GOOD TO BE BACK AGAIN

Stealing from Mac Arthur…..I have returned! Gene Autry…..I’m back in the saddle again!

It is good to be home.

I got in at 4 thursday afternoon after two days of driving. Birmingham to Key West. Eight hours each day.

No question, a few days does make a difference. Specifically with regard to traffic. Little traffic. Very little. Only spots crowded were Orlando and Miami. I used the Florida Turnpike.

No waiting in line for gasoline. Pumps available at all times.

The second day was depressing, however.

I spent all day listening to the radio re the Mexican school collapse and the search for Frida Sophia and perhaps several other children. Drama! Heart wrenching!

Yesterday, we were told by Mexican authorities that there was no Frida or any other children beneath the wreckage. Alive or dead. The situation “not a reality.”

There has to be more to the story. Does not make sense to me.

The search for the children weighed heavy. To it was added another sadness. I saw what Irma did to the Keys.

Beginning with Florida City, a relatively small tree down here and there. Just outside Marathon, you could sense things were going to get bad. They did.

Beginning at the Marathon point and down to Sugarloaf, everything got consistently worse. Debris piled on the side of US 1. Furniture and mattresses. Refrigerators. Boats upside down. Cars on their sides. Roofs off. Buildings down.

Big Pine, an absolute disaster. It was as if King Kong had stomped all over it.

Summerland, Cudjoe and Sugarloaf hit badly, also.

I had been informed I would see many refrigerators. Apparently they fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I even saw one in a tree. A big one. About 15 feet up, laying sideways on a couple of big branches.

The damage itself was too much to take. Coupled with the little girl under the Mexican school, both scearios combined too much to take. Tears were actually slowly rolling down my cheeks at one point.

Key West was a different story. Damage, yes. A roof gone here and there. Most signs blown through. Trees the real problem. Toppled. Size immaterial. Big and little ones.

My new home is in an area covered with large trees. A cathedral type appearance over the streets.

No more. I was shocked! at least half the trees down. The roads one lane. Piled debris on road side heavy.

My new home survived. No damage. Except for a big tree in front and 5 little ones (20 footers) in the back.

I thought I was returning to full services. No Comcast television, computer and landline. All three I discovered have been off since September 7. One day after I left, three days before Irma hit.

Comcast no help. Comcast’s attitude always the same. Don’t care/don’t bother me.

I called to ask when I would get service. The operator did not know. Asked if I was aware there had been a hurricane.

I am getting wi-fi from my cell phone. A special app. Extra cost.

I went out thursday night. Duval Street a ghost town. Places still boarded. No one on the street.

Met up with John, Kevin and Molly at Bourbon Street. Very few bars open. Food, forget it!

On the way home, I stopped at the Marriott Beachside. Asked for a menu. No food! Enjoyed a drink, met some nice folks who live on the golf course, also.

Yesterday a busy one. Up early. Stopped at Verizon and Publix. Only one Publix open. Customers looked sad. Heads down, asses dragging. A remnant of Irma?

Also got a haircut, manicure and pedicure.

I was energized all day. Assume it must have been the time I spent at Jean and Joe’s. Restful.

Dinner last night with Don and David at Pepi’s. One of the few restaurants open. They were only serving off the luncheon menu and did not have all of the items listed. I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger.

The tree in the center of the outside dining room did fall. Big time! Never more to stand. Destroyed part of the roof portion. The roots pulled up half the concrete floor.

One thing bothered me. The FEMA presence in the parking lot on Simonton behind the fire station. Two huge white tents. took up 2/3’s of the parking. Roped off. A couple of hundred people going in and out of the tents signing up for FEMA. Mostly Bahama Village residents. Everyone happy.

What bothered me were the two Homeland Security guards/officers. Uniformed. Never saw one before.

Tall, thin, crew cut hair, blue uniforms and guns on the hips. Reminded me of the neo-Nazis in Greece I have written about many times.

Their appearance bothered me. I asked myself why does this agency need its own military force.

A fire yesterday. 717 Duval. Reported flames engulfed the building. Fire Department got the fire under control. the building housed a tattoo shop.

Food is a problem. There is  scarcity. Monroe County announced free breakfasts and lunches to all school children till October 25.

I compliment Senator Mc Cain on his Obamacare stand.

Two observations.

Google maps. First time I ever used the service. Off my cell phone. Where have I been? Wow!

The Key West Citizen. Could be the beginning of the end. The Citizen is downsizing. Henceforth the Citizen will produce only two editions a week. A weekend edition on saturday. another edition on wednesday. The Citizen will also soon be moving its operation to Miami.

Sad. A Key West tradition.

Syracuse/LSU tonight. LSU favored by 23 points. Would like to watch the game, never the less. Jack Flats still closed. Might watch at Don’s Place.

I will be doing my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook later this afternoon. A quick few minutes. Interesting dialogue.

Enjoy your day!

 

PITTSBURGH JOHN

Friday night at the Chart Room. A good night! Tons of people. Interesting people.

Sat and chatted with John for a while. From Pittsburgh. In the concrete business. Responsible for concrete sales in several states.

John visits Key West three times a year. Religiously. February, July and October.

His youthful experiences unusual.

John was the bat boy at the Pittsburgh Pirates ball field. For the opposing team. Worked with visiting stars like Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Schmidt.

Not only was he fortunate to be a bat boy to professional players, he also got to shot hoops with another baseball luminary. Rocco Clemente. John lived in the right neighborhood. The Clemente family neighbors five doors away.

Ron and Tresha from Michigan. Interesting people. Ron a psychologist. Tresha owns a Midas operation. Used to own two, sold one. Between the two, they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.

From out of the blue came Carol. Carol from New Hampshire. She visits Key West every season for two months. Rents the same apartment on Whitehead. We met the last time she was in Key West. At the Chart Room, of course.

Her downstair neighbor was with her. From Memphis. An annual renter, also.

In between, chatted with John. The best bartender in Key West!

Stopped at Outback on the way home. Prime rib.

Sat next to two interesting people. Husband and wife. Never got their names. The conversation interesting.

He is a retired executive from a pharmaceutical house. Just behind the banks in screwing the American public.

He obviously did not agree. Gave me all the stock reasons why prescription drugs have to be so expensive.

He buys his drugs from Europe. His actions speak louder than his words.

Spent a couple of hours on the deck yesterday afternoon. Reading some Civil War history. I took my first course in Civil War history my second year in college. Have been hooked on it ever since.

Parking for charter buses the brain child of the Key West City Commission. Took away many vehicle parking places in the lot and on the street.

So far, the lot is a failure. From my perspective. I have only seen one bus parked there. One time.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an article setting forth the glories and successes of the parking lot. My experience not the same as reflected in the article.

The article says City representatives claim 4-5 buses using the lot a day. Again, I have only seen one one time.

The City charges $100 a day to park. The lot has been open six months. The buses still parking all over Key West. Illegally now. The City is going to start ticketing the buses. Fine $250.

I assume more buses will then be parked in the lot.

On this day in 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in Key West briefly. He was driven down from Miami. Did a quick tour of the inactive U.S. Naval Base. Then on the USS Houston to watch Caribbean war games.

Trump will not be giving a State of the Union address. A new President does not make such a report his first year in office. Makes sense. He has been President less than two months.

Trump will address Congress, however. His presentation is listed as an Address. February 28.

I worry. Trump is going to go a step too far at some point. Further than any mishaps to date.

It has been reported that a plan is being circulated in Homeland Security to activate 100,000 National Guard. Purpose to round up unauthorized immigrants. In one big swoop.

Don’t know if anything will come of it. Dangerous if done. I remind you once again to recall Germany in the late 1930s and Germany in the rest of Europe during World War II. Nazi soldier driving up to homes/apartment houses to arrest Jews and other enemies of the State.

We are better than that.

Enjoy your day!

WINSTON CHURCHILL

Being home bound for a few days gave me time to catch up on my reading. Operation Sea Lion had been started several weeks ago. Then deserted for a time because of the Italian book. It was back to Operation  Sea Lion which is an inside story of Great Britain during the early days of World War II.

Churchill obviously a major character.

Churchill’s speaking ability was discussed. I have always considered him to be  one of history’s great orators. Exciting. The revelation was that his great speeches were not off the cuff. Churchill was not a natural speaker. He spent considerable time writing each oration before its presentation. His approach was meticulous. He sought particular words that best conveyed his message. Resulting in the quality the world came to know.

One of Churchill’s most memorable speeches was given in 1940 before the House of Commons. Sentences crafted before hand word by word. “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and on the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.”

My health is better. Back still hurts, but less and less each day. Face still looks like I got beat up.

I went out last night. It was like getting out of jail! St. Paul’s Church and Publix.

The Friends of the Key West Library’s lecture series continued last night. Edward Hower was the speaker. An author of some note. I did not enjoy his presentation. He read the whole thing. I had difficulty keeping awake. The question and answer period which followed was better.

Then a hurried stop at Publix. I was anxious to get home for the Syracuse game. Publix is changing product locations. For example, fresh fruits hit you almost upon entering. My only problem concerned Entenmann’s. No longer at the end of an aisle near the milk. I could not find it. I asked a stock person where it might be. He did not know what I was talking about. I will find Entenmann’s next time when I have more time.

The Syracuse game was a disaster. Lost to Virginia 59-47. As it should have been. Virginia ranked #2 nationally. Only one game left. Then the season is over. It is impossible at this stage for Syracuse to get 20 wins. Only the third time in Boeheim’s illustrious career this has happened.

My blog talk radio show tonight. I spent much of yesterday in preparation. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou airs at 9. A quick half hour of current events and my thoughts. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Homeland Security and Netanyahu, new shocking bank rules on the way, and life at hard labor without parole for being involved in a $20 pot purchase.

Almost forgot. I shaved! A close call. A close shave. I was seriously tempted to go for the beard.

Enjoy your day!

POST FALL DAY 3

From day one this blog has been primarily about my life in Key West. Since the fall has kept me home, my life is how I feel, etc. No bars, restaurants or dancing girls.

I now have a black eye! Started coming out yesterday. A beauty! I don’t remember the last time I had one. The cuts on the side of my eye still there. However, healing.

My back started hurting yesterday. I have had a bad back for years. Whether the fall caused my back to go out or it was just time again, I do not know. I do know it hurts like hell! Not sciatica this time. Pain confined to the lower lumbar region.

I bled the most from my lip. A scab remains where it was cut. I think the cut was good size. I cannot see it because of the scab.

I look like shit. However, I will be staying home so few will see me.

I am an expert on sore backs. Except for the sciatica one. A couple of Beefeaters has always helped relieve the pain. I am going to Beefeaters at noon. Two good drinks before lunch. Even if it does not relieve the back pain for a while, I am guaranteed to feel good.

I have no food. Called Anna. Gave her an abbreviated grocery list. She is picking things up for me.

Saturday night at home will not be bad. Syracuse plays Duke at 7. On ESPN so I will have no difficulty getting the game on TV. Probably enjoy a Beefeater or two during the game.

Duke is #4 in the country. Duke is a 14.5 favorite. I expect Syracuse to lose. I expected them to lose last week and they won! Who knows.

Years ago there was a movie about the gang that could not shot straight. The House of Representatives is a gang that cannot shot straight. They play politics with Homeland Security while we have threats of ISIS and soldiers being killed and wounded yet in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our country is disjointed. One solution is to vote the bums out who are playing games with our safety. Simple to say. Hard to accomplish. They are gerrymandered, locked in.

One further comment. Washington does not understand what is going on in the rest of the country. If they did, they would not be playing these games. Or, maybe they would. For some, the hatred for Obama is so deep they know no other way to legislate than to obstruct.

Enjoy your day!