TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

PROJECTS MOVE AT SNAIL’S PACE

My cold first. No better. Worse. Going to shower and go buy something over the counter to relief symptoms.

Key West does not get things done in a timely fashion. When it finally gets to a project, the costs are much more than anticipated.

Monroe County is guilty of similar sins. Especially in the lowers Keys.

The big news this morning is that Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores. More than half in the United States and a significant number in Brazil. Appears not to be a big deal. The cut backs represent less than one percent of Wal-Mart’s global revenue. Wal-Mart has 11,000 stores worldwide. The dent by reason of the closings insignificant.

A Wal-Mart has been scheduled for construction up U.S. 1. Not far from me and Key West. Everyone excited.

Where is the store? Construction not even started. Three years so far since the announcement.

I recall an article in the newspaper a couple of month’s ago that things were moving slowly. No one particular person’s fault. Enough guilt to go around.

It is a project in Monroe County. Monroe Country should ride herd on it and make sure things move. Enough of the excuses.

Key West the worst. The Truman waterfront property has been in the works 15 years. Ground breaking finally late last year. I do not believe any actual construction has begun.

Fifteen years has to be a record!

The Key West City Commission has the obligation to ride herd on projects within the City. No excuses. The City Commission is in charge.

I fear Wal-Mart is going to pull out and the Truman waterfront never gets done.

Between sneezes, a running nose and watering eyes yesterday, I researched for a column topic for this week’s KONK Life. Have not zeroed in on one yet.

Search your heart. Be generous. There but for the grace of God could go you and I.

Today’s Crime Report in the Key West Citizen tells of a 22 year old homeless person who was arrested in the 600 block of Duval yesterday for panhandling. He had $1,000 in cash in his pocket.

Syracuse plays Wake Forest at noon. I have no idea who will win.

Cruz’s $1 million loan from Goldman Sachs has come under scrutiny. Trump says he feels sorry for Cruz. However, the matter should be investigated and he hopes Cruz has no problem.

Cruz is not that old. I was not aware he was so rich he could borrow $1 million dollars and do it on margin. A high roller. Or, something amiss.

My concern is Trump and his banking. He has borrowed everywhere and in voluminous amounts. His projects very costly. The media should look into his banking record.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your day!

I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE

 

Yesterday was I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day.

To participate, open your window stick your head out,  and shout I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. The Day provides an opportunity for us to fight back against all injustices inflicted upon us. Nothing like vetting frustrations and aggravations.

The verbiage giving rise to the day comes from the 1976 movie Network. Peter Finch played Howard Beale.  A TV news broadcaster who became a bit deranged and told people on his nightly news show to open the window, etc.

They did.

Finch won the Academy Award for his performance. Unfortunately, he died before the vote was taken.

Better the Howard Beale way than the Trump way. I watched Trump in Vermont last night. His conduct and tone in ordering his henchmen to throw an anti-Trump spectator out made me uncomfortable. It would have made you uncomfortable also. My heart chilled.

Yesterday was easy. Started with the anti-gravity treadmill. Then to Publix. I was really out of food. Bare cupboards and refrigerator.

Ran into Bobby and Michael Shields.

Met Bobby on my first trip to Key West 25 years ago. I saw a Tea Dance advertised at La Te Da at 4 sunday. We had Tea Dances in college. A place to meet others. My former wife and I were newcomers to Key West. We went.

We got there an hour early. Sat at a table for two outside. Soon all tables and chairs were removed. We remained sitting at what was now the lone table in the middle of the floor. People started coming in. Bobby was one of them. He had an admiral’s suit on.

It suddenly dawned on me that the wife and I did not belong. We got out fast.

Michael Shields is involved in the arts and writing and everything else even remotely associated with the arts. I first met Michael several years ago when I started doing an internet show for KONK Life. His show followed mine. A nice guy, as is his lady Carol.

Lunched at Harpoon Harry’s. Ham and eggs.

Harpoon Harry’s is a walk back in history. Decor 1950ish combined with the flavor of Key West.

Worked lunch off with a walk along the waterfront.

The homeless problem on lower Caroline must be dealt with.

The homeless are permitted to panhandle in two Key West locations. The one on Caroline was part of an open lot. A large tree by the sidewalk where the homeless could spend the day in the shade and do their thing.

Construction is going on now. A temporary wall surrounds the property. There is an indentation in the wall to accommodate the tree and homeless. Maybe 10′ x 20′.

A new location is required. It has been mentioned several times in the newspaper. Enough talk. Whoever is responsible, do it! The scene looks terrible and is also a danger to the homeless resting there.

I am impressed! Our local Community College will now have a four year degree program. The name of the facility has been changed to College of the Florida Keys.

I congratulate all involved in the effort to bring the school to the four year level. Not an easy task.

A doubleheader today re this week’s KONK Life column Stay Out Of Civil Wars / Fight Wars To Win. It appeared in E-Blast this morning. I will be interviewed at 12:30 today on 104.9 radio re the article.

Enjoy your day!

A COOK I AM NOT

No question about it. I am not a cook. Last night proved my ineptness at culinary effort.

I enjoy stuffing. The kind you cook in a turkey or on stove top. I grabbed a bag of stuffing last week off the shelf at Publix. Figured I would cook myself up a meal of stuffing.

Thought it was all in the bag. Soon learned it was not. On the next trip to Publix, I bought the other items. Swanson soup, a big onion, diced celery, and butter. This was going to be a production!

Last night was the time! Poured myself a gin and proceeded.

Placed the ingredients on the cupboard. Took out a 5 quart pan. Directions said use a 3 quart one. I did not have a 3 quarter. Should not make a difference, I thought.

Diced the onion. With a paring knife. I did not tear. Thought I would. Melted 5 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Medium heat. Threw in the celery and onion. Let it cook till tender crisp, whatever that is. I waited till everything was turning brown. Then 2 cups of Swanson soup. Waited for it to boil. Threw in the bag of cubed bread. Then off the heat. Covered the pan for 5 minutes.

Followed all instructions precisely, except for size of the pan.

Time came to eat the concoction!

It was terrible!

The bread stuffing still half hard. Taste on the dry side.

I ate two small helpings. Could not handle any more. Threw the rest away. I was stuffed and uncomfortable.

It was an early bed night. My stomach full. There was a smell. It was me. Onions. This morning I went downstairs to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. My kitchen reeks of onion.

There has to me a lady out there to save me. I need one! For cooking and sex. Or, sex and cooking. The order immaterial.

Yesterday was Sloan first. I am trying to put together another show. One where I can sit at my computer at any time to talk and be seen. Could be 2 minutes or 20 minutes. Whatever moves me at the moment. The show archived, of course.

That is what we are working on. Any suggestions? If so, let me know.

Then Syracuse basketball. A disaster. I fear it may be that way all season. St. John’s beat us 84-72.

The zone is not working. Penetration through the middle easy. Forget rebounding. The team does not. Need a big man. Not this season, unfortunately. Too late.

The game was played at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s a former Big East foe.

Several great Syracuse players from the early years of the Big Eat were at the game. Sitting behind the Syracuse bench. Pearl Washington, Billy Owens, John Wallace, and Rafael Addison. I saw them all play back when.

Washington has brain cancer. Yesterday was one of his good days. He could be at the game and meet up again with other Syracuse greats.

Then this week’s KONK Life column. Used my research from last week which I shelved to do the Helen Sperling/Holocaust story. This week’s column titled The President Could Not Spell. About Teddy Roosevelt. He had a problem. No spell check back then. An interesting story re the way he tried to correct his problem and the flack that followed.

A fire yesterday in Key Largo. Someone gassing up his boat at a Tom Thumb. Mistakenly put the gasoline into the bilge opening rather than where it belonged. About 100 gallons came out the back end of the boat.

Firemen arrived. Tom Thumb and homes evacuated. Fire only consumed the boat and parts of Tom Thumb.

Mistakes happen. Sounds like a new boat owner involved.

The Crime Report section of today’s Key West Citizen carries a sad story. Concerns a 33 year old homeless man who stole a tent, shoes, fishing pole and some other items from K-Mart. He was caught.

He said the items were needed to make a home, etc.  for his pregnant girl friend who was getting out of jail today.

Keys History noted that on this day in 1888 construction began on the Custom House. Completed late in 1891. Cost $108,000.

Key West is fortunate to have such a fine building. The Custom House has a long list of famous events that took place there. It is an outstanding tourist attraction today. Well run.

Enjoy your day!