“GOD BLESS HIM”

I fear Charlottesville saturday may have changed America forever.

The shadow people revealed themselves in major fashion. The rodents came out of the earth, the vermin out of the walls. White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Klu Klux Klaners.

Accepted without proper/sufficient denunciation by Trump.

The white supremacists website Daily Stormer cheered Trump in that regard: “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alt Right leader, Donald Trump!

An excellent Sunday!

Meet The Press.

Then the PGA. Watched Justin Thomas win by 2 strokes.

Hot Dog Church. Laurie bartending. Like her a lot. Donna and Terri. Art and George. Met a lady. A sex change person. Male to female. Many others.

Donna and Terri joined me for dinner afterwards at Antonia’s. TK bartending. A fun time.

I am an early to sleep person. Not last night. Awake till 1 in the morning. Got hooked on a couple of movies. Will pay for it today.

Another Tropical Storm. Gert. Not a problem. Way out in the Atlantic. Already started its turn northwest.

One may not turn, will increase in power to a hurricane, and head for Key West. I am preparing you for such an event.

Failed to mention one part of my Robert and Ally saturday. We did Lobster Fest between lunch at Denny’s and the Key West Escape Room. Walked Duval.

First time Lobster Fest for Robert and Ally. They enjoyed. They knew some of those working the food tents. Montessori teachers.

I sometimes think Pritam Singh does not receive the credit he deserves. On this day in 1988, Singh broke ground for Truman Annex. Since that time, he has constructed other significant sites. Ocean Edge on Stock Island the most recent.

A major contributor to the Key West scene.

I mentioned my concern re the amphitheater the other day. Had the City hired some one to run the place yet? Or was the amphitheater to be another half assed planning job ultimately costing taxpayers extra money?

The latter appears to be the case.

The City Commission announced the amphitheater’s first event will be a 4 day country music concert in February. The show is paying Key West a $4,000 rental feel. Yes, $4,000! Won’t even cover the cost for staffing, clean-up, and extra police for crowd and traffic control.

There once was a City Commission who used their heads in running Key West. Actually, keeping Key West afloat.

During the tough days of the Great Depression (1929 through the 1930’s), Key West was broke. Everyone was. The City Commission authorized the City to print money. Called it Script. Actual amount unknown. Thought to be $50,000-100,000.

It worked. The Script was used to pay City employees. Who in turn used the Script to buy things. Many merchants accepted the Script.  Key West was able to keep its nose above the water line.

How bad was bad? So bad that there was no demand to buy real estate. No one had money. There were also few foreclosures. No one had the money to buy the property afterwards from the bank.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SQUARE GROUPER / COFFEE BUTLER

A pleasant afternoon and early evening yesterday.

Visited with a friend in Sugarloaf. Then to an early dinner at the Square Grouper.

The company good! The place special! The meal outstanding!  Enjoyed fried oysters and a crispy fried hogfish.

Tonight special, also. Coffee Butler sings!

Coffee was born and raised in Key West. Sang all over the island. Retired in 2oo5.

Tonight, he and many others will sing soul. Key West soul. The show is called A Night of Key West Soul. A similar show was held last year. A hit! Tonight’s should be also.

Many local luminaries will join with Coffee. One is my friend Tom Luna. He joins with Will Thompson in singing Who Put the Pepper in the Vaseline. One example of Key West soul.

Tonight at 7 at the Key West Theater on Eaton.

This afternoon Sloan. Tons of little things to work on.

Tonight, I am not sure. Either Tavern ‘n Town or Duval for Lobsterfest.

Enjoy your day!

GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE…..

Gold, silver, bronze. Not Olympic recognition of achievement. Hitler’s.

In 1938, Hitler wanted to encourage German women to have babies. He set up a recognition/reward system. The recognition/reward to be given on August 12 each year. August 12 was his mother Karla’s birthday.

Women with seven children received a gold medal. Those with six, a silver. Those with five, a bronze. The medal was called Mother’s Cross.

Young girls were encouraged/brain washed to have children. These were girls under the age of 18. Not till they were 18, however.

Hitler had established a Youth Movement. One part was the League of German Girls. They were under 18s. They were indoctrinated into believing it was for the good of the country that they begin getting pregnant at 18.

It is Lobsterfest time in Key West. Tomorrow a big day on Duval. From the 100 through 500 blocks. street stands. Lobsters coooked in every fashion. Mouth watering.

Spent the afternoon watching the Olympics with one eye and reading World War II stories with the other.

Jane Thornton, where were you?

Last night started at Berlin’s. Years since I have been there. It is the bar portion of the A&B Lobster House. I went because I saw a Jean Thornton message on Facebook earlier in the week that she was doing Berlin’s on thursdays and fridays.

No Jean. Only me and the bartender.

Berlin’s is an attractive place. I will visit again soon. The room is dark wood. Maroon leather chairs. Even easy chairs. Reminded me of a men’s club.

Beefeaters on the rocks $8.50. The usual downtown price $10.00. The drink a third larger than other places.

Smoking permitted. A biggie. You can eat at the bar.

I had an experience that shocked me. Two women came out of the dining room. Sat three bar stools from me. Lite up. I found the cigarette smoke repulsive. I still smoke a bit.

Traffic is heavy even in Key West’s summer. I have to slow down, go faster, swing in the other lane, etc. to avoid bike riders. There ain’t enough room for cars, bikes and electric cars. A physical fact.

As I was driving in, I experienced one of those almost hit a biker episodes. The thought occurred to me after that the only way cars and bikes can safelyc exist is to make some of the streets one way. Then room for cars and bikers to traverse safely. Of course, auto congestion would increase a hundred fold. Residential parking spaces lost.

Key West has hired a Pedestrian and Bike Coordinator. I think for $40,000 a year. The problem his to solve. His few ideas thus far have not impressed me.

Left Berlin’s after one drink and headed for the Chart Room. John bartending. Always a smile and friendly hello. David and Sheila at the bar. Spent time chatting with them.

Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Sat at the bar. Read for a while before ordering. A middle aged woman came in. Alone. Sat three stools away. We chatted briefly. She was from Louisiana. A four day reward trip for her and certain co-workers. Ten total. She was the only woman. The men all younger than her.

I did not know what to order. A menu becomes boring after eating at the same restaurant for years. Even though changes are periodically made to menus..

My lady friend had a very attractive dish placed before her. I asked what it was. Never heard of it. But, it appeared attractive and appetizing.

I told the ladies behind the bar I would have the same thing.

It was horrible. Terrible. My new found lady friend asked how I liked it. Without thinking, I told her I did not…..it was terrible!

Now, she felt bad. I felt bad. For ordering the dish and obviously having offended her.

We did not talk further. As she was leaving, she came over and apologized that I did not like my meal. Now, I was embarrassed. I did not have to order the dish. It was my choice.

I fear I am correct re the Hackley baby. Today’s diary entry has Matilda going to church two times in one day. In addition, the statement by Hackley…..The babe not very well.

Enjoy your day!

 

JACK KELLY

My undergraduate school was Manhattan College. Over the past few years, Jack Kelly and I have run into each other at the Chart Room. Jack a Manhattan grad also. A bit younger than me. He graduated in 1968. I, 1957.

The Manhattan College thing provided instant bonding.

Jack once had a home on Cudjoe Key. Long gone. In recent years, he has been taking a week here and there to visit Key West.

Jack was at the Chart Room last night. Always good to see him. We talked a bit about Manhattan and some of the grads. One or two we both know. Then Jack surprised me. He is returning to Key West full time.

Jack is buying a home in Bayview. He is also in the process of closing on three restaurants. That’s returning big time!

One is the former Finnegan’s Wake. Last operated for several days as Backspace. Jack will be reopening it as Cayheuso. A tapas place.

Another is World of Beer. Near Sloppy Joe’s. Jack plans on naming the new establishment Jack Kelly’s Citizen. Such vanity! Not really. Turns out the location was the first home of the Key West Citizen.

The third place is on Front Street. Across from Two Guys. Not Island Dogs. Next door to Island Dogs. An empty two story commercial building.

The name of the new enterprise escapes me. Its purpose not. Jack intends it to be family friendly. In addition to food, etc., the restaurant will provide all kinds of games for the kiddies to busy themselves with. Even the parents.

Jack is retired Air Force. He presently lives in Washington, DC. He remains active with the Arnold Air Society.

Welcome back, Jack! Good luck!

Jack and I hung together for a few hours at the Chart Room. While there, I met Devin Callahan. A snow bird. He is in Key West frequently. Surprising we had not met before.

Then Wilk and Erin. Their second visit to Key West. Hail from Spring Lake, NJ. My cousin Lois had a summer home there and I frequently visited. A high rent district.

Wilk liked my watch. He kept looking at it and commenting. He has one similar to mine. The watch is nothing fancy. A SWATCH. I bought it at an airport kiosk in Athens three years ago.

I learned something about the watch. It is water proof. Never knew. He says he showers and everything with it on. Showed me on the back where it says Water-Resistant.

We got into Lobsterfest. Wilk and Erin are enjoying the event. He did mention however he was shocked when they had to pay $15 each for two broiled lobsters on the street. He initially thought the price out of line. So did I when he mentioned it. However after tasting and enjoying the lobsters, he said they were well worth it.

The high point of the conversation was when Wilk told me he was a Mercedes technician. Joy of joys! I bought a Mercedes 420 SEL new in 1987. Kept it 27 years before selling. In mint condition. Only 124,000 miles. Never driven in winter the last 20 years. Everything original and in good shape.

I took care of the Mercedes. Probably because it was the first expensive car I ever bought. Paid $54,000 cash in ’87. A lot of money for a car back then. A lot of money period!

Lobsterfest by the way appears to be a gigantic success this year. Makes me happy. Lots of kids. A family event.

Met Tyler and Sandy. Celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! They are from Cherry Hills, NJ. It was a New Jersey evening.

Tyler is in real estate. Sandy a distributor for Wegmans. Sandy was surprised I knew of Wegmans. Not a southern supermarket. I explained I originally am from upstate New York. Ergo, know Wegmans.

Jack, Tyler, Sandy and I ended up having a late dinner at Michael’s. Great food! Enjoyed the veal chop. The dinner conversation enjoyable. Humorous on occasion. Jack, Tyler and Sandy good company.

The lovely Suzette bartending.

A long day ahead for me. I will be writing this week’s KONK Life column. The research is complete. It is the story of Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurkowsky. Their love story. Agnes was Hemingway’s nurse when he was recovering from war wounds. Agnes is Catherine Barkley in A Farewell To Arms.

There is more to the story than most know. I will be tracing the impact of their love affair into the 1960s.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

$2 MILLION FISHER FAMILY AUCTION

Late with the blog this morning. Sorry. Sloan came by early and we were busy a couple of hours.

Mel Fisher struck it rich in Florida keys waters. Deservedly so. He busted his ass and lived in abject poverty for some 15 years while searching for the mother lode. He knew it was out there some where when no one else believed.

Mel is long gone. His family continues to benefit.

Part of the treasure remained with the Fisher family. Not for the Museum or anyone else. The family decided to auction some of it.

The auction took place this past week in New york City. Took in $2 million. Great job, Mel! You did well for your family.

Lobsterfest time.

Last night, immediately after sunset, there was a Lobsterfest Duval Crawl. Participants paid. In return, received a tee shirt, a lanyard, 2 coupons for free Coronas and Krahen Rums. Plus whatever else people wanted to spend. Two Coronas not enough to get drunk on.

Today, a street fair on Duval. Arts and craft booths. In addition to lobster prepared every conceivable way.

There is also a live concert. From 1 pm to 10:30 pm. In front of Sloppy Joe’s.

A big time!

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported Harlem Suarez was indicted friday by a federal grand jury in Miami. Suarez is the 23 year old Stock Island resident who wanted to blow up a Key West beach. One of the charges involves the attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction. Maximum sentence, life in prison. Hope he gets life. Actually should be life plus a 100 years!

Love story writing not easy. I spent yesterday afternoon writing a short chapter. Revised it four times. Then deleted the chapter. It was terrible!

An easy night out. Hogfish. Sat at the bar, enjoyed one drink too many, and a lobster roll. Chatted with those around me. Local fishermen and tourists.

Enjoy your day!

 

LONG LIFE…..3 BEERS AND 1 SHOT PER DAY

Agnes Fenton recently turned 110. Happy birthday! God bless!

The secret to her longevity was born in the early 1940s. Agnes had a brain tumor. She asked the doctor what she should do to avoid another. He told her to each day drink 3 Miller High Life beers and 1 shot of Johnny Walker Black Label scotch. She followed the doctor’s instructions religiously.

I spent a portion of yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Two topics hit a nerve.

One involved my comments re the federal judge to whom the Tom Brady case has been assigned. I believe he is out of line in the manner he is handling the matter.

The other concerned blanket media censorship of the California class action suit against Monsanto. The people’s right to know has become a joke. We only get to watch, hear, and read what the six corporations controlling 90 percent of the media want us to.

Spent a bit of time working on a love book. A joke! Me writing a love story. My publisher however said give it a try. I feel like a fish out of water.

Three books in the works now. The other two Growing Up Italian and Greece, The First Time. I hope to finish one at some point.

Roostica for dinner before the show. Bobby has added a new desert to the menu. Salted caramel gelato. Outstanding!

I mentioned a big rain monday around dinner time. It was big! 3.4 inches.

Key West hotel business up the past five years. Forbes says the best in the U.S. In spite of the high profit levels, the hotels and tourist industry in general continue to pay small hourly wages. Most receiving $10-12 per hour.

Today’s Key West Citizen editorial says there is a food problem, also. This most of us knew. The extent, not. The editorial says there are 25,000 Key West residents. Four hundred families cannot afford sufficient food. That number equates to 16 percent of the population. A disgrace! Another example of the hotels, etc. getting fat and forgetting to take their help with them.

The same argument can be made for affordable housing. Higher wages might eliminate or lessen the need for taxpayer dollars being spent for affordable housing.

The regular lobster season begins tomorrow. Lobsterfest weekend ahead. Going to be delicious.

Some crazy people out there. Especially, politicians. They want to limit the number of births by the poor.

An Arkansas legislator has submitted a bill that would permit the State to pay unwed low income mothers on Medicaid if they get an IUD implant. Mothers fitting the description would receive $2,500.

Enjoy your day!