SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ITALY

A double header last night. Joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy and attended their Christmas Party.

Actually, I rejoined the Sons of Italy. I was a member of the organization years ago in Utica when the name did not contain Daughters.

The ladies have come a long way.

Back in the 1970s, there was a cigarette called Virginia Slims. I don’t know if it is still available. Virginia Slims came up with a bull’s eye advertising slogan. Ladies…..You’ve come a long way! True today. In every area.

The Christmas party was at La Trattoria. Great food. Great people celebrating the holiday. The Sons and Daughters a party group!

Georgio sponsored me. A personality. I sat with Georgio and his wife Sharon, Karon and Stan, Donna and Bob, and Jerry. The wine flowed.

In order to become a member of the Key West chapter of the Sons of Italy, the remotest connection to an Italian background suffices. I think even if your best friend is.

The President a Michael Kelly.

Kate Miano in attendance. As usual, a knockout. Her hair last night red. A subdued red. Perfect for Kate! She looked terrific!

Santa Claus was at the party. He is a member. A natural beard. He suggested Robert and Ally must have discovered the truth about Santa. He did not get a call to make his usual Christmas Eve visit to Lisa’s.

Santa Claus is Mac McCauskand. It was obvious he is a well liked person.

A big night for Mac. He was inducted into the Conch Republic Navy. An Admiral swore him in. We all participated, even to the left handed salute.

I assumed Mac would go in as a lieutenant at the very least. Not so. Something along the order of chief dishwasher.

Many at our table Rotary members. None had read my 27 installments re the history of the Key West Rotary. Which means they don’t read my blog. For shame.

Interestingly, I heard from no Rotarian re the history. Guess Rotarians generally don’t read the blog either.

I had a good time. Thank you Georgio and Jerry for asking me to join.

Enjoy your day!

 

STANDING ROCK SIOUX STANDING STRONG

Spent a part of yesterday organizing and fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I did a different show. Generally, I discuss ten different topics. Last night, one. Harder to do one than ten. With ten give or take, I can easily judge time. Easy to stop when my time is up. Cut short a topic.

With one topic, I was not certain when I would run out of time. Be left hanging in the middle of a part of the story. Even worse, not telling the whole story.

I practice beforehand. Practice and reality work out to different times.

I was thrilled last night. My material ended as the 30 minutes ended. Perfect! Accidental, of course.

The subject matter motivated me to do one issue. The Standing Rock, North Dakota Native American protest and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I felt the media was not providing sufficient information or a clear picture. Unknown facts that should be revealed.

If you missed the show, it is archived on my Key West Lou website. You may wish to read it. www.keywestlou.com.

I began with the Great Sioux War, Custer’s last stand at Little Big Horn, the Black Hills gold rush, and the U.S. government cheating/screwing the Indians. I ended with yesterday. That current.

Woe is me! Syracuse got beat again last night. By Wisconsin. 77-60. Syracuse looked terrible. As bad as when it lost to South Carolina a few days ago.

I have faith. Boeheim can pull it together. Look at last season. Syracuse was having a bad year. Ended up being one of the Final Four.

Looking forward to Happy Hour today. At Martin’s. With Joseph Lyles. Joseph recently retired as the Hot Tin Roof’s manager. Will be good to see him again.

Martin’s food excellent. A terrific combination. Joseph and Martin’s. Joseph is well read. A thinker. Great conversation anticipated.

Photographer Larry Blackburn is having a show. In 2 days. On December 2. From 6-9. The show is part of the First Friday Upper Duval Art Show.

Larry has titled the show Absence and Presence of Color. Photos of Key West and Ecuador.

The show is at the New York Pasta and Ocean Grill Restaurants in Duval Square.

Recommend you go. Larry’s work spectacular!

There is a bit of sadness attached to today. I will be writing the last installment of my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary. Covers the years 1915-1991. The history ended with 1991.

This final installment is #26.

Key West Rotary celebrated its 75th anniversary on April 6, 1991. At the Holiday Inn Beachside. The same place they had celebrated the Club’s 25th anniversary.

Charley “Sonny” Mc Coy was master of ceremonies. Keynote speaker Ralph Renick. A former TV Channel 4 anchorman.

Both speakers delved into the Club’s history.

The Club had 98 members at the time. The Rotary had grown decidedly from its 1915 inception.

Accomplishments many. Those noted included the continued support of the Fourth of July fireworks at the White Street Pier, providing a $6,000 college scholarship, providing 2 $100 and 8 $50 Citizenship Awards, donations to over 16 local charities and youth organizations, and acting as a major sponsor of D.A.R.E.

Additionally, the Club’s ability to continue bringing top people in the community into the Rotary.

In 1991, the Key West Rotary was one of 47 Clubs in District 6990. With a membership of 2,600. District 6990 included Monroe, Dade, and Broward counties, as well as Grand Bahama Island.

No question. Both the Key West Rotary and Rotary in general had grown over the years. When the Key West Rotary was formed in 1915, it was only the third Rotary Club in Florida.

Big trees from little acorns do certainly grow.

The Key West Rotary at the time of its 75th anniversary felt the Club had fulfilled founding President Jefferson Browne’s mission that it would attract top men from the community and be a first class Club.

Three persons were of assistance to me presenting the Rotary story.

Wright Langley’s wife Joan Knowles Langley. A fourth generation Conch. She now resides in Gainesville.

Wright and Joan’s son Mark. Mark still lives in Key West.

Finally, Key West snowbird and friend Diana Millikan. She is the person who sent me a copy of Langley’s History and induced me to write this rendition.

Enjoy your day!

THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Some heavy dialogue the past couple of months with the election coming up. Time for a change of pace.

Got a haircut yesterday. While waiting for Lori, I picked up a magazine. A Thanksgiving Cook Book. A few female advertisements.

ONE SIZE FITS ALL!

A bra. 32A – 36D.

Why not. We have one size hats and socks.

My sensitivities may be misplaced. I thought it funny.

Key West activities sometimes are off the beaten track. Two examples.

The dachshund is the official Key West dog. Key West goes to the dogs at noon New Years Eve. For the past 13 years. This year the 13th Annual Key West Dachshund Parade.

Only three blocks. Tummies a problem.

The other event is tomorrow from 11 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. The Men In Paradise Fashion Show. Brooks Brothers it is not.

A fun event. Marriott Beachside. A fundraiser for Samuel’s House

Today is Veterans Day. Taking into account all the wars in my lifetime, the recognition is well deserved.

Key West will be celebrating the day as all other communities in our country. The parade at 4. Duval, of course.

The other recognition activity takes place  earlier at 11 in Bayview Park. At the Memorial Garden. Guaranteed, there will be several hundred veterans. Proud.

Key West is a very patriotic community.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports there have been 8 Zika cases in Monroe County. Three of the women pregnant. No births yet. All travel infected.

Key West Rotary history. Installment 10.

The time 1931. The Overseas Highway had opened a few years earlier. Many took the train to get to Key West, however. The train operated by the Florida East Coast Railway.

If one wanted to get from Key West to Cuba, a ferry. One, the Florida.

The Cuba Rotary District Governor was Luis Machado. He and his wife had been visiting the northeast United States. They were on the way home.

 

The Governor had a short stop in Key West between the train and ferry. He was guests of local Rotarians Robert Spottswood, W. L. Bates, and J. Lancelot Lester. Cuban Counsel Jorge Ponce joined them.

Earlier in August, there was a band concert at Bayview Park. A Florida Army National Guard band played. Six thousand residents and visitors attended.

A few days later on August 12, officers and enlisted men of the Florida National Guard were entertained at a dance. The event was held at the Coral Isle Casino at the foot of Duval Street. Four hundred danced from 9 pm to 12:45 am. Lovely, vivacious, young Key West ladies contributed to the evening’s success.

The event was chaired by Rotarians W. L. Bates, Sebastian Cabrera, and B. Curry.

Recall that the Rotary began in 1905. Key West formed a club in 1915. Rotary had grown dramatically world wide in a short period of time.

Nineteen thirty one found Rotary with its first European as International President. England’s Sydney Paschall.

Rotary’s impact locally and internationally was reflected by the Key West Citizen’s front page headline re Paschall’s pending visit: KEY WEST TO SEE FIRST EUROPEAN AS HEAD OF ROTARIES.

Paschall was to arrive November 30. A committee of Rotarians was selected to prepare for Paschall’s visit.

Enjoy your day!