A SPECIAL EVENING

Last night, a special evening. I spent it with Christina Oxenberg. Though she has lived in Key West since 2011, we never met before. I wish we had.

The evening began at Guy de Boer’s home. Drinks. Christina indulges in water only. I still trust her, however. Followed by dinner at Antonia’s. Finished the evening with a night cap at the Chart Room.

A writer. She has written a column for KONK Life for a number of years. Published 7 books. Articles printed in Allure and Huffington Post. Owns a knit wear company that sells worldwide.

I have read her KONK life writings.  Superior. Unusual. Mystic. Subtle. You do not know where she is going., the point she wishes to make. Till the end. When it hits between the eyes.

Christina is of royal lineage. For real. Her mother was Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. Her ancestry includes Serbia’s Karageorge, Greece’s King George I, Russia’s Tsar Alexander II, Russia’s Empress Catherine II, and Great Britain’s King George II.

As we arrived at the Pier House, Christina’s phone rang. It was David Wolkowsky. Christina and David are close friends. Chat on the phone once or twice a day. Visits him frequnetly at his home.

Christina was at David’s 99th birthday party I attended two weeks ago. I did not know her before. Did not meet her that evening. No recollection of have seen her.

I would have missed the boat were it not for last night.

David was thrilled to learn we were going to the Chart Room. He built the Pier House and created the Chart Room many many years ago.

Weather continues to be important. Hurricane season.

I made a mistake yesterday in advising Gordon had hit land off the Gulf as a category 1.  It never reached hurricane status. At the moment, it remains a tropical storm moving 70 mph towards Arkansas.

Typical this time of the year, another is on the way. Florence. No screwing around here. Florence is 1,300 miles east off Bermuda and already a category 4.

Tracking not possible yet. It may turn right and stay in the Atlantic. Or, land somewhere on the east coast. May take 5 days to determine a reliable track. Then a few more days before Florence gets where ever she is going.

Social media taking a beating. Justified and non justified. Facebook millennials concerned. A recent Pew Research Center study indicated 44 percent of Americans 18-27 deleted their Facebook apps so far this year.

The concern leading to the deletions involved Facebook’s repeated failures to protect consumer data. The data that was shared and abused by a myriad of Facebook partners.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer. His columns well researched and on point. He recently wrote re the world’s economy.

The world’s economy is on a downward thrust. Washington either is not aware or does not care. We hear nothing about it, other than the economy is good.

The problem at the moment involves 20 countries. Except for China, all emerging nations. During boom years, they all borrowed heavily. A high percentage of the loans denominated in U.S. dollars.

All in trouble economically. China included.  A death spiral has begun. Most will crash. Those having U.S. denominated debt will not be able to make loan payments. U.S. and European banks will not be paid. Losses could be astronomical.

A bubble exists. If matters continue as they are, our economy will take a hell  of a hit. A recession resulting.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN VISITS

Finally met Barb last night. Iowa Barb. A devout blog reader. She had written she would be visiting Key West and wanted to meet. Also wanted me to sign her copy of Irma and Me.

We finally got together last night at the Chart Room.

Barb a charming woman. She has been a librarian for 39 years at the Iowa State University Library. Has visited Key West 9 times in the past 10 years. Loves Key West! Knows her way around.

Interested in politics. Dislikes Trump. Understandable. Her father was a Teamster for years.

Her sister Debbie with her. Debbie’s first Key West visit. She is the Cambridge, Iowa City Clerk. Made sure to tell me her politics were different from her sister’s. Debbie a black hearted Republican.

I had not planned on going out last night. Spent the afternoon researching for this week’s KONK Life column. Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about Stormy Daniels motivated me to look up Giuliani’s sex history. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

My intent was to write the column last night. It has to be to the publisher today.

John called and said a Barb was looking for me. Would I come down? Ergo, I will not be writing about Giuliani and his sexcapades till this afternoon.

My today a busy one. Have to finish the blog. Watch Robert in a tennis competition at one. Write the Giuliani column.

I definitely will not be going out tonight.

Dorothy Downs was at the bar. I have not seen her in a couple of years. Her husband was a dentist. He had an office in Miami and one in the Keys. They frequented the Chart Room often.

Dorothy told he her husband had passed away last year. Sad.

We talked at length. I learned more about her last night than in all the times we had met previously.

She is a writer. Five books. Dorothy is an art historian, specialist in American art, wrote and produced the PBS documentary Pillars of Power about Seminole and Miccosukee women.

Dorothy’s most recent book is Canoe Back In Time. The story of a special Miccosukee girl who was given the gift of being an artist.

The book is selling.

My handwriting is poor. Dorothy’s worse. She wrote down her e-mail address for me. Impossible to read. Dorothy, you have mine. Write me soon so I will have yours.

Three pirates came in. Two men and a woman. One of the guys was soon asleep head down on a table. They had been doing the Duval Crawl.

I spoke with the two sober ones. Explained I had recently written about the pirate Black Caesar and also the pirates of Port Royal.

The three were part of a pirate group. A nightly thing in Key West. Called Eat Drink Discover Key West. An eat and drink venture.

Sounds interesting. If you are, the group can be booked online at www.EatDrinkDiscoverKeyWest.com.

Everyone was gone, except for Kevin and me. We chatted a while. He is recovering well from his horrendous accident.

Needed to eat. Stopped at Hogfish on the way home. Sat at the bar and enjoyed hogfish. What else!

It began pouring on the way to Hogfish. Continued raining when I left. Fortunately, I am always prepared for rain. Two umbrellas. One at home and one in the car. Large black ones.

A BOB comment about waking in Key West: “A cat fight has set off the dogs. The dogs have set off the roosters. The din moves back and forth across the island in waves. Human sounds join in. There is no way anyone is sleeping through this, that’s it, I’m awake…..it looks like a nice day. Another beautiful day in Paradise.”

The Belmont later today. Hope Justify wins.

Trump’s words yesterday re his summit meeting with Kim and the degree of his preparation: “I’ve prepared my entire life for the North Korea summit.”

I worry.

Trump is on a high. He has screwed up G7. He is on his way to meet with Kim. He figures the world and the Nobel Peace Prize are his if he succeeds with Kim.

I do not see it happening.

Weather around 90 this past week. Heavy humidity. Weather man says some thunder today. Describes it as “rock ‘n’ roll thunder.”

As Porky Pig was wont to say at the end of his cartoons of yesteryear…..That’s all folks!

Enjoy your day!

 

KICK BALL IN MYSTIC…..INDIAN HEADS USED

Several times over the years, the Puritan/Pequot Indian battles have come to my attention. The battles interesting for various reasons. Each time I have written about them.

Today, I again write concerning one of the battles. To evidence the Christian souls of the early Puritans. Supposedly God fearing. I doubt however they were listening to God when they acted in Mystic in 1637.

The Pequot Indian battles consisted of three separate engagements. The first this day in 1637.

The Pequot Indians were not nice people. Far from it. Disliked the Puritan settlers especially. The Pequots were prone to attack the Puritans.

The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay were equally not nice. Disliked the Pequots. Decided to kill them all.

In the early morning darkness, the Puritans attacked in Mystic a sleeping Pequot camp consisting of 500 men, women and children. Massacred them. Most of the 500 killed.

Retribution? Who knows why wars really start. It was the next step in the Mystic battle that makes me look down upon the supposedly religious Puritans.

The blood of the 500 was not enough. The Puritans beheaded some of the Indian dead. Then proceeded to play kick ball with the heads down the streets of Mystic.

Rain in the morning yesterday. Rain again last night. I’m waiting for my house to float away.

I spent the day inside. Continued working on next week’s KONK Life column in the afternoon. Was getting ready to shower and go into town when it began raining again. Waited a while. Did not stop. Forget stopping, did not even let up a bit.

Decided to remain home. Enjoyed a small meal and watched the Cavalier/Celtic game.

LeBron James has to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He was on his game last night. Scored 46 points leading Cleveland to victory.

The final playoff game sunday night.

I had spent two afternoons preparing to write next week’s KONK Life column. The topic excited me. When I sat to do the blog at 6 this morning, I decided to write the KONK article instead.

The column completed and sent to the KONK editor. It will hit the stands wednesday evening.

The topic involves Trump, Hitler, lying, the Jews, and the FBI. Titled: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday.

The topic intrigued me. The more I researched, the more interested I became. I am uncertain of the final product. My research may have been better than my writing in this instance. The subject matter difficult to explore with a 500 word limit.

Which means I am sitting here writing today’s blog at 11:30. Never that late!

Big evening tonight! Dinner with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. I have not seen Donna in two weeks. She has been in Detroit visiting family.

I wrote a couple off days ago about the wonderful multi-facted Laura Richardson. Singer, bartender, Salt Gallery owner, newspaper reporter.

Amy Bondurant e-mailed me. Amy a former U.S. Ambassador. Now a Key West resident. Presently in Maryland preparatory to heading off to her Paris home.

Amy knows Laura and agrees she is multi-talented. Amy shared with me something I did not know. Laura is also an attorney.

The media is mentioning Alberto today when referring to the weather. Alberto has become a for real storm. Presently a sub-tropical storm.

It is anticipated Alberto will hit the westerly coast of Cuba and then come north into the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall anywhere from Louisiana to the Panhandle monday night or tuesday morning.

Alberto will not come near Key West. It will be way out to the west in the Gulf.

Does not mean Key West is not a player. Heavy rains anticipated through wednesday. Winds in the Keys up to 40 mph. Flash flooding a major danger to the southern Keys.

The irony of all this is that the hurricane season has not begun. Not till June 1 which is next friday.

Creatures of the sea get the best medical attention in the Keys. Especially, turtles. The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon.

A small injured turtle was found off Little Palm Island. A rare species. A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. Entangled in a fishing line.

The little one has been names Echo. His problem a broken flipper.  He has been treated with laser therapy, wound care, antibiotics, fluids and vitamins.

His hospital stay anticipated to be 2 months.

The heavy rains can be disruptive of Key West fun times. The annual Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta had been scheduled for tomorrow. Rescheduled to next sunday because of the rain.

Memorial Day ceremonies begin early monday. Nine at the Maine Memorial in the Cemetery. Ten at Bayview Park.

A parade? Not sure. Must be. I’ll find out and let you know.

United Airlines announced it will begin direct flights with Newark in the Fall. With Chicago, mid December.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GOING TO NEED NOAH’S ARK SOON

In my 30 years of living in and visiting Key West, I have never seen rain like we are experiencing. Especially this time of the year. May is normally a dry month. People talk about needing rain.

It poured again yesterday. All day! Heavy!

Streets are flooding that never flooded before. Amazing!

The Comcast saga continues. Repair man due yesterday between 1 and 3. Got a call at 2. Three to four hours behind. Will come tomorrow (today).

I have been without TV since thursday.

Visited Dr. Jones late afternoon. Received my various test results. No cancer. Do have a problem, however. Cleveland Clinic next for consultation. Surgery probable in due course.

I am ok. Mentally in tune with what is occurring.

Aqua after Dr. Jones. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Guest performer the lovely Laura Richardson. Laura the owner of Salt Gallery.

Met Laura’s parents. Both retired corporate attorneys. Key West residents. Enjoyed my conversation with her father. Her mom seated too far away for any meaningful conversation.

Rick Dery a director, also. He has directed Pride Follies for several years. This year’s show is June 2 at 8 in the evening at the Key West Theater.

Always a winner!

Word on the street is Bank of America on Southard closing. I have not been able to verify the information. If so, the building would make an excellent dance facility. I have always thought downtown Key West needed a place where everyone regardless of age could get out there and do their thing.

Zombies in southern Florida! Reported by a power outage alert sunday in Lake Worth. The outage affected 7,880 residents.

The “alert” reported power was lost “due to extreme zombie activity.” Obviously a bogus report. Or was it? Actual cause remains unknown.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. My opinions shared. Though not necessarily the same as those who are tuned in.

The show’s audience gets larger each week. I love it! My advertisers love it!

Join me for a fast moving half hour.

Pope Francis a breath of fresh air in the world of Catholicism. Two weeks ago, he said in speaking to a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

The second time Francis has spoken in acceptance of homosexuality. A man of courage and conviction. The Bible tells us homosexuality is a sin.

Trump makes me laugh. He does not accept Venezuela’s election results. Phony, a sham. Earlier had threatened invasion. Now has fallen back to severe sanctions.

There are many tyrants elected in phony elections world wide. Putin, for example. Trump should threaten him and all other tyrants with invasion and/or severe sanctions.

Why pick and choose. Go after everyone.

The Trump administration continues on a fast track to dismantle Obama signature policies. Could Obama have been that wrong? Or is there another reason?

I suspect it may be because Obama is a person of color and Trump a racist. Or, it could be because Obama made fun of Trump at a White House Correspondents Dinner. When slighted, Trump has the memory of an elephant.

The Trump/Kim summit almost blew up. Trump may have saved it. John Bolton appears to have been the cause.

Bolton is crazy. A neo-con. A war hawk big time. Scares me.

In preliminary talks with North Korea, Bolton told the other side the U.S. supported a Libya Solution. Gaddafi was convinced to give up his nuclear program. Several years later, Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe, captured, tried and executed.

The North Koreans are not fools.

Some have suggested that Bolton’s meeting with his North Korean counterparts was an amateur hour.

The recent U.S./China trade talks another example of amateur hour play on the part of those representing the U.S. Nothing resolved. Problems kicked down the road.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mulchin should be sent back to Wall Street. He is neither qualified to be Treasury Secretary nor engaged in trade talks on behalf of the U.S.

Yesterday, Trump described Congressman Devin Nunes as “a very courageous man.” For pushing the DOJ and FBI for the name of an informant.

Recall Nunes’ support of Trump since day one. Running to the White House to report something that had happened in his Committee. More recently, having the House Intelligence Committee, which he Chairs, issue a majority report saying in effect no Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

I consider Nunes a stooge for Trump, an informant of sorts. He has forgotten his Congressional responsibilities in sucking up to the President.

An Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday causes me great concern. Note it was authored by Brigadier General Ronen Manelis of Israel’s Defense Forces.

The Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy last week proved a disaster. At least initially. Now, I am not sure.

It was reported many Palestinians were protesting at the fence. On the Gaza side and unarmed. Israeli forces unloaded on them. Missiles, small fire, etc. Sixty two killed. Eight of them children. Two thousand seven hundred injured.

The world, including me, dumped on Israel.

Now it appears things may not have been as they appeared. Further investigation is required.

The Opinion claims the protest was funded by Hamas as a terrorist propaganda operation. Hamas provided free transportation to innocent citizens to the border, including women and children. These people were hired in effect as extras: $14 per person, $100 per family, and $500 if anyone was injured.

What is truth? The world should know.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FIRST MOTOR VEHICLE SPEED LIMIT: 12 MPH CITIES, 15 MPH COUNTRY ROADS

It was the turn of the century. The 20th century. 1901 to be specific. Automobiles were ripping up the streets and highways. Scaring horses, endangering people.

Connecticut became the first State to impose speed limits on motor vehicles. 12 mph in the cities, 15 mph on country roads.

Hard to believe. Everything starts somewhere, however.

Began my sunday working on this week’s KONK Life column. Right To Declare War. A power Constitutionally Congress’. One which has been usurped by the Presidency since the Korean War.

Comcast absorbed an hour. Second day in a row I had to spend considerable time on the phone with Comcast and I still am without TV.

Friday, I was told it was the remotes. Get two new ones. I did. I was not able to coordinate them with the sets. Meant I still had no TV.

Back on the phone yesterday. After an hour was told it was not the remote. It was the box. Someone would be at my home between 1 and 3 today to fix.

In the several hours following yesterday’s repair call, I received 4 calls from Comcast personnel. All real people. Wow! To remind me how sorry they were for my problem, was it still continuing, someone would be there tomorrow (today) to fix.

Why all the bullshit? Just get some one over here to solve the problem.

Early evening, Kate Miano’s Gardens. Kate just returned from 3 weeks at her home in France.

I enjoyed Kate and friends. Chatted the time away. All great people.

Met Jeff and Linda for the first time. From Chicago. Bought a home here 3 years ago. Snowbirds. Can’t wait to be full time residents.

Can’t blame them.

Decided on Hogfish for dinner. Second time in recent days. Enjoyed hogfish again.

Key lime pie was a featured dessert. I craved. Capitulated. Went for it. Delicious! A little cheating here and there has not affected my diet.

It rained mid-day yesterday. As it has in recent days, a monsoon/hurricane storm. For quite a while. Would not end.

Unusual weather for this time of year.

As I was listening to the howling pouring rain, Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head ran through my mind. Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s song from 1969.

The theme in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My mind returned to Paul Newman riding a bicycle with Katharine Ross perched on the handlebars.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in the Keys History section mentioned that on this day in 1929, the Improved Order of Red Men and Degree of Pocahontas opened its 56th annual Great Sun Council at the Strand Theater on Duval. The old theater now a Walgreens.

My curiosity was aroused. Who were these people? Such a strange name.

We have to go back to the Boston Tea Party in 1765 for the answer. The Patriots who dumped the tea overboard were known as Sons of Liberty. They were disguised as Red Men. Also known as Indians. Now Native Americans.

In 1813, a group of white men formed a fraternal lodge known as the Society of Red Men. Named after the Boston tea party Patriots.

From a  handful of members in 1813, the organization grew to 519,000 in 1921. Its numbers  fell. To 15,000 in 2011. The organization is still alive and active in spite of its reduced membership.

Only whites were permitted to membership till 1974.

The group’s structure is similar to Freemasonry.

A female auxiliary was formed in 1885. Degree of Pocahontas.

Time changes everything. The Red Men significantly reduced in number, the Strand Theater now a Walgreens.

Starbucks was recently confronted with an embarrassing situation. Two black businessmen wanted to use one of its rest rooms. They had not purchased coffee and apparently did not intend to do so. Local management prohibited the use of the bathroom. Words were exchanged. Police called. The men arrested.

Within a short period of time, the Starbucks national office had the charges dropped and apologies extended.

Starbucks has gone even a step further. It announced a new policy. People can sit at a Starbucks without buying anything.

I always thought such was the case. Many the Starbucks I have sat, read a newspaper or worked on my computr while not ordering anything. For some reason, I thought Starbucks was for people to enjoy without purchase if they wished. What wasn’t, now is.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

FANTASY FEST PARADE A SUCCESS

I am assuming the Fantasy fest Parade last night was a success. Assume because I did not see it.

I stopped watching the parade ten years ago.

Parking always a problem. I got towed two successive years. Cost $250 each time to get my car back.

Parking always many blocks from Duval. A long walk to and back from the parade.

Too many people. The streets jammed with viewers.

Seen one, seen them all.

Normally, the Sunday edition of the Key West Citizen would run pictures of the parade and police estimates as to the size of the crowd. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Sunday edition of the Citizen.

I was able to find some news about the parade in a Miami paper on the internet. However, the news portion only ran up to the beginning of the parade. There were a few photos and a video of portions of the parade itself. Unfortunately, neither could provide a sense of the size of the crowd.

So definitive information not available to share till tomorrow morning.

Another reason for not attending last night was topical storm Phillipe. Phillipe is the 93L storm I mentioned yesterday. Got upgraded to a tropical storm. Pouring rain was expected.

From what I have been able to ascertain, Key West lucked out as it did with Irma. At the last minute, Phillipe shifted and the parade did not get poured on. Merely a few drops.

Some ask why the Parade so soon after Irma. Perhaps it would have been better to adjourn it a month to get Key West in better shape.

Simple, my friends. Money.

A proper reason this year at this time. Key West’s labor force primarily consists of waiters, waitresses, bartenders and kitchen help. They all took a beating because of Irma. Closed for the storm. Most did not reopen right away. Some still not open. Damage too extensive. The workers without income.

Rent became due. Most scraped to meet the rent. Very expensive to rent in Key West. Extremely. some landlords got piggish immediately. Rose their rents $300-700 a month. Levels many would not be able to meet. Many of the waiters, etc. have left Key West since Irma. They simply could no longer afford to live here.

Therein lies the reason Fantasy Fest was pushed. Workers for the hotels, restaurants, and bars were in need of the cash infusion.

Two things have been eating at me the past few days. I did a Facebook live video on one the other day.

The first is Trump and his opioid emergency announcement.  Means nothing unless it is funded. Congress has to authorize the money. Congress is not even talking about it.

A typical Trump move. Make a major announcement. Toss the responsibility/next step to Congress. If Congress fails, Trump cannot be blamed.

Keep in mind also we do not have a Secretary of Health, etc. nor a Drug Czar at the present time. Who is going to run the program?

The other involves Puerto Rico and its power grid. Seventy five percent of Puerto Rico is still without electric power. Some six weeks post Irma.

Three hundred million dollars has been appropriated to get work going to restore electricity.

The contract has been given to Whitefish Energy Holdings. The company two years old.  Two employees, the principals. Located in Whiteface, Montana.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is from Whiteface, Montana.

Something smalls here. As it should. We have a President and his family who are engaged in business dealings world wide. Refusing transparency. Business as usual.

As the saying goes…..What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I many times reference a happening as “only in Key West.” I have an only in Mississippi one to share.

A young African-American mother was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in Pearl, Mississippi. Her 4 month old baby was with her.

The police checked identities and found the driver and mother had unanswered misdemeanor warrants pending. They were taken into custody.

The baby’s grandmother arrived within minutes at the scene. The police would not turn the  baby over to her. They deemed the baby “abandoned” under the law. the baby became a public charge and was place in a public facility.

The misdemeanor charges were resolved. The mother asked for the return of her child. Judge John Shirley of the Pearl Youth Court said no.

There were pending court costs. Until the court costs were paid, the mother was prohibited any contact with the baby. The baby in the meantime was placed in the custody of the grandmother.

Note, no contact. Even visiting not permitted.

A not for profit got involved. The Solenge MacArthur Justice Center. Went to bat for the mother big time. Publicized what they viewed as a gross miscarriage of justice.

Took 14 months. Mother and child finally reunited. Judge Shirley was forced to resign and the Youth Court was disbanded.

I have a home party to attend at 4. Following which I hope to stop at Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

FRIENDS TODAY, ENEMIES YESTERDAY

Interesting how nations make war against each other, kill and maim by the thousands, and years later are the best of friends.

Germany and Japan examples.

Further back in history, Great Britain. We fought the Revolution and War of 1812 against the British.

During the War of 1812, the British did a terrible thing. They burned down the White House. On this date in 1814.

Most believe the burning destruction of the White House and other federal buildings was unnecessary. Normally, yes. However the circumstances were not normal. Earlier, U.S. forces had invaded Canada and burned down a number of important British buildings.

Called retribution.

Done, accompanied with an insult.

President James Madison was aware the British would successfully invade Washington. Easily. So easy that the British marched into Washington with no opposition.

Washington’s fate had been decided a day or two before. At the Battle of Bladensburg in Maryland. The U.S. was soundly defeated. Even President Madison fought on the front lines. The first and last commander in chief to actually do so as President.

Washington had to be abandoned. Dolly Madison almost did not make it. Some historians claim she insisted on waiting till a portrait of George Washington could safely be taken down and secured.

The insult did not merely consist of burning down the White House. It included top British generals dining in the White House the evening before.

Brit glory lasted only two days. On August 26, American forces attacked and the British left Washington running with their tails between their legs.

Lunch at 5 Guys yesterday. Craved a big juicy cholesterol filled cheeseburger.

Dinner with Donna in the evening. No Terri. Terri is in New Jersey visiting theater friends. She and Donna meet this weekend in Tampa. Terri begins heavy testing monday to determine if her body qualifies for total bone marrow replacement.

We dined at the bar at Antonia’s. It feels good after all these years to have returned.

TK bartending.

The three of us old timers as far as Key West is concerned. I have been visiting or owned for 26 years. TK and Donna longer. Our discussions centered on Key West. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Confederate statues got into the conversation. I spoke about Mallory Square. TK the Clinton Square statue.

Someone at the bar mentioned white slavery in the U.S. Never heard of it. Partly indentured servants. Most Irish brought over in huge numbers. Etc.

Did a little researching this morning. An interesting subject. I am going to devote my live video on Facebook this afternoon to the subject.

Whites suffered. Rooted from their families, beaten, killed. Not in comparable numbers to blacks. Suffered never the less.

Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead this date in 1992. Total devastation. Homestead wiped out.

I drove through Homestead three weeks later on my way to Key West. The elevated highway still standing. What I saw I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Andrew was a 5. Wiped everything out! Down to the ground! Only an occasional wall left standing.

Tears ran down my cheeks.

Tropical storm Harvey is moving towards Texas. Expected to hit land early saturday morning. Some concern. It is expected to hit as a hurricane. Possibly as high as a 3.

Key West has been buried in rain the past two days. More expected through a week from tomorrow. Could be a spill off from Harvey.

We have read frequently that the Trump’s are bankrupting the Secret Service. An agent’s salary is capped. There are 130 agents protecting the Trump family. Many agents have already exceeded the cap. They are not being paid for heavy overtime. Cannot be without House approval.

What I share, you already know. What you may not know is that many agents are complaining that Trump and family are not treating the agents properly. The agents claim they are being treated like servants.

Bocce season begins tonight. I doubt there will be play. The courts are already soaked. There will be more rain today.

Don will call to advise if the team is playing.

Have to hustle. Haircut time.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

YESTERDAYS FEW KNOW

I have gotten old. Eighty two in less than a week. Some recent experiences brought the fact clearly to mind.

I stopped into Verizon to learn how to wi-fi through my cell phone. The young lady working was also babysitting her two children. Six and eight. Summertime.  The Verizon store their day camp that day.

The kids were playing with their cell phones. I mentioned how smart kids are today. Laptops, cell phones, etc.

Mom agreed. She said she remembered when all she had was a flip phone. I would say she was in her late 20’s.

I immediately thought…..If she only knew!

I was born in 1935.

In the late 1930’s into the first part of the 1940’s, our phone was the corner grocer. No one had telephones, except business people. the grocer took calls for the block.

If a call came for my father, the grocer (his name was Frank) would go out on the street and yell…..Tell John he has a call! Someone would transfer the message to my Dad or to another neighbor to relate.

Then we got a telephone. A four party line. Meant four homes had the same line. If you picked up and heard talking, you hung up till the line was free.

We graduated to a two party line. Then the time came when the only line was ours. We had a private line.

A big deal!

Cell phones did not make an appearance till my mid law practice years. Big and bulky.

The phones got smaller. I recall the flip top.

I am absolutely amazed that my cell phone today is in effect a computer. I can do everything with it.

Only took eighty two years!

When I am gone, will anyone remember?

I was surprised to read recently that typewriters are making a come back. People join together with their vintage machines and have Type-Ins.

I took a typewriting course in high school. My parents bought me a new portable for college. A Smith-Corona. Part of the Super 5 Series. Portable.

Used it all the time in college. Term papers!

Ribbons to change. Always ended up with dirty fingers. Carbon paper for copies. Dirty fingers again. A mistake had to be corrected. A bit of erasing and whiting over.

Now, vintage typing parties!

Even writing came into play this week. Cursive writing. Handwriting.

I write. I can write my name and everything else.

No big deal for me. I learned in the first grade. It was called Palmer Method.

I mentioned earlier this week that at Dueling Bartenders monday night two young ladies sat next to me. At best in their late 20s.

They saw me making notes about our conversation. They said/asked…..You can cursive write?

They could not. They could not even write their names. Both had college degrees. Into well paying jobs. However, Bush 2’s no child left behind made them computer genius. But, not hand writers.

They were impressed I could write!

I have a lot more for today. However, I shall save it for another time.

Enjoy your day!

 

I DINED WELL

Good company, good food, good drink. More a person could not ask for.

Last night was one of those times. I dined well. At Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooked, Terri sang and I enjoyed. Donna is a superior cook. Terri bursting into song cannot be excelled. I was the perfect sponge. Absorbed everything.

It amazes me how well Terri looked. She had a chemo day thursday. Last night, you would never know she had the chemo nor cancer.

The weather continued to be bad yesterday. Poured off and on. Big time. Last night, especially. Supposed to rain into next week. Unusual. Summer is upon us. Rains every day. Like 5-10 minutes. Not pour. This is crazy!

Pride Week. Big goings on. Today, a street festival. 700-900 blocks of Duval blocked off. Through midnight. Tomorrow, Pride Parade. Five pm. The length of Duval.

Key West is a writer’s paradise. Not only novels and short stories, poetry also. Poetry writing significant.

The Key West Poet Laureate for 2017 has been announced. Flower Conroy.

In addition to national recognition, her work has been locally acknowledged. She won the Tennessee Williams Poetry Contest, the Richard Heyman Award, and is the recipient of a 2017 grant from the Anne McKee Artist Fund to produce an anthology of poetry for the five day workshop Conroy recently lead at the Key West Library.

Bobby Nesbitt and Skipper Kripitz. Two outstanding Key West entertainers. Two nice guys. This wednesday evening, they will appear for the last time at The Room. A recognition “the season” has ended. They will return in the Fall.

The Key West City Commission declared a new activity. Several months late in beginning. Third delay of its start announced.

I am referring to the Duval Loop Bus. Part of a plan to reduce traffic and congestion on Duval.

A 16 stop free bus service. I have to smile. Needed parking spaces will be eliminated to accommodate most of the bus stops. The bus itself when stopped will delay traffic in many instances.

The bus was supposed to be ready for operation in December. Unable to. Not enough drivers. Second time, bus wraps (whatever they are) and promotional materials had not arrived.

Bus drivers have been hired. Still cannot use them on the Loop service. The third delay has been announced. Something about a 3 inch wide pole not yet finished. The poles are required at the stops. Hurricane problems require a bigger pole. Not normal. Special manufacture apparently.

In the meantime, bus drivers must be paid or the City will lose them. They are filling in on City buses.

Sounds like money wasted to me.

Not strange. Not unusual. Everything the City does is late and one way or another costs more money.

Did you notice? Trump never mentions Russia and its intrusion into our election system. Why not? It is the key reason for the investigation.

I continue the Trump emboldening Saudi Arabia kick.

After Trump’s visit, no question Trump and Saudi Arabia asshole buddies. A logical conclusion if Trump is close to Saudi Arabia, then the U.S. must be also.

Saudi Arabi is on Qatar’s back for spreading terrorism. Makes me laugh! The Middle East’s biggest supporter of terrorism has been Saudi Arabia.

Trump yesterday announced the U.S. would no longer provide “high level” support to Qatar. He forgets we have a major military base in Qatar with 10,000 military personnel stationed there.

One hour after Trump’s statement, Tillerson announced Saudi Arabia should lift its blockade and talk things out with Qatar. His opinion being that the Saudi/Qatar conflict was affecting the war on ISIS.

Trump and Tillerson messages not in sync. Typical however of what we have come to expect from the Trump administration. The left hand many times does not know what the right is doing. Described another way, the President went off on his own without consultation with his Secretary of State.

The Belmont today. Some of the excitement lost. Neither the Kentucky Derby winner nor the Preakness winner are entered.

Enjoy your day!

DISGUSTING PERFORMANCE

Yesterday’s Senate Committee Hearing was a perfect example of how inept our government has become. Four witnesses. All major figures. All bad. All unresponsive. Two terribly so.

An example of how our country is falling apart at the seams. Responsibility forgotten. A nation cannot survive unless everyone pulls together when it comes to basics.

Answer questions asked, unless there is a legal reason not to do so. There was none yesterday.

Today, Comey. He will be more responsive. Many say this is Comey’s day. I disagree. It is America’s day.

Rained like hell yesterday! Flooding all over!

This morning’s Key West Citizen has excellent photos of the flooding at Front and Duval Streets and Simonton and United.

Supposed to be rainy through the weekend. This afternoon and tonight heavy again. Then moderating off.

Wind warnings for this afternoon. Forty mile per hour winds. Not the time for boating.

Key West Pride week begins today. Runs through sunday.

Several days of festivities. The parade sunday afternoon. Always spectacular! Runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic.

Key West is one happy family. Gays and straights intermingle. No one concerned. No one even thinks about a different sex preference.

Key West has had a gay mayor. Even a gay elected leader of the Chamber of Commerce. He was known as the Gay Master. Made BD/SM gear.

A gay master bd/sm manufacturer as head of the Chamber of Commerce would never have flown in Utica. People too uptight.

I mentioned Qatar and Iran yesterday. How Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states are on their backs. I attributed the move to Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. From my perspective, emboldened the Saudis.

Trump lacking in background knowledge and basic common sense the cause. He did the embolding.

No mention in yesterday and today’s papers re the ISIS attack in Iran and Saudi Arabia’s blockading and threatening little Qatar with invasion.

Was my Trump observation wrong? Or, have the Senate hearings re Russia, etc. blocked out all other significant news?

I read somewhere that people don’t change, they reveal who they really are. We are seeing it with Trump. Many of us knew he was unstable. It is more evident now that he has taken office.

A great religious figure died this date in 632 AD. Muhammad. One of the most influential figures in history. Today Islam is the world’s second largest religion.

Enjoy your day!