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!

 

 

NEW NEIGHBORS

New neighbors in Key West! Amy Bondurant and David Dunn. Wife and husband. Welcome!

Some 200 hundred homes were visited by Amy and David the past few days. They have been in Key West canvassing door to door for Hillary Clinton.

Amy and David have homes in Washington, DC and Paris. They recently purchased a home in Key West. 1920s vintage. Undergoing remodeling. They plan on moving their furniture down here in December and becoming official Key West residents at the time.

Both have distinguished backgrounds. Amy was the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris from 1997-2001. She served under Clinton and Bush 2. David is an attorney specializing in international law.

This blog brought us together. David has been reading it. We were supposed to meet for a drink this week. Our schedules would not permit it. We intend to get together when they return in December. I plan on introducing them to the Chart Room at that time.

I have some Trump comments. I apologize. However, we are getting close to election day. I feel compelled to vent my anti-Trump feelings. A number of pro-Trump readers will comment. It will be like the roof falling in on me.

More than a year ago, I referred to Trump as a Pied Piper. Both in this blog and on my blog talk radio show. His followers were blindly following him. Gabriel Schonfeld writes for the New York Daily News. He referred to Trump this past week as the Moronic Pied Piper.

Right on!

In a Washington Post article yesterday, Trump was described as a huckster and charismatic demagogue.

Nicolas Maduro has been Venezuela’s President since 2013. His country ran out of toilet paper under him. Now, food. Even pets and zoo animals have been eaten. I have commented adversely re Maduro many times since the toilet paper incident. In this blog, on my podcast show and in my KONK Life column.

The same Washington Post article suggested Trump was very much like Maduro. The article noted Maduro jailed his political opponents. As Trump has suggested be done with Hillary.

I’m not done with Trump yet.

George Will described Trump well in a recent Washington Post column titled “Putin Buying Back the 1930s.” The last paragraph spoke volumes. “In many worrisome ways, the 1930s are being reprised. In Europe, Russia is playing the role of Germany in fomenting anti-democratic factions. In inward-turning, distracted America, the role of Charles Lindberg is played by a presidential candidate smitten by Putin and too ignorant to know the pedigree of his slogan America First.”

A little more.

I have described the relatively new President Rodrigo Duterte as the Donald Trump of the Philippines. Rodrigo has a dirty mouth. More filthy than even Trump.

Now to Key West. Exciting days ahead!

Friday night marks the beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay! I will be out on the street with Don and the bocce team. An annual event for us.

Fiona. Fiona is the sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle who at the end of July was found dying. By a 12 year old boy. Fiona was emaciated, entangled in a fishing line, had ingested a portion of the fishing line, and her blood was low.

On death’s door.

Fiona was hurried to the Marathon Turtle Hospital.  She has recovered. Even gained 15 pounds.

Fiona is being returned to the ocean this saturday at 10 am. Sombrero Beach in Marathon. A couple of hundred will be there to see her off.

I will be home in bed by 9 this evening. Comfortably watching the last of the Presidential debates. Love this stuff! I am a political junkie at heart!

This is take care of Louis day. A manicure and pedicure at noon with Tammy. Then to my heart doctor’s office. Have to give blood. Hate it! Cannot look! When I was 21 and preparing for marriage, New York required a blood test to make sure a person did not have syphilis. I passed out!

Tonight, a couple of drinks at Don’s Place. A quick bite to eat somewhere and then home.

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRABS

U.S. politics is at its worst. The world is in turmoil. All take a back seat. Pure unadulterated pleasure the reason. Stone crab season opens tomorrow!

From my perspective, man’s finest food. I cannot wait to gorge myself tomorrow night.

Yesterday began with a noon haircut with Lori. Lori is moving. Was supposed to be this week. Told me yesterday it will be at least another month. Typical of Key West. nothing ever begins or finishes on time.

It’s the sun! Slows everything down, including people.

Lori had to take delivery yesterday of her new chairs. New place not available for storage. They are sitting on the sidewalk in front of her present place of business on Southard. Ain’t no one going to steal them. Hercules needed to move them.

A few doors down Southard is Jay’s new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz. His grand opening was to have been this past tuesday. I stopped in for lunch after my haircut. Doors locked. Looked in the window. Place a mess. Still under construction.

Ran into Jay at bocce last night. The electrical screwed up. He is required to make changes. It is in the process. He hopes to be open for Goombay.

Can’t win.

The best thing that happened to Don’s Place in bocce was my retirement. The team remains in first place. 16-2. Alone in first place.

Hell’s Rangers had already lost two when I arrived last night. I do not know the result of their third game.

Don’s Place won two without David and Norm last night. David sick and Norm out of town.

Watched Michelle Obama speak yesterday. Outstanding! Trump has to be having trouble walking today.

Several news broadcasters have mentioned that when husband Barack was first elected, she hated public speaking. No more. The woman is another Eleanor Roosevelt!

This morning’s Key West Citizen notes that Trauma Star carried 471 patients in fiscal 2016. Eighty six more than 2015.

The new helicopter has arrived. Not in use yet. The crew still training.

Trauma Star is the County’s free helicopter service for patients who need rushing to a Miami hospital. There is also a private service. Rip off big time! $60,000 a trip and not covered by insurance.

I have mentioned the past few years in this column, in my daily blog and on my podcast show that Putin has become rich as the head of Russia. He gets a piece of everything. Ten to 20 percent.

I might be wrong as to the percentage. Thomas Friedman in a recent New York Times article wrote, “Putin owns some $30 billion in property, hotels and factories.”

Trump has to be doing business in Russia. Borrowing money, especially. Whatever, Putin could own a piece of some of some of Trump’s American properties.

The Cuban missile crisis began today. A U.S. reconnaissance plane took 900 plus photos over Cuba this date in 1962. The photos identified Soviet mid-range ballistic missiles. Pointed at the U.S.

By October 23, Key West had become an armed camp. Fifteen thousand troops. Some berthed in the Casa Marina. Anti-missile weapons and machine guns on Key West beaches.

Cuba was John Kennedy’s first test. He performed well. Russia blinked and the confrontation came to an end.

A visit to Dr. McIvor late today. I continue to tire easily and sometimes gulp a breath or two.

Enjoy your day!

RALPH NADER UNKNOWN TO COLLEGE STUDENTS

Florida played a major role in the 2000 Bush/Gore Presidential race. Actually, THE major role.

The election came down to Florida. The ballots were counted. They were referred to as chats. A joke!

It was not the chats that decided the election. It was Ralph Nader. He ran as a third party candidate. Took a significant number of votes from Gore. Had Nader not run, Gore would have won Florida and the election.

I remember Nader and the race. Many who will vote this year do not. Especially those voting for the first time. College students. Most 2-4 years old at the time of the 2000 election.

A guest on one of the talk shows this morning commented re the situation. He had visited some college campuses. Next to no one knew who Ralph Nader was and the impact he had on the 2000 race. His inquiry was part of a discussion attempting to show a vote for third party candidate Johnson could result in a Trump victory.

Let me stay with the Presidential election for a moment. Trump is threatening to get into Bill Clinton’s infidelities. What bullshit! Who cares! Yesterday’s news!

Trump has to have a long list of sexual conquests. The man probably has a sex record few have achieved. He believes he is safe from exposure. As I understand it, there are clauses written into marital and sexual settlements prohibiting women from revealing anything Trump might have done of a sexual/negative nature. If any of the ladies does, she loses the money being paid or already paid. If paid, the money has to be paid back. Silence for pay.

A few will come out from under the floor boards.

Busy middle day. Lori for a haircut. She is getting ready to move to new quarters on White Street. Visited Jay at his new restaurant to be on Southard next to Bank of America. Place still under renovation. Looks good. Jay the chef looked more like Jake the carpenter. Quick stops at Walgreens and Publix.

Howard Livingston is having a party saturday from noon to 6. At the Looe Key Tiki Bar. A social fundraiser for the Kevin Piper Memorial Fund. It’s Howard and his Friends Club.

Another hurricane. Matthew. Presently a 2. Expected to become a 3 this afternoon.

Not expected to hit Key West or the Keys. Might hit Miami, though considered remote. Expected to turn out to the ocean.

Hurricanes are fickle. Matthew has already evidenced his fickleness. Last night, Matthew was to turn northward. Instead, Matthew turned southward into the Caribbean.

Hurricanes are not dependable.

New York Times columnist Gail Collins has a sharp humorous way of writing. A recent column concerned White House pets. She concluded by getting into Trump. Her closing words: “If he wins the election, we would have the first President in history to refuse to pardon the Thanksgiving turkey.”

The Munich Agreement was signed this date in 1938. Hitler took advantage of the allies he was dealing with. They agreed to give a portion of Czechoslovakia to Germany if Hitler promised no war.

Chamberlain returned to London uttering the famous words…..”Peace in our time.” Chamberlain told the world Hitler was a gentleman. Less than two years later, Germany invaded Poland.

Contrast Chamberlain’s words re Hitler with those being presently spoken by Trump re Putin.

Enjoy your day!