A HEMINGWAY STORY…..

Hemingway’s personal experiences are just as interesting as his novels.

Hemingway was a lover. A ladies man. Enjoyed his sexual adventures.

He was into  his second marriage. Pauline Pfeiffer, the wife. They were married 13 years. Ten of those years spent in Key West.

The marriage proved healthy for Hemingway’s writings. Most of his best works were written during his marriage to Pauline.

Pauline’s father wealthy. Pauline enjoyed inherited wealth. Provided Hemingway with a comfortable life style.

The home on Whitehead was bought during the marriage. Primarily with Pauline’s dollars. The home stands to this day. Now, a museum. The Hemingway House.

The gardens were to the front of the house. Hemingway had constructed a boxing ring. He was a boxing enthusiast.

Hemingway was off to Spain as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He met and fell in love with Martha Gellhorn there, she also a war journalist.

Word got back to Pauline in Key West that husband Ernest was seriously screwing around. Pissed her off big time!

Pauline had the boxing ring torn down and replaced it with a $20,000 swimming pool. A lot of money for a pool in those days. Had Hemingway billed for it. The pool was lovely. Its setting in the gardens perfect. The sunlight equally perfect. The water glistened.

When Hemingway returned home, he became angered when he found out how much the pool cost. He and Pauline had words. Hemingway took a penny out of his pocket and flung it on the ground saying, “Pauline, you’ve spent all but my last penny, so might as well have that.”

The penny has become part of Hemingway House folklore. There is a 1934 penny imbedded in the concrete at the foot of the pool. Whether the same penny, I do not know.

Pauline and Hemingway in due course divorced. Martha became wife number three.

Hemingway drew on life experiences for his books. He and Pauline had two sons. Pauline’s labor was extremely difficult for one. Legend has it Hemingway used Pauline’s suffering as the basis for Catherine’s death in A Farewell To Arms.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of Trump and local Key West stories. The show did not include the Hemingway one just shared. Key West has a slew of tales to be told.

The United States is getting better in dealing with natural disasters. Better not enough, however. More time and money must be spent planning how to react before a disaster even occurs.

New Orleans’ Katrina should have taught us a lot. Turns out, not enough.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. FEMA immediately saw the need for food. FEMA contracted with an Atlanta firm for 30 million meals, clearly spelling out time was of the essence. Delivery had to be as soon as possible. Only 50,000 were delivered.

The Atlanta firm was Tribate Contracting LLC. A one employee firm. The sole employee the owner Tiffany Brown. Brown had no experience in large scale disaster relief.

The contract was for $156 million.

It was Brown’s responsibility to find and contract with vendors to prepare and get the food to Puerto Rico. She was only intended as a run through. A conduit. She would be paid handsomely for her company’s services in that regard.

Brown hired a wedding caterer with a staff of 11 to prepare and freeze dry meals.

FEMA cancelled its contract with Brown’s company.

In the meantime, many in Puerto Rico were going without food.

Italy’s former Prime Minister and political force Silvio Berlusconi is back in the news. He has not been heard from in recent years after being convicted of tax fraud and sexual involvement with a 17 year old girl.

Due to the convictions, Berlusconi can no longer hold public office. Nothing bars him from being a political leader/force, however.

A national election is scheduled for March 4.

Berlusconi now 81 years old.

Immigration the issue. Everywhere!

In  the past few years, African Muslims seeking a way to Sweden have moved through Italy. Many remained in Italy. Six hundred thousand.

In my several trips to northern Italy in recent years, I have become familiar with the problem. Seen it first hand. Novara where my friend Anna lives appears to be a black community rather than a white one. Anna and her friends are not happy about it.

The homeless are not well taken care of at all. They sit on formerly prosperous streets, their backs against the walls, day and night. They are everywhere. Black prostitutes openly working the neighborhoods day and night.

Berlusconi says he will immediately deport the 600,000 immigrants.

Sounds like Trump.

My travels took me to Portofino. Expensive! I was paying $20 for a glass of gin.

Two places have impressed me beauty wise in my travels. Santorini and the bay at Portofino.

Berlusconi has a home in Portofino. On the water, of course. Huge. Magnificent. The shrubbery and flower beds alone have to cost a ton  of money to keep up.

Berlusconi and Putin are, if you will excuse the description, asshole buddies. Putin had a summer home built in Portofino right next to Berlusconi’s.

Evidence the relationship is close one. Several years ago and prior to Putin constructing his Portofino home, Putin allowed his teenage daughter to spend the summer at Berlusconi’s Portofino home.

What a world!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE DISGUSTING

This morning with us facing a crashing market and Trump issues all over the place, I deem what is occurring with the local education system more important.

I learned yesterday that the Monroe County School District graduation rate for 2016-7 was 79.2 percent.

Disgusting!

Parents, the community and the School Board should consider the number unacceptable. And do something about it!

The problem has to have existed for a number of years. To the School Board I say what is happening in the classroom is more important than housing. Get your priorities straight! The kids come first!

School officials say there is cause for celebration. The percentage is a bit higher and close to the State’s. The State graduation level also sucks. 82.3 percent.

I have a selfish interest. Robert and Ally shortly will be attending the Key West High School. Thus far they have been educated by Montessori. I am impressed at the degree of knowledge they have acquired. I do not want it to stop when they enter high school.

The Dow dropped 665 points friday and 1,100 plus yesterday. Wow!

Trump keeps taking credit for the market. I felt the market’s meteoric rise could not continue. At 82, I have seen similar markets in my life time. I said and wrote last year that the market could not sustain itself. There would be a crash. I thought it might occur by the end of last year or early this year.

I spoke of an impending crash last week in one of my Key West Lou Live Videos. Suggested it could occur anytime. If not the immediate future, sometime into the year.

My reasoning simple. What goes up, must come down. Especially a market that moves with abnormal swiftness. Everyone getting rich thinking there is no end to the success.

I referred to Trump at the time as the Herbert Hoover of 2018. So certain I was that the market would take a dive.

It began friday. Continued yesterday. Probably will continue today. The European and Asian markets went down during the night. Our misfortune affects the world.

The market corrects itself. No one knows precisely why. The market is like a person in certain respects. If it gets too rich, it regurgitates. Pukes. That is what it is doing now. It will continue till the market feels it has reached a price correction.

To place the market’s meteoric rise in proper perspective, lets look at a couple of numbers.

The market rose 1,900 points in the first 18 days of this year. Since Trump’s election, the market has risen 8,300 points. Mind boggling increases. Not normal. Shades of 1929.

Since Trump took credit for the market’s rise, I am curious to see how he handles its nose dive.

Pelosi’s fault? Democrats? The FBI’s?

A term rarely heard. Part of market jargon. The dead cat bounce.

Market lingo for a recovery after a market decline based on fundamentals. Some people buy in at a time referred to as dips. Investing for a quick profit. Makes everything look peachy and wonderful when it is not. The market is moves upward a bit. After the quick profit is taken, the market goes back down.

Last night a quiet one for me. Dueling Bartenders at Aqua and dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da.

Tom Luna missing last night. Bobby Nesbitt sitting in for him. Not a band substitute.

Aqua Idol tonight! Lynda Frechette’s baby. A fund raiser for the Waterfront Playhouse. Great singing! Big crowd! Fun!

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. So many things to talk about. I have notes covering 23 topics. I am lucky if I get 10 in.

Join me tonight at 9. The show’s following grows weekly. Amazing! I even have national sponsors! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRAB SEASON A DISAPPOINMENT

Stone crabs!

My favorite food. The favorite of many.

Next to impossible to find. If available, expensive. Like $8 for a small one.

Why no stone crabs?

Two reasons.

The first Irma. Screwed up what is below the water as well as that above.

The other, cold fronts. Crabs are driven to the Keys by cold fronts. We have not had one yet this year. The cold this past week kid stuff compared to a real one.

Fortunately, the stone crab season lasts till May 15. We should have a cold front or two by then. Hopefully crabs galore. Unless Irma’s impact on them more significant than thought.

Yesterday’s blog lacked a most important saturday afternoon event. The Syracuse/Georgetown game. Syracuse won in overtime 86-79.

A typical hard fought game. As in the old days when the two teams met in Big East games.

Georgetown was up by 13 in the second half. Syracuse fought back and tied at the buzzer. Syracuse then out scored Georgetown by 7 points in overtime.

The best Syracuse game I have seen in a couple of years.

Go ‘Cuse!

I stayed in saturday night. The success Irma and me is having caused me to remain home working on my next book. Growing Up Italian. Irma has motivated me to do more.

I should have been out and about.

Doug Jones and Jimmy Buffett in town! Unannounced.

Jean Thornton has many friends. Someone called her and said be at Margaritaville at 8. Tell no one. Jean was not told why she should be there. She suspected maybe Buffett.

She was there. So too were Buffett and Doug Jones.

Jones and wife Louisa are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at a friend’s home in Key West. Jean is from Alabama. A Republican, of course. She rushed up to Jones excitedly and told him it was the first time in 28 years she had voted Democratic.

Then Buffett appeared. He played his guitar and sang for one hour.

The place was packed! Jean not the only one who had a friend. People out on the sidewalk for a look see and to hear Buffett.

Buffet sang Stars Fell Over Alabama in honor of Jones’ victory.

Nice that Buffett decided to “…..headin’ back to Key West town.”

Today’s Key West Citizen had only a few photos of the Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good! Also, a few photos of the first I Love Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good, also.

The first I Love Stock Island Boat Parade and other events appear to be the beginning of a tradition. Go Stock Island!

I was out and about last night. Began with Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Terri White performing. My love! For the first time since her cancer surgeries. She appears on the mend.

The crowd was large out of respect for Terri. She failed them not. Her singing, Terri! Nothing changed. Outstanding.

I chatted with Terri, Donna, Tash, Kate, Jean, and Libby York amongst others. Also, Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. Had not seen them in a while.

Last night was the first time I met Libby York. Her singing well known beyond Key West. Places like New York, Chicago, and Paris.

Libby will be performing at The Gardens in a couple of weeks. She also opens thursday and every thursday thereafter at the Little Jazz Room Club.

Libby not new to Key West. She has had a home here since 1980.

The New York Times described her as “a juicy singer of cool composure and artful subtlety.”

Jean and I had dinner later at Antonia’s. She is supposed to leave today for Birmingham on Delta. Not sure she will get out.

I am still on the diet. Seem to have plateaued. Lost only one pound this past week. I have not cheated once. Ergo, the only one pound loss bothers me. I need to see success on the scale!

Enjoy your day!

CATHERINE…..WHERE ARE YOU?

Catherine…..Where are you? An interesting introduction.

I met Catherine last night at the Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas party. We were seated next to each other for dinner. Enjoyed our time together.

At the end, she entered www.keywestlou.com on her phone. I asked for her e-mail. She put it on my phone. Easier she thought. I wanted to send her a piece to read.

This morning, I tried to send. From memory. Did not work. When Catherine returned my cell phone to me, I forgot to hit SAVE.

Ergo, Catherine…..Where are you? Please e-mail me at louispetrone@gmail.com. I will then have your e-mail and will be able to send you the material I thought you might be interested in.

The party was wonderful. What else could be expected from a group of partying Italians.

Our table interesting.

Besides Catherine, met Elizabeth. An engineer. She warmed my heart when she told me she reads the blog.

Martin and Donatella. Martin a former President of the organization. An entrepreneur. His company operates out of several cities. Donatella Italian born. She recalled my KONK Life articles.

I left early. As the dancing started. Catherine was unable to dance. She had a hip replacement six weeks ago.

Cold last night. Cold during the evening. Cold this morning. I have to find my leather jacket.

The sky was perfect last night as I left the Doubletree. Not a cloud. Stars everywhere.

My first stop this morning is the opticians. Have to get the eye glass problem resolved. Anxious to see well again.

This morning ends the first two weeks of the diet. Atkins. The diet claims a 10 pound loss at the end of the first two weeks. Then 2 pounds a week. Only lost 8. I am disappointed. Every pound  a hard loss. Committed however to staying on the diet.

Tonight will be special. Atkins permits drinking after two weeks. Gin or scotch. No carbs. Gin my drink of choice for 40 years. Look forward to Beefeater on the rocks tonight. I am a man in the desert searching for water.

Moore/Jones Alabama election tomorrow.

On TV this morning, a video was of a group of Alabama seniors. One hundred percent behind Moore. Thought the 16 ladies reporting him all lied. One made mention that 30-40 years ago, Alabama permitted 13 year olds to marry. Another said any parent back then would have been happy if an Assistant District Attorney was meeting their 14 year old daughter at a mall.

Sick, thwarted thinking!

What a difference eighty years make!

Actually eighty one years ago when on this date in 1936 Edward VIII abdicated to marry twice divorced Wallis Simpson. He could not live without the woman he loved.

Parliament would not accept a divorcee as spouse to the King of England.

A different world today. Prince Charles divorced and remarried. Prince Harry soon to marry a divorced lady.

Putin has a reputation of being a ladies’ man. Rarely mentioned. He is numero uno in a totalitarian state.

Oh! Calcutta! opened in New York in 1969. Nudity a significant part of the show. I saw it. Must be frank. Made me a bit uncomfortable at the time. And a prude I am not!

Soon after its opening, Sergi Mikhail, Secretary of Moscow’s Writers Union, described Oh! Calcutta’s nudity as a sign of western decadence. His concern was that Oh! Calcutta’s “bourgeois” thinking was affecting Russian youth.

Sixty two year old Xiong Gaowa is a Chinese barber. No barber shop. He works on the street. A chair on an open thoroughfare. In Chengdu, Sichuan.

He has a specialty. Called blade wash eyes. Runs a straight razor along the inside of a customer’s eyelids. Leaves the customer feeling refreshed and comfortable afterwards.

The process cleans the sebaceous glands running along the inside of the eyelid.

The Chinese medical profession finds nothing wrong with the blade eye wash. As long as the instrument used is sterilized to prevent infection.

I came across an article a few days ago reporting that the Department of Defense (DOD) was going to perform an audit. The first ever. Not a dollar one which is desperately needed. Billions unaccounted for each year.

Rather an audit of material, supplies. Things like ammunition, tanks, planes, etc. An inventory. A big job. Two thousand four hundred auditors to be involved.

I read another article this morning that makes me understand why the audit. Humans must be involved also. The Pentagon has lost 44,000 soldiers. Cannot track them. Have no idea where they are.

The Pentagon lists military under Country Location. The 44,000 are marked Unknown.

The soldiers involved were lost in deployment.

Would you believe?

Enjoy your day!