VOODOO

I mentioned Italy’s immigration problem in yesterday’s blog. Based on personal observation and as reported to me by my friend Anna who lives in Novara. Novara is near Milan.

Anna reads this blog everyday. She responded to yesterday’s blog with a long e-mail. I share excerpts from it. Italy’s immigration problem is different from ours in certain regards.

Italy’s immigrants are primarily from Africa.

“Italy is going down and down…..March the 4th election: right wing will win. Italy is fed up with politicians, mainly of the present government, democrats who packed Italy of immigrants mainly negros and mainly crooks, delinquents. It seems some do voodoo rites!!! Last week in Macerata negros killed, in a flat, an 18 year old girl, chopped her body with knives and machetes, washed them putting the pieces in 2 suitcases and abandoning them faraway in the country. But there was not her heart and bowels!!! Eaten??? A voodoo rite??? Soon after, a crazy white young man in order to revenge the girl, went around downtown Macerata and shot 6 negros injuring them seriously. I could go on…..”

Anna’s husband died several years ago. He served as a national Senator for years and then 8 years as a member of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. At one time, she sent me a photo of her husband and Gorbachev their heads joined together in what appeared to be a serious conversation.

Spent a couple of hours at the Chart Room last night. John bartending.

Lovely Morgan at the bar. My charming 26 year old friend. A big hug. We talked alone at the round table for two hours.

An amazing young lady. Whoever is fortunate to win her over is going to get a great wife. She’s a keeper!

Friend Sandie at the bar. She introduced me to her visiting friend Janie from Philadelphia. Go Eagles!

As I was leaving, ran into Devon at the bar. I see Devon about once a year. A farmer from the midwest. Owns a condo in Key West.

Devon is a smart farmer. He and his brother own a huge farm. They did not fight the big corporations that entered the agriculture business. They joined them! Happy they are. The right move. They have prospered.

Diana Millikan is off somewhere. She travels the world. She e-mailed me yesterday. One of her Hilton Haven Road neighbors told her there were gun shots around 4:30 in the morning. There were. This morning’s Citizen reports a man staying at the Banana Bay Resort was shot in the leg.

No arrests yet.

Irma hit September 10. Its effects still with us.

The canals remain impacted with house, boat and tree debris. Non-navigable. Nearshore waters, likewise.

Monroe County has entered into a $6 million contract with Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to begin a clean up.

Many still are without homes. The homes either completely destroyed or the owners do not have funds yet to rebuild. FEMA and the insurance companies have been unreasonably slow in making payments.

These people have to live somewhere. Some in tents. Others in hotels. FEMA announced yesterday that they would extend hotel time at FEMA’s expense another month till March 3. There will be further monthly extensions. This part of the Irma problem not being resolved.

Mom’s Tea Room. I have written several times about Mom’s Tea Room. A Key West house of prostitution. Alice Reid the madam.

On this day in 1941, the body of working girl Cecilia Thompson Trunk was found in Mom’s. An apparent suicide. On the same day in 1952, another body found. Rita Brown, an apparent suicide also.

Mom’s was a busy place. A big U.S. Navy clientele. The Navy had many stationed here. The Navy did not like Alice or Mom’s. Morality and venereal disease the reasons. They closed Reid’s place a couple of times. A smart woman, however. She would pop up in another location. Closed finally in the 1950’s, never to open again.

Same sex marriage. Its time had come. The world accepting/falling into place. One nation at a time. Till now.

Bermuda reverted.

Bermuda’s law recognizing same sex marriage was less than one year old. Bermuda’s President signed a new law yesterday banning same sex marriage. A reversal. A win for bigotry.

Those of the same sex can live together with all the same rights and benefits as if married. The new relationship called a domestic partnership. The title married neither available nor recognized.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

AYN RAND…..DIFFERENT

 

Ayn Rand considered absolutely brilliant by some. Crazy by others. Some initially overwhelmed by her only to later become disillusioned.

I am in the later group. First, amazed. Considered her thoughts brilliant.  Then realized the nut she was.

Ayn Rand’s birthday was yesterday. She was born February 2, 1905. Died March 6, 1982.

To many, she was and is considered a philosopher. To others, a writer.

Two of her novels initially captured my thought process. I was a young attorney when I first read The Fountainhead. What a book! Its message that individual rights were the ultimate. Societal collectivism be damned.

Wow!

Rand’s message was that society had forgotten “I” and replaced it with “we.” She fictionalized a society where totalitarian collectivism had triumphed. Her hero, an individual true and true who fought the onslaught.

Many questions were left unanswered in my mind after reading The Fountainhead. They were answered when I read her second successful novel, Atlas Shrugged.

Rand believed in laissez-faire capitalism. An economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from government intervention such as regulation, privilege, tariffs, and subsidies.

The true Republican/Conservative in thought. And in action. She supported Barry Goldwater for President in 1964.

Her individualistic philosophy is best typified by her own words: An individual should “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”

None of this is mentally imposing. Easy to comprehend. I must concede a movie helped. Atlas shrugged starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. Their unusual love affair formed the basis for what Rand perceived as the individual vs. collective society war.

Rand thought much of herself. She claimed her greatest influence was Aristotle. Followed by Thomas Aquinas. She said if a history of philosophy were written, the three top philosophers would be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. Signifying how high she held her own thought process.

My disillusionment came two years after reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I became aware that Rand was publishing a weekly newspaper in New York City. I subscribed to it.

The woman was absolutely mad! Her columns represnted her thought process carried to the ultimate. No frills. The woman was not stable. Wacky an excellent description. Dangerous, another.

Such was the end of my acceptance of Rand’s philosophy.

In spite of my change in thinking, I still recommend The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for reading. An experience!

Spent last night at the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. Chatted with Christina.

Second time I met Christina. Sheila introduced her to me a month ago at the Chart Room. Christina is on the staff at the Custom House. She and Sheila worked together at the Custom House one time.

The conversation pleasant. The evening pleasant.

This afternoon Syracuse/Virginia. Virginia #2 in the country. Syracuse will probably lose. On the other hand, Syracuse is in for a good game. Overdue. You never know. Hope springs eternal.

The Republican “memo” a dud. Its anticipation full of sound and fury. In the end, signified nothing.

The Republican Congress worries me. They serve the Party rather than the people.

Partially responsible is Trump’s magnetic personality. He is a Pied Piper. Most Republicans blindly follow him.

Yesterday morning, the employment numbers were announced. Two hundred thousand more jobs. Big!

It was also announced interest rates would be going up.

By the end of the day, the market closed 665 points down. The sixth largest one day decline in history.

A crack in the dyke? A tiny one, I suspect. The market will be up monday. Money to be made by buying the stocks that went down. I ask however if there is a message in the 665 point drop. An indication of that which is to come.

Justice is confusing these days. Trump responsible for a good share of the confusion.

California legalized marijuana. Now, California is moving through the court system to vacate thousands of felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

At the same time that Attorney General Sessions’ Justice Department is gearing up to seek more marijuana prosecutions.

Both actions amazing!

I close with a bit of Florida Keys information.

I never knew how many Keys there were. Merely assumed a lot. In case you have an interest, there are over 1,700 islands. Few populated. Most small. Only 43 connected by bridges.

Enjoy your day!

 

SHRIMP BOATS IS A-COMIN’

Blog writing is interesting. Takes me to all kinds of places. Yesterday, world events. Today, primarily Key West. Some days, a mixture.

Whatever moves me at the moment.

Lunched at Hogfish yesterday with Guy de Boer. Guy publishes KONK Life. He has graciously agreed to run a photo of me and my Irma book in KONK Life. The whole front page!

Guy picked Hogfish for lunch. He wanted to get a photo of me and the shrimp boats together. Why shrimp boats, I do not know. My connection with shrimp boats next to nil.

The nil has a bit of substance.

First, the song. Shrimp Boats. A 1951 hit sung by the popular vocalist Jo Stafford. It was co-written by her husband Paul Weston.

The words come back every time I see a shrimp boat: Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight / Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / There’s dancin’ tonight…..

I was 15 years old the first time I heard Shrimp Boats. We were visiting family in the Bronx. I was outside standing in front of a then typical New York City candy store with a bunch of other teenagers. The location, 141st Street.

The song came out of a radio in the candy store. The others began humming and quietly singing the tune. I had never heard it before. The tune was catchy. Later in high school, I danced to ShrimpBoats.

Rarely thought of the tune after that till the mid 1990’s when I started visiting Key West. There were shrimp boats in Key West!

I learned that when you saw tons of them on the horizon off South Roosevelt Boulevard, they were hurrying in to avoid a coming storm. That was the moment. That was the picture. Such gave meaning to Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight.

Me, Irma and the shrimp boats will appear in KONK Life in the next week or two.

Last night the Chart Room. A good time. John bartending. David came in. Good conversation.

A while later, Jean Thornton’s two visiting sisters arrived with their men.

The Chart Room was off and running!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. Another prime rib. I lost 5 pounds in the past 10 days. Why, I do not know. I have been on this diet since November 27. Lost 10 pounds the first two weeks. Not another pound till 10 days ago. Were it not that I was losing inches, I would have given up long ago.

Not the blind leading the blind. But, sort of. My lesbian wives Donna and Terri left yesterday by car for Tampa. Terri to undergo two days of serious testing at the cancer facility that replaced all her bone marrow and blood.

The tests important.

Donna broke her left shoulder a few days ago. Her left arm is wrapped tight to her chest. She is driving. Terri cannot drive more than a 100 miles at a time. They have broken the trip down so it will take 3 days to reach Tampa.

I mentioned in my tuesday night podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that the election of a person such as Trump served as encouragement for other crazies to run for public office.

It is happening in Missouri.

Senator Claire McCaskill is running for reelection. The word is she has a tough race ahead.

Several seek the Republican nomination to run against her. One is Courtland Sykes.

What I am about to relate was printed in a St. Louis newspaper in September. An interview. Sykes ran the interview on Facebook a few days ago where I found it.

If he is the Republican candidate, it will be a battle of the sexes.

Sykes is not married. He is engaged.

Following is what he expects from his fiance when she is his wife and his thoughts regarding women.

  1. When he arrives home in the evening, he expects his dinner on the table at 6. Prepared by his wife.
  2. Their daughters must learn to cook. He wants them raised to be traditional homemakers and family wives.
  3. His home is to be a Norman Rockwell world.
  4. Feminism is radical. Its definition crazy.
  5. Women have “snake filled heads.”
  6. He does not want his daughters growing up to be “career obsessed banshees” who forego home life and children to become “manophobic hell-beat feminist she devils.”
  7. Hillary Clinton’s loss a clear indication that radical feminists have been defeated.
  8. He claims he is fully supportive of women and he did not believe his statements demeaning to them.
  9. He conceded some women have amazing careers. He complimented them. The examples he gave of two such women were Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Said they should be celebrated.
  10. Big media. Big media has become “too many dumb blondes and too many leg dangles.”
  11. Feminism represents the “radical drug and communal happy-visioned 1960’s.”
  12. He supported and defended Roy Moore.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CANADIAN NIGHT AT THE CHART ROOM

The Chart Room was packed like New Year’s Eve last night. Everyone!

My biggest following after the U.S. is Canada. Two separate groups last night. Each religious readers of this blog.

First spoke with Dan and Nancy. They approached me. Advised we had talked in the Chart Room several years ago. Nancy reminded me at one time I was interested in the name of the RCA little dog. The Master’s Voice. She had written me it was Nipper.

They live in Canada one hour north of Detroit. Staying at Banyan Court. Yearly visitors to Key West.

I did not initially recall them. Not til her husband advised he had worked for DOW Chemical. Then the meeting came to mind.

Nice people. Glad they said hello.

As soon as Dan and Nancy left, Jackie and Conrad came by. Canadians, also. Accompanied by Jackie’s sister Donna and Jackie’s daughter.

Jackie I remembered as soon as she related our background. We had not met face to face before last night.

Jackie wrote to me the day Irma hit. Twenty years earlier, she had purchased a toe ring in Key West. Wore it religiously for the 20 years. It cracked the day of the hurricane.

She wrote she was having it fixed. Thought there was an omen involved re Key West

Jackie got the  repaired toe ring back the day the County reopened to visitors following Irma. She wrote again she had it back and was wearing it. Intimating the return of the ring and reopening of Key West had something to do with each other.

I wrote about Jackie and the toe ring episodes.

Last night, she was live in Key West. It was a pleasure to meet her! And her family, also.

Jackie reads me every day. Her sister Donna, also. Love them!

Spoke with Conrad. He and Jackie are frequent visitors to Key West. Conrad said his family has been coming since 1993. They own a condominium at the Galleon.

John bartending. Kevin and Sheila at the bar.

The conversation got into Matthew McConaughey. A major star. In Key West for two weeks making a movie to be released next year. The Beach Bum. McConaughey the beach bum, of course. Movie name Moondog. A marijuana addict.

I left the Chart Room too early wednesday night. Kevin walked Duval around 9 hoping to find the star filming an episode which had been scheduled for Duval.

He saw him! As did his daughter Kati. She videoed him and sent the video to Facebook and her Dad. Kevin showed it to me last night.

McConaughey was attired in a dress, white sneaks, and a sail boat captain’s cap. He was pushing a wheelbarrow full of pot in large cellophane bags. He was eluding the police. He was filmed running from Sloppy Joe’s to St. Paul’s Church and back.

Kevin said when the filming/run was over, McConaughey stood in the middle of Duval laughing his head off.

Naval aviators were in the Chart Room, also. In flight gear.

The Navy is involved in a celebration. The 100th year celebration of Key West Naval Aviation. The first flight was in December 1917. A mere 15 years after Kitty Hawk.

There were more at the Pier House.

I went out to the Beach Bar to get something to eat. Lovely Meri bartending. The Beach Bar can be lonely at night. Not last night. NORMAL had a party earlier. Many were still hanging out at the bar.

NORMAL is short for the National Organization For The Reform of Marijuana Laws. Partying they were. Imbibing. One of the members playing his guitar and singing marijuana ditties.

My day was a bit busy.

Saw my eye doctor. My new glasses a disaster. Seeing clearly impossible up close and at a distance.

He checked the glasses out against his prescription. The right eye lens had three errors. Three situations not consistent with the prescription.

No wonder I could not see!

Immediately went to the optician’s. The man I was dealing with was out sick. I talked with his partner. She thought I was trying to hustle them. It was obvious from her questioning of me. I said, hold up! I’m leaving. I will be back monday when your partner is in.

Then to Publix for diet food. It does not last long. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Protein expensive. Spent $60 for three small bags of edibles.

I am on day 11 of the diet. Eight pounds so far.

I hate dieting! Pure deprivation!

A little later, I was sitting with Tammy. My weekly manicure.

Yesterday’s Key West Citizen editorial page contained an interesting phrase referencing the sexual harassment era we suddenly find ourselves in: “Ghost of harassment past.”

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..TOGA, TOGA, TOGA

 

I have been recommending the best Fantasy Fest events to attend the past few evenings. Several each night.

Tonight, only one. Toga Party!

Forget everything else. The place to be is Sloppy Joe’s. Inside or on the street. Actually, the street more fun till about 3 in the morning. Then go inside for the action.

Men and women clad in white togas. Magnificent attire, especially for women. It will be show me your…..For how many beads? Constant negotiation. The lady always wins. The men happy to pay.

The event, a voyeur’s dream!

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. Sat at the end of the bar in the corner. A few minutes later, a lovely young lady asked if the empty seat next to me was taken. I looked over and said no. Thought I would die!

She was wearing next to nothing. A thong. Bare breasted. Absolutely magnificent breasts.

All I could think was…..Thank you God!

We chatted. She was up and around and then back to the seat again. Talking with everyone.

She was part of a pair. Al and Ann from somewhere outside Detroit. Al an orthopedist.

They have been doing Fantasy Fest for 10 years. Stay generally at the Pier House. The same accommodation each year. More pricey than a normal room.

Al an interesting guy. We chatted a bit. Clothed differently than Ann. Al was wearing a bathing suit and cowboy hat.

At some point, another Fantasy Fest woman arrived. Her breasts spray painted.

The bar was crowded. Most persons costumed up. At one point, I could hear a discussion about men’s nipples. Did not pay attention. The subject of no interest to me.

John bartending. Early 40’s. His second year in Key West. He is enjoying the week!

He went to Kelly’s Kinky Party monday night. The same one I mentioned that I did with my lesbian wives 15 years ago. The nipple twisting story.

John and his date properly attired. Attired perhaps not the correct word. The fewer clothes the better. A black strap here and there sufficient.

John said the event was everything he imagined it would be!

When I did the party 15 years ago, Kelly’s was the only BD/SM party in town. Today at least one an evening during Fantasy Fest.

Decided to invade the Pier House restaurant. Pier One. For stone crabs.

Magnificent! Without question! Go and enjoy. A mere $26 a pound. Sweet and succulent!

Met Livia. A lovely 26 year old bartender/waitress from Slovakia. She has a Masters from her home country. Useless she claims here. She is attending our local community college learning hospitality services.

I returned to the Chart Room. Kevin and Polly there. Kevin had arrived earlier in the day.

I chastised Polly re tattooed nipples on reconstructed breasts. I had told her and Ollie about a lady friend who was having it done. They thought I was crazy.

I researched Google later that night after arriving home. Nipples can be tattooed on. Three dimensional! Woman’s choice. Instead of a nipple, it can be a star, moon or sun. Whatever the woman wants.

Told Polly also my friend Cindy from Des Moines had written. She had a mastectomy. Opted for a nipple tattoo.

Nipples obviously were in vogue last night at the Chart Room. Female and male.

Saw my dermatologist Dr. Pruett in the afternoon. Cut a few things off. Froze others. A once a year visit as a person gets older.

Got my car back. Vinny the Ghost. Doors now open via the use of human hands. Most other things dependent on the electrical system still not working. Mechanic back ordered on the necessary part.

Shootout at OK Corral. The event occurred this day in 1881. Took all of 30 seconds. Estimated 30 shots fired during that time.

Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday.

A famous American happening. Many movies made based on it.

I have a sick and then sicker story to relate.

Recall the Dakota Access Pipeline last year. Sioux Indians protecting a burial ground. A standoff. Many non Indians standing with the Indians in opposition to the oil companies.

Several Congressmen have written to Attorney General Sessions recommending that he prosecute the Sioux and others as terrorists under the Patriot Act.

Understanding Sessions, he might very well go for it.

Trump wants to deport. He deports. Does not appear age nor circumstance matter.

Marie Rosa 10 years old. Here illegally. Her parents brought her across the border when she was three months old. Maria has cerebral palsy.

An ambulance in Texas was taking her from one hospital to another for surgery. Gall bladder. Stopped at a check point by ICE.

After some discussion, Maria was permitted to go forward and get the surgery. ICE followed and stayed with her.

Following the surgery, Maria was taken to a detention facility in San Antonio. Her parents are at home in Laredo, some 150 miles away. At some point over the years, the parents had become citizens. Not Maria, however.

ICE wants to deport Maria.

Where is the conscience of those involved? America not as unhappy with immigrants as the President thinks.

Media announced this morning the President will speak this afternoon. He will announce that opioids have become a national emergency and the government is going to deal with the problem.

Hero Trump!

Not really.

Opioids a national crisis. Sixty four thousand died last year. Averages 142 deaths a day. Normally such would be labeled a crisis. The crisis would be handled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That account has only $57,000 in it.

Instead of labeling it a crisis, Trump is calling it an emergency. This he believes permits him to use monies authorized for natural disasters. Such as hurricanes.

Hurricane monies drying up, however.

Monies for the opioid epidemic will have to be authorized by Congress. Another Trump slight of hand. He says I am going to do such and such and then tosses the ball to Congress to act. If Congress fails to authorize sufficient monies, he can always say I was for helping. It was Congress that failed.

The President never fails.

Some other interesting tidbits.

Melania is going to be involved in leading the fight somehow.

The problem primarily the responsibility of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We do not have such a Secretary at the moment. Tom Price who was using private jets willy nilly resigned and has not been replaced.

We also require a Drug Czar. Trump nominated a Marino a couple of months ago. Marino had to withdraw when it was discovered he was close to the pharmaceutical houses. We still do not have a Drug Czar.

Typical Trump. Make a big deal out of something. Gets great media coverage. Then limbo for a plan.

The opioid problem is now. Requires now treatment, now attention. Actually, yesterday’s. What Trump will announce will take significantly more time to become operational because of funding, staffing and planning.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!

 

JENNY BEAMING POST MASTECTOMY

 

The Chart Room last night.

John back from his Mexican vacation. Good to see him. He was missed.

Met Scott and Jenny. Fortyish. From northern Florida. Honeymooned in Key West. Visit 3-4 times a year.

Contract soft ware engineers.

Staying at the Pier House.

Jenny a cheery personality. She had a story to tell. Told me. Gave me permission to share it.

Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer. A fast moving 2. Opted for the mastectomy. The breast was rebuilt during the surgical procedure.

The woman is alive! A personality. She had to be the same prior to the cancer. Her attitude clear. Meet the enemy and knock it down. She did.

Gumption the only way to describe her.

She requested no nipple. Strange, I thought. She plans on having the nipple area tattooed. With the Key West setting sun.

She still has to undergo chemotherapy. Six chemos. Each three weeks apart. The first scheduled for next week.

Heidi Schrammer back. Met her a few nights ago at the Chart Room. She is the Marathon bartender who was in Key West for a few days.

Finally figured out why she was here several nights in a row rather than back in Marathon. Her home was wiped out. FEMA agreed to provide a roof over her head. The only available rooms left were in Key West.

Heidi has a problem. The FEMA program ends monday. Four hundred hotel rooms FEMA occupied. Where the occupants will go, I know not.

A moving force is requiring what amounts to a FEMA eviction. Fantasy Fest begins this weekend. The hotel rooms are needed.

David came in. Spent a while enjoying his company.

Left for home. Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a bite to eat.

Parrot Heads are a nationwide, perhaps worldwide, Jimmy Buffett fan club. They meet once a year in Key West. They are here this week. Easy to recognize. They wear large crazy hats. Always laughing. Enjoying themselves.

Fantasy Fest begins tomorrow. Goombay. A Bahamian/Cuban street festival. Petronia Street.

A crocodile here. An alligator there. Such has been the story the past few years.

This morning’s Citizens Voice reports a snorkeler off the White Street Pier ran into a six foot crocodile. In three feet of water.

Crocs and alligators have been popping up in greater frequency. Still small in number, however. Ten years from now may not be the case. Crocs and alligators may be here in larger numbers. I do not recall croc or alligator sightings ten years ago.

Still waiting for my new book Irma and Me to hit the stands. Any day now.

I keep several book writings going at one time. Several months already invested in Key West prostitutes. The history of prostitution in Key West.

The prostitution business was healthy and thriving in the 1880’s. As was the liquor business. Seventeen liquor saloons.

Key West’s population was just under 20,000. A thriving city. Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in Florida. Miami and Miami Beach not yet in the picture.

One third of the residents were Cuban born. The cigar factories induced them to come to Key West. Excellent employment. The cigar factories were turning out 62 million cigars a year.

Education had a bi-ness to it. The students were taught in Spanish in the morning and English in the afternoon.

Big Brother is watching us! 1984 just around the corner!

I have been mentioning the armed masked mercenaries in Puerto Rico. An unknown force all of a sudden appearing on the streets of San Juan.

Could happen in a U.S. city tomorrow. With the same suddenness.

Los Angeles is playing with Big Brother/1984.

Los Angeles has 110,000 street lights. A company manufacturing SmartNodes and SmartPoles is on the verge of doing business with Los Angeles. Street pole lights that provide a surveillance network.

Each street light equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers, etc. Microphones sensitive enough to pick up a conversation between two people.

Los Angeles and many other American cities will jump at the chance to install these street lights that spy. There is an inducement. The manufacturer will pay $1,200 to a city per year for every SmartNode installed. Note, per year. For Los Angeles, the pay back amounts to $13.2 million a year.

Politics has not changed in the United States in more than 200 years. Defame your opponent! Exhibit the evilness in him!

In 1796, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were opposing each other for President. Alexander Hamilton supported Adams and personally hated Jefferson.

Under the phony name of Phocion, Hamilton wrote an editorial published in the newspaper Gazette of the United States stating Jefferson was having an adulterous affair with one of his slaves. Later established to be Sally Hemings.

Big night tonight! Dinner with my benefactor and dear friend Jean Thornton. Stone crabs at the Conch Republic!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

BALLS IN NORTH DAKOTA

A strange title. Refers to male testicles. As this story develops, you will agree it appropriate.

If I could video the Chart Room, the shows would be terrific. The conversations some evenings would be difficult for a professional writer to compose.

Last night an example.

It was David, Kevin, John, Mike from Liverpool, Ollie, and me. Ollie the star. He was wound up. Irma still getting to him.

Ollie is a first class citizen. Always volunteering, helping the community. Does for others. The nature of the man. From the heart.

Ollie lives at Santa Clara. He is President of the Homeowner/Tenant Association. As such, he tried to keep things under control as Irma struck.

He had keys to each apartment. Important.

Water never hit the building. It was 3 feet high in the parking lot, however.

Owners/tenants had friends stay with them during Irma. The building considered a safe place.

Some young adults arrived with their scooters/mopeds.

Ollie discovered the scooters parked in one of the hallways. He yelled and screamed and said get them out of here. Against fire laws.

When he returned, the scooters were no longer in the hall way. He discovered them in the apartment. The next time he looked, they were no longer in the apartment. They were on the fire escape.

Frustrated, Ollie called the Fire Department. By the time they arrived, the scooters were gone.

Later, there was smoke. Fire smoke. Not from the scooters. A main breaker caught on fire. He called the Fire Department.

Ollie heard a lot of noise coming from one apartment. A strange yet familiar noise. He entered to find someone trying to blow out the candles in the room with a leaf blower.

Pool water was used to flush toilets. During the several no power days, tenants swam in the pool. Ollie had cookouts for the tenants. Somehow, he got some food. Cooked on the outside grill. A party each evening. Sounded like Birmingham.

FEMA has been supplying the people of Key West with food packages. Labeled MRE. Stands for Meals Ready to Eat.

Ollie a bit of a joker when not taking his President duties seriously.

He handed me a gray squared small packet. Labeled MRE-P. It was a prophylactic. A condom. I looked at him and said, you’re kidding. No, he said. FEMA also had MRE-Ts. Tampons.

It was a joke.

Ollie got into a dissertation  as to where he wanted to be buried. He had visited the two local cemeteries. Shocked at how expensive! Decided the only thing of value he  had to leave were his testicles.

He has signed the necessary paperwork and also placed in his will what he wants done with them.

His family has a burial plot in North Dakota. He wants his testicles removed and transported to North Dakota for burial. He does not care what happens to the rest of his body.

The man was serious!

Ollie walked behind the bar. There sitting amongst all the pics was what Ollie described as a Ball Coffin. A cylinder about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Military green. His testicles were to be transported in the cylinder.

Ollie ended the story by raising a fisted hand and shouting…..Balls in North Dakota!

He was sober.

Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a sandwich. Sat at the bar. Robi bartending. Another customer nearby, Bob. Bob is a marine mechanic.

The three of us had a lengthy conversation. Discussed many things. Including Puerto Rico and grown children. Each of us have adult children. Our stories of them similar. A different generation from ours.

Spent a couple of hours at Dr. Norris’ office yesterday. My new primary care physician. A first visit. I believe I will be in good hands.

I have a dinner date this evening. With Brenda who I met last week at the Chart Room.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PUERTO RICO…..WHY?

I do not understand.

Trump and the federal government performed well re Harvey, Irma, and Maria where ever required in the continental United States. Why has the government turned its back on Puerto Rico? Why is it failing Puerto Rico?

Trump motivated? I think so.

Something stinks re Puerto Rico and it is not the rotting seaweed and fish. It is Washington.

While Trump golfs this weekend in New Jersey, Puerto Ricans are suffering. Some dying. Many drink polluted water from creeks. Millions are without electricity. There is limited gas and cash. ATMs and credit card machines are not working. Cash is king. Few have neither cash nor the ability to get cash. Medicines unavailable. Few hospitals open.

Trump will shower, have food to eat, drink clean water, have a flushing toilet, enjoy air conditioning, have available to him whatever pills he takes, etc. No Puerto Rican will.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is mad as hell. Properly so. She claims the federal government is not doing its job. Trump retaliates by tweeting he questions her leadership ability. He claims the Puerto Ricans want everything done for them when it should be a community effort.

He tells us Puerto Rico is broke. Insinuating such might be a reason for failing to properly assist.

His responses do not make sense. Not from the person who is father to all American citizens.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello appears to lack back bone. Afraid to speak the truth to higher authority. From the beginning, he has been praising Trump and the help provided.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Television continues to show ruin and devastation. Trump is intimating and will probably say at some point that such is fake news. I expect no less.

Something is wrong. What specially, I cannot put my finger on. Are there those who will enjoy terrific financial gain down the road? Or, is it because Puerto Ricans are persons of color, tan?

I hope Trump as he plays golf this weekend puts three balls in the water and loses three in the woods. He deserves no better.

Sloan and I worked on Irma and Me again yesterday afternoon. The book is taking shape.

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. I was the only customer when I arrived at 5:30. Just John and me. Stayed that way for a while. By the time I left around 8, the place was packed. Surprisingly, most were tourists.

Met am interesting woman. Brenda. Slight, white haired and lovely.

Brenda just short of being a Conch. Her parents moved to Key West when she was 2. At some point, she left. Returned in 2000.

Brenda is a realtor affiliated with Old Town Realty.

Old Town Realty is located on the massive second floor of the enormous concrete building overlooking Dante’s. The same area where Prime One is located.

She waited out Irma in Old Town Realty’s offices with co-workers and friends. Brenda has experienced many Key West hurricanes. Never left. Even for one.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the late Happy Hour.

You would never know Irma had been by. The bar and most of the restaurant were packed. All seemed to be tourists.

The Key West cleanup is a massive undertaking. Debris on every street. On every side of every street. It is going to take time.

The smell is only a problem after a rainstorm. The sun comes out. The humidity sky rockets. The odor ugh!

The State screwed up with the cross walks when it redid North Roosevelt Boulevard. They are dangerous. Accident, injuries, and deaths were inevitable.

Sheriff Ramsey has led the fight to have the problem corrected. The State said yes. However, need 2 years to draft and another 2 to get the money.

John C. Potter died sunday morning. Age 81. He was pedaling his bicycle through the cross walk at Key Plaza. A car struck him.

Syracuse/North Carolina State at 12:20 today. I was going to watch at Jack Flats. Changed my mind. Will try to get it here at home. Syracuse a 14 point underdog.

Man of La Mancha. The Impossible Dream. Miguel de Cervantes magnificent book Don Quixote rewritten to become a famous Broadway musical and movie.

Cervantes was Spanish having been born September 29, 1547 in Madrid. His life adventurous on occasion.

At one point, he was captured by Barbary pirates and imprisoned in Algiers for 5 years. Historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while so imprisoned. Recall the long tall staircase leading to the dungeon.

Don Quixote the story of a mad knight. A penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past.

I saw Man of La Mancha three times on Broadway. Each show with a different lead. The movie, many times.

Enjoy your day!