ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

Last night was the final evening of Gombay. I did not go out. It poured heavy several times during the evening. I hope it did not disrupt Goombay too much.

Today, the beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. Shed your clothes and join in!

Joking.

Tonight at 6, the Zombie Bike Ride. Thousands will participate. Riders costumed and made up. Some scary weird. Bikes decorated, also.

Bicycles big in Key West. Sole means of transportation for many.

Though not an official part of Fantasy Fest, Kate Miano’s Gardens from 5:30-8:00. Kate’s sunday evening event has become a Key West tradition.

Entertaining this evening are the CRZBs. Supposed to be  excellent. A jazz ensemble. The only player I know is Skipper Kripitz. An excellent drummer and an extremely fine person.

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

My day yesterday was watching the Syracuse/Miami game. Syracuse lost 27-19. A different play result here or there, the score could have been reversed.

Syracuse played poorly in the first half. Dungey had nothing working for him. His second half a beauty, however!

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

If I had to pick one item that contributed big time to Miami’s victory, it was their speed. Fast off the line. It took almost all of the first half for Syracuse to accommodate.

Syracuse has gained momentum as the season has worn on. They will make a bowl this year. Next year, watch out! Dungey back!

King and Queen of Fantasy Fest have been identified. King is “Saint Paul” Murphy. Queen, Destiny Montgomery.

I know Destiny. Sings often with the Dueling Bartenders. A lovely young lady with a magnificent voice!

Several years ago, a local group worked hard to bring a film festival to Key West. They succeeded. This year’s Key West Film Festival is scheduled for November 15-18. Thirty films will be shown.

This day in 1962, President John Kennedy announced he had ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. Kennedy warned the U.S. was ready to retaliate if any missiles were launched.

The Cuban missile crisis was upon us. The crisis continued for six days. A nuclear war was imminent. no question about it. Either the Soviet Union backed off and removed them or a nuclear war would occur.

Naval war vessels from both sides were face to face in the waters between Key West and Cuba.

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

It was an emotional moment to watch on TV the Russian vessels turning around to return to Russia.

Feelings were high. The situation tense. What is happening presently with North Korea kid stuff in comparison. Though no less serious.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev a nut. Similar to Trump, far worse.

Key West was in the middle of the fracas. Artillery guns were erected on Smathers and other beaches pointing towards Cuba. Military personnel were transported quickly and in large numbers to Key West.

Khrushchev blinked. Fortunate for everyone. Kennedy had met the enemy and beat him.

Some things are nor readily revealed to us via the media. An example is the Executive Order Trump signed this past week recalling 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

We are fighting in so many places that we have an insufficient military personnel. Another example is that the military has lowered its standards for successful enlistment. The U.S. will now accept applicants who have a marijuana history.

For several years, I have suggested a return to the draft or mandatory military time following high school graduation.

I believe we would be in fewer wars if more families were directly involved. A President and Congress would be reluctant to engage in new wars if the people back home had a direct personal interest in those fighting.

Still waiting on Irma and Me. I had a desire for strawberry ice cream at 3 this morning!

Enjoy your Sunday!

GEORGE

I was paying my bill at the bar at Antonia’s last night. Sensed someone behind me. Turned. A lovely blond. Magnificent. Hair style a bit different. Short punk? Punk pixie? Short spiky? To me, they all look alike. The cut marvelous.

It was obvious she knew me. I could not recall her. It was George. George is a lady.

I have seen George probably six times in fifteen years. The first time at Lisa’s wedding. The event at the Southernmost Beachside. We took over the restaurant and entire beach. Food and drink stations everywhere.

I was at one of the martini bars. A young lady spoke to me. George. She introduced herself as a friend of Lisa’s. My recollection is we enjoyed two apple martini’s each as we talked.

I recall not the specifics of the conversation. Recognized George was a deep thinking sensitive woman. I enjoyed our time together.

As mentioned earlier, last night was the sixth time I have seen her in 15 years.

George is a bartender at Hogsbreath. When we first met. Even  today. Dillon her husband.

We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then invited me to join her friends at the other end of the bar. She wanted me to meet Joni, a relative newcomer to Key West.

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

I refer to Cori normally by her title. Doctor. She has a Doctorate. Impressive. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS).

Cori’s work brilliant. Her shows and offerings at the Custom House beyond the best. I have come to admire her greatly.

Nic, her husband.

I was introduced to Joni. Told she read my blog everyday. Such made her an instantaneous hit with me.

We walked to the other end of the bar and chatted.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, she has lived in Key West six months. Already bought a place. A condominium on Petronia between Duval and Whitehead.

Joni has an MBA. Spent a lifetime working in finance for Sunoco. Already employed in Key West. With KWAHS.

Attractive. A nice person. I sense we shall meet again.

Sitting next to me during dinner were Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. A Key West love story. Both widowers. Now have a home in Key West.

In her other life, Jan was in the scrap metal business in northern Indiana. We had much to talk about. I was an environmental attorney. Sheet metal and environmental lawyering go hand in hand.

Bob impressed me. He owned a BMW distributorship in Westbury, Long Island. Third largest in the country. Sold 4,000 BMW’s a year.

Nicole bartending. Seven straight weeks. TK stayed north with his mother extra long. TK back tuesday. Nicole will return to waitressing.

I enjoyed Nicole’s company as bartender. A charming engaging woman.

Prior to Antonia’s, I was at Kate Miano’s Gardens. The Gardens was hit hard by Irma.

The property extensive. Surrounded by a large wooded area. Huge trees. Some probably back to Indian days.

Many wiped out.

There was one empty area relatively large. I thought perhaps a guest house had been situated the spot. No. Merely tall trees. All gone.

Irma has effected her business. She had to return deposits in the six figures. No insurance to cover the tree losses.

Kate is one of the smartest and aggressive women I know. She and her Gardens will recover.

Saw many friends. Jean Thornton one of them. My joy to see Jean. We will have a special bond the rest of our lives.

Earlier in the day, Sloan and I spent four hours finalizing work on Irma and Me. Tedious. E-mailed everything to the Publisher. He advised the book may be out by week’s end.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ITALY

A double header last night. Joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy and attended their Christmas Party.

Actually, I rejoined the Sons of Italy. I was a member of the organization years ago in Utica when the name did not contain Daughters.

The ladies have come a long way.

Back in the 1970s, there was a cigarette called Virginia Slims. I don’t know if it is still available. Virginia Slims came up with a bull’s eye advertising slogan. Ladies…..You’ve come a long way! True today. In every area.

The Christmas party was at La Trattoria. Great food. Great people celebrating the holiday. The Sons and Daughters a party group!

Georgio sponsored me. A personality. I sat with Georgio and his wife Sharon, Karon and Stan, Donna and Bob, and Jerry. The wine flowed.

In order to become a member of the Key West chapter of the Sons of Italy, the remotest connection to an Italian background suffices. I think even if your best friend is.

The President a Michael Kelly.

Kate Miano in attendance. As usual, a knockout. Her hair last night red. A subdued red. Perfect for Kate! She looked terrific!

Santa Claus was at the party. He is a member. A natural beard. He suggested Robert and Ally must have discovered the truth about Santa. He did not get a call to make his usual Christmas Eve visit to Lisa’s.

Santa Claus is Mac McCauskand. It was obvious he is a well liked person.

A big night for Mac. He was inducted into the Conch Republic Navy. An Admiral swore him in. We all participated, even to the left handed salute.

I assumed Mac would go in as a lieutenant at the very least. Not so. Something along the order of chief dishwasher.

Many at our table Rotary members. None had read my 27 installments re the history of the Key West Rotary. Which means they don’t read my blog. For shame.

Interestingly, I heard from no Rotarian re the history. Guess Rotarians generally don’t read the blog either.

I had a good time. Thank you Georgio and Jerry for asking me to join.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GIBRALTAR OF THE SOUTH

There was a time and a man who viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. It was the mid 1930s. The man, Julius Stone.

The 1930s was depression time across the United States. Key West especially hard hit. It was the end of the world. Hard to get to. Little business. No work. Monroe County had filed for bankruptcy.

Julius Stone was the WPA administrator for the State of Florida. He considered things so bad in Key West, that he opened a WPA office there. Only the second in the State.

Stone saw tourism as the way for Key West to improve its economy. He was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

One of his efforts to improve quality of life in Key West was to have a play locally produced. The Pirates of Penzance.

The historical goodies I share with you I did not find. Credit belongs to snowbird Diana Millikan. Diana is writing a play about Julius Stone and The Pirates of Penzance endeavor. She keeps me informed.

Diana has discovered a rich source of information. The Kennedy Cafe mornings. Elderly conchs meet every morning for coffee and talk. A breakfast club of sorts.

Diana says it is like pulling teeth to get information out of them. She is succeeding, however. A step at a time.

She met Jesse. A woman in her 90s. Her married name she was not able to get. However, her maiden name was forthcoming. Watkins.

Jesse was in attendance at the play on February 19, 1935. She recalled the event vividly. She said George Wills was the leading man. Handsome.

She attended the play with her two older sisters. Diana reported one of the sisters became President of a local bank. Sounds strange for the times. It might have been the woman’s husband.

The write up in the newspaper the next day listed a Mrs. Joseph Cates as seamstress. Diana is trying to find out if the 1935 Cates is a relative of today’s Mayor Cates.

Burt Lancaster was one of America’s great actors. He died at 80 this date in 1994. Lancaster and Key West touched two times.

Lancaster’s first movie was The Killers. The movie was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

He actually filmed a movie in Key West. The Rose Tattoo. The movie was based on Tennessee William’s play of the same name. The movie was filmed in a house on Duncan Street. Williams lived on one corner of the block and The Rose Tattoo house was on the other.

The Cannonball Run is coming through Key West saturday. Will be on Duval and Front Streets around 3.

The Cannonball is composed of a group of men who own special cars. They like to drive them on strange roads in strange places. Duval not one of those places. However Key West not the destination. The group is headed for Havana, Cuba.

I have a neighbor down the street who participates. He is on in years. The Run is one of the more important events in his live. He has a 1906 or 1914 Rolls Royce. In tip top shape. When last I spoke with him, he had just returned from a run in New Zealand. The cars at some point are shipped to the final destination.

Screwworms on the move. No longer just on Big Pine and No Name Key. Have expanded into Big Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Cudjoe, Ramrod and Summerland Keys. Flies have been found in each place.

The last time there was a screwworm infestation was 30 years ago. Things have become sufficiently bad that the State of Florida has declared a State of Emergency exists.

Tammy for a manicure/pedicure yesterday. Ran into Kate Miano who was getting a pedicure.

Kate is one of Key West’s most dynamic women. Owner of The Gardens. Note that Sunday at the Gardens has opened. Sundays from 5-7. Great music. Good drinks. Excellent company. Mostly locals.

The Judy Wood memorial celebration this evening from 5-7 at Tavern ‘n Town. Sad. Her death continues to bother me. And I did not know her well. Only from the bar.

Afterwards, I shall be off to bocce to watch Don’s Place play. Numero Uno!

Goombay tomorrow night!

The third and final Presidential debate was last night. Trump consistent. An ass. Hillary handled herself well.

Enjoy your day!

 

QUEEN MOTHER PAGEANT

A fun filled evening last night! Thanks to Kate Miano.

I was sitting at the bar at Aqua enjoying the bartenders singing when Kate appeared at my elbow. She must have seen me from the street. I was sitting near the open doors.

She asked me to join her table at 8 for the Queen Mother Pageant. I told her I would be pleased to meet her for the event.

I have enjoyed the Queen Mother Pageant off and on for many years. Last night was the 33rd Annual Queen Mother Pageant. None as much fun as doing it with Kate. Her charm and enthusiasm captivates.

Queen Mother candidates are men in drag. Men such as you have never seen. Absolutely beautiful! Knockouts! All looked like women. Not one indication of masculinity.

I enjoyed the evening and thank Kate for inviting me.

Aqua bartenders singing is a regular monday cocktail hour event. I stopped not only to enjoy the singing. I hoped to run into David. He generally does monday’s at Aqua. No David.

I felt good yesterday.

Started the day at Body Owners on the anti-gravity treadmill. Continued the slow pace. I feel like I am an old man going slow. I am laughing with you.

Spent the afternoon researching for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Great topics. Like prison profiteers, Saudi Arabia funding Israeli’s Netanyahu’s rise to power, now a violation of Chinese law for a woman to eat a banana seductively.

Also, a Saudi video instructing husbands how to beat wives, major Maduro opponent assassinated, 1.8 million sign a petition to oust Maduro, Poland refusing to take in any further immigrants, thousands rally in Berlin in opposition to admitting more refugees, and more.

The show is at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

I do not favor Trump for President. Clinton gives me concern, also. Not as much as Trump however.

I am confident the Democrats have researched Trump well. His closet has to be filled with embarrassing situations. His financial transactions. The man has money. He has to have lived a high and mighty life. Lots of women. Sex exploits..

Then, there are the four corporate bankruptcies, Trump University, plus I don’t know what else.

He lacks respect for people and things. Like women.

The man lacks character.

Bottom line. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Enjoy your day!

JIMMY OLSON

My first stop last night was a first.

Jimmy Olson entertains thursday evenings at the Gardens. Inside. Sits at a baby grand, plays and sings. Impressive. His singing and the ambiance. I recommend the evening to you.

Guy de Boer made an appearance. Shooting pictures for KONK Life.

Kate Miano holding court outside. A lovely and pleasant woman always. Her company a pleasant experience.

There was a political gathering in the gardens around the pool. Met Andrew Korge. Husband, father, civic leader and now the Democrat candidate for State Senator. Korge hails from Miami. Involved in real estate.

Korge and I talked a bit. He espouses Democratic values. Something I like.

One admonition to Korge, don’t forget us in Key West because we are a small island far from the mainland. Some representatives have.

Dinner was at the bar at Michael’s. First time in a long time. I do not know why I do not go to Michael’s often. The place is first class in every regard.

Suzette bartending. Have known her for years. She never changes. Always lovely.

Big game tonight. Syracuse/Gonzaga. Sweet Sixteen. The game is at 9:40. Gonzaga a four point favorite.

I hope for two things. Syracuse wins. I stay awake to see the whole game.

Canastota is the onion  capital of the world. It is a small village lying between Utica and Syracuse. Four thousand residents.

Besides being the onion  capital, it has two other distinctions. It is the home of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was the home of Carmen Basilio.

Basilio at one time was the welterweight and middleweight world boxing champion. He beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight championship. Robinson regained the championship in  a 15 round decision fight this day in 1958.

Basilio was the pride of central New York during his fighting years and thereafter.

Robinson’s mother lived in the Bronx. Around 232nd Street and Broadway. Robinson visited her often. His pink Cadillac convertible parked in front of her home.

I attended Manhattan College. Located at 242nd Street. Often on a walk, my friends and I would see Robinson’s car. A few times the Champion himself. Always a wave and smile and a hello guys.

How did the United States come to acquire Key West as its own? On this day in 1822, a Lt. Matthew Perry of the U.S.Navy planted an American flag on Key West. The action formally made Key West a property of the United States.

It is the little things in life that aggravate. Yesterday around noon, I received a telephone call from the Fraud Protection Bureau. Someone was using one of my cards. The card was automatically canceled.

I had to go to the bank to get a temporary card. While there, I was advised there appeared to be other improper charges.

Such is his life.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

.

RUDENESS REIGNS

Whatever I might say about bicyclists, etc., tourists generally have always been congenial, happy, easy to get along folk. Key West is kumbaya time. Tourists and locals alike enjoying.

This season is developing into an exception. Or, it might be a few rotten apples in the basket at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the conversation among locals at the Chart Room one evening suggested tourists this year were rude. Not my experience as yet at the time.

Last week, I was at the round table with Sheila, Jean and several other friends. There was one empty seat. Sheila was saving it for a friend who was coming. An acceptable custom at the Chart Room.

A “gentleman” came over and asked if the chair was in use. He wanted to take it. Sheila told him she was saving it for a friend who was coming. He got mad and said something nasty. Sheila was immediately in his face. You don’t screw with Sheila!

Last night was my experience with rude impolite tourists.

Three in one night.

It started at the outside bar at La Te Da. I was having dinner. Tonto bartending. Some fellow walked up and stood near me. Before you knew it, he was berating me for being a Jew. Me and my people were the cause of world problems. Especially in the Middle East and Europe. Told me my kind did not belong in Key West.

He would not stop mouthing off.

Tonto looked at me as if to say do you want me to handle it. I nodded my head no. Figuring he would go away. He did. Too many minutes later. I had to put up with him for 15 minutes.

Ran into Kate Miano. She was having dinner at La Te Da in the outdoor dining area. Kate owns the Gardens Hotel. Always a pleasure to see her. One of the nicest and most charming persons in Key West.

After dinner, I went into the inside bar. Music playing. Someone singing. People dancing.

There were no seats available. No problem. Bar stools all taken. As were the tables.

Standing room only.

The only place to stand was between the bar and tables. An area that easily holds a dozen people standing.

One problem. If you are seated at the bar, the standers block your view of the dancers.

I did not design the room.

I stood in the standing area. Watching the dancers. Suddenly, I felt someone slap me on the back. Neither soft nor hard. In between. I turned around expecting it to be someone I knew. It was not. A bar seated lady asked me to move. She could not see. I did the best I could. However, there really was no place to move. I probably was able to move a foot to the side.

In seconds, I feel a finger in my back. It was the woman’s lady friend. She could not see. Arrogantly told me to move.

Enough was enough. I said if you wish to watch the dancing, I will gladly surrender my standing spot to you if you will give me your bar stool. And please, do not touch me again.

I got a dirty look. However, no more plodding, pushing and complaining by them.

I cannot recall in my 26 years of Key West ever running into any rude tourists. Some locals, yes. Last night it had to be three. Hope that is it for the season!

This week’s KONK Life hit the stands yesterday. My column titled Things That Concern Me. I wrote the column last sunday. One of the topics was wasteful military spending.

Read an article on the internet this morning covering the same issue. It was published yesterday. Titled: A Golden Age for Pentagon Waste. Perhaps military spending is on the verge of becoming an up front concern. I doubt it, however. Too much money involved and too many politicians getting fat.

Enjoy your day!

LONG WRITING DAY

Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is the day I write my KONK Life column.

I have wanted to write about the U.S. involvement in a war with Russia from 1917-1918. An interesting story. One few know about. The U.S. sent 13,000 troops.

The U.S. involvement was in a civil war. The Russian Civil War. The Reds/Whites battle.

We are involved in civil wars in the Middle East today. A lesson to be learned here. Ergo, I expanded the article to include civil wars and fighting wars to win. The Russian Civil War and today’s Middle East conflicts have much in common. Birds of a feather.

One problem. The longer the story, the longer it took to complete. Instead of finishing 3-4, I was at it till just after 6.

The time worth it. I was pleased with the final product. I hope you will be. The article publishes wednesday. The title: Stay Out of Civil Wars, Fight Wars To Win.

The extra time screwed up my sunday evening. I had intended to go to Kate Miano’s Gardens at 5. The sun broke late afternoon and it would have been perfect. There is always next week.

Rain. Heavy Rain. The last three days. Pours. Then stops. Only to return a couple of hours later.

The temperature is dropping also. The high today 71. 71 will be the highest all week. By weekend, the high will be down to 67. Long pants weather.

We have been lucky. December was terrific. We can handle a few weeks of cold.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff had a tongue in cheek comment in a recent article. Something to the effect that if Trump wins, he will rename the White House Trump Palace.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are at each other’s throats. These Middle East wars are civil wars. Based on religion. It is the Sunni/Shia battle which has been ongoing since just after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The issue is which sect will lead the Muslims. Over 300 hundred years and still not resolved.

We are crazy to be involved. We should get out. We have been involved steadily in the Middle East in one fashion or another for fifteen years. Not our war!

Read an interesting comment somewhere this week. Cannot recall which publication. I read constantly. In any event, the comment was to the effect that Americans should not fight each other so much. We are not enemies but Americans first. We help ISIS when we destroy each other.

Enjoy your day!