USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WHO CREATED THE FIRST KEY LIME PIE?

An important item. Especially for Key Westers. Who created the first key lime pie! Where was it originated? Is Key West really its birth place?

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran a front page article on the issue. An excellent piece.

A Stella Parks wrote a cookbook in 2017 wherein she claimed the first key lime pie was created in 1931 on Madison Avenue in New York City. Borden’s Milk Company was involved.

Key West’s David Sloan knows everything there is to know about Key Lime pies. The world authority. He says Parks is wrong. There is an ongoing feud.

Sloan claims the key lime pie was born in the late 1860’s in Key West. At Curry Mansion. The cook, Aunt Sally. Her real name Sarah Jane Lowe Curry.

Key lime pie was served in two Key West restaurants in 1926, well before the purported discovery by Borden’s in 1931. One of the restaurants was the Green Lantern Inn. Its menu featured “lime pie,” ten cents per piece.

Sloan has assembled all kinds of documentation. Parks has nothing.

I was up and working early yesterday morning. Around 5:30. By 1 in the afternoon I had completed yesterday’s blog and final preparations for last night’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I had the afternoon off! A quiet luncheon at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee. Sat a while and read the newspapers.

Then home for some book reading.Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires. His book revealing. I am learning the Washington swamp is more corrupt than thought. Good governmental officials cashing in on their positions through their children. Not prohibited by any law. Stinks, however.

Tuesday Talk went well. Goes well every week. Love doing the show. My numbers increase weekly. Apparently many love listening to my half hour of ranting and raving.

Strange weather this morning. Actually, not strange. Has been the same every day forever. Pouring rain and thunder. The difference today was it began at 5 in the morning. Strong wind and heavy rain. Could easily hear it from my bed. Sounded like a hurricane rolling over.

Historic day today. John Kennedy a Navy lieutenant in command of PT-109 in the Pacific. It was August 1, 1943. His boat split in half by a Japanese destroyer. Two killed. eleven survived. Everyone is familiar with the story. Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie PT-109.

A connection exists between the lower Keys and the Kennedy movie. It was filmed on Munson Island. Munson Island is located in the Atlantic just south of Big Pine. Today, Munson Island is the world famous resort Little Palm Island.

What Russia did re our elections in 2016 constituted a war. Not a gun one. A cyber war. Not just a little invasion. An all out attack. Leaves the legitimacy of the 2016 election in question.

We are 98 days away from the mid-term elections. Till a few days ago, Trump had done nothing to defend against another cyber attack. A few days ago, he conducted a one hour meeting with staff. It has only been recently that Trump has acknowledged Russia was the perpetrator.

We are not defensively ready for the November mid-term. Can we get ready in time? I do not know. I am not a computer guru, etc.

I fear Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are going to have a field day playing around with our mid-terms.

Realize that with a few computer keys pressed, any nation can entirely turn off our electrical grid system. No power/electricity. Planes unable to take off. Defensive systems curtailed. Etc. Everything down.

And we are not ready to defend against any such chicanery!

Our elections are not secure. At this time, there is no coordination among federal agencies as to how to deal with the problem.

Modern authoritarian figures all have attacked the media. Silence the media and no one left to point out the wrong doing of dictators. Silence not even required. Merely diminish respect for the media.

As Trump has consistently been doing since even before his election. He has chosen the path of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Putin, and Kim.

Trump appeared at a rally in Tampa last night. His supporters made up the audience. Trump demeaned the press. Fake press! The audience joined him. Turned to the reporters and gave them the finger. The middle finger. The bird. While shouting, “Fuck the press!”

Anti-media hostility is growing. Violence is going to occur. Trump will smile.

Trump spoke last night of protecting our voting system. Wrong people are voting, he claims. Though there is no proof of such. He keeps peddling that the Democrats want unqualified/non-citizens to vote. An absurdity in itself.

His solution is to require each person voting to have an ID card with his/her photo on it. As Trump claimed, such an ID card is required to even buy groceries.

The man does not know that which he talks about. I would like to know the last time he was in a supermarket or grocery store purchasing groceries.

A big night tonight! A reunion of those who escaped Irma and stayed with Jean and Joe Thornton in Birmingham for 12 days. Our second reunion.

While at their home, we watched Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I was shocked and surprised. The ladies knew every line of the movie. They were speaking them before the actors. And they cried! Tears throughout. I could not believe. A woman’s movie definitely.

The Tropic Cinema is showing Casablanca tonight. Free. Reservations made weeks ago. We are going as a group. Guaranteed the ladies will be whispering the lines and shedding tears.

Love it!

Enjoy your day!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZ MOODY

Liz Moody. A spectacular woman. Accomplished. Recognized before her time.

Liz is 84 today. Happy birthday, Liz!

Unfortunate we met only two years ago. I enjoy her company. Our backgrounds similar.

Liz and I are members of the legal profession. Liz smarter than me, however. She was Dean of two law schools. Ended her career as CEO of the Law School Admission Test Corporation. A big deal!

We knew many of the same people in the profession. Judges, practitioners, and educators. Our conversations went on and on.

Age has not diminished Liz’s beauty. Nor her mind. Her body taking a bit of a beating, however. The past few years involving several hip operations. To no avail. She has difficulty walking. Sugar a problem. She was discharged yesterday from the hospital after two weeks and one day where they worked on stabilizing her sugar.

Liz originally from Cleveland. She and her husband purchased a lovely home on Southard in the early 1980’s. Her husband was a prominent Cleveland attorney. He passed away many years ago.

I shall enjoy celebrating Liz’s birthday with her this evening, as will her many Key West friends who will be celebrating with her. A catered event.

Less I forget, dinner with Liz a joy. Dinners she prepared. A gourmet cook. Her choice of wines equal to her culinary talent.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday talk with Key West Lou. As always, loved doing it!

I was happy to share Trip Advisor’s recent ratings re Key West. Number one in three categories.

Discussed China and North Korea a bit. Trump screwing up big time in our relations with the two countries. Already obvious the Kim meeting a failure. Trump was taken advantage of. The tariff war with China begins as a disaster. Chinese, Asian and European markets falling this morning. The U.S. markets will at some point.

If the tariff war continues, I predict a world wide depression a year from now. Hoover became President when the market was at an all time high. Everyone making money. He thought tariffs were warranted. Did not make sense. However, he went ahead anyway. One year later, the Great Depression.

History repeats itself. Trump not aware since he does not read nor is he a student of history.

Hemingway Days are coming! In one week. Begin July 17 and run through July 22.  A fun time. A family event.

As usual, there will be a Hemingway Look a Like contest. One hundred twenty five men from all over the world participating. All a bit chunky, all with white hair and beards, all dressed in white with a red waist band and a red cap.

The Running of the Bulls another event. My favorite.

Additionally, a street fair, arm wrestling contest, 5K run/walk, and a paddle board race.

The most interesting thing from my perspective is that where ever you go that week, Look a Likes will be there. Restaurants, bars.

The Key West Citizen weather reporter continues to be a humorist. Today’s report: A t-storm in spots; tell spot to go home. Tonight: Partly cloudy, as t-shower; birds happy.

Trump as President sets the tone for the country. As have all previous Presidents. If something is ok for a President to do, it is all right for the citizenry.

Trump engages in prejudice and bigotry.

Trump is down on Mexico for a number of reasons. Speaks badly of them all the time. The inevitable had to occur.

Rodolfo Rodriguez is a 91 year old Mexican citizen. He legally visits family in Willowbrook, California twice a year. A few days ago while visiting, he took his daily walk after lunch.

A woman and four men came up to him. The woman shouted: “Go back to Mexico!” The woman then hit him with a concrete block. The four men followed up kicking and beating him.

Rodriguez ended up with a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, 2 fractured ribs, and bruises all over.

The story bad enough so far. Another startling fact, however. The woman was black. She who has probably been subject to prejudice and bigotry her whole life subjected another to that treatment.

Another “Go back to Mexico” situation. A store. Mother and small children shopping. A 40ish man did not like the way the children were behaving. He told the mother, “Go back to Mexico.” A young man came to the woman’s defense.

Then there is the Cook County woman at a public park with her family. Enjoying a cook-out. She was wearing a T-shirt of the Puerto Rican flag.

A man came up to her and began berating her because she was wearing the T-shirt: “You should not be wearing that in the United States.” The woman retorted I am an American citizen. He responded she should then wear a T-shirt of the American flag.

The tirade went on 35 minutes. A park police officer was nearby watching. She told him she was becoming “uncomfortable.” He did nothing. Finally other police officers appeared and broke up the confrontation.

Mexico…..Puerto Rico…..Who began dumping on them thereby encouraging others to do so?

Enjoy your day!

 

AMERICAN PATRIOTISM

A line I read a couple of days ago keeps running through my mind. I want to share it with you: America needs more patriotism, not Trumpism.

Day time yesterday spent as a recluse. Back still sore, though a bit better.

Last night figured a couple of gins combined with the Advil would help. It did.

I did my imbibing at the Chart Room. Charming Dorothy Downs and her friend Carmen there. Enjoyable conversation. Dorothy likes to tell stories as I do. Everything from American Indians to art.

Interesting front page story in the Key West Citizen this morning. The City Commission is seriously thinking about doing something with plastic disposal. Plastic straws and plastic bags the culprits. Plastic items end up in the ocean and cause harm to marine life.

Several stories running on the internet this morning re the plastic issue. Noted that Starbucks has already decided to do something. Starbucks has designed a “strawless lid.” Will not require a straw in order to drink.

McDonald’s in the fray, also. McDonald’s is testing the use of paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Hope to be fully invested in paper straws in those two locations by the end of next year.

McDonald’s is also testing paper straw use in certain U.S. areas.

A negative factor involved with regard to Key West. Glass not permitted on Duval or other streets. Bars permit drinkers to take booze from a bar. In a plastic glass. The drink must be transferred to a plastic glass in the bar.

An exception for Key West and other communities permitting street consumption of alcohol if in a plastic container?

Ernest Hemingway. A literary giant. One of Key West’s all time favored sons.

He completed A farewell To Arms while living in Key West.

An item of local color not well known involves the book, Hemingway and Agnes von Kurowsky. Agnes was Hemingway’s first love.

Hemingway was a Red Cross driver in Italy during World War I. Eighteen at the time. A mortar shell did a number on his right knee. He was in the hospital for six months.

Agnes was Hemingway’s nurse. They fell in love. The war, the love, Lake Maggiore, all part of A Farewell To Arms.

After recovering, Hemingway was returned to the U.S. Agnes was soon to follow. She did not. Sent him a Dear John letter instead.

Following his ten some years in Key West, Hemingway moved to Cuba. He was residing in Cuba in 1951. The same year Agnes moved to Key  West and worked as a librarian. She lived in Key West till 1965.

Hemingway experts tell us Hemingway never knew she was here. He periodically would return to Key West for a few days. Agnes never tried to communicate with him.

An interesting twist to what may have been the great romance of their lives.

The Thailand soccer team story one for the ages. Good people working hard to bring a proper resolution to a most dangerous situation.

Five of the boys removed as of this morning.

Steve Bannon’s name keeps popping up. A bad influence on Trump. He was part of Trump’s campaign team and worked in the White House for a time.

Bannon’s thinking dangerous. Representative of a twisted mind.

Prior to supporting Trump, Bannon was Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network. Breitbart supports an alt right platform. Seeks an all white state.

Breitbart/Bannon carried a contrary belief as to how the U.S.should be run. Two inflammatory headlines evidence such: “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.” “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time To Get Back Into The Closet.”

We know tsunamis can be big. How big I never realized. This morning’s World Almanac section of the Key West Citizen reported that on this date in 1958, a megatsunami hit Lituya Bay, Alaska.

One thousand seven hundred twenty feet!

The largest recorded tsunami in history. It was caused by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake off the Alaskan coast.

Evel Knievel was a daring motorcyclist. Up, up, and away on a cycle. His exploits death defying.

He passed on a few years ago.

Travis Pastrana is the new Evel Knievel. Even more daring than Evel. Pastrana is referred to as Michael Jordan on a motorcycle.

This past weekend, Pastrana did a tribute show in Las Vegas honoring Knievel. He performed daring acts while using a motor cycle similar to the ones used by Knievel and while dressed in a Knievel look a like costume.

I share this information with you because I knew Evel Knievel for a short time. It was back in the 1970’s. I had a condominium at the Jockey Club in Miami. My time there the most fun I have ever experienced. My Shangrila.

Knievel was at the Jockey Club for a time. His boat was docked there. A 165 foot job. Touched off with  two motorcycles perched on the back. A sight!

We quickly became friends. The bar and pool brought us together.

One day, he telephoned me. What are you doing, he asked. Sunning myself on the terrace. Throw some clothes in a bag and meet me at the boat in 30 minutes. We’re going to the Bahamas for a few days.

What a time! Never left the boat. About a dozen of us. Party time, big time!

Knievel used to constantly say that he “…..enjoyed life as much as he could.”

He did.

BOB still screwing off.

Dueling Bartenders at Aqua tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

83rd BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY’S NEWS

My 83rd birthday came and went too soon. Hopefully, I will be here to celebrate my 84th next year. Sounds foreboding. There is always a concern at this age.

A nice day.

The many Happy Birthdays received appreciated. The internet a wonderful thing. Keeps us connected and remembering each other.

Lisa and family woke me early. All on the phone singing Happy Birthday Poppa! A good way to begin the day.

Celebration time not over. I am having dinner with Lisa and the family tonight. By special request, my cake will be white with chocolate frosting.

Last night, Donna and Terri took me to dinner. We celebrated at Tavern ‘n Town. George and Artie were with us. A good time.

It was still early when dinner ended. Decided to stop at the Chart Room for a drink. Glad I did. Ran into Dorothy Downs. We talked quite a while.

Dorothy’s husband Maurice passed on last year. He was a Miami orthodontist. They had homes in Miami and Key West.

In previous meetings, we never chatted more than five minutes. Last night, quite a while. Turned out to be fortuitous. Dorothy discovered I was a nice guy. She told me she always thought I was arrogant. I probably was. Time softens us.

Several times yesterday, I heard people talk about the new hurricane on its way. Beryl.

I can see concern is going to set in early this hurricane season. Irma left people with a touch of fear.

Beryl is not coming anywhere near Key West. It has been described by the weather folk as a tiny one. About 1,000 miles south of the Lesser Antilles. It may run over Puerto Rico. Should not be a problem. Predicted to be winds of 40 mph at that time.

This morning’s Key West Citizen notes in its Keys History section that the John Kennedy World War II movie PT-109 was being filmed at Munson Island. Cliff Robertson played the title role.

Let me add some additional local color. Munson Island is today known as Little Palm Island. One of the world’s most famous and expensive resorts. It was wiped out by Irma and is still under reconstruction. It will return!

The island at the time was owned by John Spottswood. A Key West legendary figure. Sheriff and State Senator for many years.

President Kennedy was in Key West checking out fortifications during the Cuban missile crisis. Spottswood accompanied him. They were already friends. Hollywood had decided to do the movie. A search for a location was underway. Spottswood suggested Munson Island. The rest is history.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt finally resigned. About time. He probably contributed to the swamp condition more than any other Trump appointee.

The man replacing him not much better. Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist. He spent much time working for Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla). Inhofe denies climate change. Refuses to accept it exists.

Trump has appointed another winner!

The blind cannot see. Or if sight is possible, then as Forrest Gump   was wont to say…..stupid is as stupid does. I refer to the tariff war with China. Should not be. The irresponsible brain child of Donald Trump.

In one year’s time or less, two major U.S. industries will take a big hit economically. Jobs lost big time. Soybeans and lobsters.

The U.S. is the biggest supplier of soybeans to China. Several farm States depend on selling their soybeans to China. China’s attitude is don’t screw with us. China is already entering into agreements to purchase soybeans from Brazil.

China is a major importer of U.S. lobsters. Multi-millions of dollars involved. Maine and Florida lobsters. The lobster industry will be destroyed. This includes Florida’s spiny lobsters. Many are fished off the Keys.

I have said this before and repeat it again. Recall when Hoover became President. The stock market was at an all time high. Booming. Hoover for some unfathomable reason decided the U.S. should impose tariffs with regard to certain countries. Within one year, the Great Depression of 1929 was upon us.

Expect no less from what Trump has initiated.

Water is sacred. Not enough. Insufficient concern unfortunately. The U.S. must watch how it uses its water.

Recall several years ago California. Bottled water companies were buying municipal water big time. The companies got a break cost wise because they were buying in bulk. Homeowners paid a hell of a lot more for water than the bottled water companies per unit.

Governor Brown has been working on the problem.

Today, the problem has reared its ugly head in Chiapas, Mexico. Coca Cola the culprit. Coca Cola bottles and sells water.

Wells are the primary source for water. Homeowners dig down only so far. Accustomed to getting all the water they needed. Coca Cola comes in and digs wells deeper. Significantly deeper. Cause the homeowner wells to go dry.

Coca Cola’s bottled water has now become the water supply for homeowners.

The following sickening. Occurred in a Houston school. Twenty two sixth grade girls were in a music class. Fifty dollars was missing. School administrative officers were called in. A resource officer, also.

The resource officer said, “Girls like to hide things in their bras and panties.”

A strip search followed. Each girl was separately taken into  a bathroom with a nurse. The nurse checked around the panty waistbands, loosened bras, and lifted the girl’s shirts so that the young ladies were exposed shoulder to waist.

Parents were never called for permission. Some of the girls asked to call their mothers first and were denied permission.

What possessed the principal. assistant principal, nurse and resource officer is beyond me. Some things your gut tells you cannot be done.

The girls sued. The court threw out their case. Said the facts did not permit a lawsuit. An appellate court decided otherwise this week. Ok to sue the bastards! Not reported in such indelicate language, of course.

My KONK Life column is on the street. This weeks title: Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries. Irma got me into hurricanes with both feet.

BOB says you must wait another day.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

DINNER WITH JENNA

Jenna Stauffer and I have been friends for more than 10 years. We first met when she graduated college. She came to Key West seeking a career.

I had just started doing an internet show for Guy de Boer. Jenna taught me the ropes. Then proceeded to get involved with my show. In effect, becoming its producer.

Later, Jenna was instrumental in getting me a spot on Key West’s only TV station at the time. I did a one hour a week talk show that went from Key West to Fort Lauderdale. Jenna was a big shot at the studio at the time. She still made time for me and my show, however.

Jenna was doing her own TV talk show at the same time.

In those early  years, we both got involved with Larry Smith and an internet show he put together. I did not last long. The show was primarily music and jokes. I had no singing voice. A joker I was not. One show and I was out.

Jenna and Larry made a good fit. Jenna co-hosting the show with Larry. She got a great deal of experience working with Larry.

Jenna is off to all sorts of great things today. A successful free lancer. In addition to her Key West activity, she is frequently in Miami hosting a show here or there and doing some modeling.

Last night was the first time in months we were able to get together. Our schedules conflicted. It was a pleasure seeing her. As lovely as ever. As bright and cheerful as ever.

Dinner at Berlin’s.

Jenna is in love. I am happy for her! The relationship seems to be moving in the right direction.

I am to meet the lucky man. Probably a week from now. To provide grandfatherly approval.

Bria Ansara sang. She leaves in 8 days for Norway and Germany. A much deserved vacation.

Stopped at the Chart Room for a night cap and chat with John before going home. Met Melissa. A manager at Schooner Wharf.

BOB is still on a sort of sabbatical.

There has been much conversation recently re civility in politics. I find it difficult to agree with most I read.

Republicans and Democrats are at war. Big time! Primarily because of Trump and his crazy ways. Feelings being stomped on. Many becoming aggravated. Trump administrative persons have recently been the center of embarrassing situations while dining in restaurants.

It bothers me that many Democratic leaders are saying such conduct was bad. Should not continue. Be civil!

How wrong their attitudes.

Republicans fight down and dirty. They go for the jugular. Democrats pussy foot around. With apologies to Michelle Obama, I do not agree with her philosophy that when “they” go low, we go high.

You hit me and I am going to hit you back. Harder. I am a don’t tread on me type guy.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson recently wrote a column regarding the issue: Democrats Must Channel Anti-Trump Fervor Into Winning Midterms.”

The column’s opening and closing paragraphs clearly express my feelings. I am glad that another, especially a Eugene Robinson, shares my thoughts.

Robinson wrote in opening: “Let me get this straight. President Trump and his associates treat politics like a back-alley knife fight, but his critics are supposed to pretend it’s a garden party? I don’t think so.”

His closing paragraph: “The remedy is not for progressives to choose their words oh-so-carefully and hope no one takes offense. It is to be loud and clear-and tough as nails-in fighting back.”

In June 1914, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo. A series of events followed leading to the beginning of World War I a few months later.

I mention the Archduke’s assassination and the precipitating factor it became re World War I in order to make a point. In an unruly world, we never know what incident will result in the carnage of a world war.

The world society is unsteady today.  The constant fear exists that some leader/country will perform an act leading to a major war. Significant deaths resulting in a short time.

I worry in these times that some idiot will press the button. The button’s size being immaterial.

Today is the day I write my KONK Life column for next week. I have not yet decided on a topic. I would like to do another that does not involve politics, war, etc. A change of pace story.

Last week it was sand.

I am toying with the idea of doing something about the Key West Cemetery. There is a local effort to identify all buried persons. Many graves are without stones or markings.

Perhaps a history of the Key West Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE BEST OF BOB

BOB tiny, but powerfully interesting.

Today BOB takes us back to the Key West days when honest and powerful citizens discovered marijuana was the path to easy money. Big money.

Integrity took a back seat.

Key West’s location made it a perfect place to bring marijuana into the country. The Business as it was known developed. A cottage industry. No ties to organized crime. Simple small town folks making an extra dollar.

Boats and planes dropped bales of marijuana into the ocean. The bales became known as square grouper. Locals would boat out and pick up the bales. The bales were brought into Key West and unloaded next to the Coast Guard dock. Then taken home and left in front yards and on roof tops to dry.

An open industry. No one concerned about getting caught.

After dried, the bales were put on a U.S. Mail tractor-trailer for delivery to Miami. The Mail vehicle made the trip every day.

Arrangements were made prior to each trip to accommodate the Sheriff’s Department. If not made, the U.S. Mail vehicle was stopped and fined half the marijuana load.

This scenario went on quite some time. Eventually, the federal government became aware. The “federales” cracked down on the operation. Arrests were made. Trials. Some prominent Key Westers received jail time.

Such the next part of the story. Referred to by BOB as the Afro Sheen Caper. For another day.

Spent last night with Cheryl and Roger. Former Key West snowbirds now living in Cape Coral.

We started the evening at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual great selves.

Then to Antonia’s for dinner.

I was surprised how packed Antonia’s was. We are into off season. Restaurants generally empty. Not Antonia’s last night. It must be Antonia’s summer time special. Pasta $10 a serving.

We got the last table.

I like Cheryl and Roger. Interesting people. Sincere. Call it as it is.

A good time was had. We sat and chatted a while after dinner.

I am getting hooked on the Key West Citizen weatherman. Today’s prediction, 89 degrees. In fine print below: “…..afternoon t-storms; bad hair day.”

The bad hair day I found intriguing. Must refer to the humidity. Not a problem for me. My head is shaved bald.

Robots back in the news! A new IBM artificial intelligence creature debated last week in San Francisco two of the world’s champion debaters. The robot held his own. The topic was made known at the start of the debate. No prior preparation for the two human debaters and the robot.

Yesterday’s Justice Building Blog commented on Trump’s announcement that he wanted to close down the immigration courts. Merely arrest and deport. No hearing, no due process.

Such would mean we are a nation of men, not laws. Exactly what we have not been. The Occupied America writer wrote “…..we are occupied by a narcissistic man of limited intelligence, his followers who are equally self obsessed, lacking in self esteem and poorly educated. And the power we fight is nothing less than evil ignorance seeking to end our democracy.”

The looming trade war nothing less than a disaster, also. For the world. The U.S. already hurt. Harley-Davidson’s announcement yesterday that they were moving to Europe. To remain in the U.S. under the tariff percentages being discussed would mean a loss of $100 million a year.

Thank you, Donald Trump!

The EU says the world is heading for a “trade apocalypse.” The World Trade Organization is facing an all but certain demise.

Good job, Mr. President!

All because of one man who does not know what he is doing. I fail to understand how Trump keeps his followers.

On this day in 1956, Congress approved the Federal Highway Act. Thirty billion dollars to construct 41 million miles of interstate highways.

The bill was actually Eisenhower’s baby. He conceived  it and got everyone to work together in a bipartisan effort to bring it to realization. The Highway Act is considered Eisenhower’s greatest domestic achievement.

The bill passed the Senate with one dissenting vote. The House passed it by voice vote. Eisenhower signed it into law three days later.

Cooperation by both parties, the two legislative houses, and the President. Not today! We live in a different world. One bred from hate and evolving because of evil.

A side note. I benefited from the new law. The summer of 1957 found me between college and law school. I drove a dump truck on a highway project outside Rome, NY.

Tonight, podcast time! My podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine, my time. A quick half hour of me venting. My likes and dislikes. Many topics discussed are eye openers. Hidden from public view.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

BOB…..CRAPPING IN YOUR PANTS

Bob Smith’s BOB was written over a period of time ending in 1997. Bob viewed the world at that time. I knew Bob. He talked of world/political events frequently. A concerned person.

The chapter I draw on today is titled Remedial Reasoning. Expresses Bob’s thoughts on how to correct things and why.

First, a new college was to be established. The University of What’s Happening Now. Bob would be a full professor, of course. A primary motivation reflecting the need for the new type institution was that the bizarre at the time was being accepted as the norm.

Sound familiar?

Bob intended teaching Wisen You Up 101. Other courses included Humanity and how not to be a victim, Real estate and sexual assault and how to discern the difference, The entire legal system and how never to be involved, and Pragmatism the word of the day.

Bob ventured that people can be toilet trained, but could not be trained to deal with new matters unless in imminent physical danger. He was referring to then matters of concern such as global warming, the ozone layer, etc.

Bob compared people’s inability to get it or act on a potential danger was a consequence similar to “crapping in your pants.”

Things have not changed much since 1997 when Bob shared his thoughts. Most do not want to learn. Some have a vested interest which mandates they close their eyes.

Spent my sunday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. World Running Out Of Sand. Excellent reading. Most unaware re the nature of usable sand and that in due course it will exist no more. Sand being a non-renewable resource.

Later stopped at the Marriott Beachside for the sunday newspapers. Then to Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. My usual. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a diet Coke.

Home or the Chart Room next? Decided to stop by the Chart Room for a drink and some conversation. Glad I did. Old friends Cheryl and Roger at the bar.

Cheryl and Roger from the Chicago area. Still have a home there. For years, Key West snowbirds. They enjoyed a huge RV that they parked several months a year on Stock Island.

We became friend. Two finer people, I do not know. Loyal blog readers. Bought Irma and Me right away. Have introduced their friends to this blog.

I also like them because I enjoy their company.

I knew they would be arriving for a few days. Not exactly when. They arrived at the Pier House where they were staying around 5. I met up with them at 7.

Cheryl and Roger purchased another home somewhere on Florida’s west coast. They drove down and will be staying till wednesday.

We will be together tonight. Roger’s turn to buy. We will dine at Antonia’s. Earlier, they will be my guests at Dueling Bartenders. They have never been.

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran an article about parking in the 100 block of Simonton. A real problem. Recent construction contributing.

The problem will be resolved in due course. Some parking on a pay basis will be permitted. Not the whole block, however.

My concern even greater. Fix Simonton Street in that area. The road condition horrendous! Terrible! Stop paying for generally useless studies for a while and put the money into road repairs. My kidneys are beginning to hurt!

Continue to love whoever does the Citizen weather reports. In very fine print under each day’s forecast is an interesting and/or humorous tidbit.

Humidity has been heavy lately. A breeze generally non-existent. Even a small one would help.

The weatherman’s comment for today: “Can I buy a breeze?”

Someone at a criminal court house in Miami writes a blog that I read. The Justice Building Blog. Sometimes merely legal matters. Others, tell it like it is.

The blog always ends with the admonition: Fight The Power!

Yesterdays blog contained a phrase worth repeating: “…..where we don’t yet burn books…..we do rip infants from the arms of their mothers.”

There will be demonstrations across the land this weekend. Protesting the Trump administration separating children from parents, maintaining immigrant children in detention type facilities, most information concerning the children kept secret, etc.

I am concerned. Violence could erupt. Retaliatory to the President’s actions. If so, the seeds of rebellion will have been planted. To erupt another day.

I recall vividly the Vietnam War demonstrations. Some violent. I thought terrible. I was concerned. Where was my country headed?

The two events different. As bad as the anti-Vietnam cries were, the situation with the immigrant children even worse. Separating children from parents strikes at the core of one’s being. Party lines disappear. The evil that men are capable of doing becomes obvious.

What will come of all this?

Enjoy your day!

ERIKA BIDDLE…..A MOST INTERESTING WOMAN

The plan was to meet Jean Thornton at Dueling Bartenders last night. Bobby Nesbitt the scheduled guest performer. Found Jean at the bar seated next to Erika Biddle.

I probably have run into Erika no more than five times over the years. She is unique. The woman has tasted much of life. Both good and bad.

Erika was born in Germany in the years immediate following World War II. Though having avoided the war itself, she remembers clearly the destroyed cities, the debris, etc. waiting for reconstruction. Recovery was slow.

She recalls going without food. The lack of food experience was evident later in the evening when we dined at Antonia’s. I never saw a plate so clean at the end of a meal.

Erika came to Key West in 1994 after living in several cities around the world. She was immediately aware Key West was for her. She once said regarding Key West, ” This was the only city I ever visited where I’m not the most eccentric person around. Here I’m the normal one.”

Her eccentricity best reflected in a nudie calendar venture she put together. An avid environmentalist, Erika came up with a way to raise money for environmental purposes.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once mentioned something to the effect that the environmental cause was best reflected by a nude woman. Soon after, an English movie came out where a bunch of elderly English women needing money for a charity did a nudie calendar of themselves.

Erika was emboldened. She convinced 15 Key West ladies to agree posing for a nudie calendar. Titled: Women Sustaining the Earth. The women between 44 and 78 years of age. All lovely. The calendar tastefully done.

Sold well!

Erika’s life or parts thereof great book material.

It rained for 2 hours early in the afternoon. Big time! Roaring thunder! Brought to mind Zeus, ancient Greece’s sky and thunder god. King of Mount Olympus.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person a humorist.  Yesterday’s prediction: Mostly cloudy, a shower; free car wash. The shower could have been better described. It was a monsoon! The “free car wash” right on. My car shiny bright after the sun dried it off.

I am ahead of the game time wise re my next KONK Life column. This week’s already done and at the printers. It is titled Sit At Attention Or Die. A bit of Kim/Trump. It is the article for a week from tomorrow that I was working on.

A change of pace topic. Felt compelled to get away from Trump. Environmental. About sand. As with water, in short supply world wide. Hard to believe.

Sand is the new gold.

I read yesterday that recent wind storms have affected Florida’s sandy beaches drastically. The sand loss described as Gone With The Wind.

An interesting article in the making.

The music at Dueling Bartenders the best. Always is. Bobby, Tom Luna and Rick Dery made the walls shake.

Bobby recently married Mike Mulligan. They had lived together 37 years. About time! In honor of the nuptials, Bobby sang I’m Getting Married In The Morning from My Fair Lady.

Jean, Erika and Louis walked over to Antonia’s for dinner. Jean and Erika interesting women. I enjoyed being with them.

Diseases come and go. Initially death causing and then man finds the pill/shot making it possible to avoid the sickness.

Yellow fever was a major killer in the mid 1800’s. The Citizen’s Keys History section mentioned that on this date in 1865, the vessel Adventure arrived in Key West in distress. Four crew members had yellow fever. The four were taken to the Marine Hospital.

The yellow fever spread from the four to Army troops stationed in Key West. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died. The number of civilians infected and dead not recorded.

A thought. Mull it. Conservative Americans are all about family – unless the family has darker skin and is from another country.

Child abuse in the news constantly these days. The immigrant children taken from parents. The abuse takes other forms and occurs on a smaller scale around the country.

An undocumented mother lives in San Antonio with her 4 year old daughter. A San Antonio Sheriff deputy was having sex with the four year old. Apparently on a regular basis.

The four year old told her mother over the weekend. The mother confronted the officer. He did not deny. He made it clear however that if she told anyone, she would be deported.

Fearing the police, the mother went to a fire station and told the fire officers what was going on. The deputy was arrested yesterday.

What is occurring on the border sick. What happened to this four year old equally sick.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine sharp. A quick half hour of me pontificating about anything that tickles my interest. Provocative. Eye opening. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

CHE A NO SHOW

Several of us were at the Chart Room at 5 yesterday to visit with Che. An old friend, Chart Room cohort, one who has an empty hole in the bar awaiting his ashes, a first class debater in any friendly argument, a man soon to be 84.

The meeting had been arranged by Jean Thornton. Che has become a recluse in recent months. His health failing. He would not open his door if someone knocked. We wanted to visit with him.

No Che. Failed to appear. Probably decided he simply did not want to do it. No problem. Che has earned the right to call them as he sees them.

We sat at the round table and enjoyed ourselves. Jean, David, Cori, Nic, Captain Frank, Valerie, Lisa, and Louis. Later, Quincy Perkins showed up.

Jean made a batch of deviled eggs and brought them for all to enjoy.

Later, Jean and I had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Sheila bartending.

Jean and I are a match. We get along well. I consider her a benefactor. Escaped Irma by staying at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

The Ocean Key House pier was severely damaged by Irma. The contractor waited six months to get back to Ocean Key that he could not do the job for the price bid. Another company has stepped in. They are swiftly working. A huge crane, huge wood posts, etc. I understand the entire pier is going to be redone in concrete.

My sunday afternoon was spent writing this week’s KONK Life column. Sit At Attention Or Die. A Kim/Trump tale. Mostly, Kim. It hits the stands wednesday evening.

The article was well researched and wrote swiftly. I had time left over. Skimmed the internet a bit to determine what the following week’s article will be.

Came up with the subject! Sand! The world is running out of sand. A black market has developed. I did some preliminary research. Interesting.

What a difference 100 years make! Price of Key West Hotel rooms.

In 1914, the Panama Hotel was located at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. A new hotel. Running water in each room. A big deal! Rates $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00.

A sad situation. Paul Donnelly was the Key West Citizen Controller. In a management restructuring in March, Paul was one of the those let go.

Paul got in trouble last thursday in Plainview, Michigan. He robbed a bank. Walked up to a teller, handed her a note saying this is a robbery and my bag contains a bomb.

Paul walked out with $4,700. Eight hours later, he was arrested without incident.

Paul was in Plainview visiting relatives. The relatives claim Paul was suicidal, the bank robbery a call for help, he was fighting alcoholism, the sudden loss of his job had affected him, and he had recurring problems from a brain tumor.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life article re Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The Waterloo battle was waged this day in 1815.

I discovered in my research at the time that the popular reason for Napoleon’s defeat was not correct. It was not the genius of the Duke of Wellington, though his military prowess probably did make some contribution.

Napoleon had hemorrhoids. They were extremely painful the night before. He doped himself with some narcotic that evening and in the late morning when he woke to kill the pain. He overslept. Did not get to the battlefield till just before noon. The battle had started in the early morning.

He could not sit comfortably on his horse. As a result, he did not move around the battlefield to personally view and assess conditions.

The battle was lost early evening.

My research clearly indicated it was the hemorrhoids that did him in.

The immigration children problem disturbs me as it must most of you. Children separated from parents. Sort of a Sophie’s choice, though not as final.

Totally un-American. Not what good people do. I am ashamed my country is doing this.

The problem has to be resolved like yesterday. Realistically, by the end of this week.

How would Trump have felt if his three oldest when young were taken from him and his wife in a fashion similar to what is occurring at the borders? Or, Barron today?

Cock fighting in the lower Keys was a big deal back when. Perhaps even today. I recall a few years ago a group was arrested for involvement with cock fighting.

BOB reports British Peter had a cock fighting experience.

The time would have been the mid 1990’s. Peter was driving cab for a living. New to the job. Got a call asking if he would go to Rockland Key to pick up a fare. Peter jumped at the chance. The fare $17 plus tip.

He picked up 3 young boys each with a paper bag on a side road off US 1. They asked to be taken to Bahama Village. Made sure they had money to pay. Started up and reached the intersection with US 1.

All of a sudden, a huge truck was behind the cab. Lights glaring, horn blowing, and the driver waving out the window. Peter had no idea what was going on. He immediately called for help. The Sheriff’s Department arrived in 2 minutes.

The guy in the tuck ran to the cab. The boys jumped out and ran onto US 1 emptying their bags as they ran. They assumed the chickens would run into the woods. Not so. The chickens were fighters. They engaged in a mammoth cock fight on US 1 in front of the Sheriff Deputies.

The guy in the truck was arrested. The kids taken into custody. The chickens collected.

A problem arose. The Sheriff/County had no place to keep the chickens pending trial. Evidence. They solved the problem in Key West fashion. The chickens were turned over to the now defendant truck driver who they assumed knew how to safeguard them.

BOB does not tell  us how the case ended. Was there a trial? Were the chickens produced? I doubt it. These chickens were lucky if they saw the light of day following the incident.

The situation bothered Peter. He put a sign in his cab: No Rockland County trips, no Rockland County residents.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!