MY MOTHER…..A WISE WOMAN

Big day today! Mother’s Day!

The person who knows us best.

My mother was unique. Then, I assume all mothers are.

She was born in Italy. The last of eight children. The first girl. The previous seven boys. Her parents felt fortunate they finally had a daughter. They named her Fortunata, Italian for Fortune.

She came to the U.S. at an early age. Never made it beyond the third grade. At 9, she was working 16 hours a day in a shoe factory in New York.

Move swiftly ahead.

I had become a lawyer. A successful one. On my drive home after work, I would stop to see my mother. She was always ready for me. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass filled with ice on the kitchen table.

We would sit and talk. About nothing and everything. My day. The kids, her grandchildren. My father. Whatever moved us at the moment.

She could tell when I had something on my mind. What is the problem, she would ask. I would share and this woman with only a third grade education generally in her own way had a solution.

She has been gone more than 30 years. Missed! A day has not gone by when I have not thought of her.

On the wall opposite my desk, her painting hangs. She is in my face several times a day. I talk to her frequently.

I wish she could talk back.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column which publishes wednesday. Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. Interesting. Big pirate back when. One of the biggest. His story.

Finally got out of the house last night. Catherine took pity and picked me up. We dined at the bar at Berlin’s.

Bria Ansara not singing. Home sick. Laryngitis.

Sloan’s daughter hosting. Always a warm greeting.

Catherine told me about a site I should take a look at. I did this morning. I am going to share it with you. Absolutely terrific! https://youtu.be/580dYcYneA.

The man Randy Rainbow. A humorous pundit.

Remember Sound of Music? How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria……He sang it with North Korea in place of Maria. While dressed as a nun.

Pouring this morning. As it did yesterday morning. Then, the rest of the day beautiful. Hopefully, it will be the same today.

Donna and Terri have promised to come get me and take me to Hot Dog Church later this afternoon.

I am a lucky man. Surrounded by loving women who want to care for me. Lesbians included.

I am a Manhattan College grad. As is John Reinke. John writes a weekly blog re Manhattan graduates. Titled Jasper Jottings. A slew of information.

This morning’s blog mentioned Japanese bus drivers. They are on strike. Striking differently, however. They have kept driving. The difference, they refuse to take fares.

There is an eloquence associated with great men. I read somewhere that Lincoln would not have been a great President without the Civil War and slavery. Churchill without World War II. Roosevelt without the Great Depression and World War II.

Whatever the reason, permit me to share examples of eloquence.

The bombs were falling all over Europe. Churchill elected Prime Minister. He said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…..Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt upon taking office and facing the Great Depression: The “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His address to Congress asking for a declaration of war following the bombing of Pear Harbor: December 7, “a day which will live in infamy.”

Psychics everywhere. Key West included. Not all for real. Some dishonest.

New York’s Psychic Zoe, aka Ann Thompson, is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant. Arrested. Charged with fortune telling fraud.

Took 2 victims/clients for $800,000. One for $740,000, the other $72,000. Each began with a $5 charge. The victims were plied with things like never being able to love again if the victim did not continue with the clairvoyant. Clearly chicanery. Clearly a fraud.

I feel sad for the gullible who satisfied an emotional need by succumbing to the lies in this instance of a fortune teller.

A psychic worth $800,000 should have been able to see her investigation and arrest coming and avoided it. What happened?

I am amused by North Korea making all these concessions prior to the actual meting between the two leaders. The most recent is North Korea has invited foreign journalists (including U.S.) to be in North Korea May 23-25 when North Korea dismantles its nuclear test site.

Query: What about the nuclear warheads, etc. which North Korea already has? I doubt Jung-Un will destroy them. In fact, I guarantee he will not.

Then what is Trump going to say? He has told us constantly that he is firm  in the total denuclerization of North Korea. Which includes nuclear weapons North Korea already has.

Hurricane season around the corner. Begins June 1. At a time  we are not yet finished with recovery work from Irma. Lets hope this will be a hurricane free season.

If you have not read Irma and Me, please do. It will provide the opportunity to understand what happens prior to, during and following a hurricane. My book combines humor and tragedy. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

A BEGUILING HISTORY…..THE SOUTHERNMOST HOUSE

Big trees from little acorns grow.

The story of Key West. A tiny island 4 x 2.5 miles. A huge history. Whatever the eye can see, a story anxious to be told.

The Southernmost House. 1400 Duval Street. The corner of Duval and South Streets.  An historic mansion sitting on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Southernmost was built in 1897 by Judge Jeptha Vining Harris. The cost $250,000. An extremely huge sum in those days.

The Judge’s wife was Florida Curry. Florida was the youngest daughter of William Curry, Florida’s first millionaire.

A three story structure. Queen Anne Victorian in design. Open water views. Public rooms, two story balconies, and large glass stained windows to catch the ocean breezes.

Elegant.

The new Curry home had one oddity. Only one bedroom.

Electricity was a novelty at the time. Florida retained the services of Thomas Edison to oversee the design and installation of an electrical system.

Socialization and entertainment on a humongous scale took place during the years the Judge and Florida resided in the House.

Soon came the prohibition years 1919-33. An air conditioning system was installed. Air conditioning as new as electricity was when installed.

The use of the mansion changed. It became a speakeasy. The first floor was turned into a restaurant. The second was utilized for casino gambling. The third for “socializing.”

The Southernmost was visited during the prohibition years by celebrities and gamblers. The House was a stop over on the way to Havana.

The 1940’s found the House being turned into a night club. The Cafe Cayo Hueso. A gathering place for the rich and famous. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Tallulah Bankhead, Louis Armstrong, and Charles Lindberg.

The Southernmost was completely renovated in 1949 for use once again as a private residence. Many dignitaries visited. Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.

Today, the Southernmost House has acquired a new dignity and elegance. One bedroom when constructed in 1897. Now a class 18 room bed and breakfast.

Spent yesterday afternoon at Hot Dog Church with Donna, Terri and friends. A weekly lesbian gathering. Good food and company. A few males are welcome. I am one of them.

The event is held at Aqua’s Back Bar. Lauri in charge.

Later in the evening, I enjoyed a light dinner with Donna and Terri at their home.

Bear is getting big. Only 18 weeks old. Looks full grown already. Well trained. I am still his buddy. He lay next to me with his leg on mine.

Terri singing tonight! She is the featured performer at Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. The place will be packed with those wanting to hear Terri sing.

I am doing the blog late this morning. I had to be at the hospital early this morning for a barium swallow test. Suspect I will be in Miami in June for surgery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CONGRESS TO BLAME FOR POST OFFICE DEBT

After a two year absence, I am returning to write a weekly column for KONK Life. My first article hits the stands wednesday. A timely topic. The Post Office’s debt. Titled: Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt.

Sloan came over around noon yesterday. I could not structure the article on my computer. She got me set up.

I wrote a detailed column concerning the issue. The bottom line is Trump should get off Amazon’s back. Congress the blame. Congress saw a cash cow in 2006 and legislated the scenario leading almost immediately to Post Office insolvency.

Prior to Congress getting greedy, the Post Office was solvent. One year before the legislation in 2005, the Post Office was debt free.

You will enjoy the article. Informative.

My sunday got screwed up. I wanted to do Hot Dog Church, the Chorale and the Gardens. Due to time constraints because of writing the Post Office column, I thought I might only make the Gardens.

I made none.

The Gardens was still an option when I received a call from Donna. Terri was to sing at the Gardens. Terri told me the Gardens was cancelling. A rainstorm coming in at 6.

The rain did not arrive till 7. Heavy, Even at that time would have had a couple hundred people scurrying for cover.

So, I took a nap around 4.

My big evening was James Comey’s interview.

One of the points he drove home was that Trump is not morally fit to be President. I agree. Especially now that “pee sex” is becoming part of the national debate.

How low can political discourse get? Trump brings us to a new level with everything he does.

I discussed the pee sex/morality issue during my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook this morning.

The Cow Key Bridge Race was yesterday. One thousand strong participating. Most costumed.

A new record established for the 300 foot event: 22.2 seconds. The previous was 23.1 seconds.

The athletes guzzled pints of beer the night before preparing for the race.

This morning busy. A business meeting at 10. A doctor visit at 11:15. First meeting preparatory to setting up a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The tests I mind not. It is the prep for the colonoscopy which is bothersome.

Jean Thornton’s trip of trips continues.

Yesterday, she and Joe still in Barcelona. The day began at 7 with a delicious breakfast. Then a brisk morning walk around the ship’s decks watching Barcelona wake up.

At 9:30, a tour of Barcelona with Julio.

Seven mountains surround Barcelona. The bus took them all the way up one. Jean reports the view of Barcelona below amazing!.

Following the bus tour, Jean and Joe took a walk around the old Gothic quarter. Discovered an old Cathedral and Roman ruins. Then discovered the famous Las Rambla Boulevard.

They lucked out. Ran into a political demonstration. Hundreds marching and chanting in support of Catalan independence. Flags, yellow attire.

Lunch time. Stopped at a tapas restaurant. Standing outside waiting for a table.

Jean and Joe must look like rich Americans or stupid tourists. A woman tried to pickpocket Joe. His turn.

He felt someone bump him. Felt a hand go into his back pocket. Fortunately, his money was in a pouch on his stomach.

Joe turned. Saw a nicely dressed woman. She immediately pointed forward. Joe looked ahead. When he turned back, she was gone. Lost in the crowd.

The story gets more interesting.

Immediately, a young nervous man was upon Jean and Joe. Flashed a badge quickly. Started asking about the confrontation. He was going to report the incident.

Jean and Joe wary by this tine. When the man asked Joe for ID, he said bring me a uniformed police officer. With that the man went one way and Jean and Joe the other.

The found another restaurant down a pedestrian walkway. After being assured there were no pickpockets, they were seated. Enjoyed tapas and wine.

On the walk back to the ship detoured onto a side street. A street that once housed Paul Guell’s private residence. The house was one of architect Gaudi’s famous works. Jean described the house as amazing.

Then back to the ship. A safety drill. Following which they set sail for Cartagena.

Between jet lag and a lot of walking, the Thorntons were dead. It was early to bed for the both of them.

The Trump administration announced yesterday additional sanctions on Russia. Sanctions on Russian companies and persons who were involved in making or helping with the chemical gas dropped on Syria.

I don’t know if I approve. We hit Syria with over a 100 missiles. Now chastise Russia with these sanctions?

I see John Bolton’s influence. Hit, hit, hit.

Russia is only a second or third rate nation military wise. However, Russia has a ton of nuclear weapons. The situation should not be aggravated more than it is. The U.S. made its point with the missile attack.

Sanctions can lead to war. Any war between the U.S. and Russia would be fought on U.S. soil also and affect our 300 million plus citizens very personally.

On this day in 1917, Vladimir Lenin returned from exile to Russia. He was the head of the Red Bolshevik Party. He returned home to take rein of the Russian Revolution. The Revolution up to that point was led by Alexander Kerensky and the White Bolshevik Party who were doing an ineffective job.

Lenin took over. Kerensky’s life as in danger. He fled Russia.

Many years later, I was a student in college taking courses in Russian history from Kerensky. It was exciting to hear first hand the happenings and intricacies of 1917.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

RAIN IN SPAIN DOES NOT STAY MAINLY ON THE PLAIN

First, a major screw up yesterday. The blog was titled Tosh Memorial Service Today. I forgot to click PUBLISH when finished. Ergo, it never got published yesterday.

Upon discovering my error this morning, I published the blog even though a day late. It bears today’s date. Read it with the mistake in mind. Otherwise, you will pickup on a Lincoln death date that will read wrong.

I am now doing today’s blog. Note both blogs will bear the same date. So read both.

Jean rode a high speed 196 mile per hour train over the high mountain regions of Spain yesterday. Madrid to Barcelona. Reports the landscape on the mountains desert like.

Started raining as the train descended into Barcelona. Jean wrote, “So apparently the rain in Spain does not stay mainly on the plain but rather near the train.”

From the train to a bus to the ship. Ship magnificent. She and Joe were greeted with champagne and warm towels.

Their stateroom gorgeous! King sized bed, flat TV screen, big closet, 2 sitting chairs, a coffee table and mini fridge. The bathroom large.

They were booked for an off ship flamenco dinner show. However, jet lag was beating them up. They opted to remain on board for dinner. The meal delicious. Then took in a Cuban music show. Jean said she could not keep awake. Her head kept bobbing. Left the show early for bed.

Jean has been in Spain 48 hours. She is already acclimated to the language and customs. Her good bye to me was “Adios!”

Attended Tosh’s memorial service at St. Paul’s yesterday afternoon. The respect for Tosh obvious. The Church was packed. I would estimate 400.

Service excellent. His children’s words touching. His grandchildren beautiful.

At the conclusion of the service, a Scottish bagpiper appeared. He played some tunes. Then led the Pastor, Tosh’s immediate family and close friends out a side door to St. Paul’s burial ground. His ashes were interned in St. Paul’s Memorial Garden and Columbarium in a private ceremony.

I started to write this week’s KONK Life column earlier in the afternoon. Could not put it together. Not the material. The set up on the computer. Got nothing done.

Sloan is due here this morning around 11:30 to set me up. Thank God for Sloan!

I hope she makes it. She will have to travel over Cow Key Bridge just before the race starts. A thousand people to get through.

I had planned dinner with Donna and Terri in the evening. Received an e-mail from Catherine earlier in the afternoon. I forgot I was supposed to join her for a sunset cruise anniversary party. Cancelled Donna and Terri. Understanding people.

The cruise was on a Southernmost Island Charter. A big vessel. One hundred fifty guests. Mostly members of the Key West Sunrise Rotary.

It was a 30th anniversary celebration. The host is a member of the Rotary and invited the members to join he and his wife.

Cruise 3 hours. Two in the sun. Followed by sunset. Then another hour on the water.

Food and refreshments excellent. A good time had by all.

The last time I did a sunset cruise was 5 years ago. Last night’s a reminder I should do it more often.

The Chorale Concert this afternoon at 4 at St. Paul’s. Fifty plus singers. Everything from Mendelssohn to Billy Joel.

A $20 donation requested at the door.

My day scheduled. Sloan and then actually writing this week’s KONK Life column. Followed by Hot Dog Church, the Chorale, and Kate Miano’s Gardens. Terri is singing.

I will only be able to make 2 of the 3, if I am lucky. Terri is a definite. The Chorale hopefully. Hot Dog Church will have to do without me this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SPRING BREAK STORY

Spring break was not for me during my college days. Who could afford it!

My education however did provide many “spring breaks” world wide later in life.

Several years ago, I experienced a sort of spring break. Reported the story in my blog at the time. An amusing episode.

This has been spring break week in Key West. It brought a Key West spring break experience to mind. Several years ago, a couple were visiting. We were out on Duval one night. Took them to Irish Kevin’s. A young people’s place. This old man especially liked it because the young ladies were often induced to take to the stage and expose their breasts.

The place was crowded with spring breakers. My friends my age. We worked our way to the bar and ordered drinks. The college students were pleasant. They engaged us in conversation. One asked what we were doing in Key West during spring break? What were we doing in Irish Kevin’s?

I lied. I did not tell them about the bare breasts. Instead, I responded, “We’re retired senior citizens who returned to college to get our degrees…..Decided we should do spring break, also!”

We were the heroes of the night! Could not buy a drink. Spent three hours with the kids having fun. Just college students hanging out together.

Another good sunday yesterday.

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA golf tournament. Tiger Woods was playing. His best performance in recent years!

He came in second. One stroke behind. His putting failed him. Otherwise, he would have won by several strokes.

The man who went years without missing a putt under 5 feet, missed a few yesterday. Two from 5 feet. Two more from 2-3 feet. His age? He is 42. Or, does he need to work at it more?

Interestingly, he sunk 2 or 3 putts from the 20 foot range.

Later in the afternoon to Hot Dog Church. Pastor Lauri as usual presiding. George, Art, Donna, Terri, and Bear already at the bar.

Glad I went! Met two former Syracuse University people.

First, Stacey Veeder. She took the empty seat at the bar next to me. My last name sounded familiar to her. Not from Key West. Where? From the recesses of her mind. She spent most of her career working in administration at Syracuse University. I was active with the University during certain of her years.

She was married. To a man. Surprised me. Hot Dog Church is a lesbian gathering. I was there by special invitation.

Married if I recall correctly 37 years. To Steve Wexler. Steve was a professor at the Syracuse College of Law for 21 years. Beginning in 1979.

She telephoned Steve to come over so we could meet. We did for a short time. We had not met during his teaching years. I graduated in 1960. However, I was a member and then chairman of the Law School Board of Visitors for many years. There was much we could talk about.

Hopefully, I will run into Stacey and Steve tonight at Dueling Bartenders.

Terri sings tonight at Dueling Bartenders. Tom, Rick and Terri will blow the walls out with their powerful renditions of yesterday tunes.

Speaking of Syracuse, the team made it to the NCAA Tournament. The listing announced last night. Sixty eight teams invited. Syracuse #68. Who cares? We made it! That’s enough!

I was surprised. Still maintain we do not belong. God was good however and snuck us in.

He will be even better if He permits us to make it to the Final Four.

Dinner last night was at Donna and Terri’s. George, Art and I enjoyed Chinese take out with the ladies.

For the past two years, I have frequently written about robots. Always lecturing they are coming and we are not preparing for them.

Flippy was introduced to Pasadena hamburger lovers as Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot recently. He can cook 2,000 burgers a day. He was introduced by the Cali Group that operates several hundred fast food burger places.

Flippy lasted two days. He did his job. The support staff did not. They could not. I refer to the humans who prepare the patties for the grill and those who pile on lettuce and other fixins’.

The humans could not keep up with Flippy.

Flippy is on leave while experts look the situation over to decide how humans have to function to keep up with Flippy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt communicated with citizens via a method which became known as a fireside chat. No television back then. Only radio. The President would speak to the nation in comforting tones and keep them updated on what was happening. His first  fireside chat on this day in 1933. A time of serious economic distress. Thirty percent unemployment. People scared.

Trump’s rallies are Roosevelt’s fireside chats. In form only. Not substance.

Trump rants and raves, demeans, criticizes, swears, etc. Far from Presidential. Not in the style of real leaders like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan.

His bully tough guy performances clear evidence the man lacks Presidential qualities.

Irma and Me doing well. I am impressed with the sales. My first book was a disaster sales wise. Those of you who have not yet ordered the book, please do so. You will enjoy!

Irma and Me is available through Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR DAVID HOGG IMPRESSIVE…..#NEVER AGAIN FOR REAL

 

I watched Douglas High School senior David Hogg on Morning Joe today. Impressive. Articulate and thoughtful. Direct.

These children are not going to go away. #Never Again is for real!

The law moves in strange ways. Confusing even to the trained advocate.

In effect, assault weapons are banned in the United States. As was decided by the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Kolbe v. Hogan decided last year, Second Amendment protections are not extended to weapons of war.

Like an AR-15.

Several other Circuit Courts have similarly decided.

The Supreme Court may never decide. Specific grounds are required to reach the Supreme Court. One is that if Circuit Court decisions exist, they must be contrary. In other words, one Court decides one way and the other the opposite.

To achieve uniformity and a singular controlling “law” under the circumstances, it would require each State to ban assault weapons. I doubt such is possible recognizing the mindset of certain State legislators.

The Supreme Court decision recognizing Second Amendment gun rights is DC v. Heller. The case did not go so far as to recognize assault weapons and weapons of war. Even the conservative Justice Scalia wrote that Second Amendment rights were “not unlimited.”

Sunday a day of rest. I try to make it one.

My Sunday began with a 10:30 breakfast at Geiger Key. Owner Bobby Mongelli suggested I try Sunday breakfast there. The eggs benedict and water view went well together.

Continued researching in the afternoon. Missed Hot Dog Church and Kate Miano’s Gardens. Later in the evening, I stopped at Antonia’s for dinner.

Busy today.

Heart doctor appointment at 1:30. No problem. Routine check up. He is going to be shocked to see I have lost 19 pounds! I feel like Little Tom Horner…..What a good boy am I!

At 5, Mary Lou Hoover’s campaign kickoff party at Salute. Followed by Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Mary Lou is running for City Commissioner.

Kate Miano, friend and proprietor of The Gardens, has made her bid for Mayor official. This morning’s Key West Citizen notes she has filed. As have 8 others.

Kate will win!

John Glenn made his famous orbital flight in February 1962. A few days after, America’s new hero and his family spent a restful few days at the Key West Naval Base vacationing.

It was announced over the weekend that Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will shortly undergo an $8.5 billion expansion. The work to include a 75 percent expansion, dozens of new gates, and several additional concourses. Three million square feet of rehab and new construction.

Purportedly will not cost taxpayers a penny. The airlines jointly enter into a long term contract with Chicago. The most recent a 35 year one. Scheduled to expire in May.

A new contract will be entered into. Chicago will pledge the rental fees over an extended number of years as collateral to borrow the money necessary for the new construction.

I wrote a weekly column for KONK Life for many years. One of the first concerned Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare.

O’Hare, a Chicago resident. A Navy pilot during World Ward II. He was stationed on the carrier USS Lexington. Japanese bombers were on the way. He and a handful of other pilots scurried to meet them.

O’Hare became an ace and Medal of Honor winner in 4 minutes. It that short time, he shot down 5 of the 9 approaching bombers.

O’Hare International Airport is named after him.

Trump continues to screw things up. Two of the most recent involve the Agency responsible for Immigration and the new head of the FAA.

The United States is no longer a nation of immigrants. So reflects the printed word as changed by the Trump Administration.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently changed its mission statement. From securing America’s promises as a nation of immigrants to protecting the homeland and honoring U.S. values.

Stripped the mission statement from immigrant assistance to protecting the homeland. I hate that word homeland. Sounds like something out of Nazi Germany.

The intent of the words emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty no longer of consequence…..Give me your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Another concern involves airplanes, airlines and the skies they fly. Trump is in the process of appointing a new head for the FAA. He is seriously considering appointing John Dunkin.

Dunkin has been Trump’s personal pilot since 1989.

Besides safety concerns, the FAA’s budget is $16 billion.

Dunkin qualified? I do not know. What I do know is that the whole thing sounds like Trump appointing his limousine driver of many years to be Secretary of Transportation. Which he did not.

Last but not least, my Syracuse got drubbed by Duke saturday night 60-44. Forget the NCAA! We will not make it.

Probably play in the NIT. I even question whether Syracuse belongs there this year. New York City is replete with Syracuse graduates who will run to the Garden to see Syracuse play. Syracuse a New York City guaranteed box office draw. Ergo, the NIT invitation.

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!

 

SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!

DACA AND IRMA

Two items of grave concern. Immediate grave concern.

The first is DACA. Trump will advise his decision tomorrow. His decision re Dreamers. Eight hundred thousand in number per official records. Another million unrecorded.

Trump’s decision will reflect the nature of his heart. His humanity.

One way or another, he is going to throw them out. Either directly by his own action, or he will pass the buck to Congress to make a decision within six months or out they go.

Passing final judgment to Congress a joke. Congress has been unable to decide much of anything in recent times in six months.

Till Trump’s election, the United States was not the type of nation that would throw Dreamers out. Stalin and Hitler would (or have them killed). Not our cup of tea.

Irma. I fear it may be knocking on Key West’s door sunday or monday. As a category 4 hurricane. Meteorologists say too soon to tell. However, the tracking lines they issue say yes.

Scary.

Till 3 yesterday, busy.

Up at 6 to get yesterday’s blog out. Sloan at 10. A few hours needed attention to some matters.

One of the problems involved my cellphone and Key West Lou Live. the video show I do daily on Facebook.

There has been no live video the past few days. The reason being I could not get a clear picture during the last two videos. Cloudy.

Figured it had to be the phone. Sloan played with it. Not the phone. She thought it was the sunlight behind me. I said no. I have done 30 plus videos from the spot and the sun was never a problem.

Took the phone to Verizon in Winn-Dixie. Great people!

The sun the problem. I said no and explained the other videos being ok. Verizon showed me that previous videos were made during late afternoon. The two that were foggy early afternoon. The sun light created the difference.

Live and learn! Yes, I e-mailed Sloan and told her she was correct.

Then to Publix. Quiet. Unusual. Sunday afternoons generally busy.

Got home at 3. I still had to take the water pill and lie down for 3 hours. Meant no Hot Dog Church for me.

The Duval Loop bus seems to be doing well. I suspect it will change Duval crawling. Instead of going to the bar next door, revelers will now be able to hit and miss as they so desire. Go from Sloppy Joe’s to 801, for example.

William Hackley. I have always suspected he was probably a Confederate. His diary is for the year 1856 so it was impossible to ascertain.

I did some digging. Hackley was a Yankee through and through.

He and his family moved to Washington, DC and resided there from 1863-1865 while Hackley worked in the Treasury Department. Following the Civil War, Hackley continued to work for the U.S. Treasury in another capacity. He was put in charge of Confederate State cotton through 1866.

Hackley makes mention in this day’s writing that his wife Matilda payed Mrs. Tift for goods bought for her.

Mrs. Tift Mrs. Asa Tift. I wrote about Asa last week. Asa built the Hemingway House in 1851. Owned 14 slaves at the time. Had the 14 slaves build it.

Asa’s bust also sits in the special memorial next to Mallory Square honoring prominent Key Westers over the years.

I suggested if present day political correctness was to prevail, the Hemingway House and Asa’s bust should be torn down. The House written with tongue in cheek.

In researching Mrs. Tift this morning, I discovered Asa was a big Confederate supporter. He and his brothers financed the construction of a vessel for the Confederacy. When Lee surrendered, Asa and one of his brothers blew the vessel up rather than let it fall into the hands of the Union.

Asa’s bust must definitely come down. On reconsideration, perhaps even the Hemingway House.

The stupidity of it all!

As most of you know, my thinking has come full circle. Leave all these monuments, statues, etc. alone. Tearing down something does not change history. History is what it is. Good, bad or indifferent.

Enjoy your day!

ARGENTINE TANGO

Dance the Tango! The Argentine Tango!

Tonight!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which brings me to Key West and the issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One more example. Asa Forseyth Tift.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!