KEY WEST BEWARE…..GILLEAN AND ROZALYN IN TOWN

Met them last night! Two lovelies from Virginia Beach! Gillean and Rozalyn!

At the Blue Macaw.

Lovely fails to describe them sufficiently. Beautiful! Early 30’s. Arrived yesterday. Staying till tuesday. Guarantee they will leave their imprint on Key West.

Gillean in marketing. Rozalyn a nurse.

They already had a list of must do/see things. Garden of Eden at the top of the list. Gillean can’t wait to go topless. Excited.

Both experienced divers. Plan on exploring the reef.

I suggested several places to play, eat and drink. Rozalyn put them all into her cell phone.

I suspect I will run into them. The Garden of Eden the best spot. However, I have not been on the roof in years. My heart no longer can handle the three flights of steep stairs. If I could make it, my heart probably would not be able to handle what I would see up there.

Hopefully we will see each other again sunday morning at the Hard Rock Cafe brunch. Terri and Larry Baeder will be singing. Guaranteed monday at Dueling Bartenders.

Started my yesterday at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Then to Publix. I really needed groceries!

Some reading in the afternoon. Still going through Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. I highly recommend it. She traces modern day authoritarian figures beginning with Mussolini and Hitler. Leads up to Trump.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. One of Key West’s great personalities.

Met 2 guys. One from Scranton. The other originally from Albany, his wife Rochester. My home town Utica in the middle.

They were headed over to Michael’s for dinner.

Met Dion. Another lovely. An evening for lovely women!

Dion from Jamaica. I have visited twice. Many years ago. We talked about then and now. Interesting.

A tragedy yesterday. Of monumental proportions. Donna and Terri had Bear neutered. His testicles snipped. Horrendous! The mere thought bothers me.

Bear not a happy camper last night.

David Wolkowsky keeps popping up the past couple of weeks. My friend will be 99 saturday. A small party of 25 planned. I am invited. Can’t wait. An intimate event as only David can arrange.

David is Mr. Key West. If not for him, the Key West of today would not exist.

David bought a key 10 miles off Key West in 1974. Ballast Key. He constructed a magnificent home. All the amenities, although 10 miles off shore.

In his earlier days, he entertained big time at Ballast Key. World and national figures including British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Leonard Bernstein. His forever friend Jimmy Buffett a frequent guest.

David’s menu always the same. Champagne, hot dogs and chips.

A move is underway to rename Ballast Key to David Wolkowsky Key. This past week, the Monroe County Commission approved the change. Next, the approval of the federal government is required. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names. If they approve, the change will take take effect 5 years following David’s death.

Things never get better in Venezuela. Yet Maduro survives. Amazing.

The economy is in the shit house. Has been for several years. People do not have enough food. Several years ago, they ate their pets and zoo animals. People have trained themselves to eat every other day. Even babies.

Desperate times bring on desperate deeds. Many Venezuelans have turned to piracy. Old time piracy. Blackbeard’s type. Venezuelan pirates are rampaging the Caribbean in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago. Attacking yachts and fishing vessels.

Criminal chaos unleashed.

One victim who survived a pirate attack reported his group were doused with hot oil, hacked with machetes, and thrown overboard. Following which their boat was taken.

Manafort’s trial goes to the jury today. He spent a lot of money on items associated with the good life. Ten thousand dollar custom made suits an example.

Manafort has been sitting during the trial dressed to the nines, except he wears no socks. Turns out as a prisoner he can only wear government issued white socks. He is in court wearing magnificent suits and shoes. No socks! White socks do not go with his attire. He would rather go without.

The U.S. does not belong in Syria. Never the less, we are there. As is Russia and several other nations. All want a piece of the pie, ultimate control, etc. Russia and the U.S. till recently on opposite  sides. Trump however has us moving closer to being in bed with Russia.

Putin believes Russia will be involved with Syria for the long term. Hopefully forever. He is pulling a Hitler trick to assure such. He is after the Syrian youth.

Beginning this year, Syrian children will be permitted to attend Russian military academies in Russia. The first group begins September 1. The Syrians permitted to attend are the children of Syrian war heroes. Those who died in the long bloody Syrian conflict.

The intention is to develop the children into the military elite of the Syrian Arab Republic. Within 15 years, a sufficient number will have made it through the program and will control the Syrian military.

All Russian brain washed.

The program has been approved by a Russian governmental decree. Means Putin approved. It is referred to as “adaptation training.”

Hitler did something similar with the Hitler Youth. Hitler’s attitude then and Putin’s now: Get them while their young!

Enjoy your day!

 

CAPTAIN TONY…..I BEAT THE MAFIA

Captain Tony Tarracino an icon. Part and parcel of Key West. Died at 92. His 102nd birthday being celebrated friday night at 8 at Captain Tony’s.

A crowd guaranteed. Family and friends. Tourists.

A unique personality. Tony is remembered as a salon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Last Mango In Paris. The song’s opening line…..”I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat’.”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor. Illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Got out of Dodge. Escaped to Key West.

I only know one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Tony who is a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Warm and charming. Look forward to seeing her friday night at the birthday party.

Key West a money maker for investors! Developers have faith Key West prosperity will continue. It was announced yesterday that a San Francisco group KHP Capital Partners had purchased six Key West guest houses. A package deal. One hundred nine million dollars. Two hundred twenty two guest rooms.

The Key West City Commission gave formal approval to the proposed “pocket park” at the Atlantic end of Duval. A group will rent the last block from the City. Perhaps the pier. I am not sure.

Tables and chairs will be set in the street. Nine parking places to be removed. Food will be served from the Southernmost Beach Cafe and the Southernmost Guest House. A food truck will be located on the Guest House property.

I do not approve. The Bubba system at its worst. The street and its view should be left as is. Nature already perfect. Does not require upgrading.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. A friend from last year at the bar. Gordon Anderson from Tombstone, Arizona.

Gordon runs the Larian Motel in Tombstone. Two blocks from O.K. Corral.

A year changed nothing re our political views. Gordon remains firm in his conviction that Trump is the right guy to be President. He has faith in him. Believes in him. Has hope for Trump’s Presidency.

Gordon appears to be one of the 89 percent Republicans who remain supportive of the President.

The give and take was excellent. Just as it was last year.

Then to the Blue Macaw for ribs and a drink. Met Doug. Ten years a Key Wester. Works at the Hemingway House as a guide. Loves the job.

Doug is from the Boston area. We chatted re Boston, Hemingway, his wives, his girl friend who eventually moved to Key West, etc.

A nice guy. Enjoyable conversation.

The weather man’s advice in simple terms for today: Nice day, nice night.

Thank you.

Trump was going to clean the swamp. Good luck! It is worse than ever. A culture of corruption pervades. From the White House down. A fish rots from the head.

The most recent alleged wrongdoer is upstate New York Congressman Chris Collins. A Republican. Represents the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

He was arrested for insider trading. His son and son’s fiance’s father, also.

Collins was the first Congressperson to support Trump. He seconded Trump’s nomination at the convention. Served on Trump’s Transition Team.

We may not know the winner of the Ohio Congressional race for a while. The Republican candidate is ahead by 1,504 votes. However more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. They are required by law to be tabulated by August 24.

I close with my thoughts re Federal District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis. He is hearing the Manafort case.

Ellis has been a Judge 31 years.

He is obviously cantankerous on the bench. Disrespectful to attorneys. Involves himself in questioning too much. Etc. He is aware of how he conducts himself. He once said, “I am a Caesar in my own Rome.”

He should be off the bench. I wrote and spoke re judges who sit too long two weeks ago. At that time re the Supreme Court where Justices sit for life. Thirty plus years not uncommon. Justices in their 80’s common.

Too old to serve. Judges do not get better with age. They get cantankerous, mean, disrespectful. Know everything. Tempers short.

I advised at the time that the reason our Founding Fathers did not set an age limit for federal judges was the length of life back then. The average life of a white male was 35 years.

All Federal judges sit for life.

Judges are like everyone else. People think because they wear black robes they are supposedly fair and without human shortcomings. Judges are just like everyone else. If they have a bad night or morning with their wives, the lawyers feel it in the courtroom. Some are prejudiced. Dislike persons of color, certain ethnics, etc. They don’t know it. I have never met a bigot who knew he was a bigot.

And so on.

Ellis is to old for the job. It is time that thought be given to a Constitutional amendment setting a fixed number of year for the job. Justice will fail to be served in all instnaces otherwise.

I missed doing the blog and Key West Lou Live show yesterday. A new pill. Reacted adversely with my other medications. I was in rough shape yesterday morning. Kept feeling I was going to pass out.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CASABLANCA AND TEARS

Tears. Crying. Normal to cry. Especially women. Last night the tears flowed.

Irma caused several of us to escape. We evacuated to Birmingham, Alabama. Guests of Jean and Joe Thornton for 12 days. A wonderful experience! Jean and Joe great hosts.

We kept busy. From 5 in the afternoon to 3-4 in the morning every day. Fun time. All kinds of experiences.

One was watching Casablanca. The great love story starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I had seen it several times before as had the others.

During the showing, I noticed the ladies knew every line. They were whispering them before even spoken on the screen. The ladies also cried. Big time!

I was surprised.

Casablanca touched their very souls. The love scenes torture for them.

Some of us evacuees enjoyed a reunion last night. At the Key West Theater. A free showing of Casablanca. Besides Louis, Jean Thornton herself, Hayward, Joanne and Ann.

I was not disappointed. The ladies cried. The tears flowed. Jean the first to break down. Their eyes red at the end of the film.

Tender ladies!

Jean and I met for dinner before the movie. The Saint. We enjoyed a great duck meal.

Following the movie, Hayward and Joanne left the group. Jean, Ann and I went over to the Chart Room. A good crowd. Happy people on vacation in Key West.

A big guy came over to say hello. He introduced himself as Pittsburgh John. Said we had met last year and I wrote a column about him. I apologized for not recalling. We sat a while and chatted.

He brought up on his cell phone the Key West Lou column from February 18, 2017 titled Pittsburgh John. He was correct. I had written about him. Still could not recall the evening, however.

No problem.

A nice guy. He visits Key West religiously three times a year. Obviously lives in Pittsburgh. A big time concrete salesman. Travels several States.

John’s claim to fame and something he is most proud of is that at 16 he was the bat boy for the visiting Pittsburgh baseball team. He met baseball luminaries like Dwight Gordon, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Schmidt.

He was also proud of his relationship with Rocco Clemente. They occasionally shot hoops on a neighborhood court together.

Chatted with two charming and vivacious women. Donna and Jane. Friends since elementary school. Vacationing together. First time in Key West.

Donna is from The Woodlands, Texas. Divorced. An office manager for an oil and gas company.

Jane from Houston. Single. Lovely. Her professional career involves supply chain work.

The ladies plan to rip up the town while they are here.

I repeatedly say the Chart Room is the cross roads of the world. I meet people from everywhere. Last night, South Africa.

Matt and Lisa. Presently located in Washington, D.C. They work together in their own business. Described to me as assisting people to communicate with each other.

I met Matt and Lisa as I was paying my bill. Tired. Spent too little time with them. Hopefully, I will run into them again before they leave.

Why was I tired? It was after 11. I am in bed by 9 most evenings.

I normally wake at 6 and begin this blog. I did not wake till 10 this morning. Reason why the blog is being published late today.

Hemingway one of the greats who spent a number of years residing in Key West. Wrote To Have And Have Not and The Snows of Kilimanjaro while living here.

Every now and then, one of his undiscovered stories pops up. One of the most recent A Room On The Garden Side. A World War II fiction piece. Described as typical Hemingway. A debate in a hotel between two men concerning “the dirty trade of war.”

The story has been authenticated as a Hemingway work.

It appears in Strand Magazine. Strand is a quarterly publication. The Hemingway piece in its Summer Edition which was published this week.

BOB tired today. If BOB is tired, I am tired. Better stated, I am tired. Therefore, BOB is tired. The next chapter in his book hopefully tomorrow.

Today, a significant one in American history. On this day in 1776, members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration had been approved in resolution form one month earlier on July 2. The written Declaration was adopted two days later on July 4. However not signed till almost a month later. Traveling times slow, not enough States yet committed.

Marijuana delegalization is ongoing. Done in various ways. An example is Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance announced yesterday a “decline to prosecute” policy.

Beginning yesterday, no charges would be filed for marijuana possession and use. Two exceptions. If an individual possesses for purpose of sale or if a possession demonstrates a threat to public safety.

Trump was in Tampa for a rally two days ago.  We have all heard his error re the need to have an ID with photo thereon in order to buy groceries. The President has obviously never been to a grocery store.

Another one has filtered through the news. Another tax break for the rich. Trump must think the people demand  such. He is blinded by his wealth and that of others.

Trump advised a new plan for the rich. One that does not require Congressional approval. He wants to change the way capital gains are handled. Such would provide an enormous tax savings to those having big stock portfolios.

Seth Meyers the late night TV comedian suggested Trump would probably be relentless in having the tax law changed. He said Trump and his people “won’t be happy till this country is just 10 trillionaires and 300 million people fighting over one Go-Gurt.”

Trump says Putin is his friend. He better watch out. A person who goes to bed with a dog that has fleas wakes up with fleas.

Putin is recognized as a killer. As most dictators/despots have been.

Alexander Rastorguev is a Russian critic of Putin. Rastorguev was in the Central Africa Republic filming a documentary exposing the activities of a company called Wagner. Wagner is a private Russian military firm. Wagner is suspected of clandestine military operations in Syria and East Ukraine based on orders from the Kremlin.

Rastorguev, his camera man, and a reporter were ambushed and killed while riding in a car by persons unknown.

Putin involved?

Diana Millikan is in town. She is researching a book I would like to write on The History of Key West Prostitution. We’ve been at it two years. Not much recorded information on whore houses, etc.

Diana and I will be at the Blue Macaw tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

CHEATING DOESN’T PAY…..CAN BE COSTLY

Our laws are derived from English law. Going hundreds of years back. Referred to as the Common Law.

One of the laws from days of old was referred to as alienation of affection. A lawsuit brought by a deserted spouse against a third party who is blamed for the failure of the marriage. In short, one spouse cheats and the cheating spouse falls in love with that person. He/she leaves her spouse for the other.

Alienation lawsuits don’t seem to fit into thinking in the U.S. the past 100 years. People want to play and not pay.

As a result, most States threw out alienation of affection as a ground to recover money damages. Only 7 States permit such lawsuits today: Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

A recent North Carolina case evidenced the danger in stealing another man’s wife where the law permits a dollar recovery. The man who cheated with the husband’s wife had a judgment returned against him for $8.8 million.

An expensive piece of ass!

Good time at the Chart Room last night. John bartending. Kevin, Holly and David at the bar.

Larry Smith and wife Christine showed up. I have never seen either in the Chart Room. They were entertaining visiting family and friends from Pennsylvania.

The Pier House’s Wine Galley was Larry’s room. He entertained there for more than 10 years. Music and drink. The room generally filled. The Wine Galley several years ago was turned into a restaurant. Sad. Larry gave the Wine Galley a magic touch. Difficult to replace.

The Blue Macaw afterwards for chicken wings and a drink. Paul and Ron at the bar. Good food and good company.

The Key West weatherman is at it again. Hot today with widely separated thunder showers. He advises, “Pick your favorite storm.”

Tomorrow night will be partly cloudy with a thunder shower. He said, “Plants drink free.”

The Federal Reserve is concerned about inflation. They have suggested interest rates might be raised slightly.

Trump is concerned with inflation also. He does not want interest rates raised. He claims the economy is good and he wants to keep it good full throttle.

The danger with a rising economy is inflation. Interest rates are raised to cool the economy a bit.

The inflation of concern to the Federal Reserve is minimal. Not everywhere, however. Venezuela inflation rose 60,000 percent this past year. A cup of cafe con leche costs over 1 million bolivar.

Things are tough in Venezuela!

Yesterday, Trump announced the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) had risen to 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Admirable! Trump to be congratulated. The highest the GDP has been since 2014.

I find it difficult to accept the 4.1 percent GDP. The GDP is a composition of figures/numbers. Not saying the Trump people would do this, but numbers are easily manipulated to produce a desired result. A fudged result. A form of lying.

Even if valid, where will the GDP be in 6-9 months when the impact of the tariff wars hit? Not even close to a 4!

Trump also advised yesterday that 3.7 million new jobs were created. The highest ever. Not correct.

In the 19 months beginning December 2016 and ending June 2018, 3.7 million new jobs were added. Compare that figure to the 4.3 million jobs that were added in the 19 months before Trump’s election.

I fear for the economy. I have been predicting a recession next year. The market is overinflated. The impact of the tariff wars not yet experienced. Corporations are not pouring their tax savings into employee pockets. They are instead buying up the company’s stock.

Madeleine Albright’s Fascism brings to a reader’s attention a reason why authoritarian figures rise: “Men and women who had despaired of political change suddenly felt in touch with the answers they had been seeking…..rallies, where they discovered kindred souls keen to restore greatness to the nation.”

We continue to live in a society where the rich get richer while the poor poorer. The economy is going to be the major issue in November.

Trump has surrounded himself with the rich.

One example is Education Secretary Betsy De Vos. It was reported her $40 million 163 foot yacht was set adrift by vandals at a Northern Ohio Marina. A pic ran with the article. The yacht is 3 stories high.

The Secretary’s husband is former CEO of Amway. Their combined net worth estimated at $1.3 billion.

The Secretary’s brother is Eric Prince. Prince of Blackwater fame. He provides contract soldiers (mercenaries) to our government. For a fee, of course. He presently has another company doing the same work. If I recall correctly, a Prince company helped provide shelters and care for the immigration children taken from their parents.

The Secretary’s father a person of affluence also.

Forbes listed Dad’s family (father, daughter Betsy, son Eric, etc.) as the 88th richest family in America. Their net worth estimated at $5.4 billion.

BOB tired. He said writing yesterday’s article on Fantasy Fest Nudity took a lot out of him. He needs to rest.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FANTASY FEST NUDITY

BOB’s observations, thoughts and opinions re Fantasy Fest nudity.

Every year at Fantasy Fest time, a group of religious and/or concerned citizens form a Christian Coalition or some other group to  protest what they perceive as a sinful event.

Nudity the primary concern. Personal parts being exhibited. At the time Bob Smith wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, body painting to cover breasts and genitals had become popular. Total nudity was illegal. Flamingos, palm trees, and flowers became works of art. A woman’s breast the canvas.

Kiosks appeared on Duval. Body painting took place in public. Everyone could view the woman’s nude breasts being covered.

The religious/civic groups were opposed to the public display of breasts during their painting. The issue was resolved. A compromise. Body painting prohibited in public places. Body painting went indoors. Various Duval Street businesses made room for the art work to be done. Everyone made money off the paintings.

BOB considered the resolution folly. The whole issue stupid. Two interesting BOB quotes.

Bob Smith told BOB, “Man cannot live without whim alone.” BOB wrote, “I am appalled…..how we have gotten into this mess.”

Bob Smith said, “Now is the time for all good men to come and get laid in the country.”

Let me bring you up to date on the nudity situation.

Given a person an inch and he/she will take a foot. So it went.

Body painting developed. A woman’s whole body. From the hairline on her head to her toes. No clothing, no pasties. Body all one color. Breasts/nipples painted over. Even a woman’s privates. The time had not yet arrived when women were shaving their pubic hair. The painter merely painted over the pubic hair. The ladies so “covered” walked around.

The religious coalition got back into the act. Full body painting not proper. Nipples and genitalia still could be seen.

Several years of negotiating and the resolution was to cover the nipples with pasties and the female genitalia and buttocks with fully opaque clothing. A bikini bottom would suffice.

Full body painting died out. Why go through all the trouble if a pair of pasties and a small bottom resolved the situation.

The thong came into vogue. The bikini bottom gave way to the thong. A woman’s buttocks in clear view. Not legal, though remains overlooked at the present time.

Some women continue to merely have their breasts and/or chests painted with a tropical bird, etc. The art work lovely. Lasts about 5 days. Women can shower without fear of it washing off.

Give me an inch and I’ll take a foot continued to prevail, however. A few years ago, swingers discovered Fantasy Fest. They came to town and changed the adult flavor of Fantasy Fest. Advanced it to their level of adult fun. Glaring nudity. Occasions of public sex.

Interestingly, at this point the community came together in opposition to the swinger modifications to the event. Those who previously disagreed with the religious coalitions, now agreed. It was a step too far. The swinger aspect lasted only one Fantasy Fest. Everything back to normal thereafter. Whatever that may be.

Male genitalia exposure a problem. Few men do it. Some however enjoy showing off their manhood. Some cover the area with a small piece of cloth which when a step is taken that which was covered peeks out.

If I were to list present day rules, they would be no showing of genitals, no exposed female nipples, no exposed public hair, no public sex. Plus, no fun. The last sentence added by me as a joke.

My yesterday began with a haircut. Lori back from a 2 week Maine vacation. Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down.

My book reading is sporadic. I do so much researching on the internet, I have little time left to read. I seem to be back into reading of late.

I read 2 or 3 books at a time. Move back and forth as the mood strikes me. Two at the moment. Madeleine Albright’s Fascism and Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires.

Spent the afternoon reading both.

The Chart Room first last night. Met a very interesting couple. Chris and Carrie from Pennsville, New Jersey. First time in Key West. Love it.

Chris is an engineer. Carrie, a nurse. They have 3 children. Nineteen, ten and four.

Chris and Carrie are unique in a certain respect. Each obtained their college degrees later than normal. Chris at 30. Carrie even later.

I enjoyed their company.

Sheila and David arrived. Not together. I have not seen them in ages.

Even Ollie showed up.

David, Ollie and I had a pleasant conversation. Flashes of wisdom make an appearance when you hear David and Ollie express themselves on a subject.

Stopped at the Blue Macaw for a bite to eat. Great Happy Hour! From 4-9. I like that it runs late. I enjoyed ribs at 8.

Ron and Paul at the other end of the bar. They bought me a drink. I was not aware till after they left and I went to pay my bill. Thank you Paul and Ron.

A very attractive woman sitting next to me at the bar. From Maine. We talked about the tariff impact on Maine’s lobster industry. Bad!

She was not aware that the lobster industry exists in the Keys also. Not as large as Maine’s. Significant, however. Spiny lobsters are a multi-million dollar business in the Keys. Largest customers China and Japan. Our lobster fishermen will be taking a hit, also.

Donna and Terri live across the street from the Blue Macaw. They love the area. Terri says it reminds her of the Village in the 1970’s. I stopped and visited my ladies for a while.

Terri was stretched out on the couch. Not feeling well. Donna tired. Worked 10 hours. Bear happy to see me.

Donna is a concierge. On the side, she makes jewelry. Has been doing it for years. She had a showing earlier in the evening. Sold some pieces.

I forgot. Never made it. The first thing she asked when I arrived: Where were you? Embarrassing.

Yesterday hot! Hot hot! Ninety five degrees. Fortunately, very little humidity.

Enjoy your day!

AN ARKANSAS FARMER’S VIEWPOINT RE TARIFF WARS

I consider the Chart Room the crossroads of the world.

Last night met an Arkansas farmer and his wife at the Chart Room. Spence and Jenni. Jenni and I had met at the Chart Room two years ago. She had a copy of Irma and Me with her which I was pleased to sign. Jenni is a librarian.

More importantly, a loyal blog fan.

First time I met Spence. A third generation farmer. The farm lies in the Arkansas delta. He farms rice and soybeans. The operation significant. His cash flow $3 million a year.

He was happy to talk with me.

The tariff wars have been in effect in one place or another for two months. Spence’s cash flow is down 50 percent for those 2 months. A big hit! Anticipated it will get worse.

Spence knows his business. He is active in farm organizations. President of the Farm Bureau.

He is confused. The tariff wars should not be happening. The simple solution is to lift the new tariffs and get back to normal. Subsidies then not required.

An informative time with Spence. Educational for me.

Trump met with a representative of the European Union yesterday in the White House. Two hours. Tariffs the issue. Rose garden press conference afterwards. Kumbaya time. Everyone happy.

Trump announced victory. Reminded me of Kim and Trump’s press conference in Singapore. Kim and Trump happy. Denuclearization agreed to, etc. No details mapped out, however. Nothing has happened re North Korea since. Kim apparently fooled the President.

The EU and the U.S. have agreed to negotiate. Nothing more. As with North Korea, no details. Both indicated the goal was no tariffs.

Lets see what happens. No tariffs is pie in the sky.

Buried in the news last week was the meeting the European Union had with China. European Union representatives went to China. Not a 2 hour conference. A 2 day one.

Trump said soybeans and natural gas were high on the agenda. Europe would be buying more U.S. natural gas. Soybeans a given.

The natural gas thing a joke. It would take several years to materialize. Natural gas is a gas. There is no pipeline under the Atlantic to ship it overseas. The natural gas would have to be liquified. Need additional factories built to do it. Then transported on tankers yet to be built. Several years involved in getting everything accomplished and ready to deliver.

My first stop yesterday was actually in the morning. A doctor visit. The thing senior citizens frequently do.

My blood work, etc. all good. Within the numbers. Scares me. I am in the best shape in 40 years. Recently lost 40 plus pounds. No longer get winded.

The Rum Bar first last night. Lauri’s first time on the job. Wanted to show my support.

Got there at 6. No Lauri. Discovered she works 9 pm-4 am.

She is going to make a big dollar. I have not been in the Rum Bar in 10 years. Small inside. Small porch outside. The place was packed. At least 15 people. I have been told it is a popular late hour place for locals.

Then I hit the Chart Room where I was fortunate to meet Jenni and Spence. Kevin and Holly there, also. Chatted with them a while.

John bartending. The best in town.

My next stop was the Blue McCaw for something to eat. Wings. Great!

As I was finishing, Donna and Terri walked in. I remained a while and chatted with them.

My today begins at noon. Haircut time. Lunch afterwards at Sandy’s Cafe.

A lot of lying going on. Involving Trump one way or another.

Trump told us at one point the ladies accusing him of sex involvement were lying. All of them. We now learn that some have been paid. Perhaps all.

A great gig for women. If we are to believe Trump, lie and get paid for it.

Trump lies a lot. Does he get paid for it?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

TERRI WHITE PERFORMED

Big crowd at Blue Heaven last night. Terri White was singing. Everyone wanted to hear her perform.

She was her usual outstanding self.

It was ladies night for me. Unexpected. Jean Thornton and I had agreed to meet at Blue Heaven and make a night of it. My friend forever!

Jean arrived first. When I got there, she was seated with several lady friends. Two I knew. Stephanie Kaple, my newly discovered comedian acquaintance, and Debbie.

Debbie does not reside in Key West. Visiting with Sharon. Debbie’s monumental claim to fame is she discovered gold and emeralds with Jean back when. She too is a Key West Golden Girl.

The group also included Mary from Connecticut and Megan. Megan is a Key West local. She has been a pharmacist at Winn-Dixie for 15 years.

Spent some time with the ladies. Then moved to Donna and Terri’s table. Two of Donna’s concierge coworkers at the table. Karen and Maria.

Karen is concierge at the Hilton and Maria at the Fairfield. Karen’s husband Dan operates Salty Goat at the Galleon.

Karen showed me a picture of her dog. A cute little thing. He was lost for 3 weeks. If he could talk, what a story he would have to tell!

A third concierge arrived as I was leaving. Never caught her name.

Women are from Venus and men are from Mars. I found the conversation at both tables different. I must talk to men most of the time. Recall I was the only male at both tables. Women are different. They converse differently. I felt out of place. Awkward.

Jean and I headed over to Blue McCaw for a bite to eat. Sat at the bar. Blue McCaw a comfortable place. Many locals. Food and drink cheap.

John was enjoying a late night dinner at the bar. Paul and Ron holding down their usual corner.

A Joe Phillips came up to talk with me. He has been in Key west only since June 2. From Orlando.

Joe expressed a concern about the Post Office. He was aware I had in the past few months written 3 times re the Post Office. Congress screwed up the U.S. Postal System and have made it difficult for postal workers and people (us).

Love Irish Kevin’s! One of the best bars in town. Always packed. A night does not go by where a number of women get up on the small stage and flash their breasts. The place is made for an old guy like me!

Unfortunately, I rarely go. Irish Kevin’s is for young people. Really young. I am way too old and feel out of place.

That is twice today I have mentioned feeling out of place. Strange.

Today, Irish Kevin is having a special event. A Christmas in July celebration. From 2:30-5:30. Go and enjoy! I might. The exposed breasts an 83rd birthday present to me.

I already did my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook this morning. You may want to take a look. Titled Return of the Caesars. About what I perceive to be a return by people to strong leaders that they will obey. Not necessarily a change for the good. The leaders not necessarily good.

I have wondered why the Thai soccer team and coach got 2 1/2 miles into the cavern. Read an article this morning that explained it. While exploring the cave, water levels began to rise. As the tunnels flooded, the group was forced further and further inside.

The U.S./China tariff war I fear. All tariff wars need be feared. China could be the one to cause international monetary havoc. For which we will have Donald Trump to thank.

China has the big card to play. Turn the tariff war into a currency war. Cause the U.S. dollar to devalue.

China holds $1.2 trillion of U.S. Treasury bonds. All China has to do is stop buying new bonds as the old ones mature. The dollar will fall. Major panic in world markets will occur.

If China wishes to retaliate swiftly against the U.S., it merely has to begin selling some of the $1.2 trillion in bonds it holds.

Another great Key West day in the making. Time to forget about Trump, Putin, China, tariff/currency wars, etc. Merely enjoy the day.

Join me. Lets all enjoy Sunday!

 

HOWIE MANDEL LEAVES KEY WEST LAUGHING

Non-stop laughing last night. Howie Mandel performed in Key West. Glad I went. A long time since I laughed that much.

Almost missed the show. I had purchased my ticket last week. Intended to go with Kevin and Holly, Art, and John. Forgot. Was getting ready to go to Dueling Bartenders when Kevin called to say lets meet at La Concha first for a drink.

Glad he called!

I did a little research on Mandel this morning. Apparently born a comedian. He was expelled from high school for impersonating a school official and hiring a construction company to build an addition to the school.

Stephanie Kaple opened for Mandel. I have known Stephanie for years. She is now CEO of a large Key West company dealing with the homeless. Never knew her to be a comedian. In fact, to the contrary. A rather serious individual.

Last night her first time before an audience. I was overwhelmed! Shocked! She was fantastic! Her material outstanding!

Perhaps a new career in the making. I saw her briefly after the show. Pointed to her and said “Martha Raye.” Stephanie exhibited that degree of talent last night.

My group met at La Concha for a drink before the show. Then to the relatively new bar Roost on Fleming after the show. A nice place. Small. Well done. Annette from Ireland the bartender. Brogue and all.

Some Trump comments. To be expected after his disgraceful performance yesterday at the press conference with Putin.

Trump likes to keep people waiting. He is always late. Even kept Queen Elizabeth waiting 12 minutes last week. Guess it makes him feel important.

Yesterday, he waited for Putin. Trump was on time. Putin late. Trump apparently did not mind. Putin his hero.

Trump campaigned that it was time to Stand Up for America. He did not stand up for America yesterday. He bowed.

The meeting was a Putin success and Trump failure. Domestic reactions in their countries reflect the same.

Trump was especially offensive when he described America as having exhibited “foolishness and stupidity” over the years              causing the rift between Russia and the U.S. Would you believe!

“America First!” Trump’s slogan. I would reword it to “Me First!”

Trump was very much off base. His staff had given him 100 pages of material so he could confront Putin in a tough fashion re the election hacking. Trump ignored the material. Instead took the position he believed Putin when he said Russia was not complicit in any way.

Why is Trump always up Putin’s ass? Either Putin has sexually explicit photos of Trump taken on a Moscow trip several years ago or Russia has arranged for billions in loans to Trump over the years after U.S. banks would no longer loan him money. Could be both. Time will tell.

Recall following the NATO meeting last week, Trump said he was a “very stable genius.” He fools himself!

Trump bugged me when he said the U.S. and Russia should be close friends since the two countries are super nuclear powers. What a basis for a marriage!

Trump does not realize Russia is not a first rate nation. In deep trouble economically. If I recall correctly, ranks 30th economically. Its military pre and World War II.

Putin has Trump bullshitted all the way!

Trump has a propensity to label everything stupid. Only he is smart. Forrest Gump was correct when he said…..Stupid is as stupid does.

Some stupids labeled such by Trump include people, laws, other countries, White House staffers, FBI, National Football League, Democrats, filibuster, journalists. I probably missed a few dozen more.

Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” Get rid of all corrupt Washingtonites.

He was not the first to so promise. Many politicians preceding him used the same words. Examples being Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan, and Nancy Pelosi.

I am back on Facebook with Key West Lou Live. A 3-4 minute video each day where I talk about whatever motivates me at the moment. Take a look. You may enjoy it.

Today, tuesday. My podcast every tuesday night at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I rant and rave about everything. Similar to Key West Lou Live, except I have 30 minutes to do so. Enough time to get a lot off my chest.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

MEL FISHER…..THE INDIANA CHICKEN FARMER WHO MADE GOOD

Some persons become legends in their own time. Key Westers recall their legendary figures. Among others, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Sloppy Joe, Captain Tony, Mel Fisher.

Mel Fisher concerns me today.

Key West annually celebrates Mel Fisher. Mel Fisher Days this year are July 12-14. Party time. All kind of activities befitting Mel Fisher.

Mel Fisher’s claim to fame is that he discovered a part of the Spanish galleon Atocha. Recovered $400 million in gold, emeralds and other jewelry.

His story.

Mel was a chicken farmer from Indiana. Eventually, he,  his wife Doe and family, ended up in Key West. Fisher was convinced there was gold in off shore waters. He spent 16 years looking for it. Lean years. Sacrificing time for the Fisher family.

Fisher would begin each day by telling his crew…..Today’s the day! For 16 years.

Finally, he scored.

The Atocha was ladened with gold, emeralds and other jewels. On their way to Spain. Atocha was one of a convoy of 28 ships. Some had problems. The convoy left 6 weeks late. Five weeks into the tropical storm season.

A hurricane hit the second day out. The Atocha went down.

On August 20, 1985, Fisher discovered a part of the Atocha. He was able to salvage $400 million in gold, emeralds and other jewelry.

Still not his. Spain made claim to the fortune. Fisher fought Spain and others all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fisher won. The Court ruled in effect…..Finders keepers!

Obviously changed Fisher’s life and that of his family.

The man earned it.

My evening yesterday began with Liz Moody’s birthday party. Eighty four years and going strong!

A beautiful woman. A glowing face and personality.

Many friends in attendance.

Age is taking its toll. A broken hip that never mended properly. A diabetic whose problem frequently gets out of control. She was released two days ago from the hospital where the fight to stabilize her sugar took place for 15 days.

Liz parties well. She had a good time. I had a good time. Everyone had a good time.

Then to the Chart Room. Looking for Kevin. He had purchased tickets for a group of us to see Howie Mandell monday evening at the Key West Theater. Needed to pick up my ticket and pay $59. A bargain from my perspective.

I have always enjoyed Mandell. It will be good to laugh continuously monday evening.

David stopped by for a moment.

New friends Ray and Augusta at the bar. Enjoyed their company.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe on the way home for something to eat. Food at Liz’s party. I drank however instead of eating. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. The gin earlier was not enough to give me a bang. Needed the Cuban coffee.

Home early. In bed by 9:30. Slept well. Slept late this morning.

Trump, Brussels and the NATO Conference. Trump embarrassed us. His conduct disgraceful.

He beat the hell out of Germany’s Angela Merkel. Improperly so. He never has his facts right. Referred to Germany as “totally controlled” by and “captive” to Russia.

He deficated upon NATO as a whole for failing to keep up with individual payments to NATO. Implied clearly the U.S. was being forced to pay more than it should. He said the U.S. was paying 90 percent of NATO’s bills. Not correct. Sixty six percent. Note that payments are determined by how much money a nation earns per year.

A press conference this morning. Trump made it sound like everything was now kumbaya. Everyone happy. Claimed he made it so. He forced the others to agree to reach the 2 percent level by 2024.

The 40 minute press conference crowded with additional Trump lies. The English like me. He was headed to England following the press conference. The English hate him! Only 11 percent like him. The 2 percent going to 4 percent soon after 2024. No such promise made. Merely Trump’s idea.

He failed to explain some pertinent facts. Perhaps he did not know. He does not prepare for these meetings.

Trump claimed England buys 70 percent of its gas from Russia. Not true. Only 33 percent. Note most European countries buy gas from Russia. It’s cheap. The U.S. cannot compete with the Russian charges because of the distance and lack of a pipe line.

Trump was not aware that although most NATO nations were behind in the 2 percent contributions, they were far ahead of the United States in humanitarian aid. Eurounion countries provide such aid to the tune of $12 billion a year as opposed to  the U.S.’s $6 billion.

Trump can only see one way. He does not take into account peripheral items.

He forgets also that NATO troops have been fighting along side U.S. troops in Afghanistan for 16 years. Eleven thousand non U.S. NATO troops have died.

A question. The U.S. imports 43 percent of its imported oil from Canada. Does that make the U.S. “totally controlled” by and “captive” of Canada?

Paul Manafort was moved yesterday to another jail. It was discovered his jail time came with unique privileges. He had a larger than normal cell, a private bathroom and shower, a personal telephone (made 300 calls), separate work space to prepare for trial, and was permitted to have a lap top in his cell.

Not normal. Unusual. Reminded me of how Mafia bootleggers were treated when jailed back in the 1920’s.

Have to hustle. Haircut time.

Enjoy your day!

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!