BIRTHDAY CONTINUED

My birthday continued into last night. Donna and Terri invited me to dinner. I did not realize they were going to do Happy Birthday.

I was greeted with Happy Birthday as I arrived. Imagine Terri’s crescendo! Drinks followed by a home cooked meal by gourmet chef Donna.

After dinner, Happy Birthday cake. Unexpected. Home baked brownies topped with whip cream. And two candles: One an 8, the other a 2.

Happy Birthday sung again!

Gift, a bottle of Beefeaters.

Received an e-mail from Joseph. Biblical. He thanked me for letting him participate in the “Feast of my Nativity.”

Joseph is 69. Ailing from a back surgery more than a year ago. Not perfect yet.

Joseph is 69. Short and thin. A white beard and mustache. Needs a cane. His cane is a rod. A six foot wood pole.

I refer to Joseph as John the Baptist since he began using the pole.

I spent yesterday doing nothing. Laid around all day. I was beat! Moving and unpacking had taken its toll. Shot!

My new neighborhood is a delight to behold. Cute single family homes. Greenery everywhere. Trees arching over the roadway.

Decided I would try to walk again. The peaceful surroundings called out to me.

I walked this morning. Early. Out of bed, into shorts and sneaks. Before I said, screw it!

The walk delightful. Once around a block. All of 10 minutes. I am starting off slow. Want to succeed this time.

Three popular Key West events on going or imminent.

Mel Fisher Days began thursday and end today. The event is to commemorate Fisher’s discovery of the Spanish galleon Atocha.

Mango Fest next saturday July 15. Bayview Park. All kinds of activities and mango foods. Sponsored by the Key West Police Athletic League. The League supports and participates in all kinds of children’s activities.

Finally, one of the best. Hemingway Days! Ten days of Hemingway fun beginning July 18. Including the Running of the Bulls, the Hemingway Look Alike Contest, and Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway Birthday Party.

The things I learn from William Hackley’s life. His diary for this day in 1856 records Hackley paying the rent on his Key West home. Paid for six months with a $450 Treasury warrant. Works out to $75 a month.

Can’t rent anything for $75 a month anymore! Hackley’s rent today would be at least $3,000 a month.

Hemingway. One of Key West’s most famous citizens.

On this day in 1918, Hemingway was 18. World War I three years old. The United States not yet in the war.

Hemingway wanted to participate. He joined the American Red Cross and was stationed in northern Italy as an ambulance driver.

While serving on the front, a mortar shell went off near him. Hemingway was seriously injured. Spent quite a while in the hospital because of shrapnel wounds. One leg especially beat up.

During his hospital stay, he fell in love with a nurse. A serious romance. After he returned home and was arranging for her to follow him, his loved dumped him for a lieutenant of royal lineage.

While living in Key West, Hemingway worked on his manuscript A Farewell to Arms and had the book published.

The book  reflected on northern Italy during World War I, the experiences of a Red Cross ambulance driver, his love affair with a nurse, and the tragic ending of the love affair. The nurse love died in the book.

Hemingway’s actual war time life experiences formed the basis for his first best selling novel.

In 1962, the movie PT-109 was filmed on Munson Island in the Keys. Pt-109 was the war time story of John Kennedy and his heroic experience following the sinking of PT-109.

A lot of local background.

Munson Island was owned at the time by Sheriff John M. Spottswood. Subsequently to become a Florida State Senator.

Kennedy was visiting Key West if my memory proves correct for a meeting with Great Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillan. Spottswood was close to Kennedy. He suggested a good place to shot the movie was Munson Island which he owned. Munson Island became the place.

Munson Island today is Little Palm Island.

Spottswood had five children. He was the patriarch of the family. A Key West icon. His children all successful today and respected community leaders. I only know one. Robert and his wife, Elena. Two fine people.

Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie.

I met Robertson 12 or more years ago at the Mel Fisher Museum. The Museum was kicking off a national fund raising campaign. Robertson was honorary chairman.

The good looking young vital man of PT-109  days was now aged. Never the less, dapperly dressed and sharp of wit.

A Trump observation. He is out of his class at the G20 meeting in Hamburg. In over his head. Especially with Putin.

Enjoy your day!

 

MONEY LAUNDERING

The New York Times reported this morning that Trump associates were being looked at for money laundering. Not a major portion of the article. Came up at the very end. The thrust of the writing was the news that Trump was being investigated by Mueller.

I have taken the position for six or seven months that in the end it would be money laundering that would bring Trump down. In this blog, my podcast and Facebook video, I have taken that position. More than once in each place.

I am not claiming to be an oracle of wisdom. I did however pick up on the money laundering several months ago in researching a separate matter. I also talk to tourists/people constantly about certain issues. Key West a good place to do so. Everyone is here at one time or another.

Now we wait to see what will happen. The hole dug by Trump and associates gets deeper by the day.

The Chart Room first last night. An unusual crowd for this time of the year. Wall to wall.

John bartending. He was training Bart who will bartend tuesday evenings at the Chart Room and three other evenings at the Beach Bar. Bart needed no training. He has bartended for 12 years at various Duval drinking establishments.

Janyne walked by the Chart Room on her way home. I nodded for her to come in. Chatted a bit. A lovely lady. A great personality.

Stopped at Outback on the way home. A small prime rib, baked potato and steamed vegetables.

Then, home.

I was on the road at 4. My evening finished by 8. Home in bed at 8:30. Fell asleep. Woke at one and have been awake ever since.

The moral: Never go to bed early unless you need the sleep.

Howard and Cindy Livingston are two of the nicest people in the Keys. I have known Howard for years. Even before he was the Howard Livingston he is today.

Howard a success. As is Cindy. She works every gig with him in one fashion or another. Also provides the moral support a good woman gives her man.

Neither Howard nor Cindy were born in Key west. However, they are loved by all and participate in many charitable events. Recently, Mayor Cates awarded each a certificate designating them as Honorary Conchs.

A big deal!

I recently read something concerning Pepe’s. The great restaurant on Caroline.

Pepe’s is the oldest restaurant in Key West. Born 1909.

Pepe’s special meal is steak smothered in pork chops. Outstanding! Enough for three!

The article seemed to suggest Pepe’s was serving the steak smothered in pork chops back in 1909. Correct? I will have dinner soon at Pepe’s to find out.

Every now and then I enjoy traveling back hundred of years to a significant person or place. Several times, I have visited Dante.

It is Dante again today.

Dante aka Dante Alighieri. On this date in 1300 A.D., Dante became a prior of Florence. He was one of six. they ran Florence politically.

Dante irritated some leading citizens. In 1302, he was banned from Florence.

How swiftly the mighty fall!

Dante and his family became wanderers. They sought the protection of several cities over the years.

The reason I mention Dante today is that during his years as a wanderer, he wrote The Divine Comedy.

A busy morning. A haircut with Lori and a visit to Farmers Market.

Enjoy your day!

NOT A WOMAN SO HAVE NO BAD DAYS…..RUSSIAN PROSTITUTES THE BEST

“I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days.”

Putin in a new documentary by film maker Oliver Stone.

Russia’s prostitutes are “unquestionably the best in the world.”

Putin again. This time in a Bloomberg Politics interview. The issue came up when Putin was asked what dirt Russia had on Trump. Putin responded none. He further added he did not believe Trump cohorted with prostitutes while in Russia. It was at that point he added the best prostitutes in the world comment.

Why my setting forth the two quotes? Putin and Trump are leaders of two of the most powerful nations in the world. Both have dirty mouths. Never heard Eisenhower, Truman, or Reagan speak thusly.

There are more important things for leaders of powerful nations to talk about than a woman’s bodily function or who has the best prostitutes.

Never left the house yesterday. Researched and wrote. Started working on last night’s podcast at one in the afternoon.

Great topics. Interesting. From D-Day to Trump to government waste to European Union and African Islamists to inequality to flying cars.

Quite a variety.

Rained all night. Heavy. Raining heavy this morning. Going to rain all day and tonight. Streets will flood. I may not get out tonight.

June 15 is National Dump to Pump Day. Fifteenth annual one. The cry is not to drive your car. Take a bus, bicycle or walk.

City of Key West pushing the day. Want everyone to ride the bus. We ain’t got enough busses!

The City Commissioners also want us to drive cars less. They encourage bike riding. To reduce traffic congestion.

Very anti-automobile. I like my car and prefer driving it. Especially since I live three keys outside Key West. I cannot see myself riding on a bike on  US 1 or the Boulevard. A sure auto/bicycle accident in the making. My old body involved.

Trump went to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago and sucked up to the Saudis and representatives of 53 other Arab nations. Turns out his visit has emboldened the Saudis. Great America is apparently on their side.

Two developments in the last 24 hours prove the point.

Iran was terrorized by ISIS. First any type terrorist attack in 10 years. Tehran no longer safe from ISIS.

Qatar has been warned by Saudi Arabia to change their tune and dance to Saudi Arabia’s dictates. The Saudis have blockaded little Qatar. Thirty six hours ago, ten  conditions for Qatar to agree to were submitted by the Saudis to Qatar. Qatar was given 24 hours to agree. Otherwise the veiled threat of invasion.

Twenty four hours have passed. No agreement, no invasion. The fear of war continues to exist, however.

None of this would have happened had Trump not behaved as he did when he visited Saudi Arabia. Again, he emboldened the Saudis. His conduct gave tacit approval to Saudi Arabia to flex its muscle.

The problem with Iran is Sunni / Shite hatred for one another. They tolerated each other for 10 years. Till trump got involved with the Saudis.

I fear Trump is going to get us into a war. Not necessarily the Middle East. Somewhere. It’s a big world. He’s a loose cannon with a six shooter on his hip.

Enjoy your day!

CONCH REPUBLIC DAYS

It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES…..

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

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

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

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

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

Dragged off the plane.

Everyone videoing what was going on.

Stupid! Uncalled for! United not friendly!

Melania Trump in the news!

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

Statements sordid and untrue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An oil company CEO should not be Secretary of State.

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

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

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

Not a healthy situation.

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

The person in question Rep. Joe Wilson.

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

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

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

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

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

He died a few days later.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOOKS & BOOKS…..BIPOLAR DISORDER TONIGHT

Judy Blume has arranged a big one for Books & Books tonight. Kay Redford Jamison discussing her newest book: Robert Lowell, Setting The River On Fire.

A rather unique presentation. The famed poet Robert Lowell was bipolar. Jamison is bipolar. As well as being Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins.

Six tonight for a most interesting discussion.

After Jameson, I will be off to Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking. Her famous pot roast. Juicy and tender.

Yesterday another lazy one. A bug must have recently bitten me.

I did get out of the house. Drove up to No Name Pub for lunch. Love the place!

Later in the afternoon, watched North Carolina/Kentucky. A game! North Carolina won by 3. Great basketball. Kentucky on its way to the Final Four.

Oregon a part this year of the Final Four, also.

March Madness had its birth this day in 1939. The first NCAA Tournament. Oregon beat Ohio State.

It was doubtful Oregon would make the Final Four this year. Congratulations to them.

Russia experienced 99 separate protests over the weekend. In its cities and towns. Unusual. Especially against Putin. Putin does not tolerate opposition. Several opposing political leaders have died under strange circumstances the past two years. Their deaths thought to be Putin ordered.

Now street protests. Will Putin call out the tanks as the Soviet Union did in Hungary in the 1950’s?

Is Russia experiencing an Arab Spring as Egypt did?

My gut tells me Trump has an involvement. I suspect the negative Trump/Russia dialogue in the U.S. is working against Trump in Russia.

Hemingway left his mark on Key West. For which we are all glad.

Many the words he wrote or spoke became memorable quotes. One I especially enjoy involves love: Stop chasing the wrong one, the right one won’t run.

Words of wisdom!

On this day in 1998, the band played and the drums roared. The FDA approved Viagra. The first oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction.

Harry Truman again. Never forget, Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman spent 175 days over 11 trips enjoying Key West. On this date in 1952, Truman left Key West for Washington following a three week vacation.

Enjoy your day!

SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! COLD! COLD! COLD!

The northeast was hit big time by snow yesterday and last night. Barbara telephoned from Utica. Twenty four inches. Bridgewater 20 miles away more.

That takes care of the snow.

The cold applies to Key West. Yes, I complain. Whenever cold up north, cold here. Though significantly less. Low 60s during the night. Sixty six at the moment. High expected 69.

Anything under 74 cold to we locals. Our blood thin from living in warm weather.

I have not yet turned the heat on. Perhaps tonight when 59 degrees is projected.

Spring break time in Key West. Some brave college students will be on the beaches. Most will  spend the day in bars. Party time!

The snow up north cancelled Syracuse’s game in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse was to play UNC-Greensboro in the opener of the NIT.

My time out yesterday was a 2 hour lunch break. Cuban Coffee Queen. Cuban cheese toast, Cuban coffee and the newspapers. I love sitting at the Cuban Coffee Queen and reading. A  quiet peaceful place.

Watch my new video show on Facebook. Find it under Key West Lou. Yesterday’s topic was Make America Sick Again. Trumpcare.

I cannot take credit for the title. Heard Eugene Robinson mention it.

I will be doing today’s video in a couple of hours. No title yet. Subject matter involves the money the US has spent in Afghanistan over 15 years with no appreciable results. Moe than the U.S. spent with the Marshall Plan in rebuilding Europe following World War II.

My podcast last night at 9 concerned Trump’s tax returns. How legally Congress could subpoena them if it so desires. Rachel Maddow was on MSNBC at the same time. Her show concerned Trump’s tax returns. She had two pages of his 2005 return.

I caught Maddow’s show in the middle of the night on a rerun.

The Battleship Maine is part of Key West history. The vessel left Key West for Havana. Many of its Naval dead rest in our Key West Cemetery. A special monument erected in the cemetery, also. The monument dedication was attended by 10,000 persons.

Today’s Custom House was a recently constructed federal building in 1898. On this date in 1898, the Battleship Maine Court of Inquiry began.

William Hackley’s story continues. One item in today’s diary mentions that he spent some time reading Household Words. Curiosity struck me. What was Household Words?

In the 1850s, Charles Dickens edited Household Words. A literary magazine. Serialized novels amongst other things. The work provided Dickens with some income while he was working on his own novels.

The title Household Words comes from Shakespeare’s Henry V…..Familiar in his mouth as household words.

Staying with Shakespeare for a moment, today is March 15. The Ides of March. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. A soothsayer told Caesar as he was walking to the Forum…..Beware the Ides of March.

Caesar’s best friend was Marcus Brutus. He was the first to stab Caesar. In the back. Caesar looked over his shoulder and saw Brutus. Caesar uttered…..Et tu, Brute.

Only Shakespeare could write the lines. The power of simplicity.

One other item of significance occurred on this day. This time 1917. Russia’s Czar Nicholas II abdicated. Civil War followed. White Bolsheviks and Red Bolsheviks. The Reds communists. The Reds won.

I view Putin as the grandson of the Russian Revolution.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN

A first for me yesterday. Marching in Steve Attis’ New Orleans type funeral procession.

A warm experience. Joyous an even better description.

Steve in the casket riding up front. The musicians behind him. Skipper Krippitz leading them. With a drum. Walking backwards the whole way. Impressive!

The rest of us behind the musicians. Some two hundred strong. Led by Steve’s wife Midge in a wheel chair.

We leisurely marched/danced to When the Saints Go Marching In. The American gospel hymn that became a jazz favorite.

The song expressing the wish to go to Heaven.

Religious services were at St. Mary Star of the Sea. Sad. The atmosphere had changed.

Steve’s family in attendance. Came from everywhere. The most touching moment when one of Steve’s sons was doing a reading. It was difficult for him. His sister came up and put her arm around his shoulder. He finished.

I walked with Don, Tom and Nicky.

Then to Publix. Needed only a few things. Basics.

Publix packed like it was Thanksgiving or Christmas. Everyone buying for Super Bowl parties tonight. Every check out counter was open. The lines long in each one.

It has not been my good fortune to view the last two Syracuse games. I forgot they were playing wednesday and missed a great victory. I was walking for Steve yesterday and missed an even better game.

Syracuse beat #9 Virginia 66-62. Syracuse was down 12 at half. Syracuse scored 73 percent from the field in the second half. Made 66 percent of their 3 point shots through out the entire game.

Big time basketball!

It also was Jim Boeheim’s 1,000th victory. Forty one years a Syracuse coach. I know Jim Boeheim. A good person deserving the success he has achieved.

Syracuse/Clemson tuesday evening at 8.

Super Bowl tonight. Not that I had to tell you. Everyone knows. I will be watching at a private party.

Trump respects Putin. He disrespects judges. Does not make sense to me.

The protests everywhere continue to concern me. They probably will turn into violence at some point. Trump’s hype adds fuel to the fire.

Not healthy.

Trump’s sense of responsibility lacking.

Enjoy Super Bowl! Enjoy your sunday!

 

PRESIDENT CARTER’S KEYS VISITS

Happy New Year! As with practice safe sex, practice a safe evening. Drinking and driving don’t go together tonight or any night.

Most are aware Harry Truman visited Key West many times. His favorite relaxation venue. Few are aware that Jimmy Carter has been visiting the Keys annually for years. To welcome the New Year. Also, to enjoy a vacation.

I first became aware of Carter and his wife Rosalyn’s visits some 15 years ago. I was visiting Howard Livingston at his Summerland home. He made mention that Carter was staying down the road with friends. Mentioned it to me again the next year.

Carter is here for what has become a traditional post Christmas vacation. This time with an entourage. Carter, wife Rosalyn, one grandchild, ten great grandchildren, and other family members. Some 40 people.

I doubt they are staying with friends with such a large group. However, they are somewhere in the Keys this week.

As evidenced by the story and photos of Carter and some of the great grandkids in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Carter and family were at the Marathon Turtle Hospital. He and the great grandkids helped return rehabilitated loggerhead turtle Salty to the ocean yesterday.

Orange Bowl party last night. At Sharon and Giorgi’s home.

Stan a Michigan grad. An enthusiastic one. We watched the game together in his honor.

Unfortunately, Michigan lost by one point to Florida State. 33-32. Michigan played poorly in the first half. Came roaring back in the second half. The last few minutes compared to the final minutes of a pro game.

In addition to those already mentioned, the group consisted of Donna and Bob, Karon, Matt Babich and fiancée, and Paul.

Typical separation of the sexes. The ladies watched in the living room, the men in the den.

Food outstanding! Sharon, the gracious hostess, had prepared well!

I met Paul for the first time. A retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. We spent quite a while together. Even missed part of the second half of the game. My inquiring mind enjoyed his professional experiences. He performed his professional tasks on the ground, not from a Washington office.

I learned a lot from Paul. An interesting man. I suspect we will get together again for a longer chat.

I have avoided going out New Year’s Eve for several years. Primary problem parking. I prefer remaining home in bed watching the ball fall in New York City and Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street on CNN.

Four drops tonight. Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, La Te Da and the Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. A huge crowd at each venue. Bodies pressed together. By 12:15, the crowd gone. Into the bars or home.

A fun experience. I will do it again sometime when I have transportation to and back.

Dachshund Walk at noon today. Pets dressed for the occasion. Parade begins at Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead.

The Casa Marina Hotel opened this day in 1920. A Henry Flagler enterprise. Still standing and continues to be one of Key’s West’s most beautiful places to stay. The pool and beach atmosphere outstanding.

My daughter Lori was married on the beach some 15 years ago precisely at sunset. It was figured to the minute. The sun broke the horizon as they said their I do’s.

Followed by a black tie reception.

A memorable event.

Everything seems to suggest a kumbaya situation developing between Trump and Putin. Do not rely on it.

On December 29, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a holiday message to President John Kennedy. He told Kennedy he looked forward to a threshold year. He further suggested steps be taken to liquidate centers of military danger.

Kennedy sent a cordial response. Wished the Premier a Happy New Year.

Both messages claimed cooperation one to the other in the coming year.

It was not to be.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. We were on the brink of war. I recall the time distinctly. I was a young practicing lawyer with a wife and four children. I feared war was forthcoming. The resolution boiled down to who would blink first, if at all. Fortunately, Khrushchev did.

What happens if Putin tests Trump? Who will blink first, if at all?

Again, a safe and happy New Year!

 

HE CAN’T WIN…..HE WON!

I thought no way Trump could win. I was wrong. He won. I failed to see that the people had turned a corner. They were no longer going to continue a government that minimized their value. There had to be change. Dramatic change.

Anyone out of step with present day politicians.

I found voting yesterday different from previous years. I voted at the new fire house on Stock Island. A first itself.

Note that I have voted in every Presidential election since 1956. My first Presidential vote was for Eisenhower in the Eisenhower/Stevenson race.

A different atmosphere yesterday from previous Presidential election days. People walked into the fire station with a determined gate. Heads up. Looking straight ahead. They had business to accomplish.

They signed in and went to their stalls to vote. Finished, placed their ballots in a machine and left. With the same gait starring straight ahead.

For me, yesterday’s election was the most important Presidential one I have voted in since 1956. My country screwed up!

The people have spoken. I do not agree. Such is life, however. We accept and go with the flow.

My podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou was last night. Nine o’clock. The first three topics discussed concerned the election.

Then to other topics.

One of the others you may find shocking. Steven Seagal. The movie actor. Hero. One who stood for right, justice, the flag, and the American way.

He became a Russian citizen last week.

On thursday, Putin signed a decree granting Seagal Russian citizenship. Putin and Seagal have been friends for years. It was reported Seagal asked for the Russian citizenship.

A side note. Seagal publicly announced his support in 2014 for Russia’s taking over of Crimea.

Next installment 9 of my review of the history of the Key West Rotary.

I enjoy doing these reruns of Key West’s yesterdays. I learn many times that which I did not know. It provides the opportunity to share portions of  the history with you.

We are still in 1927.

It was May 20. Charles Lindbergh took off in the early morning from Roosevelt Field for Paris. America did not know if this young man would make it. He was the topic of discussion everywhere that day.

Even at the Rotary luncheon.

There was a Rotary sponsored Boy’s Week Program in the week following the meeting. Included a parade and a track meet at the Barracks. Now, Peary Court.

The weekly luncheon meeting on May 27 had as guest speaker Dr. Joseph Roemer, a faculty member at the University of Florida. His purpose to push for the establishment of a junior college in Key West.

As Roemer advised, colleges were turning applicants away. Not because of grades. Because there was insufficient room. A Key West community college would benefit Keys residents who could not obtain admission elsewhere.

An obvious difference between higher education in 1927 and today. Educating was the goal then. Today, universities/colleges are primarily in the money making business.

Roemer’s words were among the first supporting the establishment of a two year old community college. The idea took hold. Today, Key West can be proud of the Florida Keys Community College. An institution capable of awarding four year degrees.

May 27 was Students’ Day. The Rotary had invited as guests 30 graduating seniors from the high school who attended with several faculty members.

The Overseas Highway was important to Key West. Under construction in June 1927 when Florida Governor John W. Martin spoke at the Rotary weekly luncheon. He pledged his continued support for the highway. Especially the bridge projects.

Back then, access from one key to another involved bridge and ferry use. The bridges were mostly of wood construction. Built in the early 1920s.

The Governor also pledged support for a crawfish hatchery.

The Keys today have a series of hatcheries sprinkled here and there. Shrimp farming took off on a larger scale in Louisiana. Those in the Keys today generally supply south Florida.

La Concha had opened its doors for the first time in 1927. The June 27 meeting where the Governor spoke was held at the newly opened La Concha.

Enjoy your day!