WARMTH OF THANKSGIVING

Love the holidays! Especially Christmas and Thanksgiving. Christmas my favorite. Thanksgiving runs a close second.

I miss the large family gatherings for dinner. All ages. The dining room table for adults. The kitchen table and card tables for the young. Age determined seating. It was a big deal to graduate to the adult’s table. Took a long time for some. I recall one of my daughters being 22 before she made it.

Kitchen smells. Thanksgiving the best. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pies….all coming together as one from early morning. By the time dinner rolled around, you were really hungry.

Unfortunately, the holidays change for some. I for one. You live long and things do not remain the same. Does not mean the holiday is not enjoyable. Merely means you miss that which was.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stopped into the Chart Room around 8 last night for a couple of drinks. John bartending. Three tourists at the bar. Good conversation. An enjoyable evening.

Syracuse basketball has begun. Syracuse beat Toledo last night 72-64. Syracuse now 5-0. Means nothing. The big schools play the little guys early in the season. Provides practice and easy extra wins.

FEMA spending a lot of money in Monroe County. Properly so. $53 million so far. More needed. The money spent to provide assistance to homeowners and renters for housing and other needs.

Returning from Hollywood two days ago, parts of US 1 still sit in areas resembling a war zone.

Irma and Me available. I added on to the end of the book a chapter titled Post Irma. At the time, I thought the cleanup and return to normal would have occurred by now. No way. Irma was a big one!

Irma and Me is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

The hurricane season officially ends in a week. November 30 to be exact. Don’t depend on it. The season used to end October 31. Then a hurricane or two hit after that date. Hurricanes tend                                                                                                     not recognize deadlines. So the day was extended a month.

Could still get hit by another one!

One of Key West’s most spectacular events is the Lighted Boat Parade. People decorate their boats, whether large or small, as one decorates a home at Christmas time. Then on one night, they all go out into the waters off Schooner Wharf. An armada.

An event! This year on saturday December 9.

You can watch from shore or go out on one of the boats. On a boat more exciting. However if it is a cold evening, it is colder on the water. You freeze your ass off!

I was in Hollywood monday preparatory to my heart catherization. I was not the only stranger in town. An 8 foot crocodile was discovered resting on the beach.

The middle class continues to die. The average U.S. household is $137,063 in debt. Thirty eight percent of millennials live with their parents.

One of my nurses tuesday mentioned she has three children. Two in their mid 20s, one 18. The 18 in college, living home. The other two working and living at home.

All refuse to contribute to their keeping. They do little to assist Mom and Dad around the house.

Yesterday, I demeaned Trump because he was returning 60,000 Haitians to Haiti. They have been here almost 8 years following Haiti’s massive 2010 earthquake.

Amongst other things, I referred to Trump as heartless.

I have to take it back as regards the Haitians. Though I believe the man is overall without sympathy for anyone, it was announced late yesterday that Trump has granted the Haitians an 18 month reprieve.

The man plays God.

Maduro continues to do a good job as Venezuela’s President. In 5 years as President, the country has run out of toilet paper, food and jobs. Inflation has now hit 4,000. How does Venezuela survive? I continue to be shocked the people have not revolted.

Signs suggest perhaps a massive earthquake in California. San Francisco and Monterey County.

One hundred thirty-four earthquakes suffered last week over a 3 mile stretch. Magnitude 2.5-3.0. Seismologists are getting nervous.

I end on an exciting note.

On this day in 1984, Doug Flutie threw his famous last second Hail Mary pass as Boston College beat Miami 47-45. The ball on the wings of an angel as it traveled down the field.

Enjoy the holiday!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Happy Mother’s Day to my mother!

My mother has been gone some thirty odd years. I still think of her every day.

I have a large painting of my mother that sits over my desk. I see her constantly. I even talk to her on occasion. I vent.

We had a good relationship. She was retired. I would stop by to see her almost every day on my way home after work. Not for long. Fifteen minutes to a half hour. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass of ice on the kitchen table. My mother did not drink. The Beefeaters was for me.

We talked about this and that. Rarely important. Just mother/son chit chat.

I miss her.

Hurricane season is around the corner. Begins June 1.

The prediction is the season will be slightly below average. Six hurricanes anticipated. Two which will be major ones.

We have been lucky in recent years. Hurricanes, yes. But they always bent at the last minute and missed us. May that continue to be the case!

Key West Songwriters Festival this weekend. Musicians come from all over. They play just about every bar and location in town.

I walked Duval and the side streets yesterday listening.  Occasionally, stopping. I stayed a while to hear the group playing on Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s. Then to Smokin’ Tuna. Finally, Margaritaville.

The walk, crowds and heat did me in.  I had anticipated it would. Knew dinner would be at home for me.

I took out one of Fran’s containers of frozen pork sauce in the morning. Left it on the counter to thaw. Last night, I enjoyed stove pipes buried in Fran’s thick red pork sauce. Covered generously with Parmesan cheese.

Ate too much. I did not care. Good was good.

Fran and husband Tom are in Paris for ten days. I e-mailed Fran and told her how great her sauce was.

Some things I do not understand. Like why a toll on US 1. The only road in and out of Key West.

An Islamorada councilman named Mike Forster went to Washington last week to discuss a toll. He favors it. He is pushing it. Why, I do not understand.

US 1 is generally a narrow two lane road for 140 miles. Key West at the southern end. When I go to Hogfish, Roostica, Geiger Key, Square Grouper, Mangrove Mama’s or to visit my Sugarloaf friends, US 1 is involved at some point.

I have to pay to travel 1/2 mile to 20 miles?

Forster is speaking to the issue tomorrow evening at 5:30 at the VFW on the Boulevard. I plan on attending.

This will be a big week for me. Thursday night the Key West Art & Historical Society is sponsoring a talk at Tropic Cinema. An Arlo Haskell speaking. His topic: The former Jewish underground involving Key West and Cuba. 1918-1939.

Charles Krauthammer is a noted columnist for the Washington Post. A conservative.

He wrote in a recent column re the Trump/Comey situation: “The king asked whether no one would rid him of this troublesome priest, and got so impatient he did it himself.” Henry VIII had Thomas More beheaded.

Comey’s firing no different.

History may speak of it as the beginning of the end of Trump’s Presidency.

Reap the Wild Wind was published by Thelma Strabel in 1940. A story of Key West and wreckers. The Saturday Evening Post immediately serialized it.

Strabel used the Saturday Evening Post money she received to build a home in Key West. In 1940, she obtained a building permit to construct a house at 400 South Street.

At the time, she claimed it was the most southern point in the United States.

The home was later demolished and a larger one built on the site. Strabel was long gone from Key West by that time.

Enjoy your Mother’s Day! Enjoy your Sunday!

WORLD AIDS DAY

Today is World AIDS Day. Especially important in Key West. Too many lost over the years.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has an excellent front page article re this day.

At 4:30 this afternoon, the Candlelight Walk. Then at 6, the annual recollection ceremony. At the Edward B. Knight Pier. To remember loved ones lost to the disease.

The article notes an increase in HIV and AIDS cases in the past nine months. From 4 to 21. Sounds alarming. I doubt it is.

A new State law comes into play. This year the first for its imposition. The new law mandates HIV and AIDS testing as part of all annual physicals. Except where the patient opts out.

Increased testing means more positive results. Inevitable.

I completed my Key West Rotary history yesterday. Twenty six separate installments. Interesting to do. Onerous on occasion. Some days added as much as two hours additional work. A pleasure, never the less.

Martin’s for Happy Hour yesterday. With friend Joseph.

Joseph down to one cane. Big progress! He anticipates that soon there will be no need for a cane.

Conversation excellent. Joseph wants to do a blog. Needs to fill in his time now that he is retired. I told him I would have Sloan help him set up. I sense Joseph’s blog will be an intellectual one. Philosophical.

Martin’s food continues to be outstanding. I enjoyed small lamb chops and baked brie. Joseph, snails and schnitzle strips.

Magic bartending. From Poland. Many Poles have immigrated and settled in Key West. My Italian ancestors in the cold northeast many years ago. Weatherwise, the Poles selected better. Warm weather year round as opposed to biting cold winters.

Next stop, Don’s Place.

Chatted with Don and David.

Joanie is back. For the winter. Good to see her!

Quick stops on the way home at Walgreens and Publix.

Tonight, a manicure with Tammy at 7. Followed by dinner at 8 at Outback.

William Hackley writes that on this date in 1855, he paid William C. Dennis “for the hire of a negro woman.”

This Hackley has done in the past. Diana Millikan an historian of sorts. She believes one of the negro woman’s duties was washing Hackley during his morning baths. She believes it was a slave’s customary duty to be performed for her master. I told her to find authority for it somewhere. She is still looking.

The hurricane season ended yesterday. Hope hurricanes are aware that Key West should experience no further ones this year as November 30 has come and gone.

You can never be sure. I recall several years ago when October 31 was the end of hurricane season. We got hit by one the first week of November.

A big saturday awaits! The Christmas Parade. At 7 on Truman. Always fun. Especially for the kids. Tons of candy thrown from parade floats.

Enjoy your day!

 

STILL SICK

On the mend. Not there yet.

Pain considerably less. Problem now nausea. The antibiotics and pain killer. We’ll get there.

I spent the day in bed and on a recliner in the bedroom. Slept on and off. In between, I did the research for next week’s KONK Life column. Concerns Saudi Arabia. You will not believe!

The start of hurricane season around the corner. June 1. Let us hope it ends as quietly as it begins, with nothing in the middle.

This week’s KONK Life column The President Who Saved Football is available everywhere today. Printed in KONK Life. Carried in this morning’s E-Blast News. Available via link on my Facebook Key West Lou and Louis Petrone sites.

You have to get sick to know how much you are loved. I thank everyone for the telephone calls and e-mails.

Enjoy your day.