STOCKING SHELVES IN SUPER MARKET

It was October 3, 1951. I was 16 years old, a junior in high school. My after school job was working in a super market. That day, stocking shelves.

Professional baseball was big back then. The fan base equivalent or better than pro football and basketball combined. Truly at that time, the All-American sport.

The National League had ended in a tie. The New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Both teams long gone from New York City today having moved west.

The supermarket owner permitted the game to be broadcast over the loudspeaker system.

The Dodgers were favored. They had led the League. New York was 13.5 games behind in August. Then won 16 straight.

The bottom of the 9th. Dodgers winning 4-2. One out. Giants batting. Bobby Thomson at the plate. A respected hitter. Ralph Branca had come in as relief pitcher for the Dodgers. A respected pitcher.

Willie Mays was in the batter’s circle. A rookie. It was thought Branca would walk Thomson to get at the still inexperienced Mays.

He did not. He pitched to Thomson. There were 2 men on base. Thomson hit a home run.

Everyone went crazy! All over the U.S. In the super market. I went crazy. The sports announcer went crazy.

Thomson’s home run is described as “the shot heard round the world.” The event one of the most memorable in sports history.

New York went on to be defeated by the New York Yankees in the World Series.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Love doing the show! Began with my concern for the U.S. I believe we are disintegrating as a nation.

Tonight, the Blue Macaw. Terri sings!

My girl! Love her! Admire her!

It dawned on me this morning that October means Goombay and Fantasy Fest. The end of the month. Something to look forward to. Both different flavors. Both enjoyable.

I wrote the other day about the mosquito danger in North Carolina. Too much water. Mosquitoes coming out big time. Could be illness causing. An epidemic possible.

Someone commented and asked what about Big Pine and surrounding areas following Irma last year. Good question! Never gave it a thought.

I tried to get a hold of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District for first hand information. They apparently operate like Comcast. I am still waiting for a response.

I am assuming both areas suffered a different impact.

Note that mosquitoes are a major south Florida concern. Especially in the Keys. We have a Florida Keys Mosquito Control District headed by an elected Board. Many employees. Planes to spray. Vehicles to spray.

Standing water for many days was not a major concern following Irma. Our flooding was different from North Carolina’s. The Keys’ concern was debris standing on the side of roads for miles and miles. The wet debris and humidity that followed made the debris a breeding place.

Mosquito District personnel were out immediately searching for new breeding pockets. They dealt with the problem immediately.

I am not aware of any significant mosquito problem as a result.

A job well done.

North Carolina on the other hand was hot with floods. Big time. Ten to 20 feet in height. Some lasting 10 days or more.

As the water receded, most of North Carolina became a major breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I assume the State is involved with the problem and dealing with it at this point.

Whether North Carolina was as prepared as the Keys is another story.

“If it don’t fit, you must acquit.” Famous words from the O. J. Simpson murder trial.

A glove was a key piece of evidence. The prosecution had Simpson try the glove on during the trial He could not get it on. Too small. Too tight.

What no one seem to have picked up on at the time was that the glove had become wet and shrunk. Whatever, it was one of Simpson’s passages to an acquittal. The jury acquitted him this day in 1995.

Saturday coming up. Syracuse/Pitt. Syracuse a 5 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

60 POUNDS

Important maters to discuss today. One stands out above all else. An item of personal achievement. I have lost 60 pounds!

Unbelievable! Took about a year. Now weigh 197. Still going. I am into the diet. Never would have believed I could do it.

I was constantly tired. Complaining it had to be my heart. I was in Fort Lauderdale for my 4th heart catheterization. The doctor found nothing different from my previous one. Looked me in the eye and said…..Lose 40-50 pounds.

He was the pro. I, not. I listened. Started dieting the next day. Stopped being tired after losing 20 pounds.

I need clothes. Everything way too big. Love it!

I am hurrying this morning. Do not want to miss a minute of the Judiciary Committee hearing beginning at 10. The political junkie in me compels it.

The Committee hearing(s) a mess. A disgrace. Proof our government at every level is failing. F–d up!

A thorough investigation is required. By the FBI. Not merely a vetting. I believe it is not being requested because of a simple point. It is against the law to lie to an FBI agent. I assume Kavanaugh when asked about his sexual escapades, would continue to deny them. So much for the Supreme Court seat, his present Judicial seat, his attorney’s license, his good name, etc.

The ladies are coming out of the woodwork. There will be more. Only because a person guilty of a particular addictive conduct will repeat it endlessly. Never fearing its harm to himself or others.

Last night the first in a week I was out. The Chart Room, of course. John’s first night back after 10 days in Jamaica. Kevin and I were together to hear John’s war stories.

The Jamaica I knew 20 years ago has not changed. I did not like Jamaica. I left the resort to visit the town. Scared the hell out of me! Returned to the resort and remained the whole trip. The armed guards walking the resort made me feel somewhat secure. However, I kept thinking what the hell even made me come to Jamaica.

Jamaica a third world country then, a third world country today.

One drink was enough. My first in a week. Left and stopped at Publix. Cupboard bare again.

My first evening out in a week. Exciting!

Tropical storm Kirk is out there in the Atlantic heading this way. Does not appear it will affect the U.S. Presently moving for the Barbados. Then south of Jamaica and Cuba.

I mention Kirk only because I have learned hurricanes are fickle. The mother could change course a bit and head north towards the Keys.

Key West motels in the 1950’s were at the Atlantic end of town. Many still standing. Others replaced by new beautiful hotels.

Competition keen back in those days. Not enough business. Motels cutting their prices. I recall mentioning a few days ago that one motel advertised rooms for $2.

Things got more competitive. On this day in 1955, 8 motels posted signs offering free rooms to tourists.

Enough. The Judiciary Committee hearing awaits.

Enjoy your day!

SYRACUSE BURIES FLORIDA STATE 30-7

My orange blood boiled yesterday. From excitement! Syracuse beat Florida State. Handily, 30-7.

Mighty Casey did not strike out!

Florida State had won the previous 11 encounters between the schools.

Was Syracuse that good or was Florida State that bad? A combination, I suspect. The test comes in future games. Next week Connecticut. A Syracuse victory. The following week, Clemson. Who knows. A real test.

Star quarterback Eric Dungey got hurt again. Second quarter. Freshman Tom DeVito went in. What a game DeVito played!

It is exciting that well played football is returning to Syracuse. It has been a long time. If my recollection is correct, the late 1990’s was the last time the team experienced golden years. Duncan McNabb’s time.

Spent my Saturday night at Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Met Jean Paul. A Hatian by birth. Came to the U.S. at 19. Now 61. Entertained last night. Played and sang.

Jean Paul multi-talented. A musician and artist. Showed me some of his paintings. Magnificent! Paints his homeland in vibrant colors. He has an outdoor gallery on Duval across the street from Hard Rock Cafe.

The story is told that when Jean Paul came to the U.S. at 19, the family settled in a flat in Brooklyn. Cold! Colder than that apparently. Jean Paul was accustomed to Haitian heat.

We talked long. I like Jean Paul. Sense we will be friends.

Andrea and Joe were at the bar. We sat together. Good people!

Paul was there again with his sister Laura and brother in law Dennis. They escaped Florence. They are from Myrtle Beach.

Laura a former first grade school teacher. Dennis retired from the Post Office.

Larry Baeder played later in the evening. I learned Larry is quite a giving man. Generous of his time. He works gratis teaching the young children at the Community Center music and how to play musical instruments.

I did a Publix stop on the way home. It was 9:50. Publix closes at 10. I moved my ass around fast enough to spend $70 and be out the door at 9:59. The third time I have done late late night shopping recently.

Florence ain’t going away! More and worse flooding for several days yet. Those who failed to leave now being rescued by first responders.

I hope everything works out as Trump projected. The number of people requiring assistance grows by day. I question whether there will be sufficient shelter, water and food. I question preparations for Florence’s arrival. There was sufficient time to be ready.

Trump enjoys twittering. As of this coming thursday, he will have a new toy. Referred to as the Presidential Alert System.

A law was authorized in 2015 establishing an Emergency Alert System. Using cell phones. Provides for immediate contact by the President warning of disasters.

The system is for Presidential use. The subject matter must relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, other man made disasters, or a threat to public safety.

A good idea. My concern is whether Trump will abuse the new system. Use it as he uses Twitter. Probably.

FEMA will test the new system next Thursday for the first time.

There are good people in the world. We do not hear of them enough. I came across one this morning while glancing through John Reinke’s Jasper Jottings.

Dennis Frandsen is a mid west successful banker.  His bank has 35 branches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Luck Public School is located in Wisconsin. This year’s graduating class will number 34. Frandsen has guaranteed each graduate a free college education. He will pay tuition for at least 2 years at a technical college.

The U.S. and Russia are pushing at each other in Syria. Let me share one person’s thoughts.

Ian Welsh is a Canadian blogger I follow. He recently wrote Syria could be straining the already strained U.S./Russia relationship. Russia together with Iran support Assad. The U.S. supports the rebels.

Saber rattling going on. Rumors afloat that Assad plans to use chemical weapons against the rebels. Trump has clearly said the U.S. will retaliate if he does. Russia is pushing Assad.

Welsh thinks the U.S. could lose in a fighting conflict with Russia. The basis for his belief is that the U.S. has fallen behind re missiles and missile defense technology. I believe him correct that the U.S. is behind missile wise.

Welsh describes Trump’s position as follows: He is against getting into a war with Russia “but he seems to have become deranged about Syria’s Iran ties…..U.S. foreign policy…..is doing what Saudi Arabia and Israel want, not what is good for the U.S.”

Sloan coming at noon. A busy afternoon ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY WEST BEWARE…..GILLEAN AND ROZALYN IN TOWN

Met them last night! Two lovelies from Virginia Beach! Gillean and Rozalyn!

At the Blue Macaw.

Lovely fails to describe them sufficiently. Beautiful! Early 30’s. Arrived yesterday. Staying till tuesday. Guarantee they will leave their imprint on Key West.

Gillean in marketing. Rozalyn a nurse.

They already had a list of must do/see things. Garden of Eden at the top of the list. Gillean can’t wait to go topless. Excited.

Both experienced divers. Plan on exploring the reef.

I suggested several places to play, eat and drink. Rozalyn put them all into her cell phone.

I suspect I will run into them. The Garden of Eden the best spot. However, I have not been on the roof in years. My heart no longer can handle the three flights of steep stairs. If I could make it, my heart probably would not be able to handle what I would see up there.

Hopefully we will see each other again sunday morning at the Hard Rock Cafe brunch. Terri and Larry Baeder will be singing. Guaranteed monday at Dueling Bartenders.

Started my yesterday at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Then to Publix. I really needed groceries!

Some reading in the afternoon. Still going through Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. I highly recommend it. She traces modern day authoritarian figures beginning with Mussolini and Hitler. Leads up to Trump.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. One of Key West’s great personalities.

Met 2 guys. One from Scranton. The other originally from Albany, his wife Rochester. My home town Utica in the middle.

They were headed over to Michael’s for dinner.

Met Dion. Another lovely. An evening for lovely women!

Dion from Jamaica. I have visited twice. Many years ago. We talked about then and now. Interesting.

A tragedy yesterday. Of monumental proportions. Donna and Terri had Bear neutered. His testicles snipped. Horrendous! The mere thought bothers me.

Bear not a happy camper last night.

David Wolkowsky keeps popping up the past couple of weeks. My friend will be 99 saturday. A small party of 25 planned. I am invited. Can’t wait. An intimate event as only David can arrange.

David is Mr. Key West. If not for him, the Key West of today would not exist.

David bought a key 10 miles off Key West in 1974. Ballast Key. He constructed a magnificent home. All the amenities, although 10 miles off shore.

In his earlier days, he entertained big time at Ballast Key. World and national figures including British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Leonard Bernstein. His forever friend Jimmy Buffett a frequent guest.

David’s menu always the same. Champagne, hot dogs and chips.

A move is underway to rename Ballast Key to David Wolkowsky Key. This past week, the Monroe County Commission approved the change. Next, the approval of the federal government is required. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names. If they approve, the change will take take effect 5 years following David’s death.

Things never get better in Venezuela. Yet Maduro survives. Amazing.

The economy is in the shit house. Has been for several years. People do not have enough food. Several years ago, they ate their pets and zoo animals. People have trained themselves to eat every other day. Even babies.

Desperate times bring on desperate deeds. Many Venezuelans have turned to piracy. Old time piracy. Blackbeard’s type. Venezuelan pirates are rampaging the Caribbean in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago. Attacking yachts and fishing vessels.

Criminal chaos unleashed.

One victim who survived a pirate attack reported his group were doused with hot oil, hacked with machetes, and thrown overboard. Following which their boat was taken.

Manafort’s trial goes to the jury today. He spent a lot of money on items associated with the good life. Ten thousand dollar custom made suits an example.

Manafort has been sitting during the trial dressed to the nines, except he wears no socks. Turns out as a prisoner he can only wear government issued white socks. He is in court wearing magnificent suits and shoes. No socks! White socks do not go with his attire. He would rather go without.

The U.S. does not belong in Syria. Never the less, we are there. As is Russia and several other nations. All want a piece of the pie, ultimate control, etc. Russia and the U.S. till recently on opposite  sides. Trump however has us moving closer to being in bed with Russia.

Putin believes Russia will be involved with Syria for the long term. Hopefully forever. He is pulling a Hitler trick to assure such. He is after the Syrian youth.

Beginning this year, Syrian children will be permitted to attend Russian military academies in Russia. The first group begins September 1. The Syrians permitted to attend are the children of Syrian war heroes. Those who died in the long bloody Syrian conflict.

The intention is to develop the children into the military elite of the Syrian Arab Republic. Within 15 years, a sufficient number will have made it through the program and will control the Syrian military.

All Russian brain washed.

The program has been approved by a Russian governmental decree. Means Putin approved. It is referred to as “adaptation training.”

Hitler did something similar with the Hitler Youth. Hitler’s attitude then and Putin’s now: Get them while their young!

Enjoy your day!

 

“I’LL PROBABLY GO THE SAME WAY”

 

Fifty seven years ago today. July 2, 1961. A sad day.

Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. At his then home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

One of the greats in the annals of literary history. A favorite son of Key West.

Hemingway’s father Dr. Clarence Hemingway committed suicide many years earlier. Hemingway said at the time: “I’ll probably go the same way.”

A quiet evening last night. A drink at the Chart Room and grocery shopping at Publix. The refrigerator was empty again.

BOB returns. The Bum Farto saga continued.

Authorities did not initially pay attention to drug dealing in Key West. Farto and friends became aware. He and some Bubba friends decided to make some easy money.

Farto fixed up El Jefe and his personal appearance. What he was doing became open and notorious. El Jefe was lime green to begin and carried a sign with El Jefe on it. Farto added a bright gold eagle to the hood, together with reflective glass and two sawed off shotguns.

He uniformed himself. He wore a shocking pink uniform, rose colored glasses, and a generous helping of gold jewelry.

Farto was on the way! His new career took off! Drug dealer!

Ssles and deliveries were made from El Jefe. The drugs secreted in McDonald lunch bags and pizza boxes.

Dealing drugs did not interfere with Farto continuing his regular job as Fire Chief.

The operation expanded. Thirty some odd fellow Key West citizens became involved. None, including Farto, were Mafia types. They merely happened upon an easy way to make money and said why not. Never seriously considering the consequences.

Federal authorities became aware. No one sure how. The flamboyant manner in which Farto was doing business? Someone squealed? The answer not known.

There was a massive arrest by authorities. Thirty in all. Farto included. Referred to as the Big Bubba Bust.

The timing had one inconvenient factor. Key West’s primary bail bondsman was among those arrested. The only other bondsman was out of town on vacation.

Who was going to bail these good citizens of Key West out of jail?

The bonding company Bankers Casualty Insurance Company became involved. Probably because they did not want to lose all the money they could make bonding thirty good and true men out of jail. The Company arranged for the release of the bondsman who in turn bailed out the remaining 29 defendants.

The best is yet to come.

To be continued…..

ICE is going to become well known to the American people. Some have begun referring to ICE as Trump’s private army. A scary thought.

My immediate concern is where are the babies and girls? Yesterday, photos of some of the girls were shown. Where are they? Where are the babies? What is going on? Time to open the doors and let the media and public in. I fear something bad has occurred.

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. A monumental moment!

Color would no longer be an issue. Did not work out that way. Things are better. However, race still an issue in our country. Trump I suspect a racist.

We have a long way to go.

On this day in 1881, President James Garfield was shot. He died some 80 days later. His doctors killed him, not the assassin who shot him.

A few yeas ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the topic. I asked Sloan this morning to dig it out. If she finds it, I plan on running the column as tomorrow’s blog adding only a brief introduction.

The moment of truth is upon us. The truth re Trump’s use of tariffs to enhance the U.S. economically.

Yesterday, Canada began adding new tariffs totaling $12.6 billion on U.S. products. China begins friday when it will add new tariffs totaling $34 billion. U.S. soybean farmers are going to be hit big time. China’s tariffs are being imposed on the same day the U.S. is adding $34 billion on Chinese goods.

Harley-Davidson has already said it is moving a significant number of its production lines out of the U.S. because of the tariffs. Nine thousand jobs will be gone.

General Motors and Polaris warned in recent days that they may have to take certain of their businesses overseas.

The largest U.S. nail manufacturer, Mid-Continental Nail, announced it has laid off 60 employees already because of the tariffs. The Company further advised that if something is not done to correct the situation, it will be out of business by Labor Day.

Helicopter assisted escapes from jails becoming commonplace. Forty nine since 1971. Thirty successful, nineteen failed.

Yesterday at a jail outside Paris, Redoine Fain successfully escaped. A stolen helicopter landed inside jail walls, picked up Fain, and were up and away in less than a minute.

Since 1971, seven movies, a number of TV shows, and several books have been written re the “art” of jail helicopter escapes.

Tonight, one of my Key West favorites. Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. I find it relaxing to sit, have a couple of drinks, and sing along with the bartenders.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

POST SUMMIT THOUGHTS

I am addicted to politics and world events. I am paying for it this morning. I remained awake most of the night watching the Singapore Summit. Trump’s press conference was 4 am.

My first thought is I should have gone to sleep. I am dead! Laid in bed till 9. Here it is after 11 and I am just beginning the blog. Still have to prepare for tonight’s podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Be awake and sharp while I do the show.

What a day it’s going to be!

Talk is better than fury and fire. Trump and Kim agreed on nothing significant. The joint agreement said nothing. Denuclearization danced around.

However, the two met. They are now friends. Trump invited Kim to Washington. The world’s worst dictator has come front stage. They will engage in telephone chats. Things kumbaya. At least for a while.

Not enough for Trump to win the Nuclear Peace Prize. A meet and greet insufficient. A promise to denuclearize was required. The man who deserves the Prize is Moon Je, President of South Korea. He is the person who got the ball rolling resulting in the Summit.

One final thought. Trump was not ready. He has to prepare for these meetings. He requires a knowledgeable staff to guide him. Trump’s personality, good or bad, insufficient when it comes to the details.

So no misunderstanding exists, I consider the Summit a failure, except that now two leaders have come to know each other and will communicate.

Success may come re nuclear weapons. Down the road, however.

History tells us of a major success that began as a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1987. They were unable to agree on anything of importance. Nothing was signed. The Summit was considered a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev however began to talk informally. They now knew each other. Those talks paved the way to the eventual end of the Cold War and at that time the threat of nuclear war.

My KONK Life column several weeks ago was titled: I’m The President, Aren’t I?” Concerned Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall. In front of Brandenburg Gate.

Reagan and aides had worked on the speech for several weeks. Reagan wrote what he considered a strong line in the speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” His top advisers thought the sentence too strong. Wanted it out. It came out. Reagan would put it back in. This back and forth continued.

It was the morning of the speech. Reagan in a quandary. The line out. He still wanted it in.

He had a conversation with Deputy Chief of Staff Duberstein.

Reagan: I’m the President, aren’t I?

Duberstein: Yes, sir, Mr. President. We’re clear about that.

Reagan: So I get to decide whether the line about tearing the wall                       down stays in?

Duberstein: That’s right, sir. It’s your decision.

Reagan: Then it stays in.

A dramatic moment. I recall watching Reagan on TV. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Two and a half years later, the wall came down.

Big trees from little acorns grow. The Singapore Summit could result in good. Or, not. Time will tell. One thing certain. Trump and Kim must continue to talk if good is to be accomplished.

My podcast tonight. Join me. Nine o’clock.  A quick half hour of my ramblings, sharing thoughts, etc. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show must be good. Or at least, interesting. My numbers keep going up. The show has acquired national advertisers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

JEAN THORNTON RETURNS

Jean Thornton is back! Following a one month European trip with husband Joe.

Jean in Key West for three weeks. Joe back home in Birmingham working.

Ran into Jean last night at the Chart Room. She got in the day before. Took her four days to fly from Birmingham to Key West. Alberto to blame. She made it to Atlanta the first time only to return to Birmingham.

The European trip was grand. They saw everything. Interestingly, never tired.

Jean is the best! She was my hostess for 12 days when I was escaping Irma. She took in 7 evacuees and 3 dogs from Key West.

Jean is Key West famous. She is referred to as the Key West Golden Girl. Some years ago while diving with Mel Fisher, she came upon gold and emeralds. Changed her life!

Love you, Jean! Everyone in Key West does!

The Chart Room busy last night. John bartending. Sheila and Kevin at opposite ends of the bar. Dan and Stephanie came in. From Ohio. they have rented a condo in Key West for a month. We met last week. At the Chart Room, of course.

Tonight, Dan and Stephanie are having a Meet and Greet for candidate Greg Daniels in the courtyard of their residence at 619 Simonton Street. From 5:30-7:30. Drop in and say hello to Greg.

Jean introduced me to Adam. From England. A frequent Key West visitor over the years.

A quick trip to Publix following the Chart Room. Cupboard really  bare. Down to bottled water.

The Key West edition of the Florida Weekly selected Tom Luna as Bartender of the Week. The article refers to Tom as “Key West Royalty.” He is.

Tom has been a Key Wester for 30 years. Well loved by everyone. He is half of the Dueling Bartenders who perform monday nights at Aqua. The rest of the week he is tending bar at the Marker Resort.

I am always learning. Luna’s article revealed to me that Tom initially had been a ballet dancer. Trained and so educated. Performed professionally for years.

I am smiling as I type the following: It would be amusing to see Tom in tights today. He has put on a few pounds.

Alberto did do some damage to southwest Florida beaches. Alberto landed further north. However, the water was in turmoil all the way down to the Keys.

Affected on the beaches were turtle nests. Each containing many eggs. The nesting season began May 1. Some nests were washed away, others drowned in water.

Three brave guys. I refer to the three who kayaked from Cuba to Stock Island. In not the best of weather.

The three left Cuba 7:15 in the morning. An overnighter. They arrived on Stock Island 10:30 the next morning. The trip took 27 hours, 12 minutes, 30 seconds. A new record for solo rowing without stopping and resting.

The weather is getting better. Slowly. Still raining. Not as much. The sun sneaked  in a few times yesterday, but not for long. The day gray.

Weather reports tell us the sun will return for sunday and monday.

I love it when merchants check $100 and $20 bills. Too many counterfeits around. There was a time bills were not involved. Nickels were the big thing in the counterfeiting trade.

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Keys History section reported that on this day in 1890 counterfeit nickels were being passed in Key West.

The Trump/Kim Summit still on for June 12. Kim seems to be bending over backwards to make sure the Summit proceeds.

Stomach diplomacy involved.

Kim is aware of Trump’s love of the American fast burger. He wished he could have had the time to arrange for an American burger chain  to open in Pyongyang. As a “show of good will.”

Two things are certain. Without fail. Death and change.

Change upon us again. Sears announced early this morning it was closing 72 more stores. The list of stores will be posted later in the day.

The mighty fall. I can recall how unbelievable to me it was when years ago Eastern Airlines closed down. A major U.S. airline. How could it be, I thought.

The next major closing that blew me out was Montgomery Ward.

Change is the way of the world.

This week’s KONK Life is on the stands. Pick up a copy. My article this week one of the best I have written. Much research and thought into it. The column: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday.

Have to hustle. A late morning haircut with Lori.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRUMP MACHIAVELLIAN

On this day in 1469, the Italian political philosopher and writer Nicolo Machiavelli was born. Friend and foe at different times of Cesare Borgia and the Medici family.

Machiavelli most famous effort is The Prince. The book’s hero an amoral calculating tyrant for whom the end justified the means. A man who believed diabolical expediency was proper activity in the world of politics.

“Machiavellian” has come to be recognized as an action undertaken for gain without regard for right or wrong.

Is Trump Machiavellian? If the shoe fits, he should wear it.

I think it does.

A busy yesterday. Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Ran some errands. Picked up some groceries at Publix.

In my old age, grocery shopping has become an event. Run into friends, make new ones. I become increasingly knowledgeable regarding the increasing excessive cost for food. Some without sufficient means, cut back on their drugs. Others I am sure, food.

Spent a couple of hours last night at the Chart Room. My place! Good friends!

Last night John, Sheila, David, Holly and Kevin.

Kevin steadily recovering from his terrible scooter accident. Looks better. Extensive plastic surgery was required to his face. His skin smooth like a baby’s skin. His mental acuity better. A lucky man.

Kevin complimented his wife Holly extensively. His strength. How she was there for him all the time. I was happy for him.

In my lifetime, I have found many spouses are not helpful or do not stay around when the other is be felled by some adversity. I recall one wife who told me when her husband was into a long term non recoverable illness that she had not contracted for “this” when she married him. She divorced her husband.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice contained an interesting comment. Reflecting that things change with time.

There was an era when Key Westers wanted ships wrecked on a reef so they could profit from the ship’s cargo recovery. No mention at that time of reef damage.

Today, the profit in such an occurrence arises out of the damage to the reef, not its cargo.

I mentioned last week in this blog and on my podcast that Rudy Giuliani was over the hill as far as representing Trump was concerned. No insult intended to a once a distinguished professional. However, he had not seen the inside of a court room in 20 years.

I was correct. Look at the mess he made on Fox News last night.

On this day in 1946, Japanese War Crimes Trials began in Tokyo. Twenty eight military and governmental officials.

Tokyo was not the only place where Japanese war criminals were tried. The Japanese had committed heinous crimes through out most of Asia. Outside Japan itself, more than 5,000 were tried and found guilty of war crimes. Nine hundred executed.

The 5,000 needed defense counsel. Many U.S. attorneys heeded the call for assistance. One was Robert Miller.

I was fortunate in later years to have Miller as a Professor in  law school. I studied criminal law and evidence under him.

A sharp guy. Extremely intelligent. Benefited his students even more by tying his lectures occasionally into one of the war crime trials he had defended.

Busy day again. Haircut, lunch and a manicure. Who knows what tonight will bring.

Such a life!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LAST SUPPER…..MINE

I viewed last night’s dinner as my Last Supper. Till tomorrow night. Today, liquids only.

Tomorrow morning, a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I have had them before. The procedure nothing. Knocked out. The prep today the problem. You who have had the procedure understand. Those who have not, your time will come and you will understand.

I enjoyed lamb chops at Antonia’s. The lovely Nicolle bartending. As I think about it, I was enjoying lamb chops last monday at La Trattoria when it became necessary for Carrie the bartender to Heimlich me.

One of the reasons for the procedures tomorrow.

After Antonia’s, It was Publix. I had to buy various liquids to consume today. No food till tomorrow afternoon.

Prior to dinner, I stopped at Aqua. my usual monday evening haunt. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery great. My friend Liz sitting on the other side of the bar enjoying them also. Liz looked great! A new hairdo.

Due to the fun time I shall be enjoying today and tomorrow, some activities/events have been cancelled. My Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou podcast will not be aired this evening. Nor this blog and my Key West Lou Live video tomorrow morning.

Paraphrasing General Douglas MacArthur, I shall return thursday.

Big Pine is 30 miles up the road. North on US 1. Got killed by Irma. Still recovering. Many yet homeless.

Sunday another disaster befell its residents. A raging wildfire. Still burning yesterday. Thought to be under control, but will not be sure until today runs its course.

Smoke covering the Key.

Local, state and federal forestry personnel battling the flames. Fire crews brought in from all the agencies. Including a helicopter which dropped 500 gallons of water at a time.

As of last night, 100 acres already burned. Strong winds encouraged the fire. Dried vegetation left over from Irma fueled it.

A tough fire to fight. The firefighters would put out one area only to find another had begun elsewhere.

Fortunately, losses limited to one house and one garage. No lives.

William Hackley became a part of our lives 2 years ago. Hackley lived and worked in Key West prior to the Civil War. He kept a diary. The Key West Citizen found portions of it and has been reporting Hackley’s life on a daily basis.

I have read 99 percent of the articles. Hackley is moving. Leaving Key West. He has been packing for a couple of weeks. Somewhere along the way, I must have missed a diary entry. I do not know why he is moving.

While in Key West, Hackley and his family enjoyed the life of the well to do. Hackley an attorney holding various positions.

I did a little digging and came up with Hackley’s life after leaving Key West. Only 10 years. He died during a yellow fever epidemic while living in Memphis in 1867.

Hackley left Key West in 1857. Settled in Joliet, Illinois for 6 years. Ran into financial difficulties. Moved to Memphis, Tennessee.

From 1863-1865, Hackley worked as a special agent for the US Treasury and as a cotton agent. In 1865, he became a special agent of the Treasury Department responsible for gathering cotton which had belonged to the Confederate States in Mississippi.

A yellow fever epidemic of great proportion struck in 1867. Hackley infected. He died in Memphis from yellow fever in 1867.

Trump making noises about immigration again. The “caravan” immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala trying to reach the United States. Most seek asylum. They have the necessary paperwork prepared for presentation to US officials at a border point.

Trump announced in recent days that the “caravan” was reaching the Tijuana crossing into the United States. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to deny them entry.

Typical of Trump, he made it sound like barbarians were at the gate.

Not so.

The initial group leaving Honduras and Guatemala totaled 1,200. Families, many with children and babies. All walking.

The group reaching Tijuana 50. A handful. With papers.

Trump is going to deny them entry without even a proper review of their papers. Some or all just might qualify for entry.

Trump is a big man physically and a big man in every other respect. A giant. He is beating up little people.

Enjoy your day!

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