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!

 

 

 

 

A DOUBLE LOSS IN ONE DAY

Sometimes you just can’t win for losing!

Yesterday, one of those days.

Kavanaugh got the vote and was sworn in. Syracuse lost to Pitt.

The Kavanaugh fight is over. Time will tell who was correct.

Syracuse’s loss depressing. Syracuse started the season 4-0. Then lost to #4 Clemson last week by 3 points. This week Pitt. Should have been an easy win. Was not. Pitt won in overtime 44-37. Syracuse played poorly.

With Syracuse also, time will tell. Six games remaining.

An observation. Roe v. Wade will not survive Kavanaugh. It will be overturned.

Last night spent at Blue Macaw. A clubby atmosphere. Friendly. Love Montana the bartender. Chatted with Joe, Doug, Donna and Terri.

Doug is of Italian extraction, also. His Dad a chef of sorts. Doug learned early on how to cook. We spent much time discussing Christmas Eve’s seven fishes, their preparation, etc.

There is more news than Kavanaugh and Trump. However, their news will continue to be overwhelming. To the result that what is happening otherwise does not come to our attention.

For example, the U.S. Marines coming to the rescue last week in Washington, D.C.

A senior citizen facility was on fire. More than a hundred residents. Two hundred yards away was a small Marine outpost. The Marines saw smoke and rushed over.

Someone yelled there are people inside. The Marines acted as you would expect Marines to act. They rushed in and saved lives.

Newsworthy? You bet. Front page any other time. Not this past week. Sad.

Some things just plain un-American. Trump leading the pact in taking such actions. He forgets we are a republic and not a dictatorship. Authoritarianism has no place in our society.

Trump is down on Facebook. For some time. He is unhappy that Facebook carries comments adverse to Trump. Too bad. That’s the way it is in a republic. People have the right to express themselves about their government.

What have been described as “anti-activists” are a thorn in Trump’s side. Makes him unhappy. Trump had demanded information as to who they were with all pertinent details. Facebook refused. It is now claimed the Trump administration has secured search warrants to enable them to be discovered.

Involved are some 6,000 individuals who “liked” an anti-activist Trump Facebook page.

Wrong! Chilling! The U.S. is not Russia, China, or North Korea.

ACLU attorney Scott Michelman said, “What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting.”

Welcome to the United States of 2018!

I am 83 years old. Retired from the practice of law 12 years ago. It was time. Should have done it years earlier.

Politicians seem to overstay their time in office. Two examples are Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch. Grassley 85, has been in the Senate 38 years. Hatch 84, has been in the Senate 41 years.

Both too old. Should have packed up and left town years ago. Both not today in thinking. Their minds back to a time where women were looked down upon. They do not understand today’s world in many respects.

Grassley is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was asked this past week why there were not more women on the Committee. He suggested too much work. They might not be able to handle it. An example of the keep ’em pregnant and in the kitchen mentality.

Hatch back in another time when he opens his mouth.

Time for new faces in Washington.

Terri sings 10-12 this morning at Hard Rock Cafe. I am going to enjoy brunch and Terri at the same time.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

83rd BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY’S NEWS

My 83rd birthday came and went too soon. Hopefully, I will be here to celebrate my 84th next year. Sounds foreboding. There is always a concern at this age.

A nice day.

The many Happy Birthdays received appreciated. The internet a wonderful thing. Keeps us connected and remembering each other.

Lisa and family woke me early. All on the phone singing Happy Birthday Poppa! A good way to begin the day.

Celebration time not over. I am having dinner with Lisa and the family tonight. By special request, my cake will be white with chocolate frosting.

Last night, Donna and Terri took me to dinner. We celebrated at Tavern ‘n Town. George and Artie were with us. A good time.

It was still early when dinner ended. Decided to stop at the Chart Room for a drink. Glad I did. Ran into Dorothy Downs. We talked quite a while.

Dorothy’s husband Maurice passed on last year. He was a Miami orthodontist. They had homes in Miami and Key West.

In previous meetings, we never chatted more than five minutes. Last night, quite a while. Turned out to be fortuitous. Dorothy discovered I was a nice guy. She told me she always thought I was arrogant. I probably was. Time softens us.

Several times yesterday, I heard people talk about the new hurricane on its way. Beryl.

I can see concern is going to set in early this hurricane season. Irma left people with a touch of fear.

Beryl is not coming anywhere near Key West. It has been described by the weather folk as a tiny one. About 1,000 miles south of the Lesser Antilles. It may run over Puerto Rico. Should not be a problem. Predicted to be winds of 40 mph at that time.

This morning’s Key West Citizen notes in its Keys History section that the John Kennedy World War II movie PT-109 was being filmed at Munson Island. Cliff Robertson played the title role.

Let me add some additional local color. Munson Island is today known as Little Palm Island. One of the world’s most famous and expensive resorts. It was wiped out by Irma and is still under reconstruction. It will return!

The island at the time was owned by John Spottswood. A Key West legendary figure. Sheriff and State Senator for many years.

President Kennedy was in Key West checking out fortifications during the Cuban missile crisis. Spottswood accompanied him. They were already friends. Hollywood had decided to do the movie. A search for a location was underway. Spottswood suggested Munson Island. The rest is history.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt finally resigned. About time. He probably contributed to the swamp condition more than any other Trump appointee.

The man replacing him not much better. Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist. He spent much time working for Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla). Inhofe denies climate change. Refuses to accept it exists.

Trump has appointed another winner!

The blind cannot see. Or if sight is possible, then as Forrest Gump   was wont to say…..stupid is as stupid does. I refer to the tariff war with China. Should not be. The irresponsible brain child of Donald Trump.

In one year’s time or less, two major U.S. industries will take a big hit economically. Jobs lost big time. Soybeans and lobsters.

The U.S. is the biggest supplier of soybeans to China. Several farm States depend on selling their soybeans to China. China’s attitude is don’t screw with us. China is already entering into agreements to purchase soybeans from Brazil.

China is a major importer of U.S. lobsters. Multi-millions of dollars involved. Maine and Florida lobsters. The lobster industry will be destroyed. This includes Florida’s spiny lobsters. Many are fished off the Keys.

I have said this before and repeat it again. Recall when Hoover became President. The stock market was at an all time high. Booming. Hoover for some unfathomable reason decided the U.S. should impose tariffs with regard to certain countries. Within one year, the Great Depression of 1929 was upon us.

Expect no less from what Trump has initiated.

Water is sacred. Not enough. Insufficient concern unfortunately. The U.S. must watch how it uses its water.

Recall several years ago California. Bottled water companies were buying municipal water big time. The companies got a break cost wise because they were buying in bulk. Homeowners paid a hell of a lot more for water than the bottled water companies per unit.

Governor Brown has been working on the problem.

Today, the problem has reared its ugly head in Chiapas, Mexico. Coca Cola the culprit. Coca Cola bottles and sells water.

Wells are the primary source for water. Homeowners dig down only so far. Accustomed to getting all the water they needed. Coca Cola comes in and digs wells deeper. Significantly deeper. Cause the homeowner wells to go dry.

Coca Cola’s bottled water has now become the water supply for homeowners.

The following sickening. Occurred in a Houston school. Twenty two sixth grade girls were in a music class. Fifty dollars was missing. School administrative officers were called in. A resource officer, also.

The resource officer said, “Girls like to hide things in their bras and panties.”

A strip search followed. Each girl was separately taken into  a bathroom with a nurse. The nurse checked around the panty waistbands, loosened bras, and lifted the girl’s shirts so that the young ladies were exposed shoulder to waist.

Parents were never called for permission. Some of the girls asked to call their mothers first and were denied permission.

What possessed the principal. assistant principal, nurse and resource officer is beyond me. Some things your gut tells you cannot be done.

The girls sued. The court threw out their case. Said the facts did not permit a lawsuit. An appellate court decided otherwise this week. Ok to sue the bastards! Not reported in such indelicate language, of course.

My KONK Life column is on the street. This weeks title: Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries. Irma got me into hurricanes with both feet.

BOB says you must wait another day.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRUMP VISIT NOT HISTORIC

President Trump is visiting Key West today. For two hours. To visit the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force. A military anti-smuggling operation. Drugs the Task Force’s primary concern.

The group does well. It has been situated in Key West for years. They are responsible for overseeing the drug trade from Florida through South America.

These are the people who capture tons of cocaine and marijuana. Generally on the high seas.

I assume Trump is visiting to see how well they do and take credit for their success. He wants the nation to know how hard he is working to eliminate the opioid problem. His efforts to date a joke.

Trump is flying into Boca Chica. Ten miles outside Key West. Will be driven in a caravan to the Truman Waterfront. Visit. Return the same way.

The Key West Citizen in its editorial this morning described Trump’s visit as historic. Titled the editorial An Historic Visit.

Nothing historic about it. He is in and out in two hours.

The editorial noted Trump is the first sitting President since Kennedy to visit Key West. My sense was that Trump was being compared to Kennedy. Terrible! To do so from my perspective is to denigrate Kennedy.

Recall the Vice-Presidential debate several years after Kennedy’s death. The Republican candidate compared himself to Kennedy. The Democratic candidate responded…..I knew Jack Kennedy, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

Trump is not Kennedy. Not even close.

In Trump, the nation has elected a man inept, corrupt, racial and homophobic. The homophobic especially amuses me. Trump visiting Key West, a modern day success because of its gay population.

Protests are expected. Supposed to be peaceful. Protesters in black carrying signs. The game plan to turn their backs as the President’s car passes.

Two hours a visit does not make. Trump should actually visit Key West. Walk Duval, visit the homeless shelter, visit the Custom House, Mel Fisher Museum, and the Hemingway House. Spend a couple nights at The Little Truman White House. What was good enough for Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy should be good enough for Trump.

He should get a taste of Key West. Savor the flavor.

The Citizen tells us to show respect. For the man who is President. After all, what less from One Human Family.

Respect for a man who respects no one?

The Citizen editorial is far off base. The paper has a right to express its position. As it is my right to disagree.

Cheryl and Roger Keast were snowbirds. Spent several months a year in Key West.

We became good friends. Cheryl a woman to be loved.

Originally from the Chicago area. Roger owned a large electrical firm.

Five years ago, they moved to Cape Coral. They were back in Key West last night. Visiting for two days.

We met by pre-arrangement at 6 at the Chart Room. A heart warming reunion.

So much discussed. I will share one item with you.

Cheryl told me her husband bought her a new Cadillac. The super dooper model. Drives itself, parks itself. She has not yet tried either. A bit timid about the whole thing.

Their 50th wedding anniversary around the corner. They are planning a trip. I congratulate them and wish them well.

Today is haircut day. Lori doing my hair followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Not today. Both are located on White Street. Parts of White blocked off  because of Trump’s visit. Only one way into Key West US 1. I have to drive on US 1 3 miles to get into Key West. No other way. Traffic supposedly will be shut down from 10-2. My haircut appointment noon.

No problem. This is Key West. I will reschedule for tomorrow.

Let the canons roar, the drums play…..I finally lost another pound. Took me 3.5 weeks. Have now lost 33 pounds. Not easy, but I am getting there.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE BEST OF THE WORST CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Today a significant one in Christmas folklore. Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol this date in 1843. The story of the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, Timothy Cratchit, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come. Their visits transform Scrooge into a kinder, gentler man.

The first Christmas Carol movie came out in 1938. My mother took me to see it. I was all of 3-4 years old. Scared me big time! Ever since, I have had a distaste for the film and change the channel when it shows up on TV.

Some believe the movie to be the granddaddy of all holiday shows. One critic described it as the best of the worst Christmas movies. I agree with the critic.

My writing mood continued into yesterday. Rewrote passages to Growing Up Italian all day. Into the night. Never left the house.

I have now been home two full days. Definitely must get out today. I will be at Kate Miano’s Gardens late this afternoon. Terri White singing. I can use a dose of Terri and conversation with friends.

The Christmas Boat Parade last night. Had I been out, I would have watched a bit of it from the ocean deck at the Pier House. The weather was good. The Boat Parade would therefore have been pleasant to watch.

The Key West Citizen publishes on Saturday for Saturday and Sunday. I have to wait till tomorrow’s edition to see the parade’s pics and review the comments concerning the parade.

Don’t forget Larry Smith’s Holiday Jazz Concert friday at 8 at The Studios of Key West. Larry has been performing the show for years. Changes it each year. Always good. A must to see!

Today big in the history of flying. On this date in 1903, the Wright brothers flew a plane they had created. The first plane ever to fly. All of 12 seconds for a distance of 120 feet. History rarely reminds us that the plane flew a total of four times that day. The fourth time, 852 feet in 59 seconds.

In the 1960s when I was flying around the country on behalf of clients, I would occasionally think how far man had come with air travel since that day in 1903. Man stepping on the moon was the ultimate!

All achieved in the short time of 60 odd years.

Trump is taking things away from us a step at a time each and every day. The man a destroyer at heart.

The most recent tragedy involves the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The Center is tasked with saving and protecting the lives of the most vulnerable.

I am personally familiar with the Center. My environmental law work took me there many times. I was concerned with toxins. Hazardous substances that affected many. Nasty bugs that could kill many in an instance if released.

Trump’s interest is corporate America. He has stripped EPA regulations. His attitude is things are not as bad as some make them seem. If corporate America thinks something is safe, it must be. Keep the people in the dark. What they do not know will not hurt them.

The Trump Administration announced , no ordered, the Center to stop using certain words in 2018 budget documents. Seven specifically. Transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, science-based, and evidence-based.

Words have been suggested in their place. Modifying terms. Such that lower a danger involved and in certain instances by silence deny the existence of certain groups such as transgenders.

The recommendation is that descriptive words should be based on community standards and wishes.

Trump is weakening the truth. The order barring certain words reckless and dangerous. A major epidemic could overtake the country because the Center was not able to effectively warn against it and research the problem before it hit full force.

Trump will be signing the tax bill into law this week.  He will continue to tell us it is a big break for the middle class. Bullshit we all know. It is a tax break for the rich to the detriment of the middle class.

Trump has become an economic authority. Lyndon Johnson said, “Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.”

Congress is screwing up probably more than any other time in history. The Republicans follow Pied Piper Trump and the Democrats fail to provide effective opposition.

John Kennedy stated re Congress, “What can you expect from that zoo?”

Want some pleasant reading? Buy a copy of Irma and Me. Good reading! Easy. Enjoyable. Available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your Sunday!

PROVERB 17: 7 RE A RULER’S LYING LIPS

President Trump lies almost every day. The truth escapes him. Those who do not agree refuse to see that which is blatantly before them.

Church going I am not. Religious I am.

The Ninth Commandment says…..Thou shalt not lie.

Proverb 17:7 appears to have been written in anticipation of a Trump Presidency…..Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool – how much worse lying lips to a ruler.

Yascha Mousk wrote a New York Times Op-Ed recently re Trump. Re his overall conduct.

Mousk’s message….. Beware!

She sees a democratic dissolution in the works, the beginning of authoritarianism. She warns the demise of democracy is gradual and easy to overlook.

Secretary of State Tillerson recently committed a difficult to understand act. He rejected $80 million in the House approved budget for his Department. The purpose of the $80 million to counter propaganda emanating from ISIS and Russia. ISIS terrorist propaganda and Russia’s disinformation.

Tillerson’s reason: He did not wish to aggravate Russia.

The triangle at the intersection of US 1 and the Boulevards is under reconstruction to correct errors made in the original planning. Projected as a 2-3 month job. I forget which.

My complaint is no one is working. The State started the job 3 weeks ago. Activity the first week. Since then, next to nothing. No one working.

Near the end date per the contract, the contractor will tell the State more time required. Which, of course, will result in additional dollars.

The people never win.

Busy afternoon yesterday. Walgreens to pick up a new water pill prescription. Hopefully my ankles will look normal in a few days. Then to Publix. Cupboard bare again.

Returned home. Fine tuned last night’s blog talk radio show.

Enjoyed doing the show. Key topic involved jail prisoners/inmates doing work enuring to the benefit of the State or privately run jailers with little or no benefit to those performing the work.

The 13th Amendment adopted in 1865 freed the slaves, except persons jailed for crimes. Ergo, legal.

Big Latch on Day friday. Part of International Breast Feeding Week. Locally, mothers and babies are asked to join together at the Keys-Eco-Discovery Center at 10 am. Babies all drink at the same time!

John Kennedy was a Lieutenant JG on August 1, 1943. His vessel, PT-109, was sunk by the Japanese. He and his men spent several days on an island waiting rescue. Kennedy’s acts during that time heroic.

In 1962, a movie was to be made regarding the episode. Kennedy was in Key West. With him was Sheriff John Spottswood. Later to be a State Senator.

The location for the filming had not yet been decided. Hollywood was searching for an island.

Spottswood owned Little Munson Island at the time. He suggested Munson to Kennedy. Munson was selected to be the site for the movie.

Little Munson Island no longer known as such. Today, it is the world famous resort Little Palm Key.

Hackley reports Black Matilda better. Not returned home yet. Yellow fever still a concern. She must be completely recovered.

Yellow fever comparable to a plague in 1856. At the same time Black Matilda was sick, a vessel arrived. The steward and mate down with yellow fever. The ship was quarantined at anchor.

Inga is celebrating her 20th anniversary as a drag queen at Aqua. Loved by all! Inga’s real life person Roger Hultman.

Have to hustle. Manicure in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

EMILY

Emily was the Keys’ first dance partner of the season. There had been four others. However, of no consequence. Hurricane season is upon us.

Emily was a tropical depression yesterday morning in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. She hit as a tropical storm, however. A step up from a depression. Ran across the Florida peninsula. Dissipating as it left.

Brought with it 6-8 inches of rain and winds 45 miles per hour.

I assume the rain Key West received yesterday afternoon and last night represented the fringes of Emily. Rained extremely heavy in Key West. Hurricane rain without wind.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. Interesting material. A fast paced half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I worked on the show yesterday afternoon. For some reason, I have a multitude of items to discuss. Will never cover all of them.

My plan is to open with a lengthy report re prison labor. Inmates are the new American slavery. Followed by a Venezuela update, a jury finding Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt, Trump writing son Don’s release re the famous meeting, Scaramucci gone crazy and gone.

Robots continue to be big. Expanding into all areas. Now, sex.

An Austrian company is selling robots for sex purposes. Spain has two brothels providing services only in the brothels. $80-100 per hour. Customer comments suggest the robots better than the real thing.

A bank in Sweden is using robots to deal with customer problems, opening new accounts, etc. Cheaper than paying a human being.

Both robot situations will be discussed this evening.

Time permitting, I want to touch on millennials still living at home with their parents. A study looked at 18-34 year olds. One third are living with their parents. A shocking number.

While I was preparing for tonight’s show, Terri was putting my new desk chair together. Terri is fantastic! Got right to it. Put the chair together step by step. I was impressed.

I am also impressed by the chair. Leather and huge. Made for an extra tall person. All kinds of special buttons. Cheaper to purchase than the one it replaced. I bought the previous one at Office Max. Fell apart in a year. The new one purchased over the internet through Amazon. Fifty dollars cheaper and much better quality.

A 5 o’clock visit with Dr. McIvor. The best of the best! A great staff supporting him. Heart good. No changes. Something else? More blood work next week.

I continue to be tired. Close to exhaustion on occasion. Climbing stairs leaves me breathless. My blood pressure at the Doctor’s top side was 186.

Oh, well!

I said screw it. Instead of going home went to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt joined Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Terrific!

Yes, I had a couple of drinks.

Locals night at Aqua. Friend Liz and Josefina. Jean Thornton. Her husband Joe back in Birmingham having been diagnosed with shingles.

I periodically refer to Jean as the Golden Girl. Back around 1996, she discovered gold and emeralds while diving with Mel Fisher. A teacher friend from Birmingham was with her. Debbie. They discovered the booty at the same time.

Together, referred to as the Golden Girls.

Debbie visits Key West once a year. Her Key West visit this week.. We talked a while last night. Charming. Too bad she does not spend more time in Key West. She would be a welcome addition to our community.

A fellow at the bar stopped me. Reads the blog. Wanted to tell me he was from Utica. Utica, Illinois.

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner on the way home.

Another alligator spotted in Key West. Off Northern Boulevard in the water in the Garrison Bight area. A picture of the alligator in this morning’s Key West Citizen. About 5 feet long.

Watch where you swim, friends!

Enjoy your day!

I WISH TRUMP WELL

Inauguration Day! I wish Trump well. As much as I was against him in the campaign, he is now my President. Your President. May he be one of our best/most successful Presidents.

When he screws up however, I will be all over him. My right.

John Kennedy was inaugurated on this day in 1961. His words still ring in my ears: “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans…..ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

My Volkswagen needed a tune up! It is a 2010. Purchased new in 2011. I have taken it to a Volks dealer in Miami every two years. This was the third time.

Only 31,000 miles.

The car really needed a tune up. The list of things requiring attention like my body. Everything. Dealer did not have all the parts required. I have to return again when I can and give him a week’s notice so he can order the necessary parts..

The dealer had the car for repair wednesday afternoon and thursday morning. Picked up the car at noon. Headed over to the nearby Merrick Park Shopping Mall. First class. Top shelf. I have been there before.

I was going to treat myself to some new sport shirts and shorts. Clothes are of no consequence in Key West. Male or female, generally shorts and a tee shirt or sport shirt.

I have not purchased shirts of quality for years. Time to treat myself. Neiman Marcue and Nordstrom. Three or four shirts.

My body is big in my old age. I am a 3x. Generally does it for me. Not this time. The finer stores no longer sell a classic fit for the big guys. They sell 3x. However its tailoring on the label is described as CUT TO SHAPE. Why would I want a shirt that was skin tight?

The staff at both stores extremely helpful. I was attired appropriately. Old frayed shorts, an old sport shirt, and Crocs that should have been replaced six months ago. They figured this guy needs a makeover. Everything!

Needed a shave, too. Looked terrific!

Bought nothing.

On the way back to Key West stopped at the Islamorada Fish Company. An early dinner. Stone crabs again. Delicious.

Sat next to the water. The view spectacular.

Key West and Miami/Coconut Grove two different worlds. Men wear long pants. Saw only one man in shorts. No females in shorts. Dresses or pants. Many men wore shirts and ties. Some suits. Real shoes.

South Roosevelt Boulevard may be preserved as it is. The Key West Engineering Department advised it should be left alone.

A massive Women’s March is scheduled for tomorrow in Washington, D.C. A similar march will take place in Key West at the same time. From South Beach to Mallory Square. One thousand expected to participate.

The bodies of the 80 plus whales stranded off the western edge of the Everglades National Park who died will be left to nature. The carcasses not removed. The carcasses will be left to fuel the food web. Scavengers such as vultures, sharks and crabs. Biologists determined this was the best way to handle the situation.

Syracuse/Notre Dame tomorrow at noon. Notre Dame ranked 15 in the nation. I doubt Syracuse will win. A lousy season! Nevertheless, my Syracuse!

Remember, my new commentary show begins wednesday. On Facebook. Go Live with Key West Lou. You will see as well as hear me.

Several bits a day. Thirty to sixty seconds. My thoughts on whatever as it hits me. Each segment archived.

I will be as close as your cell phone.

I am excited! Hope it is well received!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PRESIDENT CARTER’S KEYS VISITS

Happy New Year! As with practice safe sex, practice a safe evening. Drinking and driving don’t go together tonight or any night.

Most are aware Harry Truman visited Key West many times. His favorite relaxation venue. Few are aware that Jimmy Carter has been visiting the Keys annually for years. To welcome the New Year. Also, to enjoy a vacation.

I first became aware of Carter and his wife Rosalyn’s visits some 15 years ago. I was visiting Howard Livingston at his Summerland home. He made mention that Carter was staying down the road with friends. Mentioned it to me again the next year.

Carter is here for what has become a traditional post Christmas vacation. This time with an entourage. Carter, wife Rosalyn, one grandchild, ten great grandchildren, and other family members. Some 40 people.

I doubt they are staying with friends with such a large group. However, they are somewhere in the Keys this week.

As evidenced by the story and photos of Carter and some of the great grandkids in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Carter and family were at the Marathon Turtle Hospital. He and the great grandkids helped return rehabilitated loggerhead turtle Salty to the ocean yesterday.

Orange Bowl party last night. At Sharon and Giorgi’s home.

Stan a Michigan grad. An enthusiastic one. We watched the game together in his honor.

Unfortunately, Michigan lost by one point to Florida State. 33-32. Michigan played poorly in the first half. Came roaring back in the second half. The last few minutes compared to the final minutes of a pro game.

In addition to those already mentioned, the group consisted of Donna and Bob, Karon, Matt Babich and fiancée, and Paul.

Typical separation of the sexes. The ladies watched in the living room, the men in the den.

Food outstanding! Sharon, the gracious hostess, had prepared well!

I met Paul for the first time. A retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. We spent quite a while together. Even missed part of the second half of the game. My inquiring mind enjoyed his professional experiences. He performed his professional tasks on the ground, not from a Washington office.

I learned a lot from Paul. An interesting man. I suspect we will get together again for a longer chat.

I have avoided going out New Year’s Eve for several years. Primary problem parking. I prefer remaining home in bed watching the ball fall in New York City and Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street on CNN.

Four drops tonight. Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, La Te Da and the Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. A huge crowd at each venue. Bodies pressed together. By 12:15, the crowd gone. Into the bars or home.

A fun experience. I will do it again sometime when I have transportation to and back.

Dachshund Walk at noon today. Pets dressed for the occasion. Parade begins at Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead.

The Casa Marina Hotel opened this day in 1920. A Henry Flagler enterprise. Still standing and continues to be one of Key’s West’s most beautiful places to stay. The pool and beach atmosphere outstanding.

My daughter Lori was married on the beach some 15 years ago precisely at sunset. It was figured to the minute. The sun broke the horizon as they said their I do’s.

Followed by a black tie reception.

A memorable event.

Everything seems to suggest a kumbaya situation developing between Trump and Putin. Do not rely on it.

On December 29, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a holiday message to President John Kennedy. He told Kennedy he looked forward to a threshold year. He further suggested steps be taken to liquidate centers of military danger.

Kennedy sent a cordial response. Wished the Premier a Happy New Year.

Both messages claimed cooperation one to the other in the coming year.

It was not to be.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. We were on the brink of war. I recall the time distinctly. I was a young practicing lawyer with a wife and four children. I feared war was forthcoming. The resolution boiled down to who would blink first, if at all. Fortunately, Khrushchev did.

What happens if Putin tests Trump? Who will blink first, if at all?

Again, a safe and happy New Year!

 

STONE CRABS

U.S. politics is at its worst. The world is in turmoil. All take a back seat. Pure unadulterated pleasure the reason. Stone crab season opens tomorrow!

From my perspective, man’s finest food. I cannot wait to gorge myself tomorrow night.

Yesterday began with a noon haircut with Lori. Lori is moving. Was supposed to be this week. Told me yesterday it will be at least another month. Typical of Key West. nothing ever begins or finishes on time.

It’s the sun! Slows everything down, including people.

Lori had to take delivery yesterday of her new chairs. New place not available for storage. They are sitting on the sidewalk in front of her present place of business on Southard. Ain’t no one going to steal them. Hercules needed to move them.

A few doors down Southard is Jay’s new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz. His grand opening was to have been this past tuesday. I stopped in for lunch after my haircut. Doors locked. Looked in the window. Place a mess. Still under construction.

Ran into Jay at bocce last night. The electrical screwed up. He is required to make changes. It is in the process. He hopes to be open for Goombay.

Can’t win.

The best thing that happened to Don’s Place in bocce was my retirement. The team remains in first place. 16-2. Alone in first place.

Hell’s Rangers had already lost two when I arrived last night. I do not know the result of their third game.

Don’s Place won two without David and Norm last night. David sick and Norm out of town.

Watched Michelle Obama speak yesterday. Outstanding! Trump has to be having trouble walking today.

Several news broadcasters have mentioned that when husband Barack was first elected, she hated public speaking. No more. The woman is another Eleanor Roosevelt!

This morning’s Key West Citizen notes that Trauma Star carried 471 patients in fiscal 2016. Eighty six more than 2015.

The new helicopter has arrived. Not in use yet. The crew still training.

Trauma Star is the County’s free helicopter service for patients who need rushing to a Miami hospital. There is also a private service. Rip off big time! $60,000 a trip and not covered by insurance.

I have mentioned the past few years in this column, in my daily blog and on my podcast show that Putin has become rich as the head of Russia. He gets a piece of everything. Ten to 20 percent.

I might be wrong as to the percentage. Thomas Friedman in a recent New York Times article wrote, “Putin owns some $30 billion in property, hotels and factories.”

Trump has to be doing business in Russia. Borrowing money, especially. Whatever, Putin could own a piece of some of some of Trump’s American properties.

The Cuban missile crisis began today. A U.S. reconnaissance plane took 900 plus photos over Cuba this date in 1962. The photos identified Soviet mid-range ballistic missiles. Pointed at the U.S.

By October 23, Key West had become an armed camp. Fifteen thousand troops. Some berthed in the Casa Marina. Anti-missile weapons and machine guns on Key West beaches.

Cuba was John Kennedy’s first test. He performed well. Russia blinked and the confrontation came to an end.

A visit to Dr. McIvor late today. I continue to tire easily and sometimes gulp a breath or two.

Enjoy your day!