HEMINGWAY INJURED

 

My topic for next week’s KONK Life column changed from yesterday to today.

My plan was to write about ICE. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. A group some view as Trump’s private army.

I began research during the week. More to do yesterday and then write the article. It never happened. I got out of my desk chair to get something and my back went out. An every 5-6 year experience. Back just goes. Killer spasms.

So much for any further research or writing yesterday.

I rose early this morning to complete the ICE research and write the column. Even before writing this blog. I completed the research. Eight pages of it.

I decided I would write today’s blog at that point and leave the ICE column for this afternoon. In searching internet for information suitable for the blog, an item on a history site garnered my attention.

On this day in 1918, Ernest Hemingway was a Red Cross driver on the Italian front. It was World War I. A mortar shell hit nearby. He received serious right leg and knee injuries.  Kept him hospitalized for six months.

Hemingway fell in love with American nurse Agnes von Kurkowsky. The relationship formed the basis for A Farewell To Arms.

Part of Hemingway’s recovery found he and Agnes spending a week at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in Stresa. On Lake Maggiore which separates Italy and Switzerland.

I have visited Stresa and Lake Maggiore several times. Enjoyed drinks each visit at the Grand Hotel. A huge magnificent structure from days gone by.

I made appropriate inquiries and was shown the bar room where Ernest and Agnes imbibed. A small room in the back of the first floor with one window overlooking gardens. No longer a bar. Today, a storage room.

In August 2015, I wrote what I considered a short but interesting rendition of the Ernest/Agnes relationship. It ended when Agnes sent him a Dear John letter following his return to the U.S.

Many years later after Ernest had departed Key West for Cuba, Agnes moved to Key West. Worked as a librarian for years. The two never met during any of Hemingway’s infrequent visits.

The 2015 column contains the Ernest/Agnes story from beginning to end. Covering a span of almost 40 years.

I was moved when I reread the 2015 column. I decided to rerun it next week as my KONK column and hold my notes concerning ICE for another time. Love always more interesting than pain and suffering.

Hemingway’s First Love hits the stands Wednesday.

Happy Birthday! continued into last night. Dinner with Lisa and the family. Loved it!

Robert and Ally are betting big. Fourteen and thirteen respectively. Young adults. Ally still enjoys the experience of singing Happy Birthday and watching the candles being blown out.

At 83, I only get one candle. Eighty three plus one would probably blow my heart out as I tried to blow the candles out.

I blew my diet. Per request, Lisa made a white cake with chocolate frosting. Two big pieces. Loved it!

My back pain was tempered. Had taken 3 Advil. Still sore. Tolerable, however.

Following Lisa’s headed over to the Chart Room. Kevin back in town. Arrived yesterday at 5. Two gins with Kevin and my back felt even better. Enjoyed our conversation.

Sleep came easy because of the Advil and gin. No pain till I got out of bed this morning. Three more Advil.

A stormy morning. It has been raining for at least an hour. Heavy. Exceptionally loud thunder and lightening. The lightening periodically coming through the blinds.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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!

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOUIS

 

Today is my birthday. Eighty three years. Wow!

Time moves fast. Everything just yesterday. High school, college, law school, marriage, children, grandchildren, court cases, successful practice, mistakes made, lessons learned, etc.

I feel good for my age. The body breaks down as we go along. Mine started around 60. You go to the doctor and hope they can fix whatever it is. Generally can. As you get older however, you become concerned about the day something many not be able to be fixed.

Mentally, I am still 35. Amazing! The issue of mental age comes up in conversations among the elderly. Everyone is between 25-45. Interesting.

My poor Mother. Several times she reminded me of my birth. Mid summer 1935. Hot. Humid. No air  conditioning. Not invented yet. The hospital sweltering!!!

Took 26 hours of labor for me to make my entrance.

I was born in Utica’s General Hospital. A welfare type hospital for the poor. Amazing how this country provides the opportunity to live a better more affluent life.

I look forward to 84. Hopefully many more years following. My Dad made it to 98, his father 94, his sister 102. One condition. I would want to be in good shape physically and mentally.

Midnight was the beginning of a dark day for global trade. Trump permitted his threatened tariffs re China to go into effect. China waited hoping Trump would back off. When he did not, China imposed retaliatory tariffs.

China described what occurred as the beginning of the “largest trade war in history.” An economist described the event as “typical trade bullying.”

The first salvo has been fired. America will be the first casualty. Trump does not understand. An example the soybean farmers who will not be able to sell their product. The U.S. supplies China with 60 percent of its soybean imports.

Take a walk back in time. Herbert Hoover elected President. It is 1928. The stock market booming. At an all time high. Hoover a protectionist. Believed in tariffs. Could not leave well enough alone. Imposed tariffs. One year later, the Great Depression.

Trump was in Montana last night at a rally. His audience a mere 6,500. Down dramatically from the many thousands who previously attended. A smaller audience, seated closer together, to make the place look more full.

Trump’s mouth his worst enemy. Among other sad/improper things uttered last night included knocking Bush I and John McCain. Both war heroes. Bush shot down twice during World War II. McCain spent six years in a Vietnamese concentration camp, tortured non stop.

Trump was a draft dodger.

The man knocks everyone and everything. Lies consistently. Thinks he knows everything. He is leading us to a doom.

Chart Room last night. As always, a good and interesting time.

Steve and Cindy back. I have been looking to their return. They lived in Key West in the early and mid 1970’s when things were different. On the wild side! I take notes rapidly. Add a bit of research, each becomes a story to be written.

Dorothy in for a few days. Her dentist husband died two years ago. It was good to see her again. An author who achieved success. Dorothy has a sharp mind. It was evident when a new friend, Ray from Dublin, told us a great joke. Dorothy had an instantaneous  follow up that fit.

Met a most interesting couple. One Ray already mentioned and his wife Augusta. World travelers of sorts. Ray has been in the oil business over the years in one capacity or another. Retired now, invests primarily in oil stocks and other types he believes are going to move. Apparently successful.

Enjoyed their company. Ray and I disagree on one point. He has traveled the world living and working. He believes Trump will be viewed as the greatest U.S. President since Reagan.

Bothersome. Worries me.

Trump overwhelms the news. As a result, we fail to get sufficient information re what is going on in the rest of the world. Nicaragua, for example.

A horrendous conflict once again. The government killing people randomly. The war relatively new. Three weeks. A full blown civil war in the making.

The conflict includes the Catholic Church which is opposed to what is going on. Involved are President Daniel Ortega. He was President many years ago. And his wife Rosario Murillo. She, Vice-President.

The Vice-President wife recently said God favors repression against priests and people. Trump not the only one who is sick.

Bad days in Nicaragua that will only get worse. People will flee the country. U.S. borders will be closed to them.

BOB begged off again this morning. Still tired from the fireworks. The trial result and what followed left to tomorrow. Hopefully.

One thing I learned last night was that Bum Farto was involved in more than drugs. Prostitution. He drove El Jefe around dropping off prostitutes and picking them up when their work was done.

Enjoy your day!

BIKINI BORN

 

This day in 1946 a significant one regarding female beach attire. The bikini was born. A two piece bathing suit. Skimpy. Exposed the navel and much of the buttocks.

Available female bathing attire even more skimpy today. The thong bottom leaves little to the imagination. The top piece lucky to cover the areolas

Prior to World War II, female bathing suits were generally one piece and skirted. The War changed that in the United States. Fabric was rationed. As a result, the skirt panel and other superfluous material were removed.

Not as dramatic as the bikini which would come later.

The navel was considered sacred. Always covered. The two piece bathing suit born in the U.S. covered the navel. The bottom panty would be described as granny panties by today’s standards. The top a full bra.

I recall the Virginia Slims cigarette advertising of the 1970’s: You’ve come a long way ladies! As to today’s bikinis the saying applies also. No question. The next step in the progression, if there is to be one,  total nudity.

I have decided on next week’s KONK Life column. ICE. Began my research yesterday afternoon.

We hear the term, but know little about it. It has become a forceful police agency. People should be aware. My column will tell the story of its rapid growth since just after 9/11 when it was born.

This week’s KONK Life is available. My column this week: Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries. Not boring.

The Chart Room, Hot Tin Roof and then the Chart Room again last night. I was to meet Fran and Tom Dixon and their daughter at 6 at Hot Tin Roof. I was early. Hot Tin Roof does not open till 6. Ergo, a Chart Room stop first.

John bartending. Good friend Ollie at the bar. Met John. I will refer to him as New John so as not to confuse him with the two John bartenders.

New John had lived in Key West years ago. He returned the day before. He assumes he will remain for at least 5 years this time. He is a liquor distributor. We enjoyed an interesting conversation re Key West.

Then to the Hot Tin roof.

I love Tom’s wife Fran. She is the absolute best. Cooks for me in Buffalo and brings the goodies with her each time she visits. About 4 times a year. Last night, 4 jars of sauce with meatball, sausage and pork. Home made fudge and another type candy.

Always good to meet with them. Tom and I reviewed Syracuse football for the coming season. He is a die hard Syracuse fan, also. He reported the season is not anticipated to be a good one. It has been years since we have had a good team!

Their daughter with them. Her name escapes me. I apologize. Old age.

A smart woman. Retired from the Army a major. Recently received her MBA from Harvard. Has a job already in Boston with a big time company. She starts monday.

She and her husband recently purchased a home in Wellesley.

We ate, drank and had a good time.

They left at 8. Tom had made reservations to be on the FURY to watch the fireworks.

I am not into fireworks. Seen one, seen them all. I stopped back at the Chart Room, enjoyed one drink, and headed home.

BOB tired. Stayed up late watching the fireworks. Taking today off. Tomorrow will be the finish of the Bum Farto trial and saga.

The tariff war with China begins tomorrow. Midnight July 6. China and the U.S. in different time zones. Our July 6 is midnight. China 12 hours ahead. Their July 6 midnight noon today.

Tariff wars are devastating. Everyone seems to know it, except for Trump. There are no winners. A world wide depression probable.

China advised it will not start the tariff war with the U.S. So it will wait till midnight our time to see if Trump backs off. If not, bad shit will follow over the next several months.

Key West has one industry that will definitely be hit. Florida lobsters. Referred to also as spiny lobsters. South Florida ships millions of dollars worth each year to China. A major Key West business will take a big hit.

Yesterday, July 4th. America’s birthday. Two hundred forty two years old. The Declaration of Independence was adopted.

Most of us recall the beginning words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…..” The document obviously contained other passages of equal importance and significance. One dealt with the right and duty of citizens to raise up and abolish governments that “becomes destructive.”

The paragraph written from a long time ago. However, its words may have special relevance today. I leave such to your judgment: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to their ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…..when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is the right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security…..Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

Thank you, Thomas Jefferson.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day. The birthday of our country.

Two hundred forty two years old. It was July 4, 1776 at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

We are a young nation. Compare our age to that of European nations. Still growing. Tensions abound. The Trump era crazy and dangerous.

America celebrates. Tonight, fireworks! In Key West, off the White Street Pier.

This past week has been strange politically. Relatively quiet. We have not heard from Rudy Giuliani and other Trump cohorts who were making the news. Are they quiet because of Michael Cohen on the verge of possibly flipping?

Cohen is making noise like Trump when he wants something. He is using the media. Cohen seems to be telling the Second District he wants to jump fence and play on their side. Thus far they have not picked up on his offer.

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Thoroughly enjoyed doing the show. Covered a multitude of sins. Wish I had had more time.

Casey joined me for dinner before the show. At Roostica.

Casey and his 70′ x 30′ catamaran sit in the water off Hogfish. Casey new to Key West. Been here all of 10 days. Yesterday, he took his dingy and visited Wisteria Island. He is interested in Key West lore. The day before he went out into the Gulf a bit and did some diving.

Jennifer waited on us. It has been two years since I last saw her. She was pregnant at the time and due any day. She proudly showed me her son’s picture. Two years old. A handsome little man.

Good friends Fran and Tom Dixon have arrived. Buffalo their home. They visit four times a year. Stay at Ocean Key. Tom is on the Board.

We are doing dinner tonight. Meeting at 6 at the Chart Room. My turn to host. Probably the A&B Lobster House. Plan on calling for a reservation since today is a holiday.

Fran is concerned for me. She thinks I am not well fed. She brings me food from Buffalo. Tonight, I will receive at least 4 jars of homemade sauce containing pork, sausage and meatballs. Plus low carb bread and home made candy.

Love the woman!

You have to believe in guardian angels! God, too! Two examples evidencing why.

A few days ago, the cruise liner Norwegian Gallery was 28 miles off the northwest of Cuba. A crew member fell off the ship. His fall seen. The ship backed up and searched. Could not find him. Authorities notified. Air and sea searches proved fruitless.

The next day, the cruise ship Carnival Glory was traveling in the opposite direction. Twenty one miles off the north coast of Cuba. Saw the crew member in the water. He was rescued. In good health.

The man had been in the water 22 hours. Treading. No life jacket. Fortunately the water is warm and calm this time of year. Even more fortunate, a shark did not come upon him.

Did the man have a guardian angel? No question in my mind. God was looking after him.

A Thailand event the other example.

A 12 member soccer team and their coach got lost in a mountain gave in north Thailand. The boys 11-16.

The cave is part of a huge mountain. Full of corridors of all sizes. Some entrances small. The boys had to squeeze to get through. The team was able to get down into the heart of the mountain about one mile.

Then stuck. Water all around them. The caves have flowing water in various depths.

They could not get out. Spent 10 days in the dark and without food. Searchers and divers arrived from all over the world. A total of 1,000 looking to provide assistance. Two British divers found them over the weekend.

All basically in good health. Food, water and medical assistance provided.

At this point it is clear the kids and their coach had a special guardian angel looking over them. God directing their rescue.

The rescue is not complete however. It has been raining since the team got lost. The rainy season. Every day. The rain sometimes six inches in an hour. Cave passage ways flooding.

The team will have to swim and dive in order to get out. A mile.

None know how to swim or dive. Present plans are to teach them how to swim and dive. Then take them out. Two professional divers guiding each team person.

It is estimated the plan will take months. However so far the only way determined to get them out.

Hope the guardian angels and the good Lord stay with them.

Children detained in chain linked cages. We should be ashamed! I do not understand how Trump supporters find nothing wrong with the scenario: “They broke the law.” “They brought their children into the U.S.” “They invited what is happening to them.”

For shame!

The Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis is expressing its concern and disagreement. Statues of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus sit on the lawn of the Church in a chain linked enclosed cage.

BOB says it is a holiday. He is not writing today.

Enjoy your Fourth!

 

“I’LL PROBABLY GO THE SAME WAY”

 

Fifty seven years ago today. July 2, 1961. A sad day.

Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. At his then home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

One of the greats in the annals of literary history. A favorite son of Key West.

Hemingway’s father Dr. Clarence Hemingway committed suicide many years earlier. Hemingway said at the time: “I’ll probably go the same way.”

A quiet evening last night. A drink at the Chart Room and grocery shopping at Publix. The refrigerator was empty again.

BOB returns. The Bum Farto saga continued.

Authorities did not initially pay attention to drug dealing in Key West. Farto and friends became aware. He and some Bubba friends decided to make some easy money.

Farto fixed up El Jefe and his personal appearance. What he was doing became open and notorious. El Jefe was lime green to begin and carried a sign with El Jefe on it. Farto added a bright gold eagle to the hood, together with reflective glass and two sawed off shotguns.

He uniformed himself. He wore a shocking pink uniform, rose colored glasses, and a generous helping of gold jewelry.

Farto was on the way! His new career took off! Drug dealer!

Ssles and deliveries were made from El Jefe. The drugs secreted in McDonald lunch bags and pizza boxes.

Dealing drugs did not interfere with Farto continuing his regular job as Fire Chief.

The operation expanded. Thirty some odd fellow Key West citizens became involved. None, including Farto, were Mafia types. They merely happened upon an easy way to make money and said why not. Never seriously considering the consequences.

Federal authorities became aware. No one sure how. The flamboyant manner in which Farto was doing business? Someone squealed? The answer not known.

There was a massive arrest by authorities. Thirty in all. Farto included. Referred to as the Big Bubba Bust.

The timing had one inconvenient factor. Key West’s primary bail bondsman was among those arrested. The only other bondsman was out of town on vacation.

Who was going to bail these good citizens of Key West out of jail?

The bonding company Bankers Casualty Insurance Company became involved. Probably because they did not want to lose all the money they could make bonding thirty good and true men out of jail. The Company arranged for the release of the bondsman who in turn bailed out the remaining 29 defendants.

The best is yet to come.

To be continued…..

ICE is going to become well known to the American people. Some have begun referring to ICE as Trump’s private army. A scary thought.

My immediate concern is where are the babies and girls? Yesterday, photos of some of the girls were shown. Where are they? Where are the babies? What is going on? Time to open the doors and let the media and public in. I fear something bad has occurred.

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. A monumental moment!

Color would no longer be an issue. Did not work out that way. Things are better. However, race still an issue in our country. Trump I suspect a racist.

We have a long way to go.

On this day in 1881, President James Garfield was shot. He died some 80 days later. His doctors killed him, not the assassin who shot him.

A few yeas ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the topic. I asked Sloan this morning to dig it out. If she finds it, I plan on running the column as tomorrow’s blog adding only a brief introduction.

The moment of truth is upon us. The truth re Trump’s use of tariffs to enhance the U.S. economically.

Yesterday, Canada began adding new tariffs totaling $12.6 billion on U.S. products. China begins friday when it will add new tariffs totaling $34 billion. U.S. soybean farmers are going to be hit big time. China’s tariffs are being imposed on the same day the U.S. is adding $34 billion on Chinese goods.

Harley-Davidson has already said it is moving a significant number of its production lines out of the U.S. because of the tariffs. Nine thousand jobs will be gone.

General Motors and Polaris warned in recent days that they may have to take certain of their businesses overseas.

The largest U.S. nail manufacturer, Mid-Continental Nail, announced it has laid off 60 employees already because of the tariffs. The Company further advised that if something is not done to correct the situation, it will be out of business by Labor Day.

Helicopter assisted escapes from jails becoming commonplace. Forty nine since 1971. Thirty successful, nineteen failed.

Yesterday at a jail outside Paris, Redoine Fain successfully escaped. A stolen helicopter landed inside jail walls, picked up Fain, and were up and away in less than a minute.

Since 1971, seven movies, a number of TV shows, and several books have been written re the “art” of jail helicopter escapes.

Tonight, one of my Key West favorites. Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. I find it relaxing to sit, have a couple of drinks, and sing along with the bartenders.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOB…..RECOLLECTIONS OF BUM FARTO

On this lovely Sunday morning, no better way to begin than with a Jimmy Buffett quote. A profound one. “I’d rather die while I’m living then live while I’m dead.”

BOB is back. The Afro Sheen Caper is next in the book. Only problem is I do not quite understand what BOB wrote. Nor did research provide any help.

Anyone who has knowledge, please forward to me.

In the meanwhile, it becomes Bum Farto time. BOB gives a history of Farto leading up to…..Bum Farto where are you? Interesting. A bit lengthy. I have added some info I discovered to BOB’s rendition. Ergo, the Bum Farto portion may take 3-4 days to report.

Hang on! The ride is good!

BOB titles the chapter Bum Farto And The Lime Green “Jefe” Car.

Farto was born in 1919 in Key West. A for real Conch. He grew up across the street from a fire station. He was constantly charming the firemen to give them their loose change. Resulted in Farto being nicknamed “Bum.”

Farto became a fireman. Started as a nozzleman. Eventually became Fire Chief.

Along the way, he supplemented his income by driving a hearse for a local funeral home.

Farto became Chief in 1964. His first run in with the law occurred two years later in 1966. He was charged with multiple counts of having misused Fire Department funds. The claim was he signed the names of various firefighters on their checks and cashed them.

Farto lucked out. The bubba system saved his ass. His nephew headed the Civil Service Review Board. Farto was tried by his nephew. He was found not guilty of all counts, except for one. That he had threatened to fire one of his employees. He received a 30 day suspension.

As Chief, Farto drove a lime green vehicle. On the side was a sign which read “El Jefe.” El Jefe is Spanish for Chief.

Tomorrow, Farto and the drug trade.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. Got it out to the publisher last night. Hits the stands Wednesday evening.

I initially was going to write a history of the Key West Cemetery. As I researched further, It became obvious there was more to the story than merely a history of today’s cemetery. The hurricane that hit Key West as a 5 on November 11, 1846  definitely a part of the tale.

My column went from A History of the Key West Cemetery to Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries.

You will enjoy!

Ocasio-Cortez’s name in the headlines the past few days. She is the Democrat Socialist who defeated 20 year House of Representative member Joseph Crowley in a Democratic primary.

The lady is 28. Makes an excellent appearance. Appears intelligent. She may represent the wave of the future for Democrats. Liberals tending beyond progressivism to socialism. A mouthful.

Ocasio-Cortez is described as a radical. I question the label. The reason is that she stands for things I do. Such as free tuition, true universal health care, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and describing Israeli shooting of Palestinians a massacre.

I believe that the Trump tariffs will destroy our economy and that of the world within 1-2 years. The tariffs  seed for another recession. A big one.

A recent study indicates Trump intends to impose a 20 percent tariff on EU cars. Recognize many are made in the U.S. today. Regardless, the price increases are startling.

Luxury cars will suffer the biggest increase. A 2018 Mercedes SL Roadster’s starting price will increase $17, 640. From $88,200 to $105,840. A lower priced car now costing $34,600 will suffer an increase of $6,920 to $41,520.

These increases will appear about 2 months after the tariff goes into effect.

The tariff war coming is senseless. The brainchild of Trump. A man who knows not what he does.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

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!

 

KOKOMO MAN…..HEADS IN THE SAND

This blog is available on several sites. Most provide for comment. Some of the comments are vicious.

WordPress has the worst. Some days, it is World War III.

My KONK Life column this week is titled World Running Out Of Sand. Sand is a non-replaceable natural resource. We should be concerned. We are not. Probably because most are unaware. My purpose in writing about sand’s depletion was to bring the problem to the attention of others.

Kokomo Man is a frequent commenter on the WordPress site. One of the more reasonable. Kokomo Man commented re the sand issue: “This, just as other environmental problems, like global warming, is another problem that won’t go away while many…..wait for it…..stick their heads in the sand.”

“Stick their heads in the sand!” Love it! Humor instead of venom. A change of pace.

A busy mid day yesterday. Office Max, Walgreens, and Sandy’s Cafe.

I picked up the wrong drug. I take 11 pills a day so it is easy to screw up. This particular prescription was replaced with another by my heart doctor some time ago.

I have insurance. Still have co-pay, however. Yesterday, $114. How could it be. The sales person was no help. Showed me how my insurance company saved me $1,100. Bullshit itself.

No further help at Walgreens.

Called my heart doctor and got the problem straightened out. Back to Walgreens today to return the pills and get a $114 credit on my credit card.

Americans are getting screwed when it comes to the cost of prescription drugs. We may be paying the highest prices in the world. It takes a President and Congress to fix the problem. Previous Presidents have not.

Trump promised to do so in the campaign. He is now trying, but not as he had promised. His thought then was throw it into Medicare/make it work like Medicare.

A month ago, Trump made a big deal speech re the issue. He was going to fix the problem. By having the pharmaceutical houses sit down and negotiating fairer prices for the American people.

A far cry from the Medicare solution.

The Chart Room last night. John bartending. Small crowd.

Met Steve. An eighth grade math teacher from St. Petersburg. Enjoyed our conversation. John a part of it. Included some Steve Carlton.

Tyler and Jenn at the other end of the bar. From Newark, Ohio. Told them I liked their Governor Kasich for President.

Walked across the street to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Watched a college baseball playoff game. Enjoyed the company of a vacationing couple. Irma a significant part of the conversation.

Pouring like hell at the moment! Has been doing so for 20 minutes. Ok. We are in to the rainy season. Once the rain stops and the sun comes out, the humidity will be overwhelming. As the saying goes, you can cut it with a knife.

My today begins with Lori and a haircut. Amazing! I have nothing but fuzz. Needs to be buzzed off every two weeks.

Then lunch and the newspapers a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe.

Tonight, I do not know. Not concerned. Something always comes up.

Mark Rossi is a Key West business man and public servant. He owns the Red Garter on Duval. A moneymaker!

Rossi is running for mayor. Or, he was. Candidates for the office must pay a $225 fee by a certain date of filing. Rossi vacationing in Europe. He or someone on his staff forgot. The court ruled yesterday Rossi is ineligible to run.

A proper decision. We have enough problems as it is with our elections. Election laws must be strictly enforced.

Some dance to a different tune in the Keys. Voyeurism generally involves a man sneaking a look at a woman’s privates. Could work in another fashion. A man trying to get a look at another man’s privates.

A male employee at the Big Pine Walgreens some how got a video to photograph men in the men’s room. He got caught and has been arrested. The charge, video voyeurism. His excuse, he was aroused by viewing the film. Merely watched, never distributed.

BOB is taking another day off.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement yesterday after 30 years of service. A serious loss to the Court. He was the occasional swing vote.

Kennedy’s replacement will be a conservative. Most likely, a far to the right one. Trump’s prerogative. In addition, he has a Republican Senate to back him.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Conservatives have been dying to get it reversed since that time. It will come up while the new Justice is sitting. A woman’s right to abortion in anger. The Court will be 5-4 in favor of the conservative element.

Unless the new Justice pulls a Warren or Souter. Both representative of the Republican right. Both turned in rendering their decisions. Sided with the Court’sliberals.

Eisenhower said many times that his worst appointment was Warren.

Trump told us following his meeting with Kim that North Korea had agreed to denuclearize. If such was the case, why have recent satellite photos shown North Korea expanding a nuclear research center? Major infrastructure improvements moving at a rapid rate.

Trump is doing a summit with Putin July 16 in Helsinki. The man is crazy. Trump, not Putin. Trump no competition for Putin.

Possibilities coming out of the summit include a goodbye to NATO and U.S. defensive weapons removed from Poland.

Trump is saving Putin’s ass. The man who interfered in our 2016 elections. An avowed enemy of the U.S. and democracy. One seeking to return Russia to its former glory.

We cannot win in the confrontation. Trump says he is smart.  Putin is smart.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FEAR OF MOSQUITOES

Some people fear mosquitoes. More than just not liking them. Actually fear them. It is called insectophobia. Also, entomophobia. Defined as an unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect.

Mosquitoes are insects. The phobia is linked with fear of itching.

Those afflicted with the phobia are prone to say: “Kill them all!”

Never knew some feared simple mosquito bites merely because of the itching. Yellow fever I could understand.

I became interested in the topic the past few days. Some TV programs showed pictures of Trump during the campaign and since elected swapping mosquitoes who were flying around him. He generally referred to them as no good. Said, “Kill them all!”

Our President has the phobia!

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I had the program organized. My intent was to begin with some non-Trump items. Then move on to Trump re immigrant children and tariffs.

The U.S. Supreme Court screwed me up. They decided Trump v. Hawaii yesterday. Had to work the decision into the show.

I do not agree with the decision. The Supreme Court has become as politicized as Congress and the Nation. Our government is not working at any level.

The issue in the case was religious freedom. Not Presidential power.

I have read portions of the decision and listened to various TV persons analyze it. Associate Justice Sotomayer had it right in her dissent. Chief Justice Roberts majority decision read like Comey explaining his decision re Hillary Clinton and her computer usage.

Another case was decided yesterday. One of importance re immigrant children. The case was decided in a California federal court by Judge Dana M. Sabraw.

The case pin pointed separating children from their parents.

Judge Sabraw ruled that authorities cannot split families who illegally cross the border. Those already separated must be reunited within 30 days. Two weeks for children under 5. All children must be allowed to speak with parents within 10 days.

The Judge hit certain things right on. He wrote property is accounted for with more efficiency and accuracy than immigrant children. Also, adults may not be deported from the U.S. without their children.

He observed that chaos existed. The chaotic circumstances of the government’s own making.

The government will probably appeal.

I had time to sneak out for a bite to eat before the show. Hurried to Roostica. Arrived in time for Happy Hour. Did not know they even had a Happy Hour.

A good deal! Eight limoncello wings for $8. The full meal of 10, $12. Two less and save $4. A good deal!

Chatted with the man who sat next to me. From England, he has worked at Byrd’s 15 years. Byrd’s is where Cheryl and Roger used to park their RV on Stock Island.

He knew Cheryl and Roger well. Agreed they were the best of people. Said Roger had stopped by in the morning to say hello.

Americans do not tolerate taxation without representation. It caused the Revolutionary War.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that internet sales could be taxed. I believe the issue not yet resolved. It will be litigated ad infinitum till it reaches the Supreme Court again.

“Leave my husband alone!” Like “Don’t tread on me!”

Trump administration officials and supporters are being harangued. People feel they are being abused. They have begun pushing back. Last week saw Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and Sandra Huckabee Sanders confronted. Both in restaurants.

Yesterday at Georgetown University, Georgetown students approached Majority Leader McConnell and his wife Transportation Secretary Chao as they were leaving dinner at the University. The students played the recording of the now famous immigrant children voices, cries of woe, etc. They also shared their thoughts. Directed at McConnell.

His wife came to his defense: “Why don’t you leave my husband alone?” Followed by, “Leave my husband alone.”

This is but the beginning. Confrontations will continue. Again, people are upset. Even some conservatives. Government is not being run as it should. I worry about the demonstrations nationwide which are to take place this saturday. Emotions are running high with the children situation. The fuse is lit. I hope nothing of a serious consequence occurs.

Suicides on the rise. This we have heard for several weeks. A recent article indicated that farmers are the occupation group with the highest suicide rate. Five times more than the broader population.

Blame is attributed to economics. Farmers are living on the same income as they earned 15 years ago.

Things are expected to get worse. As they do, farmer suicides are expected to increase.

Causes will include retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU set to further undermine U.S. crop prices, and the Federal Reserve expected to soon raise interest rates making loans upon which farmers depend increasingly expensive.

My KONK Life article re Sand hits the stands today. It will appear in E-Blast friday.

The world is running out of sand. Getting expensive. Black markets popping up to handle sales.

Note that sand is a non-renewable natural resource.

The article interesting. If you have the opportunity, read it.

BOB has a day off.

Enjoy your day!