A HEMINGWAY STORY…..

Hemingway’s personal experiences are just as interesting as his novels.

Hemingway was a lover. A ladies man. Enjoyed his sexual adventures.

He was into  his second marriage. Pauline Pfeiffer, the wife. They were married 13 years. Ten of those years spent in Key West.

The marriage proved healthy for Hemingway’s writings. Most of his best works were written during his marriage to Pauline.

Pauline’s father wealthy. Pauline enjoyed inherited wealth. Provided Hemingway with a comfortable life style.

The home on Whitehead was bought during the marriage. Primarily with Pauline’s dollars. The home stands to this day. Now, a museum. The Hemingway House.

The gardens were to the front of the house. Hemingway had constructed a boxing ring. He was a boxing enthusiast.

Hemingway was off to Spain as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He met and fell in love with Martha Gellhorn there, she also a war journalist.

Word got back to Pauline in Key West that husband Ernest was seriously screwing around. Pissed her off big time!

Pauline had the boxing ring torn down and replaced it with a $20,000 swimming pool. A lot of money for a pool in those days. Had Hemingway billed for it. The pool was lovely. Its setting in the gardens perfect. The sunlight equally perfect. The water glistened.

When Hemingway returned home, he became angered when he found out how much the pool cost. He and Pauline had words. Hemingway took a penny out of his pocket and flung it on the ground saying, “Pauline, you’ve spent all but my last penny, so might as well have that.”

The penny has become part of Hemingway House folklore. There is a 1934 penny imbedded in the concrete at the foot of the pool. Whether the same penny, I do not know.

Pauline and Hemingway in due course divorced. Martha became wife number three.

Hemingway drew on life experiences for his books. He and Pauline had two sons. Pauline’s labor was extremely difficult for one. Legend has it Hemingway used Pauline’s suffering as the basis for Catherine’s death in A Farewell To Arms.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of Trump and local Key West stories. The show did not include the Hemingway one just shared. Key West has a slew of tales to be told.

The United States is getting better in dealing with natural disasters. Better not enough, however. More time and money must be spent planning how to react before a disaster even occurs.

New Orleans’ Katrina should have taught us a lot. Turns out, not enough.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. FEMA immediately saw the need for food. FEMA contracted with an Atlanta firm for 30 million meals, clearly spelling out time was of the essence. Delivery had to be as soon as possible. Only 50,000 were delivered.

The Atlanta firm was Tribate Contracting LLC. A one employee firm. The sole employee the owner Tiffany Brown. Brown had no experience in large scale disaster relief.

The contract was for $156 million.

It was Brown’s responsibility to find and contract with vendors to prepare and get the food to Puerto Rico. She was only intended as a run through. A conduit. She would be paid handsomely for her company’s services in that regard.

Brown hired a wedding caterer with a staff of 11 to prepare and freeze dry meals.

FEMA cancelled its contract with Brown’s company.

In the meantime, many in Puerto Rico were going without food.

Italy’s former Prime Minister and political force Silvio Berlusconi is back in the news. He has not been heard from in recent years after being convicted of tax fraud and sexual involvement with a 17 year old girl.

Due to the convictions, Berlusconi can no longer hold public office. Nothing bars him from being a political leader/force, however.

A national election is scheduled for March 4.

Berlusconi now 81 years old.

Immigration the issue. Everywhere!

In  the past few years, African Muslims seeking a way to Sweden have moved through Italy. Many remained in Italy. Six hundred thousand.

In my several trips to northern Italy in recent years, I have become familiar with the problem. Seen it first hand. Novara where my friend Anna lives appears to be a black community rather than a white one. Anna and her friends are not happy about it.

The homeless are not well taken care of at all. They sit on formerly prosperous streets, their backs against the walls, day and night. They are everywhere. Black prostitutes openly working the neighborhoods day and night.

Berlusconi says he will immediately deport the 600,000 immigrants.

Sounds like Trump.

My travels took me to Portofino. Expensive! I was paying $20 for a glass of gin.

Two places have impressed me beauty wise in my travels. Santorini and the bay at Portofino.

Berlusconi has a home in Portofino. On the water, of course. Huge. Magnificent. The shrubbery and flower beds alone have to cost a ton  of money to keep up.

Berlusconi and Putin are, if you will excuse the description, asshole buddies. Putin had a summer home built in Portofino right next to Berlusconi’s.

Evidence the relationship is close one. Several years ago and prior to Putin constructing his Portofino home, Putin allowed his teenage daughter to spend the summer at Berlusconi’s Portofino home.

What a world!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WE’VE MET THE ENEMY, AND IT’S US

 

KONK Life is a local once a week publication. It has an ancillary publication. E-Blast. E-Blast publishes daily on the internet. Solely on the internet.

This morning’s E-Blast had an interesting Letter to the Editor. By Key West local Roger C. Kostmayer. A man seasoned by years, knowledgeable and frank.

The letter titled Listen to Pogo. Pogo being the famous comic strip philosopher.

Kostmayer began with two factual happenings. One that the U.S. is under attack from without by Russia and from within by Congressional Republicans. The other is that the attack has resulted in a self imposed crisis.

He concludes with a famous Pogo observation…..We’ve met the enemy, and it’s us.

Spent most of yesterday afternoon working on Growing Up Italian. My grandparents were met with a difficult world in their early years here. The anti-Italian sentiment significant.

I enjoyed a 30 minute happy interruption while working on the book. Jean Thornton called. She was taking a walk in Birmingham and decided she would like to talk with me. Just pass the time of day.

That’s Jean!

It was cold in Birmingham. High 40’s or low 50’s as we were talking. She told me the evenings were in the 20’s. And I complain when it is in the 60’s!

Jean is on a diet also. Weight Watchers. Walking part of the routine.

We covered a multitude of items. Every Key West tidbit I tried to share, Jean already knew. She has her finger on the pulse of Key West constantly.

Jean and Joe will soon be off for a three week stay in Hawaii. Return home for a few weeks. Then the big one as she describes it. A month somewhere in Europe.

I could have been out with a lovely woman last night. Instead, I declined. Wanted to watch the Syracuse/Georgia Tech game at home.

I should have gone out. Could not get the game on TV. Later in the evening, the sports news reported Syracuse lost 46-41. Not a good year!

I spent the evening reading How to Win a Fight with a Conservative by Daniel Kurtzman.

Page 179 contains a brief passage titled: The Koch Brothers, GOP Corporate Overlords. The passage concludes: “…..Republicans from every state will line up at their door to grovel at their feet and ask for campaign contributions, a practice known throughout political circles as “sucking Koch.”

I initially considered leaving the quotation out as it appeared tasteless.

Turtles are taking a beating in this cold weather. Florida waters unusually cold this year. The Marathon Turtle Hospital and similar Florida facilities bursting at the seams. An overflow. Turtles everywhere.

Marathon recently took in several more turtles. From North Florida waters. The turtles described as cold stunned. Last year, Marathon flew up to Cape Cod and returned with a large number of Cape Cod turtles that were suffering from the cold waters there.

Cold water slows a turtle’s metabolism. Making the turtles vulnerable to infections and illnesses. One of the problems associated with exposure to cold waters are tumors. Some bug/virus creates the tumors in the turtles.

The hospital stay for cold stunned turtles is generally one year. Tumor resolution the primary reason for the long stay

One of the best loved men in Key West is Joseph Lyles. Affiliated for many years with the Hot Tin Roof. His most recent position as Manager.

Joseph had back problems. Underwent an operation to correct the problems. The result not good. Still has back problems, needs a cane to get about, and cannot move swiftly.

So much for continuing as a restaurant manager.

Joseph has been reemployed. At the Casa Marina. As a concierge.

Go, Joseph! All of Key West is happy for you.

Guy de Boer just telephoned. Did you see it? What? This week’s KONK Life is out. You and Irma and Me are on the front page!

As soon as I finish the blog, I will go out and get a copy.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its Keys History section had a piece of information regarding Ernest Hemingway. On this day in 1935, Hemingway and two friends went fishing on Hemingway’s boat. All three caught a sailfish.

An unusual occurrence.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

SLOPPY JOE’S 80th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

Sloppy Joe’s.

Infamous. A Key West tradition. Hemingway hang out.

Proprietor Joe Russell began business at the Greene and Duval Street corner site 80 years ago on May 3, 1938. Russell a Key West icon in his own right. A bootlegger, fishing boat captain, speakeasy operator, etc. An original Key Wester.

Russell had previously operated where Captain Tony’s is located on Greene Street today. A speakeasy at first. When prohibition ended, as the Blind Pig. Put a dance floor in and renamed the place the Silver Slipper.

Hemingway and Russell became best friends when Russell ran Greene Street as a speakeasy. They drank, fished, and gambled together.

The Silver Slipper sold whiskey for 15 cents and gin for ten. A far cry from today’s bar prices.

The move from Greene Street to the present location of Sloppy Joe’s took place at midnight. Russell lost not one penny. Customers, including Hemingway, helped carry the furniture and bottled booze to the new location where they continued drinking.

The old location had ceramic troughs where the men piddled. Russell had no need for them in the new place. Hemingway carried them home to his house on Whitehead. To this day, Hemingway’s six toed cats drink from the ceramic troughs which are fresh water pipe fed.

Syracuse lost in double over time to Florida State yesterday afternoon. An excellent game! Syracuse played well till the second overtime. The final score says it all. 101-90.

Telephoned Catherine while watching the game to invite her to the movies. I wanted to see the Post. She declined. Catherine is an active Rotarian. The Rotary sponsored a marathon over the weekend. Catherine has been working on the race since Thursday. Even in Friday’s pouring rain. Crazy!

She said she was tired. I understood.

I do not enjoy going to the movies alone. Ergo, my evening changed. Started at the Chart Room. Packed! The Eagles game.

Remained for one drink. Chatted with Shaun and a friend he introduced me too. Noel or Noelle. Not sure which. She has managed a couple of restaurants in Key West.

She and I bonded immediately. She is starting on a diet Monday. Keto. Sister to Atkins. However more fatty foods than protein. She told me to beware of dairy products on Atkins. Even though carb free, inhibit weight loss. Maybe that is why I hung in at only a 10 pound loss since 11/27 when I started the diet. I have been eating a ton of cheese.

Beginning today, I eliminate cheese from the diet.

I finally lost 2 pounds yesterday. One more today. After forever at 10. I do not understand why. Cheese part of my diet through yesterday.

Dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. I have not eaten there since I started the diet. I was welcome back like a war hero returned home. Enjoyed a prime rib. So delicious! Great on the Atkins diet.

Cold! Heat on. Fifty six degrees at the moment. High today 63. The cold front will be with us till Saturday.

Shaun’s mother is visiting from Minnesota. Exceptionally cold weather up there. She is freezing in Key West, however. Even though warmer. In Minnesota, she has heat. Shaun’s apartment does not have heat.

Stopped at Donna and Terri’s on the way home for a drink. I worry about Terri. She is doing well. Returning to Tampa in a week for a week of tests. My concern is the flu. Key West is rampant with the flu. Terri’s immune system might not be able to handle it should she get the bug.

In spite of the cold, hope to make Hot Dog Church and Gardens today.

La Te Da’s infamous Sunday afternoon Tea Dance has returned. From 4-7. Party time! Described by some as a little outdoor Studio 54. Men dance with men, women with women, men with women, young with old.

Christopher Rounds is to be complimented in making sure the Sunday afternoon Tea Dance lived on.

The last time I attended a Tea Dance was years ago. At the time, it was held at Atlantic Shores. A WOW place!

Last but not least, the false missile alarm yesterday in Hawaii: Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.

The report caused by human error in Hawaii. Took 38 minutes for the populace to be advised the incoming missile not for real. In the meantime, panic. Understandably so.

This is a perfect example of what could happen with two nuts out there. Jung-U and Trump.

Trump was playing golf when he found out. We have not been advised yet whether it was before it was discovered the attack was not a real one.

Assume the report to Trump was incoming missile headed for Hawaii. Assume further Trump decided to retaliate immediately. Most likely with one or more nuclear missiles. A nuclear war. North Korea would then have retaliated immediately against the U.S.

The beginning of World War III. All because two nuts head the governments immediately involved.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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!

 

SANCTIONS BOTH AVOID AND LEAD TO WAR

Sanctions are constantly in the news. One country does something another country disagrees with and sanctions come into play. Bank accounts seized, shipping prohibited, etc. Cause the offending country to suffer for its wrongdoing.

Sanctions are so prevalent these days that many have come to believe it is a way to avoid war.

I believe such is the case only because a war has not yet occurred.

History repeats itself. We tend to forget.

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt seized all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan’s occupation of French-Indo China. As was intended, the result hurt Japan deeply. Japan lost three quarters of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil.

War was inevitable. Japan could not tolerate the sanctions. Especially the loss of 88 percent of its imported oil. Japan had no oil except that which it imported. Japan’s industrial death was imminent.

Japan in effect said screw you to the U.S. The result Pearl Harbor a little more than four months later.

Two strange occurrences yesterday.

Three weeks ago, I filed a change of address with the Post Office. I am getting mail at my new address. Also, at my old address.

Went to the downtown Post Office to straighten the mater out. I was told by the clerk it could not be happening. I calmly explained again it was. No way, I was told.

It became a problem for the supervisor to deal with. No supervisor. He was somewhere else.

I have to return today.

Next stop was Walgreens. Bought a large container of Bayer Aspirin. Take a whole pill a day for my heart.

When I got home and opened the bottle, the foil seal was broken and completely open. When I return to Walgreens today for an exchange, will I be told it could not happen?

A change of pace podcast last night. Trump has been overwhelming my show as it has the media. There are other stories to be told. Decided to do a limited Trump comment and the rest of the show human events of the past few days world wide.

Because of yesterday happenings, I ended up with three Trump/political observations. However, I did finish with 8 non Trump stories.

I hope that those of you who listened to Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou enjoyed the change of pace.

Being the political animal I am, I want to briefly share with you the three political observations.

Jared Kushner’s testimony has been described by some in the examining rooms as truthful and forthcoming. I would not believe Kushner and his Trump in laws on a stack of Bibles. Liars one and all. It is the nature of the beast. The conclusion of the various investigations will substantiate they speak with forked tongues.

The Democrats came out with a Better Deal slogan yesterday. Sucks! My recommendation is that they hire a professional PR firm to provide a today slogan. Also, it is time for Pelosi and Schumer to go. It is a new day. Their time has passed. Voters world wide have shown in recent elections the desire for new and more youthful faces.

Finally, John McCain. A man I respect and admire. But yesterday he did not go far enough in his comments to the Senate.

McCain has cancer of the brain. Operations, doctors, medicines, etc. His medical bills will be high. Overwhelming if no insurance. He has insurance, however. Ergo, he has a chance to be cured, to survive.

What of the 32 million who will have no insurance if Obamacare is dumped? They will not have the chance to maybe have their lives saved.

It was McCain’s moment. He should have said, I have changed my mind. I stand with those who do not want to repeal, or repeal and replace. Lets fix Obamacare and move on.

He did not.

Historical paths cross.

William Faulkner lived a period of his life in Key West. As did Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway wrote To Have and To Hold. Faulkner went to Hollywood and wrote the screen script for To Have and To Hold. Both the novel and the movie were gigantic successes. Humphrey Bogart starred in the movie.

In the early 1860’s, a U.S. Navy vessel captured a slave ship. It delivered the 1,432 Africans aboard to Key West. Two hundred ninety-four died while here. The remaining Africans were sent to Libya.

The 294 who died were buried somewhere in Key West. No one certain as to the exact spot till several years ago.

The bodies were discovered buried on portions of Higgs Beach and nearby. A plaque has been placed on the beach noting their burial place. Each year, a service is held at the site in their honor.

Have to hustle. A heart test scheduled for 1.

Enjoy your day!

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!