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!

 

 

 

29 POUNDS

The world is in upheaval. The U.S., Russia, North Korea, etc. threatening each other. Stormy Daniels causing Trump all kinds of problems. What do I title today’s blog? 29 Pounds!

More important than anything else, the scale this morning. Reflected a solid 29 pound loss. I am thrilled!

I had hung in at 27 pounds forever. Did not think I would ever lose another pound. Dieting in one’s old age calls for patience.

Next goal 30. A nice round number. Then, 40. I suspect it may take till Memorial Day.

Spent a few hours yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Needs more work this afternoon. The show will cover a multitude of worldly sins, interesting information, and whatever strikes my fancy.

The show is only three years old. Acquires more and more listeners every week. Love the numbers! No where as many as this blog. However apparently significant in the podcast field.

Tonight, a first. I am dedicating the show to a particular person.

Join me at 9 my time. A quick moving half hour. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

First stop last night Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. A guest vocalist. Never saw her before. Laura. Young, beautiful, and talented.

Liz sitting nearby. Went over and gave her a hug and kiss. New hairdo. She looked terrific!

Then to Antonia’s. Nicole bartending. Robert came over to say hello. He bartended at Outback for years. Now waitering at Antonia’s. A charming personality. He will do well.

Chatted a bit with a couple several seats away at the bar. In Key West for a month. Staying at Banyan Court. We got into Irma. They were very interested. Believe they will buy Irma and Me.

I used to enjoy stopping in at the VFW Post on North Roosevelt Boulevard. A sandwich, a drink and always good conversation. Irma put a stop to it. Peeled the roof totally off. Someone who saw it happen described the roof peeling back like an onion. Internal damage big time. Insulation and wiring hanging. Water damage.

Has not yet reopened. This morning’s Key West Citizen carried an article announcing the reopening hopefully by Memorial Day.

Whatever date, I am glad it is coming back!

Dusenberry is going home.

He is a 100 pound sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle. He was found off Key Largo in December unable to dive. Taken to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. Examination revealed he was impacted. Medicines and a good diet fixed him up.

Dusenberry is being returned to the ocean at 10:50 tomorrow morning at Sombrero Beach. Per custom, there will be 100-200 persons cheering off.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. The President spent 175 days in Key West over a period of 11 trips.

On this day in 1952, Truman left Key West after spending 3 weeks vacationing at The Little White House.

March Madness is upon us! This weekend the Final Four!

Big time basketball.

The championship game of the first Final Four took place on this date in 1939. The conclusion of the first ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Only 8 teams invited.

Oregon beat Ohio State 46-33.

The tournament has grown. Sixty eight teams now invited. It has become the most popular sporting event after the Super Bowl.

The rich have a new toy. I am talking about the 1 percent. Those that already have private jets, yachts, homes world wide.

Private railroad cars. To transport them from their city homes to their  weekend country homes.

There was a time referred to as the Gilded Age. The very rich had private railroad cars attached to the rear of trains. Those Gilded Age railroad cars valuable today. The 1 percent buying them. Remodeling costs generally $1 million.

Justice has a way of surfacing. Most get theirs in the end.

One of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers was Remington Outdoor Co., Inc. Note the word “was” in the previous sentence. Remington filed for bankruptcy protection sunday. Chapter 11.

Remington owes $950 million. Working out a plan to reduce the debt and turn control of the company to it creditors.

Remington’s business fell dramatically this past year. The reason, Trump’s election.

You would have thought his election would have increased Remington’s business. Not so.

Gun owners traditionally bought big time when anti-gun people were elected. They feared they would not be able to purchase guns and ammunition as they had.

Trump got elected. The fear was gone. He was a gun man! He told the NRA during the campaign they would have a friend in the White House.

Such being the case, gun  people did not purchase that many guns in Trump’s first year. The fear was gone. Their man was in the White House.

Enjoy your day!

 

SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE DISGUSTING

This morning with us facing a crashing market and Trump issues all over the place, I deem what is occurring with the local education system more important.

I learned yesterday that the Monroe County School District graduation rate for 2016-7 was 79.2 percent.

Disgusting!

Parents, the community and the School Board should consider the number unacceptable. And do something about it!

The problem has to have existed for a number of years. To the School Board I say what is happening in the classroom is more important than housing. Get your priorities straight! The kids come first!

School officials say there is cause for celebration. The percentage is a bit higher and close to the State’s. The State graduation level also sucks. 82.3 percent.

I have a selfish interest. Robert and Ally shortly will be attending the Key West High School. Thus far they have been educated by Montessori. I am impressed at the degree of knowledge they have acquired. I do not want it to stop when they enter high school.

The Dow dropped 665 points friday and 1,100 plus yesterday. Wow!

Trump keeps taking credit for the market. I felt the market’s meteoric rise could not continue. At 82, I have seen similar markets in my life time. I said and wrote last year that the market could not sustain itself. There would be a crash. I thought it might occur by the end of last year or early this year.

I spoke of an impending crash last week in one of my Key West Lou Live Videos. Suggested it could occur anytime. If not the immediate future, sometime into the year.

My reasoning simple. What goes up, must come down. Especially a market that moves with abnormal swiftness. Everyone getting rich thinking there is no end to the success.

I referred to Trump at the time as the Herbert Hoover of 2018. So certain I was that the market would take a dive.

It began friday. Continued yesterday. Probably will continue today. The European and Asian markets went down during the night. Our misfortune affects the world.

The market corrects itself. No one knows precisely why. The market is like a person in certain respects. If it gets too rich, it regurgitates. Pukes. That is what it is doing now. It will continue till the market feels it has reached a price correction.

To place the market’s meteoric rise in proper perspective, lets look at a couple of numbers.

The market rose 1,900 points in the first 18 days of this year. Since Trump’s election, the market has risen 8,300 points. Mind boggling increases. Not normal. Shades of 1929.

Since Trump took credit for the market’s rise, I am curious to see how he handles its nose dive.

Pelosi’s fault? Democrats? The FBI’s?

A term rarely heard. Part of market jargon. The dead cat bounce.

Market lingo for a recovery after a market decline based on fundamentals. Some people buy in at a time referred to as dips. Investing for a quick profit. Makes everything look peachy and wonderful when it is not. The market is moves upward a bit. After the quick profit is taken, the market goes back down.

Last night a quiet one for me. Dueling Bartenders at Aqua and dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da.

Tom Luna missing last night. Bobby Nesbitt sitting in for him. Not a band substitute.

Aqua Idol tonight! Lynda Frechette’s baby. A fund raiser for the Waterfront Playhouse. Great singing! Big crowd! Fun!

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. So many things to talk about. I have notes covering 23 topics. I am lucky if I get 10 in.

Join me tonight at 9. The show’s following grows weekly. Amazing! I even have national sponsors! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

DOTTIE CLIFFORD…..A FAMILIAR FACE

One of the most thoughtful persons I have met in Key West is Dottie Clifford. We go back 20 years. We used to see each other often years ago. Less starting 10 years ago. The last time 5 years ago.

Dottie is being honored today. The Key West Citizen presents her front page as a Key West Familiar Face.

Dottie an almost Conch. Been here 40 years. The Citizen article notes that when she first arrived in Key West, it was a hippie outpost. Today, a world renown hospitality hot spot.

She has seen it all!

Dottie is President and owner of the Key West Attractions Association.

Calamity befell her a few years ago. Pancreatic cancer. Normally, the death knell. God was with her. Dottie survived. She has been cancer free for two years.

Her illness did not diminish her bubbly personality. Uplifted all the time. You hear her cheery laugh before you even see her.

Dottie, here is to another 40 years!

The Paradise Big Band performed recently. Its 20th anniversary.

I missed the event this year. Ralph De Palma’s photos appeared in this morning’s E-Blast. There were my friends! Holly and Peter Diamond singing and dancing, Skipper Kripitz on the drums, and Larry Smith the piano.

A special time. Sorry I could not make it.

Dueling Bartenders last night. One of the best events in town. Great singing! The kind that busts the walls. Tom Luna and Rick Dery the bartenders. Bobby Smith a guest bartender.

What a trio!

Tons of people.

Liz and her entourage of 4 came in. She is the Queen at Battling Bartenders and treated as such.

Liz looked magnificent! Like just off her motorcycle. Bright red turtle neck sweater, a necklace of white stones, and a black bikers jacket. I looked to see if Marlon Brando was following her.

Friend Liz is 83 and former Dean of two law schools.

With Liz were Josefina, Genevieva, and Debbie. Plus an unknown gentleman.

Skaneateles Dan Reardon and wife came in. Together with Dan’s visiting brother John and his wife.

Dan and I are orange hearted Syracuse fans. We talked about saturday’s defeat.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for another prime rib. Great for my diet.

I was fortunate to get a seat next to Jean and Ron. They are from Eastern Maryland. Jean a retired school administrator. Ron a general contractor. Grandparents to three. This their third or fourth visit to Key West.

Ron a Maryland fan. Maryland was playing Michigan. Maryland lost by 1  point. The last 5 minutes exciting. A Michigan  foul shot with 1.5 seconds to go gave Michigan the victory.

I got into the game with Ron. Whooping it up! Especially a Maryland 3 pointer with less than a minute to go.

A Mike came from the other end of the bar. Asked if I was Key West Lou. Mike advised he is a loyal blog reader. Loved Mike!

Stopped by to say good night when leaving. Met his wife. Nice people.

I can see! Amazing! I have had my new prescription glasses since friday. The difference they make! Reminds me of when I had cataract surgery on both eyes.

I waited too long to get new glasses. Never again.

I learned I needed them when I escaped Irma. Road signs impossible to read. Turn offs not visible till upon them. Lucky I survived night driving.

Speaking of Irma, my book Irma and Me appears to be selling. If you have not ordered it, please do so. Guaranteed you will enjoy! Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and  Kobobooks.com.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have a ton of topics to share. Normally get through 10. I have accumulated 25 during the week in anticipation of the show. I will spend the afternoon selecting those to be used and organizing tonight’s format.

One of the topics will include Trump’s shithole countries comment. I read this morning the Alt-Right loves Trump because of the reference. They hate immigrants.

Think about what I am going to write. Immigrants are disliked and a problem world wide. The immigrants of today are the Jews of yesterday. Peoples need a scapegoat, someone to hate.

Enjoy your day!

 

ARMED MASKED MERCENARIES WALKING STREETS OF PUERTO RICO

During war, battle plan are prepared. After the battle begins and things are not going as expected, the plan is thrown away. A new plan formulated. One outside the box.

Trump is not creating any new methods for helping Puerto Rico. He tells us the food and water are there. It is up to the people to distribute it.

Passing the buck.

Trump fails to take into account that over 100 bridges are down and many roads washed away.

Think outside the box!

Helicopters! Load the helicopters with food and water and fly all over Puerto Rico bringing food and water to those who have seen neither in almost a month.

My sense is the same was suggested to Trump and rejected by him. Why trump has a hard on for Puerto Rico, I cannot understand.

I discovered in the past 48 hours that armed masked mercenaries, wearing battle gear, and carrying arms, are patrolling streets in San Juan and elsewhere. No tags identifying who they are. When asked, they respond…..We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico.

Who are these mercenaries? Where do they come from? Who is paying them?

TV thus far has been silent as to the situation. In the past two days, articles have begun appearing on the internet re the mercenaries.

Little by little, the truth is leaking out. It appears mercenary groups have been invited by the United States to bid to provide armed and unarmed security. Bids have also been asked for help in protecting food and water supplies.

Five bids requested so far. The one for armed and unarmed security by the Department of Homeland Security.

Questions. Assuming the previous correct, why has the Trump Administration not announced it? Why have TV news outlets failed to mentioned it? Why the big secret?

More importantly, if the U.S. can spend money to hire mercenaries to help, why not send the U.S. military instead? The way things normally are done.

Another thing, why the masks and no identification?

Is Puerto Rico being set up for the overthrow of its existing government by the U.S.? United States’ citizens overthrown by the United States?

None of this makes sense to me.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a fast moving sometimes eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include the Puerto Rico armed masked mercenary situation, a post Irma update for Key West, Kansas losing 70 foster children, the size of the White House, stone crab season upon us.

Also, Trump a destroyer rather than a builder, the poem Slow Dance by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in 6 months, the soon to be publication of Irma and Me, new Charlottesville confrontations, and more.

I had not planned going out last night. Changed my mind at the last minute. Was lathered up ready to shave when the lights went out. So much for shaving. Showered and dressed in the dark.

My neighbors were in the street abuzz about the power failure. Some said all the way up to Big Pine. Others, Big Coppitt.

Aqua my first stop. Missed Liz. She and Stacy had left for dinner. Sat and enjoyed Ric Dery singing.

No Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna was somewhere in West Virginia or Virginia attending a 40 year reunion of the cast of a professional show performed 40 years ago.

Lovely Jean Thornton at the bar. A couple of hugs and kisses.

I sat next to David. We decided after a while to leave and go to the Chart Room. The Chart Room was surprisingly packed.

Met a family from New Hampshire. Five in all. Staying at Truman Annex.

Chatted quite a while with CJ, the youngest family member at 24. CJ good company. Excited about life. A history major in college. Looking forward to obtaining a Masters.

A full day. I was home in bed by 10.

Publisher believes Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day!

I MET STEVEN

There is a mean ill tempered individual named Steven who Comments re this blog. Not a nice guy. Enjoys beating me up.

I was having dinner last night at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. A man shows up. “I’m Steven.” “You’re Steven?” “Yes, I’m Steven.”

A few more words and I realized Steven was not the bad one.

Steven advised he has been reading my blog for years. Never commented, however. Enjoys the blog tremendously. He and his wife Sandy have a place on Sugarloaf. Their home Cape May, New Jersey.

I am familiar with Cape May. On the Jersey Shore. Visited many Cape May restaurants when a guest at Frank and Lois Paladino’s summer home in nearby Stone Harbor.

We had an enjoyable conversation. Steven and I are at different ends of the political spectrum. He likes Trump. No problem, we agreed. We could talk civilly.

He and the wife are returning to Cape May in five days. They came down to evaluate the Irma damage to their Sugarloaf home.

We agreed to get together when he returns in January.

I finished dinner and went to pay the bill. Steven had already paid it. Went over to thank him. Met Sandy. I  look forward to our January meeting. Dinner on me!

The evening was unique in a sense. I started at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery at their best.

Liz and friends at the bar. I sat next to Liz. I was pleased to see her out. She spent about 10 days recently in the hospital getting her life long diabetes under control.

Liz and friends left to have dinner at Mangoes. Invited me. I declined.

David was seated on the other side of me. Had him working on my cell phone. I lost my messages app. David a cellphone/computer guru. Like the children of today. He found the app. However could not place the icon on the screen for me. Told me to talk with Sloan.

I asked for my bill. No bill. Liz had picked up my bill. The evening was unique in the sense I paid neither my drinking nor dinner bills.

I can now afford to go our another evening this week.

Joking, of course..

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast show. Interesting topics. Like reptiles in toilets, abortion and Congressman Tim Murphy, the government back in our bedrooms and sex lives, third Charlottesville confrontation since 8/12.

Also, Sally the Salad Bar Robot, post-Irma Key West recovery, Happy Birthday Afghanistan, Puerto Rico still without power, Trump and Venezuela, bankers legal thieves in the U.S., fish fall from the sky, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Some topics eye openers. All shared from my perspective, of course.

Join me. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Yesterday, Columbus Day. I wrote yesterday I  expected turmoil. Protesters who want the name of the day changed and Columbus statues removed.

Turns out protests were minimal. Not at all in many cities.

New York’s parade was its 73rd. Thirty five thousand marched. No demonstrations. A couple of incidents reported.

Denver was the place for the action. Denver is recognized as the birthplace of Columbus Day. Demonstrations described as peaceful. One hundred forty seven arrested, however.

Demonstrators showed up. Primarily Native Americans. They were asked by police if they wanted to be arrested. One hundred forty seven volunteered. The rest quietly watched the parade.

Native Americans want the label for the day to be changed from Columbus day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, aka Native Americans Day.

They say Columbus brutalized and enslaved West Indians.

The chant of the Denver protests: Sitting Bull would be proud of us.

I’m missing something here. As I recall, Native Americans scalped, killed entire white families after torturing them (including rape of the women), and kept captured whites and Indians as slaves.

Native Americans who want a day Sitting Bull and their ancestors would be proud of should pick another date to honor their heritage. Leave mine alone. I am of Italian heritage. My mother and both sets of grandparents were born in Italy.

Curb debris continues to be a challenge. The debris of epic proportions.With all the removal so far, only 17-18 percent has been removed. It is estimated there were 400,000 cubic yards. Seventy thousand removed thus far.

There are many trucks involved in the removal. FEMA is sending four more. The removal a big time task!

I have to hustle. A test at the hospital at 12:30. The beginning of many tests. Primary purpose to determine why I am tired all the time. Close to exhaustion some time.

Enjoy your day!

 

A MESS…..PARKING AND TRAFFIC

As Key West’s popularity grows, so too its parking and traffic problems. To the point of exasperation!

City leaders have done their best to remedy the problem. The City Commission has spent six figure money on studies.

Nothing has worked.

The newest approach…..Let the people work it out.

The City Commission is considering approving a six member temporary commission to make recommendations re parking and traffic congestion. The committee would sit for six months. Unpaid. Each Commissioner would appoint one person to the committee.

Can’t be worse than those who have been paid. Maybe better. Those who live in Key West year round have a better handle on the problem.

My sense is the only solution must be a dramatic one. Something not thought of yet. The obvious has not worked.

An observation never taken into consideration. Key West is a tiny island. Four by 1.5 miles. The island is capable of sinking.

A humorous observation! Written with tongue in cheek.

Another consideration is the successful advertising/selling of Key West. More and more visitors every year.

If getting around becomes a problem, if the crowd becomes overbearing, people will go elsewhere. Property values will become reasonable. Key West will return to the serenity of days gone by.

Might not be bad.

Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery.  Bobby Nesbitt guest vocalist.

Liz and friends at the bar. Enjoyed chatting with Liz.

Towards the end of the evening, Larry Smith showed up. I was surprised. Larry rarely frequents Aqua. He said he was driving by and saw Tom, Bobby and me. Decided to stop.

Glad he did. Larry and I rarely see each other these days.

We discussed why. Simple, I said. We have known each other 25 years. We got old. We no longer do Duval Street or go to parties as we did. We are old enough to think a night in front of the TV is fun. There are fewer and fewer of us each year.

Horrible!

Houston and the Texas gulf coast terrible! Even today people are being saved. And the rain continues. I worry about one of the dams overflowing. the water held back is inches from the top.

The past few days have been Harvey’s time. The next few will continue so. In 2005, there was another hurricane. Katrina.  A category 3. Devastated New Orleans.

I mention Katrina because it was on this day in 2005 that Katrina made landfall.

Katrina has been regarded as the worst natural disaster in our history. Harvey will replace Katrina.

Remember Paul Newman in HUD. He carried a bottle of Jack Daniel’s around most of the movie.

Jack Daniel sales shot up. Men switched for a while. All wanted to look like HUD’s Paul Newman. The tilt of the head, walk, etc.

Want to share a bit about Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey. The distillery opened in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. One year after the Civil War ended and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which ended slavery.

A co-founder of the distillery was Jack Daniel.

A former slave became an employee of the new distillery. Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest knew everything about distilling whiskey. He soon became head stiller. In later years, the title was changed to master distiller.

Nearest was the first African-American master distiller of record in the United States.

His descendants have continued to work at Jack Daniel’s. Three of Nearest’s sons and four grandchildren while he was still alive. Several generations of descendants. Three working at Jack Daniel’s today.

Lynchburg has another distinction. Davy Crockett lived there a while.

You may wonder at this point why I am recounting Jack Daniel’s and Nearest.

Lynchburg rests in the heart of the Confederacy. Tennessee. Left the Union. Supported the South.

The name Lynchburg  struck me as strange. Lynching of blacks so popular they named a town after it? My initial reaction was pursuant to the political correctness of today, the name would have to be changed.

Made sense. Till I researched from whence the name came.

Judge Lynch. Some sort of War of 1812 hero. I could find nothing connecting him to slavery.

Should the name still be changed? It does bring to mind a grievous act involving blacks.

I leave the judgment to those who support the removal of statues and memorials.

There is a memorial that should come down. On the lawn in front of the County Courthouse in Lynchburg rests a monument to Confederate soldiers.

No question, it should come down under present standards of political correctness.

So there is no misunderstanding, my position is to leave any remembrances of the Confederacy alone. Like it or not, regardless of color, they are a part of America’s history.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So many topics. Not sure yet which I will explore in the show’s fast moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

TODAY SUMMER SOLSTICE

Good morning!

A lovely Key West day in the making.

Today is Summer Solstice. the longest day of the year. the day the sun is highest in the sky.

Happens twice a year. June 20 and December 22.

Last night began with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Lovely Heather guest performer. Heather adding a special touch.

The singing outstanding! The bar crowd mostly seniors. A lot of 50’s and 60’s tunes. A 70’s or 80’s thrown in here and there.

Met Sally. a Key Wester for 8 years. In her other life, she was a San Francisco police officer. Retired a detective.

Sally wanted a life in the law. Did a year of law school. Too subdued for her. Left law school and joined the police force.

Moved on to Tavern ‘n Town. You have no idea how thrilled I am that the season is over. I can now get a seat at the bar any time I want.

Enjoyed some good food while reading the newspapers.

George Bueno has been bartending at Tavern ‘n Town for 2 years. He had 10 plus years at two other places before Tavern ‘n Town grabbed him.

George is being recognized this week. He is Bartender of the Week. His picture and column appearing in the weekly Key West Week.

Any reason for a party! That’s Key west!

The Key Lime Festival saturday July 1. An only in Key West type event. At the Key West Lighthouse. A gravity defying key lime pie drop. From the top of the Lighthouse. Also  known as the Key Lime Drop Contest.

Pies provided. Four inches in diameter.

Goal is to drop the pie to a specified target without splattering it. Pie in the best condition wins. A trophy and a crisp $100 bill.

Contestants are permitted to create a device or container to protect the pie during its fall and impact.

Finally! Key West is getting Uber! Beginning July 1. The City Commission and Bubba system prevented Uber from operating two years ago when it wanted to begin. New state law prevents Key West from keeping Uber out as long as it meets state requirements.

The City Commission has a propensity for screwing up. Especially when erecting or remodeling a building. The cost goes up dramatically. The Commission always buys some half assed excuse and pays the additional monies.

This time it is the repair of the Frederick Douglas Gym in Bahama Village. The original estimate was $1.7 million. When the bids came in, the cost went up to $2.1 million. Now has ballooned to just under $2.3 million. And the work nowhere close to being done!

Working for the City many times is like having an open check book.

Another folly. There are three sight seeing franchises in Key West. Trolley, buses, etc. All three recently renewed their contracts with the City.

Traffic is a major problem these days. Actually, the major problem. Each of the agreements contain a clause that permits duck boats. In the event the Navy changes its mind and permits them.

Why do we need duck boats? There is not enough room for anything more on Key West streets. Previous duck boats were 39 feet long and 8 feet wide.

Permission should not have been granted. All parties should have waited till Navy approval or some remedy to make the duck boats acceptable. Then an amendment to the agreements could have been negotiated. With the traffic issue a main item of contention.

Ingenuity, mostly American, exists in our penal institutions. Contraband has been smuggled into federal and state jails in increasing numbers over the past five years. Contraband consisting of mobile phones, drugs and pornography.

Drones the method of delivery. Authorities are not equipped with the necessary technology to prevent the deliveries.

One of the finest persons I have met in Key West is Betsy Dietz. A kind charming woman. A good friend of Lisa’s. We have done Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together for over 10 years at Lisa’s.

Betsy recently passed on. A Celebration of Life will be held tomorrow at 5 at the Ocean Grill in Duval Square.

I am confident the crowd paying her honor will be overwhelming.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9. A quick half hour of interesting topics. Many eye opening. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

BEGINNING OF THE END…..

June 6, 1944. D-Day. Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. American, British, and Canadian. One hundred fifty five thousand strong. Within 11 months, Germany would surrender.

This past weekend, Trump and company publicized this week would be a national tour by Trump to share with the people his infrastructure plan. To privatize infrastructure.

I support infrastructure remediation. I do not support privatization.

Instead of infrastructure, Trump appeared in the White House yesterday morning telling us about his plan for privatization of air controllers. I figured tuesday would find Trump into infrastructure.

Apparently not to be. At least not today. Trump news this morning says he wants to work on healthcare and the budget first.

Why the switch?

Aqua first last night. Tom Luna and Rich Dery singing as only they can. Destiny their guest performer. A knock out voice, also.

Liz at the bar. With girl friends Josefina and Mary. First time i have seen Liz in a few weeks. She is still with cane. Looking questionable whether her second hip surgery worked.

Photographer Larry Blackburn at the bar. We exchanged hellos and shook hands.

Then down the block to Bourbon Street. Wanted to hear Bria sing. No Bria. Discovered she has left for New Hampshire for the summer.

I was disappointed. Not for log, however.

Rocky Bottom was filling in for Bria. A terrific entertainer!

Bourbon Street is a gay bar. One of the top ones in Key West. Rocky Bottom, a female. Kept the guys entertained. Her tip bucket filled up rapidly.

Rocky Bottom sings to a different tune. A little wild. One song had fuck every other word. She sang the tune not sensuously. Hard and tough!

Joe Schroeder opened Bourbon Street twenty plus years ago. He was looking to establish a Beads, Boys and Booze operation. He succeeded big time.

Stopped at the VFW for a bite to eat on the way home. The VFW is open to the public. Prior military involvement not a requirement for admission.

I was at one end of the bar. A mature couple came in and sat at the other end. About a dozen people at the bar.

The new guy bought for the bar. He knew no one. His first time in the VFW. His name Mark and he was from Michigan.

On my way out, I stopped to thank him and shake his hand. He said, “Thank you for your service.”

I never served.

My meal was meat loaf. Mother’s cooking.

You can tell the humidity is heavy. Glasses fog up immediately when you get out of an air conditioned car.

Tomorrow at 10 am at the Custom House, Dr. Cori Convertino is giving a walking lecture telling the story of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway. Dr. Convertino is the KWAHS curator who devoted months putting the Flagler Railway exhibition together.

Coomey appears before a Congressional Committee thursday. Too much hype. Expectations running high. Too much may be expected. Certain of his testimony will be classified. Additionally, Special Counsel Mueller may limit what Coomey may reveal.

We shall see.

The emblem of the Democratic Party is the donkey. From whence did it come?

Andrew Jackson was running for President. The Party’s mascot at the time was the Rooster. Shades of Key West 175 years later.

Jackson’s opposition used a play on Jackson’s name to make fun of Jackson and his followers: Jackasses. Donkey in due course became the more tasteful replacement for Jackasses.

The Rooster did not completely die. The Democrat Rooster remains to this day on ballots in some states.

Tonight, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Usually, I list topics to be discussed in the evening in the tuesday morning blog. Not this week. With Trump out there, things change hourly.

The past few weeks, I have spent my tuesday afternoons adjusting my topics to fit breaking news. Today, I am waiting till one to formulate tonight’s program.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL DUELING BARTENDERS EVENING

Some nights, some events, can be absolutely over the top. So it was last night with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

The room jumped!

I was supposed to pick Terri up and bring her with me. donna had to work and would be late. Lately typical, I forgot. Forgot to pick Terri up.

I was on my way into Aqua when the I remembered. Simultaneously, Donna was on the phone. Where are you? Going into Aqua. I know, I forgot to pick Terri up.

Back to car and on to mid town. Terri waiting outside for me. A lady about the whole thing.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery singing. If Terri is there, she sings also. As Terri and I walked in, Tom Luna brushed aside me and gave Terri who was behind me a big hug. Also, a microphone. Terri was welcome to sing when ever moved to do so.

Terri is special. Her vocal chords unique. the walls move when she gets into a song.

She got to me with Suddenly Seymour. Brought tears to my eyes.

A strange existence. Here she is singing and dancing while singing on occasion with Rick. You would never know she has  a heavy cancer she is battling. Been on chemo for several months now. Hopefully a special surgery in Tampa in late May.

Terri put a little joy into everyone’s hearts.

Sitting next to Terri at the bar were four young males. Off the Carnival Freedom which was docked at Mallory Square. The four from Texas, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Havord a dancer. Tim a singer, Justin a yoga instructor. The fourth, John. I cannot recall his function on the Freedom.

Terri blew them out!

Looked for Liz. No Liz.

Saw Lynn. First time in a couple of years. Lynn ran a popular optometrist business here for years. Fell off the face of the earth two years ago. Obviously has returned. She said she intends to remain.

Welcome back, Lynn!

Then came John the Baptist. The words fell out of my mouth. Someone next to me said, no. It’s Moses.

In reality Joseph Lyles. Former manager of the Hot Tin Roof. Now retired. Ninety nine percent recovered from a serious back surgery. Walking not with a cane. Rather, a six foot pole. Joseph a bit shorter. The pole and his new beard rendered him John the Baptist or Moses.

We agreed to have dinner together next week.

My yesterday morning was spent running around town taking care of some business matters.

My afternoon split between watching Love Story and preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Love Story got to me in similar fashion as Terri’s Suddenly Seymour. A few tears. I have seen the movie many times. It still hits the soft spot in me.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou is at 9 my time. A quick moving eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include a little Trump. How can he be left out? Trump’s invitation to Kim Jong Un to visit the White House, still refusing to back off Obama a “sick and bad guy,” claiming Andrew Jackson upset with the Civil War and would have kept us out of it.

Followed Attorney/General Sessions and the Congressional bar against him prosecuting state medical marijuana laws.

Also, a Venezuelan  update, the new Fourth Reich, cobalt big money, John Tyler’s marital prowess, white people sub-human re certain black advocates, and more.

Duval not always as it is today.  Take O Duval. Where the Pier House and Ocean Key House sit today. Two magnificent resorts.

The Key West Citizen this morning in its Keys History section ran a photo of O Duval 1946. No Pier House, no Ocean Key House. Instead the beginning of a small distribution center for Gulf Oil. A very small building. Nothing more, except bare dock top.

Enjoy your day!