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!

 

OUTSTANDING FLAGLER RAILWAY EXHIBIT

Slept late. Bed followed by a meeting. Ergo, blog late today. Sorry.

I went to the opening of the Flagler Railway Exhibit at the Custom House last night. Outstanding!

Curator Dr. Cori Convertino performed well. She was in charge of the exhibit. A permanent one. A lot of work and time had to be involved. The finished product made it worthwhile.

I could not find Nicky’s drawing of Flagler. It’s there. I will return when there is no crowd and I can take my time looking.

Dr. Convertino in attendance, of course. All decked out in long. Looked terrific! A hug and a kiss of congratulations.

Ran into George. George is a female. She bartends at Hogsbreath. For at least 15 years.

I had not seen her in years. She never changes. I told her so. Looks the same as when I first met her at Lisa’s wedding 13 years ago.

Walked over to the Chart Room following the exhibit. Another fun evening.

Sheila was there. First time in three months that I have seen her. Sat next to her.

Linda Cunningham seated next to Sheila. She contributed to making it an enjoyable evening. In her other life, Linda was an editor. In Key West, she is a Board member of The Stars and Stripes.

Kevin and Holly at the other end of the bar. Chatted with them briefly. Holly her usual lovely self.

Met Grace and Steve. They reside in one of the Villages. Visiting Key West for the holiday weekend.

Grace into legal case management. Steve a former crane operator. Now, retired.

Nice people. Steve especially expressive.

John handled the bar well. Joined in the conversations when he could.

Zbigniew Brzezinski died. Eighty nine years old. A distinguished American. He was National Security Adviser under President Carter. He succeeded Henry Kissinger in the position.

Brzezinski’s family escaped Europe before World War II. Amazing the heights Brzezinski attained.

He is the father of Mika Brzezinski, one of the Morning Joe hosts.

The Rainbow Flag. One and a quarter miles long. From one end of Duval to the other. An expression gay pride.

A portion of the flag is referred to as Section 93. It has been exhibited in several parts of the U.S. and as far away as Australia.

On January 11, Section 93 will participate in a unity and pride parade in Washington, DC. The Equality March for Unity and Pride. It will lead the parade.

Big time sailboat races no more in Key West. For thirty years, the Key West Race Week held in waters off Key West. A big deal!

Unfortunately, participation has dwindled. In 2001, 326 boats. In 2016, 130. This past January, 90.

The numbers explain the cancellation determination.

At a Trump rally in March, Senator Jim Kane’s son was present. Senator Kane was Hillary’s Vice-Presidential running mate.

The son is Linwood “Woody” Kane.

Young Kane was opposed to Trump. He and friends disrupted the rally. One threw a smoke bomb.

That was March. He was arrested this week for his activities at the rally. My question: Why did it take two months to arrest him? Does not make sense.

You can always find an outside the box event in the Keys. This afternoon a dog wash fundraiser. Sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department. Being held at the Keys Animal Hospital. The proceeds go to the Florida Keys SPCA.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WHITE MEN BEHEAD TOO

Saudi Arabia and most Middle East countries behead. Historically, many other countries have beheaded.

It was 1637. The place Groton, Connecticut. The Pequot Indians and settlers were not getting along. Seemed the whites were on a mission to exterminate the Pequots. Several battles occurred before the Groton one. The settlers the winners each time.

Seven hundred Pequots had gathered in Groton for a green corn dance. Dutch and English mercenaries led the settler attack. All 700 Pequots were killed. By shooting, stabbing, butchering and burning.

In the victory celebration following the battle, the Dutch and English severed heads from dead Pequot bodies. Then partied by kicking the heads through Groton streets like soccer balls.

Bocci last night. My poor team still not with it. I may have to return.

The team lost the first game 16-15. Won the second 16-15. I left. Do not know the results of the third game.

The sadness of the whole thing is that the other team is in next to last place. Don’s should have killed them!

Chickens and humans have lived in peace with each other for years in Key West. Each group ignores the other.

Recently, the Key West Fire Department was called. A tragedy in the making. Two baby chicks had fallen through a storm grate. Death inevitable if not saved.

The event not a fire. Regardless of the situation not being their responsibility, the firemen went to work and rescued the two chicks. Reflects the heart and love found in Key West.

Big evening tonight at the Custom House. The Flagler Railway Exhibit opens. KWAHS and Dr. Cori Convertino’s baby. I plan on attending.

Tom told me at bocce last night that his wife Nicky’s drawing of Henry Flagler was part of the exhibit. Congratulations, Nicky!

I live and learn. Memorial Day around the corner. American flags will be flying all over Key West. Tradition dictates the American flag is to be flown at half mast till noon.

I doubt any will be. Who knew/knows?

Trump at the G7 meeting. The NATO meeting. His speech an insult to the U.S.’s European friends. The man is tasteless!

On top of which he exhibited he cares only for himself. A narcissistic bully.

Leaders of other nations were walking down a corridor. Trump apparently was at the rear. He shoved his way forward. Pushed the President of some small country out of the way so he could be up front and in the middle. Then he buttoned his jacket and looked ahead. solemn appearing. His jaw jutting out.

Reminded me of Mussolini.

Florida’s Governor Scott recently signed a bill into law removing feminine hygiene products from the sales tax. Tampons and menstrual pads. He referred to what he did as “common sense legislation.” The items being “necessary products.”

I ask why it took so long to recognize the fact.

Wear your seat belt from now till June 4th for sure. It’s click it time! Police will be looking to ticket drivers not wearing their seat belts. Includes others in the car required by law to wear a seat belt.

The ticket somewhere in the area of $160.

I got caught several years ago. I was wrong. Never the less, the size of the fine irritated me no end. Outrageous!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HITLER REVISITED

History repeats itself. No question. In one fashion or another.

Recall Auschwitz. Hitler’s pride. An example of German efficiency.

The gas chambers were so effective, that the bodies could not be disposed of fast enough. Mass graves were not doing the job. Crematoriums came into play. Burn the bodies! Quicker, cleaner, less burdensome. Also, ashes not discoverable in later years. Mass graves are.

Some 70 years later comes Syria’s Assad. Guilty of mass executions. Problem was body disposition and secrecy. A crematorium was constructed at Sednaya Military Prison. Problem resolved.

Note Assad has killed thousands without resort to judicial proceedings.

Assad is supported by Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States supports the rebels opposing Assad. Russia is supposedly not the U.S.’s friend. Perhaps Trump’s however. Saudi Arabia has become a much closer friend since last week’s visit by Trump. Trump was sucked up to big time.

Zeroing in on Saudi Arabia, how can the U.S. be friends with a friend and supporter of a mass executioner such as Assad?

Trump forgets who our friends are. He plays up to despots while insulting and ignoring those who have been friends of the U.S. for years.

I was correct re the effect of the south wind yesterday. The rain storm came at 6:30 last night. Heavy and prolonged. Streets flooded.

The last block to my home deeper in rain water than I have ever seen. I questioned whether I should drive it. The alternative was walking through water 12-18 inches deep. I said screw it. Hit the pedal hard and rammed through the water.

The Chart Room first last night. Kevin and Holly there. John bartending. Quiet. We chatted for a couple of hours. A lot of laughing involved.

Stopped at Outback on the way home for dinner.

Memorial Day Weekend begins tomorrow. Key West will be buried in tourists. Everyone having a good time.

Much will be going on. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta sunday. Don’t miss it! Lots of laughs!

Dr. Cori Convertino is a talented woman. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society. Located at the Custom House.

Tomorrow night a new exhibit opens. One Dr. Convertino has spent months working on. Overseas to the Keys: Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway Exhibit.

John Kennedy had a way of inspiring. He made us feel we could accomplish the impossible. He gave us pride.

On this day in 1961, Kennedy announced his plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

We believed him!

Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 21, 1969.

Kennedy pride. Not the Trump pride Trump tries to foist on us.

Staying with Trump for a moment, Trump reminds me of what happens when a pebble is thrown into a pool of water. The circle caused where the pebble hit grows. Ring after ring. Each larger than the previous

Sort of like……Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Happy Mother’s Day to my mother!

My mother has been gone some thirty odd years. I still think of her every day.

I have a large painting of my mother that sits over my desk. I see her constantly. I even talk to her on occasion. I vent.

We had a good relationship. She was retired. I would stop by to see her almost every day on my way home after work. Not for long. Fifteen minutes to a half hour. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass of ice on the kitchen table. My mother did not drink. The Beefeaters was for me.

We talked about this and that. Rarely important. Just mother/son chit chat.

I miss her.

Hurricane season is around the corner. Begins June 1.

The prediction is the season will be slightly below average. Six hurricanes anticipated. Two which will be major ones.

We have been lucky in recent years. Hurricanes, yes. But they always bent at the last minute and missed us. May that continue to be the case!

Key West Songwriters Festival this weekend. Musicians come from all over. They play just about every bar and location in town.

I walked Duval and the side streets yesterday listening.  Occasionally, stopping. I stayed a while to hear the group playing on Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s. Then to Smokin’ Tuna. Finally, Margaritaville.

The walk, crowds and heat did me in.  I had anticipated it would. Knew dinner would be at home for me.

I took out one of Fran’s containers of frozen pork sauce in the morning. Left it on the counter to thaw. Last night, I enjoyed stove pipes buried in Fran’s thick red pork sauce. Covered generously with Parmesan cheese.

Ate too much. I did not care. Good was good.

Fran and husband Tom are in Paris for ten days. I e-mailed Fran and told her how great her sauce was.

Some things I do not understand. Like why a toll on US 1. The only road in and out of Key West.

An Islamorada councilman named Mike Forster went to Washington last week to discuss a toll. He favors it. He is pushing it. Why, I do not understand.

US 1 is generally a narrow two lane road for 140 miles. Key West at the southern end. When I go to Hogfish, Roostica, Geiger Key, Square Grouper, Mangrove Mama’s or to visit my Sugarloaf friends, US 1 is involved at some point.

I have to pay to travel 1/2 mile to 20 miles?

Forster is speaking to the issue tomorrow evening at 5:30 at the VFW on the Boulevard. I plan on attending.

This will be a big week for me. Thursday night the Key West Art & Historical Society is sponsoring a talk at Tropic Cinema. An Arlo Haskell speaking. His topic: The former Jewish underground involving Key West and Cuba. 1918-1939.

Charles Krauthammer is a noted columnist for the Washington Post. A conservative.

He wrote in a recent column re the Trump/Comey situation: “The king asked whether no one would rid him of this troublesome priest, and got so impatient he did it himself.” Henry VIII had Thomas More beheaded.

Comey’s firing no different.

History may speak of it as the beginning of the end of Trump’s Presidency.

Reap the Wild Wind was published by Thelma Strabel in 1940. A story of Key West and wreckers. The Saturday Evening Post immediately serialized it.

Strabel used the Saturday Evening Post money she received to build a home in Key West. In 1940, she obtained a building permit to construct a house at 400 South Street.

At the time, she claimed it was the most southern point in the United States.

The home was later demolished and a larger one built on the site. Strabel was long gone from Key West by that time.

Enjoy your Mother’s Day! Enjoy your Sunday!

BOOKS & BOOKS…..BIPOLAR DISORDER TONIGHT

Judy Blume has arranged a big one for Books & Books tonight. Kay Redford Jamison discussing her newest book: Robert Lowell, Setting The River On Fire.

A rather unique presentation. The famed poet Robert Lowell was bipolar. Jamison is bipolar. As well as being Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins.

Six tonight for a most interesting discussion.

After Jameson, I will be off to Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking. Her famous pot roast. Juicy and tender.

Yesterday another lazy one. A bug must have recently bitten me.

I did get out of the house. Drove up to No Name Pub for lunch. Love the place!

Later in the afternoon, watched North Carolina/Kentucky. A game! North Carolina won by 3. Great basketball. Kentucky on its way to the Final Four.

Oregon a part this year of the Final Four, also.

March Madness had its birth this day in 1939. The first NCAA Tournament. Oregon beat Ohio State.

It was doubtful Oregon would make the Final Four this year. Congratulations to them.

Russia experienced 99 separate protests over the weekend. In its cities and towns. Unusual. Especially against Putin. Putin does not tolerate opposition. Several opposing political leaders have died under strange circumstances the past two years. Their deaths thought to be Putin ordered.

Now street protests. Will Putin call out the tanks as the Soviet Union did in Hungary in the 1950’s?

Is Russia experiencing an Arab Spring as Egypt did?

My gut tells me Trump has an involvement. I suspect the negative Trump/Russia dialogue in the U.S. is working against Trump in Russia.

Hemingway left his mark on Key West. For which we are all glad.

Many the words he wrote or spoke became memorable quotes. One I especially enjoy involves love: Stop chasing the wrong one, the right one won’t run.

Words of wisdom!

On this day in 1998, the band played and the drums roared. The FDA approved Viagra. The first oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction.

Harry Truman again. Never forget, Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman spent 175 days over 11 trips enjoying Key West. On this date in 1952, Truman left Key West for Washington following a three week vacation.

Enjoy your day!