BELIEVE

God is in His Heaven, all is right with the world.

The Lord knows everything, even before it happens.

He is all merciful.

So why do disasters like Harvey and Irma occur? Wars? Genocides? I could go on.

I believe. Though no longer a Church goer. Speak directly to Him. Generally in times of adversity. Rarely to say thank you when things are good.

People believe in different ways.

Which brings me to the story of Jackie Tee and a silver toe ring.

Jackie’s first trip to Key West was 20 years ago this month. With her husband, 4 1/2 year old son, and sister. Jackie purchased a silver toe ring. She has worn it for 20 years.

A couple of months ago, she noticed the toe ring was starting to split. Irma hit Key West September 10. That same day, the toe ring totally split. Jackie found the same ironic. Perhaps meaningful.

Jackie has a friend who she describes as a “new age spiritual.” Her friend told her to have the ring repaired: Repair the ring, repair the island. The two went together from the friend’s perspective.

Jackie is having the toe ring repaired.

As a side note, Jackie has returned to Key West almost annually the past 20 years. She says the island draws her. It does. Many persons.

Some Key West information.

Wendy’s hit hard by the surge. Seven to 10 days before lower Keys residents can return. No power, water, sewer, limited food.

US 1 bridges all ok. Side road bridges not yet tested. Road debris being removed.

Five food drop sites have been established. Food and water was to be available. People went. Only two had food. All 5, no water. People upset. The first rumblings.

Cell phone service spotty. Persons outside the Keys do not seem to understand. Many complaining why relatives and friends in and from the lower Keys do not call them.

Cell phone service went down 3 hours after Irma hit. I read a report which described the event…..Everything went eerily silent.

Social media has been the savior. I now understand why Trump went to it during the campaign and now as President. Facebook especially helpful.

Hardest hit were Big Pine and Cudjoe Key.

No casualties reported through yesterday.

Re-entry for residents and business owners to MM 73 permitted. Islamorada.

Dusk to dawn curfew remains in place.

A few gas stations beginning to open in the upper Keys.

I received a text yesterday from Shavon White. She is a producer at FOX New York City. She required information about Key West, identification of some who stayed, how to make contact, etc.

Trump arrives today to inspect Irma damage. A proper thing for a President to do. My question is why he is not visiting the Keys. Air Force One could easily land at the Naval Base at Boca Chica. A few short miles from Key West in one direction and Big Pine and Cudjoe Key in the other.

We in the Keys are people too! Could use the lift a Presidential visit brings.

Trump is visiting with EPA head Pruitt. There is an irony to the visit. Both have been working hard to cut disaster relief programs from the federal budget.

They arrive today to take bows for doing a great job in the recovery. First Texas, now Florida. When the budget comes up, they will continue to oppose federally funded disaster relief.

Now a Trump/Sessions scenario of which most are unaware.

Recall the federal program that provided surplus military equipment to police organizations. Police organizations included university police/campus police. What is known as Program 1033.

The program was stopped two years ago by Obama.

Trump signed an Executive Order permitting a resurgence of the program. Supported of course by Sessions. Intent being that law and order prevail on college campuses where students have recently become exceptionally rowdy with demonstrations.

The program is delivering to college campuses grenade launchers, armored trucks, pistols, assault rifles, etc.

The militarization of college campuses! Something like 117 already receiving various items.

I find it difficult to comprehend why military equipment is required to put down college demonstrations. The student will view it as police state activity.

I read somewhere that most students graduate with a debt of $37,000. That much money and they have to oppose heavily armed campus police!

Most campus police today are privatized. Bothers me. They lack oversight. Quick trigger fingers in the making.

Just received a call from Guy de Boer. KONK Life publisher. He was in Homestead,. Leaving the Keys!  Homestead has cell phone capability. Guy was calling friends to see if ok, where they were, etc.

He is leaving because he needs cell phone capability to run his newspaper. He will be doing it out of Miami for a few days.

Enjoy your day!

 

TRUMP MACHIAVELLIAN?

While in college, I took some political science courses. One had as required reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Machiavelli was born this date in 1469. He is considered a father of modern political theory. The Prince written by him in 1532. A political bible to this day for many.

Machiavelli was a friend to Cesare Borgia. A political leader. Of the worse kind. A bad guy. Borgia inspired Machiavelli’s title character in The Prince.

Some observations re Machiavelli’s The Prince.

The term Machiavellian is used to describe an action undertaken for gain without regard for right and wrong.

Machiavelli’s vision of an ideal leader: An amoral, calculating tyrant for whom the end justifies the means.

Machiavellian is associated with the practice of diabolical expediency in the realm of politics.

Descriptions applicable to Trump? I think so.

My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. Opening topic was a review of some of Trump’s actions of the past week.

Like referring to Jong Un as “a smart cookie” and saying he would be “honored” to have him visit Washington. Inviting Duterte to the White House. Exhibiting a lack of knowledge of American history re Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. Refusing to withdraw his description of Obama as a “sick and bad guy.” His pre-existing conditions comments inaccurate and misleading.

Glad there are only seven days in a week!

Japanese War Crime Trials began this date 1946. The primary trial was in Tokyo. Japan Premier Tojo the key defendant. The charges war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Japanese charged overall far exceeded those similarly charged who were Germans. Five thousand accused were tried and judged by tribunals across the Pacific.

While in law school, I was fortunate to have Robert Miller as my Professor in Criminal Law and Evidence. Miller had served as defense counsel to certain Japanese in the war crimes trials. My recollection is it was in the Philippines. I may be wrong as to location, however.

Miller sprinkled his lectures with stories of the trials. Using them to make a point and keep our interest.

We were fortunate to have had him.

The Kentucky Derby this saturday. Everyone is having a party! I am undecided between Kate Miano’s Gardens and Don’s Place.

Willie Shoemaker is one of the greats of the jockey racing world. Comparable to baseball’s Babe Ruth.

I mention shoemaker today because it was on this day in 1986 that he rode Ferdinand to a Kentucky Derby win. Ferdinand was 18-1. Shoemaker was 54 years old at the time. He was the oldest jockey to win a Kentucky derby.

Ferdinand was not his only Derby winner. Actually, Shoemaker won a total of 4 Kentucky Derbies, 2 Preakness Stakes and 5 Belmont Stakes.

I was privileged to know him.

In the mid 1970’s, I had a condominium at the Jockey Club in Miami. A private club. Members only on the grounds, restaurant and bar.

Shoemaker had a condominium at the Jockey Club, also. We would frequently meet at the Club’s bar. Generally, the men waiting for their wives to come down for dinner. Shoemaker charming,  soft spoken. Always the gentleman.

He was perfect sized for his chosen profession. Ninety eight pounds, 4 feet 11 inches.

The gung ho type. In his later years, he was in a terrible automobile accident. Left him a quadriplegic. Paralyzed from the neck down. He became a trainer. From his wheelchair. Won many races and his horses several millions of dollars.

Enjoy your day!

 

REPUBLICAN SELL OUT

I fell this morning. Again. Was not paying attention. Two steps. Forgot. Thought one. Went flying. Nothing broke. Hurt all over. A couple of bruises already. Blood thinner.

I have been an admirer of Paul Ryan for many years. Straight forward. Tells it the way it is. Till yesterday.

I am disappointed. He was on television explaining the House’s bills re repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He was bullshitting viewers.

Some things not mentioned, others glossed over.

The first that there would be many uncovered that are covered now. Something like 15 million.

Cost of the new law unknown. We’ll get to the figures later. He expects the public to buy a pig in the poke.

No time to wait for the COB report which would set out numbers like uncovered and cost. Why the hurry? Because the COB’s numbers will show the large number of uncovered who are covered now and the high cost in many instances.

The proposed bill a boon to insurance companies.

Political chicanery at its worst. Trust us…..We’ll take care of you. Bullshit. The proposed bill is written for the rich and is a detriment to middle and lower income peoples.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a Key Wester who speaks his mind. Generally, his thoughts correct. Writes many Letters to the Editor.

In one published recently in KONK Life, he reminded readers of Paul Revere’s…..Beware, the British are coming! He transposed the saying to today’s events…..Beware, the Russians are coming! Additional thrust to his letter was that Russia’s cyber activity is a declaration of war. A new type war. We have to prepare to retaliate.

Enjoyed a manicure with Tammy yesterday. She asked if I had seen Jenna recently. Told her Jenna and I were having dinner Saturday night.

Happy Hour at Martin’s. The best happy hour in town! I enjoyed a couple of drinks, 3 small lamb chops and a chunk of warmed brie.

Did happy hour with Diana Millikan. We are exploring doing a book together. Something about Key West.

A Tom Favette joined us. A friend of Diana. A retired cigar maker. From the way he talked, apparently a big time one. An interesting man.

Left. Hurried over to bocce. When Diana finished her conversation with Tom Favette, she intended to go to San Carlos to hear a talk by Fidel Castro’s daughter.

Bocce fun. Team won 2 out of 3. Tough. Won the first two 16-15. Lost the third 16-5.

Seems like most people I know are sick or getting sick. A lot of cancer. One of my bocce lady friends came by to say hello. Always a hug and kiss. She appeared thinner.

She had cancer several years ago. Had a double mastectomy two weeks ago as a precautionary measure. The ladies rebuilt during the surgery.

A strong person. God bless her!

Did two Go Live videos yesterday on Facebook. One I referred to as the Silent Coup. Politics. Interesting. The other the Divided States of America. No question we are divided.

Trump wants to vet immigrants thoroughly. Hope he vets them better than General Flynn who he brought on as National Security Adviser.

Flynn lobbied from August to November last year on behalf of certain Turkish elements. His lobbying a secret. Recall, Flynn also spoke at the Republican Convention.

Flynn recently was identified by the FBI as a foreign agent doing work for a company that could aid the Turkish government. Two days later, Flynn filed with the appropriate agency that he was such a foreign agent. For his foreign agent work from August to November, he was paid $530,000.

Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives, Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. A guaranteed outstanding meal!

Enjoy your day!

EUGENE ROBINSON

A delightful evening! Spectacular! Eugene Robinson live!

Robinson is a Washington Post columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and MSNBC commentator.

Love watching him on Morning Joe. The man knowledgeable and soft spoken. His soft spoken nature was evident last night as it is on TV.

The venue the Key West Theater. Packed. 244 seats. Not one empty.

Robinson’s coverage of Trump amusing. Obviously not a Trump fan. His thrust the man does not know what he is doing nor has he surrounded himself with those that do. He suggested, without specifically saying so, he did not expect Trump to fill out his full four year term.

Two observations. Re the audience.

243 whites, 1 African-American. Robinson is African-American.

I am 81. Probably the average age last night. Only 2 persons under 60. My group who arrived in Key West 20 plus years ago aging. Younger interested replacements available?

I have known Kitty 20 odd years. Had not seen her in 10. Saw her last night. We were standing in line together waiting to get in to hear Robinson.

Age came into the conversation. Kitty happy she was 80 and still kicking. I smiled and whispered in her ear I was 81.

Kitty has an ageless beauty. Still shines through.

Kitty was with cane. She had a hip replacement in July. Coming along very well. Cane more of a mental support at this time rather than a physical one.

Hip replacements surround me. My dear fried Liz Moody is in the hospital this morning. For a hip replacement. I am hurrying doing this blog because I promised to be there before she went into the operating room.

Plan on spending the day with her lady friends waiting for the doctor’s report following the surgery. I am bringing my notes for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I will fine tune the show while waiting.

Topics tonight include Trump/Obama, the new health care act, cursive writing on the rebound, the 4th industrial revolution, a vaccination update, anti-Semitism, Stephen Miller, protests becoming criminalized, and more.

Join me! Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. A fast-moving eye-opening show. Guaranteed you will enjoy!

I mentioned yesterday that the word on the street was that Poker Run was returning. Sunrise Rotary and the City of Key West had abandoned their sponsorships following last year’s Poker Run. We were invaded by a few biker gangs.

I was wrong. There is a comment in Citizens’ Voice this morning that the Sunrise Rotary was not sponsoring Poker Run this year and the rumor that they were was false.

Did two Facebook Go Live videos yesterday. One concerned the rebirth of cursive writing. Fourteen states are teaching handwriting again.

Moonlight was the Academy Award winner for Best Picture. I saw the movie last week after it had received the award. I did not recall much of it. Fell asleep. Because I was tired or bored? Not sure.

There were some numbers in yesterday’s newspaper re the film. Neither a money maker nor costly to film. Gross so far only $25.3 million. Cost to make the film $1.5 million. The gross figure includes the $2.5 made after the film was declared Best Picture.

One in my group who viewed the picture thought we have become too politically correct. The cast is all black. Did the film win because of last year’s Awards and the furor that followed?

I continue to suspect man is living longer. Perhaps so. Read that in 2014, 72,197 persons were over 100 years.

Enjoy your day!

PERLE MESTA OF KEY WEST

Liz unquestionably is the Perle Mesta of Key west.

From her earliest years, Liz’s hobby has been cooking. Her preparation spectacular! The results special.

Liz’s dinner parties and simple gatherings planned to the smallest item. Her food choices always delicious. All of course prepared by Liz. Her drink choices right on. She knows her wines and stronger alcohols. Mouth watering deserts.

Topping it off, Liz knows how to direct conversations so her guests all participate.

I was her guest at a dinner party last night at her home. Cocktails in the garden. French lasagna the entre. The wines tasteful. The creme cheese desert the end of a perfect evening.

The dinner party small. Liz, Sheila, Barb and Louis.

My today full.

A manicure at noon with Tammy. Cocktails tonight at David Wolkowsky’s. His guest of honor Robert A. Caro. Caro twice a Pulitzer Price winner. He is best known for his biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses.

Later in the evening, I will see La La Land. A musical. The first in many many years.

Florida Keys Community College is to be commended. Every person from day one who contributed to FKCC becoming the institution it is today included.

KKCC is now offering a four year Bachelor’s degree. The first class seeking the four year degree began studies this past monday.

Obviously, Cuba is of great interest to Key Westers. A mere 90 miles away. Most attempting to leave Cuba for the freedom of the United States the past 50 years ended up on our beaches or in our waters.

In 1995, President Clinton established the wet foot / dry foot policy. If a Cuban reached soil, he/she stayed. If still in the water, it was back to Cuba.

Yesterday, Obama announced he was changing the policy. Getting rid of it. Effective immediately. He signed an administrative rule authorizing the same. Trump can undo Obama’s ruling when he takes office.

Today In Keys History noted former President Herbert Hoover arrived in the Keys on this date in 1958 for a fishing trip.

Hoover did not believe public funds should be used for private purposes. Like bailing a bank or business out with taxpayer dollars. As Bush 2 and Obama did.

Many historians and economists believe the great depression of 1929 could have been avoided had Hoover opted to bail out some of the businesses going down.

Trump and L. L. Bean. Linda Bean is a co-heiress of the L. L. Bean business. She sits on the L. L. Bean board. She made a $30,000 contribution to a PAC supporting Trump.

There is now a public cry negative to L. L. Bean’s well being. Even some of her co-board members cry the same tune. She should never have supported Trump. The reason why simple. Most items sold by L. L. Bean are manufactured in China.

Trump in support of Linda Bean and L. L. Bean tweeted yesterday…..BUY L. L. Bean.

So much for Buy American.

Some more re robots and automation.

Connor Forrest wrote an article on August 3, 2015 listing jobs in line for robot takeover.

One was assembly line workers. Ford and Toyota already using robots. The beginning of the end for human employees in many assembly line businesses.

Another involved fast food employees. McDonald’s is already using kiosks for ordering in many parts of the U.S. It is anticipated cooking positions in the fast food industry are next.

Table side tablet ordering systems for ordering. Chili a company so involved.

Enjoy your day!

I LOVE STOCK ISLAND FEST

Well…..It was a great day! I never want to eat again!

Thanksgiving dinner at Lisa’s with the family.

Lisa out did herself!

I ate it all! Filled my dish twice. Made up for three weeks of dieting.

We ate at 1. I fell asleep on Lisa’s couch afterwards. Woke and drove home. Still tired from the meal. Went to bed and slept for three hours.

Robert and Ally growing. Robert tall. Ally only 11. I noticed yesterday she is moving from child to young lady. Her face has filled out. Features distinct. A beauty in the making!

This weekend a big one for Stock Island. The I Love Stock Island Fest. Tonight, a community fish fry at the Stock Island Village Marina. 5:30-9:30.

A weekend of fun. The Fest celebrates the heritage and history of Stock Island.

Take a drive around the island this weekend. Stock Island is changing.

Syracuse/South Carolina basketball tomorrow at 2. Last week it was South Carolina State. This week, the private university.

Should be a good game. Syracuse 4-0, South Carolina 5-0.

Terry Schmida has an interesting article in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. The story of Bascom Grooms IV. A local successful realtor.

I mention Grooms IV because he is the great great grandson of Bascom Grooms who was President of the Key West Rotary in 1928. An individual I have mentioned several times in my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

The Rotary history continues. Installment 21.

World War II history very sparse. Absent from Langley’s work. Why, I do not know nor was I able to figure out why.

The years following World War II likewise sparse. Not as bad, however.

The War Assets Administration owned Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach. The Key West Rotary spearheaded a movement to have Monroe County purchase the area.

The effort was successful. Monroe County purchased Higgs Beach for $28,000 on November 4, 1947.

Charlie Toppino and Sons agreed to enlarge the beach area with sand. In return, the County sold Toppino the rock at  $ .30 a yard.

In the summer of 1947, the Club launched a new program. To send one of the Key West High School’s outstanding seniors to Girls’ State in Tallahassee. An honor to be the one selected.

Merli Hilton was selected. Merli later became the wife of Rotarian Charles “Sonny” Mc Coy. Mc Coy in due course served as Mayor of Key West.

Late in February 1948, the Rotary Ann Club held a Ladies night at La Concha. Norma Dopp was President of the Rotary Ann Club at the time. Her husband Robert Dopp served as President of the Rotary 1949-50.

What follows is the last portion of Crete’s  Jim Brown’s response to my inquiry as to why the Greeks demonstrated against Obama during his recent visit.

November 15 was the night of the Athens demonstration.

Obama was on his final foreign tour as President. He arrived in Athens on November 15.

Obama met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras upon arriving. He was honored at a state dinner in the evening. While the demonstration was occurring.

Following friendly and congratulatory remarks by Tsipras, Obama spoke to Greece’s economic problems. He recognized Greece’s “painful time.” Re the European Union, he said it “…..cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy.” Re the Greek people themselves, he said it was “…..incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives.”

Tsipras came to power last year based on his promise there would be no further agreement to austerity measures. He did not keep his word. He capitulated. Somewhat like Bush I’s read my lips, no new taxes.

My Greek friends indicate Tspiras is finished when new elections occur.

Jim reports that Tsipras’ left wing government touted Obama’s visit, before and after, as a vindication of its policies. Self-serving.

Note that Tsipras’ government is a leftist one. The same people who were demonstrating outside the dining hall while Tsipras was inside praising Obama.

Obama’s visit would have helped more if it came sooner. With only two months left in Obama’s time as President, there is little he can do for Greece. Nevertheless, Obama’s visit was viewed as a positive by the Greek people.

I want to thank my Crete friend Jim Brown for his lengthy response to my inquiry. He provided behind the scenes knowledge that the American media did not.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST THANKSGIVING MEAL

The first Thanksgiving meal was not as it is today. There was neither turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes nor pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving dinner has evolved!

The date of the event questionable. By a year. Some say 1621, the first year the Pilgrims were on Plymouth soil. Others say 1622, one year later.

The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for the party. Not one meal. Actually, a three day feast.

Turkeys were plentiful in the area. Not generally eaten by the Pilgrims. A “fowling party” was sent out to capture the birds to be consumed. Birds regularly eaten by the Pilgrims. Ducks, geese and swans.

Bread stuffing. No way. Herbs, onions or nuts added to the bird for extra flavor purposes.

There was meat. The Indians contributed five deer.

Cranberries were plentiful. Still fifty years away from being used for eating purposes. Sauces or relishes with the meal consisted of sugar which remained from the long Mayflower voyage. The sugar in minimal supply, however.

Fifty years later people started boiling cranberries with sugar. The cranberry sauce first being used as an accompaniment to meats.

Mussels part of the meal. Mussels plentiful in the area. Clung to rocks along the sea shore.

No potatoes. Neither white nor sweet.

Potatoes originally from South America. The Spaniards brought them to Spain. Potatoes were still foreign to England at the time the Mayflower left.

No pumpkin pie. Pumpkins plentiful. Butter and wheat flour required for the crust not available. Nor were there any ovens for baking.

It is possible some pumpkins were hollowed out. Then filled with milk, honey and spices. Following which the gourds were roasted whole in hot ashes.

So much for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Habit of course, but I prefer turkey, cranberries, potatoes, and stuffing buried in gravy. Dessert, pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving, not a day to diet!

More from my blog/Facebook friend Jim Brown who lives on the island of Crete in Greece. Following is a further part of his detailed e-mail response to my inquiry as to why Obama was protested during his recent visit.

Some history required.

The U.S. and Greece were allies during World War II. The Greeks fought shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in Korea. Greece was a part of NATO.

A military dictatorship took control of Greece in 1967. Unpopular. Remained in power, however. The junta was still in power in November 1973.

Athens Polytechnic is an Athens based university. On November 14, the students went on strike against the military dictatorship. By the next day, November 15, the strike had turned into a revolt.

The students occupied the Polytechnic campus during those days. The demonstrations increased in intensity from the 15th to the 17th.

The military government finally had it. They sent the tanks in on November 17. It was the end of the revolution. Many students died.

The Greeks take the events of those November days seriously. The 17th is a national holiday. There is a memorial stone on the campus. It contains the names of Polytechnic students who fought and were killed during the Greek resistance to Germany during World War II. The monument also contains the names of the students killed on November 17.

A commemoration event takes place each year on campus. The day the students decided to revolt. Two days after the commemoration event, demonstrators march the streets to the United States Embassy.

Why the U.S. Embassy?

Greeks have memories like elephants. They never forget. To this day, the Greeks are upset the U.S. did not support them in the November 1973 uprising. We were allies and friends at the time.

The U.S. and Russia were engaged in the Cold War. The U.S. thought it advantageous to support the military junta against the students. The U.S. felt it was the right move for them re the Cold War.

Once the U.S. broke faith with the Greeks, other reasons developed.

The U.S. was a significant part of NATO. NATO ended the Yugoslavia War in 1999 by bombing Serbia. Serbia was Greece’s orthodox ally.

The U.S. supports the European Union. The Union has been killing Greece with austerity programs. Another reason to be anti-U.S.

The U.S. supports the International Monetary Fund. The Greeks consider the Fund anti-Greece.

The annual parade on November 17 is to pay tribute to the students who died and secondarily, to express Greece’s continued displeasure with the U.S.’s position.

The last President to visit Greece prior to Obama’s visit was Bill Clinton. He formally apologized to the Greeks. He openly admitted the U.S. allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its obligation to support democracy.

Now comes Obama’s visit. On November 15. Not the 17th when the parade/demonstration was scheduled. Why waste a parade/demonstration? The event was moved up two days to coincide with Obama’s arrival.

Eight thousand protested. Anarchists and leftists.

The Greeks consider the U.S. a friend. In spite of the reasons given why not. Obama should not have been included in the demonstration. However, Greeks are Greeks. Such is their nature.

Recognize also that those protesting are only a portion of the Greek population.

Again, I must skip a day of Key West history based on a Rotary history. The blog today, though interesting,

already too long. Tomorrow, the Key West Rotary World War II and the immediate years following.

There will be more from Jim Brown, also.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Be grateful for whatever you have. Bountiful or limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING

‘Twas the night before Christmas…..visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

The day before Thanksgiving similar. Food!

This is my third week of dieting. Diet simple. Three days on, four days off. Tomorrow is the first of the four days off. I can eat!

For the past three days, my mind has been blocked with visions of turkey, potatoes and stuffing buried in gravy. I can’t wait!

Diet evenings, I generally stay in. Food and drink my enemy. I am weak. Ergo, I cannot tell you of my dining, bar hopping, chatting with friends, etc. Non-existent. Sorry.

The diet seems to be working. In 2 1/2 weeks, 10 pounds. I feel I deserve more because of the hunger fest.

A long blog today. Crete’s Jim Brown wrote a second e-mail re the Obama visit and demonstrations. An extremely long e-mail. Detailed. I am going to share it with you piece meal. Will take 3-4 days.

Worth following. The background info interesting.

Cannot forget Rotary history. Today, nine years of a Rotary organized Key West Boy Scout troop.

My blog talk radio show last night. For the third consecutive week, I commented on how the technological revolution is making humans obsolete. I feel like a voice in the wilderness. Not many pay attention to the problem.

Syracuse basketball! Syracuse met its first somewhat credible opponent last night. South Carolina. Syracuse won 101-59.

Go ‘Cuse!

This day in 1984, a big one in college football history. A happening  that may never occur again. Doug Flutie’s Hail Marry Pass for Boston College. One second left. Boston losing. Flutie threw a 64 yard pass hoping a Boston player would catch it. Arms up everywhere. A Boston player caught the ball! Boston College won 47-45.

Drama!

Jim Brown’s e-mail.

U.S. papers reported the 7,000 person demonstration communist inspired. Jim tells me no. It was anarchists.

The communists were involved, but to a lesser degree. Not the Communist Party itself. Instead, PAME. PAME the communist party labor union.

The Athens riot was peaceful till the anarchists threw rocks and molotov cocktails. Police retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades.

The rioters ended the evening at the Athens Polytechnic campus. A haven. By law, police are not permitted to enter university grounds unless invited by the chancellor.

There were no injuries or damage to private property.

In spite of the demonstrations, the Greek people, including anarchists, communists, and nazis, hope Obama’s visit will aid economic recovery. Sounds strange. Not. Greeks are a strange breed as you will comprehend after having read more.

Tomorrow, more re the demonstrations and the Greek thought process.

Installment 20 based on Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary. Boy Scouts. Covers a 9 year period. 1937 to 1946.

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country…..” Opening lines to the Boy Scout oath.

Scouting was a big deal in the years discussed. It represented America. The best of America. The Key West Rotary understood and did their best to bring scouting to Key West and thereafter support scouting.

The Rotary assisted in forming the Key West Scout troop. So much so that the troop was referred to as Rotary Troop 52. Troop 52 was organized in 1937.

Scout master was Victor Larsen. The first meeting of the Troop was held in the basement of the Bayview Park Bandstand.

August 1, 1938, 18 Key West scouts were loaded on the back of a large truck. The destination Bartow, Florida. To participate in a 10 day scout jamboree.

Upon arrival, the scouts pitched their tents.

The Key West scouts excelled in the swimming meet. Comment is made that they did so in spite of the fact they found it hard to get use to fresh water.

A week after the Bartow camporee, Key West scheduled their own. Invited were Bartow and Miami scout troops. The Bartow scouts would pitch tents on Naval Station grounds and the Miami ones on Naval Hospital grounds.

In these formative years, Key West Rotary worked hard to make sure scouting in Key West was on  a solid basis and would be permanent.

January 1, 1946 found 25 scouts and leaders hiking to Stock Island for a weekend outing. The hike began at White and Division Streets. Division today Truman Avenue.

The date February 22, 1946 significant in Key West scouting history. Scouts from Troops 50, 51 and 52 involved. Troops 50 and 51 from other Keys areas.

They attended a three day camporee on West Summerland Key. The site the old Civilian Conservation Camp. It was a work camporee.

The scouts cleaned up the site. It was a mess. They knew however they were cleaning what would soon become their own scout camp site. The Monroe County Scout Camp.

Stats this morning reveal more people read this blog yesterday than any other day in November. Thank you.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS

Today brings to mind three recollections. One well known. The other two personal.

The first not so long ago. On this date in 2008, Barack Obama was elected America’s first African-American President.

A history making date.

The second involves refugees and the Hungarian Revolution. The Revolution occurred in 1956. Hungary was Russian dominated. People unhappy. Protesting in the streets. Nothing violent.

After ten days, things heated up. Rocks and beer bottles being thrown at Russian soldiers and tanks. Days 11 and 12, the beer bottles turned into bullets.

On this date in 1956, the Russians said no more. They sent in the tanks. Blazing away. The so called Revolution was over. Two thousand five hundred killed, 2oo,ooo Hungarians fleeing the country.

Those who fled were refugees. A problem the world knows today.

Where to go?

Some ended up in the United States. How many I do not know. Many were college students. The students were taken in by various American colleges. Every college did its fair share.

I was a senior at Manhattan college. All of a sudden in the middle of a semester, we had a dozen Hungarian students in our midst.

One became a friend. Gergo. He spoke excellent English. We talked evenings after diner. Generally at a bench on campus.

Gergo told the story of the Revolution in simplistic terms. He said no one wanted a revolution. Especially the college students. He said that after drinking beer in the evenings, they would throw rocks and beer bottles at the Russian soldiers and tanks. For fun.

After a while, the Russians no longer consider the throwings a fun activity. They started shooting back.

The students got some guns and returned the fire. At this point not yet a revolution in their minds. Merely tit for tat.

When the tanks came out big time firing, things got serious. One night only. That is all it took. The students retaliated with molotov cocktails. No competition for the tanks.

The students knew they were done and had to get out of Hungary quickly. Here it was two weeks after fleeing and Gergo and I were talking about what happened.

No one argued about taking refugees in at the time. Of course, the number of Hungarian refugees was significantly less than those that have come out of Syria in recent times.

Personal letters from Santa Claus a final recollection.

I came across on the internet an advertisement by Magical Xmas Letters. Send the company $17.94 and your child will receive a personally signed letter from Santa Claus and some North Pole information. The letter printed. The signature written.

Back in the 1960s, two Utica attorneys did the same thing at Xmas time. Pat Bernardi and Jim Zogby. Law partners. Both now long gone.

Pat and Jim were five years older than me. Young lawyers did not make much money in those days. They came up with the idea of sending Santa Claus letters out. Parents wrote. Pat and Jim’s operation returned a handwritten and signed letter from Santa Claus.

The cost was relatively cheap. The exact amount, I cannot recall. Two dollars sticks in my mind. A probable price some fifty years ago. I had the letters sent to my children.

Pat and Jim’s Xmas business took hold. Soon they had to rent space and hire a number of women to write the letters. Even Pat and Jim got into handwriting responses. Business boomed.

A tiring, but banner Xmas season for Pat and Jim. An experience that left them extremely tired came Xmas Eve.

Bocce last night. Don’s Place won 2-1. Not good enough. Needed all three games. Will remain in second place.

Syracuse/Clemson tomorrow. Clemson a top 10 team. Favored by 27 points.

Syracuse has played well the last two games. I see the game closer. Maybe an upset?????

Installment 5 of a Key West Rotary history.

The year 1925.

Nineteen twenty five was a busy year for the Rotary. Today only a partial report. The year will take 1 or 2 additional installments to complete.

Sloppy Joe’s was not Sloppy Joe’s in 1925. It was the Victoria Restaurant.

On October 15, a Cuban Boy Scout Troop visited Key West. The Rotary honored the group at a luncheon at Victoria’s. The Scoutmaster only spoke Spanish. His words were translated by Sebastian Cabrera.

Dr. J. Y. Porter, Sr. was a Key West charter Rotarian, local physician, and the first public health doctor for the State of Florida. A week after the Cuban boy scout event, Dr. Porter was 78 years old. The Rotary threw him a birthday party. Talk, singing, and birthday cake with 78 candles. Porter blew them all out!

Judge Jefferson B. Browne recalled how Dr. Porter had been instrumental in stemming the spread of yellow fever in Jacksonville.

Dr. Porter had returned to Key West after his State service to take charge of the Chamber of Commerce.

Captain Jack Maher was commander of the Key West Army Barracks. At the party, he sang When You Were Young Maggie and The Sunshine of Your Smile. The latter being Dr. Porter’s favorite tune.

The Key West Rotary was conservation minded. Late in October, the Club endorsed a proposal to ban the shooting and trapping of birds and protecting Key deer.

Time does not change some things. We are still protecting Key deer. Dr. Porter spoke in support of protecting birds. He viewed birds as eating disease carrying mosquitoes and insects.

More 1925 to follow tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

 

A DAY LIKE ALL DAYS

Busy yesterday. Did nothing out of the ordinary, however.

Started with a noon haircut appointment with Lori. Always a pleasure to spend time with Lori. Fifteen plus years now.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is around the corner from Blown Away. The heat/humidity too heavy to eat outside. Decided to pick up some things at Publix and feed myself at home.

Driving the Publix motivation was the fact that I had been dreaming for a couple of days of a home prepared chicken sandwich.

Bought a lemon pepper chicken.

Lunch was the desired chicken sandwich. A large soft roll. A thick slice of white chicken breast. Covered with a slice of tomato. A bit of salt and pepper. Then mayonnaise.

A dream come true!

Screwed around on the computer in the afternoon searching for a KONK column topic to do. Came up with nothing that excited me.

The Chart Room first last night. John told me Tom and Fran had been in earlier looking for me. Telephoned them. They were at Kermit’s enjoying key lime pie. Told me they would shortly join me.

Spent some time with Tom and Fran enjoying a couple of drinks. Then they were off to do sunset. Knew one of the entertainers and wanted to visit with him. The man with the cats jumping through hoops of fire.

I went across the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Enjoyed lamb chops again.

Joseph still on the mend. There is a new general manager. JP. We were introduced.

The Noble Group is not screwing Joseph. As I understand, there is an office job awaiting him when he returns.

Joseph has graduated from a walker to two canes. Progress slow.

Hello Jim Wenzel! Close friend of Tom Dixon. Both Buffalo bred. Jim now resides in Tampa. Tom told me he turned Jim on to the blog and he now reads it daily.

Welcome and thank you, Jim!

On the way back to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Ollie was at the bar. One of the heroes of the Zika test spraying fight. I stopped in to congratulate him. He believes Key Haven will defeat the test spraying proposal.

This week’s KONK Life column is German Persecution of Jews. It was carried this morning on E-Blast and also linked to my Key West Lou column. www.keywestlou.com.

My conscience Patrick posted a comment yesterday morning. He wanted to know why I had not commented on the $4 million/Iran/hostage situation. Simple. I only had the first blast of news. Accusatory. Did not make sense. Thought I should wait a day to see how the story played out.

Glad I delayed. Nothing wrong occurred.

Better safe than sorry. I concede I occasionally jump the gun. Rarely however. Sorry when I do.

Trump was terrific. Claimed he saw the whole thing on video. There was no video. He still kept saying he saw it on video.

Ronald Reagan was a tough guy.

On this day in 1981, he fired 11,359 air controllers. None to ever be rehired. When they struck and walked out two days earlier, he gave them 48 hours to return to work.

The union thought it was calling Reagan’s bluff. no way. He called theirs.

Reagan’s action was the beginning of the fall of union dominance in the United States.

Enjoy your day!