PATRIOTIC EMOTIONS

The Comments Section of this blog generally a war zone. Opposing political positions. No place for the timid.

A comment today emotionally moved me. A video. Touched my patriotic nerve. Brought tears to my eyes.

I recommend you view it. Seven minutes long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdY46iAwHI&feature=youtu.be

Food for thought. Hatred is being spewed by those at the very top of the American political stage. Such the case, the Pittsburgh synagogue incident didn’t just happen. It was bound to happen.

Though the Comment Section has its moments of ferocity, occasionally a touch of humor appears. I consider the following humorous recognizing at the same time it insults a portion of American society: Ban Pre-Shredded Cheese. Make America Grate Again.

My last night began with the Chart Room. Vacationing trial attorney Scott at the bar again. He knows a good place when he finds it. I have seen him there 3 nights recently.

Also at the bar were Sheila, Carol and Jean Thornton. Carol visiting with Sheila for the week. A Californian. Professionally, a costume designer. She and Sheila were out every night of Fantasy Fest in a different costume.

Love of my life Jean Thornton sitting with them.

Chatted with all 3 ladies for a time. Then Jean suggested I join her for dinner. Stone crabs at the Pier One Restaurant. She was buying.

How could I say no.

Jean and I pigged out on stone crabs. Ordered nothing else except a drink each.

A glorious day for Syracuse. The college football rankings came out today. Syracuse is ranked #22. The first time Syracuse has been ranked since 2001.

Syracuse travels to Wake Forest saturday. Hope the ‘Cuse winning ways continue. Syracuse 6-2, Wake Forest 4-4.

When the federal government recommends privatizing jails it is for the benefit of the corporations owning them. Not the tax paying public. Mucho dinero involved. Political donations huge.

I have been opposed to jail privatization since day one. Two primary reasons. The U.S. crime rate has steadily been going down. The other is that corruption occurs within the privatization system. An issue I have written about in the past several times.

The New York Time Editorial Board in an Opinion Piece 10/28/18 titled “The Hate Poisoning America” wrote in part: “Violent crimes remains at historic lows across the United States. But by various indexes, hate appears to be on the rise.”

Justice moves slowly. The axiom Justice delayed is justice denied occurs in many scenarios. One is the length of time it takes for a death sentence to be carried out. Ten to twenty years not uncommon.

I am totally in support of a defendant sentenced to death to receive every legal theory available to avoid the death sentence. However, 10-20 years is a bit long. The victim died in a much shorter time frame. Minutes to days in most instances.

It was not always a long stretched out period. An example involves President McKinley.

The President was shot on September 6, 1901. He died September 14, 1901. His assassin was executed October 29, 1901.

Eighty four days from the commission of the crime to the carrying out of the death sentence.

The assassin was executed by use of the electric chair at Auburn Prison.

I go out of my way to mention Auburn Prison. I was in the prison several times to depose witnesses. Not a pleasant place even to visit.

Terri sings tonight! Guest performer with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

 

ANTI-SEMITISM IGNORED WHILE ON THE RISE

A fanatical Jew hater had his moment yesterday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers entered the synagogue while services were being held with an A-15 and 3 hand revolvers. He killed 11 and wounded 6.

An act of religious terror. The worst attack on people of the Jewish faith in American history.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise world wide, as well as in the U.S., in recent years. Increasingly each year. The number of U.S. incidences rose significantly in 2016-2017. Up 60 percent.

The reasons interesting.

The 2007-2008 recession. Jews are considered bankers and money people. The claim was their greed brought on the recession.

Trump now is an admitted nationalist. The nationalist label applies to neo-Nazis and members of the Klu Klux Klan.

I do not think Trump personally is a neo-Naxi. His problem is he does not understand. He does not think. He does not tie group relationships together. He is very much pro-Israel, his daughter Ivanka and husband Jared are Jews, his former close friend and attorney Michael Cohen a Jew.

Anti-Semitism on college campuses has been on the rise significantly in recent years. Complaints to administrators have generally fallen on deaf ears.

Israel’s rise powerwise. Netanyahu has become an authoritarian figure. A bully. A warmonger. Similar to Trump in many ways.

Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville last year. White supremacy groups participated. Neo-Nazis and Klu Klux Klan. Trump said violations occurred on both sides.

Finally, Trump’s constant venting of hatred. Such encourages those of weak minds who follow him. Bowers the most recent example. I read somewhere in the past 24 hours that to support Trump is to support an environment in which more Richard Bowerses are inevitable.

Trump is blind as regards that which he is encourages. The blind cannot see.

The American people must put a stop to Trump and the evil he promotes. The only way is through the ballot box. Most must vote Democratic. Even Republicans. The result of the November 6 election will indicate whether we support Trump and the movement of hate he has unleashed, or oppose it.

The U.S. is standing on tip toes on the top edge of the Empire State Building. We either fall forward to continued destruction, or back to be saved.

To happier things.

The Fantasy Fest Parade was last night. How successful I cannot say. I did not attend. I will not know till tomorrow morning’s newspaper. The Key West Citizen does not publish on Sundays.

I had a more enjoyable time than the parade. I remained home and watched the Syracuse/North Carolina State game. North Carolina a 2 point favorite going into the game. Syracuse won 51-41. Syracuse now 6-2. The best start and best season in 20 years. Go ‘Cuse!

Bad things can happen in places other than Pittsburgh. A serious sick central Florida event occurred which fortunately was thwarted.

You will ask how/why could such a thing even enter into anyone’s mind.

The place the Bartow Middle School. Two girls 11 and 12 planned to kill 15 other female students, drink their blood, possibly eat body parts, and then commit suicide.

The girls were caught by a teacher waiting for other girls to enter. The girls had in their possession a kitchen knife, a butcher knife, a pizza cutter and a goblet.

They were Satanic worshipers.

The Canadian blogger Ian Welsh recently wrote re climate change. The blog titled: Bend Over And Kiss Your Ass Goodbye. Welsh a graphic writer.

I quote relevant portions of Welsh’s article.

“We are so far up shit creek we are never seeing clear waters again.”

“Climate change is settled science. Climate change is past the point of no return…..If you believe that nations are even going to keep the Paris agreement targets, you’re such a fool you’ll be sold all the world’s bridges.”

“We are long past (a good 10 years past at a minimum) any possibility of stopping this.”

Busy day ahead for me. Sloan over at 12. Big day. What would I do without her.

Tonight, a drink or two. Visit Lauri at Rum Bar and John at the Chart Room.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Broadway musicals open. Some become successful. Those that do are followed by an album.

Jesus Christ Superstar a Broadway smash hit. The album came first, however. There were economic and other problems getting the show on Broadway. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice decided to come out with the album first.

The album was released on this day in 1970. An instantaneous hit!

The Broadway show followed. Likewise a hit.

I was into Broadway musicals in the 1970’s. I was fortunate to get tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar the second week of its opening. Blew me out!

The Chart Room first last night. John back bartending. He was off the previous 3 nights. Done in by all the partying.

Some friends from the previous evening. Scott the trial lawyer. Ted and Terri.

Ted is a Cazenovia friend. Visits Key West twice a year. Here with his friend Terri. They had spent the day fishing. Ted goes out every day. They went 40 miles into the Gulf to fish. On the way passed Ballast Key, one of David Wolkowsky’s homes. Ballast sits 16 miles west of Key West.

David entertained world and national leaders, movie stars, persons of brilliance, at his beloved Ballast Key. The menu always the same. One that only the very rich could provide. Turkey hot dogs, potato chips, and champagne.

A Fantasy Fest partier at the bar. An engaging woman. Between 35 and 40. Lovely. Attired only in a black thong. Magnificent breasts. Her body well tanned.

My one and only moment of Fantasy Fest excitement this year.

Not quite. On my way through the Pier House to the Chart Room, I passed 2 women totally body painted. Head to toe. One silver and one chartreuse.

They were arguing with their husbands or boy friends as I walked between them. I stopped. Complimented the ladies on their beauty and told the four of them not to waste a beautiful evening. They looked at this crazy guy, smiled, and then laughed.

Over to Blue Macaw after the Chart Room. John and Fiona in with 3 house guests. The five having a roaring good time. I had a drink and ate something before leaving for home.

I have been stopping in front of the Hemingway House each night on my way home. Have not seen Hemingway’s ghost yet.

The Fantasy Fest Parade tonight. The biggest event of Fantasy Fest. Floats galore. The sidewalks packed. Sixty thousand expected. Everyone yelling for beads to be thrown to them from the floats.

I was fortunate many years ago to ride on a float. Once was a enough! Throwing beads is hard work. I was exhausted at the end of the parade and went straight home.

The float was Howard Livingston’s. It was Howard’s first year as an entertainer. He was trying to break into the business. The theme of the float obviously was musical. Howard playing his guitar and singing. Pirate themed also. I was dressed as a pirate. Howard stood me next to a water pipe. Periodically, I was to suck on it as if smoking pot. I would like to say I got stoned. However, there was nothing in the water pipe.

Howard did a good job. The float won the prize for Best Musical. Howard was all excited.

Last night was the Masquerade Parade. A strange event. Began years ago primarily with locals. Now a combination of locals and tourists.

Everyone dresses. Great costumes. They walk. It is simply a long walk. The participants boisterous and happy. The parade begins at the cemetery. Weaves up Fleming. Then to other streets. Ending up somewhere on Duval.

From a handful of locals, the parade is now more than 10,000 doing the walk. One of the more successful Fantasy Fest events.

Though I costumed twice over the years for Fantasy Fest, I have never participated in the parade. There is another facet to the parade. More to my liking. People party on their porches as the parade passes by.

Great parties! Food and booze galore. Good company. Parade participants occasionally running up to one of the porch parties to tank up before traveling further.

Key West’s Police Chief is Donnie Lee. I never met him. He is retiring. December 3. He has been a member of the force 24 years. His accomplishments many. Well respected.

Most significant in his background is that he is a Conch. A fifth generation Conch. Being a Conch a big deal. Means one was born in Key West. I find it exciting for Robert and Ally that they are Conchs.

Syracuse/North Carolina State tonight at 7. ESPN 2. I will be staying in. Watching the first half from an easy chair and the second from my bed.

Powerball Lottery drawing tonight at 11. Forty four states participate. $750 million to the winner!

The odds of winning 1 in 292 million. Could be worse!

Enjoy your day!

 

I WAS WRONG…..

I was wrong.

I have been in Key West during Fantasy Fest some 30 years. Initially, I did them all. One year after another. After a while it became you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. So I stopped attending.

Toga Party was my favorite event. Thursday night at Sloppy Joe’s and in the street in front of Sloppy’s. I wrote in detail yesterday what it was like. My last Toga Party (always as an observer) was at least a dozen years ago.

A voyeur’s dream!

I decided to go last night.

I stopped at the Chart Room first. Friend Ted from Cazenovia, NY was there, with friend Terri. Ted is a former attorney. A terrific guy. Visits Key West two times a year. He came specifically for Fantasy Fest. His first. Terri’s, also. Terri a 20 year veteran of corporate finance.

Being a helpful soul, I advised Ted and Terri a good event to see last night. My admonition: Don’t miss Toga Party. Explained what and where it was.

My good deed for the evening.

Around 8 o’clock, I walked over to Sloppy Joe’s. Excited!

In the past, Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s was cordoned off. A block on either side also. No cars. Pedestrian walk. Totally crowded with party revelers. Last night, cars as usual.

Strange, I thought. It came to mind there was little traffic when I drove down US 1 and along Truman Avenue. Normally took extra long to get into town. It also dawned on me I had no problem finding a parking spot. Open places all over.

Something amiss.

I got in front of Sloppy’s. About 3/4’s filled inside. Less people than when a cruise ship comes in. The sidewalks crowded, but walkable.

Few bare assed women wearing togas! I saw a total of 4. Walking down the sidewalk with their husbands or boy friends who were similarly attired.

Things had changed in the last 12 years. Wow! Big time! The “adult party” appeared no more. Subdued considerably.

The same local company had run Fantasy Fest for years. Three years ago, some felt the event had become too risqué. A new company was hired. One that promised a more subdued event. Subdued? Killed!

I wonder how long the merchants will put up with a quieter, cleaner Fantasy Fest. The sole purpose for Fantasy Fest was to give merchants an opportunity to make money during Key West’s slow time.

I apologize to my readers for yesterday’s total erroneous representation of Toga Party. I also apologize to Ted and Terri. My only interest was to make their evening more enjoyable.

While in the Chart Room, met another attorney. Scott from Poughkeepsie. He has been visiting Key West since 1992. A Simon Court regular.

Scott has had a distinguished career. Cases litigated from Puerto Rico to Key West to New York.

We exchanged lawyer war stories.

Disappointed with a Toga Party that sucked, I drove over to Blue Macaw. Ran into Mary. We enjoyed dinner and a couple of drinks together. Mary works at The Little White House. A Harry Truman expert.

The parking meters have changed. Cost to park in Key West has increased. From $3 an hour to $4. Disgraceful! A gouging!

These attempted bombings scary. The 11th discovered this morning. Directed to New Jersey Democratic Senator Corey Booker.

What is occurring is domestic terrorism. Can you imagine how we would feel if the attempted bombings had been successful? Two former Presidents, a Vice-President, a former Presidential candidate, Congressional members, and a movie star not afraid to speak out on political issues, dead or injured. The country would be in mourning. Republicans, included.

We are in a cold war. A Democrat/Republican one. Tempers are boiling. The cold war could easily tun into a hot one. Bullets and molotov cocktails flying. Citizens killed and injured.

The last time the U.S. was confronted with such anger and ill will between political parties was in the 1850 years leading up to the Civil War. It took a Civil War to settle the issues.

Trump proudly said on TV the other night he was a nationalist. “There I said it,” he said.

Does the man know that of which he speaks? Nationalists is a  fancy cover up word for neo-Nazis and members of the Klu Klux Klan.

Bravery in war not uncommon. For God and country commonplace. We do not hear of the many acts or events of bravery. One became immortalized by the famous poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Charge of the Light Brigade.

The battle fought on yesterday’s date in 1854. Known as the Battle of Balaclava. Part of the Crimean War. British Light Forces and  Russians on opposite sides.

The British task an impossible one. They had to take a Russian position at the top of a hill. Russian guns on three sides as they rode up the hill. To the left, right and in front of them. The Brits suffered a high number of casualties.

Tennyson’s poem portrayed the battle and bravery of the men: “Into the Valley of Death / Rode the six hundred. / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die…..Cannon to the right of them, / Cannon to the left off them, / Cannon in front of them…..Into the jaws of Death, / Into the mouth of Hell / Rode the six hundred…..When can their glory fade? / O the wild charge they made! / All the world wondered. / Honor the charge they made! / Honor the Light Brigade, / Noble six hundred!”

Enjoy your day!

SEX ACTS IN PUBLIC ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED

Fantasy Fest is an adult party. Risque. People let go, their privates hang out. Nudity in various forms big. One prohibition: Sex acts in public are absolutely prohibited.

Fun lovers should be able to live within the restriction. Break the law and go to jail. Mighty cold spending a night in a jail cell without clothes.

The town is already full with party goers. Earlier in the week this year.

Many interesting events tonight. I have picked out a few you might enjoy. Anything But Clothes Party, Tarzan-n-Jane at the Green Room, the Pet Masquerade, Smokin’ Tuna Homemade Bikini contest, Wharfstock at Schooner Wharf, Sexy Bull Riding Party at Cowboy Bill’s. The ladies ride.

Stopped at Publix yesterday afternoon to get 20 Mega Millions lottery tickets. Good luck! The line at least 30 deep. Not moving. I did not plan on winning anyhow. Not a wait in line person. Left.

As I was walking to my car I thought if someone wins who bought a ticket at Publix, I might never be happy again.

The news this morning indicates some one from South Carolina won. God bless the person! Better stated, God blessED the person!

Remained home in the evening. Watched the World Series, did my podcast, returned to watching the World Series. The Red Sox won 8-4.

Loved the podcast! Provided the opportunity for me to vent. Topics like what is going on with Michael’s victims, Trump’s lying the past week, migration/the caravan, Trump’s plan to dump the nuclear treaty with Russia, asexuality, the nut who grabbed a woman’s breast twice on a commercial flight over the weekend who justified his actions on Trump’s comments during the campaign re “grabbing a woman’s pussy.”

I additionally commented on Saudi Arabia’s blunderings in killing Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudis the gang who could not shot straight.

The Saudis thought they were smart. One of them dressed in Jamal’s clothes and left the embassy. The Saudis knew the video would pick him up. One problem. The Turkish police noted the shoes were not the same as Jamal wore going into the embassy.

Early voting in Monroe County began yesterday. Be sure to vote.  Everyone’s vote extremely important this year.

Sick! Sick! Sick!

The Blue Ship Lines is building a Titanic replica. Its first sailing 2022. Titanic II’s maiden voyage will be the same route from Southampton to the United States as the original Titanic was sailing.

Titanic II will be similar in many ways to the original. Four smokestacks, 2,435 passengers, the cabin layout the same.

One exception. A major one. The lifeboats will be more than adequate.

Who in their proper minds would want to make the sailing?

Enjoy your day!

 

IT’S TOUGH TO BE AN OLD GEEZER

A change of pace blog.

Love the title…..It’s Tough To Be An Old Geezer.

Patricia Tedesco is a friend of 50 plus years. Knew each other back in Utica. Contemporaries age wise.

We had not seen each other in many years. She now lives in another State as do I. We met again on Facebook a year ago. A new relationship began.

Frailties inevitable for persons in their 80’s. Discussed frequently by seniors. Generally in a humorous fashion.

Julie Andrews a member of our generation. Pat sent me a take off on My Favorite Things from Sound of Music. Purportedly sung by Julie Andrews on the occasion of her 69th birthday on October 1, 2005 at Radio City Music Hall.

It’s funny! The spoof words true in every respect. The lyrics changed for the entertainment of Andrews’ “blue hair” audience. What I share will be most appreciated by them. It is their life!

Keep the tune My Favorite Things in mind as you read the words.

An admonition. Stay with this blog till the bitter end. Read every word. My comments at the end especially.

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, / Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, / Bundles of magazines tied up in string, / These are a few of  my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses, / Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, / Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, / These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, / When the bones creak, / When the knees go bad, / I simply remember my favorite things, / And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, / No spicy food or food cooked with onions, / Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, / These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’, / Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’, / And we won’t mention our short sunken frames, / When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, / When the hips break, / When the eyes grow dim, / Then I remember the great life I’ve had, / And then I don’t feel so bad.

None of the introduction happened. All false. No Julie Andrews, no 69th birthday celebration at Radio City Music Hall, no singing by Julie Andrews.

The intro a complete and total falsehood. Yet many who read/hear of the reworded song and Julie Andrews believe it.

The truth. The song is a parody. Believed to have been written in 2001 by some aspiring humorist. Probably to cause a bit of comical mayhem. Well done. The rhythmic cadence consistent with These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things.

It was impossible for Julie Andrews to sing in 2005. She lost her ability to sing several years earlier in 1997. A simple surgery to remove a non cancerous polyp on her vocal cords went wrong. Her voice destroyed. Unable to sing again.

That my friends is the true story. Never the less, a great rendition of the song.

Thank you Pat for sharing.

Don’t forget my podcast tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Please join me. You will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ASEXUALITY

There are a number of  different sexualities.

The first began with Adam and Eve. Heterosexuality. No others at the time.

Since have come homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, transgenders, and now asexuals.

Transgender as an item of public awareness is relatively new. I had never heard the term till several years ago when we were made aware of the large number, their personal needs, etc.

I thought transgenders would be the last of the sexual designations. I was wrong. We are now being made aware of asexuals.

An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction. It is not celibacy. It is an intrinsic part of who a person is. As with other sexual designations. With a significant difference. Asexuals have no sexual drive/attraction. For either sex.

Asexuality has existed since sometime after Adam and Eve. It is not new. Awareness and it being the subject of public discourse is new.

One percent of the world’s population is thought to be asexual. Some think more. Seventy percent are believed to be women.

Public awareness and discourse has resulted in Asexual Awareness Week. This year October 21-27.

Fantasy Fest began yesterday. The week begins slowly. More events to follow. Yesterday, a Zombie Bike Ride. Four miles. Costumed. Scary. Participants’ faces made up to look like zombies!

More events today. Included are the Green Parrot Beatles Tribute, the Southernmost Luau, a 5k run, and Sloppy Joe’s Comic Book Capers.

Dueling Bartenders will be performing at Aqua as usual. If you are here for Fantasy Fest, stop in. The best buy in town. Great singing all for the price of a drink.

Another event is the Kinky Carnival at First Flight. BDSM at its finest!

The oldest BDSM event in Fantasy Fest history. First Flight is the former Kelly’s Caribbean Restaurant. It started there.

Kelly’s at the time was owned by Hollywood star Kelly McGillis and her husband Fred Tillman. My neighbors in Key Haven.

I have only attended one such kinky event. When it was Kelly’s. It was 15 years ago. I was at a Fantasy Fest party when someone said let’s go to Kelly’s. I was with Donna that evening. Terri not yet in the picture.

We all went. I had always wanted to see a BDSM party. One of my deviations, I guess.

I was shocked!

Most of the people were running around bare ass. I was dressed. In a tee shirt and shorts. Never take my clothes off publicly.

The place was packed. Both floors. Impossible to get to the bar.

What was going on was interesting. Who was whipping who, who was hung on a cross, who was walking around on a dog collar and leash, etc.

I lost Donna. Satisfied my curiosity. Left after one hour.

I have never seen another since. Worth the experience however if you have even the slightest curiosity of what is involved.

An Irma update. I mentioned a week ago that Irma left 4,000 homes destroyed or severely damage. There are consequences. It has since been reported that in 2017 and 2018 there has been a population drop in every Keys city and unincorporated area.

The people of the U.S. were made aware on this date in 1962 of the Cuban Missile Crisis. President John Kennedy went on national TV and made the announcement. Russia was establishing missile bases in Cuba. The missiles would have the capacity to hit major U.S. cities.

I was an adult at the time. Twenty-seven years old with a wife, family, and a 2 year old law practice.

The situation quickly turned into the serious possibility of conflict. War drums were beating both in the U.S. and Russia.

Key West was directly involved. Cuba only 90 miles away. Smathers Beach was lined with anti-aircraft missiles. The U.S. blockaded Cuba so no new missiles or construction equipment could be delivered by Soviet ships.

The Russian Navy confronted our vessels. The vessels came close. Two only feet from each other.

War?

Fortunately, Russia blinked. The Russian close vessel turned around followed by other Russian ships and returned to Russia.

We were able to watch all this via TV. Interesting, worrisome, scary. The brink of war.

Trump announced saturday he is going to have the U.S. withdraw from the nuclear treaty with Russia. The treaty was agreed to in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Another dumb Trump move in the making.

Gorbachev is still alive. He said Trump’s desire “not the work of a great mind.” He added, “Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?” He concluded that “…..all agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and the limitation of nuclear weapons must be preserved for the sake of life on Earth.”

Too deep for Trump to understand.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

OLD COUPLE

Strange experience last night.

I did not want to go into town. Parking a problem during Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Three different times my car has been towed. $200 plus each time. Additionally, after 25 years I have seen all there is to see about the events. I have rarely attended in recent years.

Diane Millikan is back. Gave her a call and said join me for dinner. Meet me at the new SONIC across the street from where you are staying.

Sonic a new short order food operation in Key West. Mega bucks involved for the property. I was curious what it was like.

I opted to eat at an outside table rather than in the car. One orders by standing in front of a huge screen. The size of a 50 inch TV screen. The menu listed. A press button operation. Someone answers and you place your order.

When the food and bill arrived, I noticed something unusual on the bill: CUST INFO: OLD COUPLE.

Bothered me. Not because I am old. Because SONIC obviously had to have a camera built into the screen that automatically deduced Diana and I are old. SONIC probably requires the information for their purposes. However, it irritated me someone was taking my picture and labeling me without my permission.

See if I eat their cheeseburgers again!

The food sucked. Not because of the picture taking. It did. And the tables were dirty. All of them. I had to clean one off before we sat down.

Today the day! The beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. A wild week ahead. Tourists galore. As many as 60,000 the night of the parade. Every year, I wonder where they sleep. There are not enough rooms in the Keys to accommodate all of them.

A Michael update. Michael’s strength and the surge unearthed 15 19th century ships that had been wrecked off Dog Island by a hurricane. The hurricane occurred in 1899. The ships are siting on the beaches.

Syracuse/UNC an interesting game yesterday afternoon. I missed the best part. I fell asleep.

With 3 minutes to go, Syracuse was losing. I think by 3 points. That is when I fell asleep.

I assumed Syracuse lost and never checked the final score when I woke. I did last night when I returned home. Syracuse won in a double overtime 40-37.

Friends have been e-mailing me and asking…..Wasn’t it a great game!

Not the first time this has happened to me.

This morning’s news advises that Trump announced following his latest rally last night that the U.S. was going to exit its nuclear treaty with Russia. A treaty that was entered into in 1987 between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reagan at the time used a Russian proverb as to how he was going to handle whether Russia was complying with the provisions of the agreement. Doveryai no proveryai. Trust, but verify.

Trump claims Russia has been violating the treaty. Why rush to a North Korea type confrontation? All Trump had to do was ask Putin if Russia was. If Putin said no, then Trump should be comfortable with the response. As he was each time Putin told him Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election.

I suspect Trump is playing this new game to show voters he is tough. The November 6 elections around the corner.

Also, this confrontation in the making provides Trump with evidence in the Mueller investigation that he is not friends with Russia. He’s willing to go to nuclear war with them!

Realistically, I doubt any war is about to occur. Russia militarily is not our equal. Except in their new submarine fleet that can shoot missiles onto our shores.

The only way Russia could stand up to the U.S. militarily is if China joined them. A possibility always. Putin and Xi have been making all kinds of economic deals the past few years.

Behind Trump’s present blustering is John Bolton. A bad man. A war monger. Most previous Presidents have been able to avoid him. Trump, not. Bolton talks tough. As does Trump. Birds of a feather.

Trump is turning migration into a campaign issue again. People are escaping Guatemala to avoid harm, to seek a better life for themselves and their children, etc. Trump makes it sound like an attack en mass is coming.

Many of the 4,000 are stuck on a bridge over a river separating Guatemala and Mexico. Body to body. No food, no toilets, no water, no shelter, etc. Sounds like the aftermath of Michael.

One woman interviewed crying while kneeling on the bridge clutching her 11 month old infant to her breast. The baby had a fever. The baby was without a diaper. There were none.

I continue to say if people are willing to walk 2,000 miles and go through these type conditions, they cannot be bad. They are in need. In need of a better way.

Forget the money. We piss money away on many things. Here at least it would go for a good cause.

This is not a crisis. Authorities say except for a spike here and there, immigration is at a 40 year low.

Time to help a neighbor. We forget. Especially the Golden Rule…..Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t respond with…..God helps those who help themselves. These people are trying to help themselves. They are walking 2,000 miles and jeopardizing the health and lives of themselves and their children.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

I DIDN’T WIN THE LOTTERY

I didn’t win the lottery. I never win.

The Mega Millions Lottery drawing was last night. No one won. Which is good. Means I still have a chance.

The next drawing is tuesday evening. $1.6 billion. I can wait. The extra money worth it.

The Royal Coronation Ball last night! At the Amphitheater. Larry Blackburn crowned King. Benadeta Restivo, Queen.

I know Larry. A nice guy. Well liked. A professional photographer. Can generally be found at Aqua’s monday nights for Dueling Bartenders.

Larry has a 15 year old daughter. Last year when 14, I heard her sing at the Waterfront Theater. Outstanding! Her career path already marked.

Unfortunately, I do not know Benadeta. I am sure I will meet her soon.

Being King and Queen an honor. No bargain, however. The King and Queen must attend every type function for the next year. A hard job!

The White Street Pier. An edifice. Everyone knows and loves the pier. Most have walked it out onto the water for exercise, to watch the sun rise, or attend a friend’s “burial” as ashes are sprinkled onto the water.

The pier was renamed the Edward B. Knight Pier 2 years ago in honor of Ed Knight who did so much for Key West. David Wolkowsky and Ed were close friends. Contemporaries. David told me often how he and Ed would joke as to who would be the last one left standing.

The pier will close October 29 for roughly 6 weeks. Work to be done The base of the pier requires reconstruction.

Keys residents do not forget deeds well done. Irma destroyed certain areas of the Keys. People came from all over the country to help. Donated food and money.

The Panhandle had their share of helpers driving to the Keys.

Reciprocation time. Keys residents have not forgotten. It seems like every few days another truck and group of helpers drive north to help those in the Panhandle.

Michael did a number everywhere it hit. Many victims. Michael one of the biggest storms in U.S. history. A group from the Monroe County Fire Rescue left this week for the Panhandle. They had collected essentials and $10,000 to be delivered also. The truck they intended to use to transport the essentials turned out to be too small. A bigger one was required.

Good for the Rescue team and those who generously donated!

Essentials cover a number of items. Some that we might not think of at the moment. A very much needed essential are baby diapers. Speaks for itself.

Staying with Michael for a moment, I continue to question how effective FEMA has been. I worry they will come up short.

With Trump dominating the news in every other area, we have been hearing next to nothing re the Michael survivors, whether their needs are being met, etc.

I came across a recent FEMA news release setting forth what is being done. Whether enough, I do not know.

FEMA claims there are 16,000 federal employees working Michael affected areas. Eight thousand of that number is made up of military.

FEMA claims that on a daily basis in Florida alone, it is serving 715,000 meals and 1.5 million liters of water.

In spite of all that help, many are still without shelter for example. A family of 12 who had been living in a building of 100 condos saw their building destroyed. Six of the 12 children.

FEMA said they have to get out. The remnants of the building dangerous. Problem, no place to go. FEMA approved hotels/motels filled. So the family remain in the dangerous ruins of their condo. No power. The nights dark. Most days the toilets do not work.

I recently came across the Shoestring Weekends Blog. Shostringweekends.com. Exceptionally well done.

Art Boza, the writer. Lives in Miami. At one time lived in the Keys. He writes a daily blog about the Keys. From Key Largo to Key West and all points in between.

I do not know how he knows so much. I am impressed. I sense he must have a source for the information. Impossible for any one person to be familiar with all the places he mentions.

Every now and then a blog appears covering a Key West site/story. Today’s concerns Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms. Hemingway published the novel in 1929.

Boza points out it was not written at the Hemingway House on Whitehead. Rather at what is now the Casa Antigua at 304 Simonton. On the second floor. Sort of a did you know article.

I skimmed through some of the articles. Discovered that 3 written in the past several months were the same story with a different title. Word for word in some instances. The Hemingway/Antiqua story previously shared an example.

Whatever way Boza does it, the blog is worthy of your reading.

I am 83. I am reminded of it when I mention to someone younger the name of a famous movie star from days past. One is Burt Lancaster. One of the greatest actors ever. Died in 1994.

Lancaster had 2 connections with Key West.

The movie The Rose Tattoo was filmed in Key West. Written by Tennessee Williams. Lancaster starred in it together with Anna Mangani who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

The movie was filmed in a house on Duncan Street. Williams’ home was on Duncan also. The two houses were on the same block. One at one end, the other at the other end. Four or 5 houses apart.

Lisa lives on Duncan. Two blocks from the Rose Tattoo house.

While making The Rose Tattoo, Lancaster hung out at the Rooftop. The same Rooftop Restaurant still operating today on Front Street. Prior to the restaurant’s remodeling, the walls were covered with enlarged photos of Lancaster at the bar, etc. Not sure they are still there today.

Lancaster’s first movie was in 1946. He starred in The Killers opposite Ava Gardner. The Killers was based on Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

My afternoon will be well spent. Syracuse plays the University of North Carolina at noon. Syracuse a 10 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

REPUDIATE OR VALIDATE

Sixteen days to elections. The midterm perhaps the most important in U.S. history. In less than 2 years, Trump has taken us down a dark road. Evil at every turn.

Time to save the country. In the manner prescribed in the Constitution. The ballot. Vote!

Vote not as a Republican or Democrat. Vote as an American. To save our country.

The Republicanism Trump proclaims is not that your fathers knew. It is different. Tending to fascism and dictatorship.

Stand together. Republicans swallow your pride and vote for a Democratic Congress. Your vote must be cast to repudiate Trump. To vote Republican, is to validate him.

Trump has begun making immigration an up front issue again. A “caravan” of 4,000 has left Guatemala and Honduras and is on its way to the U.S. They are escaping death.

Trump says he will send the U.S. Army to the border to stop them. He also continues to believe separating children from parents will eventually put a damper on immigration efforts.

Does Trump ever wonder why people would walk 2,000 miles to reach the U.S.? Things must be extremely bad for them to undertake such a trip.

What happened to…..”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?”

My mother and my four grandparents came from Italy. All poor. Peasant stock. “The wretched refuse of your teeming shores.” They yearned for the better life. For themselves and their children born and to be born. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

The 4,000 walking the 2,000 miles to our southern border a humanitarian crisis. Our borders should be open and not closed to them. The U.S. once took in masses in greater numbers from Ireland and Italy. They should do the same today for those soon to be knocking on our door.

One of Trump’s quirks is name calling. He finds a name for anyone he dislikes or disagrees with. I thought the names flowed freely from his demented mind. Turns out they are crafted and planned.

It has been reported Horseface for Stormy Daniels was practiced in the White House by Trump. He went around asking people what they thought.

Apparently as President he had nothing better to do at the time.

Then there is Jamal Khashoggi. First, the Saudis cut off his fingers. Then decapitated him. Concluded by using a chain saw to cut his body into parts.

Trump is not disgusted, not infuriated. More concerned with “friendship” of a country some consider an enemy and with money. The deplorable acts committed upon Khashoggi’s body cannot and should not be tolerated by any civilized person. Yet in his own fashion, Trump does.

I share these most recent examples of Trump actions to give further evidence of the road the U.S. is on. My friends one and all, vote Democratic next month. Repudiate Trump. Validate him not. Save our country in the process.

Yesterday, a full one. A haircut with Lori. Followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Last night, Hard Rock Cafe and Chart Room.

Donna and Terri had me as their guest at Hard Rock. Enjoyed a large rack of ribs and the good company of my lesbian wives.

Stopped by the Chart Room on the way home. Visited with the new bartender Tammy. So lovely! Soft spoken. Sweet.

The Chart Room is her second job. Her first, the Garden of Eden.

Ollie was at the bar. A while since we last had run into each other.

Ollie’s full name is Oliver Kofoid. Why I share this with you, I am not sure. The name and the man do not fit.

Ollie is friendly and witty. A good guy. Community oriented. A citizen and scientist.

Ollie began his early life by getting kicked out of high school. Never returned. Eventually was able to get into a college. Earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science.

Today in his 50’s, Ollie has worked at the Key West Water Treatment Plant more than 20 years. The operator of the plant is OMI which is part of Jacobs Engineering. Ollie is a Lead Operator. A position of some importance.

He was dressed in his Coast Guard Blues last night. Ollie is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Two rows of ribbons on his chest.

He has refereed soccer and served as a lacrosse official for Key West schools for years. He is President of his condo association. Ran twice for a seat on the Mosquito Control Board. Lost both times. Why I do not understand.

Ollie dislikes mosquitoes. Seriously. Considers them a plague.

Ollie has a strange sense of humor. He deals with sewage. He once had tee shirts made and gave them out to his friends. Inscribed thereon: “Input From Every Asshole In Town.”

Irma did a number on the wastewater treatment plant Ollie is responsible for. He and several others recently accepted on behalf of their company an award for their performance during the hurricane.

The generator had failed. Ollie and his team effected emergency repairs and kept things running. Critical wastewater and storm water services as a result continued till a new generator arrived. Property and the environment were protected big time because of their efforts.

The National Water Environmental Federation recently gave the Key West Wastewater Treatment Operators its highest award: The Water Heroes Award for going ABOVE & BEYOND.

Lynda and Bob Frechette are back in town. Welcome! You were missed!

Tonight, Goombay. I meet Jean Thornton at 7 at Bourbon Street to begin what I know will be a festive evening.

Enjoy your day!