ROGER J. GOEBEL DIED

Roger J. Goebel met his Maker on April 20, 2018. Roger was 82.

The meeting had to be an interesting one. Roger an intellectual. A genius. Few could match his mental acumen.

Roger’s life was committed to the law. The last 33 years as a Professor at Fordham Law. He might very well be serving as a counselor to the Lord today.

Strange I am writing about Roger today. The last time I saw him was on the day we both graduated from Manhattan College in 1957. My only connection with him since has occasionally reading about him in the news. Prior to teaching law, he was a partner with an international law firm. He spent many years in the firm’s Paris office.

Roger and I developed a strange relationship. He was beyond me mentally. I doubt anyone was of his intellectual level. Which meant he was a loner.

For some reason, we became friends in our last two years at Manhattan. We would walk one or two evenings a week around the campus chatting. Sometimes at his level, sometimes at mine. I found him to be a lonely person. His intellect setting him aside from others.

God love you, Roger! Sad we never spoke again after Manhattan.

I would never have known Roger died were it not for a fellow Manhattan graduate, John Reinke. Class of 1968. Reinke publishes a weekly internet periodical Jasper Jottings. Manhattan College is known less formally as the Jaspers.

How John gets Jasper Jottings out amazes me. Alumni detail big time.

Keep up the good work, John. You help so many of us in small but important ways.

Another Manhattan graduate who also became a lawyer is presently in the news daily. Rudy Giuliani. Not a class mate of Roger and I. Giuliani graduated some 8-10 years after us.

I have spoken/written of Giuliani the past few days several times. In this blog, my newspaper column, my podcast, and Facebook live video. The man is over the hill. His time has passed.

I suspect Trump has brought him on his team as an ego booster. He is not helping him legally.

Perhaps Trump does have a genius. By keeping Giuliani at his side, he keeps the news on Giuliani and not himself.

Yesterday morning, I wrote this week’s KONK Life column. It has to be to the publisher on Saturday. The paper hits the stands on Wednesday.

This week’s topic a change of pace. A walk back in history. A relatively unknown part.

The article concerns General James Wilkinson. Part of George Washington’s team and involved in American politics and military service in one fashion or another till after the War of 1812.

I wrote about Wilkinson because he was worse than Aaron Burr. For whatever reason, history rarely speaks of him. A devious man.

One example of his less than honorable ways is when he was serving as an American general, he was also on the payroll of the Spanish government as a spy against the U.S. Spain paid him so much in silver that he had difficulty getting it back to the U.S. Too heavy to transport.

Lunch afterwards at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Spent a couple of hours sipping Cuban coffee and reading the newspapers.

I was supposed to party last night at one of several places. I made none. As the race approached, I decided to watch it alone at home. A sign age is catching up with me.

I received several photos from the different parties. All suggesting the same thing…..See what you missed!

I was impressed with Justify. Three inches of rain fell before the race. The track muddy. The race only in doubt for a split second.

The Washington Post ran an interesting internet article yesterday afternoon. Concerned Trump. Title: “As The ‘King Of Debt,’ Trump Borrowed To Build His Empire. Then He Began Spending Hundreds Of Millions In Cash.”

The article claims that nine years before Trump became President, his company spent more than $400 million in cash for new properties. Fourteen transactions involved.

Real estate money men do not buy real estate by paying cash. They take on partners and borrow as much as they can. Debt is the way business is done.

All of a sudden, Trump has large amounts of cash! Does not make sense. Especially noting that the recession of 2008 occurred during the nine year period.

Where did the cash come from? Are these deals part of any investigation?

Glad it’s Sunday. Always a good day. I will probably attend Hot Dog Church with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri, followed by Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

A GOOD MAN GONE

Stephen Edward Attis has passed on. Known to all as Steve. A good man. None better.

I got to know Steve here in Key west. We had somewhat of a similar background. Both born in 1935. We used to joke that I was older than him. By 2 1/2 months.

Manhattan College frequently came into our conversations. I graduated from Manhattan College. Steve attended Manhattan for a time. He used to tell me he attended several colleges before finally graduating.

Steve born and raised in the Bronx. Manhattan College is located in the Bronx. I also lived for a time at 682 E. 141 St. in the Bronx. We talked how things were then and now in the Bronx.

A bocce player. As the years added on and he had some difficulty with his legs, Larry Smith used to help him stepping on and off the court, picking up the ball for him. In spite of his problems, he shot well.

Steve’s wife, Midge. The two married 61 years. The best of wives. Always with him, always watching out for him.

Steve and Midge regulars at Don’s Place. Loved by everyone.

A New Orleans style funeral procession planned. What else for Steve? Saturday at 12:15. Begins at the Dean Lopez Funeral Home. Onward to St. Mary Star of the Sea for his funeral service.

Never been in a New Orleans type funeral procession. I will saturday.

Spent yesterday afternoon perfecting material for last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

As much as I disliked it, Trump took up the whole half hour. We talk about nothing else anymore.

The show went well. I am anti-Trump so it was easy.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is Neil Gorsuch. Appears extremely intelligent. Extremely conservative, also. I do not approve of him.

Not important what I think. His problem is getting Senate approval. The Dems are lining up against him. Properly so.

Stephen Bannon has become the ring leader in the White House. Trump relies on him. A bad move.

Bannon is a Rasputin. He will not fuck Trump as Rasputin did the Czarina. However, he will screw  the United States. Bannon seeks the destruction of government as we know it.

I have never played dominoes. I have never seen anyone playing dominoes in Key West. Nevertheless, there is a Domino Tournament this saturday at the Southernmost Hotel. The first of many to follow. Sponsored by the Sunset Key West Rotary. Named after and honors the well liked Maury Madruga who recently died.

Remember ZIKA. Hit Florida about this time last year. We were told to beware. ZIKA coming in epidemic proportions.

Where is it today?

Instant fear as with Ebola. Everyone gets excited and jumps to do something immediately. Haste rarely required.

A Sons and Daughters of Italy fundraiser 5-8 friday at Bottle Cap. Italian food, deserts, music, silent auction, etc.

Called Buonasera Venezia. Translated, Good Evening Venice.

Our home grown terrorist Harlem Suarez was convicted on terrorism charges yesterday in Federal Court. Took the jury one hour to convict. Suarez planned on burying a nail filled back pack bomb on Smathers Beach and then detonating it with a cell phone.

He is yet to be sentenced. I suspect a significant sentence. Suarez is going to be an old man when he gets out of jail.

A quote in the World Almanac section of this morning’s Key West Citizen worthy of note. Langston Hughes in Dreams wrote: “Hold fast to dreams / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly.”

I enjoy doing Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook. Every day, several times a day. For a few minutes. I can be seen as well as heard. If you have not, take a look. You might enjoy. Go to Facebook and enter Key West Lou. Voila! Me!

A big evening ahead. Dinner with Liz.

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!

 

HEMINGWAY’S SPAIN

It is impossible to think of Key West and not Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent ten years in Key West. During that time, he did all the things people do when on the island. Drank, partied and fished. He also completed writing A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway’s grandson Michael Hemingway was in Valencia, Spain yesterday. He met one of his grandfather’s closest friends, Francisco “Canito” Cana. Cana was a bullfight photographer during his Hemingway days.

Cana shared many stories with Michael. Especially, the “…..feasts and binges.” He told him of Pamplona and the running of the bulls. How he and Hemingway would eat a huge dinner the night before with much wine. The next day, they would watch the running of the bulls. Followed by coffee in the Plaza Castillo.

Cana added that Hemingway loved Spain, their drinking sprees, the wine they guzzled, and the flask of vodka he always carried.

First it was Syracuse, my Syracuse. Today it is Manhattan, my Manhattan. My poor Jaspers!

Not a basketball year for me.

Manhattan lost in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Manhattan had to play its way in. Had they won, the prize was playing Kentucky next.

Manhattan lost to Hampton College 74-64. Surprising since Manhattan was an 8.5 point favorite. Also, Manhattan’s record was 19-13. Whereas, Hampton’s 16-17.

Such is life! There is always next year!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. A part of Duval Street was closed off. The area jam packed. Most wearing green and drinking glass after glass of green beer. Everyone on a Duval crawl!

An interesting factual correction re  St. Patrick. He did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland was too cold for snakes. St. Patrick did drive the idol worshiping Druid religion out as part of his Christianizing most of Ireland. Over the years, the Druids being driven out has transformed into the snake story.

Netanyahu won. Surprising. You cannot always trust the polls. Query: How will this affect Iran’s thoughts re a nuclear agreement? Iran may now fear Israel and use that reason for not entering into a deal with the United States. It is assumed Israel has nuclear bombs.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show discussing Tom Cotton. The new kid on the block as I described him. A far right tea party type. Also, a neocon. Backed by big money and powerful people. Beware was my message. The man is being groomed for a Presidential run at some point.

This week’s KONK Life publishes today. My column is the Making of a Star. The Tom Cotton story. Read it. A guaranteed eye opener.

I am sick and tired hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. A red herring going nowhere. When are these idiots going to start discussing things like jobs and income inequality?

Nancy Robinson is a Key West icon. A lady. Known to everyone in Key West. Mother of Martha Robinson.

Nancy has been sick. She is still sick. In and out of the hospital. Now home. Definitely not well. Say a prayer for her.

Enjoy your day!

 

Syracuse No, Manhattan Yes

Yesterday was Sunday. I spent the first four hours finishing this week’s KONK Life column. Making of a Star. Re Tom Cotton. The young U.S. Senator who wrote the letter to Iran signed by 46 Republican Senators. The public should be aware of the nature of the man. A protegé of the conservative far right, he is being groomed for the Presidency. I consider him dangerous.

I was surprised at a comment by Mika Brezinski this morning. She referred to the Senators who signed the letter as “toddlers at play.” Not really. I doubt she is aware of Cotton’s background..

A guest on Good Morning Joe referred to the Congressman chairing the subcommittee looking into Hillary’s e-mails as “Gomer Pyle.”

Respect is fading in today’s society. We see it in our elected representatives. We are entitled to better from media news pundits.

After completing the column, I did yesterday’s blog.

A full morning of writing!

I took the afternoon off. I was tired from all the writing. Decided on Salute’s. Took the book I have been reading. Operation Sea Lion by Leo McKinstry. The story of England 1941 anticipating a German invasion. I finished the book while at Salute’s.

I found a table outside by the main door. Sat looking out onto the beach. Between pages, enjoyed the young ladies I felt guilty looking at the other day.

Operation Sea Lion is one of the best books I have read on World War II. I recommend it to you. The summer and fall of 1941 were very dangerous for the English. The bravery and confidence of the English people and Churchill are highly commendable. It made me wonder if we would handle a threatened invasion in the same fashion.

Last night was watching the NCAA seeds. I have no Syracuse to pull for. However, my undergraduate school made it. Manhattan College. A small Catholic college at the north end of New York near the Yonkers border.

Manhattan has a tough roll. They must play their way in. They first must beat Hampton. Their reward for winning is Kentucky. Number 1 and number 16 facing each other.

Manhattan’s coach is Steve Masiello. Played college ball for Louisville as a walk on. Got to two Final Fours, one won. Thereafter, he was an assistant coach to Rick Pitino at Louisville for six years.

Go ‘Cuse now becomes Go Jaspers!

Tonight is the Friends of the Key West Library Lecture Series. The speaker Les Staniford. He recently wrote a book about certain Revolutionary participants. Like John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry. I am a history freak. His talk should be interesting.

Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard have spent the past year in the Florida keys filming a new TV show. Bloodline. Thirteen episodes start this friday evening via Netflix. The show’s action takes place primarily in Islamorada and Key Largo.

Harry Truman. Key West loves Harry Truman! Truman loved Key West! On this date in 1950, he arrived for a three week vacation. One of the eleven trips he made to Key West, all of which totaled 175 days.

Enjoy your day!