U.S. IS CHANGING DIRECTION

Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race yesterday tied with the Democratic sweep in Virginia several months ago indicates the United States has changed direction. The momentum is there. Except for that solid 30-35 percent of Trump voters, politically, mentally, socially, etc., America has seen the error of its ways.

Perhaps it had to be. The election of a Donald Trump. It has shaken things up. Not for the better in most instances.

Roy Moore is a sick man. How can a person who hates gays, blacks and Jews, yet loves 13-14 year olds, be elected to the Senate? I admit I was concerned. A crazy election. I thought “Albamians would stick to the script and elect a Republican, regardless of his propensities for the unsatisfactory and sick.

Glad I was wrong.

Then there is Trump in recent days. He cannot stop vilifying women. The most recent New York’s Senator Karen Gillibrand. Said she “would do anything for campaign contributions.” Inferring she was a whore.

Bad guy!

The election a stunning upset. Especially since Trump went all out for Moore. I cannot refer to Trump and Moore as birds of a feather. One likes only adult women whereas the other young girls.

The victory is being attributed to the exceptionally huge black turn out, suburban Republican wives, and college students.

I hope the Democrats are learning. One of the reasons Trump became President was because of Democratic failings.

I was impressed with the ground game on Jones’ behalf. Trust the Democrats will be able to keep it up in other States as 2018 approaches.

Saw the eye doctor and optician again yesterday morning. Turns out my prescription was way off. Waiting now for new lenses.

I was supposed to be at Guy de Boer’s home last night for a party. Around noon, I got tired. Exhausted. Called Guy around six and begged off.

This exhaustion is a pain! I was so tired, I did not go down stairs for something to eat at dinner time. I did not want to climb the stairs on the return trip.

I had planned on completing and fine tuning my podcast show scheduled for last night during the afternoon. No way! I was beat!

Winged it! Thought the show went smoothly. Listened to it this morning. Like every other show. Not obvious I was winging it.

Banks are thieves. So too, pharmaceutical houses.

The drug houses raise prices at will. Price gouging, in effect. Screw the public! Proper governmental controls and oversight lacking.

Avondale Pharmaceuticals the most recent example.

The gouging system simple. The company buys the rights to a drug that has little or no competition. Then massively inflate the price.

Two examples are Niacor and SSKI.

Niacor is a niacin/vitamin B pill. One hundred per bottle. Sold for $32.46 per bottle. Price raised to $295. An 800 percent increase.

SSKI’s increase 2,500 percent. Cost of a 30ml bottle went from $11.48 to $295.

I have been writing and reporting for two years re the Department of Defense’s inability to account for billions of dollars. Last week the Department announced it was preparing to audit the military. An inventory. Planes, guns, etc. First time.

Two days ago, the Department announced it had lost 44,000 military. Did not know where they were. The tracking system failed.

The were going to try to find them via the audit.

Yesterday, a third announcement by the Department and also the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money part I had been complaining about.

It was announced that between 1998 and 2015, the two Departments had lost a combined $21 trillion. Taxpayer funds. Not accountable. No receipts, vouchers, etc.

To make matters even worse, it was reported that the Departments were “plugging” the figures. Making up numbers to make any accounting balance.

Twenty one trillion dollars is more than the national debt. It equates to $65,000 per man, woman and child in the United States.

Party time again tonight. A fundraiser.

Mary Lou Hoover is one of the most able and active women in Key West. She has decided to enter politics. She is running for the Key West City Commission.

The fundraiser is scheduled for this evening from 5:30 to 8:00 at Kate Miano’s new home on Free School Lane.

Jean Thornton and I will be attending together and then walking down the street to Marquesa for dinner.

Iguanas have been a problem for close to 20 years. Never in Key West, all of a sudden they appeared. In droves. All sizes. The community grew.

Iguanas are prolific. They multiply rapidly. The problem in the Keys overall is out of control. As with pythons.

The State has finally decided to do something about it. A program involving self-help will be instituted throughout the Keys. Purpose, to eradicate or control.

As with the pythons, never to be controlled in my opinion. Too late. Hopefully, contained.

Why are iguanas a problem? They eat flowers and foliage. You spend money for a lovely garden. They devour it. Their defecation a problem, also. They shit in our pools! Don’t laugh. The pool has to be drained and refilled.

Irma and Me selling well. I am impressed! The only story of Hurricane Irma on the book shelves. Buy a copy to enjoy yourself or give as a Christmas gift. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

KATE MIANO…..FLORENCE SPOTTSWOOD HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

They don’t come better than Kate Miano. A heart of gold, concerned for everyone, a community leader, a respected voice. And my friend.

It has been announced Kate will receive the Florence Spottswood Humanitarian of the Year Award. A big deal. Key West’s most prestigious recognition.

Kate will receive the award at a gala on January 27.

Congratulations Dear Lady. I know of no one more worthy.

There is something about small towns and parades. The best!

Key West’s Christmas Parade is December 2. A ton of Santa Claus’ riding on floats, candy thrown to children at the curb viewing in awe, bands, noise, etc.

Everyone turns out to watch. I will be with Robert and Ally at our usual spot on Truman.

Thanksgiving was thursday. I get to celebrate it again this evening with Donna and Terri. Lucky me!

A double hit. Oh, the pounds!

I am concerned not. The heart catherization doctor said lose 40-50 pounds. I start monday. Stay tuned to see if I make it all the way.

Christina Oxenberg is one of Key West’s finest writers. Her words soul touching. Sensitive best describes them.

Christine had a column in KONK Life this morning. About Kenyatta Arrington. Arrington one of those people who contribute to Key West’s culture.

Christina points out he rode a bike for years. With his back in ramrod fashion. Always wore a tight worn velvet suit with buttons all over and a top hat.

He would sing outside the supermarket. His voice described as angelic.

Last year, rid himself of the suit, bought a new wig and moved his venue to Duval.

Christina learned he was saving money to move to Norway. He was in love and his lady was waiting for him.

He will not make it. His impaled body was found floating near the pier.

Woodrow Wilson commented on a person’s ego. The quote reminds me of Trump: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump tells us the economy is fine. On the rise in every respect.

Thanksgiving was celebrated this week. Not all Americans gave thanks. Many are still without. A recent study indicated the number of homeless in major cities is comparable to those that existed during the Great Depression.

The number of homeless is increasing rather than going down. Homelessness is reaching the crisis level. A state of emergency brewing.

An example is an area described as most of Los Angeles County. Shelters are bedding down 55,000 per night. Up 25 percent from last year. Includes men, women and children. The number does not include those that sleep in cars, the woods and under bridges.

Homeless children nationwide are up 60 percent since the end of the recession.

Things are good, Mr. President! You and yours should swap places with the homeless for a week.

The terrorist attack on an Egyptian mosque killed in excess of 300, injured in excess of 100.

The Arab world is engaged in war one way or another. One of my concerns is that the U.S. is fighting on different sides in some of these wars. Resulting from Trump’s decisions.

He knows not what he is doing.

Robots keep coming. Walmart the most recent major business testing their use.

Walmart is quietly testing two new robots. One self-driving floor scrubbers. The other self-scanning robots to replenish inventory on shelves.

Each will replace humans. The poor middle class will be further diminished.

Syracuse plays Boston College at 12:20 today. The last football game of the season for Syracuse. Good! The season has not been a spectacular one.

I must say however Coach Baber has done an excellent job in improving the team. Next year should be a much better season.

I close with Irma and Me. My book re Hurricane Irma and how she chased me through several states and disrupted my life and that of several others.

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

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!