Happy Sunday!

Three mighty northeasters have hit the country in the past two weeks. So many so close together highly unusual. Snowfalls extremely heavy. Temperatures below zero. Travel next to impossible.

One of the most famous and treacherous winter storms was the Great Blizzard of 1888. Four hundred died. Snowfall 55 inches. Wind gusts up to 85 miles per hour.

New York City was exceptionally hard hit. Snow drifts reaching to the second floor of some buildings. Walking next to impossible. Many who did attempt to walk from one place to another died on the way.

One of those who collapsed in a snow drift and died was Roscoe Conkling. Fifty eight years old at the time. A recognized public figure.

I write of Conkling because he got his political start in my hometown Utica. Mayor 1858-1859. A Lincoln Republican, he ultimately was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served 14 years.

Twice he was asked to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Grant wanted to nominate him Chief Justice. He refused the nomination. A few years later, he accepted a nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him. Following confirmation, he changed his mind and refused to be sworn in.

We are in the middle of the flu season. The Keys have not been hit too bad. There are two strains out there. The one running rampant in California the bad one. Hundreds have died.

The worst flu epidemic in history began in 1918. Lasted two years.

The first cases of the 1918 flu epidemic were reported at Fort Riley, Kansas. One hundred one the first day. By the end of the summer, the flu had spread world wide. Twenty to forty million died. Six hundred seventy five thousand in the United States alone.

Researchers at Japan’s Yokohama National University believe they are on the path to a cure for baldness. The source of the cure was discovered in oil used to cook McDonald french fries.

The chemical dimethypolysiloxane. Big word! It has been found to grow hair follicles on mice.

Diana Millikan and I finally got together last night.

Diana is an excellent researcher. We have been collaborating on a book for two years. The History of Prostitution in Key West. Goes back as far as 1650. We are stuck. I say we need more research. Diana says there is no more to be found. She says write. I keep pushing her. Whether the book will evolve, I do not know.

Diana recently finished reading The History of Jews in Key West. The book excited her. She wanted me to see it. Brought it with her last night. I was aware of much contained in the book based on other researches I have completed re Key West. Jews played a significant role in the development of Key West. The book Diana brought to me was the first work I have seen incorporating the history in one 200 plus page volume.

We enjoyed drinks at the Chart Room first. Then to Mary Ellen’s for dinner. Diana had never been.

I forgot this was Spring Break week. The young people were all over Mary Ellen’s. No problem. We chatted with some while enjoying toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

The excitement of youth is overwhelming. To be that young again!

Got home in time to watch most of the Virginia/North Carolina game. The final one of the ACC Tournament. Virginia won 73-61. Though North Carolina is an excellent team, Virginia a couple of steps better this year. Virginia is ranked #1 nationally, has won 31 games and lost only 2.

Judgment time tonight. The NCAA Tournament listings will be announced. I have no anticipation that Syracuse will be one of them. It was not our season.

Enjoy your Sunday!


A couple of heavy items to discuss today. Sad topics. I have opted to start with the happy rather than those.

Which means first and foremost, Kate Miano.

Lovable, warm, caring, interested in people and causes. An available helping hand. A successful woman to boot.

The 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award. Former Fantasy Fest Queen. Conch Shell Blower winner. The list endless.

Kate has been around a while. She personifies the Key West of yesterday and today. Perfectly blended.

Instead of sitting back and relaxing, she wants to take on Key West’s present woes. Solve the community’s problems. As only a Mayor can do.

The election is not till August. Already something like 10 persons have filed to run. The total in the end will be 10-12.

A Kate Miano for Mayor Kickoff Party is scheduled for friday March 9 at the Gardens Hotel. Six in the evening. Open bar and food. Come, join, visit, meet. Kate would love for you to stop by.

I would too. Bring your friends.

I have had company for a few days. Delivered the company to the airport yesterday for return to the north country. Flight canceled. The Northeaster. Flights cancelled today, also. At the moment, tomorrow looks good.

Early to the Chart Room last night. Good friend John bartending. Stayed a couple of hours. When I left, standing room only.

It never fails. As soon as the sun has set, tourists come pouring into the Chart Room.

Met some very interesting people.

Cathi and Mark from Atlanta.

We talked of Irma and its impact on Atlanta. Cathi and Mark lost a few trees. I told the story of my being kicked out of an Atlanta hotel after two nights because Irma was coming.

Cathi and Mark married 21 years. She “the best real estate agent in Atlanta.” Mark into finance and insurance.

Both 50ish, considering retirement and buying a home in Key West. Are frequent visitors to Key West. Hope they do opt to live here. They would be welcomed with open arms.

Met a sort of neighbor from upstate New York. George from Rochester. Ninety miles from my home town of Utica.

George unquestionably smart. Spent his career as a Physics Professor at the University of Rochester. Physics was always too heavy for me.

George and I almost contemporaries. He is 87. Sharp.

He used to visit Key West regularly years ago. He was in the Chart Room looking for his old friends Che and British Peter. Che at 83 has become a recluse. British Peter now living in the State  of Washington.

George lived on a boat in days gone by. He still owns the slip on Stock Island.

It was time to eat. I decided to return to Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So good the last time. Knew it had to be good again. It was.

Mary Ellen’s nothing fancy. I would describe it as typical Key West.

Entertainment last night. Dildo races. Electric vibrator dildo races.

Only in Key West.

A two foot board, ten feet long. Tipped forward about 25 degrees. Groved so the dildos would fit just right.

Betting beforehand. Bid on which dildo you wanted. The one you hoped would win. Bidding as high as $20-30 for each dildo.

The vibrators were turned on, the gate opened, and the dildos off and running! Spectators yelling just as if at a race track.

I did not bet.

As I was leaving, I heard the next race announced. The “Don’t Drop the Soap Race.”

Again, only in Key West!

I am still with the happy.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. The President made 11 trips to Key West totaling 175 days. He loved the place!

Truman arrived this day in 1951 for a three week visit. He would be staying at The Little White House.

Now for the unhappy. Two re Trump and one re Secretary of the Treasury Steve Munchin.

Trump announced yesterday steep tariffs beginning next week on steel and aluminum coming into the United States. Twenty five percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The beginning of trade wars. Most of which historically have resulted in depressions and actual shooting wars.

Trump does not seem to care. He thinks he knows what is best.

The tariff increase would be world wide. No country left out.

Canada is our close friend and neighbor. We buy more steel from Canada than any other country.

China is the U.S.’s banker. The U.S. already owes China in excess of $1.3 trillion. We borrow from China almost daily. We never pay back. China always renews the notes.

Woe us if China decided to stop lending and called in the notes.

Trump does not seem to consider all ramifications before he makes a move. To our nation’s detriment.

The market knows what could occur. It dropped 500 points yesterday.

Another Trump catastrophe in the making. Guns, the NRA.

Wednesday he had a White House meeting involving himself, Congressional people, and parents and victims of some of the shootings. He spoke with bravado how something had to be done and he was going to see it got done. Preferably in one bill. He would sign it right away.

Not everyone bought what he was selling. He had been heard before re other important matters and failed when the time came to keep his word.

That was wednesday afternoon. Thursday evening there was another meeting in the White House. Only Trump. Pence and a representative of the NRA. Just the three of them.

The NRA rep was Chris Cox. Cox is the Executive Director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.

The meeting of the three appeared to have been kumbaya. In a tweet following the meeting, Cox reported Trump “does not want gun control.” Trump tweeted re the meeting: “Good (Great) meting in Oval Office tonight with the NRA.”

Trump playing games. He should have had Cox at the public meeting wednesday afternoon. A face to face confrontation between both sides. A no bullshit meeting.

My guess is the NRA will never budge re AR-15’s and other weapons of war. They will hold firm knowing their bought and paid for Congress will do their bidding.

Finally, Secretary of Treasury Steve Munchin. A former Goldman Sachs banker. An asshole first class from my perspective. Always ready to do Trump’s bidding. Not a free thinker. Happy to be Secretary of the Treasury. Beams with the joy of it.

Munchin married a much younger Scottish actress this summer. Good for him. Nothing wrong in it. However, he took his bride on their honeymoon on an Air Force jet that cost $25,000 an hour to operate. Taxpayer dollars. He justified it by claiming his security required it.

The man a pig impressed with his own self importance.

Munchin spoke at UCLA monday. The students were not nice to him.

One student referred to him as an enemy of the people because of the new tax law. Also referred to him as a plutocratic bullshiter.

Students in the audience yelled “I think you’re full of shit.” They denounced the Republican tax bill as an attack on “people who are in poverty.”

Munchin retaliated with wanting the students to identify themselves and the reason why a question was being asked.

The event was being videoed. Munchin had agreed before hand that it could be and later UCLA could run it on its TV network. Munchin withdrew his permission following his speech.

Cell phones are great. Some students videoed Munchin and excerpts can be found on the internet.

College and high school students are close in age. I sense a marriage and movement in the making. The young will not be silenced.

Enjoy your day!



The students at Parkland High School may be a sleeping giant awakened.

Several sources attribute a sleeping giant comment to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto following Japan’s successful bombing of Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto led the Japanese forces in the attack.

Yamamoto is alleged to have said: “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Parkland students are disturbed. Properly so. Disturbed at an age where fear is not a part of their composition. They are able to speak out and are speaking out…..Stop the useless slaughters! Protect students! Washington, do something! President Trump, do something! How much money did the President get from the NRA? And on and on.

Good for them! Their cries/words may finally be the impetus to get something done.

The students cannot be considered crass for asking how much Trump received from the NRA for his campaign. Money does influence. Money does talk.

The number is $21 million. The largest amount the NRA has ever contributed to a Presidential candidate.

Such may account for what appears to be Trump’s calculated silence re gun violence. Note he spoke of first responders on his Parkland visit and merely glossed over the shooting and gun control itself.

The last time a President addressed the NRA was 1983. Till Trump became President Trump. Trump spoke before the NRA and said, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

We believe you Mr. President. You did not lie when you made that statement.

Violence begets violence. One crazy act another. Near home this time. Marathon.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call yesterday morning that pictures of guns were being shown on Instagram together with a message threatening Marathon High School. Specifically, a band concert to be held that afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Department immediately went to work. Brought all federal ad state agencies together. The perpetrator was identified. Nineteen year old Marathon resident Duviel Gonzalez was arrested.

The arrest was made prior to the band concert. The concert went on a s scheduled at 3 pm, though under heavy security.

Every day a good day when living in Key West. Some even better. Yesterday was one of those days.

I watched the Syracuse/Miami game on TV. Syracuse having a difficult season. Needed an on the road win. Got it! Beat Miami 62-55.

Picked Catherine up before 4. A different Saturday late afternoon into evening began.

First Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A relatively new bar. Heard good things about its Happy Hour. Toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup the house specialty. Everyone had told me both to die for. They were right!

What no one told me however was that the tomato soup came with garlic bread. Wow! Delicious!

The sun still shining when we left Mary Ellen’s. What next? We walked two blocks to the Green Parrot.

I had not been to the Green Parrot in several years.

The place packed. Standing room only. A New Orleans group playing. People dancing. Stayed a while. Enjoyed a couple of drinks. Enjoyed each other’s company.

Where next as we left the Green parrot? I said, home. I’m tired.

It was dark.

We went to Catherine’s, sat on her terrace by candlelight and talked of many things.

After leaving Catherine’s and on the way home, I stopped at Donna and Terri’s to visit Bear. Donna and Terri live around the block from Catherine.

Bear fine. Biting. Learning to let Donna and Terri know when he has to pee. Goes to the door and whines. The other taking time.

Bear a friendly bundle of joy. A good addition to Donna and Terri’s life. Forgotten are Donna’s still fractured shoulder and Terri’s close encounter with cancer. Bear is everything!

A post Irma update. More than 5 months since the hurricane hit and renovations and rebuilding not close to completion. Not because people are slow. Because Irma beat the hell out of many parts of the Keys.

This past week the County started cleaning up the canals. Those of you who do not live in the Keys nor have never visited must understand that canals are like roads. Behind many homes. People swim and boat in them.

Not since Irma, however.

Pictures in yesterday’s edition of the Key West Citizen painted the picture vividly. Debris like you would not believe. Everything from homes to boats to appliances to shrubbery. So thick, it appears man could walk across them and the water.

A busy Sunday ahead. I have a luncheon scheduled. Then Kate Miano’s Gardens later in the afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!