RANDOM IRMA HAPPENINGS

I feel like a refugee. I am a refugee. Fleeing Irma.

Some random experiences/happenings the past 24 hours. All Irma related one way or another.

The media has pointedly described Irma: A looming apocalypse…..The surge a minor tsunami…..A lawnmower from the sky.

Spent yesterday afternoon watching Alabama/Fresno State. Alabama killed little Fresno State. My hosts Jean and Joe are Alabama graduates and die hard Alabama fans. I was glad for them.

Followed the game up with a nap. Still tired from the drive.

Rose for cocktail hour. Drinks/drinking excellent! Never had a Beefeaters last night, though a giant bottle was waiting for me when I arrived. Margaritas and wine. The wine exceptional.

Dinner a holiday table. Great food. A neighbor prepared lasagna. Another prepared a Texas streetcake. Chocolate. Absolutely delicious! The wine flowed continuously. Joe started things off with a prayer. Called for under the circumstances.

There are only 9 of us here. Feels like much more. Fortunately, the house is large enough so we neither run into each other and can get a degree of privacy if so desired.

Several slept on sleeping bags and couches last night. Jean had two neighbors who offered private rooms and  beds. We all opted to stay together in one house. Team spirit.

The Sheriff moved the 460 Monroe County Jail inmates from Stock Island to a facility in Palm Beach County. One hundred twenty five correction officers went with them and will remain with them.

I do not understand why the inmates were moved. The jail imposing stone and brick.

The Sheriff also maintains an animal farm. Many animals. Well taken care of. A place to visit. The animals were moved from the farm to the jail.

If the jail is safe enough for treasured animals, it should have been safe enough for the inmates.

As of 9 this morning, US 1 not flooded. Except for one lane in Islamorada.

The TV channels are not reporting Irma properly. A lot of talk and next to no video re Key West. Everything video wise primarily Miami.

It is obvious there are no TV people in Key West.

TV is trying to fool people. They got caught by those of us in this house. They ran a video of a flooded Key Largo street. Water rolling as far as the eye could see. 2-3 feet. Two streets.

The streets were Duval and Front in  Key West.

Gotcha!

Saw a picture on my cell phone of a woman lighting a candle at St. Mary’s of the Sea in Key West. Large votive candles. A statue of the Blessed Mother.

The belief is if candles are lite and prayers said asking for relief from a storm, such conduct will help. I am not being disrespectful, but I have never seen a Key West hurricane avoided by such conduct.

Saw another video of the White Street Pier on Facebook. The Pier totally covered in water. Right up to the rails. Huge waves pouring over the rails. Two Key Westers running around taking the video. Finally, one of them shouted to the other: Lets get out of here…..this place is too dangerous!

The Marriott Beachside opened its doors yesterday or a day before to guests. Minimum rate. The place is packed with those who stayed. Like Mark Watson. The Marriott was built to sustain a category 5.

Mark Watson reported on Facebook yesterday that they had moved him from a first floor room to a third floor one. Sounded ominous.

La Concha is also taking guests. Built somewhere back in the 1920’s. Survived over the years. Thought safe.

I have considered Florida’s Governor Scott a flaming asshole up to this point. His political/social decisions rarely helpful to the populace in general. Favor the affluent.

He has turned me around. His Irma conduct beyond belief. His actions thought out and necessary. Like ok for a line of traffic to travel on highway shoulders. Move the cars faster!

In prior storms, all traffic lanes move in one direction. The game plan to get people out of danger’s way faster. For Irma, one lane kept open going the other way. Fuel trucks. To get needed gasoline to the southern part of the State.

Every conceivable way has been utilized to get people out of harm’s way. Buses provided. Sick and elderly removed from their homes to a safe place. Etc.

Reported that police and fire have left. Felt everything conceivable had been done to get people out. I would agree. I do not believe that some police and fire did not remain. My friends e-mail me that some have remained at the Marriott Beachside.

The Audubon House. On the corner of Whitehead and Greene Streets. Built way back when by a Captain Geiger.

In 1832, the famous bird painter John James Audubon spent 20 days residing at the house. He discovered 18 new breed of birds and painted them.

Our little group has some persons purportedly knowledgeable about Audubon in Key West.

The story told is that Audubon would discover the new breed in the morning. Kill it. Stretch it on something so he could paint it. Painted in the afternoon. Cooked and ate the bird for dinner at night.

It was the eating of the bird in the evening that I found extraordinary.

Those of us here are bonding. I am waiting for someone to suggest we have an Irma reunion once a year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT TO CALL TODAY’S BLOG

 

A strange day. In the midst of other strange days.

Waiting for Irma!

I believe I have finally escaped her. Birmingham appears a safe hideaway. Hope I am not wrong.

I arrived at Jean’s home mid-afternoon. We chatted, watched the weather channel, etc. Joe came home and we chatted more.

Their home has a deeply pitched driveway down.
More than 45 degrees. All houses the same. One side of the street the driveways go down,the other up.

The homes are built at the bottom of the Appalachian Mountains. Actually near the bottom. So they have that dramatic pitch.

I missed Jean’s house. Had to turn around. Cautiously down a driveway. Getting out the problem. My car stalled almost to the top. Wished I had a clutch car at that moment.

Jean and Joe great hosts. Mi casa, su casa the theme.

It was only the three of us last night. Jean cooked a terrific meat loaf dinner. We knocked down drinks before on their outside veranda.

Never really talked with Joe before. An interesting man. He majored in history. Got a Masters in criminal justice. Wanted to be a police officer. Became one. For ten years.

Then a friend offered him a job with a manufacturing rep company. Big time electrical machinery.

Joe has been with the company 26 years.

A couple of neighbors popped in. Brought brownies, booze, etc. All charming. A heart doctor lives across the street. Has offered two bedrooms. Another neighbor one. Three others accommodations also.

True Southern hospitality and neighborliness.

My accommodation terrific. I have a large private room with a king size bed. I share a large bathroom with another bedroom. The bathroom connects the two bedrooms.

Two ladies arrived around 3 in the morning. They are in the other bedroom. With their dog. He and I have bonded.

Life goes on for the Thorntons while we are imposing on their lives. Joe is outside at the moment cutting the grass. Jean is working at a charity garage sale.

It is strange sitting here this morning. Knowing that disaster awaits. I am glad I ran. There are those who did not. I worry about them.

Some remained for financial reasons. Others because they only have a bike. The rest hard heads who don’t think Irma will be that bad.

I fear for all of them.

Lisa and family were at Cape Coral. When the west coast became the target, they got out. They are in a friend’s home in Jupiter on the east coast.

I am nervous for them. Jupiter may still be too close because of the width of Irma.

Talked with them this morning. The trip up went well. Except for Jake who got car sick.

There are many things I would like to comment on. The world, Trump, etc. However nothing is of any consequence at a moment like this, except Irma.

My day will not be bad. Actually, very good. This afternoon we will watch the Alabama game together. Following a lasagna dinner tonight, we will all be glued to the TV worrying about friends and home in Key West.

I find the sadness of all this heavy. I tear up on occasion thinking of what is to come.

Enjoy your day!

IRMA ON ITS WAY

Irma is coming. Will it hit Key West? Looks like it. Only God and two weather fronts can prevent the blow.

I hope my prognostication is wrong. I hope the fronts bend Irma northeast and back into the Atlantic.

Yesterday a first. Irma if it hits not due till saturday. Saw people putting up hurricane shutters yesterday. Normally, a last minute thing in Key West.

What will Louis do? Not certain yet.

I was supposed to drive Terri to Aqua at 5 last night. She was to perform as part of Dueling Bartenders. Got a call at 4. Forget me. Not feeling well.

Ended up meeting the Chart Room’s John for a dinner and drinks. We tried 2 cents on Applerouth. That’s its name! 2 cents.

Happy Hour dinner menu. Half price.

Dinner less than ok. Staff bouncy happy. Always a smile. Service excellent. Atmosphere cozy.

John and I stopped at Dueling Bartenders afterwards. Caught the last half hour. Tom Luna and Rick Dery performing.

Great entertainment!

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting goings on. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include DACA, three different hurricanes, Megan Kelly a climber, facial recognition replacing credit cards, killer robots around the corner, Netanyahu facing possible indictment, the biggest gold discovery in history, and more.

Trump advises his position on DACA today. Rumor has it he will extend six months and leave the final decision up to Congress. Called passing the buck!

Sad part is Congress hasn’t decided anything important in six months in years.

Venezuela’s President Maduro has requested he be permitted to appear before the UN’s Human Rights Council that begins with three weeks of meetings September 11. He has been granted permission and will appear early in the meetings.

Expect a denunciation of the United States. Perhaps even the UN. Maduro will be calling wolf.

I recall a few years ago when Hugo Chavez spoke before the General Assembly. Bush 2 had spoken immediately before or within 2 or 3 speakers of Chavez.

Things were strained between the U.S. and Venezuela at the time. When Chavez reached the podium, he announced the smell of sulfur was overwhelming. He was referring to Bush’s time behind the podium and how Bush in reality was the Devil.

A step back in history. Geronimo.

Geronimo was a great Indian chief.When the white man wanted Indian lands, he led the fight against them. Over 20 plus years, he was responsible for the killing of many U.S. Army soldiers and settlers.

Geronimo became a public enemy #1. Pursued relentlessly.

Geronimo finally surrendered in September 1886. The U.S. deported him from his homeland in the west. Initially sent him to two different camps in southern States. Finally, resettled him in Oklahoma.

Geronimo saw the handwriting on the wall. He became the good Indian. A successful farmer and convert to Christianity.

America accepted him. Its former enemy. Geronimo marched in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

DACA AND IRMA

Two items of grave concern. Immediate grave concern.

The first is DACA. Trump will advise his decision tomorrow. His decision re Dreamers. Eight hundred thousand in number per official records. Another million unrecorded.

Trump’s decision will reflect the nature of his heart. His humanity.

One way or another, he is going to throw them out. Either directly by his own action, or he will pass the buck to Congress to make a decision within six months or out they go.

Passing final judgment to Congress a joke. Congress has been unable to decide much of anything in recent times in six months.

Till Trump’s election, the United States was not the type of nation that would throw Dreamers out. Stalin and Hitler would (or have them killed). Not our cup of tea.

Irma. I fear it may be knocking on Key West’s door sunday or monday. As a category 4 hurricane. Meteorologists say too soon to tell. However, the tracking lines they issue say yes.

Scary.

Till 3 yesterday, busy.

Up at 6 to get yesterday’s blog out. Sloan at 10. A few hours needed attention to some matters.

One of the problems involved my cellphone and Key West Lou Live. the video show I do daily on Facebook.

There has been no live video the past few days. The reason being I could not get a clear picture during the last two videos. Cloudy.

Figured it had to be the phone. Sloan played with it. Not the phone. She thought it was the sunlight behind me. I said no. I have done 30 plus videos from the spot and the sun was never a problem.

Took the phone to Verizon in Winn-Dixie. Great people!

The sun the problem. I said no and explained the other videos being ok. Verizon showed me that previous videos were made during late afternoon. The two that were foggy early afternoon. The sun light created the difference.

Live and learn! Yes, I e-mailed Sloan and told her she was correct.

Then to Publix. Quiet. Unusual. Sunday afternoons generally busy.

Got home at 3. I still had to take the water pill and lie down for 3 hours. Meant no Hot Dog Church for me.

The Duval Loop bus seems to be doing well. I suspect it will change Duval crawling. Instead of going to the bar next door, revelers will now be able to hit and miss as they so desire. Go from Sloppy Joe’s to 801, for example.

William Hackley. I have always suspected he was probably a Confederate. His diary is for the year 1856 so it was impossible to ascertain.

I did some digging. Hackley was a Yankee through and through.

He and his family moved to Washington, DC and resided there from 1863-1865 while Hackley worked in the Treasury Department. Following the Civil War, Hackley continued to work for the U.S. Treasury in another capacity. He was put in charge of Confederate State cotton through 1866.

Hackley makes mention in this day’s writing that his wife Matilda payed Mrs. Tift for goods bought for her.

Mrs. Tift Mrs. Asa Tift. I wrote about Asa last week. Asa built the Hemingway House in 1851. Owned 14 slaves at the time. Had the 14 slaves build it.

Asa’s bust also sits in the special memorial next to Mallory Square honoring prominent Key Westers over the years.

I suggested if present day political correctness was to prevail, the Hemingway House and Asa’s bust should be torn down. The House written with tongue in cheek.

In researching Mrs. Tift this morning, I discovered Asa was a big Confederate supporter. He and his brothers financed the construction of a vessel for the Confederacy. When Lee surrendered, Asa and one of his brothers blew the vessel up rather than let it fall into the hands of the Union.

Asa’s bust must definitely come down. On reconsideration, perhaps even the Hemingway House.

The stupidity of it all!

As most of you know, my thinking has come full circle. Leave all these monuments, statues, etc. alone. Tearing down something does not change history. History is what it is. Good, bad or indifferent.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP LOOKED GOOD

Brevity my middle name this morning. Sloan coming over shortly. We have a number of things to do.

I do not recall ever saying anything nice about the President. My mind has not changed. Yesterday was rare. He was over the top good.

His appearance in Houston, other parts Texas and Louisiana Presidential. Caused a tear on occasion, The people needed him. He was there for them.

Wish he were able to continue being Presidential. It asks too much of him.

Bocce party last night. Arrived late. Group already playing. The Sons and Daughters of Italy. I continue to be glad I joined. Great people!

President Giorgi a first class guy. Chatted with him a while watching his group and he play.

Then to the Chart Room. Packed. Tourists. Knew not a soul. Watched the first half of the Alabama/Florida State game. Hurried home during half time to catch the second half. Number 1 and number 3 ranked teams playing in a season opening game.

The game was not impressive. Alabama won decidedly, but did not show #1 characteristics. Florida State a disappointment. I have a feeling they will be stronger as the season progresses.

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Won its opening game friday night. Decidedly. Beat Central Connecticut 50-7. Have not seen a win like that in years!

Syracuse has not played well for several years. The school’s schedule down graded. Nice to win. But against Central Connecticut?

Brewfest a winner! People lined up around the corner of Duval and South Streets waiting to get in. The party on South Beach.

Sponsored by the Southernmost Beach Resort and Sunrise Rotary. One hundred fifty different brews.

The event will continue throughout the Labor Day weekend.

Filled the gas tank yesterday. Price up $.20 a gallon. Not bad in view of the Houston refinery devastation.

I finish with a Eugene O’Neill quote: “Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

KEY WEST BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR RESIGNS…..GREAT!

I am rarely excited about the decisions of the Key West City Commission. They make decisions, pass rules and regulations, and then sit in the corner like Little Jack Horner. Each sticking his thumb in the pie and coming up with a plum. Saying simultaneously…..What a good boy am I!

Decisions off the wall. They throw money at everything. Frequently not the solution.

Last year, the Commission hired a Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. Chris Hamilton. Never met Hamilton. Began to think he was crazy as he got into the job.

The man moved. Earned his salary by making changes. Changes I considered not always good.

Bikes his job. He removed parking spaces and replaced them with bike lanes. He added bike lanes in dangerous places.

The man was pro-bike and anti-car. He forgot we who drive cars worry constantly about hitting a bike rider who with his 5 member family are rolling down a Key West Street. Some of the kids 4-5 years old. Then there is the 60ish woman who probably has not been on a bike in 40 years. She has trouble keeping her ass on the seat and wobbles uncontrollably.

I could go on.

I hope the position remains unfilled. Traffic congestion and parking problems have to be decided at one time by a group. Not piece meal. The City may be moving in that direction.

Got to the Chart Room early. Before 5. Wanted to see John about something. My self phone lost his number.

My game plan was to go from there to bocce. Never made bocce. The Chart Room was too interesting and fun to leave.

Met George. Nice guy. 47. From New Jersey. A software engineer. Could have been an Arts major. Reads everything. Big on Hemingway.

George visits once a year with a group of friends. One a police officer from Red Bank. The officer’s police patch hangs on the Chart Room wall. He proudly pointed it out to everyone.

George told me about Pompous Hemingway. A book of sorts by Hemingway. I tried to find it this morning. Could not. George, if you are reading this blog this morning, e-mail me how to find the book in the Comments section. Forget the long number you gave me. Turned out I did not know how to use it.

The new amphitheater is constantly discussed these days. Who to name it after? That person or company pays a fee for the privilege. Normally, very generous.

Several names have been mentioned. Jimmy Buffett one of them.

The anti-Buffett talk is amazing. Many do not want the facility named after him. Hard to understand. Jimmy Buffet is a part of Key West as much as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

A local I had never seen before was sitting at the other end of the Chart Room bar. Attractive. Her feet up on the bar stool next to hear. In her slightly inebriated high pitched voice she was berating Buffett as a choice.

In the very room where Buffett got his start!

Key West has bright stars in many areas of accomplishment. Dr. Cori Convertino is one.

Cori is affiliated with the Key West Art and Historical Society. She is the Curator at the Custom House.

She is a recognized maritime history expert.

Cori recently completed a two year project. The Flagler Railroad section of the Custom House. Fantastic!

She has been invited to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy September 14-15 at a maritime symposium. Her topic to be involves Commodore David Porter and his anti-piracy efforts in 1823 which effectively eliminated piracy from Key West waters.

Sally Rand was a famous fan dancer for many years. Even into her 60’s. She lived in Key West in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

I met her in 1965. At a convention at Grossinger’s in New York’s Catskill mountains. I was attorney for the group holding the conference.

Sally was retained to perform one evening.

I met her the night before at a small cocktail party at the Grossinger residence. At 60, Sally was still beautiful. We hit it off and I spent much time the next two days when not working in her company.

I was unaware she was the lady friend of one of my client’s officer staff. A secret friend. They had had a tiff.

Three days following the convention, I received a letter advising my services were no longer required and I was terminated.

A learning experience.

Harvey has displaced one million persons. Forty four dead. The number will increase as more bodies are found. Beaumont is a community of 120,000 persons. They have no drinking water.

The sadness of it all.

Irma is on the way. Similar in power to Harvey. Still two thousand miles away. A hurricane already. Expected to be a 4 when it hits in a week. Winds will be 140 miles per hour plus.

Whether it will reach land or turn north up into the Atlantic not yet certain. At this time heading for the Bahamas. Too soon to determine its impact, if any, with the United states.

After Harvey, I am concerned. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Enjoy your day!

 

CONCERNS

Two matters are at the forefront of my mind. One has to do with Harvey. The other Trump and the military.

Without question, Harvey is the worst of the worst. Nature’s force/violence not within my recollection.

From my perspective, assistance has been outstanding. Whether governmental or voluntary. It has been several days however and the natives are getting restless. Understandable taking into consideration the conditions under which they are living.

At first, everyone was grateful to be alive and thankful for the assistance being provided. The kumbaya could not last.

Yesterday, the rumbles began. Slowly. Food not that good, for example. Today, the chemical plant. Questions re whether firefighters are doing enough or the right thing.

Several days into Harvey, rescuing people still a primary concern,. Properly so. However, attention has to be paid also to those saved and sleeping in overcrowded shelters. They are getting restless and must know what is being done/planned to help them.

Let them know. Otherwise, the rumblings will turn into trouble.

My other concern is Trump and the military.

Trump is incompetent and incapable. Should never have been elected President. He is commander-in-chief. However, the military seem to override certain of his decisions and go their own way. Mathis and transgenders the most recnet example.

I have always feared an overthrow of the government by the military. More so since we went to an all volunteer military.

We are nowhere near any type military takeover at this time. However recent happenings could be the seeds for one.

Great Chart Room last night! John and Kevin. Then two visitors from Columbus, Ohio. Megan and Ryan. Their first time in Key West. A relative told them to stop in the Chart Room for a drink.

Proud parents of three year old Knox Dallas.

Megan is a stylist and has her own business. Ryan is District Manager for a liquor company. Jack Daniel’s.

I wrote about Jack Daniel’s a couple of days ago. Hope they go back and find that blog. The venue was the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The new political correctness re Confederate statues and monument the subject.

The conversation got into the new book I am trying to write. Believe I will finish this one. Key West and Whore Houses. Or, Whore Houses of Key West. Or, something like that. Houses of ill repute and ladies of the night.

Whore houses do not hold a special place in my heart. My concern was to write a novel Key West book. One that would sell. There are a ton of Key West books out there. About houses, streets, outstanding citizens, etc. None about whore houses.

Megan and Ryan participated. Suggestion wise.

When they left, John, Kevin and I agreed they would have a lot to talk about re the Chart Room when they return to Columbus…..Those wild Key West people!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat. George bartending. Rob entertaining.

Harpoon Harry’s. One of my favorite places. A block off the waterfront on Caroline. The feeling of an old time diner. Food that sticks to your ribs.

Every couple of weeks, I stop in. Generally for a late breakfast. Their eggs the best in town! Taste fresh. Unique.

In September, Harpoon Harry’s will be 25 years old. Opened in September 1992 by Ron Heck and Robert Cobb. In celebration thereof and thanks to their many customers over the years, Harpoon Harry’s will sell the blue plate special at the same price as when they opened. $4.99. And a special breakfast. $1.99.

The special prices will be available September 25-29.

There are 67 counties in Florida. Suicide has become an increasing problem over the years. Monroe County has had the highest number of suicides for many years. A dubious distinction. Last year, an improvement. Monroe County dropped to sixth.

Credit in large measure is due to Mary Lou Hoover and her group who have done much to help those considering suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day. I am sure we will all be hearing about the subject matter and activities soon from Mary Lou.

9/11 will never be forgotten. Each year, anywhere in the United States.

Key West is recalling the occasion on 9/11. The Key West Fire Department and the Key West Fire Museum. The event will take place at 8:30 am on 9/11 at the Fire Museum on Grinnell.

Bocce tonight. First game of the season rained out last week. I will be there supporting Don’s Place.

I miss playing.

Enjoy your day!

 

TERRI A GO FOR SPECIAL CANCER TREATMENT

More than a year ago, Terri White was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. Doctors not encouraging. She went to a special cancer facility in Tampa. Not much encouragement there, either.

She was told there might be a way if her “numbers” came down. Terri has spent a year getting those numbers down. Not easy.

She just completed two days of examinations in Tampa to see if the numbers were down sufficiently so she could receive special treatment.

Donna and Terri called last night. The numbers are down! Big time! Treatment next!

Treatment will be long. Terri will be hospitalized for at least one month. The doctors plan to take healthy cells from her body. The cells will grow new bone marrow outside her body. At a point in time, the cancer ridden bone marrow in her body will be removed and replaced with the new bone marrow.

The doctors are excited. Terri and Donna are excited.

The two are still in Tampa. Today is ministerial. Scheduling stuff. Then a return for the big time procedures.

Amazing! Hope it works!

This is not a new procedure. However everything must be in place for it to prove successful. The greatest danger is during the month long period in the hospital while the bad is being removed and replaced by the new. Her immunity will go down to zero. She will spend the month in isolation to hopefully prevent her coming down with anything.

A big deal!

May God and good luck be on Terri’s side.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Show went well. Dwelled on two topics. Harvey and Trump.

Duval Loop begins tomorrow. A Key West plan to reduce traffic congestion and parking problems. A free bus ride. The bus will travel around the outer perimeter of Duval.

Spent most of my yesterday glued to the TV. Harvey has me hooked. The suffering. The drama. Neighbor helping neighbor. Caused me to shed an occasional tear.

Everyone knows. Those in authority deny. Until caught.

I refer to the existence of a quota system used by police officers in giving traffic tickets.

The Florida Highway Patrol got caught. Two high ranking officers have resigned. A Lieutenant Colonel and Major. Sent e-mails to troopers recommending two tickets an hour be given.

E-mails became public. The Lieutenant Colonel was #2 in command of the entire Florida Highway Patrol.

Denials have been forthcoming from others in command that the instruction was not intended as a quota requirement.

Never forget…..If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck!

An interesting editorial in this morning’s Key West Citizen.

James Polk was the 11th President of the United states. Served one term beginning in 1844. Recognized as a success. During his four years, what today are nine States  and part of two others, were acquired by the United States. By war and negotiation.

Florida has a county named after the former President. Polk County.

Turns out Polk owned two southern plantations. Absentee owned. As many as 55 slaves worked the plantations. They were severely treated. Few lived beyond their 15th birthdays. Slave families ripped apart and sold to various new owners.

We live in an era of new political correctness. The citizen asks  two questions: “Do we rename Polk County? Indeed, where does it end?”

Enjoy your day!

A MESS…..PARKING AND TRAFFIC

As Key West’s popularity grows, so too its parking and traffic problems. To the point of exasperation!

City leaders have done their best to remedy the problem. The City Commission has spent six figure money on studies.

Nothing has worked.

The newest approach…..Let the people work it out.

The City Commission is considering approving a six member temporary commission to make recommendations re parking and traffic congestion. The committee would sit for six months. Unpaid. Each Commissioner would appoint one person to the committee.

Can’t be worse than those who have been paid. Maybe better. Those who live in Key West year round have a better handle on the problem.

My sense is the only solution must be a dramatic one. Something not thought of yet. The obvious has not worked.

An observation never taken into consideration. Key West is a tiny island. Four by 1.5 miles. The island is capable of sinking.

A humorous observation! Written with tongue in cheek.

Another consideration is the successful advertising/selling of Key West. More and more visitors every year.

If getting around becomes a problem, if the crowd becomes overbearing, people will go elsewhere. Property values will become reasonable. Key West will return to the serenity of days gone by.

Might not be bad.

Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery.  Bobby Nesbitt guest vocalist.

Liz and friends at the bar. Enjoyed chatting with Liz.

Towards the end of the evening, Larry Smith showed up. I was surprised. Larry rarely frequents Aqua. He said he was driving by and saw Tom, Bobby and me. Decided to stop.

Glad he did. Larry and I rarely see each other these days.

We discussed why. Simple, I said. We have known each other 25 years. We got old. We no longer do Duval Street or go to parties as we did. We are old enough to think a night in front of the TV is fun. There are fewer and fewer of us each year.

Horrible!

Houston and the Texas gulf coast terrible! Even today people are being saved. And the rain continues. I worry about one of the dams overflowing. the water held back is inches from the top.

The past few days have been Harvey’s time. The next few will continue so. In 2005, there was another hurricane. Katrina.  A category 3. Devastated New Orleans.

I mention Katrina because it was on this day in 2005 that Katrina made landfall.

Katrina has been regarded as the worst natural disaster in our history. Harvey will replace Katrina.

Remember Paul Newman in HUD. He carried a bottle of Jack Daniel’s around most of the movie.

Jack Daniel sales shot up. Men switched for a while. All wanted to look like HUD’s Paul Newman. The tilt of the head, walk, etc.

Want to share a bit about Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey. The distillery opened in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. One year after the Civil War ended and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which ended slavery.

A co-founder of the distillery was Jack Daniel.

A former slave became an employee of the new distillery. Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest knew everything about distilling whiskey. He soon became head stiller. In later years, the title was changed to master distiller.

Nearest was the first African-American master distiller of record in the United States.

His descendants have continued to work at Jack Daniel’s. Three of Nearest’s sons and four grandchildren while he was still alive. Several generations of descendants. Three working at Jack Daniel’s today.

Lynchburg has another distinction. Davy Crockett lived there a while.

You may wonder at this point why I am recounting Jack Daniel’s and Nearest.

Lynchburg rests in the heart of the Confederacy. Tennessee. Left the Union. Supported the South.

The name Lynchburg  struck me as strange. Lynching of blacks so popular they named a town after it? My initial reaction was pursuant to the political correctness of today, the name would have to be changed.

Made sense. Till I researched from whence the name came.

Judge Lynch. Some sort of War of 1812 hero. I could find nothing connecting him to slavery.

Should the name still be changed? It does bring to mind a grievous act involving blacks.

I leave the judgment to those who support the removal of statues and memorials.

There is a memorial that should come down. On the lawn in front of the County Courthouse in Lynchburg rests a monument to Confederate soldiers.

No question, it should come down under present standards of political correctness.

So there is no misunderstanding, my position is to leave any remembrances of the Confederacy alone. Like it or not, regardless of color, they are a part of America’s history.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So many topics. Not sure yet which I will explore in the show’s fast moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

MOTHER SETON / SISTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. JOSEPH

 

Houston flooded and Trump trying to build a Trump Tower during the campaign. Big news items this morning. Yet I open with Mother Seton and the Catholic nun order she began, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

I saw a notation this morning that on this date in 1774, Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born. The founder of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Returned me to the warm days of my youth. My teenage days. High school. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph taught me. Henceforth to be referred to as Sisters of Charity.

My high school was in Utica, NY. Stood in the back of a large lot next to St. John’s church on John Street.

The building tiny. Three stories high. The height larger than the width of the building.

Today, the school is gone. The land the school stood on a parking lot for St. John’s Church.

The heads of Sisters of Charity were capped with big white head coverings. Looked like wings. Body attire, dark blue ankle length dresses. Tied around their waists, extremely large and heavy appearing rosary beads.

The Sisters lived in an old Victorian building one block away. Today, a deserted lot.

The Sisters were excellent teachers. Disciplinarians. In teaching and personal matters. A sister would not hesitate storming into the boys’ bathroom if she thought there was smoking going on.

I got caught. On more than one occasion. Learned from one nun as she twisted my ear: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

Didn’t do much good. I still smoke.

One of the nuns had a distinct impact on my life. Sister Gertrude. A short stout elderly woman. A craggy beautiful face.

She discovered my love for history. Did everything to encourage it. She is also the reason I went to Manhattan College. She pushed Manhattan. Her cousin was a Christian Brother and Director of Athletics.

We had to study Latin. I took three years. Thought it was stupid. During my life time, I discovered those three years of Latin did more for me than any course I studied at any age.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born an Episcopalian. Married at 19. Became known as Elizabeth Seton. Bore 5 children. Her husband died ten years after their marriage.

Elizabeth was broke. Her husband had become ill some time before he died. Their money was gone. The family was stuck in Italy where they had gone believing the Italian weather would be good for her husband’s health.

Some Catholic Italian friends helped. She was impressed with their kindness and charity. Studied the Catholic religion. Became a Catholic.

Catholicism was neither popular nor respected in those days. Even her Episcopalian family deserted her.

Elizabeth returned to the United States. The Baltimore area. She became involved with helping the poor and needy. Especially women.

She founded the first Catholic school in the United States. Turned out to be the beginning of the parochial school system in the United States.

A group of women flocked to Elizabeth to assist her in the good works being performed. Elizabeth felt they should become an established nunnery order within the Catholic church. She pursued and accomplished the goal. Elizabeth founded the first female apostolic community in the United States. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

In 1975, the Pope recognized her commitment and success to humanity. She was ordained a Saint of the Catholic Church. The first American born to be so honored.

As to Harvey, a catastrophe of epic proportions. I am impressed, as I am sure you are, with the neighborly assistance being provided. Neighbors helping each other. Strangers helping each other.

Makes for a good feeling after Katrina. People are pitching in and helping each other rather than complaining.

The number of dead known is 3. Some say really 5. I believe the number will be much more once the waters recede and authorities are able to conduct a detailed search.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Trump Company was seeking to do business with Russia in late 2015 and into early 2016. Campaign time.

It is claimed the construction of a massive Trump Tower was contemplated. Purportedly, there is a letter of intent signed by investors and Trump and Company re the projected structure.

Tunney Morgan Hunsaker. What a name? His claim to fame is that he was the first person Cassius Clay fought professionally.

Hunsaker had a mixed career. Seventeen wins, fifteen losses. He went on to become a long time Police Chief for Fayetteville, West Virginia.

He and Clay remained friends their entire lives.

Enjoy your day!