THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TERRI ON THE MEND

It was back to the Lower Keys Medical Center at 8 yesterday morning for the CAT scan. Properly home medicated before hand.

I thought I would have to go through Admissions again. I had no order form this time. No papers. I felt like my grandfather when he was getting off the boat from Italy.

Not a problem. The radiologist was waiting for me at the door to the hospital. She took me by the hand and lead me to her department. Telling me I needed nothing. She was using monday’s paper work.

The whole thing took 15 minutes. The radiologist was Mechelle. I spelled it correctly. That is the way her parents spelled it. A Navy family.

I was wobbly when I got off the table. Continued to walk a bit unsteady. Into the elevator and up to the third floor. Wobbly walk continued as I entered Terri’s room.

The radiologist told me not to drive. I might feel that way. I did.

Donna a good friend. She picked me up and after returned me to my home. Donna was with Terri. The hospital is 5 minutes from my home. Donna was happy to get out of the hospital for a few minutes. She has been sleeping overnight on a chair in Terri’s room.

Terri looked terrific! She looked like death warmed over monday. The doctors still do not know why her kidneys were screwed up. A high number. Now coming down.

Her immediate problem was blood. they discovered tuesday night she was losing blood. Gave her two pints. That is why Terri was herself when I saw her.

She was hungry when she woke. First time she ate while in the hospital. She was sitting up in bed paying her bills over her cell phone when I arrived.

Don’s Place first last night. Chatted with David, Toni and Becca.

Then to the Back Door at Aqua and Mark Watson. Mark very concerned about Terri. They are close.

Quiet. Three guys in drag walked through.

Parking is a gigantic problem during Fantasy Fest. Does not exist. Lucky to find a spot 8-10 blocks away. To visit Back Door, I park in the public lot behind the new fire station. Not last night. Signs all over the place…..No Parking.

A pain in the ass. Obviously the City is preparing to use the lot for the remainder of Fantasy Fest for something else. Probably the buses bringing in out of town tourists who come in for a day from Miami. Typical City Commission attitude. Screw the locals!

I finally found a spot on the street after driving around a few minutes. City meter. $2 an hour. Same as in the parking lot. Much less convenient, however.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for something to eat. Quiet. Every one downtown.

Soup and an appetizer. Followed by Key Lime pie. I had not had a piece in a while.

Michael entertaining. He took a long break and we chatted at the bar. Presidential politics.

Two guys sat next to me for a drink. We talked constantly. Primarily, Presidential politics.

One of the men was Bill Glowka from the Mecca, California area. A CPA. He was all aglow telling me about his participation with Galilee Center in California. He is a board member. The organization assists the needy.

Take a look at their website. An interesting operation. www.galileecenter.org.

I have begun asking people who they favor for President. Seems more Trump than Hillary. Many not voting. Several doing write ins.

The Trump supporters are middle aged men with out a college education. Blue collar workers. The women decidedly for Hillary. Those not voting think both are so bad that neither is worth their vote.

William Hackley has been writing the past several days of his hunting exploits. Must be the way food was put on the table in 1855. He generally shot ducks, teal and goose.

I finally get my flu shot today. Later than normal. I totally recommend the flu shot. Started 16 years ago. No flu since then. Prior to that time, I was good for three attacks a year.

USA Today ran an article yesterday saying that women will earn as much as men in 170 years. Don’t buy it! Today’s women will not stand for it. Equality will be achieved in the next decade.

Enjoy your day!

 

ARROGANT PARKING RATE PLAN

Key West is a small island. One and one half by four miles. It has been buried with too much construction, too many hotels, restaurants, bars, vehicular traffic, and tourists. I am surprised the island has not yet sunk. Key west is a new Atlantis in the making.

The Key West City commission is money crazy. Always the need for more money. Only to be not spent or spent to do totally illogical things. Last night, the Commission voted to increase parking rates by $1. Parking is already too expensive. Street parking $2 per hour, Mallory Square $4 per hour, the Bight $2.50 per hour.

The Commission says don’t worry, tourists will be paying it. They forget there are people like me. I do not live in Key West proper. I am 2.5 miles outside Key West in Key Haven. However, I drive into town twice a day. Costs me $8-10 a day to park. Now to go up by a dollar an hour.

In addition to which I spend a ton of money in Key West.

Key West workers have been told not to worry. They can park at one of the two municipal garages and be bused wherever.

The Commission is also going to require the Parking Department to chalk mark ties to better control time/overtime. Brilliant! Most if not all cities were doing it 60 years ago. None today. They depend on more sophisticated means to ascertain time violators.

The Commission does not realize this is the 21st century.  Get with it, guys!

Hurricane Matthew. Wow! By the grace of God, Key West will miss it. However, the mainland is in for a beating. This is one of the worst hurricanes ever. A high 4 with the probability of becoming a 5. Destruction galore!

Tomorrow morning at this time, Matthew will be over Palm Beach.

Good sized water vessels have already come into Key West for shelter from the storm. More expected. They are primarily dropping anchor in the Outer Mole and the Coast Guard sector.

Don’s Place first last night. Good conversation with Don, Stan and Clare. Clare promoted! She is now the Manager of Dion’s at White and Truman. A big place, a big job.

Then to Back Door and Mark Watson.

David stopped by. He educated me. The sky had a golden hue. He said it was called the Golden Light and appeared when a hurricane was on the way.

Met Jan and Kim.

Jan is a snowbird. RV lover. A retired Marine master sergeant. Drove to Key West from northern Georgia. I enjoyed her company. A knowledgeable person re world events. Especially Russia and the Middle East.

Kim arrived in Key West a few hours before appearing at Back Door. From Los Angeles and Portland. Came a long way to spend some time in Key West. She is here for several months, perhaps forever. A biologist by education and a journeyman electrician by experience. She appeared to enjoy the electrical work better.

October is the tenth anniversary of Girls’ Night Out. From 16 the first night to 2,000 ten years later. Good job, Mary Lou Hoover!

Greater love hath no man…..A tale of morbid obsession. The story of Carl Tanzer aka Count von Cosel. Tanzer is the whacky hospital employee whose love died. He dug her body up two years after burial. Took her to his home. Kept her in his bed seven years before being discovered.

Tanzer was arrested on this day in 1940.

Syracuse/Wake Forest saturday. Wake Forest a 2.5 point favorite. I suspect Wake Forest will beat Syracuse by a much higher number. This not the year for our football team! We continue to wait. Patiently.

One of the giants of the 20th century was Anwar Sadat. Egyptian President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, peacemaker with Israel.

Sadat was assassinated this date in 1981. He was in a stand reviewing troops. Islamic extremists did not like him. Two reasons. First, his peace efforts with Israel. Second, that he permitted the deposed Shah of Iran to remain in Egypt to await death from cancer. He refused to return him to Iran to be tried for war crimes.

A vehicle with armed troops drove up in front of the stand Sadat was standing on. Their guns blazed, grenades exploded. Sadat took four bullets and died.

The event was filmed/recorded. I can still see Sadat standing tall and glaring into their eyes. He never budged, never attempted to duck nor avoid the assassins.

Enjoy your day!

 

NATHAN HALE

Nathan Hale. An American Revolutionary War hero.

Hale was 21. A Yale graduate. Then school teacher. Joined the Connecticut regiment to fight in the War. Appointed a captain.

New York City was occupied by the British. The colonists needed a spy to enter New York City ascertain British troop size and location. Hale volunteered.

He spent several days in New York carrying out his responsibility. The British were not stupid. They knew there was a spy in their midst. They were closing in on Hale. Finally, captured him.

British General Howe himself said to Hale that he would be hung in the morning. No trial. Not that one would have helped much.

As Hale was being led to the gallows, it is claimed he uttered the famous words…..”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Historians question whether Hale uttered the words. Written documentation lacking.

Another reason is that there is an early 1700’s poem containing similar wording.

Whatever, it is good for us to believe Hale so spoke.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch yesterday. My usual. Ham and eggs and fries. Then a walk along the waterfront.

A mid afternoon visit to the dentist. Dr. George Linder. Nothing wrong. A routine yearly visit to check my implants. A thorough examination of the entire mouth. Well worth the visit.

Last night for cocktails at Aqua’s Back Door. Mark Watson bartending. He bartends every wednesday night. That is why I go.

I was there quite a while. A number of people I knew came in. Good company all! Donna and Terri. Zoey. Zoey’s real name is Zorica. She is a native of Macedonia. Manages Aqua’s liquor and cigarette store attached to Aqua.

Jimmy Olson and Jimmy back from New Hampshire.

A lady named Lisa.

Big day for Donna! A bit tired also. First day at work. She can be found three days a week at the Butterfly Conservatory.

The cosmetic stores on Duval continue to be involved in fraud and chicanery. I do not understand why the City/Codes does not close them down.

The most recent incident involves a 70 year old tourist. She purchased a few items. Not much. When she received her credit card statement in the mail, the charge was in excess of $5,000. The matter has been reported and the police are investigating.

Citizen activity is growing in Key West. A vigilante approach in some instances.

Re the cosmetic shops, The Key West Rip Off Response Team. They have picketed some of these establishments in the past. They too are looking into the $5,000 over billing.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice tells the story of a Georgia free range chicken farm where bald eagles are eating up the profits.

Some 15 years ago, I was sitting outside the old Paradise Cafe enjoying Cuban toast and coffee. A mother hen with 5 little chicks were walking by. The chicks in an orderly line.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud swoosh. I looked up. There were two hawks carrying off two of the chicks. The mother hen and three remaining chicks moved on as if nothing happened.

I do not know the difference between a bald eagle or hawk or any similar bird. The two I saw might very well have been bald eagles.

Homeschooling is big in Florida. The Key West Art & Historical Society has announced a new program to support homeschoolers. Two hours a month. To add/supplement to what  is being taught at home.

If anyone is interested, the Custom House’s Director of Education Adele Williams should be contacted.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Connecticut a 5 point favorite. Time to win another one!

Enjoy your day!

GREAT DINNER PARTY

Good time last night!

Donna and Terri threw a small dinner party in honor of Mark Watson’s 44th. The food outstanding. Donna is a terrific cook. The company good. Enjoyed myself!

Donna and Terri have done a magnificent job with the apartment. They have been in about two months. I saw the place when first rented. Terri’s heart attack slowed them down. The place is now completely decorated. Deserving of a Florida housing magazine spread.

Big afternoon ahead! Syracuse v. South Florida at 3:30. Hope not a repeat of last week’s debacle against Louisville.

Poker Run in full force and effect. Bikes driving down US 1 to Key West. Big time noise. Most of the ladies I saw this year were not riding seated behind the driver. They had their own bikes.

I plan on walking a bit of Duval tonight to see the bikes. Several blocks of Duval will be closed off. Only bikes will be permitted to park. Beautiful machines!

Jim Young’s Key West Codes Department has always impressed me. The group does a good job. Professional.

The cosmetic stores continue to be a Duval blight. The law does not permit closing them down. They can be fined however for failing to follow existing local guide lines.

There are seven cosmetic stores. The problem is overcharging, irregular bills, etc. The overcharging is by hundreds of dollars. Sometimes thousands. Credit cards misused.

Codes did an all at once investigation of the stores. Hit the seven stores at the same time. Five were handed violation warnings requiring them to correct their processes in 48 hours.

Too bad they cannot just be closed.

Key West High School has a group known as the Conchettes. An athletic dance group.

The Conchettes have been extremely good in recent years. They have twice appeared in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They have been asked to return this year for a third time. Sixteen will make the trip.

The school does not put up the money for the trip. The young ladies have to raise it. $45,000 needed. Each girl asked to raise $3,500.

Help the Conchettes. Make a contribution. Call the high school to do so.

Government departments and agencies keep getting hacked. High ranking officials, also. Disgraceful.

Could prove helpful, however.

Trump has not released his tax returns. I keep waiting for a hacker to get them and do so. Makes sense.

I grew up and worked in Utica, NY. Fifteen miles away from Herkimer, NY. A small upstate community. Many the case I tried in Herkimer Supreme Court.

Herkimer was previously known as German Flats. On this day in 1778, Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant, 150 Iroquois Indians, and 300 British loyalists burned down German Flats. Only three residents killed. The residents had a warning and escaped to two nearby forts.

Sixty three houses, 57 barns, 3 gristmills, and 1 sawmill destroyed.

At the end of the Revolution, the Brant family and their Iroquois followers escaped to Canada where they remained the balance of their lives.

A poet for the ages left England this date in 1820 for Italy. John Keats. He had tuberculosis. He thought the Rome weather would help his condition. It did not. He died in less than six months at the age of 20.

Keats did not write poetry till the last three years of his life. His works amazing and multitudinous in that short period. Ode to Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale two examples.

I mention Keats because I was fortunate to visit his home and place of  death some 35 years ago. I was in Rome. Wandering around while my wife and daughters were clothes shopping. I was at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Immediately to the right was a small 2 or 3 story building. A brass plate on the door was labeled John Keats. I went in.

Exciting! Saw Keats’ bedroom where he died. Another room had many of his transcripts. His poems hand written on pieces of paper. I was familiar with a few. Chilling to read the original product.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK WATSON

Mark Watson, Happy Birthday!

Mark is one of the most beloved persons in Key West. Drag queen at Aqua, a Dueling Bartender, wednesday night Back Door bartender, present King of Fantasy Fest. On and on.

A nice guy besides.

I shall be sharing this day with him at a dinner party tonight.

My yesterday began with a haircut at Blown Away with Lori. My haircutter and friend of 15 years.

Lori is moving Blown Away. To a new building on White Street. Across from Fausto’s and Sandy’s. Next door to the building where I did my first radio show 10 years ago.

Then lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Lovely Ruby working. The lady is talented. Hard working. Her work ethic impresses me.

Jay. Former chef at Sq. 1. Sq. 1 bought out. Jay moving on. Going to be the owner of his own operation. A sandwich shop. On Southard next to Bank of America. Around the corner from Key Lime Square. Near the Cuban Coffee Queen. Five door’s from Lori’s Blown Away.

From gourmet chef to sandwich maker. The sandwiches should be terrific!

Across the street are two coffee houses, a veggie restaurant, and Mr. T’s. A couple hundred feet up Southard, a noodle restaurant. All have been in business in the immediate area for many years. Jay should do well.

Opening, September 26.

Bocce last night. Ran into Jay. He has played bocce for years. My team Don’s Place doing well. I am the cheerleader. The team won all 3 games last night. 16-3, 16-0, 16-15.

It always happens that way. You kill the opposing team in the first two games. Then complacency sets in. An extra drink. Joking around. Concentration disappears.

Don’s was winning 14-7 in the third game. Needed only 2 points to win. All of a sudden, the game was tied 14 all. Finally, a one point victory eked out.

Norm is one of the player’s on Don’s team. A nice guy. We have been friends for years. Better friends because of bocce. One of my partner’s when I played.

Norm’s wife is involved community wise. She is a Rotarian. As was her father and grandfather before her. Rotarians have their hands in many of the Key West charity fundraisers. The Brewfest last week. She was one of the ones running the event. This week, she is working hard on Poker Run.

Ten thousand bikes start roaring into Key West today. For Poker Run Weekend. Big, expensive bikes. Drivers in black leather and crazy helmets. Look dangerous. Their ladies similarly dressed. Breasts dramatic. Intentionally so.

The humor is that most are doctors, lawyers and CPAs having what they consider a wild weekend. No more wild than any other, however. They will drink a bit too much, dine at the finest restaurants and have a great time!

You and me and the federal government are not the only one’s being hacked. The Monroe County Tourist Development Council’s website has been hacked. Florida Keys & Key West Facebook page 1.

Pics of beautiful Key West deleted. Replaced with photos of scantily clad provocatively posed women.

The Tourist Council cannot remove/delete the photos. Nor can they reach anyone at Facebook for help. Nor can they post an explanation.

My suggestion is they get a computer geek immediately to work on the problem. There are several in Key West.

The Mayflower departed England this day in 1620. Sixty six days later, landed at Provincetown. Not Plymouth as most of us have learned. Several months later, a group departed and landed at Plymouth. Of Plymouth Rock fame.

The Mayflower gave us the Mayflower Compact, Plymouth Rock, and Capt. Myles Standish.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act into law this day in 1940. A draft law.

It is time we had a draft law again. Our professional voluntary army has been pushed too hard. Several deployments. As many as seven for some. No wonder 20 veterans a day are committing suicide.

I would require two years military service following high school graduation.

Guaranteed, I am going to receive a lot of comment on the position.

Enjoy your day!

SOME KEY WEST HISTORY

Big trees from little acorns grow…..

The Pier House Motel opened this date in 1968. Fifty units. From that modest beginning, the Pier House of today grew. Key West’s premier hotel.

My friend from physiotherapy David Wolkowsky responsible. The 50 unit motel was his brain child. The hotel’s growth guided by his hand.

David is 96. God bless him!

David has been responsible for more than merely the growth of the Pier House. Key West is his baby! He made it what it is today.

Mom’s Tea Room was once a popular place. Always busy. A man’s place. A whore house, house of ill repute, bordello. It is no more.

On this date in 1941, Mom’s Tea Room was raided. Three prostitutes arrested.

Not Mom’s first raid/arrest. The U.S. Navy a thorn in her side. Weighed on local government to close down the place. The Navy believed the place was not healthy for its men.

This is not the first time this blog has reported on Mom’s Tea Room. Twice before. April 9, 2015 and February 8, 2016. More detail in each writing. The blogs are archived on www.keywestlou.com. Right hand side of page, scroll down. Find month and year. Click on. Find date.

The owner of Mom’s Tea Room was Rose Rabin. She ran three places over the years. One off and on Stock Island through 1953. Another on Truman Avenue before World war II. The third a post World War II place known as the Imperial Club. The Navy was on her ass re all her clubs.

Whore houses are a thing of the past. Today are primarily escort services and gentlemen’s clubs (strip clubs). Services the same. Merely obtained via a different method.

Walked Home Depot yesterday. Only 15 minutes and at a slow pace. Exhausted afterwards. Concerns me.

While walking, I heard from Dee. She was calling from somewhere in Michigan.

Dee worked 30 years for AIDS-Help here in Key West. Her boss during those years died this week. She was in Michigan to attend his services. She is scheduled as one of the speakers.

Dee was a wreck. Crying. Understandable.

Stopped at Walgreens. To pick up Nexium generic for my acid reflux.

I am pissed at pharmaceutical houses and insurance companies. I have a drug policy through AARP. Does not pay everything. Always a co-pay. Then there is the donut.

I have been taking two Nexiums a day for years. My co-pay $40 a month. A couple of months ago, the price out of pocket for me became $174. No way! I switched to the generic. The generic costs me $41.50 a month. Slightly more than the for real pill.

Generics are supposed to be cheap.

I talked to Walgreens, the insurance company and the pharmaceutical house at the time. The insurance and pharmacy houses not nice at all. Actually impolite. Basically, the prices can be raised at any time. The judgment that of the pharmaceutical house. Take it or leave it!

F–k ’em!

Excuse my exasperation.

Back Door last night with Mark Watson. David there. Met Tim and Todd. John, who I had met before.

Tim and I talked quite a while. He manages Joe’s Chicken Shack on Duval. Another place for me to try.

Then to Outback’s for dinner. Ran into Doc. I only know him as Doc. Never have known his real name. We played golf weekly 20 years ago. I rarely see him now.

I was thrilled when he told me how much he loved my KONK Life column, reads it every week, etc. Thought I spent all week researching.

Doc made my night. It thrills me whenever someone compliments the column. I take pride in it.

The local hospital problem a real one. Will be ongoing quite a while. There will be some resolution. How much, difficult to determine.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported the City Commission was having a meeting tonight re the issue. The Citizens’ Committee, hospital representatives and public invited.

Key West’s City Commission is inept. Typical politicians. Want the public to know they are doing something. Generally not the right thing.

Certain Commission members are prepared to sue the company that owns the hospital. I believe it not the time, if ever. A lawsuit is only going to screw things up, delay resolution, etc.

Whatever, the Commission blowhards seem committed to a lawsuit. Then the problem is off their shoulders. Let the City Attorney worry about it. Blame delays and lack of resolution on the lawsuit.

In the mean time, what about patients? Any lawsuit will delay resolution of patient problems for years.

Enjoy your day!

AGGRAVATION FREE TRIP TO CUBA

Though relations are better with Cuba, a U.S. trip to Cuba still involves some aggravation.

Not for Fleming, however. He even traveled free.

Fleming is a turtle. He was found injured last year and taken to the Marathon Turtle Hospital. Fleming was returned to good health.

On July 22, he was returned to the ocean at Sombrero Beach. Got a big send off.

The hospital attached a satellite tag to Fleming. They follow his travels. He is now in Cuba.

You can follow Fleming’s meanderings. www.tourdeturtles.org.

Yesterday was wednesday. Wednesday is screw off time for me. I spend saturday through tuesday researching and writing. Then three days off beginning with wednesday. Look forward to wednesdays! Love the day!

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. Me, Jenny and the machine. I did not kill myself. Ran at a moderate speed. Still exhausted afterwards.

I have decided to take a week off. I am going to walk at Home Depot those days to see if it makes any difference.

After the treadmill, I hurried to Verizon Wireless. The good one. The one in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center.

Nana took care of me again. She is teaching me how to use my new cell phone. I am a dunce! Having difficulty learning. Retaining all the steps involved. These new phones are computers. Love it! Have to learn how to use them, however.

A generational thing. My era born and I are not mechanically inclined.

Lunch was at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Splurged. Instead of a cheese toast, I had a BLT. On pressed Cuban bread. Delicious!

Halley working up front. Ruby in the kitchen.

Ruby is an experienced cook. Seven years at Outback. She has also worked at several restaurants around town.

Spent the afternoon reading. An interesting World War II story. Involved Normandy on D-Day. A group of engineers were sent in before the landing to destroy whatever was on the beach and in the water that would affect a safe landing.

The landing site Utah beach.

The men were told before hand the mission was dangerous and few would survive. The men worked in groups of three. Only one in each group was alive at the end of the morning.

Last night began with the Back Door at Aqua. Mark Watson back. He just returned from a week on Fire Island.

Then to Roostica for dinner. Gnocchi.

The Florida Keys Community College, aka FKCC, was recently rated by SmartAsset.com.

There are 565 community colleges in the U.S. FKCC was rated #18. Very commendable!

A statement in the commendation hit home. Today’s young are looking for a good inexpensive education that will provide a good return on their investment. Not always the case today with those receiving four year degrees.

The quote: Community colleges “…..provide their students with an inexpensive, world class education and a good return on investment.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TERRI WHITE…..ILL

Terri White experienced a heart attack tuesday while at home here in Key West. She was helicoptered to Miami’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

A catheterization. Ninety percent blockage in one artery. A stent put in.

She was sitting up in bed last night eating a hospital roast beef dinner. Complaining about the beef and the rest of the food.

Terri will be home soon. If all ok, today.

Someone was looking over her shoulder. In addition to Donna. God.

My day yesterday began withe the anti-gravity treadmill. Whereas I took it easy monday and ended up tired, yesterday I went at it. I pushed hard. It is my way. I had to test myself. Went to a high speed fast and stayed there. I was not tired afterwards. You figure.

Then to Walgreens. Always going to Walgreens. Getting old means pills. Tons of them. Not complaining. Keeps me healthy. No question about it. My heart doctor says it is the pills for me.

Even for generics, prescriptions can be expensive. I pay $40 for one and $36 for another. Both reached those dramatic levels this year.

Stopped at Verizon. Still learning my cell phone. Nana my teacher not there. Had to cover the Marathon store. Will stop by again tomorrow.

I am becoming a regular at Aqua. Twice a week.

Last night, the Back Door. Expected to see Mark Watson. Not there. On Fire Island for a few days. Tom Luna covering for him.

Chatted quite a while with Tom. First time so long. Interesting background. An interesting person. He spent much time in New York. We compared notes.

Jeremy came in. Tom introduced us. Jeremy is Aqua’s general manager. Thirty seven. Enjoyed his company. He is knowledgeable. His ability obvious.

Start of mini-lobster season busy yesterday. Much busier than I thought. Guess I was outside watching for the boats too early.

A picture in this morning’s Key West Citizen shows the boats. Bumper to bumper, so to speak.

A 60 year old man became ill while diving off Cudjoe Key yesterday. Fortunately, a Navy helicopter was nearby. Within 15 minutes, he had been airlifted to the Lower Keys Medical Center. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

A boat with four persons went out tuesday. Not diving for lobsters yet. One day early. Merely diving. Intended to go out 7-8 miles. Boat became disabled. The Coast Guard was out looking for them. They were found yesterday 33 miles out. Everyone fine.

There were a number of boats that passed by my home this morning. All heading out to dive for lobsters. Some of the boats overloaded with people. Reminded me of the scene in Jaws when everyone was going out to catch the shark.

Then it rained. At 7:45 it poured. Typical tropical storm. Heavy for 10 minutes. Big time thunder. Water picking up. Then it stopped and everything returned to normal.

I would not have wanted to be out on a boat during those 10 minutes.

William Hackley reports today that Matilda’s milk is still not good. Baby not tolerating it. Baby has been sick for three days. Coughing up green stuff.

I am beginning to worry about Baby.

My Republican, conservative, far right friends, how can you support Trump? A man who invites Russia/Putin to admit and share e-mails hacked from our private files. Trump is crazy. Putin is crazy.

Trump said he would accept Putin’s word on anything he says. Trump forgets that Putin denied for months that it was Russian troops in disguise who invaded Crimea.

Trump makes himself sound like the patriot of patriots. He is going to save America!

The 18th century writer Samuel Johnson said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

I have followed and been concerned with Venezuela President Nicolos Maduro for three years. Another President is added. He is President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Drugs are a major problem in the Philippines. Duterte has authorized police and citizens to kill anyone on the spot who they discover using or selling drugs. He advises he will pardon anyone involved in the killings.

No due process involved. Kill them and throw them into the sea. Dtterte said the fish will get fat off their bodies.

Duterte is a nut. Like Maduro. And, Trump.  Duterte wants to retire with a reputation comparable to Idi Amin. So he says.

Ugh!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GI BILL

Live long enough and you become a part of history. I have. I will be 81 in two weeks. Many events reported today as historical occurrences are events I saw happening.

On this day in 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the GI Bill. I have no specific recollection of that day.

The GI Bill made it possible for World War II returning veterans to purchase new homes and receive college educations. Those events I do recall. The years 1945-1950. I was 10-15 years old at the time.

The GI Bill provided low interest loans for home purchases. All of a sudden, new neighborhoods grew on the edges of Utica and out into the country. The birth of the suburbs. Homes generally small. Looked alike. Ranch or Cape Cod in style. A front yard. A good sized back yard.

The GI bill also funded college educations for returning veterans. It seemed like everyone was going to college. Men who might not otherwise have obtained a college education.

By 1947, veterans made up 50 percent of college enrollments.

There were not enough college campuses. Inner city neighborhoods suddenly became college buildings. Whole neighborhoods were purchased. Old buildings turned into college class rooms, libraries, etc.

In Utica, it occurred in the Oneida Square area. First, an old church became Utica College. Within a short time, a several block area had become Utica College.

I saw all this happening. I recall it distinctly.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Did the show at 9. I especially enjoyed doing last night’s show.

Two topics received emotional attention from me. Venezuela and the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass safe gun legislation.

Nicholas Maduro has been Venezuela’s President four years. An abomination! A failure! I have followed the man and his country ever since Venezuela ran out of toilet paper four years ago. Still do not have enough toilet paper.

They also do not have enough food today. It has come down to that. People are hungry. Starving a better description. Families eating every second or third day. And then only a piece of fat boiled in water. Soup of sorts. No bread.

Riots and fighting in the streets. People clashing to get food. The military and police guarding the minimum food supplies available. People being killed. One a four year old boy.

Why Venezuelans do not revolt, I do not understand.

The U.S. Senate failure speaks for itself. Four failed votes monday night. Mass gun killings will continue in our country.

The sad thing is that the NRA controls/owns our elected officials.

What sticks in my craw is that a person on a terrorist list cannot fly. Yet that same person can buy a gun. A gun that could subsequently be used in a mass killing.

Events can be exciting. One occurred yesterday in Key West. I missed it.

Several Cubans landed on the beach on South Roosevelt Boulevard. Across from the Best Western. Only one could speak a bit of English. Key Westers and Best Western staff went to work assisting our new neighbors. Food and water provided. Hands of welcome offered.

It was a dangerous three day trip Cuba to Key West. They made it. I hope they make it in the U.S. also. May their lives be rich and fulfilling.

Candidates announcing to run for the Key West Mosquito Control District board. I short cut the title and refer to it as the Mosquito Control Board.

Ollie Kofoid running. Ran the last time. Lost. Hope he wins this time. His type is needed.

Ollie has an environmental degree. He understands mosquito problems. Especially, the genetically modified mosquitoes the board is trying to shove down our throats.

Ollie is opposed. He has knocked on my door and other doors several times the past two year explaining the dangers involved in the testing of the genetically modified mosquitoes.

I am with you, Ollie!

Cocktail time tonight with Mark Watson at Aqua’s Back Door Bar. Fun time!

The cupboard is bare again. Nothing new. Need to shop today. My breakfast consisted of grapefruit and a cup of tea. Plus, a Chinese fortune cookie. Left over from my delivered Chinese dinner the other night.

The fortune: It’s not only important to add years to your life, but to add life to your years.

To add life to your years…..How true! I try!

Enjoy your day!