EARLIER ERA DISCRIMINATION

Racial discrimination an in your face item today. Trump’s attempts to limit/stop Muslim immigration an example.

Today, it is Muslims. At another time, the Chinese. The year 1888. On this date in 1888, the U.S. passed a law forbidding Chinese laborers from entering America. Note the word “laborers.” Merchants, extra smart persons and seafarers not included.

California was the tender spot. Over 100,000 had come in. The Anglo cry was they were taking up the white man’s jobs and causing wages to be low.

By 1888, some Chinese had become successful. They owned and operated laundries and restaurants. Both considered women’s work up to that time.

The U.S. continued to discriminate against and exclude laboring Chinese till 1943. The middle of World War II. The Chinese were our ally and such blatant racism could not be permitted to continue.

Spent a little time yesterday reading about turtles and the Florida Keys. A tale of love.

Sloan came by mid afternoon. I called her. Needed her. I wanted to improve on my new Go Live videos on Facebook. Two problems. Quickly resolved.

Big night! Jenna at Berlin’s. We had not seen each other for several weeks. It was catch up time.

Jenna is absolutely amazing. Her professional life continues to develop. Her income accompanies the success.

She was excited I was doing FB videos. She was watching them. She quickly shared with me two things I could do to make the videos better. Love her!

Compared to Jenna, I am a rank amateur when it comes to social media, FB, video, etc.

She shared with me a recent exciting experience.

Jenna has been running the past year. I should be so thin! She has competed in several 5Ks. Comes in 1st or in the top 5.

She works out with Dante. Another thin creature. His abs pronounced.

Jenna ran a short video on FB of her and Dante standing waiting to run. Eleven thousand views! Wow! Even she was surprised. She could not figure out why the video became instantaneously hot.

Would I love to have 11,000 views!

Bria stopped by. Lovely! Enjoyed her singing afterwards.

Tennessee Williams time.

This afternoon at 2 at the Tennessee Williams Gallery at 513 Truman, a talk about the making of The Rose Tattoo. Starred Anna Mangani and Burt Lancaster. Filmed in Key West in a house 2 doors from Williams’ home. The movie based on a Tennessee Williams story.

One week from today at The Studios of Key West, a presentation involving Williams and Frank Merlo. Williams and Merlo were lovers. They lived together in Key West and elsewhere for years. I believe their love letters the basis of the show.

I wrote about the Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo relationship in an article in KONK Life three years ago. The emphasis was on the influence that Merlo had on Williams life and writing.

The State of Florida took like a 100 years to complete the reconstruction of North Roosevelt Boulevard. The State screwed up re the cross walks. How to long to spell out. If you live in Key West, you know.

Too many accidents at the crosswalks. Serious injuries the result.

The State has been screwing around about correcting the situation. Nothing definite from them.

City officials are trying again. The State has to come in and fix. It is a State highway. Even if the State agrees, I can tell you it will be an additional 2-3 years to get to it because of funding. Not in the budget or proposed budget.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. On this date 1950, the President arrived in Key West for a one month vacation. A working one. At the Little White House.

I am fortunate to live on this island. Warm most of the time. Experienced enough snow while living up north.

New York City got hit by a major snow storm in 1888. Began this date. Forty inches in 36 hours. The City was isolated for days. An example being that messages to Boston had to be routed through England.

Here I go again with robots and autonomous intelligence. It is not sneaking upon us. It has. And no one is talking about where those human employees being replaced by robots, etc. will work.

The issue is not bringing jobs back from Europe, Asia and Mexico. Such an issue 20 years ago. Over the next 3-4 years, it will be the robots taking over.

And no one talks about it. Not even Trump who professes to know everything.

California plans to permit no driver vehicles on its highways by the end of the year. No steering wheel, no pedals, no driver.

A biggie beginning at 5:30 today. The NCAA Selection Show. I do not expect Syracuse to be selected.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

FRANKENSTEIN

Frankenstein. Big guy! Scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Used to cower in the movie seat. Eyes covered.

Mary Shelley was 21 when she published Frankenstein this day in 1818. The book also titled The Modern Prometheus. Often referred to as the world’s first science fiction novel.

Fran Dixon, thank you!

My Buffalo friend brought me a full meal when last she and husband Tom visited Key West some three years ago. Linguine with sauce and meatballs. Carried in her suitcase. The sauce and meat balls frozen. The pasta not.

Fran instructed me how to cook the linguine, etc.

The reason I eat out most evenings is I do not like to eat alone. If I do spend an evening at home, it is a bologna or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Cooking to any degree too much.

Three months and Fran’s meal was still sitting in the freezer and refrigerator.

Donna and Terri had invited me to dinner last night. Donna the cook of cooks! I agreed, but said I would supply the meal.

Donna heated everything. Threw in a caesar salad.

Fran’s food outstanding! Better than that! Especially the sauce and meat balls. Both had the distinct flavor of the sauce and meat balls my mother and grandmother made.

I write Fran a thank you note. Asked, what next? Standing prime rib?

Another good meal tonight. Berlin’s. Company good, also. Jenna.

Lynda Frechette is an animal! A beautiful one! She works her butt off with Aqua Idol. A fundraiser for The Waterfront Playhouse.

Not an easy task. First, she has to round up exceptional singers. Then manage many weeks of competition. Aqua packed every Tuesday. Wall to wall.

Keep up the great work, Lynda! If you who have never done Aqua Idol, go next Tuesday. Guaranteed, you will enjoy.

Did only one Go Live show on Facebook yesterday. Listed several major appointments by Trump who are dead set on destroying the agencies they have been appointed to lead. Also, those who are part of Trump’s White House team.

They are pushing our country to a precipice. Trump’s fault. He appointed them.

William Hackley. Part of our lives.

On this date in 1856, Hackley paid the dentist Dr. Walton’s bill. Dental work done at home over four different days. For Hackley, Matilda and their children. Ten extractions, three fillings, and other dental procedures.

Total bill: $30. $3,000 plus these days.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE THORNTONS…..HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Jean and Joe Thornton…..Happy Anniversary! Forty years!

The event was celebrated with a small group of friends last night at Berlin’s. Janyne one of the party.

Bria payed Jean and Joe lovely compliments and then invited them to dance as she sang.

A lovely couple. A Key West loved couple.

I was at Berlin’s last night with Jenna for dinner.

At least two months since I’ve seen Jenna. She is always working, on the road or running.

She spent Christmas in Indiana with the family. Followed by a week in New York City as Reuben’s guest.

Jenna…..Always beautiful, always striving.

I think Anna and Everett were at Berlin’s also. Shamefully, I did not recognize them. Realized as I was leaving they were new found friends from Aqua and the Chart Room this past week.

My apologies.

Exciting days coming at the end of the month. Exciting to me.

From 1/30 to 2/2, three World War II planes will be on exhibit in Key West. Three planes that helped win the War. Three planes I played with during the War years. Making models.

The B-24 bomber, B-25 bomber, and the P-51 Mustang fighter.

The place, the Key West Airport.

The planes are on a 110 city tour.

Syracuse/Pitt at noon today. Syracuse a 3 point favorite. The game not available on TV. I had wanted to watch the game with Dan Reardon. When your team sucks, TV ignores your team.

On this day in 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United states. Only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. Voting restrictions existed even back then. Its purpose then and now to protect the turf of those who are part of the so called establishment.

More re the robot invasion.

IBM Watson has designed and produced robots to replace insurance claim workers at a Japanese insurance company. Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance.

Thirty four human insurance claim workers will be replaced. Beginning this month. Replaced by the IBM Explorer AI robot.

The robots will scan hospital records and other documents to determine insurance payouts, factoring injuries, patient medical histories, and procedures administered.

The robot cost $1.7 million. Plus maintenance of $128,000 a year.

Fukokou will realize a savings of $1.1 million per year on employee salaries. Providing a return on its investment in less than two years.

In addition, productivity is expected to increase by 30 percent.

Just the beginning! Time is now to worry about how human employees replaced by robots will be transitioned. Actually, yesterday was the time. We are always late.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

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!

 

 

JENNA and ME

Last night lovely! Jenna and I enjoyed dinner together. At Azur. We celebrated my birthday. I was Jenna’s guest.

Jenna and I have been friends eight years. When she first came to Key West. Green. Wet behind the ears. No more. An experienced woman in her field. Television, advertising, modeling. She is at her best when hosting and interviewing on a TV show.

Beautiful! A knockout!

We enjoy each other’s company though 51 years separate us.

Jenna is razor then. Runs 5-7 miles a day. A cheap date. She eats nothing. Orders an appetizer. Finishes only half. Takes the other half home. Her body slim.

She has taken up racing. Recently won her first race. A 5K.

Walked yesterday. Working at good health! Read and napped during the afternoon.

Hemingway Days around the corner. July 22-26.

One of the events scheduled is a poetry reading. Sponsored by the Key West Poetry Guild. Hemingway wrote poetry in his early days. His poems will be read. Blue Heaven. Tuesday July 22 at 5.

Hemingway was familiar with Blue Heaven. A regular of sorts. He refereed local boxing matches there.

No question, I am hooked on William Hackley. His 1855 diary being run on a daily basis by the Key West Citizen.

He and his wife Kate have a new born. Kate not making enough milk. William brought in a goat from Havana. The goat not doing the job. The baby is literally starving.

Kate tried breast fed twice during the night. Not enough. The baby is in trouble.

The British Open got to me right away. The first day Scottish time was 1:30 in the morning our time thursday. I watched the whole thing. Got about two hours sleep.

I did not watch last night. Slept.

Phil Mickelson doing well. Time is passing him by. He is 46. I would like to see him win this big one.

Three years ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the medical care jailed inmates receive. The best! Better than you and I. And we pay for it. They do not.

The issue of special food has once again arisen. Certain Jewish inmates want kosher foods. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists whatever their religions permit.

Special dishes cost extra money. Florida, $12.3 million a year. Florida wanted to say no more. everyone eats the same. An intermediate federal court said this week that jails must provide special meals for inmates who claim the same on religious grounds. The court also went on to say that the argument it costs too much money does not fly. Find it! Such was the court order to Florida.

Special religious meals are provided in 35 state jails and throughout the entire federal system.

This week’s KONK Life column The New Prostitution was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. It also appeared on E-Blast.

What happened in Nice horrible! Eighty plus lives. A terrorist attack by one man.

I fear the attack may decide our Presidential election. Trump claims he is going to protect us. Shouts it loudly and clearly.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

FREEDOM AT LAST

Early wednesday morning, six Cuban immigrants safely landed in Key West. At the Southernmost Point.The end of South Street. The place where tourists wait in line to have their picture taken.

The dive boat that took them to safety could be seen behind the Southernmost Point. A warm sight knowing the circumstances. The six could not have landed at a better place.

Now that we have some sort of relationship with Cuba, I no longer can accept returning Cuban refugees who did not land with their feet on American soil. A concept that has outlived its time.

I saw on TV this morning, a Cuban who had just arrived and his father that had been in the U.S. 36 years. Embracing. Crying. The first time in 36 years father and son saw or touched each other.

Yesterday began normally. The anti-gravity treadmill first. I have exceeded my original top speed. Now 4.0 as opposed to 3.5. Miles per hour. Time equal to back when. Gravity still at 50 percent. I need it there or a while yet.

David Wolkowsky has been absent recently. He went to New York City. Ninety six years old and takes a few days off to visit the Big Apple. What a guy!

Followed it up with Ruby at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Ruby is terrific! She remembers your order and name. Similar to a bartender knowing your drink. All the time smiling.

A stop at Walgreens to pick up another prescription. I have 11 prescriptions requiring 13 pills a day to be taken. All doctor prescribed. My heart doctor says it is what is keeping my heart and blood pressure ok. I am “pill controlled” as he puts it.

I could sense it was going to rain last night at dinner time. Decided to stay close to home. Drove over to Hogfish. Sat at the bar. Knew we were going to get hit with a heavy rain. Monsoon type. You could small, taste and feel it coming.

It did. Fortunately, the bar area protected me from getting wet.

My happy birthday with Jenna this evening. My birthday. The last day of celebration. It is dinner at Azur. I am looking forward to Jenna and Azur. Both top of the line.

I am beginning to worry about William Hackley’s baby. He, a fried and what I assume was a nun stayed up all evening with the baby. Baby appeared better at 10 in the morning.

The thought occurs…..The Republican Party holds itself out as the party of family values. So they run a Presidential candidate who has had three wives. If Newt Gingrich is the VP choice, the heads of the Republican ticket will have had six wives.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” The opening phrase in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. “Let them eat cake.” Attributed to Marie Antoinette. Questioned by some whether she was the one who actually uttered the words.

They come to mind because it was on this date in 1789 that French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille. The beginning of the French revolution.

Pouring like hell at the moment. I suspect we may have slipped into the rainy season.

Enjoy your day!

 

BOBBY NESBITT BACK

It was back to the anti-gravity treadmill yesterday. Pushed myself. Got my time to within five minutes of what I used to do. Gravity level still at 50 percent though.

Spent the afternoon thinking and searching re this week’s KONK column. As usual, I came up with nothing. By 2 this afternoon, I must. Must complete research this afternoon preparatory to writing the column tomorrow.

Bobby Nesbitt has been away for a few weeks. He’s back. Knew he was going to be at Tavern ‘n Town last night. Planned on going.

Dee called me around 3. What are you doing tonight? I told her. She asked if she could join me. Of course.

Dee and I enjoyed dinner together while listening to Bobby Nesbitt last night.

I have been celebrating my birthday off and on all week. Tonight the last celebration! Jenna is taking me to dinner at Azur for my birthday. A double winner for me. Love Jenna. Always glad to be with her. Azur a fine restaurant. For some reason, I rarely go however.

The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week that indicated the price of gasoline had dropped dramatically in the last 20 days. There is a glut of gasoline.

No dramatic drop in Key West! Three cents. From $2.66 a gallon to $2.63.

The Journal article said gasoline dropped to $2.26 a gallon. Again, not in Key West!

Even better, the article stated more than 20,000 gas stations around the country are selling gasoline for less than $2 a gallon. Not in Key West!

Hemingway Days around the corner. July 19-24. Hemingway look alikes, the running of the bulls. Love it!

Mangoes. Key West not Key West without Mangoes. The restaurant is presently closed. Changed hands. Remodeling going on. I do not know the reopening date.

Everyone has had something happen to them at Mangoes. Sixteen years ago, I met Howard Livingston at the bar. We became instantaneous friends. Not today’s Howard Livingston. He was the Chicago CEO at the time.

The Beatles are coming to Key west. July 11 at 8 pm. The Key West Theater.

A group known as The Return performs a Beatles look alike, sing alike. Sounds interesting. A return to great music of yesteryear.

Enjoy your day!

 

RESPECT GEORGE WILL

George Will and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. With one difference. He is to the far right. I consider myself a liberal tending more toward the middle.

Will has been in the forefront of the Republican establishment forever. I read his columns. Enjoy the times he is on TV talk shows. Even though I do not agree with his positions, I enjoy keeping up with what the other side is saying.

Will announced yesterday that he is leaving the Republican Party because of Trump. A man of his convictions. He could have taken the easy way out and said he was not voting for Trump. No pussy footing involved. I respect that.

Will’s position simply is let the Democrats win this election. Work on 2020. Trump is that bad for the country and he must not win.

Speaking of Trump, I mentioned yesterday that no camera shots were shown of the crowd Trump was talking to in Turnberry. I suspected it was small. It was. The crowd was shown on TV this morning. Less than 30 people.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK column. It will be about William Bligh. Captain of the Bounty. Remember the movies Mutiny on the Bounty.

Movie making takes liberties with the truth. In the Bligh/Bounty movies significantly. Bligh was not the bad guy. Actually good to his men.

Surprisingly, Bligh faced three court martials. He was exonerated in all three. Historians view him as a good leader wronged by events not of his making.

I plan on writing the column this afternoon.

Never got to see and hear Terri White at Blue Heaven last night. My reservation was for 7:30. Jenna got held up at work.

It was a later dinner for us at Martin’s inside. Wienerschniztel and brie. We ate in the air conditioned inside dining room.

Tuesday weighing on me. Don’t know why. I have been through this before. In addition, my sciatica has returned.

Can’t win.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

TERRI WHITE SINGS

Tonight…..Terri White sings! At Blue Heaven. 6:30-9:30.

This is Terri’s first Key West performance since returning. She is retired. Moved back home to Key West with her wife Donna. Terri will do an occasional Key West gig. Nothing more.

Terri is officially retired. She had no choice. She went blind rather suddenly in one eye. If my recollection is correct, her last solo performance was at Kennedy Center. She fell off the stage. Her depth perception is shot.

I will be at Blue Heaven enjoying Terri. My evening will be doubly pleasing. Jenna will be with me.

I did nothing yesterday. Laid around. Read, napped and watched TV. I am taking it easy till we are sure what if anything is going on with my heart.

Hemingway. I have been reading a lot of Hemingway this past week. Not his works. Stories about the man himself. Interesting and revealing.

Hemingway was not a nice guy all the time. Especially as he got older. Mean.

Once an enemy, always an enemy. He wrote of his former friends, now enemies, as characters in his books. Making them look bad.

His sex life all over the place. Besides several wives, he had at least two long term affairs with lesbian women. Who apparently became bi as a result.

Hemingway is considered to have been bisexual by several who wrote about him. Going as far back as F. Scott Fitzgerald during their Paris days.

I would love to write a Hemingway column taking in all these facets. Too much involved, however. Also, I would owe it to the man to research even more deeply than I have. A lot of work. A ton of material. It would have to be a novel.

Anna telephoned yesterday from the Milan airport. She was waiting for a plane to Athens. She decided not to let the immigration problem screw up her summer.

She will spend a few days in Athens in a small hotel near Playka. She promised to visit my favorite outside cafe and drink a silent gin and tonic toast to me.

Her second stop will be Santorini. Things safe there, she says. After that, not sure. Maybe Amorgos.

I envy her.

She mentioned that Silvio Berlusconi had heart surgery ten days ago in Milan. An aortic valve replacement. Appears to be doing well.

My primary problem is with my aortic valve. Interestingly, my father’s problem was with his aortic valve.

Anna follows Berlusconi’s doings closely. Most Italians do. In spite of everything, he is a loved man in Italy. Anna says Putin has been in constant touch with Berlusconi. The two are known close friends. Putin built a home next door to Berlusconi in Portofino.

Trump in Scotland as seen on TV. Boring. Unimpressive.

My sense is he did not have a crowd. Hard to determine. The camera remained on him and never showed us those listening to him.

Americans are movie lovers. Especially of the old west. On this day in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn took place. Custer and his 200 men were wiped out by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The Native Americans had 3,000 against Custer’s 200.

I have to research this week’s KONK Life column today. I research on saturday and write on sunday. My usual problem again. Do not know yet what I am going to write about.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

DANCE CARD FULL

Generally, I many times have no idea of what I am going to do. Today, I know exactly into the evening.

I slept late. It is 10ish and I am just starting the blog. Then research for this week’s KONK Life column. About bees. Bees in warfare. Titled: To Bee or Not To Bee. Love the title!

Bocce. Playoffs today. My team ended up third. All alone. Without playing thursday night. Rained out. Six teams tied for third. One, us. We had beat the other five earlier in the season. Gave us third place alone.

The team plays at 3. I will be there to cheer them on. Spoke with Don yesterday. We are playing monday’s #1 team. Tough!

When the game is over, we will all head to Don’s Place. Win or lose. For the Preakness.

Not done yet.

After Don’s, going to a birthday party. At the Firehouse Museum on Grinnell. One block from Don’s place. The mamey tree 102nd birthday party.

The mamey tree in question lives on the Firehouse Museum property.

What is a mamey tree? I did not know till this morning. A tree common to Central and South America. Some in Florida and rest of U.S. Grows 60-70 feet tall. Bears different colored fruit in the shape of a football.

The father of all mamey trees in the U.S. is the one planted at the Firehouse Museum. DNA substantiated.

The fruit is made into ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies. I will try the ice cream tonight for the first time.

The party is 6-8 pm.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny encouraged me to move on. I increased the speed. Though not by much.

I am a creature of habit, as mentioned many times. Which means I ended up at the Cuban Coffee Queen again for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee. Plus, the newspapers. I sat an hour or two reading.

Then home. Early afternoon. Tired. The increased speed on the treadmill? Not sure. Whatever, I took a two hour nap.

Last night, a premier event. Dinner with Jenna at Michael’s. Jenna and I had not seen each other in three months. It was catch up time.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that the Oklahoma Senate had this week passed a bill making abortion a felony. A felony for the doctor performing the abortion. It reached the Governor yesterday. The governor vetoed the bill.

Words of wisdom from Aristotle: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”

Trump will never avoid criticism.

Enjoy your day!