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!

GOOD TO BE BACK AGAIN

Stealing from Mac Arthur…..I have returned! Gene Autry…..I’m back in the saddle again!

It is good to be home.

I got in at 4 thursday afternoon after two days of driving. Birmingham to Key West. Eight hours each day.

No question, a few days does make a difference. Specifically with regard to traffic. Little traffic. Very little. Only spots crowded were Orlando and Miami. I used the Florida Turnpike.

No waiting in line for gasoline. Pumps available at all times.

The second day was depressing, however.

I spent all day listening to the radio re the Mexican school collapse and the search for Frida Sophia and perhaps several other children. Drama! Heart wrenching!

Yesterday, we were told by Mexican authorities that there was no Frida or any other children beneath the wreckage. Alive or dead. The situation “not a reality.”

There has to be more to the story. Does not make sense to me.

The search for the children weighed heavy. To it was added another sadness. I saw what Irma did to the Keys.

Beginning with Florida City, a relatively small tree down here and there. Just outside Marathon, you could sense things were going to get bad. They did.

Beginning at the Marathon point and down to Sugarloaf, everything got consistently worse. Debris piled on the side of US 1. Furniture and mattresses. Refrigerators. Boats upside down. Cars on their sides. Roofs off. Buildings down.

Big Pine, an absolute disaster. It was as if King Kong had stomped all over it.

Summerland, Cudjoe and Sugarloaf hit badly, also.

I had been informed I would see many refrigerators. Apparently they fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I even saw one in a tree. A big one. About 15 feet up, laying sideways on a couple of big branches.

The damage itself was too much to take. Coupled with the little girl under the Mexican school, both scearios combined too much to take. Tears were actually slowly rolling down my cheeks at one point.

Key West was a different story. Damage, yes. A roof gone here and there. Most signs blown through. Trees the real problem. Toppled. Size immaterial. Big and little ones.

My new home is in an area covered with large trees. A cathedral type appearance over the streets.

No more. I was shocked! at least half the trees down. The roads one lane. Piled debris on road side heavy.

My new home survived. No damage. Except for a big tree in front and 5 little ones (20 footers) in the back.

I thought I was returning to full services. No Comcast television, computer and landline. All three I discovered have been off since September 7. One day after I left, three days before Irma hit.

Comcast no help. Comcast’s attitude always the same. Don’t care/don’t bother me.

I called to ask when I would get service. The operator did not know. Asked if I was aware there had been a hurricane.

I am getting wi-fi from my cell phone. A special app. Extra cost.

I went out thursday night. Duval Street a ghost town. Places still boarded. No one on the street.

Met up with John, Kevin and Molly at Bourbon Street. Very few bars open. Food, forget it!

On the way home, I stopped at the Marriott Beachside. Asked for a menu. No food! Enjoyed a drink, met some nice folks who live on the golf course, also.

Yesterday a busy one. Up early. Stopped at Verizon and Publix. Only one Publix open. Customers looked sad. Heads down, asses dragging. A remnant of Irma?

Also got a haircut, manicure and pedicure.

I was energized all day. Assume it must have been the time I spent at Jean and Joe’s. Restful.

Dinner last night with Don and David at Pepi’s. One of the few restaurants open. They were only serving off the luncheon menu and did not have all of the items listed. I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger.

The tree in the center of the outside dining room did fall. Big time! Never more to stand. Destroyed part of the roof portion. The roots pulled up half the concrete floor.

One thing bothered me. The FEMA presence in the parking lot on Simonton behind the fire station. Two huge white tents. took up 2/3’s of the parking. Roped off. A couple of hundred people going in and out of the tents signing up for FEMA. Mostly Bahama Village residents. Everyone happy.

What bothered me were the two Homeland Security guards/officers. Uniformed. Never saw one before.

Tall, thin, crew cut hair, blue uniforms and guns on the hips. Reminded me of the neo-Nazis in Greece I have written about many times.

Their appearance bothered me. I asked myself why does this agency need its own military force.

A fire yesterday. 717 Duval. Reported flames engulfed the building. Fire Department got the fire under control. the building housed a tattoo shop.

Food is a problem. There is  scarcity. Monroe County announced free breakfasts and lunches to all school children till October 25.

I compliment Senator Mc Cain on his Obamacare stand.

Two observations.

Google maps. First time I ever used the service. Off my cell phone. Where have I been? Wow!

The Key West Citizen. Could be the beginning of the end. The Citizen is downsizing. Henceforth the Citizen will produce only two editions a week. A weekend edition on saturday. another edition on wednesday. The Citizen will also soon be moving its operation to Miami.

Sad. A Key West tradition.

Syracuse/LSU tonight. LSU favored by 23 points. Would like to watch the game, never the less. Jack Flats still closed. Might watch at Don’s Place.

I will be doing my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook later this afternoon. A quick few minutes. Interesting dialogue.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA ON ITS WAY

Irma is coming. Will it hit Key West? Looks like it. Only God and two weather fronts can prevent the blow.

I hope my prognostication is wrong. I hope the fronts bend Irma northeast and back into the Atlantic.

Yesterday a first. Irma if it hits not due till saturday. Saw people putting up hurricane shutters yesterday. Normally, a last minute thing in Key West.

What will Louis do? Not certain yet.

I was supposed to drive Terri to Aqua at 5 last night. She was to perform as part of Dueling Bartenders. Got a call at 4. Forget me. Not feeling well.

Ended up meeting the Chart Room’s John for a dinner and drinks. We tried 2 cents on Applerouth. That’s its name! 2 cents.

Happy Hour dinner menu. Half price.

Dinner less than ok. Staff bouncy happy. Always a smile. Service excellent. Atmosphere cozy.

John and I stopped at Dueling Bartenders afterwards. Caught the last half hour. Tom Luna and Rick Dery performing.

Great entertainment!

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting goings on. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include DACA, three different hurricanes, Megan Kelly a climber, facial recognition replacing credit cards, killer robots around the corner, Netanyahu facing possible indictment, the biggest gold discovery in history, and more.

Trump advises his position on DACA today. Rumor has it he will extend six months and leave the final decision up to Congress. Called passing the buck!

Sad part is Congress hasn’t decided anything important in six months in years.

Venezuela’s President Maduro has requested he be permitted to appear before the UN’s Human Rights Council that begins with three weeks of meetings September 11. He has been granted permission and will appear early in the meetings.

Expect a denunciation of the United States. Perhaps even the UN. Maduro will be calling wolf.

I recall a few years ago when Hugo Chavez spoke before the General Assembly. Bush 2 had spoken immediately before or within 2 or 3 speakers of Chavez.

Things were strained between the U.S. and Venezuela at the time. When Chavez reached the podium, he announced the smell of sulfur was overwhelming. He was referring to Bush’s time behind the podium and how Bush in reality was the Devil.

A step back in history. Geronimo.

Geronimo was a great Indian chief.When the white man wanted Indian lands, he led the fight against them. Over 20 plus years, he was responsible for the killing of many U.S. Army soldiers and settlers.

Geronimo became a public enemy #1. Pursued relentlessly.

Geronimo finally surrendered in September 1886. The U.S. deported him from his homeland in the west. Initially sent him to two different camps in southern States. Finally, resettled him in Oklahoma.

Geronimo saw the handwriting on the wall. He became the good Indian. A successful farmer and convert to Christianity.

America accepted him. Its former enemy. Geronimo marched in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CONCERNS

Two matters are at the forefront of my mind. One has to do with Harvey. The other Trump and the military.

Without question, Harvey is the worst of the worst. Nature’s force/violence not within my recollection.

From my perspective, assistance has been outstanding. Whether governmental or voluntary. It has been several days however and the natives are getting restless. Understandable taking into consideration the conditions under which they are living.

At first, everyone was grateful to be alive and thankful for the assistance being provided. The kumbaya could not last.

Yesterday, the rumbles began. Slowly. Food not that good, for example. Today, the chemical plant. Questions re whether firefighters are doing enough or the right thing.

Several days into Harvey, rescuing people still a primary concern,. Properly so. However, attention has to be paid also to those saved and sleeping in overcrowded shelters. They are getting restless and must know what is being done/planned to help them.

Let them know. Otherwise, the rumblings will turn into trouble.

My other concern is Trump and the military.

Trump is incompetent and incapable. Should never have been elected President. He is commander-in-chief. However, the military seem to override certain of his decisions and go their own way. Mathis and transgenders the most recnet example.

I have always feared an overthrow of the government by the military. More so since we went to an all volunteer military.

We are nowhere near any type military takeover at this time. However recent happenings could be the seeds for one.

Great Chart Room last night! John and Kevin. Then two visitors from Columbus, Ohio. Megan and Ryan. Their first time in Key West. A relative told them to stop in the Chart Room for a drink.

Proud parents of three year old Knox Dallas.

Megan is a stylist and has her own business. Ryan is District Manager for a liquor company. Jack Daniel’s.

I wrote about Jack Daniel’s a couple of days ago. Hope they go back and find that blog. The venue was the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The new political correctness re Confederate statues and monument the subject.

The conversation got into the new book I am trying to write. Believe I will finish this one. Key West and Whore Houses. Or, Whore Houses of Key West. Or, something like that. Houses of ill repute and ladies of the night.

Whore houses do not hold a special place in my heart. My concern was to write a novel Key West book. One that would sell. There are a ton of Key West books out there. About houses, streets, outstanding citizens, etc. None about whore houses.

Megan and Ryan participated. Suggestion wise.

When they left, John, Kevin and I agreed they would have a lot to talk about re the Chart Room when they return to Columbus…..Those wild Key West people!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat. George bartending. Rob entertaining.

Harpoon Harry’s. One of my favorite places. A block off the waterfront on Caroline. The feeling of an old time diner. Food that sticks to your ribs.

Every couple of weeks, I stop in. Generally for a late breakfast. Their eggs the best in town! Taste fresh. Unique.

In September, Harpoon Harry’s will be 25 years old. Opened in September 1992 by Ron Heck and Robert Cobb. In celebration thereof and thanks to their many customers over the years, Harpoon Harry’s will sell the blue plate special at the same price as when they opened. $4.99. And a special breakfast. $1.99.

The special prices will be available September 25-29.

There are 67 counties in Florida. Suicide has become an increasing problem over the years. Monroe County has had the highest number of suicides for many years. A dubious distinction. Last year, an improvement. Monroe County dropped to sixth.

Credit in large measure is due to Mary Lou Hoover and her group who have done much to help those considering suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day. I am sure we will all be hearing about the subject matter and activities soon from Mary Lou.

9/11 will never be forgotten. Each year, anywhere in the United States.

Key West is recalling the occasion on 9/11. The Key West Fire Department and the Key West Fire Museum. The event will take place at 8:30 am on 9/11 at the Fire Museum on Grinnell.

Bocce tonight. First game of the season rained out last week. I will be there supporting Don’s Place.

I miss playing.

Enjoy your day!

 

A PARTY!

A delightful birthday party last night! David Wolkowsky’s 98th. A small intimate gathering of 20. One hour. Dom Perignon served.

Mr. Key West looked terrific! Smiling. Greeting everyone warmly.

A man for the ages. His mark left here and in Philadelphia.

Afterwards, the Chart Room.

Business strange. The placed packed and then deserted. Not a soul, except for John and me.

David came in. Love David. I was ready to leave when he arrived. I overstayed my time by two drinks.

Harvey. What a wallop! A 4! Terrible! Going to hang around a few days. Even worse.

Due to Harvey’s intensity, still do not know damage or deaths. Damage for certain. I hope none or few deaths.

Trump and Venezuela. I have followed Venezuela since Maduro became President more than 4 years ago. I got turned on to Venezuela when the country ran out of toilet paper 4 years ago. Toilet paper still limited in supply.

Trump has imposed certain sanctions on Venezuela. Trump says he does not like the way the people are being treated nor the government’s corruption.

Venezuela is none of our business! Two reasons.

First, Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States. In no fashion!

Second, it is a civil problem that eventually will result in a civil war. Again, none of our business.

Trump could be laying the basis for U.S. intervention in the country. I say, not one American life should be sacrificed for a conflict that has nothing to do with us.

The real reason Trump is interested in Venezuela is its oil supply. Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

He wants to gain control of the oil.

Recall, Trump has recently suggested the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and taken control of Iraq’s oil. He has also recently mentioned North Korea’s large mineral deposits, suggesting they would be beneficial to the U.S.

We are not that type people. The U.S. does not wage war to gain valuable natural deposits.

This Christopher Columbus thing is boiling over. I was one day ahead of the deluge.

New York City Mayor William de Blasio is reviewing “symbols of hate” in New York City. For removal, of course. It is said one of the statues under consideration is Columbus’ statue on Columbus Square. The one that stands more than 70 feet high.

I have come full round on the issue. Back to my original position. Leave the statues alone! They are part of our history. Good, bad or indifferent.

The nation is being rabble roused by a small group. A minority. We gave in to their demands re Confederate statues/monuments. Now, the demand goes further. Hundred of years earlier. Wrong! It is the squeaky wheel being greased. Politicians the first to hear and abide by the demands.

Lets step back, take a deep breath, and think the issue with all its ramifications.

Further, let no one say I am a racist.

Enjoy your day!