Hugs and kisses. Melissa is the Executive Director of the Mel Fisher Museum. Madeline the former Executive Director. Both ladies have provided superior leadership to the Museum.

Three weeks ago, my KONK Life column was Afghanistan and America’s Heroin Addiction. I feel like a voice in the wilderness finally heard. One of my complaints was the U.S. government and media’s failure to pay attention to the country’s worst drug addiction problem ever.

Congress finally came out with a bill  to address the problem last week. More than heroin. A multitude of drug problems. It is expected Obama will sign the bill when it reaches him.

The bill as proposed sucks. It does not go far enough. Not even close. Instead of eradicating the problem at its source, it band aids it here at home. The story line the same as our lack of success with the marijuana and cocaine problems over the years.

Ergo, my column this week will involve the failure of the government to properly address the heroin problem. My comments will be right on.

I spent yesterday afternoon completing the research. I will write the column this afternoon. It hits the stands wednesday.

I read an informative yet depressing article in yesterday’s
Wall Street Journal concerning art. My favorite works are by the impressionists and modern artists.

The major auction houses had sales this past week. Paintings by relatively unknown artists drew the biggest bucks. Art lovers gambling for bigger bucks in the future.

There was significantly less interest in impressionistic and modern works. The sales figures in those two areas were described as “…..limp to lackluster.”

Today a big day in grandson Robert’s life. He is 11 years old. Happy birthday Robert! Poppa loves you.

We do the cake and happy birthday singing following dinner tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

STEROIDS

My sciatica problem has been acting up. After a week of Ibuprofen not touching it, I went to see Dr. Jackie Lefferts. I had the problem in  a similar acute fashion three years ago. She gave me a steroid shot in the butt. Within hours, no pain. Then a followup regime for a week of steroid pills.

I got this year’s shot wednesday afternoon. Have been on the pills since. No pain once again. Even did the anti-gravity treadmill yesterday without pain.

My physical reaction to the steroids is interesting. Three years ago and this week, the same. I feel big. Huge. Not fat. Just a tower of strength. I feel like the Hulk! I could hit more home runs than Barry Bonds!

After the treadmill yesterday, I went to the Cuban Coffee House for lunch and to read the newspapers. Peter Diamond stopped by. We chatted about the Harry Truman column re his mother in law. He enjoyed the article.

Last night a big time! Dinner with Jenna at Latitudes. Both special. Latitudes will be joining my list of special places.

Again, the service was excellent, the food outstanding! The setting without comparison. We sat inside by the window in the comfort of air conditioning.

My waitress from last week Ivellisse stopped by to say hello. She and Jenna recognized each other. Several years ago Ivellisse had a store on Duval and Jenna would stop in.

Ivellisse introduced me to Latitudes’ General Manager Susan Crocker. A pro. She handled a couple of small problems I had as they occurred. With promptness and efficiency.

I had a terrific waiter. For shame, I never got his name.

I plan on trying lunch. I would like to do as at other places. Sit at the bar, research the newspapers and make notes for a next writing. The Latitudes feeling surrounding me would add another dimension.

Jenna and I had much business to discuss. Off and on over the years, she has helped. She was the producer of my TV show that ran three years. She has assisted in my approach to reaching more people.

Jenna is on a new kick. She wants me to video my blog each day instead of writing it. Same set up. However, you will click on the video and I will share with you whatever my thoughts are for the day. Same as in the written blog.

The procedure involves a bit more work at my end that just sitting down and hitting the keys each day. If you would, please let me know what you think about the video approach. I have not yet made up my mind.

There is a picture of Jenna as part of today’s blog. She is with Key West icon Mr. Chapman. He leaves today with his family to live with other family in Delaware. He lost his Key West home in a mortgage foreclosure. I understand as much as $60,000 was raised locally to help him. It was not enough. A band aid.

Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Key West. She trained in Key West waters. Now comes Ben Hooper. He plans on swimming from Africa to Brazil. He is training in Key West waters.

Quite a trip! Two thousand miles. It will take 4 months. If successful, it will set a world record.

Hooper will not stay in the water all the time. Evenings will be on a boat.

He is training in Key West waters because of the shark problem he will face. He is training with several shark protection experts who will make the trip. There will also be a doctor and physiotherapist aboard.

I am impressed. I wish him well.

The James Bond movie Licence Revoked was partially shot in Key West in 1988. Licence is not misspelled. That is the way it was spelled in the title.

The Key West portion involves a meeting at the Hemingway House between Bond and M.

The word “shit” was spoken in the movie. Only the second time ever in a movie.

Got to hustle. Sloan due at 10:30. We have much to do. I have a new computer that she has to set up, etc.

Enjoy your day!

DAVID’S DAY AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY

As suspected, I never made it to Don’s Place to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. By 9, midnight seemed days away. Instead, I went to bed.

Not all was lost, however. I was watching a James Bond movie. Half asleep. All of a sudden, my eyes opened wide. There was the Hemingway House. I watched Bond and two guys chasing him go through the front gate, run up the outside stairs, tussle in a second floor room, Bond jumping off a second floor porch and leaping over a wall as he made his getaway.

The movie was License To Kill.

The only scene in the entire movie shot in Key West was the one I described. The rest of the film was made elsewhere. It does not seem financially feasible to have brought cast, crew and equipment to Key West to film an episode that took less than two minutes. Money must be cheap in Hollywood. Or, was back then.

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon with Sloan. I am from a different generation. Getting this blog linked and everywhere it must go takes a talent I have not. And which I have not been able to learn. I would be lost without her.

I did get to watch the Kentucky Derby. An exciting 2 minutes! I have been lucky to have attended all major sporting events, other than a World Series game and the Kentucky Derby. Some, several times.

I received an e-mail this morning from David Taylor of Owensboro, Kentucky. David has been a loyal blog reader for a long time. I got to meet him Easter time at the Chart Room. David, his wife, his Dad, and friends.

David wrote about his one time experience at a Kentucky Derby. I share it with you.

It was back in 1974. The day Secretariat ran and won. David had to be in college then.

He was watching the game from the infield. He described it as not a place for the faint of heart. It was hot. He had removed his shoes and shirt. He recalls seeing Secretariat go by. Only his legs. He witnessed a naked man shimmy his way to the top of the Churchill Downs flag pole.

Ready to leave, David discovered his shoes and shirt gone. Not to be found.

David said though it may have been the shortest two minutes in sports, it was the place to be that day.

I envy you, David. A suggestion. Get back there once more! Twice if you can! Enjoy the best life has to offer whenever circumstances permit. The clock never stops running.

I have to get this week’s KONK Life column out today. I still am not sure what I will write about. I have three possible topics. Ivory soap. There is a story in Ivory soap. Then there is the issue of jail gangs. A growing power in this country. They control outside activities at the same time they are in jail. Finally, Baltimore, Ferguson and most recently Denver police problems. Something along the line that Baltimore is the beginning, not the end. There will be elsewhere further improper police activities resulting in demonstrations, riots and disruptions.

One comment re the Baltimore arrests. A smart move. A tactical one. If the arrests had not been made, Baltimore would have burned that night and for several days thereafter. I doubt the charges will stick, however. They do not fit the facts. One reason being we still do not know many facts. Facts, not assumptions, are required to charge a person.

There will be some convictions. In the final analysis, any convictions stand a good chance of being overturned on appeal.

So there is no misunderstanding, the State’s Attorney did the correct thing in ordering arrests when she did. It was a practical decision to save the community from further harm. It was not the lawyer thing to do from a legal perspective. Sort of a race to judgment. I suspect at least a week more was required to collect additional facts and evaluate what charges should be brought.

Enjoy your Sunday!

WHITEHEAD STREET

I frequently drive over Whitehead Street. I have always been impressed with the lines of people waiting at the Hemingway House and Southernmost Point.
Especially, this year. The lines are significantly longer. Almost to Truman re Hemingway House. More than halfway to Duval re the Southernmost Point.

Proof that not all tourists visit Key West to bar hop.

Whitehead Street is named after John Whitehead. Whitehead is often described as one of the First Developers of Key West. Also, one of four persons recognized as Key West’s Founding Fathers.

Strangely, Whitehead spent only spent 8 years of his life in Key West. He left in 1832. Only returned once thereafter. In 1861, during the Civil War.

John Whitehead’s younger brother, William Adee Whitehead, spent his life in Key West. He was editor of the Enquirer, a local newspaper. William platted the main arteries of Key West. He named four streets after the four Founding Fathers. His brother John Whitehead being one.

The name is still in use today on the same street located in the same place. The home today of the Hemingway House and the Southernmost Point.

Burmese pythons are back in the news. I have written and talked about them for several years. The pythons have propagated themselves to the point that State officials admit they can never be eradicated. Present attempts are to control the python population.

The latest news is that where ever the Burmese pythons are, small mammals disappear.

A University of Florida research team wanted to be sure the cause was pythons. Thirty marsh rabbits were outfitted with radio collars. The researchers could then track the rabbits via the signals. In most instances, the tracking led to a python. No marsh rabbits in sight. The radio collar signaling from the inside of a python stomach.

The conclusion apparent. Burmese pythons are ingesting small mammals.

I made a mistake re how our bocce team is doing. I had the numbers wrong. They are better than represented. My team is 17-4 and we are in second place. A definite first! We have never experienced such a start.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. At 9, my time. A quick half hour of interesting observations. Most eye openers. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include Bill Gates’ comments re concrete production in the U.S. and China, DEA sexual activities  and how treated, Topeka Police Department’s new rule that every time a car is stopped all occupants must raise their hands, a comparative review of the U.S. health system, Roundup claimed to be drinkable by a scientist who then refused a glass when offered to him, and more.

Big evening last night! A couple of hours in the Chart Room chatting with the bartender, grocery shopping at Publix, and a prescription pick up at Walgreens.

I lead an exciting life!

Hip still sore. My body still aching. Slept again last night in the recliner chair. Not the best sleep. Better than no sleep at all, however.

Enjoy your day!

JIMMY BUFFETT RETURNS

I begin with good news and bad news.

The good news concerns Jimmy Buffett. He returns to Key West wednesday evening. He will appear at the San Carlos. The place is booked solid. No room at the inn.

Being Jimmy Buffett, he once again went a step further. He has financed the placement of a big screen on Higgs Beach wednesday night. His concert from San Carlos will be aired live on the beach screen. Free!

The beach will definitely be overloaded.

Buffett’s concert is at 7:30. His daughter is starting the Higgs Beach event at 4:30. A mini Woodstock in the making.

The bad news. The Key West City Commission has under consideration paying retired police and firemen a 13th monthly check. The union has asked for the generosity advising that the pensions of many are under the poverty level. Many are struggling on fixed incomes and most do not have health care.

My response is simple. A big NO!

There are many in Key West living on fixed incomes and do not have health plans. What of them?

The union has a hell of a nerve asking for the extra check. Why didn’t they negotiate more money and a health care plan back when?

Social Security is the sole income for many seniors. Monthly check payments for most are definitely below the poverty level. Will they get a 13th monthly check?

The problem police and fire retirees are experiencing is the same many others are in the United States. Retirees from other occupations included. It is part of the times we live in. Unless part of the 1 percent, we are all in bed together.

It is reported the City Commission is wary of the request and has tabled it for a vote. I am wary of the City Commission. They blow taxpayer dollars on a consistent basis. They spend money like they are the Koch Brothers. The difference being that with the Koch Brothers the money is theirs. With the City Commission, it is not. They are taxpayer dollars as opposed to personal monies.

Pru Sowers has written an excellent article on the request for a 13th monthly payment to police and fire retirees. The article is pure factual reporting. It appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast.

Vehicle traffic is unquestionably a Key West problem. Especially during tourist season. Too many cars for too few and too narrow streets.

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Citizens’ Voice suggests a solution. Limit the number of cars permitted in certain areas of Key West.

Paris began such a system this past week. They have devised a plan used once before. It worked then and is expected to work now. It will cut the number of cars coming into Paris center by 50 percent.

The Paris problem is different from Key West’s. The solution perhaps the same. Paris has an extreme pollution problem. It is now said that Paris is the worst city in the world for air pollution. So bad, that on mist days smog completely envelops the city. The Eiffel Tower cannot be seen.

The Key West City Commission should study the Paris solution. Of course, they probably will only do so after spending $200,000 on a study. And then, they will neither use the study nor provide any solution to the traffic problem.

I spent yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Things We Should Know. Very interesting! An eye opener in many instances. The article publishes wednesday.

Enjoy your day!

WHAT RECOVERY?

Last night was Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou, my blog talk radio show. My comments re the U.S.’s economic recovery initiated responsive comments.

The title of the segment was What Recovery? I also wrote this week’s KONK Life column on the subject. It publishes today.

The thrust of the comments and column is that the economy has only been good for the rich. The 1/99 percent thing again. A nation that has 16 million homeless public school children, 51 percent of public school children living in poverty, food stamps at an all time high, small businesses still struggling,  has a long way to go.

I spent a portion of yesterday fine tuning the show in preparation for last night.

I also did a couple of hours of pleasure reading. I am into a book on Italians. The Italian Americans by Maria Laurino. Published last month. I am learning things about my heritage I never knew.

The weather is crazy. Rain and thunder last night. This morning black. One blast of thunder woke me. I actually sat up.

The water is rough. Today definitely not a boating day.

A new cold spell is moving easterly. Big time cold. Arctic cold. Perhaps the lowest temperatures ever. As usual, bad weather up north affects Key West. Tonight, the temperature drops to 56 degrees. The high today 69. The high tomorrow 60. Yes, 60 degrees!

This morning’s Key West Citizen carries a picture of people waiting to get into the Hemingway House. I drive by the Hemingway House several times a week. I have noticed in the past several weeks more and more people waiting to get in. In the past if you had to wait in line, the line ended at the wall entrance. Now it runs almost to Truman.

The line tells me not so much an increased interest in Hemingway. Rather it evidences the fantastic early tourist season Key West is enjoying.

ISIS. What do we do? Above my pay scale. I hope however our government firms down on a procedure and goes after them. My fear is that we are only going to do it in a half hearted way. Time is not with us. It is almost a certainty that at some point ISIS will strike here in the U.S.

ISIS at it again. In Iraq, they placed 45 persons on the bed of an open truck, doused them with gasoline, and burned them to death. Videoed for the world’s watching, of course.

ISIS knows how to make money to support its endeavors and people. They are not a bunch of ragged fighters living in caves. The newest ISIS money maker is the sale of body parts. Body parts a very profitable item on the world market. Hearts, livers and kidneys in high demand.

Doctors are required to remove the body parts. From the living who end up not living. If a doctor refuses, he is killed.

Syracuse/Louisville tonight at 7. ESPN. At the moment, I plan on watching the game at Don’s Place. Louisville is a 5.5 point favorite.

Larry Smith with a major musical event this evening at the Pier House. Where the Wine Galley used to be. Christine Cardone and Kathleen Peace featured.

Enjoy your day!

LUNCHED WITH A MOVIE STAR

 

Saturday morning!

Rain! It has been raining for a week. Only a few breaks for sun. We needed the rain. Enough is enough, however.

Terrific Key West Lou Legal Hour show yesterday morning. Post show comment indicated the story of courage told was the most popular. It concerned Claire Lomas who recently ran the London Marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. Took her 16 days. She is a paraplegic. Ran the race with the aid of robotic legs.

After the show, shopped Duval and Sears for sandals. Found none I liked. I will be looking again today.

I had a date for lunch. Granddaughter Ally! I was babysitting all afternoon. Lisa was busy with meetings.

Ally decided we should have lunch at Hogfish. Fun. Then we went to my home. She swam most of the afternoon. She is obviously feeling better.

Ally wanted to drive with the top down. I did on the way to Hogfish. There Ally was seated in back on her child’s seat with huge sunglasses on and her hair blowing in the wind. A movie star!

I stopped at the Town N’ Country last night for a bite. Congenial Robert bartending. I enjoyed salmon and fried calamari.

Seated nearby at the bar was a couple. The man said hello. Turns out we had met last year. I enjoyed their company. Especially his. He is a fireman who is also actively engaged in many civic community activities. It was a great conversation regarding the various problems confronting Key West. He was extremely knowledgeable.

Services for Larry Harvey today. A most beloved Key West resident! Larry passed away earlier this week at 92. His mass will be at St. Paul’s on Duval. There will be a celebration of his life later at the Hemingway House. Larry worked at the Hemingway House for thirty years. His spirit will be felt at both events.

I have yet make  my cell phone and tablet decision. Thank you for the many suggestions and recommendations. Apple or Google? I have to make up my mind this morning. I have a 10 o’clock appointment to buy.

Came across an interesting news release on Yahoo this morning. There is a 33 year old man in Knoxville, Tennessee who has fathered 14 children. He recently applied to the court to reduce his child support payments. He claims he cannot afford what he is paying as he only earns minimum wage.

The man lacks any sense of responsibility. The government should pay for his birth control. It would be cheaper than helping to support the 14 children.

It is not against the law to father children. Even outside of wedlock. How does society get this guy to stop? I can think of a solution, but society would consider it barbaric.

What bothers me most is not that society will support these children. Rather it is that they will grow up without a responsible father figure. Or any type father figure in all likelyhood.

Enjoy your day!