ONLY IN THE CHART ROOM

I frequently write or say…..Only in Key West! Last night it was only in the Chart Room!

Great people. All interesting.

During the course of the evening, Jessica appeared. I mentioned Jessica a few days ago. The lovely 40ish woman who came into the Chart Room.

I was in the process of leaving. Jessica mentioned to the bar her husband had returned home that day. She was staying a week to have fun. The intimation sex.

Fine. Strange. Her business only. Why share.

Jessica reappeared last night. Stood at the end of the bar and said, “I’m buying for the bar. Shots.”

She then proceeded to tell us she was in a hurry. Someone was coming to her room. No intimation this time. Sex!

A meretricious relationship awaited her. The term a throwback to my lawyering days.

With that, Jessica was off.

Her total time in the Chart Room all of two minutes. Time enough to buy for the bar and announce what was next on her agenda.

An efficient use of time. Hope she was not as time efficient when she returned to her room.

The others at the bar were not revealing with regard to later evening intentions.

Met some nice people. No misunderstanding. Jessica was nice, too.

Sitting next to me was Jeff Wear. Got a boat education. Jeff is involved in boat sales in West Palm Beach. Mariner Marine. Specialize in Grady-White boats. Better described as elegant outboard powerboats.

He and wife Michelle have a 37 foot Grady-White that they frequently power to Key West for a weekend. The boat last night was at the Galleon.

Jeff once was a Keys resident. Lived 5 years in Islamorada.

Interesting. Jeff and Michelle live in Stuart and work in West Palm. A fun area. Yet they find Key West more appealing for get away weekends. The flavor of Key West difficult to find elsewhere.

Mike and Amy were seated on the other side of me. From western Massachusetts. They have visited Key West many times. The first time for their honeymoon.

At the other end of the bar were Mark and Kim from Connecticut. Their fourth visit. Mark builds computer boards.

John enjoyed himself while bartending. It was a fun evening.

I had not eaten. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. The Tavern’s new 9-11 happy hour terrific. Since it is late, I eat less.

The cost can’t be beat. Fried calamari, bread and two drinks. $18. I feel ashamed every time I pay the bill after a late evening there.

Spent yesterday afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Some day, I will finish the book.

This Trump meeting of a year ago involving Donald Jr. gets stranger by the day. Seems hard for young Donald to tell the truth.

We were informed yesterday there was a fifth person in the room. A Russian-American lobbyist who once was a member of Russia’s military and counter-intelligence.

A few minutes ago on MSNBC, I heard announced that one of Jr.’s attorneys called in and said their was a sixth person in the room. Sounds like a joke telephone call. By the end of the day, we will know if the message was genuine.

I do not mean to insult Donald Trump, Jr. by referring to him as Jr. Fewer letters to type.

A day or two ago, his father referred to him as a good kid. Probably is. He is neither Jr. nor kid, however. He is 10 days younger than the French President.

Got to hurry. A haircut appointment.

Enjoy your day!

 

BEES NUKED / BEE-POCOLYPSE

What a beautiful morning! Key West at its best. Sun shining, sky blue. Water and wind quiet. The calm before the storm? It has been raining heavy most of the month.

There is a world wide war against mosquitoes. Especially, ZIKA causing ones. Even in the Florida Keys. Mosquitoes like you would not believe!

Until recently, I would have said we in the lower Keys have no problem. A terrific Mosquito Control Board. Now, problems.

ZIKA has driven everyone crazy. News of the ZIKA problem hit us in January. Everyone rushed to do something.

A decision was made by the local Board to test genetically modified bees. Basically untested. The test would be done on the small key of Key Haven. My home. The locals have been up in arms. whether such testing can take place is pending on the November ballot to see if we want it.

In the meantime, there have been a total of four ZIKA cases reported in the Keys. The Keys about 140 miles long running north from Key West to the mainland. The four cases not caused by Keys’ mosquitoes. All were contacted out of the area. Means in another country.

The rush to protect has not only affected the Florida Keys. People are going crazy everywhere. Reminds me of Ebola, which turned out to be a bust.

South Carolina was in a hurry to do something re the ZIKA problem.

Naled is an old time pesticide. Thought to be dangerous to humans. Rarely used. South Carolina did not care. On the last sunday of August for two hours, South Carolina had planes spray naled. In the Dorchester area.

South Carolina is also home to beekeepers. Beekeeping a business in South Carolina. Where sprayed, bees were killed instantly. Millions of them. One beekeeper had 46 hives. He lost 2.5 million bees instantaneously.

It is a month later and no one knows what effect, if any, the spraying had on the mosquitoes.

The bees nuked. Apocalypse for the bees.

Did my podcast last night. A half hour of interesting topics. Bees, included.

Before the show, stopped at Roostica’s for dinner.

Ted Williams spent many years in the Keys. He had a home in Islamorada for twenty plus years. Williams was an avid fisherman.

The story goes that Williams sold his Islamorada home when he had to wait to cross US 1. Too many people.

On this day in 1941, Williams was playing the last day of the season. He was close to batting .400. Had to have a good day to get there. Played a doubleheader. Went 6 for 8. Ended up batting .402 for the season. The last time a player has hit .400.

I am a history buff. Majored in history in college. William the Conqueror part of my education in grammar school, high school, and college. The year 1066. On this date in 1066, William, aka Duke of Normandy, invaded England. Historically noteworthy.

I am looking forward to lunch today. Liz invited me for lunch. She is preparing a special French dish for me.

Enjoy your day!

 

TWO SPORT DEATHS

Two stars of the sports world left us in recent days. One retired, the other beginning. Arnold Palmer and Jose Fernandez.

Arnold Palmer, an all time sport great. An outstanding golfer.

Eighty seven at the time his death.

Palmer brought golf to the attention of the masses. His first professional win in 1955 in the Canadian Open. The mid 50’s were also the time when most American homes began having a television set. A marriage occurred. Viewers loved Palmer. Most viewing never played golf. Nevertheless, they were glued to their sets watching Palmer.

Jose Fernandez’s death even more sad. Palmer completed his professional and personal life. Fernandez just beginning. Twenty four years old. A star player with the Marlins. Team leader. A father to be. He died in a boating accident.

His team mates held Fernandez in high esteem. I watched them on TV this morning. Everyone from Manager Don Mattingly through each team member openly crying. Grown men.

Tonight is a night of nights! The Trump/Clinton debate. First one. Considered important. The candidates are close in the polls. It is expected to have a huge viewing world wide.

Some one made a comment on Morning Joe this morning that some consider tonight as one to save the Republic. Applies to supporters of each candidate.

Interestingly, television’s first Presidential debate took place on this date in 1960. Kennedy/Nixon. Kennedy won the TV phase. He took to the camera like a natural. Nixon came over terrible. His responses were right on. His appearance not. He kept sweating and the camera picked up every drop.

I spent most of yesterday lying around continuing to read Orange Is The New Black.

Three dead bodies were found floating early in the weekend off Islamorada. Twenty three miles out. Two men and a woman. A boating accident.

A sad announcement. Key West Lou COMMENTARY will be no more. The column presently on the stands is the last that will appear in KONK Life.

I have been doing the column ten years. Loved doing it. Nothing is forever, however. It was time to put the column to bed.

This weekend was the first in years that I  had to myself for other than the column. Which means I had nothing to do saturday and sunday. I enjoyed my first lazy weekend in years.

Guy de Boer publishes KONK Life. I thank him for the opportunity to write. I shall be eternally grateful. He never questioned content or positions taken. I was a free agent at all times.

Enjoy your day!

 

LIMELIGHT FOR SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

It happens. Periodically the quiet of campus life becomes a national news item. Syracuse experiences two this weekend.

Syracuse played football against Connecticut yesterday. Won! 31-24.

For Syracuse, it is a new team and new coach. Both are doing well, but not there yet. The coach appears great. Throwing the ball. Syracuse’s quarterback excellent. He has two rather than one top notch receivers.

The problem as I see it is the team’s lacks consistency. They were 14-o at the end of the first quarter. Halftime it was 17-14. Last week, Syracuse was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. Lost decisively.

The key is to play hard 60 minutes. Hard to do. Must be done however if Syracuse is to be a top team.

Syracuse now 2-2.

That was the good. Now for the bad.

Kenneth Kavajecz is Dean of the School of Management. Big job! Was paid $496,449 last year.

Today, he is on administrative leave.

Last week he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. A 3rd degree misdemeanor. No big deal for most. The lowest level crime. Many would be allowed to plead to an infraction and walk away.

The Sheriff’s Department was operating a sting. The Dean got caught.

I feel sorry for the Dean. I know what he did is legally wrong. Note however we live in a time when most of the campus is screwing each other, some members of the faculty playing around. Society itself is sexually free. Sex is all over the place. TV and the movies.

I feel sorry for the Dean. He even went to a suburban town Salina rather than seek a prostitute in Syracuse. Syracuse is a metropolitan community. There are enough hookers in Syracuse that he did not have to travel.

I recently wrote that within 10 years, prostitution will be legal in the United States. I stand by that prediction. The reason is that the government will be able to tax the sex industry. Big dollars involved. Germany has been doing it for years and making a bundle.

Sloan stopped over in the afternoon. We had a few minor glitches in something new I am working on. Close to being resolved.

Sloan leaves for a two week European trip thursday. Backpacking. Alone. Ireland, England and Scotland. She is going to have a ball!

I had a sneezing jag yesterday afternoon. For an hour. One sneeze after another. Thought I was coming down with a head cold. I cannot recall the last time I had a cold.

After one hour, it stopped as swiftly as it had begun. No cold. Must have been something I was temporarily allergic to in the house.

I rarely read a book when published. Do not know why. Orange Is The New Black was published 2010. I started reading it yesterday afternoon.

Pro football watching this afternoon at Don’s Place. It will be the first time for me this season.

Enjoy your Sunday!

TED WILLIAMS HAD IT RIGHT

Ted Williams…..An All-American great!

Famous baseball player, Hall of Fame, World War II fighter pilot, and fisherman. It is the fisherman portion I am concerned with.

Williams loved fishing in the Keys. Especially for tarpon. He bought a home in Islamorada in 1943. Became a Florida resident. Stayed 45 years. Left in 1988.

The reason…..He said it was time to leave when he could no longer make a left turn on US 1 because of the traffic.

He will not be the last to leave for that reason.

I open with two great men today. The other is David Wolkowsky. Besides being my new found friend at physiotherapy, David is a Key West icon. Loves Key West. David is responsible for Key West’s development as a fun funky off beat place.

David is the reason for the Pier House. It was 1967. Where the Pier House sits today was nothing more than a ruddy dirty part of the waterfront. David was a visionary. On this day in 1967, construction began on the Pier House Motel. Fifty units.

Truman Capote was a guest at the Motel. Took over David’s trailer on the site. Capote referred to the Pier House Motel as “elegant inefficiency.”

The Pier House Motel was completed one year later in 1968.

Big trees from little acorns grow. Today’s Pier House.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Love it! One problem, however. I have a lot of get up and go when on the treadmill. Once I am off, I am dead tired.

I began researching for a subject to write about for this week’s KONK Life column. Came up with nothing. I will come up with a topic. Generally, a gem. But it is always last minute that it hits me.

Last night was Schooners and the Waterfront. Schooners packed, as was the Waterfront. Waterfront food great again. Fried calamari, wings, and fish and chips.

There was a traffic jam of traffic jams yesterday. Construction on US 1 in the Cow Key Bridge area. One lane traffic for about 300 feet in the north bound lane. Traffic held up on Northern and Southern Boulevards, as well as Flagler, as far as the eye could see and beyond. Down to Sears Shopping Center on Northern Boulevard, around the curve on Southern, Flagler to Habana Shopping Center.

A one to two hour delay at noon time.

Police directing traffic would have helped. The delay would have been less. Only one officer directing traffic. At US 1 and College Road. The one place an officer was not needed. The construction and one lane traffic ended at the College Road intersection.

Don called me. The team won 2 out 3 at bocce thursday night. Though not playing, I plan on following the team.

Syracuse/Pitt this afternoon. Syracuse a 3 1/2 point favorite. I think Syracuse will lose. Definitely if the team plays as it did against Louisville.

Syracuse needed Louisville and Pitt wins to guarantee a bid to the big post season tournament. If Syracuse beats Pitt today, Syracuse will be on the bubble.

The game is at 2. Dan Reardon, I will be watching the game at Don’s Place.

Enjoy your day!

8 FOOT CROCODILE IN POOL

We have everything in Key West.

Used to have many cats. Now, few. Some think the iguanas ate the cats. Chickens still around, though in fewer numbers. Pythons into the Keys. Only one so far in Key West. Two years ago. An 8 footer along the runway at the airport. Some think it may have been droped there.

Now, crocodiles?

Over the years, there have been a few sightings in the lower keys of a crocodile in a canal. Recently, one in an Islamorada pool.

A home fronting on the ocean. A pool between the home and ocean. Yesterday morning, an 8 foot croc seen in the pool. Authorities called. Nothing to do. Crocodile climbed out of the pool on its own and returned to the ocean.

No one wants a crocodile in their back yard. Whether Islamorada or Key west. Hope this was a one time occurrence. Islamorada is 77 miles from Key West.

What bugs me is that crocodiles are considered a threatened species. So says the federal government. Can’t kill them. Does not make sense. Crocodiles can kill humans, but humans cannot kill crocodiles.

Back on the treadmill yesterday. Felt good. Went slow. Spent the rest of the day writing. Dinner last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

An excellent crowd. I walked around to determine local/tourist mix. I must have been the only local. Knew no one.

I spent five days nursing my cold. All five days spent at home. Killed the cold. Also rested my body. I felt rested yesterday. Ready to go! Must have needed the down time. I have been complaining to myself lately how tired I felt.

This week’s KONK Life column Late Night Diner published wednesday in KONK Life. Today, it is running in E-Blast.  It was also linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

It is the story of artist Edward Hopper and his painting Nighthawks. People in a diner late at night.

Yesterday was National Hugging Day. Also known as National Hug Day. Not new. Began in 1986. Has grown dramatically world wide. Consideration is being given to renaming the day International Hugging Day.

The day was started to get people out of the lull/depression which hits between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

There is a most hugable person each year. The Most Hugable Person 2016 is Tim Harris of Albuquerque. Tim is a 30 year old Down Syndrome individual.

Tim has hugged people on National Hugging Day for purposes of charity fundraising. In 2014, he hugged 1,000 people and raised $6,000. Last year, he hugged 2,000 people and raised $13,000.

This day in 1912 was a big one in Key West. Overseas Railroad’s first train arrived in Key West. Multitudes welcomed the train.  It was Henry Flagler’s dream come true. A train from Florida’s mainland to Key West.

The 1935 Labor Day hurricane wiped out a good portion of the railroad and killed hundreds. The railroad took its biggest hit in the middle keys. The hurricane was a 5. Was labeled Storm of the Century.

The railroad bed and bridges were not rebuilt. The railroad had not been making money. Remnants of the bridges can be seen in a drive on US 1 through the middle keys.

There was no blog published wednesday. Many of you contacted me yesterday asking where it was. I don’t know. I did what I always do and thought it published. I went back yesterday and tried to find it. No way. I must have hit a wrong key and the blog is out there somewhere in never never land.

Sorry.

Enjoy your day!

ROGER WESTERLUND

We come and go. Death a certainty. Inevitable.

July 6 was a major milestone in my life. My 80th birthday. It was a sad day in Roger and Mary Ann Westerlund’s lives. Roger died. He was 83. The world lost a good man. Key West one of its favorite persons.

Roger was a retired anesthesiologist. He retired from the NYU Medical Center. He and Mary Ann moved to Key West sometime in the late 1990s. They were already here when I bought my Key West home in 1998.

My wife at the time and I were strangers. Knew few people. The Westerlunds were always quick to introduce us to others.

It is sometimes hard to describe the real person. Roger can best be understood by his plaque at the Tropic Cinema. The Tropic was raising money for the new location. Roger made a donation. A urinal donation.

There are two urinals in the men’s room. Roger paid for one of those urinals. On the wall over the urinal is a plaque. Eye level. It reads…..THIS STATION FOR YOUR RELIEF PROVIDED BY ROGER WESTERLUND.

Roger will be remembered by those who use the urinal and those who do not. Robert was a well known figure around town. Loved and respected by all.

My day began with my friend the anti-gravity treadmill. A real work out. I have increased the miles per hour and inclines. Thirty minutes and my tee shirt was sticking wet.

It was lunch time. The Cuban Coffee Queen. A cheese toast and large Cuban coffee. Sat there a while reading the newspapers.

The new location of the Cuban Coffee Queen in Key Lime Square behind Antonio’s has turned into a gold mine. Good for them!

Dinner last night at Hot Tin Roof with Rick and Cynthia. Wonderful people. We are relatively new friends. It was at their home three months ago that I suffered the first of my three consecutive days of falling. Not their fault. My body’s fault.

Rick writes. For KONK Life as I do. He is openly against anything he senses is wrong. He brings lawsuits on his own to fight what he perceives Key West injustices. No lawyer. Rick feels he is qualified, however. He did a year at Yale Law School.

Charlotte and Skip stopped by our table. I have seen neither in a couple of months. Skip is a premier radio broadcaster. Was the man in Key West. Relocated to another station in Islamorada where he and Charlotte now live.

Charlotte is from one of the Carolinas. She worked for United Health Care. I beat her up many times with my complaints about the company. United Health Care my AARP supplement.

If my recollection is correct, Charlotte is now associated with the dolphin facility in the Keys.

Charlotte lived many years on her boat in the Carolinas. Not taking well to apartment living. She intends to bring her boat down to Islamorada for her and Skip to live on.

Charlotte runs. The big marathons all over the country. She told me when last we met that she was going to do the 50 mile run from Marathon to Key West. She told me last night she did. Completed the run with no difficulty. I who cannot walk very far! I hate her sometimes!

Jean Thornton back in town. I looked for her before and after dinner last night. Could not find her. Emily at the Chart Room told me Jean and Sheila were participating in the Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt. The winners received $5,000. I don’t know if Jean and Sheila won.

Jean already won. Some years back, Jean was diving with Mel Fisher. She was either his guest or paid a small fee to do a one day dive. Jean found emeralds and gold. Changed her life! No more the Indiana school teacher. She and husband Joe now live in Birmingham and Key West. They have a condo in Truman annex.

Jean has come to be known as the Key West Golden Girl because of her find.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carries my KONK Life column for the week. Illegal Human Trafficking. Not about prostitution. About Uber. An historical walk re a relatively new company.

You have picked up I am sure that I have not written re Greece the past few days. The situation confuses me at this point. My lips are sealed till there is a result/conclusion.

Enjoy your day!