VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER DAY LATE

My Valentine’s Day celebration was a day late. My podcast show was scheduled tuesday night.

Dee took me to dinner to celebrate the occasion. Note, she took me. An unusual experience. The lady pays. Loved it!

Even gave me a box of candy and a small stuffed animal. The animal to sleep with. Can’t win all the time.

Dinner at Spencer’s. Outside. On covered porch. Terrific meal. Outstanding company. We sat when the sun was shining. The view to die for. Still there when it got dark. A storm came up. Heavy rain and lightning. Wild!

Lunch time found me at the Cuban Coffee Queen. A couple of weeks since my last visit. I enjoy the place. Sat for a while enjoying a Cuban cheese toast and cold Cuban coffee. Reading the newspapers, of course.

Stopped at Publix on the way home. Needed only a few things. Cost me $63. How do families survive these days?

An interesting story in this morning’s Key West Citizen. A restoration of some of the gravestones at the Key West Cemetery.

A special grant had  been obtained. A number of graves were repaired. They were showing their age, toppled over, etc. The restorers believe the restored gravestones are good for 150-200 years.

My Facebook Go Live with Key West Lou show two weeks old today. I am absolutely impressed with the increase in viewers. Dramatic.

Take a look. See me live and chatting about this and that. Whatever moves me at the moment.

The NRA wins again!

Obama was responsible for a regulation last year prohibiting guns to be sold to persons with mental disorders. Affected 75,000 persons. A needed regulation from my perspective.

It was payback time yesterday. The Senate voted to repeal the regulation. The House had done it earlier. The bill goes to Trump for his signature. Trump will sign it.

Called political payback. Stupidity applies, also. Some nut is going to go off and kill several persons/children at one time.

What happened to conscience?

Enjoy your day!

LOUIS PETRONE SAYS….ON THE WAY

The streaming show I have been working on is scheduled to debut this Thursday December 15. On You Tube. Short hits on different topics several times a day. One hit per segment. Subject matter whatever tickles my fancy at the moment.

The show will archive.

Title, Louis Petrone Says….Could not use Key West as my Tuesday podcast show has in its title Key West Lou. The show is archived on You Tube. Confusion would result. Both shows would be archiving together in a combined fashion.

I hope we are ready by Thursday. I am working towards a Thursday opening. Sloan and I worked on the show yesterday afternoon. We have been working on it. So much to pay attention to.

First stop last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Liz at the bar with lady friends. Glad to see her.

No room. Not a seat available at the bar. Gave Liz a peck on the cheek and left.

Headed for Berlin’s. At 6:30, the bar is generally empty. It was. Not for long, however.

I felt arms around my shoulders. It was Jean Thornton. Alone, also. My dinner companion for the evening. A while since we have been together.

The lovely Bria arrived. With an equally lovely lady. Her mother, Barb. Visiting from New Hampshire. Jean and I chatted with her a while.

Two fellows sat to the right of me. They noticed I was making notes. Asked why. Started a conversation.

Loren and Matthew. Key Westers. Loren a graphic designer. Matthew involved with entertainment. Does the bookings for Sloppy Joe’s. Also, a music composer. His music company M. G. Bell.

They took their drinks back to listen to Bria. Invited me for a drink. I said I would stop by. Jean and I were waiting for our dinners.

By the time I was free to join them, they had left.

Enjoyed a 2 pound Maine lobster again last night.

Weather screwy this morning. Earlier, there was a fog over the ocean. Then a bit of sunlight. Now gray and raining. The water moving fast.

Marathon also rescheduled to Wednesday evening their Lighted Boat Parade scheduled for last night.

Pythons a growing problem in the Florida keys. Literally. I wrote a lengthy column on the python problem three years ago in KONK Life. One of the points stressed was that pythons could not be eradicated. Hopefully, managed.

The number astronomical. Pythons enjoy sex. The python population grows significantly each year.

The fear in the lower keys was that the pythons would reach here. Not yet in significant numbers. My recollection is only three. One lying on the side of a runway at the Key West Airport.

A new study has come out re the python problem. It reported a June 3, 2013 incident.

A 15.6 foot female python was captured. Euthanized. Autopsy discovered the python had gulped down three white tailed deer. One doe and two fawns. Referred to by the scientists as a gustatory feat. Three deer in the gut of one python.

On this day in 1898, a ceremony was held dedicating a large plot area for burial of U.S. sailors killed when the Battleship Maine was sunk. Ten thousand were present for the ceremony. An impressive figure.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. An Axis agreement existed between Japan and Germany. Such did not mean the U.S. was automatically at war with Germany. Such would only have occurred had the U.S. attacked Japan.

Hitler had been unhappy with the U.S. A U.S. vessel had attacked a German submarine. The U.S. was engaged in Lend Lease with England. Hitler was aware American emotions were with the English. Roosevelt had been speaking ill of Nazi ideology.

Hitler wanted war with the United States.

On this day in 1941, Hitler addressed the Reichstag. He had declared war on the United States.

He felt it necessary to defend the declaration. He wanted the support of the Reichstag.

Hitler blamed the U.S.’s anti-Nazism on the New Deal. Claimed it was the real cause of the war. The New Deal had failed.  The fault of Roosevelt, his plutocratic friends and the Jews. Roosevelt’s less than actual war actions were to cover up the collapse of his economic agenda.

Hitler said, ” First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then obviously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war.”

The Reichstag leaped to their feet in thunderous applause.

The format sound familiar?

Syracuse looked good yesterday. Beat Boston University 99-77. Syracuse’s offense outstanding. About time! Hope it keeps up.

My neighbor Andrew who owns the MTV house just called. He has returned briefly from his home in Sweden. We are having dinner together tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

MASQUERADE PARADE

One of the most famous Fantasy Fest events is Masquerade March. Thousands participate. More than 10,000. Primarily locals. Dressed, faces painted, etc.

The March starts at the Key West Cemetery and winds its way up to Duval. It became so big that several years ago a second route from the cemetery had to be added.

There are those who walk and those who party. I partied.

I had many friends with homes on Fleming. The original parade route. They all threw parties. Porch parties. Good food and drink. I was always invited to someone’s home.

Those on the street and those on the porches all had fun!

The March starts today at 5. Participate or watch. Either way, you will enjoy.

I no longer watch the March. I no longer have a porch to view the March from. My friends have either passed on or moved away.

My hair appointment with Lori at Blown Away was at noon. Blown Away is on Southard, a few doors down from Duval. No parking anywhere. Took me 15 minutes to find a spot.

Jay is operating his new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz on Southard next to Bank of America. A soft opening. Working the quirks out before an official opening.

I had lunch at Jay’s. Not run of the mill. Enjoyed three kobe beef sliders. Delicious!

Then to the doctor for my flu shot.

I was driving home when the rain hit. Torrential! Hard to see! Continued most of the afternoon. A cold wind accompanying the rain.

The rain took care of my last night. No toga party for me. As much as I enjoy viewing a woman’s naked body, not in the rain.

Bocce was the other option. Telephoned Don. Rained out as I expected.

My evening was spent home. Dinner was Chinese delivery. Egg drop soup and egg rolls. The balance of the evening spent playing around with my Hackley type installments which will start soon.

A new national law turned out to be a boon for Key West. It was January 1920. The Volstead Act went into effect. Alcohol banned in the United States.

Key West’s economy boomed as a result. Rumrunning. The rum coming in from Cuba to the United States through Key West.

No Syracuse football tomorrow. A bye week. Going to need it. Clemson next week.

Heard from Anna in Novara. I had written telling her that Italian President Renzi was a hit during his recent visit to the U.S. She was upset. Her position is that Renzi is doing a lousy job and disliked by most Italians.

I had written because recently Italy had an earthquake. I was concerned for Anna. Should not have been. It was nowhere near her.

I recall five years ago when I was staying at Anna’s apartment in Novara. An earthquake hit. A big one. The after quakes even worse.

Anna was crazy running around screaming. I too was concerned, but sat quietly till everything was over.

The Statue of Liberty. Dedicated by President Grover Cleveland this date 1886.

I came across a note that the Statue had 354 steps. I went up each one.

I was 4-5 years old. My dad took me. We were going to the top! The top then the crown. The arm had become too weak to proceed further.

The staircase a narrow circular metal round one.

No way was I able to climb all 354 steps. I was a kid. Got tired. My father carried me half the way.

The trip was worth it. My father held me so I could look out the windows in the crown. To me, amazing. The view spectacular. It went on and on. A wow for a young boy.

I sometimes wonder how things can happen.

Luis Carlos Vega is the Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The chief judge of the highest court.

He took a leave of absence from the position yesterday. Probably never to return.

The Magistrate was convicted of manslaughter in 1984 when he ran over a woman. Killed her. While driving a stolen car.

No jail time. The system was to pay a reparation. He did.

The blot on his record was only recently discovered.

Never would happen in the U.S.! The media knows everything or soon discovers everything.

Tonight. What does it hold for me? I do not know. I do plan on being out.

Enjoy your day!

 

10,000 AT KEY WEST CEMETERY

It’s nice to be up and running!

Many of the sailors who died on the Battleship Maine are buried in the Key West Cemetery. On this day in 1900, a monument was dedicated in their honor at the Cemetery.

Ten thousand attended. An amazing number. Many had to be visitors from outside the Keys. Ten thousand a big number for Key West at that time.

I make mention of the 10,000 number to reflect the impact the sinking of the Maine had on the Nation.

Lunched at Mangrove Mama’s yesterday with June. Love the place! Enjoyed a lobster reuben sandwich again.

Spent the afternoon researching topics for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. One of the topics involves Trump. I hate bringing him up. My comments will be short and to the point. The man is dangerous!

Other topics include what the Presidential candidates are not talking about, ISIS and birth control, a California effort to help the drought problem, Count Victor Lustig selling the Eiffel Tower twice, Perry Como and the first gold record ever, and more.

The show is at 9 my time. A half hour of interesting and revealing facts. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night Tavern ‘n Town. Finally got a seat at the bar.

I enjoyed myself. An exceptional evening. Terrific people to chat with.

My evening began with Ed Toppino. A local. His grandfather built US 1.

Ed left and Jimmy took his place. First time meeting Jimmy. He owns and operates Jimmy’s Ocean Blue. A tiki hut behind the Hyatt timeshare near the end of US 1 on the backside of Tavern ‘n Town. Look for the beach house and there will be Jimmy’s. I intend to stop by soon for lunch.

Jimmy left to be replaced by three ladies. Interesting women. One vacationing for a month. The other two for shorter periods.

My evening was full. I was at the bar longer than normal.

I lost my eye glasses. Somewhere. Tavern ‘n Town to my home. Not in my house. Have searched home and car thoroughly. Called Marriott. They do not have them. My only hope is the bartender is holding them for me.

Fortunately, I have another pair so I can see.

If I fail to find the glasses, it will be a major calamity. I have had the frames for 30 years. Round horn rims. Merely replaced the lenses each time there was a new prescription.

GMO mosquitoes a problem for the Keys again. Especially my island, Key Haven.

The FDA approved their use. The FDA confirmed: “…..no significant threat to environment.” Confirmed and significant key words. I do not know what either means. Significant does not preclude something bad happening.

My other concern is that the GMO mosquitoes are relatively untested. Thus far, in a few places. One is a northern portion of Brazil. Since last October, 4,000 babies have been born with small heads and brains. For real. Tests being conducted to see if the GMO mosquitoes being tested responsible. The head/brain problem is mosquito caused.

A British company Oxitec manufactures and sells the GMO mosquitoes.

Our local Mosquito Board is hot to test Oxtec GMOs here. I think they are nuts. Jumping to soon for a new product. Forcing Key West citizens to be guinea pigs.

The purpose of the GMO mosquitoes is to help prevent Zika. A mosquito caused illness which could result in mental retardation and/or death.

There have been no reported cases of Zika in Key West, Key Haven, and the lower Florida Keys.

I screwed up yesterday re Syracuse and the NCAA tournament. I reported Syracuse failed to make the big tournament and was relegated to the NIT.

Syracuse did make the big show. It is a #10 seed and will play E#7 Dayton friday.

How did this happen?

I was dozing as the standings were announced. Half awake, my recollection is I did not hear Syracuse being selected. Slipped into sleep again. When I woke, four teams were on the screen. One, Syracuse. The announcer was talking about the teams on the bubble that did not make it. I erroneously assumed Syracuse was one of the teams he was talking about. I went back to sleep.

Sorry for the bad info.

Today is the Ides of March. The day of Caesar’s assassination. His closest friend Brutus was one of those participating. He stuck his knife into Caesar with others. “…..et te, Brute.”

An interesting lesson to be learned. Those closest to you can hurt you.

Primary Day in Florida. Vote!

I believe Trump has a lock on Florida. Bad. My other concern involves a local issue. The City of Key West wants to buy Peary Court for $55 million. Those who own it purchased the property last year for $35 million. A $20 million profit in one year. Not bad!

It is up to the people. It is on the ballot. Interestingly, there are a number who support the purchase. I find it hard to understand.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST CEMETERY

I find cemeteries a turn on. History has always intrigued me. I took to walking through cemeteries at an early age and reading tombstones. There was a lot of history to be learned.

The Key West Cemetery is interesting. From sailors who died when the USS Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor to the smart Key Wester who had inscribed on his tombstone: I told you I was sick.

This saturday, the Key West cemetery is offering escorted tours. The guides will explain the significance of certain graves. If you have not already, I suggest you take the tour. I have been through the cemetery twice with a guide and several times alone. Each time I discovered something new.

Call it global warming. Call it climate change. Whatever, it gets worse not year by year, but season by season. The abnormal amount of snow in the northeast. Now, this minus zero cold streak.

The freezing storm up north began to be felt in Key West last night. Temperature during the night about 60. Wind  blowing big time. The palm trees blowing one way. From north to south.

Today the high is 60. Tonight 50. Tonight, bocce. It will be in the mid 50s with a cold biting wind coming in off the Atlantic. I am tempted to stay home. However when I was a Key West golfer, I learned that “men” always show up to play regardless of the weather. I will be a man tonight.

Larry Smith, Christine Cordone and Kathleen Peace headed what I assume was a great show at the former Wine Galley last night. I had intended to go. Jenna was my date. I called her monday and cancelled. My excuse, I could see from the weather reports that it was going to be very cold. Social events do not have the same status as sporting ones. Manliness not an issue.

Missing Larry provided the opportunity to watch the Syracuse/Louisville game. Syracuse won 69-59. A good game all around. Syracuse pulled away in the last 5 minutes to win. The victory was the first time this season Syracuse has beat a top 25 team. Louisville was ranked #12.

My KONK Life column this week is titled What Recovery? It hit the stands yesterday. This morning, it was posted on my Key West Lou site. If KONK life is not available to you, you can find it there.

ISIS is sick! Beheadings, burying people alive and burning people to death. Now a new form of sickness. ISIS is a money making machine. The leaders are aware that big dollars are required to run their organization. ISIS is now selling body organs. Removed from captured men, women and children. Many times without anesthesia. Doctors are recruited to do the operations. If a doctor refuses, he is killed.

Body parts like hearts, livers and kidneys bring big dollars on the international black market. $100,000 to $150,000 is not uncommon.

I received two comments this morning relating what is happening to 1939. One was regarding economics. The other ISIS burnings. A relevant quote…..”It’s 1939 again. Hitler is back and he’s a  Muslim. From killing people in ovens to burning them in cages and trucks.”

Enjoy your day!