WAUNAKEE’S SHARIE AND MARK

The name Waunakee initially reminded me of Smucker’s…..With a name like that it has to be good! It is.

Waunakee is a small village in Dane County, Wisconsin. Population 12,000. Waunakee proudly labels itself “The Only Waunakee In The World.”

Waunakee a good place. In 2009, the village was listed in “Top 100 Best Places To Live” for small towns.

Which brings me to Sharie and Mark. Met them at the Chart Room last night. They’re from Waunakee! First time in the Chart Room, though they have visited Key West several times in the past. After last night, I guarantee the Chart Room will become their favorite watering hole when they visit Key West.

Married 30 plus years. Two sons. Soon to be grandparents for the first time. All excited. They have already rented a home for their Key West visit next January. A family trip. Baby included.

Mark was in the excavation business. His Dad began it. His son now working it. Three generations and still going. Sharie helped out in the business over the years.

Sharie a dog lover. Three. Named them after baseball players. Hank, Aaron, and Eddy.

Charming people. Fun. I hope to run into them before they leave. If not, I am confident we will meet in January.

Headed over to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ate at the bar. Grouper instead of prime rib.

On the way to my car, walked past the Chart Room. Sharie and Mark still there. The Chart Room standing room only. Sharie and Mark visibly having a good time.

My day yesterday began with Lori. Haircut time. We reminisced a bit. Lori has been a hair dresser 28 years. I a customer now a friend, 18. She looks as lovely today as when I first met her 18 years ago.

Afterwards, stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. My eye caught the name Utica College on the TV screen. An advertisement for nursing students. It was going off as I saw it.

Utica College is in my home town in upper New York State. I recall its beginnings. Provided a small assistance in getting it started.

Found out later in the day that Utica College is soon to offer extension services to students in the Keys. The ability to earn a nursing degree over the internet. Even nurse practitioner status. A representative of Utica College was in Key West last week arranging for the plan to be implemented.

Later in the afternoon before heading to the Chart Room, stopped for a manicure. Tammy’s last day for a week. Starting a vacation today. Good for her! Deserved. She is hard working. From 7 in the morning to 8 in the evening six days a week.

Key West postal workers protesting. Signs and all.

Proper they are protesting.

Budget cuts have been dramatic in recent years. Fewer and fewer postal workers. Sometimes only one person servicing the counter. Waiting lines up to one hour before one reaches the counter. Fortunately, Key West is a friendly town. Neighbors and acquaintances get to chat.

To fully appreciate the situation, there are 18 fewer clerk positions since 2016. Postal workers doing more with no significant pay raises.

Wake up my friends, our America is slipping away from us. I watched the far rights annual conference on TV yesterday. Full name Conservative Political Action Conference. Popularly known as CPAC.

NRA’s Wayne La Pierre the featured speaker. He was loud. Shouting on many occasions. Speaking of the devil. Those high school students misrepresenting the Douglas High School shooting.

I could see what was motivating him. The NRA was to confront for the first time a force that could neither be stopped nor bought. Children. It was obvious La Pierre is afraid that people will listen to them.

He lied. Not surprising. Trump lies also. He sets the standard for the country. La Pierre had the audacity to blame school safety, families, and the FBI for the shooting.

Trump an NRA supporter. Big time. No wonder. The NRA contributed $30 million to his campaign. Trump referred to members of the NRA as “great people and great American patriots.”

Someone sick here.

As I watched La Pierre, I recalled this scene playing in the past. Berlin in the 1930’s. All La Pierre needed was a mustache.

A dark speech, a dark moment.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a wise elderly Key West gentleman. A Letter to the Editor written by him was printed in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. In it Kostmayer said, “Any politician accepting money or support from the NRA…..has BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.” Emphasis Kostmayer’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

DOTTIE CLIFFORD…..A FAMILIAR FACE

One of the most thoughtful persons I have met in Key West is Dottie Clifford. We go back 20 years. We used to see each other often years ago. Less starting 10 years ago. The last time 5 years ago.

Dottie is being honored today. The Key West Citizen presents her front page as a Key West Familiar Face.

Dottie an almost Conch. Been here 40 years. The Citizen article notes that when she first arrived in Key West, it was a hippie outpost. Today, a world renown hospitality hot spot.

She has seen it all!

Dottie is President and owner of the Key West Attractions Association.

Calamity befell her a few years ago. Pancreatic cancer. Normally, the death knell. God was with her. Dottie survived. She has been cancer free for two years.

Her illness did not diminish her bubbly personality. Uplifted all the time. You hear her cheery laugh before you even see her.

Dottie, here is to another 40 years!

The Paradise Big Band performed recently. Its 20th anniversary.

I missed the event this year. Ralph De Palma’s photos appeared in this morning’s E-Blast. There were my friends! Holly and Peter Diamond singing and dancing, Skipper Kripitz on the drums, and Larry Smith the piano.

A special time. Sorry I could not make it.

Dueling Bartenders last night. One of the best events in town. Great singing! The kind that busts the walls. Tom Luna and Rick Dery the bartenders. Bobby Smith a guest bartender.

What a trio!

Tons of people.

Liz and her entourage of 4 came in. She is the Queen at Battling Bartenders and treated as such.

Liz looked magnificent! Like just off her motorcycle. Bright red turtle neck sweater, a necklace of white stones, and a black bikers jacket. I looked to see if Marlon Brando was following her.

Friend Liz is 83 and former Dean of two law schools.

With Liz were Josefina, Genevieva, and Debbie. Plus an unknown gentleman.

Skaneateles Dan Reardon and wife came in. Together with Dan’s visiting brother John and his wife.

Dan and I are orange hearted Syracuse fans. We talked about saturday’s defeat.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for another prime rib. Great for my diet.

I was fortunate to get a seat next to Jean and Ron. They are from Eastern Maryland. Jean a retired school administrator. Ron a general contractor. Grandparents to three. This their third or fourth visit to Key West.

Ron a Maryland fan. Maryland was playing Michigan. Maryland lost by 1  point. The last 5 minutes exciting. A Michigan  foul shot with 1.5 seconds to go gave Michigan the victory.

I got into the game with Ron. Whooping it up! Especially a Maryland 3 pointer with less than a minute to go.

A Mike came from the other end of the bar. Asked if I was Key West Lou. Mike advised he is a loyal blog reader. Loved Mike!

Stopped by to say good night when leaving. Met his wife. Nice people.

I can see! Amazing! I have had my new prescription glasses since friday. The difference they make! Reminds me of when I had cataract surgery on both eyes.

I waited too long to get new glasses. Never again.

I learned I needed them when I escaped Irma. Road signs impossible to read. Turn offs not visible till upon them. Lucky I survived night driving.

Speaking of Irma, my book Irma and Me appears to be selling. If you have not ordered it, please do so. Guaranteed you will enjoy! Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and  Kobobooks.com.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have a ton of topics to share. Normally get through 10. I have accumulated 25 during the week in anticipation of the show. I will spend the afternoon selecting those to be used and organizing tonight’s format.

One of the topics will include Trump’s shithole countries comment. I read this morning the Alt-Right loves Trump because of the reference. They hate immigrants.

Think about what I am going to write. Immigrants are disliked and a problem world wide. The immigrants of today are the Jews of yesterday. Peoples need a scapegoat, someone to hate.

Enjoy your day!

 

PARTY TIME!

The Chart Room and Berlin’s walked hand in hand last night.

The Chart Room was packed. Standing was tight. The group in their 60-70s. From the Fort Lauderdale area. Obviously affluent. Celebrating the birthday of one of the group.

The guest of honor was outfitted in a white tuxedo jacket, white shirt, black tie, black shorts and sandals.

I left before the partiers did. Headed for Berlin’s. Dinner at the bar. Emilie bartending. Introduced me to her fellow bartender Sean.

Before you knew it, the Chart Room party group showed up. They had to wait for their table. Ordered drinks. The same for all of them. Key Lime Martinis. Twenty six of them.

Ellie and Shawn lined the 26 martini glasses on the bar. Then proceeded to make the drink and fill the glasses. Done very efficiently. In record time. Not a drop missed.

When things quieted down, Emilie and I chatted a bit. She vacationed in Iceland for two weeks. Loved it! I would like to try it some day.

Sean is an Alabama graduate. A new friend for Jean Thornton.

Everywhere I go lately, I hear people ordering Tito’s vodka. New to me. A relatively new drink. John poured me a very short shot. Tasted good. Did not taste like vodka. Worry not, I shall not be deserting Beefeaters.

I bought the new tire yesterday and had it put on the car. A simple task. Should not take long. Familiar however with how Sears can take forever, people waiting in line, etc, I called and asked if I could make an appointment. Yes. At 8 or 1. I picked 1. Promptly at 1? No, means you are the next car in line. Ok. Better than the other way.

I got there a half hour early. 12:30. Was told it would take 1-1 1/2 hours, in spite of the appointment. Told the counter man I would be in the sitting room reading the newspapers. Ok, I’ll call you.

He forgot me. Two hours later, I went to the counter and asked about my car. Oh, he said. It’s finished. It has been sitting outside quite a while.

You can’t win!

I listened to a Hillary talk mid afternoon. I am getting depressed. She failed to impress me again.

She was speaking quietly and slowly. I have to assume to contrast Trump. Does not come over well.

Her hair was a mess. A real mess. I would assume she has a hair person traveling with her.

I hate to say this, she looked like she was sick.

I saw her in the give and take with reporters an hour later. Hair still a mess. However, it was Hilary talking. Perky! Brightly!

I was home early. Wanted to watch the Syracuse/Louisville game. Caught the second half. A knife in my chest! Syracuse lost 62-28. Defense and offense sucked! Obviously!

This Zika thing is out of control. From Key Haven to Washington to the rest of the world. Out of control as to what to do, allocate money, etc. Not out of control as to number infected in the U.S.. Not yet. Maybe never.

The Oxitec war with Key Haven is turning into Goliath/David situation.

Oxitec is owned by the British company Intrexon. It was recently announced Intrexon had hired a Tallahassee public relations firm to assist Oxitec with the Key Haven and full key votes. The PR firm appears to have raised its ugly head. Jumped into the fray.

There is a lengthy Letter to the Editor in this morning’s KONK E-Blast. Tears apart every argument made by Key Haven residents. Skillfully slices away. Representations not all correct. Some  twisting of the facts. False reasons claimed as to why Key Haven residents are opposed to the testing.

The letter is purportedly by Big Pine’s Walter Lagraves. I question whether he actually wrote the letter. Could it have been the PR people? I do not know Lagraves. If he wrote the letter, I apologize for suspecting he did not. The letter is too long, too knowledgeable and too scientific. A professional opposition paper.

If Lagraves is serious, I suggest he go a step further. He should recommend the testing be done in Big Pine rather than Key Haven.

It’s called put your money where your mouth is!

Enjoy your day!

 

REPUGNANT / INSULTING

Some things are as American as apple pie. They need not be changed and should not be changed.

Budweiser has announced it is changing its name. Temporarily.From May 23 through election day. The new name….. America.

Bud is trying to capitalize on the election. Remember, Trump is going to make America great again. Bud is capitalizing on election fever.

The renaming applies only to 12 ounce bottles and cans.

The move is not a political one. Rather an advertising idea to boost sales. Bud has been turning out millions less beers the past several years ago.

It also has to do with poor foreign judgement. Bud is a Belgian company run by a Brazilian. What does the home office know about these things!

Worked through the lunch hour yesterday. Fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Left me with some free time in the afternoon. I put it to good use.

I drove up US 1 to Mangrove Mama’s. Lobster reuben time in a pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

I enjoyed doing last night’s show.

Two issues appear to have garnered the most interest.

One, the Portland School Board voting to ban school texts denying the existence of global warming.

The other America’s suicide rate. It is the highest it has been in 30 years. Suicides up for women and those formerly of the middle class. Only place not up is for those over 75. Places me in the safe group. A benefit of being 80.

Pass the buck time in the Florida keys. By public officials. Nothing new.

The Monroe Country Board of Commissioners wants to add to the sin tax. The tax on alcohol and tobacco. To pay for fire and ambulance services and to fund monies given to social service agencies. The alcohol/tobacco part is what gives it the sin tax label.

My problem with the proposal is the County Commissioners do not have the balls to vote on the issue themselves. And then defend the result the next time they run for election.

Instead, they propose having the people vote on the issue at the elections on November 8.

What further galls me is that the election result will not be a non binding one.

Voting by the citizenry does not seem to carry any weight. Commissioners do not feel bound to abide by the election result. Point: Peary Court.

The Marker Waterfront Resort opened two years ago. It sits near Schooner Wharf. Marker does not have an inside bar. Only a bar outside by the pool. Tried it twice. Did not enjoy. The place was dead.

Marker has come up with an idea to goose interest in the bar. One I like.

Marker is going to run movies outside by the pool every thursday evening at 8:30. Starting tomorrow night and running through the summer.

Top Gun came out 30 years ago. Marker is celebrating the film’s birthday by running it as its first film. One of Key West’s best known luminaries Kelley McGillis is the female head.

Zika. Controversial. This morning’s Key West Citizen has a Letter to the Editor re the issue. By John Prosser of Big Pine. Excellent. Suggest you read it.

Prosser does not understand the sound and fury.  He attributes the sudden concern the result of media hysteria and prediction of epidemics.

Prosser clearly stands on one side of the issue.

I stand on the same side. I spoke recently on my blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that I thought Zika was another Ebola. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Thus far, 157 pregnant women in the United States have come down with Zika. The number does not make for an epidemic.

I am going to be buried tomorrow with comments by those disagreeing with me. Bring them on! There are two sides to the issue.

Enjoy your day!