MARTHA WASHINGTON AND BESS TRUMAN BIRDS OF A FEATHER

John from the Chart Room had a night off. We did dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Good food and good company! As usual, the Hot Tin Roof was packed.

I asked in yesterday’s blog…..Where was the U.S.S. Vinson? It was supposed to be in North Korean waters. Nothing had been mentioned as to its location for almost two weeks.

My inquiry was premature by several hours. Yesterday afternoon it was announced the Vinson had arrived in Korean waters and was engaged in war games with South Korea. TV this morning is showing videos of the Vinson and smaller vessels in Korean waters.

Today, there is a Coast Guard cutter named the U.S.S. Mohawk. Stationed here in Key West. Yesterday, yesterday being 1859-1864, there was a screw steamship in the Navy named the U.S.S. Mohawk.

I write about the Mohawk of old because yesterday was significant in its history. An event which ultimately became even more significant in Key West history.

In 1860, the Mohawk was operating against pirates and slavers off the east coast and in the Caribbean. On April 28, 1860, the Mohawk captured the slave ship Wildfire. The Wildfire carried 530 slaves from Africa. The crew and slaves were delivered to Key West.

The crew was imprisoned. The slaves placed in a compound under the protection of the Mohawk’s Marines.

Subsequently, vessels of the United States captured two more slave ships. The slaves on each were delivered to Key West and placed in the same compound as those from the Wildfire. Total number of slaves exceeded 1,200.

What to do with the slaves? Obviously return them to Africa. Where in Africa, however? Ultimately decided to relocate all of them to Liberia, a country in Africa. President James Monroe had as a practical matter returned previous slaves to Liberia. Liberia was a welcoming place for returned Africans. They created a new society.

Not all the slaves confined in Key West were returned. Some had died. Two hundred ninety five. They were buried on Higgs Beach. Many years later in recent times, their graves were discovered. A small monument sits on Higgs Beach recognizing the final resting place of those who did not live to return to Africa.

The Mohawk continued functioning till 1864 during the Civil War in defense of the United States. The Mohawk is the reason Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga’s and Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West remained in Union hands.

Beat up from combat, its boilers to badly damaged, its general condition unfit for further fights, the Mohawk was sold in 1864.

It was renamed the Alliance and remained in commercial service till 1869 when it was wrecked at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

Martha Washington and Bess Truman may be described as birds of a feather. Neither was happy her husband became President and each was less than supportive of her husband during his days as President.

Bess Truman’s story is more familiar to us. Perhaps because of its closeness in time.

Note the many trips by President Truman to Key West. Eleven. Consumed 175 days. Bess was with him only a few times. While Truman was living and working in Washington, Bess was home in Independence. She preferred the company of her Independence lady friends.

Martha’s questionable helping hand less known.

Washington was sworn in for his first term as President in New York City on this date in 1789. Martha was not with him. She was back in Mount Vernon.

Washington was tired/beat up prior to making the trip from Mount Vernon to Washington. He was trying to close down the business end of Mount Vernon. There were bills to pay. He had a difficult time arranging for a loan to cover them.

Martha was not happy he had agreed to become President. She was tired of public life. Wanted to live the rest of her days in Mount Vernon as a domestic wife. She abhorred politics. She refused to join her husband in New York City for the inauguration.

A comment or two on Washington’s inauguration.

His inaugural speech was important to him. He had several persons helping him. One by one in succession. Over a period of several months. He was displeased with every rendition. He finally called in James Madison for help. Madison spent a week at Mount Vernon helping Washington knock out the final draft.

There was a reception following Washington’s swearing in. It is recorded that Washington mentioned to some in attendance that democracy was fragile. He hoped what they had created would survive.

It did. Still fragile, however. You never know what could happen. Especially in the sensitive times we live in.

Enjoy your Sunday!

HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter!

Happy Holiday!

There are two Easters. One religious, the other not.

The religious Christian. Recognizes Christ rose from the dead……He is risen, He’s not here!

The non-religious for everyone. The Easter bunny, baskets, small yellow candy chicks, chocolate bunnies, etc.

Did the non religious this morning. Just after the sun rose. The annual Easter egg hunt at Lisa’s. In the back yard. Robert and Ally searching for the colored eggs and gifts their parents had hidden.

Something for Jake, also. Never left out. An artificial bone, something to else to chew on, a ball, etc.

Jake as excited as Robert and Ally.

Followed by a huge Easter breakfast prepared by Lisa. Lisa made guzza (guzzad) again. Italian ricotta cheesecake. Second time. Excellent. Vanilla. Told her to move on next year to one with chocolate, cherries, green fruits, etc.

I am invited to four different dinners/gatherings this afternoon. Don’t know if I will make any. May just lay around all day. I am already bloated from breakfast. Will miss the holiday company, however. We shall see.

Began last night at the Chart Room. New bartender Maureen working. Her father bartended at the Chart Room 30 yeas ago for many years. A retired FBI agent. His name Ted. Was known as Ted the Fed.

Then to Hot Tin Roof. Glad I did. Jean Thornton was at the bar having dinner with Eddie. They finished. Eddie left. Jean stayed with me while I ate.

Then back to the Chart Room with Jean.  Che’s birthday last night. Eighty four. God bless him! He was not there. Did not answer his cell phone.

First time Jean met Maureen. They chatted away. Jean liked Maureen and vice versa. A friendship was born.

I drove Jean home. Her bike was broke.

The clamor yesterday on TV rising from the nationwide demonstrations calling for Trump to release his tax returns. Worry not. At some point in time  they will be revealed. Against Trump’s wishes. He will be able to do nothing about it.

The two Congressional committees can subpoenae them. As well as the FBI. Assuming all or at least one will have the balls to do it.

Enjoy this Easter Sunday!

TITANIC REVISITED

The Titanic and an iceberg came into contact in North Atlantic waters many years ago. Similar conditions exist today re icebergs in the North Atlantic. In the same area where the Titanic went down.

More than 400 icebergs have drifted into North Atlantic shipping lanes this past week. Causes two fold.

The first, too much warmth too early in the season. Second, winds are running counter clockwise. Thereby drawing the icebergs south.

Sort of like the lobster currents problem I mentioned the other day.

One ship has made contact with an iceberg. Damage minimal. The ship in dry dock under repair.

My first stop last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Same problem. No seats available at bar. Tourists galore. No room for Louis.

Opted for the Chart Room.

John bartending. Always good company. Great with guests.

Met Susan and Huggie. Huggie  husband’s nick name. Both retired school teachers from Charleston.

Susan and Huggie married in 1988. Honeymooned in Key West. They have been visiting Key West once a year ever since.

Huggie was stationed in Key West with the Navy in 1968. I asked him about whore houses at the time.

I have been trying to settle on a topic for a Key West book. One whose subject matter not written yet. Not sure it will be whore houses, though the subject is under consideration.

Huggie was a reservoir of information. Three streets came out of his mouth without hesitation. Fleming, Eaton and Southard. Today the location of some of Key West’s finest homes.

He could not recall the names. I mentioned a couple I had come across in other areas. He was not aware of them.

Dinner was alone at the bar at Hot Tin Roof.

Abigail bartending. She had waited on us when I was out with Chris and Don the other night. I recalled after I left that night that I had short changed her on the tip.

Told her, apologized, and made it up in cash last night.

Abigail is new to Hot Tin Roof. Her name interesting. Not many Abigails around these days.

Did some research. Abigail comes to us from Biblical times. Abigail was David’s third wife. Reportedly lovely and sweet.

The dictionary describes an Abigail as super sweet, extremely gorgeous, and tons of fun.

Abigail a beauty! All I know about her.

I noted in the Key West Citizen History Section that Joseph Smith began the Mormon Church this date in 1830 in Fayette, New York. Fayette is to the south of my hometown Utica. In Seneca County.

Multiple wives. Initially sounds great if you are a man. I don’t think I could have handled it. One wife was enough for me.

Harry Truman again. I mention him whenever I can. He is an integral part of Key West history.

I came across a Truman quote. Reflects the humor of the man: “My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a President of the United States.”

Bocce tonight. Just before, a manicure with Tammy.

Enjoy your day!

2016 REAL ESTATE SALES DIP

Running late. Slept late. Feel good.

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran a major story regarding real estate sales. They fell in 2016.

Since 2009, real estate sales have increased each year over the previous year. Not 2016. Key West sales dropped 17 percent. Sales in the lower Keys outside Key West 8 percent.

There is a message. Real estate prices are not realistic. People have become aware. Prospective buyers are reluctant to spend the dollars required to live in  Paradise. Especially when they can buy better and significantly cheaper on the mainland.

More and more homes were listed last year with asking prices of $1 million and more. Some, several hundred millions of dollars.

What’s the saying…..Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. The goose is being killed. By piggish exorbitant prices.

The next to feel this experience will be the hotels. Tourists will go elsewhere. To Florida vacation sites with cheaper hotel facilities.

I have seen the high price impact over recent years. People staying in high end hotels going to their rooms at dinner time with a pizza and six pack.

Next to suffer will be the restaurants. High prices and smaller portions will not be tolerated. Even alcohol costs.

All will happen because Key West became a pig. A gluttonous one.

Treated myself yesterday morning. Eggs benedict at Camille’s. Sat at the bar. Read the Sunday papers. First time in a couple of years I have been to Camille’s.

Last night, Don and Chris. My friends from the Syracuse area. Both world travelers with their work. Don primarily South Korea and China. Chris, Europe and Asia.

They are snowbirds. Visit 3-4 times a year. Love Key West!

They had a major announcement for me. They are getting married! Wonderful! Both around 50. This will be a second marriage for both. Two better people cannot be found. Last night, two happier people could not be found.

The wedding to take place in Key West. March 24. That’s next year. Chris advised that it had to be that far ahead. Venues not available that fit into their schedules.

We met at the Chart Room first for a drink. Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. A good time throughout the evening. We chatted about everything. Especially Syracuse basketball. Die hard fans as I.

Dinner over, I headed home. Don and Chris left me to take a walk down Duval. The difference in our ages responsible for our different paths.

My Facebook quickie video had to do with matelotage yesterday. Sailors marrying. In pirate days. Gay marriages. Generally the French. The English and Spanish frowned on homosexuality.

Rules/laws applied. If one partner was killed, the surviving partner automatically was given his share of the bounty.

The gay marriage bit began in the early 1600’s. Sex partners were scarce. Pirates in port would import for a time a ship load of prostitutes from another island.

Final Four tonight. How exciting can it be?

Cow Key Channel Bridge Run yesterday. A new record. Fourteen seconds. The previous, 21. A tough 350 feet to travail.

Key West has advised Lyft to cease and desist. Otherwise, drivers will be arrested. Per local law passed last year to protect taxi drivers to the detriment of the public. The Bubba system in operation.

Leotards. Credit therefore attributable to The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze.

Jules Leotard graduated from law school. Decided not to practice. Wanted to be an aerial acrobat. Not yet known in those days.

He joined the circus. Invented the aerial trapeze in 1859. Two years later, The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze was written in recognition of his aerial activities.

Leotard’s clothing was loose and dangerous while doing his aerial act. The clothing also failed to show off his exceptional physique. He designed what today is known as the leotard. Tight fitting with long sleeves. Initially called a malliott. Twenty years later, became known as a leotard in honor of its designer.

Trump says the U.S. is ready to act alone on North Korea if China does not take a tougher stand against North Korea’s nuclear program.

Suggests a pre-emptive strike.

Scares the hell out of me!

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Secreting unpaid tax dollars a big business. There are 214,488 offshore tax haven entities.

Enjoy your day!

 

ONE LYFT IN TOWN

If ever a community is in need of Uber and Lyft, it is Key West. Taxi service slow, vehicles filthy. Locals and tourists alike do not receive the door to door service they are entitled to. Uber and Lyft would assist in relieving traffic congestion.

Uber tried a couple of years ago. Key West’s Bubba system won out. Taxi owners won. Uber left.

The Florida House of Representatives had a bill filed this week structuring requirements for online car service. Considered the beginning of getting Uber and Lyft on the streets of all Florida communities. The bill still has the State Senate to go through and then must be signed into law by the Governor.

Lyft is testing the waters. The bill is not required. However, municipalities have been using the excuse of waiting for State direction before allowing Uber and Lyft to provide service.

The Key West story.

Lyft is testing the waters. A Lyft vehicle has been operating in Key West since thursday. Only one.

How will Key West react to this solitary Lytle vehicle? Stop the service? Arrest the driver as they did with Uber? Let this sole driver slide into the signing of the new law?

My one day time trip away from home yesterday afternoon was to Publix. Prices continue to edge up. Amazing! We soon will have to raise our own produce and animals for slaughter (said with tongue in cheek).

I question how people can continue to afford groceries. Especially in a stagnant income situation.

Spent most of the day lying around. Being lazy. Read, slept, watched TV.

Wonderful evening! Enjoyed the company of Tim and Linda at the Hot Tin Roof. Both Madison County, New York residents. Visiting Key West. Ted lives in Cazenovia. Linda in a small town outside Canastota.

Ted is a former Court Clerk. Linda worked in the judicial system. Ted here for a month. Staying at the Banyan. Linda visiting for a week. Both good company. Enjoyed Linda, especially.

We started at 7. We were one of the last tables to leave. The sign of a great evening.

Weekends are unusually busy at the Hot Tin Roof. Extra help hired for the weekends. Most, young immigrants. Hard working! Impressive!

I do one Facebook video a day. A Key West Lou one. Number of followers increasing. Dramatically.

Interestingly, most blog readers are not video followers and vice versa.

One of the Sunday morning talk show commentators made what I consider a comically true statement re Trump. Something to the effect…..If Trump wants to find he is #1 in everything, he should buy a mirror.

Those of you who comment do so at your own risk. Some days are brutal. Today, not. An excellent review of healthcare problems. Zeroing in on one party payer, Medicare, and supplemental plans.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

HULA HOOP / CONCH SHELL BLOWING

A great Sunday out there! Sun shinning, nary a cloud. Wind unusually strong. Has been for a few days. Blowing down from the north. Makes the 80 degree temperature not feel warm. Comfortable.

Hula hoops hit the U.S. big time in 1963. Appeared in the market place for the first time this date in 1963.

A round plastic hoop. Hip swiveling and gyrating.

Within 4 months, 25 million had been sold.

My older children got into it. Tried to teach Dad. No way. I could not do it.

About five years ago, there was a hula hoop revival. Ally was six years old. She was an expert. could even do it around her neck.

She tried to teach Poppa. Again, I was a failure.

Sue Cassell worked at Don’s Place at the time of the revival. A young lady. Twentyish. A pro with the hula hoop. Amazing. Blinking lights wrapped around the hoop.

I took Ally to watch Sue.

The hula hoop had a part in Key West’s Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest yesterday. Christie King of Big Pine hula hooped while blowing a large conch shell.

My intent was to watch Syracuse/Georgia Tech yesterday afternoon at Jack Flats with Dee. Followed by dinner some where.

Dee begged off. Experiencing dizzy spells. I decided to stay home and watch. Then skip out to dinner somewhere.

A mistake.

The game was not televised in Florida.

In any event, Syracuse won. Big! 90-61. Should help Syracuse get an invitation to the big tournament.

After the game, Dee telephoned. Dizziness gone. Let’s go to dinner.

We dined at Hot Tin Roof. The place packed. As are the streets of Key West. It is season!

Aristotle said …..Friendship is the chiefest good.

Dee and I have been friends for a quarter century. We see each other frequently for a while. Then not see each other for several years.

The Key West City Commission continues its perverted ways. They are eliminating parking spaces in residential areas to create bicycle lanes.

We need parking! The parking situation is desperate!

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1948, Truman left Key West to return to Washington. Exactly one year later in 1949, he returned to Key West for a vacation.

William Hackley had the dentist Dr. Walton back at his home this day in 1856. Dr. Walton pulled two teeth from Hatty and six from Charlotte.

Don’t know if Hatty and Charlotte children or help. Sounds rough. Six teeth at one time.

There was a time when dentistry was a trade and not a profession. A side line practiced by barbers and blacksmiths. I suspect a profession by Hackley’s time as the title Doctor used.

By 1946, World War II was over. It had become evident that the Soviet Union was no longer a friend. Of the United States and other Allies who fought together to defeat Germany.

Winston Churchill on this date in 1946 spoke at Missouri’s Westminster College. President Truman on the stage.

Churchill’s eloquent words were delivered. Words never to be forgotten. Even to today. “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” He described it as a Cold War.

Stalin responded from Moscow that the speech was “war mongering.”

Sound familiar?

Putin suggests the same when actions are taken by other nations which he considers not in the best interests of Russia.

We are in a new Cold War.

Sadness takes many forms. As does pain and suffering.

A picture appears on page 9A of this morning’s Key West Citizen. A picture of a 9 month old Somalian baby. Ali Hassan. Malnourished. Starving. Body bones clearly defined. Arms strange. Eyes bright.

Starvation has been an ongoing problem in Somalia. Now, a drought also. The article set forth that 110 had died in a 48 hour period ending yesterday.

Enjoy your Sunday! I suspect a pause at this point before you do. The thought of Ali and Somalian starving touching. Leaves one with an empty feeling.

MARRIAGE BAR TO EMPLOYMENT

Happy Sunday!

There once existed a marriage bar to employment. One sided. Only applied to women. A married women was not permitted to work at most jobs.

The reason was that men needed available jobs to support their families. A working woman was taking a much needed job from a man.

Employment inequality at its worst.

The issue came to my attention this morning as a result of an item which appeared in the History Section of the Key West Citizen. On this day in 1902, the Board of Education requested the resignation of Sarah Ann Roberts.

Sarah was a teacher. Proper to work as one while single. Once married however a no no. A couple/family did not need two bread earners to survive.

Everything changes with time. In most families today, the wife/mother is required to work. The family could not survive economically if she did not.

The Chart Room first last night. A sparse crowd. John bartending.

Kevin and Holly were there when I arrived. Key Westers/snowbirds. Own a home in Key West. Rent it out during season. We are into season.

They also own an RV. They have been traveling the country. As far west as Las Vegas recently.

Crossed the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ate alone at the bar.

Ordered rack of lamb. First time for me at Hot Tin Roof. Absolutely delicious! Best lamb I have eaten in ages. Potatoes and vegetables likewise. The flavoring to die for.

I mentioned to the bartender that the lamb was fantastic, etc. Before I knew it, the chef was standing next to me. He was thrilled I enjoyed the meal as much as I had.

I was sincere. Perhaps people do not compliment the cooking when eating out. I rarely do. If last night had not been exceptional, I would not have. Good tasting food is expected.

In spite of the fanfare, I still had to pay for my dinner!

Watched the President at his rally in Melbourne in the afternoon. A campaign rally. Basically the same as he gave many times during the campaign. I do not think he realizes play time is over. He is in the real world.

Nine thousand in attendance. Many middle aged and senior citizens. Some were interviewed before Trump arrived.

I was impressed with their loyalty. They loved Trump! Were on his side. Not concerned with the first month foul ups. Confident he would come through.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech 6:30 tonight. Syracuse a three point favorite. Syracuse must win 3 of its last 4 games to be guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament. If only 2, maybe.

Enjoy your Sunday!

LINCOLN JUMPED OUT A WINDOW TO STOP A VOTE

I was chatting at the Hot Tin Roof bar last night with a couple from Montana. Trump supporters.

A congenial conversation. Opposing views expressed.

At one poin,t they were expressing their disgust with the Democrats having failed to turn up for one or two committee hearings yesterday. Hearings scheduled for votes re two cabinet picks.

I smiled. Then shared with them a story I wrote in this blog 4-5 years ago.

It was 1840. The actual date December 5. Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Illinois Legislature. He was a Whig at the time.

The Democrats the opposing party.

The Democrats needed a quorum to vote on a piece of legislation they wanted passed. They suspected the Whigs might leave the Chamber so there would not be a quorum. The Democrats had the door locked.

Lincoln was no fool. The Chamber was on the second floor. He walked over and opened a window. Jumped out and ran off. Thereby denying the opposition for the moment the quorum required.

I told my friends, denying a quorum is All American. If Lincoln could do it, so too today’s Democrats.

Sex seems to affect children at an earlier age these days. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine has graduated to sexually explicit classmate photos.

Horace O’Bryant is a Key West school. Kindergarten through 8th grade. An investigation is underway. Sexual photos being shared. The pics taken off campus. Transmitted initially via social media. The pics of middle school students.

Parents, pull your hair out!

A haircut at noon yesterday with Lori. She told me about her recent long weekend Caribbean cruise. Fun. She recommends it.

At one point, the water got rough. Her stomach began to flutter. The remedy was to drink more, she said. The alcohol balanced out the woozy stomach.

Stopped at Farmers Market afterwards. To buy bread. A young immigrant couple sells their home made bread under one of the tents. I who ask everyone everything have never asked them where they came from. The bread is delicious. I bought 15 small loaves. I freeze the bread.

Ran into Boomer at Farmers Market.

The Chart Room and Hot Tin Roof last night. Both places relatively quiet. The Montana couple sat at the bar near me.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy present Buonasera Venezia tonight from 5-8 at the Bottlecap.
A charity fundraiser. I will be there. With Liz. She called yesterday and said she wanted to go. Venice her favorite place. She and her now deceased husband spent many happy days in Venice.

I have been visiting or living in Key West more than 25 years. When first I came, the men did not wear jackets. Dress jackets. Sport jackets. Then one could be noticed every few months. We locals would look at each other and quietly whisper…..Tourists.

I see more and more men wearing jackets the past couple of years. Especially the past few months. Especially when cold. Even however when it is merely part of the dress costume for the evening.

Includes locals.

Key West is changing.

Poet John Keats died in February 1821. Twenty five years old. One of the world’s best romantic sonnet writers.

Keats died in his bedroom in Rome. A four story narrow building at 26 Piazza di Spagna. Immediately next to the Spanish Steps.

I was in Rome 35 years ago with my family for a  month. My wife and daughters deserted me one day to shop. The American dollar was strong. Everything cost one-third of what it did back home.

I was walking around. Sat a while on the Spanish Steps and watched the world go by. Took a walk. Passed the building described. A small brass sign on the side of the door read The Keats Shelley House.

I went in. Explored the four floors. The top floor was the important one.

Keats’ bedroom had been preserved as it was at the time of his death. An outer room had some of his first edition books and manuscripts of his writings. All under glass.

I came across one writing that moved me emotionally.

Recall first that Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg  Address on a brown paper bag. The bag that had carried his lunch.

Keats wrote the opening stanzas of one of his most famous poems on a piece of crumbled paper. The opening lines to Endymion. A several volume work.

Few know Endymion. Most know its opening lines as penciled in on that piece of crumbled paper: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever…..”

Tomorrow at noon Syracuse/Virginia. Tough game. Virginia ranked #9 nationally. I refuse to get excited in spite of Syracuse’s spectacular victory over North Carolina State earlier this week.

I just remembered! I will not be watching the game. At noon, I will be marching in Steve Attis’ New Orleans funeral parade. Followed by mass at St. Mary’s Church.

Enjoy your day!

 

I’M HAPPY FOR A CHANGE

“I’m happy for a change!”

Not my words. Jim Boeheim’s. Properly so.

Boeheim spoke at a press conference following yesterday’s Syracuse/Pitt game. Syracuse has played poorly till the past few days. Horribly!

They beat Miami handily a few days ago. Yesterday, destroyed Pitt! I could not believe my eyes watching the game.

Two times in the first half Syracuse lead by 28 points. Threes were dropping in with ease. Long ones. The defense was what it should be. Pitt went something like 14 minutes in the first half without scoring a basket.

The final score 77-66. Not indicative of the size of the victory. The last few minutes Pitt was on a scoring spree. Syracuse subdued by that point.

Is Syracuse back? I think so. I hope so. If so, it is going to be a hell of a season!

I am most happy for Boeheim. A gentleman. A class act. It had to be killing him he could not get the team together the first half of the season.

The weather outside is frightful…..

When it is cold up north, the cold extends to Key West. In a different fashion, of course. No snow. The temperature not as low.

It does get cold, however. It has been in the 80s and humid for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden yesterday around noon, the cold front hit. Just like that. Huge winds. Temperature dropped 15 degrees. Heavy rain.

Stayed cold. Still cold. The temperature was a low of 57 during the night. Fifty seven at 8 this morning. Weather Channel said it felt like 52. High today 60. Will be 60 during the night, also.

I turned the heat on last night. It will remain on till the cold spell leaves.

First stop last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Went early hoping to get a bar seat. No way. I left. Sad because I wanted to hear Bobby Nesbitt sing.

Next stop was the Chart Room. Cold walking in from the parking lot. The Pier House sits on open water. The wind blowing in.

Victor bartending. Sat next to a gent from Lansing, Michigan. Max. Retired. In his other life, he put conglomerates together.

Max older than me. By one year. Eighty two. Much in common to discuss.

Too bad Liz was not with us. The conversation would have been interesting. Liz and Max both supported Trump.

Fighting the cold wind, walked over to the Hot Tin Roof. I was dressed for the cold. A heavy winter jacket.

Nevertheless, needed body heating and soul satisfying food. Lobster bisque and lobster mac and cheese.

Ran into Buffalo’s Tom and Fran at the Hot Tin Roof. They were having dinner with his brother. Tonight, they will be having dinner with me.

Tom missed the Syracuse game earlier in the day. He could not believe the story I told him. He is a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

United Airlines first non-stop flight from Chicago arrived saturday.

The airport is relatively new. Followed by an update a couple of years ago to accommodate additional arriving and departing flights. The update outgrown already.

The season is in full swing. No break in January any more. People all over. Restaurants and bars packed. Hotels getting top dollar. Tourists not complaining.

I worry. Key West is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Goose or chicken?

The Citizen’s Today In Keys History listed two interesting events which occurred on this date. The City of Key West was incorporated in 1828. The first traffic light was installed in Key West in 1935.

I did a search to determine where the first light was installed. Could not come up with the information. However in reading a Key West history, the year of incorporation was listed as May 1889. Don’t know which is correct.

In the last 24 hours, I read somewhere that Obama has played 333 rounds of golf while President. Sounded like…..When did he work?

I did some digging re the issue of Presidential golf. Turns out Obama is a piker as far as number of rounds of golf. Woodrow Wilson played 1,200 rounds. Dwight Eisenhower 800.

Some more robot information.

An Australian mining company is mining with robots 24 hours a day. The Rio Tinto Mining Company. Four mines located in Australia’s northwest in an area called Mars-red.

Robots are used for rock drilling. They are described as robotic drilling rigs. Autonomous (driverless) trucks and trains also used. Driverless trains haul the ore hundreds of miles to a port. The trains load and unload themselves automatically.

Rio Tinto is in the forefront re robotic/autonomous mining. The need for human miners reduced to almost nothing.

I obtained the information from an MIT article. The article failed to mention what happened to the human employees let go. An issue requiring serious attention.

Enjoy your sunday!

GOOMBAY!

Finally! Goombay! Last night!

Goombay is of Haitian or some other Caribbean derivation. Goombay is a round goat skin drawn over a round or square wood or metal bottomless pail. Played with the hands. There were a lot of palms slapping on goat skin tops last night.

Goombay has become an annual event for some. Don entertains a group from his bar. He has been doing this for years.

We met last night at Don’s Place. A drink or two. Eleven of us in a cab ride to 801. 801 is one of the most popular Key West gay bars. It sits on Duval at the beginning of Goombay.

After a few more drinks, we headed out. First a group picture. We take one every year. No one has ever seen the finished product.

For some  of us, the initial walk is short. One block to the outside bar of Bourbon Street. Another premier gay bar. It has become a habit to stop there to listen to Blue. A singer. A long time friend of Don and David.

We sat enjoying a few more drinks. Some of the group danced. On soft sand.

The group at this point consisted of Don, David and Billie, Stan and Clare, Dan and Betty, and Louis. Don was my date.

Now came the walk up Petronia Street. Booths/stands on each side of the street. Music coming from everywhere. All kinds of Caribbean type food. The street crowded.

Similar to New York’s San Gennaro Feast, except San Gennaro is Italian in nature.

I had to eat. Opted for a sausage sandwich.

Once we left Bourbon St., we separated. Impossible for a large group to move together. The goal Blue Heaven.

I got there last.

Blue Heaven is a large outdoor restaurant. Packed.

I stayed for one drink. Exhausted. It was time to leave. I snuck off with no good byes.

As I was leaving, I heard Louis! Turned and it was Jean Thornton. She has been back two weeks and it was the first time we have seen each other. A big hug and kiss.

I will see Jean again this afternoon at a retirement party for Joe Lyles.

My car was at Don’s Place. A big walk. Especially with how my heart has been behaving recently. I took it slow and made it. No adverse physical feelings.

Today busy.

Syracuse/Boston College at noon. Will watch at home.

Then to the Hot Tin Roof for Joseph Lyles’ retirement party. Well deserved!

Tonight became a problem. I had a date scheduled with lovely Jenna for dinner. Does my heart good to be out with a beautiful 30 year old woman.

Then I found out that there was a bocce make-up game tonight. Don’s Place/Hell’s Rangers. Big time game between two big time teams this season. Don’s is alone in first place. Hell’s Rangers in third. Hell’s Rangers generally in first place most seasons.

The match has turned into a party. Hell’s Rangers bringing the food and Don’s the drinks. A cook out!

I wanted to see the bocce match. I gave up Jenna for a bocce game! A sure sign I have gotten old.

Jenna understood. We are going out together tomorrow night.

I mentioned the Rick Pitino situation yesterday. David Taylor wrote me a long in depth review of the situation from his perspective. David now lives in St. Louis. However, spent many years in Kentucky. He was aware first hand of facts I knew not. Will share them with you as the Pitino matter develops.

Enjoy your day!