THE WEATHER…..KEY WEST AND ERIE, PA.

The weather outside is frightful…..

For Key West, no. Erie, Pa., yes.

A magnificent Christmas week weather wise. Eighty by day, 70 by night. No humidity. No air conditioning required at night. Open the bedroom window and let the cool ocean breeze flow in.

Erie, Pa. another story! Four feet of snow over a 48 hour period 12/25-12/26.

Erie no stranger to heavy snow falls. However, the four feet was the most ever.

I remember 4 feet snowfalls in Utica. Got one every 10 years or so. Pretty. Disruptive, however. The City closed down. No driving, no work. Could be 2 days before you got out of your house.

I loved the major snow storms. Family time. Parents and children confined at home together. A time to rebond.

My day yesterday began at the opticians. Still having vision problems with the new glasses. Second prescription. Worse than the first.

I return this morning for additional tests.

Worked  at organizing last night’s podcast in the afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

An early dinner at Roostica.

No question it is Christmas time. The busiest time of the year in Key West. Roostica packed to the walls inside and out.

Tried to do a different show last night. One where Donald Trump is never mentioned. I did well. Slipped into a brief Trump comment only 3 times.

The introductory story was one I reported first on this blog last week. The story of the prematurely born female twins.

One not making it. Death inevitable. Placed in incubator next to her sister who was doing well. The healthy twin threw an arm over her sick sister. The sick sister’s recovery began immediately.

The twins 22 years old today. Lovely young ladies leading full lives.

The help of a sister and the grace of God responsible.

A poor stone crab season.  A very poor one.

Law of economics at work. Few stone crabs available, high prices.

The fishermen cannot find enough stone crabs. It is believed Irma disrupted the ocean floor and who knows where they ended up. Another reason suggested is that there has not been a cold front yet. A cold front is required to move stone crabs closer to shore.

Small stone crabs going for $8 a piece. Jumbo’s, $28 a piece.

Too expensive.

Syracuse/E. Michigan tonight. I will watch from the comfort of my bed. Syracuse a 12 point underdog.

I doubt many would disagree with me if I referred to Trump as an egomaniac. He may get his rocks off again. In Jerusalem.

Israel owes Trump. He is moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The action to the Israelis indicates Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

They refer to Trump’s decision re the Embassy as a “brave decision.”

Jerusalem’s Western Wall is the holiest of Jewish places. A high speed railway is soon to be constructed which will run to the Western Wall. Construction to take 4 years. Cost, $700 million.

Strong support exists to name the train station at the Wall after Trump.

He is better deserving in my opinion for a subway train station in the middle of the Bronx to be renamed after him. One in a black/latino neighborhood.

Enjoy your day!

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

Walt Disney hit with a bang this day in 1937 with the premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The first feature length animated film. Took in $8 million its first weekend.

Critics thought it would be a loser. They referred to the film before its release as “Disney’s Folly.”A lesson learned: Don’t always listen to those who supposedly know more than everyone else.

Who can forget Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc and Happy? Whistled While They Worked: Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go…..

A happy film. Good to be recalled. Even better, to be seen again.

An old friend in Key West last night. Years since we have been together. Dinner at Antonia’s.

Catch up conversation.

After dinner, Mike had things to do. I decided to stop at the Chart Room. Glad I did.

Met Dee Elder from Kansas City. She lost one breast to cancer.

Seems I am getting a mastectomy education lately. Jenny two months ago in the Chart Room. She had a double. Explained the whole procedure to me. She was happy with her new breasts. Intended having her nipples tattooed on.

Seems women who have had to undergo a removal of their breast(s) want to share the experience with everyone. Dee went so far as to show everyone her breasts.

Magnificent! More magnificent, the work performed by the doctors.

Dee had only one removed. She had papillary breast cancer. She explained papillary cancer does not jump from one breast to another.

Her breasts beautiful! Both balanced and appeared the same in size, etc. The doctors do some work on the remaining one to make sure the two breasts look alike when all is done.

We got into nipple tattooing. Thanks to my previous conversation with Jenny.

Dee’s nipple was tattooed. I could not tell. A 3-D tattoo. The shadowing made it appear slightly erect.

Dee told me that only medically licensed tattoo artists were permitted to do the tattooing.

Should my mastectomy education continue, I may write a book on the tattooing aspect. A follow-up to Irma and Me.

This is Dee’s 23rd visit to Key West. Once a year for 23 years.

She is here with her husband to the 26th so I anticipate running into her again. She will probably expose her breasts again. She is proud of them. Good for her!

Need some help. I am looking for Julie from Canada who I met a few weeks ago at the Chart Room. The same Julie I had written about two times earlier re her split toe ring and its magical influence upon Key West during Irma.

Her husband, Conrad.

Julie, please write me at louispetrone@gmail.com. I need your assistance in something I am doing.

Big event tonight! Custom House from 5-9. A holiday concert and bazaar. Guaranteed to be a winner! My friend Dr. Cori Convertino involved with the event.

The tax bill in reality our government for sale. To the rich donors who fill the Republican election coffers with mega dollars.

They want to rule the country……from the shadows.

Trump working his alienation powers again today. At a meeting of the UN General Assembly. A vote regarding the U.S. having declared Jerusalem Israel’s capital and advising it would be moving its embassy there.

The U.S. is going to take a beating. A big one!

Trump has advised that those who vote against the U.S.’s position could face repercussions. He threatens to cut aid to any such country.

Niki Haley said the U.S. would be taking names re those who vote against the U.S. position.

What kind of bullshit is this? Trump’s way in this regard similar to those of an authoritarian figure. Men like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

No way to make friends! No way to keep friends!

The Mayflower Compact signed this day back in the 1620’s by the Pilgrims before they disembarked from the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. Signed by 41 adult male Pilgrims.

No women were permitted to sign. Second class citizens back then.

It took a few hundred years. Women however have come a long way!

Enjoy your day!

 

I AM WOMAN

Two items of historical significance occurred this date, though in different years.

The year 1972. Helen Reddy’s brilliant song I Am Woman hit the top of the pop charts. A work for the ages. Perfect for the burgeoning women’s movement. One of its beginnings.

I Am Woman’s words involved personal empowerment. Identified women as a class unto themselves.

The song still with us today. Reflected in the sexual harassment issue facing society today.

Women have come a long way!

The other event of historical significance occurred in 1854. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade was published. The charge having occurred at Balaklava during the Crimean War.

I first read the Charge in high school. It resonates with me to this day. “Into the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred / …..Their’s not to reason why / Their’s but to do and die.”

Dinner at Donna and Terri’s last night. Donna cooked special for me. My diet. Pieces of beef. Delicious.

Terri looks better each time I see her.

The Lighted Boat Parade was scheduled for tonight. Canceled. Rescheduled. The weather.

Raining like hell already. Temperature has already dropped. Sixty nine at the moment. High will be 72. Mid to high 60s during the canceled Boat Parade. Sixty two when I wake tomorrow morning.

The cause has to be the snow storm moving northeast out of Texas. Key West will not experience snow. Don’t think we ever have. However, we are being hit with the outer limits of the storm. Cold and rain.

The Lighted Boat Parade has been rescheduled for next saturday.

The cold spell will be with us till thursday.

The Sheriff’s Animal Farm’s annual Christmas event tomorrow. One to 3. Wear a sweater or jacket.

What would Christmas be without Larry Smith? Larry’s annual Holiday Jazz Concert friday at The Studios of Key West. Always an enjoyable event. I will be there.

Wife Christine will be singing as only she can.

Leave well enough alone! My words directed to the Catholic Church.

Pope Frances announced he wants to reword the Lord’s Prayer. After 2,000 years!

His concern is with “Lead us not into temptation.” Claims it sounds like God is leading us into temptation when in reality it is the devil.

Blames the problem on the translations of the Lord’s Prayer over the years.

The Lord’s Prayer is part of the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian traditions. Basically as presently worded.

There has been a movement in the Church towards the change for several years. Frances lending his support by his announcement.

The Catholic Churches of France and Spain have already adopted the change.

I remember years ago when the Catholic Church changed the Mass from Latin to English and mandated Church goers sing during services. I believe the Catholic Church lost half its followers because of the two changes.

God help Donald Trump! He needs it.

His very recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is having immediate consequences. Three days of fighting in the streets between Israelis and Palestinians. The violence is escalating by day. Yesterday, rockets from Gaza into Israel, retaliatory air strikes by Israel on the Gaza Strip.

Trump is bristling to get us into a war.

Richard Cohen in a recent article in the Washington Post made several interesting comments re Trump: He “has made us a meaner, smaller people.” “Moral principal has been replaced by political cowardice.” “This is America’s darkest hour.”

Eugene Robinson writes for the Washington Post, also. He recently wrote that the Party of Lincoln has devolved into the Party of Trump. The GOP today belongs to Trump.

The Republican Party no longer can claim the mantle of honesty and purity.

Displaced boats in the lower Keys because of Irma exceeding the number anticipated. Thought to be 1,300. Up to 1,500 already raised and cleared. More to go.

Overall in Florida, 2,069 boats have already been raised.

Irma did its job!

The State immediately began replacing trees following Irma. The trees are replanted close to each other. We have learned that planting trees close to each other helps them survive strong wind storms. The trees break the wind and protect each other.

Syracuse/Colgate at 2 this afternoon. Syracuse will win.

Irma and Me’s sales numbers good. Higher than expected at this point. I am pleased.

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

Thus far, Irma and Me is the only book written re a person’s experiences involving Irma.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE COMPANY STORE

Sixteen Tons. Tennessee Ford. I Owe My Soul To The Company Store.

A great song. Fifty plus years ago.

Delete the word “owe”. Add in its place “sold.” Now reads I Sold My Soul To The Company Store.

A day or two ago I write Senator Chuck Grassley had sucked on the public tit too long. Thirty six years. Today, Utah’s Senator Orrin Hatch. Elected to the Senate for 40 years. The longest sitting Republican Senator.

He joins Grassley. Hatch has sucked on the public tit too long.

I have always admired Hatch. We got old together. He is 82 or 84.

A stand up guy in the past. Generally fighting for the right. Politics be damned. Relatively silent the past few years.

This past week, Hatch came out of the woodwork. No longer sitting quiet. Now an outspoken supporter of the Senate tax bill. I found it strange. He even shared his “poor” upbringing. Described himself as part of the lower middle class. Not poor. Try a level or two down. That is poor!

Two days ago, Hatch got to fly on Air Force One. With President Trump. Probably the first time in years he has been on Air Force One.

They headed to Hatch’s home state. Utah. There Trump removed “monuments designations” from two protected natural areas. Two million acres. He hailed Hatch. Hatch hailed Trump.

By his action, Trump opened 2 million acres to development. Commercial development. Like coal.

Coal is yesterday. No one seems to realize it, except Trump. Maybe Hatch.

Whatever, Hatch got a big share of Utah land open to eventual waste. In the process may have picked up some local glory.

Time to go, Senator. Forty years too long. Your values have changed.

I came across a quote yesterday: “Time to retire Senator…..when pedophilia is acceptable, you no longer represent our country.”

Together with Trump, Hatch is supporting the election of Alabama’s Moore.

I discussed Hatch and Grassley last night on my podcast show. The thrust…..They have sucked on the public tit too long.

Watched Syracuse/Connecticut last night following my show. Syracuse won 72-63. Syracuse played well early on. Had a 17 point lead at one time. Played Connecticut even in the second half.

Going to be a tough Syracuse year.

The game was part of the Jimmy V Classic. Purpose to raise money for cancer research. Dick Vitale spoke at half time. Introduced three young boys who are cancer survivors. Thus far. Their stories sad. Their smiles beautiful. The message send dollars so we can some day beat cancer.

George Mira. Fifty  plus years ago a University of Miami football star and 1962 All-American. Professional ball followed. He now resides in Coral Gables.

Mira a Key Wester early on. Born in Key West January 11, 1942. Played football at Key West High School.

Trump screwing things up again. Bad judgments on his part.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate stood trial for murder of a young lady in San Francisco. After a lengthy trial, he was acquitted last week.

As far as I am concerned, the jury spoke. It is the American way.

Apparently Trump was not satisfied. Thought justice not done. Attorney General Sessions and other federal officials announced two federal indictments. One for possession of a firearm, the other being an immigrant in possession of a firearm.

Zarate a non-white immigrant.

What else was to be expected!

The other involves Trump and Jerusalem.

It has been advised Trump will announce tomorrow that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and that in due course he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump a trouble maker. Does not know when to leave well enough alone.

Enjoy your day!

HE RODE INTO TOWN ON A DONKEY

Today is Palm Sunday. A Christian holiday. The day Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

A donkey instead of a horse. Reasons two fold. First, to show humility. Second, to evidence to the people that He came in peace and not as a warrior king.

The people scattered palm branches in front of Jesus.

His entry into Jerusalem triumphal.

Less than a week later, Jesus would be dead.

Though not a major holiday, Palm Sunday was one my Italian family celebrated. Generally at my grandparents’. The whole family. Aunts, uncles and cousins.

The meal not unusual. That would come next week on Easter Sunday. A huge bowl of ziti. If a special touch at all, melted mozzarella on top of the ziti. A meat sauce, of course. Meat consisted of the meatballs, beef and pork which were part of the sauce. A huge pasta bowl of such meats. Salad. The meal concluded with espresso and fruit.

My grandfather would start dinner with a blessing. He would take a small piece of palm and dip it into a bottle of Holy Water he kept. He would say a few words and sprinkle us.

The palms were a big deal. You had to go to Church to get palms. They were given out during Mass. When I was a kid, all the palms a person wanted. In later years, each person attending Church got one. Cost, scarcity, or what? I could never figure it out.

My uncles were pros at making crosses and other things out of palms. Small crosses, large crosses. Horses and other animals. Like the balloons of today which can be molded into anything.

The Italian custom was to visit the homes of friends after Mass. To exchange palms. A hug and kiss. Followed by a Happy Palm Sunday!

I was invited by friends on Sugarloaf to party last night. Drinks at someone’s house first. Then dinner at Square Grouper.

About 20 miles each way. Too far for me if I was drinking. I wanted to have a few drinks since I have been avoiding as best possible alcohol while on a diet.

So, I opted for Berlin’s alone.

Shawn and Gage bartending. The lovely Bria singing. Tuna for dinner.

After dinner, I sat in the lounge for a while listening to Bria sing and sipping a Bally’s Irish Cream.

While at the bar, a hug from behind. It was Lynda Frechette. Together with husband Bob, ML and Brad. All good people. Especially Lynda who does for everyone. They were having dinner inside at A&B.

Bob was wearing a blazer. Confirmed my thought expressed earlier this week that the no jacket Key West no longer existed. Bob had jumped over the fence.

Another couple was listening to Bria also. Charlie and Margo. Margo visiting from Maine. Charlie originally from Fonda, New York. Like 70 miles from my home town Utica. Small world.

Bob now lives full time in Key West. On a boat located in a Stock Island marina.

Walmart, where fort art thou Walmart?

Roughly 10 years since it was announced that a private group was going to build a Walmart on Rockland Key. 335,000 square feet with some smaller stores.

Still not built. Key West Citizen reported yesterday size now 150,000 feet. No date to begin construction advised.

The problem has involved the land owners and developers. Ten years of fighting over money, including a court case.

I wish they would get the project off the ground. We need a Walmart in the lower keys. We wear shorts and t-shirts. Brooks Brothers we are not.

We also need a cheaper place to purchase groceries.

The Key West Citizen wrote on the first page of this morning’s paper that taxis are going the way of the dinosaur. No question about it. Such the case, the City Commission should get off its ass and approve Uber and Lyft for Key West operation.

Let me finish with Trump’s bombing of Syria.

I was/am generally opposed. Not our war. I don’t see the English, French or Germans bombing anyone. They’re too smart.

On the other hand, once the Rubicon has been crossed, Trump should have done the job correctly. Destroyed Assad’s Air Force.

What did Trump do? Fifty nine missiles. Directed at one air base. Twenty planes destroyed. Twelve killed.

In retaliation for 70 plus lives lost. Proportionate? No way!

Even worse, not one of the runways was damaged. It is said the U.S. spoke with Russia in the afternoon and advised what we were going to do. I suspect that during any conversations, Russia said no potholes in the runways, please.

The Democrats describe the bombing as a pin prick. I have to agree. Not a political conclusion on my part. A common sense one.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

A SPORTS AFTERNOON

An interesting sports afternoon! I did not view much of it. The results astounding.

First, Syracuse.

Football. Syracuse lost as anticipated. Finally the football season is over. The score of the game unusual. Syracuse beaten by Pitt 76-61. The numbers reflect a basketball score. I am pleased that Syracuse kept it close. Only lost by roughly two touchdowns.

Basketball. Here I thought success would be ours. It was not. Syracuse lost to South Carolina 64-50.

No excuse. However…..Seems South Carolina’s defense was unique. New to college basketball. Syracuse could not handle it.

Boeheim will overcome.

Finally, the Ohio State/Michigan game. #s 2 and 3. Went to two overtimes. Ohio State finally won 30-27.

I only got to watch the overtimes. Fantastic football!

Last night with Liz. A lady. Charming. Her two deanships at law schools make Liz an extra interesting dinner companion.

I picked Cafe. The vegetarian restaurant. A funky appearing place. Reminds me of a college hang out. Food excellent. Business, likewise excellent.

I enjoyed a spinach-artichoke dip and mussels. Liz had some type veggie dish described as a pepper steak. No steak, of course.

Pie at Liz’s home afterwards. Potato pie made with rum. Never had potato pie before. Taste close to pumpkin pie. Made from canned sweet potatoes.

Fidel Castro has died.

A tyrant. Dictator. People forget that he replaced a despot. Batista. Initially, Castro was viewed as a hero.

Somewhere along the way, he ended up on Russia’s side. I have always wondered why not on the side of the U.S.

Batista was a whore. He and his associates became rich. Organized crime and international corporations paved their way in Cuba with bribery dollars.

Key West, the State of Florida and the U.S. have constantly guarded against Castro actions and influences as they might affect each.

An Emergency Management organization exists. Its primary purpose to guard against any large scale immigration. Also to observe any unusual happenings.

Monroe County’s Emergency Management has kicked in. As has Florida’s. Monitoring Cuban activities.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Monday evening at 6. Bayview Park. Key West’s Christmas tree lighting. Santa’s first public appearance.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast has an elderly health article. The article notes that 1/3 of people over 65 fall. I am one of them!

Pope Urban II is responsible to some degree for today’s Muslim problem. On this day in 1095, he ordered the first Crusade. His speech considered the most influential of the Middle Ages.

He cried out “Deus vult!” God wills it! He even told everyone that those fighting would have a remission of all their sins. Such meant immediate entrance into Heaven. No Hell or Purgatory. Sounds sort of like the Muslim 17 or 21 or whatever number of virgins who will be waiting for those who die for the Muslim religion.

Pope Urban’s Crusade was the first movement against the Muslim world. For 461 years, the Muslims had battled and seized 2/3’s of the Christian world. Pope Urban wanted the Christian lands reclaimed.

Whatever the reason, a forever war.

The history of the Key West Rotary continues. This is Installment 23.

I have noticed that beginning with World War II, the history contents of Langley’s work have become sparse. Five years missed here and there. Cannot be nothing occurred. Whatever, this feature of my blog will see its conclusion by the end of the week.

When I started, I advised Langley’s history went to 1975. I recently discovered there was later a sort of addendum bringing it up to 1991.

April 1966 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Key West Rotary. The Club’s golden anniversary. It was celebrated in a befitting manner.

A gala cocktail party and dinner at the Trade Winds Supper Room in the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn was Key West’s largest hotel/motel for years. It was torn down and replaced with what today is the Marriott Beachside.

One hundred Rotarians and guests attended. Guest speaker was Cleve Allen of Coral Gables. His thunder was stolen by Joe Pearlman, one of the Club’s pioneer members. He told stories about yesterday. Back when.

Interestingly, when the Key West Rotary was established 50 years earlier, it was only the third in Florida.

The 1960s found the U.S. heavily involved in Vietnam. The war was very unpopular. Returning soldiers and veterans were not acclaimed. Actually looked down upon.

The Key West Rotary recognized Vietnam veterans were being overlooked. At the January 26, 1967 luncheon meeting, 4 U.S. Marines were invited. They were recuperating from their wounds at the time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Key West.

Enjoy your Sunday!

PALM SUNDAY

Palm Sunday is significant in most Christian churches. It was in the Catholic Church I knew.

Key West probably never had a problem with palm sufficiency. Up north in Utica, I can recall a time when palms were scarce for some reason. Either costly or unavailable. Instead of getting all the palms you wanted at Mass, one had to settle for a single branch.

Palm Sunday was special in the Italian tradition. Palms were exchanged. Family and friends would come to our house and exchange palms with us. Followed by coffee. We went to certain homes and exchanged palms.

It was family dinner time! In and of itself should not have excited me. Every Sunday was family dinner time at my grandparents’.

I had an uncle who was talented in manipulating the palm branches. He could make crosses of all sizes, little hats, etc. It was always good to see him as I would walk away with a lot of “loot”.

The celebration of Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palm branches were placed in his path.

When palms were plentiful, my neighborhood Catholic Church had many palms left over. When the shortage hit, I assume they kept some. The reason being that this year’s left over palms are needed for the next year’s Ash Wednesday. The left over palms burned. The ashes used to put  thumbprints on the foreheads of the faithful.

This morning’s Key West Citizen’s Keys History section carries a post card picture of  Little White House and Naval Station circa 1910. What a difference from today

The Little White House had an excellent ocean view. There were no buildings between the Little White House and ocean. Condos, other buildings and the boardwalk  not yet built. The water was a short uninterrupted walk out the back door of the Little White House.

I spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK Life column. About things most people are not aware, but should know. I will write the column today. I have not decided on a title yet.

Last night was me and a busy Key West. Tourist driven.

I went for dinner to Tavern ‘n Town. Wanted to listen to Bobby Nesbitt, also. No way, Jose! the place was mobbed. Not a bar stool available. Bobby said it was crazy. I agreed and left.

My next stop was the Chart Room. I figured to run into some people I knew and quietly drink the evening away. No luck, again! The Chart Room was packed. Very much so. No locals. I was not in the mood to meet and chat with strangers.

Turned around and walked over to the Hot Tin Roof. Same situation. Tons of tourists. No problem, however, a table in the bar area was waiting.

Spoke with Joseph a bit. Joseph is the Hot Tin Roof manager. He is also the warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. A good man. We talked about St. Paul’s.

Then home. Could not sleep in bed again. My hip. Spent the night in the recliner chair. No problem. slept like a baby!

Enjoy your Sunday!