GOOMBAY FRIDAY NIGHT

It’s that time of year! Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Thousands of visitors. Ten days of fun!

Goombay first. Friday and saturday. Then a week of Fantasy Fest.

Goombay a family thing. A street festival. Reminds me of the Italian feasts. Except the food is different. Everything with a Bahamian, Latino, Cuban, Central American flavor.

Held on Petronia Street in Bahama Village.

Sunday begins Fantasy Fest. Adult! No kids! Bare breasts and sometimes other parts of the body. Mostly female, some male.

Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. We are having dinner together tonight. Meeting at the Chart Room. Then I don’t know where for dinner.

Tom and Fran smart. They arrived monday night, leave friday morning. They are getting out of Dodge before the madness begins.

After 20 years of Fantasy Fests, some sort have had it! Did one, did them all!

A new bartender at the Chart Room. John still there. However, his days have been changed.

The new bartender Tammy. She works tonight. Can’t wait to meet the lady. Her regular job is on the roof of the Bull bartending. The infamous Garden of Eden. A place where people go bare ass all times of the day and night. Especially this coming week. Tourists consider it a deviant place. The roof will be packed.

A strange thing happened yesterday in San Juan. The offices of Mayor Carmen Yulin were raided by the FBI. She is the woman who stood up to Trump for failing to do enough for the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Yulin’s offices are also described as San Juan’s municipal offices.

An FBI spokesman said more than 10 and less than 50 agents were involved. Sounds like a big deal. Why the secrecy as to the number of agents?

The spokesman added the FBI were investigating “fixing contracts, falsifying documents…..having to do with federal funds.”

It was reported members of City government were targeted, not the Mayor herself. The Mayor pledged full cooperation.

I have a concern. Hope I am wrong. In reality, is this retaliation or retribution against the Mayor for having stood up to Trump?

Trump has ruthlessly beat up the FBI. They went strictly by the book during the Kavanaugh investigation. However, I thought they could have investigated further than they did. Now a strong heroic woman has her public office investigated. Bothers me. Hope it is on the up and up.

The FBI has always been an above board professional organization. However with the ruthless beating it has been taking the past several months, I wonder if they sort have given in a bit in opposing the President in some circumstances.

Canada has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Became legal at midnight last night. An individual can legally carry up to 30 grams. A bit more than 1 ounce. An ounce is 28.3495 grams. The statute has rounded it off to 30 grams.

Uruguay is the only other country to have legalized recreational marijuana.

The Canadian government is giving serious consideration to going a step further. Consideration is being given to issuing pardons to all convicted for possession of 30 grams.

It has been 15 days since Jamal Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered. Saudis can be cruel.

It is obvious Trump is trying to cover Saudi Arabia’s ass to some extent. A bad move. Not consistent with American character and sense of right.

Saudi Arabia considers itself untouchable due to oil and money. The U.S. does business with them. Big time. The Saudis consider the U.S. friends.

Friends like the Saudis the U.S. does not need. Never forget they gave us $4 a gallon gasoline and most of the 9/11 culprits were Saudi citizens.

The Saudis have strange ways of getting rid of bodies. They must give significant thought to the how.

In 1956, Nasir As-Sa’id fled Saudi Arabia fearing for his life. A writer, also. In 1979, he was kidnapped on a crowded Beirut Street. Then taken to the Saudi embassy where he was tortured and killed.

No dismemberment for As-Sa’id. Rather his body thrown out of a plane over Saudi Arabia’s “empty quarter desert.”

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) a strange bird.

Last week, students were protesting. One asked him a question and held his cell phone up to record the Senator’s answer. The Senator “ripped” the phone from the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office later reported it was an error of judgment on the Senator’s part.

He has compared Trump to Winston Churchill. Would you believe! He said Trump may “not be a choir boy, but he is a man of history.”

Last month during the Kavanaugh hearings, Perdue referred to the protesters as “Nazis.”

Then there is Obama. Republican hatred for Obama runs deep. The Senator was speaking at a Facts and Freedom Coalition in June. Re Obama, he said let his days be few. Apparently a religious fanatic, he relied on Psalm 109:8…..”Let his days be few.”

Syracuse/UNC saturday. Syracuse a 10 point favorite. Hope the ‘Cuse returns to its winning ways.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

COMCAST DOWN AGAIN

The bigger Comcast gets, the poorer its service. Service in the Keys. Failed again yesterday. Internet, e-mail and television. From 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Failure of service has become a consistent pattern.

Comcast has become too big for its britches. In recent years, it purchased NBC. The company probably spends more time and is more concerned about big time NBC rather than Comcast. The Comcast I assume helped finance NBC’s purchase.

As a result of the service failure, I was not able to get the blog out. My apologies, even though not my fault.

I learned a lesson yesterday. Louis cannot live without internet and TV. I read a bit. Never the less, it was a long boring day.

Last night however made up for the day’s earlier frustrations. Partied at Andrea and Joe’s.

Donna, Terri and I were to stop by for drinks and then out to dinner. Never left Donna and Joe’s. My second Key West Julia Child had laid out a table of pickies that the best restaurant could not have topped. Everything from small pieces of meat to shrimp to dips to breads.

At one point, Andrea, Joe and I stepped outside for a cigarette. I know. Bad. While we were standing there, a car drove up. The woman in the passenger seat leaned out and started talking. It was mayoral candidate Teri Johnston.

She was campaigning. Brilliant, I thought! Teri lost the primary by one point. She failed to reach the 50 percent required to avoid a run off. Her opponent received 24 percent of the vote.

Instead of resting home secure that she would probably win in November with these numbers, Teri was out campaigning.

Andrea mentioned that Donna and Terri were inside. Teri is good friends with them. She came in.

The girls hugged and kissed. A happy mood prevailed. One of Teri’s workers walked in with a video camera. Teri, Donna and Terri were videoed while Terri was belting out a song.

Teri then left for her next stop. Another person or persons standing outside their home. By car. Smart campaigning.

Wednesday night was the Blue Macaw. Terri singing with Larry Baeder. For the first time as a paid performer at Blue Macaw. She now has a regular wednesday night gig.

Place packed. Everyone there.

Ran into Stephanie and Angie who I had met the night before.

Stephanie a daytime bartender for 17 years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like hogs breath! Knows my friend George who also has bartended there for years.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts across the street. A smart shop. Exquisitely designed jewelry available.

Matthew McConaughey stopped into Crystals and Coconuts when he was filming in Key West a few months ago. A picture of the star and Angie appears on the internet of McConaughey purchasing a necklace for his daughter.

Irma had an impact on Key West in more than one way. I have lost my fourth couple friends because of Irma. Kentucky’s David and Marilyn. I received an e-mail from David advising they had sold their home around the corner from Santiago’s Bodega and returned to Kentucky.

I assume the fear of another impending storm. Scares the hell out of you. No question. I know.

David was a writer and basketball fan. I shall miss him.

Florence doing its thing. Rains and flooding big time. Two or three more days to go. Irma causes me to worry about these people.

Trump says he is ready for Florence. I hope so. I fear another Puerto Rico, however. Florence is big. The aftermath bigger. Excuses will not fly if there is failure. I expect there will be.

Does Trump know what he is doing?

The number of detained immigrant children has skyrocketed. From 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 this month. Causes alleged involve a reduction in release time, the number straining the children and system, and the fact that most of the children crossed the border without parents.

The last item portraying how desperate parents are to be sure their children will be safe and find a better way of life.

In the meantime, it was announced this week that Trump wants to pay Mexico $20 million to assist in resolving U.S. border problems. The Trump administration sent a Notice to Congress that it requires the $20 million in order to pay Mexico the cost of plane and bus tickets to return unauthorized immigrants in Mexico who are on their way to the U.S. The tickets are to return them home, not to the U.S.

Seventeen thousand unauthorized immigrants involved.

I have to hand it to Trump. He knows how to piss money away. Twenty five million for the wall, $20 million for plane and bus tickets.

I will be surprised if Congress gives him the money.

Syracuse/Florida State tomorrow. A Syracuse win will indicate the direction the season is taking. Florida State a 3 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I FELL ASLEEP

Tuesday night at 9 is my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spend all day tuesday preparing for the show. Never leave the house.

Everything was ready to go at 8. Everything hooked up, notes on the desk, etc. Needed only 30 seconds to make everything operational.

I laid on my bed to watch TV till show time. Fell asleep!!! A no no!!!

Woke and Rachel Maddow was on. Her show starts at 9. It was 9:02. Rushed to my office, did the necessary, and was on the air 3 minutes late.

I was still half asleep. The first few minutes were a disaster. Even got a coughing jag.

I have not looked at the finished product. Some will write me today and tell me how it came out, ask what was wrong, etc.

Florence is bothering me mentally. I attribute the problem to Irma. Amazing!

Spent 60 percent of the show discussing hurricanes. Florence, Maria and the Labor Day 1935 Hurricane.

Trump had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico yesterday. Trump said Puerto Rico was the “best” job the U.S. did. Described the help provided as fantastic. Closed with the assistance provided as “an incredible unsung success.”

What does he smoke?

Trump deludes himself. Puerto Rico a failure if there ever was one. Almost 3,000 dead as a result.

I buy the President is not mentally stable.

Re Florence, he says we’re ready. FEMA ready. A good job will be done. I hope so. However, I am willing to bet he will blow it here also. No one at Trump or FEMA’s level seems to understand what is coming. The devastation Florence will wrought.

Florence is a monster racing to the coast. The Carolinas in danger. Perhaps even Georgia. Hurricanes are fickle. All wind is fickle. Some experts believe Florence could turn left, move south, and not make landfall till it hits Georgia.

Whatever, rain will be torrential. Twenty inches or more. Surges 18-20 feet. Flood waters estimated at 4 feet.

The Carolinas have not been subjected to such a storm since some time in the 1950’s. I read somewhere that Eisenhower was President and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were newlyweds at the time.

My car is sick. Does not start immediately. At the garage. Not the battery or starter. Mechanic thinks it is the ignition.

The car a Volkswagen Beetle. Ten years old. Only 40,000 miles. Should be good for another 10. However, the past two years it has been costing me money. One thing after another.

Terri sings tonight at Blue Macaw. Larry and Terri. A big event. First time she will be paid by Blue Macaw. Beginning this evening, every wednesday a paid performance.

My working lady!

The Southwest Point. A very popular tourist stop. Purportedly the most southernmost point in the U.S. Not really, but accepted as such.

Tourists line up a hundred at a time by day to stand in front of the red, yellow and blue monument. They wait in line so their pictures can be taken standing in front of the monument.

When I finish my night at Blue Macaw, my way home takes me past the monument. Ten at night, there are still people waiting in line to take a picture. Not many. Ten to twenty. Interesting. Definitely a popular tourist attraction.

Pythons a non-resolvable problem for Florida. The State waited too long to deal with them. Now estimated to be more than 1 million. Present goal is to contain the pythons, not eradicate them.

The State periodically runs eradication programs. Hunt down pythons and kill them! Not very successful.

The Irula tribe are born and raised in India. Their specialty is killing poisonous snakes. Male children are taught how to do so beginning at age 3.

They are in Florida now at the invitation of the State. To hunt and kill pythons. I am unaware as to what they are being paid.

The federal government was severely criticized in 1935 following the Labor Day hurricane in the mid Keys. A category 5. Close to 700 World War I veterans were sent to work on U.S. 1. Lived in tents, etc. The hurricane killed 485, most of whom were veteran workers.

The criticism levied against the government was for sending workers into the Keys during hurricane season. Turned out Washington was not cognizant of hurricanes or their season.

A somewhat similar situation occurred recently.

This is hurricane season. Florence on the way. Unquestionably a biggie! This summer Homeland Security took $10 million from its hurricane budget and transferred the money to ICE. ICE was in need of additional funding for immigrant detention and deportation.

Another Trump administration screw up! After Florence departs, Trump will be crying how much money the government needs to help Florence victims and how it does not have enough.

Washington values are misplaced.

Enjoy your day!

 

HURRICANE TIME

A storm was heading for the Keys yesterday. Not strong enough to be named. Got strong overnight. Named. Gordon.

Gordon made a lot of noise last night as it passed over Key West. Woke me a couple of times. Thunder and lightning big time. The lightning coming through the blinds and lighting up the bedroom. Heavy rain, of course.

Winds 45 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Gordon hit land in the upper Keys. As a tropical storm. It is now in the Gulf. Heading for Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Anticipated that when it hits one of these areas, Gordon will be a category 1 hurricane.

The impact of last year’s September hurricanes still with us. Cudjoe to Marathon still recovering from Irma. Many remain homeless.  Food a problem. Debris still be removed.

The Boca Chica Naval Station beginning its second phase of repairs. A $22 million restoration. Expected to be complete by February 2020.

Puerto Rico took two hits last September. First, Irma. Then, Maria. Puerto Rico remains desperate. A forgotten island.

I blame Trump for Puerto Rico’s condition. He turned his back on the island. Even though Americans. Last wednesday Trump said, “I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico.”

What is he smoking?

Key West’s Womenfest begins tomorrow. Runs through September 9. A major event. Thousands of women will arrive from all over the world. The lesbian community and their friends take over the town. Fun time!

The ladies play Flag Football. Practice is friday at Bayview Park. Saturday the big game. Claimed to be a “friendship game.” Watch them play!

I periodically write and speak of iguanas and pythons. Both populations out of hand. The State waited too long to deal with their invasions. Now permanent Florida residents. The government can only contain, not eradicate.

Lizards have entered the picture. I wrote about them recently. They are here and becoming a problem. I hope the State will get into eradication now rather than tomorrow. Tomorrow will be too late.

A seven foot 150 pound lizard took up residence in a family’s back yard somewhere in mid Florida last week. Refuses to leave. Thus far has escaped capture.

Officials still trying to capture the lizard. The homeowners were told not to be concerned. The lizard was of a type not dangerous to humans.

Alligators becoming a problem also. Attacks in Florida on the rise. From 1988-1999, one attack every 3 years. From 2000-2019, 6 per year.

Planet of the Apes on the way. The only difference the nature of the beasts. This time, the reptiles.

The Kavanaugh hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on TV at the moment. Has been running since 10. Now 11:30. A war! Democrats screaming for fairness and more time. Republicans know they have voting control sitting back letting the Democrats vent.

Nothing more can be said regarding John McCain. Last week he was praised in every possible fashion. The man a true American, a true American hero. Words will quiet down. His memory not. He will remain with us for generations to come.

Meghan McCain’s words will frequently be recalled and repeated: “The America of John McCain does not need to be make America great again, because America was always great.”

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. recently completed a study re the economy. The results of the study clearly established Trump’s “Greatest Economy Ever” is not. The American dream has vanished.

A great number of the American people are struggling with debt and lack of savings. Eighty percent define “American dream” to be financial security and owning a home. More than half believe it is unattainable. The white picket fence gone. The American dream evaporated.

And yet Trump frequently tells us the U.S. is experiencing the greatest economy ever. Ninety percent of the people do not believe it. The man lives in a dream world.

Enjoy your day!

83rd BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY’S NEWS

My 83rd birthday came and went too soon. Hopefully, I will be here to celebrate my 84th next year. Sounds foreboding. There is always a concern at this age.

A nice day.

The many Happy Birthdays received appreciated. The internet a wonderful thing. Keeps us connected and remembering each other.

Lisa and family woke me early. All on the phone singing Happy Birthday Poppa! A good way to begin the day.

Celebration time not over. I am having dinner with Lisa and the family tonight. By special request, my cake will be white with chocolate frosting.

Last night, Donna and Terri took me to dinner. We celebrated at Tavern ‘n Town. George and Artie were with us. A good time.

It was still early when dinner ended. Decided to stop at the Chart Room for a drink. Glad I did. Ran into Dorothy Downs. We talked quite a while.

Dorothy’s husband Maurice passed on last year. He was a Miami orthodontist. They had homes in Miami and Key West.

In previous meetings, we never chatted more than five minutes. Last night, quite a while. Turned out to be fortuitous. Dorothy discovered I was a nice guy. She told me she always thought I was arrogant. I probably was. Time softens us.

Several times yesterday, I heard people talk about the new hurricane on its way. Beryl.

I can see concern is going to set in early this hurricane season. Irma left people with a touch of fear.

Beryl is not coming anywhere near Key West. It has been described by the weather folk as a tiny one. About 1,000 miles south of the Lesser Antilles. It may run over Puerto Rico. Should not be a problem. Predicted to be winds of 40 mph at that time.

This morning’s Key West Citizen notes in its Keys History section that the John Kennedy World War II movie PT-109 was being filmed at Munson Island. Cliff Robertson played the title role.

Let me add some additional local color. Munson Island is today known as Little Palm Island. One of the world’s most famous and expensive resorts. It was wiped out by Irma and is still under reconstruction. It will return!

The island at the time was owned by John Spottswood. A Key West legendary figure. Sheriff and State Senator for many years.

President Kennedy was in Key West checking out fortifications during the Cuban missile crisis. Spottswood accompanied him. They were already friends. Hollywood had decided to do the movie. A search for a location was underway. Spottswood suggested Munson Island. The rest is history.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt finally resigned. About time. He probably contributed to the swamp condition more than any other Trump appointee.

The man replacing him not much better. Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist. He spent much time working for Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla). Inhofe denies climate change. Refuses to accept it exists.

Trump has appointed another winner!

The blind cannot see. Or if sight is possible, then as Forrest Gump   was wont to say…..stupid is as stupid does. I refer to the tariff war with China. Should not be. The irresponsible brain child of Donald Trump.

In one year’s time or less, two major U.S. industries will take a big hit economically. Jobs lost big time. Soybeans and lobsters.

The U.S. is the biggest supplier of soybeans to China. Several farm States depend on selling their soybeans to China. China’s attitude is don’t screw with us. China is already entering into agreements to purchase soybeans from Brazil.

China is a major importer of U.S. lobsters. Multi-millions of dollars involved. Maine and Florida lobsters. The lobster industry will be destroyed. This includes Florida’s spiny lobsters. Many are fished off the Keys.

I have said this before and repeat it again. Recall when Hoover became President. The stock market was at an all time high. Booming. Hoover for some unfathomable reason decided the U.S. should impose tariffs with regard to certain countries. Within one year, the Great Depression of 1929 was upon us.

Expect no less from what Trump has initiated.

Water is sacred. Not enough. Insufficient concern unfortunately. The U.S. must watch how it uses its water.

Recall several years ago California. Bottled water companies were buying municipal water big time. The companies got a break cost wise because they were buying in bulk. Homeowners paid a hell of a lot more for water than the bottled water companies per unit.

Governor Brown has been working on the problem.

Today, the problem has reared its ugly head in Chiapas, Mexico. Coca Cola the culprit. Coca Cola bottles and sells water.

Wells are the primary source for water. Homeowners dig down only so far. Accustomed to getting all the water they needed. Coca Cola comes in and digs wells deeper. Significantly deeper. Cause the homeowner wells to go dry.

Coca Cola’s bottled water has now become the water supply for homeowners.

The following sickening. Occurred in a Houston school. Twenty two sixth grade girls were in a music class. Fifty dollars was missing. School administrative officers were called in. A resource officer, also.

The resource officer said, “Girls like to hide things in their bras and panties.”

A strip search followed. Each girl was separately taken into  a bathroom with a nurse. The nurse checked around the panty waistbands, loosened bras, and lifted the girl’s shirts so that the young ladies were exposed shoulder to waist.

Parents were never called for permission. Some of the girls asked to call their mothers first and were denied permission.

What possessed the principal. assistant principal, nurse and resource officer is beyond me. Some things your gut tells you cannot be done.

The girls sued. The court threw out their case. Said the facts did not permit a lawsuit. An appellate court decided otherwise this week. Ok to sue the bastards! Not reported in such indelicate language, of course.

My KONK Life column is on the street. This weeks title: Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries. Irma got me into hurricanes with both feet.

BOB says you must wait another day.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TARIFF WAR WITH CHINA BAD FOR U.S.

Respectfully, most things started by Trump end up being disasters. The immigrant children the most recent. Soon to come, a tariff war with China.

If the war proceeds as presently described, a disaster for the U.S.

Nine States each exported more than $1 billion worth of tariff eligible goods to China in 2017. Five of the States red politically.

All nine States will take a big time beating.

By some time in 2019 (next year), unemployed will increase to 6 million. In 2020, unemployed will be at 8.6 percent.

If the numbers are correct, the U.S. will be plunged into a recession. The world will soon follow.

My yesterday, a lazy one. I did not feel that great. Did some research for next week’s KONK Life column, watched some TV, and napped. Did not go out last night.

The KONK column will be about sand. Sand, today. As with water, failing supplies. Sand has become gold.

Hard to believe. True, however.

BOB reported that in the 1990’s, a live mine was found floating in the Marquesas. The Marquesas a few miles west of the Keys. The mine was a model MK6 left over from World War II. Three feet in diameter and covered in barnacles.

During World War II, German U-boats were regularly in the waters off the Keys. The U.S. Navy set out 4,328 MK6 mines.

Following the War, 2,316 were accounted for.

BOB wanted to know what happened to the rest.

The mine discovered was live. The remaining 2,000 plus unaccounted for would still be alive, even today. There were no “off” switches after a period of time on mines then as there are today.

Again, BOB curious. What happened to the other 2,000 mines?

BOB also reported a Duval Street robbery. From an adult store. A full sized anatomically correct female blow up doll with a built in vibrator. Obviously, a straight guy.

This blog goes out over at least a dozen sites. One is WordPress. Comments are fiery. My blog provides many with a place to vent.

Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria still discussed. Patrick against several others. The issue concerning help/no help for Puerto Rico to this day. I mentioned months ago Patrick was wrong. He persists in his position. Repeatedly gets knocked down.

Months after Maria and still arguing.

My undergrad school was Manhattan College. The Jasper Jottings blog recently shared a story how some present day Manhattan students did their small part in helping Puerto Rico.

Worthy of sharing with you.

A small group of engineering students and a professor went to Puerto Rico 3/9-3/12. To Colegio De La Salle in Anasco. A La Sallian grade school, kindergarten through 12th grade. With only intermittent power. Without clean water.

The students designed a Water and Solar Power Project. Cheap and easy to construct. The next step, someone has to build it. Puerto Ricans themselves or perhaps the students will return.

The purpose of the story. Puerto Rico still in desperate need of assistance. Even a little help is a lot. Helping hands required to fill in where Trump/the U.S. have failed our fellow citizens.

The confinement/detention centers for the immigrant children receiving continual discussion. One person recently said, “A prison is a prison is a prison, whether we want to call them nice euphemisms…..If people aren’t allowed to leave, then its imprisonment, and so we need to be clear about that.”

My concern about the babies grows with each passing day. Why no photos of them or visits to them? I pray this is not a further tragedy in the making.

A side point of interest. The CEO of the largest private non-profit caring for the children is paid $1.5 million a year.

Dinner with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri tonight at Hurricane Hole. I have not seen the ladies in two weeks. They are packing day and night preparatory to moving by the end of the month.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

ERIKA BIDDLE…..A MOST INTERESTING WOMAN

The plan was to meet Jean Thornton at Dueling Bartenders last night. Bobby Nesbitt the scheduled guest performer. Found Jean at the bar seated next to Erika Biddle.

I probably have run into Erika no more than five times over the years. She is unique. The woman has tasted much of life. Both good and bad.

Erika was born in Germany in the years immediate following World War II. Though having avoided the war itself, she remembers clearly the destroyed cities, the debris, etc. waiting for reconstruction. Recovery was slow.

She recalls going without food. The lack of food experience was evident later in the evening when we dined at Antonia’s. I never saw a plate so clean at the end of a meal.

Erika came to Key West in 1994 after living in several cities around the world. She was immediately aware Key West was for her. She once said regarding Key West, ” This was the only city I ever visited where I’m not the most eccentric person around. Here I’m the normal one.”

Her eccentricity best reflected in a nudie calendar venture she put together. An avid environmentalist, Erika came up with a way to raise money for environmental purposes.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once mentioned something to the effect that the environmental cause was best reflected by a nude woman. Soon after, an English movie came out where a bunch of elderly English women needing money for a charity did a nudie calendar of themselves.

Erika was emboldened. She convinced 15 Key West ladies to agree posing for a nudie calendar. Titled: Women Sustaining the Earth. The women between 44 and 78 years of age. All lovely. The calendar tastefully done.

Sold well!

Erika’s life or parts thereof great book material.

It rained for 2 hours early in the afternoon. Big time! Roaring thunder! Brought to mind Zeus, ancient Greece’s sky and thunder god. King of Mount Olympus.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person a humorist.  Yesterday’s prediction: Mostly cloudy, a shower; free car wash. The shower could have been better described. It was a monsoon! The “free car wash” right on. My car shiny bright after the sun dried it off.

I am ahead of the game time wise re my next KONK Life column. This week’s already done and at the printers. It is titled Sit At Attention Or Die. A bit of Kim/Trump. It is the article for a week from tomorrow that I was working on.

A change of pace topic. Felt compelled to get away from Trump. Environmental. About sand. As with water, in short supply world wide. Hard to believe.

Sand is the new gold.

I read yesterday that recent wind storms have affected Florida’s sandy beaches drastically. The sand loss described as Gone With The Wind.

An interesting article in the making.

The music at Dueling Bartenders the best. Always is. Bobby, Tom Luna and Rick Dery made the walls shake.

Bobby recently married Mike Mulligan. They had lived together 37 years. About time! In honor of the nuptials, Bobby sang I’m Getting Married In The Morning from My Fair Lady.

Jean, Erika and Louis walked over to Antonia’s for dinner. Jean and Erika interesting women. I enjoyed being with them.

Diseases come and go. Initially death causing and then man finds the pill/shot making it possible to avoid the sickness.

Yellow fever was a major killer in the mid 1800’s. The Citizen’s Keys History section mentioned that on this date in 1865, the vessel Adventure arrived in Key West in distress. Four crew members had yellow fever. The four were taken to the Marine Hospital.

The yellow fever spread from the four to Army troops stationed in Key West. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died. The number of civilians infected and dead not recorded.

A thought. Mull it. Conservative Americans are all about family – unless the family has darker skin and is from another country.

Child abuse in the news constantly these days. The immigrant children taken from parents. The abuse takes other forms and occurs on a smaller scale around the country.

An undocumented mother lives in San Antonio with her 4 year old daughter. A San Antonio Sheriff deputy was having sex with the four year old. Apparently on a regular basis.

The four year old told her mother over the weekend. The mother confronted the officer. He did not deny. He made it clear however that if she told anyone, she would be deported.

Fearing the police, the mother went to a fire station and told the fire officers what was going on. The deputy was arrested yesterday.

What is occurring on the border sick. What happened to this four year old equally sick.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine sharp. A quick half hour of me pontificating about anything that tickles my interest. Provocative. Eye opening. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

CHE A NO SHOW

Several of us were at the Chart Room at 5 yesterday to visit with Che. An old friend, Chart Room cohort, one who has an empty hole in the bar awaiting his ashes, a first class debater in any friendly argument, a man soon to be 84.

The meeting had been arranged by Jean Thornton. Che has become a recluse in recent months. His health failing. He would not open his door if someone knocked. We wanted to visit with him.

No Che. Failed to appear. Probably decided he simply did not want to do it. No problem. Che has earned the right to call them as he sees them.

We sat at the round table and enjoyed ourselves. Jean, David, Cori, Nic, Captain Frank, Valerie, Lisa, and Louis. Later, Quincy Perkins showed up.

Jean made a batch of deviled eggs and brought them for all to enjoy.

Later, Jean and I had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Sheila bartending.

Jean and I are a match. We get along well. I consider her a benefactor. Escaped Irma by staying at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

The Ocean Key House pier was severely damaged by Irma. The contractor waited six months to get back to Ocean Key that he could not do the job for the price bid. Another company has stepped in. They are swiftly working. A huge crane, huge wood posts, etc. I understand the entire pier is going to be redone in concrete.

My sunday afternoon was spent writing this week’s KONK Life column. Sit At Attention Or Die. A Kim/Trump tale. Mostly, Kim. It hits the stands wednesday evening.

The article was well researched and wrote swiftly. I had time left over. Skimmed the internet a bit to determine what the following week’s article will be.

Came up with the subject! Sand! The world is running out of sand. A black market has developed. I did some preliminary research. Interesting.

What a difference 100 years make! Price of Key West Hotel rooms.

In 1914, the Panama Hotel was located at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. A new hotel. Running water in each room. A big deal! Rates $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00.

A sad situation. Paul Donnelly was the Key West Citizen Controller. In a management restructuring in March, Paul was one of the those let go.

Paul got in trouble last thursday in Plainview, Michigan. He robbed a bank. Walked up to a teller, handed her a note saying this is a robbery and my bag contains a bomb.

Paul walked out with $4,700. Eight hours later, he was arrested without incident.

Paul was in Plainview visiting relatives. The relatives claim Paul was suicidal, the bank robbery a call for help, he was fighting alcoholism, the sudden loss of his job had affected him, and he had recurring problems from a brain tumor.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life article re Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The Waterloo battle was waged this day in 1815.

I discovered in my research at the time that the popular reason for Napoleon’s defeat was not correct. It was not the genius of the Duke of Wellington, though his military prowess probably did make some contribution.

Napoleon had hemorrhoids. They were extremely painful the night before. He doped himself with some narcotic that evening and in the late morning when he woke to kill the pain. He overslept. Did not get to the battlefield till just before noon. The battle had started in the early morning.

He could not sit comfortably on his horse. As a result, he did not move around the battlefield to personally view and assess conditions.

The battle was lost early evening.

My research clearly indicated it was the hemorrhoids that did him in.

The immigration children problem disturbs me as it must most of you. Children separated from parents. Sort of a Sophie’s choice, though not as final.

Totally un-American. Not what good people do. I am ashamed my country is doing this.

The problem has to be resolved like yesterday. Realistically, by the end of this week.

How would Trump have felt if his three oldest when young were taken from him and his wife in a fashion similar to what is occurring at the borders? Or, Barron today?

Cock fighting in the lower Keys was a big deal back when. Perhaps even today. I recall a few years ago a group was arrested for involvement with cock fighting.

BOB reports British Peter had a cock fighting experience.

The time would have been the mid 1990’s. Peter was driving cab for a living. New to the job. Got a call asking if he would go to Rockland Key to pick up a fare. Peter jumped at the chance. The fare $17 plus tip.

He picked up 3 young boys each with a paper bag on a side road off US 1. They asked to be taken to Bahama Village. Made sure they had money to pay. Started up and reached the intersection with US 1.

All of a sudden, a huge truck was behind the cab. Lights glaring, horn blowing, and the driver waving out the window. Peter had no idea what was going on. He immediately called for help. The Sheriff’s Department arrived in 2 minutes.

The guy in the tuck ran to the cab. The boys jumped out and ran onto US 1 emptying their bags as they ran. They assumed the chickens would run into the woods. Not so. The chickens were fighters. They engaged in a mammoth cock fight on US 1 in front of the Sheriff Deputies.

The guy in the truck was arrested. The kids taken into custody. The chickens collected.

A problem arose. The Sheriff/County had no place to keep the chickens pending trial. Evidence. They solved the problem in Key West fashion. The chickens were turned over to the now defendant truck driver who they assumed knew how to safeguard them.

BOB does not tell  us how the case ended. Was there a trial? Were the chickens produced? I doubt it. These chickens were lucky if they saw the light of day following the incident.

The situation bothered Peter. He put a sign in his cab: No Rockland County trips, no Rockland County residents.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BRITISH PETER

Bob Smith shares the Key West of the 1990’s in his book BOB. One character of that time and still alive is Peter. Commonly known as British Peter.

I was fortunate to know Peter. As many today who still enjoy the Chart Room. It was the Chart Room where we all met and became friends.

Peter was British through and through. Appearance wise, tall, thin, with a white mustache. His accent decidedly British. His demeanor conservative. BOB says “a more polite and erudite fellow you will never meet.”

Peter for many years lived on a sailboat. Moored it 2 miles out into the Gulf. Used a dingy to go back and forth. One night, Peter had a bit too much to drink. A moonless evening. He went out to return to his sailboat.

He left the dingy when he thought he was at his boat. He was not. Dingy floated away. Peter floating. Had to find the boat or die. He swam around a while and fortunately bumped into his boat.

Another Peter tale involves his world travels. He was somewhere in the Pacific off a small island on a sailboat. Pirates came upon him in the dark of night intending to rob and perhaps kill him.

Peter no slouch. Always prepared. He shot and killed one of the pirates before leaping off his boat and swimming to shore. As Peter tells the story, he fully anticipated the pirates to find him the next day and kill him for having killed one of their own.

Peter was off the island as dawn broke.

BOB talks about Bob running into the Peter at the West Indies Lounge on one occasion. I do not recall the place nor could I find it on the internet. However, I am sure it was den of inequity with Peter and Bob observing, not participating.

Peter no longer with us in Key  West. He had inherited a home in the State of Washington years ago. Five years ago, he decided to move to the home and spend the rest of his days there. Peter has returned at least 3 times over the years to visit.

BOB shares another Peter story. One involving Rockland Key and cock fighting chickens. Saved for tomorrow.

One of Peter’s closest Chart Room buddies was Che. They discussed everything. Argued a better description. Che an in your face type. Peter would not let him get away with anything.

Che now 85. Ailing. None of us have seen him at the Chart Room in at least 6 months. He has become a recluse.

Jean Thornton thought it was time he got out. She has arranged for Che to be at the Chart Room at 5 this afternoon to meet and greet friends.

Che has a distinction. One of the holes in the Chart Room bar bears his name. He is one of two remaining alive. A portion of his ashes will be deposited in the bar when he passes on.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK life column. Ten pages of notes. Not sure of the title yet. The topic involves Kim and Trump. Kim’s background emphasized. Trump is in bed with a dog who has fleas.

I will write the article this afternoon.

Snuck out for an hour for a pedicure and manicure with Tammy. Love Tammy! Respect and admire she and her husband Ricky’s success. They deserve it!

Last night, the Chart Room. Met Mary Anne. Has lived in Key West since 1990. We never met before. Amazing!

A small world. Mary Anne knows Bear. And, Donna and Terri. Mary Anne is the assistant manager at the Lower Keys Animal Clinic on Kennedy. A vet’s office. The Doc Bear’s vet.

Cori Convertino stopped by to say hello. Talented. Hard working. She is actually Dr. Cori Convertino. Has a Ph.D. She is in charge of the exhibits at the Custom House. Ever changing, time absorbing to erect. Each one a “work” in itself.

Jenna! My love! We have not seen each other in months. My fault. She calls, I am too busy. Accidentally saw her last night.

Jenna and her beau stopped in for a drink before seeing a movie at Tropic Cinema. We swore we would get together soon. Very soon!

Read an interesting report this morning. A recent study shows millionaires now control half of the world’s wealth.  Personal wealth globe wise in 2017 totaled $201.9 trillion. Up 12 percent from 2016.

The rich getting a lot more richer and doing it a lot faster.

Happy Father’s Day to all who will be remembered and to all who will not. Life moves in strange ways.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

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!