MY COUNTRY, ‘TIS OF THEE, SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY…..

My Country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty…..Let freedom ring!

No more. We’re losing it.

Democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of Donald Trump. Politicians more concerned with expediency rather than correctness.

Yesterday, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Today, Stephen R. Mallory.

Mallory of Key West fame. Confederate fame, also. Key West’s famous Mallory Square is named after him. His bronze bust sits in the Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden. One of 39 recognized for having had a major impact on Key West.

He was a United States Senator from Florida 1851-1861. During that time, he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

He joined the Confederacy when Florida seceded. He served as Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy during the entire Civil War. He did an excellent job for the Confederacy.

He fled Richmond at the end of the War, was captured, imprisoned, and charged with treason. After one year, he was paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

Mallory rarely if any time returned to Key West. He settled in Pensacola where he practiced law til his death.

I spoke of the Mallory/Confederacy problem last year when the move to remove statues, proclamations, etc. of Southern supporters arose. I asked: Should Mallory Square be renamed? Should Mallory’s bust be removed from the Garden of honor?

My answer then simple. The same today. Leave well enough alone. Broward, Mallory, and all the rest part of American history. Good, bad or indifferent.

History should neither be altered, destroyed nor removed.

Attended the Key West Craft Show yesterday afternoon. Covered half the length of Whitehead. Everything on exhibit, everything for sale. Great craft!

The Craft Show has been ongoing more than 30 years.

I bought my first Jack Baron painting 20 years ago at the Craft Show. A black Madonna and Child. $3,500. My wife at the time said I was out of my mind.

I still have the painting, as well as many other Baron works. It gives me joy every time I look at it.

Visited with Diana Millikan at cocktail time at her Key West home on Hilton Haven Drive. Her tiny condo sits on a canal.

Diana and I have been working on a book together for ever so long. It seems to be taking forever to complete. We are still at the research stage. The novel intended is a history of Key West prostitution. All the way back to 1660.

Diana just returned from a trip to Haiti to attend the funeral of a friend. She was down with dysentery for three days. She said she drank bottled water. Turned out the water was bottled in Haiti with Haitian waters.

Then to the Chart Room. Shaun bartending. Quiet.

Heard a cruise ship could not dock yesterday. Wind too strong.

Spoke with Tom and Fran Dixson in Buffalo last night. They recently returned from a cruise to Cuba. Leave soon for a 2 week tour of Rome and southern Italy. They are traveling with a Buffalo area seminary. The trip includes an audience with the Pope.

Too much on  my mind sometimes. I thought the Syracuse/Pitt game was tomorrow night. It was saturday night. Missed it. Syracuse won 60-55.

Next game wednesday evening against Georgia Tech at 8. I will not miss it.

Donna called last night. They made it to Tampa. Donna hurting bad. Going to find a Tampa orthopedist today.

Terri’s testing began at 6:30 this morning. I wish her well.

New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Key West, Fantasy Fest.

Beads have been clogging New Orleans’ catch basins for years. To the point, water ain’t moving. A bead removal project underway. Estimated 93,000 pounds of beads (46 tons) to be removed. Sixty four thousand catch basins. Cost: $7 million.

Will Key West ever be so afflicted? Hope not.

We have been complaining about Russian interference in our elections. Putin has turned the tables on us. He is complaining of U.S. meddling in the Russian elections to be held March 18. The pot calling the kettle black.

There is no need for any country to attempt to influence Russian elections. Putin either kills or jails the opposition before the election.

We take automobiles for granted. To drive or ride in. There was a time when autos were new, however.

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the first American President to ride in an auto. September 1901 in a Stanley Steamer.

Enjoy your day!

 

L’ATTITUDES

Dinner at L’Attitudes last night. A very fine dining experience.

L’Attitudes is located on Sunset Key. A boat ride away. All of five minutes. The restaurant sits just off the dock where the boat disembarks customers.

The last time I was at L’Attitudes was 15 years ago. Beautiful then. More beautiful now. It has been remodeled.

I had not been in all that time because of the boat ride. An inconvenience from my perspective. I now realize my loss.

Everything magnificent! From the view to the food to the service. Viewing the sunset while dining is special in and of itself. The sun set through gray clouds in a large orange ball. Mallory Square dressed up.

I asked for a table inside when I made my reservation.  By a window so I could see the sunset. My request was met. Thank you, Chris and Dan.

My waitress was Eve. Short for Ivelisse. Puerto Rico born. She has been in Key West 16 years. Efficient. Charming. Lovely.

L’Attitudes making a ton of money! Obvious. The place full. The boat bringing customers back and forth. The customers tourists. I did not recognize any locals.

Would I return? Yes. To dine alone at the bar and read the newspapers. With the added benefit of the setting sun.

My day yesterday began at Farmers Market. Bought bread. A long thin crispy loaf. Two. Toasted half of one for lunch. To die for.

Then Publix. Picked up a few essentials. Ran into Paul Toppino. Two bachelors grocery shopping. What the final quarter of life brings.

Spent part of the afternoon working on tuesday’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

My evening ended in a bit of disaster. I had to leave my car in the Weston garage. The key would not turn in the ignition.  Walked down to the Chart Room, had a drink, and Emily called me a taxi.

I have not taken a taxi in ten years. Expensive. $27.50, without tip. Pier House to my home in Key Haven. Bring on Uber!

When I finish this blog, I have to find someone to drive me to the car. The key problem happened once before. I left the car in Don’s parking lot. The next morning the key turned with no problem. Hope it works the same way today.

Tons of events scheduled for today as part of Hemingway Days. The one that appeals to me is the second preliminary round of the selection/elimination process in the search for this year’s Hemingway look alike. Sloppy Joe’s at 6:30. A full house guaranteed.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports Sheraton Suites was sold for $94 million. Most if not all of Key West’s major hotels have changed hands the last three years. Why not! Key West is packing them in. Guaranteed high occupancy at high rates.

Last but not least. Perhaps the most important item this morning. Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi announced a budget reduction for the next year. Almost 6 percent. Taxes will be reduced! When was the last time?

Gastesi should run for President!

Enjoy your day!

 

ANOTHER KEY WEST WATER TRAGEDY

Tragedy struck on two occasions recently. Both water related. In one incident, a man was left paralyzed. The other, dead.

Sunset is big in Key West! A tourist attraction. The celebration takes place on the Gulf side of Key West at Mallory Square.

Sunday night, a 49 year old man visiting with family and friends decided to jump off the sea wall where the performers were playing. A friend went in first. Then, he.

He could not get out on his own. The current too strong. Two others jumped in attempting to save save him. Too late.

About a month ago, a similar incident occurred. A group of male friends were partying at the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon. One of them decided to run, jump over the heavy rope fence and into the water. It was low tide. He is now paralyzed for life.

People do stupid things. Sometimes resulting in bad happenings. These are two examples. Sad both occurred. There seems to be a tendency with Key West visitors to do crazy things. Not just jumping in the water. Many times what is done has an adverse result.

Physiotherapy yesterday. Grueling again. I had to nap a bit when I got home. I am definitely our of shape. Anything physical tires me. Even sex.

At least, I have stopped falling down.

Spent a considerable time yesterday putting together tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Interesting topics. A police update and my opinion where all this is going, Monsanto’s gall re Roundup, Lake Mead/Hoover Dam going dry, some banks charging depositors for holding their money, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I went up the keys for dinner. Not far. Mangrove Mama’s. A quiet night. Few customers. I sat at a table in the bar.

A pattern has developed in my life. Sunday, monday and tuesday seem to be heavy writing days. Sunday is the KONK column. Monday is getting ready for tuesday night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday is fine tuning the show.

Not a complaint. Merely sharing. I love writing!

Enjoy your day!