HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day. The birthday of our country.

Two hundred forty two years old. It was July 4, 1776 at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

We are a young nation. Compare our age to that of European nations. Still growing. Tensions abound. The Trump era crazy and dangerous.

America celebrates. Tonight, fireworks! In Key West, off the White Street Pier.

This past week has been strange politically. Relatively quiet. We have not heard from Rudy Giuliani and other Trump cohorts who were making the news. Are they quiet because of Michael Cohen on the verge of possibly flipping?

Cohen is making noise like Trump when he wants something. He is using the media. Cohen seems to be telling the Second District he wants to jump fence and play on their side. Thus far they have not picked up on his offer.

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Thoroughly enjoyed doing the show. Covered a multitude of sins. Wish I had had more time.

Casey joined me for dinner before the show. At Roostica.

Casey and his 70′ x 30′ catamaran sit in the water off Hogfish. Casey new to Key West. Been here all of 10 days. Yesterday, he took his dingy and visited Wisteria Island. He is interested in Key West lore. The day before he went out into the Gulf a bit and did some diving.

Jennifer waited on us. It has been two years since I last saw her. She was pregnant at the time and due any day. She proudly showed me her son’s picture. Two years old. A handsome little man.

Good friends Fran and Tom Dixon have arrived. Buffalo their home. They visit four times a year. Stay at Ocean Key. Tom is on the Board.

We are doing dinner tonight. Meeting at 6 at the Chart Room. My turn to host. Probably the A&B Lobster House. Plan on calling for a reservation since today is a holiday.

Fran is concerned for me. She thinks I am not well fed. She brings me food from Buffalo. Tonight, I will receive at least 4 jars of homemade sauce containing pork, sausage and meatballs. Plus low carb bread and home made candy.

Love the woman!

You have to believe in guardian angels! God, too! Two examples evidencing why.

A few days ago, the cruise liner Norwegian Gallery was 28 miles off the northwest of Cuba. A crew member fell off the ship. His fall seen. The ship backed up and searched. Could not find him. Authorities notified. Air and sea searches proved fruitless.

The next day, the cruise ship Carnival Glory was traveling in the opposite direction. Twenty one miles off the north coast of Cuba. Saw the crew member in the water. He was rescued. In good health.

The man had been in the water 22 hours. Treading. No life jacket. Fortunately the water is warm and calm this time of year. Even more fortunate, a shark did not come upon him.

Did the man have a guardian angel? No question in my mind. God was looking after him.

A Thailand event the other example.

A 12 member soccer team and their coach got lost in a mountain gave in north Thailand. The boys 11-16.

The cave is part of a huge mountain. Full of corridors of all sizes. Some entrances small. The boys had to squeeze to get through. The team was able to get down into the heart of the mountain about one mile.

Then stuck. Water all around them. The caves have flowing water in various depths.

They could not get out. Spent 10 days in the dark and without food. Searchers and divers arrived from all over the world. A total of 1,000 looking to provide assistance. Two British divers found them over the weekend.

All basically in good health. Food, water and medical assistance provided.

At this point it is clear the kids and their coach had a special guardian angel looking over them. God directing their rescue.

The rescue is not complete however. It has been raining since the team got lost. The rainy season. Every day. The rain sometimes six inches in an hour. Cave passage ways flooding.

The team will have to swim and dive in order to get out. A mile.

None know how to swim or dive. Present plans are to teach them how to swim and dive. Then take them out. Two professional divers guiding each team person.

It is estimated the plan will take months. However so far the only way determined to get them out.

Hope the guardian angels and the good Lord stay with them.

Children detained in chain linked cages. We should be ashamed! I do not understand how Trump supporters find nothing wrong with the scenario: “They broke the law.” “They brought their children into the U.S.” “They invited what is happening to them.”

For shame!

The Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis is expressing its concern and disagreement. Statues of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus sit on the lawn of the Church in a chain linked enclosed cage.

BOB says it is a holiday. He is not writing today.

Enjoy your Fourth!

 

FEAR OF MOSQUITOES

Some people fear mosquitoes. More than just not liking them. Actually fear them. It is called insectophobia. Also, entomophobia. Defined as an unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect.

Mosquitoes are insects. The phobia is linked with fear of itching.

Those afflicted with the phobia are prone to say: “Kill them all!”

Never knew some feared simple mosquito bites merely because of the itching. Yellow fever I could understand.

I became interested in the topic the past few days. Some TV programs showed pictures of Trump during the campaign and since elected swapping mosquitoes who were flying around him. He generally referred to them as no good. Said, “Kill them all!”

Our President has the phobia!

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I had the program organized. My intent was to begin with some non-Trump items. Then move on to Trump re immigrant children and tariffs.

The U.S. Supreme Court screwed me up. They decided Trump v. Hawaii yesterday. Had to work the decision into the show.

I do not agree with the decision. The Supreme Court has become as politicized as Congress and the Nation. Our government is not working at any level.

The issue in the case was religious freedom. Not Presidential power.

I have read portions of the decision and listened to various TV persons analyze it. Associate Justice Sotomayer had it right in her dissent. Chief Justice Roberts majority decision read like Comey explaining his decision re Hillary Clinton and her computer usage.

Another case was decided yesterday. One of importance re immigrant children. The case was decided in a California federal court by Judge Dana M. Sabraw.

The case pin pointed separating children from their parents.

Judge Sabraw ruled that authorities cannot split families who illegally cross the border. Those already separated must be reunited within 30 days. Two weeks for children under 5. All children must be allowed to speak with parents within 10 days.

The Judge hit certain things right on. He wrote property is accounted for with more efficiency and accuracy than immigrant children. Also, adults may not be deported from the U.S. without their children.

He observed that chaos existed. The chaotic circumstances of the government’s own making.

The government will probably appeal.

I had time to sneak out for a bite to eat before the show. Hurried to Roostica. Arrived in time for Happy Hour. Did not know they even had a Happy Hour.

A good deal! Eight limoncello wings for $8. The full meal of 10, $12. Two less and save $4. A good deal!

Chatted with the man who sat next to me. From England, he has worked at Byrd’s 15 years. Byrd’s is where Cheryl and Roger used to park their RV on Stock Island.

He knew Cheryl and Roger well. Agreed they were the best of people. Said Roger had stopped by in the morning to say hello.

Americans do not tolerate taxation without representation. It caused the Revolutionary War.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that internet sales could be taxed. I believe the issue not yet resolved. It will be litigated ad infinitum till it reaches the Supreme Court again.

“Leave my husband alone!” Like “Don’t tread on me!”

Trump administration officials and supporters are being harangued. People feel they are being abused. They have begun pushing back. Last week saw Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and Sandra Huckabee Sanders confronted. Both in restaurants.

Yesterday at Georgetown University, Georgetown students approached Majority Leader McConnell and his wife Transportation Secretary Chao as they were leaving dinner at the University. The students played the recording of the now famous immigrant children voices, cries of woe, etc. They also shared their thoughts. Directed at McConnell.

His wife came to his defense: “Why don’t you leave my husband alone?” Followed by, “Leave my husband alone.”

This is but the beginning. Confrontations will continue. Again, people are upset. Even some conservatives. Government is not being run as it should. I worry about the demonstrations nationwide which are to take place this saturday. Emotions are running high with the children situation. The fuse is lit. I hope nothing of a serious consequence occurs.

Suicides on the rise. This we have heard for several weeks. A recent article indicated that farmers are the occupation group with the highest suicide rate. Five times more than the broader population.

Blame is attributed to economics. Farmers are living on the same income as they earned 15 years ago.

Things are expected to get worse. As they do, farmer suicides are expected to increase.

Causes will include retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU set to further undermine U.S. crop prices, and the Federal Reserve expected to soon raise interest rates making loans upon which farmers depend increasingly expensive.

My KONK Life article re Sand hits the stands today. It will appear in E-Blast friday.

The world is running out of sand. Getting expensive. Black markets popping up to handle sales.

Note that sand is a non-renewable natural resource.

The article interesting. If you have the opportunity, read it.

BOB has a day off.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

POLENTA

Enjoyed a light meal last night at Roostica. Meatballs and polenta. Sounds heavy. Mine was not. I ordered the appetizer portion.

Polenta is an Italian dish. Cornmeal. Generally, boiled. Can be fried or baked.

Never enjoyed polenta while living in Utica. Tried it a couple of times. Did not like it.

Now, I love it!

I have been to Courmayeur in northern Italy several times. God’s country. Sits 4,000 feet up Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc being the tallest peak in Europe. Four thousand feet sounds like a lot till you look up and see Mont Blanc’s snow covered peak at 16,000 feet.

Courmayeur beautiful. Swiss chalets abound. Residential and commercial buildings alike.

Polenta is the traditional food of Courmayeur. Courmayeur world known for its polenta. Prepared every which way.

Every restaurant serves polenta. Regardless of what else is ordered. A large bowl is deposited in the center of the table at the beginning of each meal.

I got to like polenta during my Courmayeur stays.

Courmayeur is situated close to the French border. Less than an hour’s drive. Opposite Courmayeur on the French side is Chamonix. Another famous Alpine resort.

Connecting Italy and France is the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The only way to get to Chamonix from Courmayeur. The tunnel is 7.15 miles. Through the mountain, not over.

I found it strange. You drive through the tunnel with the windows closed and the air conditioning/heat off. Less you be asphyxiated from carbon monoxide fumes.

Trump makes it sound like borders are protected everywhere. Not among the democratic countries of Europe. I was impressed I could drive through the tunnel without showing a passport or stopping. Like driving from Florida to Georgia or New York to New Jersey.

I highly recommend a Courmayeur vacation. Summer or winter. The buildings magnificent, Mont Blanc overwhelming, the people nice.

Before Roostica, I stopped at the Chart Room.

John introduced me right away to Lana and Gary. I was thrilled to meet them. They are daily blog readers and had bought and read Irma and Me.

Presently live in Crystal River, Florida. Manatee country. You can even swim with the manatees in Crystal River!

Both originally from New York State. Lana, Rochester and Gary, Catskill. Lana a school teacher. Gary a retired fireman who now works as a ticket broker. Both in their late 40’s.

They are in Key West celebrating their third wedding anniversary. Today the day. They were married three years ago in Key West.

Gary asked Lana to marry him three plus years ago on the stage at Irish Kevin’s. In front of the world! He needed a ring. Stopped at a souvenir store on Duval and bought a 10 cent multi colored plastic one.

Enjoyed my time with Lana and Gary. Good people!

Sloan and I have not been together in weeks. We have reached a point where I e-mail a need and she performs. However every now and then, we have to sit together. Mechanical things to be done. Tonight at 5:30.

Something new was started last year in Key West. The Key Lime Festival. This year sponsored by KWAHS.

The event takes place at the Key West Lighthouse on Whitehead. From 11 to 2:30 next saturday, June 30.

The reason to attend is to view or participate in the Key Lime Pie Drop from the top of the Lighthouse. Seventy three feet. The idea is to place a key lime pie in some contraption invented by the dropper and let it fly. The winner is the one whose pie lands without damage.

A difficult feat.

I have written several times that while Trump goes around demeaning other nations, those nations are slowing moving off the dollar to the Chinese yuan. Each time this happens, the dollar is devalued. It is occurring frequently since Trump took office.

Some nations, especially small ones, are moving off the dollar or yuan to gold. They believe the world is too volatile to remain with the dollar or yuan.

Back in the 1990’s, the Keys were declared a National Marine Sanctuary. Took several years and much work to attain the designation.

BOB got upset at a time thereafter. The federal government decided it wanted to build a missile launching pad at Cudjoe Key. To test antiballistic missiles launched from Cudjoe to Panama city.

The National Marine Sanctuary and a missile launching site seemed inconsistent to BOB and he vented re the situation.

I am unaware of the missile site ever being established at Cudjoe Key. Bob Smith’s opposition must have helped.

In recent years, we have been told that in a 100 years, non-whites will outnumber whites in the U.S. A recent study indicates an acceleration. The study now indicates that by 2045, there will be more non-whites than whites.

A major contributing factor is that whites are dying faster than white babies are being born. The study indicated increased white births would not help. The whites are too far behind.

Such is life.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HEART OF AMERICA

The heart of America was represented in the Chart Room last night. The very spirit and essence. Family businesses.

One, the Bair family. Ohio people. Have owned and operated Bair’s Concessions, Inc. for 60 years. Three generations. Business headquartered in Lancaster, Ohio.

Bair’s Concessions provides food services to traveling carnivals. Hot dogs, cotton candy, etc. They move around as the carnivals do. Bair’s has its own staff, vehicles, equipment, etc.

Hard workers. The season six months. No time off.

Key personnel include this generation’s parents Brent and Nikki, their son Trent and his wife Annie.

The family spends 3 of the other six months annually in Key West resting up and enjoying.

Met them through the blog. Annie and Nikki regular readers. Love ’em! Bought Irma and Me, also.

John told me Annie had been in and out of the Chart Room for two weeks looking for me. She and mother in law Nikki wanted to meet, Annie wanted her book signed.

The Bair men quiet. The Bair ladies talkative. Vivacious women.

The other family business involved Phil. From Milford, Connecticut. Phil here with Christina for Don and Chris’ wedding. Don’s company and Phil’s do business together.

Phil has a home in Tuscany.

I have no further information re Phil and Christina. We were seated at the round table with Don and Chris. The wedding was primary conversation. The Chart Room noisy. And I was on my way to one drink too many.

Fortunately, Phil and Christina will be here for the wedding. I will probably see them tonight at a pre-wedding party. Definitely at the wedding saturday night.

At the bar was the new love of my life, Morgan. John’s lady. A hug, a kiss and great conversation.

Ted from Wampsville still in Key West. We have to get a dinner in.

His friend Ken with him. Ken from Canastota. Both small towns in central New York. Thirty miles from my home town Utica.

Chatted a bit about onions. Canastota is the onion capital of the world.

When Anna would drive me around rural Novara, we were surrounded by rice fields. As far as the eye could see in every direction. Same in Canastota, except they are onion fields.

I left the wedding group. Had enough for the evening. Headed to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. Lamb chops. That’s all.

Lynda and Bob Frechette came in for dinner. Two of the loveliest people in Key West. Friends. I enjoyed my coffee with them. We chatted about things going on in Key West.

Some of the Key West roads are in abominable shape. Depressions, not holes. Come upon you suddenly, however. I hit one hard the other day. Something broke under the car.

George at Zip Automotive does my repair work. Dependable and reasonable. I dropped the car off to George yesterday. He drove me home. Later in the day he returned to deliver the car back. Need a part. Has to come from Miami. Three days wait. No problem. Car can be driven.

Zip Automotive is on Maloney Avenue on Stock Island. Three or four doors up from Roostica.

George a working man. Owns the garage. His hands and clothes coated in grease. Fiftyish. A conservative. Knows what he is talking about. Especially, numbers. Better than me. Loves Trump.

We are diametrically opposed politically. Love talking with him!

Today, a Louis day. A haircut, manicure and pedicure. With a lunch in between at Sandy’s cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. A favorite meal.

Today, World Water Day. Purpose to raise awareness re water scarcity, how to preserve it, and how to use it safely.

W. H. Auden said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I MET A RAILROAD TRAIN CONDUCTOR

I met a railroad train conductor. A for real honest to goodness one. In his early 70’s. A conductor for 50 years. Still working at it.

Goes by JJ. He has been a conductor on the Union Pacific all those years. Enjoys his job. Showed me a photo of himself in a Christmas outfit he wears on the holiday runs. A normal conductor outfit dressed up for Christmas. Low hanging glasses. A mustache. No beard.

I met JJ when I sat next to him at the bar at Roostica.

JJ is vacationing for two weeks. His fifth year in the Key West area. Drives down. Rents a tent at Boyd’s and is happy. Fishes everyday all day.

When he mentioned the Union Pacific, my mind went back to the movies portraying the building of the railroad. With much difficulty. Bad guys, Indians, etc.

The Union Pacific was the US’ expansion west. The intent to have a transcontinental railroad. The first. A daring feat.

The man primarily responsible was Abraham Lincoln. He had a vision of bringing the east and west together via the railroad. The connection would be Omaha and Sacramento.

The Union Pacific an unmentioned part of Lincoln’s legacy. Lincoln signed the Act authorizing the construction July 1, 1862. During the Civil War. Ground was broken in Omaha in December 1863. Delays were monumental. The first rails were not laid till July 1865. Three months after Lincoln’s death.

Roostica owner Bobby Mongelli sat with me for a few moments. His three restaurants are doing well. Obvious to the eye. I mentioned I had been to Geiger Key a few times recently and the place was packed. He agreed. Told me business there now exceeds Roostica’s.

Why was I so impressed with JJ? Probably because I have not been on a train in at least 40 years. We all rode trains once. He was a figure out of the past to me.

Spent most of yesterday preparing for my podcast in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I split the podcast into two sections. Non-Trump and Trump. Trump overwhelms the news. I wanted my listeners to also hear what is going on in the non-Trump world.

Before leaving for Roostica, I had to shower. Cold water again. No hot at all. The cold shower reenergizing.

I am turning into a half-assed engineer as concerns the water heater. There are two heating elements behind two doors. I suspect one or both have to be replaced. It appears one is working overtime, overheating and throwing the circuit breaker. As it is supposed to do.

Phone just rang. Frankie the Plumber is on his way.

Douglas High School students meet with Florida legislators in Tallahassee today. It appears the legislators are not taking the students seriously.

Bill SB 196 was pending. It would have prohibited the sale of assault weapons. The Republicans opposed to the bill. They went through a few procedural machinations yesterday. The bill died in committee. It will stay in committee this year.

Sort of an up yours to the students. Like who do you kids think you are!

I am curious as to how the students will react.

We all understand guns kill. There was another item before the legislature yesterday. A resolution exclaiming pornography was dangerous, a public health risk. One which could lead to mental and physical illnesses.

Not only did the porn resolution pass overwhelmingly, it was also debated at length.

The legislature’s priorities are screwed up.

Syracuse/North Carolina tonight at 7. ESPN. North Carolina a 5 point favorite.

Another item Bobby Mongelli and I discussed was why solar energy is not available big time and cheaply in the Keys. Who has more sun than us?

This morning I read that furniture maker IKEA has been selling in Europe and Asia “at cost” home solar panel systems. Simple to install. Cost for everything between $7,500 and $10,000.

IKEA next moving in to Australia with the product.

Solar energy has continued to decrease in cost each year. The International Energy Agency predicts solar will be the world’s primary energy source by 2050.

I wish it would get here. Energy costs are astronomical!

I want to close with Karl Marx.

On this day in 1848, Marx’s Communist Manifesto was published in London. Marx had the assistance of Friedrich Engels in writing it.

The Manifesto opens with dramatic words: “A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism.” The Manifesto ends: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite.”

It took 69 years for Marx’s Manifesto to succeed. The year 1917. Vladimir Lenin led the world’s first successful communist revolution in Russia.

Communism has been a threat to the United States and world ever since.

Plumber just arrived. Good service. I asked where Frankie was. Frankie and wife Sandy Don’s Place and bocce friends. He and his wife Sandy vacationing in Cancun. Sandy arranged the visit for me via cellphone.

Impressive. Love the modern world!

The plumber already advised it is the thermostat. He is putting a new one in.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE WEATHER…..KEY WEST AND ERIE, PA.

The weather outside is frightful…..

For Key West, no. Erie, Pa., yes.

A magnificent Christmas week weather wise. Eighty by day, 70 by night. No humidity. No air conditioning required at night. Open the bedroom window and let the cool ocean breeze flow in.

Erie, Pa. another story! Four feet of snow over a 48 hour period 12/25-12/26.

Erie no stranger to heavy snow falls. However, the four feet was the most ever.

I remember 4 feet snowfalls in Utica. Got one every 10 years or so. Pretty. Disruptive, however. The City closed down. No driving, no work. Could be 2 days before you got out of your house.

I loved the major snow storms. Family time. Parents and children confined at home together. A time to rebond.

My day yesterday began at the opticians. Still having vision problems with the new glasses. Second prescription. Worse than the first.

I return this morning for additional tests.

Worked  at organizing last night’s podcast in the afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

An early dinner at Roostica.

No question it is Christmas time. The busiest time of the year in Key West. Roostica packed to the walls inside and out.

Tried to do a different show last night. One where Donald Trump is never mentioned. I did well. Slipped into a brief Trump comment only 3 times.

The introductory story was one I reported first on this blog last week. The story of the prematurely born female twins.

One not making it. Death inevitable. Placed in incubator next to her sister who was doing well. The healthy twin threw an arm over her sick sister. The sick sister’s recovery began immediately.

The twins 22 years old today. Lovely young ladies leading full lives.

The help of a sister and the grace of God responsible.

A poor stone crab season.  A very poor one.

Law of economics at work. Few stone crabs available, high prices.

The fishermen cannot find enough stone crabs. It is believed Irma disrupted the ocean floor and who knows where they ended up. Another reason suggested is that there has not been a cold front yet. A cold front is required to move stone crabs closer to shore.

Small stone crabs going for $8 a piece. Jumbo’s, $28 a piece.

Too expensive.

Syracuse/E. Michigan tonight. I will watch from the comfort of my bed. Syracuse a 12 point underdog.

I doubt many would disagree with me if I referred to Trump as an egomaniac. He may get his rocks off again. In Jerusalem.

Israel owes Trump. He is moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The action to the Israelis indicates Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

They refer to Trump’s decision re the Embassy as a “brave decision.”

Jerusalem’s Western Wall is the holiest of Jewish places. A high speed railway is soon to be constructed which will run to the Western Wall. Construction to take 4 years. Cost, $700 million.

Strong support exists to name the train station at the Wall after Trump.

He is better deserving in my opinion for a subway train station in the middle of the Bronx to be renamed after him. One in a black/latino neighborhood.

Enjoy your day!

JORDAN AND ROBB…..WE MEET AGAIN

Yesterday busy. Day and night. All good things.

The best last night at the Chart Room.

I was looking for some one. Thought I would run into the person at the Chart Room. Stopped in. Looked around quickly. Not there.

Left immediately.

Twenty feet later, I heard a voice. Lou. turned around and there stood an absolutely beautiful woman.

The words came tumbling out….. I’m Jordan. I’m with Robb. We met two years ago. We took pictures. Two hang in the Chart Room. Robb reads your blog every day. We are here tonight to see you.

How could I leave.

We went back into the Chart Room. Met Robb.

I was honest. I meet so many people. I did not recall them.

Jordan took me to a section of the chart Room and showed me their picture with me. On a ceiling beam. The other behind the bar was buried. We did not bother searching for it.

Great people! I stayed a while. Enjoyed a drink with them.

From Jacksonville. Robb, 36. Jordan, 29.

School teachers. Jordan an elementary phys ed teacher. Also coaches high school lacrosse. Robb teaches high school math and helps coach the football team.

We chatted about a multitude of items. I was impressed Robb was a math teacher. Told him I became a lawyer instead of a doctor because I could not handle math and science.

Enjoyed my time with Jordan and Robb. Definitely will remember them next time.

Terri White sang while cleaning up the outside area of my new home. Her idea. A home warming gift, she said. She loves working with shrubbery, flowers, etc.

We took time off for lunch.  Picked up Donna and headed for Hogfish.

Sounds like I was working with Terri. No. I avoid servile labor of any nature.

After a cheery lunch, Terri and I returned to the house. Terri had to finish the clean up.

Terri does more than sing. Besides being a talented landscaper, she knows how to fix everything.

A new desk chair arrived a couple of days ago. Still sitting in the middle of the living room. Box unopened. Terri returns today to put the chair together.

I also have a new shower head. She is going to install it in my shower.

A good friend. As is Donna.

Along the way, I did my Facebook live video. Key West Lou Live Video. Trump, the White House staff and campaign help get  free legal with regard to present problems. Money comes from donations to the Committee to Re-Elect funds.

Articles claim $6 million incurred so far. $1.5 million paid out. Including Donald Trump, Jr.’s $50,000 legal fee for the meeting.

Began my evening at Aqua and Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Heather guest vocalist. The best show in town! All for the cost of a few drinks.

It was a locals crowd. Mark Watson, Joseph Lyles, Matias, Jean Thornton, her sister Laura Hauk, Sheila, Mary, Larry Blackburn, and Jimmy Olson.

Liz came in. I have not seen her in a while. I assumed she had returned to her St. Petersburg home. Went over to greet her. Discovered she was in the Key West hospital for 5 weeks. Why, I do not know. It was difficult to hear with the noise. Told her I would call today.

I feel guilty I did not know.

Then to the Chart Room. Followed by Tavern ‘n Town for their late evening happy hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed small pieces of beef in a tasty brown sauce over some sort of potato. Delicious.

Met Jack and Terri at the bar. From Pensacola. Joe Scarborough country. They know Joe.

Jack and Terri get to Key West every 2-3 years. Their four children grown.

Jack has been with UPS 31 years. A supervisor. Terri teaches sixth grade.

Good people. Good conversation.

Key West had a bank robbery a day or two ago. A 45 year old man walked into the Simonton bank building and left with some money. Details not reported as to how much, how robbery accomplished, etc.

The significant thing is the Key West police captured the bad guy in 20 minutes. The surveillance camera showed him clearly. They picked him up on Duval.

Prior to his arrest, he made some purchases on Duval and gave $50 bills as a tip. Not too bright.

“Sex is like money, only too much is enough.” John Updike.

Updike spent several years living in Key West. Wrote several novels using Key West as location.

Literary experts claim Updike was greatly influenced by Hemingway.

My podcast tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for a fast moving interesting show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics  include the folly of Trump’s words re Made in America Week, Buy American, and Hire American. Trump and his family do not do as he preaches.

Also, Sessions is working on banning abortions nationally, Russia demands return of their compounds without conditions, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia massacres its own people, Africans beginning to flood Europe in numbers greater that the Syrian immigration, and more.

Enjoy your day!

CROCODILE ON KEY WEST GOLF COURSE

There is a new crocodile on the Key West Golf Course. Nature is reclaiming its turf.

I first became aware by reason of a comment in Citizens’ Voice this morning. Claimed a 7 footer was in the lake by the 12th hole.

Not a lake. A pond. There is a long wide one that runs between the 12th and 18th holes.

I just telephoned Don to verify the existence of the crocodile. Don plays twice a week.

There is a crocodile. He’s seen it. It’s a big one, he says. Eight feet. Big head.

Beware! Golfers stay away from the water or bushes that run along side here and there. If you hit a ball into the shallow water or bushes, kiss it good bye. Better the ball than your arm!

There will be several Memorial Day ceremonies today and tomorrow. The first already occurred at 9 this morning. I am writing this blog at 9:30.

The Cemetery one is at the Battleship Maine Memorial. Always touching. I have done it twice over the years.

There will also be a ceremony or two at Bayview Park. I drive by and if I see a crowd, stop. More emotional than the Cemetery one. Even though all ceremonies this day are to honor those who fought in all wars. It may be because the Bayview ceremonies remember those who fought in more recent wars, as well as other ones.

Visited Lisa and family yesterday for a while. Robert and Ally taller each time I see them.

Robert and Ally both have birthdays this time of the year. I was to take them to lunch today as part of the celebration. Lisa just telephoned and said today would be no good. Robert did a sleep over last night and is beat.

A quiet dinner alone at the bar at Roostica last night. Crowded. It’s the holiday weekend. Enjoyed the newspapers.

The multi-talented Bria Ansara is an art teacher at Montessori. Robert and Ally studied under her this year.

Bria put the kids to work. Had them spend the term painting a 420 square foot 6 panel mural. Bria had each student select a local flora/fauna. Then paint it on the mural.

The mural is done. It was exhibited to the public yesterday for the first time. It hangs at the school and is available for viewing by appointment. Call Montessori principal Lyn Barras to schedule.

This war room thing is stupid. Dangerous for White House persons under investigation.

Defense in a case that is being investigated/prepared by Special Counsel Mueller and two Congressional Committees is not a team effort. It is every person for himself. In court house vernacular, every rat for himself.

If under investigation, your only counsel and confident is your attorney. You live or die by him.

In investigations of this nature, it is generally a race to offer evidence in return for immunity or a shorter sentence. Flynn is no fool in this regard.

If there is to be a war room, an attorney should head it. It might give availability to the attorney-client privilege were its members subpoenaed later on to testify as to what went on in the war room.

There is no thing as a war room in legal jargon or understanding. Another example of Trump doing something stupid on his own.

Enjoy your day!

 

BIG LIPS, BIG BOOBS AND SENSITIVE NIPPLES

The Chart Room is an interesting place. All type conversations. A multitude of topics covered over the years. Never like last night, however.

A woman’s lips, breasts and nipples.

I did not participate. Sat at the end of the bar with my head down. Afraid someone would ask what I thought.

Four people plus me at the bar. John bartending.

Evan and Liz locals. Young. Late 20’s, early 30’s. Chris and husband. I did not get the husband’s name. Vacationing from southern Pennsylvania. Mid 60’s.

The female body exploration began with lip augmentation. Referred to as big lips in the conversation. All four going at it. The consensus was it was stupid and looked awful. They could not understand why anyone would do it.

Then came nipples. Breast nipples. Chris from a little town in Pennsylvania said size did not matter. Sensitivity did. The four got into inverted nipples, also.

Next, big breasts. Interesting talk. Do whatever makes you feel good. Not too big, however. Too heavy if enlarged. And so on.

That part of the conversation took an hour.

Then we got to a point where I thought I could safely participate. Snow. Huge snowfalls.

Upstate New York thought the place for the worst. Buffalo and Rochester. Then Syracuse. Liz piped up she was from Syracuse. At that point, I got involved. From Utica and went to law school at SU.

Glad I stopped at the Chart Room. An unusual conversation. I had not intended to stop. As you will see from the next few paragraphs, it was the venue of last choice.

My day began at Verizon. Got the video problem figured out. The wi-fi was off. I must have hit a wrong button. Don’t see how. To screw it up, I would have had to hit the app key and then four more. I have never gotten that deep into my cell phone.

An early dinner at Roostica. Lemoncello wings. Spoke a while with owner Bobby. A wedding outside. Tablecloths. Everyone dressed. Laughter from every direction.

Then to bocce. Everyone playing but my team and another. For some reason, the game had been cancelled.

I sat with Sharon a while. Sons and Daughters of Italy playing.

Then to Don’s Place. When no game, the team is there. Not last night. Three guys at the bar and Michael bartending.

I was beginning to wonder why I showered and shaved.

Left for the Chart Room.

William Hackley won some money in 1856 in the Havana Lottery. He and three others purchased a ticket together. Won $400. $100 a piece. A lot of money back then.

The top prize was $60,000. At least $6 million today. Maybe, $60 million.

Hackley mentioned that he and his wife attended the funeral of the child Fanny Porter. Whooping cough killed her.

No vaccinations back then. Vaccinations today. Not perfect. Better safe than sorry, however.

Every one wants a piece of the Ukraine. Good growing fields and excellent mineral deposits.

Putin got as piece two years ago. Near the end of World War I, Germany’s Kaiser and Austria signed a pact to exploit Ukraine’s economic benefits. What a joke! The pact was signed this date 1918. World War I ended six months later on November 11, 1918. Germany and her friends defeated.

The Kaiser did get to exploit Ukraine within those six months. He demanded and received 100 million tons of food rations from Ukraine.

I came across the name Dante in my readings. Not the Dante I am familiar with. However it did recall Durante degli Alighieri, better known as Dante. A distinguished poet in the Middle Ages. Thought to be one of the best writers of his time.

His most famous work the Divine Comedy.

I took two years of Spanish in college. My teacher was Professor Cantatore. Italian. A small elderly man. His enthusiasm for Dante greater than his body size. A cultured man.

Every class, the good Professor drummed into us to read one page of Dante’s Comedy a day.

I never bought the Comedy. I did read a few pages when the opportunity arose. One of my college jobs was working the main desk in the library. A quiet uneventful position. I would take the Comedy off the shelf and absorb some of Dante’s wisdom.

Last but not least. Betsy Dietz died. Seventy five. Finally succumbed to uterine cancer after ten years.

Betsy lived in Key West so many years. She gave to the community. Involved heavily. Helped get AIDS Help started. Active at the beginning and over the years with the King and Queen Festival. A member of numerous boards.

Betsy and Lisa good friends. Every Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Betsy shared the holiday with Lisa, the grandkids, Santa Claus and me.

A rare woman. May she rest in peace.

Enjoy your day!