DRINK THE KOOL-AID…..NO, THE COFFEE

 

The entrepreneurial spirit is worldwide.

A Texan was visiting in Malaysia. He noticed in one town that there were many coffee sheds. All doing a big business. Customers primarily men.

He was curious why. Turned out some part of the coffee contained a natural ingredient similar to the active ingredient in viagra.

The Texan returned home and opened a one man business. He imported the coffee already bagged from Malaysia. Called the New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee.

Brilliant! A money winner! Till the FDA got wind. The FDA asked the Texan to voluntarily recall the coffee. The coffee ingredients needed inspection and approval by the FDA prior to sales being allowed in the U.S.

The Texan did as requested.

Sad.

Imagine the impact of an early morning cup of coffee and an after dinner one in the evening. Smiles for everyone!

Hemingway was born this day in 1899. Oaks Park, Illinois.

Today, Key West is in the midst of its annual celebration of his birth. Hemingway Days!

Many events today. For me, Hemingway’s Birthday Party at Sloppy Joe’s. Cake for all!

The birthday party at 5:30. Followed at 6 by the second preliminary round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

Too many people in Key West. Too many tourists. Too many inexperienced scooter drivers.

I was driving on Simonton yesterday afternoon. Six scooters in front of me. Appeared to be 3 couples. The scooters a step up from a moped.

They were stretched out. Taking up about 40 feet of the roadway to my front.

All of a sudden, they all started weaving. From one side to the other. Cruising back and forth sideways.

The last in line was a woman. It was obvious she was not able to control her bike. I slowed down. Fortunately. The bike and her went down.

As I was pulling over to help, her friends were all around her. I continued on. I do not know if she was injured.

It happens too often on our congested streets these days.

Tavern ‘n Town for dinner last night. The salmon outstanding!

Read my newspapers. Saw Josefina at the end of the bar. she came over to talk. Josefina is Liz’s friend.

I found out why Liz was in the hospital 5 weeks. Liz is a diabetic and something got screwed up. Wrong food, might have forgotten to take her pills, etc. No one knows.

Liz is home. She called yesterday. Invited me to lunch at her home Sunday. I am looking forward to it. Liz a great cook!

Holly was with Josefina. I did not see her till I was leaving. She told me she went out with the ladies every thursday evening. Husband Peter Diamond performs thursday evenings at Little Palm Island.

Big Latch On returns saturday August 5. At the Echo-Discovery Center. No registration required. Merely show up and participate.

Big Latch On was a huge success in Key West last year. Involves breast feeding. Mothers world wide will be doing it at the same time. A synchronized event.

Big Latch On is part of International  Breastfeeding Week.

No Poker Run this year. No sponsor. Ten thousand cyclists in the past would arrive in Key West for a weekend. This year would have been the 45th annual Poker Run event held in Key West.

The City will provide no special accommodations for any bikers who may show up, except for increased police surveillance.

The underlying reason is motorcycle gangs. Commonly appearing the last few years in other cities at such events as Poker Run. A couple attended last year. There were problems.

The Rotary has sponsored Poker Run for years. They refused to do so this year because of the gang problem. Their members work the event and could be subject to harm. Additionally, liability insurance costs have risen because of the gang situation.

Trump and Congress are to be congratulated on the depth of their interest in the health of the people of the United States. CBO reported that out right repeal of Obamacare would result in an increase in the number of uninsured. Thirty two million.

The collar tightens. Trump is now making inquiry as to whether he can pardon himself, his family, and his staff.

I am a bit late in getting the blog out this morning. Got a call yesterday advising an early morning test had been scheduled for today.

Enjoy your day!

 

JORDAN AND ROBB…..WE MEET AGAIN

Yesterday busy. Day and night. All good things.

The best last night at the Chart Room.

I was looking for some one. Thought I would run into the person at the Chart Room. Stopped in. Looked around quickly. Not there.

Left immediately.

Twenty feet later, I heard a voice. Lou. turned around and there stood an absolutely beautiful woman.

The words came tumbling out….. I’m Jordan. I’m with Robb. We met two years ago. We took pictures. Two hang in the Chart Room. Robb reads your blog every day. We are here tonight to see you.

How could I leave.

We went back into the Chart Room. Met Robb.

I was honest. I meet so many people. I did not recall them.

Jordan took me to a section of the chart Room and showed me their picture with me. On a ceiling beam. The other behind the bar was buried. We did not bother searching for it.

Great people! I stayed a while. Enjoyed a drink with them.

From Jacksonville. Robb, 36. Jordan, 29.

School teachers. Jordan an elementary phys ed teacher. Also coaches high school lacrosse. Robb teaches high school math and helps coach the football team.

We chatted about a multitude of items. I was impressed Robb was a math teacher. Told him I became a lawyer instead of a doctor because I could not handle math and science.

Enjoyed my time with Jordan and Robb. Definitely will remember them next time.

Terri White sang while cleaning up the outside area of my new home. Her idea. A home warming gift, she said. She loves working with shrubbery, flowers, etc.

We took time off for lunch.  Picked up Donna and headed for Hogfish.

Sounds like I was working with Terri. No. I avoid servile labor of any nature.

After a cheery lunch, Terri and I returned to the house. Terri had to finish the clean up.

Terri does more than sing. Besides being a talented landscaper, she knows how to fix everything.

A new desk chair arrived a couple of days ago. Still sitting in the middle of the living room. Box unopened. Terri returns today to put the chair together.

I also have a new shower head. She is going to install it in my shower.

A good friend. As is Donna.

Along the way, I did my Facebook live video. Key West Lou Live Video. Trump, the White House staff and campaign help get  free legal with regard to present problems. Money comes from donations to the Committee to Re-Elect funds.

Articles claim $6 million incurred so far. $1.5 million paid out. Including Donald Trump, Jr.’s $50,000 legal fee for the meeting.

Began my evening at Aqua and Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Heather guest vocalist. The best show in town! All for the cost of a few drinks.

It was a locals crowd. Mark Watson, Joseph Lyles, Matias, Jean Thornton, her sister Laura Hauk, Sheila, Mary, Larry Blackburn, and Jimmy Olson.

Liz came in. I have not seen her in a while. I assumed she had returned to her St. Petersburg home. Went over to greet her. Discovered she was in the Key West hospital for 5 weeks. Why, I do not know. It was difficult to hear with the noise. Told her I would call today.

I feel guilty I did not know.

Then to the Chart Room. Followed by Tavern ‘n Town for their late evening happy hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed small pieces of beef in a tasty brown sauce over some sort of potato. Delicious.

Met Jack and Terri at the bar. From Pensacola. Joe Scarborough country. They know Joe.

Jack and Terri get to Key West every 2-3 years. Their four children grown.

Jack has been with UPS 31 years. A supervisor. Terri teaches sixth grade.

Good people. Good conversation.

Key West had a bank robbery a day or two ago. A 45 year old man walked into the Simonton bank building and left with some money. Details not reported as to how much, how robbery accomplished, etc.

The significant thing is the Key West police captured the bad guy in 20 minutes. The surveillance camera showed him clearly. They picked him up on Duval.

Prior to his arrest, he made some purchases on Duval and gave $50 bills as a tip. Not too bright.

“Sex is like money, only too much is enough.” John Updike.

Updike spent several years living in Key West. Wrote several novels using Key West as location.

Literary experts claim Updike was greatly influenced by Hemingway.

My podcast tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for a fast moving interesting show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics  include the folly of Trump’s words re Made in America Week, Buy American, and Hire American. Trump and his family do not do as he preaches.

Also, Sessions is working on banning abortions nationally, Russia demands return of their compounds without conditions, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia massacres its own people, Africans beginning to flood Europe in numbers greater that the Syrian immigration, and more.

Enjoy your day!

BARTENDER JOHN…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

I mention John Holster often. The Chart Room bartender. Top notch bartender. Knows how to handle and entertain customers.

My friend.

John has been honored! By the Key West Citizen. He is Citizen of the Day. His picture and a few lines below appear at the bottom of today’s edition at page 3.

Congratulations, John!

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. It was for me yesterday. Laziness permeated my being till I left the house at 6.

Drove to Hot Dog Church. Not for services. Much too late. To meet Donna and Terri. They were the only patrons left at the Back Door. Laurie bartending and chatting with them.

I like Laurie. A straight forward no bullshit person.

I was about 2 hours late. My laziness the blame.

We had a couple of drinks and Donna, Terri and I headed out to dinner. Hogfish.

Sometimes I enjoy hogfish, sometimes not. Yesterday was a day I did. The hogfish outstanding! My guess is the quality of a hogfish meal depends on who is cooking.

Here it was the middle of the summer and Hogfish was packed. Occasionally, some had a brief wait for a table.

Hemingway Days begin this week. A big time!

Hemingway Days is a clean healthy event. Partying up and down Duval. The crowd a different breed.

I look forward to some of the activities. Especially the Run of the Bulls and the Hemingway Look Alike Contest.

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952. Inspiration for parts and characters primarily from Cuba, Key West and San Francisco.

The fisherman Santiago  had many thoughts and some conversation with Manolin re his hero Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio suffered trials and tribulations as Santiago had. In the end, he accomplished great things.

For Santiago who had not caught a fish in more than 80 days, it was to catch the big one.

DiMaggio was Santiago’s inspiration.

Some believe that Hemingway drew on DiMaggio’s father for the character Santiago. Very few. If true, it would be because DiMaggio’s father was a Sicilian fisherman before immigrating to the United States and continued for a period of time to be a fisherman in the San Francisco Bay area.

Another writing giant who lived in Key West was Tennessee Williams. On this day in 1975, Anthony Quinn met with Williams in Key West. Quinn a fine actor. His greatness still a few years away.

Williams had written the play The Red Devil Battery Sign. Quinn starred in it. The play did not go over well. Closed on Broadway after one week.

Quinn was visiting Williams to see if the play could be revived. The play subsequently was in Vancouver and London. Though not with Quinn in the starring role and only a bit more success than had been achieved in New York.

Interestingly, Pierce Brosnan, then a young actor, starred in the leading role in the London revival.

Poor Venezuela!

I have been following Venezuela and its President Nicholas Maduro for four years. Ever since Maduro took office and Venezuela ran out of toilet paper within one year. Four years later and Venezuela still does not have an adequate supply of toilet paper. High infation, no jobs and no food, also.

I consistently ask why the Venezuelan people do not revolt. Yesterday, an informal referendum was held. Note the word informal. The vote had no binding effect.

Maduro wanted a new constitution. One which would guarantee his remaining in office. More than 7 million voted against Maduro’s plan. An overwhelming vote.

Will anything come of the result? Time will tell. However, I doubt it. For some reason, the people are reluctant/afraid to put guns, sticks and stones in their hands and attack the palace.

Enjoy your day!

BIRTHDAY CONTINUED

My birthday continued into last night. Donna and Terri invited me to dinner. I did not realize they were going to do Happy Birthday.

I was greeted with Happy Birthday as I arrived. Imagine Terri’s crescendo! Drinks followed by a home cooked meal by gourmet chef Donna.

After dinner, Happy Birthday cake. Unexpected. Home baked brownies topped with whip cream. And two candles: One an 8, the other a 2.

Happy Birthday sung again!

Gift, a bottle of Beefeaters.

Received an e-mail from Joseph. Biblical. He thanked me for letting him participate in the “Feast of my Nativity.”

Joseph is 69. Ailing from a back surgery more than a year ago. Not perfect yet.

Joseph is 69. Short and thin. A white beard and mustache. Needs a cane. His cane is a rod. A six foot wood pole.

I refer to Joseph as John the Baptist since he began using the pole.

I spent yesterday doing nothing. Laid around all day. I was beat! Moving and unpacking had taken its toll. Shot!

My new neighborhood is a delight to behold. Cute single family homes. Greenery everywhere. Trees arching over the roadway.

Decided I would try to walk again. The peaceful surroundings called out to me.

I walked this morning. Early. Out of bed, into shorts and sneaks. Before I said, screw it!

The walk delightful. Once around a block. All of 10 minutes. I am starting off slow. Want to succeed this time.

Three popular Key West events on going or imminent.

Mel Fisher Days began thursday and end today. The event is to commemorate Fisher’s discovery of the Spanish galleon Atocha.

Mango Fest next saturday July 15. Bayview Park. All kinds of activities and mango foods. Sponsored by the Key West Police Athletic League. The League supports and participates in all kinds of children’s activities.

Finally, one of the best. Hemingway Days! Ten days of Hemingway fun beginning July 18. Including the Running of the Bulls, the Hemingway Look Alike Contest, and Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway Birthday Party.

The things I learn from William Hackley’s life. His diary for this day in 1856 records Hackley paying the rent on his Key West home. Paid for six months with a $450 Treasury warrant. Works out to $75 a month.

Can’t rent anything for $75 a month anymore! Hackley’s rent today would be at least $3,000 a month.

Hemingway. One of Key West’s most famous citizens.

On this day in 1918, Hemingway was 18. World War I three years old. The United States not yet in the war.

Hemingway wanted to participate. He joined the American Red Cross and was stationed in northern Italy as an ambulance driver.

While serving on the front, a mortar shell went off near him. Hemingway was seriously injured. Spent quite a while in the hospital because of shrapnel wounds. One leg especially beat up.

During his hospital stay, he fell in love with a nurse. A serious romance. After he returned home and was arranging for her to follow him, his loved dumped him for a lieutenant of royal lineage.

While living in Key West, Hemingway worked on his manuscript A Farewell to Arms and had the book published.

The book  reflected on northern Italy during World War I, the experiences of a Red Cross ambulance driver, his love affair with a nurse, and the tragic ending of the love affair. The nurse love died in the book.

Hemingway’s actual war time life experiences formed the basis for his first best selling novel.

In 1962, the movie PT-109 was filmed on Munson Island in the Keys. Pt-109 was the war time story of John Kennedy and his heroic experience following the sinking of PT-109.

A lot of local background.

Munson Island was owned at the time by Sheriff John M. Spottswood. Subsequently to become a Florida State Senator.

Kennedy was visiting Key West if my memory proves correct for a meeting with Great Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillan. Spottswood was close to Kennedy. He suggested a good place to shot the movie was Munson Island which he owned. Munson Island became the place.

Munson Island today is Little Palm Island.

Spottswood had five children. He was the patriarch of the family. A Key West icon. His children all successful today and respected community leaders. I only know one. Robert and his wife, Elena. Two fine people.

Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie.

I met Robertson 12 or more years ago at the Mel Fisher Museum. The Museum was kicking off a national fund raising campaign. Robertson was honorary chairman.

The good looking young vital man of PT-109  days was now aged. Never the less, dapperly dressed and sharp of wit.

A Trump observation. He is out of his class at the G20 meeting in Hamburg. In over his head. Especially with Putin.

Enjoy your day!

 

I PANICKED

Strange experience yesterday.

It is difficult for me to become discombobulated. I did yesterday. Panicked!

Barbara was driving from Utica to visit. I last heard from her 7:30 in the morning. She had just passed through Jacksonville. Expected to arrive in Key West around 2.

Two came and went. As did 3, 4 and 5.

I tried telephoning. She did not answer her cell. Finally at 5:30, I telephoned the police. Assumed the worst. She had been in an accident.

Florida does not have a one call line system for accident information. An area by area system. Each has to be called individually. I started with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Then to the State Highway Patrol in Miami-Dade, Jacksonville, Orlando, and finally the Florida Turnpike itself.

All courteous. No help, however. No record of an accident. The Turnpike operator the best. I expressed concern. If she had not been in an accident, something worse must have occurred.

I was in the process of filing a missing persons with the Turnpike operator when my cell rang.

It was Barbara. She had been held up by traffic in Islamorada for 3 1/2 hours.

Respectfully, I ripped her a new a..hole. Why wasn’t your phone on? It was. No, I called six times and left messages. Must have been while I stopped to go to the bathroom. No, you don’t go to the bathroom that often.

Whatever.

I was glad she was alive and well. I had visions of her in a roadway ditch with her throat slit. Don’t laugh. We live in strange times.

She finally arrived a little after 9. She was mad. Felt Florida should have a better system of dealing with heavy traffic through the Keys. I was upset she had the phone turned off.

We were not on the same wave length.

Again, the police officers were helpful and sensitive to my concerns. One complaint. The State should have one number to call for accident victims. Not a sort of county by county system. In the age of computers, such cannot he difficult to set up.

A quick shower and we were off to get a bite to eat. Ended up at Tavern ‘n Town at 10:15.

As is said, all’s well that ends well!

Barbara brought several baskets of fresh strawberries and a big bag of peas from upstate New York. The season for them there. The strawberries not GMOs. Not big and shiny. Different sizes. Most small. Sweet and juicy. Enjoyed them for breakfast this morning.

The peas will likewise be delicious when we get to them.

I am in Starbucks again this morning. Comcast comes late tomorrow morning.

Starbucks packed again this morning. Most European tourists. Like a United Nations. I hear no one speaking English.

Some studies are just plain unreliable.

I love Key West. It has many pluses. Many negatives, also.

A company called WilliamHub (no space between first and last name) recently released a study. Key West was determined to be the second best Beach Community in the U.S. Two hundred twenty seven beach areas studied.

The criteria primarily involved housing costs, share of waterfront homes for sale, and the quality of beach water.

WilliamHub obviously used bad data.

A sadness yesterday. A 15 year old boy died while snorkeling at Fort Zach Beach. Cause not yet known. His family pulled him from the water and tried to resuscitate him.

Hemingway ended his life on this date in 1961 at his Sun Valley, Idaho home. Another sadness.

I close with a Trump reference. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus in a  6/29 column wrote: “Authoritarianism does not announce itself. It creeps up on you.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

TRUMP A CARNY PITCHMAN RE INFRASTRUCTURE

Today it begins. Trump plans on spending the whole week selling his infrastructure plan to the American people.

Good luck! Typical Trump. Good for corporate America, bad for the American people.

Past Presidents for many years have avoided repairing and maintaining our highways and bridges. Trump says he is going to fix them. With few taxpayer dollars.

Trump is selling a $1 trillion overhaul. His plan is to make corporate America pay. Trump wants to sell American highways and bridges to corporate America. If he can’t sell, then lease long term. Like 30-50 years.

The corporations will do the needed work.

The system will improve roads and bridges. To the detriment of the American people.

Corporations are in business to make money. The plan is not a give away one.

Tolls will be charged. Even on roads not presently charging tolls. The tolls will increase periodically as the corporations desire to make more profit.

Blackstone is the corporation in line to benefit. Over $400 million contributed to Trump PACs in the last election. Blackstone has been getting ready for almost a year to do the job.

I have spent considerable time in recent years in northern Italy. Italy has a program similar to the one Trump will be trying to sell. The Italian highways and bridges are in perfect shape. Through out  Italy.

The Italian people are unhappy. Tolls charged everywhere. Even on roads never charged before. The tolls constantly increasing.

My Italian friends all look for back narrow roads to drive in order to escape the tolls. The back roads do not provide for a healthy drive. Narrow. Like 1 1/2 lanes.

It is chicken time while driving on one. Two cars approach each other. Each waits for the other to pull off the road onto the shoulder in order to pass. A last second thing. Heart in your throat time.

The Garden of Eden was a Hemingway novel not published during his lifetime. It was discovered after his death. Then published. Hemingway spent 15 years off and on writing the book.

The theme of the novel is threefold. The exploration of male and female relationships, evidences an interest in androgynous characters, and the reversal of gender roles.

For many years, the roof of the Bull and Whistle on Duval has had a clothing optional rooftop bar. Its name Garden of Eden. Its reputation hot. In my reality, not so. In my many years in Key West, I have only been on the roof top a half dozen times. The only nudity was the bar maids breasts. A disappointment. The lack of nudity, not the bar maid’s breasts.

I have always wondered if the roof top Garden of Eden is named after Hemingway’s novel. Sex played a significant part in the book. Sex is intimated at the roof top bar.

If so, Hemingway would be disappointed in the rooftop’s misnomer.

The bocce season is over. Playoffs were this weekend. I did not attend. Don’s Place did not make the playoffs. First time in years.

In 1927, what is described as the New Overseas Highway between Key West and Big Pine was opened to traffic. This date to be exact.

A 30 minute drive today. Wonder what it was then?

Today a sad one in American history. Robert Kennedy was assassinated this date in 1968. He had just won the California primary for President. He was leaving the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angles at the time of the shooting.

The year was a tempestuous time in American history. The anti-
Vietnam War movement was peaking. Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Johnson announced he would not run for a second full term. The country was in general unrest. Riots everywhere.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LOUIE, LOUIE

Louie, Louie is a famous tune in the world of music. An American rhythm and blues song. Today recognized as a pop rock standard.

First recorded as a Jamaican ballad in 1956. Its lyrics written on toilet paper.

Louie, Louie was the back side B side of the first recording. The flip A side was You Are My Sunshine.

To this day, I have never heard nor was aware of Louie, Louie. I was aware and knew well the lyrics of  You Are My Sunshine. Sang it often over the years at parties, etc.

I came across a note this morning that on this day in 1965, the FBI concluded a two year investigation of the song.  The purpose: To determine if Louie, Louie’s words were pornographic. Dirty. Someone had complained.

Research indicates the words were difficult to understand. The FBI was asked to make a determination as to its pornographic quality.

The FBI Lab found the song’s words to be totally non-understandable. The FBI conclusion stated Louie, Louie’s words were “unintelligible at any speed.”

Louie, Louie is recognized as one of the most covered songs in rock and roll history.

My blog talk radio show last night. Half of it devoted to Trump. Difficult not to.

I thought things changed daily with him. New items popped up each day concerning him. My thoughts have changed. Trump moves fast. There is something new or a new position by him it seems every hour.

As a result, I never got into the Comey memorandum last night. I stopped listening to the news around 4. Had to. Otherwise, my topics, notes and flow for the show keep changing. I can only redo so many times.

In spite of my shutting down such research early, I still spent the first 15 minutes of the show discussing Trump. He has sinned in other regards.

The cry for impeachment is on many lips. My advise: Slow down! Comey’s memo and the facts surrounding it may not be enough. Give the President a couple more weeks. He will bury himself further. Then will be the time to zero in on impeachment, assuming solid grounds exist.

Ernest Hemingway. USA Today reported a new biography. Ernest Hemingway by Mary V. Dearborn. The first full fledged biography of Hemingway in 15 years.

Some suggest more books have been written about Hemingway than any other person in history. Whether a valid statement, I do not know.

The book spends a bit of time examining Hemingway’s sexual interests. One being gender switching. If true, it may answer the question as to why Hemingway had a special attraction to bi and lesbian women.

A return to American crocodiles.

Cleatus is an American crocodile. Cleatus has spent the last 14 years in the Dry Tortugas swimming in near shore waters at Fort Jefferson. Named Cleatus by National Park employees.

Since January, Cleatus has been moving inland. Closer to shore. In the area utilized by humans for swimming. He has interacted with visitors. Some even fed him.

A disaster in the making. Cleatus had to go.

Last sunday, officials captured Cleatus and delivered him to West Lake in the Southern Everglades.

I hope Cleatus will have no difficulty in adapting to his new home.

Enjoy your day!

 

BOOKS & BOOKS…..BIPOLAR DISORDER TONIGHT

Judy Blume has arranged a big one for Books & Books tonight. Kay Redford Jamison discussing her newest book: Robert Lowell, Setting The River On Fire.

A rather unique presentation. The famed poet Robert Lowell was bipolar. Jamison is bipolar. As well as being Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins.

Six tonight for a most interesting discussion.

After Jameson, I will be off to Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking. Her famous pot roast. Juicy and tender.

Yesterday another lazy one. A bug must have recently bitten me.

I did get out of the house. Drove up to No Name Pub for lunch. Love the place!

Later in the afternoon, watched North Carolina/Kentucky. A game! North Carolina won by 3. Great basketball. Kentucky on its way to the Final Four.

Oregon a part this year of the Final Four, also.

March Madness had its birth this day in 1939. The first NCAA Tournament. Oregon beat Ohio State.

It was doubtful Oregon would make the Final Four this year. Congratulations to them.

Russia experienced 99 separate protests over the weekend. In its cities and towns. Unusual. Especially against Putin. Putin does not tolerate opposition. Several opposing political leaders have died under strange circumstances the past two years. Their deaths thought to be Putin ordered.

Now street protests. Will Putin call out the tanks as the Soviet Union did in Hungary in the 1950’s?

Is Russia experiencing an Arab Spring as Egypt did?

My gut tells me Trump has an involvement. I suspect the negative Trump/Russia dialogue in the U.S. is working against Trump in Russia.

Hemingway left his mark on Key West. For which we are all glad.

Many the words he wrote or spoke became memorable quotes. One I especially enjoy involves love: Stop chasing the wrong one, the right one won’t run.

Words of wisdom!

On this day in 1998, the band played and the drums roared. The FDA approved Viagra. The first oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction.

Harry Truman again. Never forget, Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman spent 175 days over 11 trips enjoying Key West. On this date in 1952, Truman left Key West for Washington following a three week vacation.

Enjoy your day!

HIS WORDS AND LETTERS…..SPECIAL

Two years ago, I wrote an article for KONK Life involving Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Merlo was the love of Williams’ life. The relationship tender and then tumultuous.

Tennessee Williams’ birthday is being celebrated this month. Many activities. One last night at Studios of Key West. His Words and Letters. Words and letters written to Williams’ closest female friend, Maria Britneva. Substantially involving the Williams/Merlo relationship.

Merlo’s influence on Williams is reflected in the fact that Williams wrote his finest works during their time together. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Rose Tattoo, and Night of the Iguana.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A production well done.

Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was playing across the street at the Key West Theater while I was enjoying His Words and Letters.

Prior to the Williams’ show, I enjoyed La Concha’s happy hour while browsing the Sunday newspapers.

One of the items mentioned in yesterday’s Key West Lou video on Facebook involved outhouses. Details immaterial here. Final video comment was that Hemingway had the first indoor plumbing in Key West. Put in his home on Whitehead when he purchased it in 1931.

Bad day at Black Rock. Two basketball giants felled at the NCAA Tournament. Louisville and Duke.

So it goes

Congressional hearings begin today re Russia’s interfering in a U.S. Presidential election. Not the first time. Occurred once before. The election of 1796.

John Adams and Alexander Hamilton running for President. Great Britain and France had just concluded a war against each other. Bad feelings rampant in each country.

For some reason, U.S. support was important to each nation. John Adams, with the support of George Washington, backed Great Britain. Hamilton, France. Hamilton’s position was that France’s assistance during the Revolution mandated U.S. support.

France threatened open warfare with the United States if U.S. support was not forthcoming.

Adams was elected President. No war occurred.

I mentioned yesterday that Florida reported the screwworm problem was no more. A tried and true process had defeated the maggot type insects. The release of sterile screwworm flies. One hundred forty million since October.

Jean a female loggerhead turtle found sick in December. Taken to Marathon’s Turtle Hospital. She was impacted.

The hospital named her Jean. Cared for Jean till friday. A recovered Jean was released back into the ocean at Sombrero Beach.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GIBRALTAR OF THE SOUTH

There was a time and a man who viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. It was the mid 1930s. The man, Julius Stone.

The 1930s was depression time across the United States. Key West especially hard hit. It was the end of the world. Hard to get to. Little business. No work. Monroe County had filed for bankruptcy.

Julius Stone was the WPA administrator for the State of Florida. He considered things so bad in Key West, that he opened a WPA office there. Only the second in the State.

Stone saw tourism as the way for Key West to improve its economy. He was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

One of his efforts to improve quality of life in Key West was to have a play locally produced. The Pirates of Penzance.

The historical goodies I share with you I did not find. Credit belongs to snowbird Diana Millikan. Diana is writing a play about Julius Stone and The Pirates of Penzance endeavor. She keeps me informed.

Diana has discovered a rich source of information. The Kennedy Cafe mornings. Elderly conchs meet every morning for coffee and talk. A breakfast club of sorts.

Diana says it is like pulling teeth to get information out of them. She is succeeding, however. A step at a time.

She met Jesse. A woman in her 90s. Her married name she was not able to get. However, her maiden name was forthcoming. Watkins.

Jesse was in attendance at the play on February 19, 1935. She recalled the event vividly. She said George Wills was the leading man. Handsome.

She attended the play with her two older sisters. Diana reported one of the sisters became President of a local bank. Sounds strange for the times. It might have been the woman’s husband.

The write up in the newspaper the next day listed a Mrs. Joseph Cates as seamstress. Diana is trying to find out if the 1935 Cates is a relative of today’s Mayor Cates.

Burt Lancaster was one of America’s great actors. He died at 80 this date in 1994. Lancaster and Key West touched two times.

Lancaster’s first movie was The Killers. The movie was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

He actually filmed a movie in Key West. The Rose Tattoo. The movie was based on Tennessee William’s play of the same name. The movie was filmed in a house on Duncan Street. Williams lived on one corner of the block and The Rose Tattoo house was on the other.

The Cannonball Run is coming through Key West saturday. Will be on Duval and Front Streets around 3.

The Cannonball is composed of a group of men who own special cars. They like to drive them on strange roads in strange places. Duval not one of those places. However Key West not the destination. The group is headed for Havana, Cuba.

I have a neighbor down the street who participates. He is on in years. The Run is one of the more important events in his live. He has a 1906 or 1914 Rolls Royce. In tip top shape. When last I spoke with him, he had just returned from a run in New Zealand. The cars at some point are shipped to the final destination.

Screwworms on the move. No longer just on Big Pine and No Name Key. Have expanded into Big Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Cudjoe, Ramrod and Summerland Keys. Flies have been found in each place.

The last time there was a screwworm infestation was 30 years ago. Things have become sufficiently bad that the State of Florida has declared a State of Emergency exists.

Tammy for a manicure/pedicure yesterday. Ran into Kate Miano who was getting a pedicure.

Kate is one of Key West’s most dynamic women. Owner of The Gardens. Note that Sunday at the Gardens has opened. Sundays from 5-7. Great music. Good drinks. Excellent company. Mostly locals.

The Judy Wood memorial celebration this evening from 5-7 at Tavern ‘n Town. Sad. Her death continues to bother me. And I did not know her well. Only from the bar.

Afterwards, I shall be off to bocce to watch Don’s Place play. Numero Uno!

Goombay tomorrow night!

The third and final Presidential debate was last night. Trump consistent. An ass. Hillary handled herself well.

Enjoy your day!