MICHAEL

Hurricane Michael. BADDDDDDD! One of the worst of the worst!

Florida’s Panhandle took the biggest hit. A Category 4. Winds 155 mph.

Michael has been described as the third most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. First is the Labor Day 1935 hurricane. Second, Camille in 1935.

Considering wind speed alone, Michael, the fourth worst. The Labor Day 135 one continues to lead the pack. Then, Camille. Followed by Andrew in 1992.

Fortunately, Michael was fast moving. Over and out rapidly. Had it stayed around a while as most hurricanes do, the already terrible devastation would have been worse.

The best way to describe Michael’s impact is to view comments from 3 communities hit hard. Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Port St. Joe.

Mexico City…..Homes reduced to kindling, roofs lying in the middle of US 98, a whole condo building gone, not there.

Panama City…..Storm trackers devastated at scale of destruction, roar of storm sounded like a jet engine as winds accelerated, chunks of US 98 washed away by the surge.

Port St. Joe…..Parts of buildings torn away, very very scary. One person reported: “Absolutely horrendous. Catastrophe…..There’s flooding. Boats on the high way. A house on the highway. Houses that have been there forever…..shattered.”

I thought Rick Scott was an inept Governor till Irma. His handling of Irma impressed me. He was on the problem a week or two before. Organized everything. Spoke to us daily on TV. Gave the populace confidence. Handled the storm and recovery well.

My impression of Scott completely turned as a result. Though I disagree with him philosophically re many issues, I respect him.

Scott is in the ball game again. He has been preparing north Florida for Michael.

The man is a leader. The people of north Florida were encouraged yesterday when he said, “Hurricane Michael will not break Florida.”

Charlotte Corriher. Lovely, charming. Lived in the lower Keys for several years. That is when I met her. At the Chart Room initially.

Charlotte a runner. Travels all over the U.S. running marathons.

Charlotte presently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

She wrote me re the Gray Man ghost today. I mentioned the Gray Man 2 days ago. Charlotte wrote, “I never heard of the Gray Man until this year when Florence was headed our way. Saw lots of posts and pictures where people claimed to see him.”

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Last night, the renewal of our monthly meetings.

Love the organization! The people are happy and easy going. Must be their Italian heritage.

New officers were elected last night at the official meeting following social hour where lasagna was enjoyed by all.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Terri was singing. An amazing lady! Worked at Blue Heaven the night before. Blind and still earning a living.

Chatted a while with Joe and John. Then spent some time with Donna. Not a happy camper. She had a colonoscopy earlier in the day and was still complaining about the prep.

We have all been through it.

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The women continue to be out there beating the drums advising women to have their mammograms, raising money, etc.

The movement is well organized nationally and locally. Participating in various events are the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Womankind, and Zonta.

My readings this morning re breast cancer brought to my attention something I did not know. A woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes.

Ladies, keep up the good work!

The Jamal Khashoggi matter has brought to the forefront again Saudi Arabia’s relatively new leader Mohammad Bin Salman. He wants to be a dictator. The center of power in his country. An authoritarian. Believes in one man rule.

Shades of Trump?

The DOW dropped over 800 points yesterday. Two reasons claimed. The tech sector is under performing and there is a concern that rates will rapidly rise.

To me, the drop will be temporary. However do not expect it to always be so.  I still believe a world wide recession will occur next year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

A KEY WEST GHOST STORY…..MARIA VALDEZ DE GUTSENS

I mentioned the Gray Man ghost yesterday. The reaction amazing. People love ghost stories!

Ergo, I opted to begin today’s blog with a Key West ghost story. The ghost’s name…..Maria Valdez de Gutsens.

Maria was the administrator of the Mercedes Charity Hospital in Key West. Her title Matron. She ran the hospital for 23 years.

The hospital had previously been the Gato home. Gato the famous cigar producer. He built the home originally where Bayview Park stands today. Overlooking the water. The end of Key West. New Town not even a thought in anyone’s mind.

When his wife died, he sold the home. It was bought and moved to what is now 1209 Virginia Street. A couple of doors down from White Street.

The home became the hospital. The hospital closed in 1942.

Maria was loved by all. People referred to her as an Angel of Mercy.

The former hospital today is an apartment house. It is believed Maria still walks the halls, rooms and porches. There have been several reports of having seen her.

One report was by a man in bed sleeping. His wife next to him. He woke feeling someone holding his wrist. He swears it was Maria, with a man standing next to her. She was taking the pulse of the man in bed. He turned to wake his wife. Maria and her companion disappeared.

Last year when I was looking for an apartment to rent, the Gato House had one available. Checked it out. Looked ok. I recalled Maria’s story. Could not rent the apartment. If Maria and I met up, I would not have been able to handle it.

I am a sort of believer in ghosts.

Alley is on her school’s volleyball team. I went to watch her play at 5. I was impressed. By her and her team mates.

Ally was proud to be playing. You could see it in her face.

Her team won both games easily.

Poppa fell! I was seated in the middle half way up the bleachers. I went to leave after the game. Most were staying for a second game that had been scheduled. Maneuvering around those seated, I tripped/lost my balance and went down!

Times when one feels like an asshole.

I was concerned I had broken my left leg or hip. I was bleeding. No way I was going to stay there and get help. I got myself up, down the bleachers and out the building. My sore leg and hip last night are without pain today. The bleeding I took care of when I got home.

The next game, I will sit at the end of a row on an aisle.

Prior to Ally’s game, I spent the afternoon preparing for my podcast show in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show talking about Michael and how Irma had impacted my feelings for those who will go through hell in northern Florida tonight.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Monthly meeting begin anew this evening. I look forward to the meeting. The members are fun people. There is a social hour first. Food and drink. Then a business meeting.

So much happened news wise yesterday and in the past few days. All worthy of mention. I have decided to refer to the occurrences as Hot News.

Michael on the way. At the moment a category 4. Hits landfall around 6 this evening. God help those who opted to remain.

Trump’s friend Saudi Arabia misbehaving. Turkey in cahoots. Saudi journalist Jamal Kheshoggi is a U.S. resident and Washington Post contributor. He was a critic of current Saudi policies.

It is believed he was assassinated. His body then dismembered. Trump has yet to make mention of the incident.

Recently, there was a failed attempt to assassinate Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. One of individuals thought to be involved was  political opponent Fernando Alban.

Alban was in custody. Being held on the 10th floor of the Bolivian Intelligence Service. He went out the 10th floor window. The claim, he was a suicide. His supporters say bullshit. He was thrown out!

Trump has yet to comment on this issue, also.

Trump at an Iowa rally last night. He mentioned Diane Feinstein. The crowd yelled…..Lock her up! Trump smiled. Never said no, not the American way.

The same thing happened when Hillary was mentioned during the campaign.

Trump encourages violence with his silence.

Nikki Haley resigned yesterday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She and Trump enjoyed a love relationship when her resignation was announced. Both said all kinds of nice things about each other.

The first Cabinet person to leave and not get condemned by Trump. Why did she get a free ride?

So much for Hot News.

I continue to live and learn.

We all buy ice cream in super markets. A favorite American dessert. Keep it in the freezer and pull it out when the desire hits. Which unfortunately is often.

Brands like Breyer’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle.

Guess what? They are all owned by the same company. Unilever. A British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company.

America’s first robot farm has begun operation this week. The robots replace humans. The robots described as “incredibly intelligent machines.”

The company involved is Iron Ox. A hot entity. Las year, outside money people invested in excess of $10 billion.

It is claimed the robot farm can turn out 30 times more produce than a traditional farm.

The robot farm is a hot item because the farming industry is facing a serious labor shortage and there is a growing pressure to produce more crops.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LAURIE THIBAUD…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

The charming spirited Laurie Thibaud is Key West Citizen of the Day. Much deserved. The woman has a warm personality.

The best of the best as they say.

Laurie was born in France. Somehow found her way to Key West in the late 1990’s. Emcees at the Aqua Night Club and is affiliated with The Rum Bar.

Her comment printed beneath her picture: “I love Key West because the women are strong and the men are pretty.” Now I know why Laurie likes me. The only problem is Laurie is gay.

Terri White sings tonight at Blue Heaven.

Hurricane Michael is racing up the Florida west coast. Two hundred fifty miles off shore. Key West has been hit 2 days in a row with heavy winds and big time rain. Fortunately for us, that is all we will suffer.

Northern Florida is in trouble, however. Michael will hit the Panhandle and Big Bend wednesday evening. As a category 3. No fun!

I am heavy with concern for those in danger. Caused by my Irma experiences last year. The feeling of dread stays with you.

There was a picture on the internet of cars lined up at a gas station to fill up before evacuating. Just as I recall. Not a straight line to the pumps. Cars maneuvering from every angle. Sometimes voices elevated. People scared. Tensions high.

The preceding is when trying to fill up at a station in a town. There was an organized way. The stations on the Florida Turnpike. State Police directing traffic. Lines straight. No one excited.

The evacuation drive itself a wonder. Sometimes you covered all of one mile in an hour. Patience was a virtue.

I recall having to piss. I was in a rest area on the Florida Turnpike. Already spent 1 1/2 hours waiting in line to get gas. Went inside to the men’s room. Good luck! The line was out the door into the parking area about 100 feet. I felt like a woman. Having to wait in line to go.

I could not waste another hour. Also did not know if I could hold it another hour.

Did the practical thing. Walked outside and into the woods. Relieved myself. I was not the only one so doing.

And so it went. As it will for those in north Florida.

My large flat TV is broke. They’re cheap today. $150-175 will buy a new one from Amazon.

Anna was concerned for me. She had a friend who could repair today’s TV’s. Did it in Honduras before he came to the U.S. Works construction now in Key West.

I figured what the hell. Anna went to get him.

I was impressed! He had all the necessary tools. Knew exactly what he was doing. Basically, 2 small boards and some wires operate today’s TV’s. He tested everything. I watched and learned for 2 hours.

He has isolated the problem. A small piece. Less than a half inch in size. The problem now is if he can find one to buy.

A 5:30 appointment with Tammy for a manicure. Place empty when I arrived. By 6, the women were storming through the door. Tammy says it is that way every evening. The women come in after work.

Manicure done, hurried over to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather Mae performing. Rick Dery apparently away.

Lovely Liz at th bar with friends Josefina and Mary. Went over to kiss and chat with Liz.

Spent some time chatting also with Heather Mae between songs. I learn every day. She is a school teacher at Sigsbee School.

Jean Thornton had e-mailed earlier in the day she was returning. Hoped the storm would not prevent her from getting out of Atlanta. No problem. She was up and away on time.

The plane was 8 minutes from landing in Key West. The pilot announced the airport had just closed because winds were more than 50 miles an hour. He circled a half hour before the plane was able to land.

Dueling Bartenders was Jean’s first stop last night. She sat with me. After being hugged and kissed by everyone in the place. The woman is well loved!

We ended the evening with dinner a La Trattoria. Following which I went home and Jean headed over to Vino’s.

While at Aqua, I was viewing my e-mails. Came across a tiger laying under a tree. It was sent by Rick Dery. All he said was he saw a tiger sleeping under a tree.

I assumed he was in India or Africa. Asked those around the bar. Some thought so, also. Finally someone piped up Rick was in Miami and the picture was taken at a Miami zoo.

Key West property increases in value. Commercial and residential. Some hotels selling in excess of $100 million.

The newest properties to be sold in package form include the A&B Lobster House, Berlin’s, Alonzo’s, the White Tarpon Bar, a 45 slip marina, several retail spaces, a 70 space parking lot, and the building housing the Commodore and Boathouse.

Buyers include Attorney Barton Smith, Key West Utilities and the Key West Golf Club.

All comprising a good chunk of the Key West Historic Seaport.

Today is tuesday. Means my podcast show. Tonight at 9. Join me. Listen to me rant and rave about issues and happenings. A quick half hour. You will enjoy! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A GHOST STORY

Rain, rain, rain! Wow! Supposed to continue throughout the day. Key West is experiencing peripheral weather from Tropical Storm Michael. Soon to be Hurricane Michael.

Michael will not be a danger to the Keys. Will pass to the west and travel up the Gulf of Mexico. Northern Florida in danger, however. The Panhandle. Governor Scott has already declared a state of emergency for more than 20 counties.

Michael is presently somewhere south of Cuba and near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Michael must be Florence’s beau. The Carolina’s will bear the brunt of Michael. Expected to be a category 2 when it hits. Flooding  worse than the winds.

The Gray Man of Pawley Island, South Carolina is a ghost. Been one since 1822 when he died in quicksand during a storm while trying to reach his lady love. His betrothed went looking for him. Came upon his ghost clad in a gray suit.

He warned her to take her entire family and leave the island. A massive storm was coming. They left. When they returned, all homes had been destroyed except theirs.

Since that time, the Gray Man has appeared many times. In each instance, warning persons of a pending disastrous storm.

The Gray Man failed to warn re Florence’s coming. Thus far, no warning re Michael.

A full Sunday yesterday. Enjoyed brunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri performing with Larry Baeder. Sat with Donna and Joe.

Liz showed up. With Josefina and Mary. Liz attired in dark clothes. Jeans and a black jacket. She looks terrific in dark clothes. A sharp 85 year old woman!

Had a strange experience while walking to Hard Rock. I had to walk 4 blocks from where I parked my car. My legs were heavy. An effort to lift them. My ass dragging.

I could not understand. Maybe I needed to eat. I had skipped dinner the night before. I do it occasionally on my diet. Has never affected me in the past.

Ordered breakfast. An omelet and toast.

The trip back to the car no problem. Legs felt great. I had energy. It was the lack of food. No question food is fuel!

The Blue Macaw last night. Ate. Ribs. Chatted with Paul, Dan and Joseph.

Also with a young man from Biloxi, Mississippi. He, his Dad and a friend were in Key West for a few days. He is being married next July in Key West. I asked what beach. His response…..No beach. At the St. Mary of the Sea Grotto. We’re Catholics.

It was the we’re Catholics that got me. Few express religion these days and few seem to be religiously motivated.

I miss bocce. The comradeship especially. My old team Don’s Place is doing well this season. Tied for 3rd place, 1 1/2 games out of 1st.

Our Nation is sick and getting sicker by the day. Trump no help. He encourages all kinds of negative activity.

Trump was in Topeka Saturday night at a rally. A black protestor from Black Lives Matter interrupted the President. He was removed roughly by security guards. His removal proper, his handling not.

The crowd repeatedly yelled disparaging remarks at the protestor. Some of the audience White Nationals. Expressions like the Nazi salute “Seig Heil!” Others, “Light the motherfucker on fire.” Shades of the old South where blacks were tied to poles or hung from a tree and burned to death. A lot of “Kick his ass!”

Trump proudly stood by. These were his people.

Beware a woman scorned. Women do not forget. Republicans will pay for Kavanaugh’s ascendancy to the Supreme Court.

Enjoy your day!