WHY PARIS IS BURNING

Public demonstrations in Paris out of control. A month already. Fires everywhere. Big time damage. Four killed, hundreds injured.

Why? Because the government has imposed a new and higher tax on gasoline which was scheduled to go into effect January 1.

Driving is expensive in certain European countries. Italy and France examples.

Gasoline costs much more than in the United States. At least two times as much. The price of a gallon of gas in France today $5.54. Italy similarly high.

People do not fill their tanks up. Too expensive at one shot. Put in 10 or 20 euros. Like you and I putting in $10 or $20.

In addition to gas, there is an additional financial burden. Makes the cost of gas look minuscule.

Most highways are privatized. The government rents a roadway for 50 or 100 years to a private corporation or sells it outright to the corporation. The corporation in turn agrees to maintain and operate the highway.

No bargain to the consumer. Those who operate motor vehicles on the highways. The corporations impose tolls. The tolls astronomical. Beyond comprehension. So bad that locals opt to drive on secondary narrow pot filled 2 lane roads. Where people’s lives are in danger.

Drivers do everything to avoid privately owned toll roads.

The toll roads are kept in tip top condition. Bridges replaced. Everything done. After all, a money maker for the private corporation.

Trump has pushed privatization to defray the cost redoing our infrastructure. Don’t even consider it. Fight the concept. A pig in a poke. A toll too far.

Tie the cost of a gallon of gasoline to the toll and it is easy to understand why Paris is burning.

Last night, the French government announced the tax increase would not go into effect. As one French leader said, “No tax deserves to endanger the unity of a Nation.”

Busy yesterday.

Sandy’s for a leisurely lunch. Read the newspapers.  Then to Publix. I keep forgetting to buy shaving cream. Beard was cropping up again.

A manicure at 5 with Tammy. Slow day for her business. She says most mondays are lately.

Followed the manicure with a trip to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Rick Dery’s guest Bobby Nesbitt. A huge crowd. Great singing. Bobby opened with White Christmas. Put everyone in the mood.

Met Jean Thornton. We were scheduled to have a drink together. She left me at 7 to meet Haywood at Michael’s for dinner.

Mary showed up before Jean left. Then Lynda and Bob Frechette. Linda, too.

Mary and I had dinner afterwards at La Trattoria. I let Mary order. Don’t ask me why. The pasta was HOT! My esophagus burned all night!

Morgan appeared. A hug and kiss and a chat. Another hug and kiss as I was leaving.

Morgan absolutely impresses me. A beauty! Intelligent! Only 27 years old. She has a Masters in geography. Works with the government or one of its contractors at the Navy base.

The hurricane season technically ends November 30. Key West has a ceremony to commemorate the event. The burning of the hurricane flag. The ceremony was yesterday afternoon at the Waterfront Park.

I did not attend. Jean and Frank Holden did. Jean became irritated. Properly so. The beautiful large expanse of green grass that makes up the Waterfront Park was a mess. Uprooted in parts, sand thrown here and there.

The power boat race people by contract were permitted to use the area. They are required by contract to repair and replace any areas damaged. Apparently have failed or not gotten to it this year.

Jean is on Facebook this morning complaining about the situation and showing pictures of the grounds. She will goose the power boat people into performing. Don’t mess with Jean.

Syracuse/Northeastern tonight at 7. Syracuse 5-2, Northeastern 4-4. Too early in the season to project who will win.

I will be watching the game from home. My podcast follows the game at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A fast moving hard hitting half hour. I vent. Get excited about the good and bad in things. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. I repeat the statement often.

Which brings to mind another Truman story.

Truman had poor eyesight. Not blind as a bat, but close too it. It was 1905. He wanted to join the Missouri National Guard. Battery “B.” He knew he could not pass the eye test.

Missouri ingenuity came into play. Truman memorized the eye chart. Passed the physical with no problem. He became a private in the Light Artillery of Battery “B.” Served as a Captain during World War I. Retired from the Reserves 37 years after entering as a Colonel.

America is in mourning. President George H. W. Bush is dead.

Yesterday was emotionally heavy. The various activities shown on TV. Impossible not to shed a tear here and there. As they will be today and tomorrow.

Bush will be respected for the ages. What a man! What a President! Bush the personification of each.

Trump will never be. Character and virtue are required.

Enjoy your day!

 

GROCERY SHOPPING WITH THE BLIND

A unique experience yesterday. I took Terri grocery shopping. Donna was ill and asked me to step in.

It was the blind leading the blind.

I shop at the new Publix. Know where everything is. Terri shops at the old Publix. I knew where nothing was. Everything in a different place from the other store.

The experience began with the drive. I was on Whitehead approaching Truman. She said, “Take a left on Truman.” How did she know Truman was ahead?

When we arrived at Publix, she explained the game plan. We were to enter on the right side of the store. Get a cart immediately. She would drive. I was to lightly pull from the front to control direction.

We started on the right side of the store. Needed bacon. She got me to it.

So far, I was comfortable. Not bad. Then it began. Go 2 aisles right. Take a left. Half way down on the right. Top shelf. Box or can colored such and such. Brand name provided.

And so it went.

Occasionally, I took the wrong item off the shelf. She was able to tell by the size of a can if I did wrong. The size not being that much different from that which she wanted.

She directed. I followed. I was proud of myself. I did good.

She wanted me to go one way, I went another. I saw one of the items on her grocery list 2 aisles in the opposite direction from where she wanted me to go.

Blew it for her! Totally discombobulated! She was lost! Not panicked. Merely said to me, “You did wrong. I do not know where I am.”

I righted the wrong and we were on our way again.

I was impressed. She knew where most things were. The side of the aisle as well as shelf. Occasionally, she would tell me she was staying where she was with the cart. The Deli area an example. Too crowded for her. Gave me walking orders and off I went.

Checking out interesting. She can empty a cart, though I did. She pays with a credit card, not a debit. Merely push it in and it registers without her doing anything else.

I was impressed! Her only inability was driving the car itself. Who knows, some day.

Intended to go out last night and watch the Syracuse/Cornell game. Too tired. The shopping trip had tired me out!

Remained home and watched Syracuse beat Cornell 63-55. Cornell was winning by one point with 5 minutes to go. An unimpressive Syracuse game against a lesser opponent.

The nice thing was that Boeheim’s 2 sons were playing. On opposite sides. One for Syracuse, the other Cornell. Neither embarrassed themselves nor their father.

Driving down a street this time of the year in Utica and Key West the same. With one difference. Utica has snow. Otherwise, Key West homes are decorated as those up north. Christmas spirit exists regardless of location. The Key West homes I have seen absolutely beautiful. Obvious that a lot of thought and work were involved.

George H. W. Bush a frequent visitor to the keys. Primarily, Islamorada area. The President an avid fisherman.

Generally stayed at Cheeka Lodge.

Visited before, during and following his Presidency.

His biggest fishing experience involved landing a 135 foot tarpon. The largest game fish he ever caught. Bush was 84 at the time. Took him only 45 minutes to land the giant fish.

Bush used a live crab for bait. Afterwards he said, “It was a thrill of a lifetime…..A great fighting fish was finally baited.”

Bush’s character, sensitivity, caring, etc. coming out from every source. Things we did not know about him. I share two I came across.

In the 1950’s, the Bush’s lost their daughter Robin to leukemia. She was 2 at the time. Bush wrote a letter to his mother following Robin’s death…..”We need a legitimate Christmas angel, one who doesn’t have cuffs beneath her dress. You have to be a father to know this,” he wrote. “We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl. We had one once…..But she is still with us. We need her yet we have her.”

In 2013, Bush shaved his head in solidarity with 2 year old Patrick, the son of one of the agents on his Secret Service detail who was being treated for leukemia and had lost all his hair. He was that type man.

Another nature disaster. The Alaskan earthquake friday in the Anchorage area. A big one. One 7.0 in magnitude.

Trump immediately responded. Issued an emergency declaration making it possible for the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to act.

Trump told the people of Alaska, “Your federal government will spare no expense.”

Trump will fail Alaska as he failed Puerto Rico, Florida, northern Florida, and the California fire areas.

There is not enough money! It was more than color in Puerto Rico. Not enough money. Florida still owed billions to reimburse and /or complete rebuilding following Irma. No one hears about Florida’s Panhandle. Michael destroyed most areas hit. One city totally obliterated. We hear nothing about how great FEMA is doing in the Panhandle because it is not doing enough. California desperately waits dollars rather than criticism. Trump should sweep out the swamp people in his cabinet rather than recommend the forest grounds in California be swept.

He will fail Alaska also. His administration has misused, misallocated, and I don’t know what else, funds for natural disaster relief.

Talk is cheap. Put money where your mouth is, Mr. President. Our country needs you.

Enough for today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

FIRST COLD SPELL TONIGHT

I can see those in the cold areas of the country smiling already. Yes, it will be cold in Key West for the next 2 days beginning tonight. I will be cold. I am complaining.

Today’s temperature 80 degrees. Tonight, it will drop to 64. I will have the heat on.

Tomorrow, 69 by date and 63 in the evening.

Then a return to normalcy. Eighty degree weather

Yesterday proved my body is finally back to normal. Ran a few errands by day. Last night out.

Aqua first for Dueling Bartenders. Not “dueling” for a while. Tom Luna on a 6 month sabbatical. Rick Dery ran the show alone. Spectacular! However had to be tired at the end. He sang every song!

My dear friend Liz at the bar. Liz is waning. Hurts. I like her so much. Wish I had met her 15-20 years ago. My friend who was Dean of 2 law schools. I chatted with her a while. Each word she spoke took effort.

Josefina, Linda and Mary singing along with everyone else.

Afterwards, Mary and I had dinner at the bar at La Trattoria. Where I really put my body to the test.

I had limited myself to 2 drinks at Aqua. Enjoyed a third at La Trattoria. And a plate of lasagna. Oh, what a night it was!

Sat next to Dink Bruce. Dink a Key West legend. Everyone likes Dink. That kind of guy.

Dink and some of Hemingway’s artifacts, writings, etc. related.

Dink’s father Toby Bruce. He and Hemingway tight. Together every day.

When Hemingway died, he left behind a pile of boxes in Sloppy Joe’s back room. Hemingway’s fourth wife Mary Welsh Hemingway visited to go through the boxes. She took with her what she thought valuable. Gave the rest to Toby and his wife Betty.

No one bothered to categorize the contents of the boxes till 15 years ago. Most importantly, Hemingway’s first writing. One he did at the age of 10. Other items included additional writings, photos, notes, pieces of his hair, and prints.

Bruce and Betty long gone. Contents now the property of their son Dink.

Dink told me last night Penn State is interested in the contents. He is in negotiations at the present time with Penn State.

Love tuesday nights! My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 for a fast moving half hour of me venting and raving about things. Fun to do! Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I slammed Trump hard yesterday for the use of tear gas at the border. Wrong place, wrong time for such an horrendous act.

Blame has to be spread. Obama’s use of tear gas at the border makes Trump look like an angel.

I was not aware of Obama’s use yesterday when I wrote.

Obama used the same type tear gas frequently. Twenty six times in 2012, 27 times in 2013. Then its usage dropped off. In 2016, only 3 times.

Obama authorized pepper spray on occasion, also.

The Trump administration has come up with another bright idea. Credit scores to be used to determine who may become a citizen. Anyone with poor scores would be ineligible.

The purpose is to prevent immigrants from becoming a burden on the welfare system.

Makes me wonder how my family would have fared under such a rule.

My people came from Italy between 1900 and 1915. Peasants. Third class steerage. Not a pot to piss in, as the saying goes.

This first group worked hard. Most succeeded in living a step above the poverty level.

My mother a most interesting story. She came over as a child. Lived in New York City. Her father had a stroke. She had to leave school while in the third grade to work 14 hours a day in a shoe factory.

They all became citizens. Their children became the stars. Only because of the stringent upbringing which pushed them to do better.

None would have become citizens if the credit score rule were in effect. What would have happened to me and my many cousins?Would we have been able to become the successful professional and business people we did?

Trump campaigned big time on the representation he would bring jobs back. He has done a poor job so far.

It was announced yesterday that General Motors would be getting rid of 14,000 jobs and closing 5 plants. A winner, Mr. President!

Recall he also promised that coal plants would return. Where?

Aluminum companies, also. Good luck!

And then there is the farming industry. Totally mucked up because of the tariff wars. Soybeans, wheat and corn hit especially hard. Soybean sales down 94 percent this year.

Then there is the stock market. Down 2,500 points since early October. Erratic. Up and down hundreds of points each week. If it drops another 2,500 point, we will be in a recession big time.

I believe a recession possible. Between now and late spring. The world is too turbulent.

And so on.

Enjoy your day!

 

TONI TARRACINO SHARES HER LEGACY

Captain Tony is a Key West legend. An icon. Remembered. Revered.

His former bar on Greene Street still bears his name. The bar inside and out as it was in his day.

Toni one of his children. Today, a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Plus involved in a multitude of other things like marrying people, planning weddings, painting and blog writing.

Her blog is titled Sharing My Key West Legacy. http://tonitarracino.com. One of the best I have read. She has her hands on everything Key West.

I told Toni her material was so good I would be plagiarizing her recollections on occasion.

She wrote of the West Martello Fort. Its history. Today home of the Garden Club and a wedding venue. She mentions the Autograph Tree. Never heard of it. Yet, she knew.

The tree stands at the entrance to the Fort. People have scratched and otherwise written their names and initials on the leaves over the years.

Another story involves the fish sitting on the outside of Capt. Tony’s bar.  Second floor level. People always turning their backs to the fish and trying to throw quarters into its open mouth.

Toni shared the origin of the custom.

As a girl, she helped out at the bar. There actually was a slow season then. The summer. The bar was hot. She and other staff would take benches outside and sit on them. The heat inside too much.

One of those sitting with Toni was a rabid Larry Bird fan. He used to stand, yell “top of the key” and try to throw quarters in the fish’s mouth.

Toni and friends thought it too hot for him to do it as he was. They convinced him to stand on the curb on his toes with his back to the fish.And then try to successfully throw quarters into the fish’s mouth.

A tradition was born. You know the story. A continuing event born out of heat, boredom, and today a bit of alcohol.

My Key West yesterday.

A manicure with Tammy. Business slow. Will pick up next week. Tammy said women like to pretty up for Thanksgiving.

Then a visit with  Dr. Norris. He’s not concerned with what now has been determined to be a ligament or muscle protruding on the left side of my neck. Five inches long. I feared it was my carotid and I was heading for a stroke.

A late lunch at Cuban Coffee Queen. The Queen I was at is in the bowels of Key Lime Square. As is Dr. Norris’ office. I sat looking down the Square towards Southard. It was quiet. Peaceful. Few people. Sun hitting the trees and foliage just right. A relaxing moment.

On the way home, I drove pass David Wolkowsky’s home on Flagler. Someone was working on his Rolls Royce or some ancient roadster. The hood was up. David had two vintage vehicles. Each close to 100 years old.

Last night, Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Joe and Andrea back after 2 weeks in Ohio. Good to see them again. Terri singing. Donna at the bar, of course.

More Key West nostalgia.

Some small guys enjoy big ladies. Especially sexually. In 1993, Rocky was out and about. Rocky a 7 pound male Chihuahua. He saw an 80 pound female Rottweiler. One or both in heat. The dirty deed was done. The 80 pound Rott got pregnant.

The Rottweiler’s owners sued. I have no idea what the offspring looked like. In any event, the Rott owners won. The court awarded them $2,567.50.

Pythons have overtaken southern Florida. Actual number unknown. Estimated to be in excess of one million. Cannot be eradicated. Hopefully contained.

The government hires snake hunters. One recently killed the largest ever. A 17 foot 5 inch python weighing 120 pounds. In the Homestead area.

Imagine the beauty wrapping itself around you.

Another problem now out of control are iguanas. The State failed to pay attention. They eat our flowers and defecate in our pools. They are all over the roadways. A danger to driving.

The State has commenced a program to get rid of the iguanas. I hope it is not too late as with the pythons.

Tonight, Syracuse/Connecticut play basketball at 7 in Madison Square Garden. Two former Big East foes. Syracuse ranked #15 nationally. Connecticut not ranked.

I will be home watching the game.

A cold spell coming in. The temperature will be 75 degrees tomorrow. Down from 85 in one day. Most Key Westers will say they love it. I will say I’m cold! Just how it affects me.

Never got to the notes re world events I wanted to share. All less than a week old. Perhaps tomorrow. I got carried away today with Key West items.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

AN AMERICAN HERO FORGOTTEN BY HISTORY

Two men with Armistice Day stories to be told. Two men who exhibited love and respect for their country in different ways.

World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am in 1918. The Armistice has been signed at 5 in the morning, scheduled to go into effect at 11 that same morning.

Henry Nicholas Gunther was born in 1895 of German immigrant parents. In Baltimore. Raised and schooled there.

He became a member of the 313th Infantry Regiment. Known as Baltimore’s Own. He arrived in France in July 1918.

Gunther was involved in fighting in the Argonne on November 11. Front line. Just before 11 am, Gunter’s group was confronted by a German road block which contained a machine gun. His sergeant ordered Gunther to fix his bayonet and charge the Germans.

Gunther did as ordered. As he charged, there was a burst of machine gun fire. Gunther was killed. He died at 10:59 am.

The Americans were unaware of the truce. The Germans were. They kept shouting at Gunther that the war was over. Gunther apparently did not understand and kept coming. They shot him.

Gunther was 23 at the time. He was the last American to be killed in World War I.

General Pershing recognized Gunther at an Armistice ceremony the next day. He referred to Gunther as an American hero.

Today, Gunther is an American hero forgotten by history.

One hundred years later to the day, it was Armistice Day again. November 11, 2018. The free world commemorated the occasion in Paris. The heads of the world’s free nations in attendance.

Trump was there. In his room at the American Embassy at a very special moment.

There was a ceremony at an American cemetery. Aisne Marine American Cemetery. Fifty miles outside Paris. The final resting place of American soldiers who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood.

Trump failed to honor his country’s war dead. He did not attend. It was raining. He was the only world leader who failed to attend.

A tale of two men. One a hero. The other, I am not sure how to label.

Hemingway personally experienced war as an ambulance driver and war correspondent. He did not like war. I question how he would have addressed heroism. Whatever, he did write, “In modern war…..you will die like a dog for no good reason.”

Busy day yesterday.

My cell phone was screwed up. A simple problem I could not resolve. I am not mechanically inclined in any fashion.

Hurried over to Verizon in the Win-Dixie Shopping Center. They set me straight in seconds.

Then picked up Robert and Ally. No school because of the holiday. Robert now a freshman in high school and Ally in the eighth grade.

Both adults.

We went to Sandy’s Cafe. They’re choice. A favorite of theirs, also.

They shared with me their present day experiences.

Robert loves high school. He received an award as the outstanding freshman student of the quarter. Based on grades, activities, etc. He continues to practice almost daily his tennis. A star in making. No question he will be on the varsity team when they begin play in January. He went to a dance. With a group. Talked to girls, did not dance.

Ally a typical eighth grader. Top year at her school. A big shot. She had straight A’s on her recent report card. She is developing into a beauty. Pure femininity. She is anxious to get to high school. Her brother’s comments make her so. She knows there is another world awaiting her there.

I noticed yesterday morning a bulge on one side of my neck. Vertical. About 5 inches log. Protruding out of the side of my neck.

Panic set in. My carotid artery. I was on my way to a stroke.

Was in Dr. Ivor’s office at 3 to see nurse Susan Neill. She and McIvor have been caring for my heart for 12 years. She checked me out. Not carotid. Ran some tests. Found nothing wrong. Perhaps my weight loss had caused some muscle or blood vessel to protrude.

I felt better. Still concerned, however. I am a hypochondriac. Told her I was seeing my primary Dr. Norris wednesday for some blood results. I would see what he had to say.

Susan and I have become friends over the years. I learned yesterday was her first day at work in 8 weeks. She was wearing a big boot on one foot.

She was not a happy camper.

She was at St. Mary’s Church. Placing some flowers on the altar. As she turned to step down, she went down. Fractured some important bone in her ankle/foot. Now has screws, pins, and gross discomfort.

I hurt for her.

It was 4 in the afternoon. Too early to go home. Too early to really go out. Had a choice to make. Went out. To Blue Macaw. A couple of drinks, a light dinner and some good company.

Everyone with physical problems. Doug, who is a tour guide at the Hemingway House, is in intensive care. His heart. His co-worker Alisia told me.

Paul and Ron came in. Paul told me he is experiencing the same throat problems I complained about 6 months ago. He is undergoing a procedure friday to correct it.

What a world! What a life! It’s called getting old!

I was home by 8:30. Went to bed. Fell asleep almost immediately. Woke at midnight and could not sleep the rest of the night.

Doug Bennett writes an interesting blog…..This Week On The Island. A series of events marked with photos.

His opening and closing verbiage paragraphs always read the same. Part of the introductory paragraph: “Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.”

The last paragraph: “Key West, Close to Perfect, Far from Normal.”

I especially like his last statement.

Today, tuesday. My podcast show tonight. Nine my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Join me. I rant and rave about whatever moves me at the moment. A fast moving half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WHEN THE GUNS WENT SILENT

Today is November 11. One hundred years ago this day at precisely 11 am, the guns went silent ending World War I. An armistice had been arrived at.

One hundred years marks a call for major celebration. One is being held in France, the site of the worst fighting during World War I. World leaders present. France has prepared a commemoration.

A five day event. Began yesterday. The glory of the event dampened only by rain and Donald Trump.

The five day event is a Peace Forum also. Beginning tomorrow, three days of discussions involving joining together for mutual protection and climate change.

The first significant event yesterday. A visit to a U.S. Military Cemetery 50 miles outside Paris. The Aisne Marine American Cemetery. Two thousand two hundred eight eight gravesites, mostly American. An additional 1,060 names etched on a wall representing Americans who were missing, their bodies never recovered.

Trump opted not to go. The excuse was the rain caused security and logistical problems. The weather prohibited the use of a helicopter. Trump would have to have been driven.

All world leaders made the 50 mile drive, except for Trump. I wonder if Trump failed to go because of concern for his hair. I am serious. Not being facetious. Recall last week that Trump was caught in a drizzle as he spoke before being flown off somewhere. His precisely appointed hair was altered a bit as a result. He made mention of it the rest of the day.

Trump sent Chief of Staff Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford in his place.

The heads of all nations represented by their leaders. Trump sends the second team.

There is criticism Trump did so because he neither understands nor respects history. This was an American cemetery.

Today a similar story re Trump’s obvious disdain for the event. He makes like he does not want to be there. His conduct described as truculent and petulant. He appeared like a grouch to me.

There was a function prior to the actual ceremony commemorating the day. Trump did not attend the event.

Following the function, the world leaders walked to the Arch de Triomphe in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder, all carrying raised black umbrellas. All except for Trump. He rode over.

The commemoration took place at the Arch de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Well done.

No holding back. Europe concerned about Trump. France’s President Macron in his 20 minute speech said, “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” Aimed right at Trump who a few weeks ago on national television said, “I am a nationalist. There I’ve said it.”

Europe is opposed to nationalism. History recognizes nationalism as the cause of World War I.

The event solemn. No word better describes it.

Mention was made that 100 years ago at 11 in the morning, the bells tolled all over Europe in celebration of the armistice.

There is a feeling that Trump neither knows nor understands history. Nationalism caused World Wars I and II. The League of Nations failed because of nations going their own way.

Patriotism as part of relationships between countries may best be described as love of one nation for another. Nationalism, hatred of one nation for another.

A luncheon followed the event. What happened there not yet reported.

Three more days involved. The Peace Forum. Trump not attending. He leaves Paris this afternoon and returns home. The subject matter of the Forum working together and climate change. Topics Trump not interested in.  Whatever, an insult to the nations remaining.

So much for the commemoration and Trump.

Remained home last night. Watched Syracuse play basketball against Morehead State. Morehead a good team. I was impressed. Syracuse won 84-70.

In spite of the win, Syracuse did not look good. Something I fail to understand. We have 4 3 point shooters. Took few 3 pointers and missed most of them. The team generally drove to the basket. Seemed they did not finish when they did. Could have scored more baskets had they.

Syracuse has 3 point guards. All out with injuries. Have not played yet this season. Could be one of Syracuse’s problems. It’s like having a line man step in for the quarter back.

Boeheim has a deep bench. First time in years. He played it. The bench and starters did not jell. Maybe Syracuse cannot go deep.

Teri Johnston gets sworn in tomorrow morning as Key West Mayor. She has asked my beloved Terri White to sing.

Ernest Hemingway finished A Farewell To Arms the first three weeks he was in Key West. He wrote the last page 39 times before he was satisfied.

My car has been down for a week. I have not gone out during that time. I live one island up from Key West. Could have rented a car or used Uber. Decided instead to remain in and work. The car was my excuse to do some research and writing that was far behind.

Car now working. I feel house bound. Tonight, Louis is out!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

DEMOCRACY’S NEXT STEP?

Jair Bolsonaro is Brazil’s recently elected President.

An authoritarian.

Trump evidences similar tendencies. Trump can take us to Bolsonaro’s ways. Not there yet. He is a step behind Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro won with Evangelical support. He is frequently compared to Philippine President Duterte.

A few Bolsonaro quotes let you know the man.

“I am in favor of dictatorship, a regime of exception.”

Killing “…..some 30,000…..if some innocent people are going to die, fine, in any war innocents die.”

“I would not employ a woman with the same salary of a man.”

“I’ll give carte blanche for the police to kill.”

“We are going to gun down all those Workers Party supporters.” The Workers Party his opposition. He spoke these words at a rally while mimicking shooting a rifle.

Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz in a battle in Texas. Respectfully, I consider Cruz political slime. Trump suggested Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. He also insulted Cruz’s wife. Today, Cruz’s head is up Trump’s ass.

A relatively recent happening solidified my thinking of Cruz. Cruz said O’Rourke was illegally funding the caravan. A Trump type  statement. Not true.

The actual facts. Asylum seekers already processed and awaiting a decision are sheltered in churches in the Texas border area. Not part of the caravan. The caravan still 1,000 miles and one month away.

One of O’Rourke’s staff offices used prepaid cards to buy baby wipes, diapers, water, fruit and granola bars for those awaiting decision re their asylum requests. Less than $300 involved. If more, if $3,000, not a crime and most certainly not funding the caravan.

Which brings me to Trump’s way of thinking re the migration caravan. The President should read/recall certain Biblical quotes.

Matthew 25:38: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

Last night’s first stop was the Chart Room. Packed. Locals and tourists.

Met Lorne Davidson again. Met him last year at the Chart Room. From northern Florida. He was with Diane. Met her before, also. A friend of Sheila’s.

Steve, Cindy, and David at the bar. Good Key Westers all! Love them! We enjoyed good conversation.

The three are oracles of wisdom when it comes to Key West. They have been here a long time. Last night, Steve and I engaged in a long talk about the Key West of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The most important and exciting thing I learned from Steve last night concerns his sister Sam who lives in Seattle. Reads this blog everyday.  Lived in Key West for 2 years at one time.

Love you, Sam! Keep reading! Look forward to meeting you when next you visit Steve and Cindy.

A long talk with Paul and Stephanie. From Detroit. They have been visiting Key West since 2006. Now own three time shares at Banyon Court. One week three different times of the year.

Paul is a tool and die maker. Stephanie a dental assistant. They have a son 22 who is completing college.

Enjoyed my time with them.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Basically empty. Second night in a row. The rain could be the reason. Blue Macaw is an outside restaurant and bar.

A big parade sunday afternoon. The Super Boat Parade. Signifying the beginning of Super Boat Race Week. The boats magnificent. Huge power boats. Multi-million dollars in cost. The races a rich man’s sport.

My lesbian wives Donna and Terri celebrated their tenth anniversary yesterday. Married for real! Loving congratulations!

They were leaving for Tampa when I spoke with them. Terri’s cancer checkup scheduled.

People are confused as to why I call them my lesbian wives. One person recently told me she thought I was actually married to the two.

The true story is that when Donna and Terri were to be married, I was supposed to be Best Man. The day before, I had a pain, went into the hospital, and lost 25 percent of my colon.

Missed the wedding. For some reason, I mentioned at the time I considered them my lesbian wives and the label took hold.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon a wonder. Top professional full time care. Turtles with strange maladies flown from all over the world to the Hospital.

The Hospital’s motto: Rescue, Rehab, Release. They do!

A little World War II history.

Roosevelt was unhappy with Japan. Japan had invaded Indochina. He wanted them to not only stop the war, but get out also. To evidence his seriousness, he seized all Japanese assets in the U.S. and closed the Panama Canal to Japanese vessels. Roosevelt also cut off all oil supplies to Japan. A death knell for the island nation.

Japan was led by a tough group at the time. Tojo and his followers. They were offended by Roosevelt’s actions. They gave the order to bomb Pearl Harbor.

An interesting fact is that the order was given on November 3, 1941. Thirty four days before Pearl Harbor was actually bombed.

The order to bomb was known as Top Secret Order No. 1.

My question is why did we not know of the imminent bombing of Pearl Harbor. I assume the U.S. had intelligence people. Thirty four days and no one knew.

Difficult to understand.

In an hour and a half, it will be 12 noon. I will be glued to the TV set. Syracuse playing Wake Forest.

For the first time in 20 yeas, Syracuse has a decent team. It has been a long time. The team 6-2 so far this season.

Enjoy your day!

HAVE A GOOD DAY

I came across a quotable quote. I want to share it with you. Sensible……It’s a good day to have a good day.

May we all!

Daytime typical yesterday. A haircut with Lori. Followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Sandy’s has changed its name. Now, Fernandy’s.

Then a major event. I voted! A good crowd. Everyone quiet and serious.

As I was leaving, one of the clerks handed me a stickum. Said: I voted. I wore it with pride on my shirt all afternoon. I felt differently about voting this year. Perhaps because I hope we will be taking our country back.

Not wanting to run into Parrotheads again at the Chart Room, I headed directly to Blue Macaw in the evening. The place was crowded. I knew no one.

Blue Macaw has changed its Happy Hour time. During the summer, it was from 4 to 9. Now, ends at 7. By 7:30 the bar was desolate. I was all alone.

When Happy Hour ended at 9, the bar was still packed till 11.

Which way makes more money? Stop at 7 or 9. I don’t know. The proprietor must.

I read somewhere that the Casa Marina had opened a new bar. The HFM Sidecar. Peter Diamond was performing. Interested in seeing the new bar and hearing Peter sing motivated me to drive to the Casa Marina.

Was it busy! Parking lot traffic off the wall. No room for me. Where were all these people coming from? Then it dawned on me. The Casa Marina is the headquarters every year for the Parrothead Convention.

I did not think I could handle it. Went home.

Glad I did not opt to park 4 blocks away. I would have been disappointed. This morning’s paper indicates the HFM Sidebar will not open till monday night.

Andrew Gillum was in Key West yesterday morning. The Democratic candidate for Governor. He spoke on Higgs Beach behind Salute’s. Five hundred in attendance. The thrust of Gillum’s talk unity and progress.

I voted for Gillum yesterday. His opponent Donald Trump in every respect.

I missed the talk. Had to get the blog out. Seeing a candidate in person does not appear as important these days as years ago. Television brings the candidate and event to us several times during a day.

David Wolkowsky was a friend. Better stated, I was an admirer of David Wolkowsky. One of the best acquaintances made in my life time.

The November 1 edition of Keys Weekly ran an excellent article involving Jimmy Buffett and David Wolkowsky. Sarah Thomas wrote it. Titled: Streets You Know By Heart. It was actually the result of a personal interview she had with Buffett. Outstanding!

Wolkowsky is mentioned many times. Probably because he and Buffett were close friends. Wolkowsky gave Buffett his start at the Chart Room back in the late 1960’s.

The article the best I have read re the Wolkowsky/Buffett relationship. Very personal. A job well done by Sarah Thomas.

Trump the bully ranting and raving yesterday. Made it very clear that if any rocks are thrown at the soldiers he is bringing in to defend the border, the rocks will be considered rifles. The military will be authorized to shoot their guns in retaliation.

A horse’s ass! The U.S. Army not permitted to utilize weapons within U.S. borders. The law is the Posse Comitatus Act.

Suppose a kid throws a stone. Seven or eight years old. The soldier going to shot the youngster?

All madness!

A recent study by eminent scientists made an alarming report re climate change. Ocean waters are heating 60 percent faster than thought.

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

On this day in 1948, Truman defeated New York Governor Thomas Dewey for the Presidency by a little more than 2 million votes.

Truman was the underdog throughout the campaign. Not expected to win. His victory a surprise.

The Chicago Tribune was so sure of a Dewey victory that it put out on the streets around midnight the next day’s paper with the bold  headline: DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.

H.V. Kaltenborn one of the country’s most respected radio commentators at the time. His voice unique. He announced late on election night: Dewey has defeated Truman.

It was a different day when everyone woke the next morning.

Truman was literally defecated upon throughout the campaign. A mere farmer, he was considered to have been  lucky to have had three years as President because of Roosevelt’s death.

Truman was a fighter. He took everyone on during the campaign.

Campaigns in those days were from the platform on the last car of a train. Truman went on an extensive campaign train trip. Became known as Truman’s “whistle stop” campaign. The thrust of his campaign was that the country had some problems because of a “do nothing Congress.” The country obviously agreed.

I was at one of the whistle stops. Thirteen and in the 8th grade. Myself and two buddies rode our bicycles to the railroad station to see the President. A huge crowd. We were so far back, we could see nothing. So we did what young kids are apt to do. We rode our bikes to the rear of the train directly in front of the crowd and in front of Truman. No more than 3-4 feet from him.

I enjoyed one more experience with the election. It was 1960. I was a senior in law school at Syracuse University. Truman was at the University for 2 days for various talks.

The University arranged a private luncheon for 12 purportedly outstanding students to lunch with Truman. Twelve out of 35,000. I was selected to represent the law school.

Two round tables set for the luncheon. Name cards as to where we would sit. Mine was immediately to the right of Truman. Wow!

Following the food portion of the luncheon, Truman rose to speak. He spoke of his victory over Dewey. He was like a little kid. He still was thrilled he had whipped Dewey’s ass.

He had a copy of the Chicago Tribune and waved it for all to see. He also had a recording of H. V. Kaltenborn announcing to the world Dewey’s victory. He jokingly mimicked Kaltenborn when the recording had concluded.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GHOSTS AND GOBLINS, TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT

Tonight, Halloween! Tons of kids running up and down streets, attacking front doors, shouting as the door is opened…..Trick or Treat!

The Trick or Treat thing I believe regional. In upstate New York from whence I came, it was Guess or Give. Either verbiage produced the same result. Goodies for the ghosts and goblins.

Halloween is of Christian origin. Some believe a pagan beginning.

I enjoyed Halloween with my children and then with grandkids Robert and Ally. I walked with my children and watched from the sidewalk as they did their thing and collected goodies. Robert and Ally I did in conjunction with their parents.

I never did the door to door thing when young. My mother was from the old country. She was convinced I would get in trouble if I was out Halloween night. A tough woman in this regard. Never relented. I never saw the dark of Halloween night while in grammar school and high school.

Maybe that is why I enjoyed escorting my children and grandchildren in my later years.

Ghosts a part of Halloween! Look closely and you might see one.

Key West has many ghosts. The one I will mention has been seen  many nights. Not just Halloween.

The Lady in Blue.

She can be found at Captain Tony’s Saloon. The bar and the Lady in Blue legendary. Captain Tony’s was at one time an ice house. Also, the city morgue. The ice helped keep the bodies from decomposing.

Captain Tony’s was the facility where hangings took place. Not always legal ones. The tree used for executions still lives inside the bar growing through the roof.

The Lady in Blue was not legally hung. The populace was upset with her. She brutally murdered her husband and 2 young sons. A mob lynched her.

She was hung in a blue dress.  The same dress she had worn while committing the murders.

The Lady in Blue today lives in the bar. She makes frequent appearances. Many claim to have caught a glimpse of her as she roams the bar. Women beware, it is said she often appears in the lady’s room.

Tropic Cinema has been closed for almost a month. Renovations. It has reopened.

The Fall is generally Key West’s slow season. Merchants are happy when Fantasy Fest arrives. They are more happy when Boat Season is here.

Powerboat racing. Accurately titled: Powerboat Racing World Championships.

Boats big and expensive. Owners arrive with crews consisting of drivers and mechanics. All bring their ladies. The owners are affluent. The hotels, restaurants and bars enjoy a week of extremely good business.

Spectators galore. The races exciting.

Powerboat Race Week runs from November 4 through November 10.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. A hard hitting fast moving show. Most of the time spent discussing the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, the migration towards our southwest borders, and Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Michael and the migration/carnival situation caused me the most concern. Michael probably because of Irma. Irma still with me. Michael much worse.

Michael hit 18 days ago. I said before Michael came ashore, and have said and written several times since, the federal government would fail in its response.

So far they have.

Little is reported re conditions at the Panhandle, for example. I suspect because FEMA and the federal government in general are not doing their job effectively. Water, food, shelter, power, etc. still a major problem.

Lets direct attention to the refugees traveling from Guatemala and Honduras to our southwest border. They are walking. Young, old, mothers carrying babies, pregnant women, children. A 2,000 mile trip. One thousand completed. Another thousand to go.

The group is doing 30 miles a day. It will take another month for them to reach U.S. borders.

Trump last week began with it is an “emergency” situation. An “invasion”. He said he was sending the U.S. Army down. Understand that already there are 20,000 border guards and 2,000 National Guardsmen.

The first day, we were told 800 Army personnel would be sent. Two days later, the number rose to 5,200. Last night, it was being reported that the number could go as high as 14,000.

Defense Secretary Mattis said Army soldiers would be at the border by the weekend. Equipment also.

It is against the law to deploy Army soldiers for action within U.S. borders. Called the Posse Comitatus Act. An exception is in the case of an “invasion.” Experts commenting this week have all said no way do these refugees constitute an invasion. At a minimum between Border guards, National Guardsmen and U.S. Army personnel, there will be 27,200 to guard our borders. Against the approaching caravan yet a month away.

The caravan was first reported as 4,000. A few days later, 7,000. Now, 3,500. It is obvious that fewer than 3,500 will reach the U.S. To be confronted by 27,200 to keep them out.

Overkill.

Last week, the news was the Army would neither have nor use guns. They were being sent for administrative assistance. Now guns are in the air!

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen made a trip to the border a few days ago. Upon her return, she was asked why she had gone. Her response, to work out “terms of engagement.” Means guns, firepower. When will the Army shoot at refugees? From no guns to shooting guns in less than a week.

We all know this is a political ploy on Trump’s part. He wants the immigration issue to play in next tuesday’s election.

Hope you are still with me. There is a point to be made here.

Why send the 5,200 U.S. Army troops to the border now? Or, at all for that matter? They should already have been in the Panhandle, etc. The Panhandle need is today. The caravan problem a month off, if at all.

Simple. Genius not required to understand what should have been done or be done.

Trump visited Pittsburgh yesterday. He was ignored. Major political leaders did not show up. It was Donald, Melania, Ivana, Jared, and about 3 other people walking around.

Families of the deceased refused to see him.

The street demonstrations were sorrowful. Many carrying signs indicating in effect they did not want Trump there.

The President was publicly insulted. He deserved it.

Enjoy your day!

WHAT A MORNING…..

What a morning! When things go wrong, they screw up all the way!

It is now 12 noon. I am just starting the blog. Normally, I begin at 6 in the morning.

I had an 8 am doctor visit. Fasting blood work. Left the house at 7:45. Heavy going to work traffic. I was late. Got to doctor’s office 8:10.

Receptionist wanted to know why I was there. Blood work, I said. She said tomorrow.

She took pity on me and said sit down, I’ll work you in. Five minutes later, my blood was being drawn.

The doctor’s office is all of a 100 feet from the Cuban Coffee Queen. I stopped in for breakfast. Cuban cheese toast and coffee. Instead, I was served a regular huge portion of bread embodying 2 eggs and cheese. More food than I would eat in a day.

They said enjoy. I said what the hell and did!

Could not finish the sandwich. Too much.

Went to my car to go home to do this blog. Battery dead. I was beginning to suspect this was not my day.

Called AAA. Excellent repair man. Told me something was corroded and that was why the battery was not functioning. He did his thing and then charged the battery.

Everything in good order! One problem. My trip home delayed. The repair man told me I had to drive the car 45 minutes to charge the battery. More delay. I spent the 45 minutes driving up US 1 and back.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou tonight. Normally I prepare the show tuesday afternoon. I would have had to move my ass to get it done and done correctly if such was the case today.

For whatever reason, I prepared tonight’s show yesterday afternoon. Why, I do not know. First time. In any event, I will not be rushed when I finish this blog. God must have known the problems I was going to experience this morning so moved me to do today’s work yesterday.

Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders last night. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual great entertainers. Terri White guest performer. Now blind, you would never know it. Her performance outstanding!

Wife Donna with her, of course. Donna dressed in black. Looked fantastic. The black contrasted well with her white hair.

Sheila and her California designer friend Carol at the bar. Jean Thornton with them. Liz on the other side. Greeted Liz with a kiss. Enjoyed a couple of drinks with Jean.

Jean left and Mary showed up. I was a lucky man. All these lovely ladies to chat with.

In between, Catt Zinger and her sister Stephanie sat next to me. Tom Luna introduced me to Catt. What a history!

Catt and her husband now live in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Catt visiting Key West for 3 weeks. Lived here for several years. While in Key West, she bartended at Garden of Eden for 5 years. Also did some bartending time at Aqua where she got to know Tom Luna.

When Catt married 5 years ago, the service took place at the Garden of Eden. Eighty guests. A bus or train used to transport guests around as the couple did a pre-planned Duval crawl.

One stop was Aqua. Tom Luna bartending. A good friend. Catt said Tom went out of his way to make the stop a memorable one. The group spent 2 hours at Aqua. She is forever felt grateful to Tom for the fun time he provided.

Almost forgot sister Stephanie. Lovely, also. Not from Hawaii. Lives somewhere in Florida.

On the way home, I stopped at Dion’s on US 1 for Dion’s chicken. I have been in Key West for 30 years. Would you believe…..Never tried Dion’s chicken before. A popular item in Key West.

Took the chicken home and devoured. So good! Even better. Hard to describe how good. I will be enjoying it with some degree of regularity from now on.

Clayton and Valerie two of the most respected persons in Key West. Clayton left Australia many years ago and after time in a country or two ended up in Key West. I first met Clayton when he was bartending at Antonia’s. Valerie when she was bartending at Hot Tin Roof.

The couple has operated Vino’s on Duval for 8 years. Hard workers. They have 2 other Vino’s elsewhere in Florida.

The Fantasy Fest Parade resulted in a problem. With all the “perversity” going on, it is fodder for preachers who decry such “wrongdoing.”

A preacher ended up in front of Vino’s. Remained. Had a microphone electrically operated. Stood in front of Vino’s and would not leave. Told everyone in effect how bad they were.

The preacher was affecting Clayton’s business. People were not going into Vino’s. Those on the porch who had paid for a seat were being disturbed.

Clayton twice asked the preacher to please stop and move on. He refused to hear Clayton. Words were exchanged. Clayton was pushed by the preacher.

Retaliation is wonderful. Clayton cut the wire to the microphone.

The police arrived. The preacher was not arrested for battery. Clayton was arrested. For cutting the wire. The charge misdemeanor mischief.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum will be in Key West thursday morning. At 8:30. An early bird. On Higgs Beach, behind Salute’s.

Come hear Florida’s next Governor.

A local blog this morning. Join me tonight for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. Material all non-local. I have much to say. Hear my pointed ranting and raving. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!