CASA ANTIGUA / KEY WEST ROOM ESCAPE

The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!

 

TRUMP…..WHAT NEXT?

 

Better than a television series! Donald Trump!

The most recent episode the disclosure of highly classified intelligence. To Russians, of course. Showing off? Trying to make whatever his relationship is with Putin more solid?

A man who calls Russia a friend and Canada an enemy gives me concern. Trump consistently treats our enemies as friends and friends as enemies.

He is President, not dictator. Maybe he would like to be a dictator.

Beware. The time could come when we have martial law. Troops in the streets.

An observation: The media is our savior. Without their investigations of Trump’s activities, we would be ignorant of the true facts.

I went to the Republican meeting last night at the VFW. Even though I am a Democrat. I wanted to hear Commissioner Mike Forster of Islamorada speak on why he wants Route 1 to become a toll road.

The public was invited. I am one of the public.

The meeting got started. Pledge of Allegiance. A few opening comments by the chairman. Then his apologies. Forster would not be attending. He forgot to invite him.

Such is life. I had to get out of the meeting. I did not belong there. Fifty feet to the door. I hung my head and tip toed towards the door.

Silence! Everyone looking at me. I looked up, smiled and said…..I’m a Democrat. Wanted to hear Forster.

Smiles and laughter accompanied me as I left.

I decided to stay at the VFW for dinner. Sat at the bar. Mike to my right. We talked most of the night.

We both have Christian Brothers backgrounds. He went to La Salle, I Manhattan. Got into basketball.

Mike is night manager at Hogsbreath. We spoke of George, a friend of both Lisa and I who has bartended at Hogsbreath for years.

He suggested I order the braised ribs sandwich. Did. Wow! Delicious! Yesterdays ribs between freshly baked ciabatta bread. Cheese, onions, etc, also.

A young man to my left was discussing Isaiah Thomas with a friend. I interjected that Thomas was the last selected in the NBA draft his year. Number 60. He looked at me as if I was crazy.

He was drafted #60. Hard to believe!

I was told the VFW kitchen was now operated by La Trattoria. The food overall must be good!

I learned for the first time this morning that Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were engaged about ten days ago. Stars of the Morning Joe Show. Theywere vacationing in the South of France when he popped the question.

I have been watching Morning Joe religiously for years. Could see the closeness developing. Wonder if the engagement/marriage will affect their relationship when Joe yells or puts Mika down. As he is prone to do.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Join me. Topics interesting. Trump, of course. Also, new kinds of GMOs, whites sub-human, a Venezuela update, and more.

Enjoy your day!

LA TE DA

I had dinner last night at La Te Da. Crispy Duck. The best duck in Key West! Enjoyed it at the outside bar.

The wind blew big time all day. However not felt in Key West. The buildings and trees cut the wind. It was comfortable sitting at the outside bar.

I have been either visiting or living in Key West more than 25 years. It was on my second trip I discovered La Te Da. In those days, my former wife and I would spend the afternoon at the beach, change into fresh clothes behind the car, and head out for cocktails.

La Te Da was a discovery!

There was a small enclosed bar on the second floor. An intimate setting. On the pool side of the building. Back from the front of the building about 10 feet. I would place it square in the middle of the down stairs bar.

Great place for cocktails! Free hor d’oeuvres. Most hot. Served with a small plate, clothe napkin and heavy weighted silverware. The company excellent. Mostly gays. Always a fun time.

With one of the renovations, that small upstairs bar was removed.

How La Te Da acquired its name is interesting.

In 1868, the Ten Years War ended. A war between the Cuban people and Spain. Spain was exercising colonial rule over Cuba. The Cubans lost the war.

Many Cubans left the island. Seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. Key West became home to many of the Cuban exiles. The influx continued through the 1870s, 1880s and into the 1890s.

Jose Marti was a popular Cuban hero/leader. He would frequently visit Key West to raise money and invite the exiles to join him in overthrowing Spain.

The Cuban Key Westers loved Marti. Each Marti visit began the same way. Five thousand would gather to greet him at the boat landing . Always a band and Cuban and American flags. The group then would parade down Duval to La Te Da with Marti in tow.

Present day La Te Da at the time was owned by Teodoro Perez, a wealthy cigar factory owner and friend of Marti. Marti would speak to the crowd from the second floor front porch of Perez’s home.

Cubans came to call the porch Marti’s Terrace. In Spanish, La Terraza de Marti. The Spanish version was shortened to La Te Da.

Marti and a number of his Cuban followers invaded Cuba in 1895. Marti was killed in the first battle. Three years later, the Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor marking the beginning of the Spanish-American War.

Yesterday’s weather is today’s. Wind still blowing strong, trees bending, white caps on top of a fast moving ocean.

I spent most of yesterday preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. One half hour. Fast moving interesting subjects. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include problems facing the returning House of Representatives this week, Monsanto buying college professors, German bishops and U.S. bishops differing at the Synod, some revelations in this week’s KONK Life column Lincoln The Man, the story of a 2 year old homeless boy found after midnight barefoot and alone in a Philadelphia park, and more.

Wonder of wonders! Words from a musical whose name escapes me. Words that fit what I am about to write.

It was revealed on Morning Joe this morning that Donald Trump in a book published 19 months before 9/11 advised that the U.S. was in danger of a terrorist attack. He further stated it would be led by an Osama bin Laden. The book: The America We Deserve.

Perhaps I have not fairly considered Trump.

Enjoy your day!

 

CENSORSHIP

I have been complaining the past few years that the media has become selective as to what we see, read and hear. When I speak of the media, I reference its owners also. Corporate America. They decide what we see, read and hear.

Freedom of the Press no longer applies solely to the right of the press to observe and say whatever they want. Assuming its is correct. Freedom of the press today refers to censorship, the right of the media to pick and chose what we shall see, read and hear. Not as the Founding Fathers intended.

A perfect example is what occurred a few days ago on Morning Joe. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius was a guest.

Joe has consistently in recent weeks referenced the Hillary e-mail problem as a bad one. Ignatius wrote a Washington Post op-ed 8/28 wherein he argued that “this scandal is overstated.”

Joe and Ignatius on opposite ends of the spectrum re the issue.

Morning Joe’s 6 am hour is rerun at 8 am.

In the 6 am broadcast, Ignatius said…..As I talked to a half dozen lawyers who do nothing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remember a case like this, WHERE PEOPLE INFORMALLY AND INADVERTENTLY DRAW CLASSIFIED INFORMATION INTO THEIR PHONE CONVERSATIONS OR UNCLASSIFIED SERVER CONVERSATIONS, WHERE THERE HAD BEEN A PROSECUTION. (emphasis added)

In the 8 am rerun of the 6 am hour, the emphasized portion was edited out. Note that the Ignatius paragraph above was part of an ongoing dialogue between Joe and Ignatius. More followed.

Selective reporting? Yes. The better description is censorship. The new media freedom of the press.

Everyone should be pissed off at this type thing happening!

David from Kentucky is a loyal blog follower. Also, a frequent visitor to Key West. He lives in Kentucky. He e-mailed me regarding Kim Davis, the clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Kim Davis’ clerk office is located in Medford, Kentucky.

With David’s permission, I quote…..Morehead Kentucky has had more press in the last few weeks than they will have in the next one hundred years, whether they want it or not. I’ll go with the words of President Johnson after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and following trial, execution and imprisonment of the conspirators. “We wish to hear their names no more.” I wish to hear “Kim Davis no more.”

Today the anniversary of 9/11. May we never forget. Continued vigilance required.

Won all three bocce games last night! Keith was exceptional. He played all three games. The best bocce I have ever seen anyone play.

Excellent football. I enjoyed watching the second half of the New England/Pittsburgh game which New England won 28-21.

My KONK Life column this week is published in E-Blast this morning. About Tennessee Williams and one of his loves. Read it and enjoy.

Enjoy also your day!

 

WE WON!

I called it wrong. I was sure we were going to lose last night. We did not. God was good! We won 2 out of 3 games. Against the #1 team for most of the past 10 years.

I am glad I was wrong. Me of little faith!

We lost the first game. We were down 11-3. Came back. Lost by one point 16-15. The next two we won. By two or 3 points each game.

It took forever to play. We were the last to finish. Everyone was done and had gone home. It was a point at a time. Both sides grinding it out.

My day began with a haircut yesterday. Lori has been cutting my hair for 15 years. We have become friends.

Then it was Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. I had 1 1/2 hours to kill before a manicure appointment. The time was some of the best I have spent recently.

Bob Dennard came up to me and said…..You’re Key West Lou! After acknowledging my existence, Bob said he was in Key West for a few days and had been looking for me. The Chart Room evenings and the Cuban Coffee Queen at lunch time.

We finally met! Bob, one great  guy!

We could have talked all afternoon, but I had to get to Tammy’s for my manicure.

Bob presently from Fort Walton Beach. Started off in California. A career service man now retired. Widowed. Sixty four.

He has written five books. I was impressed! Two historical in hard back covers. The other three involving cruising. One of the cruise books centers in southeast Asia where Bob was stationed.

He writes a blog. kokoman.com. Not every day. Once a week, once a month. Whenever the mood strikes.

In addition to searching me out, Bob is researching to write a book about the Chart Room. I shared with him whatever I knew.

No question, we are going to meet again. Hopefully over the weekend.

Got to Tammy’s just in time. I keep repeating. She and husband Ricky personify the American dream. Tammy was born in Vietnam. Ricky in the U.S. Both work 6-7 days a week, 8 in the morning till 8-9 in the evening. No complaints. Expect nothing from anyone. Do for themselves.

Overseas Market is being remodeled. Cosmetically. New trees, new signs, things of that nature.

I remember when the site of Overseas Market was nothing but  a large empty field. The shopping center was built in 1992. I started coming to Key West in 1989. Those early years, there was no Overseas Market.

I recall an update some years later. The whole shopping center was repainted. My recollection is the original color was some shade of pink. The new color yellow.

Time moves on.

This week’s KONK Life column Private Prisons was linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. keywestlou.com.

I have been critical of the judicial system in recent years. I feel a special entitlement as I spent my life as a lawyer. My faith in the system has been restored a bit by two very recent decisions. The Tom Brady one and the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who refused to marry same sex couples. Both decisions correct based on the issues involved. Right on. Additionally, both courts went no further than required.

I am sick of hearing Trump and further sick of hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. Neither speak to the issues. We are not being told where each stands. I blame the media. We are not being educated as to their respective positions.

College football! Syracuse plays Rhode Island tonight.

How the mighty fall! Syracuse has not fielded a good football team in way too many years. We would never have scheduled a Rhode Island in days of old.

Further discouraging is that in the friday spreads in the newspaper, the Syracuse/Rhode Island game is not even mentioned.

Whatever, go Orange! Loyalty never diminishes.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN…..

I watch Morning Joe every day. Religiously.

Joe’s opening lines this morning sort of paraphrased the title of my book. The World Upside Down.

Joe opened with…..”The world is upside down. The political world is upside down.” The reference to media handling of Trump. Anti-Trump pitch, incorrect quote reporting and failing to recognize the mood of the country.

I have had similar thoughts the past two weeks. The media seem to want to take control of the election. Influence the electorate. Not the way things are supposed to be done. An unencumbered free press delivers information to the people. Influencing/controlling not the media’s responsibility.

I am normally up and at the computer between 5 and 6 in the morning. Not yesterday. My Saturday night went so late that I overslept. Woke at 8:30. I had to hustle to get yesterday’s blog out.

Sunday is writing day for me. My weekly KONK Life column. It is due at the publisher’s by Sunday. This week’s article concerns a Hemingway love affair. His first. Titled Hemingway’s First Love. Took several hours.

It’s good! Sorry to say so myself. It tells the whole story. The tale does not end soon after Hemingway left Italy. It involves events which occurred in Key West in the 1960s following his death. Revealing.

Dinner at Roostica last night. Spaghetti with meatballs and sausage special. The sauce the closest to that which my mother and grandmother made. My only complaint is that pork pieces are not available. The pork falls apart in the Roostica preparation. Pork adds to the flavor of the sauce. I miss having  pieces to eat.

One thing I continue considering odd.  My people called sauce sauce. Everyone in Utica called it sauce. I never heard gravy till Roostica opened. I raised the issue with other Italian-Americans here in Key West. All only knew sauce as gravy. Interesting.

Terri White coming east! She has a solo performance scheduled at The Kennedy Center in New York City on October 16. I hope she and Donna can find the time to shoot down to Key West for a few days afterwards.

I have mentioned here and on my blog talk radio show several times this past year of China’s move into the South China Sea.

China has been in the business of what might be described as land reclamation. They are building small islands where water previously existed. The purpose to erect airfields on the islands. It greatly extends China’s ability to exert dominance in the area.

Also involved is China’s naval buildup the past five years. China has swiftly constructed a large navy. Superior to anything the U.S. can place in the area. Our Navy has not received sufficient funds in recent years. We are spread too thin to counter China’s buildup in the South Seas area.

Time to pay attention.

Ferguson in the news again. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Seems just like yesterday. There were demonstrations. Police in battle equipment again.

Things got out of hand. A black was shot. He is dead.

Reports this morning tell us that some blacks were yelling…..We are at war!

Bothersome. Apparently things have not improved in Ferguson.

Enjoy your day!