HURRICANE HOLE

My Saturday was quiet. As was Friday, the day before.

Slowing down in my old age.

I spent a part of yesterday afternoon continuing research for this week’s KONK Life column.The subject mater sand. The world is running out of usable sand. Comparable to the world’s water problem.

So bad, a black market in sand already exists in certain countries.

I look forward to writing the article this afternoon. Few are aware of the sand problem.

Got out last night! Dinner with Donna and Terri at Hurricane Hole.

Hurricane Hole is a hole. Therein lies its charm. A small marina on a small bit of water surrounded by mangroves. An open air bar and tables. Nothing fancy. Food good, however.

Not easy to find. Hurricane Hole sits on US 1. Less than .2 of a mile outside Key West. Just over Cow Key Bridge going north on US 1.

My ladies were tired. Getting ready to move. In a week. Still packing boxes. Their new abode will be in Bahama Village. At the corner of Whitehead and Petronia Streets.

Terri is doing well and not so well. Her eyes get worse by day. She needs assistance walking. An arm on her arm. She has a walking stick. Uses it well.

Some vision available for minor uses. Like eating. She wears two sets of glasses. One upon the other to get minimum vision. Soon, there will be no vision.

They have had Bear to the seeing eye dog trainer to determine if he qualifies. He does. Soon, the training will begin.

BOB an excellent learning tool, as well as informative.

Bob and Ann Smith were having lunch at Road Kill Cafe. Before my time. Never heard of it.

The waitress an acquaintance. She came up to Bob and asked if he had a smoke. He offered a cigarette. She was looking for a joint.

A conversation ensued re the high cost of grass. The question arose as to why? Because of golf, Bob said.

Bear with me. I am not sure even after reading the chapter several times how the two are interconnected. The story however interesting.

Bob explained that when they lived in Buffalo, there was a lot of snow. Everyone carried jumper cables in their cars. In the middle of the night, Bob’s front door bell rang. It was the police. A passer by had seen someone steal Bob’s jumper cables. The police were able to quickly apprehend the culprit. They wanted to make Bob aware.

Bob obviously was pleased. He asked the officer to hand him the jumper cables. The officer refused, explaining that the theft of jumper cables in New York was a Class A Felony and had to be retained for evidence.

Two weeks later, Bob received a notice to appear in court. The notice further advised that if he failed to do so, a warrant for his arrest could be issued.

Bob appeared. Directed to a large court room and told to take a seat. Bob estimates 300 people in the room. Bob was dressed suit and tie for the occasion. Most others, not.

Soon several of the others began asking him about the proceedings. Bob explained he was not a lawyer. Merely like them. Which he was not. Most were defendants waiting to go before the judge. Bob had been directed to the wrong room.

He went into the hall. Saw the public defender representing the man who stole his jumper cables and the arresting police officer. He went over and chatted with them.

Bob was anxious to get out of the place and asked them what had to be done. They said the action was on the floor above. Nothing really moved on the floor they were on.

So upstairs the three went. Into a maze of offices with a lone secretary sitting in the middle. Several assistant district attorneys plea bargaining cases. Bob described the scene as chaos.

The public defender and police officer knew what to do. Soon the guy who stole Bob’s jumper cables case was resolved.

Bob was free to leave.

He asked how plea bargaining came to be.

At first plea bargaining was used to get one defendant to turn on another in order to get a sweet deal. Flipping. The system worked well. Cases moved.

One judge said, in effect, hey this works terrific! Why don’t we use it to negotiate sentences so a sole defendant will agree to plead to a lesser charge. His motivation was that judges could get out of work earlier and have time each afternoon to play golf. In fact, he thought they could be out by lunch.

Plea bargaining born to provide judge’s with the opportunity to play golf. What all this had to do with the high cost of pot, I still do not understand.

Children separated from parents at the border. Commonplace recently in the United States. We read and talk about the impact on the children. To hear about it first hand from a person it actually happened to impactful.

The New York Times began an OPINIONS section this morning. It will run every Sunday. People writing about first hand experiences.

Victoria Smolkin today a history professor at Wesleyan University and an author. Thirty years ago, 8 years old. She, her parents and family were escaping Communist Russia. They had necessary papers. They reached the crucial point at the border. Theirs bags searched. The mother’s contained an inexpensive broach that was a family heirloom. The Russian guards thought she was taking expensive jewelry out of Russia.

The mother was taken away. The problem resolved two days later and her mother returned.

Here it is 30 years later. Victoria recalls how she developed a huge bald spot on the right side of her head and wet the bed for two years.

Trauma? You bet. Imagine what the immigrant children in the U.S. are experiencing and will suffer therefrom  for years.

Victoria wrote: “…..separating families at the border…..not about law and order…..about power, and the abuse of power – because if, in the collision between border and body, no one protects the body, the border always wins.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

Unusually Good Chart Room Last Night

Chart Room unusually good last night. Chatted with two lovely couples and an old friend. All interesting people.

Met Catherine and Stephen from St. Augustine. Both with interesting backgrounds.

Catherine is in program management with Winn-Dixie. I got an education from her re the super market business. Husband Stephen is a retired electrical engineer. While in the U.S. Navy, served on the submarine USS Jacksonville.

Married 25 years. Have visited Key West 3-4 times.

Then came Dawn and Mike. From Jackson, Tennessee. Dawn a customer rep for a truck line. Husband Mike, a truck driver.

Mike is Dawn’s second husband. Her first husband Greg died in his 40’s. Greg the son of Cal Perkins. Cal Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Later made famous by Elvis Presley.

Mike a look a like for movie star Sam Elliot.

Dawn’s first husband Greg was fond of Key West. His ashes were spread along Smathers Beach.

Dawn flew from Jackson with Greg’s ashes. Security avoided looking in the container carrying his ashes when she told them what the container contained. They sort of stepped back from the dead.

I did my first book signing a few months ago at the Andrews Inn. Author Robert Codrun put the event together and asked me to participate.

Robert lives in California. He is back in Key West. Arrived yesterday. A couple of hours before we ran into each other at the Chart Room.

A big week is coming up for mystery writers. A very large group will be in Key West to participate. Robert returned to be part of the event.

While all this was going on, Ollie was standing at the end of the bar as overseer. His eyes on everyone.

My stomach told me I was hungry. Stopped at Five Guys. The perfect meal for my diet. Two cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. No bread. And a diet soda.

I have some Trump observations. A walk back in history first. Nothing to do with Trump.

Henry Hudson. We all learned in grammar school he discovered the Hudson River. As Columbus before him, he was looking for a passage to the East.

On Hudson’s fourth trip to the New World, he continued north on the Hudson River to Hudson Bay. Winter was setting in. He waited too long to get his ship out into open water. It froze stuck in the waters of Hudson Bay.

A cold winter. Insufficient food. Hudson’s crew not happy campers.

In June when the ship was able to move, the crew mutinied. They were unhappy that they had been forced to suffer the winter and blamed Hudson for his poor judgment.

Hudson, his teenage son and seven crewmen were placed in a small boat and set adrift.

Hudson not a Captain Bligh. The tyrannical captain of the Bounty who had a similar experience but guided his small boat thousands of miles to safety. Hudson, his son and the seven sailors were never heard from again.

Trump time.

Melania visited a Lutheran shelter for immigrant children yesterday. Children 12-18. The kids had already been there for some months. The place looked terrific. The staff appeared professional and caring.

On the surface, a big deal Melania visited the place. Not enough from my perspective. It would have been better had she visited the caged and otherwise detained babies, toddlers and those under 10. She should have been, and we should have been able to see, the down and dirty of the past few days.

A good move by the first Lady. Short of what it should have been.

Trump has several shortcomings hitting him all at one time. Deservedly so. America must see who the man truly is.

His biggest fiasco the breaking up of families. The immigrant children. Thousands who may never be able to reconnect with their families.

Trump’s immigrant move unquestionably a failure.

The immigration bill. Two failed yesterday. A third one is being worked on over the weekend. It may be voted on next week. Perhaps not. It is not what Trump wants. He mentioned on TV they should hold the vote next year at a time when a new Congress might pass it.

Lies galore. By Trump and Sessions. To cover up the poor judgment behind the immigrant problem. The public will not be deceived. Both are being shown on TV before the breakdown of their plans telling us how right it was, the legal thing to do, etc.

Military base facilities are being prepared for 20,000 immigrant children. Instead of wasting money on fixing and staffing new facilities to house and care of them, the money should be spent to quickly determine which children belong to which parents and get the families together.

I have written several times recently that big corporate dollars are involved in caring for the immigrant children. I referred to it as a million dollar business. Not so. The New York Times yesterday reported it was a billion dollar business.

Most are private prison corporations. One has been paid $955 million since 2015. Several others have been paid millions of dollars.

Fraud guaranteed! Someone should follow the money.

This tariff thing is going to break the back of the U.S. Perhaps the world. China’s media claim the U.S. has “delusions” as the impact of the trade war spreads.

Trump does. Millions of U.S. jobs will ultimately be lost. The economic impact will be world wide. A recession similar to 1929 could occur. Recall, Hoover  became President. The late 1920’s were booming. The market at an all time high.

Hoover believed tariffs were appropriate. As Trump does. He was wrong. The Great Depression occurred.

It could happen again.

Trump tells us Saudi Arabia is our friend. Have always been our friend. Bullshit! Never forget Saudi Arabia gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

The U.S. in recent times had enjoyed a dominance in the energy field. We now export more oil than ever before. The world our customers. Saudi Arabia has had to take a back seat.

Saudi Arabia and OPEC not happy with the situation. They have joined with Russia to regain OPEC’s dominance and diminish that of the United States.

My KONK Life column this week is Sit AT Attention Or Die. Recall last week Trump mentioned he liked it the way people sat at attention when Kim spoke. He wished his people would.

Kim’s people sit at attention because it is death not to. He killed two high ranking officials for the way they sat when he spoke. One for slouching, the other for falling asleep.

The column appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast also.

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!

 

 

BRITISH PETER

Bob Smith shares the Key West of the 1990’s in his book BOB. One character of that time and still alive is Peter. Commonly known as British Peter.

I was fortunate to know Peter. As many today who still enjoy the Chart Room. It was the Chart Room where we all met and became friends.

Peter was British through and through. Appearance wise, tall, thin, with a white mustache. His accent decidedly British. His demeanor conservative. BOB says “a more polite and erudite fellow you will never meet.”

Peter for many years lived on a sailboat. Moored it 2 miles out into the Gulf. Used a dingy to go back and forth. One night, Peter had a bit too much to drink. A moonless evening. He went out to return to his sailboat.

He left the dingy when he thought he was at his boat. He was not. Dingy floated away. Peter floating. Had to find the boat or die. He swam around a while and fortunately bumped into his boat.

Another Peter tale involves his world travels. He was somewhere in the Pacific off a small island on a sailboat. Pirates came upon him in the dark of night intending to rob and perhaps kill him.

Peter no slouch. Always prepared. He shot and killed one of the pirates before leaping off his boat and swimming to shore. As Peter tells the story, he fully anticipated the pirates to find him the next day and kill him for having killed one of their own.

Peter was off the island as dawn broke.

BOB talks about Bob running into the Peter at the West Indies Lounge on one occasion. I do not recall the place nor could I find it on the internet. However, I am sure it was den of inequity with Peter and Bob observing, not participating.

Peter no longer with us in Key  West. He had inherited a home in the State of Washington years ago. Five years ago, he decided to move to the home and spend the rest of his days there. Peter has returned at least 3 times over the years to visit.

BOB shares another Peter story. One involving Rockland Key and cock fighting chickens. Saved for tomorrow.

One of Peter’s closest Chart Room buddies was Che. They discussed everything. Argued a better description. Che an in your face type. Peter would not let him get away with anything.

Che now 85. Ailing. None of us have seen him at the Chart Room in at least 6 months. He has become a recluse.

Jean Thornton thought it was time he got out. She has arranged for Che to be at the Chart Room at 5 this afternoon to meet and greet friends.

Che has a distinction. One of the holes in the Chart Room bar bears his name. He is one of two remaining alive. A portion of his ashes will be deposited in the bar when he passes on.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK life column. Ten pages of notes. Not sure of the title yet. The topic involves Kim and Trump. Kim’s background emphasized. Trump is in bed with a dog who has fleas.

I will write the article this afternoon.

Snuck out for an hour for a pedicure and manicure with Tammy. Love Tammy! Respect and admire she and her husband Ricky’s success. They deserve it!

Last night, the Chart Room. Met Mary Anne. Has lived in Key West since 1990. We never met before. Amazing!

A small world. Mary Anne knows Bear. And, Donna and Terri. Mary Anne is the assistant manager at the Lower Keys Animal Clinic on Kennedy. A vet’s office. The Doc Bear’s vet.

Cori Convertino stopped by to say hello. Talented. Hard working. She is actually Dr. Cori Convertino. Has a Ph.D. She is in charge of the exhibits at the Custom House. Ever changing, time absorbing to erect. Each one a “work” in itself.

Jenna! My love! We have not seen each other in months. My fault. She calls, I am too busy. Accidentally saw her last night.

Jenna and her beau stopped in for a drink before seeing a movie at Tropic Cinema. We swore we would get together soon. Very soon!

Read an interesting report this morning. A recent study shows millionaires now control half of the world’s wealth.  Personal wealth globe wise in 2017 totaled $201.9 trillion. Up 12 percent from 2016.

The rich getting a lot more richer and doing it a lot faster.

Happy Father’s Day to all who will be remembered and to all who will not. Life moves in strange ways.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

BOB WISDOM RE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Bob Smith was an oracle of wisdom. He wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, sharing his thoughts with the world.

Today, BOB and hurricanes.

My sense is naming hurricanes and following their path on TV was a relatively new thing in the 1990’s. BOB thought they gave a feeling of preparedness. A false feeling. Hype had nothing to do with being ready for 100 mile plus winds and rain.

He felt Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved his point.

Evacuation always important. Many failed to leave. Almost always. Traffic extremely slow, not enough gas, etc.

BOB had the solution. Airlift Key West residents out. Like the Berlin airlift. The federal government could label the program the Florida Keys Evacuation Plan.

FEMA was not doing a good job. Useless. My observation is that FEMA improves with every hurricane. However 26 years after Andrew, still do not have it down.

BOB believed FEMA would never improve.

BOB disparaged politicians big time. Tiny brains. Did not know how to get the job done: “I have long since abandoned the idea that reason rules with these clowns.”

I took it easy yesterday. The previous 3 days had been hectic.

Began with a walk up and down White Street. Should be referred to as the new White Street. Many buildings remodeled. All type new businesses opened and opening. Exciting.

Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Situated right in the middle of White Street. It has become one of my favorite lunch haunts. I sit quietly, read the newspapers, and enjoy Cuban cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee.

Last night, a late one for me. I am usually in bed by 9. Last night, 12:30!

My evening began late. Bria Ansara’s birthday party was 8-10 at Bourbon St. Got there 8:30. Crowd building. By the time I left an hour later, the place was jam packed. People dancing, singing, waving their arms.

Bria entertaining. A lovely woman. Magnificent. A talented vocalist.

Saw her in a different light last night. Normally, I get to see and hear Bria at Berlin’s on the weekend. She sings on those evenings a lot of tunes from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Music for oldies like me. Music from my time. The music of most Berlin customers.

Bourbon St. last night, A much younger crowd. No one even close to my 82 years. They were whooping it up. Bria leading them.

A lot of people I knew. Many from Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. Many women who perform in Key West, also. Fantasy Fest Queen Destiny, one of the bartenders from Berlin’s, Guy de Boer, Chris the photographer, Erin, and others I recognized but whose names I could not recall.

Since I wasn’t dancing, singing or whooping it up to today’s music, I left after an hour. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.  Glad I did.

Ollie was holding court at the end of the bar. A Key West icon.

Met Mandy and Gene. Ollie introduced us. Spent 2 hours chatting with them.

Gene originally from Syracuse. Grew up in Camillus, a small community adjoining Syracuse. Mandy and Gene today live in Smeltfield, Virginia. The home of Smeltfield Ham and Bacon.

They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Gene still working. An industrial designer. He designs aircraft carriers. I was impressed.

Mandy retired. However her work background equally impressive. She spent her career working with the Navy and Coast Guard at their highest echelons.

We talked about everything. They hope to return for Fantasy Fest. Have never seen it.

I liked their attitudes. They are both 60. Kids educated and gone. They are ready to live.

Go for it!

My drive to Bria’s party found me on North Roosevelt Boulevard at the right time. There before me was the setting sun. A huge yellow ball. Caught the sun just as it was cutting the horizon.

A benefit of living in Key West.

I intend for today to be another Louis day. Only thing scheduled is a haircut with Lori at noon. Going to try to schedule a manicure and pedicure for later in the afternoon.

It’s a good life!

Enjoy your day!

 

POST SUMMIT THOUGHTS

I am addicted to politics and world events. I am paying for it this morning. I remained awake most of the night watching the Singapore Summit. Trump’s press conference was 4 am.

My first thought is I should have gone to sleep. I am dead! Laid in bed till 9. Here it is after 11 and I am just beginning the blog. Still have to prepare for tonight’s podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Be awake and sharp while I do the show.

What a day it’s going to be!

Talk is better than fury and fire. Trump and Kim agreed on nothing significant. The joint agreement said nothing. Denuclearization danced around.

However, the two met. They are now friends. Trump invited Kim to Washington. The world’s worst dictator has come front stage. They will engage in telephone chats. Things kumbaya. At least for a while.

Not enough for Trump to win the Nuclear Peace Prize. A meet and greet insufficient. A promise to denuclearize was required. The man who deserves the Prize is Moon Je, President of South Korea. He is the person who got the ball rolling resulting in the Summit.

One final thought. Trump was not ready. He has to prepare for these meetings. He requires a knowledgeable staff to guide him. Trump’s personality, good or bad, insufficient when it comes to the details.

So no misunderstanding exists, I consider the Summit a failure, except that now two leaders have come to know each other and will communicate.

Success may come re nuclear weapons. Down the road, however.

History tells us of a major success that began as a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1987. They were unable to agree on anything of importance. Nothing was signed. The Summit was considered a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev however began to talk informally. They now knew each other. Those talks paved the way to the eventual end of the Cold War and at that time the threat of nuclear war.

My KONK Life column several weeks ago was titled: I’m The President, Aren’t I?” Concerned Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall. In front of Brandenburg Gate.

Reagan and aides had worked on the speech for several weeks. Reagan wrote what he considered a strong line in the speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” His top advisers thought the sentence too strong. Wanted it out. It came out. Reagan would put it back in. This back and forth continued.

It was the morning of the speech. Reagan in a quandary. The line out. He still wanted it in.

He had a conversation with Deputy Chief of Staff Duberstein.

Reagan: I’m the President, aren’t I?

Duberstein: Yes, sir, Mr. President. We’re clear about that.

Reagan: So I get to decide whether the line about tearing the wall                       down stays in?

Duberstein: That’s right, sir. It’s your decision.

Reagan: Then it stays in.

A dramatic moment. I recall watching Reagan on TV. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Two and a half years later, the wall came down.

Big trees from little acorns grow. The Singapore Summit could result in good. Or, not. Time will tell. One thing certain. Trump and Kim must continue to talk if good is to be accomplished.

My podcast tonight. Join me. Nine o’clock.  A quick half hour of my ramblings, sharing thoughts, etc. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show must be good. Or at least, interesting. My numbers keep going up. The show has acquired national advertisers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A JACKASS CAN KICK DOWN A BARN…..

Sam Rayburn was Speaker of the House of Representatives back when. A smart fox. Understood people. Trumanesque in the way he described things.

A quote that has followed him through the ages comes to mind today: “A jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

This is an if the shoe fits, wear it situation. I view Trump as a jackass. A man who lacks the political talents to build on the good of his predecessors in making America greater.

Trump continually destroys American programs developed over the years which have made lives better. He favors corporations to the detriment of people.

Trump also is destroying relationships developed since World War II which have inured to the benefit of the U.S. and its friends. He seems to want to sleep with what heretofore has been considered the enemy. He forgets if you go to bed with a dog who has fleas, you wake up with fleas.

Our world everyday becomes more and more like world of the late 1930’s and 1940. Hitler the bully. The free world attempting to avoid war. McMillan and his “peace in our lifetime” tirade ever in our memories.

Trump may be leading us to war. Look at what he has accomplished in only 1.5 years. With 2.5 years remaining in his term, who knows what will occur.

Trump fails to understand the world will only be defecated upon so long. Then don’t tread on me will come into play. War perhaps to follow.

Trump has surrounded himself with a limited number of advisers, most of whom can only be described as scum. Larry Kudlow the most recent. I heard him earlier this morning lambasting Canada’s Trudeau. It was sickening. I find it inconceivable the U.S. could have any significant problems with Canada. But, it is happening.

Yesterday afternoon a joy! I watched Robert play in a tennis competition. The last time I saw Robert with a racquet in his hand was 5 years ago when he first took up the sport.

He has come a long way. I was impressed with him yesterday. He beat his opponent 6-2 and 6-0.

Off to Forest Hills a few years from now?

It was hot watching the match. Sitting in the sun. The humidity heavy. I was exhausted at the end. As if I had played. I returned home and went to bed. Slept for 3 hours. Which means I never got to writing this week’s KONK Life column. I begged off with the publisher. Must get it done today.

I had no plan to go out. Donna called. Come over for dinner. I went.

Oh, what a cook she is! Chicken prepared in a non fat oil and greens. Soft rolls. Perfect for dunking in the oil.

Bear loves me. Does not leave me alone. He is growing. Six months old today.

Fresh water always a problem in the Keys. Makes sense. Dig down and soon hit sea water.

The Key West Citizen in its Keys History section reported fresh water was a problem for Key West resident S.O. Johnson in 1909. He contracted to have a well dug to 1,000 feet in hopes of finding fresh water. He found none.

Trump is pushing the U.S. into isolationism. Screw everyone! We need no one! We are the strongest nation in the world!

His friends other authoritarian figures. Like Putin and Duterte. Bad guys. He is rapidly walking away from our friends of more than 50 years.

President Eisenhower in a speech he gave this day in 1953 rejected calls for U.S. “isolationism.” Some political leaders were pushing such an agenda.

Eisenhower said all free nations should stand together.

He also suggested Communism should be battled worldwide.

Trump should take heed. Probably won’t. He is not a student of history. Especially, U.S. history.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN VISITS

Finally met Barb last night. Iowa Barb. A devout blog reader. She had written she would be visiting Key West and wanted to meet. Also wanted me to sign her copy of Irma and Me.

We finally got together last night at the Chart Room.

Barb a charming woman. She has been a librarian for 39 years at the Iowa State University Library. Has visited Key West 9 times in the past 10 years. Loves Key West! Knows her way around.

Interested in politics. Dislikes Trump. Understandable. Her father was a Teamster for years.

Her sister Debbie with her. Debbie’s first Key West visit. She is the Cambridge, Iowa City Clerk. Made sure to tell me her politics were different from her sister’s. Debbie a black hearted Republican.

I had not planned on going out last night. Spent the afternoon researching for this week’s KONK Life column. Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about Stormy Daniels motivated me to look up Giuliani’s sex history. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

My intent was to write the column last night. It has to be to the publisher today.

John called and said a Barb was looking for me. Would I come down? Ergo, I will not be writing about Giuliani and his sexcapades till this afternoon.

My today a busy one. Have to finish the blog. Watch Robert in a tennis competition at one. Write the Giuliani column.

I definitely will not be going out tonight.

Dorothy Downs was at the bar. I have not seen her in a couple of years. Her husband was a dentist. He had an office in Miami and one in the Keys. They frequented the Chart Room often.

Dorothy told he her husband had passed away last year. Sad.

We talked at length. I learned more about her last night than in all the times we had met previously.

She is a writer. Five books. Dorothy is an art historian, specialist in American art, wrote and produced the PBS documentary Pillars of Power about Seminole and Miccosukee women.

Dorothy’s most recent book is Canoe Back In Time. The story of a special Miccosukee girl who was given the gift of being an artist.

The book is selling.

My handwriting is poor. Dorothy’s worse. She wrote down her e-mail address for me. Impossible to read. Dorothy, you have mine. Write me soon so I will have yours.

Three pirates came in. Two men and a woman. One of the guys was soon asleep head down on a table. They had been doing the Duval Crawl.

I spoke with the two sober ones. Explained I had recently written about the pirate Black Caesar and also the pirates of Port Royal.

The three were part of a pirate group. A nightly thing in Key West. Called Eat Drink Discover Key West. An eat and drink venture.

Sounds interesting. If you are, the group can be booked online at www.EatDrinkDiscoverKeyWest.com.

Everyone was gone, except for Kevin and me. We chatted a while. He is recovering well from his horrendous accident.

Needed to eat. Stopped at Hogfish on the way home. Sat at the bar and enjoyed hogfish. What else!

It began pouring on the way to Hogfish. Continued raining when I left. Fortunately, I am always prepared for rain. Two umbrellas. One at home and one in the car. Large black ones.

A BOB comment about waking in Key West: “A cat fight has set off the dogs. The dogs have set off the roosters. The din moves back and forth across the island in waves. Human sounds join in. There is no way anyone is sleeping through this, that’s it, I’m awake…..it looks like a nice day. Another beautiful day in Paradise.”

The Belmont later today. Hope Justify wins.

Trump’s words yesterday re his summit meeting with Kim and the degree of his preparation: “I’ve prepared my entire life for the North Korea summit.”

I worry.

Trump is on a high. He has screwed up G7. He is on his way to meet with Kim. He figures the world and the Nobel Peace Prize are his if he succeeds with Kim.

I do not see it happening.

Weather around 90 this past week. Heavy humidity. Weather man says some thunder today. Describes it as “rock ‘n’ roll thunder.”

As Porky Pig was wont to say at the end of his cartoons of yesteryear…..That’s all folks!

Enjoy your day!