THE WEDDING

The sun shining. A tiny dock sitting on the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A small group of white chairs. Harp music in the background.

The setting for the marriage of Chris and Don at 7 last night at the Hyatt.

Chris her usual lovely self. Her beauty even more pronounced by the lovely long white dress she wore. Don in casual attire. Referred to by the natives as Key West formal.

The perfect couple being married in a perfect setting.

Great reception! My first wedding at the Hyatt. A job well done.

The reception was on the second floor. A round room with windows floor to ceiling. Surrounded by a balcony. Guests intermingling while enjoying good drink, food and music.

Don and Chris’ friends all wonderful people. Enjoyed again the company of Trish aka Trixie and John, Phil and Christina, Joon, and Gilly. Met the wedding couple’s families. Chris’ parents, Don’s two sisters and brother, Don’s children. Joon’s charming parents who had arrived from South Korea. And many more.

I sat with John, Ollie, Bridget, the minister who married Chris and Don. And another woman. A good table!

I especially enjoyed Bridget. Bridget Geraghty. In from Chicago. Ollie’s guest.

A beautiful and charming young lady. Makes her living working for politicians. She is presently on the staff of the Democrat seeking the Illinois governorship. An interesting conversation. Especially since I am a political junkie.

She came to dance! She could dance! Ollie did a good job in keeping up with her.

The women knew how to dress. They dressed. All lovely. The men go casual. Referred to again as Key West formal.

I snuck out at 10:30. Already past my bed time. I cannot keep late hours as I once did.

An example of how some of the wedding party had been partying. I missed them friday night at the Chart Room. They arrived after I left. They closed the Chart Room around 1. A bunch then went to the outside bar at Don’s Place till it closed at 4.

Yet, they were all bright and shiny for the wedding last night!

Spent yesterday afternoon watching the kids’ March For Our Lives on TV. Must be honest. I shed a few tears. Raw emotions exhibited on the screen.

A movement that cannot be stopped. A cultural change. The NRA has met its match.

So too Marco Rubio.

Rubio set his path on becoming President. He can forget it. He won’t be able to be elected dog catcher after these high schoolers get done with him.

Key West participated in the March. Kicked off at noon at South Beach, marched down Duval to Mallory Square. Photos in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast indicate hundreds participating. Could be a thousand.

And who was the leader of the band at one point. Laurie. Laurie from Aqua. Laurie always comfortable with a mike in her hand. Laurie who is always available to help someone or a cause. There she was in one of the photos standing by the mike her arms raised high.

Loyola-Chicago won again! Going to the Final Four! Good for them! Loyola a #11 seed beat the #1 seed Kansas yesterday.

Today is Palm Sunday. The beginning of Holy Week for Christians. The beginning of a holy week for Jews, also.

For Christians, Palm Sunday marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Within a week, He would be crucified.

Palm Sunday was a big deal in an Italian Catholic household. Everyone went to Church. Even those who rarely or never went. To get palms. Everyone got as many as they wanted.

It was part of the tradition to visit the homes of family and friends and exchange warm greetings while exchanging palms.

Every family had a talented Uncle who could make fancy crosses of all sizes, hats, and baskets from the palms.

Today, no more. Sometime in the 1960’s, the Church got niggardly with the palms. Only one palm per person. My recollection is that the palms had become expensive.

The tradition of visiting and exchanging continued. However, you had to make sure you received a palm in return. Otherwise, you had none to give at the next house visited.

I will be glued to the TV set at 8 tonight. 60 Minutes featuring Stoney Daniels! Ho, ho, ho. What will we learn?

Enjoy your Sunday!

A DEATH TRAP

Grenfell has been a death trap since 2015 when it was retrofitted. Death by fire inevitable. It happened this past week. The death count 17 so far. Expected to exceed 100. Some burned so badly, identification may not be possible.

Grenfell is a London high rise. The fire occurred wednesday. Rapidly spread upward. Comparable to a fire drawing up a chimney.

An outer sheet was placed over the exterior of the building at the time of renovations in 2015. A space remained between the outer sheet and the building wall. The interior of the sheet plastic.

The process is called cladding. Thought to be environmentally sound. The space between the new outer sheeting and original wall served as insulation.

A final report as to the cause of the fire not yet released. Two stick out and are sure to be included. The space described and the plastic coating. The space served as a draft for the flames to quickly shoot up enclosing the entire building. The plastic highly flammable.

An American company manufactured the covering. Reynobond. Two types. One with and one without the plastic coating. The without more expensive. Probably due to the nature of a different coating.

The difference in using the safe one over the one possible of fire 5,000 pounds.

Cladding is banned outright in Germany. In the United States, it is banned in buildings more than 40 feet high.

Warnings have been forthcoming since 1999 that cladding was not safe. Primarily because of the chimney effect if a fire occurs.

Grenfell a disaster that should not have occurred. An avoidable one. Money and an environmentally sound but dangerous material major contributing factors.

My big event yesterday was shopping at Farmers Market. Bread, tomatoes and honey purchased.

Stopped at 5 Guys. Sitting at the table next to me was the owner of Harpoon Harry’s. Both of us munching away on huge cheeseburgers.

Gotcha time. We laughed when we saw each other. Caught cheating!

Trump is wrong to change the relatively new rules re Cuba. He is acceding to a handful of Cuban immigrants who each year diminish in numbers.

Castro’s revolution was 1959. Cubans who fled left at that time. Many settled in Miami.

Sixty five more or less years ago. Time generally heals wounds no matter how great initially. We should have hated Germany and Japan following World War II. Thousands of our men and women killed. We had better sense. We made them our friends. Look at the relationships that developed.

Trump is sucking up to a handful of American-Cuban voters. Typical. He does not use his head.

I came across an article re Coney Island and its roller coaster Cyclone. Both may be closed today.

Brought back memories of me and my Uncle Gus. My mother’s oldest brother. A barber in the Bronx.

Uncle Gus took me to Coney Island every year when we visited. A ride on the Cyclone always on the agenda. I was 4-10 during those years. Scared of the roller coaster.

Uncle Gus always insisted we had to sit in the front seat. I thought I was going to die each time. Fall out. In the vernacular, I shit my pants!

Uncle Gus loved it! He would yell and scream. I eventually realized I was his excuse to ride on the Cyclone.

In 1858, Lincoln was running for the United States Senate. He lost.

On this day in 1858 at a debate, Lincoln warned that America was becoming a “house divided.” He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Heed well my friends! A warning. Words of wisdom that apply as much today as then.

Enjoy your day!