I WAS HUNGRY AND YOU GAVE ME FOOD

I repeat what I have said many times. Key West has a heart.

I was hungry and you gave me food. Matthew 25:35.

Yesterday, the Star of the Sea Foundation sponsored a free food for the needy event. In the pouring rain. Produce, frozen meats, canned goods and other food stuffs. Hundreds at the receiving end.

Cain asked of the Lord after he slain his brother Abel, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Proof is Taste of Key West tomorrow night at Mallory Square 6-9. The 22nd annual Taste of Key West. All kinds of dishes prepared by chefs from Key West restaurants.

Taste has been a highly successful fund raiser over the years for AIDS Help. Key West never turned its back on the AIDS problem and to this day continues to help.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Donna is a concierge. An excellent one. She and Terri take me out with the concierge tickets Donna receives.

Last night, it was Hard Rock Cafe.

First time for me. Anywhere in the world. May never go again. I was not particularly impressed.

Others are, however. The place was packed. Even a wedding party that took over the whole first floor.

We had a good time. The three of us always do. That is why we hang out together frequently.

Poured heavy yesterday. All day. I was wearing my yellow slicker and baseball cap when out.

I wear crocs. Every day. One pair is all I have. That pair oh, so comfortable!

Old means soles worn out. Dangerous on a wet surface. Easy to fall and break something.

On the way from the Chart Room to Hard Rock Cafe, I stopped into the croc store to buy a new pair. Safety first!

Rain predicted for today. Ninety percent chance. Sunny right now.

Key West schools have strange programs. Strange from the perspective of one who grew up in central New York. Robert is taking a sailing class. Graded.

A group of high school students from two Key West schools are making a service trip to Masaya, Nicaragua. To help people there who are physically, mentally or economically challenged.

Robert and Ally’s step brother Cameron graduates from Florida State in two weeks. Six years ago, he made a similar trip to Mongolia. For two months. Alone.

I am enjoying William Hackley’s day by day story from his diary as printed in the Key West Citizen each day. Many others do, also. Reading it a learning process.

One of things written today a bit confusing. Could be the English. The thrust is that John Geiger sold the Lonja to Michael Farina for a negro boy valued at $600 and $800. Payments to be made every 6 months for 24 months. Hackley drew the bill of sale for the boy.

Lonja confused me. Googled it. Confused me even more. My best conclusion (and I could be wrong) is that the transaction involved only the boy. A lonja is defined among other things as being an auction or market.

I mention the John Geiger thing because of what African-American college students are doing at many universities across the country. If a building or some monument is named after a person who dealt with slaves in any fashion, there should be a name change and in the case of a monument, the removal of the monument.

Universities are giving in to the pressure and acceding to the demands of African-American students.

I disagree with what is occurring.

However…..Geiger Key. Up the road. A key and a famous waterfront restaurant and marina.

Should the name be changed? Of course not. Absolutely stupid! But, some might disagr

Enjoy your Sunday!

BERLIN’S WITH FRAN AND TOM

I am not a happy camper at the moment. Hit the wrong key and lost today’s blog prior to publishing.

Here I go again. Breviated, however.

A great evening. Dinner with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom at Berlin’s. Wonderful people! A fun evening!

A hug and kiss from Janyne. Always a pleasure to be on the receiving end.

Sloan there, also. Introduced me to her twin sister. Don’t look that much alike. However, Sloan has a unique voice. Her sister has the same unique voice.

Discovered Sloan’s daughter hosts at A & B. An absolute beauty and charming young lady.

Bria her usual lovely self. Sean and Gage bartending. They remind me of New York City bartenders. The best! Great personalities!

Fran lost 30 pounds. Atkins. I hate her!

Fran continues to care for me. This trip she brought me three frozen containers of sauce, meatballs and pork. Three meals. She forgot the homemade pasta in Buffalo. She carries the frozen sauce in her suitcase.

Also brought me a container of her home made candies. All kinds.

I think she likes me. Feels sorry I lead a bachelor’s existence.

I was their guest last night. Tonight, Donna and Terri are taking me out.

Must have done something right in my life.

Weather sucks. Fourth day in a row. Heavy rains today all day.

The Conch Republic Drag Race on Duval at 2 this afternoon. The guys will have to lift their skirts as they run to keep them dry.

The Great Sea Battle friday night. I can’t wait. Love it!

Even Harry Truman involved in Conch Republic Days. The Little White House is sponsoring a Truman Legacy Symposium this weekend. At the Little White House, with a few of the talks at the San Carlos Institute.

I was with my bocce team mates thursday night. My cheering them on did not help. They lost two games.

Hard to understand. For five consecutive years, the team has done exceptionally well. Fighting for first place some seasons. All of a sudden, nothing works right.

Keys History section of today’s Key West Citizen carries a picture of Robert Wagner and Peter Graves standing on Duval. This day in 1953. They were here with several other actors making the movie 12 Mile reef.

I was a freshman in college at the time.

The picture shows a very young Robert Wagner. Graves went on to have a successful cowboy TV series.

Other notable stars included Terry Moore, Gilbert Roland and J. Carroll Nash. The big stars Moore and Wagner. The others well known character actors.

They all stayed at the Casa Marina.

Amazing how many movies have been filmed in Key West over the years.

Enjoy your day!

CONCH REPUBLIC DAYS

It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SPECTACULAR MEAL

Key West has many fine restaurants. A few less than fine.

The last time I ate at Conch Republic was 15 years ago. A fried fish joint. Less than fine. Not to my liking. Did not return.

Donna and Terri took me to Conch Republic last night. They had recently eaten there and told me the food was outstanding. Since I was their guest, I let them do the choosing.

I was shocked! The meal spectacular!

We enjoyed oysters and stone crabs. The oysters large and juicy. The stone crabs good size and tasty.

I shall return!

The Conch Republic was formerly a brewery. When I purchased my home 19 years ago, it had been closed quite a while. Someone purchased the place, cleaned it up and opened as the Conch Republic. Retained the brewery atmosphere.

The restaurant sits on the bight waterfront. A marina to the front. No walls. Everything open. A marina to the front. Beauty surrounds.

Thank you Donna and Terri for a special treat.

The day before Easter. The big activity of the day coloring Easter eggs. Loved it with my children and grandchildren. Robert and Ally old enough not to need my help any longer. For them it has become a duty to color the eggs.

In my youthful days, egg coloring was done in a different fashion. Not sure if it was because we were poor or the coloring materials sold today were not available.

My Grandmother used to boil onion skins. The residue brown. We would dunk the eggs in the brown mixture. Voila! Brown colored eggs!

Names were written on the eggs prior to dunking with soap.

Hurricane season around the corner. Thursday the 2017 hurricane prediction list will be published.

Today is April 15. A significant day in history.

Lincoln was shot in 1865. The Titanic sank in 1912. Jackie Robinson became the first negro to play professional baseball in 1947. The Boston Marathon Bombing occurred in 2013.

California is generally ahead of the rest of the country in new things.

California has been permitting self-driving cars to be tested on its highways for some time now. It was announced this past week that Apple had begun testing. The 30th company to so do.

Key West is still fiddling around with whether to permit Uber and Lyft. With drivers, of course. By the time Key West gives its approval, California will be far ahead with autonomous vehicles operating on its highways. Uber one of the companies presently testing in California.

Key West seems opposed to entering the 21st century.

Mumps. Remember, swollen cheeks and glands. I had them. Way back in the early 1940’s. No vaccination back then.

Mumps are making a come back. Especially on college campuses. There is a national outbreak. One thousand cases this year alone. The year is less than 4 months old. Covering 37 states.

For Catholics who aspire to a special Easter mass, St. Mary of the Sea will hold a sunrise mass on the school grounds tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

WHY NOT KEY WEST

Uber can operate in Broward and Dade Counties. Uber cannot operate in Key West. It is against the law. A local law.

The reason Key West prohibits Uber and Lyft is what is known as the Bubba system. Take care of your friends. In this case, the taxi companies.

A close knit group. A monopoly in effect for those who have licenses to operate.

It has been a significant number of years since Key West has given a taxi license to another company or person.

Our City Commissioners: Wake up! The future is here!

A lot of running around yesterday.

Want a cell phone stand. Went everywhere. Verizon, Office Max, etc. No one sells stands. Probably because a cheap item. I will have to order one over Amazon.

Publix for groceries. Crowded for a monday.

Spent time preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time.

Topics tonight include Trump making friends with a corrupt Egypt, Jared in Iraq, Pentagon issues new order prohibiting disclosure of number of ground troops in Iraq and Syria, one robot replacing 6 human jobs.

Also, a Venezuela update, 8 Ivy League colleges receiving more in federal funds than 16 states, Trump/NAFTA and oil industry pressure, private prisons using detained immigrants as free labor, drug company overcharges Veterans Affairs Department $20 million, and more.

A fast moving eye opening half hour show. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The final game of the Final Four last night. North Carolina won. Beat Gonzaga by 5 or so points.

One of the most unexciting games ever. Not the fault of the players. The referees responsible. Called too many fouls in the second half. Many bullshit. Never gave the kids an opportunity to play, to get into a flow.

Trump seems to suck up to the not so nice countries. Many whose standards are less than ours.

Yesterday, it was Egypt. The Egyptian President visited. Trump embraced him as our boy! Told him he had Trump’s personal friendship.

The present Egyptian administration took over as a result of the 2011 Arab Spring revolt. Obama and Hilary wrong at the time. They supported the revolutionaries against Mubarak. Mubarak who had been a true friend for years.

The new Egyptian administration bad people. Its track record despicable. Contrary to american values in many respects.

It is told Lincoln dreamed of his assassination 10 days before it occurred. Seven days after the dream, he told his friend Ward Hill Laman about it.

Three days later, an assassin’s bullet killed Lincoln.

The following reported in a recent Washington Post article.

Vice-President Pence has some quirky (my description) religiously motivated actions. Founded in the first instance by Billy Graham. Never be alone with a woman, avoid temptation.

Pence believes a man should never dine alone with a woman. Nor work alone with women…..I don’t work with women. If they’re attractive, I’m too tempted. And if they’re not what’s the point?

Pence does not attend an event where alcohol is served unless his wife is with him.

The best is the Mrs. Butterworth episode.

Mrs. Butterworth is a syrup. Sold in a container the shape of a bare woman. Pence was at a table waiting for others including his wife. A Mrs. Butterworth bottle in his line of vision. He asked the waiter to remove it from the table till his wife arrived.

His wife arrived. Pence asked the waiter to pour syrup out of the Mrs. Butterworth container on his pancakes. Pence did not wish to touch the bottle.

Crazy? Strange at the very least.

Enjoy your day!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve at Lisa’s last night. A magnificent meal. Good company. Robert and Ally all excited.

Santa could not make his usual pre-dinner visit this year. He was busy up the keys visiting children he had not been able to in previous years. Robert and Ally were disappointed. They still believe.

Yesterday, I mentioned three writings that changed Christmas in the United States. Three writings that gave a new complexion to the holiday. A Visit from St. Nicholas, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Cooper, and A Christmas Carol.

The three writings got Americans on a new road. Christmas as celebrated today broke ground. Took many years to arrive at the point it is today, however.

Christmas divided the North and South. Not just slavery. Christmas was a Southern thing. The North paid little attention to it.

Lincoln wanted to demoralize Southern troops during the Civil War. The South believed Santa Claus was on their side.

Lincoln authorized a famous artist in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The drawing appeared on the front cover of a prominent national magazine on January 3, 1863.

Sort of a God is on our side thing.

Some historians believe the cover drawing achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

Enjoy your Christmas Day!

BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS

Porn eliminated! Finally, yesterday. Godaddy did the fix. Supposedly will not happen again. My apologies those who received the porn.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts! The Greeks in this instance being Keys Energy Services. Keys wants to transfer the old power generating plant at Truman Waterfront to the City. Free of charge! Something for nothing!

Nothing is for nothing! Keys will transfer as is. Keys will bear no responsibility if environmental problems are discovered/exist within the plant.

Guaranteed, environmental problems exist! The nature of the facility makes certain hazardous substances remain. Any clean up will be expensive. Extremely expensive.

City Commissioners will be buying a pig in the poke should they take title without an environmental review of the property. And not a cheap one to save a buck. An in depth expensive one. It will prove much cheaper in the end.

I spent the last 25 years of my career as an environmental attorney. A significant portion of my work involved the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

Spent most of the day researching this week’s KONK Life column. Lincoln: Nomination and Election. Except for a couple of hours in the afternoon when I snuck downtown to watch the Conch Republic Drag Race.

The curbs were crowded with spectators. Everyone whooping it up! Having fun!

Something struck k me. Something unusual. Many were using their cell phones to take pics. Most of those taking the pics were women.

Dinner last night at Geiger Key. Sat at the end of the bar watching the natives and reading the newspapers.

The Sheriff’s Animal Farm will be open to the public this afternoon from 1-3. Something to see. Adults and children are provided the opportunity to get close to the animals. A winner!

Whenever I see Truman’s name for any reason, I make mention of it and the activities surrounding it. Even where Key West is not involved.

On this day in 1945, Truman learned for the first time the details of the Manhattan Project. The development of the atomic bomb. He was told 12 days after taking office. In less than three months, he approved the dropping of atomic bombs on two Japanese cities.

Woke at 5 this morning. A good night’s rest. However I woke at 5. turned on the TV. Armed and Dangerous was playing. A 1986 movie starring John Candy.

Candy and two lovelies were attending a black tie function. A first for them. Tables full food.

Candy had to check out something. He was leaving the ladies for a few moments. He said to them…..Don’t eat too much, we’re going out for pizza later.

Enjoy your Sunday!

A SUGARLOAF EVENING

Sugarloaf is 15 miles up US 1. One of the prettiest residential keys. Lovely homes.

I enjoyed a Sugarloaf evening last night.

June has owned or rented a home in Sugarloaf for more than a quarter century. She invited me to join her for a Sugarloaf experience last night.

First stop was a visit with Ineke and Fritz. Originally from the Netherlands, they have been U.S. citizens for many years. They enjoy two homes. A yearly residence in Connecticut, a winter home in Sugarloaf.

Fritz is a retired airline pilot. Ineke paints. Her works sell. Their Sugarloaf home walls covered with her paintings. All fantastic! Especially the abstracts. Their home lovely.

After an hour of pleasant conversation, we all moved on to Peggy and Wayne’s for dinner. Neva and Jerry joined us.

Another lovely Sugarloaf home. Sugarloaf has its own distinctive flavor. The homes reflect that distinction.

This was my third time with Peggy and Wayne. A fun couple.

A first time meet for me with Neva and Jerry. They stood out. Radiantly. They met eight weeks ago and fell in love. That quickly. It was obvious. God was good.

It was an evening of good company, drink and food. Accompanied by non-stop laughter.

I spent a good part of yesterday morning into the early afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. When Education Fails, A Nation Fails. Title says it all.

Our educational system has been on a downward spiral for years. Other industrialized nations have moved ahead of us. My recollection is that the U.S. is #29 among the 66 industrialized nations. A sure bet for more nations to move ahead of us economically and socially over the next 20 years.

The Blue Angels were performing again yesterday at Boca Chica. I did not have to go to the airfield to see them. My bedroom terrace was sufficient. Every time I heard the roar approaching, I ran out.

Outstanding! Beyond outstanding!

A couple of years ago, I came across an article suggesting that Lincoln had a dream that he had been assassinated ten days before he actually was. I doubted the validity of the story. Let it pass without comment.

I have come across the same story twice the past few days. I did a little digging. It seems the story has legs. It is for real.

Lincoln’s dream involved a group of subdued mourners around a casket in the White House’s East Room. Lincoln asked a guard who had died. The response, the President who was killed by an assassin.

Lincoln was bothered by the dream. He mentioned it to a close friend whose name escapes me.

The dream occurred on this day in 1865.

The world gets crazier by the moment. New York City is apparently having a problem with taxi and hired car drivers. Passengers being subjected to sexual comments and acts.

The City is working on a proposal banning the drivers from flirting with passengers or ejaculating on them. Ejaculating? Yes, it has become a problem.

Key West is one human family. Homosexuals and straights live side by side. Work and socialize together. Sexual preference not an issue.

Not so everywhere.

Saudi Arabia a problem place. The same Saudis who claim to be our friends. Those thought to have helped finance 9/11. Seventeen of the 21 persons involved in 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Less I forget, the same Saudi Arabia that gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Criminal prosecutors in Saudi Arabia are recommending an extreme sentence for those engaging in homosexual acts. The death penalty.

The Saudis blame Facebook and the social media for creating the homosexual problem. They actually believe Facebook and social media are turning people gay.

Enjoy your day!

CALM SATURDAY

I opted for a quiet day yesterday. Chest pain motivated. No more chest pains. however, I was reluctant to push the envelope. Better safe than sorry.

Ergo, never left the house.

The day was pleasant. Watched an exciting basketball game and finished my research for this week’s KONK Life column which I will write later today.

Hooray for Yale! The team really gave Duke a run for its money.

Yale was down 23 points at half. Twenty seven points just after half time. Yale came back. Several times to within four points.

Duke the winner at the end 71-64.

Yale distinguished itself in the tournament. They left the court heads held high.

Tonight Syracuse/Mid Tennessee. 6:10.

Will Syracuse win? I make no prediction. Syracuse was lucky to make the big tournament. Mid Tennessee had to have an outstanding record to have been selected.

Never heard of Mid Tennessee. Means nothing, however. The lesser known teams are doing well in the tournament this year.

Received pics of Chamonix from Anna. She is now skiing Mont Blanc in the French town area of Chamonix. The photos show majestic Mont Blanc in the background.

Chamonix is where I ordered sausage and got two boiled hot dogs. I did not know sausage in France was hot dogs. The manager did not care. Did not offer to change the dish.

French fries came with the sausage. Ordinary regular french fries. I asked the waitress for ketchup. She looked aghast. Told me this was France….. we do not use ketchup.

I was not an ugly American. I ate my boiled hot dogs and french fries without ketchup. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in France, the same admonition applies.

Political time in the US! Republicans and Democrats.

On this day in 1854, the Republican Party was founded. Consisted primarily of anti-slave members of the Whig Party.

It ook the new Republican Party only six years to elect a President. Lincoln in 1860. The first nominee of the Republican Party to be so elected.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Four score and seven years ago…..

Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on this day in 1863. The speech less that 300 words took less than 4 minutes to give.

We all learned in school that Lincoln wrote the speech on a paper bag with a pencil while riding the train to Gettysburg. Some say the paper bag was really the back of an envelope.

Both incorrect.

Historians are generally agreed that Lincoln started writing his speech two weeks before he gave it. He worked on it daily.

The paper bag tale is similar to Betsy Ross having sewed the firs American flag.

Recollections of Gettysburg at the time Lincoln gave the address generally leave out the condition of the battlefield. Strewn with rotting horse carcasses.

I did my thing on the anti-gravity treadmill yesterday. Love it! Invigorates me. Each time I finish, I feel I have accomplished something.

AlterG wants pics of Jenny and me. Jenny wanted pics of me on the treadmill with her standing next to me. We did two. They went ou without me seeing them. Saw them last night. No way can they be used! I know I am big. However no where as big as the photos make me appear. Jenny does not know it yet, but we are redoing the picture taking this morning.

The pics will be part of AlterG’s national advertising. They will lose business if they print a pic of me with a huge gut!

Walgreens for prescriptions followed by lunch at Harpoon Harry’s. Ham and eggs. Harpoon Harry’s has the best eggs anywhere. Light. No where else have I enjoyed eggs as I do at Harpoon Harry’s.

Don’s Place last night. Chatted with Don, David, Keith , Toni and Larry Smith. Bocci the topic. Nothing else.

Tonight the last league night. We are presently in third place. Can end up in second. Though I doubt it. Could be fourth. No worse.

Whatever, we will be in the playoffs. The playoffs are saturday and sunday. A long weekend of bocce ahead.

Don, Larry and I then headed to La Te Da. We wanted to see the new inside bar. Wow! Beautiful. Different. The bar I knew for 25 years gone. A new and different one in its place. I can handle the change.

We ate at the outside bar. Tonto bartending once again. I have known Tonto for 20 years.

Two telephone polls down on College Road yesterday. Traffic screwed up all day. A truck hooked into the overhead wires and unknowingly continued driving.

One thing I do not understand is why the poles toppled. The one pictured in this morning’s Key West Citizen shows the top third of one poll hanging. The top third. The polls are concrete. Hurricane polls. I am surprised the one in the paper snapped.

I had a hair appointment with Lori later this morning. Cancelled it. The nickel sized growth the doctor cut off my head is still healing.

Read yesterday that the average cost of a gallon of gasoline is $2.15. We are at $2.49 in Key West. Just once in my life I would like to buy gasoline somewhere at the average price. It does exist. People who drive to Key West from the north country always talk about it. How cheap gas was during the trip.

An interesting article in the Wall St. Journal yesterday. The Koch brothers have a sort of Pac called Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. Freedom Partners contributed $129 million last year in order to assure Republican control of the U.S. Senate.

The same group is presently raising $899 million for the run up to the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections.

Is this the way to influence elections? I think not. Nor is it healthy for the country.

WordPress still screwed up. Sloan working on it. You are having trouble commenting. Please be patient.

Enjoy your day!