I MET STEVEN

There is a mean ill tempered individual named Steven who Comments re this blog. Not a nice guy. Enjoys beating me up.

I was having dinner last night at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. A man shows up. “I’m Steven.” “You’re Steven?” “Yes, I’m Steven.”

A few more words and I realized Steven was not the bad one.

Steven advised he has been reading my blog for years. Never commented, however. Enjoys the blog tremendously. He and his wife Sandy have a place on Sugarloaf. Their home Cape May, New Jersey.

I am familiar with Cape May. On the Jersey Shore. Visited many Cape May restaurants when a guest at Frank and Lois Paladino’s summer home in nearby Stone Harbor.

We had an enjoyable conversation. Steven and I are at different ends of the political spectrum. He likes Trump. No problem, we agreed. We could talk civilly.

He and the wife are returning to Cape May in five days. They came down to evaluate the Irma damage to their Sugarloaf home.

We agreed to get together when he returns in January.

I finished dinner and went to pay the bill. Steven had already paid it. Went over to thank him. Met Sandy. I  look forward to our January meeting. Dinner on me!

The evening was unique in a sense. I started at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery at their best.

Liz and friends at the bar. I sat next to Liz. I was pleased to see her out. She spent about 10 days recently in the hospital getting her life long diabetes under control.

Liz and friends left to have dinner at Mangoes. Invited me. I declined.

David was seated on the other side of me. Had him working on my cell phone. I lost my messages app. David a cellphone/computer guru. Like the children of today. He found the app. However could not place the icon on the screen for me. Told me to talk with Sloan.

I asked for my bill. No bill. Liz had picked up my bill. The evening was unique in the sense I paid neither my drinking nor dinner bills.

I can now afford to go our another evening this week.

Joking, of course..

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast show. Interesting topics. Like reptiles in toilets, abortion and Congressman Tim Murphy, the government back in our bedrooms and sex lives, third Charlottesville confrontation since 8/12.

Also, Sally the Salad Bar Robot, post-Irma Key West recovery, Happy Birthday Afghanistan, Puerto Rico still without power, Trump and Venezuela, bankers legal thieves in the U.S., fish fall from the sky, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Some topics eye openers. All shared from my perspective, of course.

Join me. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Yesterday, Columbus Day. I wrote yesterday I  expected turmoil. Protesters who want the name of the day changed and Columbus statues removed.

Turns out protests were minimal. Not at all in many cities.

New York’s parade was its 73rd. Thirty five thousand marched. No demonstrations. A couple of incidents reported.

Denver was the place for the action. Denver is recognized as the birthplace of Columbus Day. Demonstrations described as peaceful. One hundred forty seven arrested, however.

Demonstrators showed up. Primarily Native Americans. They were asked by police if they wanted to be arrested. One hundred forty seven volunteered. The rest quietly watched the parade.

Native Americans want the label for the day to be changed from Columbus day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, aka Native Americans Day.

They say Columbus brutalized and enslaved West Indians.

The chant of the Denver protests: Sitting Bull would be proud of us.

I’m missing something here. As I recall, Native Americans scalped, killed entire white families after torturing them (including rape of the women), and kept captured whites and Indians as slaves.

Native Americans who want a day Sitting Bull and their ancestors would be proud of should pick another date to honor their heritage. Leave mine alone. I am of Italian heritage. My mother and both sets of grandparents were born in Italy.

Curb debris continues to be a challenge. The debris of epic proportions.With all the removal so far, only 17-18 percent has been removed. It is estimated there were 400,000 cubic yards. Seventy thousand removed thus far.

There are many trucks involved in the removal. FEMA is sending four more. The removal a big time task!

I have to hustle. A test at the hospital at 12:30. The beginning of many tests. Primary purpose to determine why I am tired all the time. Close to exhaustion some time.

Enjoy your day!

 

A PARTY!

A delightful birthday party last night! David Wolkowsky’s 98th. A small intimate gathering of 20. One hour. Dom Perignon served.

Mr. Key West looked terrific! Smiling. Greeting everyone warmly.

A man for the ages. His mark left here and in Philadelphia.

Afterwards, the Chart Room.

Business strange. The placed packed and then deserted. Not a soul, except for John and me.

David came in. Love David. I was ready to leave when he arrived. I overstayed my time by two drinks.

Harvey. What a wallop! A 4! Terrible! Going to hang around a few days. Even worse.

Due to Harvey’s intensity, still do not know damage or deaths. Damage for certain. I hope none or few deaths.

Trump and Venezuela. I have followed Venezuela since Maduro became President more than 4 years ago. I got turned on to Venezuela when the country ran out of toilet paper 4 years ago. Toilet paper still limited in supply.

Trump has imposed certain sanctions on Venezuela. Trump says he does not like the way the people are being treated nor the government’s corruption.

Venezuela is none of our business! Two reasons.

First, Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States. In no fashion!

Second, it is a civil problem that eventually will result in a civil war. Again, none of our business.

Trump could be laying the basis for U.S. intervention in the country. I say, not one American life should be sacrificed for a conflict that has nothing to do with us.

The real reason Trump is interested in Venezuela is its oil supply. Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

He wants to gain control of the oil.

Recall, Trump has recently suggested the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and taken control of Iraq’s oil. He has also recently mentioned North Korea’s large mineral deposits, suggesting they would be beneficial to the U.S.

We are not that type people. The U.S. does not wage war to gain valuable natural deposits.

This Christopher Columbus thing is boiling over. I was one day ahead of the deluge.

New York City Mayor William de Blasio is reviewing “symbols of hate” in New York City. For removal, of course. It is said one of the statues under consideration is Columbus’ statue on Columbus Square. The one that stands more than 70 feet high.

I have come full round on the issue. Back to my original position. Leave the statues alone! They are part of our history. Good, bad or indifferent.

The nation is being rabble roused by a small group. A minority. We gave in to their demands re Confederate statues/monuments. Now, the demand goes further. Hundred of years earlier. Wrong! It is the squeaky wheel being greased. Politicians the first to hear and abide by the demands.

Lets step back, take a deep breath, and think the issue with all its ramifications.

Further, let no one say I am a racist.

Enjoy your day!

FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES…..

United Airlines. As far back as I can remember…..Fly The Friendly Skies With United.

No more. Screwed up their reputation big time two days ago.

Dr. David Dao a passenger. Flight not overbooked. Full, however. United needed 4 seats to transport a United crew to another city. Passengers all seated when request and offer made.

No one willing to accept the money United offered. Four passengers had to go. Dr. Dao one of them. He refused. Chinese, he thought he was being profiled.

You saw the video. Security yanked him out of his seat. His head hit the arm rest hard. Knocked him out. Head cut. Blood running out of his mouth.

Dragged off the plane.

Everyone videoing what was going on.

Stupid! Uncalled for! United not friendly!

Melania Trump in the news!

Nine months ago on August 20, 2016, a British newspaper the Daily Mail printed unkind and untrue statements about Melania. The Daily Mail is digitally available in the U.S.

Statements sordid and untrue.

Melania sued for libel. She recently settled. For $2.9 million and an apology.

I thought it was a cheap move when she sued. Some people do not believe in suing. Philosophically opposed.

I could see husband Donald in the background telling her to go for it.  Not so cheap as it turns out.

Lunched alone at Mangrove Mama’s yesterday. Bought some newspapers and drove up US 1.

Mangrove Mama’s has a flavor all its own. Old and rustic. Woodsy. A pleasant place to spend a couple of hours.

Spent some time later in the afternoon prepping for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

My report re female genital mutilation a bit lengthy. Sad and revealing.

I do not understand the City of Key West. i refer to the Mayor, City Commission and others involved in the operation of Key West.

A never before problem has arisen. I sometimes think they create problems for the sake of doing so. The problem has to do with what a City employee may say if questioned by a reporter.

The dialogue by many concerned as reported confusing. Certain however is that transparency will ultimately take a hit.

Even in Key West, the people’s right to know is being diminished.

Politicians are prone to making stupid statements. the latest is Secretary of State Tillerson’s re the Ukraine at the G7 Conference in Europe. Tillerson asked his fellow attendees why American taxpayers should care about Ukraine.

An oil company CEO should not be Secretary of State.

The last 24 hours have found Trump being lauded for his missile bombing of Syria and his tough handling of world problems. Especially calling to task world despots.

I think Trump is doing wrong. He is challenging certain world leaders to war. Bringing us to the brink of war. The U.S.’s public statements about Putin and Kim Jong-un the fuel that initiates wars.

Putin and Kim Jong-un crazy. Trump, also.

Not a healthy situation.

What goes around comes around. Recall during the State of the Union address in 2009 when a Congressman shouted out to an Obama statement: “You lie!”

The person in question Rep. Joe Wilson.

Wilson held a Town Meeting this past week. His constituents continuously shouted out in unison: “You lie!”

Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is a bigot and hater. A man whose head is still back in the 1860’s.

Note Sessions middle name is Beauregard. Sessions is so named after Confederate Civil War hero General P. C. T. Beauregard. Beauregard led the Confederates in the attack on Fort Sumter, the attack that began the Civil War.

Carsten Flemming Hansen was a 75 year old Dane. He was hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm and internal stomach bleeding problems. Non operable because of his age. He was told he had only hours or a few days to live.

Hansen asked if he could have a last request. He asked for a cigarette and a cool glass of wine. The hospital, though non smoking, accommodated him. He was taken out on the balcony to his room in a wheel chair as the sun was setting. Cigarette and wine in hand. His family with him.’

He died a few days later.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

VERY SATISFYING EVENING

Last night, pleasant and satisfying. A night with Liz.

Began with drinks at her home. Then to Bruschetta for dinner. Followed by a return to Liz’s home for home made Christmas cookies while seated on Liz’s Christmas decorated front porch.

Company and cookies excellent! Bruschetta good!

Bruschetta is a new Italian restaurant in downtown Key West. At 112 Fitzpatrick Street. Decor comforting.

Marco is part owner and operator. From Italy. A warm personality.

The food! Real Italian. A step up. Portions large. We left with doggy bags.

I enjoyed a linguine dish. Liz, a veal one.

Marco is giving a locals’ discount. Ten percent. Not enough. Should be at least 15 percent, if not 20. He apparently does not understand you can’t make it in Key West with out local business. The summers are long. His problem may be he does not realize the generous discounts being given by other restaurants.

The Key West Citizen makes two contributions to today’s blog.

Today In Key West History mentions that the movie Caribe Gold was being filmed in Key West in 1955. Ethel Waters, Coley Wallace and Cicely Tyson starring.

Lisa has a large colored print announcing the movie. Magnificent. It hangs in her living room. The print rare today.

The Citizens’ Voice carries an interesting comment. I repeat it in its entirety.

“No one felt sorry for the public phones when cellphones came around, no one felt sorry for letters when e-mails came around, no one felt sorry for Blockbuster when Netflix came around. Why feel sorry for the taxis because Uber came around?”

Homeless Memorial Day is December 16. Seventy six homeless persons died thus far this year in Monroe County. Their remains will be interred at a prayer service that day at Key West Cemetery. A recognition that everyone should be remembered.

Three years ago, I wrote a KONK Life COMMENTARY Column about Jeanette Rankin.

Rankin was a pacifist. Elected to Congress for the first time when World War I broke out. She voted against entering the war. She was defeated in the next election.

She ran again for Congress in 1940. Won. Pearl Harbor occurred. Rankin was the sole vote on December 8 opposed to declaring war on Japan.

Visitors abounded in the House that day. She was chased from the Chamber to a telephone booth. The police had to extract her and guide her out of the building to safety.

She did not run for re-election after casting her negative vote. The handwriting was on the wall.

Rankin commented as she cast her vote: “As a woman, I can’t go to war and I refuse to send anyone else.”

The House has a year end spending bill. It will be voted on thursday by the House. On friday by the Senate.

Some oddities in the bill.

New York City has increased responsibility guarding Trump and his family. The City asked for $35 million to assist with the protection. The House bill only appropriates $7 million.

Flint still waits for significant financial assistance to assist with regard to its lead contaminated water problem. Politicians are all talk with little help.

The House bill provides for $170 million to communities struck by contamination water problems. Note, not Flint alone. Communities.

The $170 million is also contingent on the passage of a separate water bill authorizing the funds.

Good luck! It will be a long time if at all before Flint receives proper help from the federal government. No one seems to care. The feds see it as a state problem. The state sees it as a federal problem. In the meantime, Flint water remains contaminated.

A newscaster this morning made mention that the Trump cabinet is the most conservative since Herbert Hoover. I hope Trump does better than Hoover did!

Syracuse/BU saturday at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A SPRING BREAK BEACH

It was a bit overcast early yesterday afternoon. I decided to walk Smathers Beach. I forgot it was spring break time.

I must share an impression. I felt old. Even better, antiquated. They are all young! Very Young! I almost felt pedophilic looking at the young ladies.

Twenty five years ago when I first visited Key West, it was spring break time. The young ladies looked young, but still woman like. I was not ashamed to look.

Yesterday was different. They were too young looking. It was because I had become too old. At 79, a 20 year old looked like a high school teenager.

Bocce last night! We won all three games. We were not overjoyed, however. We killed the opposition in the first game. The next two were close and we could have lost either or both.

Why were we unhappy? The team we played had only won one game till last night. They still have won only one game, but made a fight of it against us.

With one exception, none of us was up to our usual ability. We sucked! Clare was the only shining light.

Captain David has been saying for three years that we play to our competitor’s level. A valid observation last night.

I was happily surprised at one point. Robert and Jake showed up. Robert was walking Jake. I was happy to see him. A hug and kiss are always good.

Jake surprised me. I had never seen him before with a number of other dogs around. Everyone brings their dog to bocce. Jake handled it well. Sniffing away, the dogs were friendly with each other.

A loyal blog reader is Marty from the Blue Ridge. He comments frequently. Engages with others in arguing some point raised in the blog.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Great Blizzard of 1888. Marty brought to my attention the Great Northeast Heat Wave of 1896. Extended from Chicago through New York and Boston. Lasted 10 days. The temperature above 90 degrees, day and night. There was no breeze. Some 1,500 died.

Living conditions in New York were deplorable for poor immigrant families. They lived 5-6 to a room, no air circulation and no running water.

The  heat wave was Theodore Roosevelt’s introduction to prominence. He was a little known Police Commissioner. He had ice distributed free from the police stations.

Tonight, dinner with June Hudson. I have been looking forward to it all week. We have known each other for over 20 years. However since her husband Bill died two years ago, we have seen little of each other.

Enjoy your day!

 

GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1888

Sitting here in Key West enjoying 80 degree weather, I write first of snow. Lots of snow. The Great Blizzard of 1888. The northeast. New York City hit hard, as Boston  was in recent weeks. However, the Great Blizzard took only 24 hours.

Considered one of the most severe blizzards ever, it claimed 400 lives. Twenty to sixty inches of snow fell in different areas. Winds 45 mph. Snowdrifts in excess of 50 feet.

Roscoe Conkling had studied law in my home town of Utica, NY. He became District Attorney of the County and Mayor of Utica. Then engaged in a thriving law practice. He was considered a great orator. Conkling was elected to the House of Representatives several times and then served for 18 years in the U.S. Senate.

He became a major political figure state wide and nationally. He made presidents. One being Ulysses Grant. Grant offered him the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Conkling refused. Years earlier, he was nominated to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice and was confirmed by the Senate. He refused the nomination after his confirmation.

He was a known philanderer. A woman chaser. There is the story of the husband coming home early, Conkling going out the back window, the husband chasing him with a shotgun.

Conkling took care of his body. He worked out daily.

He was in his office on Wall Street when the Great Blizzard hit. He could not get a horse and carriage to take him home. Being in the excellent shape he was, he decided to walk. Three miles from Wall Street to 25th Street. He never made it home. He collapsed, came down with pneumonia and died.

He is buried in Utica. A simple yet massive stone. It sits on a little hill which runs along Oneida Street. The retaining wall holding the hill has been crumbling for years.

His stone faces west. Utica developed to the west. The cemetery to the east behind the stone. When Conkling was buried, he was placed in his grave as he was so that he could forever have an uninterrupted view of the valley before him. Progress decided otherwise and Utica developed in that area to the west, thereby placing his stone near a heavy traffic thoroughfare. Few take the time to look at the stone. Even fewer know Conkling is buried there.

I write about the blizzard and Conkling for a number of reasons. Today is the anniversary of the Great Blizzard. His career was outstanding. His stone and place of burial interesting.

I enjoy walking through cemeteries. The history of an area or the person is carved into the stones. What can be learned fascinating. I first came across Conkling’s stone and burial place on one of those walks many years ago.

Fantasy Fest seems to have survived its most recent onslaught. The Key West Commission and Fantasy Fest promoters met last night. Some minimal advertising changes were agreed to. Otherwise, everything will remain as it has been.

I agree with the outcome. My philosophy is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Spring break is upon us. The college kids appear well behaved. They seem to be having a great time.

I envy them. I neither knew of spring break nor could have afforded it had I known when I was in college.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Listeners appeared most interested in the letter sent to Iran by 47 Republican Senators.

I spoke of Nicholas Maduro. He is President of Venezuela. I have been talking about him for three years. The man is a nut case. He becomes more troublesome by the day. Troublesome as regards the United States. The man bears watching.

KONK Life hits the streets today. If you have a chance, read my column. Mass Killings Common. I wrote the article because of recent ISIS atrocities such beheadings and burning people alive.

Enjoy your day!