ANDREWS INN…..IRMA AND ME BOOK SIGNING NEXT TUESDAY

Irma and Me my second book. My first book signing. Next tuesday from noon to 3 at Andrews Inn.

I have a degree of fear and trepidation. Will anyone talk with me? Will anyone buy the book?

Three more experienced authors are participating also.

I visited Andrews Inn yesterday. First time. A quaint small complex where you would expect to find nothing.

I gave directions yesterday. I was wrong. Let me give them again.

Andrews Inn is located at Zero Whalton Lane. Finding Whalton Lane a mystery. It is located off Duval. Across the street from Viva Cafe. A half block off Truman going towards the Gulf.

Drive straight in.

Michael and Albena Dana proprietors. Bought the place 8 months ago. Put it in idyllic shape.

I met Albena. A young beautiful women from one of the southern European countries. She is all excited about the book signing. Their first. Told me food and drink would be available.

Albena an interesting name. My grandmother on my father’s side was named Albina. Excited Albena. My grandmother arrived from Italy. Met my grandfather in Stamford, Connecticut. They fell in love, married and moved to Utica.

If time permits, drop by the book signing. Sounds like a party in the making.

Besides the Andrew Inn visit, my yesterday busy. A haircut with Lori, lunch with Catherine at Sandy’s Cafe, and a manicure with Tammy. My afternoon.

Last night, the Chart Room first. Glad I made it. Interesting people and conversation.

I was chatting with John, Steve and Cindy at the bar. Got into my earlier blog concerning Key West homosexuality the winter of 1979-80.

Steve jumped right in. He and Cindy settled in Key West in 1975. Steve knew exactly what I had written about. A bad time for gays, a bad time for Tennessee Williams.

He described it as  a war initiated by a religious faction who wanted gays out of Key West.

I was chatting with David at the round table when Debbie and Eric came by. From Rochester, NY. Ninety miles from my home town Utica.

Debbie is a grammar school cafeteria administrator. Eric runs a liquor store.

Parents of two, grandparents of two.

Debbie and Eric visit Key West once a year. This trip they were staying at the Pier House.

Two guys came in. From Tampa. Visiting for a few days. One originally from Rochester.

It was a Rochester night.

The Rochester visitor a die hard Syracuse fan. We were in all our glory talking about Big Orange basketball and football.

John told me Morgan was stopping by. I wanted to see her again. My stomach said no. I was hungry.

It was off to Tavern ‘n Town for my diet prime rib. I am stuck at 32 pounds. Should have lost a couple more by now. I cannot complain, however.

Trump is destroying our country. Wake up America!

This tariff thing a disaster waiting to happen. Recall Herbert Hoover. The US was sliding into economic problems in 1929. Hoover knew he had to curtail it. He thought a tariff program similar to Trump’s would do the trick.

It did. But not the way he anticipated. The tariffs led the US into the Great Depression.

Trump is the Herbert Hoover of 2018.

Fifty years from now, Trump will be remembered as the person who destroyed the US economy, brought the US to its knees.

Unless he is stopped.

I meet the world in the Chart Room. Over the years, I have met three soybean farmers who own homes also in Key West. The soybean market has been great for them. They are luxuriating in money.

I can’t wait to see them again. All three told me China was their best customer. With the Trump tariff problem, China will no longer be their best customer. Not even their customer for that matter!

Trump cannot see the reality before him. He hit China with $50 billion in tariffs. China came back immediately and hit the US with $50 billion in tariffs.

Trump is not to be screwed with. He just announced he is considering another $100 billion in tariffs re China.

Trump’s head is in his ass. China does not scare. They are a major power. Probably the second in the world. Soon to take the US’s place as number one

Trump also forgets China is the US’ banker. The US borrows money easily as needed from China. The US presently owes China $1.3 trillion. China the US’ second largest creditor.

Suppose China gets pissed off. They could call in US notes, refuse to loan any further monies to the US, etc.

Then what?

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was on Morning Joe earlier today. He took Trump apart.

Recall in January, Fox told Trump: “Your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world.” This was after Trump referred to African countries as “shitholes.”

This morning Fox referred to Trump as a liar, said NAFTA was working for Mexico that was experiencing full employment, was not aware of the horrible rapes by immigrants in Mexico that Trump has been talking about the past few days.

Money. Everything comes down to money. Fox said Mexico buys $40 billion a year of corn from the US. Because of the tariffs levied, Mexico was looking to Argentina and other South American nations with whom to do corn business.

As to drugs, Fox says the cartel problem exists in the US. He admitted drugs move through Mexico to the US. However, it was the American cartels running the show since the drugs were primarily sold in the US. He could not understand why the US never approached eradicating the drug problem by declaring war on the American cartels.

Fox added that Mexico was opposed to the military deployment along the border that Trump was pursuing in recent days. Not needed, he said

His position basically was that Trump is crazy, does not know what he is doing. Mexico will not be stepped on. He mentioned as evidence that the Mexican Senate very recently passed a resolution calling for suspension of Mexican cooperation with the US re immigration and drug trafficking. Retaliatory to Trump’s moves re tariffs.

Enjoy your day!

 

GOOGLE NEWS SURPRISED ME

Google News surprised me this morning. Carried my blog from yesterday: How To Find My Podcast Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou.

Front page, right hand side, about 3 inches down.

I then went to Google Local News. There it was again!

Each article carried the blog address: .keywestlou.com.

Understand, yesterday’s blog contained no brilliance. I thought people weren’t finding my podcast. Ergo, dedicated the blog to being a direction finder.

I’ll have to do another information piece some day. Yesterday’s got the blog and podcast more exposure than ever before.

Dentist time yesterday afternoon. Dr. Lindner.

I have implants. Ten years now. Expensive and painful when done. Once a year, I visit Dr. Lindner to check them out. Everything, including x-rays. Took about an hour. All was well.

The Chart Room first last night.

John bartending. We chatted about Don and Chris’ wedding. John and I sat together.

John said Bridget was still in town. She was Ollie’s date at the wedding. Ollie flew her in from Chicago. A charming woman. An excellent dancer.

Kevin and Holly at the bar. Kevin looked much better. Every time I see him, the improvement is visible. Kevin had a bad scooter accident.The fact he spent 24 days in intensive care and had to be operated on several times says it all.

Met Myrtice and Fred. Visiting from St. Simons Island, Georgia. Visit yearly.

I mentioned to Myrtice that she had a strange name. She agreed. Carried with pride, however. It was her mother’s name.

Myrtice is a retired hairdresser.

Fred owns a glass company. Recently celebrated his 40th year in business.

Interesting people. They will be here a few more days. Hope I run into them again.

Then to Mary Ellen’s. I craved a toasted cheese sandwich. Mary Ellen’s the best! Three thick layers of cheese.

On the way home, stopped at Publix to pick up a couple of low carb items.

Two days ago, I was thrilled to announce I had lost 29 pounds. Could not wait to hit 30. Thirty is not to be. This morning the scale indicated I had lost 2 pounds more. Thirty one pounds to date.

The way the diet is working is strange. I have twice gone 2-3 weeks without losing a pound. Then, 3 or 4 pounds in a week.

Whatever way, I will take it.

A change in leadership at the Key West Citizen has taken place. A new acting publisher and one other operational figure. John Kent Cooke, Jr. and Thomas Kent Cooke.

Newspapers in general have had a hard time in recent years. Readers are going to their computers and cell phones for the news.

I suspected the Citizen was in trouble when several months ago the paper went to one edition for saturday and sunday. At the same time, printing was moved to Miami.

Every community, large or small, needs a local daily newspaper. A daily newspaper is the soul of the community. Additionally, a weekly is not timely enough. People want to know what is going on on a daily basis.

I wish the Citizen well.

The #MeToo culture is warranted. About time. However care must be taken in pursuing the men charged. There has to be some sort of due process.

Some women lie. Mistruths are not confined to males alone.

The perfect example to keep in mind is the Duke lacrosse team in 2016. The team had a party. A young black stripper said she was sexually assaulted. All 46 team members were suspended.

The 46 denied the charge. All 46 voluntarily gave DNA samples. No semen from the 46 was found in the lady.

The District Attorney prosecuting the case was running for election. He disregarded the DNA results. The lady involved kept changing her story. The District Attorney failed to advise the Judge of the changes.

The District Attorney indicted 3 of the players.

Something was amiss. The State Bar took over the case. The Attorney General was assigned the prosecution. After proper inquiry, the Attorney General had all charges dismissed. The victim had lied. She had never been assaulted. The District Attorney was disbarred and convicted of criminal contempt for making misleading statements to the Judge.

Forty six lives affected. Three most seriously. Because the “victim” lied and the prosecutor was more interested in being elected than telling the truth.

In the Catholic tradition, today is Holy Thursday.

In my youth (later grammar school and high school years), it was the custom to visit as many Catholic Churches as you could in the community. The Blessed Sacrament was displayed. Generally on a small side altar. The altar was cloaked in white flowers and greenery.

People would stop into a Church, kneel, say a prayer, and then move on to another Church.

The Catholic community came out in mass. Neighbors and friends passing each other on the streets. Sharing a warm hello and Happy Easter!

I assume the Churches still celebrate Holy Thursday as described by me. I wonder however whether people throng to the Churches as they once did.

I doubt it. Religion is dying.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

JENNY FROM ARKANSAS…..BIG TIME FOLLOWER

I was sitting at the bar last night at the Chart Room when a lovely lady sat next to me. She started chatting immediately…..I was in last night looking for you, met you with my husband in November, etc.

I did not recognize her until she mentioned she was a librarian, her husband a dairy farmer and they lived in Arkansas. The bell rang!

Jenny 45, married to Spence.

Jenny’s mother Rita was with her. Karen’s husband Spence back home in Arkansas working the farm.

Rita told me she and the family have been coming to Key West for Christmas for 15 years. Impressive.

Jenny and I spoke at length. She is a fan. Reads the blog daily, has purchased and read Irma and Me, and listens religiously every tuesday to my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Loves the podcast!

Jenny is the first person I have met who religiously follows the podcast. I have noticed the blog and podcast are distinct and separate audiences. Different.

Rita’s son, Jenny’s brother, was married saturday in Memphis. Mother Rita was stressed out from the event. Ergo, Jenny took mother to Key West for a few days of rest and relaxation.

I have become interested in farming. Especially farms that are in competition with or have become associated with the big corporations like Monsanto. In addition to dairy farming, Jenny’s husband Spence grows rice.

We had an interesting discussion re the pros and cons of doing business with major corporations.

Seated next to Jenny was Karen. Karen and husband Jim visiting Key West for the second time. From Cleveland. Two grown children. Son an architect, daughter a financial forecaster. Karen refers to her son as a Doctor for Buildings.

Jim an electrical equipment salesman.

Karen charming.

Made sure I got home in time for the Syracuse/Duke game. Close. Syracuse lost 69-65.

Good game. Both teams using zone defenses. Penetration difficult.

Syracuse lost the game near the end of the first half. It was neck and neck up to that time. Then Duke went of a 10 point run and went into half time with a 7 point lead.

I am proud of Syracuse. The regular season was disastrous. Syracuse did not have it. Then improvement began appearing in the ACC post season tournament. Major improvement in the 3 NCAA tournament games.

It is called redemption. A job well done!

The big students’ march today. High school students demanding improvement in gun laws. The big demonstration in Washington. World wide, also.

And in Key West! The Key West portion begins at noon at South Beach. It will go straight down Duval to Mallory Square. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Irma still with us. There are post Irma effects. This morning’s Key West Citizen pointed out two.

Florida lobsters one.

The lobster season ends April 1. During Irma, 24,000 traps were lost. Translated into a 60 percent smaller harvest. The dollar loss totaling $38.6 million.

The hospitality industry hurting, also. Revenues down 20 percent. Tourists think Irma wiped Key West out and we are still rebuilding.

Key West an island of writers. Yesterday and today. One of the famous ones Tennessee Williams. Lived in Key West more than 30 years.

On this day in 1955, Williams’ play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof opened on Broadway. Two days before his 44th birthday. Twenty eight years before his death in 1985.

Williams lived on Duncan Street. My Lisa and family live 1.5 blocks down the street from the Williams home.

There is an excitement associated with passing the homes of Key West notables. People like Hemingway and Williams. I get a thrill.

An interesting article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal re human sperm.

Demand for human sperm is a fast growing market. U.S. sperm most in demand. In many locales world wide.

Demand for American sperm for example has skyrocketed in Brazil. In 2011, the demand was 16. In 2017, more than 500.

Wealthy Brazilian women creating the demand. Rich singles and lesbian couples. The DNA most in demand light complexioned, blond haired, and blue eyed.

Modern science absolutely amazing!

One of the most popular donors is #9601 at the Seattle Sperm Bank. He has all the characteristics demanded.

Tubes of semen from young men are frozen in liquid nitrogen and flown to Brazilian airports.

This is the day! At 7 this evening as the sun sets, the guns will roar, the band will play. Chris and Don will be saying their I Do’s.

Two special people tying the knot.

I will be there! On time!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLKOWSKY DID IT AGAIN…..NIXON AND TRUMAN AT PIER HOUSE 1969

The father of modern Key West is David Wolkowsky. Ninety eight and still going strong.

David built the Pier House. Its beginnings 1968. Nothing but mud where it presently stands. He started with a 50 unit motel. Called it the Pier House Motel.

David knew everyone. Persons of prominence came to stay at his motel. Two United States Presidents at one time in 1969.

I was at the Chart Room last night. John showed me a photo on his cell phone of the two Presidents and their wives. He had received the photo earlier in the day from Tim. Tim and his wife live with David and assist him with his everyday living.

Seated at a piano playing was Richard Nixon. Standing behind him, Nixon’s wife Pat, Harry Truman and Bess. It appears the picture was taken by David. A note written on the photo said: “To David Wolkowsky. The view at the Pier House-the greatest.” Signed: “Richard Nixon.”

A piece of memorabilia.

My Wampsville friend and former Court Clerk Ted was to join me for dinner last night. He called after I was sitting waiting for him for an hour to report he could not make it. He either was sick or met a lady. I hope the latter.

Met John from northern New Jersey at the bar. Nice guy. We chatted about the glories of the Jersey beaches.

I was hungry. No Ted. Called Catherine. Asked if she wanted to feed me. No problem. I hurried over and partook of all kinds of delicious cheeses. Even got to watch a great movie. The one which received this year’s Academy Award as Best Picture. The Shape Of Water. Miss it not! Absolutely fantastic!

The writer had to be extremely talented. I have never seen a movie with so many surprising scenes. The unexpected every few minutes. Great writing!

Tonight at 9:40, Syracuse/TCU. TCU a 4 point favorite.

My day yesterday began with a noon doctor visit with my primary care physician, Dr. Norris. To review my blood and urine test results.

God bless! Everything good.

More importantly, my weight. When I was in last week for my annual physical, I had lost 24 pounds. One week later, 2 more. Total loss to date 26 pounds. Love it!

I suspect my home scale is broke. It has not moved in 7 weeks. Always shows a 20 pound loss. My heart doctor’s machine showed a 22 pound loss 2 weeks ago.

Time to get a new scale.

Blood pressure 110/80. Wowie!

Health increasingly important as one gets older.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is like 50 feet from Dr. Norris’ office. Stopped for lunch. Enjoyed Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large hot Cuban coffee. I know, I cheated. Cuban bread made with pork lard. Milk in the Cuban coffee. I felt I was entitled.

Spring breakers all over Key West. Well behaved.

It seems every year, the spring breakers look younger to me. Makes sense. As I am one year older each year, they would of necessity look younger. Kids!

Key West a place where adults can be children again.

The foot race for all ages has been scheduled. The Cow Key Bridge Race. April 15.

The bridge is 300 feet long, the length of the race. It has been dubbed a zero K race. Designed for “athletes” who don’t want to wake up early or break a sweat. Over 1,000 will participate. Most costumed.

How we value things sometimes does not make sense. Seventeen were killed at Douglas High School. The students reacted and are reacting. Washington not.

This past week a dog was made to ride in a United luggage bin. The one above the passenger seat. The dog died. Within 48 hours, legislation was filed in the U.S. Senate to make sure a dog would never again be placed in a bin where he/she could die.

It would appear we value dogs more than children.

Trump and his minions are slowly turning our country to one like Germany was in the 1930’s.

Night time in  Delano, California. ICE looking for a particular Mexican to arrest and deport. Saw a Mexican couple getting into a SUV. The man looked like the one they sought.

As ICE approached, the couple panicked and took off. ICE gave chase. The SUV turned over. The couple died. The couple parents of 6 children.

Turned out the couple were illegals. Further turned out the man was not who ICE was seeking.

I appreciate ICE is doing its job as directed by superiors. Such does not make what they are doing correct.

The ICE of today are the Gestapo of yesterday. Our government is moving in the wrong direction. Many support Trump and believe in him. As did the Germans with Hitler.

The madness has to stop. America wake up! If not, in the end everyone will suffer including Trump’s followers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TONIGHT…..KATE MIANO FOR MAYOR KICKOFF CAMPAIGN PARTY

The day has arrived. Kate Miano candidate for Key West Mayor. Her campaign kickoff party. Six tonight at The Gardens. Friends, music, food and drink. Everyone come!

People are asking why I support her. Simple. I know her, her character, her business acumen, her concern for others. She is the best of the best. Key West has long been waiting for the type of political leader Kate would make.

See you at the Gardens tonight!

Busy day yesterday. Haircut and manicure. Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee.

Last night, the Chart Room and Tavern ‘n Town.

Kevin was there as I had anticipated. I have not seen him in a few months. Kevin had the misfortune of a scooter accident. All kinds of bad injuries. Twenty four days in intensive care.

He is on the mend. Still a way to go.

Looked good. Lost a lot of weight. One shoulder lower and smaller than the other. His face shiny from the several plastic surgery operations. Several pins in various parts of his body. Appeared a bit tired. Anxious to be on the move, however. He was planning an afternoon bocce party for several of us.

His wife Holly sitting next to him. His pillar, his strength. A strong woman.

Hunger befell me. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. My protein meal. A prime rib. Nothing else. No veggies, etc. Sounds strange, but has been working. Twenty pounds lost so far.

We are experiencing a cold spell. When cold up north, cold in Key West. Sixty one degrees last night.

My air conditioning/heating unit went on the blink yesterday. Going to be completely replaced inside and out. New unit not available till wednesday.

I froze last night. Even under a thick quilt. Will be cold tonight also. The day and evening in the 60’s. Kate’s party will be cold. Long pants and a leather jacket for me.

School attacks always occur somewhere else. You rarely think of them happening at a place you know or where you are.

My home town is Utica. In the heart of central New York. Home of Utica College. Utica College the home of two terroristic threats. One monday, one tuesday. No shooting or bombing. Telephone threats. Violence threatened. Taken by administration and police as “a real credible threat.” Everyone asked to shelter in place.

The perpetrator arrested the second day. A senior student. Twenty three year old Fahriedin Omerovic. He will do time, a long time.

Omerovic used a cell phone app that prevented his identity being discovered. The police a step smarter. They used something that was able to determine who was making the calls.

Trump spoke at a rally on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati. His words: “We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Our goal is stability, not chaos…..”

Trump’s Budget Funding Request for 2019 has been submitted. He seeks Congressional funding for a 60,000 man army to defeat ISIS in Syria.

Strange. Trump claims the U.S. has defeated ISIS in Syria. He tells us every other day. Considers it one of his major accomplishments.

Experts say the money is not being requested to defeat ISIS. They are already beat. It is to overthrow Assad.

That my friends is regime change. Something he said he would not do. It is also going to pit us head to head against Russia who has been supporting Assad.

I sometimes think Trump wants to be a war President.

Robots should have been a part of the steel conversation. Never mentioned. Trump’s concern for those who lost their jobs because of foreign competition. The unfair balance of trade.

Not quite correct. The two  not really related.

Thirty years ago, the steel industry employed 188,000. Today, 86,000.

One problem, however. No one seems to look at realities. A significant one: The United States produces as much steel today as it did 30 years ago. And does it with less than half the employees of 30 years ago “primarily because of technological advances – or, to oversimplify, robots.” So wrote Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell recently. She further wrote: “Don’t blame China and bad trade deals, Mr. President – blame the robots.”

Remember, The Gardens tonight for Kate’s party!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAUNAKEE’S SHARIE AND MARK

The name Waunakee initially reminded me of Smucker’s…..With a name like that it has to be good! It is.

Waunakee is a small village in Dane County, Wisconsin. Population 12,000. Waunakee proudly labels itself “The Only Waunakee In The World.”

Waunakee a good place. In 2009, the village was listed in “Top 100 Best Places To Live” for small towns.

Which brings me to Sharie and Mark. Met them at the Chart Room last night. They’re from Waunakee! First time in the Chart Room, though they have visited Key West several times in the past. After last night, I guarantee the Chart Room will become their favorite watering hole when they visit Key West.

Married 30 plus years. Two sons. Soon to be grandparents for the first time. All excited. They have already rented a home for their Key West visit next January. A family trip. Baby included.

Mark was in the excavation business. His Dad began it. His son now working it. Three generations and still going. Sharie helped out in the business over the years.

Sharie a dog lover. Three. Named them after baseball players. Hank, Aaron, and Eddy.

Charming people. Fun. I hope to run into them before they leave. If not, I am confident we will meet in January.

Headed over to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ate at the bar. Grouper instead of prime rib.

On the way to my car, walked past the Chart Room. Sharie and Mark still there. The Chart Room standing room only. Sharie and Mark visibly having a good time.

My day yesterday began with Lori. Haircut time. We reminisced a bit. Lori has been a hair dresser 28 years. I a customer now a friend, 18. She looks as lovely today as when I first met her 18 years ago.

Afterwards, stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. My eye caught the name Utica College on the TV screen. An advertisement for nursing students. It was going off as I saw it.

Utica College is in my home town in upper New York State. I recall its beginnings. Provided a small assistance in getting it started.

Found out later in the day that Utica College is soon to offer extension services to students in the Keys. The ability to earn a nursing degree over the internet. Even nurse practitioner status. A representative of Utica College was in Key West last week arranging for the plan to be implemented.

Later in the afternoon before heading to the Chart Room, stopped for a manicure. Tammy’s last day for a week. Starting a vacation today. Good for her! Deserved. She is hard working. From 7 in the morning to 8 in the evening six days a week.

Key West postal workers protesting. Signs and all.

Proper they are protesting.

Budget cuts have been dramatic in recent years. Fewer and fewer postal workers. Sometimes only one person servicing the counter. Waiting lines up to one hour before one reaches the counter. Fortunately, Key West is a friendly town. Neighbors and acquaintances get to chat.

To fully appreciate the situation, there are 18 fewer clerk positions since 2016. Postal workers doing more with no significant pay raises.

Wake up my friends, our America is slipping away from us. I watched the far rights annual conference on TV yesterday. Full name Conservative Political Action Conference. Popularly known as CPAC.

NRA’s Wayne La Pierre the featured speaker. He was loud. Shouting on many occasions. Speaking of the devil. Those high school students misrepresenting the Douglas High School shooting.

I could see what was motivating him. The NRA was to confront for the first time a force that could neither be stopped nor bought. Children. It was obvious La Pierre is afraid that people will listen to them.

He lied. Not surprising. Trump lies also. He sets the standard for the country. La Pierre had the audacity to blame school safety, families, and the FBI for the shooting.

Trump an NRA supporter. Big time. No wonder. The NRA contributed $30 million to his campaign. Trump referred to members of the NRA as “great people and great American patriots.”

Someone sick here.

As I watched La Pierre, I recalled this scene playing in the past. Berlin in the 1930’s. All La Pierre needed was a mustache.

A dark speech, a dark moment.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a wise elderly Key West gentleman. A Letter to the Editor written by him was printed in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. In it Kostmayer said, “Any politician accepting money or support from the NRA…..has BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.” Emphasis Kostmayer’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

VOODOO

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

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

Italy’s immigrants are primarily from Africa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No arrests yet.

Irma hit September 10. Its effects still with us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bermuda reverted.

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

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

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

AYN RAND…..DIFFERENT

 

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

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

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

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

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

Wow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The conversation pleasant. The evening pleasant.

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

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

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

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

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

It was also announced interest rates would be going up.

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

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

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

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

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

Both actions amazing!

I close with a bit of Florida Keys information.

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

Enjoy your day!

 

SHRIMP BOATS IS A-COMIN’

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

Whatever moves me at the moment.

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

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

The nil has a bit of substance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chart Room was off and running!

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

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

The tests important.

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

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

It is happening in Missouri.

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

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

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

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

Sykes is not married. He is engaged.

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CANADIAN NIGHT AT THE CHART ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

Nice people. Glad they said hello.

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

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

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

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

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

I wrote about Jackie and the toe ring episodes.

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

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

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

John bartending. Kevin and Sheila at the bar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were more at the Pier House.

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

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

My day was a bit busy.

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

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

No wonder I could not see!

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

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

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

I hate dieting! Pure deprivation!

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

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

Enjoy your day!