EDWARD, A HOMELESS PERSON

Today’s comments/reflections interesting. One involves lunch with a homeless person yesterday. The other lunch with Harry Truman 56 years ago.

Stopped at the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch yesterday. Unusually busy. Wanted to sit. Required sharing. Not normal. I saw a man sitting alone. Asked if I could sit at his table. No problem.

His name Edward.

The man homeless. No question about it. Very few teeth. Dirty. clothes, hands and face.  His aged back pack on the seat next to him. His equally disheveled bicycle on the other side of the rail

I did not wish to bother him. Began reading the newspapers. He began the conversation by asking who I supported in the election. We spent the next 5 minutes discussing Trump and Hillary. Then he got into what I thought would develop into an interesting conversation.

It never did. For the next 20 minutes, he was stuck in the 1960s. His thoughts all over the place. However never leaving the 1960s.

I suspect Edward was a Vietnam vet.

Edward was eating. A sandwich and beer. I sensed the lunch was not a normal event. His beer was warm. I took the bottle to the bar to swap it for a cold one for him. No cold beer.

I had to leave. Handed him a $20 bill and said it was for tomorrow’s lunch.

Before lunch, I was at the heart doctor’s office. A test to see if I have blood clots in my legs. The person running the test said worry not. None and my blood flow was terrific. Like that of a young man.

I do not understand. The catheterization doctor said my veins and arteries were beautiful. The test operator yesterday. indicated basically the same. Why am I having problems?

Enjoyed doing last night’s blog talk radio show. Threw in a bit of local color at the beginning.

I was watching PT 109 before my show. John Kennedy’s World War II experience. I shared with my listeners that the movie had been filmed on what is now Little Palm Island. Twenty five miles north of Key West.

Kennedy was in Key West during the Cuban missile crisis. Was with then State Senator or Sheriff John Spottswood. Spottswood said that he knew a movie was to be made re Kennedy’s war experience. Told Kennedy he had the island for the movie. He owned the island at the time that is now Little Palm Island.

Spottswood’s island did become the site for the movie.

I slipped in the local color to ease up on the heavy politics of the past week. I did dwell at length on the Comey matter, however. Also spent some time talking about a new child paralysis sweeping the country and not being discussed.

Today easy. A pleasurable day awaits. A manicure at one and dinner tonight with Liz. Liz is cooking. French Lasagna – Ercole.

Received a comment today asking why sometimes no or limited politics in the blog. The answer simple. Some days I have had my fill of politics. I assume some of my readers, also. Another reason is the blog is supposed to be about My Life in Key West. Politics have become an add on.

Key West loves Harry Truman and Harry Truman loved Key West.

On this day in 1948, Truman defeated Dewey for President.

Truman the underdog. No one expected him to win. The Chicago Tribune newspaper that hit the stands before all the votes had been counted read: Dewey Defeats Truman.

I had two connections with Truman and the election.

It was 1948. Truman campaigning. Whistle stop campaigning in those days. From the rear platform of a train.

I was in the eighth grade. Rode my bike to the railroad station. Pulled up in front ahead of the crowd. Truman five feet away.

I was in awe.

The next time was 1960. Twenty two years later. Truman was visiting Syracuse University for two days. Giving talks, etc. One scheduled event was Truman having a private lunch with who were purported to be the 12 outstanding students on campus. Twelve out of 35,000.

I was picked to be one of the 12. I was excited. It was my last year in law school.

Seats for lunch were assigned. Mine was next to Truman on his right.

We had two hours with him. Spectacular! Exciting!

Truman talked about his 1948 victory.

He had a recording of H. V. Caltenborn revealing the results of the election. A national radio personality. Distinct voice. Caltenborn was announcing Truman’s defeat. Truman loved playing the recording!

Then Truman held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune announcing his defeat. His laugh filled the room.

Next, I would be writing installment 4 re the Key West Rotary history. My notes prepared. Covers only one year. However would run at least 200 words. Making this blog the longest ever.

I am holding it for tomorrow. I must discipline myself to write about fewer things or perhaps in less words than I do.

Keep in mind what I am writing about re the Rotary is true history. Happenings 200 years ago. Not only a different time. A different world.

Two items shared tomorrow prove the point.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LOST ITS SOUL TO GREED

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen carried an interesting comment: “The island has lost its soul to greed.”

Food for thought!

Spent time yesterday working on installment 3 of highlights from Wright Langley’s Key West Rotary History. The installment can be read further down.

Did some research for tonight’s podcast. Not enough. I have another 3-4 hours before the show itself. I have a medical test at 11:30. Will complete the research thereafter.

The lead topic will involve Comey’s letter to certain Congressional Committees.

The show is at 9 my time. A quick interesting half hour. Whether you agree with my comments, guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Visited Terri at the hospital. She is looking good. Returns home today. Donna has been the perfect spouse. Slept on a couch in Terri’s room the whole week.

Following the visit, headed to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Special last night. Tracey from days gone by belting out one song after another. Tracey is a for real woman who looks like a woman. Tom Luna and Goddess Galore singing along with Tracey.

A good crowd. Liz there. Sat with her.

Last night, Halloween. Key Haven always crowded with costumed kids. Key Haven is the best place for trick or treat goodies. Plentiful. The residents place tables on the lawn spread with candy, apples, etc. They sit around the tables greeting the ghosts and goblins.

Historically, a big deal! Going to Key Haven on Halloween. Costumed children are driven on the back of pick up trucks to get there. Key West children travel to Key Haven for the evening.

Not last night.

I drove home at 7:30. Very few young ones. Fifty at the most. Normally in the hundreds. Where were they? I have no idea.

Bayview reopened yesterday. New equipment for the kids. Paid for by the City.

Construction of Bayview began in 1922. The Key West Rotary was a big help in getting the park started. There is more in today’s installment re Rotary’s contribution.

A comedy opens tonight at the Red Barn. The Return. Runs 11/1 to 11/19. A line in the play suggests the comedic effect: “No need for brutality. Just call me Jesus.”

The Key West City Commission continues to have their heads up their derrieres. This time re the location of the tiger at the new City Hall. We have a multitude of problems that need addressing. The tiger should have been an easy one.

The issue is which corner should the tiger be set on. It was always on the corner of White and United. Some Commission members and others believe the corner of White and Varsela would now be better.

Time being spent deciding the location.

Would you believe!

Hackley on another hunting trip. Another overnighter. Must be the time of the year for getting game.

He and his companions killed 23 Coots and 3 ducks.

Now for today’s highlights of Key West Rotary’s history. Installment 3 covers the years 1919-1923.

Nineteen nineteen and 1920 apparently not significant. No mention in Langley’s history.

An issue arose in early December 1921 that would be a call to war today. The Rotary decided to perform a minstrel show.

Minstrel shows were common back then. Social correctness not even a spoken term. Men painted their faces black and performed. Comedy and singing. The shows fundraisers.

Put yourself back in the time. Our country was German, Welsh, English based. Everyone else considered immigrants. African-Americans and other persons of color not taken into account.

The Rotary was presenting the minstrel show to raise monies for Boy Scout Troop 2.

Rotary President at the time was Dr. J. Y. Porter, Sr. He was Florida’s first public health officer. Porter raised hell. Called “raised the mischief” in  those days. He was “angered.” Claimed he was not informed of the minstrel show. He needed to first see it to make sure no part required censorship.

He saw it. Gave his approval.

It was thought Porter’s cries were a ruse. To give attention to the minstrel show and assure a larger attendance.

The minstrel show opened on schedule on December 10 at the Garden Theater.

I researched the Garden Theater to add some background. I found nothing.

The day after the show, the newspaper reported the show was enjoyed by all. Even “Boss Rote.” I researched Boss Rote and came up with nothing. I suspect it was a nick name for Dr. Porter.

Rotarians have always supported the Boy Scouts. In 1937, the Key West Rotary organized and sponsored Boy Scout Troop 50.

Nineteen twenty two was a busy year. One of the Rotary’s first major projects was to clear the area that was to become Bayview Park. Rotarians spent two days in overalls and blue chambray shirts chopping down heavy underground growth and grass.

Walter S. Crosley was a Rotarian. He also was A U.S. Navy Captain. He rounded up a detachment of Bluejackets and Marines to assist the Rotarians.

The Key West Electric Company participated. Its President was Rotarian Bascom Grooms. He contributed 30 employees to help.

Two days later at the end of the work, the Rotarians posed for a photo in front of Rotarian Benjamin D. Trevor’s home. Trevor’s house was across the street from the future Bayview Park on Division Street. Division Street today Truman Avenue.

Two of Trevor’s sons went on to become Presidents of the Key West Rotary. Jerry and Edwin Trevor.

I suspect the Rotarians of those days either were younger or had a number of young members. In 1923, the Rotary had a softball team. Members only.

The Rotary played a game against Army and Navy officers.  The softball diamond was the Old Army Barracks. Now, Peary Court.

Rotary won 19-10.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

UPSIDE DOWN PINEAPPLE IN SHOPPING CART

Yesterday, I received a site to look at from a reader. I did…..If you are in a grocery store and put a pineapple upside down in your shopping cart, it means you are into “extracurricular activities outside of marriage.”

I went to Publix. Had to shop anyhow. Rushed to the fruit counters. No pineapples!

Two sunday dinners yesterday within two hours of each other. The second was the problem. I did not want to insult Dee who had prepared it for me.

I enjoyed an early sunday dinner with Rich and Cynthia Boettiger at their home. Both good company. Rich and I go at it politically. Cynthia sits back . Speaks rarely. When she does, it is a pearl of wisdom.

On the drive home, I received a call from Dee. I had not seen Dee in three months. She said she was driving down from Cudjoe with a special meal she had prepared for me.

Dee, a smart woman. She has a PhD. in psychology. Knows the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

In comes Dee with a huge bowl of pasta. Angel hair. Covered in a delicious smelling sauce buried in grated cheese. My people call it sauce. Dee is from Boston where it is called gravy.

I did not wish to offend. Ate the huge dish she put before me. Then a second helping she pushed upon me.

Cynthia and Dee back to back! A little heavy.

Dee left. I collapsed in bed. Watched the end of the Cleveland/Chicago game. Chicago won. Still have a long road ahead to ultimate victory. Going to be interesting.

In the Comments section of this morning’s Key West Citizen was a compliment to the City for the fine clean up job of Duval following the parade.  Seventy thousand at the parade saturday night. Duval a mess afterwards. By 8 sunday morning, pristine clean.

It has always been such. When I was an early morning Duval  walker, I always took note of the clean up. Impressive!

Bocce. Don’s Place now 18-6. Tied for second with Hell’s Rangers who recently defeated Don’s 3-0.

The famous poet John Keats was born this date in 1795. He died 21 years later.

I have mentioned Keats often. Thirty five years ago, the family and I were spending a month in the Rome area. I tripped across Keats’ home. Next door to the Spanish Steps. I was able to view the bedroom, his final resting place. As well as a room filled with his poems handwritten on paper under protective glass.

I recommend any one visiting Rome to visit Keats’ residence. A moving experience.

Now to the second installment of a writing motivated by Wright Langley’s History of the Rotary Club of Key West. This installment covering the years 1915-1919. Note that the history of the Key West Rotary parallels that of the United States in certain instances.

Rotary International was born in 1905. Intended to be an international service organization. Service above self, the motto.

The aim was to bring business and professional leaders together to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

Rotary International was ten years old when in 1915 Key West was asked to form a Rotary Club. The chair of the organizing committee was local attorney Jefferson B. Browne.

A group of community leaders met for informal luncheon meetings in a Duval Street store between Front and Greene Streets.

The Key West Rotary was officially organized on March 17, 1916. It was elected to membership in the International Rotary on April 1, 1916.

Five officers plus twenty six additional charter members made up the group. Attorney Browne was elected President. Other officers consisted of attorney William Malone, jeweler Frank Johnson, and grocery store manager George A. T. Roberts.

Rotary sought the best men to comprise the local Rotary. Not out of snobbery. Rather to assure that the men  selected had the power and influence to get things done.

President Browne wrote to Rotary Secretary Chelsey R. Perry in Chicago…..We have the best men in the City in our club…..We intend to make our club a strictly high class one.

The influence and ability to get things done was soon evident. They were instrumental in organizing a Key West chapter of the American Red Cross in 1917. The club also provided the leadership in forming the Key West Chamber of Commerce.

By 1916, World War I was raging in Europe. The United States joined the conflict in April 1917 when Congress signed a war resolution.

The War was not the only major Congressional vote in 1917. Later that year, the Volstead Act was passed. The Eighteenth Amendment. Outlawed the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages. The States finally ratified the law January 29, 1919.

From that date forward, Key West’s economy shot upward. Key West became a significant port of ingress for alcohol. Especially, rum from Cuba. Key West acquired the title of rumrunning capital of the world.

Nineteen nineteen was memorable for the Key West Rotary. Two of its members attended the Rotary International Convention in Edinburgh, Scotland as delegates. Drs. William Warren and Joseph Renedo.

Enjoy your day!

 

WRIGHT LANGLEY

Periodically, readers suggest material they believe I might find interesting. They are generally correct.

Diana Millikan provided me with the History of the Rotary Club of Key West 1915-1975. On the surface, sounded bland and boring. It was not.

I discovered interesting names, tidbits, etc. A little research and I came upon stories to be told. Local color items.

I have decided to use the History of the Rotary Club of Key West 1915-1975 as a road map. I will deviate from the History as required. Boring will not be discussed.

This will be an installment piece. Exact number, I am not sure. I will write till there is no more to write.

Today’s introductory piece concerns the author of the History, Wright Langley. A photographer, newsman, historian, and publisher. He left his imprint on Key West.

Langley’s life spanned 1935-2000. Born in Tarborough, North Carolina and raised in Four Oaks, North Carolina.

He found his way to Key West through marriage. In 1958, Langley and Joan Knowles were married. Joan a fourth generation Conch.

Joan gives her father credit for convincing Langley to settle in Key West. “My father took him lobster fishing. After that, he couldn’t wait to move here.”

Langley had earlier received one of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s first bachelor degrees in photography. Several years later, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Boston University. His thesis concerned photography.

Nineteen sixty found Langley interested in telling turtle fishing’s story via photos. Turtle fishing a major Key West industry at the time. He lived and worked on the turtle fishing boat A. M. Adams out of Key West. The trip took him through the Cayman Islands, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

He became a reporter and photographer for the Key West Citizen in 1965. Three years later, he went to work for the Miami Herald as Key West Bureau Chief.

Nineteen seventy-seven found Langley in a new position. One where he had the opportunity to do much good for his adopted community. He became Director of the Historic Florida Keys Preservation Board. A position he held till 1993.

Langley collected photos from all eras of Keys. Where the camera was in use, of course. He also photographed anything and everything during those years.

During the same years, he became a community leader. Respected and admired. Loved. Langley spearheaded amongst other things the restoration of the San Carlos Institute, the Armory, the Bat Tower, and the old City Hall.

In 1982, Langley started a publishing business. Not so much for money. Rather to assist Key West’s many writers who otherwise might not have been published.

He co-authored several books. Some with his wife Joan. Three of the co-authored books were Key West-Images of the Past, Key West and the Spanish American War, and Yesterday’s Asheville.

Wright Langley. A newsman who became an historian. A man who preserved Key West history. He came, he saw, he photographed, he collected, and left behind a treasure trove of history.

Big trees from little acorns grow. I am as curious as you to see how the installments based on Langley’s Key West Rotary history work out.

My yesterday was uneventful. Did nothing all day, but read and watch TV.

Dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. Bobby Nesbitt time. Sat with Dick and Susan Buckheim. The Buckheims seem to have dinner the same evenings I do at Tavern ‘n Town. Last night was the first time we actually talked.

I remember Dick from the Key West Yacht Club. He would lunch at the bar as I did.

Dick has an interesting Key West background. He owned and operated Bagatelle’s for 17 years.

I started watching the Cleveland/Chicago game at the bar after dinner. Only a handful of us. Bobby Nesbitt was watching from the piano. Three others watching. Left after a few innings to finish watching at home from my bed.

Chicago has a lot of work ahead. Going to be interesting to see if they can catch up and win.

Enjoy your Sunday!

LUNCHED AT NAVIGATOR

Wes is a relatively new friend. We met through this blog. Wes a retired U.S. Navy Captain. An Annapolis graduate. He and his wife snowbirds. There Key West home at 1800. Home other times is Annapolis.

I was Wes’ guest at lunch yesterday. At the Navigator on Boca Chica. Boca Chica is a Naval Air Station. Wes was stationed at Boca Chica early in his career for submarine duty. Returned in later years in another capacity.

Wes loved his Key West time. He lived in Key West during his high school years. When the Navy stationed him at Boca, it was going home time for him.

Boca Chica is a huge facility. Never appreciated the size. I had only been on base two times previously. For bowling parties.

The Navigator is a bar/restaurant facility at one of the far ends of the base. Sits on open water. Could see and hear the planes flying over low to land.

Boca Chica sits four miles up U.S. 1. A state of the art training facility for air to air combat. Homeland Security on the base. Drug interdiction offices also. In addition to other governmental stations.

A U.S. Naval presence has existed at Boca Chica since 1814. The pirates Blackbeard and Captain William Kidd were raising havoc with commercial shipping. The U.S. stationed Navy vessels at Boca Chica to ward the pirates off.

The base was technically opened December 15, 1940. A busy place during World War II. A huge German submarine presence existed off the Florida shores.

Another major time in the base’s existence was the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Boca Chica is not in full use today. Appears desolate. Activity minimal. I closed my eyes and could envision the base when fully operational. Had to be exciting!

Spent my afternoon yesterday doing some further research re Wright Langley. Author of the History of the Rotary Club of Key West. I plan on doing installments re the work. I will deviate on occasion to write about matters connected to Rotary, but outside the purview of Langley’s work itself.

Guaranteed. Will be interesting!

The author Wright Langley a person of consequence. I have been fortunate to make connection with his wife Joan and son Mark in preparation for the Langley portion.

In recent years, I have generally avoided Fantasy Fest. Parking the major problem. My car was towed three times. Plus, Fantasy Fest does not excite me as it once did..

With one exception. I love seeing the bare breasted and otherwise nude women. The pleasure has never left me.

I got a fill last night.

On my way to Berlin’s and then back home, I had to pass through 3-4 blocks of party goers. It was all there for me. Breasts and bodies. One problem. The lighting was not good. I was lucky not to have run into someone.

Shaun bartending at Berlin’s. Met a number of interesting people.

Cecci and John from Naples. Plus, a lady visitor from England with them. Cecci and John looking to buy a home in the Keys. Interested in Cudjoe.

Two guys sat next to me at the bar to eat. From the Morristown area in New Jersey. Their tenth Fantasy Fest. Staying at the Pier House. Never been to the Chart Room. Sent them over to see John.

I was not that hungry. A wedge salad and bowl of lobster bisque. The bisque to die for!

Tonight, the parade! A big event! About 40 floats this year. The lighting will be good. The scanty clothed women on the floats easy to see.

The floats themselves magnificent.

I will not be there for the same reasons I have not been attending other Fantasy Fest events.

Liz is watching the parade. She purchased tickets for seating in front of St. Paul’s Church. Invited me to join here. I begged off.

Watched about five innings of the Cleveland/Chicago game last night. Great pitching. Either team could have won.

Enjoy your day!

MASQUERADE PARADE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then to the doctor for my flu shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The staircase a narrow circular metal round one.

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

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

I sometimes wonder how things can happen.

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

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

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

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

The blot on his record was only recently discovered.

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

TERRI ON THE MEND

It was back to the Lower Keys Medical Center at 8 yesterday morning for the CAT scan. Properly home medicated before hand.

I thought I would have to go through Admissions again. I had no order form this time. No papers. I felt like my grandfather when he was getting off the boat from Italy.

Not a problem. The radiologist was waiting for me at the door to the hospital. She took me by the hand and lead me to her department. Telling me I needed nothing. She was using monday’s paper work.

The whole thing took 15 minutes. The radiologist was Mechelle. I spelled it correctly. That is the way her parents spelled it. A Navy family.

I was wobbly when I got off the table. Continued to walk a bit unsteady. Into the elevator and up to the third floor. Wobbly walk continued as I entered Terri’s room.

The radiologist told me not to drive. I might feel that way. I did.

Donna a good friend. She picked me up and after returned me to my home. Donna was with Terri. The hospital is 5 minutes from my home. Donna was happy to get out of the hospital for a few minutes. She has been sleeping overnight on a chair in Terri’s room.

Terri looked terrific! She looked like death warmed over monday. The doctors still do not know why her kidneys were screwed up. A high number. Now coming down.

Her immediate problem was blood. they discovered tuesday night she was losing blood. Gave her two pints. That is why Terri was herself when I saw her.

She was hungry when she woke. First time she ate while in the hospital. She was sitting up in bed paying her bills over her cell phone when I arrived.

Don’s Place first last night. Chatted with David, Toni and Becca.

Then to the Back Door at Aqua and Mark Watson. Mark very concerned about Terri. They are close.

Quiet. Three guys in drag walked through.

Parking is a gigantic problem during Fantasy Fest. Does not exist. Lucky to find a spot 8-10 blocks away. To visit Back Door, I park in the public lot behind the new fire station. Not last night. Signs all over the place…..No Parking.

A pain in the ass. Obviously the City is preparing to use the lot for the remainder of Fantasy Fest for something else. Probably the buses bringing in out of town tourists who come in for a day from Miami. Typical City Commission attitude. Screw the locals!

I finally found a spot on the street after driving around a few minutes. City meter. $2 an hour. Same as in the parking lot. Much less convenient, however.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for something to eat. Quiet. Every one downtown.

Soup and an appetizer. Followed by Key Lime pie. I had not had a piece in a while.

Michael entertaining. He took a long break and we chatted at the bar. Presidential politics.

Two guys sat next to me for a drink. We talked constantly. Primarily, Presidential politics.

One of the men was Bill Glowka from the Mecca, California area. A CPA. He was all aglow telling me about his participation with Galilee Center in California. He is a board member. The organization assists the needy.

Take a look at their website. An interesting operation. www.galileecenter.org.

I have begun asking people who they favor for President. Seems more Trump than Hillary. Many not voting. Several doing write ins.

The Trump supporters are middle aged men with out a college education. Blue collar workers. The women decidedly for Hillary. Those not voting think both are so bad that neither is worth their vote.

William Hackley has been writing the past several days of his hunting exploits. Must be the way food was put on the table in 1855. He generally shot ducks, teal and goose.

I finally get my flu shot today. Later than normal. I totally recommend the flu shot. Started 16 years ago. No flu since then. Prior to that time, I was good for three attacks a year.

USA Today ran an article yesterday saying that women will earn as much as men in 170 years. Don’t buy it! Today’s women will not stand for it. Equality will be achieved in the next decade.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE

I experienced a hospital day yesterday. At the Lower Keys Medical Center. Because of recent furor, I paid attention to everything.

Staff polite. Courteous. Apologetic when required. Exhibited concern.

The problem was service.

It took 25 minutes for me to get through Admissions. I was taken on time. To process me, took too much time. The computer would not print. Improper numbered form used by doctor.

The admissions person had a cold. Sneezing and spreading germs. I did not use the pen she handed me. Used my own. I was germ conscious.

I was supposed to have a CAT scan. Never happened. I have an intravenous dye allergy. Hospital and doctor’s records reflect same. No one was aware of it till the last minute. I needed a special pill to be taken over a 13 hour period prior to the scan. Which meant, no Cat scan yesterday.

Almost two hours my time AND the hospital’s wasted.

Scan rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

The three pills turned out to be a problem. Neither doctor nor hospital responsible. Walgreens the culprit.

I received a Walgreens recorded telephone message. Insurance company says no insurance…..check with my new company. Crazy. I have no new insurance company. The same one for ten years. I pay for the drug coverage a year at a time. Not due till January.

Called my doctor’s office to work the problem out.

A Walgreen screw up. They processed the prescription twice. The second apparently cancelled the first. The second however befuddled the insurance company’s computer causing the no insurance response.

There is humor to this. The pills cost $ .94. The screw up resulting in wasted time for the insurance company, my doctor’s office and Walgreens. For me, aggravation.

I am scheduled later this morning for a leg blood clot test and something else at the doctor’s office.

Terri in the hospital with all kinds of problems. Kidneys the worse. Stopped in to see her. Donna was there. As expected. Spent the night sleeping on a chair next to Terri’s bed.

Terri looked better than Donna. Terri is on the mend. A couple more days.

Aqua last night for Dueling Bartenders. I was looking forward to a couple of drinks.

Beatrix Dixie only performer dressed. Looked good, sang better. Tom and Rick not dressed. Sang well also.

Met Buzz at the bar. Another senior citizen. Originally from Oregon. Been a Key Wester for years. Lives in Truman Annex.

A new friend.

Dan and Betty, where were you? I thought you would be stopping in.

Since saturday, three different locals have mentioned a concern. A serious one from their perspective. A fear of something bad occurring during Fantasy Fest. They have a feeling.

Jenna has a model’s body. Not even a size 1. A zero.

She runs 5-7 miles most days. Works out at a gym 3 days a week.

She recently became a marathon runner. Short ones. Three-five miles. She has run two in the past three weeks. Came in first in each in the women’s division. Third overall in the first.

One of today’s Fantasy Fest events is this afternoon. The Beach Bash. At South Beach. A band. Persons attending have been asked to dress for the beach as people did when the Twist was popular. Except for bikinis, attire would be the same as today. No thong bottoms back then.

I remember when the Twist came out. An immediate hit. I recall the first time I danced it. At a Xmas office party. It was easy to do. The instructions simple. Do as you would do if you were drying your butt with a towel.

I could be wrong. I believe the Twist was the first modern day dance where people did not dance close to each other, touch.

My podcast tonight. Nine this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Have about three hours more prep to do. Show will be interesting and in some instances revealing. Join me for a fast paced half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life column titled The Charge of the Light Brigade. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s exciting poem re the fight between the Brits and Russians during the Crimean War at the Battle of Balaclava.

It comes to mind today. On this day in 1854, the battle giving rise to the poem was fought.

Certain lines memorable. Excite me whenever I hear or read them.

“Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

JENNA STAUFFER NIGHT

It was dinner last night with Jenna Stauffer. At the bar at Berlin’s.

It had been a while since we were last together. A lot of catching up to do. Re her life. Mine boring in comparison. Jenna is 30. Her career progressing well. She bubbles with enthusiasm when talking about it.

Gage was bartending. Originally from New Hampshire. Settled in Key West in 1998, the same year I bought my home here. He has been working at Berlin’s nine years. A great gig!

Tom the Sous Chef came out to say hello.

Janine and Meri, two Pier House Beach Bar bartenders, had dinner next to us at the bar. Sisters. Wonderful people. Janine was at Berlin’s last week also when I was there.

Berlin’s is on the second floor. A staircase involved. As Jenna and I were walking down the stairs leaving, Jenna asked if I had fallen recently. I proudly said no. I watch where I am stepping.

At that moment, I went flying. I missed the last step. Jenna caught me on the way down. Saved me from some damage.

I told Jenna it was her fault. I was looking at her instead of the step. Somewhat like the line from  an Affair to Remember. Deborah Kerr telling Cary Grant that her injury was no one’s fault…..she was looking up…..you were there.

One of Fantasy Fest events yesterday was the Zombie Bike Ride. Eight thousand people dressed and made up to look like the walking dead. One uglier and scarier than the other. Took place last night.

I did not see the Ride. Avoided the Ride by twisting and turning and taking different streets to get to Berlin’s. When I was driving home, the Ride was over. The zombies had time to hit the bars. Many were all over the streets riding randomly on their bicycles. Some a bit drunk. Some more than a bit. Weaving from side to side in the lanes.

An accident waiting to happen.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tomorrow night’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. My normal time to prepare had to be rearranged. I have two days of tests re my heart beginning today. Four hours today. I do not know how many tomorrow.

Have to squeeze in some more prep before tomorrow night.

Topics will include a Maduro update. A coup was attempted this weekend. It failed. It signifies the beginning of the end, however.

Other topics involve the Monsanto/Bayer merger, Duterte bad mouthing the U.S. again, and special treatment by the government to John Kerry’s daughter to the tune of $9 million.

Terri White is in the hospital. She went in yesterday. Not her heart. She will be in 3-4 days. Donna spent the night with her. I will be visiting the ladies while in the hospital today.

Reading William Hackley, I have concluded in his time men rented slaves to one another. Hackley wrote this day in 1855 that he “hired a negro woman of William Dennis at $12 per month…..”

I intended to start the History of the Key West Rotary today. In installments. Some interesting items to share.

It will not begin today. Others matters interfered. Hopefully, I will have it started by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day!

 

FULL DAY AND NIGHT

Busy day yesterday. One thing after another. All fun.

Syracuse played Boston College at noon. I figured I could watch till 1:15 before getting ready for Joseph Lyles retirement party at Hot Tin Roof. Got hooked on the game. Stayed till half time. Syracuse ahead 14-13.

Obviously got to Joseph’s party late. People were streaming out as I arrived. Joseph the last to leave. I was able to apologize, hug him and wish him well.

The party was moving over to the Pier House Beach Bar. Walked over with Joseph and Methias.

One end of the bar packed with party persons. Sat and chatted with Jean Thornton awhile. A lovely person.

Only one drink. A bloody Mary. Following which I was off and running. Home to find out how Syracuse did and watch some Alabama/Texas Tech football before leaving for bocce.

Syracuse won 28-20. A good victory. Any victory a good one. Syracuse now 4-4.

Bocce was a make up game with Hell’s Rangers. It had rained the night scheduled.

I would have been better off keeping my date with Jenna Stauffer. Don’s Place lost all three games. A beating! Lost the middle game 16-0.

Prior to last night, Hell’s Rangers had lost 5 out of its last 6 games. They were out for blood. They played very well and we were simply not with it. One of those nights.

The cheeseburgers, hot dogs and salads were delicious. Compensated for the defeat.

The temperature by day yesterday was 82. Last night 75. A very cold 75. The breeze off the ocean makes it feel cold. I was in a sports shirt and shorts. Froze the whole time! When I got home, I turned off the air conditioning, had a hot cup of tea with honey and buried myself under the covers. I did not kick the cold feeling till 3 this morning.

Big night tonight! Jenna! Love her! We have known each other close to 10 years. Early on she produced my TV show for three years. We are having dinner at Berlin’s.

I will not be doing Fantasy Fest every evening. After all the years attending, I now pick and choose. Probably will not return till Thursday night. Toga Party! I go to watch, not participate. It is the voyeur in me.

Fantasy Fest’s King and Queen were crowned Friday night at the Coronation Ball. King Christopher Rounds and Queen Jane Rohrschneider. I know Chris. have never met Jane.

King and Queen are determined by the number of dollars each candidate raises for AIDS Help. Chris and Jane raised the most ever. $368,000.

Chris is much younger than me. He grew up in the Boonville, New York area. Some 15 miles from my home town Utica.

I first met Chris when he bought Antonia’s. Sold it several years later and purchased La Te Da. Three years ago he did a complete renovation of La Te Da.

At all times, La Te Da’s food and entertainment the best. Conversation great. People friendly. La Te Da’ is a gay/straight venue which I believe contributes to its ambiance.

Diana Millikan sent me a site to read. The History of the Rotary Club of Key West. Authored by a Wright Langley in 1935. Covers the years 1915-1971.

Boring but interesting. Every now and then a happening that surprises. New knowledge.

When the William Hackley saga began appearing in the Key West Citizen, I thought it was a waste. I quickly became hooked on it, however.

I think the Rotary history  might result in a similar experience for my readers.

The History is lengthy. I plan on breaking it down into segments based on years. Everything will not be reported. Really boring. I will be picking and choosing. The result will be a history of Key West during the years in question as well as a Rotary history.

Tomorrow will be installment #1: 1915-1919.

Hope it tickles your fancy.

Enjoy your Sunday!